Chat with Tim Griffin
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 in The Show at noon ET on Thursday.
Tim Griffin (12:01 PM)
Good morning. I'm anxious to talk a little college football . Please fire away ...
Jim (Parkersburg, WV)
Tim, Kansas and USF next week is an underrated matchup. I think the Bulls will pull it off. Your thoughts?
Tim Griffin (12:03 PM)
Jim: I don't know underrated it will be. It arguably will be the best non-conference game for a Big 12 next weekend, so a lot of people in this area are excited about it. Kansas has some concerns that they have to address. Their running game struggled last week against Florida Interntational. Jocques Crawford, their heralded back who talked about rushing for 2,000 yards, got about 39 I think. So they need to improve this week against La Tech. But I see this as a great test for them. Win this game and they will show to the rest of the nation they weren't a one-hit wonder. But if they lose, a lot of people are going to think that last season was a fluke.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Tim, Is McCoy back? Is this underdog role the best thing to happen to the longhorns?
Tim Griffin (12:04 PM)
Blake: Yes and Yes. I saw Texas play last week and was very impressed with what McCoy did. It might have been the best game I've ever seen him play. And I do think the underdog role really suits Texas. It's rare for them in the Mack Brown era to be in this situation. But I think the players like that everybody is doubting them nationally and I'm sure deep down that Brown does, too.
Patrick (St. Louis)
If you were Gary Pinkel, would you even think about playing Jeremy Maclin or William Moore against Southeast Missouri? It seems to me that it is too big of a risk to take.
Tim Griffin (12:06 PM)
Patrick: I agree with you completely. It's too much of a risk to play either of those players this week. You might argue that they should rest until conference play begins. But both players want to play and it's hard to tell them no. Moore's return will help shore some of their problems from last week after they got Juiced. And Maclin's impact on every play makes him the most valuable Missouri player. So I can understand why Gary Pinkel would want both of them out there. But if I was him, I would take my time bringing them both back to the lineup.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Who did you pick as the number #1 team in the country, in the last vote?
Tim Griffin (12:07 PM)
Will: In our poll, I picked Ohio State. I was very impressed with their performance - especially without Beanie. My second place vote - and it was close - went to USC
If you had 1 game to go to this year would it be TT @ OU or mizzou @ Texas??
Tim Griffin (12:08 PM)
Sylvain: Very tough choice there. Both games should have huge impact on the Big 12 title race. I'm enough of a traditionalist that a game like Texas-Oklahoma or Kansas-Missouri also would hold my appeal. But as to your question, could I go to both?
Casey (Midwest City, OK)
True/False: Oklahoma will be in the top 5 in scoring offense.
Tim Griffin (12:09 PM)
Casey: I believe that will be true. I think offenses will dominate in the Big 12 once conference play begins. Somewhere, Barry Switzer will be smiling because I can see this OU team regularly hanging half-a-hundred on opponents.
Sara (Boston, MA)
Tim, I love your blogs. If McCoy plays the way he did on Saturday, does Texas have a shot on October 11?
Tim Griffin (12:11 PM)
Sara: Thanks for your kind words. I aim to please. And in answer to your question, if McCoy plays like he did last week, the Longhorns will have a puncher's chance of beating Oklahoma. They still need for Fozzy Whittaker to emerge as an outside running threat. But if McCoy plays like he did last week, they should be in good shape.
Michael (Atlanta, GA)
What are some of your favorite places to eat in Big 12 cities?
Tim Griffin (12:12 PM)
Michael: Great question that I can't really do justice in this format. I might answer it in a mailbag question, if that's OK. But it starts at El Arroyo in Austin, along with the Hereford House and Strouds in Kansas City and a bunch of others. I'll give this some time and answer more diligently later.
Michael (Atlanta, GA)
Can you say anything negative about any team, city, fan base, or coach in the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (12:14 PM)
Michael: How about this? Texas A&M was one of the biggest disappointments in college football last week. Kansas' rushing game was definitely not up to what they'll need to be competitive. The wind blows too hard in Oklahoma City sometimes. I don't like to drive from San Antonio to Austin or Waco on Interstate 35. Does that work?
Everyone was getting my hopes up during the preseason, then we lose our opener... any chance we rebound and win the big east?
Tim Griffin (12:15 PM)
Pittfan: Doesn't look like it. Might be a bigger accomplishment for Dave Wannstedt to keep the wolves away from his door at the end of the season.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Tim, I herd Mack Brown refrence Blake Gideon to Drey Bly. Can he be that good? Why was he not that well known nationaly as a recruit?
