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 (2:59 PM)
Greetings and salutations! Fire away.
Chris (San Diego)
Can Stanford stay as perennial contender in Pac-10 with David Shaw?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
"Perennial" is hard to define. There is no reason Stanford can't be in the top-half of the Pac-12 most years and competing at an elite level some years. But high academic standards reduce the talent pool. Of course, if you get QBs like Andrew Luck, life is easier. And, to be honest, we don't know what type of coach David Shaw will be. It will take a few years, in fact, to find out.
do you think Jordan Wynn is entrenched as the starter in SLC? What about this Shreve kid - Chow recruited him out of H.S. and he is a year older after he lost his scholarship last year. Any chance this kid comes in and give the Utes a little bit stronger arm?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Wynn is the guy unless his shoulder gives him trouble, and word is -- talked to Whittingham today -- that everything is on schedule. But he won't participate in spring ball, which means the important backup role is open for competition and will be front-and-center. And, when your QB has shoulder issues, the backup is just that more important.
Jake (Thousand Oaks, CA)
Norm Chow will be making much less at Utah initially, but how long will it take the Utes to catch up to some of the other Pac-12 schools in regards to coaches salaries? Does Utah have to wait a couple of years before they share the Pac-12 revenue? Thanks
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
Utah only gets a share from the Pac-12 title game this year. It gets partial shares the next 2 years -- 50 and then 75 percent. Then it gets the big $. When the revenue comes in, the Utes will be able to pay coaches -- the head guy, too -- more. As a whole, the Pac-12 will need to perk up assistants salaries because the SEC and Big Ten pay more.
Toby (Lost in Idaho)
Ted, Appreciate the chat. Tell me some good news about my Wazzu Cougars. Seems to be a decent bunch of recruits. Do you see us in a bowl game in the next couple of years?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
Well, the feeling is Wulff may need a bowl to survive into 2012, though I'd think a promising 5-7 year might be enough. The program is trending up. I like Jeff Tuel as a QB, and he'll have some weapons next year. Does the D trend up? We'll see.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
How well can Will Sutton fill Lawrence Guy's shoes next year?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
DT is a question with the Sun Devils, but Sutton and Corey Adams are talented guys who should be able to step in. Hopefully both are kicking it in the weight room knowing their moment is at hand. Read a couple of positive comments today about Sutton from Junior Onyeali in the AZ Republic.
The Chin (Folsom, CA)
How much trouble can Lane get in from the Tenn investigation?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
Hard to say... the original tone of the story seemed overblown, with Tennessee "sources" trying to dump their issues on Kiffin. But he could suffer some sort of sanction, such as being grounded during recruiting for some period of time.
Jon Embree (Boulder, CO)
Ted, How am I going to do in my first year in the Pac-12?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
Well, I'm excited about chatting with you next week. Maybe you can tell me. The early response from fans has been positive, but it often is. It seemed like recruiting came together better than expected, with some late gains vs. other Pac-12 teams. The first year, however, may be tough. How's your defense going to be?
What is the Latest with the Jadevion Clowney? Could he come out west to the Ducks?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
Ted,How important is Chip Kelly's staff to his success? Obviously, the Oregon staff is filled with very experienced vets, and benefits from low turnover. Sooner or later, guys will leave: either retirement (Allioti) or ambition (as we nearly saw with Frost). My question is, in your opinion, is Chip good enough to constantly recruit talented coaches to his staff, or do you think we will see a slip in performance once his staff takes some hits? (by the way, I saw today Oregon is only one of eight teams to keep the entire staff together this offseason). Thanks!
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
My hunch is that Kelly will be very good at picking coaches he can work with... remember that Frost is his guy, as are Azzinaro and Helfrich. And Aliotti will live forever and never retire.
Andrew (Palo Alto)
Ted, why are you such an ass?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
don't know. Genes?
Paul F. (Atlanta)
Will Jeff Tedford's coaching changes (along with a top 20 recruiting class) result in an immediate step up in Cal's 2011 performance?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
There are some holes on the roster -- a gaping one at QB -- but I think the Bears will uptick in 2011 and get back to a bowl game. And if they can find the right QB, then will brighten significantly
Answer this question and I'll buy you a super mug at taylors next time you are in town. Do you think it is a good idea for the Ducks to play game like the one against LSU next season? It is clear a Pac-12 team can play an easy non conference schedule and still play in the national championship. Why risk being the loss and being out of the national championship picture early?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
I'm loving the game vs. LSU. Not sure it's "clear" the Pac-12 can play an easy non conference schedule and get to NC game. Perhaps only if a team is undefeated. But those tough nonconference games can really launch a season. Because I love them almost as much as rivalry games, I'll never say anything bad about one. Just don't play two in one season (Oregon State).
