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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: USC, Oregon, Utah

The Pac-12 South title will be decided, Oregon can remain in contention for the national championship and Arizona State and Utah can become the conference’s eighth and ninth bowl-eligible teams.

It’s mid-November, and this league is getting interesting. Saturday’s picks:

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Washington at Colorado, 11:30 a.m. MST, FX

Washington put together its most complete effort of the season in beating Utah last weekend, and now the Huskies have a good shot at an 8-4 record. Must be nice, to be bowl-eligible and now face the league’s two worst teams. Washington 42, Colorado 21.

Washington State at Arizona State, 1 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks

The Sun Devils are reeling, just as they were last season when a loss at WSU proved costly. WSU actually showed signs of life in the second half of last week’s loss to UCLA, but it is awfully difficult to picture the Cougars winning in Tempe. Arizona State 31, Washington State 21.

USC at UCLA, 1 p.m. MST, Fox

The crosstown rivalry has relevance. This game should be fun, with two teams that have turned out to be quite evenly matched. USC’s season has been disappointing and the Bruins have overachieved, but I’m sticking with the favored Trojans. USC 35, UCLA 28.

Stanford at Oregon, 6 p.m. MST, ABC

Oregon has served as the big test for every Pac-12 opponent, and nobody has measured up to the Ducks. Why should Stanford be any different? Obviously, the Cardinal defense is outstanding, but stopping the Ducks is another issue entirely. Cal coach Jeff Tedford made a good observation about how Oregon’s offense can be slowed at times, but the Ducks adjust to the defensive scheme and score in spurts. It will happen again at some point Saturday. Oregon 45, Stanford 28.

Arizona at Utah, 8 p.m. MST, ESPNU

Like just about every game involving Arizona, this contest comes down to one basic question: Would you rather have a great offense and lousy defense or a good defense and a bad offense? The Utes’ problem is their supposedly great defense was absent at Washington, allowing 437 total yards. Coach Kyle Whittingham has a knack for getting his guys to respond in tough situations, salvaging the season. Needing two wins for bowl eligibility, the Utes should come through. Utah 28, Arizona 24.

California at Oregon State, 8:30 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks

This is Cal’s last game of the season after playing 12 consecutive weeks. Whether it marks the end of Tedford’s tenure is subject to discussion. Oregon State 24, Cal 17.

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PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Renovated McKale 'really coming together'
» Wildcats: College football preview section
» UA football: On Bondurant, Hill and the quarterbacks
» Photos: UA sports Throwback Thursday Chase Budinger

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football practice report from Friday
» Watch: Haller discusses Friday's practice
» Former top recruit Cox 'still learning' at ASU
» Harker to fill key role for ASU volleyball

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal football: Safety Lowe shapes up, holds job
» Cal's goal in Dykes' second season is to establish running game
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Yuri Wright pushing his way up CU Buffs depth chart in return
» Colorado feels fortunate to have avoided a rash of preseason injuries
» Colorado senior receiver D.D. Goodson: not overlooked by coaches
» Colorado redshirt freshman Phillip Lindsay: two touchdown runs in scrimmage gave me confidence

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart scores twice for Carolina Panthers against Kansas City
» Beavers move forward without kicker Trevor Romaine; Ducks shift to game prep: The Oregonian sports top 5
» Johnathan Loyd's transition to the football field nears completion for Oregon Ducks
» Live chat: Central Catholic four-star RB Cameron Scarlett joins us Tuesday at noon

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)
» Stanford football: Backup QB Evan Crower is ready, just in case
» Stanford football: Defensive coordinator learns from 49ers counterpart
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

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)
» Jeff Lindquist will be starting quarterback in Huskies' opener
» Washington women's soccer opens with 4-1 victory over Kentucky
» Husky coach Chris Petersen is a perfectionist with a personal touch
» UW position battles: Dwayne Washington, Lavon Coleman to get bulk of carries for Huskies

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» No practice report, but some game notes
» Some things matter tonight, others don't
» Eastern and Big Sky links
» Pac-12 morning links: The offensive line carries a heavy burden



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