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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 4 Preview

It’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders, time to put on the big boy pants, slap on the war paint, and saddle up, pilgrim! We’ve got four top 25 teams going up against each other and three of them are in the SEC. A lot of questions will be answered Saturday…. or not, this is college football, anything can happen, and it usually does.


14012 Georgia vs 23 Ole Miss– First up are the Dawgs of Georgia taking on the Rebel brigade of Mississippi. This game could be classified as the game of the inconsistents. Both teams have been inconsistent, and that’s may be an understatement. Georgia came out of the gate and beat the tar(heels) out of North Carolina. Nick Chubb had a monster game where he ran for over 200 yards, and the UGA fans sang, “Amen”, and, “Halleluiah”, their team was BACK! Then the Dawgs struggle with Nicholls and Missouri, very nearly losing both contests. Mizzou held Chubb to less than 80 yards. Georgia True Freshman QB Jason Eason, who appeared to have a halo around his helmet in the Atlanta Dome, has not led his team out of the figurative land of bondage. They are 3-0, but everything about this team feels like they are a pretender. IF they can win in Oxford, that would help change our perception. Not sure the boys of the Peach State know this, but they need this win, they need it big time.
Ole Miss did not go up on both Alabama and Florida State by three touchdowns by accident. Ok, maybe FSU is not the team we all thought they 535were. That beat down in Louisville was so epic that it does taint their previous two games. But Alabama is still Alabama, and the Rebels were passing them all over the field. Ole Miss has shown that they can compete with anyone in the country. BUT, you notice I didn’t say the Rebs were RUNNING Alabama all over the field. That’s because they have no running game. None, none at all, not even a shadow of a running threat! Oh, yeah, and turnovers, if they’d just kept the ball that alone could have allowed them to beat both Bama and FSU. Its more than likely too late for the Ole Miss to win their first SEC West title, so right now they are playing for a return trip to a New Year’s Day bowl. If they fall to Georgia and go to 1-3 at the end of September, they’re going to be pretenders, and I’m going to have one mad brother. Not that he’s happy with me right now (Roll Tide!) anyway.

08119 Florida vs 14 Tennessee – First, Tennessee was picked to win the SEC East, and then they struggled with most everyone. After losing winning their first game, the Vols were all but written off. Viola! – they put up 45 points the next week! Virginia Tech got an assist on half those scores, but Tennessee won and it looked good the next morning on the score sheet. Ohio came into town, that’s the Bobcats, not to be confused with the Buckeyes, and I’ll-be-dad-gum if UT doesn’t turn in another subpar performance and struggle to a narrow win. It’s been 11 years since the Vols beat Florida, that means there are kids on Tennessee’s team that were in the third grade the last time UT beat the Gators. Coach Butch Jones was not thought to be on a hot seat, but, sooner or later, the Orange and White (or Grey, or Black) has got to start winning these big games. This is a big game. The fans like 9 and 10 win seasons, but they don’t like to keep losing to UF, and Bama. Pretty soon they’re going to start looking for pitchforks and torches.098 Tennessee is ranked 14th, and based solely on the way they’ve played, they shouldn’t even be in the top 25.
Poor Florida, they just can’t catch a break at the Quarterback position. Last year they lost their starter for popping pills, and this year they start with a retread QB in Del Rio, who was doing right well, only to lose him to a knee injury. No telling how long he’s going to be out, but he’s not going to be in this game. Now, can the transfer from Purdue, Appleby, pick up the offense and lead the team to victory against Tennessee? Purdue hasn’t set the world on fire lately, not with anyone playing quarterback. If Appleby takes full advantage of this opportunity and proves himself to be a Kurt Warner in college football, not only will he not be a pretender but the Gators will secure the status as serious contenders in the SEC, again. They have the defense, and a running game to win, they just need a QB to manage the game and not make mistakes.

04217 Arkansas vs 10 Texas A&M– In boxing, they have matches where the pugilists are ranked number #2 and #3 and they’re fighting for a chance to take on the champion. This is that type of game. Whoever wins here gets a chance to knock Alabama off the top of the SEC West mountain. Both are going to get that chance in due time, but it’ll mean more to the winner of this contest. This should be the best SEC game Saturday. They will be playing in Jerry’s World in Dallas and the fans should be wound up nice and tight. So far, the Aggies have been winning games with defense. Did you get that? A&M has been winning games with defense, that’s what I said. Garrett and Hall have been the book-ends the Aggie faithful hoped they’d be. Their constant presence in opposing teams’ backfields have kept their foes from mounting any kind of consistent threat. UCLA, late in the game, was an exception because Rosen is so &%^$#@ good. They haven’t exactly blanked other teams, but they have been disrupting. QB Knight has been 054playing well, not the pretender Oklahoma thought he was. Too bad they don’t have a running game to compliment his passing. If they did, the Aggies would be hard to stop and that would cause The Daughter great joy
Arkansas is the biggest surprise within the West. Not many folks thought the Hogs were ready for TCU a couple of weeks ago. Of course, picked Arkansas to win, and, sho’ ‘nuff, the Razorbacks won. It was in double overtime, but, who cares, they won! Not only that, but they outplayed TCU most of the game. When Bielema came down south four years ago from Wisconsin, there was some groaning and questioning about why this yankee had been hired. Doubts filled the Diamond State. But he has slowly built his team into a contender within the SEC West, something many (like me) didn’t think he’d be able do. After all, this isn’t the Great White North, this is the big time, it’s the Grand Show called the SEC, but – here they are. Will the young Razorbacks beat the Aggies? It all depends on how the Hogs run the ball. If they get the ground game going and keep those ends of A&M worried about protecting the outside instead of having them rush the QB, it will open up everything Arkansas wants to do. Easier said than done, but it’s what they have to do. No ground game, no victory.


