They stood separated by 2,061 miles yet connected by greatness. Sue Sauder and Sara Zeller’s devastatingly adroit prop-picking acuity enabled them to defeat 64 competitors in POPS PROPS III. Sauder and Zeller each scored 39 points out of a possible 70, besting third-place Rachel Bayne (38 points) by a single point. Meanwhile, Rob Aseron, Phil Huckelberry, Kevin Larson and Eric Peacock tied for fourth with 37 points. It was the closest POPS PROPS in history, with just 4 points separating the top 14 finishers!

**A FEW OBSERVATIONS**

* The 49ers weren’t just favored by the world; they were picked to win by 61 percent (40) of POPS PROPS III contestants. Just 26 contestants picked the Ravens. Of those who incorrectly picked the 49ers to win, Rob Aseron, Kevin Larson and Eric Peacock fared the best. They all tied for fourth (37 points) with Phil Huckelberry.

* 36 contestants (55 percent of the field) correctly thought that Alica Keys’ version of the “Star Spangled Banner” would last longer than 2 minutes, 10 seconds. It went way over, stretching to 2:36.93, by the official count of the POPS PROPS III Committee For Fairness and Integrity.

*. The field was perfectly split (33-33) on whether the opening coin toss would land heads or tails! For the record, it landed on heads. 37 contestants (56 percent) correctly predicted the Ravens would win the coin toss.

*. Most of the field was convinced the 49ers would start the game strongly. 47 contestants (71) percent believed the 49ers would cross the 50-yard-line first and score first. Of course, the Ravens crossed the 50-yard-line first and scored first, so hats off to those 19 (29 percent) correct contestants.

*. A whopping 88 percent of the field (58 entrants) correctly predicted that there would be less than 14 ½ total points scored in the first quarter. There were 10. However, 73 percent of the field incorrectly predicted there would be fewer than 14 ½ total point scored in the second quarter. There were 17. And 73 percent incorrectly thought there would be fewer than 14 ½ points in the third quarter. There were 24.

* There was a shocker on question #16, as the first commercial after the conclusion of the first quarter was a lame commercial for the latest “Fast and the Furious” movie. This made “none of the above” the correct answer, which only 2 contestants (Karen Gunkel and Rally Pagulayan) correctly picked.

* Chaos on question #20, as Beyonce did NOT perform “Irreplaceable” (which 7 correctly predicted) or “Nuclear” (which 14 correctly predicted). That meant that 21 contestants received a point for this question. 27 contestants (41 percent) incorrectly thought she would not perform “Bootylicious.”

* 17 contestants (26 percent) believed Beyonce would wear a gold top at the start of the halftime show, and 15 contestants (23 percent) thought it would be silver. It was black, which was the third-most popular answer (11 contestants, 17 percent).

* There was a consensus that more points would be scored in the second half (52 entrants, 79 percent). It turned out to be right.

* The field strongly believed (43 contestants, 65 percent) that the Ravens would accumulate more penalty yards. That was incorrect. San Francisco did: 33-20.

* There was a perfect spit (33 to 33) on whether the longest touchdown would be O/U 46 ½ yards. It was over, on that weird broken bomb to Jacoby Jones.

* Meanwhile, the shortest touchdown (O/U 1 ½ yards) prompted a 34-32 split in favor of the OVER. It was under.

* And the field was again perfectly split (33 to 33) on whether there would be a special-teams or defensive touchdown. There was. Jacoby Jones ran back the opening kickoff 109 yards in the second half.

* Due to his long bomb reception and his kickoff return, Jacoby Jones led all players with the most all-purpose (receiving+rushing+return) yards. He has 290, which made “someone else!” the answer to question #44. 29 contestants (44 percent) got it right.

* POPS PROPS contestants were mostly wrong on Kapernick’s total passing yards being under 240 ½ (56 percent). He ended with 302. They also were mostly wrong on Ray Rice’s total rushing yards being over 80 ½. (53 percent) He finished with 59. Finally, they were mostly wrong on Anquan Boldin’s total receiving yards being under 75 ½ (55 percent). He finished with 104.

* In question #55, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis TIED for the most receptions with SIX. But no one predicted “there will be some sort of tie,” so no one received points for this question.

* Most of the field (55 percent) thought Justin Tucker (BAL) would end the game with more kicking points than David Akers (SF). But in defeat, Akers had 11 to Tucker’s 10.

