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 (2:59 PM)
Greetings.... Happy almost spring practice. What's on your mind?
Hi Ted. In college football, when an elite offense goes up against an elite defense, does one consistently trump the other? Thinking about LSU vs. USC.
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
It seems like the defense wins out when it get extra time to prepare -- see bowl games. For example, I'd be more prone (as I sit today) to pick LSU to beat USC in a bowl game. But I'd like the Trojans chances more if the game was in the middle of the season. Of course, USC runs a pro-style offense, so the Trojans set up differently than a team like Oregon, that uses a lot of misdirection.
teddy can you tell us how great, once again, you think the huskies are
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
Only if you tell me what color the sky is in your world.
Will Utah's D be as stout as it's shaping up to be? Do they have a shot at the South Title?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
First, I think Utah might end up with the best defense in the Pac-12, but the Utes again benefit in 2012 from NOT playing Oregon or Stanford. As for the South, the Utes look like the No. 2 pick. Hard to see them eclipsing USC this season. And a lot hangs on what happens at QB.
Bill (New Mexico)
Which of the new coaches do you think is the best 'fit' for the Pac or for their respective schools, and why?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
I think Mike Leach at Washington State.... 1. Texas Tech in the Big 12 was a lot like WSU in the Pac-12; 2. He's got an AD who will enjoy his quirky personality rather than fight against it, or be jealous of it; 3. Leach is good at recruiting to his system and then beating teams with better talent.
Arizona winters suck, I saw another cloud today.Anyway, what are you fearless predictions about DAT at Oregon, Will he rush for 1300 yards this year?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
It is tough today. I went for a bike ride and cursed myself for wearing a long sleeve shirt. As for De'Anthony Thomas, I think he's got a good shot of produce 1,500-2,000 yards of offense, combined as a rusher and receiver. That run at the Rose Bowl was just mind blowing. If he stays focused, Chip Kelly will win him a Heisman.
Ted,Any predicitions for ASU next season?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Hard to say... new coach, new systems, new QBs... the best thing I can say is I expect the Sun Devils to get better as the season goes on, not worse. No reasons to think they can't find a way to 6 wins and a bowl game. I look forward to watching them this spring. And I think Burfict's departure will be a positive.
You hear anything on Shayne Skov's Status?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
No... Kevin and I were talking about that. For one, he's not ready to practice because his knee isn't going to be 100 percent for a while. And then there's the DUI. I hope Shaw gives Skov some tough hurdles to regain his status and Skov clears them.
ALL PAC 12- besides ASU and USC (PAC 12)
Were all on the NCAA bubble....Whos going dancing this year?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
I'm dancing right now. Let's just say I'm glad I cover Pac-12 football, not hoops. At least the past 2 years.
Greg Byrne (Tucson)
Hey Ted. I saw your salary comparison of the new pac-12 coaches. Did I find the best value for my money hiring Rich Rod?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
Yep... That was one of the better handled coaching transition/searches I've seen.
I'm gonna start by saying USC is the top team in the South (maybe even the whole Pac-12), but i think Arizona is number 2 in the South. Am i delusional or smart?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
I'm a Utah lean, but Arizona and UCLA strike me as teams that will be better than folks think.
This may be a blog post you're working on but anyway here it goes.If you were compiling a roster of 22 from the Pac 12 to compete against the other BCS conferences, who would your starting 22 players be? Maybe just answer for the skill players if you're short on time.
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
Barkley, De'Anthony, Woods/Lee/Allen/Wilson... John White, Zach Ertz... Not sure many other conferences could match that.
Doug (Bay Area)
I'm a big USC fan wondering why everyone is giving the North to Oregon. Oregon will be good, but so will Stanford, and I expect the Huskies to surprise, and even WSU to win some unexpected games. What do you think?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Maybe... but I'd be shocked if Oregon doesn't win the North... even with a new QB, I just don't see many holes. And, you know, Chip Kelly's track record is sorta good.
Do you see any teams from the bottom half of the PAC12 making a jump this upcoming year and possibly challenging USC or Oregon?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
No... in fact, I think the big question is will the conference produce any other top-25 teams... Washington, Stanford and Utah strike me as possible candidates, but each have questions.