Tim Griffin (12:16 PM)
Blake: I heard Mack make that comment and he might be stretching things a tad. But Gideon kind of was under the recruiting radar. And he really blossomed once he got to college. He's a good indicator of why reporting to school a semester early is good sometimes.
Tim....you're the Big 12 blooger. Tell me.....why does the Big 12 get so much love? Kansas and Missouri are the two most overrated teams in the nation. Nebraska isnt what it used to be. A&M is just embarrassing. Sure, Tech can put up a million points, but there defense will give up as many as they score. The only two respectable teams are OU and Texas, and Texas cant win the big one as of late. Whats going on?
Tim Griffin (12:19 PM)
Mike: I'm going to respectfully disagree with you here. I think the Big 12 is getting a lot of national publicity because of all of the quarterbacks in the conference. No other conference has that many. Missouri and Kansas are both coming off their best recent season in maybe forever. Both teams appear to be better this season. So I think it will again be a good season in the Big 12. The key for the conference to change national perceptions like yours will be to have teams like Missouri and Kansas break that hammerlock at the top of the conference that has been maintained for so long by Texas and Oklahoma.
Conner, Houston, Tx
I saw in your predictions you only had Texas beating the Miners by 19 this weekend. Vegas has a 27 point spread. I realize that guessing scores is a shot in the dark, but what about the Miners makes you think it won't be a blowout?
Tim Griffin (12:21 PM)
Conner: Couple of reasons I think UTEP will make it a game for about 2 1/2 quarters. This will be arguably the biggest game in UTEP school history. A sellout crowd will be there along with national tv. So I think the Miners will be pumped. Also, I might be a little worried about Texas' young secondary in their first game away from home - particularly without Lamarr Houston in the lineup. I know Aaron Lewis will replace him, but the Longhorns could have used him in El Paso
know it's only been 1 week's worth of games, but can you give us your current top 5 in the Heisman race?
Tim Griffin (12:24 PM)
Kris: Here's the ballot I filed for this past week 1. Daniel 2. Tebow 3. White 4. Sanchez 5. Navy RB Shun White
Good morning Tim, what are the chances of Houston marching into Stillwater and stealing a win out from under the Cowboys this weekend?? We beat them a couple years ago with Kolb, but I think Case Keenum maybe the second coming. Thanks.
Tim Griffin (12:26 PM)
Norman: I think that the UH-OSU game will be an underrated kind of game that could be interesting. But after talking to some OSU guys from the Houston area this week, I know they are excited about getting some payback for Houston's most recent victory. Case Keenum is going to be challenged by a defense that quite frankly is a lot better than I thought it was.
Mike Welch (NYC)
Can Demarco Murray rush for 2000 yards this season?
Tim Griffin (12:27 PM)
Mike: Don't think so for a couple of reasons. OU has got so many good backs that I don't think Murray will get the touches he needs. And I'm also concerned about how inury-prone he has been earlier in his career.
Will (Potomac Falls, VA)
After that lack luster performance @ UCLA, can the Vols rebound quick enough to contend for the east title?
Tim Griffin (12:28 PM)
Will: Don't think so. Florida and Georgia are too good anyway. And the Vols showed some defensive cracks against UCLA that concern me when they start facing guys like Tebow and Stafford.
Upset alert - Do you think the dogs can pull it out in any of these games - Central Michigan/UGA, Cincinnati/Oklahome, or WVU/Eastern Carolins?
Tim Griffin (12:30 PM)
No, I think all three of these dogs are headed for trouble. Although if you were asking me what team has the best upset hopes, I would think it might be East Carolina.
kienan: (broken bow, ok(
what will it take for you to put ou ahead of missouri in your personal rankings? Do we have to wait for the championship game when OU beats them for a seventh consecutive time (if mizzou makes it)?
Tim Griffin (12:33 PM)
Kienan: I noticed your home city. I'm doing my rankings on a weekly basis. Still have Missouri ahead of OU. I'll be interested in how the Sooners play this week against Cincinnati. I think we can almost throw the Chattanooga game as a glorified scrimamge. Some of my friends up in Oklahoma called that the most one-sided matchup in OU's proud football history. After looking at the final score and final box leads me to believe that, too.
Billy (Houston, Texas)
Can Mike Goodson have a good enough year with such a depleted offensive line to go pro after this year?
