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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams 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)
» Video collection: NBA decision day at McKale
» Greg Hansen's Video Notebook...why Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could be a top 10 draft pick next year
» Why Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson decided to stay
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra...Gordon and Johnson may be gone, but Hollis-Jefferson is here to stay

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU hockey tops Robert Morris to claim ACHA crown
» ASU baseball drops series against Tennessee
» Cancer fails to pin ASU's Eskam or derail his big plans for life
» Late errors doom ASU baseball in tough loss to Tennessee

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Cal names Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin as new basketball coach
» New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin praised by mentor Gene Keady, others
» Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is WNBA's top overall draft pick

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado Classics: Darian Hagan, former CU Buffs quarterback
» CU Buffs backup QB Jordan Gehrke impresses during spring drills
» Fleet freshman receivers shine in CU Buffs' spring game
» Spring games are important, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre says

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» Oregon stars Phyllis Francis and Laura Roesler remain in the mix for The Bowerman
» No. 23 Oregon - Washington State open thread
» Oregon thrower Brittany Mann is poised to do some damage to the school record book

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: De Carolis statement on men's basketball
» Oregon State's tournament success caps a remarkably quick turnaround
» OSU gymnastics: Beavers headed to Penn State for NCAA regionals
» OSU wins seventh straight racquetball national title

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford's Olympic diving coach Rick Schavone retires
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is WNBA's top overall draft pick
» Stanford's defense shows its dominance in spring game

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)
» Super-duper, way-too-early 2014-15 Pac-12 preseason forecast
» Jordan Adams stays, Byron Wesley leaves
» Huskies' season opener at Hawaii to air on CBS Sports Network
» UW spring depth chart: Offense

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Sabonis signs with Gonzaga
» One loss that seems like more
» Thursday morning Pac-12 links
» Five Questions with Xavier Cooper



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