Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Pac-12 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 (then) 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!
What is the single biggest hurdle Stanford faces this year? And please don't say high expectations, they are Stanford students most of whose whole lives have been about high expectations.
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Whoops... no howdy to start. SO howdy.And Josh: Oregon.
Ted, I am surprised that Oregon is now the favorite in the opener against LSU. I see them as an underdog meaning it is more likely than not that they will lose. What say you? Are people just predicting oregon will win or do they think oregon has the flat out better team?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
My guess is it will be close to a pick 'em. I'm a slight LSU lean right now after reading so many glowing LSU stories. Might change my mind (again).
Do you think Chip will play Lache Seastruck this year just incase he is ruled inelegible by the ncaa?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
I think he'll play Lache if Lache earns playing time. At this point, the Ducks are deep at RB and he's failed to crack what appears to be the rotation.
Do you feel lonely being the only PAC-12 blogger when the SEC and Big 10 have two?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
There actually is two of me. My evil twin Skippy is the guy who makes the typos in the blog.
Who is your preseason pick for most-improved player in the Pac-12 from last season?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
I sense that by season's end folks will be saying really nice things about Oregon State QB Ryan Katz.
Hi Ted, Will you be taking tours of any practices before the season starts? I would love to hear what you think of teams before the season.
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
No preseason tours... did a lot in the spring. Keeping pretty busy without doing the travel.
Chase C (SLC)
Ted, I've been dying to ask you, whats your honest take on Larry Scott inviting Utah and CU? do you think it was a good move overall? Do you wish it was still the Pac 10?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
Good move. Why? $3 billion reasons.
Darius (Los Angeles)
Do you think the league will have adjusted and be able to better defend the Oregon offense this year?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
It's an endless chess game. Folks figure out Chip Kelly's hurry-up spread option, so Kelly tweaks it. I'm really, really curious about the LSU game. We've seen Boise State, Ohio State and Auburn slow the Ducks down with extra prep time. LSU will do the same by training the eyes of its defense. So, knowing this, what does Kelly do this time? I got the feeling Oregon thought it could just line up and beat Auburn. I don't think it will look at LSU the same. There will be some noticable tweaks.
what glowing lsu stories have you read?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Les Miles saying this is his most talented team. Chavis raving about the talent in his secondary. The breakthrough of QB Jordan Jefferson. How good the frosh DTs are. That sort of thing.
In your opinion, What is the biggest concern for utah this year?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
1. Keeping Wynn healthy; 2. secondary; 3. the grind of the Pac-12 schedule.
Dennis Erickson (Tempe, AZ)
Mr. Miller - I asked nicely last week but my question fell on deaf ears. Will I be celebrating a victory in late September at Four Peaks after beating USC or drowning my sorrows in defeat at Dupar's?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
Don't know. If I did, I'd be in Vegas. Will cross that prediction bridge when we get to game week.
will the scandal with miami move the NCAA's attention away from oregon for the time being?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
that's not how it works really. It might move the national media attention away, though.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Do you think it's possible that Cal's QB (Maynard) will play very similar to and be used similarly to Denard Robinson? If so, is Cal instantly the best team in the Pac 12?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Even if you take away QBs, I'd like Oregon and Stanford more than Cal. But Maynard giving the Bears solid QB play means the Bears are a threat for 8 or 9 wins. As for Denard Robinson, my perception -- I've never seen Maynard play, other than Buffalo highlights -- is he's more of a passing than Robinson and less of a runner.
Your predictions on the Duck's fashion statement on Sept 3rd?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
fabulous! It will really bring out Darron THomas' eyes.
The Like Ninja (Unknown)
Ted, which would be a more interesting story, Washington St. winning the Pac-12 this year, or Matt Barkley winning the lottery, and getting suspended for accepting benefits from the state of California?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Washington State winning the Pac-12... winning the lottery wouldn't be a violation.
besides the championship game, what is your expected "game of the year" in the Pac-12?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Oregon at Stanford on Nov. 12. 50-50 whether it has national title implications.
Does CU's secondary have any chance at stopping Hawaii's passing attack or does it all rely on the pass rush?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
The good news is Hawaii is completely rebuilding its offense, other than Moniz. The Buffs secondary should get a lot of support from a tough pass rush.
