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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 13 Preview

Week 13

Welcome to fat turkey weekend;- no, the turkeys aren’t fat, they’re dead. But in their passing, we always pickup a few extra pounds, fat, that we didn’t want or need.  This is usually Rivalry Weekend, when teams end their season by beating up those they hate with the most fervor. We still have some of those games, but not all of them. There are also notable games that aren’t rivals that are worth watching, too. Still, should be a great weekend or eating leftovers and plenty of binge watching, interrupted only by periods of overstuffed drowsiness.

Notre Dame vs North Carolina – Back in September, there was more belief in the Tar Heels than there was the Irish. Since that time, UNC has had a difficult time living up to expectations while ND has actually surpassed theirs. The Fighting Irish are still riding high after defeating Clemson, and they should feel proud of themselves. They are now ranked number Two in the nation, and all they have to do is win out and they will be in the playoffs. First, however, they must get by UNC. Sometimes this is a simple assignment, and, then, sometimes it is not. It all depends upon which Tar Heel bunch shows up for the contest. Kinda reminds me of the ole Clemsonizing of yesteryear. Notre Dame has been pretty steady, averaging 6.3 yard per play. They don’t make many big plays down the field, as they’re more of a methodical grinding-out type of play. The offensive line is one of the biggest in the nation, and they’ve protected the QB and opened up holes rather efficiently. This weekend they will be without two of their starters, Guard Tommy Kaemer, due to an appendectomy, and Center Jarrett Patterson, due to a foot injury. The defense has shown susceptibility to the run, and they are likely to give up big plays. The Tar Heels could capitalize on this. UNC QB Sam Howell is very accurate, averaging 328 passing yard per game and he has 12 completions of 40 yards or more. The running game provides a one-two punch with Michael Carter and Javonte Williams. Together, they’ve rushed for over 1,675 yards. It is a sure-fire bet that it will be a high scoring event, because the weakness of the Heels is their defense, and you can count on Notre dame exploiting this weakness. ND needs to beware underestimating Old Man Mack Brown. There should be plenty of points, but the big plays favor the Tar Heels, and, when Notre Dame played Clemson at South Bend, the Tigers were lacking the big play ability with QB Lawrence sidelined. Most of the money is on Notre Dame, but not here. We’re very glad the Irish upset Clemson, but our goodwill only reaches so far, and never as far as Auburn, Alabama. Irish fall to the Tar Heels.

Auburn vs Alabama – The Iron Bowl! Last year Auburn upset and Bama, shocking the college football world, and knocking the Tide out of the playoffs. This is unforgivable and shall never be forgotten. Bama QB Mac Jones performed great, throwing for 335 yards and four TD’s, but Auburn got two pick sixes, and it proved to be enough. Now Jones is entering the game, not as a replacement, but as a Heisman contender, and if anyone thinks for a half second that he doesn’t want revenge, that he doesn’t want to redeem himself against Auburn, then they’re crazy. The Mac Attack and his receivers are foaming at the mouth in preparation for War Eagles, and, this time, not at Jordan-Haire. There is another Heisman candidate, running back Najee Harris, who ran for 146 yards last year. The Tide  offense is ready to ‘Cry Havoc’ and release the Dogs of War’! The defenders are going to have their work cut out for them. Auburn’s offense did not start well in this truncated 2020 season. They won games, but not honorably. To this day – and, thus be it ever, Arkansas does not believe they lost to Auburn, and Arkansas is probably right. Not only that but QB Bo Nix was hitting barely 50% of his passes, but in the last three games he’s completed 70% of his throws. Of course, it helps that the opponents were Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee, but the Bama secondary has not been what one would call, ‘shut down’. Also, Auburn likes to use a lot of misdirection and relies on the RPO, which is designed to keep the Tide Defensive line on their heels. This is the second biggest rivalry in the nation, behind Army v Navy. Each team is going to bring their best, as they always do. Bo Nix will have the game of his life, three blind mice will officiate, but the Tide has motivation. They want revenge for last year’s game, they want revenge for missing the playoffs. As far as the Crimson Tide is concerned, they’re Wyatt Earp and the bad guys have called down the thunder! Well, now they’ve got it!!!

