With only 10 games left to pick, Eveleth Golf Course pro John Rinne is holding a single game lead over MDN Sports Editor Jim Romsaas in the Pigskin Pick ‘ems contest.
The pair went into the week tied and Rinne pulled ahead when Syracuse knocked off West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl.
Rinne remains confident heading into the 18th and final week of picks.
“First I want to thank the MDN for having the contest and inviting me to participate! It makes the football weekends fun laughing at RJ’s picks! And thanks to the second place finisher Jim for doing the stories. Even with two from the Romsaas family competing, you can’t win,’’ Rinne joked.
There will most likely be a clear winner next week with Rinne and Romsaas picking two games differently. Rinne has Houston knocking off Indianapolis, while Romsaas has Seattle winning at Dallas.
With Rinne at 115-54-1 after a 6-4 week, Romsaas (5-5, 114-55-1) will need to get both of those games correct for a share of the title.
Lurking in third place is “RJ’’ Marwick at 112-57-1 after a 6-4 week. The local realtor has three games different than Rinne and will need to hit on all three for a first place tie. Marwick is banking on wins by Seattle, Iowa (over Mississippi State) and Clemson over No. 1 Alabama in the national title game Tuesday.
“It was very competitive this year!’’ Marwick said. “All it would have taken is one or two games or upsets and everyone would be in the mix. Here you go, I have to pick three or more upsets to gain ground on the leader.
Good luck to everyone, I hope Rinne doesn’t copy my picks again.’’
MDN Sports Writer Ben Romsaas dropped out of a tie for third place after hitting on just three of 10 picks last week. His 3-7 weekly record put him at 109-60-1 for the season, which is five games behind the elder Romsaas.
After winning the week with a 9-1 record, Mesabi Range head baseball coach Chris Vito vaulted into a tie for fifth place (102-67-1) with Father Brandon Moravitz (4-6, 102-67-1). Vito only missed out on Michigan falling to Florida.
“I’m glad Vito waited for the end to start picking winners,’’ Rinne said.
“Father B, doesn’t get any ribbing, because I still need help from the big guy upstairs in the last week.’’
Facebook Queen Tammy Spelts secured her spot in seventh after going 7-3 for the week (aided by the Bears downing Minnesota) and currently holding a 100-69-1 record.
“Looks like Vito and I took the big W for the Vikes on Sunday! WOOHOO! LOL,’’ Spelts said.
Rinne wasn’t impressed with Spelts’ picks last week.
“Next year maybe my dog Sophie can pick instead of Spelts! She couldn’t do worse,’’ he said.
As far as who will be the cellar-dwelling champion, Mesabi Range head football coach Tom Inforzato (3-7, 93-76-1) has it all wrapped up with one week to go.
Many of the prognosticators also stated how much fun they had in the Pigskin Pick ‘ems this season.
“I want to wish all of my pickers a very Happy New Year filled with all of the right pigskin winners. LOL, Spelts said. “Thank You to all of my pickers for a great season. So much fun with all of you and you all didn’t beat me up too bad! LOL. Happy New Year from your Queenie!’’
Marwick thanked everyone that participated, while Father Brandon thanked the MDN for being asked to take part. “It’s been tons of fun,’’ he said.
“All joking aside, I think we all did pretty good at our picking records this year,’’ Rinne said. “Have a great New Year everyone and keep your golf clubs handy, spring is right around the corner.’’
“It was a great year of picks,’’ Jim Romsaas said. “Thanks to everyone that was willing to take part!’’