A look back at the Week 11 picks

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

November hasn't been a good month, to say the least. After surging to a near 85 percent success rate in picks, I've backslid big time the last two weeks. A 3-3 mark in Week 11 and a 5-6 mark this month is no good, folks. At least there are two more chances for redemption, starting on Saturday.

Here's a look back at the picks.


  • My pick: Ohio State 28, Northwestern 13

  • Game result: Ohio State 45, Northwestern 10

  • 20-20 hindsight: I don't think Jim Tressel tried to run up the score, but he should have called off the dogs and made me look smarter. Ohio State led 31-10 entering the fourth quarter, and my score prediction would have looked better had things stayed that way. Chris "Beanie" Wells had a big game, as expected, and quarterback Terrelle Pryor settled into a nice passing rhythm. Northwestern should have kept the score closer, but missed tackles and poor third-down defense made the result pretty lopsided.


  • My pick: Wisconsin 31, Indiana 21

  • Game result: Wisconsin 55, Indiana 20

  • 20-20 hindsight: Here's another example of a score prediction that looked good until the second half. Injuries wiped out Indiana's roster and Wisconsin's run game took over behind P.J. Hill and wide receiver David Gilreath. Aside from a 43-yard touchdown catch by Andrew Means, the Wisconsin secondary did a decent job limiting big pass plays.


  • My pick: Michigan State 23, Purdue 14

  • Game result: Michigan State 21, Purdue 7

  • 20-20 hindsight: This one went pretty much as forecasted. Javon Ringer had a big day in the cold weather, and Michigan State's defense made things miserable for Justin Siller and the Purdue offense. The Spartans had a shutout going until the final minute, though they'll need to make fewer mistakes to keep pace with Penn State on Nov. 22.


  • My pick: Minnesota 28, Michigan 17

  • Game result: Michigan 29, Minnesota 6

  • 20-20 hindsight: I majored in history, but I clearly didn't use it when sizing up this matchup. Michigan had never lost a game in the Metrodome, and Minnesota was coming off one of those crushing losses that usually signals a prolonged downturn. The Wolverines defense totally shut down a Minnesota offense lacking a running game or star wideout Eric Decker. Gophers coach Tim Brewster is right. This won't be a rivalry until Minnesota starts winning and avoiding hangovers.


  • My pick: Illinois 38, Western Michigan 31

  • Game result: Western Michigan 23, Illinois 17

  • 20-20 hindsight: This was the true head-scratcher of the weekend. It wasn't the fact that Illinois lost. The Illini have shown they're the league's least consistent team, despite boasting loads of talent. But surely Illinois would go down in an offensive shootout, not like this. The Illini converted just 1 of 13 third-down attempts and Juice Williams was erratic as Western Michigan posted the MAC's fourth victory against a Big Ten team this year.


  • My pick: Penn State 24, Iowa 14

  • Game result: Iowa 24, Penn State 23

  • 20-20 hindsight: The Nittany Lions' scoring struggles were somewhat predictable, given the poor weather and a tough Iowa defense. But Iowa hadn't shown much on offense outside of star running back Shonn Greene. Despite two third-quarter turnovers, sophomore quarterback Ricky Stanzi stepped up to lead two scoring drives in the final 10 minutes as Iowa posted the biggest win in recent program history.

Season record: 61-16 (79.2 percent)