Chat with Tim Griffin
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Tim Griffin (1:02 PM)
Welcome to the Big 12 chat. Let's get things started.
mathieu (san francisco)
So Tim, after bashing the Buffs last week by saying they had become the equivalent of Baylor, are you ready to apologize to the Buff Nation and show Hawk a little love? There is a lot to be proud about; the defense is laying the lumber and bears no resemblance to the squad that got lit up by CSU & Toldo - Just ask Reesing and McCoy about how they swarm, Hansen looks like a young Reesing and uses all of the receivers, not just Scottie McKnight, the team is YOUNG. I may be a homer but I honestly believe that CU can run the table - they have had three good games in-a-row and last week they didn't crumble when they started to implode. The light at the end of the tunnel seemed like it was a freight train but now it looks like hope. Whaddya say, can you give the Buffs some props?
Tim Griffin (1:04 PM)
Mathieu: I was very impressed with the Buffaloes in their victory over Kansas. But before we drink too much Buff juice, let's remember that it's only one game. If they can win this week at KSU, I'll be very impressed.
m.r.parsons (west palm bch fla)
Tim enjoy your big 12 blog. There doesn't seem to be a team in all of college football that looks unbeatable. The big 12 south is somewhat dissapointing from the pre-season hype. Other than injury, whats the problem with the offences down there?
Tim Griffin (1:06 PM)
Injury is obviously the biggest problem when you look at Bradford, Bryant, Griffin and Hunter all not playing. That is a huge loss. But I'm also impressed in what Texas Tech has done since the losses to Houston and Texas. I think that's getting lost a little nationally. And remember, I think there were only three teams that were getting hype in the preseason from the South -- UT, OU and OSU. Both UT and OSU are exactly where they would have asked heading into the conference race.
What do you think is the likelihood of another 3-way tie in the Big 12 South? With Texas-OU-OSU, or Texas-OU-Texas Tech?
Tim Griffin (1:08 PM)
Colin: It might happen if OSU was to beat Texas and then either Tech or Texas Tech is factored into the equation. Top team would move to the championship game from the BCS. I don't like OU's chances in a three-way tie to advance because of their other losses to Miami and BYU.And how about a three-way tie in the North. Why should the South have all the fun?
Ryan T. (Austin, TX)
Do you believe Colt McCoy still has a good chance to win Heisman this year even though his stats aren't as good as last year's?
Tim Griffin (1:09 PM)
Ryan: I just wrote a post about that which will be up in a few minutes. McCoy's numbers are down significantly this season. But with the lack of a dominant candidate, I would think McCoy can jump right back into the race if he has a couple of big upcoming games. Getting one against Missouri on national television Saturday night would be huge for him -- particularly after his struggles against Oklahoma last week.
For the Big 12 to land 2 BCS spots would Ok State have to upset Texas & then have both of those teams win out from there? What if Texas went updefeated
Tim Griffin (1:10 PM)
Ryan:Only way the Big 12 gets two teams in the BCS, I think, is if OSU upsets them, or if the Longhorns lose in the Big 12 title game. If Texas goes undefeated, it means that both OSU or Texas Tech would likely have two losses. With OSU now 15th and Texas Tech not ranked, I don't see it happening.
Brent (Atlanta, GA)
Hey Tim. Love the blog, and am glad we have a classy and humble guy like you covering Big 12 football. Do you think the Nebraska will ever get back to a more traditional offensive approach? You know, like utilizing their talented tight ends and fullbacks? Hell, any running back? What has to happen to get the Spread out of Lincoln? And not to be nit picky, but the Blackshirts didn't get "blistered for 31 points" last weekend. They gave up 24 and held TTU to a 3 year low in total yards. Not bad considering the poor performance of the offense.
Tim Griffin (1:12 PM)
Brent: Thanks for your compliments. You're right, the Blackshirts only gave up 24 points. But when you score 10, it makes for a long day at the office, as it was for Bo Pelini and his staff last week. I'd be curious if they started using Cody Green in some zone-read carries like Vince Young or Terrelle Pryor. I would think that might take some pressure off the offensive line. And I, too, am mystified about the lack of production in Nebraska's tight ends. I thought McNeill was as good a tight end as you could find in the conference before the season starts.
