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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 10 Preview

Week Ten, already! WOW! It’s been quite a party so far, and I don’t look for it to end just yet. For those of you who thrive on Greek Mythology, you’re going to love this week’s edition. A word of caution:- remember the names, lest they come back to haunt you. In the movie Clash of the Titans, Perseus has to save Andromeda, and the city of Joppa, from the horrible destruction of the Kraken. To do this he goes through a series of tests only to discover that the only thing that can kill a Titan is another Titan. Therefore, he needs the head of Medusa, who does not just give her head to him. Our hero uses the snake-headed woman to turn the sea creature to stone right before the creature is set to kill the lovely Andromeda and completely destroy the city. The creature managed to destroy half the city, so at least he got some licks in before he perished. Week 10 has the feeling that it’s Titan Football, as the leaders and front runners in the conferences line up to mash heads and determine who the Titans really are.

202Florida State vs. Clemson– the Tigers, South Carolina variety, are undefeated as they have been roaring through their ACC schedule. The one time they played a ranked team, it was (6)(now 5) Notre Dame in which the Pawprints won by two points. They have not “Clemsonized”, even though NC State gave them a run for their money. Can they continue this run over Florida State? Not sure, FSU has Clemson buffaloed. The ‘Noles have beaten them the last three years, and in at least two of those years, the Tigers were favored. Something about the Tomahawk Chop that strikes fear among the faithful. Clemson has them at home, the Tigers have a balanced attack on offense, and they had to rely on it last week. I know everyone is praising the Tiger Orange Wall, but let’s pause and look at this. Against Notre Dame, they escaped. They allowed the Irish to mount a 19 point 4th quarter comeback. It would have been 21 points but the two-point conversion attempt failed.   They played some games where they weren’t challenged, and then came the Wolfpack. NC State put 41 points on the Orange Wall and it was actually Clemson’s offense that won the game. Honestly, NC State moved the ball almost at will. If they Tigers want to be respected and be in consideration for a playoff spot, they’ve got to beat Florida State, and beat them by more than one265  score. The Seminoles currently have a bit of a Quarterback problem. Notre Dame transfer Golson is injured and there is doubt he’ll be able to play. Backup Sean Maguire started last week and led the team to a victory over Syracuse. At this point, Coach Jimbo Fisher is not saying who is going to start cause he’s concerned about Golson…OR, this could be one of those times a head coach is purposely not saying, trying to out Psych the other team so they have prepare for two QB’s instead of one. Coachspeak. This will be the first ranked team FSU has played all season. Florida State has been the bully of the ACC ever since they joined the league, and this would be a battle of undefeateds if it wasn’t for a blocked field goal and run back by Georgia Tech. So what is it about FSU that is not scaring everyone? They are by far the most talented team in the ACC and should be the bully again, but they’re not. If they want to be a Titan again, they need to upset Clemson. They can, and they know it. The talking heads are picking Clemson, it’s the Tiger’s time, it’s the passing of the torch. Ever notice that the team that has the torch never wants to pass it? It has to be taken. The stigma of losing to FSU is something Clemson has to live with, Tomahawk Chop wins.

