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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 over USU, Utah over BYU

This is a weird weekend in the Pac-12. Saturday's schedule pits two the Washington schools against two Idaho teams, while USC and UCLA host opponents named the Aggies. Four schools are off, and there's only one intra-conference game - but it's a good one. On to the picks:

Idaho State at Washington, 1 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks.

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This game will decided in time for someone to drive to Pullman and make the Washington State-Idaho kickoff. Washington 59, Idaho State 7.

Utah State at USC, 1:30 p.m. MDT, ABC

This was scheduled as a "money" game, but so were USU's visits to Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Auburn and Wisconsin in recent years, and those turned into genuine four-quarter contests. This one should fit that description, although BYU's defense held USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton to three points last year and the Trojans' improved unit should be in that class. Conversely, USC's offense will struggle to top 24 points, so this one should be close. USC 24, Utah State 17.

Arizona State at Stanford, 5 p.m. MDT, Fox

Stanford hardly was overwhelming at Army last weekend, while ASU outplayed Wisconsin - which is not to say the Sun Devils deserved to win, profiting as they did from officiating errors at the end. In any case, this is the country's best matchup of the day, with Stanford's defense trying to slow down ASU's fast-paced attack. Actually, it should resemble the ASU-Wisconsin game. Stanford 33, Arizona State 32.

Oregon State at San Diego State, 5:30 p.m. MDT, CBS Sports Network.

Mike Riley will enjoy returning to Qualcomm Stadium with a superior team, having formerly coached the San Diego Chargers. Oregon State 44, San Diego State 24.

Utah at BYU, 8:15 p.m. ESPN2

The rivalry will take two years off after this meeting, which means BYU will go from 2009 until at least 2016 without beating the Utes. BYU was very impressive against Texas, but the Utes will have sound defensive strategy. Utah 24, BYU 21.

New Mexico State at UCLA, 8:30 p.m.. Pac-12 Networks.

Unlike driving across Washington, it would be tough to get from the Coliseum to the Rose Bowl in time for this kickoff. Regardless, this game will not be nearly as intriguing as USC-Utah State. UCLA 50, New Mexico State 14.

Idaho at Washington State, 8:30 p.m. Pac-12 Network.

These schools are separated by eight miles and, as of Saturday night, 28 points. Washington State 38, Idaho 10.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» 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
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Graham breaks down ASU's defensive woes
» Rankings: Colleges by AZ high school players
» Bercovici talks friendly trash to USC player
» ASU: Carlos Mendoza runs with 1st team

California (East Bay Tribune)
» 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
» Cal will change athletes' admission standards

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
» Thomas Tyner looking to turn a corner as Oregon Ducks prepare for Arizona
» Mark Helfrich on ribbing Marcus Mariota, the Oregon Ducks' defense and facing Arizona
» JaQuan Lyle not enrolled at Oregon as Ducks begin men's basketball practices Friday

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)
» Storm 2014 Exit Interviews: Tanisha Wright had a memorable 10th WNBA season
» UW progress report: What we know, what we don't know about the Huskies after five games
» Are Pac-12 quarterbacks conference's best class ever?
» Idaho star Destiny Slocum verbally commits to Washington

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Robert Franks joins WSU 2015 recruiting class
» WSU game notes: California
» Wait, it's what time?
» Grading the Utah game



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