The 2012 Pigskin Pickin’ and Prognosticatin’ contest easily surpassed Monday’s BCS National Championship Game for drama. Entering the bowl season, four of six pickers had predicted 144 of 195 games correctly (73.8 percent).
But, like Alabama rolling to its 15th national championship with a 42-14 mauling of Notre Dame, Mike Loera separated himself from the pack down the stretch, getting 25 of 35 bowl picks right to finish 169-61 (73.5 percent correct).
(PHOTO: Navarre Press News Editor Jessi Stone presents Pigskin Pickin' and Prognosticatin' champion Mike Loera his Helen Back Again gift certificates.)
For his victory, Loera, director of sales for Hampton Inn & Suites in Navarre, received gift certificates worth $100 from Helen Back Again pizza and sports bar.
Kelley Fuller of the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Jeffrey Roberts, a former Holley-Navarre firefighter – and previous prognosticating panel champ – tied for second with 166 correct predictions. Glenn Lattanze, a community planner at Hurlburt Field, finished with 165 good picks.
Navarre High School coach Jay Walls, who led much of the season, faded in the last few weeks and finished fifth with 163 correct picks. His final mark gets an unofficial asterisk, though, as he spent much of November and December guiding the Raiders to the best football season in program history. NHS had a 12-2 record and earned its first-ever region championship, achievements that should ease any pain Walls might feel from a 19-16 predictions performance in bowl games.
Businesswoman Cheryl Chant finished well back of the pack with 153 correct picks, still a respectable 66.5 percent performance.
Navarre Press is grateful to the panel for baring their football wisdom weekly for the entertainment and edification of our readers.