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 (2:57 PM)
Howdy folks... what's on your mind?
Hey ted, Im sitting down for a late lunch at the Atlanta Fish Market, would you like me to order you something?
Ted Miller (2:58 PM)
Tell Pano hello... send oysters. And grouper.
Chris (Los Angeles, CA)
Ted -- Your take on which team you think will be most improved and why this year? The team that will take the biggest step back?
Ted Miller (3:00 PM)
Most improved: Arizona State.Step back: tough one... Oregon State and Cal are two teams that seem to have big questions, though as far as a step back I don't see either falling much below last year's finish.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Should the NCAA Pay their players?
Ted Miller (3:00 PM)
no.. jake, for shame, you didn't read my blog this AM.
Ted, let me be the first to tell you the last time we talked, we both had our fair share of drinks at Max's. you were the coolest, pointed you out to my girlfriend and she literally said, "ive never seen that guy in my life." women and sports. anyways, can i get a prediction on the pac12 title game, who do you think is going to be in and who's going to be there in the end to win it? do you think winner gets a national title birth (stanford or OREGON)?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
A woman didn't know who I was? No way. Oregon vs. Arizona State... Not sure if the Ducks have it in them to go undefeated again. But I suspect at least one Pac-12 team will be in the hunt for much of the season.
Ryan (Salt Lake)
I'm glad you got to experience the Red Iguana in Salt Lake - one of my favorites!! True or False - Utah wins the South division one of their first two years in the league.
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Red Iguana is a righteous place... holy mole! Utah is a more intriguing possibility in 2012 than this season. ASU, Arizona and USC look like they'd take a step back in 2012, and QB Jordan Wynn should be better in year 2 under Norm Chow.
There seem to be some somewhat dubious blog chatter that the Ducks are about to have the NCAA sword of (in?)justice fall on them in the next couple days Have you heard anything?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
no...that sound dubious to me.
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
Has Larry Scott ever talked about scaling back to an 8-game conf schedule?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
Yes... and he got blowback from the ADs. I know most coaches favor it now because it no longer creates a true round-robin format. My guess is it will come up again, but ADs like 9 conference games because it makes it easier to make a schedule. The Pac-12 doesn't have as many nonconference options as the East Coast teams do.
David Jackson (Eugene VIA Richmond VA)
Hey Ted,Just read the article about about why we shouldn't pay student Athletes, and I just wanted to say that the article is right on. 100% agree.
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
You sound very smart to me.
Hey Ted. How will LSU vs Oregon go down?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
I go back and forth on that one. I like the Ducks talent and coaching versus LSU, but that emerging pattern of teams with extra time to prepare (Boise State, Ohio State, Auburn) is bothersome. Right now, I'm a Ducks lean, but I might change my mind. Also, playing in Dallas practically makes it a home game for the Tigers.
Last year you made a bold (and correct) WSU prediction - they would win a conference game. What is a bold WSU prediction for this season? (Bowl game perhaps?)
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
The Cougs will win more than one conference game. Maybe even three. The key, to me, is the nonconference schedule: Cougs have a shot at 3-0.
Ted, if you were the Pac-12, what would your dream matchup for the first ever title game be?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
'72 USC vs. '90 washington
Tate Forcier (Michigan (not for long) )
Why exactly do you think USC isn't interested in Tate Forcier? Out of all of his options, where does he fit best?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
i doubt that's going to happen.
Ted, you planning on seeing any games in Boulder this year?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
I hope so. I go where my bosses tell me to go, so it depends on the Buffs having a good home matchup.
Hey ted, If oregon wins the LSU game... do they have a legit shot to have another 12-0 regular season? what conference games could you see the ducks loosing?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Yes... my guess is Oregon would be No. 1, or at least No. 2 after beating LSU... and beating LSU would mean the Ducks answered questions on the O-line... the biggest challenge on the schedule from a preseason perspective is the visit to Stanford on Nov. 12.
Ducks vs Huskies in Seattle this year, do the dawgs stand a chance?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
Yes... no for any logical reason other than: 1. it's a home game; 2. the huskies are due in a bitter rivalry. Not saying it's going to happen, but the UW certainly has a shot.
Ted, glad to have you back! The blog wasn't the same without you! Now that USC lost their appeal, how many wins do you see the Trojans getting this year?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
I'd set the over-under at 8.
