After stomping Nebraska 70-31 on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Wisconsin Badgers decided to let me know about it. Well aware of my Nebraska pick for the Big Ten title game, they made sure to tell me on the field how foolish I had been (d'oh!). Several players brought it up, as did one assistant (and no, Coach Hammock, I didn't pick against you every week this season).
But yeah, I missed on this one big time. The good news: so did Brian Bennett, who actually had Nebraska winning by more points. No wonder I drained his bank account Friday night at St. Elmo.
For one final time in 2012, let's do the rewind ...
Nebraska vs. Wisconsin
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 28, Wisconsin 20
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 27, Wisconsin 24 (OT)
Actual score: Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 31
20-20 hindsight: So, yeah, these picks were not good. Not at all. We both came fairly close on Nebraska's score, but Wisconsin racked up more points in the first 19 minutes (28) than either of us thought it would score all game. Nebraska had one first-quarter turnover, not the two I had predicted, and while Wisconsin led the Huskers 14-10 at one point, it was midway through the first quarter, not at halftime. Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead had barely half the rushing yards (61) I thought he would (120) and no touchdowns. Bennett correctly pegged the Huskers to "come out a little tight" in the game. Problem is, they never loosened up and played their brand of football. Bennett also had Nebraska's Ciante Evans for a key interception, when he instead was stiff-armed by Montee Ball on a touchdown run, while Badgers CB Marcus Cromartie had a pick-six and a huge game. We both expected the Badgers to take an early lead, which they did, but neither of us expected them to pull away. The name Melvin Gordon didn't appear in either of our predictions (he merely had 216 rush yards and a touchdown on nine carries). All in all, a bad night for the blogger predictions, but not nearly as bad as it was for Nebraska.