Tim Griffin (12:34 PM)
Billy: It's gonna be tough. That line really looked inexperienced against Arkansas State and the tough teams haven't even started kicking in yet.
Joshua (Carnesville, GA)
No Knowshown in your top 5? He only had 8 carries and three went for touchdowns. You Big 12 Homer.
Tim Griffin (12:35 PM)
Joshua: Don't know if I would be considered a homer or not.I'll be waiting for more from Knowshown as the season continues.
Sure Kansas and Missouri might break the hammerlock in the Big 12, but there is no way, right now, they can compete with the USCs, the Florida's, the Georgia's, or even the OUs.
Tim Griffin (12:36 PM)
Mike: We'll see. I think both programs are at the level of Texas for this season. And if you are talking about those four schools, those are the elite teams in college football. Nobody else can compete with them, either.
Terence (New York, NY)
Tim, can we get a little love for the OU defense. Everyone says this will be the chink in the armor for them but holding Chatanooga (yes I know it?s a mediocre 1AA team) to 36 YARDS all game!! They have one of the best D-lines in America, 2 top safety?s in Lendy Holmes and Nic Harris, athletic corners, and when has reloading at linebacker ever been a problem for Brent Venables (who had heard of Curtis Lofton before last year).
Tim Griffin (12:37 PM)
Terence: I agree with you about the scintillating performance against Chattanooga. Thing that impressed me most were the 0-for-16 on third down plays. But let's see them do it against Cincinnati before we start comparing them to the 1985 Bears.
Jeff (Lincoln, NE)
Does Nebraksa have a chance against Mizzou? I'm thinking yes, here's why. Mizzou doesn't win in Lincoln often, their "d" didn't look great against Illinois(and Ganz and company are comparable at least), Pelini will have the Blackshirts playing pretty well by the conference opener, and he has a lot of experience against the spread.
Tim Griffin (12:41 PM)
Jeff: You make some great points. I think the Cornhuskers will have a great shot at an upset if we don't see the Tigers improve between now and then. And it looks like Bo has got the people kind of fired up in Nebraska, doesn't it?
JT (Minneapolis, MN)
How much trouble do you think TCU will give OU?
Tim Griffin (12:42 PM)
JT: They gave them a lot of trouble their last time in Norman, but I think that gets Bob Stoops' attention this time around. Also, the Sooners aren't going to run out of defensive ends from injuries like they did the last time that TCU visited. But Gary Patterson will cook up a nice game plan and challenge the Sooners. I'm thinking that could be OU's toughest non-conference game.
Michael (Lufkin, TX)
How could we get Arkansas into the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (12:43 PM)
Michael: The pig left the station, so to speak, as soon as all that big television money started flowing to the SEC the last few months. We're not going to see that, now.
Jesse (Belleville, IL)
So Tim what's for lunch?
Tim Griffin (12:44 PM)
Jesse: A tough turnaround today after the chat. I've got right a story on Tech and Nevada, followed by a radio show and filming of an "insider's segment" So I might just grab an apple or something.
Stephen (Columbia, MO)
Do you think OU team this year is as good as last year's team which beat Mizzou twice? Do you think Mizzou has a better chance to beat OU this year?
Tim Griffin (12:46 PM)
Stephen: That is the reason I think Missouri is slightly better. The Sooners don't have Malcolm Kelly, Curtis Lofton, Reggie Smith or Garrett Hartley from last season. I think they took a drop and I think Missouri kept more of its good players. I do think they have a shot to beat OU - at Arrowhead in the Big 12 title game. But they better do something about that pass defense, or it's not gonna happen.
Is Mike Sherman on the hot seat?
Tim Griffin (12:46 PM)
Andrew: Hard to believe after one game, but he is. That's why I think the A&M-New Mexico game is the most intriguing one in the conference right now.
Josh (Provo, UT)
I need you to help settle a bet with my friend from CU. He said if BYU was in the Big 12 this year they wouldn't win one game and wouldn't even be competitive in any of the games either. I disagree. Could BYU be competitive with any team in the Big 12 and maybe win a game?
Tim Griffin (12:47 PM)
Josh: I think BYU would be very competitive in the Big 12. See them at about the level of Oklahoma State, Nebraska, etc. That would be good enough to have them maybe challenging for a bowl game if they were healthy.
Jon (Charleston, WV)
who is the most underrated player in college Football?
