The weather may be cooling off but the Pigskin Picks are heating up.
For the second straight week our fearless forecasters disagreed on just one game. And for the second straight week, sports editor Jamie Baker won that pick and gained another game on Dave Hanneman.
Our pigskin prognosticators were not perfect. But Baker did post a 16-4 record to up his season total to 103-32. Hanneman was 15-5 last week and is 105-30 for the season, but saw his lead in the battle dwindle to a single game.
That lead could dwindle to nothing and we could actually have a new leader considering our gridiron gurus, after two straight weeks of namby-pamby predictions, are taking some chances and have disagreed on three games of the 19 games on the schedule.
Hanneman, his knuckles turning whiter and whiter as he clutches the Norm Nutman Trophy he won for winning last year’s Picks, is picking Riverdale, Wynford and Bryan this week. Baker, looking to regain the title he pretty much owned from 2012-2016, is going with Van Buren, Carey and Patrick Henry, respectively.
LAST WEEK: 15-5; OVERALL 105-30
- Findlay over LIMA SENIOR — This will come down to mistakes. Who makes them; who doesn’t.
- ARLINGTON over Arcadia — Since running wild in a 60-39 win over North Baltimore, the opposition has been running wild on the Redskins, outscoring them 225-26 over the last four games.
- LIBERTY-BENTON over Hopewell-Loudon — Seven rough games into their varsity careers, all of those young and inexperienced L-B players are called lettermen, not underclassmen.
- McCOMB over North Baltimore — McComb averages 41.1 points a game; North Baltimore allows an average of 46.0. I’m sensing trouble here, Tigers’ fans.
- Pandora-Gilboa over CORY-RAWSON — Everybody thought P-G’s schedule was a bit soft. Last Friday’s 19-14 win over a physical McComb team showed otherwise.
- RIVERDALE over Van Buren — Falcons can make a statement win — and pick up some valuable Harbin points in the process. But it won’t be easy against a Van Buren team hardened by a tougher schedule.
- LEIPSIC over Vanlue — Vikings can coast a bit, and possibly heal some aches and pains, before a Week 10 showdown with Arlington.
- WYNFORD over Carey — Carey beat Wynford on its home turf in last year’s playoffs. I doubt the Royals have forgotten that.
- Mohawk over BUCKEYE CENTRAL — This is an “Oh, no,” kind of game, because there is no 0 in Mohawk’s loss column, and there is no 0 in BC’s win column.
- SENECA EAST over Upper Sandusky — Seneca East beat two common opponents — easily — that Upper lost to.
- FOSTORIA over Elmwood — Bragging rights on the line in this backyard battle.
- PAULDING over Ada — Bulldogs are struggling a bit, and now they make the long trip north to face an improving Paulding program.
- COLUMBUS GROVE over Delphos Jefferson — Grove’s one-game-at-a-time motto the rest of the season should be “Taking care of business.” If the Bulldogs do that, they’ll be bringing home some long overdo hardware.
- Spencerville over BLUFFTON — See Grove/Jefferson pick.
- BRYAN over Patrick Henry — Two NWOAL unbeatens on a collision course. Took the Bears because they’re at home and have a slight edge in two of the three games involving common opponents.
- Kenton over OTTAWA-GLANDORF — In back to back weeks, Kenton was absolutely manhandled by St. Marys (70-29) and Van Wert (60-33). Still, the Wildcats’ potent offense scored more points in those two losses (62) than O-G has in the last three weeks (40). Kenton also has an edge against common opponents.
- HARDIN NORTHERN over Ridgemont — Hardin Northern scored a season-high 43 points last week. Now the Polar Bears prepare for a team that, in three road games, has been outscored 198-23. I like their odds.
- LAKOTA over Fremont St. Joseph — Lakota is 0-3 at home and hosts Tiffin Calvert in Week 10. This is likely the Raiders’ best chance to send the home folks home with a win.
- Tiffin Calvert over SANDUSKY ST. MARY’S — Gotta like the 6-1 Senecas in this Saturday matchup.
LAST WEEK: 16-4; OVERALL 103-32
- Findlay over LIMA SENIOR — Picking Findlay High. Beware Trojans, the Spartans play out of their minds when you come to town so this ain’t going to be easy.
- ARLINGTON over Arcadia — The Redskins have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in Region 26, according to Joe Eitel. The Red Devils need every win they can muster the rest of the way to get in.
- LIBERTY-BENTON over Hopewell-Loudon — Eagles may have turned the corner with last week’s victory against Arlington.
- McCOMB over North Baltimore — If Riverdale put up 77 last week against the Tigers, how many will the Panthers score?
- Pandora-Gilboa over CORY-RAWSON — From Game 1 to Game 7, the Hornets have certainly improved. But the Rockets are on a mission to complete a 10-0 season.
- Van Buren over RIVERDALE — Plenty of points will be scored. Bet the over and take the Black Knights, too.
- LEIPSIC over Vanlue — I love the moxie of the kids at Vanlue, playing against long odds most weeks for the love of the game.
- Carey over WYNFORD — Blue Devils won last year’s playoff game against Wynford and they’ll win this one, too.
- Mohawk over BUCKEYE CENTRAL — Tune-up game for the Warriors against the winless Bucks before they take on Wynford in Week 9.
- SENECA EAST over Upper Sandusky — Tigers coming off a big win over Carey while a young Upper Sandusky team is in the midst of a brutal second-half schedule.
- FOSTORIA over Elmwood — If naming the school’s field for Dick Kidwell and homecoming isn’t enough to get the Redmen fired up for a win, I don’t know what will.
- PAULDING over Ada — Not sure the last time Paulding has beaten Ada, it’s been a while though.
- COLUMBUS GROVE over Delphos Jefferson — Gotta feeling the Dogs will take a few of their frustrations from last week’s loss out on the Cats.
- Spencerville over BLUFFTON — With Bluffton, Paulding and Jefferson left, the Bearcats are in the Catbird seat as far as the NWC race goes down the stretch.
- Patrick Henry over BRYAN — Upset? Maybe. I just think PH continues to trend up and could be a factor in Region 26 when it’s all said and done.
- KENTON over Ottawa-Glandorf — Don’t even try and compare scores against common opponents. There’s no such thing as transitive properties in the Western Buckeye League.
- HARDIN NORTHERN over Ridgemont — I’m predicting a win and another big offensive night for Owen Wetherill and Company
- LAKOTA over Fremont St. Joseph — St. Joe’s three wins have come against Danbury, Toledo Christian and Cardinal Stritch — not exactly murderer’s row.
- Tiffin Calvert over SANDUSKY ST. MARY’S — Looks like Calvert is rolling again and will end up 9-1.
HOME TEAM IN CAPS