Thursday, September 29, 2016

Steve Stacey maintains lead in local College Football Pick 'Em contest

The fourth weekend of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest came to an end on Saturday night, and Steve Stacey held on to sole possession of first place for the fourth straight week. Steve, who lives in Monroeville, is doing so well in the contest that ESPN notified him on Sunday that he is currently ranked No. 10 nationally out of the thousands of contestants taking part in the contest. In all the years that we’ve done this contest in the newspaper, this is the best that any of our local competitors has done in the contest.

Drew Skipper and Travis Presley remained in second and third place, respectively, for the second week in a row. Robert Bozeman also held on to the No. 4 spot in the standings for the second straight week.

I jumped from seventh place to fifth place, and Rod Sims is in sixth place. Mark Peacock dropped from fifth place into seventh place, and Sharon Peacock went from ninth place into eighth place.

Three players – Eric Byrd, Nick Watson and Ricky Taylor – were in a three-way tie for ninth place. Eric Talbot comes next in the No. 12 spot.

If you’re taking part in this contest and didn’t make the Top 10 this week, don’t worry. We’ve got 10 more weeks to go, and we’ve got a long way to go before it’s all over with. The Top 10 will change a lot over the next 2-1/2 months, so keep plugging.

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According to this week’s SEC football schedule, there are five head-to-head match-ups between SEC teams on Saturday. Florida will play Vanderbilt at 11 a.m. in Nashville (SEC Network), Tennessee will play Georgia in Athens at 2:30 p.m. (CBS), Texas A&M will play South Carolina at 3 p.m. in Columbia (SECN), Kentucky will play Alabama at 6 p.m. in Tuscaloosa (ESPN) and Missouri will play LSU at 6:30 p.m. in Baton Rouge (SECN).

In addition to those games, there are three other games featuring SEC teams. Alcorn State will play Arkansas at 11 a.m. in Little Rock (SECN), Louisiana-Monroe will play Auburn at 2:30 p.m. in Auburn (SECN) and Memphis will play Ole Miss at 6 p.m. in Oxford.

Here are my predictions as to how those games will turn out. I like Ole Miss over Memphis, Auburn over Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama over Kentucky, Tennessee over Georgia, Florida over Vandy, Texas A&M over South Carolina, LSU over Missouri and Arkansas over Alcorn State.

Last week: 7-2. So far this season: 36-8.

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This time next week, the forgettable 2016 season will be over for the Atlanta Braves. As of Monday morning, the Braves were still dead last in the National League East standings, despite the fact that they actually have a winning record (33-29) against division opponents. Their overall record, as of Monday, was 63-92, which was second worst in the Major Leagues behind the 56-100 Minnesota Twins.

The Braves are scheduled to wrap up a three-game series against the Phillies tonight (Thursday) and will close out the season with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers. The last game of that series is scheduled to be played Sunday at 2 p.m. and will be noteworthy because it’ll be the last Braves game to be played at Turner Field in Atlanta. Starting next season, the Braves will play their home games at SunTrust Park.

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