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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 14

Week 14

This is make-up Saturday. No, it’s not kiss and make-up for rivals (think ‘Alabama’) who literally destroyed their foes last week (think ‘Auburn’), but it’s one of the dates that the NCAA has usurped for Wuhan make-up games. Often, in times past, it was reserved for men to make up with their wives, or girlfriends, after deserting them for the football season, and in preparation for the Conference Championship games and the Bowl games. Instead, the females will have to wait;- hey, we’re all making adjustment this year, so they can too. Games that were postponed because their head coach didn’t think they were ready to face their opponents, or as the press will tell you, they had an outbreak of the Chinese Red Plague (Wuhan virus), will now take place. It’s time for teams to produce style points. Winning is not enough (although it beats the peewaddle out of losing). Now, it’s time to pull out all the stops, run up the scores, and exhibit to “The Committee” that you belong! It’s do or die, be the best, or rest like the rest!

Texas A&M vs Auburn – It would have been better for the Aggies if they had played this game back when it was scheduled. Right now the descendants of the Junction Boys are on the cusp of being mentioned in the upper echelon. The Daughter is honestly having a difficult time with this. A&M would have a much better grip on this situation if they would have played better last week against LSU, but, they didn’t. They didn’t even come close to registering anything that would be considered style points. Completing passes was the impossible quest for the Maroon team, as, at one point QB Mond, who has publicly admitted that he is the best quarterback in the SEC, was 5 for 20! I reckon the SEC has some pretty sorry quarterbacks if they’re worse than Mond. Against Auburn, Texas A&M not only has to win, but they need to win big. Alabama just took these Plainsmen by the waist and kicked them up and down the field, (oh, how sweet it was, too).  A&M doesn’t necessarily have to do as well as the Tide did, but they can’t afford for this game to be close. Auburn is not nearly as good as a lot of people think and they are not even close to being as good as their record shows. At best, their record should be 4-4, instead they’re at 5-3. If you don’t believe me, just ask Sam Pittman, from Arkansas. The Tigers were on a three-game win streak before the Iron Bowl, but that was against Tennessee, LSU, and Ole Miss. Honestly, they should have lost to the Rebels. Thank you, officials! And, no, I am not tired of pointing that out and I shall continue to do so at every turn. They had a lot of the nation behind them in hopes of upsetting the Tide, but when the game got underway, it was evident Auburn was not who everyone thought they were. This Saturday they are not expected to win the game, but it’s highly possible that they will. The game is being played on the Plains, which means the herd of zebras will do all they can to help. If A&M plays like they did against LSU, the officials’ help will not be needed. What a story that would make, Jimbo Fisher, and his great big contract, are on the verge of making it, only to be upended by Auburn, who lost to South Carolina! Wow (and I don’t mean the cable company)!

Alabama vs LSU – We can be honest with each other? The main reason that this game was postponed instead of cancelled is because LSU, through the use of social media, has been shamed into it. When they were supposed to play, the Tigers suddenly had an outbreak of the Chinese Red Plague and called the game off, only to make a remarkable recovery the following week. Since that time, every Bama fan in the nation has been laying into the Bayou Bengals on every media platform that can be found. Because of this, the game was rescheduled. LSU doesn’t want this game to happen, they are in the midst of having a terribly hard fall from grace, and Head Coach Ed Orgeron is being compared to , well, himself, when he was the coach of Ole Miss. The Tigers, Louisiana variety, have a pattern in their season;- they lose a game, and then follow that up with a win, only to lose the next week. Last Saturday they played A&M and lost, so, according to their pattern, they should win this one. They hope they win – but, you know, hope is never a course of action. They are playing a lot of underclassmen who have not found their groove. The defense has performed well against the run, at times, during the game, but never for an entire game. The offense, in their last two losses against Auburn and A&M, has appeared anemic, at best. Now they are poised to go against Alabama who, and, yes, I know I’m a Bama fan, but this is true, is playing the game like it was a machine. QB Mac Jones is doing his best impersonation of an NFL starter, the receivers have not missed a beat, even with All-Star Jaylen Waddle going down with a season ending injury. Najee Harris is the leading candidate for the Doak Walker award, for the nation’s best running back, and he’s in the mix for the Heisman, with teammate Mac Jones. But the worst news for LSU is that the Alabama defense, since we’re being honest, started off the season with a considerable amount of concern. After the Ole Miss shootout it appeared our worst fears had been realized and the glory days of a shutdown “D” were lost. Since then though, opposing teams have found themselves against a different breed of Tide. The Defense has plumb turned things around, and this has all been done against an SEC schedule. No tune-up games, and no powderpuffs. The Crimson Tide has a long memory, a very long memory, and all that guff and boasting these Tigers did after beating Bama last year has not been, and will not be, forgotten. Not this year, not ever. Never. If necessary, I’ll remind Bama every year of their humiliation. It has been 20 straight games where Alabama has scored 35 points, or more, and there is no reason to believe they will not make it 21 come Saturday. The only question is in which quarter of the game they achieve it, first, second, third, or fourth? And, make no mistake, the Crimson Tide is not going to stop at 35. Roll Tide, ROLL!!!

