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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: UCLA, USC positioned to rule South

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For a couple of reasons, UCLA's status as the two-time defending champion of the Pac-12 South in football tends to be overlooked.

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The Bruins claimed the title in 2011 because of USC's ineligibility. While UCLA genuinely earned the championship in 2012, the bigger story in the South was USC's underachieving performance. But the fact is, UCLA is the division's top program at the moment, and the Bruins' momentum continued on signing day.

Recruiting analysts gave UCLA a consensus top-10 ranking. That's impressive in the first full recruiting cycle for coach Jim Mora's staff. USC's class also was highly regarded and so was Washington's, with both schools ranking comfortably in the top 20 of most evaluations.

ESPN.com" target="_blank">0in;">ESPN.com provided full rankings of the Pac-12 programs on a national basis: UCLA No. 12, USC No. 14, Washington No. 18, Oregon No. 26, California No. 30, Arizona No. 39, Stanford No. 40, Arizona State No. 42, Oregon State No. 46, Utah No. 48, Washington State No. 58 and Colorado No. 67.

The impact for Utah is that UCLA and USC are going to be tough to contend with in the South for years to come. Yet the Utes can be encouraged by the fact that even though their class ranked 10th in the Pac-12, according to ESPN.com, they're not very far behind the middle tier of the conference.

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PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine covers UA-Oregon game
» Wildcats prepare for game at No. 2 Oregon
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Strong season will help "Hill Mary" be remembered
» UA football: Pair of defensive players leave team

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Games to watch: College football's best week
» ASU football practice report from Tuesday
» Haller's Pac-12 power rankings
» Graham breaks down ASU's defensive woes

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal could face Title IX suit with field hockey now homeless
» Cal's struggling pass defense better gets its act together quickly
» Cal's Oct. 11 home game vs. Washington set for 3 p.m. kickoff
» Cal outlasts Colorado 59-56 in two overtimes

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
» LaMichael James participates in 1st practice after signing with Miami Dolphins
» Tickets for 2015 NCAA Men's Basetball Tournament at the Moda Center go on sale Oct. 18
» Taj Griffin, 5-star Oregon Ducks signee, provides surgery update

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's Shaw shoots down interest in Raiders job
» Stanford beats Washington with fourth-quarter touchdown
» Matchup: No. 16 Stanford at Washington
» Stanford facing must-win game at Washington's noisy Husky Stadium

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)
» Offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith says there's no panic with sluggish UW offense
» Sue Bird, Leilani Mitchell advance to quarterfinals of FIBA World Championship
» UW's Bob Gregory on the versatile Shaq Thompson: 'He can handle it all'
» UW senior lineman Ben Riva close to returning from apparent knee injury

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Now that was a playoff game
» WSU football live chat
» Morning links and a live chat to come
» WHL notes: Paddock breaks through



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