Last week was dubbed Separation Saturday by ESPN. This week, by comparison, is Post Partum Depression Saturday. Not a five star game to be found. Doesn't mean there won't be some entertaining contests to behold, but keep your remote handy to find them. The Games of Week 4***: 1. South Florida +5.5 @ KU The Big M has established three things in his tenure at KU: His teams suck on the road. His teams are a bear (more Chicago than Baylor) at home. And his teams are resilient. They routinely come back from the most bitter circumstances possible with more determination than Mangino, Tom Amstutz, and Ralph Friedgen competing for the last piece of pizza at a coaches' clinic. Even with the play-calling of Nick Quartaro, the Hawks cover with ease. KU 2. Louisville -14.5 @ k-state This game started the week at 10 points. Wish I had gotten my money in early. Shouldn't make any difference, though. This is close to being a name the score game for Louisville-even on the road. They are that good. And, yes, k-state is that bad. Louisville 3. Iowa St +24.5 @ Texas It's hard to imagine Iowa St being able to hang with Texas for 60 minutes in Austin. They do have enough firepower, however, to force UT to score more points than a freshman QB will likely be able to engineer to cover a 3 TD plus FG plus ½ point spread. Iowa St 4. Colorado +26.5 @ Georgia Until the Buffs actually cover a spread, might as well keep going with the flow. It's been easy money so far. Georgia 5. Army +11 @ Baylor Baylor fools me every week. When I think they are good enough to cover (e.g., TCU), they fall just short. When I think they won't cover, they play lights out-they still lose, but cover (e.g., Washington St). And this is not a new phenomenon. It happened last year, and the year before that. The safe bet is probably to pick them to fail to cover every week. But what fun would that be? The Bears do look like an improving team. Not that there was another direction available. Still, Army looked well-drilled against A&M, and fell short by a mere couple of yards or couple of seconds. I will be surprised if Baylor takes them out by double digits. Army 6. Okie St -1 @ Houston Okie St's first game of the season away from home-against an opponent that acquitted itself well against a vastly superior team in the Fort Worth Bowl last December. Against a comparable team, the home field makes the difference. Houston 7. Troy +22.5 @ Nebraska Nebraska played the Men of Troy tough last week. Can they do the same against the Men of Troy this week? Will Callahan unleash their firepower? Can they separate themselves from the team that did everything but take out Florida St? NU should win, but Troy is not fazed by playing big name teams in hostile arenas. Troy 8. Wisconsin +14 @ Michigan Michigan is not as good as they looked last Saturday vs. Notre Dame. But then, they couldn't be. If they were, you could hand them the mythical national championship trophy right now. The big question is how big will their letdown be one week after? My guess is that that the home crowd invigorates them and keeps the adrenaline flowing long enough to cover this spread. Michigan 9. Iowa -21 @ Illinois There is an old saying: If something is too good to be true, it is. There is a competing saying: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. This is a battle of the sayings. I will go with the gift horse. Iowa 10. Penn St +16.5 @ Ohio St There is an old saying: If something is too good to be true, it is. There is a competing saying: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. This is a battle of the sayings. I will go with the gift horse. Ohio St 11. Notre Dame -3.5 @ Michigan St Notre Dame is not as bad as they looked last week against Michigan. But then, they couldn't be-unless, of course, they had lost to Toledo. If Mangino were their coach, they would win this one handily, because of their resiliency. Or would they lose handily because they are on the road? Notre Dame 12. Alabama +1.5 @ Arkansas With a shutout, all the Crimson Tide needs to cover is a safety.
After further review, they could even allow a field goal and cover with a safety. How can you not take that?
Alabama 13. UTEP -9.5 @ New Mexico Mizzou allowed New Mexico a TD with 25 seconds remaining in the game last Saturday, turning a 17 point cover into a 10 point loss against the spread. Mike Price has UTEP playing as well as Mizzou and has had two weeks to prepare for the Miners' conference opener. UTEP 14. UCLA -3.5 @ Washington How bad is Washington? Let me count the ways. At least 3.5 of them. UCLA 15. Arizona St +7.5 @ Cal It's that last little ½ that Vegas uses to crush your dreams. Even though 7.5 doesn't look like much more than 7, it is virtually the same as 10 or 13. It is a two score margin. I will trust the Bears to pull out that second score at home. Cal If Tampa is in South Florida, where the hell is Miami? And why are they Bulls instead of some sort of seafood? Surf or Turf, the Hawks feast Saturday night in Lawrence. --Mark ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
***These picks are for entertainment purposes only. You get what you pay for. There are no refunds.