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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 15

Week 15

It’s a shame that the biggest football news of the week is about a game that has been canceled. Michigan and Ohio State – the game that has thrown everything and everybody into a hissy fit. Ohio State has played only five games, three of their games were cancelled, and none of them were rescheduled. At the belated start of the season, the Great White North made a rule that, to be eligible for the conference championship game, teams would have to play in at least six games. So, when Michigan called the game off because of their, “outbreak”, this left the Buckeyes in a bind. It can certainly be argued that the Wolverines called this game off because Haribaugh didn’t want to be embarrassed yet again, and that they did it with the main goal of hurting OSU. Such a scenario is possible, even plausible. There are only two teams in the conference that have not already played six games;- that would be OSU and Maryland. Only one could have a shot at going to the post-season. The worst part of all this is that the Commissioner of the league, just waived the six game rule willy-nilly, so that the Bucks would be allowed to play for the conference title. This is the biggest hypocrisy since the 2020 election. Why even have rules if all the league is going to do is just toss them aside because the darling child of the conference doesn’t get their way? Indiana would have been the East Champion, and it’s one they deserve, as they’ve completed 7 games. Others argue that Ohio State would have won those three games no matter what. Really? Remember Purdue last year, or Iowa the year the before? Then, to compound the hypocrisy, there was a proposal that OSU plays against Texas A&M (Aggies game against Ole Miss got CX’d) at a neutral site.  This, of course, was rejected because, well, it could put the Buckeyes in jeopardy. BYU and Coastal Carolina did this very same thing last Saturday and what a game! This shows that the Cougars and the Fancy Named Roosters have far more guts than anyone at Ohio State. Shame on the Big 10, SHAME!!!!

Now we turn our attention to real games.

Army vs Navy –  This is America’s Game. Usually, the academies have this weekend to themselves, but because of all the shuffling around, and rescheduling, they’re going to have to share, just not with Ohio State or Michigan. But that doesn’t take anything away from their game. This is also the first time since 1943 that the game is going to be played at West Point, in Michie Stadium. Due to restrictions and all, only the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen will be allowed to attend. This marks the 121st meeting of the Academies, and, in what has turned into a recent tradition, they will be sporting Tribute uniforms. Navy will be paying tribute to…itself. (a little snooty, but, whatever. At least they’re playing, and the rules didn’t have to be buried) Their unis are supposed to represent what is called, ‘The Yard”, and the way the buildings on campus look, with a small shout out to the Marines, their emblem will be on the pants. Army will be paying tribute to the 25th Infantry Division who fought in the Korean War. The 25th Division became known as “Tropic Lightning” for the speed in which they carried out their missions. On the shoulder there will the head of a Wolf, as the 25th Division was also nicknamed the “Wolfhounds” for their ferocity against the enemy. And the color of these uniforms is to be in style with the Korean era. Concerning the game itself:- Navy comes into this game carrying a four game losing streak, which puts them at 3-6, but they were only completely out of their first two losses, against BYU and Air Force. They hung tough in their last four. The Middies’ offense has been looking for an identity and consistency all season long, and they’ve yet to find it. They’ve averaged 18 points per game, while their defense has given up 32 points per game. They run the triple option, but they have a tendency to want to throw the ball. They haven’t won any games doing this, but they still want that to be part of their game. The biggest question for Army is, which team will show up? Will it be the team that showed no quit against Georgia Southern, and fought back from behind to win the game, or maybe the team that went to UTSA, and on the Roadrunners home Alamodome turf beat the University of Texas, San Antonio? OR, will it be the one that showed up against Cincinnati, and Tulane, and tip-toed through the tulips losing these games from the get-go? When Army wins, they distribute the ball well, between the QB and running backs. When they lose, the QB hogs the ball, selecting his option time and time again. It doesn’t take opposing defensive coordinators long to decide which Quarterback they’re facing. This is on Army’s homefield, so no way, no how, are they going to allow Navy to leave this Hudson Home with a win. Army wins this game and they win by a good wide margin. Wide or narrow, a win is a must for the Black Knights. GO ARMY!!! BEAT NAVY!!! BEAT ‘EM, BEAT ‘EM, BEAT ‘EM!!!!!

