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 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Tim Griffin (4:04 PM)
All right. A little getting in today. But fire away. I'm ready when you are.
Tim, who do you think will win the Michigan State-Notre Dame this weekend? MSU is a big time sleeper in the big ten waiting to erupt, and Ringer is a heisman sleeper as long as he stays healthy.
Tim Griffin (4:05 PM)
Corey: I think you are exactly right. Notre Dame might not be the Notre Dame of earlier years, but it still holds some cache - particularly after they thumped Michigan last week. If Michigan State can win that game, I think it gives the program some new life and earns that sleeper status. And if Ringer can go for more than 200 - which might not be a stretch against that Notre Dame team - he will start getting some Heisman mention.
Brandon (Salt Lake)
Do you think the Big 12 should look at upgrading to TCU from Baylor? Or the Pac 10 adding Utah and BYU?
Tim Griffin (4:08 PM)
Brandon: I don't see any conference realignment at the current time. Many people down here in Texas have always wondered why Baylor was picked in front of TCU. It's left me with the age old question. Would you rather be Baylor getting all the largesse of being in the Big 12, or would you rather be TCU, known consistently as one of the best non-BCS schools in the country. I think both Utah schools would be fine additions. I also think schools like Fresno State and Boise State would be key additions to the Mountain West if that ever happened.
Brent (Dallas, TX)
I know that we are only 3 weeks into the season but have your preseason picks changed? How about your opinion on teams?
Tim Griffin (4:09 PM)
Brent: My picks in the Big 12 have been tweaked. I moved Oklahoma over Missouri two weeks ago and think they now are my favorite to win the conference championship. I really like how much Bradford has developed in the last year and like Broyles at wide receiver. And the addition of Clayton and Wilson at linebacker and the two new cornerbacks make me think this could be a special OU team.
Jake (Hampton Nation)
Tim, What are the chances of Derrick Washington being a household name by the end of the season? Is he the best Mizzou RB since Devon West?
Tim Griffin (4:10 PM)
Jake: How soon everybody seems to forget Tony Temple ... It hasn't been a surprise that Washington has developed like he has. And he could develop into one of Missouri's all-time greats. He just needs to keep progressing.
ataylor (Provo, UT)
Tim, how fun would a BYU-Missouri Fiesta Bowl game be? And what would the final score be?
Tim Griffin (4:11 PM)
I think that would be a great game. Chase Daniel vs. Max Hall. Two secondaries that can be beaten. How about 1,200 yards of total offense and 100 points? How about Mizzou, 51-50?
Are Tech's 5 ints closer to a sign of things to come or just playing against a Freshman QB?
Tim Griffin (4:14 PM)
Steve: I think that Tech's secondary has shown some improvement this season. But it was helped by the freshman QB as you said, particularly early in the game. I think they will get a surprising test from UMass QB Liam Coen this week. He's thrown 75 TD passes in his career and supposedly has some good receivers. It will be interesting to see if Charbonnet can have another big game like last week.
Blake (Columbia, MO)
Hey Tim, in your mailbag you said that the Granger play was a retaliation play, but now he's out for at least 4-6 weeks. Don't you think those three Washington linemen should be punished somehow?
Tim Griffin (4:16 PM)
Blake: Interesting comments from fan in Columbia. I think the videos I've seen of the play make me believe there was some clear retaliation involved. But it's hard to give Granger a pass because of the personal foul he picked up the previous play. It's been interesting that Bob Stoops hasn't jumped on the soap box about this. I think if he had really been forceful about this, something might have happened.
Brent (Dallas, TX)
Do you think Graham Harrell will be a solid pro QB? With his family background in football and his dedication I think he has a good chance.
Tim Griffin (4:19 PM)
Brent: It's been interesting that none of Mike Leach's quarterbacks have gone on to become a regular NFL starter. I know that Kliff Kingsbury got a lot of game checks, but hasn't gotten much NFL playing time. Harrell does have the family background, but I wonder how he will do in a typical pro offense. He probably has as good a chance as any Tech quarterback, but he doesn't have the size or arm strength like somebody like Josh Freeman to wow scouts.
Rusty (Wichita, Kans.)
Tim, is Nebraska flying under the radar a bit by staying on pay-per-view without the national exposure? What's your take on the Huskers final record? I'm guessing 8-4.
Tim Griffin (4:22 PM)
Rusty: Like I wrote earlier this morning, there might be a reason why the Cornhuskers aren't minding playing on pay per view $$$ But they'll start playing the Big 12 schools soon enough. They'll have tough road trips to Texas Tech and Oklahoma. And I really like their home schedule with games against Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. They should get one of those games and maybe two. So that being the case, I think an 8-4 or 9-3 record is entirely possible. And that would likely be able to get you to the Gator Bowl, Alamo Bowl or Sun Bowl, depending what the teams in front of Nebraska have done. Not bad for a first year with Pelini, would it be?
Do you think Josh Freeman has a chance in the NFL? I know playing for a winning program plays a big role in a QB's draft stock, so will scouts be able to overlook Feeman playing for a consistant 5-7 team?
