Across The Empire...Your MAC Appreciation Week Conference Open Thread

Hey everybody, welcome back to our fourth* iteration of the conference open thread.  Sorry I haven't been around much these last two weeks, but I do have lame valid excuses reasons.  Two weeks ago I was doing something that my wife said I had to do, and last week I was thoroughly enjoying myself in Minneapolis, at the Gophers-USC game.  No one really noticed, though.

Although Bama Hawkeye and Hillary Lee have diametrically opposed opinions on Cupcake Weekend, we still have some solid takeaways for the Empire as we have our last slate of non-con games.

1)  Even though Penn State and Iowa lost to quality opponents on the road, they are still very good teams that will be in the mix at the end.  Iowa (Jewel Hampton) and Wisconsin (Chris Borland) were dealt serious injury blows and will have one week to come up with a solution.  Ohio State is playing like the pre-season favorite.   

2)  Michigan has been impressive, but still they have lingering questions on defense after the UMass game.  Michigan State has been as exciting as Michigan has been impressive, and they have lingering questions on offense.  I'm looking at you, Mr. Cousins, but not you, Mr Baker.  And get well soon, Coach Dantonio.

3)  The Hoosier Militias are either unknown or disappointing coming out of the gate.  Purdue has stumbled and lost their best WR, and Indiana hasn't played anyone, and then only twice. 

4)  In the Land of Lincoln, it's been all about the quaterbacks.  Dan Persa is a good (possibly great?) quarterback playing on a team that is very good (possibly great?).  For the Illini, Nathan Scheelhaase has some serious potential, which I'm sure will be minimized to the greatest extent possible by the Zooker.

5)  Minnesota has a nice stadium.  Which will look a lot better next season with either Mike Leach or Tony Dungy roaming the sidelines.  Or anyone for that matter.  Except maybe Lawrence Phillips.  Or OJ Simpson.  Or Art Schlichter.  Anyone else other than those three guys.

Schedule Grid after the jump.  Most games are early, and on the Big Ten Network, so enjoy your Saturday and plan accordingly! 

*Actually the fifth, because of the Thursday night kickoff openers. 

Visitor

Home

Kickoff (CST)

TV Coverage

Central Michigan

Northwestern

11:00

Big Ten Network

Northern Colorado

Michigan State

11:00

Big Ten Network

Bowling Green

Michigan

11:00

ESPN 2

Austin Peay

Wisconsin

11:00

Big Ten Network

Ball State

Iowa

11:00

Big Ten Network

Toledo

Purdue

11:00

Big Ten Network

Eastern Michigan

Ohio State

2:30

ABC

Temple

Penn State

2:30

Big Ten Network

Akron

Indiana

6:00

Big Ten Network

N. Illinois

Minnesota

7:30

Big Ten Network

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