Turtle Powell came from the back of the pack when he won his gold buckle in 2011 with Jhett Johnson, and along the way won two go-rounds and placed in six more. Here's how he sees the last two nights shaking out in the Thomas & Mack.

142 C Smith-Corkill

Clay Smith and Jade Corkill

Round 8: 4.7

Round Winnings: $6,769.23

Total NFR Earnings: $90,807.69 each

World Standings Earnings: $241,319.91 (Smith) ; $199,445.62 (Corkill)

Average: 4

World Standings: 1; 1

Powell's take: They're projected to win it. To me, that gray horse looks outstanding but he's getting tight. If Clay keeps getting really good starts and breaks toward the pin, he'll turn two steers and of course Jade will heel them. He's roping awesome.  

168 Driggers-Nogueira

Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira

Round 8: 4.3

Round Winnings: $23,480.77

Total NFR Earnings: $58,583.33 each

World Standings Earnings: $177,038.63 (Driggers); $174,357.99 (Nogueira)

Average: 9

World Standings: 2, 2

Powell's take: He's had enough bad luck this week, he'll finish it out good. Driggers has always been known to go fast, and he did a great job at the first. A lot of times if a team starts out real sharp they hit a rhythm. When they switch horses it takes that away. Now he's in a groove. 

Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes

Round 8: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $48,923.08 each

World Standings Earnings: $153,241.42 (Proctor); $158,089.16 (Motes)

Average: 15

World Standings: 7, 6

Powell's take: Gosh dang. They're very capable of winning but they just haven't been roping how they can. I hope it turns around for them. 

166 Clay Tryan

Clay Tryan and Jake Long

Round 8: 4.0 +5

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $44,057.69

World Standings Earnings: $147,222.45 (Tryan); $150,954.18 (Long)

Average: 13

World Standings: 8, 7

Powell's take: They've had heck. He's always known to fight back though. 

Ty Blasingame and Travis Graves

Round 8: NT

Round Winnings: $30,730.77

Total NFR Earnings: $30,730.77 each

World Standings Earnings: $132,220.42 (Blasingame); $133,895.53 (Graves)

Average: 14

World Standings: 11, 12

Powell's take: I think he had real bad luck that very first steer he missed. I think he should have caught that one, and it wasn't anything he did wrong. The next night it was in his head not to screw up again. You spent 24 hours hoping it doesn't happen to you again. He lost his confidence and missed the barrier, and that's not the way he started out. He needs to get a better start. 

162 E Rogers-Lockett

Erich Rogers and Kyle Lockett

Round 8: 4.1 +10

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $38,980.77 each

World Standings Earnings: $112,979.77 (Rogers); $137,710.60 (Lockett)

Average: 12

World Standings: 13, 10

Powell's take: I thought Rogers has roped good. With it being Kyle's first time back his timing is off a little bit. I expected them to win more than they have—I bet on them. That was my fantasy team. If Meat can stay off the steers a little bit and get his timing he'll catch every one. He's a cowboy. 

160 Masters-Harrison

Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison

Round 8: 3.9 +5

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $73,461.54 each

World Standings Earnings: $168,990.26 (Masters); $171,739.13 (Harrison)

Average: 6

World Standings: 4, 4

Powell's take: Chad's headed really good. Joseph could have got back in the driver's seat the last two rounds, and he don't hardly miss steers like that. It's just bad luck. He should just catch two feet because he usually does. I think that team will finish strong. I've been really surprised where the rounds are. 

158 Team Minor

Riley and Brady Minor

Round 8: 4.4

Round Winnings: $13,326.92

Total NFR Earnings: $76,211.53 each

World Standings Earnings: $173,860.48 each

Average: 8

World Standings: 3, 3

Powell's take: I think the Minors—Riley's been one of the best headers in there too. I look for them to finish strong. Both of them rope too good and ride too good of horses not to. 

