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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Cigar Butts for week 10

The 1963 movie classic, “The Great Escape”, is about the plan of POW’s held by the Germans to dig several tunnels with the idea of getting as many POWs as possible out in a short amount of time. Some of the escapees don’t make it very far, a few are able to make it through enemy lines, most of them are recaptured and taken to a field, and, well, shot. This weekend reminded me of the Great Escape.

Florida State played Louisville and trailed the Cardinals most of the game. However, in the second half the Seminoles steamrolled to a win. Coach Jimbo Fisher has built a winning team that nobody likes. When a coach puts winning ahead of doing what’s right, it’s inevitable that Americans will turn on them. Such a shame, too, because I used to like FSU,… when Bobby Bowden was the coach.
I remember watching a boxing match where a boxer got knocked down and when the referee asked him where he was his response was, “I’m in one hell of fight!” (he was KO’d two rounds later). Duke’s Blue Devils found themselves in almost that same situation with Pitt. It was one heck of a fight. Duke had the lead and then lost it, and the entire game was a succession of lead changes. Duke led at the end, 51-48.
Boston College built up a lead in the second quarter against VA Tech, only it almost slipped away in the fourth quarter as the Hokies scored 21 points. The Eagles won, 33-31, but it they just barely made it through the German lines..
North Carolina was never in the game against Miami losing 47-20. I guess the Tarheels were rounded up and shot in the field. And NC State made it to the safety of Allied lines with a 24-17 win against Syracuse.

Great White North
Penn State thought they were going to escape the Gestapo against Maryland. They had the Terps on the ropes and victory was in sight, …almost. Just weather the fourth quarter. U of M fought their way into field position to kick a game winning field goal in the last seconds and escape, 20-19. What’s wrong with the Nittany Lions? It might have something to do with Christian Hackenburg not completing passes. I thought this kid was playing well, but after watching him Saturday, I have serious doubts. Maryland escapes, Penn State is shot.
The rest of the Great White North conference was, well, boring. Iowa rolled up Northwestern, 48-7. Nebraska beat Purdue, 35-14. Wisconsin ran all over Rutgers, 37-0. Ohio State crushed Illinois, 55-14, and Michigan beat Indiana, 34-10. Hit snooze. Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, OSU, Michigan make it through German lines. Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Illinois, and Indiana fall prey to the Gestapo.

Big 12 that only has ten teams
TCU visited Morgantown, WV, where the Horned Toad receivers couldn’t catch a cold, much less a pass. West “By Golly” Virginia controlled the game. The Mountaineers were playing their type of game, passing the ball all over the field and the Horn Frogs were unable to stop them. When TCU had the ball, they couldn’t dent the Mountaineer defense. What happened to the famed Purple attack? I have no idea but it wasn’t evident in this game. Maybe they got stuck in their escape tunnel. But, with just a few seconds left in the game, TCU squeezed out of their tunnel, kicked a field goal, and won, 31-30. The WVU players were crushed, with good reason. Remember what happens to losers in our movie?
K-State – Oklahoma State, and the Wildcats had no problem with the Cowpokes. It was only a pretty game for the KSU faithful. OSU was plumb outmatched, 48-14. K-State faces TCU next, and not in fumble-fingers Morgantown..
Baylor added to Kansas’s woes, beating the Jayhawks, 60-14. Oklahoma poured it on Iowa State, 59-14, and Texas, yes, the Longhorns, beat up Texas Tech, 34-14. If the Big 12-minus-2 is not careful, UT is going to become bowl eligible. KU, Iowa State, and Texas Tech, to the field.

Oh, what a crushing loss Ole Miss experienced. It was heartbreaking, gruesome, and painful to watch. Auburn was visiting The Grove. Auburn played a better game, but couldn’t put the pesky Rebels away. In the final minutes of the game, Ole Miss drove down the field and Bo Wallace scrambled for the endzone, only to fumble the ball and the Tigers, Alabama variety, recovering. What was it John Heisman said about ball security? The Landsharks held Auburn and forced a punt. Mississippi took over and was driving down the field. One pass to Treadwell and he banged his way toward the game winning touchdown. Then the pain came. As Treadwell was going into the endzone, the Auburn defensive back tackling him fell down on the back of Treadwell’s ankle, breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle. Treadwell dropped the ball one inch from the Promised Land and Auburn recovered in the endzone for a touchback. Tigers win. Speaking as someone who has experienced a major ankle injury, my heart just broke for Treadwell. When the final play was reviewed, – it had originally been ruled a touchdown, – no one in the Oxford stadium could believe the outcome. It was the most heart-breaking loss of the season for the Rebs. Seems a shame to shoot them when they were so close and paid such a high price. Remind me again;- what did John Heisman say about ball security? Auburn escaped. Darn it!
The other Mississippi school, “Hail State” hosted the SEC-winless Arkansas. The Hogs forgot to read the script where they were supposed to be scared of the mighty Bulldogs. The Razorbacks played hard and held the lead at halftime. They just don’t have the horses to continue that hard play throughout the entire game. MSU was able to escape, 17-10. Porkers, barbequed.
In the “World Largest Cocktail Party”, Florida and Georgia met for their annual rivalry game in Jacksonville, FL. All the Bulldogs had to do was win, and the SEC East title was virtually assured. Beat the sliding Gators and reserve rooms in Atlanta. However, UGA did not show up to play. It was the flattest and most uninspired play I’ve seen all year by any college team. Florida ran all over the Bulldogs. The Gators were fired up, excited to play, and it showed. They won, 38-20. Shooting this Bulldog squad seems appropriate, while lauding the Gators on their reversal of form is also warranted.
Texas A&M, with the coolest uniforms of the year, debuted new Quarterback Kyle Allen. They did not debut a good defense nor did they show any type of a running game. Against UL Monroe, the Aggies escaped, 21-16. If only A&M had a defense, what a difference that would make.
With Georgia losing, the door was open for Missouri to take the SEC-East lead. They did not squander the opportunity and beat the Kentucky Wildcats, 20-10. It appears the Tigers, Missouri variety, will be making another trip to the SEC championship game. Vanderbilt beat Old Dominion, 42-28. I’m out of bullets.


Oregon took on their pesky foe, Stanford, who, for the past couple of years, has kept the Ducks from winning the PAC-12 North. That was not the case Saturday. Oregon pulled out all the stops and whupped up on the Cardinal, 45-16. They got rid of a lot of demons in that game. The Ducks appear to be headed into the final four, but they can’t afford another loss.
Arizona was favored against UCLA. The Bruins were not awed by the Wildcats, Arizona variety, not at all. They spotted Arizona 7 points, and then stormed back to take the lead 17-7, holding the high octane UA offense scoreless the rest of the game.
Arizona State played the comeback kings, Utah. ASU took an early lead, but watched the Utes come back and take over the lead. The Sun Devils kicked a game-tying field goal to force overtime. In the extra period, Arizona State scored three points that Utah couldn’t match. The Sun Devils escaped.


Division II
My mighty North Alabama Lions played hated Delta State in Mississippi. I’m not sure how the Statesman were able to beat UNA, but I’m sure they cheated. I. Hate. HATE. Delta State! (someone, somewhere, said I was a poor loser. Listen to me;- I AM NOT A LOSER AT ALL! AND I DON’T LIKE NOT WINNING!)

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