Nov 17, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) scrambles for yardage as his team plays the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin in overtime 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Challenge and Pick'em Group Invitation for 2013 kickoff

Johnny Manziel and the Aggies are ready to open their college football season against the Rice Owls this weekend. Can Manziel earn enough fantasy points for him to be on your roster even with just one half to play? Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While the NCAA’s controversial decision to suspend Johnny Manziel for only the first half of the first Texas A&M game has generated a ton on controversy and discusstion, the one thing we can all agree on is: it’s great to have college football back! The first games are already upon us with a pair of games going down tonight with a marquee matchup of UNC versus preseason #6 South Carolina.

College football is always tricky to play fantasy sports with, but ESPN has come up with a pair of mini-games that can be lots of fun. Last year, I posted my picks throughout the season and we had good-sized groups in both College Pick’em and College Football Challenge. Both games got an offseason facelift and the look is smoother even though the guts of the games are virtually the same.

Both leagues are reactivated and ready to roll for kickoff this week, but whenever you join, you can show your knowledge by winning any week of the competition. I try to mention the winners and leaders each week in my post here where you can find my selections for the two games.

College Pick’Em Overview 

The Clemson Tigers and quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) host the Georgia Bulldogs in one of week 1′s best matchups. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The concept of College Pick’em is extremely easy to understand, but nailing a perfect week is extremely difficult to do.

Each week ESPN selects 10 of the best matchups scheduled for Saturday. All you have to do is pick the winner straight up. The tricky part is that you have to rank your game picks in order of confidence putting 1-10 points on each game. If you get all the games right, you’ll score a perfect 55, but for each game you lose you get zero points. If you lose your most confident pick, you can’t get those 10 points. Make sure to consider your picks carefully and avoid the upsets.

If you head over right now, you can make your full slate of ten picks for Saturday, August 31.

Get straight to our Pick ‘Em group by clicking here

College Challenge Overview

College Football Challenge is more like typical NFL fantasy football games in that you pick individual players and get points based on their performance. Each week you select 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 WR/TEs, 1 Team PK, and 1 Team D/ST from all Division I college football conferences.

Scoring is fairly basic and typical. It’s fully laid out here. One key to understand is that rushing touchdowns are worth six points and passing touchdowns are worth just four. The premium on rushing TDs makes dual-threat QB’s extremely valuable and able to pile up points in a hurry.

Put your team together for week one at any point this week from the games remaining. If you want any SC, UNC, Hawaii, or USC players, you’ll need to get them entered before their Thursday night kickoff, but you can still join later this week and build a roster from the players in the rest of the league.

Get in the action now by clicking here.

Best of all, both games are totally FREE to play and give you plenty of things to cheer for all season long. Come on over and join our groups to show off your college football knowledge!

Tags: College Football Challenge College Football Pick'Em College Football Picks Fantasy Games Group Invitation NCAA Football

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