The more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, somewhat.

One person, namely, Zack Miller, maintained a slim lead over his "Pigskin Pundit" counterparts, although another picker made slight inroads on the young prognosticator in Week 7.

It is Week 8 of the National Football League regular season and Miller maintains a three-game lead over the competition — and nine-game cushion over the weekly guests.

Some of the "Pigskin Pundits" found strong significant success in Week 7.

That group and their new guest will be back at the prediction game in Week 8 of the 22nd annual version of the "Pigskin Pundits."

After 17 weeks of the regular season — if the NFL can successfully navigate the seemingly never-ending waters churned by COVID-19 — will one from the media company's group or guest have bragging rights?

As usual, the Courier Publications/VillageSoup "Pigskin Pundits" include Reade Brower, owner; Ken Waltz, sports director; Mark Haskell, associate sports director; and Miller, sports reporter.

The way it works is each week through the Super Bowl, a guest, along with the VillageSoup group, make predictions on the outcome of games. The outcomes are based on wins and loses, not a point spread.

In Week 7, Haskell and Waltz finished 11-3, Miller 10-4 and Brower 9-5. Guest Casey Holmes of Dixmont ended 9-5.

The Week 8 guest is Matt Petrie of Wiscasset.

After seven weeks, Miller has compiled a record of 71-33-1 (.683 winning percentage), while Waltz is 68-36-1 (.654), Haskell 66-38-1 (.635) and Brower 64-40-1 (.615). The guests are 62-42-1 (.596).

For the guests, in Week 1, Dave MacNeill of Warren finished 8-8; Week 2, Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth 13-3; Week 3, Rusty Worcester of Cushing 7-8-1; Week 4, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 6-9; Week 5, Ryan Jackson of Warren, 10-4; Week 6, Richie Oliver of Jefferson, 9-5; and Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 9-5.

For the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew, Miller and Waltz have the best weekly records at 14-2 in Week 2, while, for the guests, Fogg has the best weekly mark at 13-3 in Week 2.

Waltz has been the regular-season winner the last two years, but others have risen to the top in the postseason.

For decades, the weekly picks were featured in Courier Publications’ newspapers The Courier-Gazette, Camden Herald and The Republican Journal. Now, those picks are made exclusively on the organization’s websites — knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

The picks appear each week online.

After 17 weeks of regular-season play, the guest with the best weekly record will return to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower for the playoffs and Super Bowl. The guest with the best weekly record also will receive a year's subscription to one of Courier Publications' newspapers or one of the organization's websites.

For the past two years, the guest winner has been Brad King of Camden, who has clearly proven the “king” of the guest pickers. Last year, he went 12-3-1 in Week 1 to earn the right to pick against Brower, Waltz, Haskell and Miller in the playoffs, while two years ago, King went 11-4 in Week 12 to earn the honors.

Those interested in being a weekly guest picker should email Haskell at mhaskell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The eighth week of the 2020-21 schedule includes:

Thursday, Oct. 29

Atlanta at Carolina

Sunday, Nov. 1

New England at Buffalo

Tennessee at Cincinnati

Las Vegas at Cleveland

Indianapolis at Detroit

Minnesota at Green Bay

N.Y. Jets at Kansas City

Los Angeles Rams at Miami

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver

New Orleans at Chicago

San Francisco at Seattle

Dallas at Philadelphia

Monday, Nov. 2

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants

The following are the Week 8 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup "Pigskin Pundit" crew and guest:

Brower — Atlanta, New England, Tennessee, Las Vegas, Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Waltz — Carolina, Buffalo, Tennessee, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Haskell — Carolina, Buffalo, Tennessee, Las Vegas, Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City, Miami, Baltimore, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Miller — Carolina, Buffalo, Tennessee, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

Petrie — Carolina, Buffalo, Tennessee, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

History lesson

In 2019-20, Waltz finished 165-90-1 (.647 winning percentage), Brower 159-96-1 (.624), Haskell 158-97-1 (.620), Miller 155-100-1 (.608) and guests 158-97-1 (.620).

Among the 'Pigskin Pundits,' Brower had the best weekly records at 14-1 in Week 8 and 13-2-1 in Week 1, while Brad King finished 12-3-1 in Week 1 for the best mark among the guests.

In the playoffs, Miller went 9-2, Waltz and Haskell 7-4, Brower 5-6 and King 3-8. Miller, Waltz, Haskell and Brower correctly picked the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54, with Haskell’s prediction of 33-23 the closest to the 31-20 final score.

Guest participants in 2019-20 were: Week 1, Brad King of Rockland, 12-3-1; in Week 2, Michele Scheffler of Jefferson, 8-8; in Week 3, Howard Fogg of Monmouth, 11-5; in Week 4, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 7-8; in Week 5, Scott Case of Belfast, 7-8; in Week 6, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 9-5; in Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 11-3; in Week 8, Jacob Light of Warren, 10-5; in Week 9, Chad Blake of Rockland, 6-8; Week 10, Brad Strong of Rockland, 4-9; Week 11, Otis Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 10-4; Week 12, Chris Hart of Rockport, 10-4; Week 13, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 11-5; Week 14, Dagney Ernest of Thomaston, 10-6; Week 15, Lynsey Carr of Augusta, 11-5; Week 16, Connor Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 12-4; and Week 17, Laura MacDonald, 10-6.

In 2018-19, Waltz was the “top dog” in the regular season as he finished 161-93-2 (.634 winning percentage), thanks to a 16-0 final week, while Miller was second at 157-97-2 (.618), Haskell third at 151-103-2 (.594) and Brower fourth at 142-112-2 (.559). The guests finished 148-106-2 (.583).

Overall, Waltz finished 167-98-2, Miller 162-103-2, Haskell 158-107-2, Brower 150-115-2 and guests 159-110-2.

Brad King of Rockland, who went 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

In the postseason, Brower finished 8-3, Haskell and King 7-4, Waltz 6-5 and Miller 5-6. All five correctly picked the Patriots to defeat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.