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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: Big Saturday in Oregon

It's a big Saturday in the Willamette Valley, with Oregon hosting UCLA and Stanford visiting Oregon State in seven consecutive hours of ESPN programming in the evening. And it all starts early in the morning with ESPN's "GameDay" crew in Eugene. The combined records of these four teams is 24-3, so it will be a defining day for everybody involved. On to the picks:

Utah at USC, 2 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

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Competing theories are in play for Utah at the Coliseum. The Utes went 5-1 the past two seasons against schools that would fire their coach at the end of the year, or already had done so. And now they face USC with an interim coach. Then again, the Utes are 3-7 on the road as conference members, and each of those road wins required some good breaks. They're also only 3-9 against Pac-12 South rivals. Utah should match up well with USC's physical nature, much like the Stanford game. The biggest variable is the health of these teams; Utah may have an edge if quarterback Travis Wilson's passing hand is fully functional. Utah 21, USC 17.

UCLA at Oregon, 5 p.m. MDT, ESPN

As was the case with UCLA-Stanford last week, this game loses some value with UCLA coming off a loss. But it will be intriguing, as UCLA coach Jim Mora and his defensive staff take their shots at stopping the Ducks' offense. The Bruins also will need a big performance from Brett Hundley's offense, after Stanford held UCLA to 266 total yards and 10 points. This should resemble a typical Oregon performance, in the end. Oregon 45, UCLA 24.

Arizona at Colorado, 6 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

If Arizona finishes 6-6, the Wildcats will have traveled a very easy road to bowl eligibility. Their victory over Utah was meaningful, but their three nonconference wins were pretty much guaranteed and they get to play Colorado and California. The only intrigue here involves Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, who ran for 366 yards against the Buffaloes last season. Arizona 42, Colorado 28.

Stanford at Oregon State, 8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN

These teams staged a great game at Stanford last year, with the Cardinal winning 17-13. Look for more points this time, as OSU quarterback Sean Mannion tries to validate his amazing season against Stanford's defense. The Cardinal re-established themselves defensively in last week's defeat of UCLA and should be able to overpower the Beavers on offense, but this will be another good one. Stanford 28, Oregon State 24.

California at Washington, 9 p.m. MDT, Fox Sports 1

Cal arrives just in time on Washington's schedule. The Huskies are reeling after three straight losses, including a 53-24 defeat at Arizona State last weekend. Falling to Stanford and Oregon while being competitive was acceptable, but Washington crumbled in Tempe. Cal, meanwhile, keeps having stretches of games where everything falls apart. Washington 35, California 17.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats: University of Arizona safety Will Parks
» UA football: Canadian offensive lineman commits to Cats
» Hansen slideshow: 10 Tucson records that can't be topped
» UA sports Throwback Thursday: Lowell-Stevens Football opens

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Bayern Munich beats Chivas Guadalajara, Mariota three-peats as Pac-12's top player: The Oregonian sports top 5 at 5
» Leaders after Round of 32 in Oregon's Greatest Athlete Bracket Challenge
» Oregon's Greatest Athlete: Round of 16 matchups set
» The final Oregon Ducks live chat of the offseason is here; have a question for reporter Andrew Greif?

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local sports digest: Stanford 11th in preseason football poll
» Local sports digest: Stanford 11th in preseason football poll
» Stanford needs to find replacement for RB Tyler Gaffney
» Wilner: 49ers, Levi's Stadium pursue college football's potential

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)
» Huskies fall camp position preview: Defensive backs
» Remembering the Huskies' Abner Thomas
» Morning links: Ticket sales lagging for Hawaii
» Morning links: Oregon loses another player

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» A worthy honor for a worthy man
» Indians use second half to try new looks
» UPDATE: Drew Loftus arrested for assault
» Steve Gleason will be inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame



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