POLITICAL FOOTBALL

Associated Press

There may be large swaths of a Republican stronghold otherwise occupied during Mitt Romney's big speech Thursday night. College football debuts at the same time, and that can trump anything else on TV, especially in the pigskin-crazy South.

The marquee matchup happens down in Tennessee, with Steve Spurrier's No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks taking on the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville at 7 p.m. EDT. But the GOP probably isn't worried about losing interest or votes in either South Carolina or Tennessee, both of which are normally reliable Republican states in presidential contests.

— Jesse J. Holland — Twitter http://twitter.com/jessejholland

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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