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!
PACMAN (BIG 12)
I AM PUTTING THIS IN CAPS BECAUSE I HAVE ASKED A QUESTION AT LEAST A HUNDRED TIMES, YET YOU STILL HAVENT ANSWERED....1. WHO WILL WIN THE BIG 12 NORTH IN FOOTBALL?2. WHO WILL WIN THE NATIONAL CHAPIONSHIP IN BASKETBALL?
Tim Griffin (1:04 PM)
Hey, let's get things started.
Tim Griffin (1:05 PM)
And sorry, Pac-man. Didn't want to leave you out. How about Nebraska to win the football north and Kansas to win the national basketball championship.
Jordan (Pasadena Tx)
Vince Young or Colt McCoy? who would you rather have starting for you in college?
Tim Griffin (1:06 PM)
Jordan: Great questions. As mercurial as VY was, I think I might rather have Colt if I could have one and keep him from the start of his career. Colt obviously has played more college football than Young and might not be as athletic. But he's likely going to leave school as the winningest QB in college football history.
Mitch (Dallas/Ft Worth)
What do you think of Kansas State's so far this season and what will the do in the last four games?
Tim Griffin (1:10 PM)
Mitch:I've got think that Bill Snyder has done the coaching job of the season to get to first place in the Big 12 North with the collection of talent he has. That being said, they still have four tough games with home contests against Oklahoma and Nebraska on the road and Kansas and Missouri at home. I'm guessing here, but I said earlier in the week they would get to six wins and stop. I'm predicting that they lose both road games and split one of their two home games. And unfortunately, that 6-6 record would keep them out of a bowl game because two of their wins came against FCS teams this season.Still, it's a much better season -- even to this point -- than almost anybody expected for them this year.
Mark T (Mansfield, TX)
Tim, what would have to happen for a Texas/TCU title game?
Tim Griffin (1:11 PM)
Mark: Both obviously would have to run the table and win out. I also think that TCU would have to hope that all of the teams in front of them lose at least one game during the regular season. That would mean both Alabama and Florida, for instance. Because I think it still might be tough for an undefeated TCU to differentiate itself from a one-loss team from a BCS conference for a title-game berth. That would be unfair for the Horned Frogs, but it's just how I think things would play out for them.
Justin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
How do you think the Cyclones match up against Texas A&M this weekend? Who do you predict will win?
Tim Griffin (1:14 PM)
Justin: I think it will be an interesting matchup and remember that the last time that ISU played at A&M in 2005 they won. That also was the last season the Cyclones made a bowl trip. I think they need to have Arnaud and A Rob back in the lineup for a chance to win. And they can't get in a scoring battle with the Aggies. I think Paul Rhoads' wisest course of action would be to try to limit A
Jordan (Pasadena Tx)
Has Colt McCoy finally proven he is the best QB in college football?
Tim Griffin (1:14 PM)
Jordan: I think he's the best leader and he's had the best career. I don't know if he's the best QB this season. If he played like he did in the Missouri game, I do think he's got a great claim.
Brian (Benton, Arkansas)
How long does Colorado give Dan Hawkins?
Tim Griffin (1:16 PM)
Brian: Maybe not after this season. The Buffaloes desperately need some kind of sizzle in their program. It becomes an afterthought with all of the pro sports in Denver if they don't have it. But are there really any better candidates than Hawk? How about Kevin Sumlin. He knows about the league from his time at Oklahoma and Colorado. But would he leave his job now for Colorado, with the promise of a better one coming somewhere down the line.
vatsa (no man's land, TX)
Tim, tell me what happens in a BCS chaos where TCU and Boise are undefeated; LSU is SEC champion, 1 loss USC, Iowa losing to Bucks, UT losing to OkSt and ATM (not going to happen, still)?
Tim Griffin (1:18 PM)
Vasta: Don't see all those wild scenarios happening, but like I said earlier, it will be difficult for either TCU or Boise to stand out from a one-loss team from a power conference. It's not fair, but it's just how it would go, I'm afraid.
