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The Pants Predicts: Week 4 Big Ten Conference Games

With Big Ten play beginning, why not start making weekly picks?

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

“Sometimes you forget where you’re going and it takes you a while to get back in the direction you were headed to begin with.” -Unknown

What a quote. Yeah, no. This has nothing to do with Iowa football at all. This has a lot more to do with the idiots running this blog, who meant to install a weekly predictions piece at the beginning of the season and forgot to do it before Week 1. And then Week 2. And then for Week 3, we thought we might as well wait until Big Ten play started. And now we’re here! We made it!

Not everyone has started Big Ten play yet (looking at you, Purdue, Minnesota, and Indiana), and Maryland, Ohio State, and Illinois are all off this week. At least Illinois can’t lose this week? That’s a positive for a program that thought Lovie Smith was their savior. But out of the teams that do, there are some pretty intriguing match-ups, including a battle of Top-15 teams, #CHAOSTEAM taking on an ACC team, and Nebraska trying to stick it to the smartest virgins in the conference.

Without further ado, let’s get to the picks. We’ll keep records throughout the season to see who’s the smartest (or whatever) blogger on this site. Winner gets a 30-rack of Busch Light. Or something.

Iowa State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Iowa at Rutgers, 11am, ESPN2

Max Brekke: New Jersey native Akrum Wadley has himself a day and the Iowa offense carries the load, passing for 200 yards and rushing for 200 yards. Rutgers can’t pass the ball on the Iowa secondary, leading to Iowa stacking the box and blowing up each and every rushing attempt for the Scarlet Knights. Iowa needs this one before going into the tougher part of the schedule. Hawkeyes 35, Scarlet Knights 20.
John Krzmarzick: It’s time to get locked into the season’s goal: B1G West Champs. This is a bounce-back game for the Hawks. I love bounce-back games. Iowa 42, Rutgers 17.
Jonah Parker: I don’t see Iowa laying two eggs in a row. I really hope last week is the wake up call this team needed. Rutgers gave up 293 rushing yards to New Mexico, University of. I think we see Daniels and Wadley get things going again this week. Hawks 35, Scarlet Knights 10.
Dylan Dinkla: God help us if Iowa loses. This one is giving me flashbacks of Maryland a few years ago. I think Wadley gets going for his hometown crowd. Iowa 31, Rutgers 20.
Danny Payne: Nate Stanley throws for 450 and adds a score on the ground. Josey Jewell goes back to being Josey Jewell. Iowa 31, Rutgers 6.
Nathan Darus (HawkInATX): It sure feels like one of those linch-pin games. But after being embarassed by the Bison last week, the senior leaders rattled those sabres. Wadley, fresh off of a de-facto week off and in front of his family and friends will do the majority of the damage. Iowa crushes Rutgers, dropping a 50-spot on them. Hawkeyes 52, Scarlet Knights 17.
Alex Fish: The leadership that we heard so much about during the offseason needs to show up this week. I have faith in Beathard, King, Jewell and co. to right the ship. Look for a big game from the (now healthier) offensive line - they have something to prove after the NDSU debacle and I guarantee Brian Ferentz got after them this week. Rutgers hangs around for a quarter or two. Iowa 41, Rutgers 20.
Rob Donaldson: Iowa should be motivated coming off their loss at the hands of North Dakota State and Rutgers really isn’t a good team if we’re being honest. Iowa 38, Rutgers 14.

Indiana State v Minnesota Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Colorado State at Minnesota, 11am, ESPNU

Max: Minnesota needed overtime to hold off the Rams last season. I don’t think it’ll be that close this year as the Gophers should be a better team. Mitch Leidner is an NFL-caliber QB and will throw for 6 touchdowns. Minnesota 42, Colorado State 13.
John: I want the Gophers to get all of their wins out of their system before they face the Hawkeyes on 10/8. Minnesota 34, Colorado State 17.
Jonah: Hey look, Big Ten play has started and our overlords forgot a couple schools! Hard-hitting analysis here: Minnesota 38, Colorado State 13.
Dylan: I'd be lying if I said I knew much about CSU except they got spanked by Colorado. Minnesota wins and chants “Who Hates Iowa? We Hate Iowa!” as they leave the stadium. Minnesota 35, Colorado State 10.
Danny: Kind of like this game, kind of don’t. If this was last week, I would’ve been all over it. Either way, Mitch Leidner has one more good contest before the Gophers fall off. Minnesota 21, Colorado State 10.
Nathan: Last meeting, a less talented Minnesota than this current squad managed to beat a CSU that was better than this current product. Minnesota 24, Colorado State 17.
Alex: Minnesota is quietly off to a decent start, but might get caught looking ahead to conference play. Then again, maybe not. Minnesota 34, Colorado State 13.
Rob: Minnesota hasn’t looked great this season but they seem to be finding their rhythm as of late. With Colorado State, they’re clearly missing their stud wide receiver, Rashard Higgins, who moved on to the NFL this past offseason. Minnesota 35, Colorado State 17.

