Going against the Minnesota Gophers in Saturday’s late night game against Fresno State proved not to be a wise decision for John Kendall.
Kendall, the director of golf at Giants Ridge, went with the squad from California and later learned the home state team came through with a 38-35 victory in double overtime.
While it was only week one of the Mesabi Daily News Pigskin Pick ‘ems contest, Kendall’s choice cost him two games against his fellow prognosticators, who all went with Minnesota.
Gilbert Police officer Chelsea Trucano, meanwhile, was on fire in her first week in the contest. Trucano went 9-1 to give herself a one-game lead on four other panelists and a two-game lead over Kendall and MDN sports writer Ben Romsaas (both 7-3).
Trucano hit it right on the Gopher game, the Vikings defeated Atlanta and the Packers knocking off the Bears. Kendall was also the only other panelist to go with Green Bay.
“Not bad for a chick this last week,’’ Trucano said. “I don’t think I can sustain this luck.’’
“This is definitely harder than I originally thought it would be,’’ Kendall stated.
Defending champion John Rinne (the Eveleth Golf Course pro) went 8-2 and sits in a tie with Virginia/Mesabi Range athletic trainer Brad Kern, Mountain Iron City Administrator Craig Wainio and MDN sports editor Jim Romsaas.
“Not too bad a first week of picking,’’ Rinne said. “It’s great to have football back and great to have both Minnesota teams win. Now hopefully the Vikes can go to Cheeseland and get a W. Definitely surprised that they went to Chicago and beat the Bears, but early in the season the games are tough to call. Good luck to all the new pickers. I wish you all good luck in battling for second place. LOL!’’
Wainio is confident he can defeat perennial powerhouse Rinne this season.
“Having spent a little time at Eveleth Golf Course, I know that business slows down this time of year which would help explain Rinne’s record. He has much more time to research and study all the teams and match-ups. That would also bode well for Mr. Kendall at the Ridge.
“This does not work well for Coach Coates or Mr. Kern since this is a busy time of year with football season in full swing at Mesabi and school is back in session at Virginia. Chelsea is working way too hard for the fine citizens of Gilbert and Biwabik to take the time to pour over the match-ups. The MDN guys could play spoilers because we all know they have nothing but time on their hands. (tongue in cheek). With the help of my late night West Coast picks on Saturday, I think I should be alright after week one. So with the help of my in house NFL experts, Rinne is going down this year!’’
Mesabi Range College assistant football coach Montana Coates didn’t fare so well in his inaugural week of picks. He went 4-6 after missing on the Vikings, Bears, LSU at Texas and Stanford at USC games.
The coming week should shake up the standings once again. In the pros, the panelists have differing opinions on the Vikings at Packers, Seahawks at Steelers, Bears at Broncos, Browns at Jets, Eagles at Falcons and Saints at Rams.
In the college contests, the panel is unanimously behind Minnesota beating Georgia Southern and Texas Tech defeating Arizona. However, Iowa vs. Iowa State and Stanford at Central Florida are both up in the air, according to the prognosticators.
Only time will tell!