Patrick (Olton, Tx)
Tim, yesterday you wrote that Gundy has done the best coaching job this year in the Big 12 when his team has clearly underperformed against teams that can be considered disappointments-UGA, Rice, Mizzou, A&M, Baylor. Today, you say OSU traditionally has the best Special Teams in the conference when most national pundits would say VaTech or Texas traditionally have the best ST in the entire nation. What gives?
Tim Griffin (1:19 PM)
Patrick:I think it's clear that Gundy has done a good job managing expectations. He's done it without Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant and a wealth of injuries. And OSU has always been among the leaders in all of special teams -- punting, kicking and returns -- ever since Joe DeForest has been there. And Virginia Tech is in the ACC, too. You can see them play tonight against North Carolina.
Dan (Scottsdale, Az)
Does Texas have enough to beat Florida or Alabama in the BCS Title game?
Tim Griffin (1:20 PM)
Dan: Earlier in the year, I would have said so. But if the Longhorns offense can keep improving like last week's game against Missouri, they might have a puncher's chance at an upset. Don't count them out. It could be like 2005 all over again.
B-COAK (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Is Mike Leach the most cowardly scheduler?? Seems like he refuses to play a legit BCS conference team out of conference
Tim Griffin (1:23 PM)
B. Coak: Earlier in his career, Leach and the Red Raiders faced among the most challenging schedules in the nation. They traveled to Ohio State in Kliff Kingsbury's senior season and had home-and-home contests with Mississippi and North Carolina State when those school had Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers. But that was a long time ago. The game at Houston was a challenging, legit game, but the home schedule of North Dakota, Rice and New Mexico doesn't do much for me.
Shawn (Jersey City, NJ)
I know you alrady dismissed the idea, but do you think that that Texas is at least a little bit worried that KSU might win the North and face them in the Big XII title game? Afterall, the last 2 times Texas played KSU as a heavy favorite, they ended up pretty disappointed...
Tim Griffin (1:24 PM)
Shawn: You are right about KSU's recent mastery of the Longhorns. But remember, Josh Freeman is away in the NFL and Ron Prince is tucked away on Al Groh's staff at Virginia. So I don't know if the comparison is valid.
John Sexton (Huntsville, Al.)
Will it take Alabama winning the sec for Ingram to win the Heisman ?
Tim Griffin (1:26 PM)
John:It probably would, along with a big game in the championship game where the Tide beat Florida and Tebow. But I think if Colt McCoy can build on last week's performance against Missouri, he could jump back into the competition as the major challenger. And he won't be splitting votes from some Midwest voters with Sam Bradford like he might have done last season, either.
Matt (Lost Angeles)
How many more losses do you project the sooners having before the end of the season?
Tim Griffin (1:27 PM)
Matt:Right now, I'll just say one - Nebraska. If they match that finish, I'm guessing they'll go to the Cotton or the Holiday bowl.
vatsa (no man's land, TX)
Tim, how can a team suck big time in overall D, but yet have nation's leader in sacks ? (ATM's Von Miller). That's why stats are just damn lies!
Tim Griffin (1:28 PM)
Vatsa: That's an interesting correlation you mention. Although before you brand A&M as that bad, you might ask Mike Leach how the second half of his offense went last week against A
Rusty (Hesston, KS)
Tim, I have to say I love the blog work.My question is how would you fix Nebraska's offense? It seems to me that even after running plays to get Zac Lee in a rhythm, he can't find one.
Tim Griffin (1:30 PM)
Rusty: Let's remember that Lee is in the first year of his quarterback duties as a starter at Nebraska. And Roy Helu Jr.'s injury has help set the Cornhuskers back, along with some struggling wide receivers and the loss of Quentin Castille before the start of the season. But I would like to see Cody Green get a chance to play a little, just to see what the effect would be on the offense.
Jordan (Pasadena Tx)
Do you think Will Muschamp will stay at Texas untill Mack Brown retires to become head coach?
