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DirecTV customers likely to still miss some UCLA and USC football games

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DirecTV again unlikely to reach deal to show USC and UCLA football games on Pac-12 Networks

DirecTV customers can't watch their Dodgers, and they're looking at a third season in which they occasionally might not be able to watch their Bruins or Trojans either.

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott, speaking at the league's opening media day Wednesday at Paramount Pictures, said the conference and DirecTV officials are still negotiating, but "Sitting here today, [I'm] not optimistic about those discussions."

There could be hope down the road, though.

One of the Pac-12's sponsors is AT&T, which is in the process of trying to buy DirecTV. However, it's not clear whether the sale could result in the Pac-12 Networks reaching DirecTV households any time soon.

Ducks pull a fast one

Seems as if Oregon always has another Duck on the pond.

Speedsters such as De'Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff move on, and Devon Allen flashes right on in.

Allen is so fast that Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota referred to him as "Mr. Track."

The cleat fits: Allen was the won the NCAA 110-meter hurdles title in the spring with a time of 13.16 seconds, just off Renaldo Nehemiah's NCAA record of 13.0.

Just what the Ducks needed — more speed.

"It's going to be fun throwing him the ball," Mariota said.

Catching up with Leach

Washington State Coach Mike Leach was expected to talk about football but seemed to prefer other topics. His summer, for example:

He toured the country promoting his book on the leadership style of Geronimo. One of his daughters had a child. Another is getting married. He went to Idaho on a coaching staff fishing trip and said he caught a 91/2-foot, 350-pound sturgeon but "turned him loose so that he could pull somebody else's boat around for a while next time."

Meantime, things are looking up around the Palouse. The school invested $61 million in new football facilities and Leach likes quarterback Connor Halliday — a lot.

"Wherever you're from you might be rooting for your guy," Leach said of his quarterback. "I don't really care what you think, he's better than your guy is."

In dedication

California players have dedicated the upcoming season to defensive lineman Ted Agu, who died during a workout in February.

Agu, who suffered from a heart condition, came to California as a walk-on but earned a scholarship.

"I learned a lot about perseverance and dedication from watching him every day," cornerback Stefan McClure said. "He showed up and worked hard. He never complained. He was thankful for the opportunity. He would do anything for the team."

Looking divine

Travis Wilson wasn't one of the players Utah brought to media day, but a teammate said he saw his likeness.

"Over where we ate, they have a statue of Hercules," receiver Dres Anderson said. "It looked like Travis. He has been working out, putting on muscle. He's a beast."

That's great news for Utes fans who may have been worried Wilson's career was over when he sustained a severe concussion in Utah's ninth game last season.

The 6-7 junior from San Clemente was cleared to play in June. He passed for 1,827 yards and 16 touchdowns, and ran for 386 yards and five touchdowns, last season.

Truth is, he's blunt

Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez didn't mince words after being introduced.

"I could be like every other coach in America and say I'm glad to be here," he said, "but I'd be lying. Truth is, I'd rather be still on vacation meeting with the coaches."

Rodriguez was also brutally honest when talking about the Wildcats' quarterbacks situation. Arizona and Washington are the only Pac-12 teams without a returning starter at quarterback.

Arizona had five candidates fighting for the job during spring practice and the situation is no less muddled now.

"Truth is, I don't know," he said when asked who was leading the pack.

Ducks vs. Bruins?

Oregon was tabbed as the next Pac-12 champion in a poll of media who cover the conference.

UCLA, which will have its turn before the media on Thursday during the second of the media days, was picked to win the South Division.

The voting (first-place votes in parenthesis):

North Division: Oregon (37) 232 points; Stanford (2) 192; Washington 142; Oregon State 125; Washington State 87; California 41.

South Division: UCLA (37) 231; USC (1) 181; Arizona State (1) 163; Arizona 119; Utah 82; Colorado 43.

Times staff writers Chris Foster, Zach Helfand and Eric Sondheimer contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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