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 (2:58 PM)
Greetings... Welcome to week 2. Remember, one game does not a season make. Unless it's played on Jan. 7 in Miami.
Ted, Can UCLA compete for a conference with the same CBs they have been playing for the last two seasons?
Ted Miller (3:00 PM)
Price and Hester have skills & experience. Maybe they put it all together as seniors. Taylor Martinez threw 5 TD passes against S. Miss, so we may find out this weekend.
Does ASJ have to have a monster game for UW to have a chance vs the Tigers? How do you think Sankey will do going against LSU's monster D-line?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Yes.. He seems like the Keith Price's best place to dump the ball when under pressure... He also should be a key guy in the red zone... of course, LSU knows this.
Will Oregon's run game be able to move the ball against USC's defense?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
You just overlooking seven games before Nov. 3? Oregon runs well on just about everyone. I don't think USC will shut down Oregon. The Trojans will try to go blow for blow on offense... and get one more blow because they are at home and have a veteran QB.
Are you trying to reverse jinx the PAC-12 with all your predictions of losses this week? It seems suspicious that you didn't pick any upsets.
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
I think the Pac-12 will get one upset this weekend, but my crystal ball wouldn't tell me who... I just wasn't feeling it, in large part because I thought a lot of teams looked mediocre to bad last weekend. Yeah, talking about you Cal.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will LSU pound Washington into submission on the ground like Alabama did to Michigan last Saturday?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
LSU has an experienced, talented O-line -- despite the loss of the starting LT -- and is physical and talented at RB... I think the Tigers goal will be to pound the Huskies then go over top if the Huskies are in man coverage with safeties leaning forward. It will be a huge test for the UW defense to match LSU's physicality.
Dartanian (Paris, France)
Wisconsin almost never plays anyone on the road out of conference, heck UNLV almost beat them twice. I think OSU beats them saturday. Am I on an island by myself?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
I think the Beavers have as good an upset shot at UCLA... There was a lot going on last year when the Beavers went to Madison, and this is more seasoned team playing at home. The reason I didn't pick an upset is I worry that the Beavers won't be able to hold up against the run for four quarters.
Amber (Provo, Utah)
Should Utah be worried about BYU next week?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Chester (Tempe, AZ)
How many total offensive yards between UA and OSU?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
I think we'll get at least 900...
Winston Free (Someplace without PAC 12 Network)
If UW pulls off the upset, what do you think their AP/Coaches poll ranking would be the following week?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
That would be an interesting one... If the Huskies won at LSU, you'd think they'd be ahead of the Tigers... makes sense, right... but do the Huskies climb into the top-10? And how far does LSU fall? If Washington wins, I'd probable rank them 9th and LSU 10th.
L. Perry (S. Oregon)
Will Oregon play its 1s to the half this week?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
yes...I think we'll see the ones well into the third quarter.
Oklahoma over the Ducks?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
I wish I had reversed that... that said, I don't think you should write too much into OU at UTEP... The Sooners are good. Promise.
Alex (Dallas, TX)
You keep saying that SC WILL beat Oregon this season as long as they are at home. You don't seem to want to budge. But do you really really believe that Oregon has no chance to beat them at the coliseum either time? Surely Aliotti won't be fooled two times in one season..
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
I've never, ever, ever said USC WILL beat Oregon... never.. you just invented something inside your brain. I've never, ever, ever even intimated that Oregon has "no chance." I've merely repeated my belief that I favor USC, in large part because of home field advantage. Maybe I change my mind.
Don't you think its a bit early in the season for Utah fans to be hating on Wynn? I think too many Utah fans are too quick to jump on the Wilson bandwagon. No doubt he has the talent to be the next QB, but Wynn is not only our best option, he is a good option. Thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
Yes.. too early to give up on Wynn. I do like that Utah is playing Wilson, seeing how he reacts when the lights are on. Wynn does need to step up his game and be more consistent. I still believe he gives the Utes their best chance to win.
Mash (Los Angeles)
Ted- How can a Bama team that returns only 10 starters possibly beat a USC team that returns 19 starters and the best QB, best 2 WR's and two of the best RBs in CFB this year! Not to mention the 3 top NFL prospects all on the same team in Barkley, Lee & Woods...Let's face it Michigan was over ranked to help the SEC hype train once again! I think UW could beat Michigan for the record cause Price>Robinson!