Cincinnati v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Nevada at Purdue, 11am, ESPNEWS (this game is that unappealing)

Max: Nevada is a pretty good football team, from what I’ve heard! I think Purdue is not good… WHY AM I PICKING PURDUE?? Boilermakers in a shootout. Purdue 42, Nevada 40.
John: Purdue quarterback David Blough has thrown 6 (six) interceptions. In two games. Nevada 27, Purdue 14.
Jonah: Purdue may never again see a winning streak, but I still think they can pull out a win here and there. Purdue 31, Nevada 27.
Dylan: Purdue has Iowa State syndrome and may see Nevada as its last good chance for a win. Purdue 30, Nevada 26.
Danny: Nevada is dope, and probably would be better suited in the Big Ten than Rutgers. Nevada 100, Purdue 0.
Nathan: Purdue by a lot. Just kidding, Purdue is awful and Nevada is not. Nevada 45, Purdue 10.
Alex: I refuse to pick our hated rivals from West Lafayette. The lesser black & gold squander this one by throwing 6 interceptions. Nevada 31, Purdue 16.
Rob: Let’s be honest, these two teams are, well, not good. However, Purdue, in my opinion, is the inferior opponent in this matchup as Nevada will look to bring it on the ground with James Butler. Nevada 28, Purdue 24.

Georgia State v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

#11 Wisconsin at #8 Michigan State, 11am, Big Ten Network

Max: This should be a good game between two battle-tested teams. I’m giving the edge to Michigan State, though - Wisco has that QB controversy and needed some late scores to hold off Georgia State. Michigan State 30, Wisconsin 23.
John: Sparty is coming off a huge win at Notre Dame, and Wisconsin needs to win this game if they don’t want to start out B1G play 0-3 (they get Michigan and Ohio State the next 2 weeks). I think Wisconsin is overrated, but I still like them and their new QB in East Lansing this week. Wisconsin 23, Michigan State 21.
Jonah: Things are about to get ugly for Bucky and for once I don’t love the implications for Iowa. Yes, the next 4 games for Wisconsin are a prime reason Iowa is still in the driver’s seat in the West. But this stretch also means Iowa likely won’t be able to say they faced a ranked Wisconsin opponent in late October. I like Sparty at home in a dog fight. MSU 24, Wisconsin 17.
Dylan: Wisconsin came out guns blazing against LSU (although I'm not ready to crown LSU all that good just yet) and they almost got caught sleepwalking against Georgia State or Southern or whatever it was. Until Neil Diamond...err...Dantonio gives me a reason to doubt him, I can't do it. MSU wins a slobber knocker. Michigan State 24, Wisconsin 14.
Danny: Contrary to what I said at the beginning of the season, the West probably won’t come down to Iowa and Northwestern. It could, however, come down to the Hawks and Badgers, if Wisco wins this game. What the hell, let’s go with the West. Wisconsin 24, Michigan State 17.
Nathan: Outside of Wisconsin's win against LSU the Badgers have not looked particularly strong to me. MSU 28, Wisconsin 17.
Alex: Easily the most compelling matchup of the week. Wisconsin is about to start an incredibly tough 5-game stretch, so I expect them to come out guns blazing. It’s tough to pick against Sparty in East Lansing, but I think the Badgers keep this a physical, low-scoring affair and have a chance to win at the end. Wisconsin 20, Michigan State 16.
Rob: If you were to tell me that Wisconsin was currently undefeated with a win over a top five opponent, I wouldn’t believe you because they just haven’t looked the part. On the other side of things, Michigan State looked great last week in their win over over Notre Dame. Michigan State 31, Wisconsin 17.

