Mailbag: Who will upset USC?

August, 17, 2012
8/17/12
7:00
PM ET
Happy Friday.

Follow me on Twitter.

To the notes.

A quick one this week, as I am about to get on a flight.

Jake from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., writes: Every year USC is predicted to go to the BCS National Title or BCS Bowl game, they get upset by a team they should beat. Which team this year should the Trojans put on upset alert?

Ted Miller: The correct answer is all of them. USC will be favored in every game, and it might need to win all of them to play for the national title.

But a good bet would be a road game. The only upset the Trojans suffered in the Coliseum from 2002-2008 was that monumental meltdown against Sanford. The good news for USC is it doesn't play Oregon State. It lost in Corvallis in 2006 and 2008.

Sitting here today, the Trojans' trap games, to me, look like back-to-back road games at Utah and Washington. Utah nearly beat the Trojans in the Coliseum last season, and Steve Sarkisian has twice upset his former team.


Toby from Hollywood, Calif., writes: There's been a lot of talk about Coach Tedford visiting Coach Belichick over the summer and learning more about the utilization of the TE in the Patriots offense. Do you see Cal using both Rodgers and Hagan to form a "12" personnel package? Does Hagan possess the size and athleticism to make the "move" TE position effective? Does this benefit Cal by getting more one on one coverage to Keenan Allen?

Ted Miller: Yes, I see using both Richard Rodgers and Spencer Hagan in a double-tight package. Jeff Tedford has been gushing about Rodgers since the spring, and the Bears are young and uncertain at receiver. I suspect tight ends will catch plenty of passes this year for Cal.

Hagan, at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, has the size and athleticism to make the move to the tight end position. The question will be his physicality, which is a "want-to" deal. The test on that will be how he matches up in games when asked to run -- or pass -- block.


Dave from Arlington, Va., writes: Comcast is giving East Coasters the runaround on the Pac-12 network. Initially they said it'd be available, but now we can't get it. Can you explain what's going on with this network on the national level, outside the Pac-12 footprint? And maybe light a fire under Comcast's ass?

Ted Miller: We live in a free market. While that's typically celebrated for its awesomeness, there are drawbacks. Like many businesses trying to give their customers as little as possible for as much money as possible and hoping that works out, they count on you being too busy to fight back, other than firing a frustrated note to the Pac-12 blog.

For all of you who want the full array of Pac-12 Network programing, the only way you will get it -- if you are not already -- is by being loud. Call your provider -- or satellite carrier -- and complain. I suggest doing it as often as possible. Go to the bathroom? Call your carrier. Taking out the garbage? Call your carrier and tell him about your garbage.

You can also take to the Internet. Message boards and consumer web sites offer great opportunities to trash businesses that are failing you.


Riley from Eugene, Ore., writes: All these rumors are circulating about the Ducks being hammered with NCAA sanctions. Can you address this rumors at all? Is there any reason for Duck fans such as myself to hit the panic button? I'm moving out of the country, but might consider leaving a bit earlier if things take a turn for the worst.

Ted Miller: It could be weeks -- even months -- before the process with Oregon moves forward. The Ducks have not even received a Notice of Allegations.

And when you read a "report" listing specific penalties, know these reports are coming from folks who are formally called "People Who Make Things Up on the Internet Because They Have No Life."

If a story is broken on future NCAA penalties for Oregon, it's 99 percent certain it will come from a reputable news source, not a random Tweet from a random Joe.

Ted Miller | email

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