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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 5

Wasn’t it nice last weekend? If some of those games didn’t get your gizzard thumping, then you ain’t got no gizzard!. Now, it’s not fair to say that all the excitement was due to the SEC, where it just means more, kicking off their season, but, if we’re being honest, most of it was. There is one thing that last weekend taught us and that was that many of the preseason top 25 picks were way off base. Oklahoma did not live up to their inflated ranking, but the Sooners shouldn’t feel bad about it. Neither did LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, or Oklahoma State. Notre Dame never lives up to their imaginary ranking, but somehow they still get inflated votes. Not all teams that fell in the rankings lost, but, then again, they didn’t have to. There’s something about poor play that screams they’ve been over-ranked. Notre Dame, of course, can play horribly and still get votes. It’s one of those unsolved mysteries that cannot be explained. Speaking of unexplained phenomenons how are teams in the Great White North getting votes in the top 25? They haven’t played a down, and they’re being ranked higher than teams that have met upon the fields of friendly strife. Sorry, but little pansy, whiner-babies that have to be shamed into even having a football season are not worthy of any top 25 slots! They want a spot, let ‘em earn it!!

Texas A&M vs Alabama – This game was originally scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving. I know because the Daughter and I had tickets, they were my Father’s Day gift. (I have an awesome Daughter) Now the game has been moved to this weekend, much to the chagrin of the Aggies. They didn’t think it would be this bad when the new schedule came out, but after the performances of both teams last weekend, the Crimson Tide fans are a gleeful bunch while the Aggie fans are, shall we say, pessimistic? A&M had a tough time putting Vanderbilt away;- that’s right, the Commodores, and at College Station. This should not have happened. The Farm Boys have the entire offensive line returning, their leading rusher, and a veteran quarterback. The biggest weakness is that they are replacing all their receivers. This is not good, granted, but that doesn’t explain away the poor performance they gave last Saturday. The biggest under achiever, hands down, was QB Mond. This is his senior year, and he’s still making freshman mistakes. The A&M Defense, that is also returning a goodly number of starters, was lackluster in stopping Vandy. Maybe it’s as simple as one writer said, “they just needed to knock the rust off of themselves,” but I doubt it. Alabama meanwhile, looked like Ala-freakin-BAMA! From the opening gun the Crimson Tide came out of the tunnel and knocked Missouri on their hindquarters. The offensive had some misfires, there were some mistakes, but not many. The defense was on top of their game as they overpowered, rushed through, and toppled the Tigers. The biggest problem Bama had was that they appeared to lose their focus midway through the third quarter. They realized that there wasn’t much chance of the Tigers mounting a comeback and they let up. Of course, there wasn’t much chance of Navy scoring 24 points in the second half for their greatest comeback in history, but it happened. The last quarter was mostly played by the Alabama backups. This Saturday, look for the Tide to come into the game with the same intensity, if not more. A&M, hopefully, spent this week trying to figure out what kind of team they want to be, which, honestly, should have already been settled. The Daughter will pull for her Aggies and her heart will long for a victory, but sometime during halftime, she’ll excuse herself, and, upon her return, she’ll be wearing her Crimson shirt. Alabama Wins, Roll Tide!  

Auburn vs Georgia –  The Tigers, Alabama variety, are ranked 7th, while the Dawgs are ranked 4th , making this the closet top ten match up of the weekend.  That being said, both UGA and Auburn have a lot of questions that need answering. The most glaring question mark for Georgia is at Quarterback. Jamie Newman, the transfer from Wake Forest, was named the starter, but he thought it best to sit out this year and prepare for the NFL draft. A real team player there.  That put D’Wan Mathis in the starting role, and he lasted until halftime against Arkansas. Stetson Bennett saved the day in the second half. That should have settled the problem, but, no, now JT Daniels, the transfer from USC, has been cleared to play and will be available on Saturday. Bennett is still listed as the starter. So, who knows what’s going to happen?  However, no need to worry, this is Georgia, they know how to “Run D’Ball!”  Against Arkansas, the Dawgs averaged fewer than three yard per carry. Huh, that’s not good! Auburn, meanwhile, did not do much better against Kentucky. First off, Auburn benefitted by the Officials ruling it was not a touchdown, when every part of that Kentucky runner was inside the endzone with the exception of his feet;- they were still on the 1- yard line. That obviously horrible call changed the complexion of the entire game. Why is it that there is an obviously horribly blown call in every close contest at Jordan-Haire, and Auburn benefits 100% of the time? Maybe it’s just my imagination, but don’t get me started. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue. The War Eagle running game couldn’t get going against the Wildcats, Bo Nix, the quarterback, led the team with 34 rushing yards. Let that be said again, “He led THE TEAM with 34 Rushing YARDS!” The Georgia Bulldogs had one saving grace last weekend, and that was their defense was rock solid. It is very doubtful they are going to let up and allow Auburn to run all over them. The Plainsmen are going all in on QB Bo Nix. Either he has the game of his life throwing the ball, or it’s doubtful they’ll get  past the 50 yard line. Georgia has just as many ugly warts on offense that Auburn has, but UGA has a good defense, and UA does not. More than likely, Auburn will have some sort of unbelievable play or two that will allow them to break out and score once or twice, but I fully expect Georgia to play lights-out on defense and give their offense good field position to put the game away.

