After an intense, back-and-forth season, the Mesabi Daily News Pigskin Pick ‘ems champion has been crowned. This year, Eveleth golf pro John Rinne took home the crown with a final record of 118-61-1.

Rinne, a multi-time Pick ‘ems champion retakes the title after losing it to Mesabi Range head baseball coach Chris Vito last year.

When it was all said and done, the top three spots were only separated by two games with MDN sports editor Jim Romsaas finishing in second at 117-62-1 and local realtor Rick ‘RJ’ Marwick finishing in third at 116-63-1.

In a final week where only one prognosticator was able to win more than five games, Father Brandon Moravitz posted a 9-1 record to leap into fourth place with a 111-68-1 record. Moravitz correctly picked every contest in the final week except for Citrus Bowl where Kentucky upset Penn State.

The rest of the field, however, was not as lucky as Moravitz. MDN sports writer Ben Romsaas had the reverse of Moravitz in the final week, posting a record of 1-9, only accurately predicting the Chargers’ win over Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card matchup. Romsaas finished with a record of 110-69-1 to finish in fifth place, one game behind Father Brandon.

Vito followed up his 9-1 penultimate week with a 3-7 record in the final week to finish in sixth place with a record of 105-74-1. Facebook Queen Tammy Spelts posted the same weekly record to finish at 103-76-1 in seventh place and Mesabi Range head football coach Tom Inforzato never left the comfort of last place as his 4-6 week was not enough to dig him out of the basement. Inforzato finished with a record of 97-82-1.

The final week flustered all but one picker as the NFL playoffs and the final college bowl games left the panel scratching their heads. At the top of the docket, No. 2 Clemson crushed No. 1 Alabama Monday night to win the College Football Playoffs, a pick four of eight pickers got right.

With another successful year of the MDN Pigskin Pick ‘ems in the book, Las Vegas has released the odds for next year’s contest. Rinne appears to be the favorite at 5/2 odds, but a new crop of panelists will be looking to take the crown back.

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