Tim Griffin (1:32 PM)
Jordan: I would believe that he would stay as Muschamp realizes that Texas is one of the elite coaching jobs in college football. But what if Brown makes it known to him that he will remain coaching for 5-6 more years? And what would happen, for instance, if Muschamp's old alma mater at Georgia would open up. So I'll never say never, but it would surprise me if Muschamp left Texas with what is in front of him.
Mizzou has surprised a lot of people with how well they have played this year, minus the Texas game. Still legit contender for the North?
Tim Griffin (1:33 PM)
Taylor: Considering they are 0-3 in the North, it's going to be tough for them to get back in the race. But if the winner of the conference has a 4-4 or 5-3 record and they can close fast, why shouldn't be a contender if they can go on a late winning streak.
What do you think Baylor's chances are for a bowl game for next season, since this season is basically done?
Tim Griffin (1:36 PM)
Most of the Bears offensive weapons will be back with Robert Griffin next year, but they do lose key defensive players like Pawelek, Lake, Antonio Jones and Trey Bryant. Griffin being back will help them, but the Aggies should be better next year, too.
Aggies...turned the corner? Or one game wonders?
Tim Griffin (1:37 PM)
Taylor: Most people seem to think they are headed in the right direction after the victory on Saturday at Tech. I think the Aggies will get to six victories and make a bowl trip, which would have been considered a legitimate goal starting the season.
Jeff (Baton Rouge, LA)
Tim-Seriously, McCoy the best QB leader in college football? I can't stand the guy, but Tebow gets that award hands down.
Tim Griffin (1:38 PM)
Jeff: Is that the same Tebow who threw two pick sixes at Mississippi State last week and they ducked out on the media after the game?
Emanuel (Elsie, Nebraska)
Tim: The Nebraska tight ends were highly touted before the season began. But they seem to have made little impact on the offense, even though it is struggling. Do you believe that Watson has under utilized a strong group, especially with the WR's not performing and an offensive line that is not great?
Tim Griffin (1:39 PM)
Emanuel: Definitely think the Nebraska tight ends haven't been utilized like I expected. I thought Mike McNeill was one of the better players in the league coming into the season. Where has he been?
SEC fan (Jackson, MS)
I really enjoyed your series this summer where you you matched up the Big 12 and the SEC in hypothetical games. Are you considering revisiting that at seasons end? I would find that very interesting.
Tim Griffin (1:40 PM)
Jackson: Yes I will. I got a lot of good feedback on it. Might dust it off during December before the bowls start.
Clint (Fort Polk, La)
Tim, I know your a BIG 12 fan however whats your thoughts on the "home" game ND is playing in San Antonio? Smart move for recruiting?
Tim Griffin (1:44 PM)
Clint: I remember writing about the whole idea in the formative stages when I was still at the San Antonio newspaper. I think it's a brilliant idea for the Irish for several reasons. First, it gets them into Texas for recruiting purposes. They'll be playing in Dallas in an upcoming game and I wouldn't be surprised to see them in Houston, either.Also, it will give them a prime-time appearance on NBC -- even though the game with Wazzu isn't as attractive as most around the country. But I really like the idea of the Irish hitting the road to try to recapture some excitement in their program.
What are the best case and most likely scenarios for OU, bowl game wise?
Tim Griffin (1:45 PM)
Eric: Obviously the best case is for them to run the table and for them to hope Texas loses twice before the end of the regular season. The Sooners then could beat Oklahoma State in the final game of the season and have a chance to defend their Big 12 title. But those odds are very slim. It's happened before but I just don't see it happening again. My best guess is for a fast finish for them and a trip to either the Cotton or the Holiday bowls.
Farr (Baton Rouge, LA)
Who is the most underachieving team in the BIG 12 this season?
Tim Griffin (1:46 PM)
Farr: I'd have to say it's either Colorado or Missouri. I expected both to be in the hunt for the Big 12 North title. Neither have shown anything to me that they can aspire to do that this year.
