By Week 13, you are what you are. And I'm not Mr. Perfect (my wife reminds of this daily).
I've accepted the fact that I'll never have another spotless week of predictions. Came close again in Week 13, but whiffed on the Wrigley Game. Figures, given the curses that live in that building.
Three of the predictions this week are no-brainers, while the other two took some time to decide.
I spent most of my time on Michigan State-Penn State. For weeks, I've projected Penn State to knock off the Spartans, but I'm switching it up now. After several days of deliberations, I think Michigan State had its major scare against Purdue and will play better in Happy Valley. And while the environment will be tough, a noon ET kickoff and no drama regarding coach Joe Paterno's future works in Michigan State's favor.
Yes, I know this doesn't fall in line with my bowl projections for Penn State and Iowa, but I'll fix that on Sunday if things go as forecasted.
Without further ado ...
Ohio State 38, Michigan 20: Not even the magical powers of Greg Robinson's stuffed animal can get Michigan's defense to a place where it can knock off the Buckeyes. Denard Robinson keeps the Wolverines in this one for a while, but Ohio State takes over just before halftime and never looks back. Expect a big game for Dan "Boom" Herron on the ground, and wideout DeVier Posey bounces back with a touchdown grab.
Michigan State 28, Penn State 24: I'm buying in, Spartans fans. This is your year. Kirk Cousins is banged up and the Spartans haven't won in Happy Valley since the year before Paterno became Penn State head coach, but they get it done this year. Penn State lacks the pass rush to truly rattle Cousins, who will attack the Lions secondary with receivers Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham. Michigan State rallies for the win and claims its first league title since 1990.
Purdue 31, Indiana 27: I'll break down the Bucket game in a video post later Wednesday. Check it out this afternoon.
Iowa 34, Minnesota 17: The Gophers end their scoreless streak against Iowa and even take an early lead in this one. But Iowa has too much pride and too much skill to fall apart, especially against a vulnerable Minnesota defense. Ricky Stanzi gets it in gear and tosses touchdown passes to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt as Iowa retains the Floyd of Rosedale.
Wisconsin 48, Northwestern 14: There's too much going for Wisconsin right now, and not enough going for Northwestern. This one turns into a rout as Montee Ball and James White run all over an inconsistent Northwestern defense. Badgers defensive end J.J. Watt records a pair of sacks and Wisconsin turns it on in the third quarter to essentially lock up its first Rose Bowl berth in 11 years.