Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Pac-10 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 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 1 p.m. ET!
Ted Miller (1:01 PM)
Howdy folks... Happy New Year (almost). Fire away.
I tried to tell you your conferance was a little overrated and now after watching the bowls i think i'm right
Ted Miller (1:02 PM)
Maybe ... bowls aren't over but the early returns aren't very impressive for the Pac-10. Last year, the Pac-10 had a mediocre regular season and a great bowl season. This year, the Pac-10 had a good regular season and thus far has been lackluster in the bowls... hard to see it any other way.
Phil (Chandler, AZ)
Who will be the new offensive coordinator for the Sun Devils? Please tell me it won't be one of Dennis Erickson's old running buddies . . . .
Ted Miller (1:05 PM)
It looks like Erickson is close to a decision... Noel Mazzone, Brent Pease or J.D. Brookhart... Pease, the assistant head coach at Boise State, might be the most interesting pick, but Mazzone and Brookhard, the former Akron head coach know their stuff. Maybe there's a darkhorse, though.
I think your only chance of redemption is Oregon. Your other two top teams took some serious smack downs
Ted Miller (1:07 PM)
The way things have gone, and with Stanford playing without QB Andrew Luck, it's not hard to see a couple more losses and a woeful 2-5 bowl record with the best win coming over Boston College... not what many expected. The other results are touching my perspective on the Rose Bowl and the Ducks chances.
Alex (Richmond, VA)
Didn't FCS Villanova handle Temple better than UCLA?
Ted Miller (1:08 PM)
Temple had 41 yards in the second half... moreover, my guess is Temple folks might argue they are a far different team by game 13 than game 1.
Did Arizona miss the flight to San Diego?
Ted Miller (1:10 PM)
Yep... and Nebraska looked like it ate its spinach before the game. How about this folks: Does the way Nebraska looked change the perspective on the national title game? Maybe Texas looked bad vs. Nebraska because Nebraska is peeking late in the season. And maybe things won't be so easy for Alabama. Maybe not, too, just saying.
Do you think the fact that the Pac 10 plays a conference round robin which means there are fewer OOC games might have hidden the fact that the conference just isn't that good compared to other conferences?
Ted Miller (1:13 PM)
As in most debates, you can spin things in all sorts of directions.... Pac-10 folks want to talk about winning at Ohio State and Tennessee..... folks trying to question the Pac-10 want to talk about losses at Boise State and Wake Forest and the bowl season thus far... Bowls are funny things. When USC blasted Oklahoma in the 2004 National Title game, not for one moment did I think that USC was THAT much better than the Sooners. It was one game. Everything went right for USC, nothing for OU. Last year, the pac-10 went 5-0. This year... splat.
I think the comment by the Wildcat player that Coach Stoops tried to let the kids have fun and other players took advantage of it says everything.While I do think Nebraska is a better team than AZ, 33 points and a shutout is ridiculous. Coaching downfall for the bowl game is what i see.
Ted Miller (1:15 PM)
First, I have no inside knowledge. Second, there has to be something more than just 33-0. Arizona is a good team. Nebraska clearly looked better, but I suspect that there are a variety of reasons that will go unreported as to why the Wildcats just looked so out of sorts.
ted, i know its going to be difficult for ohio st to stop the ducks offense, but how will the ducks d stop pryor and the bucks running game?
Ted Miller (1:18 PM)
The only team that really ran over a fast Oregon defense was Stanford, and the key in that game was QB Andrew Luck hitting a bunch of passes downfield. I don't think the Buckeyes can just run right at Oregon. I think they will need to throw well. And I think one of their best plays will be Pryor scrambling. But it sounds like Pryor may be a little banged up... he may not want to take too many hits.
JL (Warrenton, Virginia)
Ted: If the Big 10 expands to 12 and gets a title game, won't that pressure the Pac 10 need to do the same?
Ted Miller (1:20 PM)
You'd think, wouldn't you? But the Pac-10 won't expand just to expand. It's got to find the right matches. And it's got to find matches that the Univ. presidents will agree on. It's clear that the college football landscape is going to continue to change. The Pac-10 will have to keep up. It seems to me that will have to eventually include expansion.
Dean (Houston , Texas)
Happy Holidays Ted, Can it be said that Texas plays and wins on shear talent? It is obvious the defensive line talent is being coached but it is tough to say the rest of the team are being coached as well? What are your thoughts?
Ted Miller (1:23 PM)
I've loved Alabama all season... love the defense, love the physical style, love the way Saban gets his guys ready. The Tide always seems prepared. And is very talented. I feel like I KNOW the Tide. I don't know Texas, in large part because of a lackluster schedule and the Big 12 title game. But Texas is Texas. It's loaded with guys who will play on Sundays. Everybody seems to think Alabama wins in a walkover. And that's my lean, too. But when everybody thinks one thing, they usually are wrong.
Isn't tyring to determine the "strenth" of a conference from the bowl season as impossible as it is during the regular season? The bowl teams are chosen for their ability to generate revenue more than they are chosen for their ability to win football games. For example, does WV (third in their conferece) beating FSU (8th in their conference) mean the Big East is stronger than the ACC or Clemson (2nd in ACC) beating Kentucky (2nd to last SEC) mean the ACC is stronger than the SEC? The attempts to determine conference strength seem impossible and a little silly.
