State Tourney: The THS wrestling team will take a strong contingent to the Rocket City for the state tournament. 12 wrestlers will vie for individual titles and work collectively for the team championship.
Last year, Tallassee sent 10 wrestlers to the tourney and placed second overall. One of those wrestlers was a state champion. Jake Baker qualified again this year and will defend his heavyweight belt.
Baker was third at sectionals last year but was at his best when it counted the most. His younger brother Andy just missed the title as a state runner-up. Both won their classes at sectionals last weekend.
The eldest brother of the trio, Drew, won a title in 2014. It was the year Tallassee won the team trophy as well with six individual state champions.
THS has a streak of years with a state champion that dates back to 2009. Tallassee has missed having at least one individual champion only three times since 2001.
Tallassee has won individual titles 28 times. Seven wrestlers have won multiple titles. Josh Epperson has the most with three. Kennon Reese, TC Robinson, Chris Adams, Jonathan Webb, Justin Harris and Eric Cagle all have two a piece.
Marquee Game: If the college football season were to begin today, Alabama would be a 4.5 point favorite against Florida State. The Tide and 'Noles are expected to be among the nation's best in 2017.
The Chik-fil-A Kickoff will be in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Nick Saban is 7-for-7 in neutral site home openers since his first at Alabama in 2008. Alabama has won every game by 10 points or more, including last year's win over USC 52-6.
Vegas College Football Odds: Alabama is the odds on favorite to win the national title in 2017 at 7-2. That USC team, that bounced back quite nicely last year, is 7-1. And, Florida State is 8-1.
Ohio State and Oklahoma are also 8-1. Michigan is 12-1. Clemson, Louisville and LSU are 15-1. Then there is Auburn at 20-1. Texas is also 20-1. Penn State is 25-1. Georgia is 30-1.
I'll go ahead and make a few predictions (although I'll be keeping my money in my pocket). Louisville and Texas aren't going to win it. Nor will Vandy for that matter, but they aren't even listed.
FPI Picks: ESPN's Football Power Index has also released its first installment for the top projected teams for 2017. Alabama is not No. 1.
The Tide is ranked No. 2 behind Ohio State. No. 3 is Oklahoma. Florida State is No. 4. Auburn is No. 5.
Don't get too excited. Last year's Top 5 was a bit off.
A couple of those did pretty well. Clemson did win it all. Tennessee won't be ranked in anybody's Top 5 after last year's bust.
Who will be this year's bust? Oklahoma is a perennial disappointment. Since Auburn's national runner-up finish in 2013, the Tigers have lost five games each year.
That's 8-5, 7-6 and 8-5 in Malzahn's last three seasons. I'm setting the over/under for wins at 10 this season or the Gus Bus will be departing for a different designation.