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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 7 Preview


431Utah vs. USC– the leaders of the PAC-12 South will match up this weekend in what will more than likely determine the champion of the PAC-12 South. Both teams have at least one conference loss, but both of those losses were to a PAC-12 North rival, (Damn Yankees…oh, wait, not Yankees, force of habit there). The other PAC-12 Southerners do not appear to be serious threats for the crown. Utah is coming off a 23-20 loss to Stanford, who USC hammered earlier in the season. In that game the big defensive line of the Utes could not stop Stanford’s RB Love, who ran for 153 yards. This line is big and physical but they were left gasping for air against Stanford. They’re going to have to do better against USC. One of the best things they have done this season to pressure opposing QB’s. This will be key against USC. Washington State did it several weeks ago and it worked out great. Sam Darnold has shown that when he is getting pressured, he can’t produce those Heisman-like passing numbers and he has a tendency to turn the ball over. All season UU has been basing its success on their Defensive line.  They feature Tackle Mokofisi (6-4, at 300 lbs), Tackle Lotelelei (6-2, 320 lbs) and Nose guard Fotu (6-5 and 323lbs). These guys are big, tough, and they plug up holes. They are hard to move out of the way. On the offensive side of the ball, starting QB Huntley was injured against Arizona, so 2016 starter Troy Williams was back under center. He struggled with Stanford, throwing two INTs and only 1 touchdown. But, remember, last year he was down-right good. Maybe he’s gotten the rust out of his system and will be more than ready to play in the Coliseum. Utah is a good team and against the Cardinal they were out of sorts for some reason, more than likely looking past the trees to USC. They had better pay attention this Saturday.

USC- The Trojans know that the Utes are at bit weaker against the run than they previously thought, but the problem is, USC doesn’t have a RB like Love. RB Ronald Jones II has done a pretty good job, rushing for 529 yards, and Stephen Carr has 309 yards. Both average over 5 yards per carry but they have not been the focal point of the offense. Maybe this week they will be. QB Sam Darnold is starting to show some frustration. After the Oregon State game, he said the Trojans, “gotta run different plays and use different formations”. He has since taken that statement back and apologized to the coaches. But it makes one wonder if he has a point. USC has not been the juggernaut everyone, including CSF, thought they were going to be. They are 5-1, but the struggles they’ve had in their victories are evident for the world to see. The one place where they cannot struggle this week is on the offensive line. No slip-ups can be tolerated. The defensive line will be getting a boost as they have two starters returning from injuries, Toa Lobendahn and Chuma Edoga. Both will be looking to add their tremendous pass rush to Southern Cal’s D-Line. The Men of Troy are playing at home, coming off a win, while the Utes are coming off a loss. USC is projected to win and they should win, but it’s not going to be a cake walk. CSF is thinking this game will come down to the final two minutes before a winner is decided.

Auburn vs LSU – The Tigers are playing against the Tigers! As an Alabama fanatic, or so I’ve been called, I don’t have fond feelings for either of these schools, but it’s still an interesting matchup. Auburn has had a pretty 134good time lately taking down Mizzou (another Tiger), and both Mississippi schools. Since they had little trouble in beating those three SEC foes, they have been promoted to number #10 in the nation. Do they really deserve that high ranking? Not sure. Miss State was ranked when they played the Bayou Bengals, but they have proven to be a mirage. Against Clemson, the only other ranked team Auburn’s faced, these Alabama Tigers played well, but lost to the South Carolina Tigers. LSU will not be mistaken for a top 25 team, but they do have a well-earned reputation from years past, and that reputation still carries some weight. A little, but only a little (ask Troy).  Baylor transfer J. Stidham has finally gotten into a groove at Quarterback, and RB K. Johnson has run for 12 touchdowns. The Alabama Tigers are averaging 35 points per game, allowing only 12 points per game. Everything appears to be going well for the Plainsmen, but they are getting into the meat of their schedule. They have to play Arkansas, Texas A&M, Georgia, and then, arch rival Alabama. If they lose to LSU it will cause folks to believe they are nothing but a paper tiger, -which they may well be.

065LSU– The Swamp Tigers will be playing for self-respect. Their hopes of playing for the SEC West crown were thrown out the window when Mississippi State walked all over them, and their season fell apart when they fell to Troy. Last weekend, though, the little kitty-cats showed some signs of life and they beat Florida by one. According to Louisiana native and proud Cajun Head Coach Orgeron, the team came together in that game and they are on the way up. If they do beat Auburn, Coach Orgeron’s words might have merit. Mississippi State and Auburn run very similar offenses. The Bayou Bengals did not do well the last time they faced this offensive scheme, but if they stop this Tiger, they’ll regain some of respect that they’ve lost. They can’t let Auburn get on a roll. The best way to prevent this is to keep the pressure on QB Stidham. Clemson pressured him …. nine (9) sacks -and you see what happened there. It’ll be up to the Bengal offense to produce points. QB Etling, has not been that effective, and star RB D. Guice is coming off a leg injury that has been hampering him. These two have to produce, they can’t have a bad day. The problem is, even if they are on their game and playing great, their offensive line has been the biggest weakness. They have been more like a sieve than a stone wall in pass protection, and their run blocking has been weak. They cannot allow the Auburn defensive line to disrupt plays in their back field. The Plainsmen are to the point where they actually believe in themselves, while LSU isn’t even close to having that mindset. Not sure Auburn is a true #10 team in the nation, but they are the better Tiger team and will win the game.


