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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)
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Byrne, staff worked hard to get 50K for UA opener
» UA football: Breaking down the wide receivers
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Goal-line stand highlights 1st look at defense
» How ASU's 2015 commits fared Friday night
» Film confirms Graham likes effort in opener
» Rewind: Looking back at ASU's win

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal Bears hang on for win at Northwestern
» Cal football notebook: Freshman QB Rubenzer an effective secret weapon
» Cal opens at Northwestern with a much different look on defense
» Fact box: Cal at Northwestern

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU Buffs freshman WR Shay Fields gets off to impressive start
» Opening game loss a blow to Colorado's goal of a bowl bid
» CSU roars back to beat CU 31-17 in Rocky Mountain Showdown
» CU-CSU Briefs: Rams' defense tightens up after poor start

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» No. 3 Oregon Ducks now 11-point favorites against No. 8 Michigan State: Oregon rundown
» Pac-12 official miffed; Byron Marshall's blunder; Kenjon Barner cut: The Oregonian sports top 5
» De'Anthony Thomas of Kansas City an NFL 'daredevil' who doesn't slow down

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford overpowers UC Davis in season-opening win
» Stanford opens 2014 season without a No. 1 tailback -- again
» Fact box: Stanford vs. UC-Davis
» Stanford prepares for UC Davis as memory of stunning 2005 loss lingers

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 morning links: It wasn't pretty, but UW opens with a win
» Poll: Will you watch the NWSL championship match or WNBA playoffs?
» Video: UW's Danny Shelton, John Timu after victory over Hawaii
» Video: Jeff Lindquist, John Ross, Kasen Williams on Huskies' 17-16 win at Hawaii

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Another game week begins
» We always (over)react to college football's first full Saturday
» They aren't who you thought they were
» Sebastian LaRue back at practice



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