Those who think it's possible that the next pope could be from America, should also give equal odds that our next pope will be a cheesehead. That's because America's top prospects are both Wisconsin guys. One grew up here and the other grew very popular while working in our great state.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was born in Richland Center, WI, and served as the Bishop of LaCrosse from 1994 to 2003. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was the Archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009.

If you think calling candidates to lead 1.18 billion Catholics around the world "cheeseheads" lacks the level of respect these highly regarded religious leaders deserve, you are correct. However, Dolan opened that door in 2002 when he briefly slipped on a cheesehead during a homily back in Milwaukee.

Although neither of these distinguished religious leaders are favorites to be the next pope, they aren't really distant long shots either. According to some odds-makers, Dolan and Burke each have between a three and four percent chance of coming out on top when the cardinals report to the Vatican's Sistine Chapel to make their decision next month.

Regardless of the outcome, both Burke and Dolan will play a role in selecting the next pope. Both men are in their mid-sixties so they will be among the cardinals participating in the selection process that involves a series of secret votes by cardinals under the age of 80.

Another Wisconsinite, Cardinal James Harvey, Archpriest of Basilica Saint Paul Outside the Walls, grew up in Milwaukee and will also participate in the selection process.