Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Ted Miller (12:57 PM)
Hey gang. For showing up today, you get a spot on the ESPN.com all-decade chat team.Fire away.
Greg P (Staten Island,NY)
Ted, I know your a pac 10 guy but any chance the big east looks to expand the conf.?.....shouldn't an A Q conf have to play more than 7 conf games?
Ted Miller (12:59 PM)
It will be interesting to see what happens if the Big Ten joins the ACC, SEC and Big 12 as a 12-team league with a championship game.... that likely would put pressure on the Pac-10 and Big East to do the same...
robby (indian territory (IT)aka oklahoma)
how come the smaller schools get no love from the bcs? needs to be a playoff so that the very best school is named national champions
Ted Miller (1:01 PM)
Well, Utah, TCU and Boise State have all played in BCS games..... still, I hear you... before the bowl games were played, I wanted TCU to play Florida... but then Boise made a big statement .... don't hold your breath for a playoff. Just don't see it happening any time soon.
Joe (Jacksonville, FL)
As a Wazzu diehard, I very much want Paul Wulff to succeed. But I just don't see it happening next year with what looks to be a loaded Pac-10. What does he have to do to ensure at least one more year at the helm? The ridiculous injuries have to stop sometime, right?
Ted Miller (1:03 PM)
If WSU can stay relatively healthy for the first time in two years, it can be competitive next fall... but, yes, I don't see how the Cougars move up much in the conference. Still, Wulff is recruiting well. If the Cougs win a couple of conference games and things are more competitive throughout the season, my guess is he'll earn a fourth year. Instability is a program killer.
On the Rivals way to early pre season top 25, they had USC ranked 5th. 5th!!! What did I miss that made them go from about 20th to 5th place team? Couldnt be Kiffin could it?
Ted Miller (1:04 PM)
Hmmm... I wouldn't have USC in my top-10. Perhaps it was out of habit?
why have the PAC 10, with the exception of USC, had such weak defenses throughout this decade? those high-scoring games we see in the PAC 10 would be nearly impossible against a good SEC, big 12, or big 10 team.
Ted Miller (1:07 PM)
This is a "fan" comment. You don't hear NFL folks talking like this. Much of the time a college defense looks good because it's playing a bad offense. Pac-10 defenses would look great in the Big Ten.
Troy (Montrose, CA)
Do you think Lane Kiffin will be a "lifer" at USC?
Ted Miller (1:08 PM)
If he wins.Of course, if he wins he might want to bolt for the NFL, too. Do I see Kiffin the coach at USC in 2019? Probably not, but that's just a guess because so few coaches stay for the long haul, for a variety of reasons.
Larry (Oroville, CA)
Ted: In his next decade predictions, Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin talks about a combined BIG 12/PAC 10 TV network. Is that under discussion now, a realistic possibilty, or a flight of Tim's imagination?
Ted Miller (1:11 PM)
Not a flight of imagination. New Pac-10 commish Larry Scott has mentioned the idea. Why? Everybody is looking for ways to increase revenue... if combining forces does that, my guess is both conferences would bite. Is it close to a reality? Not that I've heard. But the Pac-10 has to figure out its new TV contracts before 2012, so we'll see...
ted, what are some of the strong ooc game matchups for pac-10 in 2010?
Ted Miller (1:13 PM)
Off top of my head.... Iowa at Arizona, Oregon at Tennessee, Nebraska at Washington, oregon State at Boise State, Oregon State vs. TCU in new Cowboys Stadium.... UCLA at Texas... Washington at BYU.... Wake Forest at Stanford...
Ryan (Medford OR)
Ted, I heard Owa Is done to two Pac-10 teams and Neb. We are going to lose him aren't we?
Ted Miller (1:14 PM)
Thinking he's another Suh, eh?We shall see.... He'd fill an immediate need at both Oregon and Oregon State and his family could watch him play.
I'm a big Cal fan and I love all the things that jeff Tedford has done to raise the profile of the program. But is he in serious danger of losing his job if he can't figure out how to win on the road and win the biggest games? I'd hate to see him go. Go Bears!
