The Oregon State Beavers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Oregon Ducks to finish their Pac-12 season at 6-3. This leaves them the No. 4 team in the conference with a chance to reach 10 wins, including a bowl appearance.
The Beavers have certainly outperformed expectations. The fact that they were in the thick of the Pac-12 race for most of the season was a surprise even to the team.
This tilt against Nicholls State, originally scheduled to start the season, was cancelled when Hurricane Isaac closed the Nicholls State campus.
The Beavers rescheduled this game to the same weekend as the Pac-12 Championship Game. A team with the belief it would win the conference wouldn't likely have made such a scheduling decision.
The good news for Nicholls State (1-9, 0-7 Southland) is it still gets the payday of traveling to a Pac-12 school without risking the health of its players for the balance of the season.
When: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
Watch: Pac-12 Network
Live Stream: Pac-12 Video
Betting Line (via OddsShark)
Over/Under: OFF, Spread: Off
This game won't be close and the oddsmakers know it. None of the major lines are carrying this contest.
Nicholls State (via CBS Sports as of Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7:00 a.m.)
No injuries reported
Oregon State (via USA Today as of Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7:00 a.m.)
Brandin Cooks, WR, Probable (Knee)
Markus Wheaton, WR, Probable (Quadricep)
Peter Ashton, S, Questionable (Hip)
Jordan Poyer, CB, Questionable (Hamstring)
Cody Vaz, QB, Questionable (Ankle)
Tyler Anderson, FB, Questionable (Knee)
Josh Williams, LB, Out (Suspension)
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Oregon State has already secured the No. 4 bowl bid from the Pac-12 conference. It does put its No. 15 BCS ranking on the line with a loss, but it has virtually nothing to gain with a win.
Nicholls State Player to Watch: Landry Klann, QB
There hasn't been much of an offensive leader for the Colonels but Klann is as close at it gets. He's had a few solid games this season, but they've been overshadowed by interceptions and sacks.
Any chance for Nicholls State to keep this game respectable will require Klann to step up and make plays with his arm.
The real key to this game could be the training staff's ability to keep players on the field.
Landry Klann Career Stats
Oregon State Player to Watch: Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton, WR
This game will be as much of a track meet as the Beavers decide to make it. Their starting quarterback is still up in the air but Oregon State's pair of 1,000 yard receivers aren't.
Markus Wheaton would like the opportunity to get the bad taste out of his mouth that was last week's loss in the Civil War.
"It hurts. I wanted this -- we wanted it -- really bad," Wheaton said via ESPN.com.
As the Beavers prepare for a likely appearance in the Holiday Bowl, their last performance will be a win over Nichols State. Wheaton and Cooks were both held out of the end zone against Oregon and they would like to make up for that this weekend.
Prediction: Oregon State 73, Nicholls State 7
Nicholls State has one win on the season, a 73-17 thumping of Evangel, an NAIA school in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. They were 0-7 against FCS competition.
Quite simply, this is one of those matchups we like to tease schools for scheduling. It makes some sense as a primer game for a young team preparing for real competition but is just sad at the end of the season.
I'm tempted to say Oregon State will pitch a shutout, but the odds are the fourth quarter will afford game time to some players that even the most ardent fans aren't familiar with. That could allow the Colonels to churn out a big play.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.