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!
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Happy New Year... hopefully. What's up?
Landon (Atlanta, GA)
Right now, the PAC12 seems to be getting less of a thrashing about their bowl results than the B1G. Do others agree with you (like I do) that had USC been inserted into the mix, things would have been different, or is the B1G in a greater spotlight for having most all of their games on one day?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Mostly... Oregon and Stanford distinguished themselves, even if the Cardinal fell just short in OT. And if USC had been eligible, as it should have been, then the bowl record would have been different. Perhaps much more so.
Todd (San Diego)
What do you think of the USC schedule and would you put them at an odd's on favorite to make it to the BCS title?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
USC's schedule suggests it can go undefeated, if it can beat Oregon on Nov. 3 at home. But we've felt that way many times before with USC and the Trojans found 1 game to throw up on themselves. So there are no gimmes. You need to take care of business. And, by the way, stay healthy. The Trojans starting 22 will be strong, but there won't be a lot of depth. A few injuries could change things.
I wanted to point out that Oregon's lackluster non-conference schedule in 2012 is the result of dropoffs from other teams. The fan base is quite disappointed - those games will sell out, but no one is the least bit excited by any of the opponents. I guess Oregon has a tough time getting good teams to come to Autzen. Having the collaboration with the Big 10 helps.
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
true... believe Kansas State finked out... still, it's so remarkably bad that it's going to get tweaked all season, no matter the circumstances.
Grass (San Ramon, CA)
How do you deal with these people? I can't even stand the fans that root for my team!
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
I love all people. People are great.
Cal's schedule nxt season throws tradition out the window. Stanford in October< but about playing a season without any byes? Your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
It's pretty lousy playing a season without byes. As for the Big Game, there will be some sacrifices to make things work for TV going forward. I don't think the Big Game will end up stuck in October every year. And, by the way, with both teams consistently playing games after the Big Game before, it's not that big of a tragedy.
Ipm (Park City)
Will Jon Hayes be the starting quarterback for utah next year, or do you believe it will be someone else.
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
I'm hopeful that Jordan Wynn will be fully healthy. He gives the Utes their best chance to win.
Mike (Folsom, CA)
Lavasier Tuinei's performance in the Rose Bowl is what Oregon missed all season long. WR was the one position Oregon could not back fill from the NCG team of 2010. Will Oregon have a big time receiver next year? Do any of the current redshirt freshman step up?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
There will be great opportunity for the redshirt class and the freshmen class to step up at WR. The redshirts were highly touted recruits but apparently weren't ready for primetime. The physical talent is there, just not the consistency that the Ducks coaches wanted. Also, to play WR for Chip Kelly, you have to block. Hopefully, they've learned that.
What are that chances that USC-Oregon will bd a battle of #1 vs #2?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
Decent... both have a good chance to arrive in LA undefeated. And both will be preseason top-five. So if the couple of teams in front of them -- LSU and Alabama most likely -- lose, they it could be 1 vs. 2. Or 2 vs. 3. Or 1 vs. 3. It seems highly likely it will be a top-five matchup and even bigger than Oregon-Stanford this year b/c it's so late in the season.
Mike (West Virginia)
Has Jeff Casteel been hired by Arizona?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
there's been a lot of smoke for a while but I've not gotten any solid confirmation.
How big of a drop-off do you see for Stanford next year? How many wins would you predict for them?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
My over-under is 8. There will be a drop-off but I think the Cardinal will be preseason top-25.
westcoast football junkie (socal)
why was Stanford unable or unwilling to make seemingly ANY adjustments in the 2nd half to take away the middle of the field from Blackmon and the other OSU receivers. It was pitch and catch over the middle all night ... at the very least you'd think they'd tell the DB's to take away the inside moves and force OSU's QB to complete more difficult fade and sideline passes. Basically their receivers just came off the line with NO contact and just ran across or down the field UNCOVERED and Un- Touched for huge gains. Weedon wasn't forced to make ANY difficult throws ... Thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
To be honest, I haven't seen the entire game. Was covering and then writing about the Rose Bowl. My reply would be that it's not as simple as it seems. And the QB-WR combo there was pretty darn good. My first thought on your observation is the Cardinal was hoping to push Blackmon into traffic in the middle of the field because they were more afraid of the fade and sideline routes.
Ryan (Medford, OR)
Can the people now shut up about Chip not winning the big one?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
People don't like to shut up.
USC, Oregon & Stanford will all be in the preseason Top 25. But do you think Utah SHOULD be there as well?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
Hmmm... maybe. Washington and Utah would be my next choices for the top-25... The Utes lose both OTs, DE Shelby and some depth on the D-line, not to mention 2 of 3 LBs. I'd say at present the Utes are borderline top-25, but many will await what happens at QB with Wynn.
