Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Stanford and UCLA met last Saturday with the Cardinal getting the best of the Bruins, 35-17. Stanford needed a victory to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game while the Bruins already had locked up a spot, so a win wasn't imperative.
Even though UCLA lost by 18 points (as a three-point home underdog), the game was much closer than the final score indicated. The Bruins turned the ball over twice in a span of a few minutes in the third quarter, which led to 14 Stanford points. They also were penalized 12 times for 135 yards compared to just six penalties for 55 yards for Stanford. In addition, UCLA was outgained by only 47 yards.
Given that this contest is for the Pac-12 title and that game was the dress rehearsal, look for the Bruins to play much better ball this time around.
It also must be noted that the Cardinal have not been that overpowering at home this season. Despite a 6-0 mark at Stanford Stadium, they have won just one game by more than a touchdown and that came against Duke.
The Bruins, who reeled off five consecutive victories prior to its meaningless game against Stanford, are 12-7 against-the-spread the last 19 games getting more than eight points. They are getting nine on Friday.
Take UCLA plus nine points in the first of three, three-star plays.
Georgia Tech and Florida State meet in Charlotte for the ACC title. The Yellow Jackets finished in a tie for first-place with Miami (Fla.) and North Carolina but the former decided to forego this contest and the latter is ineligible. Georgia Tech comes into this game with three wins in its last four games.
The only loss was last week's debacle against Georgia. Even though they were blown out by the Bulldogs, who knows what might have happened if Robert Godhigh had not fumbled near Georgia's goal-line on the Yellow Jackets' opening drive. A Georgia Tech touchdown would have tied the score at seven and the odds are strong the Bulldogs would not have started at midfield on their next possession.
Florida State has been fabulous against the run this year, but Cornellius Carradine, the team's leading tackler, will miss the game with a torn ACL. Moreover, Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops might not be fully invested into this game after being hired as the new head coach at Kentucky.
It would be a major upset if the Yellow Jackets were to win this contest, but they should be able to stay within two touchdowns, especially since Florida State is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine games.
Take Georgia Tech plus 14 points.
The last three-star play comes from Boca Raton where Florida Atlantic hosts Louisiana.
The Owls are getting nine points from the Ragin' Cajuns, a team that already has been invited to New Orleans Bowl. Given that, one has to wonder how up Louisiana will be for this game at Florida Atlantic.
Carl Pelini has gotten the Owls playing improved ball the second half of the season. After six Football Bowl Subdivision losses in a row, Florida Atlantic has split its last four games, beating Western Kentucky and Troy while losing by only a touchdown at Navy and then by 10 against Florida International.
The Owls, who have had an extra week to prepare, have more than held their own against Louisiana of late, winning and covering four of the last five meetings. Expect another ATS victory on Saturday.
Take the Owls plus nine points.
There are no two-star plays this week.
Take Kansas +20 (West Virginia).
AFTER 13 WEEKS
My overall record through Week 11 is 91-83-5 after a 4-9-2 week. The five-star plays are 10-8-2, the three-star selections are 19-23-1, the two-star picks stand at 34-32-1 and the one-star plays are 28-20-1.
As a reminder, the five-star plays are when my personal plays coincide with my power rating plays (games with at least a five-point differential between my line and the actual line). The three-star choices are my personal picks, the two-star plays are the games the power rating system picks and the one-star plays are my personal secondary selections.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Oregon, 109; 2) Alabama, 108; 3) Georgia, 104.5; 4) Texas A&M, 104; 5 Florida State, 100.5; 6) Stanford, 100; 7) Oklahoma State, 99.5; 8-T) Notre Dame and South Carolina, 99; 10-T) Clemson and Kansas State; 98; 12) LSU, 97
(The Top 12 is not a reflection of a given team's won-loss record. It is based on power ratings used to predict spreads for the upcoming week. At the beginning of the season, all 124 FBS teams are assigned a power number, which changes on a week-to-week basis depending on the results of the previous week.)