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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 4 Preview

Week 4

Last weekend went fine for the three top-ranked teams in the nation. [why do we still have rankings when we have “the Committee” (Pat Haden included)?] Florida State had the week off, so they were safe. Oregon ran all over Wyoming, as expected. Alabama beat Southern Miss, but the Tide was not impressive. Georgia had the SEC East frontrunner waiting for them, just beat USC-South and the Dawgs could strut. The Gamecocks, however, had other ideas. They played like a team on a mission and flat out-played the Bulldogs. Georgia went down. USC, coming off a great victory over Stanford, riding high, and believing the Trojans were back! Boston College wore uniforms featuring a bandanna stripe on their helmets to honor a BC alum who was a 9-11 hero. It worked. USC could not stop the running game and the Eagles upset USC. Nice ride, USC, while it lasted, but ideas of making the final four probably dissolved. Remember, though, Tommy Trojan is still on “the Committee”. Before playing East Carolina, Virginia Tech had beaten Ohio State at the horseshoe, a feat Michigan hasn’t learned well lately. The Hokies had dreams of winning the ACC. East Carolina was coming off a hard loss against South Carolina. What better way to rub it in the Buckeyes’ face than by beating their slayer? That’s just what happened. VATech went down hard. Virginia started the season trying to beat UCLA, yet giving the game away at the same time. Louisville beat up on Miami and crushed Murray State, they anticipated no problem taking down the Cavaliers. Wrong! UVA tightened up and outplayed the Cardinals. Another ranked team went down. Now we enter Week 4, anybody nervous?
265Clemson vs. Florida State- In 2013 Clemson was ranked number 3, hosting number 5, FSU. The Tigers had just beaten Georgia and they were the cock of the walk. Three and half hours of total embarrassment later, Florida State had walked all over them, 51-14. The Tigers’ season was kaput. It’s a new year and hope springs eternal. But things are a bit different now. Clemson is without standout QB Tajh Boyd and WR Sammy Watkins. At the moment, they are 1-1, losing to Georgia in an incredible fashion, and wiping South Carolina State. The offensive had difficulty moving against a stingy Bulldog defense. They’ve had two games to work out the kinks. No one is going to mistake this Clemson team for the one in 2013. The ’13 team was far more talented with more weapons. But this year’s edition isn’t exactly a pushover. Let’s not forget the Tigers were playing tough against Georgia and were ahead 21-14 at halftime. It was unfortunate that they had to play the second half. Clemson can upset the Seminoles, it’s true, they can. They must play disciplined defense and pressure the quarterback. Winston Churchill said it best, in his British accent and raspy, cigar-smoking voice, “Never, never, never, never let up on the quarterback!” Maybe that’s not 212exactly how he phrased it, but it’s what he meant. If Clemson can keep the QB from ever getting into a rhythm they will have a chance, and, after the upsets this past weekend, “Why not Clemson?” Thanks to the fact that Jamies Winston is incapable of staying out of trouble this little advice to Clemson becomes even more important. Speaking of QB Winston, what is it going to take for Coach Jimbo Fisher to realize he is prolonging the problem by not kicking his star QB off the team? Is he so scared that he can’t win without Winston that he refuses to take the appropriate action? As of Wednesday Sept 17th, Coach Fisher has stated that he is going to sit QB Winston for one half against Clemson Saturday. It appears Winston could not help himself in the student union, where he climbed up on a table and started yelling obscene sexual phrases. At Charlie Strong’s Texas, he would have been kicked off the team. At Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina, he would be kicked off the team. At Alabama, Nick Saban would kick him off the team, CigarSmokinFootball is willing to bet that even on the left coast he would kicked off some teams. Coach Fisher is making a mockery of himself and the football program. FSU is loaded with talent, they have Karlos Williams who averages 4.1 yards per carry, they have one of the top receiving corps in the country. The defense is not nearly as good as 2013 but it’s not like the “D” is a sieve, either. Florida State has too much talent to be worried about one player. This uber tolerance policy can backfire, it would be the perfect time for an upset! It could happen. CSF is still picking Florida State to win, but we’ll be pulling for the Tigers.
FloridaFlorida vs. Alabama, the Student vs. the Master. No one is ever going to mistake Will Muschamp for St. Nick Saban, but he did sit at the feet of St. Nick among the columns of the Greek Parthenon to learn his trade – or, something like that. Now he gets his second chance to master his Sensei. Florida has had a bit of a rocky start;- first their season opener gets 86’ed by a thunderstorm , then they played Eastern Michigan, a game they won, then came the Kentucky game. Why should the Gators worry, they’ve beaten the Wildcats 21 straight times, the game is in the Swamp, what’s to fear? That was the wrong mind set because Coach Younger Stoops had them Wildcats playing WAY better than the last 21 times. At the end of regulation the score was tied 20-20. It took three overtimes for the Gators to put away the ‘Cats. CSF wonders if Coach Muschamp sat down after the game, or was his seat just a little too hot? Florida had trouble stopping the passing game, against the run they were pretty good, and this is what saved them in the extra periods. Fortunately for the Gators, Alabama’s QB Sims is terrible whenever he has to throw the ball more than 7 yards downfield. On Offense, Florida showed a balanced attack, 237 yards passing and 295 yards rushing. The offense is up-tempo and the Crimson Tide has shown they have trouble adjusting to that style of attack, e.g., I cite the West Virginia game. The Gators are not going to suddenly change their attack, they just have to execute better than they did against Kentucky. The game is in Tuscaloosa, Bama is favored by 17, Mushamp’s seat is hot. For the Gators, “We’ve got ‘em right where we want ‘em.” They’re thinking upset.
