Round 10 will be a knife fight between Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira and Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, with Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates vying for an average title with an outside shot at a gold buckle.

Clay Smith and Paul Eaves remain in the driver's seat in the PRCA's world title race, and if the rodeo ended after Round 9 and average money were calculated, they'd be the world champions. 

With Smith and Eaves' fourth-place, $31,730.77 potential aggregate money calculated into their standings earnings, they'd have $262,844.55 a man. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira would be second with $251,733.71 and $252,717.56 respectively, including their potential second-place aggregate check of $54,576.92 a man calculated in. Tsinigine and Yates would be win the average and be third in the world with $212,506.03 and $226,900.48 each, including their potential aggregate check of $67,269.23 each. Begay and Petska would be fourth with $193,625.61 and $200,082.49 each. 

But as proven year after year, Round 10 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo can change everything. The scenarios are too numerous to rattle off, but with misses and jumps and stumbles in the average, it's anybody's ballgame. 

Seven-Time World Champion Header Jake Barnes: It's anybody's guess. I would say that Clay and Paul might have the edge. They get to go last tonight, so that's an advantage. There's still play in the average, too. There's things that could happen. If Tsinigine and Yates went out of the average, that would move Driggers up in the average. If everything stays the same, Driggers would need to win fourth in the go-round. They have got to advance in the average or they have to win fourth in the go-round, or Clay or Paul go out of the average. It's anybody's game depending on how much you have to gamble. A gold buckle sounds really good, but at the end of the day this is a job. Getting paid is so important. Me personally, if I were in Tsinigine and Trey's shoes, I'd try to win the day money and go for broke. The worst they can do is second in the average. So I'd go for first, back in there and try to set the arena record. If it were me early in the career, I'd go for first and try to win the go-round and win the gold buckle. Now I'd try to win the average so it's a toss up on what Tsinigine is going to do. 

Seven-Time World Champion Heeler Clay O'Brien Cooper: It's been a battle all the way through with the two top teams. It's going to come down to this last steer. I guess you have to give the edge to Clay and Paul since they're in the lead. That forces Kaleb and Junior to win something in the round if all stays the same. But Spinigine has to hold his spot so Kaleb and Junior don’t move up. Richard and Kesler have to hold their spot so that Clay and Paul don’t move up. The best thing about Clay and Paul’s position is that they get to go last. They’ll know exactly what they’ll have to do. It puts a little more pressure on Kaleb and Junior. They’ll have to be way more aggressive than Clay and Paul because they’ll go last. That all is going to play out every run that happens if the round is real tough. In the end Clay and Paul will know what they have to do when they ride in there. So I give them the edge. Kaleb and Junior have to put pressure on them. Having to rely on other people doing their job to hold their positions, you can’t control any of that. In the end, all you can do is make a decision on what you’re going to do and execute the run.

Reserve World Champion Ryan Motes: I think it's going to be tight. It will come down to the very last steer ran tonight. Clay and Paul getting to go last, and Kaleb having to go right before them, it will depend on what Clay does. If the round is soft, it's beneficial to Clay and Paul because they'll be able to catch and get a little round money. Those first 13 teams will play a lot into what they have to do. If Driggers and Junior are fast and are winning the round, Clay and Paul will have to go at them. For Rhen to have a chance at the all-around, he's going to have to place in at least the team roping. He's third in the average between Clay and fourth and Driggers at second. If Rhen makes a mistake, that will put Clay up farther in the average. I think Tsinigine will be clean tonight. A screw up by those other teams and a round win will give Tsinigine a shot at a title. They don't have a lot to lose. For them to risk dropping from first to second, and for some reason they go at them and don't catch, that will move Kaleb and Junior up. Tsinigine will go at them and I look for them to be clean. If the round is staying easy tonight, that will play into Tsinigine and Trey going late and being able to place in the round good. 

Two-Time World Champion Heeler Patrick Smith: I talked to Driggers and Junior last night. The favorites look like it's Kaleb and Junior or Clay and Paul. I said before this started it would come down to Round 10. Here we are in a knife fight. It comes down tonight to what steer somebody has. Not saying you can't overcome anything, but the draw can matter. Clay used his head all week and looks hungry. He has the advantage because he gets to go last. It's statistically an advantage because you know what you have to do. Sometimes knowing what you had to do is the worst thing that can happen to you. Round 10 is really easy to overthink. Don't look at all the statistics and the numbers. Dance with the one who brought you. Rope aggressive and sharp and see what happens. 20/20 hindsight I've seen it lost and won both ways. So why not do what you've been practicing to do and don't let the tenth round change the way you rope. It's a coin flip. They're both super talented and it comes down to the draw and who pulls it off. They were the favorites coming in. It's been as unpredictable of a year as I've ever seen. Teams I thought would capitalize have struggled. This 10th go will be whoever pulls it off tonight. You go to 75 rodeos all over the entire country and it comes down to one steer. It's crazy, unless you're Hailey Kinsel. Golly. 

