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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 6 Preview

Week 6 Preview

Hello Week 6! We’re almost there, FINALLY! Alabama and Texas A&M are off this weekend, but, elsewhere, in the SEC, the ACC, the Big 12 that has only ten teams, even the Great White North conference, we’re getting down to conference games that count. All college football games are worth watching. For those Deplorables who say there aren’t any interesting college games on so far, they’ve never had to go through a football season, or two, without being able to watch college football. Going through such an experience is nightmarish, maybe not to the level of the Exorcists, maybe even worse, depending upon your particular fanaticism, but still it’s close. There are plenty of good games, so sit down in that favorite chair, set out the snacks, and enjoy the experiences.

Texas vs West Virginia – Longhorn football fans keep waiting for that moment when they can stand up and shout that UT football is back! They were ready to do just that when they played LSU, but there was one problem, the Bayou Bengals beat the Horns, in Austin. It was a close game, and the Brunt Orange played well. QB Sam Ehlinger had a down-right smart game, throwing for 401 yards and 4 TD’s against the school that considers itself Defensive Back U, DBU. Texas’ running game was missing, though. If you can’t move the ball on the ground, or at least threaten to do so, your passing game ain’t gonna carry you through. UT is going to have to tighten up their own defensive back unit as well. It cost them against LSU, by the way. West Virginia has the same record as the Longhorns currently, but their resume is not that impressive. The Mountaineers lost to Missouri, who had just lost to Wyoming, so that doesn’t look good. WVU whipped up on NC State, and they beat Kansas, but even in that victory, the game ended with Kansas threatening to steal a win . New West Virginia Head Coach Neal Brown was impressive when he was at Troy, not the Troy that had Helen, but the school in Alabama. He did not inherit a full cupboard, most all the stars from last year that managed an underwhelming 8-4 record, have moved on. Brown is hoping that Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall will be able to do what QB Will Grier did, but that is doubtful since the offensive line needs to fill a bunch of holes. Brown’s also counting on new defensive coordinator, Vic Koenning, to teach the Mountaineers how to play defense. Against Texas, they will have a chance to see if they’ve learned anything. What WVU does have is a stable of good running backs. They have a thunder and lighting combo with Kennedy McKoy, he’s the lightening, and Martell Pettaway, he’d be the thunder. If the offensive line is able to block effectively, the ‘Eers will move the ball. Most likely this game will be a high scoring, exciting game. Lots of offense, lots of touchdowns, maybe some field goals, even a safety isn’t out of the question. A hardcore defensive fan might be turned off. Texas should win the game, but it doesn’t mean they’re the scourge of the Big 12 that only has ten teams. Next week, when they meet Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry, we’ll know a lot more about Texas’ resurgence.

Ohio State vs Michigan State – The Buckeyes are undefeated, untested, and beloved by the press. For some reason, the press has a Notre Dame-level infatuation with this edition of Ohio State’s team. OSU has averaged 52 points per game, but it’s not like they’ve played Top Ten teams. The toughest competition they’ve had so far was Cincinnati, and that was in the Horseshoe. Had it been played on the black turf, it could have turned out differently. Georgia transfer QB Justin Fields has been padding his stats like a chipmunk eating pellets. The passing game has been formidable. The ground game has been treated like an orphan from the book, “Oliver”, by Charles Dickens. The running backs are there and they are useful, but no love is thrown their way. Michigan State started off the season with returning stars, mostly on the defensive side of the ball, and, for a while, they had the number one defense in all the nation. The offense was doing okay until they went up against the PAC-12 powerhouse, Arizona State. Yes, there is some sarcasm in that last statement. They found their way back against Indiana. The Spartans will have their work cut out for them against the Buckeyes, but they’ve upset the Buckeyes before. The Spartans play a lot of man-to-man defense in the secondary, allowing the front seven to put pressure on the QB and contain the run. Now they’ve got to plant QB Fields into the field as much as possible. The more they hit him and make him be helped off the turf, the better. Fields has yet to get his uniform dirty. It’s about time that changed. CSF is pulling for the Spartans, pulling very hard, but there is a difference between pulling for a team and picking them. OSU will be the pick.

