The "other" prime-time game in the Big Ten will be played up in the Metrodome. While most of the nation tunes into Ohio State-Iowa, the Golden Gophers will play host to Michigan in a seven o'clock kickoff. Last year, Minnesota went into Ann Arbor and pulled off the upset, thanks to a late Michigan defensive lapse. But John Shipley of The St. Paul Pioneer Press knows what everyone else has observed in September--this is a better Wolverine team then the one that dropped four regular season games a year ago. One of the key's to Michigan's defensive resurgence is tackle Alan Branch, whose size can be a scary thing for opponents to deal with.
Another Minnesota game is on the verge of being re-scheduled. They had been scheduled to host Penn State next Saturday night. But as the baseball season stands right now, it's possible the Twins will need the stadium. The Twins have clinched a postseason berth. If they are the wild-card team (as they currently stand with five days left in the regular season), then a potential Game 4 of the Division Series would be played on Saturday. If they win the AL Central, their home games would be earlier in the week. The Big Ten has already decided that if the Twins are the wild-card team, then the Gopher-Nittany Lion game will be postponed to November 25. The extra time will be a big help to Penn State--the Lions offense can use the extra time to work out its kinks, and on top of all that, this gives them two weeks to prepare for Michigan, whom they play the following week.
Purdue gets its first chance to show it belongs in the national and conference spotlight when they go to Notre Dame. Like the Fighting Irish, the Boilermakers will have to show better defense they have thus far, if they want to achieve their goals. One player who is smack in the middle of this underrated intrastate rivalry is Ryan Baker. Michael Pointer of The Indianapolis Star reports how Baker was once smack dab in the middle of a recruting war between South Bend and West Lafayette.