Chat with Tim Griffin
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin stops by to chat about the upcoming season.
Griffin joined ESPN.com in February 2008. He has covered the Big 12 since its inception, among a variety of beats during a 24-year career at the San Antonio Express-News. Griffin, a Memphis State University graduate, lives in San Antonio with his wife and son.
Send your questions now and join Griffin Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Tim Griffin (3:00 PM)
I'm here and ready to talk about all things involving Big 12 football.Fire away and I'll be ready.
Dan (dallas, tx)
How come TTU is getting no respect for how they played UT in Austin? They were suppose to only have a 10% chance and get 60 put up on them by the Horns. So it's just because McCoy had the flu?
Tim Griffin (3:03 PM)
Dan:I thought Texas Tech played admirably in that game. It was one of the best performances by a Mike Leach-coached team in Austin. A lot of people underrated their chances before the game. Taylor Potts played better than anybody would have expected and showed a lot of toughness and moxie when he got off the deck after Sergio Kindle's sack. People aren't discounting them because of McCoy's flu. Probably more because of the two late turnovers that turned the game around.
Ranie Branson (Bay City, TX)
It seems like every team in the Big 12 has a either a sensational quarterback, or an above average man behind center. Its obvious that the coaches son in boulder is not panning out. In your opinion why is it so hard for the Buffaloes to recruit a better quarterback?
Tim Griffin (3:05 PM)
Ranie: A very good question. The Buffaloes really haven't been able to find a top-flight quarterback in the last few years. You've got to think back to Koy Detmer or Joel Klatt when they were considered to have one of the best quarterbacks in their conference. I think one thing that sets them back is their hesistancy to embrace the spread. There are enough good quarterbacks in the state of Texas that if they knew a school was committed to the spread, they would flock to the Boulder campus. They need to run an offense that's attractive to quarterback recruits. That might be a start.
With Nebraska's loss to Virginia Tech, are they still the favorites to win the North?
Tim Griffin (3:07 PM)
Chris: I discounted the Cornhuskers shortly before the season behind Kansas and I still feel that way. Kansas hasn't faced the competition of the other top Big 12 teams, but they also haven't looked bad in any game this year. Also, I saw a couple of signs that made me doubt Nebraska a little bit. How much could they have used as big running back like Quentin Castille near the goal line against Virginia Tech? Also, there lack of scoring touchdowns and settling for field goals ended up costing them in the end. And Zac Lee wasn't quite as spectacular as against some lesser defenses. Obviously, playing Virginia Tech will be about as hard of a challenge as the Cornhuskers will face. They came close, but ultimately couldn't get the job done.
Joey (Phoenix, AZ)
What if anything did you learn about the state of the Big 12 going into conference play, compared to the other BCS conferences?
Tim Griffin (3:10 PM)
Joey: As I wrote yesterday in a piece for the blog, I think the non-conference part of the schedule has been a time of squandered opportunities for the Big 12. Games like Oklahoma-BYU, Oklahoma State-Houston and Nebraska-Virginia Tech. If the Big 12 had won those three games, they arguably could have four teams within the top 15 and probably three among the top five. Other conferences have had those struggles as well, but the Big 12 has really squandered an opportunity if it had taken care of its business against some of the non-BCS teams.
Joey (Phoenix, AZ)
So with the non-conference schedule almost over with for the BIG 12, has your positions on the champs of the North and South changed going into conference play?Any teams to watch out for?
Tim Griffin (3:12 PM)
Joey: I'll stick with Kansas and Texas. But I think that Missouri might rise up and challenge in the North along with Nebraska. The Tigers have a huge opener Oct. 8 against Nebraska. If they can with that, they'll be right in the hunt. In the South, I still think Oklahoma has the talent, particularly on defense to challenge Texas. They will need Sam Bradford to get that job done, in my opinion. It would be a little different for Landry Jones to throw six touchdown passes against Texas than Tulsa.
andy (north port, FL)
Tim, I being a big12 fan in sec country would like to know how much longer Missouri is be left out of the top 25? And Gabbert has better numbers than Tebow while playing about the same level of competition will he get ever get any national press? Finally, don't get down on the big 12 Tim, they'll be in the NC game again this year.
