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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 11 Preview

310Washington vs Stanford – Washington has one of the best defenses in the nation, statistically speaking. It remains to be seen if they can keep up this distinction. It’ll all depend on whether they can stop Stanford’s RB Bryce Love. There have been times that Love has been one of the top running backs in the nation. In every game this season he has at least one 50-yard run. Even against Washington State, where he had a 52-yard touchdown run but was otherwise held to 17 yards on 15 attempts. The Husky defense is sixth against the run, allowing just 91.1 yards per game, and it holds the number one ranking in allowing an average of 240 total yards per game. This game becomes a test on who’s going to live up to their hype, Love, or the UDub defense. The offenses are a different story. The Huskies offense has Jake Browning, who was outstanding last year. This year he slacked off, only throwing for 1,907 yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions. But, he hasn’t had a 300 yard game yet this season. Stanford will be starting a redshirt freshman at quarterback for the second week in a row in K.J Costello. Washington can’t afford to lose, if they want to return to the CFB Playoffs, and that should give them a psychological advantage. CSF is going with the Huskies

Michigan State vs Ohio State – Fortunately for the Buckeyes, this game is being played in the Horseshoe, so that is evidently a 31-point advantage in their favor. But let’s not forget that231 it was here, in the Horseshoe, two years ago when the Spartans pulled the upset on a last play field goal. OSU is coming off a humiliating lose to Iowa. MSU just sank Penn State on yet another last second field goal. Its’ almost like Sparty is making a habit of these 60-minute heartstoppers. The Buckeyes are the heavy favorite, Michigan State has struggled against every team they have faced, BUT , they are on top of their division and control their own destiny. If anything was learned last week, it’s that Ohio State can be beaten. Ohio State has all the advantages, on paper, that is. The Bucks have more talent, more press, more of everything. MSU has young underclassmen who have found a way to win. Not many are giving Michigan State much chance to win this game BUT not many gave Iowa a chance last week, either. Would not be surprised if the Spartans take this game.

IMG_7790Oklahoma State vs Iowa State – Last week OSU QB Rudolph held a Quarterbacking clinic except for two things;- one, those two INT’s he threw in the second half, and, two, he was outplayed by Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. The Cowboys have an explosive offense, they score almost at will and everything they do is fast-paced. On the opposite side, the defense is, well, to be nice, they do show up and try, Bless their hearts. Iowa State has been upsetting teams they shouldn’t be able to beat. They overcame Oklahoma, who took down Oklahoma State, but they lost to Iowa, and also to West Virginia, and then they take down TCU. It’s like they’re a hand grenade in a hurricane, one never knows where it’s going to go off, but it will go off. Can they upset the apple cart yet again? Yes, they can, but will they? The major metrics point to a Pokes win, but it’s hard to pick against the Cyclones, ergo, we won’t. ISU pulls another upset….maybe.

Duke vs Army – Duke has not had the type of year they have had in the recent past. They’re at 4-5, they won their first four games, but now they’ve dropped five. They even lost to Florida State and Pitt, neither of which is a quality opponent this year. Army, on the other hand, is having a great year, as they are 7-2 and rolling over their opponents, like Air Force. Did I mention that the Black Knights beat the Falcons 21-0? They did, just the other day. The Cadets will enter this game riding a wave of confidence. Duke will put up a good fight, but, alas, to no avail. Go Army! Beat Duke…..and Navy!

Georgia vs Auburn – Auburn has put themselves into a pretty good position. They have only one conference loss, to LSU, while their non-conference loss was to Top-4 Clemson. These Yellowhammer Tigers have the 140potential to upset the SEC West applecart. A couple of things have to happen;- one, Alabama needs to lose to Mississippi State ( and there’s a good chance of that happening) and, two, The Tigers have to beat Georgia. The Alabama Tigers have games where they appear to have it all together, then they lose to LSU after blowing a 20 point third quarter lead. In their last two games the War Eagles School has run all over Arkansas and A&M. Now it’s root hog or die time. Georgia has not faced anyone who could stop them. Oh, the South Carolina game was relatively close, but we’re chalking that up to the Bulldogs taking it easy. All the factions a team want, Georgia has;- killer running game, check.;- Fast receivers, check;- A passing Quarterback (or two) check;- a defense that stops everything thrown at them? check. Even though Auburn is in a position to upset the Number One team in the Land, it doesn’t mean they’re going to. CSF is not going against the Dawgs, no way, no how. Georgia Bulldogs win.

