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)
Howdy folks... got to bolt a few minutes early so I'm giving you a bonus minute on the front end.What's on your mind?
can USC get in any trouble for the latest edition of LaneGate?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
No, but whatever punishment Kiffin is given by the NCAA will be felt by USC -- such as grounding/limiting him during recruiting or even suspending him for a game or games. USC is not in institutional jeopardy. I realize there are a lot of, for a lack of a better term, "amateur," stories out there about Kiffin and USC, but the fact is this is a Kiffin-Tennessee-NCAA issue that only indirectly touches the Trojans.
Hey Ted, What does the Marques Tuiasosopo hiring gonna mean for UCLA? Obviously they want to give Hundley every chance to start.
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Tui is a winner who played in the NFL, so having him around is good. From what I know, he'll be an assistant strength coach, but I'd guess Neuheisel might have some ideas about him getting a chance to coach in the future. That's just me guessing though.
Ted Jr. (ESPN CENTRAL)
Big Ted....Jackson above Harris? I know you have been getting a lot of heat for this one, but really? Other then Fairly it's easy to say Harris had the best NC game of anyone. Plus 6 non Offensive td's! Led the nation in passes defended! Led the Pac-10 in int's! What gives...it's crazy!
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
Fans think Harris was better than Jackson in 2010. That is not a position shared by Chip Kelly and Nick Aliotti. Further, Jackson was first-team All-pac-10 at corner; Harris was not, per pac-10 coaches vote. My ranking reflects what the coaches think.
Last year Utah QB Jordan Wynn struggled off and on but was injured the entire season. If he heals completely before the beginning of the season, how big of an impact do you think he will have? And how important is it for Utah that he is 100% healthy?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
Wynn is a quality QB and there's no experience behind him, so I'd say his health is about the most important thing for Utah heading into 2011. Wouldn't you?
Matt (Apache Junction)
How much of a drop off do you expect for ASU at D line w/ Guy and Falahola gone? Can Corey Adams and Will Sutton keep ASU at the top of the conference in run D?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Sutton and Adams were touted prospects who have flashed ability. Need to stay healthy, though. And losing two starters, including one who probably should have come back instead of entering the draft(Guy), typically hurts. But my feeling is the Sun Devils D will be good as long as it stays healthy up front, where there are some depth issues.
Seems like the SEC is very good in protecting their own. Not only has the SEC commissioner come out and defended Tenn, but even the ESPN bloggers are trying to pin everything on Kiffin. Why won't Larry Scott do the same?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
What would he say, other that what Haden said? Kiffin has been a model coach in one Pac-10 season. Kiffin will get his day. Yesterday was Tennessee's day to celebrate throwing Kiffin under the bus. We'll see what happens when Kiffin counters.
Are Jeff Tuel or Marquess Wilson going to crack the top 25 of 2010? Not sure they can make it, but it's nice that Wazzu once again has some players who can make it a good argument.
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
I expect both to be considered for the preseason top-25. The top-25 you are seeing now reflects 2010 and both were considered. The list of guys who didn't make it is stunningly good. It was painful to leave some guys out, including a handful of my favorite players. All I can say is that when I finish the top-25, and folks are outraged who's left out, just include who should be dropped in your criticism.
Scale of 1 to 10, how important is the Oregon/LSU game in terms of how the Pac 12 is viewed...especially in SEC Country.
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
Why is it that a lot of teams seem to be getting verbals from 2012 recruits, but Oregon is not?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
Because, clearly, Chip Kelly has no idea how to run a football program. Dude is SO in over his head. Couldn't even win a national title last year! Verbals? I have no idea. Haven't really noticed that many verbals. I'd suggest at least waiting a full month after sighing day before getting grumpy about the next signing day.
arun (San Francisco)
Any viable options for the QB position at Cal besides Brock Mansion?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
Well, you'd hope so. If I were betting, I'd bet the field and not Mansion... Allen Bridgford and Zach Maynard may be guys to watch.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
Is Deantre Lewis and Cameron Marshall the best pac-12 running back tandom other then Oregon's freak show?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
A nice combination... Washington, Stanford, UCLA and USC look pretty good, too.
where does the QB situation leave ASU's hopes for a pac 12 south crown?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
It puts pressure on Osweiler to 1. Assert himself; 2. Stay healthy. There's no experience behind him. At the end of the 2010 season, you could say there were 3 Sun Devil QBs with starting experienced. Now there's only Osweiler. But he's the guy who most saw as the 2011 starter, so ASU is fine as long as he's behind center.
