Perfection achieved: Reviewing the Week 6 picks
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
As I watched freshman sensation Terrelle Pryor slapping hands with Ohio State fans lining the back of the south end zone at Camp Randall Stadium late Saturday night, a thought came to mind.
Who had the more impressive Saturday? Was it Pryor, a true freshman who led his team 80 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:08 left to beat Wisconsin? Or was it your Big Ten blogger, who went 5-0 in picks in a week where any of the games could have gone the other way?
Please discuss among yourselves.
OK, OK, the answer is obviously Pryor, especially given some of my not-in-the-ballpark score predictions, but I'll take a week like this any time. Once again, please don't mortgage your house or your kid's college tuition on these picks, but it's been a good year so far.
Time to review the Week 6 picks.
- My pick: Michigan State 24, Iowa 23
- Game result: Michigan State 16, Iowa 13
- 20-20 hindsight: Both teams tried to do the same thing, and Iowa actually was slightly more successful, as Shonn Greene outgained Heisman Trophy candidate Javon Ringer 157-91 in rushing yards. But Michigan State made more adjustments on offense and made several defensive stops in its end of the field. Iowa was ready to play, as forecasted, but the Hawkeyes don't know how to win.
- My pick: Minnesota 38, Indiana 31
- Game result: Minnesota 16, Indiana 7
- 20-20 hindsight: A defensive struggle between these two teams seemed highly unlikely, as they had allowed a combined 76 points in Week 5 losses. But both defenses stepped up nicely. I was right about one thing: Minnesota's passing game proved to be a difference-maker as superstar wideout Eric Decker tied a school record with 13 receptions for 190 yards.
- My pick: Penn State 41, Purdue 27
- Game result: Penn State 20, Purdue 6
- 20-20 hindsight: The Boilermakers have a better defense than the statistics show, and they proved they could keep the powerful Penn State offense out of the end zone. Several Penn State fans have e-mailed me saying the Lions didn't use their whole playbook. We'll see this week in Madison. But an underrated Penn State defense flustered Curtis Painter and kept Purdue from scoring for three quarters.
- My pick: Illinois 27, Michigan 24
- Game result: Illinois 45, Michigan 20
- 20-20 hindsight: My score prediction looked pretty good at halftime (17-14 Illini), but Juice Williams had other ideas. The Illini junior quarterback and his collection of big-play threats destroyed a Michigan defense that had limited damage for much of the season. Michigan carried over its momentum from the Wisconsin win into the first quarter, but then fell apart.
- My pick: Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 21
- Game result: Ohio State 20, Wisconsin 17
- 20-20 hindsight: The best pick of the day came in the best game of the day. All-American Travis Beckum provided the passing-game boost Wisconsin needed (six receptions, 60 yards), but Pryor and running back Chris "Beanie" Wells (168 rush yards) proved to be too much. The Badgers' defense had a much better second-half performance than it did at Michigan, but it couldn't stop Pryor when it counted.
Season record: 43-7
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
0:23 1st Qtr Fresno State 3 Rice 9 Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State