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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 11 Preview

Week 11 Preview

Fresno State vs Boise State – This is the “Milk Can” game. Since Fresno State won the game last year, they hold the Milk Can Trophy. Now, I’m not entirely sure why they call this the “Milk Can” game, honestly, I’m as confused as a cat coming out of a dryer. I actually worked on a farm, it was brief but I was out there, when I lived in Kansas, and, I, believe it or not, actually milked cows. Most of the time I got to use the milking machine, but I did have to learn to do it by hand. FSU are the Bulldogs and BSU are the Broncos, and ain’t nobody, and I mean nobody, milking either one of those. Oh, well, enough of the American gothic, back to the game. Fresno State, led by Head Coach Jeff Tedford, is on a mission. This week, and for this week only, they share a commonality with Alabama, and that is they have won 7 in a row. Alabama may have won eight in a row now, but seven is included in eight, right? Fresno’s opponents have not been powerhouses, and even Minnesota, who looked good on paper before the season started, has not turned into the contender everyone (Me) thought they would. Ergo, the Fresno State Bulldogs haven’t gotten a lot of love. Boise presents the perfect opportunity for the Bulldogs to earn some of the love they crave. They are playing their Milk Can foe, on the enemy’s blue turf, and they have never beaten the Broncos since the grass grew blue. They’ve beaten them soundly off the Blue Turf, but not on it. They, the Bulldogs, want to win their division and get to that championship game. Plus, the Milk Can is at stake here. Right now the Dogs are in first and they need to win against the Broncos and then next week against the San Diego State Aztecs. They need to take another page from Bama’s book, – the page about how to whip your rival on His field, in front of His rabid fans, and grind his nose in the artificial turf while doing it. Boise, on the other hand, is doing just fine. They’ve lost two games, but they lead their division. The remainder of their November games are all at home, and their Quarterback, Brett Rypin needs just 36 yards to become the Mountain West all-time leading passer. The feeling coming out of Boise, Idaho, is that they’re not too worried by the California invaders, and why should they be? The Broncs have their destiny in their own hands. To get a return trip to the Mountain West Championship game, they need to win their final three games. There are a couple of fictitious scenarios where they can still make it if they drop one, but it’s best one is to just win out. That’s yet another page from the Alabama Book of Secrets. Although BSU and FSU (the good FSU, not that horrible one from Tallahassee) have shown potent offensives at times, Fresno is balanced, Boise is much more pass happy. Fresno has exhibited flashes of defensive determination, and what was one of the lessons we learned last week in the Alabama vs LSU game? That’s right! Defense wins Championships. It blows the mind how many people still don’t believe that. Paul “Bear” Bryant taught us all that! Stop trying to prove him wrong, because you can’t, he’s the Bear. Duh. Oh yeah, Bama showed that Tua offenses are kinda nice to have around, too. CSF expects Fresno State to keep the “Milk Can.” And good luck on the milking part.

Ohio State vs Michigan State –Some readers may not agree with this prediction, (my editor has a history of not agreeing) but, hear me out. Michigan State just MIGHT win this game. I sense a disturbance in the Force from shaking heads. Clear your minds, steady your pulses, and listen. OSU is not playing well, and they are not getting better. They have been on a slippery slope since they escaped Penn State, they got blown out by Purdue (YES!!!) and almost lost to Nebraska, who has won only two games, one against Minnesota, and the other against Bethune-Cookman. We’re not talking about challengers for the CFB Playoff. (We, me and my editor, still think P.J. Fleck and his rowboat will turn the Gophers around). There is something major wrong with the Buckeyes. The administration is realizing that their ceremonial hand-slap against Coach Meyer in his sexual assault scandal hasn’t, and isn’t going to, work to their advantage. The Athletic Director didn’t have his rusty clock cleaned, either. It was handled poorly all the way around. Not as poorly as Maryland handled their recent coaching fiasco, but poorly enough.. Meyer himself has made several comments to the press about his health and has shown signs of having major headaches on the sidelines during games. Can anyone say a “Florida Repeat?” Because that is EXACTLY what I think is going on in Columbus. Michigan State, eh, not a great team, but they are playing better and, heck, they beat Purdue by ten! The Buckeyes never even saw a ten point lead against the Boilermakers. The Spartans will be hosting this game, and this season they have been playing like they live in a Psychiatric hospital ward suffering from schizophrenia, you know, split personalities. Now if they can just keep that crazy, nutty, whack-a-mole half of their persona in the psychiatric hospital, and let the level-headed disciples of disciplined football out, they can bring my prediction to fruition. But, if they’re like some of my past girlfriends, and let the crazy out, OSU will slide by again. So, come on, Sparta, ROW! Oops, that’s Minnehaha, right? Well, Sparta, do something!