Ted, will Texas A&M be a good fit for the SEC?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
I think so... but who's the 14th team? Tangibly adding Texas recruiting to the SEC, well, that's an issue for the other conferences to consider.
Mike Garrett (Not Heritage Hall)
Hi Teddy.... oh pretty pleaseeeeeee... can you get the NCAA to put me in charge of the Committee of Infractions, just for Miami? My buddy Todd (McNair) and I would love the opportunity!!
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
That would be funny, eh. Or, what about Pat Haden. Seems only fair, right?
Carlos (Seattle )
Can WSU and Tuel win more then 6 games? Is this the year that Tuel becomes one of the better QB's in the PAC 12?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
Maybe... WSU needs a 3-0 start, which would include a win at SD State. If that happens, I think they have a really good shot at 6 wins. If Tuel gets better protection, he should take a big step forward.
Is James Rodgers going to make your list of the Pac-12's Top 25 players? Or are injuries keeping him off?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Knee injury knocked him off... keep in mind I made the list before preseason camp began. At that point, the general feeling wasn't as positive as it is now. Seeing that I ranked him No. 6 before the 2010 season, I don't think I have to re-assert my belief in who he is when healthy.
If the Sun Devils were to start the year 6-0, what are the chances we see a top ten or top five match-up versus UO, and can the Devils get it done in Autzen?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
At 6-0, ASU would be well into the top-10. And if Oregon is unbeaten at that point, I'd guess the Ducks would be No. 1. And even if the Ducks lose to LSU, they'd still likely be in or at least near the top-10. So, yes, it could be a top-10 matchup. As for winning at Autzen... sure, it's possible. At 6-0 you'd have to respect the Sun Devils chances. But my guess sitting here today is Oregon will be favored.
Who is more important to the Oregon program, Uncle Phil (Knight), or the proud patron of the visor (kelly)?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
Knight has been the constant during the Ducks rise. But Kelly would make my top-10 list of coaches.
Jonas (SLC, Ut)
With all the injuries ASU has suffered, what are the chances of my Utes winning the south, and what is the key to Utah winning the South?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
Utes chances are better now than they were a few months ago. No Oregon or Stanford on the schedule and USC ineligible also helps. The key is keeping Wynn healthy and beating ASU on Oct. 8. Game at Arizona on 11/5 also could prove key.
Alex (Kirkland WA)
Hey Tedro. Am I totally Crazy to think there is a chance (though pretty small) that WSU and Stanford come into their game both at 5-0?? Nobody thought the cougs could beat OSU, is beating UCLA and Colorodo really that much of a stretch?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
a 5-0 start is conceivable. Not ready to say it could happen, particularly with both those games on the road. Winning 3 in a row on the road will be difficult. But none of those 1st five opponents will be THAT much better than the Cougs.
Would the PAC expand to 14 teams, or would they hold out for 16 should the big 12 implode?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
I don't think you could rule anything out. The answer to that question is which pencils out to give you more revenue.
I have heard nothing but great things about UCLA's defense and Datone Jones at DE. I think UCLA will surprise a lot of people this year. They also have a lot of weapons on offense. If they can get Prince or Brehaut to them the ball consistently, I think UCLA wins the South. Do you concur, Senor Miller?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
If UCLA gets solid QB play, it will be a factor in the South. I do think it's pretty much that simple, though the O-line is a bit of a concern too. I do think the defense is going to be strong and Jones is a likely all-conference guy if he plays all 12 games.
What early season games will show if teams are contenders or pretenders?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
We'll get a measure of Utah the second week at USC. ASU can announce itself against Missouri. If Arizona wins more than 2 of its first five games, the Wildcats will prove something. Most of the big-name nonconference games could make statements.
Ted-If Oregon beats LSU, but loses to either Stanford or USC, and LSU goes on to run the table in the SEC and Boise St is the only undefeated team by year's end -What do you suspect the voters will do in terms of chosing between LSU and UO assuming no other BCS 1 loss teams are out there. Do you go with the mighty SEC team UO who has recently dropped 2 straight games to Boise St. Thanks in advance!
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
that's an interesting scenario. I be certain LSU, winning the SEC West, and SEC title game would be one team in the championship game. And if the Pac-12 proves its depth with four or five ranked teams, I'd guess the Ducks might eclipse Boise State, which would need Georgia and TCU to end up really good. You might have Boise State No. 1, LSU No. 2 and Oregon No. 3 in the polls, but the computers would force an LSU-Oregon matchup because of schedule strength.
