The Big Ten took a bit of a beating in Week 2, and so did the Big Ten bloggers.
Not surprisingly, Bennett continues to look like the smarter blogger, as his 9-3 record topped me at 8-4. It's not much of a win to savor.
First, a check of the standings:
Adam Rittenberg: 8-4
Brian Bennett: 9-3
Rittenberg: 17-7 (.708)
Bennett: 19-5 (.792)
Now let's look back at those predictions ...
Iowa at Iowa State
Bennett's pick: Iowa 24, Iowa State 9
Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 27, Iowa State 13
Actual score: Iowa State 44, Iowa 41 (3 OT)
20-20 hindsight: We both had too much faith in Iowa's new-look defense and too little faith in Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz, who boasts a great name and plenty of game, too. Marcus Coker fell one rushing touchdown short of my prediction and racked up 140 rush yards but lost another fumble.
Florida Atlantic at Michigan State
Bennett's pick: Michigan State 35, Florida Atlantic 7
Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 33, Florida Atlantic 10
Actual score: Michigan State 44, Florida Atlantic 0
20-20 hindsight: We both predicted a strong performance from Michigan State on the ground, but neither of us forecast such a dominating defensive effort. The Spartans allowed no points, one first down and just 48 total yards against the Owls, who had the ball for just 17:34.
Toledo at Ohio State
Bennett's pick: Ohio State 28, Toledo 10
Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 31, Toledo 13
Actual score: Ohio State 27, Toledo 22
20-20 hindsight: We both underestimated a solid Toledo squad, and perhaps the Buckeyes did, too. Ohio State's defense faced some hurdles against the Rockets, while Buckeyes running back Carlos Hyde made me look somewhat smart with two rushing touchdowns.
Oregon State at Wisconsin
Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 42, Oregon State 20
Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 13
Actual score: Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 0
20-20 hindsight: We both did well on the Wisconsin score, but we figured Oregon State would do more on offense. The Badgers' defense dominated play, while Montee Ball fulfilled Bennett's prediction with another solid performance (118 rush yards, 2 touchdowns).
South Dakota State at Illinois
Bennett's pick: Illinois 44, South Dakota State 7
Rittenberg's pick: Illinois 40, South Dakota State 12
Actual score: Illinois 56, South Dakota State 3
20-20 hindsight: We both envisioned another big day for the Illinois offense, although neither of us pegged running back Troy Pollard to be a key contributor. Illinois' defensive performance was a bit better than both of us expected.
Eastern Illinois at Northwestern
Bennett's pick: Northwestern 31, Eastern Illinois 13
Rittenberg's pick: Northwestern 38, Eastern Illinois 10
Actual score: Northwestern 42, Eastern Illinois 21
20-20 hindsight: Our score predictions would have looked a lot better had Northwestern kept EIU out of the end zone in the final minute. As I thought, Northwestern emphasized the run game again and finished with 320 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
New Mexico State at Minnesota
Bennett's pick: Minnesota 35, New Mexico State 14
Rittenberg's pick: Minnesota 31, New Mexico State 13
Actual score: New Mexico State 28, Minnesota 21
20-20 hindsight: We both totally whiffed here. Although I cited a potential letdown from the USC game in my prediction, we both expected the Gophers to roll against what looked like a lousy New Mexico State team. Fail.
Alabama at Penn State
Bennett's pick: Alabama 24, Penn State 12
Rittenberg's pick: Alabama 19, Penn State 13
Actual score: Alabama 27, Penn State 11
20-20 hindsight: Finally, an impressive score prediction, courtesy of Mr. Bennett. My lack of faith in Penn State's quarterbacks revealed itself, and as I thought, Alabama running back Trent Richardson came on strong late in the game.
Purdue at Rice
Bennett's pick: Purdue 19, Rice 16
Rittenberg's pick: Purdue 26, Rice 18
Actual score: Rice 24, Purdue 22
20-20 hindsight: Neither of us were overly confident in the Boilers, and Bennett correctly put them on upset alert. We didn't give enough credence to the karma factor, as a Purdue team that escaped its opener against Middle Tennessee lost in heart-breaking fashion as Rice blocked a short field-goal attempt by standout kicker Carson Wiggs on the final play.
Virginia at Indiana
Bennett's pick: Virginia 34, Indiana 23
Rittenberg's pick: Virginia 27, Indiana 17
Actual score: Virginia 34, Indiana 31
20-20 hindsight: Bennett nailed Virginia's points total and I wasn't too far off, but neither of us envisioned Indiana squandering an 8-point lead in the final minutes. The Hoosiers did produce a better performance in the opener, as we thought, although their number of big plays on defense came as a surprise.
Fresno State at Nebraska
Bennett's pick: Nebraska 31, Fresno State 10
Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 33, Fresno State 14
Actual score: Nebraska 42, Fresno State 29
20-20 hindsight: We both picked the Huskers, but neither of us thought Fresno State would gash the Blackshirts as much as it did. Rex Burkhead had two rushing touchdowns but not the big day I envisioned, while Fresno State surprisingly looked like a giant killer for a portion of the game.
Notre Dame at Michigan
Bennett's pick: Michigan 31, Notre Dame 30
Rittenberg's pick: Notre Dame 24, Michigan 21
Actual score: Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31
20-20 hindsight: Bennett looks like the genius here, as he predicted "crazy things happen in this game" and "Denard Robinson pulls off more heroics." I couldn't have written it better myself. I wish I had. Damn.