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Football bragging rights

'Pigskin Pundits' rebound with solid predictions, but who you got in Week 10?

Brower enjoys strong 11-3 week to close gap between prognosticators to four after 133 games; guest Cameron on-deck
By Staff | Nov 12, 2020

Back to respectability in Week 9. Thank goodness.

While it was not all rainbows, sunshine and unicorns — except for the successful predictions of one person — it was a pretty good week overall for the prognosticators and their guest.

Of course, that just means the season-long race has tightened and things have become more interesting.

With 133 contests played, thus far, only four games separate the four weekly predictors, with the guests creeping six games off the pace.

It is Week 10 of the National Football League regular season and the outcomes of the previous week's prognostications tightened the season's race to first place between the "Pigskin Pundits" and their guests.

That group and their new guest will be back at the prediction game in Week 10 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 Zack 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 9, Brower finished 11-3 and Haskell, Miller and Waltz 9-5. Guest Erik Benner of Friendship finished 10-4.

The Week 10 guest is Sandy Cameron of Belfast.

After nine weeks, Miller has compiled a mark of 86-46-1 (.652 winning percentage), Waltz 84-48-1 (.636), Haskell 83-49-1 (.629) and Brower 82-50-1 (.621). The guests are 80-52-1 (.606).

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; and Week 9, Erik Benner of Friendship, 10-4.

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 10th week of the 2020-21 schedule includes:

Thursday, Nov. 12

Indianapolis at Tennessee

Sunday, Nov. 15

Houston at Cleveland

Washington at Detroit

Jacksonville at Green Bay

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Denver at Las Vegas

Los Angeles Chargers at Miami

Buffalo at Arizona

Seattle at Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco at New Orleans

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Baltimore at New England

Monday, Nov. 16

Minnesota at Chicago

The following are the Week 10 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup "Pigskin Pundit" crew and guest:

Brower — Tennessee, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, New England and Minnesota.

Waltz — Tennessee, Houston, Detroit, Green Bay, N.Y. Giants, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Miami, Arizona, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Minnesota.

Haskell — Tennessee, Houston, Detroit, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Miami, Buffalo, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Minnesota.

Miller — Tennessee, Houston, Washington, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Miami, Buffalo, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Minnesota.

Cameron — Tennessee, Houston, Washington, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Miami, Buffalo, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Chicago.

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.

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