IMG_7790TCU vs. Oklahoma State- In the Big 12, that only has ten teams, Oklahoma State is looking to upset the Horn Frogs. The Frogs don’t come into this game unchallenged. They have been taken to the wire by Minnesota, K-State and Texas Tech. If it weren’t for a lucky catch off a tipped pass with 22 seconds left, the Red Raiders would have beaten TCU. If it weren’t for a muffed punt snap, if it weren’t for a blocked field goal, if,… .Now they face shadowy power OSU in Stillwater. The Cowboys have also needed some luck to survive. A muffed punt against Texas allowed for short winning TD drive, the Pokes were taken to the tape by K-State, as well as West Virginia. But it was the TT game last week that made an impression. The Raiders from Lubbock jumped out to a 17 point lead over the Pokes. It was not looking good for State at all. The ones that thought they were a fragile undefeated team were looking like smart chaps. Then the Cowboys strapped on their pistols, laced up their chaps, adjusted their Cowboy hats, and went to work. It reminded me of the shootout at the OK Corral. Touchdowns were being scored as fast as each team could load and fire. In the end, OSU won, 70-53. Impressive, and made it a few believers. QB Boykin for TCU has put up some impressive numbers;- he’s thrown 28 TDs and 5 INT’s. That is impressive. The running game hasn’t been daunting this year and the Frogs’ defense has been embarrassed. Even with all that, here they are at 8-0 and looking for the Big 12, that only has ten teams, crown. TCU should dominate the Cowboys, if you believe in stats and talking heads, not even close. BUT isn’t buying it. We could be wrong, it’s happened before, occasionally, rarely, but there are a couple of things that say OSU upsets the Froggie wagon. One of these reasons is Boykin himself. He doesn’t throw darts, or frozen ropes. His passes are long loops to an area where he relies on his receivers to run under the ball. It’s worked, no denying that, but it’s not effective against good defenses and OSU has a good defense. Also, Boone Pickens Stadium is a tough place to play, Robert Griffin III and Bryce Petty have been defeated there in routs and TCU is 0-2 there as a member of the Big 12, that only has ten teams. In both losses they were dropped by double digit scores. The Cowboys win.

LSU vs Alabama– If the citizens of ancient Joppa would have known that two Titans were scheduled to fight each other in their bay, they would065 lined the cliffs with stadium seats, sold programs and hot dogs,(or whatever ancient Greeks ate at games)(probably salads) and enjoyed the event. In Tuscaloosa there isn’t a lovely Andromeda whose life hangs in the balance, but there is plenty to play for. The winner of this game is sure to be the favorite to win the SEC West, (provided Ole Miss drops an SEC West game, to, say, LSU ), the SEC Championship, a spot in the playoffs, and a spot in the gloried history of SEC football. LSU has their version of Perseus in the form of RB Fournette, he’s passed a couple of tests so far. He’s good. LSU has been challenged by Mississippi State, 21-19, and Florida, 35-28. In both games opponents knew they had to stop Fournette, but neither did. Florida was doing such a good job of stacking up the running game that the Tigers, Louisiana variety, turned to the passing game. Who know QB Harris could throw the ball, accurately? It caught the Gators off guard. Defensively, LSU has question marks, they’ve allowed other teams to run the ball, and their secondary has been uncharacteristically weak, as in very weak. That is not a good omen for this weekend. LSU is basically a one dimensional team, even with Harris completing a few passes. The offense goes as 017Fournette goes. Big question, can he run the ball against the Kraken, the Kraken being the number one defense in the nation and the toughest front seven against the run, Alabama’s defense? (I told you to remember the names) The Kraken Defense has been improving all year. At the start of the year the secondary was questionable and was Bama’s biggest weakness. They’re still the weak cog in the defense, but they’re stellar, at times. LSU is going to have to pass, and when they do, look for Bama to get an interception. Or two. Or three. (Ask A&M) They’ll have to pass because Fournette won’t have anywhere to run. The front seven is disciplined and they cover sideline to sideline rapidly. They are mobile, hostile, and agile. The Crimson Tide offense is led by the overlooked Heisman Candidate, Derrick Henry. If you haven’t seen the clips on the internet of him lifting weight, it’s jaw dropping how much he pushes. He is going to run the ball and gain yards against LSU’s defense. Look for him to outshine the upstart Perseus (Fournette, in case you forgot the characters). But that’s not all Alabama has to offer. Jake Coker has become a good QB for the Tide. He’s taken control of the offense and become the field general that St. Saban has been looking for. He makes good throws and his receivers have become big-time  threats. We haven’t mentioned how good the offensive line has become. The Crimson Tide is the Kraken. They have multiple ways to defeat LSU and the Tigers have to defend all of them. LSU hopes their form of Perseus can defeat the Kraken single-handedly, but they don’t have the head of Medusa. This isn’t the movie, it’s real life, and the Kraken will be too big, too strong, and have too many weapons. Alabama Wins….ROLL TIDE! Please, ROLL TIDE!