 South Carolina vs Florida – Any team that starts the season off with a loss to Tennessee cannot feel good about themselves, except Chattanooga, who doesn’t mind losing to the Vols. But at South Carolina, it’s Tennessee, come on, that’s got to hurt. That’s what the Gamecocks did. Florida, on the other hand, whipped up on Ole Miss, but they had a tough time stopping the Rebels from scoring points, as well. Florida had a very explosive offense in Week One, ranked right up there with the best of them. Trask and company will be looking for a repeat performance against USC-South, and, in all likelihood, they’ll do just that. Gamecock Coach Boom (Muschamp) has a great reputation as a defensive mastermind, and, when he’s not a head coach, he is a good D-coordinator. But now the Gators are on the other sideline, in the Swamp, and Coach Boom, who used to coach the Gators, is in over his head as a Head Coach of South Carolina. It’s put up or shut up time. Too bad this game appeared on the USC-South schedule so early this season, but, too bad, you have no one to blame but yourselves. If they get blown out of the stadium by the Gators, and everyone expects they will, then the season is over and they can start the search for a new head coach. BUT, if they want to salvage something, their pride, their self-esteem, anything, anything at all, they have got to play Florida tough and keep the game close. They may lose but if they’ve got to make a good showing. CigarSmokinFootball is going with the Florida blow out.

Ok, fine, we’ll step out of the SEC for a moment, but who shall we cover…hhmmmm…..I know!

Abilene Christian vs Army – CSF did not like the way Army played last weekend. They were flat, and not as aggressive as they have been. One of the main problems was the play of QB Christian Anderson. The whole world knows that Army runs the triple option and that the QB gets to run the ball, but, if he is hogging the ball all the time, it doesn’t take the defense long to figure out where the ball’s going. For some reason, Anderson thought he was Mr. Everything. He was wrong. When he is actually distributing the ball to the other players, the way the triple option should be run, the Black Knights have proven to be tough. Against ACU they are going to get a chance that show the football world that they can learn from their mistakes. Army will have that opportunity;- we’ll have to wait and see if they avail themselves of the opportunity to, “set things a’right”! Abilene Christian is not getting a lot of respect for two reasons:- 1) they are new to this whole playing Division 1 schools, 2) they lost to UTEP. The Wildcats were a very good Division II team, I know, because North Alabama played them and we had a tough time beating them. But now they have taken a step up and, well, gotta take some lumps before things turn around.

Speaking of North Alabama…………

North Alabama vs Liberty – My UNA Lions are taking on Liberty as they also have taken the step up from Division II into the higher echelons. This will be North Alabama’s first game of the year, but for Liberty, it will be their third. The Flames have already beaten Western Kentucky and Florida International. In both games they scored 30 or more points, but they also gave up 20 or more points. The effete eggheads employed by ESPN are only giving my Lions a 2% chance of winning this game. What a Crock! My Lions are going to surprise the entire football world by going up to Lynchburg, VA, and stomping out the Flames! ROAR LIONS!!! (hmmm….FYI, do not go off on this prediction. I am unable to separate my partisanship to UNA and be objective. Liberty is more than likely going to slaughter us like Hercules killed the Nemean Lion. They might even wear our pelt as a trophy)

Short Smokes :

Texas likes to score points and they’re going to score a whole bunch of them against TCU

Missouri looks for its second humbling loss as they play Tennessee, but don’t bet on this prediction, either. The Tigers sparked up against the Tide’s scrubs.

NC State should have played better against VA Tech but they didn’t, and now they get to lose to Pitt, who appears to be on a mission this year

West ‘By Golly’ Virginia needs to win against Baylor. Like they NEED this win like a junkie needs a fix, but they’re not going to get it. That is, unless Baylor cancels at the last minute, again, which they have been known to do.

Old Man Mac takes his Tar Heels up to Boston College where the two undefeated teams will square off. Gotta pick UNC

Cincinnati gets to run with the Bulls of South Florida and this time the Bulls don’t win

Oklahoma State gets Kansas this weekend, so, basically a scrimmage

Memphis goes to Dallas to square off against SMU. Mustangs win

Texas Tech scored over 50 points against Texas, but it wasn’t enough. K-State’s defense is tougher than UT’s.

VA Tech will beat Duke, no surprise there

Ole Miss and Kentucky could be a fun game to watch, picking the Wildcats

Florida State has the chance, just a chance, to win as they take on Jacksonville State. Maybe the Seminoles win, probably.

Navy and Air Force start the quest for the Commander in Chief Trophy. Falcons win, cause, you know, BEAT NAVY is a real thing.

UCF knows they can’t name themselves Champions if they don’t beat Tulsa

Mike Leach will have his Bulldogs of Mississippi State throwing all over Arkansas

Oklahoma looks to rebound against Iowa State, while the Cyclones need that signature win.

LSU’s  got trouble. Not losing to Vanderbilt type trouble, but they’ve got trouble.

Virginia has high hopes that they’ll beat Clemson. We all share in that hope, but that’s all it is, just hope. And hope is never a course of action. Clemson will win again, dadgummit!. 

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