Big Ten picks rewind: Week 9

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
1:00
PM ET
We're all square after nine weeks of picks.

Although I didn't light it up in Week 9, Bennett really struggled and I caught up with him in the season standings. We both struggled mightily with score predictions.

Anyway, November is upon us, and it should be a fun race to the finish line.

Here's one last look at the Week 9 predictions and the standings.

WEEK 9

Adam Rittenberg: 4-2

Brian Bennett: 3-3

SEASON

Bennett: 55-18 (.753)

Rittenberg: 55-18 (.753)

Rewind time ...

Northwestern at Indiana
  • Bennett's pick: Northwestern 41, Indiana 28
  • Rittenberg's pick: Northwestern 34, Indiana 31
  • Actual score: Northwestern 59, Indiana 38
  • 20-20 hindsight: We clearly gave both defenses far too much credit. Northwestern rarely stopped Indiana, and Indiana had absolutely no answer against Northwestern, which scored eight touchdowns on its first 10 possessions. Bennett's prediction of three touchdown passes for Wildcats QB Dan Persa came true, and Indiana QB Tre Roberson made his share of plays, too.
Purdue at Michigan
  • Bennett's pick: Michigan 31, Purdue 23
  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 28, Purdue 21
  • Actual score: Michigan 36, Purdue 14
  • 20-20 hindsight: We both expected more from Danny Hope's squad, which did little after an impressive opening drive. Denard Robinson had one fewer rushing touchdown than I predicted, and neither of us pegged Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint for a breakout performance (20 carries, 170 rush yards, 2 TDs).
Michigan State at Nebraska
  • Bennett's pick: Michigan State 23, Nebraska 20
  • Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 24, Michigan State 23
  • Actual score: Nebraska 24, Michigan State 3
  • 20-20 hindsight: I nailed Nebraska's score, but we both expected Michigan State's offense to show up. Never happened. A bad plan and poor execution against an improving Nebraska defense led to ugly results for the Spartans. Nebraska played with the urgency I thought it would, but neither of us pegged Huskers I-back Rex Burkhead for such a big game (130 rush yards, 2 TDs, 27-yard TD catch)
Iowa at Minnesota
  • Bennett's pick: Iowa 42, Minnesota 14
  • Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 38, Minnesota 17
  • Actual score: Minnesota 22, Iowa 21
  • 20-20 hindsight: Swing and a miss! At least Bennett can be pleased David Freese didn't do the same thing in Game 6. Neither of us expected much from the Gophers, who took advantage of Iowa's mistakes and made an impressive fourth-quarter comeback. At least Iowa RB Marcus Coker continued his surge, as I predicted, with 252 rush yards and two touchdowns.
Illinois at Penn State
  • Bennett's pick: Penn State 21, Illinois 17
  • Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 19, Illinois 17
  • Actual score: Penn State 10, Illinois 7
  • 20-20 hindsight: Maybe we should have looked at the weather forecast before making our picks. Or maybe we should have looked at these two offenses heading into the matchup. At least Bennett's prediction of another 100-yard rushing game for Penn State's Silas Redd (he had 137) and my prediction of a big day for Lions linebacker Gerald Hodges (career-high 19 tackles, sack, forced fumble) came true.
Wisconsin at Ohio State
  • Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 28, Ohio State 20
  • Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 24, Ohio State 17
  • Actual score: Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29
  • 20-20 hindsight: We clearly didn't learn our lesson from Week 8, as picking Wisconsin on the road at night doesn't pan out. Neither of us could have seen such a wild final five minutes, and certainly not the game-winning touchdown pass by Buckeyes freshman Braxton Miller. Wisconsin didn't have a hangover, but Ohio State simply performed better for most of the game.

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