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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Pac-12 chat wrap

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

You can re-live the Pac-12 chat in its entirety here.

But if that sounds too much fun, then here is a more manageable version.

Tim (ATL)the discussion of whether teams should have to be conference champs to be in BCS title/tourney has focused a lot on the bama-LSU issues, though the real issue to me is a situation where Stanford could have gotten in ahead of the champ of its own conference. Do you think this should separate into tow parts - whether a conference can get 2 teams in the top-4, vs. whether a non-champ can just the champ of the same conference? thanks!

Ted Miller (3:03 PM) It's all very complicated because we're going to have to make a very small distinction: top 4 teams. That's going to involve plenty of subjectivity, only slight less than the top-2 of the BCS rankings. I think the process should put a high priority on being a conference champion.

Stephen (El Segundo, Ca) Ted, with all the talk of a play-off heating up, isn't the only logical system one in which the playoff consists of all of the FBS conference champions, and only the champions? This eliminates any arguments about different scheduling practices between the conferences and also eliminates the incentive to schedule weak out-of-conference games. Maybe it will also eliminate some of the insane conference realignments that have recently happened.

Ted Miller (3:11 PM) I think so. I think Larry Scott and Jim Delany, if they are forced to compromise on the Rose Bowl, should force the SEC to compromise on this... There will be exceptions, of course. It's possible one year we have a couple of 3-loss conference champs and need to revert to a ranking system that provides an exception.

Jason (Seattle) Coach Graham said he wants to see some separation in the qb competition. To me Eubanks' spring numbers seem to separate him (at least a little bit) from the other two...or is that just me hoping that a red shirted top recruit will come in and save my team?

Ted Miller (3:12 PM) Eubank has plenty of upside and I feel certain he will play. But Bercovici is a MUCH better passer. My thought is Bercovici wins the job and Eubank sees plenty of action...

Don (Berkeley, CA) Ted, can you let me know how the young DTs, Moala and Jahli, are progressing? Will one of them step up this year for Tedford?

Ted Miller (3:22 PM) Jalil plays outside... Both had good springs... Jalil seems a likely starter and Moala is competing with Kendrick Payne... Cal's D-line looks strong on paper and it looked strong when I visited.

DuckDude (Barkley's Nitemares) Will there be a more dominant linebacker corp in the Pac-12 than Oregon's Kiko, Clay, Lokombo trio?

Ted Miller (3:23 PM) Stanford is probably No. 1, followed by Oregon... Cardinal runs 8 deep with really good players...

Tim (San Diego) Given that Jim Mora came in with a new philosophy and trying to change the culture, its a little disheartening that we are in year infinity of quarterback competitions between the same mediocre guys. Expectations are dwindling. What are realistic expectations for UCLA's offense and defense?

Ted Miller (3:26 PM) Well, Mora couldn't just magically solve longstanding QB issues... It seems like Mazzone's system is a better fit for all 3. And it seems that Hundley has not yet arrived and his lack of experience has him behind Brehaut and Prince. Realistic expectations starts with improvement. The numbers should be better on both sides of the ball and the Bruins should win more than 6 games.

Johnny (Swat Lake City ) Ted- Who has the most difficult Schedule top to bottom of all the PAC next year ?

Ted Miller (3:31 PM) Cal... at Ohio State, at USC, at Utah... also Stanford and Oregon... or maybe Washington... at LSU (ouch) & at Oregon... plus USC, Utah and Stanford, though all at home.

The real Rob (SLC) In order to get to know the Pac-12 better, we've decided to follow the Utes to one away game each season. Last year it was USC in the Coliseum. What's your recommendation for our away game this year?

Ted Miller (3:32 PM) Washington .... Seattle is a righteous town. Great restaurants... best seafood in the US (sorry Bay Area).

CBROWN (NINE MILE FALLS) Is Marquess Wilson back on path after the ribbing he took from Coach Leach? He sure stepped up Saturday.

Ted Miller (3:34 PM) not sure he ever lost his way.... Leach is just pushing him to get better and not be satisfied... Looks like the motivational ploy worked, based on the spring game.

DuckDude (Barkley's Nitemares) Who is scarier in their senior year, TJ McDonald or John Boyett?

Ted Miller (3:36 PM) Both are very good. I wouldn't go over the middle vs. either. McDonald is more highly rated and is a likely preseason All-American. And I know that bothers Boyett to no end. I'm fairly certain they will be the first-team All-Pac-12 safeties. It will be interesting to see what they run at the combine.

Anton (Seattle) What would Keith Price need to do in order for him to be talked about in the Heisman race?

Ted Miller (3:39 PM) Well, a win at LSU with 3-4 TD passes would be nice. The Huskies early schedule is brutal. If Price plays well and the Huskies head to Arizona on Oct. 20 with no more than 2 losses, he might be able to play himself into the discussion as the schedule eases up.

Greg (LA, CA) Who do you project as the best offensive linemen in the conference this year?

Ted Miller (3:44 PM) Tough one... no first-team All-Pac-12 O-lineman returns and just 2 second-teamers. Probably one of 1 USC guys: C Khaled Holmes or OT Aundrey Walker. Maybe Stanford OT Cameron Fleming.

Ben (Portland) All the spring talk around the Beavers' defense has been about the talent and improvement on the edges. But their biggest weakness last year was up the middle. With all the same guys back next year, and nobody saying they've seen improvement, how can there be any realistic hope for a meaningfully tougher "D?"

Ted Miller (3:46 PM) It seems to me Oregon State is going to need to cover up its lack of talent and depth at DT... The best it seems they can hope for is guys who maintain their ground and take up blockers so LBs (and DEs) can make plays.

IPM (Park City) What players on Utah's defense do you think will step up there game this season other than star?

Ted Miller (3:48 PM) Lots of guys... the Krugers will both be better... Sounds like they are pretty happy at LB despite losing 2 starters, Martinez and Walker....Free safety Eric Rowe had a nice freshman year.

Puddles (Duck Park, OR) I'm really excited for Saturday, what should I be looking for in the spring game? WRs, QBs, Safeties? Things to watch etc?

Ted Miller (3:50 PM) QBs and WRs... How well will Bennett/Mariota sync up with his WRs when they finally play in front of a crowd? I'm curious about whether Mariota can live up to the hype that says he's a legit threat to win the job.

Ron (Sacramento, CA) Any chance Cal can beat Ohio State on the road? Anything working in Cal's favor?

Ted Miller (3:53 PM) Yes... Ohio State is lousy on the O-line and Cal's front-7 is probably going to be the most athletic the Buckeyes see all season. That one could end up 17-10. Should be low scoring.

Jim (Portland) Both UCLA and ASU have well-known locker room issues. Who do you think is doing a better job fixing them?

Ted Miller (4:00 PM) That's hard to say. Players talk about how close everybody is becoming. Then when losing starts, things fall apart. We can't measure a locker room by words. We've got to see how it handles adversity. Or if it helps create a team that outplays its talent. My impression at present is both Graham and Mora have done a good job of getting their players attention and have set down clear standards. But you can't really measure anything until we see how things hold up during the season. Are guys still playing hard late in the season? Is the team better in game 11 than in game 2? That's how you measure those things.