Tim Griffin (3:14 PM)
Andy: I was a littlel surprised that Missouri didn't win its way back into the top 25 after thumping Furman like it did. I think if they beat Nevada convincingly on national television, they should have a chance to get back there.I do think that Texas has perhaps the easiest road to the national title game. All they have to do is win the rest of their games and they should be there.
Danny (Saint Joseph, MO)
Tim, you wrote in this week's conference power rankings that Missouri's Friday night trip to Reno to take on the Wolf Pack seemed similar to past road traps the Tigers encountered pre-Chase Daniel. Troy in 2004 does jump to mind. But they already snoozed for three quarters against Bowling Green, and I don't think Gary Pinkel will let his team do so again, much less away from home. And after watching Notre Dame's mediocre defense shut Nevada down, I'm not that worried a?? should I be?
Tim Griffin (3:17 PM)
Danny:I'm expecting Nevada to play a little differently at home. Colin Kaepernick is a strong running and passing quarterback and Vai Taua and Luke Lippincott are two strong backs. The Wolf Pack have lost on the road to Notre Dame and Colorado State. They should approach their home opener a little differently. I think this game has the makings of being a shootout.
Texas, despite McCoy's mixed passing results, seems to have established a decent (underrated?) running game without relying on Colt's feet. Agree?
Tim Griffin (3:19 PM)
Olaf, I do. Tre' Newton might be that back, but they still have a combination of backs that has McCoy running less. He's averaging eight carries a game this season, compared to 10.4 last season. That might not sound like much, unless you the quarterback who is getting hit less.
Who in the Big 12 is on your Heisman list, aside from the obvious Colt McCoy?
Tim Griffin (3:22 PM)
John: Obviously McCoy. Maybe Reesing if the Jayhawks climb much higher in the national polls. If Bradford makes a dramatic comeback and he leads his team on a big winning steak, I could see him getting some run. But it's interesting that no player has really taken the lead. Tim Tebow is in first place in most mock polls, but still hasn't played that well. Neither has Colt McCoy. The player who has looked the best to me this season has been either Case Keenum of Houston or Jahvid Best of California. Most have them in their top five, but I haven't seen many that has them ahead.
Hi Tim, What do you hear from the Texas coaches about the results of the 'WildHorn'?
Tim Griffin (3:23 PM)
Patrick: Loved the "WildHorn" and how effective John Chiles looked when he was running it. The coaches weren't surprised about its effectiveness, but realize it has to work against the right defense. Chiles looked strong. I would expect to see that play dusted off fairly regularly by the Longhorns.
Calvin (Corpus Christi, TX)
Tim with Baylor's lost to Uconn do you still see them as living up to the Hype? and if the Baylor Vs A
Tim Griffin (3:25 PM)
Calvin: Baylor's loss to UConn revealed the same concerns I've always had for them. Namely, they have to tackle effectively in the trenches and must have strong play from Robert Griffin.They had neither of those benefits against Connecticut and we saw what happened.
Alecks Bruchae (Birmingham, AL)
Who poses the biggest challenge to Texas' hopes of going undefeated?
Tim Griffin (3:26 PM)
Alecks: In order, I'll say Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri. It will be a three-game gauntlet. I'm thinking Texas has to win all of them.
When ku dominates southern miss saturday, will they finally get respect from the voters?
Tim Griffin (3:27 PM)
Brandon: Southern Miss is a nice opponent and both teams are undefeated. But I don't think Kansas will start getting bowl bounce until they start winning some games in the conference.
Brian (Dallas, TX)
In your opinion which quarterback in the Big XII has been the most disappointing this year?
Tim Griffin (3:31 PM)
Brian:I would have to say Carson Coffman of Kansas State, although both Robert Griffin and Zac Robinson have played below expectations. You can't say Cody Hawkins on this, because Hawkins' play has been the least of Colorado's problems.
Tim,Christian Scott - any chance we see him on the field this year? Also, who do you like, Houston or Tech?
Tim Griffin (3:33 PM)
Matt: I'm not holding my breath for Christian Scott to get back in the Texas secondary. I think Will Muschamp has got some other guys to fill in for him if he needs them. And I'm still trying to figure out who I like in the Houston-Tech game. I was impressed with both teams when I saw them the last couple of weeks. Check back on my predictions page on Thursday as I'll have to make my mind up. I do think the game could end up 3 1/2 hours, meaning you can probably catch the ending sometime early Sunday morning.
