There's something a little different in the air this time of year - the anticipation of an upcoming football season.

With the Tarleton Texans, Stephenville Yellow Jackets and other area teams getting ready for a new season, fans are gearing up for the excitement as well.

The Empire-Tribune is also preparing to kick off one of our favorite annual features - Guessing the Gridiron.

Eight area residents, including two E-T staffers, will take part in a little friendly competition by predicting the outcome of area games each week.

And this year's participants are sure to make it a whole lot of fun.

Trying to hold on to his title as last year's winner is E-T Sports Editor, Brad Keith, who will take part as well as Publisher Rochelle Stidham.

Others include Matt Copeland with Barefoot Athletics, Lannie Lee, Dublin police chief and interim city manager, Vickie Pettit with First Financial Bank, Stephenville Mayor Kenny Weldon, Susan Culpepper with the Erath County District Clerk's Office, and the Old Goats.

Although nothing but pride is at stake, some participants hoping to land in first place at the end of the season are planning their strategies.

Pettit said she might enlist the help of her husband, Cliff, but rumor has it she only plans to do it so she has someone to blame if things go bad.

Culpepper is taking the girlie approach to making manly football selections.

"Strategy? What's that?" Culpepper said. "Does the color of the team matter? Prettiest colors win my pick."

Guessing the Gridiron will be featured in Sports every Friday beginning Aug. 31.