Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller will stop by to talk some college football.
Miller has been covering college football since 1997, starting with Auburn and then heading West to Washington and the Pac-10. His columns for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer won first place in 2007 APSE Best Writing contest. The Atlanta native and University of Richmond graduate presently lives with his wife in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Send your questions now and join Miller Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Ted Miller (3:00 PM)
I'm here... how you have your bowl tickets.Fire away.
I've heard people saying that USC is going to be the favorite in the PAC-10 next year, but with Oregon bringing back alot of starters shouldn't they be the lead dog? Or does this just go back to the theory of USC being the greatest thing ever and people will talk about them every chance they get?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
You need to get out more. No one is saying that. And from 2002-2008, USC was the best program in college football. Period. And you know that.
Teddy, if you were Jim Tressel...how are you scheming your defense for Oregon? Contain Masoli...stop the run...focus on solid tackling...whats your plan?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
First, you master the spread-option and know that Masoli is very good at disguising his intentions. The extra time to prepare will benefit the Buckeyes more than the Ducks. I suspect this will be a tight game.
Do you think the Fiesta Bowl is fixed to protect the big boys this year? I don't beleive what most of the ESPN guys are saying that it is #3 vs #6 and they are treating TCU and BSU as equals. If they were truly treated as equals like everyone says BSU and TCU would both start in the preseason top 5 returning 21 and 18 starters.
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
I was really disappointed in the matchup. I wanted TCU-Florida and Iowa-Boise State. The non-AQ's deserve a chance to prove they can play with the BCS conference teams. I think the matchup serves to protect teams that are afraid to play TCU and Boise State during the regular season.
Ry (Eugene, OR)
Ted, How do you see the Rose Bowl playing out?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
Tight... OHio State's defense is first-rate. It will give the Ducks all the can handle. THe game like turns on whether Good Terrelle Pryor or Bad Terrelle Pryor shows up.
Ry (Eugene, OR)
How did Oregon only get one player on the 1st team All-Pac 10? Does this mean Chip Kelly is the greatest coach in the history of football? They won the conference by 2 games!
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
Who would you switch out for an Oregon player? the Ducks strength this year was being good at every position.
Tommy P (Cincinnati)
Is Harbough really out of consideration for the Notre Dame job?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Nothing is done until it is done but I've consistently heard he's staying at Stanford... but you really never know with these things...
Coug (At Sea)
Hey Ted - I'm on board the SS Universe, enjoying a semester at sea, and I wanted to get your take on my favorite college QB - Jake Locker. Do you think he has an otter pop's chance of being drafted in the Top 10 next year? Who do you think will go to the slate and give him a close look? Thanks and Good Luck!
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Coug at Sea and your favorite is Jake Locker... hmm... I hope Locker returns. He will get drafted in the first round on ability, but he will improve dramatically with another year working with Sarkisian. That said: I've always believed guys should take the money when they get a chance. So my advice for him is to bolt. I have no idea who might want him.
i think an argument can be made that James and/or Masoli should have been on the first team - but i see your point about the depth across the team. even if we say it is fair they only have 1 on the 1st team - can you remember another conference winner (by 2 games, not a tie or anything) only getting 1 guy on the first team?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
I put James on my team, but I wussed out and put three guys in the backfield... Masoli-Canfield was a toss-up.. and toss-ups go to seniors.... as for another conference winner... that's a tough one... we have to go back a ways before the USC run and my brain is foggy on that...
Who will be the Heisman candidates coming out of the Pac-10 next year?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Masoli, Luck, James, Jacquizz... Locker and Best if they come back (doubtful).. assuming Gerhart is gone.
I think you forgetting Florida in that best team coverage for that span. They make a pretty good argument.
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Other than a bunch of five-loss seasons during that span ...2002, 2003, 2004...
Good day to you sir! Who do you got: Bama or Texas? What happened to USCum this year? I was right! yes, i was!
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Where have you been? my other trolls aren't as amusing as you... I think the Tide rolls.... and you've been predicting USC's downfall every season... but you were right this year... Now, will Alabama muster the courage to schedule a game with the Trojans?
If anything, I think the Boise-TCU matchup is great for the non-AQ heading into NEXT year. A win catapults the team into a high preseason ranking, whereas a loss to a Big-6 school would be a setback heading into next year. Ideal setup for NC cinderella run for the winner of this game, particularly Boise St. with everyone returning.
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Perhaps... Boise is going to be tough.... Oregon State visits the blue turf next fall... wonder if the Beavers will be done with their early-season woes?