* Despite a late charge by Kapernick, he had fewer rushing yards (62) than the Illini had total points against Wisconsin (68). So congratulations to the 58 percent of contestants who correctly answered question #57.

* 74 percent of the field believed that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant would combine for a greater number of points in their respective games than the total points that were scored in Super Bowl XLVII (question #59). That was incorrect. Total points was 65, and Kobe (18) and LeBron (30) combined for 48.

* 68 percent of the field believed that there would be more total field goals in the game than total goals in Sunday’s Dundee/Greenock Morton Scottish Cup game. But Dundee beat Greenock Morton 5-1 for 6 goals, which was 1 more than the total number of field goals (5).

* A whopping 76 percent of the field incorrectly predicted that the total number of points in Super Bowl XLVII would be under 55 ½. It was far over (65).

* Ten of our 66 contestants correctly predicted that Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco would be named MVP. Meanwhile, 26 of our contestants incorrectly predicted that Colin Kaepernick would win MVP honors.

**QUESTION SUMMARY**

1. Who will win Super Bowl XLVII?…BALTIMORE 34, SAN FRANCISCO 31

Baltimore Ravens 26 39%

San Francisco 49ers 40 61%

2. What will be the total duration of Alicia Keys’ version of the “Star Spangled Banner”? (The timer starts when she begins to sing, not when the music begins.)…2:36.93!

