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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)
» Renovated McKale 'really coming together'
» Wildcats: College football preview section
» UA football: On Bondurant, Hill and the quarterbacks
» Photos: UA sports Throwback Thursday Chase Budinger

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football practice report from Friday
» Watch: Haller discusses Friday's practice
» Former top recruit Cox 'still learning' at ASU
» Harker to fill key role for ASU volleyball

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal football: Safety Lowe shapes up, holds job
» Cal's goal in Dykes' second season is to establish running game
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Yuri Wright pushing his way up CU Buffs depth chart in return
» Colorado feels fortunate to have avoided a rash of preseason injuries
» Colorado senior receiver D.D. Goodson: not overlooked by coaches
» Colorado redshirt freshman Phillip Lindsay: two touchdown runs in scrimmage gave me confidence

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart scores twice for Carolina Panthers against Kansas City
» Johnathan Loyd's transition to the football field nears completion for Oregon Ducks
» Live chat: Central Catholic four-star RB Cameron Scarlett joins us Tuesday at noon
» Cassius Peat names top six, sets trip to see Oklahoma Sooners

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 football: Backup QB Evan Crower is ready, just in case
» Stanford football: Defensive coordinator learns from 49ers counterpart
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

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)
» Jeff Lindquist will be starting quarterback in Huskies' opener
» Washington women's soccer opens with 4-1 victory over Kentucky
» Husky coach Chris Petersen is a perfectionist with a personal touch
» UW position battles: Dwayne Washington, Lavon Coleman to get bulk of carries for Huskies

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» No practice report, but some game notes
» Some things matter tonight, others don't
» Eastern and Big Sky links
» Pac-12 morning links: The offensive line carries a heavy burden



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