I take offense to the term "skill players" that Trent from Seattle (and every other so called football analyst) used above. Does anyone realize how athletic these offensive and defensive linemen are? It's not their fault that they're bigger and stronger than everyone else. Who would your 5 OL and 4 DL be for our Pac-12 All Star Team?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
That's tougher -- most of the top O-linemen are off to the NFL draft... D-line: Dion Jordan, Star Lotulelei, Ben Gardner, Travis Long or Scott Crichton... O-line... David Bakhtiari... Khaled Holmes, Hroniss Grasu, Cameron Fleming, Erik Kohler... sort of just throwing up names there a bit.
Do you think Mora, Graham, and Rodriguez turn things around fast enough to make the South look more than a cakewalk for SC?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
It won't be a cakewalk, but I don't think any of the new coaches will stop USC... but maybe one can notch an upset... It's about more than one season. There's a reason their predecessors were fired.
Steve Sarkisian (Your 5 star kid's backyard)
Did firing Nick Holt help or hurt my team's recruiting this year?
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
Not so much firing Holt as hiring Wilcox... everyone knows how good a coach he is.
If you had a son who received a athletic scholarship offer from Stanford, would you let him even consider another school?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
I'd let my son go wherever he wanted.
Who will be the most improved team next year.
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
I think Oregon State, Washington State and Arizona are the candidates. The Wildcats need QB Matt Scott to stay healthy, but their personnel on defense seems to work well with a 3-3-5 scheme. If the Beavers get decent O and D line play, they will be better. Like the Cougs pairing with Leach. He's got the QBs and WRs to immediately get his pass-happy system going.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Which Bay Area quarterback do you project will have the better PAC 12 career, Zach Kline or Brett Nottingham?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
I can't predict because I've never seen either play. This might surprise you, but I try not to take a position when I have no idea what I am talking about. I'm wrong all the time, but at least I'm trying to make educated guesses. I hear good things about both these guys. I'd only give a slight edge to Nottingham because I think he's going to have a better supporting cast in the short term, particularly his O-line.
John (PAC-12 Land)
Which team would you want your kid to play for in 18 years?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
I'd like my son to be Aaron Rodgers backup for the Green Bay Packers... he'd make a lot of money and stay healthy.
Where's the Colorado love? Despite the record I believe Embree has the Buffs in the right direction, 13 straight weeks with know bye was killer
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
I like what Embree is doing so far, but look at what they lost: Starting QB, starting RB, best O-lineman, some hits on the D-line, etc.... I think you'll really start to see some improvement in 2013... this season might not be much better. But,yes, the schedule is much better than last year.
any word on possible sanctions coming down for Oregon?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Nope... I don't think the Ducks will get hit terrible hard.
After the whole Tosh to Washington hire before signing day, it got me thinking about ethics in college football other than what's in the NCAA rule book. You basically said there was none when it came to recruiting, but it seems that the best recruiters out there always have rumors about them skirting or even crossing the line. Do you have check your ethics at the door to be highly successful in recruiting in the Pac-12?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
I think it's hard to always be "good" when you work in a highly competitive business. And, yes, you hear whispers about many of the assistants who are considered Ace recruiters. I think most coaches will tell you if you aren't breaking NCAA rules, anything goes in recruiting.
Eric (L.A., CA)
I think UCLA will be better than you think. Mazzone will be able to develop a QB well enough and Mora will be able to improve the defense enough to win 8 regular season games next year. Mark that down!
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
Didn't I just say that I think UCLA will be better than folks think... I don't think the Bruins will eclipse USC in the South in 2012. But Mora has hit many of the right notes so far... And I've long been a Mazzone fan. Brock Osweiler wouldn't be headed to the NFL without him. And I wouldn't be shocked with 8 wins... not predicting it, but wouldn't be shocked.
With Keith Price bulking up in the offseason, do you think the Huskies will let him run more or protect him w/o a defined backup QB yet? Will KP break his own passing TD record next season?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
I think Sark wants Price to be a drop-back passer with the ability to scramble, if necessary. I doubt you'll see a bunch of called runs for Price. Keeping Price healthy is about the most important thing the Huskies can do in 2012.
Do you think USC defense is overrated as compared to the hype. Besides the shutout of a bad UCLA offense, they struggled against Oregon in the fourth quarter and could not stop Stanford. Also, they lose three starters on their defensive line. Is the USC overrated entering the season?
