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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 9 Preview

Week 9

Florida vs Georgia – The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, which can no longer refer to itself as The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, even though it is still The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, is this weekend! Florida has won five games in a row since losing to Kentucky this season. But they haven’t established dominance in any of them;- wins, yes;- style points, no. The Gators beat LSU, which is more than Alabama can say – yet – and Georgia lost to the Bayou Bengals in humiliating fashion, so you know, there’s that, and you can make whatever you want out of that. The Gator offense will not cause your heart to beat faster, and it’s not because they aren’t trying, they are, bless their hearts, but QB Felipe Franks is not able to run Coach Mullins’ offense the way Coach Mullins wants it run. They have scored points, not many, but some. The reason UF has been able to win games is solely because their defense has been close, pretty close, sometimes, to being great. Saturday they are going to need to have their game of the season. The secondary has to make all the right reads and play lights out. If they can make the Bulldogs a one-dimensional running team, then the Dawgs can be beaten. UGA did not fare well against LSU, it was an embrassement the way they played. Except for Elijah Holyfield, who runs the way his dad boxed, smart and angry, and he was SO hard to bring down. The rest of the offense was completely out of sync, QB Jake Fromm couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with his passes. His performance was so bad that the announcers were wanting HC Kirby Smart to pull a St. Saban and make a QB switch at halftime. Because of all this hoopla, I think the Dawgs are coming into this game angry and with a purpose. Florida is a rival for SEC East leadership, so now we have some hate thrown into the mix. UGA has to redeem themselves and show the nation that game against LSU was just a slip up, and that they, unlike Ohio State, can recover. If they don’t, the belief we’d had in them will vaporize, and Kentucky, yes, Kentucky, will be in the pole position to win the SEC East. Georgia is a better team than Florida, at this stage. CSF is not buying into the hype so many sportwriters are spewing out on Florida, because I’ve watched the Gators play, and if UGA plays the way they can, it’ll be over at halftime.

Iowa vs Penn State – Penn State is in trouble. They lost to Ohio State by one point, then they lost to Michigan State by giving up a last minute touchdown, they struggled to beat Indiana after opening the year with a scant overtime win against Appalachian State. So, what’s the problem? The biggest problem is that QB Trace McSorley is a one-man show. The running game isn’t giving him a lot of support. His receivers are not setting the world on fire with their pass-catching prowess. The offense needs to become what a lot of people thought they were going to be at the start of the season. Iowa, on the other hand, is the wild card in the Great White North Conference. They are playing well across the board, especially on defense. So they’ve only played one ranked team, Wisconsin, and the Hawkeyes lost that one, so what? IF they beat Penn State, they’ll have set themselves up to take the division title and go to the Great White North Championship game. If Iowa loses, they’re pretty much out of it. What they have in their favor is that most all the pressure is on Penn State, and, so far, the Lions haven’t handled pressure well. CSF fully expects the Hawkeyes to pull the upset. (My Editor seems to disagree, something about Iowa not being able to win on the road, he might be right)

Kentucky vs Missouri – The Wildcats have been playing their best football since Bear Bryant was their coach, and that was a long time ago. They were undefeated until they met up with Texas A&M, and the Aggies, who Bear Bryant coached after he left Kentucky, also a long time ago, ruined the Cats’ undefeated season. Then Kentucky beat Vanderbilt, but it was at home, and it was only by a late fourth quarter score. The Wildcats are entering the teeth of their schedule, put up or shut up time. Against Missouri, they are playing away from the Bluegrass State and they desperately need a win. Georgia is next, no pressure, right? Actually, they have an incredible amount of pressure, and I’m not sure Kentucky’s defense is up for the task. Missouri, on the other hand, thought they were going be good, they gave Georgia a tough first half, but couldn’t keep it up in the second half. Then they fell to South Carolina in the quagmire, and got spanked by Alabama. They shouldn’t feel too bad about that because everyone is getting spanked by Bama. Against Memphis, they set the scoreboard on fire. Does that mean the Tigers have found their way out of the lower reaches of the SEC East? Not willing to bet my future lottery winnings on that notion. But, hey, they did beat Purdue, who just smacked Ohio State around, so, either Missouri’s getting better OR SEC East teams are tougher than Great White North teams. It’s more than likely that SEC East teams are tougher, and I haven’t even mentioned SEC West yet. Kentucky should win this cat fight (The editor again disagrees, he thinks UK will get beat worse than Memphis, but he still refers to them as Memphis State, so he’s still holding on to the past)

