AP college football picks: UCLA and USC head to state of Arizona _lowres

UCLA head coach Jim Mora stands on the field before an NCAA college football game against Virginia at Rose Bowl, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The place to be is the Pac-12 this weekend in college football, specifically Arizona, where the South Division will go through an early sorting process.

Both Los Angeles schools play in the Grand Canyon State on Saturday, with the headliner coming in Tucson. No. 9 UCLA faces No. 16 Arizona. It could have been a monumental day in Arizona sports, but Arizona State and Southern California did not hold up their parts of the deal.

The Bruins are coming off a tough home win against BYU. Add a good road victory to that and they become the early front-runner to snag a playoff bid out of the Pac-12, though injuries are mounting and running through the South unbeaten might be too tough for any team.

The only other ranked vs. ranked game this week is a Pac-12 crossover with No. 18 Utah visiting No. 13 Oregon, which hopes to have quarterback Vernon Adams back after he sat out last week with a broken finger.

The picks:


No. 21 Stanford (minus 15½) at Oregon State

The Cardinal face a second straight road game, this one on short rest and with a banged up quarterback ... Stanford 28-14.


No. 9 UCLA (minus 3½) at No. 16 Arizona

The Bruins lost LB Myles Jack (knee) and CB Fabian Moreau (foot) to injuries this week; Wildcats hoping to get LB Scooby Wright (knee) back ... UCLA 27-21.

No. 18 Utah (off) at No. 13 Oregon

QB injury questions for both teams with Utes’ Travis Wilson (shoulder) missing last week’s game ... Oregon 37-24.

No. 19 USC (minus 5) at Arizona State

The Sun Devils have won two straight and three of four against the Trojans, but have never won three in a row in the series ... USC 28-21.


No. 3 TCU (minus 7) at Texas Tech

The Horned Frogs slapped 82 points on the Red Raiders last season. As we found out last weekend, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury will hold a grudge ... Texas Tech 54-48.

Vanderbilt (plus 24) at No. 3 Ole Miss

Coming home to find the Commodores waiting is ideal for a Rebels team refocusing after a huge victory ... Ole Miss 35-3.

No. 14 Texas A&M (minus 7) vs. Arkansas

The Razorbacks have yet to allow a sack; the Aggies lead the nation with 15 sacks ... Texas A&M 35-21.

No. 20 Georgia Tech (minus 8½) at Duke

The Blue Devils snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets last year ... Georgia Tech 28-17.

No. 24 Oklahoma State (minus 3) at Texas

Can QB Jerrod Heard save the Longhorns’ season? ... Texas 28-24.

No. 25 Missouri (plus 3) at Kentucky

Picking the Wildcats to win three weeks in a row would be crazy ... Kentucky 20-17.


Western Michigan (plus 31) at No. 1 Ohio State

A Buckeyes quarterback will play well. Evidently it’ll be Cardale Jones ... Ohio State 48-13.

Central Michigan (plus 26½) at No. 2 Michigan State

The Spartans are 31-1 against unranked opponents under coach Mark Dantonio ... Michigan State 44-14.


No. 22 BYU (plus 5½) at Michigan

Only other meeting was in the 1984 Holiday Bowl, when the Cougars capped a national championship season with a victory ... Michigan 24-20.


UMass (plus 29) at No. 6 Notre Dame ... Notre Dame 48-14.

No. 8 LSU (minus 24½) at Syracuse ... LSU 35-7.

Ball State (plus 18½) at No. 17 Northwestern ... Northwestern 28-13.

Hawaii (plus 24) at No. 22 Wisconsin ... Wisconsin 38-10.


Boise State (minus 2½) at Virginia

Brett Rypien steps in at quarterback for the Broncos. He is former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien’s nephew ... Boise State 24-17.

Mississippi State (plus 2) at Auburn

How bad will this season get for the Tigers? ... Mississippi State 27-24.

Tennessee (plus 1½) at Florida

See how things have turned on Arkansas coach Brett Bielema after a couple of losses? Expect many Vols fans to do the same with Butch Jones if Tennessee can’t snap the Gators 10-game winning streak in the series ... Tennessee 28-20.

California (minus 4½) at Washington

Bears looking for first 4-0 start since 2007 ... Cal 38-35.

Kansas (plus 12) at Rutgers

How could things get much worse at Rutgers? Lose to Kansas ... Rutgers 30-17.

Last week’s record

10-8 straight; vs. 10-6-1 spread


41-14; 31-23-1