Jeff Tedford (Berkeley)
No bye weeks, no Arizona/Colorado, and back-to-back at OSU and at USC?!?! Are Larry Scott and my AD setting me up for failure?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
Your schedule isn't terribly favorable, no. And, you sorta need to win this year. Better buck up.
It's 239 days until the start of next football season. What can I do until then?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
1. eat; 2. talk to your wife and kids; 3. experiment with the wet bar; 4. read a good book. Or 2; 5. see all the Coen brothers movies; 6. sleep; 7. tour the Mediterranean.
Landon (Atlanta, GA)
How do you think the plethora (yes, plethora) of new coaches will handle their first season? Another year of the "murky middle"?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
I think all four have a shot at getting their teams to bowl games, but I'd guess that at least two don't. All 4 should have experienced QBs, which should help (yes, we consider Arizona's Matt Scott experienced).
Fred (Walla Walla)
Any chance someone throws in a bunch of money for Oregon to play another marque non-conference, neutral site game next year?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Schedule is already made... so no.
Jim Mora (Playoffs)
What is the chance i give Brett Hundley the starting job?
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
That's a tough one. Will need to see all three guys this spring. But just off the cuff I'd say 42 percent. I think Prince is the likely starter.
guest (seattle, wa)
do you think the huskies can contend to win the north next year?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
no... Washington won't beat Oregon.
Any thing to the rumor about QB @ ASU B. Ossier(sp) transferring??
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
I'd bet against Osweiler transferring, but you never know with these things.
Vegas Duck (Las Vegas)
Who stays and who goes: LaMike or Barner? Or both?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
I think James goes and Barner stays.
How will the battle for Luck's replacement shake out? Do you have any insight on the the two redshirts that are now in the mix?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
Kevin Gemmell told me here's only heard positive things about Nottingham, who is the favorite to win the job. What will help whoever wins the job is some guys stepping up at receiver, other than TEs.
Any insight into the Armstead situation at USC?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
It appears that USC's doctors don't do the team any favors, but it's hard to argue with caution. What I've gathered is Armond wants to play, but USC still has yet to give him the go, and now he's looking elsewhere.... My feeling is USC is not counting on him for 2012...It would be a huge boost however to get him back. A quality player.
Who do you think will win the PAC-12 confrence next year?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
The winner of the Oregon-USC Pac-12 title game.
Ashish (San Jose CA)
Hey Ted,Absolutely love the Pac-12 blog. Quick question: Why doesn't Pac-12 change the scheduling to play 8 conference opponents rather than 9. Pac-12 misses on lot of the bowls with 5-7 record, plus it increases the probability to be invited to more BCS bowls, which seriously had happened once in the last decade. Would Stanford have been picked if they were not in Top 4 ?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
It's going to be on the table in the future. The coaches are starting to push for a change. The hold back is lazy Pac-12 ADs that don't want to have to schedule a fourth nonconference game. And, of course, we do go back to NW schools wanting trips to California, which would be cut back in an 8-game schedule.
Seth (A very comfy chair)
The 3-3-5 defense is targeted at stopping spread offenses by countering with speed, but if/when that becomes Arizona's new defensive scheme can it be effective against more pro style offenses like USC or Stanford run?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Oregon's defense is predicated on speed and it's done well against Stanford the past two years. I see your point, but unless you've got a stockpile of D-linemen, you've got to figure out a scheme that works best for your program.
Lane Kiffin (University Park, LA)
tell me about it Ted ... if the USC Drs were on board I'd have Armond and his 5* brother Erik and Jarvis Jones ... a 1st team AA now playing for Georgia..... gives me a huge headache .... UGHHHHH . we didn't have these problems at Tennessee
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
ha... every time i read about the Trojans struggling at LB, I thought of Jarvis Jones, who had a heck of a season at Georgia
ted, you said "And, of course, we do go back to NW schools wanting trips to California, which would be cut back in an 8-game schedule."You meant southern CA. Even in an 8 game conference schedule, the NW schools would still not to 1 bay area school every year.
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
True.... and by the way, some of the Bay Area coaches probably aren't keen about designating a USC game every year.
How will Chip Kelly use De'Anthony Thomas next year? Will the Mamba strike more often as a running back, receiver, or TAZR? To me, he doesn't seem suited for a lot of between the tackles work.
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
I think Thomas will continue to do both, but probably will get more plays out of the backfield in 2012. The key is getting him more touches.
Is Utah's D-Line going to lose any ground? seems to me they are still pretty deep and with Star .... he is the man...
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Lose Shelby and 3 top backups but 3 of 4 starters back. It should be good.. LB is more of a question with Walker and Martinez gone. But Blechen and Reilly are a good starting point.
I have a bone to pick with you, Senor Miller. Why do you sometimes not write your weekly mailbag? It seems like lately you have skipped more often than not. What kinda jargon is that!? Do you think we(your fans) have lives outside of the PAC-12 blog or something?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
I like doing the mailbag but I will confess it's VERY time consuming. And sometimes the mailbag is packed with questions/observations that I don't think will interest a wide audience. Should have one Friday, though.
