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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 9 Preview

Week eight was not supposed to produce any surprises but it did. Hurricane Patricia was the strongest hurricane on record and supposed to wreak havoc with damage and destruction, but did surprisely little damage and petered out quickly. Two more coaching positions have opened up this week, one in Miami and the other at Minnesota. Even if there are not any more coaches that were fired or quit, it’s already one heck of a coaching carousal we’re on. Week nine doesn’t have any top 25 match ups, but it’s almost a certainty that someone, somewhere is going to fall. Who’s it going to be?


140Georgia vs. Florida– “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party”, held in Jacksonville, FL, will take place this weekend. Last year at this time Florida was on a bad losing skid, and Georgia looked to be the most dominant team in the SEC East. However, the Gators somehow defied all logic and beat the hell out of the Bulldogs. Now the roles are reversed. Florida, under Coach Mc, has been playing great, its only blemish coming in their last game, against LSU, but one has to wonder if they didn’t have to deal with a QB problem during the week, would the result have been different? They lost, 35-28, and it was a good close game. Georgia, on the other hand, is not having the season they envisioned. They’ve lost only two games so far, but losing to Alabama the way they did caused people to take notice. They lost to Tennessee and that was too much. UGA’s offense had been exposed and the flood gates were open. They beat Missouri, 9-6, but, heck, Vanderbilt defeated the Tigers, too, so that doesn’t help much. Beating Florida is a must for the Dawgs. Should they defeat the Gators, then the Dawgs will be favored in the rest of their games. They could still win the SEC East as they’d own the tie breaker over the Gators. Both teams have a loss to an SEC West foe, only Georgia has lost to an eastern rival. For the Gators, the only SEC games they have after this one are Vanderbilt and South Carolina, where Georgia will be favored. Both teams have lost their star player on offense, both teams’ defenses are strong. The biggest difference is that if Georgia can get their running game going, they could make a game out of it. Florida, on the other hand, looks comfortable both throwing and running the ball. The passing game is a bit shaky with the replacement QB Harris pulling the trigger. Just going by the eye test, the Gators are in a better position to win this game. BUT! Last year Georgia appeared to be the bully in the SEC-East. Can history repeat itself? In a way…yes, cause Florida is going to win, just like they did in 2014.

Clemson vs. North Carolina State– At the moment Clemson is getting a lot of Favorable press coverage, mainly because they beat quasi-ACC265 member Notre Dame. The Tigers trounced a down-trodden Miami team. The Tigers, South Carolina Varity, look like they’re for real! They have the roar and they have the bite. It is clear they are the leaders in the ACC and the favorite to represent the conference in the playoffs. NC State is struggling. Unlike Clemson, the offense just can’t seem to put it together, they are not playing up to their potential, and the running game is lackluster. The defense, that was being counted on to pull the team through, is not nearly as aggressive as they were last year at this time. This should be a cakewalk for the Tigers of the Palmetto State. QB Watson is playing fantastic, the defense is all over the field. So why is there a nagging feeling that this game is not going to be what is expected? Couple reasons:- 1) North Carolina State is a much better football team than they have shown. 2) NC State is not afraid of anyone. For some reason, the Wolfpack has upset Florida State when, on paper, the Wolves were outmatched in every way. 3) When NCS upsets someone it is almost always in Raleigh, NC, where this game is being played. 4) the term, “Clemonizing”, was not started by another team named Clemson. Coach Dabo may not like it, but the reason that term is used is because Clemson has earned it! They have played well but in their tough games, they beat Louisville by three points, and ND by two. They haven’t blown out top competition. They are 7-0 and they should enjoy it, but give NC State one sliver of a chance, a glimpse of hope, and the Wolfpack will add another upset to their resume, and Clemson will have,….well, “Clemonized”.

