rssBlog EntriesComments


Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 11

Week 11

Ever have a date, or been invited to a party, and at the last minute have the other person cancel? They usually give some lame excuse like, their grandmother died, or there’s been a sudden illness in the family, but, deep down, you know this is just an excuse because they didn’t want you to come. This is what LSU is doing to Alabama. After the game last year, the Bayou Bengals were very full of themselves, they laid into Bama, oh how powerful the Bengals were, and how the “losing to Alabama streak was over!” They’ve continued this cabal all year, and, well, they earned the right to do it. They won, and to the victor belongs the spoil. Good for them. Now, however, the worm has turned. LSU stands to face a very talented and very angry Crimson Tide, and, the way the Tigers have been playing, it looked like this game had the potential to be a blood bath. So, instead of taking their lumps, like real men, The timid Tigers are ducking out of the game, claiming they’ve had an outbreak of the Chinese Red Plague. Maybe they’re telling the truth (doubtful), but the optics, and the timing, are very suspicious. 

Indiana vs Michigan State – The Hoosiers come into this game haven beaten Penn State, Rutgers, and Michigan. Yeah, no one, not even residents of the state of Indiana, was expecting this sort of an output. So, what’s the answer to this sudden branishing of the Victor’s garland? Adaptability and turnovers, would be the answers. When they played Penn State, for most of the game the Hoosier offense did very little, and then, right at the end of the game, they pulled off a stunner TD to win it. Against Rutgers, the offense performed better and the defense was rock solid, carrying the day. When they vanquished the Wolverines, something they hadn’t done since the 90’s, Indiana relied on an ariel assault for which Michigan had no answer. In all three of these games, the basketball school benefited from turnovers. Against PSU and Rutgers, Indiana created three turnovers each, and against Michigan they tallied two, while not turning the ball over themselves in the last two games. The defense in all three games has made their living behind the opponent’s offensive lines, disrupting everything that has been thrown at them. Against Michigan, they only allowed 13 yard rushing. Thirteen yards. That’s hardly longer than a nine yard string of machinegun rounds in a World War II fighter plane’s wing! The Spartans expect their own defense to continue their disruptive ways. MSU has a bit of a problem, though, for they are about as schizophrenic as a college team can be. When the Spartans played Rutgers, it seemed like they didn’t know they were in a real football game. The Big Green play was sloppy and they turned the ball over on a regular basis. Then, against in-state rival Michigan, they were spot on, and won the game, only to slip back into their inept ways when they lost to the Hawkeyes the following week. Which team is going to show up for this game? Who knows? Could it be the one where the defense stuffs the run, and plays havoc to the passing game, or will it be the one where they’re tripping over their own two feet, while playing hot potato with the football on offensive. Should the good Spartans show up, they have a very good chance of winning. Indiana’s offense has been mostly one dimensional, relying on the passing game and not emphasizing the run. If they allow the IU rushing attack to get its feet under it, this will be a very long game for the Big Green. Indiana is in unfamiliar territory as they are the favorites. They haven’t been the favorites in decades. it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the pressure. Going to pick Indiana for the win.

Arkansas vs Florida – The Hogs are a much-improved team compared to last year. Arkansas is better coached, their offense is in sync and the defense has been one of the best against the pass in the SEC. The defensive secondary has a nose for the ball and the hands to actually catch the ball instead of just swatting it away. They have 12 picks so far. But this game will be Arkansas QB’s Feleipe Franks’ to win or lose. Remember last year, he was the starter for the Florida Gators, only to lose his position due to an injury. Once healed, Franks couldn’t regain the top spot, so he transferred to the Hogs. He has been a welcome upgrade to what they’ve had in the past. He wants nothing better than to have the game of his life against his old teammates and lead an upset of the eastern division favorites. If he doesn’t have that mentality, he needs to hang up his cleats right now. As stated, Arkansas’ defense has been very good against the pass. In this contest, Kyle Trask and the Florida Gators are going to put them to the test. IF, and that’s a big IF, the Razorbacks are able to slow down the UF attack, it’ll give them a chance to win. There is no way their offense can trade tit for tat with Florida on touchdowns. The Gators have been on a tear, except for that game against Texas A&M, where they proved they couldn’t stop the run. Since that sad experience in Texas, Florida has adopted the philosophy of scoring so many points that the other teams can’t keep up. With QB Kyle Trask as their QB, this plan is working. There’s no reason for them to think about changing this philosophy. Against rival Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida won, something they hadn’t done in years. One slight problem, that game was brutal. There were limping Gators heading for the Training Room, nursing bruises and tending to injuries when they got back to campus. Arkansas would love nothing better than to capitalize upon this weakness, and they will. It’s a small advantage, granted, but it’s the best one they’ve got. Florida will more than likely win the game, but it’s going to go into the fourth quarter closer than the Gators would like. 

