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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 7

Week 7

(2) Georgia vs (13) LSU – If LSU hadn’t lost to Florida, this game would have a lot more hype. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of weight on the outcome. Georgia is the clear favorite for taking the SEC-East, hands down, no argument, they are the best (or so the pundits would have you believe. I’m convinced). LSU, along with perennial rival Auburn, appears to be one of the only teams in the West that can challenge Alabama. Did I hear a yelp from Starkville, Mississippi? LSU did not show well offensively against Florida. The Gators were also inept on offense, but rallied enough to achieve victory. The offensive line for the Bayou Bengals was weak, I’m talking, wet spaghetti arm, loose-kneed weak. They allowed five sacks on QB Joe Burrow and this led to him having his least productive game of the season. Georgia’s weakness, if so there be, is against a good passing attack, reference their game against Missouri. If LS&U wants to mount a serious threat to the Dawgs, they have got to have the passing game in sync. Georgia’s offense has been doing just fine, they run the ball well, pass the ball effectively, and pretty much stretch the field by both attacks. However, they do have their challenges. Against Tennessee, they played down to the level of their competition and did not have a good show. In the first half of the Missouri game, they stumbled over their own feet before they got a butt chewing at halftime that put them on the right path. Georgia needs to win this game to build their resume. LSU needs to win this game to get back on the winning track. Tiger fans are itching for a chance to heat up Orgeron’s seat, and dropping two in a row will do it, especially when one isn’t Bama. Doubtful the LSU can stop the Dawgs. Georgia wins.

(7) Washington vs (17) Oregon – The Huskies have been quietly working their way back up the polls since that opening weekend loss to Auburn. They’ve beaten Utah, who, we might point out, stomped all over Stanford. But so did Notre Dame. Then, they beat BYU, who was ranked 20th after the Cougars beat Wisconsin at Wisconsin, but that was their semi-private Holy War. So it’s not like they’ve been playing creampuffs. QB Jake Browning has been having good, steady games. Not a whole lot of touchdown passes, and he has got to cut back on the interceptions, he’s already thrown five. The defense has been solid, they have not allowed the Huskies to get too far behind or struggle in any of their games, except that Auburn one. Against Oregon, the defense will be the key. Oregon wants to be unsettling, they want to move fast and keep the defense guessing. The Purple Dogs of the Northwest need to play disciplined, assignment defense. Put pressure on the QB and it will probably end well. The Ducks have not really played anyone of note. OK, they played Stanford, and they lost, so that doesn’t help their case. The offense has outstanding stats and QB Justin Herbert looks like a monster passer, but can we give them too much credit, considering who they’ve played? This is why the Quack Attack will have to bring the lumber, if they want to be respected with the College football elite. The game is in Eugene, so the Ducks have the home field advantage, but it’s doubtful that will be enough. Look for this one to be a close game, but the Huskies pull out the victory.

Army vs San Jose State – The Black Knights had last Saturday off, and if anyone knows about going to school at the US Military Academy, they know these players spent the weekend studying, cause that’s what they do. This Saturday they travel to California to face winless SJSU. They shouldn’t underestimate their enemy, surely they learned that lesson from Varro when the Roman general encountered a feller called Hannibal. Ever heard of Cannae? That’s from their History of the Military Art class. Army should win, all they have to do is keep playing their keep-away game.

Missouri vs (1) Alabama – Most everyone is picking Alabama, I’m picking Alabama, the Daughter is picking Alabama, my Editor is picking Alabama and by all accounts, the Tide is going to win. BUT, let’s not be too hasty. The Tigers, Missouri variety, are a very good passing team. They gave Georgia’s relatively weak secondary fits during their game, and, if there is a weakness on the Bama squad, it’s the relatively weak secondary. They are young and they make mistakes. Mizzou is going to do all they can to exploit this perceived advantage. If the defensive line isn’t able to put pressure on the QB, then they’re going to give up big plays and points, and that will make St. Saban very mad, which will make him happy, as well, cause then he gets to be mad and have something to improve upon in practice. As for UM’s defense, it is doubtful they have any idea whatsoever about what is about to be unleashed upon them. When Georgia got things going, the Tiger defense could not stop them, and it’s doubtful they will come close to stopping Tua and the Crimson Tide. This could be a high scoring game, as in, both teams will put up points, but Bama will win, and it will be by double digits, and Tau will sit out the fourth quarter yet again.

