Big Ten picks rewind: Week 11

To start off this post, I'll borrow a line from the late Curt Hennig, known to wrestling fans as Mr. Perfect.

"You have just witnessed perfection."

Yep, a 6-0 record in Week 11, which makes up for the disaster in Week 10. Let's take a look back.


  • My pick: Penn State 34, Indiana 17

  • Actual score: Penn State 31, Indiana 20

  • 20-20 hindsight: The score prediction wasn't far off, and I did think Penn State would start off slowly, but four first-half turnovers? Shocking. As predicted, Penn State got it together in third quarter as running back Evan Royster surged. But the Lions defense, led by linebackers Navorro Bowman and Sean Lee, truly sparked the comeback.


  • My pick: Wisconsin 31, Michigan 20

  • Actual score: Wisconsin 45, Michigan 24

  • 20-20 hindsight: Should have picked this score for Indiana-Penn State. Oh well. Michigan kept it close for a while, but Tate Forcier did most of the heavy lifting, not his running backs. As predicted, Wisconsin running back John Clay came on strong down the stretch, though quarterback Scott Tolzien stole the show with five touchdowns (4 pass, 1 rush).


  • My pick: Minnesota 24, South Dakota State 21

  • Actual score: Minnesota 16, South Dakota State 13

  • 20-20 hindsight: This one turned out pretty close, as South Dakota State's defense created problems for Adam Weber and the Gophers' offense. Minnesota's attack not only struggled early, as I predicted, but throughout the game, as the lone touchdown came from the defense.


  • My pick: Michigan State 27, Purdue 26

  • Actual score: Michigan State 40, Purdue 37

  • 20-20 hindsight: This figured to be a close contest, but it became much more of a shootout than I anticipated. As predicted, Purdue showcased its playmakers, namely wide receiver Keith Smith and running back Ralph Bolden. This game featured my best prediction of the week, as Michigan State won on a Brett Swenson field goal, one of four he converted on the day.


  • My pick: Northwestern 24, Illinois 20

  • Actual score: Northwestern 21, Illinois 16

  • 20-20 hindsight: Even with back-to-back wins, I was skeptical of Illinois, and this game showed why. Illini quarterback Jacob Charest threw one touchdown pass, not two, but as predicted, he threw a crucial interception to turn the game late in the first half. On the other side, Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka had arguably his best game of the season two weeks removed from a hamstring injury.


  • My pick: Ohio State 21, Iowa 10

  • Actual score: Ohio State 27, Iowa 24 (OT)

  • 20-20 hindsight: Iowa didn't just keep this close for a while, but the Hawkeyes took Ohio State to overtime despite playing without quarterback Ricky Stanzi. Backup James Vandenberg showed great poise as the Iowa offense moved the ball much better than I had forecast. Ohio State's defense ended up being the difference, but this game was surprising in many ways.

Week 11 record: 6-0

Season record: 57-23 (.713)