Kevin (Cardiff by the Sea)
What's your prediction for the divisional games of the year? are they the predictable ones or something elseSouth: ASU - UtahNorth: Oregon - Stanford
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Not sure I wouldn't go with ASU-Arizona, but Utah's schedule -- no Oregon, Stanford -- could keep the Utes in the thick of the race. Not sure the USC-Utah game isn't huge, too. The Utes would certainly gain confidence and make an early statement if they whip USC on the road the second weekend of the season.
Darius (Los Angeles)
Ted - UCLA returns 18 starters, is in the 2nd year of the Pistol offense, and has two new coordinators that PAC12 coaches have never schemed. Why doesn't the media show the Bruins any respect? Do you think ASU, USC, Zona, and Utah are that much better than my bruins?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
I moved UCLA up in my post-spring power rankings, but I'd like to know what's going to happen at QB and the O-line. If Prince stays healthy all season,the Bruins are at least a bowl team.
Jake (North Carolina)
Which teams do you see being the biggest beneficiaries of USC's sanctions and why?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
UCLA first... the entire Pac-12 South second... the SEC third.
on a scale of 1-10, how shocked would you be if a team other than Stanford or Oregon won the North?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
Trey (Long Beach)
USC lost to ND, Stanford, UW, and Oregon, last year and play them again this season. Which of those games do you see USC having a good chance to win this year?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
In this order: Washington, Notre Dame, Stanford, Oregon.
Hey Ted, I'm a girl and I'd recognize you. So, other than the LSU game in Dallas -- I can only afford one more flight/away game for the Ducks. Should I go to Boulder (becauase I haven't been) or to Stanford (the tough game.) What would you do?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Girls rock. As a fan, I'd say Stanford because it could be a HUGE game between 2 top-10 -- or top-5 -- teams that determines the North. And the Bay Area is never a bad trip. But if the game is secondary to the trip -- say you ski -- I'd say Boulder, particularly if you haven't been.
I know the buffs aren't much to look at if you took their time last year under Hawkin's, but the post-Hawkins Buffs looked like a completely different team. What do you think a best case senario for the buffs would be for 2011 based on their play late last season?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
Best cast for Colorado? Probably 7-8 wins. I see them finishing around .500. The big issue is team speed. The Buffs lack elite athletes and depth at WR and in the secondary.
Mark (Monroe, WA)
WSU is playing a North Division game at Qwest Field this year against OSU. Do you see the possibility that WSU might move the annual home game against the Oregon Schools to Qwest Field going forward?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
I think WSU wants a Seattle game on a regular, if not annual, basis. But I also think they'd be reluctant to do more than one.
Ted, Ute fan here. What is some advice you can offer to us new fans to the conference? Can't wait for the Pac-12 to start!
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
Read the Pac-12 blog. Every. Single. Moment. And floss.
David Smith (Lafayette, CO)
Hi Ted-Dawn should definitely come to Boulder. Where should I head for a CU road game if I want a shot at the upset? If I just want a great game-day experience?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
Upset? Ohio State, maybe Washington. Seattle is good for a gameday experience, too. Or if you want to escape the cold, what about UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Nov. 19.
Sorry to bring up the OSU stuff but I would like your thoughts. Is Tressel a HOF coach? People talk about all his wins and stuff as why he belongs. Nobody mentions all those wins could and probably are tainted - he flat out cheated. He hide info from NCAA that would have made players ineligible all of last year. Who knows about prior years. So does a cheater deserve to be in the HOF?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Tough one. A lot of emotion right now. We may not be able to answer that one until the NCAA makes its final ruling: What will it ultimately say about Tressel? His W-L record speaks for itself: Hall of Fame. We may need some time to get some further perspective on his character, and then decide whether that disqualifies him or not.
Evan (SF, CA)
Ted, Golden Bear fan here. Do you think Zach Maynard is the real deal, or is the current golden bear crop of QB's just real bad?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Didn't get to see Maynard practice. Even if I did, we won't know about him until he plays a couple of games. If Cal is 3-0 when it heads to Washington, feel free to be optimistic.
brett (my cubicle)
You mention that you think USC is going to take a step back in 2012...what's your reasoning? If Barkley comes back, I think the opposite is true.
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
If Barkley comes back...
Do you get the sense that Chip Kelly will tweak his offensive scheme before the LSU game? As you mentioned earlier, teams with long layoffs have done a much better job mitigating the Ducks' up-tempo attack and limiting possessions.
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
Maybe... you get the feeling the Ducks will pass more this fall. I'm sure the Chipster has some tricks up his sleeve. Not sure he'll give us the details until Sept. 3. I expect that game to feature a few surprises. Les Miles is, er, somewhat unpredictable.
