Both Big Ten bloggers went all chalk in our Week 10 predictions, but Saturday brought a few surprises. Neither of us pegged Iowa to beat Michigan or Northwestern to record the best road win in the Big Ten to date against Nebraska in Lincoln. As a result, we both finished with 3-2 marks in league games. Our score predictions weren't much better. Ugh.
Thanks to the bonus pick, I move ahead in the overall standings, although there's a long way to go.
Adam Rittenberg: 4-2
Brian Bennett: 3-3
Rittenberg: 59-20 (.747)
Bennett: 58-21 (.734)
Rewind time ...
Minnesota at Michigan State
Bennett's pick: Michigan State 31, Minnesota 3
Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 34, Minnesota 10
Actual score: Michigan State 31, Minnesota 24
20-20 hindsight: Bennett nailed Michigan State's score and I wasn't too far off, but we didn't give the resurgent Gophers nearly enough credit in this one. Minnesota QB MarQueis Gray was the one making life miserable for Michigan State's defense, not the other way around, as Bennett predicted. MSU's Kirk Cousins threw two touchdowns, as I forecast, but not to B.J. Cunningham.
Indiana at Ohio State
Bennett's pick: Ohio State 41, Indiana 10
Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 37, Indiana 6
Actual score: Ohio State 34, Indiana 20
20-20 hindsight: We both again underestimated the underdog on the road, as Indiana moved the ball well on Ohio State's defense for most of the game. Dan Herron and Braxton Miller ran wild on Indiana, as I predicted, and they got help from a third 100-yard rusher in Carlos Hyde. Bennett correctly pegged another big game for Ohio State star DL John Simon.
Michigan at Iowa
Bennett's pick: Michigan 35, Iowa 27
Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 35, Iowa 31
Actual score: Iowa 24, Michigan 16
20-20 hindsight: We both expected more points at Kinnick Stadium, as both defenses played fairly well, allowing fewer than 325 yards to the opponent. Neither of us pegged Iowa RB Marcus Coker for another big game -- maybe we'll learn our lesson -- and while Michigan made a late rally after falling behind at halftime, as I predicted, it wasn't enough.
Northwestern at Nebraska
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 45, Northwestern 24
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 42, Northwestern 20
Actual score: Northwestern 28, Nebraska 25
20-20 hindsight: Neither of us had much faith in Northwestern's defense, which surprised everyone by holding Nebraska to a season-low 122 rushing yards. Taylor Martinez actually hurt Northwestern with his arm, but Northwestern controlled the line of scrimmage and attacked Nebraska in its soft middle to pull off the upset.
Purdue at Wiscosnin
Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 17
Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 41, Purdue 14
Actual score: Wisconsin 62, Purdue 17
20-20 hindsight: Bennett nailed Purdue's score, but neither of us fully accounted for the damage Wisconsin's offense does on its home field. Bennett correctly pegged three touchdown runs for his fantasy team star Montee Ball, although neither of us saw "Moneyball" racking up 223 yards. I correctly predicted two passing touchdowns and one rushing score for Russell Wilson as well as a rushing TD for James White.
Bonus pick: LSU at Alabama
Bennett's pick: Alabama 21, LSU 17
Rittenberg's pick: LSU 17, Alabama 14
Actual score: LSU 9, Alabama 6 (OT)
20-20 hindsight: I nailed the winner and the margin of victory, while Bennett hardly looked like a true southerner with his prediction. We both correctly pegged Heisman candidate Trent Richardson for a big game (89 rush yards, 80 receiving yards), but the Tigers once again weathered the storm on the road and emerged with the victory.