Ted and I would just like to thank you for electing us to be your Pac-12 bloggers for another four years. The Gemmell-Miller ticket campaigned on the issues, like bringing you chat highlights every week. And we're sticking to it.
You can read the full transcript of yesterday's chat here.
Graham (Hawaii) [via mobile]: Again asking this. Would the Rose Bowl take ND over the Big Ten Champ if Oregon State goes to the Rose Bowl? As of right now no Big Ten team is in the top 14.
Kevin Gemmell: (2:04 PM): Graham, regardless of the rankings, the Big Ten champ automatically goes to the Rose Bowl. Just like last year, if UCLA would have beaten the Ducks, they would have gone. The Rose Bowl is contractually obligated to take the conference champion regardless of record or ranking. A team to the national championship is the exception.
Bill Henrickson (SLC): So, is the apparent improvement in Utah's offense for real or have the past couple games been entirely a product of struggling Traopponents? Should I be finding my bowling shoes or what?
Kevin Gemmell (2:03 PM): I think the competition has been easier. But I also think [quarterback] Travis Wilson is getting a feel for the job, the offensive line is playing better and now that [offensive coordinator] Brian Johnson has some stability with his players, he can settle in as a play caller. I'd dust off the bowling shoes, but I wouldn't put them on yet. Winning at Seattle is going to be tough.
Blake (Seattle): Do you believe that [Noel] Mazzone could get picked up for a head coaching job? Many people said it wouldn't be long before Justin Wilcox got one, but I think Mazzone would be the next logical choice.
Kevin Gemmell (2:14 PM): Depends if he wants it. I've talked with Mazzone a lot this season, but we've never gotten on that topic. I'll run it by him next time we chat. I think he'd be a great head coach, but some guys just like being behind-the-scenes coordinators. Can't argue with his results, though.
Kevin Gemmell (2:20 PM): Right now? Obviously you have to go with Barkley. He's far more polished than Hundley. But I think if Hundley becomes a more refined passer, he's going to be something special. He's getting there, and his progression has been fun and impressive to watch. He's a real talent.
Devon (South Carolina): Should Duck fans be worried about the secondary and how USC had its way with the Duck defenders?
Kevin Gemmell: (2:24 PM): Keep in mind Oregon was up 21-3. Of course USC was going to throw like crazy. They won't face a quarterback or wide receiver corps as good as USC's, so no, I wouldn't be worried. Plus, there are now mistakes on film which they can go back and correct. What doesn't beat you makes you stronger and I think Oregon's defense emerges from this experience better.
rbrown (Eugene): Does Oregon really have a legitimate shot to beat Bama in the title game? Just don't see them being able to move the ball too well seeing as they've recently struggled with solid fronts in Ohio State, Boise State, Auburn and LSU...
Kevin Gemmell (2:31 PM): You mean all of those games with different players that has no bearing on this year? Yes, Oregon has a legitimate shot.
Mario (Tah): The Tree is perfect at home this year. Does that bode poorly for the Beavers?
Kevin Gemmell: (2:43 PM): It certainly is something to consider. But Oregon State has actually been pretty strong on the road with wins at Arizona and at UCLA, so they can win away from home. Plus, I think there are a few In-N-Outs within a 20-minute drive of Palo Alto. #incentive
Edward (Fort Campbell, KY): Kevin, whoever has the losing record on your predictions between you and Ted needs to shave their head.
Kevin Gemmell: (2:44 PM): Pitch it to Ted. I'm on board. Plus, I'm winning.
Jeff (Wilsonville) [via mobile]: As a duck fan I agree with but would like to know why you rank Oregon #1 over Alabama if you are willing to defend your pick
Kevin Gemmell (2:52 PM): Sure, I feel even stronger about it this week than I did last week. I think Oregon's schedule has been comparable in terms of ranked teams and they did something that no other team has ever done at USC last week. Alabama struggled. Both teams were on the road against ranked opponents, one team dropped 62, the other needed a final drive. And since SEC defenses are supposed to be so good, LSU's looked awful bad on that final drive. It's like they've never seen a screen pass before. Ohhhh... so innovative. I'm not saying Alabama doesn't deserve the recognition, but I also think there is an alternative and you can make a clear argument for Oregon. (Or I'm just the West Coast nut job).
Kurt Cobain (Seattle): I hope to god Oregon and K-State lose so America can get the dream match-up -- Notre Dame vs Alabama! No team in the country can match ND when it comes to ticket sales and tv ratings.
Kevin Gemmell: (2:55 PM): Kurt, I miss you. You were taken too soon from us. But you always were a little quirky.