- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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During Thursday's Pac-12 chat, everyone received total consciousness.
And here are some highlights.
jeff (portland) With all this talk about bama beating a nfl team, which i think is crazy, why not the ducks. Most people think they will beat bama if they meet
Ted Miller (3:02 PM) Most people think that? Hmm. I will say that Alabama would have no chance against the worst NFL team on its worst day, but that doesn't mean Alabama isn't potentially a great college team. I do think that Oregon-Alabama is an outstanding potential matchup. I'd be a Tide lean, however, if they played. But what do I know? I thought USC would play for the title, not oregon.
Liz (Bizmark) Talk to me Ted. Arizona or UCLA and why?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM) I picked Arizona because of what the Wildcats have done the past two weeks and the fact that they nearly won at Stanford. Further, that bad performance for UCLA vs. Cal leaves a lingering taste. But UCLA is at home, which is big, and they looked good beating Arizona State last weekend. I expect another barnburner, a game that goes deep into the fourth quarter.
jon (taco bell) hi Ted! I have dubbed the winner of last week's game in SLC the "Best Bad Team in the Pac 12" or the BBTP12---as a fan of the league but a follower of no real team (my AZ) I think Utah is scary team to play for teams needing a win becuase, yeah, they may get it or they might just get a team that is coming alive..... just a thought from a casual observer.................
Ted Miller (3:07 PM) The pattern with Utah seems to be repeating itself... it's not yet ready to compete at the top of the Pac-12 team but it's certainly capable of hanging with the middle. If the Utes beat the Cougs, they have a good shot at getting to 6-6 and preserving their bowl streak.
Whitney (South) Why do you hate UCLA Ted? You've predicted 6 losses for them so far!
Ted Miller (3:18 PM) You do realize that my picking a team to lose doesn't reflect an emotional response. I don't say: I hate Team X, so I will pick them to lose, thereby invoking the wrath of the College Football Gods, who act upon my every whim. In fact, you might wonder at some reverse psychology: If I pick a team that I want to win to lose, then getting the pick correct serves as a consolation prize when what I wanted to happen doesn't.
Green Bay Duck fan (somewhere inbetween) if the top four teams in the BCS go undefeated, what needs to happen for the Ducks to go to the NCG?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM) I think if the top four teams go undefeated, Oregon will have enough juice to remain No. 2 in both polls. And I think their computer rankings will go up enough that they remain No. 2 in the BCS standings. Again, keep in mind the polls count for 2/3 of the BCS rankings. They are more important than the computers.
Sara (South Bend) I am hated in South Bend because I love Michigan. I have always felt Rich Rod got shafted and am loving the success he is having at Arizona. Where do you see this program in 2 to 3 years.
Ted Miller (3:23 PM) I'm sure Rodriguez will be glad to hear he's still got some fans among the Michigan faithful. I agree he did get the shaft, but it's also possible everything will work out for the best. Seems like he's a better fit in Tucson vs. Ann Arbor. My early impressions are very positive. He's gotten a lot out of a team that doesn't seem very talented, at least on defense. But the big question is recruiting his guys and building a program that can challenge in the South Division.. hey, the Wildcats are sorta doing that now.
Julian (Sunnyvale Trailer Park) USC had a very tough time stopping RichRod's spread. How do the Trojans expect to slow up the Quacks? Is there enough time in one week to correct all of the errors from last game?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM) A little apples & oranges because the Wildcats are much better at receiver than the Ducks and much more pass-oriented. The Ducks are a decidedly run-first team. That's the first question of the game: Can USC slow down the Ducks run game and force Marcus Mariota to throw more than he has this season.
Hookymeister (Not in class) If Cal loses at home to UW, will this be the sign that they have quit on Tedford? (and means he will be definitely gone???)
Ted Miller (3:35 PM) Quit is a strong term. There's been little evidence that the Bears players don't like Tedford. It is possible that they've accepted a bad season and they've lost confidence. It's difficult to play football when you have no confidence. ... At 3-7 and certain to not get a bowl berth, it's clear that Tedford would be in deep trouble, and I get no joy in typing that. I've worked well with him since he was hired in 2002.
Phi Slamma Jamma (Los Eugeneles) You seem to be an advocate of the Pac going to an 8-game conference schedule. Do you think that can really happen without undoing the NorCal/SoCal rivalry "fiction" that has Cal/Stan playing SC/UCLA every year? Seems the NW schools would object to playing in L.A. only once in a blue moon.
Ted Miller (3:46 PM) I think the conference should play 8 games because it's good for the conference as a whole in terms of bowl placement and national standing. But there would be sacrifices. No more N-Cal/S-Cal guaranteed games. Fewer S-Cal trips for the NW schools. It's not perfect. But I believe it would be better. You'd have 5-7 teams become 6-6 and 10-2 teams become 11-1. Those upgrades matter.
Andy (Mundelein, IL) Chances of ASU running the table? I like their chances this weekend against OSU. USC, while the game is in LA, is coming off the big Oregon game and may be primed for a let down. Wazzu is ok, but game is at home. The only question mark I have would be the Terriorial Cup because not sure which UA team will show...the one that destroyed UW or the one that couldn't score against UO.
Ted Miller (3:49 PM) It's possible... it will be interesting to see how the Sun Devils respond at Oregon State because it's been an emotional two weeks. I'd like their chances of running the table better with a healthy Will Sutton. I must admit I'm sorta rooting for the Territorial Cup to have some real meaning in the Pac-12 picture, making a bitter rivalry relevant to the entire conference.
Chris G (Issquah) wouldn't you rather see the rest of the chickens play 9 conference games rather then the pac dumbing our schedule down to 8 like the rest of the conferences (Big 12 withstanding)
Ted Miller (3:52 PM) Sure ... the ultimate answer is that every conference that wants to be part of the FBS system plays the same format. 8 or 9, it only is an issue when one conference does it one way and others do it another way.
Brad (Atlanta) Ted, I am an SEC fan and am curious as to the differences between the Oregon team from this year vs. the 2011 team that lost to an Auburn team with a sub-par defense. I understand they are an offensive juggernaut and the D is improved, but what makes this team seem more capable of beating a time like Bama with a superior defense?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM) This is an interesting question, because it demonstrates a disconnect with reality Pac-12 folks see with SEC folks. Go back and look at the national title game. How many SEC teams held Auburn to 22 points? Oregon had a good defense in 2010, and this one looks like it's better. A bit bigger up front, while still being fast.