Beno said USC would be the team to beat next year in the pac 10.
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
If he said that.... I politely will inform him that he's wrong. Probably just a reflex.
looking at the bowl games - there are really some great names historically the conference is going against... tOSU, oklahoma, nebraska, BYU... what do you think the chances are of a 1 loss or fewer performance? would another dominating performance help actually turn national perception?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
I think it's going to be a rugged bowl season... Stanford is really hurt by losing Luck, though the Cardinal may not get much sympathy from the Sooners on QB injuries... I'd be shocked if the Pac-10 went unbeaten in the bowls... probably lose at least two...
Ted, how does Ricky Elmore not even get second team All-Pac 10 when he led the conference in sacks and had more tackles than three of the four first team defensive linemen? Davis had less than half of Elmore's stats in both categories.
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Davis is a nice player but he wasn't on my team... I went with Daniel Te'o-Nesheim because he's a better all-around player than Elmore and had better numbers than Davis. And he's a senior.... Elmore had a great season, and he would have been second-team for me if I had selected one...
Ted, there's a report (http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/article_5a204688-e172-11de-8a74-001cc4c002e0.html) that Oregon State may well end up playing TCU in Cowboys Stadium to open the season next year. If so, that would give them road games at TCU and Boise State in the first three games of the year. Do you think that's a wise move? If so, why?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
I think it's a terrible idea... once again, the Pac-10 is over-scheduling... UCLA, Washington, Oregon State, etc... teams should do an A,B, C plan... one good team, one middling team and one sure win.
Ted, I beg your pardon! Do you think we are scared of USCum?
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
Yes.... well, at least until this year... of course, maybe USC tanked so it could lure SEC teams into scheduling games... ohhhhh, I didn't think of that one before but that sounds like Pete Carroll genius! (I'd like to believe that considering the terrible USC performances I witnessed this year).
Bill C (NYC)
If Gerhart returns next year what do you envision Stanford being able to do next season?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Gerhart won't return... so that "if" isn't really much of one... but if he did, Stanford would be pretty tough to stop in 2010... just about everybody else on the offense will be back.
Jeff (Portland, OR)
My USC friend said this year was the year of the RBs, bu next year should be the year of the QBs. Your thoughts on this?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
There will still be plenty of good Rbs... James, Jacquizz, Chris Polk, Grigsby, the USC guys, etc... but the quarterbacks next year will be incredibly strong, particularly if Locker comes back.. lots of guys with NFL futures.
Should I be optimistic or worried about Matt Barkley?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
Always be optimistic... it's better... and it's not like his talent went away... he might need better coaching.
Nick (Albuquerque, NM)
Will it be embarassing when Ingram wins the Heisman and Richardson is the featured back at Alabama next year, with Ingram sitting on the bench?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
don't think that will happen, but that is an amazing combo of RBs... didn't Auburn have something like that a few years bac... Cadillac and Brown?
Come on Ted even you would have to admit Bama probably beats USC 7 out of 10 times on a neutral field
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
This year... probably eight out of 10... but from 2002-2008 it would have been much different.
If Williams comes back next year, as well as Joe and Havili, where do you see USC ending up in the Pac 10 and nationally?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
Williams may be stretch... USC could return to its old ways... or maybe the Trojans slide? At this point, I've got Oregon No. 1... USC might be No. 2 or No. 3... maybe four, actually.
Do you see Arizona getting some national respect playing Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl? Pre-Season ranking next year? Arizona is losing a lot of the defensive side of the ball next year.
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
If Arizona beats Nebraska, it will get a preseason ranking... it may get one anyway with Foles and much of the offense coming back... the D will be a concern, but Stoops has recruited well...hard to believe the 'Cats won't be fairly stout on D.
Jeff (Portland, OR)
Do you think it will come down to the Civil War again for the third consecutive year for the Roses?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Might... both teams return a lot of guys...
Munch (Toledo, Ohio)
Who do you think is more accurate with their big board reguarding QB Jimmy Clausen, Kiper with him being #1 or McShay with him at 3rd in terms of quarterbacks
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
I think Clausen is going to be a very good NFL Qb... first or third? heck if I know.
Ted, you've voiced your opinion that PAC-10 defenses are good. Although this seems to be true on average, the top defenses don't really compare to what, say, Ingram faced in the SEC. In an attempt to be objective, I looked at defensive FEI rankings (from Football Outsiders). Bama's top six opponent defenses by rank (out of 120): 9,10,12,13,17,18. Stanfords: 20,22,23,29,38,54. It's true that stanford's opponents played tough. But not nearly AS tough.