If Oklahoma State were to beat Texas next weekend, do you think they have what it takes to win the Big 12 South by only losing one more game (assuming Texas wins all of its other games)?
Tim Griffin (1:14 PM)
Colin: A victory over Texas would give them effectively a two-game lead over the Longhorns as they would win the tie. That way, OSU could afford to lose that tough finishing game at OU or against Tech. That's why that game is so big next week.
WIth bradford's shoulder what do you see as his draft postion and would it have been higher if he had declared last year!!!!!!!!
Tim Griffin (1:16 PM)
Corey: From the scouts I talk to, I was led to believe that Bradford and Stafford would have been right there as the top two picks in the draft.After his injury, I think he tumbles a little, maybe to the middle of the first round. That might actually be an advantage to his longevity as he might not be thrown to the wolves quite as early if he goes to a little better team.
Luke (Kansas City, MO)
How does Mizzou go from being ranked preseason 3rd to 5th best team in the North, to being a "dissapointment"?? They have played (by far) the toughest conference schedule to date (North teams) and lost to two teams that were top 25 (at the time). They can still finish 5-3 in conference and with an upset of TX, 6-2 and a 3rd straight North Title is attainable... Why all the "dissapointment" when Kansas and Nebraska have both faultered and were picked ahead of the Tigers???
Tim Griffin (1:17 PM)
Luke: Missouri has been a disappointment in the North Division after their 0-2 start. They have made back-to-back Big 12 championship game appearances. This team won't get back there unless it goes on a big late charge.
Dez Bryant (Stillwater, OK)
When do you think the NCAA will make a ruling concerning my reinstatement?
Tim Griffin (1:18 PM)
Dez:It was fun knowing you. From what I'm hearing, you might not playing in the lineup until about mid-November. I hope you can convince the NCAA otherwise, but I'm not sure.
Karl (Ballinger, TX)
Tim, I really enjoy your posts. Besides the Oklahoma State game next week, what game do you think that Texas needs to be wary of? Also, who do you think will win the Big 12 North? Thank you.
will the UT vs. OSU game be on primetime ABC next weekend?
Tim Griffin (1:21 PM)
Brian: Everything I've been led to believe indicates it will be.
Tim Griffin (1:22 PM)
Also, sorry Karl about that. I got kicked off my wireless for a couple of minutes. I think Texas should have a breeze through November. The toughest game I think might be their game at Texas A&M. It's an old traditional rivalry and the Aggies will be geeked for that one. But I still don't think they match up with Texas in terms of talent.
Ani (Lincoln, NE)
Who do you think will win the Big 12 North?
Tim Griffin (1:23 PM)
Ani (and Karl):I like Nebraska in the North, if they get their offense straightened out in the next couple of weeks. Nebraska has the best defense. I think that's the most important factor.
Billy Trompeter (Austin, Tx)
Why do you feel there is no way OU wins out the rest of their games. It's not even a possibility?
Tim Griffin (1:25 PM)
Billy: It's going to be hard if that offense doesn't kick things up a little and keep Landry Jones from being one-dimensional. I think there's a chance the Sooners coule lose any or all of their three road games against Kansas, Nebraska and Texas Tech. That's a tough finishing schedule
Theoretically, if Blaine Gabbert's ankle was 100% do you think we would be 30 in conference play?
Tim Griffin (1:26 PM)
Robert: That might be a little tough since the Tigers have only played two games. But I do think they would have had a chance to win both games if Gabbert had been 100 percent
BamaMike (Tuscaloosa, Al)
Will Texas A&M ever return to greatness and the upper echelon of college teams?
Tim Griffin (1:27 PM)
BamaMike: Maybe if they get the second coming of Paul "Bear" Bryant to lead them there. I think that's the key. They have to find the right coach. A&M has incredible facilities, support and smack in the middle of a fertile recruiting area. Those are some pretty solid building blocks for a program.
aaron (edwardsville, il)
So Sam Bradford has already lost millions of dollars and his draft status is slowly declining. Do you think it is better for him to just cut his losses and enter the draft after this year and maybe go to a decent team, or should he stick around another year and try to prove that he can rebound from an injury like this and make it through an entire season? His O-line will have a full year under its belt and the same for the receivers. This might be a tougher decision than anyone thought after the initial injury. What are your thoughts?
