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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

This weeks Bowl Games

Miami Beach Bowl
BYU (8-4) vs. Memphis (9-3)
Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

This is the story of two separate teams that each has found themselves in team unity. BYU was in the conversation of being the independent team that made it into the playoffs at the start of the season. QB Taysom Hill was a Heisman hopefully and doing plenty in the first four games to prove he should be there. September had treated the Cougars well. The first Friday in October was a dark day, as Hill was carried off the field against Utah State because of a broken leg. BYU ended up losing that game and the next three, as well. Then, for the last four games, they came together and won them all, ending the season with an impressive win against a much improved Cal team. Since Hill went down and out someone had to rise up and take the leadership role and that has been receiver Mitch Mathews. He has turned in his best performances since the Hill injury. BYU, as an independent, needs these bowl games for multiple reasons, e.g.- extra practices, – to stay in the national conversation. CSF has said many, many times the Cougars need to join the Big 12, who needs two more schools!


105The Memphis Tigers have finally made it back to bowl season. They haven’t been to a bowl since 2008! Before that, humm……checking…….it’s been a long time, alright. Coach Fuente came to the Tigers three years ago and the first two seasons didn’t go very well. Then, in the third year, Memphis State, sorry, Memphis came roaring onto the scene. In the second game of the season, in LA,they went head to head with then #11 UCLA and if the clock had just ticked a little slower they might have won that one. The football nation noticed, something was brewing in the city on the bluff of the Mississippi. The next big game they had was against Ole Miss, and, although the score was 24-3, it wasn’t until the 4th quarter that the Rebels put it away. Memphis ended the season with 6 straight wins, something they haven’t done since 1969! Now they claimed their first conference title since 1971. No one was surprised that the school offered Coach Fuente an extension and a raise, but everyone was surprised that he wasn’t snatched up by another school. The star of the team has been Paxton Lynch who has thrown for 2,725 yards with 18 touchdowns. He hasn’t thrown an interception in the last six games. But the real star of the team has been the defense. In allowing points they rank 5th in the nation, only allowing 17 points per game. These blue tigers fly to the ball and have been impressive. Memphis has its work cut out for them but with a coach that has the same name as a great cigar company, we have to pick the Tigers. Big cats beat medium cats; – Memphis wins.


Boca Raton Bowl
Marshall (12-1) vs. N. Illinois (11-2)
Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

Marshal has made some noise this season, winning 11 games and causing people to say that finishing the season undefeated should put them inMarshall the national playoff? Let’s see, they didn’t play a single ranked team all season, so the answer was going to be NO. The Thundering Herd settled any arguments by losing a barn- burner to Western Kentucky in OT, 67-66. They then faced Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA championship game and mounted a 2nd half come back to win it 26-23. Now they will face another conference champion, Northern Illinois. Marshall could have accepted a bowl bid from a bowl played on New Year’s Day, but the powers that be thought it would be better to play against NIU instead of a school from one of the power five. Ok, sure, why not. Looking at the numbers, the Herd has been impressive, they rank 18th in passing, 7th in rushing and 5th in scoring points. Nice!


NIUNorthern Illinois is making its fourth straight trip into the post season. Last year they were the BCS buster and made it to the Orange Bowl. They now want to stop their bowl-losing streak as they’ve lost three in a row. To accomplish this they’re going to rely on running the ball down the throat of the Herd. Which seems to be a good idea, since Marshall has shown a weakness against the run its last two games. Shouldering the weight will be Cameron Stingily, who has amassed 1,119 yards with 13 TD’s. NIU is one of those teams that is great at rushing, 14th in the nation, and weak at passing, 101st in the nation. That kind-of makes them one dimensional. Wonder what Marshall’s defense is going to focus on? Things that make you say, Hmmm. These two schools have met 7 times since 2001, NIU is 4-3 but has lost the last two. With the Huskies being a one trick pony, CSF is picking Marshall for the victory.



San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (Who approved this long bowl name? geez!)
Navy (6-5) vs. San Diego State (7-5)
Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014


Navy tried on some big boys but it wasn’t meant to be this year as the Middies every one, but they did win 7 games and made it to their 11th bowl in the last 12 years. Not bad. The Midshipmen run the triple option, which means they don’t pass, but good luck on knowing where the football is going. Navy ranks second in the nation at rushing, averaging 345.1 yards per game. Passing? Moving right along….did you happen to see QB Keenan Reynolds rush for 251 yards against San Jose State? This was the second most by a Navy player in the history of the academy. Navy finished the season with three straight wins including one against Georgia Southern, who runs the exact same offense as the Midshipmen. They beat Army, and that’s really unforgiveable. Now they go against the Aztecs. The Midshipmen have actually been a bit off and on all year. They’ve had games where they play great and then they allow the other team to come back on them and either beat them or make the game close. For this bowl they’re going to need their best performance.


San Diego State is one of three teams in the nation that, when they won, beat their opponents by double digits. When they won, it was big. They SDSUonly got blown out in one game and that was against Oregon State, where they lost, 28-7. In three of their losses they entered the fourth quarter with the lead, only to lose. All three of those games were on the road. This bowl is in their hometown, so the Aztecs should be alright. In 41 years, SDSU had been in four bowl games. This makes their fifth straight trip to a bowl. In 2010 they played Navy here and won, now it’s a rematch. SDSU has been undefeated at home;- did we mention this is being played on their homefield? No?…well, it is. CSF is picking the Aztecs. CSF loves the academies, but Navy beat Army and that’s unforgiveable, Go Aztecs!



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