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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: Home teams appear solid

This week's Pac-12 schedule falls between last week's North showdown between Stanford and Oregon and next week's South battle between UCLA and Arizona State. But all six games are compelling in their own way. On to the picks:

Friday's game

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Washington at UCLA, 7 p.m. MST, ESPN2

Washington has recovered by beating California and Colorado, but now the Huskies return to the conference's upper tier, where they have not fared as well. UCLA needs to win to stay on track for next week's meeting with Arizona State. I just don't trust the Huskies on the road. UCLA 31, Washington 21.

Saturday's games

Washington State at Arizona, Noon MST, Pac-12 Networks

Arizona has done just enough against a soft schedule to become bowl-eligible, while WSU remains in contention at 4-5, but will have to do something out of the ordinary to reach six wins. The Cougars were making progress this season until being overwhelmed by Arizona State in their last game. Will Arizona be any different? Just slightly so. Arizona 35, Washington State 24.

Utah at Oregon, 2 p.m. MST, Fox Sports 1

Utah's ability to slow down Arizona State and Oregon's offensive struggles in a loss to Stanford have converged to make this game appear much more compelling than it did a week ago. Utah should not be overwhelmed by the Ducks, but actually winning at Autzen Stadium is another issue entirely. Oregon 34, Utah 17.

California at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks

Colorado can't be dismissed from the bowl-eligibility conversation at 30-6, but the real issue for these teams is neither has won a Pac-12 game since beating Washington State more than a year ago. Colorado seemed to be a notch above Cal until last week, when the Buffaloes were crushed by Washington. But the Bears are too beaten down. Colorado 38, California 31.

Stanford at USC, 6 p.m. MST, ABC

After staging another upset of Oregon, Stanford has to turn around and play the Pac-12's hottest team. USC is getting healthy and fulfilling its potential, and should be competitive in this prime-time network telecast. But the Cardinal are mature enough to handle success. Stanford 27, USC 21.

Oregon State at Arizona State, 7:30 p.m.

Arizona State hardly was at it best for three quarters last week at Utah, but steadies itself enough to escape with a 21-20 win. The Sun Devils probably were entitled to an off day, but they'll have to score more than 20 points to beat OSU. Meanwhile, the schedule is catching up to the Beavers, who might be glad they got to six wins as soon as they did. Arizona State 38, Oregon State 28.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Video collection: UA hoops incoming freshmen highlights
» Pac-12 Media Days, Day 2
» Pac-12 projections: Part 1
» Photos: UA sports Throwback Thursday Jared Tevis

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» With 9 starters moving on, ASU's defense is an unknown
» ASU picked to finish third in Pac-12 South
» ASU All Access: One-on-one with Todd Graham
» Tough scheduling could benefit Pac-12 teams

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Coach Sonny Dykes promises Cal Bears will be competitive
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott disputes remarks by Big 12's Bob Bowlsby
» DirecTV still saying no to Pac-12 Network
» Coach Sonny Dykes admits to worry about Cal's secondary

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado's MacIntyre at Pac-12 media days: "We will be improved"
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: league "well positioned" for playoffs
» CU Buffs picked 6th in Pac-12 football media poll; Oregon the favorite
» Greg Henderson ready to etch name with list of CU's four-year starters

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon's Christian Brennan joins USA duo in women's 400 final: IAAF World Junior Championships 2014
» Pac-12 Media Days: Complete coverage by Oregon, Oregon State reporters on Day 2 (links)
» Vin Lananna shares vision for track and field 'paradigm shift' in United States: Video
» Vin Lananna says it's time to make professional track a reality in the U.S.

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)
» Stanford's Evan Crower emerges as Kevin Hogan's backup
» Stanford's David Shaw open to San Jose State game at Levi's Stadium
» Pac 12 football: Stanford reacts to being picked second
» Incoming Stanford freshman sets national prep record in decathlon

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)
» Cyler Miles suspended for Hawaii opener
» UW injury notes: Freshman Jaimie Bryant takes medical retirement
» UW's Chris Petersen on Troy Williams, Jeff Lindquist, Budda Baker, Oregon and more
» Mailbag: Why didn't Storm guard Noelle Quinn play?

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Fleet Dominic Davis says he'll go to WSU
» Shock want to keep momentum rolling
» Tyler Bruggman to Louisville
» Spreading the word about football season isn't new



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