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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: Forecasting rivalry games, plus Utah-Colorado

After nearly three months of predictability, Pac-12 football became wildly unpredictable last week. Who would have imagined Washington's scoring 69 points at Oregon State or Arizona's holding Oregon to 16 points? And those were not even rivalry games, as this weekend's schedule presents us. So it is with some trepidation that I move on to the picks:

Friday's games

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Washington State at Washington, 1:30 p.m. MST, Fox

Washington State staged a shocking upset in last year's Apple Cup, and the Cougars are playing their best football of 2013, as shown by victories over Arizona and Utah. WSU is bowl-eligible, while hoping to secure one of the Pac-12's affiliated berths. The Huskies, meanwhile, were overwhelming against Oregon State, and they're a very good home team. Washington 35, Washington State 28.

Oregon State at Oregon, 5 p.m., Fox Sports 1

If the Apple Cup features two teams on the rise, the Civil War is another story. The Beavers and Ducks could not have performed any worse last week, and there's not much to play for at this point - other than avoiding the stigma of losing again. OSU has lost four straight after a 6-1 start and nothing suggests the streak will end, even with Oregon wobbling. Oregon 45, Oregon State 24.

Saturday's games

Colorado at Utah, noon MST, Pac-12 Networks

The Pac-12's manufactured rivalry actually has produced two great games, decided by late defensive stands. Nothing's at stake here, but that also was the case last November, when Utah held for a 42-35 victory in a very entertaining game. So this one should be fun as well as the Utes and Buffaloes play for fifth place in the Pac-12 South. Utah 35, Colorado 24.

Notre Dame at Stanford, 5 p.m. MST, Fox

Stanford has waited more than 13 months for a chance to avenge last year's overtime loss at Notre Dame, with a controversial ending at the goal line. The Cardinal are already in next week's Pac-12 title game, but the series with Notre Dame is meaningful. Kevin Hogan had yet to become Stanford's quarterback when the teams met last season, and he'll make the difference this time. Stanford 27, Notre Dame 21.

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

With both teams eliminated from a Pac-12 title shot, this game is just for bowl selection order in the big picture. But in Los Angeles, it means everything. USC can complete an amazing run under interim coach Ed Orgeron and UCLA can assert itself in the rivalry. I've underestimated the Trojans lately, so I'll take them in a close game. USC 24, UCLA 21. Arizona at Arizona State, 7:30 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks

As if the needed more incentive in the Territorial Cup, the Sun Devils know they'll host Stanford next week if they beat Arizona. Home-field advantage had not mattered much in this series lately, but ASU should be able to follow through and finish a great regular season. Arizona State 35, Arizona 28.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Arizona Wildcats: Red versus blue highlights
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Kindall's UA baseball legacy goes deep
» UA football: Cats inch up in rankings
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Graham expects QB Kelly to start at Washington
» Norvell: Mike Bercovici continues to improve
» Randall named Pac-12 Defensive Player of Week
» ASU's Nov. 1 game vs. Utah kicks off at 8 p.m.

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal, Stanford game times for Nov. 1 in Oregon set
» Cal receiver Trevor Davis watches practice day after scary injury in UCLA game
» Cal falls to UCLA 36-34
» Cal receiver Trevor Davis taken to hospital after injury on kickoff return

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
» Oregon's Marcus Mariota earns national honor from Senior Bowl
» Oregon Ducks midseason awards: Marcus Mariota takes home MVP
» Oregon lineman Andre Yruretagoyena says he'll be 'running around in no time': Ducks practice quick hits

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU giving away football tickets as part of ‘BeaversSalute' effort
» Celebration of Life for Paul Valenti to be held Oct. 18
» OSU promotes Macy to associate AD for sports performance
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Cal, Stanford game times for Nov. 1 in Oregon set
» Top 25: Stanford Cardinal falls out of poll
» Stanford woeful in loss to Arizona State
» Matchup: No. 23 Stanford at No. 17 Arizona State

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)
» Huskies still looking to get Kasen Williams more touches
» UW coach Chris Petersen on struggling running game, quarterback situation, injury updates and more
» If healthy, Cyler Miles will remain UW's starting quarterback
» Video: UW's John Timu, Andrew Hudson, Evan Hudson, Deontae Cooper look ahead to Arizona State

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Video: Cole Madison speaks to the media
» Mike Leach Monday press conference
» The Hawks are just average right now
» Cougars return to the grind



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