<
>

Big Ten picks rewind: Week 12

Twelve weeks are in the books, and the predictions race is all square.

Thanks to a sliding Drew Dileo and an accurate Brendan Gibbons, Michigan extended its game against Northwestern to overtime and won in the third extra session, giving me a perfect 5-0 week and erasing my one-game deficit. Two weeks remain in the regular season. Loser buys dinner in Indianapolis before the Big Ten championship game.

Week 12/Season record

Adam Rittenberg: 5-0, 68-14

Brian Bennett: 4-1, 68-14

Here's one final look at the Week 12 predictions from us and our guest picker, John Wells from Yokohama, Japan (formerly of Kenosha, Wis.)

It's rewind time ...

Purdue at Penn State

  • Bennett's pick: Penn State 38, Purdue 14

  • Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 31, Purdue 17

  • Actual score: Penn State 45, Purdue 21

  • 20-20 rewind: Bravo to Bennett for nailing Penn State's margin of victory. He also correctly predicted running backs Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton rushing for a combined four touchdowns, although Zwinak had three, not two. Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg had only one touchdown pass, not the three I had predicted.

Indiana at Wisconsin

  • Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 48, Indiana 24

  • Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 45, Indiana 28

  • Actual score: Wisconsin 51, Indiana 3

  • 20-20 hindsight: Wisconsin came close to our predicted points totals, and James White, Melvin Gordon and others ran wild on IU, as I predicted, although White and Gordon combined for only two touchdowns, not four. Bennett pegged Wisconsin for 400 rush yards but the Badgers went for 554, the second-highest total in team history.

Ohio State at Illinois

  • Bennett's pick: Ohio State 58, Illinois 17

  • Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 52, Illinois 13

  • Actual score:Ohio State 60, Illinois 35

  • 20-20 hindsight: Bennett posts another strong score prediction, at least for the winning squad. Illinois certainly exceeded our expectations with the way it moved the ball against the young Buckeyes defense. Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde (246 rush yards, 4 TDs) exceeded Bennett's prediction (185 yards, 3 TDs), while quarterback Braxton Miller (two pass TDs) fell short of mine (four pass TDs).

Michigan at Northwestern

  • Bennett's pick: Northwestern 20, Michigan 17

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 24, Northwestern 20

  • Actual score: Michigan 27, Northwestern 19 (3 OT)

  • 20-20 hindsight: The overtime periods made our score predictions look a bit more respectable, as neither team scored a touchdown in regulation. Michigan's defense did a decent job against Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter (79 rush yards, TD), and Devin Gardner scored the game-winning touchdown with his feet, not his arm, as I had predicted. Bennett correctly pegged Northwestern to contain Michigan's run game (3.2 yards per rush).

Michigan State at Nebraska

  • Bennett's pick: Michigan State 17, Nebraska 13

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 20, Nebraska 13

  • Actual score: Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28

  • 20-20 hindsight: It's safe to say this one didn't play out like we saw it, as both Michigan State and Nebraska moved the ball decently. Spartans running back Jeremy Langford (151 rush yards, 3 TDs) surpassed my prediction (two TDs), and while Michigan State recorded five takeaways, none was a pick-six by cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

You've seen our predictions. Now it's time to check on how John fared.

Penn State 31, Purdue 10

Wisconsin 45, Indiana 10

Ohio State 56, Illinois 10

Michigan 24, Northwestern 17

Michigan State 24, Nebraska 14

Congrats to John on a perfect week of picks. Well done, sir. All five of the winning teams exceeded his score predictions, although he wasn't too far off on his beloved Badgers thumping Indiana, which turned out to be the only team that didn't exceed John's score pick.

Want to be this week's guest picker? Only two chances left in the regular season. Tell us why you should be the choice for Week 13 here and here (be sure to put "GUEST PICKS" in the body of your post).