The season predictions race is over, and I ran away with the victory. To the victor goes the shrimp cocktail.
Brian Bennett saved his best for last, going 6-0 on the final weekend of the year. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
Here's a look back at the Week 13 predictions.
WEEK 13/FINAL REGULAR-SEASON RECORDS
Adam Rittenberg: 5-1, 76-20 (.791)
Brian Bennett: 6-0, 71-25 (.740)
It's rewind time ...
Nebraska at Iowa
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 38, Iowa 17
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 35, 10
Actual score:Nebraska 13, Iowa 7
20-20 hindsight: I guess we should have checked the weather forecast before making our game forecasts, which were way off aside from the correct winner. Both offenses sputtered, and Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez came nowhere near Bennett's production prediction (100 rush yards, 200 pass yards) or mine (3 pass TDs, 1 rush TD). RB Rex Burkhead actually provided the most offense for the Huskers in his first action since Oct. 20, and scored the team's lone touchdown.
Michigan at Ohio State
Bennett's pick: Ohio State 35, Michigan 31
Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 24, Michigan 21
Actual score: Ohio State 26, Michigan 21
20-20 hindsight: A much better score prediction for yours truly, as I nailed Michigan score and came two points away from Ohio State's. Michigan had an early touchdown on a Devin Gardner pass to Roy Roundtree, as I had predicted, and Buckeyes RB Carlos Hyde (146 rush yards, 1 TD) came fairly close to my forecast (120 rush yards, 2 TDs). Ohio State QB Braxton Miller finished with 246 yards of offense, well short of the 375 Bennett had predicted he'd have.
Illinois at Northwestern
Bennett's pick: Northwestern 21, Illinois 9
Rittenberg's pick: Northwestern 27, Illinois 13
Actual score: Northwestern 50, Illinois 14
20-20 hindsight: We both came fairly close on Illinois' score, but we both underestimated what Northwestern's dynamic rush attack could do against an overmatched Illini defense. The Wildcats pulled away in the third quarter with three touchdowns, as I had predicted, while Bennett's forecast of no Illinois touchdowns ended on the first possession of the game.
Indiana at Purdue
Bennett's pick: Purdue 28, Indiana 27
Rittenberg's pick: Indiana 31, Purdue 28
Actual score: Purdue 56, Indiana 35
20-20 hindsight: Our score predictions were looking decent midway through the third quarter before the game turned into a true shootout. Purdue QB Robert Marve actually exceeded Bennett's prediction of three touchdown passes with four, and while the Boilers recorded three interceptions, CB Josh Johnson had none. Indiana QB Cameron Coffman had one second-half touchdown pass, not the two I had predicted, and his turnovers were the ones that proved costly, not Purdue's, as I incorrectly pegged IU to win the Bucket.
Michigan State at Minnesota
Bennett's pick: Michigan State 24, Minnesota 17
Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 20, Minnesota 16
Actual score: Michigan State 26, Minnesota 10
20-20 hindsight: Our score predictions weren't totally off and would have looked better if Minnesota had any sort of offense. Bennett correctly pegged Minnesota to jump ahead early and to go ahead for good on an Andrew Maxwell touchdown pass, although the pass went to WR Bennie Fowler (via Tony Lippett), not TE Dion Sims. Spartans CB Darqueze Dennard had an interception, as I had forecast, but he didn't return it for a touchdown. RB Le'Veon Bell helped MSU seal the win with 266 rush yards on 35 carries.
Wisconsin at Penn State
Bennett's pick: Penn State 24, Wisconsin 14
Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 21, Wisconsin 20
Actual score: Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21 (OT)
20-20 hindsight: Bennett nailed Penn State's score, while I correctly predicted a closer game between the Lions and Badgers. Penn State didn't take its customary early lead, as I thought it would, and Wisconsin star RB Montee Ball had only one touchdown run, not two. I also incorrectly forecast a last-minute Matt McGloin touchdown run. Bennett pegged Ball to get the NCAA all-time touchdowns record and for McGloin to record more milestones, but Lions WR Allen Robinson (4 catches, 35 yards) didn't play a huge role in the win, as he had thought.