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Spanning The Empire--Regular Season Finale Open Thread

Big Ten Conference Standings

(updated 11.25.2011 at 11:33 PM CST)

Leaders Division Conf Overall
Penn St. Nittany Lions 6 1 9 2
Wisconsin Badgers 5 2 9 2
Ohio St. Buckeyes 3 4 6 5
Purdue Boilermakers 3 4 5 6
Illinois Fighting Illini 2 5 6 5
Indiana Hoosiers 0 7 1 10
Legends Division Conf Overall
Michigan St. Spartans 6 1 9 2
Michigan Wolverines 5 2 9 2
Nebraska Cornhuskers 5 3 9 3
Iowa Hawkeyes 4 4 7 5
Northwestern Wildcats 3 4 6 5
Minnesota Golden Gophers 1 6 2 9

So, it's all come down to this.  One game.  One moment.  One opportunity.  Hate Week ends today, and the outcome of today's games will determine how we feel for the better part of 365 days.

For two teams, a shot at a conference championship is on the line, and they just so happen to play each other in a winner take all scenario.  Most people think Wisconsin beats Penn State, but no one really gave Penn State much of a shot last week against OSU.  Wisconsin is beatable, and Penn State has a fierce defense.  For others, bowl eligibility and an Old Oaken Bucket are on the line.  For all the other storylines today, that might be the most impressive.  Raise your hand if you thought Purdue had a prayer in hell of getting to 6 wins 6 weeks ago.  One coach might be coaching for his job in Champaign if it's not already too late, and other teams are playing for pride, or waiting for bowl season.  Up in Ann Arbor, Luke Fickell will get his one and only opportunity to defeat That School Up North as the head coach of THE Ohio State University, which has played more like Ohio at times this year.

Ah, yes.  The Game.  If I could take a moment of your time, and let me step away from the normally objective game thread intro.  Thank you in advance:

THAT game.  THE Game.  If you're not a fan of OSU or Michigan, you probably hate us both.  Cool, we don't care, we revel in your hate. Because this game is the one game that people identify with this conference more than any other, and it just happens to be the best rivalry in all of sports.  It's got a unique feel to it today--neither team will be playing for at least a share of the conference championship since 2001, when Illinois won it outright, and there's anticipation on both sides.  

For Michigan, it's the anticipation of ending a 7 game losing streak to Ohio, at which point fathers will begin to re-name their sons Brady, and if you think Hokemania is runnin' wild now, brother, just you wait until we take our Wolverine Vitamins, brother, and say our prayers to Bo and Fielding.  For OSU, it's a feeling that after the game, the first coach of the decade of the 21st century will be named head coach within a matter of hours, thwarting whatever momentum That School Up North may temporarily get by winning, which most people think they will.  Just like they did in 1987. 

One moment.  One opportunity.  Your games for today:

Kickoff (CST) Visitor Home TV Ted Says
11:00 Michigan State Northwestern BTN MSU, but it will be tough
11:00 Ohio State Michigan ABC Ohio State, upset alert
2:30 Purdue Indiana BTN Detroit looks lovely to Purdue
2:30 Illinois Minnesota BTN Illinois ends the tailskid
2:30 Penn State Wisconsin ESPN Wisky Gets Their Rematch


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