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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Preview of Week 7

Preview of Week 7

We know that all things happen for a reason, even if the reason isn’t apparent, we KNOW there is a reason. We just don’t understand it, yet. There are going to be trials with such a weight upon the shoulders that we feel like slogging through a swamp. But we learn that if we just keep going, we shall get through it. THERE IS NO OBSTACLE THAT THE DETERMINED FOOTSOLDIER CANNOT OVERCOME! Other times life takes us to the top of the mountain, where our spirits soar free with successes! But we must learn how to handle that success or it will destroy us. Maybe that’s why, in the Bible, Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, it says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” If there was ever any event, or events, one needed to verify this verse, it happened last weekend in College Football. God only knows what that was all about. In verse 7 of Ecclesiastes 3, it says “There is a time to rend (upset), and time to sew (recover from being upset); A time to keep silence, (just keep doing what you’re doing), and time to speak (use this game to make a statement!)”Ecc. 3:7. All those that went to Sunday School never had any idea that this verse was talking about college football;- well now you know! There are games in week 7 that fit into each of these four categories.

A time to rend (upset)

These are examples where at least one of the teams need to pull an upset. Duke plays Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets’ triple option is churning out the yards for scores. GT is 5-0 and in control of the ACC Coastal division. Duke dropped their first game, to Miami last week, they need to get their season back on track and the best way to regain the Coastal lead would be to rend Georgia Tech.

386Penn State, upset by Northwestern two weeks ago, takes on Michigan. Both of these teams need this win. Penn State literally needs to rend the Wolverines. The Nittany Lions were the torchbearers of the Great White North conference, so much so that the NCAA lifted its bowl ban so PSU could be GWN representative in a playoff game. Right after that reward Penn St. tripped and fell to Northwestern. Now they have a must-win situation. Michigan, if they are to salvage any respectability for 2014, needs an upset. They have to win this game. If they can find their version of a jawbone from an ass to defeat the Philistines (Penn State), as did Samson, it could save Brady Hoke’s job. Nah! Ain’t nothing gonna save his job, short of trouncing Ohio State, and they won’t.

Washington State vs. Stanford, Friday night game: The Cougars are better than their record indicates. They took Oregon to the wire and, against California, they could have won, with only two more measly points added to their 59 total. Twice they have taken teams with better records to the limit, only to watch the game slip from their fingers. Like when Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant only to have those darn Nazis take it away. The Cougars need an upset. Stanford now has two losses that sting, one involving Tommy Trojan, Pat Hayden (has he been asked to step down from the Selection Committee yet? Just asking), and then Notre Dame ekked by with a TD pass in the closing minutes. The Cardinal needs to stabilize their ship, they can’t relax or think they’ve got this game because of WSU’s record. It’s a short week for both squads, the Cardinal has this one at home, but any slip, even a slight glance toward next week against Arizona State, and they’ll be rent. Rended? Rant? I’m not sure of the imperfect tense for “rend”.


Like Michigan, far more was expected from North Carolina then what we’ve seen.They were picked to lead the Coastal division of the ACC, and to even give Florida State a run for their money. After their last three games they have been left for dead. Now they need a miracle, one of those Lazarus types would be preferred. Like a Phoenix, they rose from the ashes last year and they can do it again. What better way to do it than to upset Notre Dame! Lou Holtz will be broken hearted;- my editor…not so much. In fact, not at all. He’ll be delighted! Notre Dame is a surprising 5-0 and, as inferred, they were all but beaten last week. The Irish didn’t quit, and kept playing ND football, waiting for that crucial controversial call which never came, but they managed to win. This Saturday, they are primed for defeat. They’re coming off a win no one expected, and next week they have their showdown with big bad Number One, Florida State. “Look out! It’s a Trap!”

And a time to Sew (recover from being upset)

These teams were defeated, so what are they going to do? Pick themselves up and get back on track, or fold under the pressure?

017My spirit weeps as I write these words, but Alabama needs to recover from their loss to Ole Miss. They did not play well Saturday and they were beaten by the Rebels. That, and the fact that Blake Sims cannot complete a downfield pass unless the receiver is completely open, the only one in sight. Oh, and let’s not forget the turnovers. CSF said it and said it, “Stop turning the ball OVER!” but did the Tide listen? Nope. Wonder if they will this week? They have to get back their moxie, missing for a while now. Missing against Auburn, against Oklahoma, glimmers against Florida, except for the turnovers, and missing against the Rebels. Bama has to recover to be playoff worthy. The Hogs are licking their chops in Arkansas. They are honing their tusks and getting ready. You saw what happened, the Razorbacks played A&M all the way to overtime before fading. They’ve had two weeks to revive and prepare for the bruised Roman Legion (the Crimson Tide). Granted, Arkansas doesn’t have what would be considered a potent passing game either, but it’s better than Alabama’s. The Hogs are coming into their own, they are just about to turn the corner, what they need is that first SEC win. What better way to sew (recover) a season than to beat long time champion, Al-a-Bama? Sooooeeeee, Pig! Sooee! Root Hog or die! Bama wins.

