rssBlog EntriesComments


Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 11 Review

Week 11 Review

Week 11 is in the books, and, by all accounts, it lived up to it’s billing. Yes, there are broken hearts, in Alabama and Pennsylvania, but the season isn’t over. There’s still a faint glimmer of hope in Tuscaloosa, very faint, and a better, almost visible ray of hope in State College. I know that basing your chances of success on hope is never a military strategy, but hope, mixed with hard work, prayer – lots and lots of prayer, just might pay off. There has never been a College Football Playoff without the Crimson Tide, but this year’s edition could establish a precedent. Can they have a CFB playoff without Bama? Probably. So let’s take a look at what happened and maybe what it will lead to.

LSU 46, Alabama 41 – Biggest heartbreak of the weekend, at least for me, was watching Alabama lose. It’s not just that they lost, but it was the way they lost. The first three plays of the game put the Tide in the Red Zone, threatening to score. Then, the wheels came off. Alabama started making more mistakes then Rutgars, if that’s possible. LSU, and Bobby Boucher’s Assistant Coach (The one with the overalls and unintelligible ramblings), took maximum advantage of the opportunities afforded them. The Tide was behind, 10-zip, and it was early in the first quarter. Bama was confused, tight, uncharacteristically disorganized, until Jaylen Waddle took an LSU punt and ran it back for a touchdown. The Crimson Tide was alive! Second Quarter, LSU opened the playbook, scored three touchdowns and a field goal, while Bama answered meekly with one TD and even more mistakes. Alabama was down, 33-13, by halftime, but the Crimson faithful remembered that they were down to Georgia a few years ago in the Championship game, and it was Tua, not even hurt yet, who delivered them across the figurative Red Sea. Nevertheless, the stadium was very quiet. In the third quarter, Alabama RB Najee Harris went into beast mode, shouldering the offense and helping out his injured QB. Harris ended up with 147 yards for the game. In the Fourth quarter Alabama was back in Alabama form, moving the ball and scoring. But, every time they came within striking distance of the Bengals, the defense, which bears absolutely NO resemblance to traditional Bama defenses, couldn’t hack it. They couldn’t stop the Tigers when it was critical. Joe Burrow put on a highlight reel for his Heisman campaign, throwing for 393 yards with three TDs. Based solely on his showing against Alabama, Burrow deserves the Heisman. Tua, three weeks after surgery, tried, bless his heart. He displayed true warrior spirit. By the end of the game, he had thrown for 418 yards with four TDs. Tua will be passed over by Heisman voters again because the team lost, but Alabama wouldn’t have gotten this far without him. LSU is now the number one team in the nation, they earned it by winning on the road at Texas, and Alabama, and everywhere else. We salute the Bayou Bengals. All the Tigers have to do now is win out, and they’ll be heavily favored in every remaining game. Alabama lost, and they’re going to have to scramble just to be considered for the playoffs. It doesn’t look good, but don’t write off Alabama just yet.

Minnesota 31, Penn State 26 – This game was a wonderful example of ‘who wanted it more’! It turned out to be the Gophers. From the get-go, Minnesota wanted to win. They didn’t want to make a good showing, they didn’t want to almost be there, the Gophers out-played, out-hit, and out-hustled the Nittany Lions from start to finish. Ski-u-mah mounted a balanced attack, mixing up their plays masterfully, keeping the Penn State defense guessing instead of reacting and performing. The hometown crowd, with their first sell-out crowd in four years, became a force to be reckoned with, especially the student section. Minnehaha (I’m sorry, I just can’t resist) was by far the better team Saturday. They played with inspiration. With less than two minutes left in the game, the Lions had the ball, and had driven down the field, threatening to take the lead. QB Sean Clifford dropped back to pass and threw the ball into the end zone. Minnesota DB Jordan Howden picked it off, game over. The Gophers ended a 13-game losing streak to ranked opponents. In the aftermath PSU will fall from their number four slot, but Minnesota is not going to replace. Ski-u-mah should break into the top ten. Should the Gophers win out, they’ll most likely meet Ohio State in the conference championship game. Minnesota will be the underdog again, but that’s just how PJ Fleck and his Oarsmen want it. ROW THAT BOAT!

Oklahoma 42, Iowa State 41 – The Sooners got the “W,” but it was by the skin of their teeth. After being dominated the entire game, the Iowa State came roaring back in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points. Then, when they scored their last TD, putting them one point behind, Head Coach Matt Campbell didn’t hesitate for a heartbeat, he called for the two point play. Go for the win. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Guts. The play didn’t work out the way the Cyclones wanted, but, c’mon, let’s get real! The Big 12 that as only ten teams officials’ thought the mugging that the Oklahoma player laid on the Cyclone receiver wasn’t in their jurisdiction, that it was up the police to interfere and make a felony arrest for mugging. The Police were busy snarfing donuts. OU has an offense, no doubt, but when the chips were down, they produced zip in the fourth quarter and their defense couldn’t manage a stop. Iowa State isn’t quite up to challenging for the conference crown…yet, but OU isn’t the team they want to be, either. Highly possible the Big 12 that only has ten teams will miss out on the playoffs yet again.

Short Smokes

Ohio State 73, Maryland 14 – did anyone really think not having Chase Young was going to make a difference? Me, neither.

Clemson knocked off NC State, 55-10. I was kinda hoping the Wolfpack would at least put up a fight, but they didn’t.

Florida had no problem at all sinking the Vanderbilt Commodores,  56-0.

Georgia whipped Missouri, 27-0.

Baylor versus TCU was interesting, as neither team scored a touchdown in regulation, but they crossed the goal line routinely in overtime. After the third overtime, the Bears prevailed, 29-23, to remain undefeated.

Wisconsin stopped Iowa’s two point conversation attempt to win, 24-22.

Notre Dame beat Duke, 38-7…darn it

Texas and Kansas State went back and forth until UT pulled it out, 27-24. Texas faithful thankful for the two teams from Kansas.

Wake Forest’s magical run ended at Virginia Tech, as the Deacons lost, 36-17. I thought they’d win, but, no, Hokies whupped ‘em.

Boise State went into overtime to beat Wyoming, 17-10. Don’t you think there are a lot of games decided in OT?

Army did not go into overtime in beating UMass, 63-7.

Western Kentucky stopped Arkansas 45-19 with an ex-Arkansas quarterback leading the Hilltoppers. That was absolutely too much to tolerate from Morris, and he joins Willie Taggart in the Millionaire College Coaches Fired private box.

Texas Tech beat West Virginia 38-17, in case you didn’t notice.

Florida State won at Boston College, 38-31. A bit of a shock, all things considered.

Virginia swatted Georgia Tech, 33-28.

Colorado beat Stanford 16-13. Good things are happening in Boulder, not so much on The Farm.

Miami laid a beat-down on Louisville, 52-27.

How did USC beat Arizona State, 31-26? Clay Helton doesn’t want a seat next to Taggart and Morris.

Illinois stunned, absolutely stunned, Michigan State, 37-34. Are the Fighting Illini good, or have we slipped into an alternate reality?

Ole Miss thumped New Mexico State, 41-3. Football staff in Oxford gets to keep their jobs…for now

California beat Washington State 33-20. WSU Coach Mike Leach had unkind words about his team.

Appalachian State was superior to South Carolina, 20-15. Coach Boom needs to be replaced in Columbia, needs a seat with Taggart and Norris.

Tennessee beat Kentucky, 17-13, but the Vols still have a long, long way to go. The longest journey begins with the first step.

Hawai’i outlasted San Jose State, 42-40, just in case you didn’t stay up that late, or didn’t get up that early, to see the final.  

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.