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
USC is still not all the way back on defense, and they do take some hits, most notably DE Nick Perry. However, those 3 frosh LBs are going to be good and I really like the secondary. The D-line is the question. Wes Horton and Devon Kennard look solid as ends, and DT George Uko is an up-and-comer. But the Trojans will definitely need some young, unproven guys to step up to bolster depth. Not sure if folks are high on the Trojans for their D. It's the offensive skill, which is pretty darn impressive.
How do the Utes handle their offensive backfiled of Kelvin York, John White and Harvy Langi. Redshirt Langi? I hate to see them take carries away for JW, he seemed to get better with more carries... Rest is good but JWIV is the wolfman!!!
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
It seems the best rushing teams have 2 backs getting plenty of touches. while White was very good last year, the utes only rushed for 137 yards per game. I know Whittingham would like to be closer to 175 or so.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
The Stanford recruits on offense received a lot of press and deservedly so, but shouldn't Cardinal be just as excited about the guys on defense (Carter, Shittu, Davis)? We know Stanford can score, but they need to stop people?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
Yes... it was just that O-line haul was one of the best in recent memory. The recruiting question that remains is DBs and WRs... the Cardinal still isn't getting a lot of those A-listers.
Brady (Portland, OR)
Do you see any Pac-12 teams going unbeaten next season? If not do you think a 1 loss team will still get into the championship game?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
I think the winner of the USC-Oregon game has a shot. The Trojans and Ducks will be favored in every other game they play. As far as the 1-loss team playing for the title, that's where the schedule hurts. USC has an advantage there if Notre Dame has a good season.
B-rad (San Diego)
Who's UCLA's starting QB in 2012?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
I'm a Hundley lean.
What are your thoughts on the Davonte Neal announcement? I feel Luke Neal was too much of an influence and because of that, Arizona loses out on a corner piece. What do you think?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Not sure of the "facts," but in general I'm not a big fan of Mommies and Daddies who think this decision is about them. It would be different if they were paying tuition. They have a right to push their position, but in the end it's the child who has to make the call.
You can individually pick any offensivee unit, defensive unit and special teams unit to put together your ideal school for 2012. Who do you pick? I'd go Oregon offense (yes, I am biased), Utah defense and maybe USC's special teams.
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
I'd take USC's offense over Oregon at this point. Utah's defense, though a young Cal unit might be sneaky good. USC special teams, too. Both K & P back, and a very good coach.
Robert (New York)
Datone Jones didn't have the break out year last year like everyone thought he would. What does it take for him to break out this year? And if he does, don't you think that would be a huge factor determining the success of the UCLA D?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
I blew that one as much as anyone. I watched him during the spring and thought, "Dude can play." It seems that he's a tweener as an end/tackle. But if he does become an All-Conference sort of player, that would be a huge boost for the Bruins. I don't think the UCLA defense can be anything but better in 2012... I think they will be much better coached... they didn't seem "sound" last year.
Drew (Myrtle Beach)
Washington, Cal, or Stanford. Who wins the battle for 2nd place in the North?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
As of today... Stanford, Washington, Cal would be my order....
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Will Jordan Payton have the opportuntiy to step right in and contribute for Sarkisian given the departure of Kearse?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
One of the young WRs will get a shot, but the Huskies aren't that bad off at WR with Kason Williams, James Johnson & Kevin Smith.
Will you be in SLC for any of the Ute games this year?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
I follow the good teams. If the Utes are winning, I'll likely come to down. And eat at the Red Iguana.
Jordan Payton decommitted from UW after committing last second and went to UCLA... just FYI
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
something like that occured to me, which is why I didn't use his name and said "young receivers"...
Luck was a one of a kind player, but Stanford was mostly a running team last year. Any chance they will be a top 15 team again this year
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
Yes... the schedule is favorable... I think folks are underestimating the talent on the Farm.
Brian (Palo Alto)
In a chat sesion in early January you were predicting that stanford would mostly likely be 8-4 next season.After the recruiting class stanford pulled in (many possibly ready to start on both sides of the ball, especially in key positions such as WR, Sanders as RB and a few safeties and corners and some linemen who may be able to step in as true freshmen) does your estimation of win losses change at all?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
8-4 seems a good over-under....
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
OK gang... time for me to fly. Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.