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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: Conference could go 9-0 in bowls

Because the Pac-12 sent only team to a BCS game, the conference's bowl lineup is stacked in its favor. Basically, every bowl-eligible team moved up in the selection order or - in the cases of Arizona and Oregon State - found a vacancy outside of the Pac-12's affiliations.

The result is the potential for the league to go 9-0 in this postseason. The value of such a record can be debated, but I'm saying it would be an achievement. On to Saturday's picks:

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Washington State vs. Colorado State, New Mexico Bowl, noon MST, ESPN

The Cougars are in a bowl game for the first time since 2003, and they should have plenty of motivation. WSU filled the Pac-12's last bowl slot, facing a Mountain West team that also views playing in Albuquerque as a sign of the program's revival.

Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday should have a big day, while CSU's offense will present some challenges for WSU. The Rams, led by former Snow College running back Kapri Bibbs, produced some big numbers in the second half of the season. But they also were shut out by Utah State.

So the Cougars should control this game, and continue Mike Leach's development of the program to conclude his second season in Pullman. Washington State 38, Colorado State 24.

USC vs. Fresno State, Las Vegas Bowl, 1:30 p.m. MST, ABC

This could be a terrific game, if team is sufficiently motivated. But who knows? The Trojans are playing for their second interim coach this season, as offensive coordinator Clay Helton takes over for Ed Orgeron, who filled in after Lane Kiffin was fired. And former Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is waiting to assume full command after Saturday.

Fresno State, the Mountain West champion, is lamenting its missed opportunity for a BCS game. But the Bulldogs should have plenty of incentive, considering how they're viewed in the power structure of college football in California. They also have a dynamic offense, led by quarterback Derek Carr. USC held Mountain West runner-up Utah State to 14 points in September, when Chuckie Keeton was quarterbacking the Aggies.

So if the Trojans genuinely show up in Las Vegas, they'll win this game. Memories of the debacle in the Sun Bowl vs. Georgia Tech last December should stir enough emotion. USC 31, Fresno State 24.

&n

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» UA football: QB Patterson decommits from Arizona
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Tucson's streetcar leads to soccer
» UA football: 3-star lineman commits to Cats
» Future Cat Roth sets HS steeplechase record

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football overview: Defensive backs
» Why is Sendek watching film of VCU, Louisville?
» ASU adds linebacker from Purdue
» Randall expected to compete for All-Pac-12 honors

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh Jennings wins World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Internazionale Milan scores 3-2 shootout victory over Real Madrid
» Kerri Walsh Jennings reaches final of World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Former Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour hired as Penn State AD

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Changes in college football a cause of excitement and concern
» Pac-12 media days: Colorado eager to turn things around
» Colorado's MacIntyre at Pac-12 media days: "We will be improved"
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: league "well positioned" for playoffs

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota's only two classes this fall are golf and yoga
» University of Oregon can keep secret its records from sexual assault investigation, district attorney rules
» Colt Lyerla contending for Green Bay Packers roster spot, putting Oregon Ducks trouble behind him
» Oregon Ducks kicker Hayden Crook won't return to team this fall

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)
» Local sports digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh captures World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Local digest: Former Stanford star Kerri Walsh Jennings wins World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Kerri Walsh Jennings reaches final of World Series of Beach Volleyball
» Stanford's Carol Zhao advances in Bank of the West tennis qualifying

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)
» Huskies to open three fall-camp practices to the public
» Mike Anderson stars in summer-league game
» UW releases another teaser video
» Huskies fall camp position preview: Defensive line

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Catching up in time for fall camp
» EWU sets 2017 game at Texas Tech
» Something just clicked last night
» Depth gives Indians an edge



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