Patrick (Olton, Tx)
Hey Tim, which is a more artful way to dodge questions after bad games: A. Stomp in and proclaim how hard YOU are going to push YOUR team and that YOU will not let YOUR team lose again, and then stomp out, or B. Don't show your face at all?
Tim Griffin (1:48 PM)
Patrick:If I'm considering the plaque in Gainesville today after the Ole Miss game, I would answer A. I do know that Colt McCoy has avoided the media after games twice in his career -- after a concussion against Texas A&M as a sophomore and when he was hurt against KSU that same season. He's been there after every game since then.
Tim, do you think Blaine Gabbert will end up being one of the better QBs in the big 12? How can we rank his progress so far?
Tim Griffin (1:50 PM)
Jeff: It's been a learning situation for Gabbert, who has also been hobbled with his sprained ankle. He might not have fulfilled some of the breathless hype that some Missouri media members predicted after the Illinois game, but it's been a solid first season for him.
ronnie (canyon lake, texas)
Good job as always Tim, Horns or Cowboys this weekend?
Tim Griffin (1:50 PM)
Ronnie: Give me the Horns by about 14 points. I think it will be a higher scoring game than most would expect.
Rob (Austin, Texas)
So far, the conference's only respectable OOC win was against a miserable Georgia team. The second best looks like mighty Duke. What gives?
Tim Griffin (1:51 PM)
Rob: I can't sugarcoat it. It was a disappointing season for the Big 12 in out of conference games this year.
Tim Tebow (Gainesville)
Tim, it's okay. I think jealousy is the sincerest form of flatery.
Tim Griffin (1:52 PM)
Tim: Thanks for checking in. My friend Chris Low would have loved to talk to you last week in Stillwater after the game. So would a lot of others.
Keith (Lawrence, KS)
My loyalties are split between Iowa State and Kansas due to undergrad and grad school. What is the percentage that 1 of those two teams win the north.Also what is the chance either of them don't make a bowl.
Tim Griffin (1:54 PM)
Keith: I think there's probably about a 30-40 percent chance that either of those teams win. I like Iowa State to make a bowl trip. But Kansas faces a murderous schedule from here on out with road games at Tech, at KSU and at Texas, the Missouri game in Kansas City and its only home game against Nebraska.Conceivably, they could lose all five of them. Their best hope should be at home against Nebraska. And the Cornhuskers pounded them around pretty good in Lincoln last year.
Tim are you insane? Yes Tebow is a better leader than McCoy. The same Tebow leading a team that has a 17 game win streak, the same Tebow that has a Heisman, 2 National titles and a couple of SEC Championships. I'd say he's a better leader. And for the record, both of those pick sixes were tipped passes.
Tim Griffin (1:55 PM)
Clay:Tebow also has better players around him, too. Doesn't matter if they were tipped. MSU still scored twice on those throws.
Danny (St. Louis)
Tim: I agree that Mizzou hasn't been good. The predictions were for a down year with all their personnel losses to the NFL. But even so, what can you expect when you see the QB limping around on the field? How much of an impact does his injury have on the team?
Tim Griffin (1:56 PM)
Danny: It's been huge. Gabbert has shown a lot of moxie by continuing to play, but I know it's affected him.
Mike E. (Columbia, MO)
Should Turner Gill have been hired at Nebraska instead of Pelini?I know the defense has made a 180 but the defense can't score points and you need points to win. With a good offense you can at least outscore the other time
Tim Griffin (1:59 PM)
Mike: From what I hear, the decision was made to jumpstart the Nebraska defense, leading to the hiring of Pelini. And when you consider how strong the offense was last season, I guess it speaks to the importance of Joe Ganz. But I still have no clue why the Nebraska offense has dipped so far this season.
Tim Griffin (2:01 PM)
Guys: Thanks again for all of the good questions this week. I appreciate them all. We'll talk to you next week. tg