Chat with Tim Griffin
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin stops by to chat about the upcoming season.
Griffin joined ESPN.com in February 2008. He has covered the Big 12 since its inception, among a variety of beats during a 24-year career at the San Antonio Express-News. Griffin, a Memphis State University graduate, lives in San Antonio with his wife and son.
Send your questions now and join Griffin Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:19 PM)
Hang on everyone. Tim's having an issue logging into our chat program. He's trying another computer and should be here soon.
Tim Griffin (3:25 PM)
The backup computer works. Lets get to it.Tim
Chris (Salinas, CA)
Now that we've seen what Bradford looks like without an O-line that gives him time to play some online poker, do you think the heisman was a bit rash for him last year.
Tim Griffin (3:27 PM)
No, Chris. I thought Bradford was among the top players in the country last season. Heck he threw for 50 TD passes. I think he deserved it for his body of work last season.
Erik (Lincoln, NE)
Why are some so high on Blaine Gabbert after one performance? Illinois is not that good to begin with.
Tim Griffin (3:28 PM)
Erik:That might be true, but it's a little hard to argue with his numbers or his leadership. Mizzou looked like the biggest surprise in the conference. They cracked the top 25 today, which was deserved, in my opinion.
Chris (West Columbia, SC)
Two observations/questions1. Was it me or did it seem like the Oklahoma Team, both defense and offense, really struggled with the fact that Bradford went down? It seemed to me that after e went down the o-line forgot how to block the undersized d-line of BYU, the two 1,000 yard rushers forgot how to run, and the defense forgot how to cover. Do you think OU will struggle the rest of the way? Even if Bradford returns do you think he will be the same great QB he was? Because an injury like that to the throwing arm of a QB can be career changing.2. My only gripe is that you still have Kansas above my Huskers! After the first game I thought Rex Burkhead showed the sea of red he is more than capable of making us forget Castille, didn't you? I know Nebraska's secondary is shaky at times but with Pelini scheming and teaching they should be ready for their yearly showdown. What edge are you giving to Kansas?
Tim Griffin (3:32 PM)
Chris: I did think OU looked demoralized after Bradford went down. And in a way that's understandable. He is their leader. I don't know how much they will struggle. I think the Miami game is looming large for them. If Bradford is back and healthy, they still have a shot to get to the Texas game without any more losses. Nebraska looked strong in that game, but let's way to see how Burkhead plays against a little tougher opponent before we break out the annointing oils just yet. Let's see him play against Missouri in the Big 12 opener or maybe against Virginia Tech. But he did have a nice first game.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Tim, which Big XII team surprised you the most in week 1? Mizzou?
Tim Griffin (3:34 PM)
MIZ - ZOU.Great defensive effort from Steckel and his guys. I loved the stories about the Scorpion.
How would ou rate Taylor Potts debut?
Tim Griffin (3:35 PM)
Shawn: Good but not great. If he's throwing three picks against the Fighting Sioux, it likely won't be a good sign when he starts playing the Longhorns, Cowboys or Sooners.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Won't teams like Oklahoma State and Texas be able to exploit Mizzou's scorpion D with inside running games?
Tim Griffin (3:37 PM)
Clay:One would think. A big strong inside runner like Beau Johnson or Cody Johnson should have a lot of success against an undersized defensive front built for pass rushing. Key will be for them to be able to stay close. The Scorpion could sting teams that have to pass every down. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Tim,I know it was only our first game in 2009, but Hawk and his (and my) Buffaloes look like a mess: not starting Scott at TB, keeping QB Hawkins in the game, blown assignments, lack of mental preparation, inferior physical performance, etc. Can CU salvage the year? Do we have the talent to compete in the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (3:38 PM)
Troy: You are right. I didn't see any team as poorly prepared as the Buffaloes in the first week of the season. They were having trouble getting to the line of scrimmage on time, couldn't run the ball, couldn't pass block against what was thought to be a weak defensive front. They were just a mess. It will be a big challenge to pull everything together quickly
Dan (Bellaire, TX)
Texas Tech has consistently had winning records in the Leach era and has a decent bowl record. Why does the media consistently under estimate the Red Raiders finish every year (except for 2008)?
