Want to know how fickle and unpredictable it is to guess the weekly winners of National Football League games? How about the fact Zack Miller finished with four wins — and got schooled by his wife, Meagan — one week and turned around the next to record a best of 13 victories.

All that seven-day volatility makes for interesting fodder about who has and has not mastered the picking game.

In reality, none of us.

The only evidence one needs is two-time defending champion Ken Waltz lost, in consecutive weeks, to a young woman who admits to a casual understanding of the teams and an 8-year-old boy who immerses himself in all things pro football.

Talk about the old man getting schooled by his young uns. Epic fail.

As the saying goes, any team can beat another on "any given Sunday." And plenty of upsets happen — even in the predicting game.

Things continued tight for the four media prognosticators as, after 177 turf battles this season, only four games separate the quartet. The guests are six games off the pace.

Now, it is Week 13 of the NFL regular season and the outcomes of the previous week's prognostications tightened the season's race to first place between the "Pigskin Pundits" and guests.

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

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

After 17 weeks of the regular season — if the NFL can successfully navigate the seemingly never-ending waters churned by COVID-19 — will a media company member or guest secure bragging rights?

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 12, Miller finished 13-3, Brower 12-4, Haskell 11-5 and Waltz 10-6. Guest Austin Haskell of Rockland finished 11-5.

The Week 13 guest is Lucas Brower of Rockland.

After 12 weeks, Reade Brower has compiled a record of 112-64-1 (.636 winning percentage), while Zack Miller and Waltz are 110-66-1 (.625) and Mark Haskell 108-68-1 (.614). The guests are 106-70-1 (.602).

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; Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 9-5; Week 8, Matt Petrie of Wiscasset, 8-6; Week 9, Erik Benner of Friendship, 10-4; Week 10, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 6-8; Week 11, Meagan Miller of Warren, 9-5; and Week 12, Austin Haskell of Rockland, 11-5.

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 Mark Haskell at mhaskell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The 13th week of the 2020-21 schedule includes:

Sunday, Dec. 6

New Orleans at Atlanta

Detroit at Chicago

Cleveland at Tennessee

Cincinnati at Miami

Jacksonville at Minnesota

Las Vegas at N.Y. Jets

Indianapolis at Houston

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona

N.Y. Giants at Seattle

Philadelphia at Green Bay

New England at Los Angeles Chargers

Denver at Kansas City

Monday, Dec. 7

Washington at Pittsburgh

Buffalo at San Francisco

Tuesday, Dec. 8

Dallas at Baltimore

The following are the Week 13 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup "Pigskin Pundit" crew and guest:

Reade Brower — New Orleans, Detroit, Tennessee, Miami, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Houston, Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay, New England, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Baltimore.

Waltz — Atlanta, Detroit, Tennessee, Miami, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Houston, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Green Bay, New England, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Baltimore.

Haskell — New Orleans, Chicago, Tennessee, Miami, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Green Bay, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Baltimore.

Miller — New Orleans, Chicago, Tennessee, Miami, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Houston, Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay, New England, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Baltimore.

Lucas Brower — Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay, New England, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Baltimore.

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.