ArmyArmy vs. Buffalo– Neither team is nationally ranked, and neither is expected to make the playoffs. Actually, Buffalo is already 1-2, so they’re out. Army, however, is 3-0, the best start they’ve had since 1996. Last week they scored the most points they’ve scored in a game since 1958 when they beat Colgate. I’m willing to bet my Editor was actually at that game (he was), he was a Cadet at the time. So why are we writing about Army? Because as long as we do, they keep winning! And we are not going to break this streak, no way, no how. The Black Knights of the Hudson are going to march up to Buffalo, defeat the Bulls, reach 4-0, and then march back down the Mohawk Valley to get ready for Duke.

23111 Wisconsin vs 8 Michigan State – This is the biggest game within the Great White North this weekend. East Lansing will be hopping with excitement. Both teams have already proven they are contenders, with signature wins. Wisconsin started the season by beating up LSU, a game where they were clearly the better team and they were not leaving Lambeau field without a win. Defense was their key in that game. When LSU unleashed their most powerful weapon, RB Fournette, the Badgers refused to yield and stopped him cold. They’re going to play the same defense on Saturday. They must force MSU to pass to gain any sort of yardage. It’ll be difficult because the Spartan offensive line is far better than what LSU offered up. But, it can be done, and so far the “W’s” are holding their opponents to 82.3 yards on the ground. Last week they struggled against Georgia State, but winning, 23-17. That could have been the result of looking ahead, but they can’t turn in another subpar performance.
Michigan State is a deceptive team. Everyone thought this was going to be a rebuilding year, one where the young talent was going to take its lumps. Not so fast! These young whipper-snappers just got done beating media favorite Notre Dame at South Bend. After the game the media talked about how the Spartans had a chip on their shoulder, or how they had a working class mentality, and all of it sounded disingenuous. The truth is, Michigan State is very good and they are led by their defense. They have shown the propensity to let up in late in the game and allow the other team to mount a comeback, true enough, but they were still able to hang on and win three games. Other than that, the Spartans are rock solid. The offense pounds the opposition into submission and their passing game is good enough to keep the defense honest. This sounds an awful lot like the pattern some Southern School in Alabama used recently to become a national power. Then again, maybe it’s just me thinking out loud. The powers that be give MSU a 51% chance at victory, CSF says it’s a bit more than that.

IMG_7790Oklahoma State vs 16 Baylor– Not a top 25 matchup, but none-the-less it should be an entertaining game. Baylor and OSU don’t like each other and haven’t liked each other for a number of years now. The Pokes have a habit of ruining Baylor’s chances at the Big 12 that has only ten teams championship. The Bears are usually mad at OSU because the Cowboys let some other team beat them before the Bears get to. Baylor pummels lower level schools repeatedly before they play anyone within the league, but now, in week 4 they have to play an upper tier team. When the Bears are looked at on paper, they appear unstoppable. They’ve allowed only 97 yards rushing per game, 152 yards passing, they’ve scored 44 points per game, and thrown and rushed the ball for passels of yardage. But all of that is misleading because they’ve played 1AA Northwest State (0-3), Rice (0-3) and SMU (2-1). 571So, if they want to be great, they’re going to have to beat tougher teams and this is the weekend to start doing just that.
Oklahoma State had to cleanse their souls last week by beating a very good Pitt team. After losing to Central Michigan, they really did, the Pokes lost to the Chippewas, they showed they were vulnerable. That last play should have never happened, it was a fluke, the officials erred, all that is true. BUT they should have never been in that situation in the first place! Hopefully the victory over Pitt regained the Pokes balance and they can focus on the Bears of the Brazos River. Both teams run the same type of offense, pass now, pass often, and run only when absolutely necessary. However, Oklahoma State can actually run block and they have a couple of decent backs tote the mail. They won’t run much, they’re still going to pass, but its nice to know they could if they wanted to. Defense will carry the day. OSU has been known, from time to time, to play outstanding defense. Now needs to be one of those times. For the rest of the season they need to play lights-out football to make up for losing to Central Michigan. The QB needs a hot hand and the running game is needed. It’s time for the defense to contribute.

Short Smokes

Friday night Utah will embarrass USC

Alabama gets to beat up on Saban’s alma mater, Kent State

Purdue will lose to Nevada. So what’s new?

Iowa rights itself against Rutgers

Florida State could struggle against South Florida. South Florida could beat the Noles

East Carolina will give Virginia Tech a good game. Could the Pirates win? Yes.

Virginia will somehow beat Central Michigan

Boise State versus Oregon State will be better than most think

BYU wins in West “By Golly” Virginia. Big 12 audition for the Cougars.

Duke won’t win at Notre Dame, it would be nice if they did, but they won’t

Pitt will prove itself against North Carolina

Penn State will fall hard to Michigan

Wake Forest and Indiana, battle of two basketball schools who happen to have football teams

Colorado is going to come close to beating Oregon

LSU will run all over Auburn, it won’t be pretty. Some people disagree with CSF.

South Carolina will beat Kentucky, Coach Boom will crown himself “Outstanding Coach of the Year”

Louisville will have fun at Marshall, sportwriters will all but hand Jackson the Heisman after the game

Memphis continues its winning ways against Bowling Green

Cal falls to the Pitchfork of ASU

Washington will not like the heat in Arizona but will still win


North Alabama will take down West Alabama, Roar Lions!


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