Ted Miller (1:17 PM)
I don't think Tedford is in trouble. That said, I'm sure he's looking at his program and trying to figure out some issues... like you noted. The inconsistency is a legit question. I'm sure Tedford is particularly concerned with the unevenness at QB since Aaron Rodgers left...
Can Stanford replace Toby Gerhart? Almost everyone else on the Cardinal returns next year.
Ted Miller (1:20 PM)
You don't replace a Toby Gerhart. there's some young talent at running back, starting with Stepfan Taylor. But the bigger concern is defense... four or five guys will need to be replaced from a unit that wasn't terribly good anyway.
That's a good point about the QB situation in Berkeley. It seems, despite having a set of highly rated QB recruits on the roster, that Tedford is unwilling to go with the younger guy. He had to be forced into using Riley over Longshore, and now I fear Mansion and the rest will be left holding clipboards yet again.
Ted Miller (1:20 PM)
Emanuel (Las Vegas)
This is a question about the other Kiffin. Did Monte Kiffin make a difference with the Tennessee defense in his 1 year? Will he really be a big factor in the success/failure of Lane in the next few years at USC?
Ted Miller (1:23 PM)
Absolutely... the Vols ranked 22nd in total D and were 12th in pass efficiency D.... he's generally considered Pete Carroll's No. 1 mentor... but he turns 70 in Feb. He's not going to be a long-term answer.
E.F (new jersey)
Can the Florida Gators stay in the top 10 without Tim Tebow
Ted Miller (1:23 PM)
yes.... you have watched the recruiting rankings over the past few seasons, right?
Saam (Los Angeles, CA)
What the hell is going on with Stanley Hasiak? Is he coming back to UCLA or what?
Ted Miller (1:25 PM)
That's a strange one... it seems like he's struggled to adapt to college football and life in general in Westwood.... latest word is his return is doubtful but not impossible... he's got talent. shame to waste it. but maybe he needs a new start.
Is next year the year that the Pac-10 finally gets 2 BCS spots? If so, who will it be?
Ted Miller (1:28 PM)
The depth of the conference next year will make that hard. A second BCS team probably can't have more than 2 losses... best chance for a No. 2? USC because of the profile that would be appealing to a bowl game trying to make a good matchup.
Ryan (Medford OR)
Do you think any Pac-10 players will be on the "Early Heisman Watch"?
Ted Miller (1:30 PM)
Jake Locker, Jeremiah Masoli, Andrew Luck, LaMichael James, Jacquizz Rodgers, Matt Barkley...
What's going on w/ CAL recruiting? Their class is small, 2 WRs have decommited and they stopped contacting Parker? Pls give me something to look forward to...
Ted Miller (1:31 PM)
It does seem like the Bears have lost some steam... I know this won't help, but perhaps you should wait until the smoke clears and names are on the dotted line before letting despair set in. If Cal dropped a guy, there's probably a reason... maybe they've got someone better in mind?
Do you think Arizona's passing attack will do better againsts Iowa's secondary in this year's rematch?
Ted Miller (1:35 PM)
They've got to do a better job blocking up front... after Nebraska's D-line, the Wildcats will face one almost as good... If Foles has time, he can make plays to a good crew of WRs against any secondary.
Andrew (Middlebury, VT)
Over under...Harbaugh will be coaching at Stanford for 2 more seasons
Ted Miller (1:35 PM)
I'm going to be an optimist... over. Not taking that to Vegas, though.
E.F (new jersey)
Why are teams so interested in Lane Kiffin being their head coach? Like seriously!!!
Ted Miller (1:37 PM)
Fair question... he hasn't done much. But it's not like the Raiders, Tennessee and USC were TRYING to hire a fraud. They obviously see something in him... Heck, Pete Carroll pushed Norm Chow aside because he was enamored with Kiffin. Kiffin was hired because lots of people apparently think his upside is considerable.
Lawrence (La Crescenta, CA)
Who do you think will be the next Joe Paterno?