Jim (Bremerton, WA)
Will the Pac-12 rate as the top football conference next year or will we have to hear about SEC dominance once again?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Simple solution: Win the national title. Oregon and USC look like legit contenders. If the Ducks/Trojans win the title, particularly if they do so over an SEC team, then folks will tout the Pac-12.
Kyle Whittingham (Salt Lake)
Ted what's going on? Excited to have you back in Salt Lake next October, I think you circled the date already. Anyway, did you watch our bowl game? I was really looking forward to your write-up on that game man. An easy touchdown catch??? Come on Heather.... Anyway, I think I have the most over achieving team in the PAC-12, agree? looking forward to the recruiting bump in the next couple years!
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
Don't call your team overachieving. Just call it good. Yes, I watched the game. Impressive comeback. I was active on twitter during the second half. But Heather did the instant analysis. I thought she did a good job.
Jared Andrea (Chino Hills, CA)
Ted, I know it's 11 months out, but what is your super early prediction for Oregon-USC? If both teams stay healthy, do you think the Ducks can pull out a victory in what will be a very loud, hostile environment in the Coliseum?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
I'd give USC a slight advantage playing at home. But a lot can happen -- starting with injuries -- between now and then. And, by the way, I think Oregon would have beaten USC in a rematch in Autzen for the Pac-12 title if the Trojans had been eligible. I see these are evenly matched teams.
Ted (Berkeley, CA)
Ted, are you going to go to any games at the new Memorial Stadium next year? Maybe the Big Game in October? Can you bring along college game day?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
If the Bears win, I will come to Berkeley.
Nick Saban (New Orleans, LA)
Hope you and the rest of the Pac 12 crowd tune in on Monday to see how we play D down here in the SEC .... catch any of those Basketball game scores the past couple of days ... what a joke ... I expect the Pac 12 to petition for a rule change that prevents tackling and guarding receivers .... like they've been during the BCS bowl games to date. Roll Tide ....
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
One word: Karma. LSU just picked up some, Nick.
What school do you think has the brighter future 10 years down the road? USC or ORE
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
USC will always be USC. It will always have a leg up on Oregon, at minimum based on geography. But if Kelly stays at Oregon, I see it becoming an A-list rivalry.
Nick Holt (Seattle)
Over/Under on # of UW wins if the new DC can field even an average defense?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
If Washington gives up, say, 27 points per game in 2012, I'd say the Huskies win 8. Maybe 9.
Think relieving Nick Holt was the right move? And do you feel like the new DC and assisstants will be a boon for recruiting at UW?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Yes... and yes. It's a tough business. You've got to produce, particularly at 650K. Wilcox is an A-list guy. His name will bolster the recruiting effort. And he knows the West Coast.
John (Oakland, CA)
How long until SEC fans realize that terrible QB play does not mean great defenses?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Well, if one of the Pac-12's great QBs leads a victory over an elite SEC defense, that would be a good starting point. Let's see how Keith Price does at LSU next year.
Rich Rodriguez (Tucson)
Ted, what do I do for a back up to Matt Scott?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
No idea... that is a big concern. If he can't find a JC guy, looks like a true freshman will be the backup.
Looking at the current roster and pending recruits, WSU's receiving core could get ridiculous. Is it possible to have too many awesome weapons to throw to?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
No, it is not possible. It seems like Leach + the QB and WR talent at WSU is a great fit.
Alex Marshall (Spokane, WA)
Being that Keith Price outperformed RGIII almost three times over in the Alamo Bowl, Do you think he will pass Thomas and join Barkley as an elite QB and possibly even a Heisman contender?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
See my comment about the LSU game... if Price puts up numbers against that defense -- which as scary as it sounds might be even better next year - then he'll get Heisman buzz.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (Warshington)
Should I play basketball for coach romar this year? (Just like Nate Robinson)
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
No... get in the weight room and build an NFL body.
Since the DB's will get better and the LB and DE's are stud athletes, is the only thing Oregon's defense needs to be elite is some beef on the D-line?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
I think Oregon could upgrade across the board, though it certainly has talent on defense. Does Dion Jordan take another step (he needs to eat some biscuits & gravy this offseason and get bigger)? Will a true shutdown corner develop? Who steps in for Eddie Pleasant. Love the first 3 LBs, but what about depth?
Connor (Portland, OR)
Being OSU was so disappointing this season and no changes in coaching personnel and no impact players in either side of balls for next year, do you think OSU Beavers will be in the bottom the conference looking up or do Beavers have any chance to make any waves?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
I think the Beavers will go to a bowl game next fall. They played a lot of young guys who should be better in 2012. They need Michael Philipp to turn the corner at OT. If Oregon State stays healthy, it could be a surprise team. And I think Riley made the right choice keeping the same staff.
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
OK gang... got to head back to the blog. Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.