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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 2

Week 2

Football season is underway and thank the good Lord above for this gift. Week 1 featured more upsets than most expected;- will week 2 deliver an equal number? More? Fewer? Hopefully, at least enough to keep us frothing at the mouth at the prospect for more every College Football Weekend. After having mostly cupcake contests to kick off the season, we now have some serious games and a few tiffs where we can apply frosty icing to the cupcakes.

Texas A&M vs Clemson – If I were inclined to bet on this game, using my own money, I’d take Clemson. I don’t necessarily like the Tigers, but I’d have to place my cash on them. The reigning National Champions opened up the season with an ACC game against Georgia Tech, and it turned out to be just a tune-up affair. Last year, for their second game, the orange/purple team flew to College Station and came very close to being bested by the Aggies. Clemson pulled it out (thanks to some help from the officials), but win they did. It also must be noted that QB Trevor Lawrence was not the starter, he played in a couple of series, but most of the heavy lifting was performed by the now-Missouri quarterback, Kelly Bryant. It was a few games into last season before the long-haired, hippy-looking kid took over the reins. Now the Aggies have to contend with Trevor for the full game. The most important thing that A&M must do is to put pressure on Lawrence all game long. Under no circumstance can they allow him to drop back and go through his reads. When the kid stops to plant his feet, there needs to be a maroon helmet or two descending upon him with a bad attitude. If they don’t, Trevor will pick the defense apart. The Aggies’ offensive did a good job last year keeping the vaulted Clemson defensive line off their own QB, and they need a repeat performance. QB Mond is not of the same caliber quarterback as Lawrence, but if he is given time, he can make the throws. Mond is better at gaining yards using his feet, so the best thing the Aggies can do is run the ball. They need to establish the run game early and pound the ball consistently and effectively. Keep the Clemson defense on the field, let ‘em feel the south Texas heat, make them wear out, no three and outs. This will also keep that high- powered Tiger offensive off the field and maybe, just maybe, cool their supercharged engines. Against Texas State the Aggie defense did a pretty good job, but they weren’t absolutely dominant. This time, the have to be. The Daughter will be glued to the TV and will be more than happy to shout her opinion of what her A&M players need to do. She gonna be hoarse at the end of the game. Clemson wins, but maybe, just maybe, the Texas boys pull off the second big upset of the year. Tennessee suffered the first last weekend.

Army vs Michigan – The Wolverines are a 22-point favorite over the Black Knights. That might be a bit much. Last year, the West Point Cadets played Oklahoma in Norman and the Sooners were a heavy favorite to trounce Army. That game went into overtime before OU finally won it. Does this fact have anything to do with this game? YES! The Black Knights run the triple option better than anyone else in the nation. Not only that, but these guys just don’t let up, they keep on keeping on. OU felt that just because they had better, bigger players than the visitors from New York, that the Sooners would win the game without much problem. It darn near cost them dearly. Michigan, like everyone else, has no experience practicing against the triple option offense. Not only that, but Coach Harbaugh is just cocky enough to think there isn’t much Army can do against the Wolverines. He may be right, but we, the few, the faithful, the eternal optimists, are very much hoping that this attitude will contribute to the Michigan downfall. We at do not pick against Army and there is not a compelling argument to change our minds. Army pulls the upset. Won’t that be newsworthy? Remember, you saw it first right here on cigarsmokinfootball.

