- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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The first Pac-12 chat of the offseason was a resounding success. We all had a blast, and at the end of the day I'd like to think that we all learned a little something about life ... and about ourselves. To get the full experience, you can see the complete chat here. Or you can check out the highlights and enjoy the astute questions of your brethren
Eric (KC): Can you see Stanford being an Alabama West in coming years?
Kevin Gemmell (2:01 PM): They have to start winning national championships before we can even remotely start making that comparison. For that matter -- the Pac-12 has to start winning some national championships.
paul (spokane): Hi Kevin, what is your opinion about the conclusion of the Pac 12 investigation into abuse allegations at WSU? I know Ted Miller typed up a commentary prior to it's closure and apparently it is time to move on...Inspite of his speculative criticisms.
Kevin Gemmell (2:07 PM): Obviously, it's good that WSU can put it behind them now. As you say, it's time to move on. It was a joke that it became what it was. Now they move into the offseason with a little momentum from the Apple Cup win and without this dark cloud hanging.
Andrew (Kansas City): Could Stanford vs. Oregon be one of the nation's top rivalries in the coming years if both schools are consistently dominant? I'm excited about this rivalry's true potential.
Kevin Gemmell (2:09 PM): Absolutely. It's not just a clash of great teams. It's conflicting philosophies, approaches to how the game is played -- coaches personalities, public school vs. private. Everything about it screams classic matchup ... if both stay at the top of their games.
Roman (LA): Now that the season's over, what was your favorite game?
Kevin Gemmell (2:17 PM): I'm be doing a post on this next week. But off the top of my head, I loved Stanford-Arizona, Oregon-USC, Washington-Stanford. Some great ones to choose from. Territorial and Apple Cups were great.
Peter K (Mountain View, CA): I'm seeing reports that Stanford OC Pep Hamilton is interviewing for the Va Tech OC job. A few questions: 1) Why would he possibly make this move? 2) Considering Stanford's mediocre offense this year, would it really be that awful if he left?
Kevin Gemmell (2:19 PM): I don't think the move makes sense either -- it's a lateral move to a weaker conference. But maybe he'd be groomed as the next head coach? Probably more money also. I think someone, say a Mike Bloomgren, who coordinates the running game could step up to OC. But Stanford has a lot of offensive holes they are going to have to fill next season. For as nasty as that defense is -- and it will be again -- the offense has lots of question marks.
College football fans (Everywhere): Do you think once the "playoff" system is initiated we will see even fewer compelling out of conference matchups during the season?
Kevin Gemmell (2:23 PM): I hope it will be the opposite. I hope they put a huge emphasis on strength of schedule and we'll see some of these teams that pad the front end of their schedule actually go out and play somebody.
Julian (Sunnyvale Trailer Park): What does the return of Will Sutton mean for ASU? Most people already had them in the mix to win the South so where would you put the now?
Kevin Gemmell (2:28 PM): It's huge. I watched the news conference and, I admit, I had a big smile on my face. He just looked so darn happy with his decision. Good for him, good for the school, good for the league, good for college football. I think ASU certainly improves its position for top of the South next year. Need to really study it, but the division favorite isn't out of the realm of possibility.
John (Mountain View, CA): Who is Stanford's starting running back next year?
Kevin Gemmell (2:30 PM): Not sure. Probably a by-committee approach until they figure some things out with Wilkerson, Seale, Young, Sanders. Someone will probably emerge in the spring as the primary and then it's a matter of where the rest fit in.
David F. (Calgary, Alberta): Hey Kev. Losing Barner this year is bad for UO. I know Marshall got some experience at the beginning of the year and Tyner is a nice recruit, but do you see Oregon's Offense balance a little more this next year?
Kevin Gemmell (2:36 PM): I think as Mariota becomes a better passer (not that wasn't pretty darn good this year) we could see more of that. But the Fiesta Bowl was a perfect example of what Oregon does. Once Colt started catching those passes over the middle, it opened everything up and they were able to run, run run. I don't see that changing.
Engineer Mike (Switzerland): I keep hearing comments about how Kelly's "system" would never work in the NFL, especially since he wouldn't have access to so many relatively highly-talented players. Call me crazy, but I feel like Oregon's success over the past 4 years is even more impressive since they've done it with (mostly) nobodies, at least at the time they were recruited. Thoughts?
Kevin Gemmell (2:39 PM): A good coach makes adjustments. And Kelly is a good coach. The big issue is finding a QB that can handle the system (without getting hurt), a team that isn't veteran heavy and [can adjust] to change, and a defense that can accept being on the field for a while. I think his "system" would evolve and he'd do just fine.
Matt (Boise): Week 1 off the season next year are you going to be in Seattle for BSU/Washington rematch? Does playing at home re-opening Husky Stadium give the the Huskies a big advantage in the game?
Kevin Gemmell (2:53 PM): Maybe? But then again, playing the first game in the newly remodeled stadium was supposed to be a huge boost for Cal. Ask Nevada how that worked out.