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Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

Week 1-A

Week 1-A

The first weekend of College Football as descended upon us. This is not the holiday weekend where we all dance around maypoles, feast, and party like we were medieval Knights of the Round Table that just found the Holy Grail. No, that would be the OFFICIAL opening of the College Football Season, and that comes next weekend. This Saturday we are provided a bit of a tease, only a tease. Will I be watching it? You bet your sweet bippy, I’ll be watching it. And, loving it!

Miami vs Florida – This is an interesting matchup. Both want to reclaim the glory of yesteryear, but neither has come close to achieving that goal. So, what’s up with these two? Miami has not recovered from their NCAA inquisition, scholarship – what a misuse of a perfectly good word. How many of College Football’s “Student Athletes” are deserving of being called, “scholars”? – reduction, micromanagement and probation. They’ve tried several different head coaches, but nothing has worked so far. Their latest offering to the NCAA gods (small ‘g’ intended and earned) is a rookie head coach who was DC under Mark Richt. His great achievement so far was that he came up with the idea of the “Turnover Chain”…but even that wasn’t an original idea. Alabama’s turnover belt was popularized at least a season earlier, so he’s just adding a twist to an old idea. I know this guy has done his time at different schools as he’s worked his way up the coaching ladder, but do you join me in thinking it’s strange that he happens to be the son of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and his first head coaching job looks like it’s going to be at Miami?  (He accepted the Head Coaching job at Temple and that lasted a week or less, right?) Insert your own nepotism theory here. Florida has Dan Mullen who is an established head coach and this will be his second year at UF. He led them to a ten win season in ’18, which, to be honest, no one outside of Gainesville, was expecting.  For Miami the late breaking news is they will be starting Jarren Williams over Ohio State transfer N’Kosi Perry. Williams was an ESPN300 recruit who red-shirted last year. Florida would like to play their returning starters but they’ve been having trouble keeping players around. Last week, starting defensive back John Huggins was dismissed from the football program for violence against a young lady. This makes the fourth person in the offseason to be punted off the squad. Not only that, but all four of these ‘Student Athletes’ were cited for violence against women. Where are the Dads of these women? I mean, seriously, folks. I would be standing in front of the judge saying, “Yes your honor, I did that to him because he struck my daughter.” Back to football. As it stands, the Gators have an experienced team with a seasoned head coach taking on a young untested team with a young whippersnapper whose political family may have had it “arranged” for him to be a head coach. (At least that’s my conspiracy theory, and I’m sticking with it.) Truth be told, it will be a shock if the Hurricanes can hang with the Gators, with or without their battering girlfriend former players. Please don’t take that as an endorsement of Florida. It’s not, they have a lot to prove, but Miami relishes being the playground bully and they ofttimes play weaker schools polish their record, but then get slapped around when they mess with the big dogs. It has been years since they’ve been able to run with the big dogs, and it’s going to take Coach Diaz, even if he is talented, a few more before becoming a true contender for the Champion of the Florida Triad (Gators, ‘Noles, ‘Canes) moniker. No, I haven’t forgotten the ‘directional’ schools, as Nick Saban calls them, Central Florida and South Florida, but I’m not writing about the Central and South squads right now.

Arizona vs. Hawaii –This game might not blow anyone’s skirt up (Hush my Mouth!) but it’s a college football game so who cares, we’re watching it. The best description for this game would be the “Riddler Game”. Both teams have lots and lots of questions that must be answered and the Riddler’s outfit is covered with question marks, so, you get it….right? Riddler? Question marks? Anyway, Arizona did not do well in their first year under Texas A&M castoff HC Kevin Sumlin’s tutelage. Some of that lack of success could because star QB Khalil Tate suffered an ankle injury in the second game of the season and never seemed to recover. It might also be that he was not comfortable in the new Sumlin system. There were reports that he was considering transferring but he made the decision to come back. Hawaii’s program has been in a influx for the last few years. The coaching staff has returned, for a change, yay! and they have 8 returning veterans on offense and 9 experienced Rainbow Warriors (or is it now just “Warriors”? I liked it when it was Rainbow Warriors) on defense. The offense scored freely last year, averaging 31 points per game, but the defense freely allowed more than 30 points per game. The only way the Warriors won games was with piling on points, cause the defense was a wreck-in-action. The biggest question for both teams is who will have the better defense this time out? Doubtful Hawaii will stop Arizona, but it‘s also doubtful Arizona will stop Hawaii. I look for the Wildcats to stop the Warriors more times than the Islanders stop the Wildcats. There’s also the concern that HC Sumlin needs to have a much better year at Tucson or his pants are going to start smoking from the glowering Athletic Director.

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