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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)
» Future Cat Roth sets HS steeplechase record
» UA football: Camp schedule includes shorter Fort Huachuca stay
» Video collection: UA hoops incoming freshmen highlights
» Wildcats: Pac-12 Media Days, Day 2

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Graham's coaching jobs have shaped him
» ASU All Access: Who stood out at workouts
» De'Marieya Nelson to get a look at Devil-backer
» Graham: Great programs reload, not rebuild

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Atletico Madrid not at full strength against San Jose Earthquakes
» Coach Sonny Dykes promises Cal Bears will be competitive
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott disputes remarks by Big 12's Bob Bowlsby
» DirecTV still saying no to Pac-12 Network

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Pac-12 media days: Colorado eager to turn things around
» Colorado's MacIntyre at Pac-12 media days: "We will be improved"
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: league "well positioned" for playoffs
» CU Buffs picked 6th in Pac-12 football media poll; Oregon the favorite

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Late hits on Ducks' Marcus Mariota; what Oregon Ducks can expect against Michigan State: The Oregonian sports top 5
» Team USA's sprinters dominate Friday at the IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships
» Leaders after Round of 64 in Oregon's Greatest Athlete Bracket Challenge
» Oregon signee Ariana Washington helps United States 4X100 relay team win heat: IAAF World Junior Championships

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local digest: Atletico Madrid not at full strength against San Jose Earthquakes
» Stanford's Evan Crower emerges as Kevin Hogan's backup
» Stanford's David Shaw open to San Jose State game at Levi's Stadium
» Pac 12 football: Stanford reacts to being picked second

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» 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

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)
» Chris Petersen eager to bring some trick-playin', Goliath-slayin' fun to the Huskies
» Former Lincoln High star Alex Montgomery helps New York win
» Morning links: Chris Petersen 'nailed it' in move to Washington
» Huskies QB Cyler Miles suspended for Hawaii opener

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Where will Lynch's holdout lead the Hawks?
» WSU gets a kicker, announces fall practice dates
» Flashback: Stanford
» No shirt, no helmet, no problem



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