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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Friday Pac-12 links: Gameday for Utes, but all eyes are on Baton Rouge

It's gameday. At least for the Utes. Elsewhere it's drug-testing discussing day, lamenting-fans-leaving-early day, players transferring day.

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It's also travel day. And with most of the Pac-12 getting to stay home this week, all eyes should be on LSU, where quarterback Keith Price will lead the Huskies into the biggest game of the week. Or at least what should be the biggest game of the week if Washington can make any progress against No. 3 LSU's touted defense.

Washington faces a 24-point spread, which ties for the largest spread against the Huskies dating back to 1985. And there were some pretty bad Dawg teams in between then and now. Washington receiver Kasen Williams is a former LSU recruit. Who knows, maybe he liked Death Valley for the tailgating scene, which at least one member of Seattle media is excited about.

But when it comes to picking upsets in the conference, it doesn't seem too many are giving the Huskies much of a chance. Ted Miller thinks the best upset pick in the conference might be Oregon State over Wisconsin. It's nearly unthinkable if you remember the Beavers 35-0 loss in Madison a year ago, but, as Miller points out, that was a stripped down Beavers team with a freshman quarterback. Sean Mannion (good story on the sophomore here) is expected to be significantly better, while freshman running back Storm Woods is already touted as the next great Oregon State running back in a line that includes NFL players Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers. However, there are a couple of guys in the Wisconsin defense the Beavs should be worried about.

Elsewhere...

The Salt Lake Tribune's Tony Jones has a good piece documenting the longtime relationship between Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and Utah State's Gary Andersen.

— Oregon implemented a random drug-testing policy this week (remember that ESPN story from earlier this year about marijuana in Eugene?). It's not entirely popular, but Oregon State seems to like it because it's following suit.

— The Big XII gets a TV deal with ESPN and Fox Sports worth $2.6 billion over 13 years. Not quite Pac-12 money, but close.

— A writer in Tucson lamented Wildcats' fans penchant for leaving early, which inspired an Oregon columnist to address the same issue within Autzen Stadium.

— Colorado coach Jon Embree says Buffs' focus after loss is mark of maturity.

— Washington State hasn't deigned to play FCS Eastern Washington for 104 years, but Eagles quarterback Kyle Padron has beaten the Cougars before.

— When Cal hosts Southern Utah on Saturday, it will be without its best offensive lineman.

— Cal essentially is starting over against SUU after its loss to Nevada.

— If you believe in an East Coast media bias in college football, you should be pulling for Matt Barkley and USC to have a field day against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium.

— Former Gatorade National Player of the Year Malcolm Jones appears set to transfer from UCLA.

— Bill Oram

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» UA football: Rodriguez on Mariota, Solomon and more
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine
» By the numbers: Anu Solomon's record-breaking season
» By the numbers: Anu Solomon's record-breaking season

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Arizona State practice report from Tuesday
» Moeakiola says he's healthy enough to play vs. UCLA
» NFL QBs reach out to ASU's Mike Bercovici
» Doug Haller after Tuesday's ASU practice

California (East Bay Tribune)
» After one month, this is what we have learned about college football.
» Cal Bears safety Griffin Piatt showing promise, inexperience
» Jeff Kent provides women's scholarship endowment to Cal athletics
» Grading Cal's 49-45 loss to Arizona

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Little change in this week's USTFCCCA college cross country rankings
» Mark Helfrich on Pac-12 parity, Marcus Mariota and more: Pac-12 football coaches conference call
» Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota remains the one to beat for the Heisman Trophy

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» After one month, this is what we have learned about college football.
» No. 16 Stanford tries to hang on -- to the ball
» Grading Stanford's week: Cardinal has a bye
» Local sports digest: Stanford, Cal in water polo showdown

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Will UW defensive front meet its match in Stanford offensive line?
» Freshmen starters Budda Baker, Sidney Jones making progress in UW's defensive secondary
» Video: Can Cyler Miles, UW disrupt Stanford defense?
» UW defensive coaches relish old-school, smashmouth football vs. Stanford

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Central Valley girls defeat Mead
» Cougars try some new looks on defense
» Going back in time thanks to a golden voice
» Tuesday morning Pac-12 links



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