Over 2 minutes, 10 seconds 36 55%

Under 2 minutes, 10 seconds 29 44%

Exactly 2 minutes, 10 seconds 1 2%

3. Which team will win the pre-game opening coin toss?…BALTIMORE!

Baltimore Ravens 37 56%

San Francisco 49ers 29 44%

4. Will the opening coin toss come up…?…HEADS

Heads 33 50%

Tails 33 50%

5. Will the opening kickoff return be…?…0 YARDS

0 to 20 yards 45 68%

21 to 30 yards 18 27%

31 or more yards 3 5%

6. Which team will be assessed the first penalty (not declined)?…49ERS

Baltimore Ravens 36 55%

San Francisco 49ers 29 44%

Neither team will be penalized! 1 2%

7. Which team will call the first timeout?—BALTIMORE (2:19 of 2Q)

Baltimore Ravens 24 36%

San Francisco 49ers 42 64%

8. Which team will cross the 50-yard-line first?…RAVENS

Baltimore Ravens 19 29%

San Francisco 49ers 47 71%

9. Which team will score first?…BALTIMORE

Baltimore Ravens 19 29%

San Francisco 49ers 47 71%

10. Will the first score be a…?…PASSING TOUCHDOWN

Field goal 27 41%

Passing touchdown 20 30%

Rushing touchdown 19 29%

Defensive or special-teams touchdown 0 0%

Safety 0 0%

11. Which coach will throw the first challenge flag?…JIM (SF)

Jim Harbaugh 37 56%

John Harbaugh 23 35%

Neither! 6 9%

12. Will the first score be in the first 5 minutes?…YES

Yes 20 30%

No 46 70%

13. Will the team that scores first win the game?…YES (Baltimore)

Yes 40 61%

No 26 39%

14. What will be the total number of points scored in the first quarter?…UNDER (10)

Over 14 1/2 8 12%

Under 14 1/2 58 88%

15. Which team will lead at the end of the first quarter?..RAVENS

Baltimore Ravens 17 26%

San Francisco 49ers 44 67%

The score will be tied 5 8%

16. Will the first Super Bowl commercial after the conclusion of the first quarter advertise…?…MOVIE (FAST AND FURIOUS)

Alcohol 24 36%

Automobiles or tires 14 21%

Chips or snacks 11 17%

Computers or technology 7 11%

Soft drinks 8 12%

None of the above 2 3%

17. What will be the total number of points scored in the second quarter?…OVER (17)

Over 14 1/2 18 27%

Under 14 1/2 48 73%

18. Which team will lead at halftime?…BALTIMORE (21-6)

Baltimore Ravens 23 35%

San Francisco 49ers 43 65%

19. Will Beyonce be joined by Jay-Z on stage during the halftime show?

Yes! 38 58%

No! 28 42%

20. Which of the following songs will Beyonce NOT perform?

“Bootylicious” 27 41%

“Crazy In Love” 4 6%

“Irreplaceable” 7 11%

“Nuclear” 14 21%

“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” 9 14%

None! She will perform all of these songs! 5 8%

21. What will be the predominant color of Beyonce’s top at the beginning of the halftime show?…BLACK

Blue 8 12%

Black 11 17%

Gold (yellow) 17 26%

Green 0 0%

Orange 0 0%

Pink 3 5%

Red 7 11%

Silver (gray) 15 23%

White 5 8%

Some other color! 0 0%

22. What will be the total nuber of points scored in the third quarter?…OVER (24)

Over 14 1/2 18 27%

Under 14 1/2 48 73%

23. Which team will lead at the end of the third quarter?..BALTIMORE (28-23)

Baltimore Ravens 23 35%

San Francisco 49ers 38 58%

The score will be tied. 5 8%

24. What will be the total number of points scored in the fourth quarter?…UNDER (14)

Over 14 1/2 25 38%

Under 14 1/2 41 62%

25. In which half will there be a greater number of points scored?..SECOND HALF (38)

The first half 11 17%

The second half 52 79%

The two sums will be equal 3 5%

26. Which team will score last in the game?…SAN FRANCISCO (safety)

Baltimore Ravens 38 58%

San Francisco 49ers 28 42%

27. Will the team that scores last win the game?..NO (San Francisco)

Yes 44 67%

No 22 33%

28. Will there be overtime?…NO

Yes 1 2%

No 65 98%

29. Which team will have the most penalty yards against?..SF (33-20)

Baltimore Ravens 43 65%

San Francisco 49ers 22 33%

The two teams will tie! 1 2%

30. Will the total number of sacks be…?…OVER (5)

Over 4 1/2 36 55%

Under 4 1/2 30 45%

31. Will the total number of punts be…?…UNDER (6)

Over 8 1/2 30 45%

Under 8 1/2 36 55%

32. Will the total number of interceptions be…? ….UNDER (1)

Over 2 1/2 35 53%

Under 2 1/2 31 47%

33. Will the total number of fumbles lost be…? OVER (2)

Over 1 1/2 41 62%

Under 1 1/2 25 38%

34. Will the total number of successful third-down conversions be…?… UNDER (11)

Over 15 1/2 20 30%

Under 15 1/2 46 70%

35. Will the total number of successful fourth-down conversions be…? … UNDER (0)

Over 1 1/2 30 45%

Under 1 1/2 36 55%

36. Which team will make the shortest field goal? … BALT (19)

Baltimore Ravens 34 52%

San Francisco 49ers 32 48%

37. Will the longest field goal be…? … UNDER (38)

Over 44 1/2 yards 42 64%

Under 44 1/2 yards 24 36%

38. Will the shortest field goal be…?…UNDER (19)

Over 23 1/2 yards 39 59%

Under 23 1/2 yards 27 41%

39. Will the total number of field goals be…?…OVER (?)

Over 3 1/2 46 70%