Tim Griffin (1:28 PM)
Aaron: I would be shocked to see Bradford returning to college. Remember this: The sooner he starts his pro career, the sooner he is to his second professional contract. That's when the big money really kicks in. I just think it will be hard for him to return to college.
Jason (Akron, OH)
We all know offense is way down across the country this year, but particularly in the BIG12. How much do you attribute to the loss of many key offensive lineman and how much is just better defense?
Tim Griffin (1:29 PM)
Jason: We might want to ask Robert Griffin and Sam Bradford about the importance of losing quality offensive linemen. I think that's a key reason, plus I think defenses are learning to combat the spread offenses better each year.
Matt (Metairie, LA)
Hey Tim, I can't make it for the chat, so I will post my question early and hope that you take it. I read on ESPN this morning a news story about some in the government's desire for a federal probe to be assembled to investigate whether or not the BCS system of no playoffs violates the Shermann Anti-Trust act and federal law... I thought this was a joke at first, but as I read through the article, I started to think otherwise... Could college football be the latest casualty in a government takeover?
Tim Griffin (1:31 PM)
Matt: I'm not a lawyer and won't pretend to be one. But when the politico types - like Hatch from Utah -- get involved you can never say never about anything.
Where do you see Gerald McCoy being taken in the draft? Do you think Lamarr Houston is a first day selection?
Tim Griffin (1:31 PM)
Patrick: I think McCoy will be picked among the top 10-12 players. And if Houston has a strong finish and some good workouts, I think he could be a first day (top three rounds) pick.
WIth Texas not playing a tough schedule and struggling in there only big game!!!!!!!!!! Does any team from the North have a shot of knocking them off in the BIG 12 championship game!!!!!!!!
Tim Griffin (1:32 PM)
Corey: Maybe if Nebraska's offense really starts moving with Cody Greene or if Kansas' defense tremendously improves over the next few weeks. But other than that, I don't think it will happen.
Will Resse of Kansas make it as a NFL QB????
Tim Griffin (1:33 PM)
Corey: I don't think Reesing will make the NFL. He's just too small and the NFL scouts I know all are so caught up on "the measurables."
Russell (Houston, Texas)
Tim- I decided to try to get my question in early this week. Last weekend I saw some of the best defense I have seen in a while out of Texas and Oklahoma. Do you think that Texas is playing at an SEC level and furthermore do you think Texas has the "mojo" to finish the season undefeated and take on the SEC Champion and win?
Tim Griffin (1:35 PM)
Russell: Yes I do.I think the OU-Texas game was a perfect example of an "SEC-type game." Some more familiar with the Big 12's offensive attacks might have called it ugly, but I really enjoyed watching a strong, solid defensive game. And Texas can play and win that game. I like their chance to advance to the national title game because of that.
RAY GORDON REID ( PORT ARTHUR TX 77641)
QUESTION TO TIM GRIFFIN AT 1.20PM HI TIM WHO DO YOU HAVE SATURDAY REDRAIDERS OR AGGIES
Tim Griffin (1:35 PM)
Ray: I'll go with the Red Raiders, by 31 points. Leach loves to score as many points as possible against the Aggies.
Tim, who would you start for the cornhusker this weekend? Green or Lee
Tim Griffin (1:38 PM)
Jess: I think I'd go with Green, just for a change of pace. Let him have several series and go from there. If he struggles, I would turn back to Green.
Dillon Solley (Ardmore, OKlahoma)
Do you think Jermaine Gresham will make it as an NFL Tight End? or will the knee injury stay with him?
Tim Griffin (1:39 PM)
Dillon: If Gresham can get back to the form he had late last season, I think he's got a great shot to become a dominant NFL tight end. Look at how different the Sooners are in the red zone now. I think the loss of Gresham is the biggest reason.
You haven't answered one question about ISU! Have they improved under Rhodes, and can they make a bowl in the next couple of year?
Tim Griffin (1:40 PM)
Calvin: Sorry, this is the first one I've seen. They have improved tremendously under Rhoads. I see them winning five games this season. If that continues, they will be a bowl team in the next couple of years. I really like A Rob. Think he's one of the most underrated players in college football.