Alfredo Griffin (bell CA)
Is George Farmer as fast as he looks on video? The guy looks like Usain Bolt on you tube
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
No. it's all special effects.
There's only one football and only 11 players on the field at one time. So how do the Ducks keep James, Barner, Seastrunk, Williams, Huff, D.A. Thomas, Blackmon & Harris all happy???
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
Compete, establish a pecking order, get creative. And run a lot of plays.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
If ASU gets through their September (Missouri, at Illinois and USC) undefeated, are they a top-10 team?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Yes... they will be preseason top-25, as will Missouri. 3-0 will get the Sun Devils plenty of juice.
mike (seattle )
with 3 of his 4 losses being at the beg' or end of the season. is there a case to be made that Chip has a problem over thinking himself in preperation of "big time" games?
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
No... those were three losses to elite teams. Kelly didn't do anything strange in those games. The Ohio State and Auburn losses could be traced simply to a very good D-line getting a lot of time to prepare and then playing a disciplined game against scheme that thrives on a lack of discipline.
Chuck (Durango, Co)
Can you write a brief guide to the Ducks and call it "Seastrunk & White: Elements of Style." ?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Ha.... more than a few of our readers will get that one.... that book is on my self, looking at it as I type.
Best case scenario for UCLA next season?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
I think UCLA is going to surprise some folks. Neuheisel is always at his best when folks count him out. I think the Bruins -- best case -- is eight wins, second or third in the South.
L. Perry (S. Oregon)
Do you think the PAC-12 will ever cut back to 8 conference games?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
The ADs don't want to, and it appears the trend with other conference is going to be 9 games in the future. But if the other five all play eight, then the Pac-12 should seriously consider also playing 8 because, without it serving as a round robin, it serves no purpose.
Tomas (Chicago, IL)
Ted, how is Arizona St. supposed to put enough points on the board next year to Win the PAC-12 South like you said they might?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
You mean the team that averaged welcomes back 10 starters from a unit that averaged 32.2 ppg last year? How are they going to score? Heck if I know!
Allen (North of Somewhere)
With Andrew Luck returning for Stanford and USC possibly shaking off their sanctions what are the chances Oregon gets knocked off as defending Pac-12 champs, If neither USC or Stanford can do it, can anyone?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Well there are two chances there: 1. Oregon must win the Pac-12 North, so if Stanford beats them in the standings, the Ducks reign is over; You'd think having Andrew Luck makes that a possibility; 2. If Oregon wins the North, it still must beat the Pac-12 South champ in the title game. As for USC, unless it wins its NCAA appeal, it won't end anyone's reign because it won't be eligible for the postseason in 2011.
Vin (L.A. CA)
Oregon vs LSU, what is the change of Oregon winning this game with LSU has all the time in the world to prepare for Oregon?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
My guess is LSU will be favored by 3. So the Ducks odds are decent. LSU has a very good front-seven, and the Ducks are filling some O-line voids, so that feels like a HUGE matchup. I bet Chip Kelly is watching LSU film as I type this...
Tyler (San Francisco, CA)
Does all this love for Andrew Luck make him a lock for Pac-10 1st QB? Or do Barkely, Foles, Thomas or another have a shot?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Pac-12! Get it right! The All-Pac-12 QB will be the guy with the best numbers playing for the best team. That could be Luck. Or Thomas. Or Barkley. Or Foles. Or someone else. But Luck is SO good, both as a runner and passer, I'd rate his odds of repeating as very, very high, barring injury.
Darryl (oakland, ca)
Is there a better current representation in the NFL than the Cal Bears? D jack, M Lynch, A Rodgers, Alex Mack to name a few? I can't think of one can you?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
And Bishop and Alualu, too... Jordan is next. Cal has certainly become a quality NFL pipeline.
