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Ole Miss vs. Alabama the Most-Watched College Football Game of 2020

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This Ole Miss vs. Alabama game keeps setting records.

On Saturday, the matchup featured the most ever total points and yards in an SEC, regulation meeting. It’s now the most watched game of the entire season.

According to an ESPN press release, the Ole Miss vs. Alabama game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium this past weekend drew 4.9-million fans. That makes it the most watched game of the season, regardless of network and the most-viewed Alabama game on the ESPN family of networks in nearly three years.

Only five college football games this season have drawn viewership numbers north of four-million viewers. The second most-watched game of the year was last week’s Texas A&M and Alabama game, which drew 4.76-million viewers. 

Really, networks have been loving the return of the Southeastern Conference to play. Over the course of the three weeks before the SEC came back, the average top-weekly game was pulling in just around 3.3-million viewers, and only five games on the whole year before the SEC’s return cracked that three-million plateau.

Now, with the SEC’s return, networks can count on about two games per week drawing north of 4-million. 

More From The Grove Report:

Is It Possible to Fix the Ole Miss Defense This Year? “I Hope So”

The Grove Report’s Week 4 SEC Power Rankings

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21-year-old college student elected mayor of Alabama town

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CAMP HILL, Ala. — The new mayor of an Alabama town faces a couple of unusual challenges: Namely, going to class and doing his homework.

Auburn University student Messiah Williams-Cole defeated an incumbent to be elected mayor of Camp Hill, Alabama, last week. Besides operating the town of about 950 people, he’s getting ready to graduate next May with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

The 21-year-old led Mayor Ezell Woodyard-Smith by a margin of 259-156 in last Tuesday’s runoff election. The mayor-elect tells news outlets he’s excited more than anything and also a little overwhelmed to win the position.

Williams-Cole sought the mayorship after losing a bid for the Camp Hill City Council last year. Williams-Cole is a Camp Hill native, and he says he’ll work out a detailed scheduled to allow him to both complete his classwork and serve as mayor.

Williams-Cole assumes office for a four-year term Nov. 2. The town of Camp Hill is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Auburn.

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College football odds, lines, schedule for Week 7: Alabama opens as favorite over Georgia at home

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It is never too early to take a look at the lines for next week’s action, and the William Hill Sportsbook has released them for Week 7 action already. That includes the huge SEC showdown between SEC teams as No. 2 Alabama hosts No. 3 Georgia in Tuscaloosa next Saturday night on CBS.

While that’s going to be a great game between the only remaining undefeated teams in the SEC, it’s also the only game between ranked teams in Week 7. Though, I suppose if we’re only going to get one matchup between ranked teams, we might as well make it a couple of top-three sides.

There are some other games worth keeping an eye on, though. Particularly as some teams look to bounce back from a rough weekend, while other upstarts look to prove their worth. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger games for the weekend.

No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama (-6): As I said above, not only is this the only matchup between ranked teams this weekend, it’s also a game between the final unbeaten teams in the SEC. This game’s story will be the Alabama offense against a Georgia defense that’s been phenomenal through three games. Alabama got into an old-fashioned Big 12-style shootout with Ole Miss on Saturday night, but it will find the resistance a bit stronger against this defense. Of course, it’ll also be just as important to see if the Georgia offense can keep pace with Alabama. This is going to be a great game and a possible SEC Championship — and College Football Playoff? — preview.

No. 1 Clemson (-27) at Georgia Tech: Clemson’s playing another ACC game, so of course, it’s favored by nearly four touchdowns. Honestly, it’s pretty crazy to think that the

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One Alabama university stayed safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Another, 60 miles away, struggled.

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Every student had to test negative before setting foot on campus. Everyone had to use a smartphone application to check for symptoms daily. And everyone heard the same pleas from university leaders: Keep the campuses safe.

More than a month later, 2,375 Tuscaloosa students had tested positive for the virus, 6.2 percent of the student body, according to data through Oct. 1. Birmingham had 109 cases, a tiny 0.48 percent of the students.

Michael Saag, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Medicine and a leader of the state’s testing effort, said he expected some coronavirus cases to surface, but not at the ferocious rate they did.

“I was surprised that it happened so fast,” Saag said.

The staggering disparity at two of Alabama’s large universities illustrates how the coronavirus can barrel through some schools while barely affecting others, even in a state that is considered a hot spot. Experts say it is difficult to pinpoint why Tuscaloosa and other universities faced outbreaks and others did not, but they suspect that enrollment size, the campus culture and students’ ages probably played roles. The result is that students at one school managed to enjoy a semblance of typical college life, while the other campus’s culture was upended.

Saag said he empathized with students because college is about more than going to class; it’s about socializing, networking and exploring life on their own.

“It’s about meeting people and developing really what turn out to be lifelong friends,” he said, calling those impulses “the fabric of what makes the college experience so special.”

“What’s happening is that the virus has invaded that fabric, and to the point where it’s threatening the very essence of what being in college is about,” Saag said.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

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SEC college football power rankings led by Alabama, Georgia, Florida

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Alabama crushed Texas A&M (again). Once relevant, this series sits firmly in the Crimson Tide’s corner.

Ole Miss landed the first win of the Lane Kiffin era by topping Kentucky in overtime. Already, you can see how the Rebels’ offense will cause trouble in the SEC.

And in the biggest game of the week, Georgia beat Auburn to solidify its place in the College Football Playoff race.

The second weekend of the SEC season was a revealing one. What’s clear: Alabama, Florida and Georgia are the teams to beat. After two games, here’s an updated look at the conference power rankings.

1. Alabama (Last week: No. 1)

The Crimson Tide don’t budge from atop the list after a 52-24 win against Texas A&M paced by quarterback Mac Jones, who had three touchdown passes of at least 60 yards. Aided by an explosive receiver corps, Jones has gone from a question mark heading into the preseason to a part of the Heisman Trophy race.

2. Georgia (No. 3)

Sluggish in a win against Arkansas to kick off the year, Georgia put together a more complete performance to beat Auburn 27-6 and climb into second place behind Alabama. The Bulldogs controlled the line of scrimmage and protected quarterback Stetson Bennett, who threw for 240 yards.

Georgia defensive back Mark Webb intercepts a pass in front of Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz during the second half at Sanford Stadium. (Photo: Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports)

3. Florida (No. 2)

Florida’s rebuild on offense is complete. The Gators have a pair of Heisman Trophy contenders in quarterback Kyle Trask, who threw for another four touchdowns in a 38-24 win against South Carolina, and tight end Kyle Pitts, who now has six scoring grabs through two

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