Across The Empire: Your Saturday Early Thread

The march to Indianapolis begins today - USA TODAY Sports

We've had the Thursday and Friday appetizers. It's time for the all day and all night buffet of college football. Grab a beer, loosen the belt, unbutton the pants, and watch some football with us.

It's been about as good an opening as you could expect for the Big Ten so far this year, we're three for three out of the gate, and all three wins have been in convincing fashion. It's been a good sign, and MSU continued that early good vibe last night. Well, sort of.

Hey, Sparty won 26-13, and that's the important thing. Their defense is suffocating, like we all thought. They harassed WMU's quarterbacks all night, recording five sacks, forced four turnovers, and were generally outstanding. And their offense is...excruciating, also like most of us thought. Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook combined for a completion percentage of about 40-something percent, and averaged just over 3 yards per pass attempt. The defense had as many TD's (2) as Cook had second half pass completions (also 2).

WALRUSBALL, SON!

But those games are in the past, and it's time to focus on today and tonight. Before we get going, I want to thank Graham, Jon, and most importantly, you, the commentariat, for making OTE a pretty cool place to hang out on Saturdays. For those of you that don't know, the two founders of this blog are lawyers, and about half the staff are barristers. A few of us have been in the military, and we're all trying to get rich. So in what's become kind of and opening Saturday thread tradition, may I present what I consider to be the Official Rock and Roll Song of Off Tackle Empire.

Ladies and gentlemen, the late, great, Warren Zevon:


Today, the rest of the conference gets underway with nine games on the slate, starting at 11 and not ending until after midnight here in God's Country. The games on the B1G slate today are (all times CST):

Time TV Network Visitor Home
11:00 BTN Southern Illinois Illinois
11:00 ESPNU Purdue Cincinnati
11:00 BTN Massachusetts Wisconsin
11:00 ESPN2 Buffalo Ohio State
2:30 ABC Syracuse Penn State (neutral site)
2:30 BTN Northern Illinois Iowa
2:30 BTN Central Michigan Michigan
7:00 BTN Wyoming Nebraska
9:30 ESPN2 Northwestern Cal

Lots of action to keep us occupied today. Ohio State begins their march towards what a lot of people think could be a spot in the BCS title game, while on the other end of the spectrum Tim Beckman might very well beginning his farewell tour. New coaches Darrell Hazell and Gary Andersen hope to put their best foot forward, but Purdue has a tough draw. A win there could really send a message to the rest of the conference.

Speaking of tough draws, Iowa barely got past Northern Illinois last year, but they are at home, and AIRBHG hasn't struck yet, so maybe they can put NIU away. Michigan and Nebraska shouldn't have any problems with their cupcakes, and finally, Northwestern is traveling west of the Rockies. B1G teams going out west hardly ever do well. Break the curse, Fitz!!

And hey, there's plenty of action going on outside the Big Ten, too. Feel free to talk about any of the other games going on. Of all the other out of conference action taking place, the highlight game has to be Clemson and Georgia, which kicks off at 7 PM on ABC. The undercard would probably be defending national champion Alabama meeting Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome.

Standard open thread rules apply: No links to porn, no links to illegal Internet streams of games, and although we love jokes as much as the next person, don't get personal with other posters. Making fun of said posters team, though, is perfectly acceptable. We'll put an afternoon and evening thread up as warranted, so sit back, relax with your favorite adult beverage, and enjoy the games everybody!

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