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Well, Alabama seems to have really good players, returning starters or not. I don't think Washington would beat Michigan, but who knows? I seem to remember folks giving USC plenty of "reload not rebuild" benefit of the doubt during the day. I've seen nothing from Alabama to suggest they aren't an elite team. But, yes, if USC and Alabama played, I'd pick the Trojans, even though I ranked Alabama No. 1 this week. I feel like you reward teams that schedule tough games. & we may actually get a real live answer to this question on Jan. 7.
Pietro (San Francisco)
USC defeats Hawaii by a score of 96 to 10. Is USC still #1?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Any chance CAL loses to Southern Utah? And if that were to happen, does CAL fire Tedford before the end of the season?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
I seriously doubt it... if it did happen, I'd rate Tedford's seat as extremely hot.. 0-2 in a new stadium against non-AQ teams is bad. Hard to excuse. But I'm fairly certain the Bears win big on Saturday.
Which team is more likely to not make it to the Pac 12 Championship Game- USC or Oregon?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
Both are going to play in the Pac-12 championship game...
Matt Damon (Salt Lake City)
Your thoughts on the NBC sports article on Lane Kiffin taking a scholarship from a walk on and giving it to a dismissed player who got out of jail early?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
No problem with the article or with Kiffin's decision.... Same hard eye applied to ND?
Nervous USC Fan (Irwidnale CA)
Any insight or whispers on the Joe Mcnight case???
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
i don't expect it to become a major deal...
Tim (Winston Salem, North Carolina)
Although most analysts seem to think LSU will handle Washington pretty easily, it seems that a lot of Tiger fans are very nervous about what Keith Price is capable of doing to the young secondary. Which thought do you think is closer to reality - LSU cruising, or the secondary being in trouble?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
I'm a lean that LSU wins by a fairly comfortable margin.
Do you think I should cut my hair like Kenjon Barner's
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
Yes... I'm objective about the team's I cover but I have no issue telling you I really like how Kenjon carries himself... and his hair means he's "Just got to be meeee!"
Will (Novato, CA)
Ted, what are your thoughts on Tedford's decision to sit Maynard? Rumblings out here in the Bay that Maynard is simply not the leader the Bears need at QB (que the intro music for Zach Kline!)
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
If Tedford thought someone else would win more games, he'd play him... it's also a tough one there because of Keenan Allen being Maynard's half-brother. Tedford disciplined a player. It probably cost him. But we typically celebrate coaches who take a hard line. Guessing Tedford and Brady Hoke could benefit from a chat about that.
Ted (Pullman, WA)
E-dub going to give Wazzu any trouble?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
Eastern Washington is as tough a FCS team as there is... I suspect that will be a competitive game but the Cougs will pull away in the second half.
Does ASU win convincingly at home this weekend? Or was last weekend an aberration?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
Illinois is a much different team than Northern Arizona. I think the Sun Devils win a close, low-scoring game... their chances are helped if QB nathan scheelhaase doesn't play.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who has the best defense in the PAC-12 in your opinion?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
Tough one... Cal no longer under consideration, at least for now.... I'd say Stanford, though it didn't look great in the opener. Oregon's in the conversation. Most of Arky State's yards were against backups.
Mike (Folsom, CA)
Marcus Mariota was 18 for 22 and three of those misses were flat out drops. If Mariota's accuracy is the real deal, the Ducks haven't had this combination of QB accuracy and speed in the Chip Kelly era. What if this is Oregon's best offense in the CK era to go along with the best defense in the CK era? Will Oregon take over the world?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
The early returns on a preseason question for the Ducks were very positive: It looks like Marcus Mariota is the real deal. But that was Arkansas State. And at home. We may not want to crown him or the Ducks just yet. Let's see him against better competition first. But I'm just like you: Completely impressed thus far.
It's been a whole week... biggest surprise and biggest disappointment this far?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
Disappointment: Colo, Cal & WSU. And those also were surprises... no real pleasant surprises, other than perhaps Mariota's near flawless opener.
Charlie (Eugene, Or )
Who is the best Pac-12 (Pac-10) player in the NFL?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Look at the NFL all-pro team... lots to choose from... including No. 1, Aaron Rodgers.
While I was not surprised by the 624 total O yards, I was amazed to see a Rich Rod team gain 387 in the air. Is that just the game plan for Toledo or just a way to keep Scott out of harms way?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
maybe both... but Scott is a good passer, so it's not just about keeping him healthy.
