The Top 100 and ties will collect season prize money. The list will be updated weekly in this column. Full standings can be found at the Standings link.
Hatala gets the record
Note: There has been a correction in the prize money amounts due to the discovery of a $30 perfect week that had not been recorded and included in the calculations. This only affects the top 25 in the standings. Amounts have been adjusted accordingly.
There was no suspense to Week 19 at least where the champion is concerned. As soon as the picks came in, Jason Hatala was crowned as the 2016 champion since the only two players mathematically capable of catching him had too many similar picks in a week with only five games to choose from.
Hatala then bolted out by winning the first three games of the weekend to guarantee a new scoring mark and become the first player in pool history to get to 70 points. Hatala’s 2.5-point week pushed him over the top to 70.5.
For the win, Hatala collects $4,680 and another $120 for two perfect weeks, both of which came in the first four weeks of the season.
"Jason's strategy was simple, score a lot of points every week," said The Poolmaster in reviewing Hatala's road to the Silver Anniversary title. "He scored at least four points in 12 of the 19 weeks. That's just hard to do and hard to beat."
Hatala's margin of victory of 5.0 set the record in the modern era of Pigskin Mania, which covers 1997 to now, the period since the Lock of the Week and the Pigskin Special have been part of the game.
While Hatala was coasting to victory, the next three spots in the pool also were decided before the CFB Championship Game on Monday night since most at the top of the standings played Clemson, a heavy pool favorite over Alabama. You had to go down to fifth place to find a spot that was undecided headed into Monday night's game.
Matt Mecca held serve to finish second and collect $1,966 while Brittany Lewis and Dan Worthington tied for third and will split third- and fourth-place money worth $1,544 each.
William Robinson suffered the biggest bite. He needed Alabama to hold on to fifth place and collect about $1,100. But with the Clemson cover, he was -1.0 on the week and dropped to 18th place to collect $318.
Fifth place ended up in a two-way tie between Mike Feder, he of the 195-week streak without a perfect week that he ended this year, and Noel Messenger, who scored one of 34 perfect weeks in Week 19 to jump up from 11th place. They will each collect $936.
The pool ended up paying to 102 places to include ties. A score of 53.5 was good enough to finish in the money and at least win back the entry fee.
Note to the winners: Everyone who has money coming their way will receive an email shortly with instructions on how to collect. There's a lot of accounting that needs to take place with the regular season and bowl pools and money moving around between accounts. We will let you know when that is done. Players will have the option to leave funds on account for future pools or to transfer funds to other accounts to settle bets and debts within our little economy. You can expect payouts to go out sometime after the Super Bowl. We thank you in advance for your patience.
Little guy goes all in...loses
Rather than play for last place to try to collect the $60 prize for finishing there, Nic Slade made a run at a perfect week and it cost him.
The 9-year-old nephew of The Poolmaster and son of Poolmaster sister Elaine Gonzales moved into last place in Week 16 but kept trying to pick winners. He was 1.5 points behind the next closest contender for last headed into Week 19 but hit all four NFL Wild Card games before having his perfect week ruined by Alabama.
Greg Janczak slipped into last place by 1.0 with 27.0 points to collect the last-place prize of $60. Under the rules, players could have no more than two disqualified picks to qualify for the last-place prize.
The year that was...
Seeing an interesting little occurrence during the first game of the season, The Poolmaster snapped a shot of it off the television and posted it to the PM Twitter page. Today, the post continues to get retweets and favorites and the PM Twitter has nearly 300 followers. The pic made it's way to SportsCenter, all the major college football websites and even the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon who showed it for a laugh with guest Samuel L. Jackson.
Mike Feder ended his celebrated streak without a perfect week at 195 weeks, five more than the previous record. Feder did it in Week 15 after a couple of close calls. Next up is Emily Dewhirst who will head into 2017 with a streak of 168 weeks, tying the original longest streak that Dale Collins set in the first 168 weeks of Pigskin Mania's existence.
They may be national champions again but Alabama had one of the baddest bad beats of the season when they gave up a covering touchdown to Western Kentucky with less than a minute left after a late fumble. The Crimson Tide was the Bandwagon pick that week and 127 players were on the wrong end of it. We posted video of Bama coach Nick Saban verbally dressing down his now departed offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Perennial CFB power Florida St. had the mega-Asshander of all Asshanders. They were in the Pigskin Special in Week 3 and were the heavy favorite for the pool with 341 picks when Clemson undressed them, 63-20. The Asshander didn't hold as the year's worst, but the number of players getting an Asshander that week was twice as many as the previous high, and contributed to a season-long tailspin in the Special.
Bad bad beat No. 2 came in Week 8 when a series of missed chip-shot field goals cost 24 players a perfect week on a Sunday night. The killer came from Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro who doinked a 24-yarder off the upright that would have covered at the end of regulation.
Thanks for playing; More to come
It was another season of agony and ecstasy and - again - a whole lot of fun, at least we hope.
Next up is March Mania, our unique NCAA Tournament pool that will hit in early March. But degenerates among us have come up with more lunacy.
As with all of our pools, all entry fees go back out in prize money to keep the long arm of the law at a distance. You can visit the Tour Mania site to see what we did. There will be some tweaks to the rules, with the big one being that the pool will run from The Masters on April 6 through the PGA Championship in August, ending in time for us to put our 100 percent focus on Pigskin Mania 26. The entry fee will be either $50 or $60 with a chance for players to win weekly prize money. There will be more information to come when the start of the pool gets closer.
Drop us a line anytime
We have a growing, world-wide community of fans and degenerate gamblers, and we'd love to hear from you during the offseason.
Feel free to drop us an email or text, join our private Facebook group, or Tweet us some of your thoughts on what we do. If you have suggestions, don't hesistate to send those along. Our Founding Fathers will consider valid rules suggestions for anything that we think makes the game better.
On the other hand, if you think you've had enough of our degenerate gambling, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org asking us to take you off our email list. Otherwise, as a player of past pools you can expect to get future notifications from us.
Until then, have a great offseason. We'll be in touch soon.
Jeff Hart, who plays in the regular season under the entry Jeff Hartattack, is the winner of the Dirty Dozen Bowl Pool.
Hart was a missed extra point from going 12-for-12 in the pool and would have been the first to do so. His only loss came when Western Michigan missed a PAT that would have covered the 7.5-point line. The game was his No. 5 pick.
Hart collects $865 for the win. There were 263 entries for a total pot of $2,630.