Iowa State is the only Big 12 Conference football team idle this weekend and I'm certain coach Dan McCarney would be a lot happier if he reflected rather than anticipated.
Winners of five of their first six, including last week's decisive 36-14 defeat of tail-spinning Nebraska, the Cyclones are riding a cloud of euphoria right now, but their remaining schedule looks like Burma Road.
During a five-week period, Iowa State will travel to Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas State and Colorado Â a murderous stretch broken up by a home game with Missouri.
In other words, the Cyclones may be flying high now, but by mid-November Iowa State may be hoping for a postseason trip to the Independence Bowl instead of dreaming of the Big 12 championship game.
No other Big 12 North school Â with the possible exception of Missouri, which has trips to Texas Tech, Nebraska, Iowa State and Texas A&M; remaining Â faces so many potential minefields.
Speaking of Missouri, opening conference play against Oklahoma, even if Saturday's game is in Columbia, Mo., is no bargain.
Oddsmakers like the Sooners by almost two touchdowns. Will Mizzou beat that spread? I think so, but Oklahoma will win. If you disagree, go to KUsports.com and try to win a nifty "We Whacked Woodling" T-shirt.
Here are this week's Big 12 picks:
Oklahoma 27, Missouri 23 Â Sooners traditionally perform poorly in Columbia, but OU has the speed to make big plays and Mizzou doesn't. Sooners' defense will harass MU quarterback Brad Smith all night.
Nebraska 27, McNeese State 12 Â Who would have believed McNeese State would be the unbeaten team (4-0) in this match? Cowboys good, but not good enough to stun Huskers (3-2), smarting from last week's embarrassing loss at Iowa State.
Texas 34, Oklahoma State 11 Â Cowboys good, but won't stun Longhorns who are merely great on offense and only terrific on defense. Oh, and the 'Horns' special teams aren't too bad, either.
Texas A&M; 16, Texas Tech 0 Â A&M; calls its defense "The Wrecking Crew" and the Aggie wreckers will wreak havoc on Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury.
Kansas State 22, Colorado 9 Â Buffaloes helpless if they can't run the ball, and Kansas State linebacker Terry Pierce and Co. won't let them.
Baylor 33, Kansas 32 Â Beleaguered Bears outlast Jayhawks in battle of bad defenses. It's Armageddon for Baylor, loser of 29 straight Big 12 contests since losing, yes, to Kansas, 31-24, in 1998.