Washington State vs Stanford – Stanford is a puzzle. They played well against Oregon, and then got slaughtered, relatively, by Notre Dame, – thanks a lot for that one by the way – , then they followed up that loss with a beat down by Utah. The Cardinal was picking up a lot of speed on that downward slide, but they hit a bump with a win against Arizona State that stopped the descent. Washington State, however, beat Oregon, and they beat Utah, but lost to a reeling USC. Getting a handle on the Left Coast is proving to be tough, and that’s just in football. I haven’t gotten into politics yet. Being on a three game win streak helps a team to get confidence, which is something the Cougars have and Stanford doesn’t have right now. Then, there are the coaches. I am loving watching and listening to the Top Pirate, the ole buccaneer, Mike Leach, and his unpredictability. He has no problem trying something new to list the playing surface hoping something great will happen. Stanford Coach David Shaw is about as stoic as a coach can get. He sees no reason to change even if it brings unbridled joy and extreme happiness to all the little children in the world. Everything Coach Shaw does, he’s done before. This gets old in the college football world and it’s showing. Heck, even St. Saban embraces some change, viz: Tua taking over for Hurts in the Championship Game earlier this year. Washington State is going to win this game and it might not be pretty. (The Editor seems to have comments on each game this week, he thinks the Cougars can’t win like Republicans can’t win in California. He’s awful gabby this week)

Texas A&M vs Mississippi State – Poor Mississippi State. They thought they were all set for a run at the SEC-West title, and it hasn’t worked out for them. CSF thought their QB Nick Fitzgerald was going to be good, too, but all he’s done is to lay eggs. Now the Bulldogs have to host an Aggie team that has won three close games in a row. Yes, they struggled, but they won. The truth is they, A&M, is getting better. The reason they’ll beat Miss State is their defense. They are going to overwhelm the offensive line of the Bulldogs, which is going to cause Fitzgerald to flee for his life. He thinks he’s a good escape artist, but he isn’t. He thinks he’s a good passer, but he isn’t. He thinks he’s a great runner, but he isn’t. The Aggies offense may struggle, but it’s doubtful MSU be able to stop them. All the Aggies will have a great Saturday. The Daughter will be one of those happy Aggie fans, and I’m sure I’ll be getting plenty of texts during the game. Gig ‘Em, Aggies. (What? No comment from the Editor?)

Short Smokes:

NC State vs Syracuse – Syracuse caused Clemson to struggle, NC State did not. Orange wins

Tennessee vs South Carolina – UT is a bad team, South Carolina is not as bad a team. Gamecock victory

Texas vs Oklahoma State – There was a time in the season when OSU would be picked to win, just not now.

Baylor vs West Virginia – Baylor doesn’t match up against WVU on any field, but especially not in Morgantown.

Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech – Virginia’s Tech will shut down Georgia’s Tech

Miami vs Boston College – Boston College might embarrass Miami, then again, they might not, but the Eagles will beat the Storks-Egrets-Cranes-Hurricanes.

Utah vs UCLA – The Bruins will not get their third win by beating Utah

Clemson vs Florida State – It wasn’t that long ago when this game would decide the Champion of the ACC. This is not one of those games. FSU is going to go down hard.

Wisconsin vs Northwestern – The Badgers will put their foot down on the Wildcats’ throat. (that’s an ancient symbol of victory)

Army vs Eastern Michigan – Eastern Michigan beat Purdue, who battered Ohio State, (I just love pointing that out). Army took Oklahoma into overtime, in Norman. This is Army, and the Black Knights are going to win. Go Army!

Purdue vs Michigan State – Michigan State is not Ohio State, but Purdue is still Purdue, and no one is sure if they’ll continue to win or not. But, for now, in this game, they’ll still be making boilers. Purdue.

North Carolina vs Virginia – Virginia should beat North Carolina, but, if they’re not ready for a game, the Cavaliers will lose.

Kansas State vs Oklahoma – Oklahoma is going to run up the score against K-State, dad-gummit!

Arizona State vs USC – ASU has done well in close games, only to fade. They need to get over that hump, and on, Saturday, they will. (NAH! USC BY 20)

Duke vs Pittsburgh – This could be a close game, as in, razor’s edge close, but Duke wins.


North Alabama has this week off, so, no news on UNA. But it still needs to be said, Roar Lions!

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