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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 5 Preview

Week 5 Preview


1398 Wisconsin vs. 4 Michigan– The last time that Michigan beat a team ranked in the AP top 10 was in 2008. It just happened to be Wisconsin. This Saturday the Wolverines are going to try to repeat that feat. They honestly haven’t been tested so far this season, but the season is only 25% finished. That is scathing sarcasm. I could say the same thing about Ohio State, but they at least left Ohio and went down to beat the pants off an Oklahoma team with an inflated rating. Anyway, emotions and sarcasm aside, this could be an interesting game. Is the Harbaugh coached team the contender they say they are? The only team with a heartbeat they have faced has been Colorado, who beat Oregon, and that contest was only a contest for a quarter. Other than that the Maze and Blue’s other games have been live scrimmages. So I reckon, either Michigan is that good or the other teams were/are not good at all. Tough to say as there is no standard for comparison. However, the Wolverines want to bring the Great White North Conference Title (they actually still call it Big Ten Championship, so pedestrian) to Ann Arbor. It has been a dozen years since that happened. A look at their schedule showed only two games that could stand in their way;- Michigan State and Ohio State. They lost both last year. Now they have to contend (at home, of course) with this upstart, Wisconsin, who no one (like LSU) thought was going to be any good. The Wolverines are good at passing but they have struggled in the running game. That’s not a good sign going into this game! LSU and Michigan State were running teams dependent on their ground game to stifle the Badgers, and neither one of them panned out.
Wisconsin has already faced two top ten teams and has beaten them both. LSU and Michigan State are no slouches. This is not a team lacking in self-confidence or to legitimize themselves. They’ve already done that. This is a team on a mission, determined to prove the doubters wrong and win the conference crown. They do it with defense. The Flying W’s have the number one defense in the North, allowing 11.8 points per game and 80.5 rushing yards. Hey! that’s not too shabby, not shabby at all. They have a big defensive line and are built to stop the run. How are they against the pass? Different story, LSU surely didn’t test them and MSU didn’t do very well passing against the Bold Script “W’s”. And they’ve gotten better. Alex Hornbrook has come on as a quality quarterback. For the first time in a long time the Badgers are a two-dimensional team. They’ve always been known for being able to run the ball, but now Hornbrook is throwing, too. Michigan has been notified of this dual threat, so this really could be a test for Wisconsin. This is their second game in a big five game stretch, both Michigan schools, followed by Ohio State, Iowa, and another surprise team, Nebraska. Michigan is the highest ranked opponent so far, which just goes to show that the press loves Michigan’s coach and all his flare for Facebook. Time for the Wolverines, and Hollerin’ Harbaugh, to put up or shut up. It would not, and should not, surprise anyone if Wisconsin leaves the state of Michigan undefeated. (Ed note: Harbaugh isn’t going to shut up. Like Muschamp, at South Carolina, he KNOWS he’s the best football coach in the world, even if the Wolverines lose. Unlike Muschamp, Harbaugh may be right!)


460North Carolina vs 12 Florida State– North Carolina did not start off very well. They had a first time starter at QB and nothing seemed to go right for them as they lost to Georgia. Since that time UNC has won three games with the last one being a thriller against Pitt which caused the Tarheels to reappear on the radar. Now they have to travel to Tallahassee and meet Florida State. This might be the perfect opportunity for UNC. Their offense is a pitch and catch style. If you throw the ball enough, someone is going to catch it and do something good with it. Trubisky, that novice starter from game one, is ranked #10 of quarterbacks who have completed deep passes, (20 yards or more in the air). So they are not just making dinks and dunks down the field. The entire field is their playground. FSU has shown they are weak in pass defense. North Carolina’s defense has been on the field for over 37 minutes per game, third most in the country. That’s too much. Against Pitt they were out there for 41 minutes. This week’s foe, the Seminoles, are averaging more than 36 minutes per game of offense, fifth-best nationally. If the Heels want to win, they have to give their defense a break.
202Florida State- The best win on the Seminole’s resume is the one against Ole Miss, and they should have sent Thank You cards to the Rebels for all the turnovers. Except for turnovers, and critical injuries, FSU was faring poorly. They went up against Louisville and sustained the worst defeat in school history, not something they want to brag about. The Noles are ranked solely because sportswriters have a hard time admitting they were wrong. This is a team suffering from the same disease that has infected LSU. They have a great running back (Cook), but if opponents stop him, they ain’t much firepower left. Last week Cook had a great game against South Florida and the team is being praised for regaining their composer. BUT, is this bluster or fact? The Bulls, loveable though they may be, aren’t members of a Power 5 conference, and they haven’t won anything of note lately. If FSU is really going to turn their season around, they have to get past North Carolina. Florida State has possibly been overrated this year. CSF wants to pick the Tarheels, as in, Really wants to pick them, but the Seminoles will win.