Tim Griffin (3:41 PM)
Dan: I think that Tech is underpublicized because of its location. Also, the fact they have never advanced to a bowl higher than the Cotton or Holiday hurts in its national appeal.And I think the lack of Harrell and Crabtree has placed a giant question mark over this team. They also didn't look real imposing in their first game of the season, either.The game against Texas will answer a bunch of questions about both teams.
Scotty (China Spring, Texas)
Is Robert Griffin a legitimate Heisman contender in 2010?
Tim Griffin (3:42 PM)
Scotty: If Baylor has a strong season and makes a bowl trip, sure, it's possible. I find it hard to believe he'll be mentioned in the same breath with quarterbacks like Barkley or Pryor on the national stage. But he'll definitely be one of the Big 12's best players. And that should mean something for him.
where do u see wildcats by league start
Tim Griffin (3:44 PM)
Justin:I'll say 3-1 with loss at either UCLA or La-Lafayette. The game this weekend will be tougher than expected. And I think the Wildcats will be heavy underdogs at the Rose Bowl. Still, 3-1 should be good enough to get them thinking about a bowl trip in early October - if they can have success in Big 12 play.
Dan (Grand Island NE)
Should giving up 350 yards of offense to FAU be a concern for Bo Pelini in 2009?
Tim Griffin (3:45 PM)
Dan:The yardage wasn't unexpected to me. Rusty Smith is a pro-caliber qb. I think Pelini is happier about the turnovers the Blackshirts produced rather than the yardage.
Rusty (Hesston, KS)
After the first week, just how hot did Dan Hawkins' seat get at Colorado?
Tim Griffin (3:46 PM)
Rusty:Put it this way. There won't be much snow around him once the weather starts getting cold.
Dave (Overland Park KS)
How does Texas Tech's location differ from that of say a K-State or any other school in a smallish town/city with regard to getting press?
Tim Griffin (3:47 PM)
Dave:It's not just that. And remember that KSU is close to the Kansas City media market. Lubbock is a tough place for the uninitiated to arrive at. But you can't argue with what Leach has been able to do there with bowl trips every season.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Tim, D.J. Monroe on the field reminds me a lot of Romance Taylor the speedy wr/rb Freshman that scored 13 TD Texas's NC year. If they get that kind of production out of him they will be hard to beat.
Tim Griffin (3:50 PM)
Blake: He plays like him, or maybe Eric Metcalf for some of the old schoolers. He's still going to be limited in how many snaps he'll be able to take. Mack Brown doesn't want him facing many blitzing linebackers or what happened to Sam Bradford could also materialize for Colt McCoy. But I think every time he touches the ball, he'll make people gasp.
Kansas' past success recently on theroad has improved, but still a work in progress. Do you think this weekends trip to UTEP is anything to worry about for the Jayhawks?
Tim Griffin (3:51 PM)
I originally thought UTEP would have a chance to grab an upset in this game. Not quite so sure now after the way the Miners lost to Buffalo last week. I still think it will be a test for the Jayhawks and they have struggled in their non-conference road games in recent seasons. This will be a litmus test of sorts for the men of Mangino.
Jef (Quechee, VT)
The Big XII went 3-0 vs. BCS opponents this weekend. Will that be overshadowed in national perception by the fact the Big XII went 0-2 vs. the Mountain West?
Tim Griffin (3:52 PM)
Jeff:It's a mixed bag. People in this area are talking about the impressive wins. Nationally, not so much because both losses were nationally televised games that caught a lot of attention around the country.
Any chance Jermaine Gresham and Sam Bradford come back for their Senior seasons, knowing this season is likely a washout for both of them?
Tim Griffin (3:53 PM)
Sarah:Good question.I don't think so as I think both still are solid top-half first-round draft picks. Both may tumble a little, but both will be millionaires after their names are called in April in New York City by Roger Goodell.
