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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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Pac-12 picks: Oregon State over Arizona

I'll introduce myself as the John L. Smith of the Pac-12 beat, with Bill Oram's becoming The Tribune's Jazz beat writer resulting in my

promotion as the interim Pac-12 blogger.

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My credentials? Well, how many writers can claim to be a son of a former Pac-10 Coach of the Year? So here we are, 23 years after Dave Kragthorpe's award-winning 4-7-1 season with Oregon State, and the Beavers are the conference's surprise team. With that, here are Saturday's picks:

Arizona State at Cal, 2 p.m. MDT, FX

Can the Sun Devils possibly be as good as they looked last weekend against Utah? Ute fans sure hope so. This becomes a pivotal game -- especially for Cal, with its about on the verge of crumbling. ASU did not play well in its only road game, losing to Missouri, but should perform better in Berkeley. The enduring image of all those ASU receivers running free against Utah makes it impossible for me to go against the Devils. Arizona State 35, Cal 24.

UCLA at Colorado, 4 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

Good thing we all piled on Colorado last week, because now that the Buffaloes are the Pac-12 South's co-leaders, they're exempt from the jokes for the moment. That fourth-quarter comeback at Washington State was amazing, but let's face it, that required some cooperation from the Cougars. And it's difficult to picture a September when Sacramento State wins at Folsom Field and UCLA loses there. The Bruins lost some of their shine in a home defeat against Oregon State, but quarterback Brett Hundley will thrive against Colorado. After next Thursday's Utah-USC game, UCLA is the Utes' next opponent.

UCLA 31, Colorado 17.

Oregon State at Arizona, 8 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

This is the conference's most intriguing game of the week, just because we really need to find out more about these teams. Then

there's the October schedule that pits OSU against BYU and Utah, so there's plenty of incentive for local viewing. Going against

Arizona's offense will be a good test for OSU's defense, disregarding how the Wildcats were shut out by Oregon last weekend. Arizona moved the ball decently, but invented all kinds of ways to score. The Beavers' defensive improvement is stunning, after I witnessed BYU and Utah run the ball right through them last October, so I'm picking them until proven otherwise. Oregon State 28, Arizona 21.

Oregon at Washington State, 8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN2

This game actually is at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, where the Cougars have booked their annual home date with Oregon or Oregon

State. That obviously creates the potential for a lot of green and yellow in the seats. The Ducks showed last week that they just may have a defense to go with that prolific offense, and nothing suggests that Mike Leach's WSU offense is ready to match Oregon's

explosiveness. Oregon 49, Washington State 21.

– Kurt Kragthorpe

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Tucson's streetcar leads to soccer
» UA football: 3-star lineman commits to Cats
» Future Cat Roth sets HS steeplechase record
» UA football: Camp schedule includes shorter Fort Huachuca stay

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU adds linebacker from Purdue
» Randall expected to compete for All-Pac-12 honors
» Marcus Ball replaces Alden Darby at bandit safety
» Lloyd Carrington expected to start at field corner

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh Jennings wins World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Internazionale Milan scores 3-2 shootout victory over Real Madrid
» Kerri Walsh Jennings reaches final of World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Former Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour hired as Penn State AD

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Changes in college football a cause of excitement and concern
» 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

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks lose key behind-the-scenes staffer to the NFL with fall camp approaching: Oregon rundown
» Eugene put on a good show; we'll see what comes next. Oregon track & field rundown
» Ashton Eaton vs. Mel Counts and more: Oregon's Greatest Athlete Round of 32 Day 1 (vote)
» 49ers RB LaMichael James suffers elbow injury; former Oregon Ducks star could miss 1 month

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 sports digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh captures World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Local digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh Jennings wins World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Kerri Walsh Jennings reaches final of World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Stanford's Carol Zhao advances in Bank of the West tennis qualifying

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)
» Storm will sign Waltiea Rolle to second seven-day contract
» 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

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Is the M's season slipping away?
» Indians improve to 5-2 against Vancouver
» A couple weeks in, everyone will be really tired
» Shock win fifth in a row



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