Southeastern Conference football officially kicks off tonight (Thursday) when South Carolina takes on Vanderbilt in Nashville. Also tonight, Appalachian State will play Tennessee in Knoxville.
Ten games involving SEC teams are scheduled for Saturday and those games include UMass at Florida; North Carolina and Georgia in Atlanta; Southern Miss at Kentucky; Missouri at West Virginia; Southern Cal and Alabama in Arlington; Louisiana Tech at Arkansas; Clemson at Auburn; LSU and Wisconsin in Green Bay; South Alabama at Mississippi State; and UCLA at Texas A&M.
The first “weekend” of SEC football will wrap up on Labor Day Monday with a game between Ole Miss and Florida State in Orlando.
Here are my predictions as to how those games will turn out. I like South Carolina over Vandy, Tennessee over Appalachian State, West Virginia over Missouri, MSU over USA, Kentucky over Southern Miss, Arkansas over La. Tech, Florida over UMass, Clemson over Auburn, Texas A&M over UCLA, LSU over Wisconsin, Georgia over North Carolina, Alabama over USC and Florida State over Ole Miss.
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As of Monday morning, 35 local football fans had signed up to compete in our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest, and it’s not too late for those of you who would like to participate this year.
If you’d like to match your football wits against these individuals but haven’t signed up for the contest, you’ve still got plenty of time. The deadline to sign up and join our local group is Sat., Sept. 3.
To sign up for the contest, go online and visit the contest website at http://games.espn.com/college-football-pickem/2016/en/ (or you can just Google “ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest”). Once there, sign in with your ESPN.com member name. If you don't have an ESPN.com account, take about two minutes to sign up for one.
Once you've got your free account and have signed in, create your own contest entry. Click on "Create Entry," and follow the simple instructions. When you get to the “Name Your Entry” part, I ask that you USE YOUR REAL NAME, so that we can post the standings each week in the paper.
Once you've created an entry, you can join our local group of football fans, allowing you to compete against other contestants from Conecuh County and other areas.
I've set up a group that all of you can join, so we'll all be able to compete against each other in the contest. Go ahead and click on "Create or Join a Group." That'll take you to another page, where you'll be able to join our local group.
The name of our group this year is called "South Alabama FB Experts." Enter that in the appropriate space. If you played last year, all you have to do is click “rejoin,” and it’ll automatically put you in the same group we had last season.
Our group is a private group, so you'll have to have a password to join. Our password is "football." Just type it in without the quotation marks and the period.