College football will get underway later this week, and while there are a number of good games on the schedule this week, there will be no head-to-head match-ups between the 14 SEC teams. For what it’s worth, here are my picks for this week’s slate of games involving teams from the SEC.
I like Alabama over Wisconsin, Louisville over Auburn (!), South Carolina over North Carolina, Texas A&M over Arizona State, Mississippi State over Southern Miss, Tennessee over Bowling Green, Florida over New Mexico State, Georgia over Louisiana-Monroe, Missouri over Southeast Missouri, Vanderbilt over Western Kentucky, Arkansas over UTEP, LSU over McNeese State and Ole Miss over UT-Martin.
Last week: 0-0. So far this season: 0-0.
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Those of you who watched Sparta and Hillcrest play last Friday night got to see a couple of remarkable games.
Hillcrest’s 56-13 win over Monroe County High School Friday night was Hillcrest’s biggest win ever over the Tigers from Monroeville and gave the Jaguars a 16-8 lead in the all-time series between the two schools. Friday night’s 43-point victory was Hillcrest’s biggest win ever over the Tigers, going back to a pair of 34-point wins in 2013 and 1999.
Friday night’s game was also remarkable because it was Hillcrest’s first game on the newly resurfaced playing field at Brooks Memorial Stadium. Many fans also got to see first hand the new, nice-looking retaining wall on the south end of the stadium, which lends the stadium a classy, old-school look.
One other thing comes immediately to mind about last Friday night’s game against Monroe County. Many remarked about the lengthy first quarter, which seemed to have encompassed as much time as nearly a full half of play. The game kicked off as scheduled around 7 p.m., but the first quarter didn’t officially end until 7:53 p.m., almost a full hour later. Some in the stadium thought that they were reading the scoreboard wrong, but due to a lot of passing, penalties and time outs, this 12-minute quarter just ended up taking a lot longer than usual.
Sparta’s 32-9 win over Southern was Sparta’s second straight victory over the Cougars and gives Sparta a 6-5 edge in the all-time series between the two schools in football.
Tomorrow (Friday) night, Sparta will face a much more familiar opponent in Crenshaw Christian. Tomorrow night’s game will be the 28th all-time meeting between these two schools in football, and Sparta currently holds an 18-9 lead in the all-time series. Sparta hasn’t lost to Crenshaw since 2011, which happens to be the last time the two teams played in Luverne.
Hillcrest will face Opp tomorrow night in Opp and the Jags will find out what they’re made of this year when they take on the Bobcats, one of the top-ranked teams in Class 3A so far this season. Many believe (myself included) that Hillcrest has the potential to be very good this season, and an upset win over Opp will put the Jags in the driver’s seat in the race to the top of the 3A, Region 1 standings.