Alabama vs Arkansas – Is this a trap game? Why, yes, it is! If Alabama is not careful, or if they take the Hogs lightly in any way, they could lose this game and ruin my Saturday. The Tide is in the SEC Championship game, no matter how this game turns out. Win, lose, or draw, Bama still makes the trip to Atlanta. They are a heavy favorite, and if this game was in the middle of the season, I wouldn’t be nearly as concerned as I am right now. The Crimson Tide is the top team in the nation, they have more talent, and skill on one side of the ball than Arkansas has on their entire team.  But all it takes is for the Tide to play like they’ve already won, and the Razorbacks to play like they didn’t get the memo, and the entire apple cart can be tipped over. Alabama will win this game, but they can’t turn it into a struggle win.

USC vs UCLA –  believe it or not, this game is still a rivalry, not much of a rivalry, but a rivalry, nonetheless. The Trojans, if they win, will have five wins. I guess they’ll have to be included in the National Playoff Picture, and they’re ranking will go from 15th to 5, because if it works for Ohio State, why not everyone else? As a matter of fact, next year everyone should just schedule 5 games. Anyway, at the start of the season, the Men of Troy struggled mightly against the Arizona schools, but since that time they have not even worried against Utah and Washington State. In case y’all haven’t been watching, and judging by the TV ratings, you haven’t been, the Bruins are playing some inspired football. Coach Kelly has been having a hard time getting his system to take root in the City of Angels, but this year, it’s bearing fruit. They have beaten the California Bears, both ‘Zona schools, and they darn near took the measure of Oregon in Duckville. They lost to Colorado, but the score was 48-42, so not a blow out at all. Is this the year the Bruins turn this game into a real rivalry yet again? CSF isn’t quite ready to jump out on a limb for UCLA, we’re pulling for ‘em, we’ll be watching, but not ready to make that statement….yet.

Georgia vs Missouri – In one of only two top 25 match ups, the Bulldogs will find themselves in a much closer game than they envisioned. It’s evident that the Dawgs have found their QB in JT Daniels, the USC transfer. Once he got on the field, it was obvious that he was comfortable and knew where he belonged. In the last two weeks, UGA has had very little trouble with Miss St and USC-South, but, against Mizzou, they’re taking on a much-improved team from the one that opened up against Alabama. As I recall, they didn’t play that badly against the Tide.  They battled from behind against Arkansas to spark a wild fourth quarter and walked out of there with a 50-48 win. The Tigers’ defense is going to get gashed by QB Daniels’ passing game, I but fully expect this offense to make it a shootout.

Short Smokes

Colorado rampages over Utah

Maryland, if they remember how to play, will beat Rutgers

Seriously pulling for the Gophers of Minnesota to beat Nebraska, but having doubts that will happen

Northwestern needs to be mad, and they need to play mad, and beat Illinois madly.

Wake Forest takes down Louisville

Michigan State vs Penn State, man, who the heck knows! Let’s go with Michigan State only because I’ve been there and like the campus

Coastal Carolina ends the regular season undefeated against Troy and with far more respect than Ohio State.

Miami, who I honestly didn’t expect much from, will host North Carolina and the Canes only have one loss, that’s, it just one. Who would have thunk that? I’m going with Miami

Wisconsin has been exposed as a paper badger, that will not improve against Iowa.

Washington has its best shot in eons to down Oregon, and this weekend they’re going to do just that.

Tennessee is a heavy favorite against Vanderbilt, but they still won’t have a winning record…hee hee

Florida is not expecting much from LSU, and they may be right, but, then again, this has the potential to be another “trap game”.

Mississippi State needs this win far more than Auburn does, besides, we like it when Auburn has a losing record.

Virginia vs Virginia Tech – Battle of the Commonwealth! UVA has the better team, UVA has the better record, but VA Tech has the buffalo sign on the Cavs and the Hokies will win the game.

BYU needs to redeem themselves against San Diego State, and they’re going to.

Oregon State is going to beat Stanford for the first time since Pluto was a pup (and a planet)!

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