Do not understand the hype and ranking of ASU??? Please explain.
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
with no Beavers in your preseason top 25, who do you think has a good chance of making your post-season 25 from OSU?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
James Rodgers, if healthy. Katz. Wheaton. Lance Mitchell. Post-season lists typically are easier because you don't have as many variables, such as projecting.
Chief (Salt Lake City)
Utah AD announced plans for RES expansion in 3 years. Please rank top 3 PAC10 teams that had loudest crowd noise over last 5 years.
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
Oregon, Washington and Arizona tended to be the loudest places in the old Pac-10...
Marcus (HB, CA)
Brian (WA)Do not understand the hype and ranking of ASU??? Please explain.Ted Miller (3:40 PM)good players.But you have no ASU players on your top 25 (so far)?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
lots of good players not in my top-25... top-25 is little more than a first-team All-Pac-12.
hmmm starting to wonder if my question is going to get answered... Would a buying you a super mug at Taylor's help my cause?Do you think the Pac-12 would be happy to add Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., TCU, and SMU? I know TCU and SMU are smaller schools but they would fit well academically and feature a great location for both media and recruiting.
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
i don't see that as the direction. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State might be a starting point.
Which win would be the biggest for Arizona? Ok st, Stanford or Oregon?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Oregon... conference game and it's the second to last one of that rugged five-game start.... could create a lot of momentum.
Will Oregon State beat Wisconsin? It will gain huge respect for the conference.
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
it certainly would... bit of a longshot.
What's the best advice on keeping cool when in Dallas next month. As i'm sure you know we don't get in the 100's much up here...
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
a stirred not shaken martini.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Andrew Luck lost two of his top targets in Baldwin, and Whalen? Do the Cardinal have adequate replacements for these key players that will take pressure of Owasu and allow their quarterback to put up Heisman worthy numbers?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
You have Owusu and some other options, but the big fall-back is the 3-deep of future NFL tight ends. I expect to see those guys lineup up wide at times and catching balls in big numbers.
Eric (Albany, OR)
Despite Oregon State not getting very many pre-season accolades, most Beaver fans seem guardedly optimistic. Is it just wishful thinking, or is Oregon State going to surprise some teams?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Oregon State just has a lot of questions -- RB, Rodgers, the O-line and D-line, MLB, kicker. I feel like I've got to see them play before I buy into the answers.
Do you think deanthony thomas will make and impact this season
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
from what I hear, yes.... sounds like he's the real deal.
What about adding the Oklahoma schools, Texas Tech, anf Texas with the condition that Texas keeps their tertiary rights (but no hs games)?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
any deal that includes Texas is a winner. i personally feel that something can be worked out that allows the Longhorn network to continue.... give-take negotiations, you know.
which is the biggest question for the ducks, o line or defense front 7
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
O-line... I think the front-7 might end up being as good as last year (with more upside in 2012).
Marcus (HB, CA)
Due to CU's schedule, 13 strait, no bye and a tough schedule, how many games must they win to get any ranking or respect?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
You can lose four games in a 13-game schedule and get ranked. I'd think if the Buffs end up with a winning record, they'd get respect. Sort of feel like they've already got a fair deal of respect. Program has won before and will win again.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 be jerk of the century, how big a fool is Paul Dean?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
who's paul dean? You mean Paul Dee, the former Miami AD. I don't see this as personal. I've met and been respectful with Dee -- we briefly chatted during the hearing in Tempe. And I think the USC ruling was a travesty. Not because I'm a Trojans homer but because I understand the case and past precedent and what happened.
Prediction for how many times I'll be offered "Cajun duck" samples while tailgating in Dallas?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
Now you're going to want to hang with the LSU folks during the tailgate... those guys know what they are doing. Top-10 food tailgate -- easily --in the nation.
Maybe answer a question about the dawgs... What is the most intriguing aspect of the rubber match of UW and Nebraska?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
That if the Huskies beat a top-15 Nebraska team in Lincoln that won't have any excuses, as it did in the Holiday Bowl, we can officially announce that Washington is back.
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
Gang... got to run. Been fun. Good questions. Thanks for stopping by and see you next week.