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The Obligatory Predictions Competition - Week 1

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With less than twenty four hours until the sweet sound of popping pads fills our eardrums, it's time to kickoff the fifth-annual installment of The Obligatory Predictions Competition. In case you're new around these parts, our annual predictions contest is kind of a big deal. It gives everyone in the community a chance to put their money where their mouth is, and (all too often) serves as a humbling reminder that we don't know as much as we think we do. Last year, we outsourced hosting duties to Yahoo! Sports, only to discover that they limited group membership to 100. Because we want for everyone to be on the same page, this year we'll be using ESPN's College Pick'em engine.

Not only will the ESPN platform allow us to pick more games each week and see results in real time, it also incorporates confidence values, so there's an added degree of difficulty. If you've never ranked predictions in order of most to least likely, I think you're going to love it.

Chomping at the bit? Here's how to get in on the action:

1. Head over to the Off Tackle Empire group page, and sign up for a free ESPN.com account or sign in with Facebook. The group password is "sherman."

2. Create a name for your predictions set (I recommend just using your SB Nation handle), make your predictions before the start of each listed game and adjust the confidence values by dragging the games up and down.

That's it. I will announce a weekly winner each week on the site, and will occasionally post leaderboard updates. Every Thursday we will post a reminder to log in and enter your picks for the upcoming week. Additionally, starting next week, Graham and I will provide an explanation of our most daring picks.

At the end of the regular season, we will crown a champion who will receive a to be determined prize.

Good luck!