If last week is any indication, then it’s going to be an exciting year of pigskin prognostication.
Joe Garguilo and myself went 12-3 for the best mark among the forecasters. Joe now enters into a first-place tie with Keith Morris, who went 9-6. I am now tied for third with Dawn Naranjo, who had a good week herself at 11-4.
Keith and Joe’s lead over Dawn and myself is now only one game. And if that weren’t enough, Mike James and Andy Staten both went 10-5 and still sit tied, three games behind Keith and Joe. That means six forecasters are separated by three games. There’s still plenty of picks to make between now and the end, so we’ll see if some forecasters can start to gain separation or if this race starts looking like the Loop 101 during rush hour.
There’s also a close race at the bottom of the pile, with Lia Angelus, Shannon McLaws and Mark Ruiz fighting each other to get out of the cellar. Mark finds himself all alone in the basement. He has vowed to get out, but will need to do better than the 8-7 week he had.
None of our forecasters, however, could top Jim Hargrave. Jim went 13-2 and has won himself a gift certificate to Maverick Corral in Lakeside. Congratulations, Jim. And you might be getting a call from Mark looking for advice.
The prize up for grabs this week is a gift certificate to RT’s Black Bull in Show Low. RT’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so head over there whenever you’re hungry. Pizza, wings, burgers, sandwiches, RT’s has them all, as well as entrees like flat iron steak and chicken fried steak.
Aside from the food, RT’s is a place people go to have fun as well. Pool, darts, off-track betting and dancing are all available at RT’s, with live music every Friday and Saturday and karaoke every Monday and Thursday.
Looking to this week’s featured games, let’s start with a riddle. What do the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets, the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals have in common? For this week at least, they are unanimous favorites among our readers.
Blue Ridge, who is hosting St. Johns, has been rolling this season and the Cardinals enter their contest with Miami after thrashing Philadelphia. The Packers, however, are 1-2 and are smarting after a controversial finish in Seattle. The readers see the Packers getting back on the right track hosting the 0-3 New Orleans Saints.
Speaking of Philadelphia, they host the Super Bowl champion New York Giants this week. Our readers are picking the Giants by a four-to-one margin. Philadelphia leads the NFL with 12 giveaways, so with New York’s defense, it might be a long night for the boys in green.
In high school games, Snowflake, Miami and Mogollon are heavy reader favorites this week. So is Phoenix Valley Lutheran, which could be surprising considering they have to travel to last year’s Division 6 runner-up Glendale Joy Christian.
Two of the tougher games this week for our readers are Thatcher traveling to Safford and Kansas City hosting San Diego in an AFC West matchup. It’s close, but the majority of our readers are going with the road teams to prevail.