Big Ten picks rewind: Week 2

It was a brutal week for the Big Ten, and a brutal week for the Big Ten bloggers.

Both Brian Bennett and I took a beating in the Week 2 predictions, as we both expected a much better result from the league. It would have been even worse had we bet against the spread. Like Big Ten players and coaches, we can only hope this is rock bottom.


Adam Rittenberg: 8-4, 18-6 (.750)

Brian Bennett: 7-5, 17-7 (.708)

Rewind time ...

New Hampshire at Minnesota

  • Bennett's pick: Minnesota 31, New Hampshire 20

  • Rittenberg's pick: Minnesota 26, New Hampshire 20

  • Actual score: Minnesota 44, New Hampshire 7

  • 20-20 hindsight: Minnesota's recent struggles against FCS foes clearly clouded our judgment, as this time the Gophers pulled away and never looked back. MarQueis Gray exceeded my touchdowns prediction by one (2 pass, 2 rush), while Ra'Shede Hageman stepped up. The Gophers rushed for 173 yards and three scores, backing up Bennett's prediction.

UCF at Ohio State

  • Bennett's pick: Ohio State 38, UCF 21

  • Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 34, UCF 17

  • Actual score: Ohio State 31, UCF 16

  • 20-20 hindsight: This one went more or less as expected, and Braxton Miller backed up my prediction with a huge performance (296 total offensive yards, 4 TDs). Buckeyes RB Carlos Hyde couldn't reach Bennett's forecast of 100 yards as he left the game with a knee injury.

Penn State at Virginia

  • Bennett's pick: Penn State 17, Virginia 14

  • Rittenberg's pick: Virginia 21, Penn State 14

  • Actual score: Virginia 17, Penn State 16

  • 20-20 hindsight: Bennett's prediction might have held up if his forecast of two Matt McGloin-Allen Robinson touchdowns had held up (they connected for one and Robinson nearly had another). Unfortunately for the Lions, my prediction of a late-game fade proved true as Virginia rallied to steal a game it didn't deserve.

Purdue at Notre Dame

  • Bennett's pick: Purdue 28, Notre Dame 24

  • Rittenberg's pick: Notre Dame 27, Purdue 21

  • Actual score: Notre Dame 20, Purdue 17

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both correctly pegged Purdue to rotate its top two quarterbacks quite a bit (Rittenberg) and receive a big performance from Kawann Short and the defensive line (Bennett). But the Boilers couldn't get the field-goal block they needed in the closing seconds, as Bennett had predicted, and fell again in South Bend.

Indiana at Massachusetts

  • Bennett's pick: Indiana 21, UMass 20

  • Rittenberg's pick: Indiana 27, UMass 21

  • Actual score: Indiana 45, UMass 6

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both thought the line on this game -- Indiana was a double-digit favorite -- seemed way off. That's why we're bloggers, not Vegas oddsmakers. Indiana had no trouble with UMass, despite losing starting QB Tre Roberson to a season-ending leg injury. Roberson had two rushing touchdowns, not two passing touchdowns, as I had predicted, before his injury.

Air Force at Michigan

  • Bennett's pick: Michigan 38, Air Force 17

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 35, Air Force 20

  • Actual score: Michigan 31, Air Force 25

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both were fairly close on Michigan's score, but Air Force gave the Wolverines' defense more trouble that we expected. Michigan QB Denard Robinson exceeded Bennett's prediction of 350 yards by 76 yards, recording the second 200-200 game of his career. Fitz Toussaint didn't back up my prediction and did nothing in his return.

Michigan State at Central Michigan

Iowa State at Iowa

  • Bennett's pick: Iowa 35, Iowa State 31

  • Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 24, Iowa State 20

  • Actual score: Iowa State 9, Iowa 6

  • 20-20 hindsight: A big swing and a miss for the Hawkeyes and both bloggers, who expected some actual touchdowns in Iowa City (imagine that). Although Iowa did a decent job of containing the Cyclones' Steele Jantz, as I predicted, QB James Vandenberg continued to struggle in the new offense. Hawkeyes RB Damon Bullock came 47 yards short of Bennett's rushing prediction (100).

Wisconsin at Oregon State

  • Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 23

  • Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 30, Oregon State 20

  • Actual score: Oregon State 10, Wisconsin 7

  • 20-20 hindsight: This might be the most stunning final score of the season, and neither of us saw Wisconsin's offensive woes coming. We both expected big things from the Badgers' run game and especially Montee Ball, who finished 114 rush yards and three touchdowns shy of Bennett's prediction. Our apologies to Mike Riley and the Beavers for underestimating you.

Nebraska at UCLA

  • Bennett's pick: Nebraska 42, UCLA 31

  • Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 33, UCLA 28

  • Actual score: UCLA 36, Nebraska 30

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both expected somewhat of a shootout, and Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah made Bennett look smart by eclipsing 100 rush yards. Huskers QB Taylor Martinez fell three touchdowns shy of my prediction (2 rush, 2 pass), and UCLA gave the Blackshirts more than "a few issues," racking up 653 yards.

Vanderbilt at Northwestern

  • Bennett's pick: Northwestern 42, Vanderbilt 41

  • Rittenberg's pick: Vanderbilt 35, Northwestern 31

  • Actual score: Northwestern 23, Vanderbilt 13

  • 20-20 hindsight: Here's another game that went nothing like we expected, as Northwestern outlasted Vanderbilt in a defensive struggle. Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers took aim at Northwestern's secondary on the first drive, as I predicted, but then he mysteriously stopped. And the Wildcats' maligned defense rose up in the second half, buying enough time for the offense to find its rhythm.

Illinois at Arizona State

  • Bennett's pick: Arizona State 23, Illinois 17

  • Rittenberg's pick: Arizona State 21, Illinois 20

  • Actual score: Arizona State 45, Illinois 14

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both thought a talented Illini defense would show up for this one. It didn't. Illinois didn't merely wear down, as Bennett thought, or have some struggles with Todd Graham's offensive scheme. The Illini looked overmatched from the start, and QB Nathan Scheelhaase likely wouldn't have helped enough to prevent the blowout.