Mailbag Monday: Gus Johnson, Keith Jackson and the Pac-12 Networks


We’ve been fielding your questions for our Mailbag Monday feature, so let’s celebrate the start of the work week by getting right into your questions on the USC Trojans.

1. Gus Johnson is calling Saturday’s game, is he the best announcer to call USC games? (T via email)He’s one of the best in the business without a doubt, because he’s so energetic and brings his boxing roots to football and basketball. Is he the best? That’s hard to say. Brad Nessler is pure class for ESPN, and Brent Musberger is hit and miss and overly hyperbolic. Verne Lundquist is stellar on CBS, but he only calls games from the SEC. Historically, there’s two guys that hands down are among the best to call games that the Trojans have played: Keith Jackson and Tom Kelly. Jackson, by all accounts, IS college football. Though retired, he’s college football’s equivalent of Vin Scully, and he’ll always be tied to classic Rose Bowls, ABC Sports and moments like this. Now, for local coverage, Tom Kelly, the Voice of the Trojans, is as classic as you can find. He started calling games for Troy in 1961, and though like Jackson he’s retired, he remains one of the all-time greatest notables around the USC program.

2. I have DirecTV and don’t get the Pac-12 Network. What am I missing? (Kevin via Twitter)The best channel on television. In all seriousness, while the channel lacks some original programming for now, there’s just so much quality classic game footage, that it makes you kind of forget about what it lacks in the preseason stage. USC and Cal’s 2004 game brought memories of Keith Jackson, and classic games like the 1996 Arizona State-Nebraska game are perfect for whetting your appetite for football season.

3. No announcement on who’s starting at tailback? (Marque via Facebook)When the depth chart came out yesterday, Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd were listed as co-starters, and expect it to be that way all season, barring an injury. They’ll be a two-headed backfield for the Trojans and Kiffin will mix them up plenty and split carries like he did with LenDale White and Reggie Bush.

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