Loren (San Diego)
Which college has shown the greatest improvement from 2011, now that we have seen at least nearly one game from each team?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
still waiting on Oregon State... not a lot of obvious candidates and too early to tell with many.
Ed (Phoenix )
Stan or Oregon the best defense? aren't you forgetting Utah?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
Utah has a good defense... I'd rate it behind Stanford and Oregon at this point.
Mark (Denver, CO)
Hi Ted. How long do you think it will take Coach Embree to rebuild the Buffs?
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
I think this is going to be a tough year. Team is young, and loss to Colorado State sort of foiled the idea the Buffs could surge against a weak early schedule... I suspect things will start to uptick in 2013 but he's probably going to need 5 years to get back into the Pac-12 race.
Do you think the Pac-12 is stronger or weaker than last year?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
too early to tell but I'd guess about the same... two elite teams, a couple of potential top-25 teams... a muddled middle...
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does Stanford's secondary warrant the Cardinal a top spot grade?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
We'll see... you're asking for judgments after one game...
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Better sophomore season, George Uko or Mustafa Jalil?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
Understanding that its only 1 game into his 2nd season, but if Embree has a 2-10 year is he stil the coach at Colorado next season?
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
I don't think the Buffs go 2-10, but even if they did I'd say it would be knee-jerk to dump Embree... look at his roster. Not sure Nick Saban could do much better with it.
John (Tucson )
Who is better, ASU or UofA?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
They both are simply... AWESOME! As everyone knows, Kevin and I have AZ No. 7 and ASU No. 8 in our power rankings. That could change next week. See you Monday.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will freshmen defensive tackles Ellis McCarthy and Arik Armstead both have a major impact their first season in the PAC-12?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
Both are playing and both look like they have great futures... not sure either will make a "major" impact. They'll both will make a few plays and we'll all imagine them dominating one or two years down the road.
You keep mentioning that it is too early in the season to justify answering certain questions. Why then do we have rankings at this point in the season? Has there ever been talk about postponing rankings until 4-6 weeks into the season?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
lots of talk about that every year... but fans love polls.
Realistically, do you think Cal posts a winning season this year?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
I still feel that Cal is a bowl team... but certainly less so today than last week.
Does going up against a former D-Coordinator help or hinder the Utes offense this weekend in Logan?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
It's been a few years... I don't think it will have a major impact. Both staffs know each other. The team with better players, Utah, should win.
what is a respectable score that WONT tank the rest of arizona's season?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
Wildcats within 2 TDs... don't be surprised if that game is interesting, at least for a half... Oklahoma State is replacing a lot of guys and is starting a Frosh at QB.
Best burger joint in the Pac-12? (Hint: it's Cougar Country Drive-In)
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
It's funny... I love burgers but rarely go to burger joints because I think I'm being healthy.. then I eat a huge meal with more calories and fat than if I went to a burger joint... I do like the burger's at Father's Office in Santa Monica... and I sometimes look longingly at In & out.
So, it's too early to answer a lot of these questions- yet it is not too early to crown Oregon and USC the Pac 12 division champs with 0% chance that anyone else wins it?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Yes... it's not zero percent... but something bad -- injuries, namely -- would have to happen to the Ducks or Trojans...
Stadium with the best view in the Pac 12? (Hint: Boulder)
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Boulder is nice... Husky Stadium ain't too shabby.... And Berkeley is pretty righteous.
Utah looked good in their opener. And have a easy schedule. If they manage to beat USC (who they play at home) will they make a BCS game?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Well, let's say Utah beats USC... can the Utes get through the entire season with 1 or 0 conference losses? Or even 2? And then they'd get Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game. A team that loses that might not be the first choice of the Rose Bowl, depending on how the conference stacks up... I will say that if Utah finished 11-2 and Oregon played for the national title, the Utes would have a great shot at a Rose Bowl invite. That 2nd BCS bowl berth is tricky though. Not always about who deserves it.
A friend with no ties to the Pac-12 recently told me he was excited about this season because a good USC is good for college football. What other team in the Pac-12 being 'good' would you consider good for college football?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
I know you guys don't like Notre Dame, but it would be nice to see the Irish relevant again. I think college football is better when both Michigan and Ohio State are good. I think it would be good for the Pac-12 if Washington again became a perennially ranked team. I miss Miami and Florida State.
which is the easiest team to hate in the pac12 this season?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
OK gang... time for me to roll on... As always, thanks for stopping by....good luck this weekend.