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Column: Football in the spotlight, but Braves and Tiger could make weekend news

The views of the author are not necessarily the views of AllOnGeorgia.

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Are you ready for the weekend?

I assume most of you are.

Me, I am mainly because it means football galore Friday through Sunday.

But, football, of course, isn’t the only sport in action this weekend. And there are some things off the gridiron that I will be watching right along with others over the course of the next few days.

More on that in a moment.

Where football is concerned, though, there are some matchups tonight in the state that give me goose bumps.

The Glynn Academy-Ware County game over at the old baseball field in Waycross is one that I will be following the night long. These teams don’t like each other and they have staged a heated rivalry in recent seasons with cheap shots on kickers included.

Glynn has held the upper hand in the series with victories in the last four meetings, but the Gators are at home and perhaps they have played better football thus far this season. We shall see what happens, but for the record, I am picking Glynn to win a close one in Memorial Stadium.

Also around the state tonight, prep football fans will have their eyes on some other appealing matchups. Colquitt County and Grayson square off up in Gwinnett County, and this is what you would call a titanic battle for sure as the Packers and Rams are among the best teams in the nation and certainly in Georgia’s largest classification. Both of these programs are state title contenders in Class 7A, for certain.

It’s going to be shown statewide on Georgia public television, and I am about to set up my DVR to record the game for my enjoyment later in the weekend.

The attractive matchups don’t stop there.

Valdosta and Lowndes will get after each other tonight in Winnersville and Warner Robins and Northside will locks horns in middle Georgia this evening in what is one of the state’s most storied high school football rivalries as well.

Of course on Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs play their second SEC game at Missouri, where a high-powered, high-scoring offense awaits the Dogs. Can Georgia slow this group down, or will the Bulldogs simply have to outscore the Tigers in a shootout? Those are the questions that will get answered Saturday afternoon.

Back here inside the state borders, Georgia Tech is hosting Clemson on The Flats, and clearly the Yellow Jackets are reeling as they get set to take on one of college football’s premier teams following back-to-back losses to South Florida and Pittsburgh.

Obviously, the Jackets are looking at a third straight loss Saturday at historic Grant Field unless they’ve got something up their sleeve that we don’t know about.

Then, on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons are at home against their bitter rival New Orleans. It’s Drew Brees against Matt Ryan, a showdown between two of the game’s top quarterbacks.

But thing is, the Falcons have a better defense than the Saints, so you would think this one would go the way of the Falcons based on that.

Now, also in Atlanta, there are two things taking place that will at least get my attention and may have me reaching for the remote control Saturday and Sunday as I settle in for another pigskin-watching weekend.

One of those things is that baseball series between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies that began last night with the Braves winning 8-3 at SunTrust Park.

With the victory, the Braves increased their lead over the Phillies in the NL East to 6.5 games. And with 9 games remaining in the season, including six against the Phillies, the Braves’ magic number for clinching the division pennant is down to four games.

Anytime the Braves win, they reduce their magic number. Or anytime the Phillies lose, the magic number also goes down by one game.

And so with Thursday’s result, the Braves reduced their magic number from six to four. So as you can see, the Braves could clinch the division title this weekend at home, which would be a real treat for the team and its legion of fans.

And then, there is the Tour Championship golf tournament taking place at East Lake in Atlanta, where Tiger Woods holds a share of the lead after Thursday’s first round.

The tournament will bring an end to the PGA Tour season, and thus it is the last chance for Woods this season to get that win that has eluded him despite his strong play the last several months.

He has already deemed this season a success, but you know Woods would like nothing more than to hoist the winner’s trophy this week, and possibly claim the FedEx Cup title which is still a possibility depending on how things shake out with the other contenders for that prize this week.

If Woods is playing with or near the lead on Sunday afternoon, I might not have the will power to watch football over golf.

That’s pretty much must-see TV, I think.

Have a good weekend, gang.

Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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