Under 3 1/2 20 30%

40. Will the total number of touchdowns be…?…OVER (?)

Over 5 1/2 31 47%

Under 5 1/2 35 53%

41. Will the longest touchdown be…?…OVER

Over 46 1/2 33 50%

Under 46 1/2 33 50%

42. Will the shortest touchdown be…?…UNDER (1)

Over 1 1/2 yards 34 52%

Under 1 1/2 yards 32 48%

43. Will there be a special-teams or defensive touchdown?….YES

Yes 33 50%

No 33 50%

44. Which player will gain the most all-purpose (receiving + rushing + return) yards?…JACOBY JONES (290)

Ray Rice (BAL) 22 33%

Frank Gore (SF) 15 23%

Someone else! 29 44%

There will be some sort of tie! 0 0%

45. The total number of passing yards by Joe Flacco (Ravens) will be…?…OVER(287)

Over 240 1/2 34 52%

Under 240 1/2 32 48%

46. The total number of passing yards by Colin Kapernick (49ers) will be…?…OVER(302)

Over 240 1/2 29 44%

Under 240 1/2 37 56%

47. The total number of passing attempts in the game will be…?…UNDER (61)

Over 78 1/2 27 41%

Under 78 1/2 39 59%

48. The total number of passing yards in the game will be…?…OVER(560)

Over 480 1/2 31 47%

Under 480 1/2 35 53%

49. The total number of rushing yards by Ray Rice (BAL) will be…?..UNDER (59)

Over 80 1/2 35 53%

Under 80 1/2 31 47%

50. The total number of rushing yards by Frank Gore (SF) will be…?…OVER (110)

Over 80 1/2 35 53%

Under 80 1/2 31 47%

51. Who will have the most rushing yards?…GORE (110)

Ray Rice (BAL) 27 41%

Bernard Pierce (BAL) 3 5%

Frank Gore (SF) 23 35%

Colin Kaepernick (SF) 12 18%

Someone else! 1 2%

There will be some sort of tie! 0 0%

52. The total number of receiving yards by Anquan Boldin (BAL) will be…?…OVER (104)

Over 75 1/2 30 45%

Under 75 1/2 36 55%

53. The total number of receiving yards by Michael Crabtree (SF) will be…?…OVER (109)

Over 75 1/2 36 55%

Under 75 1/2 30 45%

54. Which receiver will have the most yards receiving?…CRABTREE (109)

Anquan Boldin (BAL) 15 23%

Dennis Pitta (BAL) 2 3%

Torrey Smith (BAL) 10 15%

Michael Crabtree (SF) 22 33%

Vernon Davis (SF) 9 14%

Randy Moss (SF) 5 8%

Someone else! 3 5%

There will be some sort of tie! 0 0%

55. Which receiver will have the most receptions?…TIE (CRABTREE/DAVIS)…6

Anquan Boldin (BAL) 16 24%

Dennis Pitta (BAL) 6 9%

Torrey Smith (BAL) 6 9%

Michael Crabtree (SF) 23 35%

Vernon Davis (SF) 10 15%

Randy Moss (SF) 3 5%

Someone else! 2 3%

There will be some sort of tie! 0 0%

56. Which kicker will have more total points?…AKERS (11)

Justin Tucker (BAL) 36 55%

David Akers (SF) 26 39%

Someone else! 1 2%

There will be some sort of tie! 3 5%

57. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…WIS (74) + IL (68) = 68…KAEPERNICK (62)

Colin Kaperneck (SF) rushing yards 26 39%

Fighting Illini total points vs. Wisconsin (men’s college basketball) in Champaign 38 58%

The two sums will be equal! 2 3%

58. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…STAN (81)+ORE ST (73)=154+20=174…RICE (59)+GORE (110)=169

Ray Rice (BAL) rushing yards + Frank Gore (SF) rushing yards 36 55%

Oregon St. points + Stanford points + 20 (men’s college basketball) 29 44%

The two sums will be equal! 1 2%

59. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…KOBE (18)+LEBRON (30)=48…TOTAL POINTS (65)

Total points in Super Bowl XLVII 16 24%

Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers) total points at Detroit + LeBron James (Miami) total points at Toronto (NBA) 49 74%

The two sums will be equal! 1 2%

60. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…MLT (2) + OTT (1)=3…RAVENS (4)+SF(3)=7

Ravens touchdowns + 49ers touchdowns 47 71%

Ottawa Senators goals + Montreal Canadiens goals (NHL) 18 27%

The two sums will be equal! 1 2%

61. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…MICKELSON (67)…JAMES (75)

LaMichael James (SF) total return yards 33 50%

Fourth-round score for the winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (SF) 31 47%

The two sums will be equal! 2 3%

62. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…DUNDEE (5)+GREENOCK MORTON (1)=6…TOTAL FIELD GOALS (5)

Ravens field goals made + 49ers field goals made 45 68%

Dundee goals + Greenock Morton goals (Scottish Cup) 19 29%

The two sums will be equal! 2 3%

63. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 3?…HIBERNIAN (1)+ABERDEEN (0)=1…RAVENS TURNOVERS (1)+49ERS TURNOVERS (2)=3

Ravens total turnovers + 49ers total turnovers 34 52%

Hibernian goals + Aberdeen goals (Scottish Cup) 29 44%

The two sums will be equal! 3 5%

64. How many points will be scored in Super Bowl XLVII?…OVER(65)

Over 55 1/2 16 24%

Under 55 1/2 50 76%

65. Will the total number of points scored be even or odd?…ODD (65)

Even 26 39%

Odd 40 61%

66. Who will be the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVII? (5-point bonus for a correct write-in vote!)…Joe Flacco!