Tech's unorthodox willingness to go for it on fourth down (3/4 last saturday converting) coupled with Leach's mad-scientist playcalling seem to work, at least to a point. Why aren't more teams taking this approach?
Tim Griffin (3:36 PM)
Dave:I haven't seen many coaches who have the "onions" as Bill Rafferty would call it to go for those fourth-down plays. Leach is so unconventional that I don't see many taking his heed. And I've extensively covered Tech over the years. For all of the excitement about making those, failing deep in your own territory is a killer. Think back to the Cotton Bowl game against Mississippi and how those fourth-down plays helped change the game.
Jeff (Quechee, VT)
With the out-of-conference struggles, is the Big XII in danger of only sending 1 team to the BCS this year? How much would that hurt the conference financially?
Skylar (Boise, ID)
Tim do you think Texas will be beaten this year? and Who do you think the BCS buster will be this year?
Tim Griffin (3:39 PM)
Skylar: Yes, I do think Texas will lose at least one game this year. And my pick for a BCS buster is TCU. I really like what Gary Patterson does with his defense.
Josh (Oklahoma City)
I know the Sooners lost some great offensive lineman but their offense stank against BYU. Is the offense even still legit?
Tim Griffin (3:40 PM)
Josh: I think if you would look at them the last couple of weeks, you'd have a different answer. Their running game still isn't as dominant as I would have thought and that's because of the offensive line. But I was very impressed with Landry Jones in his school-record six-TD pass outing. And Brandon Caleb has developed into a nice compliment to go along with Ryan Broyles.
Travis (Murrieta, CA)
What are your feelings on the new Kansas Defensive alignment? Will it have the desired effect of countering the high octane spreads?
Tim Griffin (3:43 PM)
Travis: Really like what Clint Bowen and Bill Miller have done with the Jayhawks' defense. I was talking earlier today to Maxwell Onyegbule about the growth. I think it's been kind of a natural development as several of the Jayhawks players have kind of grown up in the defense. But as well as they've played, we probably still won't know much about the Kansas team until Oct. 24 when Oklahoma visits.
Love your blog Tim, thanks. What do you make of Jackson Jeffcoat's canceling his visit at the Texas v. Tech game?
Tim Griffin (3:44 PM)
Patrick: I don't know. Maybe Jackson heard about the traffic in Austin and didn't want to be a part of it. Or maybe he's gotten excited about his dad's team in Houston and wants to consider the Cougars.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Top to bottom where does the Big12 rank among other conferences?
Tim Griffin (3:45 PM)
Jake:Right now, I have the Big 12 No. 2 behind the SEC. Still think the SEC has the best athletes in the nation -- particularly on defense. The other conferences all have had their share of warts this season.
Rick Knick (Grosse Pointe Park, MI)
TimWhat's with the Jayhawk love? Have you looked at their schedule? OU, @Tech, Nebraska, @UT, Missouri... They'll be lucky to win one of those (Nebraska), so that's 4 conference losses. The North is still Missouri's to lose...
Tim Griffin (3:47 PM)
Rick: I'm going to reserve judgment on the Tigers until I see how they play over the next four games. The upcoming stretchof at Nevada, Nebraska, at Oklahoma State and Texas will tell us a lot about the Tigers and young quarterback Blaine Gabbert. If they can win three of those games, they should be in good shape for the North title. But I'll believe it when I see it.
What do you think has caused OSU's offense to look mediocre when it was so great the previous 2 years with quite a bit of the same cast?
Tim Griffin (3:48 PM)
Josh: For whatever reason, Zac Robinson hasn't played as strongly as in the last two years. Kendall Hunter has been hurt. They don't have the continuity that marked their offensive line in the past. And I also think they miss Brandon Pettigrew more than they probably realized.
Chris (Abilene, TX)
What kind of an impact will Jeff Fuller's injury have on A
Tim Griffin (3:50 PM)
Chris: Fuller's injury potentially could be a big loss for the Aggies, although I'm hearing he should be back for the meat of their conference schedule. In the interim, I think we'll see Ryan Tannehill play more at wide receiver and Mike Sherman depend more on his young freshmen at the position.
Mike (St Robert MO)
Tim,With all the talk of Coach Hawkins being on the hot seat, if you were a CU Buffs fan, would you want another head coach or do you feel he is close and would be willing to give him more time?