Dave (Raleigh NC)
Your team is down 5 with less than a minute to go on your own 40yrd line...who's your QB and why (must be a current college QB)?!
Tim Griffin (1:41 PM)
Dave:I think I want Colt McCoy. He has the arm and the escapability to make plays with his feet. And he's done in clutch situations before.
I know it sounds crazy to panic after one bad game, but as a nebraska fan its what I do best. I was the first to jump on the bo pelini bandwagon after last year's fantastic finish, but watching the game last week, I began to think that maybe bo is just overwhelmed. Is there any chance hes just a great defensive mind, but cannot manage an entire team?
Tim Griffin (1:41 PM)
Steve: The offense didn't look too good against Texas Tech, did it?
Who do you think will start at QB for tech this weekend? If doege starts are the red raiders in trouble?
Tim Griffin (1:42 PM)
Austin: I'm thinking Potts will get the shot. It will be interesting to see if he'll be a little gun-shy in his first action since the concussion. But I don't know how much I would worry about Doege going in there, considering how well Sheffield played as a backup.
How about this one...Alabama and Florida refuse to play in the SEC Championship game and therefore take their matchup to the National Title game and leave Texas out (my point here is to show yet again that the BCS is totally flawed).
Tim Griffin (1:43 PM)
Kelli: If they do that, there's gonna be a lot of people in the Atlanta business community irate about that. They bid a lot of money for the SEC to stage a championship game at the Georgia Dome in early December.
Hey Tim! Love the blog. Keep up the good work. Have you heard anything new about Colt McCoy's thumb injury? And if does lose the nail, is there any real concern that it might affect his ability to grip/throw the ball?
Tim Griffin (1:44 PM)
Gabe: That's what I'm hearing is that he will likely lose his nail. I imagine they will tape it up and let him play. Since the nail is on the top half of his thumb, so it shouldn't affect him that much.
Sutton Neal (Lincoln, NE)
Tim, How hard was it to pick the OU at KU game this weekend? I think KU has a chance if they can avoid the slow starts they have been having...Does KU have a chance in your mind?
Tim Griffin (1:45 PM)
Sutton:It was very hard. I can see both teams winning. Kansas definitely has a change, but they have to play better defense than in the last two weeks. If they struggled stopping ISU and Colorado, Oklahoma will pose an even bigger challenge.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Tim, a lot of talk about Bradford and Gresham beeing gone and foor good reason. However I could not help but notice how badly missed Blain Irby was in the game saturday (especially after watching Greg Smith stumble and bobble the football many times.)
Tim Griffin (1:47 PM)
Blake:I was surprised to see Smith play as much as he did. But then Greg Davis said they felt like they needed him to provide adequate run blocking against the Sooners. Considering that was what provided the difference down the stretch, I can see why he was used.
jerry (dallas, texas)
will Tech have a good shot at winning (or tying, for that matter) the Big 12 South?
Tim Griffin (1:48 PM)
Jerry:Maybe they can forge a way into a tie or a three-way tie with Texas and Oklahoma State. They have to win a tough game at Oklahoma State to make that happen. And traditionally, Tech has a clunker late in the season that bears no explanation. This team appears to be a little different -- particularly on defense. So maybe that doesn't happen this time around.
jeff (scottsbluff, ne)
hey tim, love the bloq. best coach in Big 8/Big 12 history? and dont get it wrong!
Tim Griffin (1:50 PM)
Jeff: Considering your address I bet you probably think it's Osborne, right? I would go with Switzer, Osborne, Royal and Stoops in that order. Switzer not for the X and Os but how he could recruit the Jimmys and Joes that is the key to recruiting.
Brad (Long Beach, Ca)
Your pick for coach of the first half of the year in the Big 12? And any projections on who it might be by end of the season? Looking to me like the unlikely choices of Snyder or Rhoads have some good arguments working in their favor thus far.
Tim Griffin (1:51 PM)
Brad: I picked Gundy for the way he's kept the Cowboys together so far. But I also like Snyder and Rhoads as well. Both those teams could struggle to make a bowl trips, so I'm withhold information right now.
Eart Thomas (Austin, TX)
Hey Tim. Am I the top candidate for the Thorpe Award? I lead or share the lead in almost all categories: INTs, TDs, passes defended, etc. Plus I've showed up big in big games.