Matt (Denver, CO)
There wont be any skiing for open for Oregon fans when they visit. That goes for any visitors this year. Most resorts don't open till Thanksgiving.
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Good point... and Oregon is in Boulder on Oct. 22. My bad.
People say UCLA is the benefactor of the USC sanctions, but why would any top recruit want to go play there with the program the way it stands. If my 17 year old son is a top SoCal recruit I'm steering him way away.
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
UCLA is a great school, for one. And the Bruins have been successful before and will be successful again. If you're a So-Cal guy who wants to play AQ conference football close to home so your Mom & Dad can watch you, UCLA might be the best option.
Do you see any USC upperclassmen transferring this year? Also, how do they handle having possibly more verbals currently then they will have scholarships for?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
I'd guess USC might lose a couple of upperclassmen, but not likely anyone important... guys searching for playing time. As for scholarships: USC is limited to 15 in each class and 75 total. There will have to be some roster shuffling. It will be interesting to watch.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
Who poses more of a threat to ASU out of conference: Mizzou or Illinois?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
The easy answer is Missouri because it's expected to be a top-25 team... but road games are tricky. And if the Sun Devils beat Missouri, Illinois would be a perfect let-down game.
What is the main reason for the skepticism of the Utes? Talent, personal issues or the step up in competition?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
not really skeptical. I just don't see 9 or 10 wins. New offense. QB with shoulder issues (and questions at backup). Rebuilt secondary (not good in Pac-12). Utah has questions like any other team. I've got Oregon and Stanford at the top, Arizona State a step down and Utah, USC, Arizona, Washington at the next level. And things could change. Or I could be completely wrong.
I actually believe you have no bias for usc. but, I dont understand everyone saying the trojans were treated unfairly when you have NOT mentioned of Joe Mcknight after the investigation, and that whole incident with the wanna-be student agent and him throwing all those parties and benefits for the current players. And what about the fact they were cheating in 3 sports? Is it really THAT unfair after all these Institutional problems?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Ah... and where was McKnight mentioned in the report... or the student agent. (No). As for three sports, each sport gets its own penalties based on what it did.
Besides LaMichel James who do you think will be the best offensive player in the division?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
stanford's qb is OK.
Christopher Nicholas (Eugene, OR)
What are the chances that Jim Tressel goes to either WSU, UCLA or ASU if those teams under preform this year???
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
remote... he may get a "show cause" from NCAA that makes him tough to hire.
Hey Ted, How 'bout some luv for Golden Bear Rugby, who beat Utah and BYU to wear the crown again!
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
there you go...
Can you tell "D" that the "benefits" that the student agent gave a current player was a ride in a golf cart. Thats it. Not exactly a cardinal sin.
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Shhhh... that might cost you another 10 scholarships.
Tommy (not Boy) (Albq NM (was Oregon))
Do you think Mike Bellotti will get back into the coaching ranks this year? Or at some point?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
I think it's 50-50... he has said he wants to, but I'd guess he wouldn't just jump at any opportunity, particularly with how good he is on TV. But his name will come up if there are Pac-12 openings. It's a certainty.
mike (salem or)
would it not be fun in the bcs championship game, to have ore-ok. with their history.
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
fun for oregon and oklahoma fans... if that's the game we'll see a lot of a certain on-side kick.
Rich Rod to UCLA in 2012? Is it crazy or could it happen?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
stranger things have happened.. you writing off Neuheisel?
Robert (New York)
What's on the booksehlf at Casa Miller? Any good reads lately that you recommend?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
just finished "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon... thumbs up.
Don't you mean '72 USC vs '91 Washington?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
what did I type... yes..
How good is Chris Polk?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
He might join LaMichael James as a first-team All-American.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
will kyle middlebrooks be an impact player this year? loved his spring.
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
lots of ASU folks believe so... sort of a secret weapon ready to bust out.
Tylurker (Land of Oaks)
What do you make of a potential sophomore slump for Darron Thomas at Oregon (I know hea??s a junior, but 2011 will be his second season as the starter)? The offensive line loses 3 starters and no more Maehl (sp?). Has the Oregon program reached the a??re-loada?ý status of an elite program?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
I expect him to be better. A slump would surprise me. Particularly with Chip Kelly's track record with QBs. Not a lot of steps backward.
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
OK gang.. gotta get back to work.. Good questions today! See you next week.