Who from this Pac 12 recruiting class do you see steping in right away to make a big impact for their teams?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
USC and Cal seem like the most likely candidates... both got stars in need areas. Oregon, too, particularly at WR.
Matt (San Diego)
I thought it wasn't officially the PAC-12 until July 1??
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
It's sort of unofficial, official.. you'll note the Pac-10 website is still pac-10, not pac-12.http://www.pac-10.org/Sports/Football.aspx
Ted, have you caught Jimmer Fever yet?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
yes. who hasn't?
Ted, are you still mad at me? I don't even know what I did (this time.)
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
I was never mad at you. I was just protecting you from yourself when you were acting like an Auburn fan.
joe bob surfer (Cali)
Yo Ted...this being the PACIFIC 12 conference...how about Pacific Time. Says it's 3:35 and we know it's 12:35
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Ah... but we now have four schools in the Mountain time zone at present... ESPN always uses ET to avoid any confusion.
You won't answer a Beaver question...Is this actually Chip Kelly running the chat?
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
Haven't seen any Beavers questions, other than one on recruiting that was kind of a yawner... was that yours?
Now that you have to blog about two more teams I think you should follow the NFLPA lead and throw a fit, complain that you are only making your bosses richer, use risk of injury and a shorter journalism career as your justification, and threaten to not blog next season if you don't get what you want.
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
got a feeling that wouldn't work for me.
Trent (Pensacola, FL)
Uh, I asked one about the Beavers' possibility of a winning season in 2011, any chance of a bowl or are the Beavers staying home again?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
The Beavers have issues -- O-line, front seven on D -- but I think they'll get back to a bowl game. The schedule is a little more forgiving, though at Wisconsin & BYU aren't patsies. Recall that if the Beavers had played an easy game instead of TCU, they would have gone to a bowl last year.
I didn't know you used to cover Auburn. That must've been somewhat weird at the BCSNCG
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
It was fun seeing a lot of folks I hadn't seen in a while.
Spielberg (Ewok village)
Has anyone told you how good your video segments are? Has anyone suggested you leave ESPN and jump to the silver screen?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Ted, do you cherry pick your questions and only give yourself the easy ones?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
I only give myself the easy ones.
Taylor Smith (Spokane, WA)
I'm not sure if this completely relates to the pac12, it could, but how in the world do so many put so much into recruiting? FSU went from number 7 to number 3 i believe in the way too early rankings just because of their recruiting class, i mean these ranking mean nothing, but my ducks get knocked down a few spots by some freshman? please...
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
FSU also won its bowl game and folks have faith in the turnaround under Jimbo Fisher
Ted, where are you and what's the temp right now? It absolutely sucks here.
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
67 and sunny here in scottsdale... brrr.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
Everybody say the biggest concern for ASU is defensive tackle but what about qb? Threet is inconsistant and still hurt and Oz is capable but nowhere near the elite status.
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Folks see Osweiler as ready to take the next step. The ideal scenario is he steps up this spring and wins the job and Threet comes back healthy as a capable backup. QB is not a slam dunk for the Sun Devils, but it's not too bad to have two guys with starting experience who have flashed ability.
Chip Kelly (in basement watching film)
What's the over-under for the number of great comments to come from head coaches prior to, and directly after, the Oregon-LSU game? I'm thinking 2,647.
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
It really is a great matchup of coaches. One eats grass, the other eats reporters.
So how about Jerry Sloan for new D Cordinator for the Bruins? He'd toughen those players up!
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
could do worse.
Do you see the Wildcats making it to a bowl game next year? If so, whereabouts in the pecking order do you see them falling?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Arizona is rebuilding both lines. That's a toughie. I see the 'Cats in the middle of the South right now, but I look forward to seeing them this spring to see what the big bodies in the trenches look like.
Ted, have you heard these rumors about james rodgers maybe not being available next year? Have you heard anything, and do you think he'll be as big of a playmaker as last year
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
I don't speculate about injuries. Or I try not to. Obviously, there have been some complications with Rodgers recovery, but don't get too caught up in rumors. If I were betting, I'd bet on Rodgers being on the field for the Beavers.
Mike (Tujunga, CA)
Did Slick Rick really not hire Rocky because of the blacklash from Bruin Nation?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
It's probably not that simple but the odds are it played a role, maybe even a significant one.
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
Folks.. thanks for stopping by. See you next week.