All my bluster about Big Ten perfection vanished Saturday. Brian Bennett shouldn't be feeling too chesty, either.
The Big Ten bloggers took a beating in Week 8. It can't get much worse.
I managed to endure my first losing record of the season (2-3), while Bennett went 3-2, thanks to Penn State's win against Northwestern.
There's not much left to say. It was brutal. We need to close October on a better note this week.
Brian Bennett: 3-2
Adam Rittenberg: 2-3
Bennett: 52-15 (.776)
Rittenberg: 51-16 (.761)
While it's painful for us, feel free to check out the Week 8 predictions.
It's rewind time ...
Indiana at Iowa
Bennett's pick: Iowa 38, Indiana 17
Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 35, Indiana 17
Actual score: Iowa 45, Indiana 24
20-20 hindsight: Bennett nailed the margin of victory for the Hawkeyes, and our predictions of big days for Iowa WR Marvin McNutt, RB Marcus Coker and QB James Vandenberg came true. McNutt secured Iowa's receiving touchdowns record -- and then some. Neither of us saw Indiana QB Tre Roberson having a bit of a breakout game.
Illinois at Purdue
Bennett's pick: Illinois 27, Purdue 23
Rittenberg's pick: Illinois 24, Purdue 21
Actual score: Purdue 21, Illinois 14
20-20 hindsight: We both predicted close games and I nailed Purdue's score, but neither of us forecast the Boilers pulling off a mini upset. Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase came on a bit in the fourth quarter, as I predicted, but once again it was too little, too late. Illini WR A.J. Jenkins had more catches (8) than he did the week before but didn't reach the end zone. Neither of us pegged Purdue's Caleb TerBush for a strong performance.
Nebraska at Minnesota
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 58, Minnesota 7
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 44, Minnesota 17
Actual score: Nebraska 41, Minnesota 14
20-20 hindsight: This was my best prediction in a bad week, as I nailed the margin of victory and nearly the scores, too. The game basically went according to the script, as Nebraska jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead. As I predicted, Huskers QB Taylor Martinez established a nice rhythm with his receivers, and while Rex Burkhead had 117 rush yards, he and T-Magic fell a bit short of Bennett's forecast (150 rush yards each).
Penn State at Northwestern
Bennett's pick: Penn State 28, Northwestern 17
Rittenberg's pick: Northwestern 24, Penn State 21
Actual score: Penn State 34, Northwestern 24
20-20 hindsight: We underestimated both offenses in this game, especially Penn State's, which put up 27 first-half points. Bennett not only predicted the correct winner but pegged Matthew McGloin for two touchdown passes and wrote that Silas Redd would run over Northwestern (he did with 164 yards and a touchdown). Northwestern's Dan Persa passed for 294 yards but had another costly interception.
Wisconsin at Michigan State
Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 31, Michigan State 21
Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 30, Michigan State 24
Actual score: Michigan State 37, Wisconsin 31
20-20 hindsight: If either of us saw Michigan State winning on a Hail Mary with no time remaining, we'd be off to Vegas by now. My prediction that third-down efficiency would be a big factor proved true, as Michigan State converted 8 of 16 attempts, but the Spartans also made far fewer mistakes than the Badgers, avoiding a single penalty in the game. Bennett's prediction of a big second half for Wisconsin proved true, but we both should have had more confidence in the home team.