The 2011 SEC picks champion is crowned

I offered to let my colleague -- Edward Aschoff/The ATL Kid -- be the one to break the news with his concession speech.

Even though he’s young, he’s not without class. He insisted that it was my moment and that I should be the one to make the big announcement.

So without further adieu, the 2011 SEC blog picks contest has been decided.

Based on my 4-2 record in bowl games involving SEC teams to this point and Edward’s (Yikes!) 2-4 record, I have clinched the championship.

We both picked Arkansas over Kansas State in Friday’s AT&T Cotton Bowl, so that leaves only the Allstate BCS National Championship Game on Monday.

Our picks in that contest will come later this week.

But the bottom line is that I’m 87-16 (.845) and Edward is 85-18 (.825). I have a two-game cushion, and because we both picked the Hogs, he can’t catch me regardless of what happens on Monday night in the Big Easy.

If I say so myself, it was a pretty sweet comeback by me, and that champagne I popped the top on earlier this week was even sweeter. Edward held a three-game lead as recently as November.

And, honestly, I think he got a little too comfortable. Similar to the mistake some younger football players make, he lost sight of the fact that it’s a four-quarter game.

They don’t reward championships for what you do three quarters of the way through the season.

Nonetheless, I was impressed with his performance in his rookie season. He wasn’t conservative and played to win. I like that trait in him, even if I don’t understand his affinity for taking soccer balls off the head.

The cruel irony for Edward is that he turned his back on his alma mater, Florida, when he needed the Gators most.

He’d already whiffed on Auburn-Virginia on New Year’s Eve in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. That meant the Florida-Ohio State matchup in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl was either going to keep him alive or crown me the champion.

Honestly, I never hesitated. Come on, it’s Ohio State versus an SEC team in a bowl game. That was enough for me.

But shockingly, Edward picked the Buckeyes. I don’t know what he was thinking. I don’t know if Urban Meyer got to him at the last minute. I don’t know if he was simply comatose from watching that Florida offense play all season.

Whatever it was, he picked against the Gators, and it cost him.

In fairness, at least his alma mater was in a bowl game. The closest my alma mater, Tennessee, came to a bowl game this season was watching one on television.

My hat’s off to The ATL Kid, though. He made things interesting, and I needed to be pushed after cruising along solo the last couple of seasons.

In a lot of ways, he rejuvenated me. Now, if I could only figure out how to turn on this darned Xbox machine.

I’m used to Atari.