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
Again... you are missing it.Total defense isn't the issue. It's run defense.Gerhart faced tougher run defenses.As for the other stuff... Look at the QBs in the SEC. Look at the QBs in the Pac-10.'Nuff said.
BO PELINI (LINCOLN, NE)
Hey Teddy me boy! DO you think my 2010 Huskers could be a dark horse title contender?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Not if they don't get better on offense... that performance in the big 12 title game made me want to claw my eyes out... but then I would have missed Suh...so I didn't.
cj spiller (sc)
explain something to me ted...im the most athletic and versitale player in the country and i dont get invited to the heisman ceremony? how ridiculous is that? on top of all my stats i played all year with a painful turf toe.
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
You're a great player... the word didn't get out on you enough... part of it was your best stuff wasn't as a RB. Part of it was the up-and-down season... but you'll soon be well-compensated for your Heisman frustration...
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Ted, I'm looking forward to the BYU-Oregon St. game. How do you see that one playing out?
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
Is BYU sick of playing in the Las Vegas Bowl or what? that's probably an issue... But my guess is this is a good game... Beavers might be a little too quick, like Arizona was last year. But Hall has a lot of weapons, and the Beavers have struggled to pressure QBs... Hall with time to think in the pocket would worry me if I were a Beavers fan.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
How do you think USC will fare needing to travel about 375 miles further than they are used to for their bowl game? Seriously though is there any reason to think they will lose to BC in the Emerald Bowl?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
Yes. USC should win based on talent, but it seems like the hungrier team almost always wins the bowl game... Will USC match BC's hunger?
Texas = 2 national championships in the past 50+ years. Please tell me why they are relevant again? Texas' OL will not allow them to win the NC game this year.
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
I don't know... going unbeaten? Winning the title in 2005? at least 10 wins every year since 2001? As for the O-line... no, I wasn't impressed vs. Nebraska... that will be an issue vs. 'Bama. Still, seems like a lotof Tide fans are really, really confident.. hmm.
After TCU creams Boise State can Patterson say I think we just won the National Championship and get the AP to crown us the mythical NC. It worked for USC in 2003 so why won't it work for us?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
USC was everybody's No. 1 at the end of the 2003 season... that's a big difference... TCU may get some votes, particularly if they drub Boise State (good luck with that).
Ted, Nebraska's offense will be better next year. O line gets older and Cody Green and Burkhead more practice. Do you think the Holiday Bowl (Arizona v Nebraska) will be a defensive battle?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Yes... If UA gets RB Grigsby back, though, the Wildcats will have more weapons than the Huskers are used to facing.... but I don't think his shoulder will hold up (particularly if he gets Suh-ed).Thinking 20-17, something like that.
Ry (Eugene, OR)
Who is the next coach at Notre Dame? Go Army, knock the Bruins out of a bowl.
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Should be Brian Kelly... if ND wants to become a national power again...
William (Blake, TX)
Which conference's commenters on your blog feature the worst spelling and grammar?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
All are brilliant and well-spoken. I love them all.
Hey Ted, Not being biased since I'm a buckeye fan but top 3 conf this year Pac-10, Sec, then Maybe Big 12
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Maybe... but it's really hard to compare, even in years when it seems clear...
Why is everyone so into Brian Kelly? ND problem is defense, not offense, and Cinci certainly isn't known for being a defensive powerhouse...
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Ah... but kelly is really smart... give him $1 million to go hire the best D-coordinator out there...
Ryan (Medford, OR)
Ted, do you think Pryor would have been better of playing in Green, Black, Grey, Yellow, and White? (BTW did I miss a color?)
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Maybe... but I think the Ducks got lucky when Pryor chose Ohio State and Masoli came to Eugene... not sure you can run the spread-option much better and I think Masoli is also a more consistent passer than Pryor.
Has USC's bad (compared to their past) record this year affected their recruiting?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
What I'm hearing, no...but we won't know until the first Wednesday in February...
Who makes the sweater vest look better -- Neuheisel or Tressel?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
Ohhhh... toughest question of the day! It's such a defining part of Tressel... Have to give it to him even though Neuheisel's more of the GQ sort.
Ryan (Medford, OR)
I know I am biased but I think Chip Is better then Brian. :)
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
You know... I think they are a lot alike, which is funny to me.
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
Folks... gotta go... thanks for stopping by. Your questions, even the snarky ones, are always appreciated.