<
>

Big Ten picks rewind: Week 4

Week 4 brought a chance for Big Ten teams -- and the Big Ten bloggers -- to pad their stats a bit. And that's exactly what we did in the afternoon, storming out to a 7-0 start.

Then night fell. And so did our records.

Bennett and I both predicted a clean sweep for the Big Ten on Saturday. Minnesota and Indiana didn't do their part, however, dropping both of us to 8-2. For me, that's significant progress. For Bennett, it's just another week.

Let's take a look back at the Week 4 predictions.

First, a check of the standings:

WEEK 4

Adam Rittenberg: 8-2

Brian Bennett: 8-2

SEASON

Rittenberg: 33-13 (.717)

Bennett: 36-10 (.783)

Now it's time to rewind ...

Central Michigan at Michigan State

  • Bennett's pick: Michigan State 31, Central Michigan 13

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan State 28, Central Michigan 14

  • Actual score: Michigan State 45, Central Michigan 7

  • 20-20 hindsight: Both of us forecast a strong defensive performance, but we're not giving Pat Narduzzi's unit enough credit for its suffocating play. The Spartans' patchwork offensive line came through for me, although neither of us saw the big day for sophomore RB Le'Veon Bell.

San Diego State at Michigan

  • Bennett's pick: Michigan 28, San Diego State 23

  • Rittenberg's pick: Michigan 31, San Diego State 27

  • Actual score: Michigan 28, San Diego State 7

  • 20-20 hindsight: Our apologies to Michigan's defense, which proved a lot in containing Ronnie Hillman and the San Diego State offense. Both of us predicted a big performance from Denard Robinson, who recorded 200 rush yards and three touchdowns. Bennett predicted two Michigan takeaways and the Wolverines had three.

Eastern Michigan at Penn State

  • Bennett's pick: Penn State 27, Eastern Michigan 3

  • Rittenberg's pick: Penn State 30, Eastern Michigan 7

  • Actual score: Penn State 34, Eastern Michigan 6

  • 20-20 hindsight: Two pretty strong score predictions here as the game went more or less as expected. I predicted Penn State's quarterback picture to clear up a bit, and Matthew McGloin made a good case to be the starter (14-for-17 passing, 220 yards, 3 TDs). Silas Redd fell 52 rush yards shy of Bennett's prediction.

Louisiana-Monroe at Iowa

  • Bennett's pick: Iowa 35, ULM 17

  • Rittenberg's pick: Iowa 31, ULM 14

  • Actual score: Iowa 45, Louisiana-Monroe 17

  • 20-20 hindsight: We both were fairly close on the score, although it's time we hop aboard the James Vandenberg train. I predicted two touchdown passes for the Iowa junior QB, and he finished with three on 21 of 32 passing.

Colorado at Ohio State

  • Bennett's pick: Ohio State 21, Colorado 10

  • Rittenberg's pick: Ohio State 19, Colorado 12

  • Actual score: Ohio State 37, Colorado 17

  • 20-20 hindsight: Bennett's bold prediction that Ohio State completes more than four passes came true. The Buckeyes completed seven. But Braxton Miller tossed two touchdown passes in his first career start and the Buckeyes delivered a strong special teams performance to blow past our score forecasts.

South Dakota at Wisconsin

  • Bennett's pick: Wisconsin 70, South Dakota 13

  • Rittenberg's pick: Wisconsin 66, South Dakota 10

  • Actual score: Wisconsin 59, South Dakota 10

  • 20-20 hindsight: One more Badgers touchdown and my score prediction would have been right on the money. Oh, well. Montee Ball and James White came through for me with three combined rushing touchdowns, and Wisconsin also showed its passing prowess with 345 yards.

Western Michigan at Illinois

  • Bennett's pick: Illinois 31, Western Michigan 23

  • Rittenberg's pick: Illinois 35, Western Michigan 24

  • Actual score: Illinois 23, Western Michigan 20

  • 20-20 hindsight: Bennett correctly labeled this a trap game, as Illinois lacked efficiency on offense and needed to work to outlast Western Michigan after the big Arizona State win. As we predicted, WMU's Alex Carder had a big day (306 pass yards, 2 TDs), and the Illinois run game came through behind Troy Pollard and Donovonn Young.

North Dakota State at Minnesota

  • Bennett's pick: Minnesota 24, North Dakota State 21

  • Rittenberg's pick: Minnesota 28, North Dakota State 23

  • Actual score: North Dakota State 37, Minnesota 24

  • 20-20 hindsight: Both of us expected North Dakota State to test the Gophers for four quarters. Neither of us saw the Bison looking like the superior team in virtually every area. Marqueis Gray might have been the best athlete on the field, as I predicted, but whether he can be a consistently effective quarterback for the Gophers is now very much in question. Minnesota really has a mess on its hands.

Indiana at North Texas

  • Bennett's pick: Indiana 35, North Texas 24

  • Rittenberg's pick: Indiana 27, North Texas 21

  • Actual score: North Texas 24, Indiana 21

  • 20-20 hindsight: Well, at least Bennett nailed North Texas' points total. I should have trusted my initial instinct, which pointed toward an Indiana meltdown in Denton. The Hoosiers felt behind 24-0 before mounting a rally that was too little, too late. Minnesota has some company in the Big Ten basement.

Nebraska at Wyoming

  • Bennett's pick: Nebraska 44, Wyoming 13

  • Rittenberg's pick: Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14

  • Actual score: Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14

  • 20-20 hindsight: As Johnny Drama would say, "Victory!" In this year of porous predictions, this is my highlight, nailing the Nebraska-Wyoming score. Yippee. Bennett correctly predicted a bounce-back performance by the Blackshirts, while the run game surged behind Rex Burkhead (170 rush yards, 2 TDs).