It was another nail biter as we come down the stretch in the regular season, but a player who has struggled in her first year of Pix Populi raised her game at just the right moment in Week 13.
Denise Rader, a friend of Pix veteran Diana Pinkham who paid for the rest of the year sight unseen during Week 3, is the latest to qualify for the Pix Populi playoffs.
Rader nailed three picks dead-on, including the Richmond-North Dakota I-AA playoff game (impressive), to hold off newcomer Henry Moses and Pix vets Debbie Wood and Steve Kistulentz by one point.
Rader is the next to last player to automatically qualify for the Pix Populi playoffs, a double-elimination, head-to-head picking battle that begins the week of Dec. 20. The field will start with 64 total players out of the more than 400 players that have played over the course of the 2016 football season.
The top 16 players from the final regular season standings will earn the top 16 seeds, with the remainder of the field coming from regular season standings, automatic qualifiers and second place weekly finishers.
The first round will be played Dec. 20-26, picking bowl games and Week 16 of the NFL season. The Round of 32 will run Dec. 27 through Jan. 2, picking bowl games and NFL week 17. The Sweet 16 will be played Jan 3-9 with NFL Wild Card Games and the College Football National Championship Game.
The quarterfinals (Jan. 10-16) will center around the NFL Divisional Round playoffs and the Final Four (Jan. 17-24) will pick the NFL Conference Championships. This year’s finals will center around Super Bowl 51, to be played Feb. 5. The prize pot is still growing and will be announced before the first round.
Newcomer Moses appeared to be headed to being the second first-time player to win this season, but he tripped up on the Raiders and Steelers picks, opening the door for Rader, Wood and Kistulentz.
Barry Wood and “Pesky” were tied for first after the college games, but both faded with losses in the NFL portion of the week.
Kistulentz, Adam Carroll and Moses were tops among NFL forecasters, with Rader close behind. In the end, as has usually been the case, the most consistent among both parts of the week ended up taking the weekly title.
A tough week for Alan Arseneau created an opening for Debbie Wood and Eric Bowman to move up in the overall standings, as a logjam for the fourth through 10th seeds
The new overall top 10: 1. Holley 549, 2. Tim Wood 533, 3. Steve Kistulentz 521, 4. Debbie Wood 490, 5. Eric Bowman 490, 6. Alan Arseneau 489, 7. Justin Jarrett 453, 8. Ron Wilson 446, 9. Barry Wood 440, 9. Rob Gillinder 426.
Big news this week: We have launched the Pix Populi Radio podcast! The Commish, Tim Wood, is joined by two-time Pix championship winner Russell Holley to break down the week’s games. You can hear the first three episodes on Blog Talk Radio.com.
Folks who were absent last week, we hope you’ll come back this week! And please, tell your friends!
Follow us on Twitter @PixPopuliSports, where if you sign up by Thursday 12 pm, you will get access to a bonus pick this week and you’ll see updates after each stage of the picks weekend (early college games, after Saturday, after early NFL, after Sunday NFL and final results after Monday Night Football). And check out our Pix-vs.-Vegas write-ups online at Forbes.com (search for Tim Wood or “Pix Populi”).
Each week, I post 10 college football games and 10 NFL games at pixpopulisports.com and ask for you to give me the winner and how much they win by. Then, you score points on just how close you got to picking the actual margin of victory (and lose points if you pick the loser and it’s not close).
If you want in, just go to pixpopulisports.com and fill out the weekly picks sheet and you’re entered in the contest. All picks for Week 14 are due by Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. Just two more weeks before the big Pix Populi playoffs begin!