Ted Miller (1:27 PM)
Jim.... are you insane! Why would you want to be reasonable when talking about conference strength? Look, it's a debate that's often fun among fans and media. Fact is, every BCS conference team has 85 scholarships. Just about everybody is a degree of good. Is Oregon State better than Ole Miss? Who knows? Is Oregon better than Florida? Maybe, maybe not. If they don't play we can't say. And even if they did, games can go off in wild directions. Do I think the SEC is No. 1? Yes. Is the SEC way better than the Big 12 or the Pac-10. No, I don't think so.
Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)
Clearly 2010 is a make or break year for Dennis Erickson. How do you see the QB situation shaking out?
Ted Miller (1:28 PM)
Erickson needs to get the Sun Devils to a bowl game and it won't be easy without answers at QB and on the O-line... if I were guessing, I'd say it will be Michigan transfer Steven Threet. But it figures to be a good competition. The other two have their points...
I.E. USC vs Texas 2005
Ted Miller (1:30 PM)
right... And if those two played 10 times, they'd probably go 5-5 and at least once each would blow the other out... I'm just glad the game that ended up happening in reality was such a fantastic game... I much more enjoyed that the blowouts like Neb-Miami or USC-OU.
What happened to Arizona last night? Did their collapse put Stoops back in the hot seat for next season? It was just very disappointing to see them get steam rolled.
Ted Miller (1:32 PM)
I don't think it put him back on the hotseat, but it certainly reduced his positive momentum.... did you watch Stoops on the sidelines? I could feel his boiling frustration through the TV. No coach likes to be embarrassed, and Stoops was getting whipped by a hometown friend in Bo Pelini. Ouch. The loss could leave a stink on the team. Or it could drive them to work harder in the off-season.
Adam (Portland, OR)
I would like to hear your opinion on the Leach - Tech thing going down in Texas. It seems like it was only a matter of time before he got fired and this was the chance for Meyers the AD to fire him. How long will Leach be out of coaching? A year? Couple months? Less?
Ted Miller (1:35 PM)
That Leach deal is just... not good. For anyone. It seems like there's plenty of blame to go around, but my opinion from the outside is Leach needs to take a long look in the mirror. His wandering eye obviously bothered TT administrators. As for the current incident in question, I don't feel qualified to comment because I haven't reported on it. I only read what you do.
Ted Miller (1:35 PM)
As for when he coaches again.... probably soon. But I doubt his next job will be as good as the one he let get away.
Is USC slowly falling from the great teams in college football or do you think they can resurrect themselves next season?
Ted Miller (1:38 PM)
USC has plenty of talent to bounce back next year, but the Pac-10 will be very deep. Everybody around the program fell short this season: coaches as well as players. The key, obviously, will be Barkley. But the defense also needs to regain its mojo. And then there's the NCAA, which could be the biggest issue. Will USC be back in the national title hunt within two years? Maybe. IF they're allowed to be.
Wes (Phoenix, AZ)
Ted, I'm calling it right now..UCLA Bruins win BIG over USC next year. Your thoughts?
Ted Miller (1:40 PM)
I think USC-UCLA could be a good game next year. But I don't think the Bruins will be at a point where anyone should expect them to beat USC BIG... Plus, UCLA's schedule is ridiculous... Texas, Houston, Kansas State... are you kidding me? I suspect UCLA will improve next fall, but it won't be dramatic in terms of wins and losses because of the schedule.
Taylor Mays (Los Angeles, CA)
Hey Ted, am I goin' to be a star in the NFL or are the doubters who say I'm all about hard hits and nothin' else right?
Ted Miller (1:42 PM)
Taylor... I have a hard time believing you won't be a successful pro. You've got mad athletic ability and love to play the game. That said: Based on this season, my guess is you are closer to a hybrid LB than a pure, Ed Reed safety. Maybe you should pull an Urlacher and move from safety to LB?
Dave (Provo, UT)
Which Pac-10 team will dominate this new decade like USC did this past one?
Ted Miller (1:43 PM)
I think we may be headed back to how it was pre-USC and Pete Carroll. Before Carroll took over, there was a different champion nearly every season... I also think USC isn't going to fall out of the mix by any stretch.
Taylor Mays (Los Angeles, CA)
Sounds like a plan Ted! Look for me in the Pro Bowl next year. I'll be the one with a big sign saying. "Thanks Ted Miller!"
Ted Miller (1:45 PM)
Taylor.... just send a check.
Brian (San Francisco, CA)
Rick Neuheisel for Pac-10 Coach of the Year next season?
Ted Miller (1:46 PM)
Rick, is that you? Thanks for stopping by. As for your question: Why not? Bruins have some issues, though, on both sides of the ball.
Ted Miller (1:50 PM)
Whoops... sorry about that folks... my computer just zonked out on me...
Ted Miller (1:50 PM)
Not to hit and run, but I'm going to cut this one short... Don't want to miss a play of the Sun Bowl! See you next time. thanks for stopping by.