If you missed my chat yesterday, I hope nothing apocalyptic happened to you. Really.
Here are some highlights.
Jason (Seattle) What are your thoughts on Vontaze Burficts success in the NFL so far. As frustrating as he was to watch, I'm glad he found some coaches to get him back on track.
Ted Miller (3:01 PM) Good for him... It's never too late to pull yourself together. He always had the talent. Brandon Magee told me he'd prove doubters wrong, and as one of them, I'm glad to be wrong. Sometimes a paycheck -- or the threat of losing one -- helps a guy see the light.
marinersblue96 (Bellevue) How will the hiring of Dykes affect recruiting? With basically an entire new staff, will many commits now look elsewhere?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM) Hard to say right now, but Dykes is known as a very good recruiter as well as a guy with a good eye for talent. And if he gets a D-coordinator that gets guys excited, things should hold together well. Certainly QBs and WRs probably like what they see from Dykes' offense.
Ted Miller (3:06 PM) Klein is a really good player, but he won't be a shocked to Oregon's defensive system or anything. I think the Fiesta Bowl will be about 2 things: 1. The line of scrimmage, where Oregon is much better than folks outside the Pac-12 footprint think; 2. Oregon's across the board speed. But keep in mind that Bill Snyder is not a coach to be trifled with. Expect K-State to bring its A-game. The Ducks might be distracted by the "Chip Kelly to the NFL" talk, even though they will deny it.
Bryce (SF) Ted, there's no way you would pick KSU over Oregon after everything you've said this year. Mariota, Barner and DAT would all have to have season-ending injuries to make you even consider it.
Ted Miller (3:09 PM) I never said Oregon would whip Kansas State. Only that the Wildcats -- and Bill Snyder's scheduling philosophy -- would prefer not to find out in the regular season. I was impugning K-state's bravery, not its skill.
Will Sutton (Tempe) Should i go to the NFL or will it be worth my time to stay another year?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM) I'm not sure where you fit in with an NFL system because you lack prototypical size for a DT (DE?) but I can't believe you could play any better than you did this season. I'd love to watch you play another year, as would Sun Devils fans, but my advice is to enter the draft.
Cody Mannion (Corvallis) Who starts in the alamo bowl?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM) I have no idea. And I feel that way because I think this is a straight-up competition. Whoever plays better before the bowl game starts...If I were flipping a coin, I'd go with Mannion.
Matt Barkley (LA) Was coming back for another year a mistake? What went wrong this year?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM) 1. Based on how things went, yes, but that question is more for you... there are a lot of reasons to still be in school other than football... it's kind of fun being the QB at USC; 2. What went wrong? It didn't seem like the general plan on either side of the ball went well. The O-line and LBs were worse than expected. There was a lack of discipline, notable with some stupid penalties at critical times... and sometimes things just don't fit together. I don't think head coach Lane Kiffin distinguished himself after doing a nice job in 2011.
Cardinal Alumnus (San Diego) You've written about the difficulties of playing nine in-conference games. What do you think the chances are that the PAC (12 or more) adds another cupcake to teams' schedules? And if that happens, will the California schools still always play each other?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM) If the Pac-12 goes to an 8-game conference schedule, the California schools might have to sacrifice their annual meetings, though USC-UCLA & Cal-Stanford would still play every year. I think adding a cupcake is GOOD thing. The scheduling philosophy with 9 games is A, B, C -- 1 tough foe, 1 middling foe, 1 easy one. The Pac-12 with 8 games, could add a second C while still playing a good nonconference schedule.
Jacob (Seattle, WA) As a Husky fan I see our upcoming bowl game as the most important game of the year for UW. It is a chance for Wilcox to prove our D is as improved as everyone says and hopefully our offense can shake some of the injuries that have piled up and have a solid game against a good defense.
Ted Miller (3:27 PM) Well, it's more important in some ways because of the Apple Cup. If the Huskies had won the Apple Cup and then won their bowl game, they likely would have been top-15 entering next season. Still, what if the Huskies lose their bowl game to Boise State and then pound Boise State in the Husky Stadium opener? That would work out fine. And, if the Huskies beat the Broncos in the bowl game and then lose the opener, well, that won't go over well.
Joe (Westwood) What is your best guess Anthony Barr comes back for his senior year (independently of whether he should or not)? Go Bruins!
Ted Miller (3:33 PM) This is a tough one. I think Barr could clean house with defensive awards next year if he comes back. He'll get great, NFL-level coaching in Westwood from Mora & Co. He's new to OLB, so there's plenty of room to improve. He could play his way into a top-15 pick if he comes back. But he also probably would go pretty early this spring, just based on potential... really tough call on that one.
Matt (San Mateo) How about the Buffs? Spending some dough to get back to the top. Good to see from a program down in the dumps as of late. Only a matter of time before they are back in the hunt. It's all cyclical right?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM) A good coach with a good staff solves a lot of things. It may take a few years for the Buffs. They are like Washington State was in 2008 -- they look like an FCS team in terms of talent. But if Colorado commits to winning, commits to the things that help a coach win, it will get back to winning. The past success isn't too long ago... heck, the Buffs played in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2001 season.
Tim (ATL) Conventional wisdom is that Helfrich is the guy if CK leaves Oregon... how surprised would you be if someone else is hired? Obviously Christ Petersen always gets talked about, but do you think it is as open/shut helfrich's job as the rumors suggest?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM) If Phil Knight & Pat Kilkenny want Helfrich, then he'll be the guy... I think Petersen comes up a lot because it makes sense, and there's always been scuttlebutt that Petersen has long held Eugene in high esteem. I never think something like this is simply open and shut, but I do know that Helfrich has good backing and is highly thought of..
Engineer Mike (Switzerland) How much interest do you think Chip has in the NFL? Might he be one of these guys satisfied with running a college program?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM) you hope if you're a Ducks fan... The NFL folks think he's as good as gone. For my own selfish reasons, I want him to stick around. The flirtation last year could be read 2 ways: 1. He's eyeballing the NFL, but wants the right place; 2. He flirted but them realized he loved his present wife.
Corey (NYC) Ted: is there any other team out there that can match Notre Dame in terms of fame, tv ratings, selling tickets etc..? It's no coincidence that this is going to be the highest rated nc game ever and tickets are going for more than Super Bowl tickets,, that it involves Notre Dame? Am i right? Because if it was more about Bama last years game would have set all those kinds of records?
Ted Miller (4:02 PM) No... Notre Dame, love them or hate them, is the first team you think of when someone says, "College football." Alabama, Michigan, USC, Texas, etc.... those are national brands, but Notre Dame comes first, even with its extended downturn before this season. Not my opinion. Just a fact. I think college football is better when Notre Dame is good.