Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Big Ten picks rewind: Week 13
By Brian Bennett
Our Week 13 predictions might have seemed a bit boring, as Adam and I picked the same teams to win each game. But there's nothing boring about perfection, and we each crushed it by going 6-0.
But that also meant there was no movement in our season picks contest, as we remain tied with one week to go. Who will finish strong and eat like a champion on the other's dime in Indianapolis next weekend?
Week 13/Season record
Adam Rittenberg: 6-0, 74-14
Brian Bennett: 6-0, 74-14
Here is one last look at the Week 13 predictions from us and guest picker Ali Tomek from Evanston, Ill.
It's rewind time ...
Michigan State at Northwestern
Michigan at Iowa
- Bennett's pick: Michigan State 20, Northwestern 10
- Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 23, Northwestern 16
- Actual score: Michigan State 30, Northwestern 6
- 20-20 rewind: We both gave a little too much credit to the Wildcats' ability to keep things close on senior day. Connor Cook threw two touchdown passes as Adam predicted, and Jeremy Langford did go over 100 yards again, as I forecast. Kain Colter got knocked out early and wasn't able to make the impact Adam thought.
Illinois at Purdue
- Bennett's pick: Iowa 16, Michigan 13
- Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 20, Michigan 13
- Actual score: Iowa 24, Michigan 21
- 20-20 hindsight: I nailed the final margin, while Adam came closer on Iowa's score. A Devin Gardner fumble, not the interception Adam predicted, sealed the game, and his call of Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock reaching the end zone was only half right. I predicted three field goals by Mike Meyer, who had only one (though it was the game-winner).
Wisconsin at Minnesota
- Bennett's pick: Illinois 35, Purdue 21
- Rittenberg's pick: Illinois 34, Purdue 24
- Actual score: Illinois 20, Purdue 16
- 20-20 hindsight: We both thought there'd be more offense in West Lafayette and that the Illini would win more comfortably than they did. My call on four TD passes for Nathan Scheelhaase was off by two, and Josh Ferguson didn't live up to Adam's prediction of a score, though he did have a nice game. Hey, picking Illinois to win after 20 consecutive Big Ten losses is good enough.
Indiana at Ohio State
- Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17
- Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 20
- Actual score: Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 7
- 20-20 hindsight: I nearly nailed the correct margin again, while both of us again overestimated the offenses on a day full of challenging weather in the Big Ten. Adam called for David Cobb, James White and Melvin Gordon to score, while only White did. Neither of us saw Wisconsin shutting out Minnesota's offense or the Gophers scoring on a pick six.
Nebraska at Penn State
- Bennett's pick: Ohio State 59, Indiana 17
- Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 63, Indiana 24
- Actual score: Ohio State 42, Indiana 14
- 20-20 hindsight: I was closer on Indiana's score, but we both thought Ohio State would take more advantage of Indiana's sloppy defense. I said 350 yards and five TDs combined for Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde on the ground; they finished with 261 yards and four scores. Cody Latimer did not record a touchdown pass after Adam said he'd get two.
- Bennett's pick: Nebraska 24, Penn State 17
- Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 31, Penn State 28
- Actual score: Nebraska 23, Penn State 20 (OT)
- 20-20 hindsight: This is Adam's best pick of the week, as he got the margin dead on, while my score for both teams was pretty darn close. Neither of us predicted overtime, which should just have been a given for a Penn State home game. Adam's call of 140 yards for Ameer Abdullah was also prescient, as Abdullah finished with 147. I correctly pegged Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa to each score a touchdown, though Bell's came on a kickoff return and not a reception.
You've seen our predictions. Now it's time to check on how Ali fared:
Michigan State 27, Northwestern 10
Michigan 17, Iowa 13
Illinois 35, Purdue 17
Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 17
Ohio State 56, Indiana 14
Nebraska 24, Penn State 17
A 5-1 record is nothing to sneeze at, and Ali had some score nice picks. But the Michigan-Iowa game hurt. Hey, only a select few of us can be perfect.
We've already got our guest picker lined up for the final week. Thanks to all of you for your great interest and responses on that all season long.