157 Welsey Thorp

Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp

Round 8: 6.2

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $62,884.62 each

World Standings Earnings: $157,938.14 (Snow); $150,180.61 (Thorp)

Average: 1

World Standings: 6, 8

Powell's take: I think they're contenders. Wesley's going to be in Jade's back pocket all the way through. Jade can't stumble. Snow's changed his game in there. Now he's real snappy when he used to just be a bomber. He's been riding the barrier good and turning them off. They're solid and they've got it going on.

Luke Brown Paul EAves

Luke Brown and Paul Eaves

Round 8: 4.8

Round Winnings: $4,230.77

Total NFR Earnings: $54,000.00 each

World Standings Earnings: $138,939.19 (Brown); $143,446.54 (Eaves)

Average: 2

World Standings: 9, 9

Powell's take: Luke has roped as good as anybody and has for years. I think they'll get two more down, and I don't think they'll make a mistake. They're who you watch these next two rounds, and they're solid in the average, too.

Brenten Hall Chase Tryan

Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan

Round 8: 4.3

Round Winnings: $23,480.77

Total NFR Earnings: $73,673.08 each

World Standings Earnings: $162,599.65 (Hall); $160,018.17 (Tryan)

Average: 5

World Standings: 5, 5

Powell's take: I think Brenten Hall has done really, really good for the first time in Vegas. It's hard the first time you go. You can't practice it at home, and you don't know how fast it happens. It was really bad luck that he hickeyed that horn. Chase Tryan has heeled amazing this year there. They've roped as good as anyone, but just had a few bad bumps. Brenten's horse was getting tight, and he missed the barrier and freed his horse up almost, and I thought that saved him. He hasn't done a bad job at all.  

Sherwood Koch

Matt Sherwood and Hunter Koch

Round 8: 5.1

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $48,500.00 each

World Standings Earnings: $124,704.07 (Sherwood); $132,807.07 (Koch)

Average: 3

World Standings: 12, 13

Powell's take: Sherwood's solid. Sherwood will do what Sherwood does. He'll turn the next two steers. I don't look for him to press. He'll make sure he gets paid, and he won't make a mistake. That Hunter Koch has heeled really good. I'd never seen him before, but man that kid heels now. I look for Sherwood to finish out in the average how he finishes. And I don't see that kid missing. I don't think they'll be going at the rounds like Driggers will. He's got the average on his mind, and he will get paid. 

Kirchenschlager Worley

Tate Kirchenschlager and Tyler Worley

Round 8: 5.2 +5

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $32,987.18 each

World Standings Earnings: $108,724.82 (Kirchenschlager); $104,177.39 (Worley)

Average: 7

World Standings: 14, 14

Powell's take: Tate has roped really good this week. Worley ropes better than he roped there. He was on top of the steer every night early on. But Worley made that horse change and that will help them out. Worley has fought it a little bit.  

Wade Davison

Tyler Wade and Cole Davison

Round 8: 4.8 +5

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $62,461.54 each

World Standings Earnings: $135,855.78 (Wade); $134,370.85 (Davison)

Average: 10

World Standings: 10, 11

Powell's take: TWade has done a really good job all week long. If TWade could get his horse to the right of the flagger instead of the left, Cole could get to them. He's done a good job and he's turned six or seven steers to win first. He's not missed one yet. They've done good and they're a team that could win these next two rounds. TWade will lay it on them, Cole just needs to get there. If I were him I'd leave right at the pin and start heading left. 

Jake Cooper Caleb Anderson

Jake Cooper and Caleb Anderson

Round 8: 4.4

Round Winnings: $13,326.92

Total NFR Earnings: $30,660.25 each

World Standings Earnings: $103,851.20 (Cooper); $103,049.85 (Anderson)

Average: 11

World Standings: 15, 15

Powell's take: His horse looks really good, and Jake just needs to take better starts. That Caleb Anderson is rank. I was hoping they'd do better than they've done. But Jake just has to take a better start and that boy he has heeling, he can really do it I think. That Hunter Koch and Caleb Anderson will be able to choose whoever they want to rope with next year because they've done good. TRJ

Related