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Pac-12 picks: Up north and down south, there’s plenty on the line this weekend

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate (14) runs with the ball while getting tackled by Washington State linebacker Frankie Luvu (51) during a college football game between the Cougars and Wildcats on Saturday. (Jacob Snow / Associated Press)
Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate (14) runs with the ball while getting tackled by Washington State linebacker Frankie Luvu (51) during a college football game between the Cougars and Wildcats on Saturday. (Jacob Snow / Associated Press)

The Pac-12 South won’t officially be crowning its champion this weekend, but the victor of Saturday’s tilt between USC and Arizona might be able to take one giant stride in the right direction. All eyes will be on the Los Angeles Coliseum for Trojans vs. Wilcats and the showdown within the showdown, Sam Darnold vs. Khalil Tate.

And the eyes that aren’t on that game will probably be focused on the one up in Pullman between Washington State and Stanford. That could go a long way in determining the champ of the North, or at the very least, knocking either the Cougars or Cardinal out of contention.

Here are our guesses for the week…

UCLA at Utah

Utah by 6.5 – Two four-win teams who desperately need the right result to strengthen their postseason chances. UCLA also desperately needs a healthy Josh Rosen. Even if he’s 70 percent, I still like the Utes here. The pick: Utah 31, UCLA 27.

Stanford at WSU

WSU by 2 – Maybe we’ll know more about Bryce Love’s status before I have to make the actual prediction. Boy would that help… The pick: will be in Saturday’s paper.

Oregon State at Cal

Cal by 7.5 – Miraculously, the Beavers still have a shot to play for fifth place in the Pac-12 North. They’ve been close the last few weeks – two losses by a combined four points – and I smell an OSU breakthrough. The pick: Oregon State 24, Cal 21.

Oregon at UW

UW by 19.5 – Should be another lopsided edition of this Pacific Northwest rivalry. But no pointing this time, Jake. The pick: UW 44, Oregon 21.

Colorado at Arizona State

ASU by 4 – Beating UW and Utah made ASU look like a serious contender in the Pac-12 South. Then the Sun Devils belly-flopped against USC. Not that we know all that much about Colorado, either. Coin flip! The pick: ASU 28, Colorado 27.

Arizona at USC

USC by 7 – More or less, the Pac-12 South championship game. Both of these teams have momentum coming in, but do the Trojans have enough to stop Khalil Tate, who still hasn’t lost as the Arizona starter? The pick: Arizona 45, USC 41.

Theo Lawson’s records

Last week: 3-3 straight up, 2-4 against the spread

Overall: 50-15 straight up, 23-34 against the spread