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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 8 Preview

Week 8 Preview

(1) Alabama vs Tennessee – There has been some discussion on whether or not this is still a rivalry, but this is because the Volunteers have been unable to win a game for the past eleven years. These people seem to think that a rivalry only exists if the teams are equally matched. This type of thinking is wrong! Auburn might be a more intense rival, BUT the hatred for UT is real, and Bama players enjoy smoking victory cigars after another Tennessee debacle. Tennessee fans hate Alabama, maybe even more since the victory drought has been so long. This Saturday, the Vols will be entering the game brimming with confidence after they beat Auburn down on the Plains last week. Maybe Bama won’t score a touchdown on the first or second play of the game, but it is highly doubtful that the Volunteer defense will be able to do what no one else has done so far this year and stop the Tide. The Alabama defense should be ready to feast upon Orange meat. Now, to be honest, there is a chance that Tennessee will pull off an upset, those seem to be happening frequently in College Football this year, but it’s doubtful, as in, very, very, very doubtful. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Bama wins this one.

(6) Michigan vs (24) Michigan State – Both teams are coming off huge wins, as Michigan finally beat a ranked team (at home, of course) and Michigan State squeaked by Penn State. The Spartans may have had the bigger win of the two, they had to struggle the entire game to be in position to pull their last minute upset in Happy Valley. The Wolverines, under Harbaugh, have not performed well in big games. In games against Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State, Harbaugh’s Henchmen have won only once against these three teams. Maybe they have problems playing teams with “State” in their names, or, they have a terrible time choking on games that matter. In order to shake this monkey off their backs, they have to win at least half the time. This puts more pressure on them, which, in turn, causes them to choke up. It’s a vicious cycle, this choking and explaining it away week after week. Harbaugh has gotten pretty good at it, but he needs to get better at PREVENTING choking instead of excusing it. MSU used to be, and they are again this year, the definition of a neurotic football team. One game they would play great, then, the next game, they were terrible. No one knows which team was going to show up. Last week, good Sparta showed up, so conventional wisdom says this weekend will be bad Sparta, but who knows? it might be a very close, suspenseful game, or it could turn into a blow out. How does one pick? CSF is pulling for MSU, they are the Spartans after all, but for some reason, the gut is saying that Michigan is finally going to win. Must be having an Ole Miss quarterback that does the trick. As much as he despises the SEC, this must stick in Harbaugh’s craw.

(16) North Carolina State vs (3) Clemson – Did y’all know that this is called the “Textile Bowl”? I had never heard of that before, but it appears this has been going on since, like, the 1920’s. Both schools have Textile programs in their curricula and they are both big things. Granted, I’m all for us having pants, and I’m a big fan of sweatshirts, but beyond that, textile study is foreign to my thinking. They even have exchange programs with textile students. Clemson has been a good team, but they are not overwhelming anyone, and they nearly lost to Texas A&M to start the season. They had to struggle mightily against Syracuse, the Tigers won, but just not as the number three team should. NC State is undefeated, too, but they haven’t been tested. They were to play West Virginia, but that got 86’d by one of the hurricanes this year. The only two games that were close were with Virginia, who just beat Miami, and Boston College, who has done very well this year. The Wolfpack has one big thing going for them, they are not awed by Clemson. Two years ago, State missed a last minute field goal that would have won the game, and last year they also came close to winning, but in both cases they lost. Could this be the year they finally get over the hump? With all the upsets that have been happening, it is possible that the Wolfpack pulls one off.

(22) Mississippi State vs (5) LSU – Speaking of upsets, this game has all the ingredients necessary for being one. LSU upset Georgia, to the surprise of everyone except the most rabid Cajun fan. The Tigers are full of themselves, and bring a lot of swagger into the contest. But, “Pride cometh before the fall.” The Bayou Bengals fell to Florida, mainly because of the run, pass, option (RPO) that the Gators run. Since that caused LSU so much trouble, think of the tragedy that could befall them against a QB that is actually good at the RPO. QB Nick Fitzgerald is very good at the RPO, and when he is on his game, the Bulldogs offense is hard to stop. He hasn’t been on his game in weeks now. Not completely sure LSU is good enough to match up with another set of Bulldogs. But, if he’s not on his game, LSU shouldn’t have a problem winning the game. The Miss State defense needs to put pressure on LSU’s QB Joe Burrow. They cannot let him set up and survey the field. The more they make him run around, the better. If they pressure Burrow, these Dogs will do what the Dawgs couldn’t, win. Next week, LSU has the week off to get ready for Alabama. They can’t be overlooking Miss State. More than likely, this’ll be a close game. The team that is not playing catch-up all day will more than likely prevail.

(12) Oregon vs (25) Washington State – Out on the left coast there is actually a really good game scheduled. The Ducks and the Cougars will be determining who takes control of the PAC-12. Washington gave up the lead dog position, so it’s up for grabs. Oregon knocked off the Huskies, so the Ducks naturally believe they should inherit the lead. Washington State’s Cougars have only lost one game, which was against USC, and, honestly, they should not have lost that one. Oregon’s loss was to Stanford, which wasn’t pretty. The Ducks quacked all over themselves in order to lose. Basically, the whole left coast is muddy water, and this applies to life in general, and, especially, politics, as it does to College Football. Oregon might have an edge at QB, but the WSU defense has been playing better than anyone figured they could. College Gameday is making it’s first ever stop at Pullman, Washington. They are showing up there to see if they can figure out what in the world is going on, and, probably, to eat some great big Delicious apples from Wenatchee. OU has momentum, but the game is at Washington State. It’s a little difficult to pick a winner, but CSF is going to go with the Cougars. Defense trumps Offensive and the Cougars have a better “D”. And, besides, I’ve always liked Mike Leach and his Pirate penchant.

Short Smokes

It is highly probable that Arizona State upsets Stanford. Highly, but not definitely.

Oklahoma has had plenty of time to get over their loss to Texas, so, like everyone else, they’ll beat TCU

Iowa slices and dices Maryland

Wisconsin upends Illinois

Arkansas challenges Tulsa to see who gets their second win. It’ll be Arkansas. Maybe.

Auburn is having trouble, and it might get worse against Ole Miss. Or, the Tigers may come roaring back from oblivion and gnaw all over the Rebels. Or, there could be a tsunami.

Army will host Miami (OH) and whup ‘em.

Virginia continues its winning ways against Duke.

Washington is ranked, Colorado is not, but the Buffaloes have the better record. Doesn’t matter, both are hollow, the Huskies and the Buffaloes. Who cares?

Penn State pounces on hapless Indiana

Navy will be scuttled by Houston

Wake Forest is going to beat Florida State, someday, and someday is Saturday.

Minnesota prolongs Nebraska’s misery. Kick ‘em while they’re down, Big Ten, cause the Huskers will rise again!

Missouri will have their hands full with Memphis, but I guarantee a Tiger victory.

Purdue will not upset Ohio State, but it would be nice if they did.

Kentucky shouldn’t have any problems with Vanderbilt, but e still equals mc squared, and the Commodores know it.

Utah is going to beat USC, that’s right, I said it, and I agree with it.

UCLA will win its second game of the Chip Kelly era against Arizona

North Alabama travels to Mississippi to take on Jackson State, they’ll be playing an hour north of where I graduated from high school. To honor that momentous occasion, my Lions are going to beat up JSU like there is no tomorrow. Roar Lions!

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