Across The Empire: Your Early Games Open Thread

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, a full slate of conference games to whet your appetite

B1Gfans, you've waited patiently while our conference went out and played a pretty lackluster non-conference schedule, then only had a couple conference games to kick off the conference schedule.

But that ends today, as we get five conference games, to include the marquee game of the week, at least according to ESPN's College Football Gameday.

Your roster, and all kickoff times are central time:

Kickoff Visitor Home TV Channel
11:00 Penn State Indiana BTN
11:00 Illinois Nebraska ESPN U
11:00 Michigan State Iowa ESPN 2
2:30 Minnesota Michigan ABC
7:00 Ohio State Northwestern ABC

Lots of intriguing games out there today in the Empire. Indiana fans think this is their best chance to beat Penn State, and I agree. I still think PSU wins, but it's going to be a good game. Could Illinois actually beat Nebraska? Logic tells me no, but there's nothing logical about Nebraska's defense, and Nathan Scheelhaase probably goes to bed each night wondering if he'd be looked at as a first round NFL draft pick if Bill Cubit had been his OC for the first three years of his career. I think MSU and Iowa will be a better game than everyone says, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say each team scores over 20 points.

Our afternoon and evening games have just as much intrigue. Minnesota fans desperately want to win the Little Brown Jug, and as pedestrian as Michigan has looked the last two games, I would love to agree with them. But Minnesota's offense is just as big of a mess, their defense got mauled by Iowa's running game, so I just don't see Goldy bringing the Jug home.

And finally, The Game Of The Year For Week 6 in the Big Ten. Northwestern is jacked for this game, and they're putting all their eggs into the beating Ohio State basket--all week I've seen how fired up they're getting, and I can't help but wonder what happens if they wake up Sunday morning with a loss. Can they bounce back? They better, because they've got probably the toughest schedule in the conference this year. If they win, can they maintain and avoid a let down? If OSU loses, can THEY rebound? It's BCS Title Game or bust, so if they win out and win the Big Ten, would the Rose Bowl be an acceptable consolation for Buckeye fan? (For me, yes it would. But I do not speak for my OSU brethren here). What if they end up losing another game or two...would couches all over Ohio burn?

Lots of stuff to contemplate today. Open thread rules remain the same--no links or mentioning of sites that illegally stream games, no links to porn, and play nice with each other.

Enjoy your first full weekend of conference games, everybody!!

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