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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)
» UA sports Throwback Thursday: Lowell-Stevens Football opens
» Wildcats earn academic honors
» Photos: UA's smartest athletes 2013-14
» Wildcats: Who's gonna be the QB?

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» 5-star linebacker Houston checking out ASU
» Top 2016 tight end Naseir Upshur likes ASU
» ASU football overview: Defensive backs
» Why is Sendek watching film of VCU, Louisville?

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Wilner: 49ers, Levi's Stadium pursue college football's potential
» Levi's Stadium: Three college football games this year
» College football: Key dates for Cal, Stanford, San Jose State
» Cal's injury-plagued defense mended, ready to go

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Pac-12 living up to tradition as tops in quarterbacks
» 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"

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks say signee Ray Kasongo isn't expected to join basketball team
» Ducks' freshman denied admission, Damian Lillard's rivals praise his game: The Oregonian sports top 5 at 5
» Super Bowl title makes former Oregon Duck Max Unger's offseason one to remember
» Brianne Theisen Eaton claims the heptathlon gold medal in the Commonwealth Games

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)
» Wilner: 49ers, Levi's Stadium pursue college football's potential
» Levi's Stadium: Three college football games this year
» Stanford receiver Ty Montgomery says he's close to being ready
» College football: Key dates for Cal, Stanford, San Jose State

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)
» Huskies fall camp position preview: Linebackers
» Morning links: More love for Huskies' Shaq Thompson
» Morning links: Pauley Pavilion flooded
» Huskies to open three fall-camp practices to the public

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Looking at the WSU pre-camp depth chart
» Washington works on body, mind
» Wednesday WSU chat
» To paraphrase Frank, it was a very good day



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