Louisville vs Clemson– It would be easy to dismiss Louisville’s 4-0 record as them just beating up on little guys and being big bullies. They’ve 265played Charlotte (not necessarily a powerhouse), Syracuse (last place team in the ACC) and Marshall (sometimes good but not this year). But, then there’s that game against Florida State. The Cardinals came out of the gates and smacked FSU like a red-headed stepchild. Lamar Jackson leads the offense and has put up ridiculous numbers. He loves to score, so when they get close to the goal line, it’s a sure fire bet that he’s going to run the ball. We used to call those guys “glory-hounds”, not sure what they’re called nowadays. He is good, and the offense has run rampant. Last year “Ville” used defense to win games and had to wait for the offense to catch up. This year it appears to be the opposite, the defense needs to catch up and that could cause problems for them come Saturday. Clemson is not the same team they were last year, true enough, but they’re going to test Louisville none-the-less. CSF is hesitant to go all in behind Louisville after they won just one Power 5 game. We’ll see what happens against Clemson, at Clemson.
Clemson needs a signature win this season. They’re 4-0, but they need a statement win. They opened up against a mediocre Auburn, who is looking better every week, and the Tigers struggled to a 19-13 win. Of course the Tigers won; the Tigers HAD to win, but it was the Clemson Tigers that won. After playing for the National Championship, a bit more was expected from the Palmetto Tigers. Against Troy Clemson laid a big egg, eking out a 30-24 win. They played a good game against Georgia Tech, finally! The game against South Carolina State was a gimmee, no need to mention it. QB Watson was expected to be putting up Heisman numbers, but he’s struggling to connect with his receivers. Something is wrong, the offense was not supposed to be a problem. The defense, maybe, but not the offense. They’ve got the talent and skills, but, for some reason, all the cylinders in their machine aren’t firing. One way to remedy these ills is to win Saturday. They can’t struggle, can’t take time to find themselves, they have to pound the Louisville defense into a pulp. If they don’t, kiss this game goodbye because the Cardinals are going to score points. Defenders need to hit Lamar Jackson every time he touches the ball, and that’s every offensive play. When he runs, crush him. Wrap up, slam him to the ground. Make him nervous, make him rush his passes. By the end of the game, Jackson should be bruised and sore. Clemson, as some call it, Auburn with a lake, has a tough game ahead of them, no doubt. If they want to get back to the Playoff, it’s time to stand up and be counted. Good Luck.
Short Smokes:


Stanford is going to be tested at Washington, still picking the Cardinal. Could be a great game.

Notre Dame might win against Syracuse. If they don’t, I’m going to laugh and laugh.

Baylor roughs up Iowa State

Florida wins against Vanderbilt

Texas and Oklahoma State will be a very interesting game

Ohio State vs Rutgers……yawn

Northwestern falls to Iowa

Miami is going to struggle against Georgia Tech

Duke is favored to win against Virginia, and they should

Colorado wins another PAC-12 game, against Oregon State

Navy and Air Force in the first round of the Commander in Chief’s Trophy

Tennessee will struggle at Georgia and could lose

Will Wake Forest continue its run with a victory over NC State? More than likely not

Nebraska will win again, this time against Illinois

Minnesota visits Penn State. That’s a fact. Somebody wins, the other guy loses.

Kansas State will surprise West “By Golly” Virginia

Texas A&M is going to enjoy crushing South Carolina, the Daughter will smile, Coach Boom will protest that he’s still a “Great” coach.

Oklahoma is not favored against TCU. This series has been interesting. It will still be interesting.

Utah and California might be surprisingly good

Ole Miss cannot afford to fall to Memphis again

Alabama is favored to win against Kentucky, at Tuscaloosa. shocker!

Missouri vs LSU, Tigers are going to win this game, too. Don’t be shocked if it’s the Missouri variety.
Arizona State is going to embarrass USC

Oregon and Washington State….pick ‘em (Wash State is where Barnett should go)

For the Night Owls, Arizona gets beat by UCLA in the wee small hours of the morning.


(6) North Alabama will be taking on (2) West Georgia last year it did not end well for the Lions, this year will be different as UNA marches to victory! Roar Lions


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