Can LSU Hook 'Horns? Can Gophers Fly in West? Statement Game for. . . Terps?

Buoyed by 4-1-1 start in Week 1, we take risks in Week 2. Cornhuskers? Shucks. Vols off the mat? Why not?

Last week was a perfect example of what an inexact science picking games against the spread is. Very happy to go 4-1-1, but also very aware of the strange path to get there.

Ohio State had its 27½-point line covered in the first quarter against Florida Atlantic, but lost interest and only won by 24. Meanwhile, Stanford, leading by three in the final minute, recovered a fumble in the endzone to win by 10 and cover its six-point line. And we won’t even talk about Notre Dame winding up right on its 18-point number.

On to Week 2. . . Are Maryland and Nebraska ready to take the next step in their rebuilds? . . . Minnesota on upset watch. . . LSU and Tennessee need to make statements, although of a very different nature. . . And will Cincinnati have any luck in the Horseshoe?

Good luck in sports.

THE GAMES

(Central Flyover Time)

Cincinnati plus-16½ at Ohio State, 11 a.m., ABC

Syracuse plus-1½ at Maryland, 11 a.m., ESPN

Nebraska minus-3½ at Colorado, 2:30 p.m., FOX

BYU plus-3 at Tennessee, 6 p.m., ESPN

LSU minus-6 at Texas, 6:30 p.m., ABC

Minnesota minus-3 at Fresno State, 9:30 p.m., CBSSN

THE PICKS

Cincinnati plus-16½ at Ohio State, 11 a.m., ABC

Bearcats may not have enough for a big upset. But Cincy coach Luke Fickell, who has deep Buckeye roots and defensive savvy, has enough to keep it close.

The Pick: Cincinnati

The Score: Buckeyes, 30-17

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Syracuse plus-1½ at Maryland, 11 a.m., ESPN

This is where new Maryland coach Mike Locksley, with the aid of Virginia Tech transfer QB Josh Jackson, really starts to shed his doubters.

The Pick: Maryland

The Score: Terrapins, 31-27

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Nebraska minus-3½ at Colorado, 2:30 p.m., FOX

After ho-hum opening win, Cornhuskers go on road vs. historic rival. As the hunted, not the hunter. And by the way, Colorado coach Mel Tucker is a former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator as well as a former Georgia D.C.

The Pick: Colorado

The Score: Buffaloes, 28-24

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BYU plus-3 at Tennessee, 6 p.m., ESPN

BYU was humbled by humbled by Utah. But Tennessee was humiliated by Georgia State. Vols need to get their act together. And they know it.

The Pick: Tennessee

The Score: Volunteers, 27-20

LSU minus-6 at Texas, 6:30 p.m., ABC

It’s the biggest game of Ed Orgeron’s career. And he has the Tigers to get the job done.

The Pick: LSU

The Score: Tigers, 28-17

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Minnesota minus-3 at Fresno State,9:30 p.m., CBSSN

After competitive loss at USC, Fresno State defends its home turf in search of payback for last year’s frustrating trip to Minnesota.

The Pick: Fresno State

The Score: Bulldogs, 28-24

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LAST WEEK ATS: 4-1-1

STRAIGHT UP: 5-1

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