It’s a big weekend in the Big Ten as six of the seven contests on the docket are conference games. After this weekend, every Big Ten team will have officially started league play.

Every game is important, but Saturday is especially important for these four:

1. Nebraska

Whether they want it or not, Nebraska steps into the national spotlight on Saturday as Ohio State comes to town and so does College GameDay. Are the Cornhuskers ready for their primetime moment? That’s debatable. They have looked good in stretches this season, but they are a very inconsistent football team and have underwhelmed relative to expectations.

Nebraska out-gained Illinois 674-299, but it still needed a fourth-quarter comeback to win. How is that possible? Nebraska had four turnovers — a reminder that it is capable of putting up big numbers, but it doesn’t yet play the winning football required to take the next step as a program.

No one is expecting Nebraska to beat Ohio State — the Buckeyes are favored by 17, which is a big spread for a College GameDay site — but it needs a respectable performance. This was viewed as a potential Big Ten title game matchup, but it looks unlikely now. The Cornhuskers have a ways to go, though competing with the Buckeyes and staying close could be more valuable than any win they’ve had this season.

2. Northwestern

Maybe Pat Fitzgerald should hashtag care about what people are saying about Northwestern’s offense. Because it’s bad. The Wildcats are 121st in the country in yards per game.

Let’s be real, though, Fitzgerald can do whatever he wants. Northwestern will never fire him. If he thinks it’s dumb to modernize his offense, then he has to lie in the bed he made. He has a 5-star quarterback and he can’t figure out how to maximize his team’s offensive production.

After Fitzgerald’s snarky response to a question, Northwestern better not put up a goose egg. And there’s a real chance of that, going up against the No. 1 defense in the country in Wisconsin. The Badgers have allowed just 14 points this season, and Northwestern has scored just 47 in three games. Yikes.

The Wildcats’ next four games are brutal: at No. 8 Wisconsin, at Nebraska, vs. No. 5 Ohio State and vs. No. 14 Iowa.

3. Minnesota

Style points matter in college football, and the Golden Gophers have exactly zero of those. They have three wins by a combined 13 points and they have yet to play a Power Five team. They could easily be 0-3. But instead they are one of five unbeaten Big Ten teams. The other four are all ranked in the top 14.

ESPN’s Football Power Index puts the Golden Gophers at No. 39 in the country, which is down from No. 28 in the preseason. And yet Minnesota is favored at Purdue. It will be favored quite a bit moving forward too, as its remaining strength of schedule is the 12th toughest in the Big Ten. It has a chance at being in the West Division title conversation heading into the season finale against No. 8 Wisconsin because it avoids Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in crossover play.

But none of that will matter if Minnesota doesn’t play better. Coming off a bye, the Golden Gophers will hopefully have shored up some of their issues. No matter which offensive line metric you look at, it’s been a tough start. The Golden Gophers are 101st in Football Outsiders’ Line Yards per Carry and 127th in Sack Rate.

4. Purdue

One of the only teams worse than Minnesota in run blocking? Purdue. And when your starting quarterback is out, like Elijah Sindelar was against TCU, well that makes for a tough day. The Boilermakers had 23 rushing yards against the Horned Frogs, and that was after just 31 against Vanderbilt. Jeff Brohm is an offensive coach, so I’m wondering if he spent the bye week trying to figure out ways to get that part of the offense going. Seems like it would be a good idea, especially if Sindelar misses another game due to the concussion.

This is a good chance for Purdue to get off on the right foot in Big Ten play. As mentioned above, Minnesota is far from perfect and hasn’t quite got it going yet.

If Purdue has another poor showing on offense with an even worse running attack, some of the Twitter critics may come after Brohm like they did with Fitzgerald.