Retirement has allowed Don Patterson to focus on the important things in life: his three grandchildren and, of course, college football.

Patterson, a retired certified public accountant and lawyer, has a system for both. He swims with his grandkids and uses a computer program for all the football.

"I draw up an Excel spreadsheet, and I pick all the games," he said.

Patterson, 69, guessed correctly in 26 of college football's 35 games, including Monday's BCS National Championship Game. As a result, the University of Texas graduate and die-hard football fan is the winner of the the Star's annual bowl challenge.

Patterson's 46 points were tied for the most among the contest's 613 entrants; he also finished 119th out of the 16,037 national entrants. (Since you must ask, I - the bowl challenge's founder and namesake - finished 65th locally with 42 points).

During the bowl season, Patterson tracked his picks on StarNet. He sat in seventh place heading into Monday night's title game.

Alabama had to win, and by the right number of points.

The Tide rolled 42-14.

"I thought the game would turn out exactly as it did; Alabama is just too strong," Patterson said. "I clicked on the computer (Monday) night, and, sure enough, I'm No. 1.

"I woke my wife up. I thought, 'My God, I won.'"

Patterson wins a Kenwood car stereo from The Specialists. He's not sure what he'll do with the thing, though he has an idea.

"My son-in-law's car just got broken into," he said. "I told him not to buy a new one."

Patterson has his priorities straight: Keep those grandkids, or at least their dad, happy.

Finley's annual bowl challenge winners:

2012: Don Patterson

2011: Lori Galarza

2010: James Passannanti

2009: John Geiger

2007: Randall Allen

2006: Jerry Kropp

Note: 46 contestants won the 2008 bowl challenge by answering all the questions correctly in a bowl quiz.