310Stanford vs. Washington State– Stanford is in the lead for the PAC-12 North Division title while Washington State is second. Let that sink in a minute….Washington State has the possibility of winning the PAC-12 North! Not saying they will, or that they wouldn’t need some help in the process, but it’s still amazing that the Cougars are doing this well in late October. Should Stanford win, they still would not wrap up the North, but it would take a miracle for anyone else to win it. Right now, the boys from the farm are fun to watch. Everyone on both sides of the ball is flying around the field. The running backs are hitting the holes, Christian McCaffrey is Mr. Everything for the Cardinal, and should certainly be included in Heisman consideration. The defense is eating people up for lunch, these guys are hungry and they like to tackle. The team doesn’t do anything special, no trick plays, no gimmicks, they just line up with the attitude that no matter what they run, it will succeed. Kind-of hard to argue with them. Washington State was not supposed to be this good. They were picked last in the PAC-12 251and a lot of people were wondering how much longer Mike Leach would stay in Pullman. Then, to start the season, the Cougars lost, LOST, to Division IAA Portland State, 24-17. But Leach and his band of buccaneers recovered and won the next two before falling to California. Since that day in Berkely, Wazzu has beaten Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona, all teams they were not even supposed to come close to beating. So what happened? The WSU QB, Luke Falk, that’s what. In the last three games he has thrown 75, 52 and 62 passes. All of those were wins. He leads the nation in every passing category you care to name, and it appears that his arm does not get tired. Stanford has the number one defense on the left coast, but their defensive backs are going to tested. Putting pressure on QB Falk doesn’t seem to work, because he knows the hot reads and hits them REALLY Quick! Not much of a question as to whether or not the Cardinal will move the ball, but will they be able to keep up with a fast paced, high octane opponent? Most likely, but they’re not going to enjoy it. Stanford is still the favorite to win, and they are my pick, but if someone on the West Coast is going to upset them, it’ll be the Cougars.

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech-Cowboy Nation is having a time after a woman drove into the homecoming parade killing several people andIMG_7790 causing many more to be injured. Our hearts and prayers go out to them all. The Cowboys are sitting at 7-0 but they’re entering the meat of their schedule. Against the Red Raiders, they shouldn’t have trouble running, as the Pokes are averaging 3.1 yards per carry and the Red Raiders are ranked third in the nation at allowing rushing yards. That means they’re the third worst in the country at stopping the run. Look for OSU to run a lot and eat up a lot of clock. TT wants the game to be fast paced with each team scoring 60 plus points. If Oklahoma Stat is able to slow everything down, and pound the ball up the middle, Tech doesn’t have much of an answer for that;- unless the Cowboys slowly score and TTU can get their offense back on the field. Texas Tech has yet to actually stop an opposing team, but they sometimes slow them down. After this game, OSU has TCU, who darn near lost to Tech. Oklahoma State, if they stay focused, will win.

Short Smokes:

Illinois goes to Penn State with the Nittany Lions favored

Nebraska can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong, but they should still beat Purdue

Rutgers, most likely, will enjoy some Wisconsin Badger.

Ole Miss has a chance to avenge last year’s Auburn loss, but the Rebels play poorly away from Oxford (remember Memphis?)

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M – at the start of the year, this looked promising. Now….not so much. The Daughter still says the Aggies win it.

Syracuse has a chance to upset Florida State. Not much of a chance, but it’s a chance.

Boston College will more than likely defeat VA Tech….wonder if the Hokie coaching position will be open by the end of the year?

USC and California could be great game. California could bring the Trojans back to earth. Hell could freeze over.

Colorado is seeking to make a statement against UCLA. Why not! It’s a stretch, but GO Buffs!

Oklahoma will extend Kansas’s losing streak. They’ll extend it brutally.

Maryland will fall to Iowa…the Hawkeyes are still undefeated! Who’d ‘a thunk it?

Memphis plays Tulane and will continue undefeated.

Utah needs to beat Oregon State by a big margin.

Michigan travels to the Land of a Thousand Lakes to defeat Minnesota.

Texas will get to .500 against Iowa State.

Notre Dame will get more than they asked for from undefeated Temple. The Owls will emerge victorious. Really? Really.

North Alabama (5-2) takes on Delta State (5-3), and if there is a team/school that I hate on the same level as Tennessee, it’s freakin’, horrible Delta State. The Lions lost in a big way to #2 West Georgia last week, and they need to regain their winning ways. Disgusting Delta State is on a three game losing streak, so this will be a great time for the Lions to make four. ROAR LIONS!!!!


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