That Team vs Florida – That team is Auburn, in case you’re not a regular reader of CSF. These teams have not played each other for seven years. They are both ranked in the Top Ten, undefeated, and both anxious to take on Georgia in the SEC East. (Georgia is Auburn’s crossover game). The team from the ugly corner of lower Alabama has been on a tear with their new freshman quarterback, Bo Nix. He has talent, poise, and is leading the Tigers like a veteran. Head Coach Gus Malzahn is enjoying this turn of events, and the heat that was building under his seat has cooled greatly. Knocking off Texas A&M, followed up with a throttling of Mississippi State, has vaulted AU like few expected. This will make the third ranked team the Tigers have faced, and, should they beat the Gators in the Swamp, it’ll be hard to overlook the Plainsmen. This game will mark Florida’s first foray against a ranked opponent this season. They knocked off Miami, barely, UT-Martin, no contest, Kentucky was a pretty good game Florida could have lost, Tennessee gave them as much opposition as the Martin version. The Gators lost their starting QB, Felipe Franks, to a horrible ankle injury, but back-up Kyle Trask has perform famously. He’s already amassed as many passing yards as Franks had. Against the Plainsmen, the UF defense needs to hunker down and do what no one else has done, turn the game into a smash-mouth bloody brawl. They need to make the Tigers earn every single yard they get, and they need to make them earn it the hard way. The Tigers have not showcased long drives;- instead they have been able to open the game fast and furiously. The more the game speeds up, the better. IF the Gators can land a couple of haymakers, and hurt “That Team”, their odds of winning increase greatly. Bo Nix cannot be allowed to run or throw at random. If Nix chooses the pace, this game could be over very quickly. Florida does not give off warm and fuzzy vibes, but, then, neither does Auburn, but I could be blinded by my bias. Or, so I’ve been told on more than one occasion.

Tulane vs Army – Oh, boy, the Green Wave is taking on the Black Knights. First off, let’s hope they know that the visiting team wears white, and not some strange tinted blue. Tulane had an unbelievable come from behind win against Houston, but in that game they were playing against a team that ran a familiar offense. Against Army, they meet the Triple Option. The Cadet defense was impressive against Michigan, and if they can turn in a similar performance against the Green Wave, they’ll put Tulane in a position where they’ll need another miracle. Doubtful they’ve got another one of those in their bag of tricks. The Triple Option will wear down the Tulane defense. Army Wins! Go Rabble! (Old school Army referred to themselves as, “The Rabble”.)

Short Smokes:

UCF vs Cincinnati – It’ll be a very interesting game as the Bearcats’ field is black. That’s right, it’s colored black. UCF won’t care much, they’ll score lots of points.

Utah State vs LSU – It is possible that Utah State will give the Tigers a game. It’s possible, but not very probable.

Oklahoma vs Kansas – This will not be pretty. Kansas Coach Les Miles isn’t that much of a miracle worker.

Kent State vs Wisconsin – The Badgers rock KSU’s world

Purdue vs Penn State – Boilermakers, good luck. The Lions need to make a huge statement

Iowa vs Michigan – The Hawkeyes run a power game over the Wolverines, in the Big House, no less.

Oklahoma State vs Texas Tech – Lots of points, very little defense

TCU vs Iowa State – Cyclones get back into the win column

Maryland vs Rutgers – the big question here is whether Rutgers gets shutout or not

Baylor vs Kansas State – The Bears are undefeated, but they might not be after Saturday

Illinois vs Minnesota – Gophers will not need to come from behind. Row that boat.

Air Force vs Navy – The first round of the Commander in Chief’s Trophy. The Falcons go one up.

VA Tech vs Miami – The Hurricanes win. What has happened to the Hokies?

Northwestern vs Nebraska – both teams have been kicked around, but NW is going to win. Maybe, but not in Lincoln, not this year

North Carolina vs Georgia Tech – That Old Man Brown leads the Tarheels forward

Arizona vs Colorado – Toss up, but still picking Colorado. They beat the other Arizona team, too.

Georgia vs Tennessee – It doesn’t matter that this game is being played in Knoxville, Bulldogs win, easily, brutally

California vs Oregon – This’ll be a good game to watch, but the Ducks will pull it out.

Pitt vs Duke – leaning toward the Panthers, the editor will take Duke. And, he does.

Oregon State vs UCLA – if the Beavers ever want to beat the Bruins, now’s the time.

Washington vs Stanford – Huskies will not even be challenged, therefore, I predict an upset. Cardinal wins, just kidding, Huskies take it.

North Alabama vs Hampton – The Lions got back onto the win column last week and they’re not going to slip up now. Roar Lions! 

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