Despite the vast amount of successful soothsaying, it still is difficult to say goodbye for another nine-month hiatus.
That is why The Pig is ready to go out with a bang.
On Saturday, Concordia Lutheran will play for its first-ever football state championship, taking on Lawrenceburg in a kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium.
PREDICTION: The Cadets will roll.
At 13-1, Lawrenceburg sure looks the part of a worthy opponent. The Tigers are led by a 3,000-yard rusher (Austin Bowling) and a 2,000-yard passer (Reid Strobl). Junior linebacker Mason Parris has amassed 180(!) tackles on the season, with seven sacks and a trio of interceptions.
On paper, it appears to be a good matchup. But allow The Pig to speak frank here. Lawrenceburg has not played ANYONE to the caliber of a Homestead, Snider, Carroll, Bishop Dwenger, Bishop Luers, West Lafayette, or...well, you get the idea.
We cannot punish the Tigers purely for playing the schedule presented to them, but we can make assumptions based on it. And that's what The Pig makes a living doing, making assumptions.
The Concordia offense has not been slowed in the postseason. No Class 3A team has come close to preventing Peter Morrison, Peterson Kerlegrand, Mark Mallers and a host of others from absolutely picking apart their defense.
Putting the Cadets' offense on turf only exacerbates the problem for Lawrenceburg. All it does is make Concordia faster and more confident in the aspect of the game that has led the Cadets to 12 victories and an average margin of victory of 30.4 points in the playoffs.
So, how do the Cadets roll on Saturday? Simple, it does what it has done the last 14 games and what got them to Indianapolis - execute the game plan. What has impressed The Pig most this season about Concordia is how grounded and businesslike the team has been. As the wins have piled up, the squad has continued to stay level and not buy into its own hype. It's a blue-collar squad that has taken on the personality of its head coach. Tim Mannigel is equal parts demanding and easy-going, a mixture of worn-out clichés that describe a coach that can relate to his players but also exact their very best.
Some may believe The Pig is giving Concordia the kiss of death, jinxing the Cadets by crowning them champs two days before the game and putting it into their heads that they merely have to show up to be victorious. But this swine knows this team better than that. Mannigel's squad has to execute, has to play disciplined and has to stay focused on Saturday to win, just like it has 12 times already this season.
If that happens, Concordia will be bringing home a big 'ol trophy from Indianapolis.
Concordia 50, Lawrenceburg 28.