Chris (Champaign, Il)
Although Illinois has not been that impressive, I believe that it was more Mizzou's execution and skill level than anything else. What's the limit on the Tigers? They look like a 10 win team.
Tim Griffin (3:55 PM)
Chris:I really like what Missouri did. With their victory and Colorado's loss, I'll switch them around. I like Missouri to now challenge in the North. That opening game in Columbia between the two first-year quarterbacks Lee and Gabbert should be a doozy.
Tim, still no mention of Ok State, didnt they just win their biggest game in school history? Arent they ranked #5 right now? No love?
Tim Griffin (3:57 PM)
Porter:I ranked them five in our ESPN.com power poll. It's like I wrote after the game. The scary thing about that Georgia game for opponents is that their defense and special teams can play a lot better. I am looking forward to seeing how they handle adversity as they play Houston. That's going to be a tougher game than a lot of people in Stillwater realize.
how will snyder be coaching and do uthink he could get national title brought to ksubefore he retires for good
Tim Griffin (3:59 PM)
Justin: Snyder's value was shown in that game the other night. A lot of first-year coaches would have cratered if they had given up two cheap TDs like the KSU special teams did. But Snyder kept them focused and they still got out of there with a victory.I think he'll get them back to a bowl game, but national championship might be a little too optimistic.
Chad (Las Vegas)
OSU beating UGA and Baylor beating WF were good, but OU losing to BYU and Colorado losing to CSU were bad. I say it was a push week for the Big 12.
Tim Griffin (3:59 PM)
Chad: Probably right in the terms of your home city.
Why is everyone overrating Baylor - Griffin's stats were fairly weak
Tim Griffin (4:00 PM)
They weren't Griffin like. But the rest of the offense played well and Art Briles had the trickeration going. It will be interesting to see how that plays out this season.
Mike (Waco, TX)
The Big XII did not go 0-2 vs. the Mountain West. New Mexico is in the Mountain West.
Tim Griffin (4:01 PM)
Mike:You are correct. My apologies.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Because of what happened to Bradford do you see Garret Gilbert getting some first half reps an any of the non-confrence games. Brown did this with Chiles in the years after McCoys injury.
Tim Griffin (4:02 PM)
Blake: It would seem to make sense. The earlier you could get him some experience, the better.
What are your predictions for the RRR on October 17
Tim Griffin (4:03 PM)
Tom: Still like Texas, but wouldn't surprise me if the Sooners really rise for a challenge - with Bradford or without.
how much bigger is halloween in stillwater now?
Tim Griffin (4:03 PM)
Big enough that I bet they are taking advance reservations for Eskimo Joe's right now for seats before and after the game. And be sure to try the cheese fries while you are there.
Tim, Ok State's defense looked good in the win against Georgia. How do you feel they will match up against the heavy pass offense of Houston?
Tim Griffin (4:05 PM)
It will be an interesting challenge for the Cowboys. Case Keenum is ranked No. 7 nationally in passing. It will be a different challenge for the Cowboys. I'm anxious to see how the secondary plays this week.
Do you think Texas Tech will continue its bowl appearance streak? Or is this the year Leach finally doesn't come through?
Tim Griffin (4:07 PM)
Nathan:No worries on the bowl streak. The Red Raiders play a pastry-cart non conference schedule. Look for them to go 4-0. That means they only have to get two conference wins. I look for three and call them 7-5 at the end.
Iowa State- Iowa game...who wins?
Tim Griffin (4:07 PM)
Iowa, but closer than you might think.
What Big 12 team is the biggest threat for Texas?
Tim Griffin (4:08 PM)
Steve: After the first weekend, I'll say Oklahoma State. Remember the Oct. 31 game is in Stillwater. And don't sleep on the Longhorns' game at Missouri the week before. That could be tougher than most people expect.
Tim Griffin (4:09 PM)
Guys: Sorry, I've got to run. Hopefully next time, they'll let me into the cyber stadium to answer your questions a little more quickly.Thanks for participating and we'll chat again next week. tg