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Pac-12 Sports
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 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)
» UA football: 5 players/positions to watch tonight
» UA football: On Gilbert, D-line and facing Cal
» UA football: On Gilbert, D-line and facing Cal
» Wildcats: Highlights from UA's Week 3 win

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU soccer wins its sixth consecutive match
» Colorado State volleyball holds off ASU
» Following ASU coaches on the recruiting trail
» ASU football practice report from Thursday

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Fact box: Cal at Arizona
» Cal finds out Saturday if 2-0 start is for real
» Jeff Tedford's recruits finding delayed success at Cal
» Sonny Dykes: Cal's confidence rooted in hard work

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» The TV programmers strike, again marginalizing Pac-12 football; Issues & Answers
» Josh Sweat, nation's top recruit and Oregon Ducks target, suffers serious leg injury
» Utah vs. Michigan highlights Pac-12 football games; Live updates: Full schedule, TV listings

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

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)
» Game day: Huskies vs. Georgia State
» Game day: Huskies vs. Georgia State live chat at 2 p.m. today
» Huskies win a top-five thriller
» UW women's soccer prevails

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Breaking the rules occasionally pays off
» Eastern football links
» Game da… night links
» Chiefs set to open WHL season at Tri-City again



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