017Alabama vs Mississippi State – If there is ever a game that causes the Alabama fan in me to worry, it’s this one. Mississippi State has two losses, one to Georgia, one to Auburn. The Bulldogs were buried in both of those games. Since then, and before then, they have performed quite well. The reason for my worry is MSU QB Nick Fitzpatrick. He is the type of quarterback that causes the Bama defense fits. He truly is a dual threat, unlike Bama’s Hurts, who is decidedly one-dimensional. Nick can throw the ball on a frozen rope, and he is a powerful runner. He has 25 touchdowns, 12 by running. But Fitzpatrick doesn’t have a strong supporting cast. A good cast, yes, but not a great one. The Crimson Tide defense will be called upon yet again to save the Tide’s bacon since Saban is determined to keep Tua on the sidelines no matter how many the opponent crams into the defensive box. Last week the linebacker corps sustained some injuries against LSU, and this is an area of grave concern. If the defense can’t perform up to standards, it could be a long day. The Alabama running game is the only offense the Tide has, and it has been pitiful of late. They need to control the line of scrimmage and eat up the clock. This will keep the MSU offensive on the sidelines. What Bama can’t do is rely on Hurts to throw the ball. If this game turns into a shootout, it will end badly for Alabama.

Notre Dame vs Miami – Some are comparing this game to when these two teams used to meet in the late 80’s. Back then, the game was billed as the “Catholics versus Convicts”. Not sure that still applies, but this is the first time they are both ranked since then. Miami is coming off a great upset over VA Tech. Notre Dame is coming off a victory over Wake Forest, who they led, 41-17, in the third quarter, only to escape, 48-37. Miami wants to be considered a top tier team, but even though they are undefeated, they’ve played only one serious contender, and that was last week. ND can go 6-5, or 2-10,   and the press will declare this the Year of Irish. I can’t understand their blind love for one team. Miami has the homefield advantage and that should give them the edge. Hurricanes blow ND season into oblivion.

TCU vs Oklahoma – OU has a habit of not playing well the week after a big win. TCU has a habit of being unpredictable. Last week the Sooners’ offense was outstanding. They were a scoring machine that could not be IMG_7761stopped, at least by Oklahoma State, which is great, if you’re a Sooner fan, because their defense was no where to be found. TCU was the leader of the Big 12 that only has ten teams until they lost to Iowa State, but Oklahoma lost to the Cyclones, too. Now the big boys battle it out. TCU is perfectly capable of making this game a test, but, honestly, it’s all going to depend on how well QB Baker Mayfield plays. If he plays well, OU wins. If he doesn’t match up to what he did last week, the Horn Frogs win. I’m going to be completely self-serving and admit that I’m pulling for TCU. Should they pull the upset, that should be enough to keep OU out of the playoffs, so there will not be the possibility of Oklahoma playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. That is a nightmare I’d rather not see. It can happen, TCU can win, they have a defense that is far better than the Okies’. But their anemic offense led by A&M cast-off ‘Thrill’ Hill, is not up to Oklahoma’s. So maybe that Sugar Bowl nightmare might happen after all.

Short Smokes

North Carolina vs Pitt, the Panthers need two wins to make it to a bowl, UNC has no chance. Pitt wins.

Penn State walks all over poor Rutgers

North Carolina State gets back to winning against Boston College

Arkansas and LSU battle it out for the golden boot, Tigers keep the boot.

Texas Tech shoots Baylor full of holes

Ole Miss out fights the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana

South Carolina skins the Gators

Nebraska and Minnesota are fighting for a bowl berth, Gophers take it

Indiana and Illinois square off and only a few people will notice

Virginia Tech visits Georgia Tech. I guarantee a Tech victory

Wake Forest and Syracuse could turn out to be a great game

Florida State and Clemson just doesn’t carry the weight it should. Tigers eat the Seminoles alive, chops and all.

Wisconsin finally plays a worthy team in Iowa, Hawkeyes are flying high after beating Ohio State and that’s going to carry over and ruin the Badgers’ season

Virginia has a better record than Louisville, but still picking the Cardinals

Michigan will ride the Terps of Maryland. Whoo-pee. Rutgers beat Maryland.

West “By Golly” Virginia better watch out against K-State

SMU will sink Navy’s boats…or ships, whatever it is navy calls those things. Watercraft.

USC could trip up against Colorado but they won’t

Kentucky vs Vanderbilt, going with Wildcats

Washington State will find a way to win against Utah

Texas piles on Kansas’s misery

Purdue pulls an upset against Northwestern

Texas A&M should have no problem beating New Mexico, the Lobos are not in the SEC West so the Aggies have that going for them

Missouri is the favorite over Tennessee and this is why fans of other teams want the Vols to keep Butch Jones

Arizona State will win big over UCLA

Oregon State might be looking at Les Miles to be their new coach, but that won’t help as Arizona will still win

North Alabama will close out their season by hosting Mississippi College. The Lions will not be making it to the
postseason but they will be victorious over MC…..Roar Lions!


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