The way Dave Hanneman tells it, even the guys down at the Car-E-It in Ottawa are getting into the swing of things.
It’s no secret Hanneman likes to start his Saturday and Sunday mornings down at the Main Street watering hole, sipping on a cup of coffee and reading the paper.
He knows the regulars; the regulars know him. And during the football season, the regulars like to follow his progress — and we use that term loosely — in the weekly Pigskin Picks. No sooner than he pops through the back door and plops himself on a stool that one of the regulars will ask, “Well, how’d you do in the picks this week?”
The response, at least lately anyway, has been promising.
After a disastrous start to the season, Hanneman picked up a bit more ground on sports editor Michael Burwell last week. Our pigskin prognosticators disagreed on three games and Hanneman predicted the winning team in two of them. He went 13-3 overall and stands at 75-27 for the season. Burwell was 12-4 for the week. He is 78-24 overall and still holds the lead in the battle for the Norm Nutman Trophy.
But Burwell’s once hefty lead — a full six games just two weeks ago — has been cut in half. Surprisingly, it’s going to stay there since our fearless forecasters, in a first this season, have agreed on every single game on the schedule.
Hanneman won’t be making up any ground this week. But at least he’ll tell the guys at the Car-E-It he didn’t lose any, either.
LAST WEEK: 13-3; SEASON TOTAL: 75-27
Findlay over OREGON CLAY — Findlay defense will have to be the difference against a potent Clay passing attack.
Arlington over ARCADIA — Huge matchup as far as Region 26 Harbin points are concerned. Gotta give an edge to Arlington’s ‘D.’
McComb over NORTH BALTIMORE — McComb scores a lot of points; North Baltimore gives up a lot of points. Math was never my best subject, but even I can solve that equation.
LIBERTY-BENTON over Riverdale — I think the Falcons can still make a run for a spot in the Region 23 playoffs, but I don’t think that run starts this week.
LEIPSIC over Van Buren — Vikings get three of the last four games at home. I don’t know if that makes a big difference or not, but it can’t hurt.
PANDORA-GILBOA over Vanlue — Both teams are 2-4, but P-G is one of the deepest, strongest, toughest 2-4 teams you’ll find anywhere.
Cory-Rawson over CRESTLINE — Everybody keeps saying the Hornets have to win one sometime … Well?
SENECA EAST over Carey — Carey has played a bit tougher schedule, but against two common opponents, Seneca East has a big edge.
WYNFORD over Upper Sandusky — Upper has played a bit tougher schedule, but against two common opponents, Wynford has a big edge. Hey, is there an echo in here?
OTSEGO over Elmwood — Toss up. I think this one could go either way, but Otsego’s defensive numbers are a bit better.
FOSTORIA over Rossford — Good Northern Buckeye Conference matchup of two 4-2 teams, both riding two-game winning streaks. Taking the Redmen is a close one.
ALLEN EAST over Bluffton — Mustangs are 5-1, but with the schedule they have they might have to win out and finish 9-1 to secure a spot in the highly-competitive Region 23 playoffs.
Columbus Grove over ADA — Gotta give Grove the edge in this NWC battle of the Bulldogs, as long as they don’t get into a high-scoring shootout with their neighbors to the south.
PATRICK HENRY over Bryan — Patriots will keep their recent roll going before tough NWOAL road games at Wauseon (5-1) and Liberty Center (6-0).
OTTAWA-GLANDORF over Lima Shawnee — Definitely no gimme for the Titans. Shawnee has the talent to move the football and Celina was able to mount a number of long, sustained drives last week before the Titans were able to escape with a one-point win.
HARDIN NORTHERN over Sidney Lehman — Lehman is tied for the NWCC lead. But Hardin Northern is still in the hunt and could gain valuable Harbins here as well.
HOPEWELL-LOUDON over Fremont St. Joseph — Identical records. Similar results. I was going to flip a coin, but the way my luck has been running this season it probably would have landed on its edge. So I let my dog, Joey, pick for me.
LAST WEEK: 12-4; SEASON TOTAL: 78-24
Findlay over OREGON CLAY — Clay started the season with a bang, but has gotten pounded the last couple weeks. Findlay has won 14 straight meetings … that can’t possibly end Friday, could it?
Arlington over ARCADIA — Arcadia stunned me last week. Can they do it again this week? (My guess is no because Arlington’s pretty good).
McComb over NORTH BALTIMORE — Panthers get the win before a wild final few weeks in the Blanchard Valley Conference.
LIBERTY-BENTON over Riverdale — See the McComb/North Baltimore pick but replace Panthers with Eagles.
LEIPSIC over Van Buren — See the Liberty-Benton/Riverdale pick but replace Eagles with Vikings.
PANDORA-GILBOA over Vanlue — P-G’s remarkably brutal schedule gets a little easier from here on out.
Cory-Rawson over CRESTLINE — Is this the week Cory-Rawson gets rid of that big fat “0” at the beginning of its record?
SENECA EAST over Carey — Seneca East hasn’t skipped a beat since reaching the Division VI state semifinals a year ago.
WYNFORD over Upper Sandusky — The common opponent component indicates picking Wynford. Royals beat Colonel Crawford, while Upper Sandusky lost. Royals beat Buckeye Central by 57, Upper beat the Bucks by eight.
OTSEGO over Elmwood — Both of these teams could really use a win after starting 2-0 and struggling the last four weeks. We’ll see who wants it more ….
FOSTORIA over Rossford — … Speaking of wanting it more. Two teams that have turned it around drastically from last year. Fostoria is finding ways to pull out close wins, so giving the Redmen a slight edge at home.
ALLEN EAST over Bluffton — Mustangs’ defense has been impressive this season, allowing a Northwest Conference-best 12.5 points per game.
Columbus Grove over ADA — Absolutely enormous win over Convoy Crestview last week. Grove likely to keep the momentum going heading into Week 8 showdown with Spencerville.
PATRICK HENRY over Bryan — Patrick Henry (5-1, 2-1 NWOAL) has two first names in its name, while Bryan (2-4, 1-2 NWOAL) only has one. That’s a good reason to pick PH, right? (Honestly though, I think this will be a good game; throw the records out the door).
OTTAWA-GLANDORF over Lima Shawnee — Titans need to take care of business at home the next couple weeks before the Western Buckeye League race really heats up.
HARDIN NORTHERN over Sidney Lehman — The 2019 Hardin Northern squad isn’t the same team that gets beat up by Sidney Lehman every year. But I’m still not completely sold that the Polar Bears have enough to take down the Cavs. Oh well. Gut instinct tells me HN.
HOPEWELL-LOUDON over Fremont St. Joseph — Both teams are 2-4. H-L has won two of its last three while Fremont St. Joseph has won two of its last four. Toss up.
HOME TEAM IN CAPS