Tim Griffin (3:51 PM)
Mike: That's a hard question.If I was a Buff fan, I might be thinking for a long time about Gary Barnett and those four division championships he won in a five-year span, including the 2001 title. But that being said, I would think that Hawkins deserves another season. The Big 12 North is going to be very close this season.
Tim do you think after the end of this year that this season could be annotated as the "H1N1" season? Do you see it seriously affecting any teams and or game/races ? It seams that so many students and student athletes are coming down with it, or are suspected to have, that it may truly become an issue.*** here at OU we have 180 suspected cases on campus ***
Tim Griffin (3:53 PM)
Arlando: Heck, let's just call it America being annotated as the H1N1 season. I've been sick for the last week and my little boy has been, too. I think we're seeing it across the country. I should have done like Colt McCoy and eaten peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches and drink Pedalyte. It probably would have helped me out.
Given that Alex Henery is handling dual kicking duties for Nebraska, any chance the Huskers could set up for a field goal, then shift to a punt (or vice versa)? It seems like a good way to keep defenses at bay. Or is that way too far-fetched?
Tim Griffin (3:54 PM)
Steve: I've seen teams do that before. It's actually a pretty wise strategy if you are playing for field position.
Your opinion on the OU-Miami game in two weeks? You think the Sooners can win this game and get on a roll, or will this O-line and the loss of Gresham be too much to overcome this year?
Tim Griffin (3:56 PM)
Dan: If you would have asked me Friday, I would have thought Miami would have won by a couple of touchdowns. But watching Landry Jones play well last week has convinced me that the OU coaches won't feel pressured to push Sam Bradford into the lineup.I think Bob Stoops thinks he can beat Miami with Landry Jones at quarterback. We'll have to watch how that plays out. I think it's going to be tough for Jacory Harris to do all the wild things we saw him do against Florida State and Georgia Tech against the Sooners. If you were asking me today, I'll go with OU 17, Miami 14.
Ron (Dale Ok)
Sooners or Longhorns judged on the teams today?
Tim Griffin (3:56 PM)
Ron:Longhorns. But not by much. And their defense better not play like it did against Tech early in the second half, or somebody will beat them quicker than I think.
Tim (Norman, Ok)
Tim, do you think the OU/Texas Game will still be the Big 12 Game of the Year?
Tim Griffin (3:57 PM)
Tim: It will be one of them. I'm looking just as forward to OU-OSU, UT-OSU, Nebraska-Kansas and Kansas-Oklahoma. Should be some great games during the rest of the season.
Dave (Charlotte, NC)
Why no Nebraska love? They were one horrible mistake from knocking off the number 13 (at the time) team in the nation on the road.
Tim Griffin (3:58 PM)
Dave:Actually, about three or four if you're counting. I would include the two pass coverage busts. The big penalty that kept them from scoring and not going on fourth-and-1 late in the game.
Travis (Murrieta, CA)
If KU finishes well this year, are we in danger of losing Coach Warrnier as a head coach elsewhere?
Tim Griffin (4:00 PM)
Travis: Yes, I think Ed Warinner could become a hot commodity if Kansas keeps winning and showing a big-time offense. He was in the mix at Army and likely will have his choice at a better job if the Jayhawks keep turning national heads.
Tim, you said that you think Texas will lose one game this year. Will it be to an OU/OSU or to a team it has no business losing to be cause of lack of effort, i.e. Colorado or A
Tim Griffin (4:01 PM)
John: Could be any one of those, or maybe even Missouri in a tough sandwich game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma STate.
michael (san marcos)
kansas has to tough of a big 12 schedule to win the north. how do you think they will win more confrence games than nebraska or mizzou?
Tim Griffin (4:02 PM)
Michael: I don't. But I think they win the right conference games - over Nebraska and Missouri -- to get their way out of a tie.
Nebraska fell in the rankings to 25th after losing to 13th ranked VT..Kansas beats Duke and Missouri beats Furman? I don't see the logic in that? Thoughts?
Tim Griffin (4:03 PM)
Tim: Nebraska played well in a game that a lot of people across the country saw. I think that carried more weight with pollsters than Kansas' and Missouri's victories over lesser opponents last week.
Tim Griffin (4:04 PM)
Guys:Thanks again for all of the great questions. Let get together next week at the same time, OK?