Down mostly to just rivalry games now, usually the hardest of all to pick.
Not that that matters much to my spread record — a .500 week leaves me hopelessly unable now to get back into the black this year. But heck, the next two weeks, simply being in the black straight-up will be an accomplishment.
On with the picks:
NOTRE DAME AT STANFORD (Cardinal by 10): The line on this one has gone up 4.5 points in Stanford’s favor this week, bettors obviously thinking the Irish will be in a fragile mental state for this game, likely to be the last for UND head coach Charlie Weis. A spread moving fast in Stanford’s favor didn’t work out too well for the Huskies. It won’t work out for the Irish here. Stanford’s coming off a brutal loss, but playing the Irish in such a spotlight game is a good way to ensure a quick rebound. And Stanford should be able to just run all over the Irish. STANFORD 38, NOTRE DAME 27.
ARIZONA AT ARIZONA STATE (Wildcats by 3): Like Stanford, Arizona coming off a devestating defeat. But the best way to get past that is to play a hated rival. ASU’s defense is keeping the Devils in game. But the ‘Cats can score on anyone, and the Devils are again going with untested Samson Szakacsy at quarterback. Arizona will officially take over ownership of football in the state by winning in Tempe, which it hasn’t done since 2001. ARIZONA 28, ASU 17.
UCLA AT USC (Trojans by 13:) This line has gone up 2.5 points in favor or the Trojans, who had last week off to lick the literal and figurative wounds of the Stanford debacle. UCLA has won three in a row to get in position for a bowl bid, but a 6-6 record may not be good enough. But despite the Bruins’ winning streak, UCLA’s offense has yet to prove it can move against a good defense. And against at home and after some rest, the Trojan defense should be revived enough to get back on track. USC 27, UCLA 13.
LAST WEEK — 3-1 straight up; 2-2 against the spread
SEASON TO DATE — 48-20 straight up; 27-36-1 against the spread;