Mississippi State vs Alabama –Before the first game kicked off, I was worried about this game, and I still am, but not for the same reasons. At the start I thought the Bulldogs had the team that could run step for step with Bama. They did last year, in Starkville, and almost pulled off an upset. However, it has been amply illustrated that, no, they don’t have the dogs to run with the Tide. So, why worry? Simple, last week Alabama beat LSU like they were a rented mule. It was so dominate, so overpowering, that the Crimson Tide players might not think they have to bring that effort into this contest. Oh, No, No, Nay, Nay, they have got to fire off just like they did last week, and 2 weeks before, and the week before that! When Bama has a 35 point lead, it’ll be ok to pull the starters and let them enjoy the adoration of the crowd. But not until then. MSU can be a very good team, and is not necessarily a push over. They have a good solid defensive line, a very good quarterback, at times, but they don’t seem to be clicking as a team. They don’t have that “All for One, One for all” type of mindset. They also haven’t had a signature win. Beating Auburn was cool, but not earth shattering. I mean, it’s Auburn. They are looking for something to bring it all together, something like beating the number one team in the nation in Titletown. Would that count? HECK, YEAH! they’ve thought about it, it’s all they’ve been thinking about all week! Alabama is, of course….Alabama. Number one team in the nation, Heisman Trophy leader is Tua, loaded backfield, loaded receivers, and a powerhouse offensive line, (by the way, anyone want to guess the restaurant bill for those lineman? Yeah, me neither.) But they have to keep it up, every game, every play. Everyone brings their “A” game when they play the Tide, so Bama has to respond with their “A” game, at least for the first quarter this year. I’m still worried about State, but not as much as was when I started writing this column.

Auburn vs Georgia – Last year the Tigers from the Ugly Corner of Lower Alabama, UCLA, put a hurting on Georgia. (They put a hurting on Bama, too, but we’re not talking about that right now). That upset them Dawgs, because they burned Auburn in the rematch at the SEC Championship game. Neither one of these teams are the same as they were last year. Auburn lost to Tennessee, so, come on, how good can they possibility be? They did upset Texas A&M last week, scoring 14 points in the last six minutes to do it, and they can thank Aggie QB Kellen Mond for that gift. Something tells me that Georgia is a Dawg of a different color. UGA had their season knocked off kilter by getting embarrassed by LSU. Since then, the offensive coordinator has seemingly learned his lesson, and that is, “Run Da Bawl!” They ran against Florida and the Gators couldn’t stop it, so they tried it again against Kentucky, and I’ll be dad-gum, it worked again. Makes me think someone on the UGA coaching staff has seen the light. The Auburn Coaching have not had such a revelation. Even if they did, the Tigers don’t have the running backs nor the offensive line to pull it off. The best chance Auburn has of winning Saturday is for their defense to keep it close. Who knows, they might have another of those bounce-the-ball-off-multiple-defenders-and-into-the-hands–of-your-receiver moments, or a Kick Six, or something like they have at Jordan-Haire. If they don’t, those Dawgs are not going to give ‘em a 14-point present at the end of the game. Dawgs will be barking.

Lafayette vs Army – this is another one of those games where the favorite, Army, cannot afford a let down. Beating another service academy is always a big thing, it’s not as big as beating Navy…and they will when they play…but it’s still a big game. Now they are playing Lafayette, the Leopards who have a losing record, and they’re playing at Michie Stadium. The home-standing Black Knights better not take this game easy, they still have to punch Lafayette out. Go Army.

Short Smokes

Florida is going to lose another one, this time to South Carolina

UCF gets to sink Navy again…hee hee

Wisconsin and Penn State is a toss up

If Texas A&M sticks with QB Mond, Ole Miss will win, the Daughter will be upset, the Brother will not

Kansas State gets to tee off on rival Kansas, just like everyone else

Missouri passes all over Vanderbilt

Maryland beat Indiana-ho- hum

Duke destroys North Carolina

Arizona State and the Herm Train just keep steaming along against UCLA

Michigan has another easy game with Rutgers

If Oklahoma State hadn’t lost to Baylor they might have been able to give Oklahoma a game, but not now

Washington State will not need another 4th quarter come back against Colorado

Kentucky gets to walk all over Tennessee, I will laugh again, I just can’t help it

Northwestern will give Iowa a tough time, Iowa will still win, it’s a home game

Iowa State will beat Baylor, they’re not Oklahoma State

VA Tech goes down again, against Pitt

Minnesota will row against Purdue but it won’t work, at least not this year

Utah should win against Oregon….should

Miami and Georgia Tech, eh, pick one, doesn’t matter no one will watch it

LSU should recover some of their dignity against Arkansas. What if they don’t?

Notre Dame beats Florida State, but, so what? The Seminoles are as bad as Rutgers

Texas is going to have their hands full with Texas Tech

Clemson will beat Boston College, but it won’t be a complete blow out…until the 4th quarter

Stanford will skin Oregon State

California will take down USC and Head Coach Clay Helton’s seat is getting very, very hot

North Alabama looks to win their fourth in a row as they host North Greenville. This will close out their first season in Division IAA with a win. Roar Lions!

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