(22) Texas A&M vs South Carolina – The Aggies played a heck of a game beating a good Kentucky team in College Station. The Daughter is still pointing that out to me. Now A&M gets another crack at an SEC-East team, but this time it’s in hostile territory in South Carolina. No, it’s not a rematch with Clemson, this is the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina. The Aggies are favored, but by the slimmest of margins for two reasons. One, because the offense that showed so much promise against Clemson has not gotten better, but has declined. Most of this rests up on the shoulders of QB Kellen Mond. He is just not making the passes that he should. They are having to rely more and more upon the running game, which is getting better, but if they become too one dimensional, it will set them up to be defeated. The second reason is, let’s face it, the Gamecocks have been a disappointment. They were supposed to make a run for the East title, instead they didn’t even come close to giving UGA a game, and then they fell to Kentucky. They did beat Missouri in a monsoon, but does that matter? Is Coach Boom suffering from the Jim Harbaugh disease? When it’s an important game, he can’t pull them through. So far, that’s exactly what it looks like. Should this be the case, expect South Carolina to fall like a house of cards. For all those pointing back to the Missouri splashdown, please remember that the Tiger weren’t and aren’t ranked, so go back and suck on your pacifiers.

(15) Wisconsin vs (12) Michigan – The Wolverines will be hosting the Badgers, each team has a loss like an albatross hanging around their neck, but the Wisconsin loss is much more weighty than Michigan’s. UM has played two teams this season with winning records;- they lost to Notre Dame, and they beat Maryland. But, let’s not be too hasty, Maryland is not on the same level as Notre. Last week QB Shea Patterson lit up the Terps with three touchdowns. He seems to have finally broken out and played much like he did at Ole Miss. He and the rest of the team will need to keep this up. When BYU beat Wisconsin, they did it by matching strength for strength down in the trenches. They didn’t give up an inch, and, by the end of the game, both lines for the Badgers were worn out and couldn’t keep the pace. Michigan has not needed to have that type of performance, it would have helped a whole lot in their first game, but they haven’t needed it since. Saturday, the Wolverines are going to need to do just that. They’re going to need to root-hog-or-die against the hefty Badgers. If they can’t match up and wear down Wisconsin, Coach Harbaugh will lose yet another big game. The Boys from the cheese state need to win out. At no point in the rest of the season can they trip up. If the fall again, it’s doubtful they will even make it to the Conference Championship Game. Both teams are ranked, so, more than likely, Michigan falls.

Short Smokes

West Virginia better not overlook Iowa State. Oklahoma State did, and you remember that.

Miami is going to Virginia where there might be yet another big upset. Might.

Florida chomps on Vandy, and licks their lips afterwards.

Minnesota would upset the entire apple cart if they beat Ohio State, but they won’t. Keep rowing, Gophers, it’ll be your day someday, but not this Saturday.

Auburn is not playing well, Tennessee needs some sort of a significant win, now is the time. My Sisters went to Tennessee. My Dad went to UT-Med. None of us went to Auburn.

Oklahoma State recovers nicely against K-State

Notre Dame better not overlook Pitt, the Panthers are known to pull upsets. I hope Notre Dame overlooks Pitt. I hope the Panthers pull an upset.

Penn State will not stumble against Michigan State

Ole Miss will score a lot against Arkansas, Arkansas will score a lot against Ole Miss, but the Rebels will score more

Colorado can and will beat USC. It will happen this Saturday.

VA Tech is not in danger of an upset against North Carolina….wait, the Hokies lost to Old Dominion. Check that, the Hokies are always in danger of being upset.

Texas is not ranked in the Top Ten, they cannot afford a let-down against Baylor

Memphis will host Central Florida. Last year, they met twice, and UCF won both. The Knights are probably going to win this one, too, but Old Dominion beat VA Tech.

Indiana will lose to Iowa because they can’t close out a game

Will Nebraska beat Northwestern? No, but they need a win in the biggest way

Speaking of needing a win, UCLA could use one against Cal, but they won’t get it.

North Alabama has to, must, win against Mississippi College. I had friends in High School that went to MC. I don’t want to hear from them come Saturday. So, ROAR LIONS!!!

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