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PICKS FROM JOE’S: Let the agony begin

Some intriguing games will only distract us for so long from the inevitable “thud” we will witness at the end of the evening.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference Media Days Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week Two of old school rivalry showdown.

Last week we were treated to a glorious affair, with Arkansas boat-racing Texas in what I would consider one of my favorite things I’ve seen in 2021.

This week we get a redo of Nebraska-OU which I speak more about below. Big 12 play also gets underway with what could be a very interesting game between Baylor and Kansas.

Yes, I just said “interesting game” and “Kansas” in the same sentence in reference to football.

Another full slate of action (full conference play can’t get here soon enough) with all games on Saturday, so let’s get to it!

Nebraska at Oklahoma (12pm ET on FOX)
OU -22.5
O/U 62

By far and away the marquee game in the Big 12 this weekend even though the predictions say the Sooners should handle this rather easily, with ESPN's "Matchup Predictor" giving the Cornshaggers an 8.4% chance of winning. OU should be awake for this and got a world-class tutorial last week from Arkansas on how to handle old rivals you haven't seen in a while. I'm laying the points and taking the under, but I'm using a Corso GIF so that could spell doom for OU...

Virginia Tech at West Virginia (12pm ET on FS1)
WV -2.5
O/U 50.5

The Mountaineers get a shot at demonstrating they have a functional Power 5 offense against a pretty functional Power 5 defense. Fortunately for them the Hokie's offense isn't much more dynamic, so this has a chance to be a real barnburner (meaning the WV fans will be so aggravated they will move from burning couches to burning barns). Line says it's essentially a toss-up and I think that over/under is still too high. I'm taking VT for the outright win and sticking with the under.

Nevada at Kansas State (2pm ET on ESPN+)
Nevada -2.0
O/U 50.5

This whole thing stinks to high heaven. I'm going Kansas State and taking the over.

Baylor at Kansas (3:30pm ET on ESPN+)
Baylor -17.5
O/U 49.5

How Vegas comes up with a line for this game is beyond me, although I could argue that the Bears being favored by ONLY 17.5 is insulting to Baylor, which I am more than ok with. I'll go out on a limb and take the Jayhawks to cover and run with the over. The only way I'm watching this game is if Kansas is winning at the end because, you know…

Florida International at Texas Tech (7pm ET on ESPN+)
TT -20.0
O/U 54

Rice at Texas (8pm ET on LHN)
Texas -26.0
O/U 52.5

The only redeeming quality of this game is that it is on a network that I can't watch EVEN if I accidentally landed on it. The Owls are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Iowa State at UNLV (10:30pm ET on CBSSN)
Iowa State -31.5
O/U 52

Raise your hand if you are staying up to watch this…

Oklahoma State at Boise State (9pm ET on FS1)
Boise St -3.5
O/U 57.5

Like the Kansas State line this smells bad, but in the opposite direction. OSU hasn't demonstrated ANYTHING to make me think their offense is going to score points against a team that has sustained quality football for a long time. I'm taking the Broncos to easily cover and jumping on the under as the Cowboys' defense gradually wears down. I'm preparing myself for painful, and hoping if it's as bad as I'm fearing that it will become funny.