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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)
» Rich Rodriguez on UTSA
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Byrne, staff worked hard to get 50K for UA opener
» UA football: Breaking down the wide receivers
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football practice report from Sunday
» VIDEO: Looking ahead to ASU's road game
» Goal-line stand highlights 1st look at defense
» How ASU's 2015 commits fared Friday night

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal Bears hang on for win at Northwestern
» Cal football notebook: Freshman QB Rubenzer an effective secret weapon
» Cal opens at Northwestern with a much different look on defense
» Fact box: Cal at Northwestern

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU Buffs freshman WR Shay Fields gets off to impressive start
» Opening game loss a blow to Colorado's goal of a bowl bid
» CSU roars back to beat CU 31-17 in Rocky Mountain Showdown
» CU-CSU Briefs: Rams' defense tightens up after poor start

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» The physical game is a pride issue for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks as No. 8 Michigan State comes to town
» Royce Freeman on being 'tentative,' performing better and first time playing at Autzen Stadium (video)
» Marcus Mariota on Michigan State, Royce Freeman and feeling good after a win (video)

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford overpowers UC Davis in season-opening win
» Stanford opens 2014 season without a No. 1 tailback -- again
» Fact box: Stanford vs. UC-Davis
» Stanford prepares for UC Davis as memory of stunning 2005 loss lingers

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)
» Huskies announce that Cyler Miles will start at quarterback against Eastern Washington
» First look: Eastern Washington Eagles
» UW coach Chris Petersen on Cyler Miles, Hawaii and looking ahead to Eastern Washington
» Video: UW's John Ross, Hau'oli Kikaha, John Timu and Danny Shelton review Hawaii game

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» New depth chart for Nevada
» Labor Day is the right name for every day of the football season
» Another game week begins
» We always (over)react to college football's first full Saturday



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