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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: USC over Notrre Dame; Stanford over UCLA

The story of my first season of writing this Pac-12 blog and making weekly predictions is a case of overestimating USC. Of course, I’m the not only one. I came very close to picking UCLA over the Trojans last week, but couldn’t quite do it. So what I have learned. Not much, judging by my USC-Notre Dame forecast.

On to the final weekend of the Pac-12 regular season:

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Friday’s games

Utah at Colorado, 1 p.m. MST, FX

Someday, this may become a genuine rivalry. For now, there’s just one interesting historical note. The last time Utah played in Boulder, the Utes beat a No. 8-ranked Colorado team in 1961. All these years later, the Buffs wish they could just be No. 8 in the Pac-12. Utah 35, Colorado 17.

Washington at Washington State, 1:30 p.m. MST, Fox

Having watched the Cougars open the season at BYU in August, I was surprised they were not better then and I’m shocked that they didn’t improve. Washington, meanwhile, got better in the second half of the season. Washington 35, Washington State 21.

Arizona State at Arizona, 8 p.m. MST, ESPN

I wouldn’t have said this in September, but Arizona is the better team right now. Rich Rodriguez has done a terrific job in his first season with the Wildcats. Arizona 31, Arizona State 24.

Saturday’s games

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

As much as I respect Stanford’s defense, I’m still very surprised that anybody could hold Oregon to 14 points. OSU’s defensive improvement is one of the big stories of the season, but the Beavers can’t do what Stanford did. Oregon 42, Oregon State 28.

Stanford at UCLA, 4:30 p.m. MST, Fox

This game will test the maturity of both teams, coming off huge, emotional wins. While declaring Jim Mora the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, I still favor Stanford’s David Shaw in terms of getting his guys to play at a high level again this week. And then there will be a rematch for the Pac-12 championship next week. Stanford 24, UCLA 21.

Notre Dame at USC, 6 p.m. MST, ABC

I believe the word here is "incorrigible" – for both me and the Trojans. Have we learned nothing this season? USC’s 2012 season may be the greatest waste of talent in college football history. But fill-in quarterback Max Wittek has persuaded me to go with the upset. USC 21, Notre Dame 17.</

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats Extra with Jon Gold and Daniel Berk
» Hansen: Wildcats, Maes succeeding in ultra-competitive Pac-12
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra...basketball coaching not taking a break this offseason
» Who is winning the Arizona quarterback competition?

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)
» Cal football gets first two oral commitments for 2015
» Cuonzo Martin adds two former Tennessee assistants to Cal staff
» Cal women's tennis team stuns host Stanford, claims first Pac-12 title.
» Cal's Sonny Dykes gets advice from veteran coaches after 1-11 first season

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU's Spencer Dinwiddie to declare NBA intentions
» 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

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» If health permits, Oregon Ducks plan a full game format for May 3 spring game
» Oregon's Marcus Mariota tells why he returned for another season (video)
» Oregon Ducks ready for 'hostile' environment as Civil War heads to Goss Stadium (college baseball notes)

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)
» Cal women's tennis team stuns host Stanford, claims first Pac-12 title.
» Stanford's Olympic diving coach Rick Schavone retires
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament

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)
» UW men fall to Oregon 4-2 in Pac-12 tennis championships
» These six Huskies helped themselves this spring
» UW's Bishop Sankey to debut on ESPN's 'Draft Academy' today
» Q&A with Lorenzo Romar, Part I

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Petrino: UI has exceeded expectations
» WSU to host Eastern in 2018
» Vijil helping train Shock players
» The changing of the guard continues



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