Some Pac-12 teams facing big tests right away

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

UNDATED (AP) -- After adding two schools, renaming itself and landing a massive television contract, the Pac-12 is finally ready to kick off the football season.

Arizona State and Utah get the first cracks on Thursday, playing home games against FCS schools, while the rest of the conference starts Saturday.

Some will face tests right away, including USC against Minnesota and UCLA at Houston.

The big game comes Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, where third-ranked Oregon will face No. 4 LSU.

The Ducks are favorites to win the conference title again after coming within seconds of a national championship last season, but face a huge challenge against the talented Tigers -- even without suspended quarterback Jordan Jefferson.