Duke vs. North Carolina – the Battle of the Carolinas was looking like a clash for the ACC coastal division until the officials completely blew several calls in that freak Miami play which gave Duke its first ACC loss. North Carolina has been on a tear. Their only loss was the season opener to South Carolina. Since that time the Tar Heels have become the favorite to win the division and make another trip to Charlotte, NC. Duke is going to play tough at Chapel Hill, and this will not be a cake-walk but the Tar Heels will prevail. Most likely. Probably. Depends upon how the Blue Devils recover from the Debacle in Durham.

Notre Dame vs. Pitt– The college football writers really, really, really want Notre Dame to become a big-time player again. So the Committee has them ranked 5th in the nation. They lost to Clemson, came from behind to beat Virginia and the young whippersnappers, Temple. Other than that, their schedule been rather weak. Besides, you have to wonder how things are going under the Golden Dome, after the sideline incident last week gave. Pitt is taking on the identity of their coach, Narduzzi. His hardnosed, never quit, attitude has caught on in Steel Town. The Panthers are heavy underdogs, not expected to give the Irish much of a game. Not only will they give them a game, the Panthers of the Three Rivers are going to pull the upset of the weekend! You may quote me on that.

Short Smokes:

Penn State is going to beat Northwestern.. hear that Nittany Lions? Don’t let me down…again.

Purdue looks to have a two-game win streak against Illinois. Highly unlikely.

Texas Tech will have a shoot out with West “By Golly” Virginia, but still win.

Florida will wrap up the SEC East division with a win over Vanderbilt.

Kentucky looks to kick Georgia while they’re down, but they won’t.

Syracuse just might win against Louisville. Might not. You may quote me on that, too.

NC State recovers and wins at Boston College.

Stanford will have their hands full with an improved Colorado team, but still win.

Virginia plays in an empty stadium at Miami, and loses.

Arkansas looks to repeat last year’s beating of Ole Miss, but the game is in Oxford, and the Rebs are tough in Oxford.

Army and Air Force meet on the gridiron. Hopefully, Army will wear those camouflaged uniforms that look AWESOME!! Black Knights Roll!

Arizona State visits the Palouse to meet the Cougars of Washington State, and doesn’t enjoy their visit to the northwest. Wazzu wins.

Iowa will remain undefeated against Indiana.

Wisconsin players will visit the monuments in Washington, DC, and thump Maryland’s Terrapins in the process.

Rutgers has goes to Ann Arbor, not good for the Scarlett Knights. Maybe they’ll enjoy sightseeing in Detroit.

South Carolina vs. Tennessee – this isn’t near as much fun without Coach Spurrier having a sarcastic comment or two about the Vols. Besides, Tennessee’s gonna win.

UCLA does not play well on the road but they’ll still win at Oregon State.

Memphis better be ready for Navy! I have friends in Memphis, so Tigers win.

Iowa State beat Texas, Texas beat Oklahoma, so ISU should beat OU, right? Nope.

Nebraska will not fare well against the Phalanx of the Michigan State Spartans.

Utah and Washington could be a close game. Huskies win.

Auburn plays in Kyle Field where they don’t do well. The Daughter will be cheering loudly against the Tigers.

If Texas plays like they did against Iowa State, Kansas might get their first Big 12, that only has ten teams, win. I doubt it, though.

Ohio State, with all that is happening, is positioned for an upset, and Minnesota could do it. Could, but won’t.

California and Oregon both need to win for some respectability. Going with the Bears on this one. It’s just a feeling, so don’t quote me.

Arizona has not played well lately and USC has. Trojans win.

(11) North Alabama will go to Roma GA, to defeat the Shorter University Hawks in a Gulf South Conference matchup. Roar Lions!




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