Thursday, December 8, 2011

Excel's Jonathan Turberville wins local College Pick 'Em football contest

College football also closed out its regular season on Saturday, which means that our ninth-annual ESPN College Pick ‘Em contest has also come to a close.

We kicked off this contest, in which local fans could compete against each other in our own local group, 14 weeks ago. The group was called the “Conecuh-Monroe FB Pickers,” and a number of Conecuh County residents took part in the contest.

This year’s champ, who won by one point on the final day of the season, was Jonathan Turberville of Excel. Jonathan did extremely well in the contest this year. He correctly picked the outcome of 99.1 percent of the 140 games we had to pick from this year.

Jonathan, aka “Mr. Football,” knows his stuff, and he is the man to ask when it comes to the outcome of the upcoming BCS National Title game between Alabama and LSU.

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The Alabama Sports Writers Association is doing something this week that its never done before.

The 2011 football season wrapped up last week with this year’s slate of Super 6 state championship games, and this week the ASWA is preparing to release its first ever Super 25 poll.

This poll will feature the best teams from all six classes of the Alabama High School Athletic Association as well as the teams that make up the Alabama Independent School Association.

For what it’s worth, here’s my ballot – 1. Prattville, 2. Hoover, 3. Hartselle, 4. Central-Phenix City, 5. Vigor, 6. Oxford, 7. Mountain Brook, 8. Center Point, 9. Pinson Valley, 10. Jackson, 11. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, 12. Briarwood Christian, 13. Hueytown, 14. Oneonta, 15. McGill-Toolen, 16. Fairhope, 17. Daphne, 18. Handley, 19. Anniston, 20. UMS-Wright, 21. Elba, 22. T.R. Miller, 23. Clay County, 24. Marion County and 25. Linden.

It’ll be interesting to see how the final poll looks and to see if Clay-Chalkville will appear in the poll. As many of you will remember, Clay-Chalkville was ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 6A before being disqualified from the playoffs due to the use of an ineligible player during the regular season.

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The rematch between Alabama and LSU will be interesting for a number of reasons.

It’s often been said that it’s hard to beat a good team twice, and I think that a rematch works in Alabama’s favor for several reasons. When it comes to its game plan, Alabama will have a good idea of what doesn’t work against LSU, while LSU will probably tend to use a game plan similar to the one they used in their initial meeting.

Much has also been made of the supposed home field advantage that LSU will enjoy because the game is being played in Louisiana. I don’t see this being as big a deal as some people have made of it. If it were being play in Baton Rouge, that would be one thing, but it’s not.

To me, the biggest factor in the game might be how each team uses its time between now and the actual game. The team that uses its time most wisely will likely have the edge they need to win the crystal trophy on Jan. 9.

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