LSU vs Texas – Last week the Longhorns did something they haven’t done in the last two years, they actually won their opening game. Now all the Longhorn fans believe UT is back in the national picture. Well, we’ll see. There is no doubt that Coach Tom Herman has made positive changes in Austin. This Texas team is different, they playing as a team and they seem to have purpose. QB Ehlinger is playing much better as he is completing passes to guys that are wearing the same color jersey as he’s wearing. Good job. The most improved unit on this team has been the defense. They lost most of their D-Line from last year, where, by Big 12 that only has ten teams standards, they were pretty darn good. In the Sugar Bowl, against a deflated Georgia team, the modern-day defenders of the Alamo played lights out. Now they get to test their steel against an SEC team that actually wants to play against them. The Bayou Bengals will rise and fall according to the play of QB Joe Burrow. All four of his top targets return, so look for the Tigers to come out throwing. They will need to establish their passing game to provide an opportunity for their running game to be effective. LSU lost their top rusher to graduation, and, although Head Coach Orgeron says he has plenty of faith in his current backs, they need someone to step up and become the pack mule that can be relied upon. Last week, against Georgia Southern, it wasn’t a problem, heck, nothing was a problem. Now, however, we have a horse , or a Longhorn, of a different color. After the Longhorns whipped up on Georgia last year, Coach Herman made a big deal about putting down a top SEC team. He went so far as to say that just proved the SEC wasn’t that tough. He may be right, the SEC had a rough opening weekend, highlighted by Tennessee bowing, at home, to Georgia State, but, never forget, in the SEC, “it just means more”. Ask Oregon what that means after their experience with Auburn last week. Bottom line, Coach Herman is gonna get to strut along the sidelines again, mocking college players, as he did against Missouri two years ago, or he’s going to get to chew on a big batch of humility if the Tigers play true to form. LSU wins the game, and I’m not the only one who says so.

Stanford vs USC – there was a time not so long ago that this game would draw national attention, but not so anymore. Both teams won last week, but neither was impressive. USC has an excuse, if you’re looking for excuses, against Fresno State as they lost starting QB Daniels to an ACL injury. The Men of Troy shouldn’t have come close to losing that game, with or without a starting quarterback. Stanford found out that Northwestern was more than a handful and it took all the Cardinal could muster to win. Both teams are looking for respect this weekend, only one is going to get any. The Trojans were counting on new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, a Mike Leach protégé, to turn the offense into an Air Raid-type weapon. Losing Danels kind-of puts a wet sponge on those plans. USC may have to return to their ole reliable running game as they break in a new signal caller. The Defensive line only lost one player and it is expected that they will show vast improvement from last year. Fresno State might have shown they’re still questionable up front. Stanford’s offense lost all their major contributers. The Offensive line lost their middle core, which could make it difficult for returning running back Scartlett to be very productive. On the defensive side of the ball, things could be worse, but not by much. They lost all their linebackers and the secondary was gutted by graduation. The Cardinal has a habit of winning this division of the PAC-12 in odd years, and, normally, this would be one of those years. But with USC in such a state of flux, with inexperience and injuries, this would be the perfect time to come out and get the big upset. It’s a big “IF”, but it can be done. CSF is going to pick the Trojans.

Short Smokes

Virginia cuts down William and Mary

Boise State needs to beware against Marshall

Pitt recovers against Ohio University

Ohio State is not going to Cincinnati, unlike UCLA, so the Bucks will win

Iowa, if they’re serious about winning the division, has to play better against Rutgers, and they will.

West “By Golly” Virginia can and might take down Missouri. Not a lot of faith in the Tigers after their collapse against Wyoming.

South Carolina lost QB Bentley to a foot injury, which might turn out to be a good thing. The Gamecocks should beat Charleston Southern

Vanderbilt played pretty good against Georgia and that’ll cause them to win against Purdue

K-State shouldn’t have any problems with Bowling Green

NC State is a heavy favorite over Western Carolina

Same for Utah over Northern Illinois

Wisconsin will run, run, run all over Central Michigan. It’s called “padding stats”

Nebraska is going to have problems with Colorado but should, SHOULD, win.

Southern Miss has a nasty habit of causing SEC teams trouble and they will against Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs will win

Not very worried about Georgia against Murray State.

Baylor better be ready for UTSA

UCLA has to recover against San Diego State, but won’t

Florida State cannot allow Boise State to beat them twice, against UL Monroe

BYU has beaten Tennessee before and, hey, they’re going to do it again

Arkansas and Ole Miss will battle it out for last place in the SEC West. Ole Miss is going to get that spot

Miami vs North Carolina has taken on a whole new meaning after both teams showed they are better than expected, but the Tar Heels are at home, so they win.

Alabama will host New Mexico State and Bama needs this tune up game. It’ll be doubtful Tua plays in the second half.

North Alabama goes all the way up north to Montana looking to shoot some Griz. That’s what Bear Claw Chris Lapp considered winning. It could be dicey, but UNA returns to the Yellowhammer State with a nice bear skin rug. Roar Lions!

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