Wake Forest vs North Carolina –  On the surface, this may not seem like a big game. One, it’s in the ACC, and they don’t have many big games that don’t involve Clemson, or, as they are being called, Climpson, but, in reality, it’s a pretty big affair. Both teams enter with two losses, but they’ve been producing differently. UNC was supposed to challenge the big bad orange Tigers for the crown this year, but now that seems a bit out of reach, as the Tar Heels have not lived up to all expectations. They can still run the table and make a play for the Championship game, but it seems a bit far-fetched with the way they’ve been inconsistent. Last week they rebounded from their loss to Virginia, but they were playing Duke, and Duke has not been very good. The defense has to be the main concern for the Tar Heels. In four of their last five games they have allowed over 400 yards to each opponent. The only one that didn’t get to 400 was NC State, as they were held to 392. Last week, against Duke, UNC gave up 185 yards on the ground alone. Now, it may seem like folly to believe a team can be victorious when they can’t stop opposing offenses. When UNC has the ball, most of the time they’re pretty darn good, but not all the time. They seem to do well for a while, and then they take a few series off to relax and drink wine and eat cheese, or something of this nature, before they realize they need to keep playing. Wake Forest started the season by losing their first two. The first game was against a fully healthy Climpson team, so that was a bit unfair. Then they dropped one to NC State.  Since then they’ve won four straight and they’ve been very methodical in the way they’ve gone about it. QB  Sam Hartman has been efficient, completing 62% of his passes, but he’s only thrown for four TD’s. He also has no INT’s.  The Demon Deacs have been relying on the run game, since they have a good duo of backs with Kenneth Walker III and Christian Beal-Smith. They’ve combined for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns between them. Wake wasn’t looking at this year as a rebuilding year, but with their young receiving corps performing better than expected, and QB Hartman proving to be an effective leader, they’ve been doing better than expected. Each is still mathematically in the hunt, although, to be fair, I didn’t do the math on this, I just read that they were. Whoever loses is out of the race. If UNC loses, it will signal a bust of their entire season. Too much wine and cheese. If Wake loses, they’ll still be well thought of because, honestly, no one expects them to win in the first place. This should be a close game. WF will rely on ball and clock control while the Sky Blue will want to make quick strikes in hopes of putting the game out of reach. UNC is the pick but don’t be surprised if the Demon Deacons pull the upset.

Short Smokes

Miami thinks they’ve got VA Tech right where they want them, but they don’t. Hokies win

Coastal Carolina has been playing so well they happened to mentioned that they’ll take down the men of Troy. That would be Troy University, not Southern California, although they might give the real Trojans a heck of a game.

Liberty will keep winning against West Carolina

Army will roll over Tulane. Guaranteed. Positively. I’m sure. Maybe. I hope.

In the ‘someone has to win’ game, Penn State will tally their first “W” against Nebraska

Rutgers walks over Illinois, no big surprise

West “By Golly” Virginia has TCU at home, so that’ll be a victory for WVU

Poor Vanderbilt, they try hard, but just haven’t gotten that win yet, and they won’t get it against Kentucky

Notre Dame is all full of themselves after beating Climpson, but they better not let up against Boston College cause the Eagles can win

USC will not have to score multiple touchdowns in the closing minutes of the game to beat Arizona

Louisville vs Virginia, Eh, let’s go with UVA, because, why not?

Colorado might be pretty good, we’ll know more after they take on Stanford

Texas Tech will win against Baylor, most people do

Oregon better be ready for Washington State, don’t under estimate the Cougars

Wisconsin has a very good chance to pound Michigan into the ground, and they’re going to take it.

Northwestern is undefeated, and they take on Purdue, who is also undefeated, Wildcats win.

Florida State needs another win, they’ve got to get another win but they won’t against NC State

Ole Miss will score more points than South Carolina, not that the Rebels’ defense will actually stop the Gamecocks.

Arizona State needs to make up for their loss last week against USC and they will as they host California.

Utah finally plays a football game this year against UCLA, picking the Utes

In the night owl game we have Oregon State vs Washington, like the Huskies.

There are a few more games being postponed

Ohio State does not want to take on Maryland right now so they played their sick card

Tennessee wants another week of rest and relaxation so they pulled out against A&M.

Georgia, after getting whipped by Florida, decided to push the Missouri game to another date

Auburn and Mississippi State won’t happen because Gus Malzhan couldn’t get the officials he needed to make favorable calls for the War Eagles.

And Memphis and Navy will try and play each other at a later date.

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

Leave a Response

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