Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, September 16, 2012
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 4, it's time to look back at how we did with our Week 3 predictions. Following a terrible showing last week, I went 10-2 to lead the way this week, while Tom Dienhart and BTN.com fans went 9-3. Three weeks in, the standings remain tight, with BTN.com fans and Dienhart tied for the top spot, at 28-8.
BTN.com fans: 28-8; .778
Tom: 28-8; .778
Brent: 27-9; .750
Illinois, 44, Charleston Southern 0
Tom's pick: Illinois, 33-7 – The Fighting Illini won?t need QB Nathan Scheelhaase vs. this FCS team. Just run, run, run and watch the embarrassed Illinois defense dominate.
Brent's pick: Illinois, 47-10 – I picked the Illini to upset Arizona State last week, and I looked foolish in the process. It's impossible not to stick with them against Charleston Southern.
Ball State 41, Indiana 39
Indiana, 30-21 – The Hoosiers must begin life without QB Tre Roberson. And they will be OK this week. Can you say ?3-0??
Indiana, 30-24 – Tre Roberson will be missed, but Indiana still has enough weapons to get past Ball State, which it lost to last season at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Iowa 27, Northern Iowa 16
Tom's pick: Iowa, 19-17 – The Hawkeyes never have lost to a FCS program. That streak may be in peril this week vs. a very good Panther team that almost won at Wisconsin this year and at Iowa City in 2009.
Brent's pick: Iowa, 23-13 – It finally happens! James Vandenberg, who tossed 25 touchdowns last season, throws his first scoring strike(s) of the season.
Michigan 63, Massachusetts 13
Tom's pick: Michigan, 55-6 – How do you cure a struggling program? Play UMass. The Minutemen got run off the field last week by Indiana, 45-6. What will Denard Robinson do to this team?
Brent's pick: Michigan, 57-7 – In its first two games at the FBS level, UMass has been outscored 82-6 against Connecticut and Indiana. Michigan could probably put up 82 itself, but it will take it easy in the second half with Notre Dame on deck.
Notre Dame 20, Michigan State 3
Michigan State, 31-21 – The Spartan defense finally will give up a touchdown. But the offense will have more success, as QB Andrew Maxwell exploits those young Irish cornerbacks.
Michigan State, 20-13 – The Spartans surrender their first defensive touchdown, and Le'Veon Bell visits the end zone twice for the fourth consecutive game.
[Related: Dienhart: Spartans' loss leaves that sinking feeling]
Minnesota 28, Western Michigan 23
Tom's pick: Minnesota, 30-20. The confident Gophers should be able to run with aplomb, while the improved defense will keep big plays to a minimum vs. underrated Bronco QB Alex Carder.
Brent's pick: Minnesota, 33-21 – John "Red Zone" Rabe, as BTN commentator Matt Devlin nicknamed him, catches a couple more touchdown passes.
Nebraska 42, Arkansas State 13
Tom's pick: Nebraska, 31-23 – The Cornhuskers won?t give up 653 yards. And they will win, but it won?t always be pretty vs. Gus Malzahn and his go-go offense.
Brent's pick: Nebraska, 41-24 – Nebraska's defense improves from last week's dud at UCLA, and either Ameer Abdullah or Rex Burkhead has a field day on the ground.
[AP: Bo Pelini returns to work day after trip to hospital]
Northwestern 22, Boston College 13
Tom's pick: Northwestern, 28-27 – How about this script? The Eagles score a late touchdown–and the Wildcats insert QB Trevor Siemian, who leads the team on a game-winning drive. Sounds about right.
Brent's pick: Northwestern, 28-23 – Another week, another win over a BCS foe. And just like the previous two weeks, this one will be decided in the final minutes.
Ohio State 35, California 28
Tom's pick: Ohio State, 38-14 – The Buckeye four-game home stand continues with a visit from an overmatched Golden Bears team that already has a loss to Nevada.
Brent's pick: Ohio State, 34-10 – The Braxton Miller show rolls on. Only question is, what kind of Ohio State history will the quarterback make this week?
Penn State 34, Navy 7
Navy, 29-21 – The Midshipmen have had two weeks to prep. The Nittany Lions are coming off a gut-wrenching loss at Virginia. The offense may have success, but Navy figures to control the ball and clock with its offense.
Brent's pick: Penn State, 23-17 – Here's a change: Matt McGloin and Penn State hold onto an early lead. Also, expect Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges to rack up a ton of tackles against the option.
Purdue 54, Eastern Michigan 16
Tom's pick: Purdue, 40-13 – The Eagles will struggle to run on the Boilermakers-and EMU can?t pass. What?s it mean? Purdue will romp.
Brent's pick: Purdue, 41-3 – It's Caleb TerBush's team again, although it doesn't matter who's under center this week because Eastern Michigan stands no chance against this Purdue defense.
Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14
Tom's pick: Wisconsin, 24-20 – It?s gut-check time for a Badgers program that has to be filled with doubt coming off a stunning 10-7 loss at Oregon State. This is a tough Aggie team that will push Wisconsin to the limit. Whatcha got, Bucky?
Brent's pick: Wisconsin, 30-24 – It's been a struggle the first two weeks, but Danny O'Brien throws a late game-winning touchdown pass to hand Utah State its first loss.