Ted Miller (1:39 PM)
Will that happen again? I don't know if you'll see many guys coaching the same team for decades into their 80s. Seems like Saban's got something nice going at Alabama. But will he stay for 20 years? Doubt it. Tressel? Maybe. The job is such a grind now and it's so easy to get fired or to be lured away by another offer. Paterno -- and Bowden may be the last of their type.
How much stock do you put in the idea that it's harder to recruit to Cal and Stanford because of the academics?And what are you hearing about Keenan Allen possibly visiting Berkeley?
Ted Miller (1:42 PM)
Stanford might have the toughest academic standards for athletes in the nation... they've already lost a couple of guys in this year's class because of issues... Cal doesn't have the same deal, but schools like Cal and UCLA have a harder time getting guys in than other Pac-10 schools.
Mike (San Diego)
Good thing you cover football and not basketball. The Pac-10 is ugly in hoops right now. If I set the over under for USC wins at 9.5 next year, which side are you on?
Ted Miller (1:44 PM)
Pac-10 hoops is pretty feeble at present... Trojans (football) wins? I'd say you picked a good place for an over-under.
Ok, to that point then. Why is it Tyrone Willingham could have success at Stanford, recruit even better at Notre Dame (yeah, he did), and despite his flop at Washington doesn't seem to be on anyone's coaching radar? If I were a parent I couldn't think of a better human being to send my kid to be with for 4 or 5 years.
Ted Miller (1:47 PM)
Not to be harsh but Willingham did a lousy job at Washington on many levels. A parent might like Willingham, but it doesn't seem he connects as well with his players. Everybody has their own take, but he wouldn't be on my list for a new head job.
Joe (Mansfield, MA)
Is the hammer coming for USC, finally? Lane Kiffin's defection to the West Coast leads me to believe it isn't.
Ted Miller (1:49 PM)
I think USC football will be sanctioned in some way by the NCAA, but my general feeling is it won't be so severe that the program is crippled, even in the short term. Of course, sometimes those NCAA things get nutty... we shall see.
bob (big ten country)
Oregon played osu and the offense did not play very good against their defense but osu offense did not have much trouble with their defense
Ted Miller (1:51 PM)
right... and in 2008 USC played Ohio State and won 35-3... do we want to make wide-ranging conclusions about one game? Isn't that what has frustrated Big Ten fans? Ohio State had a great plan on both sides of the ball and Oregon didn't play well. If those two teams played a seven-game series, however, I'd guess we'd go six or seven games and see a variety of different outcomes.
If the Pac 10 were to expand, what two schools would be the likely candidates?
Ted Miller (1:52 PM)
If I were picking: Utah and Colorado.
I suppose I can't comment about how he connects with his kids, but this is a guy who landed Brady Quinn and Jake Locker. You don't all of a sudden become a bad coach after several years where you were considered a good one. Am I wrong?
Ted Miller (1:55 PM)
Fair enough.... but Notre Dame recruits itself... see how highly rated Weis' classes were... And Locker was going to Washington no matter what... My feeling is Willingham was a good fit at Stanford but his ego got in his way and he went to Notre Dame, which wasn't a good fit for a guy who's not good at dealing with people. Then, at Washington, he simply failed to get the job done on every level -- and didn't seem willing to look in the mirror about it. Just my take, though
You would pick Colorado over BYU? Why not keep the Holy War intact?
Ted Miller (1:56 PM)
Georgia and Georgia Tech still play... Clemson and South Carolina... BYU isn't going to the Pac-10.
Do you think more coaches start looking at taking time off like Urban Meyer has done to recharge the batteries? Seems like a good deal.
Ted Miller (1:58 PM)
When you're as good as Meyer, a school will do what it needs to retain you.... coaching is not a job where you can take an occasional sabbatical... I really hope Meyer finds the right balance, but I suspect his situation is close to unique.
And what about Boise St for PAC-10 expansion?
Ted Miller (2:01 PM)
Why would Boise State want to leave it's present situation? It's played in two BCS bowl games! Also, when you talk about expansion, you have to look at an entire athletic department. Boise is great at football but wouldn't be a good match for the rest of it...
Ted Miller (2:02 PM)
Folks .... got to head back to the salt mines. Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.