University of Michigan v University of Central Florida Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Penn State at #4 Michigan, 2:30pm, ABC Network

Max: Jim Harbaugh punches his quarterback until his arm falls off and Michigan has to bring in their backup. He still throws for 400 yards and Jabrill Peppers returns 5 punts for touchdowns, but they’re all negated by Harbaugh screaming at the referee because the ref likes 2% milk, drawing unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Penn State is too busy worshipping Joe Paterno to care. Michigan 70, Penn State 4.
John: Last week’s rough start against Colorado is going to wake up the Wolverines. They’ll show up ready in this one. Michigan 45, Penn State 17.
Jonah: I’m not a huge fan of Harbaugh, but that guy has something going in Ann Arbor. PSU hasn’t exactly set the world on fire thus far. I’ll take the Fighting Harbaughs. Michigan 38, Penn State 17.
Dylan: I don't believe in Penn State at all this year (even though I predicted them to beat Iowa in Happy Valley). I think Franklin is a mediocre coach at best. Michigan outclasses PSU at the Big House. Michigan 41, Penn State 21.
Danny: Penn State is as scummy as it gets — that celebration of Paterno last week was terribly disgusting and I hope the Nittany Lions never win a game again. And even without that in the mix, Michigan would still knock them to last week. Michigan 45, Penn State 13.
Nathan: I’m going to hold my breath and pick the Fighting Harbaughs here. They look pretty real and PSU looks like a 7-5 team. Michigan 31, Penn State 24.
Alex: Penn State has looked objectively bad so far this year. Hard to pick them on the road in the Big House. Michigan 45, Penn State 20.
Rob: Oh, Penn State … I feel sorry for what you’re about to experience. Michigan 42, Penn State 10.

NCAA Football: Ball State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest at Indiana, 2:30pm, Big Ten Network

Max: I’ve got Indiana going to the Rose Bowl this season and finishing the regular season 10-2. This is one of the 10. Richard Lagow with 3 TDs and I buying in on the defense of the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana 38, Wake Forest 10.
John: Richard Lagow is gutsy enough to wear #21 as a quarterback. Indiana 38, Wake Forest 21
Jonah: This is the one that’s been keeping me up all week. Like most of you, I’m sure, I know Wake and Indiana inside and out. Or something like that. I’ll be a Big Ten homer and take Indiana 31, Wake Forest 24.
Dylan: Lots of offense and no defense. Wake Forest wins a shootout. Wake Forest 45, Indiana 42.
Danny: Tevin Coleman, Jordan Howard, who’s the next good IU running back stuck in a bad program? Indiana 21, Wake Forest 17.
Nathan: I sort of forgot that Wake Forest even played football. Indiana should be able to score enough to take some home for leftovers. They may also allow nearly that much on defense, as well. Indiana 45, Wake Forest 35.
Alex: As per usual, Indiana has enough offensive talent to make them intriguing. I like the Hoosiers at home. Indiana 42, Wake Forest 31.
Rob: Woooo! Nothing compares to an Indiana-Wake Forest game at 2:30 in the afternoon. Indiana 42, Wake Forest 28.

Duke v Northwestern Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Nebraska at Northwestern, 6:30pm, Big Ten Network

Max: I don’t know why everyone is picking Northwestern because based off their first three games, I have no reason to believe they’ll beat any Big Ten team, including Purdue or Illinois. Tommy Armstrong keeps up his pretty good play and gets another TD with his legs. Nebraska 34, jNW 3.
John: Don’t ask me why, but I have a good feeling about jNW in this game. Their defense matches up well against Nebraska’s one-dimensional offense. It’s a night game. It’s at home (not that Ryan Field is any kind of home field advantage…). This pick probably won’t make sense to anybody but me. Northwestern 24, Nebraska 21.
Jonah: A lot of people have written off Northwestern after their putrid start. I’ll admit it was ugly, but I think this team is still going to be a major pain in people’s collective ass. I think they start by bringing our friends in Lincoln back down to earth after last week’s win. NW 24, Nebby 20.
Dylan: Ryan Field is like a ghost town and will be 60% Husker fans. I'm not ready to write off NW just yet, but the Huskers seem to have their heads on straight as long as Tommy Armstrong throws the ball to his team. Lower scoring thanks to NW’s defense but Nebraska wins comfortably. Nebraska 24, Northwestern 7.
Danny: What a matchup this is, huh? You’d think Northwestern would’ve figured things out by now, but that’s not the case. Even with Arm Punt Tommy quarterbacking the Huskers, Nebraska has enough to down the Fighting Fitzgeralds.
Nathan: Northwestern has been the monkey on Nebraska’s back so far. And the one thing that you can always count on is a good defense from Patty Fitz. Touchdown Tommy Armstrong won’t show up, and Nebraska starts Turnover Tommy Armpunt. Northwestern wins. But it will be ugly. Northwestern 17, Nebraska 10.
Alex: Northwestern is confusing this year. I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. Nebraska 31, Northwestern 19.
Rob: Wouldn’t this be sooooo sweet if somehow Nebraska dropped this game? Sadly, that’s not going to happen, as Northwestern has looked very poor up until now. Nebraska 38, Northwestern 24.

What do we have wrong? What do we have right? How stupid are the people that picked Purdue? Let us know and compete with us in the comments.