The Red River Rivalry, one of the all-time greatest in college football. Last year OU came in cocky and strutting, you know, Motormouth Stoops planned to ‘Hang Fifty’, only to get humbled. Against TCU the Sooners weren’t so cocky. They knew they were in for one heck of a dogfight and they lost. Now they have Texas! Not only do they need to recover from last week, but the Sooners have to recover from last year. It’s easy to say that the Horn Frogs are a better team than Texas and that Oklahoma has nothing to worry about, but after last year, there is no telling how this game is going to go. Coach Charlie Strong is still looking for that signature win, he almost got it against UCLA. The Eyes of Texas would love nothing better than to notch a win over the Sooners to mark the game when they initiated their climb back into the national picture.

USC is still heart broken, sorry, Tommy Trojan, (but not TOO sorry! I used to like Pat Haden). They’ve seen the catch on ESPN, they’ve broken the play down in their film sessions and they still can’t believe what happened. (of course, neither can the Sun Devils, but they’ll take it) There wasn’t time for Pat Hayden to run down to the field (is that appropriate behavior for a member of the Committee? Answer me that.). The Men of Troy suffered their second loss. It’s time to either sink like a stone or start kicking like mad back to the surface. This is the PAC-12, two losses doesn’t necessarily ruin a season. The only undefeated team in the PAC-12 right now is Arizona. Last year the Wildcats surprised Oregon, only to follow it up with a huge let down against Arizona State. “Zona” hasn’t been 5-0 since the Ford administration, was I alive then? I must have been because I vaguely remember them at 5-0. Rich Rod has his hands full teaching them to deal with success. They whipped the Ducks again, another upset, but they cannot rest of their laurels or bask in their glory. Now is the time to plant their flag on the top of hill, bow their necks and dare the world to knock ‘em off. Taking it to USC would be a great follow up to defeating Autzen Stadium and the Ducks.


One game where both teams need to sew up (recover) their season pretty darn quickly is Oregon vs. UCLA. Both are coming off devastating defeats. They’ve both played with fire earlier in the season, and last week they got burned. The Ducks still have Marcus Mariota and a ton of speed but all that speed and all that quickness amounts to very little when the offensive line only stops the defensive rush long enough to see if they have an “E” ticket or not. It’s funny that the Ducks run a hurry-up offense to help keep the opposition off balance, but when a team does the same to their defense, Oregon can’t handle it. For UCLA it was only a matter of time before they fell. Memphis nearly did it, Texas nearly did it, and Virginia nearly did it, Arizona State didn’t come close to nearly. But Utah found a way to break through. If the Ducks where watching all they have to do is have the QB run up the middle for a passel of yards and the defense to keep sacking UCLA QB Hundley. Ducks are seamstresses.

A time to keep silence, (just keep doing what you’re doing)

All these teams need to do is to keep playing hard, keep doing what they’re doing and they’ll turn out just fine. We know everyone’s not gonna do it, but that’s the goal.

071Georgia vs. Missouri: Missouri missed out on upset Saturday by having a bye, which they were thankful for. After all, they’d already been upset, at home, by, … Indiana? The Tigers, Show-me State variety, have been playing pretty well. They beat South Carolina in Columbia…Columbia, South Carolina, that is. It had to be in Columbia, just a matter of which one! If Mizzou can keep their heads in the game and do their thing, they can win another SEC East contest. Georgia was upset by the afore-mentioned Gamecocks, but was it the “real” Bulldogs that played in that game, or is there a curse, a hex on the Bulldogs when they visit the Palmetto State? The Bulldogs slipped by Tennessee to avoid another upset and then beat Vanderbilt. The defense is getting their feet under new D-coordinator, the running game is grinding out yards, Todd Gurly is a top Heisman candidate, the passing game is efficient and keeps the other defenses honest, what does Georgia need to change? Nothing! If they just play Georgia football there is little to worry about, … except, maybe, Missouri.