Tim Griffin (12:48 PM)
Jon: That's an easy one - Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson
Calloway (Belleville, IL
Do you think Crabtree will make a run at the heisman
Tim Griffin (12:49 PM)
Calloway: Better start producing those 100-yard receiving games quick. Those 9 catches for 74 yards like he did against Eastern Washington won't cut it.
Matt (Kansas City, MO)
Tim, why does everyone think Kansas' defense will not be the same without Talib and McClinton this year??? Talib's replacements are Harris and Harper who both were impressive last year. Also, Kansas arguably has the best linebacker core in the country.
Tim Griffin (12:50 PM)
Matt: I agree with you about the linebacking corps. And while they'll miss Talib, the other guys are pretty good. They need to develop more of a forceful pass rush. And we'll get a good indication of how good they are next week against South Florida.
Do you think too many people are jumping the gun saying USC is for sure going to beat down Ohio State. Even as a Badgers fan I want Ohio State to win and represent the B10. I actually truely do see them winning behind their defense and runnin game, 24-17
Tim Griffin (12:51 PM)
Nate: I see a good comptitive game. And it's good to see your Big 12 allegiance remains strong. But just remember how hard it is to beat Pete Carroll at the L.A. Coliseum.
What do you got for the the wvu / col. game coming up in 2 wks?
Tim Griffin (12:52 PM)
I think West Virginia should win, but I've been very impressed with Colorado so far. Nice performance by the Buffs against CSU. And, Darrell Scott will have another game to play himself deeper into the rotation.
David Woodlands, Tx
Lunch at the Alamo Cafe...Puffy Tacos...and salsa...Do you see the Sooners covering the 21 points? Boomer!
Tim Griffin (12:53 PM)
David: I prefer Henry's here in San Antonio - that's where the puffy taco was perfected. But the flour tortillas at Alamo Cafe are good. Yes, I do see the Sooners covering the spread against the Bearcats when I think about it.
Patrick (St. Louis)
Tim, better future NFL star: Maclin or Crabtree?
Tim Griffin (12:55 PM)
Patrick: That's a tough question for this reason. Crabtree only has about three years of experience as a receiver. If he keep developing, I can see him blossoming into something special. And I wonder if NFL teams would consider using Maclin as both a receiver and a returner. That rarely happens at the next level because of the threat of injuries. That's being the case, I give the nod to Crabtee just by a slim margin.
Dave (Denver, CO)
Which team in the Big 12 is deepest at the running back position?
Tim Griffin (12:57 PM)
Dave: How about Nebraska and Oklahoma. I think any of those three backs at Nebraska could really blossom in the right situation - Lucky, Castille and Helu. And at OU, it's tough to match Murray, Brown, Madu and everybody else.
Matt (Kansas City, MO)
Will anyone in the Big Ten be able to beat Ohio State?? Seems to look kind of top heavy to me.
Tim Griffin (12:57 PM)
Matt: Seems top-heavy to me, too. But nobody would have said Illinois would beat the Buckeyes at this time last year. I don't know, maybe Wisconsin can give them a battle.
Tim, Des Moines
What do you think Iowa State's chances are of going 4-0 before starting conference play? Do they think they have a chance to surprise anyone in the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (12:58 PM)
Tim: Might be stretching things to go 4-0. I bet Gene Chizik would turn cartwheels if he could go 3-1. That being said, I think this game upcoming against Kent State is an interesting litmus test. It will be revealing to see how far the Cyclones have come from last year.
What do you think of Josh Freeman this year? How many games do you see KSU winning?
Tim Griffin (12:59 PM)
I know Ron Prince has repeatedly told everybody that Josh is his most improved player. I think they might have a shot to go 4-0 in non-conference - Louisville looks down. If they can pull that off, how about 7 wins?
so i guess your picking col.?
Tim Griffin (1:01 PM)
Justin: Not yet. Interested to see how West Va. plays against East Carolina and how healthy Colorado is. But West Virginia will be tested by the altitude and Colorado's no-huddle offense. That could be a potent attack.
Ryan (Lincoln, NE)
Who wins in a tag team wrestling match between the Stoops brothers and the Pelini brothers?
Tim Griffin (1:01 PM)
I'm not picking that one. It would be a war. Four competitive guys. I bet somebody would bring a chair in the ring, too.
Strongest conference. Big 12 or SEC?
Tim Griffin (1:02 PM)
Stephen: Still got to pick the SEC, although the Big 12 is gaining ground.
Tim Griffin (1:03 PM)
Guys: Thanks for all the questions. Let's do it again next week. tg