Think Nebraska felt good after the Hail Mary against Northwestern? Brian Bennett felt even better. He might have earned a St. Elmo dinner from me on that one play.
Bennett's Nebraska selection gives him a one-game lead in the season standings. My only condition if he wins: he must grow a mustache like Jordan Westerkamp.
Week 10/Season record
Adam Rittenberg: 4-2/61-13
Brian Bennett: 5-1/62-12
Here's one final look at the Week 10 predictions from us and our guest prognosticator, Andrew Schout from Kansas City, Mo.
It's time to rewind ...
Illinois at Penn State
Bennett's pick: Penn State 42, Illinois 20
Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 38, Illinois 21
Actual score: Penn State 24, Illinois 17 (OT)
20-20 hindsight: We both expected Bill O'Brien's Lions to have a much easier time with Illinois, which easily could have left Happy Valley with an upset victory. Both defenses performed better than anticipated. Penn State WR Allen Robinson had a huge day (11 receptions, 165 yards) but failed to record a touchdown (Bennett thought he'd have three). Lions RB Bill Belton (201 rush yards, 1 TD) exceeded my yards prediction by 70 but had one touchdown less than I thought he'd have.
Wisconsin at Iowa
Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 30, Iowa 20
Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 28, Iowa 21
Actual score: Wisconsin 28, Iowa 9
20-20 hindsight: I nailed Wisconsin's score, but the Badgers needed a late surge to get there. Joel Stave connected with Jared Abbrederis for a touchdown in the third quarter, not the fourth, as I predicted. Stave finished with two touchdown strikes, one fewer than Bennett's forecast for him. Neither of us mentioned Wisconsin RB James White, who had a gritty performance, and we both expected more from the Iowa offense.
Ohio State at Purdue
Bennett's pick: Ohio State 56, Purdue 13
Rittenberg: Ohio State 48, Purdue 10
Actual score: Ohio State 56, Purdue 0
20-20 hindsight: Bennett nailed Ohio State's score and had the Buckeyes scoring 21 points in the first 10 minutes (it took them 12 minutes, 23 seconds). Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller exceeded my prediction of three touchdown passes with four. We both incorrectly predicted Purdue would score, as the Boilers were blanked for the second consecutive game.
Minnesota at Indiana
Bennett's pick: Indiana 33, Minnesota 30
Rittenberg: Indiana 35, Minnesota 31
Actual score: Minnesota 42, Indiana 39
20-20 hindsight: Our Indiana picks looked awful as Minnesota surged to a 35-31 advantage. Then we looked like geniuses as Indiana rallied to reclaim the lead. But Indiana once again found a way to stumble in crunch time, and our lack of faith in the Gophers cost us. I correctly pegged Hoosiers WRs Cody Latimer and Shane Wynn for long touchdown receptions (30 and 40 yards, respectively). Brian's forecast of a big game for Indiana QB Tre Roberson fell short, as Nate Sudfeld outplayed him. Minnesota's run game (248 yards) showed up, as I expected, but the Gophers' pass offense also stepped up behind QB Philip Nelson.
Michigan at Michigan State
Bennett's pick: Michigan State 17, Michigan 14
Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 21, Michigan 17
Actual score: Michigan State 29, Michigan 6
20-20 hindsight: Both of us went with Michigan State because of its defense but still gave Michigan's offense too much credit in the score predictions. I correctly pegged Spartans CB Darqueze Dennard for a fourth-quarter interception, but RB Jeremy Langford had only one rushing touchdown, not two. Michigan State LB Denicos Allen didn't have a pick-six, as Brian predicted, but he recorded two sacks and three tackles for loss, earning national defensive player of the week honors.
Northwestern at Nebraska
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 24, Northwestern 21
Rittenberg: Northwestern 27, Nebraska 24
Actual score: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 24
20-20 hindsight: How about those score predictions? I had the right final score but the wrong winner. Brian had the right score but wrong winner if Northwestern knocks down the Hail Mary. Obviously, neither of us expected things to end the way they did. Huskers RB Ameer Abdullah (127 yards) came close to my rushing prediction (150 yards), and while Northwestern QB Kain Colter had a gutsy performance, he finished with zero touchdowns, not three.
You've seen how we fared. Now it's time to check on Andrew, who had a pretty nice weekend, as he got married and saw his Michigan State Spartans thump Michigan. Not too shabby.
Penn State 34, Illinois 24
Wisconsin 24, Iowa 17
Ohio State 48, Purdue 10
Indiana 41, Minnesota 38
Michigan State 27, Michigan 16
Nebraska 26, Northwestern 20
Andrew's picks mirrored Brian's, so he also went 5-1. Like ours, Andrew's score predictions need a little work, although he finished strong with the Nebraska-Northwestern one. If he had flipped Minnesota and Indiana he would have had a perfect week of picks.