Two-Time World Champion Header Matt Sherwood: Kaleb and Junior need to beat Clay and Paul by three holes in the round, meaning they need to have two teams in between them. Clay and Paul will rope last. I'm going to say Kaleb and Junior win it. They go first, and it will be easier for them tonight. Clay's horse looked tight last night, and he barely got his dally. I thought Kaleb and Junior were faster last night. I don't know how that time was what it was. I think they'll be able to do it. I don't see the average changing that much. Aaron and Trey will win the average. Strange things happen in Round 10, but my pick is Kaleb and Junior. At the beginning of the Finals, my pick was Clay and Paul. Obviously anything can happen, but if I had to put five bucks on it, I'd put it on Kaleb and Junior. Rhen's average money puts him almost dead tied in the all-around. Anything can happen tonight in the all-around. He's run 18 head and caught every one. He's had heck placing in the go-rounds. 

Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira

Round 9: 4.1

Round Winnings: $18,192.31

Total NFR Earnings: $82,205.12

World Standings Earnings: $197,156.79 (Driggers); $198,140.64 (Nogueira)

Average: 2, 41.40/8

World Standings: 2

Clay Smith and Paul Eaves

Round 9: 4.1

Round Winnings: $18,192.31

Total NFR Earnings: $115,769.23

World Standings Earnings: $231,113.78

Average: 4, 30.10/7

World Standings: 1

Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates

Round 9: 4.9

Round Winnings: $6,769.23

Total NFR Earnings: $61,192.31

World Standings Earnings: $145,236.80 (Tsinigine); $159,631.15 (Yates)

Average: 1, 64.30/9

World Standings: 8 (Tsinigine); 5 (Yates)

Dustin Egusquiza and Kory Koontz

Round 9: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $39,121.79

World Standings Earnings: $145,517.82

Average: 13, 26.90/4

World Standings: 7 (Egusquiza); 9 (Koontz)

Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison

Round 9: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $50,615.39

World Standings Earnings: $135,957.53 (Masters); $155,130.43 (Harrison)

Average: 9, 70.00/6

World Standings: 10(Masters), 6 (Harrison)

Clay Tryan and Travis Graves

Round 9: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $25,794.87

World Standings Earnings: $122,784.90 (Tryan); $118,927.76 (Graves)

Average: 15, 23.80/3

World Standings: 11

Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp

Round 9: 4.3 +5 +10

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $64,294.87

World Standings Earnings: $156,157.60 (Snow); $152,468.27 (Thorp)

Average: 7, 53.30

World Standings: 5 (Snow); 8 (Thorp) 

Derrick Begay and Cory Petska

Round 9: 3.8

Round Winnings: $26,230.77

Total NFR Earnings: $85,942.87

World Standings Earnings: $170,779.46 (Begay); $177,236.34 (Petska)

Average: 5, 49.90/7

World Standings: 4 (Begay); 3 (Petska)

Bubba Buckaloo and Chase Tryan

Round 9: 4.3

Round Winnings: $11,000

Total NFR Earnings: $97,083.33

World Standings Earnings: $185,951.32 (Buckaloo); $165,367.14 (Tryan)

Average: 10, 21.50/5

World Standings: 3 (Buckaloo), 4 (Tryan)

Luke Brown and Jake Long

Round 9: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $71,134.61

World Standings Earnings: $154,236.78

Average: 11, 17.00/4

World Standings: 6 (Brown), 7 (Long)

Riley and Brady Minor

Round 9: --

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $57,807.69

World Standings Earnings: $139,361.44 (Riley); $138,168.82 (Brady)

Average: 12, 22.00/4

World Standings: 9 (Riley); 10 (Brady)

Erich Rogers and Clint Summers

Round 9: 5.6 +5

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $36,865.38

World Standings Earnings: $105,219.60 (Rogers); $116,332.35 (Summers)

Average: 6, 50.90/7

World Standings: 14 (Rogers); 12 (Summers)

Tyler Wade and Cole Davison

Round 9: 3.6 +30

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $36,230.77

World Standings Earnings: $109,375.79 (Rogers); $102,482.34 (Summers)

Average: 14, 55.50/4

World Standings: 13 (Rogers); 114 (Summers)

Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins II

Round 9: 4.2 +5

Round Winnings: $4,230.77

Total NFR Earnings: $51,461.54

World Standings Earnings: $118,919.15 (Rogers); $115,912.55(Summers)

Average: 8, 54.60/6

World Standings: 12 (Rogers); 13 (Summers)

Rhen Richard and Quinn Kesler

Round 9: 4.1 +5 +10

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: $31,788.46

World Standings Earnings: $97,020.48 (Rogers); $93,137.22 (Summers)

Average: 3, 73.60/8

World Standings: 15

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