mike (abilene, tx)
What does the loss of akina mean for Mike stoops and Arizona? Seems like big red flags when he cut and run before spring football
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
Well, it was a big disappointment because Akina's return was so widely celebrated. Not sure it really affects the team that much: Players don't know who he is and he never coached them in a practice. It seemed legit that he got a nice check from Mack Brown and there was some pushback from his family to stay in Austin.
do you see Keith price and nick montana splitting time at quarterback next season
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
No. I see Sark picking a guy and giving him every opportunity to become the "guy." But if the offense struggles, then you'd expect him to give the other guy some reps. To me, it makes sense to give a backup who loses a close competition some quality work to see how he reacts under fire.
What are the chances of Chip Kelly going the way of Stanford's coach and heading to the NFL is Oregon goes to another National Championship game this year?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
Maybe Chip goes to the NFL one day. But keep in mind that, before he came to Oregon, he had chances to dip his toe and those waters and he stayed in college. My impression is he likes Eugene and will stay for a bit. Of course, if a team with a 100,000-seat stadium and $5 million comes calling, maybe he bolts. You never know.
Professor (Red Mill Burgers)
Best Onion Rings ever! Anyway, how should I view the late season collapse by my Wildcats?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
No way! Varsity in Atlanta. As for Arizona, that five-game slide was based in large part on the quality of competition, but there's no doubt that it was a downer after the strong start. What it does is create a sense of urgency heading into 2011: The program needs to quickly regain its momentum and mojo.
What are your thoughts on the John Embree era at Colorado so far? Can they compete long term?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Positive, but he hasn't even coaches a practice yet. It was an interesting hire because he doesn't have head coaching experience and it sort of came out of no where, but often those are the best hires. He's a Colorado guy, who's fully committed to the program and has hired a solid staff. Can they compete longterm? Absolutely, though it sure would help if they changed some of those rules that limit contracts on assistant coaches.
Erik (Mountain View, CA)
Ted, what are your thoughts on the poisoning of the trees at Toomer Corner?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
Just like most folks: anger and sadness. What a buffoon. College football is about tradition and this guy lacked the fundamental ethics to respect that. Let's hope that the Oaks produce a miracle rally.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
What 2 non-conference games are you most looking forward to besides Oregon-LSU?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
Missouri-ASU and Stanford-Notre Dame come immediately to mind. Washington-Nebraska is a nice one. Oregon State-Wisconsin should be interesting. Lots of good games.
Trevor (Draper, UT)
If I can only make one roadie with the Utes this year, which game/venue should I make sure to attend?
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
Well, your first-ever Pac-12 game is at USC inside the Coliseum... that would be a good one.
Trey (Long Beach)
Thoughts on USC's defense next season? Will they be substantially better?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Even though the Trojans took some hits on D -- Casey, Wright, etc. -- my expectation is they will be better in 2011 just because there will be familiarity with Monte Kiffin. And Kiffin will be more familiar with Pac-12 offenses.
Kevin Lundgren (Eugene)
What's Oregon's chances on getting back the Natty this next year?? 20%? 30%?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
19.5 %... it's hard to get to the national championship game, particularly two years in a row. But if the Ducks beat LSU, I'd upgrade their chances to 24.8 percent.
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
More difficult guy for Oregon to replace.......Kenny Rowe or Casey Mathews?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
Any chance Chip Kelly tweaks his system slightly regarding his emphasis on playing fast? Seems like Oregon's ability to impose their will on opponents in BCS games is dimished since there are so many commericial breaks?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
I'm sure that one question rattling around in kelly's capacious brain is what adjustments to make in future BCS games. He'd probably note that the Ducks played tight games with two really good teams that past two years.
Kathleen (Cabo Verde)
You follow Pac 10 hoops? Thoughts on D.Will and the Cats...
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
yes. williams is pretty good.
Matt (SEC country)
What is your prediction for the Oregon/LSU game given that we know Oregon's offense can be slowed down when given time to prepare for, and by using brute force up front? LSU is a top 1 or 2 defense in the SEC while Auburn was barely middle of the pack.
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
not to cop out, but I'm not really ready to make a pick yet. Like to hear more about the LSU Qb situation and get a look at both Ducks lines... I don't have strong feelings on it yet. And, by the way, I did on the Auburn-Oregon game. I thought the Ducks would roll. So what do I know anyway?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
Folks... I need to sneak away early because I've got an appointment... thanks for stopping by. See you next week. Have a great weekend.