Time to rewind and grade my picks from last week…
Illinois 44, Charleston Southern 0 – Amazingly, not the Bullseye of the Week
Prediction: W, 45-7
It’s a shame Illinois didn’t start pulling fans from the student section in the fourth quarter. Although with CSU, even playing band members wouldn’t guarantee success.
Indiana 39, Ball State 41
Prediction: W, 21-17
I thought the Hoosiers would struggle without Tre Roberson in their first game out, and they sort of did, until Sudfeld came in. I’m not sure what happened to the IU defense. Kevin Wilson needs to figure it out though; he’s getting paid to win these games, but now has dropped to 0-2 against Ball State.
Iowa 27, Northern Iowa 16
Prediction: W, 17-14
Iowa’s defense put together another good effort, and the offense managed more success than it had in the first two weeks. I can tell already predicting Iowa games will be a crap shootout the rest of the way.
Michigan 63, Massachusetts 13
Prediction: W, 56-3
The most stunning thing about this result is that UMass scored all thirteen points in the second quarter against players not listed as tenth stringers.
Michigan State 3, Notre Dame 20
Not only did MSU have a few defensive lapses which hurt my predictions, but also Notre Dame’s defense bottled up everything the Spartans tried to do.
Minnesota 28, Western Michigan 23
Prediction: W, 35-31
This was a pretty good shootout like I thought it would be but neither team could quite obtain my predicted scores. Hate to be a broken record, but Minnesota has really impressed me thus far. The team is winning the exact type of game it would have lost last year. Minnesota might not contend for a division title this year, but I think it can be a thorn in the side of a lot of teams. Looking forward to the Syracuse tilt next week.
Nebraska 42, Arkansas State 13 – Amazingly, not Bullseye of the Week
Prediction: W, 42-21
Illinois was eight points off (1 for UI and 7 for CSU) as was this one. I even predicted that Bo Pelini would be taken to the hospital at halftime. Although I said it would be for food poisoning, and not the flu, so I did miss that.
Northwestern 22, Boston College 13
Prediction: W, 31-16
My preseason pick was actually closer (28-17) but this one played out like I thought it would other than the Wildcats settling for field goals (5 in total and 3 from within thirty yards) rather than getting into the end zone.
Ohio State 35, California 28
Prediction: W, 31-10
My preseason pick was way better (31-28), but the Golden Bears looked so bad in the opening two games that the logical thing to do was to amend it. Spoiling my next column (or teasing it…?) but this was a great game to watch and in all likelihood will be the game of the week from the Big Ten.
Penn State 34, Navy 7
Prediction: W, 21-14
The defense played a gem and the Nittany Lions offense got going on a great day by McGloin. Really looking forward to see how much carryover PSU gets from this win against Temple in a week.
Purdue 54, Eastern Michigan 16
Prediction: W, 35-17
Purdue was clicking from the opening kickoff offensively and crushed EMU. The Eagles went 6-6 a year ago and returned some pieces, enough to be considered a little bit of a sleeper in the MAC, instead they look worse than ever. Next week they travel to a Michigan State squad that will be mad as hell about the Notre Dame ugliness.
Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14 – Bullseye of the Week
Prediction: W, 21-14
With Illinois and Nebraska eight away, Wisconsin slips just inside them with a five-point miss. I was nearly kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on the upset because I texted a couple people before the game saying my gut was telling me the Aggies would win by three. Had they made that last second kick, USU would have won by 2. Wow. Wisconsin has some major work to due, if they want to be competitive in Big Ten play.
For Your Consideration:
The last time Minnesota started 3-0 was 2008. During that same season, Indiana also started 2-1. Its first loss that year was to, you guessed it, Ball State. Crazy. After their starts, the Gophers would run that mark to 7-1 before losing the final four and the bowl to finish 7-6. Indiana’s loss to Ball State that year would be the first of five straight losses and would ultimately wrap up 3-9.
More Big Ten >> B1G Performance Grades, Week Three