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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: UCLA over Stanford, Notre Dame over USC

Stanford's loss to Utah last week somewhat diminished the Pac-12's best matchup of Saturday's schedule, but it's still intriguing. And thanks to Colorado's rescheduling efforts, all 12 teams are in action. On to the picks:

Charleston Southern at Colorado, noon MDT, Pac-12 Networks

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After the Buffaloes' game with Fresno State was postponed in September due to the flooding in Boulder, Colorado needed a 12th game. Charleston Southern was able to fill the Buffs' open date. Because this is their second FCS opponent, the Buffs will need an NCAA waiver to count it as a sixth win for bowl eligibility. Let's just say that won't become an issue. Just beating the Buccaneers (7-0) will be tough enough for CU. Colorado 34, Charleston Southern 24.

UCLA at Stanford, 1:30 p.m. MDT, ABC

This is a rematch of a highly competitive Pac-12 championship game last December, with Stanford taking a 27-24 victory. The Cardinal have been vulnerable defensively the last two weeks against Washington and Utah, and the Bruins will present another big challenge. Stanford's offense should have some success as well, although it produced only two touchdowns against Utah. UCLA 34, Stanford 31.

Washington at Arizona State, 4 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

This is what I love about October and November in the Pac-12: There are so many matchups that appear even. Based on the way these teams played at Stanford, Washington would seem to have the edge here. But ASU is a different team at home. This should be a wild adventure, with lots of yards and points. Could the Huskies really lose three games in a row? Arizona State 38, Washington 35.

USC at Notre Dame, 5:30 p.m. MDT, NBC

USC remains the Pac-12's biggest mystery. Was last week's performance against Arizona merely a case of a one-time jolt from interim coach Ed Orgeron? Or have the Trojans truly found themselves? This is an intriguing game for Utah and BYU fans, considering the Utes visit USC next week and BYU visits Notre Dame next month. The Trojans have won five straight games in South Bend, a remarkable streak. Based on Notre Dame's victory over ASU, I'm taking the Irish. Notre Dame 27, USC 24.

Utah at Arizona, 8 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

Until last week, Washington was the most recent Pac-12 team to beat Stanford. How did the Huskies follow up that victory last season? By losing to Oregon, USC and Arizona in succession. So as much as the Utes would like to sustain their momentum, it won't be easy. Arizona is happy to be home after a road-heavy first half of the season. The Utes won in Tucson in 2011, but that was against a Wildcat team with an interim coach. The biggest variable in this game is Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker, who's not considered a great passer, even though he threw for 363 yards against USC. The pressure is on the Ute offense to score 35 points, after being held to 24 by a poor Arizona defense last November. Utah 35, Arizona 28.

Washington State at Oregon, 8 p.m. MDT, Fox Sports 1

Oregon is easy to take for granted, racking up huge numbers very week. This game will be no exception, and then the Ducks should get a better test next week against UCLA. The Cougars crumbled in the fourth quarter of a 52-24 loss to Oregon State last week and need to avoid turnovers to stay remotely close to the Ducks. Oregon 52, Washington State 28.

Oregon State at California, 8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN2

It's amazing to think the Beavers will be bowl-eligible by Oct. 19, after they lost to Eastern Washington in a season opener. But in its weakened state, Cal's defense can't stop Sean Mannion and the OSU offense. Oregon State 45, California 24.

&n

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)
» Coroner: Cal player Ted Agu died from heart condition
» 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.

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU's Spencer Dinwiddie to forgo senior year, enter NBA draft
» 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

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» Oregon Ducks: Five things to watch for in baseball Civil War
» Oregon lineman Arik Armstead purchases insurance policy worth more than $5 million
» Oregon basketball's key to recent NCAA Tournament success, the hardship transfer waiver, gets an NCAA makeover

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)
» NCAA board endorses more power for big schools
» Storm guards Sue Bird and Temeka Johnson play each other for Russian title
» UW men fall to Oregon 4-2 in Pac-12 tennis championships
» These six Huskies helped themselves this spring

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» NFL seems to dominate all year these days
» Thursday morning Pac-12 links
» Eastern Sports chat, noon (Apr. 24)
» Petrino: UI has exceeded expectations



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