Oklahoma vs Texas – This is the first time since 1947 that both teams have first year head coaches. In ’47 it was Blair Cherry for Texas and Bud Wilkinson for Oklahoma, the Longhorns won that game, 34-14, but there wasIMG_7761 a lot of help from a referee named Jack Sisco, whose descendants are still not welcome in Oklahoma.  That was then, this is now. Both of these coaches need to win this game. Oklahoma Coach Lincoln Riley needs this game for his team to recover from their unexpected loss to Iowa State, which is still a huge loss. If they lose to their hated rival, the Sooner season is done. The other person that has to win is QB Baker Mayfield. He made a spectacle of himself both on and off the field in their victory over Ohio State. His performance on the field was masterful, and a joy to watch. His planting the flag on the big “O” in the middle of the field wasn’t a bad move. But he had to take what he gave out when ISU planted their flag on OU’s field. For him to get OU back into the race and his name in the Heisman conversation again, he has to have another performance where he performs as the “Master and Commander”. Last year it took two losses before the Sooners got their act together and ran off with the BIG 12 Title. If they lose to another un-ranked team, they might as well make their reservations for the Independence Bowl.

160Texas–  has everything  to win in this game and nothing to lose. If they come up short, as most everyone expects them to, little harm is done, even if they get blown out of the stadium…Whoa! Wait! That might cause some dismay. BUT, if the Longhorns play the Sooners, tough and only lose by a little, it will indicate the improvement that is happening in Austin. Should the unexpected happen and the Horns win the game, the reputation of Coach Herman could be established for years to come. Before dismissing the possibility that Herman can lead UT to victory, let’s remind ourselves that he did just that last year when he was the Head Coach of Houston, so it is possible. Texas seems to be lacking some elements that could lead them to victory, like, a dynamic quarterback and a hard nosed running back. The Burnt Orange has a reputation of producing running backs that run to glory. RB C. Warren III has had only 49 carriers for 270 yards, which will not put him on the long list of stellar ball carriers. QB Ehlinger has passed for only 900 yards with 5 TD’s and 3 INTs. He’ll have to do much better against OU. The Iowa State Cyclones used a back up QB to throw for a record setting day of over 300 yards. Ehlinger may not pull that off, but if he does, Texas could beat Oklahoma. The Sooners have the better players, and a better defense, they should win, but they can’t let ISU beat them twice. We’re picking OU to win, and since The Daughter is an A&M student, it would be a cardinal sin to pull for the Longhorns. However, if they pull the upset, I will chuckle silently.


Eastern Michigan vs Army– Here come the Cadets, they win this game and they’ll be one win away from a bowl bid. There is no reason for us to pick against the Black Knights, mainly because I’d be disowned, but beside that little fact, Army is back to winning. They might have a little trouble with the Eagles, and it could take a strong second half to ground the visitors, but the black Knights of the Hudson are used to doing just that. Go Army, Beat Eastern Michigan, and Navy. Always beat Navy.


Short Smokes

Clemson will have little trouble with Syracuse

Washington State will be 7-0 after meeting California in a late night affair

TCU vs Kansas State – this could be a good game. The purple Wildcats are perfectly capable of beating the purple Horned Frogs, but they won’t

Michigan will beat Indiana and the praise for Harbaugh will be heard yet again

NC State continues is winning ways against a neurotic Pitt

Florida State is favored against Duke, but the Blue Devils will hang tough

BYU will fall to Mississippi State. Why is BYU playing Mississippi State?

Tennessee is having a hard time selling tickets against South Carolina for good reason. The Vols are going to lose

Iowa State will win against Kansas, as everyone else does

Wisconsin finally plays someone with a winning record. Maybe Purdue is so not much of a challenge but they do have a winning record. Watch out for Jeff Brohm

Miami swats the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech, but they get stung in the process.

Baylor and Oklahoma State will be high scoring affair, but the Cowboys will win

Virginia sticks it to the Tar Heels of North Carolina

Not betting against Vanderbilt against Ole Miss

Memphis finally wins against Navy-hopefully

Colorado bites the Beavers of Oregon State with their new (interim) coach

Florida is to wear the ugliest uniforms in the Okeefenokee against Texas A&M, The Daughter will cheer the Aggies to victory

Alabama rolls over Arkansas, Coach Bielema’s seat is torrid

Georgia will bury Missouri

Ohio State shucks the Cornhusker….yawn

Michigan State sinks the boat of Minnesota

UCLA vs Arizona will be a close game, Wildcats might be the victors

Washington passes all over Arizona State, QB Browning is silently having a great year

Oregon will not chop down Stanford

UNA will take on Shorter in Florence, AL, and will win. Roar Lions!!!




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