Tim Griffin (1:52 PM)
Earl: You played like it last week and it the last couple of weeks. Hard to argue with your candidacy if you keep playing like you have recently.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Is the Texas blowout of UTEP looking better in better?
Tim Griffin (1:53 PM)
Blake: After last night, maybe.But remember that OU blew out Tulsa, too.
Jeff (Quechee, VT)
Tim, what do you think the chances are a North team finishes conference play with better than a 5-3 record? I say slim to none, and I just saw Slim leaving town.
Tim Griffin (1:53 PM)
Jeff: I agree. I think 5-3 wins the Big 12 North.
what do you think of k-state chances for a successful season and for them to end up in a bowl is it really unrealistic to think that they might be beteer than most think?
Tim Griffin (1:54 PM)
Charles: The Wildcats are hamstrung because they have to get to seven wins to make a bowl because they played two FCS schools in UMass and Tennessee Tech. I think they'll get to six wins this season. The seventh might be a little difficult. But considering their level of talent -- especially compared to the rest of the North -- I think Snyder has done a great job of maximize what this team can do.
What does KU need to do to beat OU this weekend?
Tim Griffin (1:55 PM)
Keith: Key will be to play better defense. Don't let Jones get into a rhythm and working with his receivers like Broyles and Caleb. And on offense, the Jayhawks can't afford the turnovers that marked them last week against CU.
C'mon Tim, OU's offense is undermanned right now. With all of the turnovers that OU had, Texas should have blown OU out. Do you really believe that Texas is going undefeated in the reg season? I would love to take your money.
Tim Griffin (1:56 PM)
J: I've got a Pay Pal account ...
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
Tim, who do you think that ideal coach is for the Aggies? Sherman still has, what, 5 years left on his contract?
Tim Griffin (1:57 PM)
Josh: I've always considered a defensive-minded coach with a flair for recruiting to be their best choice.Kind of like what Bob Stoops was 10 years ago. How about Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, Brent Venables or Mike Stoops.
You're a class act Tim! Thanks for working all these questions.
Tim Griffin (1:57 PM)
Patrick: I'm trying my best.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Tim, do you think Jordan Shipley can be a decent pro receiver?
Tim Griffin (1:58 PM)
Craig: I'd think so, although he will be a 26-year-old rookie, won't he?
Tim, why can't the national media get on board the Texas Defense. All you here is FL, ALA, and USC having great D. What is your opinion?
Tim Griffin (1:59 PM)
Blair: I've really been impressed with the growth of the Texas defense this season. That's been the key about having Muschamp for a second season. They built on his concepts and have grown this season, particularly in the secondary. And remember, Sergio Kindle really has blossomed like most thought he would, has he?
Bud Wilkinson's Ghost (Norman, OK)
I won 47 games in a row. What gives?
Tim Griffin (1:59 PM)
Bud: I know, I should have you included you as well. But I remember those days with the St. Louis Cardinals, too. Maybe that's clouding my memory.
Keith (Lawrence, KS)
who is the best of K-State, CU, and ISU? Remember, ISU lost to K-State by 1 point, without their star RB.
Tim Griffin (2:00 PM)
Keith:You do make a good point. A Rob was out for most of that game. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if ISU had taken that game to overtime. And we'll see where Colorado measures up against those two teams against KSU this week. I think that will be a more interesting game than most might think.
Ndamukong Suh (Lincoln)
Hey Tim, love the blog. Who am I kidding I have never read your blog. I dont have time to do much besides go to class and destroy qbs these days. Nom Nom Nom Nom. Gabbert was tasty, but im holding out for some Reesing and Landry Jones. Maybe Colt for dessert! Big 12 title here we come! what are your thoughts?
Tim Griffin (2:02 PM)
Ndamukong: I bet I see you at the Outland Trophy dinner in Omaha in January. And it wouldn't surprise me to see you at the Heisman Awards presentation if you have a couple of more games like you do against Missouri. I don't know if you'll win it, but just to be there would be an accomplishment.
Tim Griffin (2:03 PM)
Guys: Thanks for all of the great questions. We'll catch up again next week. And check my mailbag for some more interaction with readers tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again.