Only two weeks into the season, and we already have an epic in the making in the Lone Star State. More on that later, however, as we pull a Vanessa Williams and leave the best for last. The Games of Week 2:*** 1. La-Monroe +21.5 @ KU The Hawks need to shore up their kicking game--i.e., the part where they do the kicking rather than the receiving. They can't afford two turnovers on high and mishandled snaps while attempting to punt and a missed routine field goal and expect to cover 20+ point spreads every week. Fortunately, KU has had a tendency to improve as the season progresses under the Big M. Bad news for the Warthogs. KU 2. Ole Miss +9 @ Mizzou Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice--shame on. . .uh. . . can't get fooled again. Chase Daniel is looking good--but Pinkel is, for some reason, still the coach. He's fooling somebody. But not me. Not this week. Ole Miss 3. Colorado St -2.5 @ Colorado Colorado can't REALly be that bad, can they? No. But they can improve a lot from their Week 1 debacle vs. Montana St and still lose to CSU by a FG or more. Colorado St 4. Washington +16.5 @ Oklahoma Until Paul Thompson shows that he is a college caliber QB, I will question OU's ability to cover any double digit spread. Washington 5. UNLV +16 @ Iowa St UNLV dispatched another ISU last week (Idaho St) 54-10. Iowa St needs to stockpile some wins now, before running the gauntlet of its Big 12 conference schedule that includes Texas, Texas Tech, and OU. Iowa St 6. Fla-Atlantic +22 @ k-state Illinois St/Florida Atlantic: What's the difference? They both suck. The question is whether FAU is three TD's suckier than Illinois St. Survey says yes: k-state 7. Texas Tech -7 @ UTEP UTEP has turned it around and has a good thing going on the suddenly soggy Chihuahuan Desert. This could be the Upset of the Week. But I'm not calling it. Look for the Miners to hang around into the fourth quarter before Tech hits a quick strike or three to cover the spread. Texas Tech 8. Ohio St +2.5 @ Texas The Buckeyes have the better team. UT was the closest thing you will ever see to a one man football team last year, and that man is gone. But the Horns have a secret weapon: The Heat. And I am not referring to the Heat that arrested half the team this week. Ohio St will wilt in the fourth quarter in what will seem like a mid-summer, midday assault on their sweat glands. Even after the sun has set, it will be in the 90's at the start of the 4th quarter. As a wise man once said: "If I owned Texas and hell, I'd rent out Texas and live in hell." Texas 9. Penn St +7 @ Notre Dame Make no mistake about it: Notre Dame will win and keep their fans' futile dreams of an unbeaten season alive for another week. But can they beat Joe Pa by more than a TD? Considering the number of key players the Nittany Lions are replacing, Brady Quinn should be up to the task. Still, we're talking Joe Pa. Penn St 10. Vanderbilt +16 @ Alabama Alabama answered my question last week as to whether they could score 17 points to even have a chance of covering a 17 point spread by putting a 25 spot on the board. They will need more than 25 to cover a 16 point spread vs. a respectable Commodore offense. Vanderbilt 11. Central Florida +23.5 @ Florida Central Florida has some athletes who could give the Gators fits. They can't win this game, but 23.5 is a lot of points. . . Central Florida 12. Arizona +14.5 @ LSU Actually, Vegas is throwing some tough lines at us this week. We must have made them mad with the butt-kicking we put on them in Week 1. Gotta take the SEC team at home, though, even with a 2+ TD spread. LSU 13. Georgia -3 @ South Carolina Steve Spurrier is putting his program together quickly. The question in this game is whether either team will score 3 points, let alone win by 3. Georgia only took down So. Carolina last year by 2 in Athens. Georgia 14. Minnesota +8.5 @ Cal Glen Mason's teams traditionally suck on the road, especially against good teams. And, yes, Cal is a good team, despite last week's travesty in Knoxville. Cal 15. SMU -4.5 @ North Texas A game for the ages: North Texas coming off a 7-56 loss to Texas, while SMU follows up on its 3-35 fiasco at Texas Tech. This game matches the stoppable force against the moveable object--on every play. This game is, indeed, why the point spread was invented: If SMU is leading 5-2 and nearing FG territory in the final moments, you won't be wandering too far from the tube. SMU "Hakuna Matata" what a wonderful phrase. "Hakuna Matata" ain't no passing craze. It means no worries for the Hawks Saturday. It's a win that's free, so sing with me: "Hakuna Matata." Club the Warthogs! --Mark
***These picks are for entertainment purposes only. You get what you pay for. There are no refunds.