Michigan State vs. Purdue: The Boilermakers are winning against teams they should beat and losing to those they are expected to lose, playing to form, sorry though that form may be, until last week, when they beat Illinois. It was the day for just that sort of thing. Purdue needs to keep that upset mentality as they go against the Spartans, because an upset is going to be needed. Who knows, Michigan State might help them out. How? Simple, the Spartans know they are good, they know their defense can stop anyone and the offense can move the ball at any time. In the first half of a game they pound the other team into the ground. But, somewhere in the middle of the 3rd quarter, the Spartans let up. This allows the other team to come back and make a game of it (see Nebraska) or win it (see Oregon) MSU will probably do the same to Purdue, but they cannot, no way, no how, take their foot off the gas and sheath their swords! If they’d just listen to CSF, the Spartans would be fine. Well, okay, if they’d just READ CSF. You get the picture.


Louisville vs. Clemson: Louisville came out of the gates like their hair was on fire! But, against Virginia, the pilot light went out and the Cardinals suffered their first ACC loss. Since then they’ve trimmed their wicks, gotten fresh oil in their lamps, and fired back up. Louisville has a balanced attack, they’re not the best in the country at either passing or running, but when both are working well, the Kentuckians roll. Clemson stumbled out of the gates, got up, and fell again. But the last two games they went back to their strength, passing the ball like it’s a Madden video football game. No place on the field is safe from a Tiger, South Carolina variety, pass. Hosting the Cardinals will be to their advantage. Trouble is, it just might not be a big enough one.

And time to speak (use this game to make a statement!)

The following teams will have the nation watching, guys will even cancel dates, … of course, if the date is worthy, she’ll be watching these games, too. Now is the time for these teams to stand up and ROAR!

Auburn vs. Mississippi State: This will be a battle for the ages. Two Heisman candidates will go head to head. Both teams are 5-0. Auburn is the perceived favorite. They’re the reigning SEC Champs, and, until they get knocked off, they’re it. QB Nick Marshall IS having a good year, it just might not be what was expected. His biggest weakness is still his passing. He can run the modified, War Eagle-style of the Triple Option using his feet, no question. The offense has only been held under 30 points once and that was against K-State. Mississippi State’s defense is good but the Bulldogs do give up some points. The argument could be made that most of those points come at the end of the game when the outcome is already determined, but they darn near let the Tigers, LSU variety, slip by them. Mississippi State has Dak Prescott, who is now a household name. He has led the Dogs into the national spotlight with stunning victories over LSU and Texas A&M. He is one cool cucumber. Nothing seems to rattle this kid, and he has all the variables, running, passing, jumping, he’s basically the Maroon version of Tim Tebow. The Tigers’, Auburn variety, Defense is a stout bunch. Arkansas is the only team to break the 20 point barrier against them. If Auburn is going to win the key will be to stop Dak Prescott and the Bulldog offense. Can they? CSF doesn’t think so.

TCU is a team without fear. They have made their first Statement Win since joining the Big 12, that only has ten teams, by downing Oklahoma. Now they have the chance to follow up that win with yet another, even bigger, win against Baylor. The Sooners’ offense was the perfect opponent for TCU’s defense. Against a Baylor team that might pass on every down, or might not, it could be a different story. This isn’t the apparently easily rattled Trevor Knight, this is the ultra cool Bryce Petty flinging the pigskin for Baylor. The Bears’ speed is at another level from the rest of the nation, their receivers are fast, and almost incredibly sure-handed. Watching them makes a huge impression. Brawn vs. Speed is the best way to sum this one up. Dare I compare with Oregon-Stanford?

535Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M: The Aggies got owned last Saturday, no two ways about it. But all is not lost, they can recover. Against Ole Miss it would be the perfect turn-around game. Not sure they’ll be able to do it. The Aggies look to be on a downward slide. They struggled to stop Arkansas, and Miss State capitalized upon weaknesses that were exposed by the Razorbacks. A&M is weak up the middle. Ole Miss is not known as a power running team, so hope springs eternal. The Rebels have the best chance in the last 50 years to make a statement. They beat Alabama, but can they follow it up? It’s great to pull the upset but without the follow through it just becomes a blip on the radar screen instead of an anchoring piton in their climb upwards. How’s that for a simile? You got that, ’piton’, didn’t you? The entire team needs to play perfect football against A&M. No INT’s, no fumbles, no allowing big plays, Nothing! The Rebs have to play smothering defense and smart, methodical, offense. In the words of Achilles (paraphrased), from the movie, Troy, “Ole Miss! Do you know what’s there, waiting beyond that game? Immortality! Take it, Hotty Toddy!!” Or, something like that.


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