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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: 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)
» Video collection: NBA decision day at McKale
» Greg Hansen's Video Notebook...why Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could be a top 10 draft pick next year
» Why Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson decided to stay
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra...Gordon and Johnson may be gone, but Hollis-Jefferson is here to stay

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)
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Cal names Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin as new basketball coach
» New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin praised by mentor Gene Keady, others
» Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is WNBA's top overall draft pick

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado Classics: Darian Hagan, former CU Buffs quarterback
» CU Buffs backup QB Jordan Gehrke impresses during spring drills
» Fleet freshman receivers shine in CU Buffs' spring game
» Spring games are important, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre says

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» Jabari Parker NBA announcement; Oregon football players eat, eat, eat; Ducks' 'billion-dollar question': The Oregonian sports top 5 (links)
» Oregon third baseman Mitchell Tolman discusses national honor and getting mad
» Oregon Ducks baseball not looking past Washington State in pivotal Pac-12 series

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)
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is WNBA's top overall draft pick
» Stanford's defense shows its dominance in spring game
» Cal Bears sweep Stanford in 120th Big Meet

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)
» Washington's softball stars of today still learning from the program's previous hero
» UW's Damore'ea Stringfellow pleads guilty to assault of Seahawks fans; sentenced to five days on a work crew
» Washington adds Quevyn Winters
» Q&A with UW offensive line coach Chris Strausser

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Five Questions with Xavier Cooper
» Live WSU Chat
» One change causes more in Pullman
» Wednesday morning Pac-12 links



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