Time for the last picks blog of the regular season, with one big one and one really little one.
But nothing can save my picks now as my record against the spread is downright Figgins-esque. I blame some injuries and youth in the research department and will hope for a breakthrough next year.
As for this week, here we go:
NICHOLLS STATE AT OREGON STATE (No official line): This is the makeup of OSU’s opener, postponed due to Hurricane Issac. Nicholls State is a lower-division team that is 1-9, so the Beavers should pretty much be able to name their own score and improve to 9-3 and have nine or more wins for the fourth time since 2006. Here’s a little primer on the game if you need one. OSU 52, NICHOLLS STATE 13.
UCLA AT STANFORD (Cardinal by 8.5): I’ve picked against the Cardinal the last two weeks and been wrong, so it may be time to ride the hot hand. It’s also worth recalling how close Stanford is to an undefeated season — the OT loss at Notre Dame and the four-point defeat at UW. Not bad for a season when many figured the Cardinal might veer back to mediocrity with Andrew Luck gone. The Cardinal is 3-0 in games started by Kevin Hogan, all against ranked teams — Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA last week. Not bad for a redshirt freshman (and with 17 starters who could return next season, maybe simply the beginning of a new era of success for the Cardinal). UCLA has had a nice first season under Jim Mora to get to this point, and figures to play better than it did in the game last week in Pasadena. But Stanford seems destined now to get to a third straight BCS bowl. STANFORD 31, UCLA 24.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 2-4
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 36-50.