Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ricky Taylor takes top spot in local ESPN College Football Pick 'Em Contest

Sparta Academy and Hillcrest’s win in football Friday night were remarkable for a number of reasons.

Sparta beat Sumter Academy, 57-20, in York and this was the most points Sparta’s scored in a game since their 59-14 win over Sumter last season. When you take into account road games, Friday night’s 57-point showing was the most points scored in a Sparta road game since their 58-28 win over Open Door Christian on Sept. 26, 2008 in Tuscaloosa. Friday night’s win also got the Warriors off to a 4-0 start for the eighth time in school history. The school’s other 4-0 starts in school history (since 1971) occurred in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 2008 and 2014.

Hillcrest’s 34-21 win over Geneva Friday in Evergreen was also remarkable for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it was Hillcrest’s first win over Geneva since 2003 and evened the all-time record between the two schools in football to 3-3. Friday night’s win also snapped a drought of region wins that went back to Hillcrest’s win over Cottage Hill Christian last season. Hillcrest’s 2-1 start this season is Hillcrest’s best start in football since the 2010 season when the Jags started 2-1 on their way to a 7-4 overall record and a trip to the 4A state playoffs.

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The second full weekend of college football has come and gone and not without a few surprises. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M all remain undefeated while South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi State are now all 1-1. Vanderbilt remains the only winless team in the SEC with an 0-2 record.

All 14 SEC teams will have a chance to improve their records this coming Saturday, and here are my predictions for this week’s slate of SEC games. I like Alabama over Ole Miss, LSU over Auburn, Arkansas over Texas Tech, Florida over Kentucky, Georgia over South Carolina, Texas A&M over Nevada, Missouri over Connecticut, Tennessee over Western Carolina, Mississippi State over Northwestern State and Vanderbilt over Austin Peay.

Last week: 9-2. So far this season: 20-4.

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This past weekend also marked the second weekend of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest.
Ricky Taylor finished the weekend in first place, and Sam Rowell came in second. Ricky Powell, Casey Grant and Hunter Norris were in a three-way tie for third place.

Myself and contestant Degan Dailey were tied for sixth place. Jonathan Tuberville finished in eighth place, and Jeremy Matheny came in ninth place. Sharon Peacock rounded out the Top 10 in tenth place.

If you’re one of the contestants in the contest and didn’t do well over the weekend, don’t sweat it. We’ve got 11 weeks to go before the end of the season, and the Top 10 will change a lot over the course of the next three months.

I’m also asking those of you in the contest to send me your real name if I don’t have it already.

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