St. Nick does not look happy on the other sideline. He has this scowl that won’t go away. Why? Looking at the record, the Crimson Tide is 3-0, 028that’s a good solid start. Their last two wins were by a margin of 46.5 points each. Why would St. Nick not be happy? Is it because he didn’t talk to University of Texas about their coaching job? Nah! He’d lose his Sainthood if he had done that, so that can’t be it. Maybe he just misses AJ McCarron. BINGO! The last two years of AJ’s career, he should have won the Heisman Trophy, hands down! If there’s is any doubt, just look at the present QB situation in T-town. QB Sims is a fifth year senior and he has to be treated like a true freshman on the field. He doesn’t know the offense, he can’t read a defense and either he can’t throw the ball more than 7 yards or he can’t throw the ball more than 7 yards to an Alabama receiver. The Tide offense technically isn’t one dimensional, WR Amari Cooper has put up some fabulous receiving numbers, but just about all of those numbers are “Yards after Catch” because he hasn’t caught a pass more than 7 yards downfield. He’s an exceptional receiver with all the right tools and talent. He’s just not being used as a down the field threat. The tight ends have one catch between them this season. ONE! Two of the best TE’s in the game, who can block, and catch they have one reception. That’s mainly because QB Sims hasn’t thrown the ball their way. Lane Kiffin is on the sidelines telling the QB’s what to do, because the QB’s don’t know the offense like they should, or like AJ did. Fortunately, for the Bama faithful, the Darth Lords of the Galactic Empire have been there to save the day. We are talking about the running backs, Darth Yeldon, Darth Henry, and Darth Drake. If it wasn’t for the Sith Lords doing what they do best, this season would already be in shambles. The Defense has stepped up its game since the opening contest against West Virginia, but they still have plenty to work on. They will not be the dominant, scary, death dealing force that we’ve all grown to love or hate, depending on which side of the state of Alabama (it sure ain’t the state of Auburn!) one’s from, but they are still doing better. Saturday will be a test for the big uglies. If they play up to their potential, we could see big things from the Dark Side of the Force. (has it been mentioned that I always pulled for Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies? Well, I did) Maybe that’s why Emperor Saban, is unhappy, because he knows his student, Muschamp, has figured out what he, Saban, is going to do. Florida is going to put as many people as possible in the box with the goal of stopping everything within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage. Make every rushing yard as difficult as possible, and make Sims throw the ball more than 8 yards. Even with giving Florida the game plan to victory over my Crimson Tide, CSF doubts, hopes, wishes, prays, they won’t be able to carry it out. CSF’s pick is still Alabama, Surprise!
PittIowa vs. Pitt, yes that’s right, we’re talking Iowa vs. Pitt! In the past this would have been a game that we’d watch because we believe in watching ALL College football games, but we really wouldn’t talk about it. Pitt is looking like a 470freakin Run Away train at the moment. They beat Boston College, who beat the snot out of USC. Does this mean that the Panthers are that much better than everyone else? At the moment, YES. They are undefeated at 3-0. They rank 5th in the nation in rushing, passing stats doesn’t look that good but why should they be passing the ball when their running game is operating in overdrive? RB James Conner is averaging 6.7 yards per carry, while his counterpart Chad Voytik averages 8.6. It’s not that the Panthers can’t throw the ball, they just choose not to. The defense has been playing lights out, they had a little trouble with BC but shut the Eagles down in the second half. At the moment these Panthers are great and looking like the surprise team of the ACC.
Iowa is not doing very well, bless their hearts. They struggled against Northern Iowa and then they needed every trick in the book to get by Ball State. Cross-state rival Iowa State showed up and handed the Hawkeyes their first loss of the season. The same ISU school that lost to 1AA North Dakota State. (not that it’s a bad thing, the Bisons have a long record of beating 1A schools) Still, Iowa is not instilling confidence in their fan base. The Hawkeyes rank 95th in the nation in rushing. Somewhere in that state, they’ve got to be having prayer meetings over this fact alone. More was expected from the Hawks. To right their ship Saturday they must beat Pitt. When was the last time an Iowa win over Pitt was seen as an upset? Dan Marino might have been a freshman. CSF’s pick – Pitt! Go Panthers!
Short Smokes

Mississippi State travels to LSU, LSU is going to struggle but comes out the winner.

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech- the Battle of the Technical Schools! Whose slide rule is better? GT wins because VaTech has a history of a loss costing them two games instead of one.

Maryland vs. Syracuse- the Orangemen looked better than expected, the ‘Cuse win

Tulane vs. Duke- Blue Devils keep their undefeated record

Hawaii vs. Colorado- look for the Buffs to come out the victors

North Carolina travels to East Carolina- if the Tar Heels want to be the dark horse of the ACC they cannot drop this game…. but they will. Too much Buccaneers.

UVA travels to BYU- Can the Wahoos pull another upset? Yes, yes they can.

Michigan hosts Utah and the way the Wolverines have been playing, look for the Utes to win it.

Oklahoma continues to thrash West Virginia

Miami travels to the Midwest to take on the Nebraska, the time is right for the Hurricanes to blow past the Cornhuskers.

Oregon vs. WSU- Ducks Quack

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