Texas A&M vs LSU – We here at CSF say this every year and we will continue to say it until this atrocity is rectified. Texas A&M should be playing Texas on Thanksgiving day! The fact that they are not is a crime, a felony, of the highest order. With that out of the way, let’s get to the game at hand. Last year the Aggies were lambs led to the slaughter, getting gutted, 50-6, and it could have been worse, but the Tigers let up. This year the Aggies are ranked 5th in the nation and on the verge of making it to the playoffs. Side note, should they actually make the playoffs, the Daughter will be beside herself. At the start of the season if appeared that HC Jimbo Fisher was determined to make Kellen Mond his hero and that wasn’t actually working, so, in the Florida game, the Aggies switched to the running game, and, son-of-gun, it worked. Imagine a huge offensive line and hardcore running back in Spiller, actually being used! Go figure. Against the Tigers, the running game will be key. If they regress and get pass happy again, they’ll lose the game. LSU wants to control the tempo, but if A&M grinds it out with RB Spiller, they’ll overcome the Bayou Bengals. LSU wins a game, then they lose game;- they haven’t strung two together all season. But there was something different last week against Arkansas. The Purple and Gold preformed, well, like a team. QB TJ Finley had a nice 271 yard game, and Spiller got his second 100 yard game. The Tigers aren’t flying high, like last year, but they showed signs of cooperation. It’ll be interesting to see if they can bring it two weeks in a row. The Aggies have far more to play for in this game and they’re not going to let it slip away.  

Ole Miss vs Mississippi State – When Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach were hired at their respective schools, Ole Miss and Miss State, everyone circled this game as a must see. After Miss St beat LSU to kickoff the season, they haven’t had quite the season most everyone expected they would. Then again, LSU hasn’t turned out as expected, either. But last week, in the battle of the Bulldogs, MSU stood toe to toe with UGA all game long, and Georgia was playing far better than they have all year. QB Will Rogers, who is the lynch pin in Mike Leach’s offense, completed 79% of his passes. This week they go against the worst defense in the SEC. Ole Miss’s offense has been getting better and they’ve developed a deep passing game. OK, maybe throwing it deep against Vanderbilt and South Carolina doesn’t necessarily mean developing a deep game, but it’s a start. The Bulldog’s defense is just good enough to slow down Ole Miss, but they won’t stop it. Ole Miss’s defense doesn’t have a prayer of stopping MSU. This will be one of those games where the first one to score 60 points wins. I’m betting on the Rebels, but I could just as easily have picked State, if my Brother and Sister-in-Law were not graduates of Ole Miss.

Short Smokes

Iowa State tore K-State apart last week. Longhorns are a different breed of cat. Or Bovine. Or lupus, whatever.

Nebraska hopes they can beat Iowa, but hope is never a course of action

The Band Rivalry of Stanford and California is the most win game of weekend

In the Civil War Rivalry, Oregon will break Oregon State  

Ohio State will have no problems with Illinois, but, then again, the Buckeyes are known for dropping one when they shouldn’t. Not this one, not this time

Kentucky will be down 19 players against Florida but they’re still man enough to play the game

Maryland vs Indiana will be one heck of a game to watch, but Fear the Terp (and pick Indiana with your dollars0

Penn State will benefit from a Michigan choke job

NC State jumps on top of Syracuse

Coastal Carolina will remain undefeated against Texas State

Clemson will beat Pitt and it’ll most likely not be pretty, since Sunshine is back at QB.

Who would have thought Northwestern would be undefeated, and they’ll stay that way against Michigan State

Colorado could very well upset USC, so don’t be surprised if it happens

After last week, K-State has to beat Baylor. After the past three weeks, Baylor has to beat K-State.

Memphis has a hard time against Navy, but not this year

Georgia has found it’s QB in JT Daniels and they’re going to smoke South Carolina

Washington trips up Utah

Virginia better beat Florida State while they can, the Seminoles are showing signs of tomahawk chopping..

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