Indiana vs Wisconsin –Americans have a love affair pulling for the underdog. We can’t help up, it’s in our blood. When a team, or an athlete, rises from the ashes, we’re pulling for them. Except for Auburn. If Auburn rises from the ashes, rest assured, we had nothing to do with it. Indiana has now attracted our attention. They lost to Ohio State, but, dad-gum-it, they gave it all they had, and still came from behind and almost won it. That’s OK, we’re still on the bandwagon for them to keep winning. Saturday they will take on Wisconsin in Madison. Naturally, the entire state of cheeseheads will be pulling for the home team, but the rest of us, well, we’re for the underdog. The Hoosiers will be breaking in a new QB, after Michael Penix Jr, suffered a torn ACL. Next man up, Jack Tuttle. This is a block-buster movie script waiting to happen. The scrappy little basketball school from Hickory – oh, no, that’s already been made into a movie -with a new QB takes on one of the Great White North’s top teams in Wisconsin. Tuttle is not without some good weapons at his disposal. First off, he has an offensive line that has performed far better than expected. He has two top receivers in Ty Fryfogle, who has caught seven touchdown passes, and Whop Philyos, who is averaging 5.3 yards per reception. With Tuttle in the backfield will be RB Steve Scott III, who has rushed for eight TD’s in six games. So new QB Tuttle doesn’t have to carry the entire load, all he has to do is mange the game well and make good decisions. The Badgers, however, will not make this easy. Their defense, of which the front five average about 30 stone apiece, is allowing 67.3 yards rushing per game, second-best in the nation, and they haven’t allowed a rushing TD in three games. When the script “W’s” have the ball, they’ll be trusting their QB Graham Mertz, who has to be eager for some redemption after he threw three interception against Northwestern last week. They will also be counting on their running game, which is obvious, because Wisconsin always relies on their running game. Has Wisconsin ever had an above-average passing attack, like, ever? It seems since the inception of football, the Badgers decided that the running game was all they needed. Anyway, all these stats can be deceiving. Wisconsin has played three games, and they feasted on Illinois and Michigan, but neither of these two could be considered a threat this season. When they went up against Northwestern, which was a threat, they got beat, and not just on the scoreboard. No, this Badger team got beat in nearly every aspect of the game. Now they’ll face another threat, pesky Indiana. Can Wisconsin redeem themselves or is the upstart underdog going to win over America’s heart once again? Wisconsin has the reputation, and a lot of people out there are counting on that, but not here. CSF is picking the upset, because, we like the underdog! Unless it’s LSU, then we’re seriously pulling against them. We pull against Auburn, too.

Short Smokes:

Ohio State is not going to have any trouble with Michigan State, that is, unless the Spartans rise up and play out of their minds like they did against Northwestern

Oklahoma State cannot afford to lose to TCU, and they won’t

Texas better be on their game as they will be taking on Kansas State in Manhattan. Crazy things happen there in the Little Apple for the Wildcats.

Purdue could win against Nebraska. Then again, they could lose

Penn State finally won a game. Isn’t it going to be funny should they lose to Rutgers?

Missouri has got its work cut out for them against Arkansas, cause the Hogs are better than their record. There was that Auburn game … .

Notre Dame wins against Syracuse….yawn

Florida vs Tennessee doesn’t have the same kick that it used to, the Gators will roll all over the Vols, as long as Trask stays healthy

Iowa State is in control of the Big 12 that only has ten teams, and they’re not going to lose that control against West “By Golly” Virginia. Unless the game is in Morgantown. West Virginia will win if it’s in Morgantown.

Iowa crushes Illinois

Never thought this at the start of the season but Boston College is playing pretty darn well and they’re going to continue that against Virginia

Vanderbilt now a female kicker, but it’s not going to help against Georgia.

Washington is somehow undefeated, Stanford is not even close, Huskies win

NC State will not get stung by the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech

Ohhhh!!! BYU takes on Coastal Carolina in Conway, SC! The battle of the undefeated. Picking Coastal Carolina, because they’re the underdogs and the Cougars beat my North Alabama Lions. Someone has to pay for that.

Oregon somehow got tripped up by Oregon State last week, and what a game that was. Now they seek to restore their good name against Cal, and the Ducks will win.

Colorado will plow through Arizona

Wouldn’t it be GREAT if Virginia Tech beat Clemson? Not saying they’re going to, just saying it would great.

South Carolina will play alright against Kentucky, but they’ll still lose.

Miami will not need to backward lateral the ball multiple time to get by Duke. Yes, that game was played a while back but it’s still amazing that they pulled it off.

Baylor more than likely will not fare well against the Sooners, even if they were allowed to wear their highlighter uniforms

UCLA and Arizona State could turn out to be a heck of a late game. It’ll be worth staying up for.

Oregon State believes they can down Utah, and we do too!

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