SOUTH BEND IN - SEPTEMBER 04: Keith Smith #8 of the Purdue Boilermakers is stopped by Darrin Walls #2 (R) and Jamoris Slaughter #26 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 4 2010 in South Bend Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
We have favorites and we have loyalties, but if the Big Ten is going to continue to gain national respect, we're going to have to do it together. That means that we have to all be pulling in the same direction. Here's what I want to see from each Big Ten team in their non-conference battles this week.
Notre Dame at Purdue
It's not that Purdue can't keep it close. After all, a bad Purdue managed to stay within a field goal of Notre Dame two years ago in West Lafayette. It's just that these Irish are not the same. Ask Sparty. Notre Dame dominated a team that some were expecting to win the Legends. Ask Pitt. Notre Dame gritted out the kind of win that they had been losing for the better part of eight years. I want to see Purdue keep it competitive. I don't expect that they can win this one, but can they even make a game of it? I don't know. I'm doubtful.
What I Want
I want Purdue to keep it close into the 4th Quarter.
What I Expect
I expect Purdue to lose by more than two touchdowns.
What We Have So Far
The Big Ten sits at 34-12 (.739) out of conference - that's fair. The league is 7-6 against BCS Conference teams (plus Notre Dame) - that's OK. The league has six losses (North Texas, North Dakota State, Ball State, New Mexico State, Rice, and Army) to non-BCS teams - that's pathetic.