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Across The Empire: Early Games Open Thread

The division races are heating up, and 10 of the 12 conference teams play at some point today.

Is there anything better than a hug from Mom?
Is there anything better than a hug from Mom?
Matthew Holst

It's Do or Die Saturday for a couple teams in the Legends division, while over in the Leaders Wisconsin will try to stay within striking distance of OSU, who draws a tough Iowa team at home. Your game grid:

Time Visitor Home Network
11:00 Minnesota Northwestern ESPN
11:00 Purdue Michigan State BTN
2:30 Indiana Michigan BTN
2:30 Iowa Ohio State ABC/ESPN 2
7:00 Wisconsin Illinois BTN

It's not over for Northwestern, but they need to win out and get some help. They should win, but if Venric Mark and Kain Colter are out, they're going to need to dig deep and get it done. This would be a big win for Minnesota, a team still dealing with the absence of head coach Jerry Kill, who is concentrating on his health right now. Michigan is in a better position than Northwestern, but they're still behind Michigan State and idle Nebraska. A lot of people think Indiana is going to rise up and knock them off, but I don't see it. I do see them getting the hell scared out of them, though. But they both need to keep pace with Michigan State on the field today, who should de-pants Purdue.

In the Leaders, both the Buckeyes and the Badgers are expected to win today. But both face teams that are better than a lot of people thought, and neither of these games are 'gimmes'.

The open thread rules haven't changed--no links or even mentions of Internet sites that provide illegal streams of games, no links to porn and don't post any pictures that are NSFW, and play nice with each other. Buy yeah, make as much fun of football teams as you want. And mascots. We'll have an afternoon thread .