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Across The Empire: Friday Night Open Thread

Dear Minnesota,

First off, congratulations on the win. You're 1-0. Jerry Kill has his first road win as the Gophers head coach. Those are the biggest takeaways, and they're also the most important. That and RB Donnell Kirkwood has the potential to be really, really good.

But triple overtime? To UNLV? A win is a win is a win, but we need to talk. See, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to beat teams like UNLV. In regulation. By more than two touchdowns. Until then, you're still the same old Minnesota to us. A 1-0 Minnesota, but let's beat the hell out of New Hampshire, okay? Like you should. But it's better to be standing here bitching about having to go to triple overtime to beat UNLV than bitching about another embarrassing loss to a school that is one of the worst in the FBS.

Dear Michigan State,

I don't know that I speak for a majority of B1G fans here, so do with this information what you will. I'm not a fan of your program per se, but I don't dislike you, either. I'm a fan of your coach, and I'm glad you're tasting some success on a consistent basis. The stronger the B1G is, the better off we all are in the long run.

But that said...

You may roll your eyes at me for saying this, but I have a tough time going 'all in' for you because of the legacy of John L. Smith. Is that fair to you, Sparty? No, it most certainly is not, but it is what it is. You've made some strides, Sparty, and I want to believe all of that is in the past. You almost had me convinced last year, with your impressive win over Georgia. But I'm not there yet. I need to see a couple more games like that, and this is one of those games. I want to see your hotshot Elite 11 quarterback run your offense as more than a 'caretaker QB', like Kirk Cousins was widely perceived to be. I want your championship caliber defense to kick that mid major irritant BSU up and down the field and put an end to their annual Whinefest about being a BCS-team in August.

You want respect? Earn some tonight. There's five games on tonight, and there's a good NC State-Tennessee undercard that gets under way at 6:30, but this is the headliner. 7:00 on ESPN.

You guys know the drill: No racism, no sexism, no homophobia, no personal attacks, no pornography, and no illegal Internet streams of the games. There might be some Grain Belt left, but there's a good chance I finished it by the end of the second overtime last night.

Enjoy the games, everybody!