Tim Griffin (4:24 PM)
Kent: I most definitely do. You can't coach the size and arm strength that he has. And the fact that he's played in a pro-style offense will give him a chance where some of the smaller quarterbacks in the Big 12 like Reesing, Daniel and McCoy might not receive. He can't afford meltdowns like he had last night, but I can see Freeman having a long NFL career.
Tim Griffin (4:27 PM)
Fred: I'm seeing some other teams play defense, too. What about the job that Iowa did on Iowa State last week? Florida State has played well and check out an underrated defense tomorrow night when Connecticut plays Baylor. But you are right that the most consistently good defense I've seen all season has come from USC and the SEC powers like Auburn, Kentucky, Florida and Alabama.
Andrew (Salina, KS)
Will the Big 12 North be decided on that one sole game in November again (KU vs. MU)?
Tim Griffin (4:28 PM)
Andrew: I don't think so. Kansas' conference schedule is too hard. If the Jayhawks don't get their running game going quickly, I think the Tigers might be well past them by the time the regular season finishes.
In his chat yesterday, Mel Kiper said that K State was the "sleeper team" in the Big 12 North. Surely he meant "sleepy team". Did I misread his comment?
Tim Griffin (4:30 PM)
Dennis: I think you were right on the second count. I think KSU really needed that game last night to prove it could contend in the Big 12 North. The Wildcats showed flashes and again look to have a productive special teams that will win them a game or two that maybe they shouldn't. But they've got to stop somebody. That run defense in the second half was pretty weak.
Tim Griffin (4:32 PM)
John: It will be interesting to see. I've been very impressed with OSU rebuilding job on the defense without Bowman and Savage from last season. I still am not convinced about their defense and I'll defer until maybe their first two conference games against A&M and Missouri before I break out the annoiting oils.
I was reluctantto believe that Texas Tech would give Oklahoma a fight for the Big 12 south title, but to my dismay after watching them play I think they will be 3rd in the south.I know it is september,but What is your opinion on how the raiders will end up in the south?
Tim Griffin (4:35 PM)
Truman: You sound like you've been talking to Mike Leach. I was amazed at the pointed criticism he had about his receivers and quarterback - which I read to mean he was indirectly criticizing Harrell and Crabtree. There still is much room for improvement both offensively and defensively. Too bad they don't have more of a test than Massachusetts. Really, it's too bad that Tulsa backed out on them before the season. I see the Red Raiders winning nine or 10 games, but I might have to put Texas slightly ahead of them now. I wouldn't have done that this summer.
R.J. (Hesston, KS)
Tim, time to throw you a bit of a curveball, but what are your top environments in which to cover/attend a game in the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (4:37 PM)
R.J. - Great question. I'd like to elaborate it on it more fully in a mailbag. But in general, I love to cover games at A&M (except for the long drive back home late at night), Texas (best and most comfortable accomodations in college football), Oklahoma (strong SID staff), Texas Tech (homey feel, don't know what Leach will say) and Nebraska (best fans, great big-game feel). But I'll do some thinking and give it a better answer in a mailbag.
Farbod (Los Angeles)
Who do you like tonight? The Buffs should win. WVU is not the same team as last year. They lost to many defensive players and Slaton.
Tim Griffin (4:38 PM)
Farbod: I agree that West Virginia isn't as good as the team last year. The loss of Rich Rod was huge for them, too. But I'm not sure Colorado beats them at this point of the season. Maybe later, but I'm wondering about tonight. Key for the Buffs will be for Hawkins to stay away from mistakes and a couple of big plays from the special teams.
Pat, Virginia Beach
Tim, I saw an interesting stat today. Missouri's defense played worse last year in the first three games than this year, and still finished best in the Big 12. Couldn't the panic over the Tiger's secondary be a little premature?
Tim Griffin (4:40 PM)
Pat, it might. And thanks for a possible graphic I can put together. But I was concerned by the success that Juice Williams had against them and by Kaepernick at stretches of the Nevada game. The offense has been playing lights out, but I just don't know if they can run through the Big 12 winning games 55-45 every week.
Diane (Fort Worth, TX)
How much of a chance do you think Texas has against Oklahoma in October?
Tim Griffin (4:41 PM)
Diane: I give the Longhorns a puncher's chance of a knockout. By that, I mean everything would have to go perfect for them. A couple of turnovers, a big day by Colt McCoy and some consistent running and the Longhorns might make a few fans choke on their corny dogs on Oct. 11
Kent (Cushing, Iowa)
What was it, 2006, when Mich/OSU played late in Nov. and were undefeated? There was talk that there could possibly be a rematch in the title game (those two teams were later exposed in the bowl games). Could such a possibility exsist if Mizzou/OU both reach the conference championship undefeated and USC and the SEC teams all have two losses?
Tim Griffin (4:43 PM)
Kent: Interesting question. I was fortunate enough to attend that game from a job in another life. It was one of the best assignments I ever had. I could see there might be some impetus for a rematch if Oklahoma and Missouri both are undefeated. But that's putting the cart way before the horse. I could see all SEC having two losses, but I don't necessarily see USC with two. It would be an interesting situation.
Is there any way you see nc state pulling off the upset over ECU this weekend?
Tim Griffin (4:45 PM)
Kevin: Don't think so. ECU has been one of the most impressive teams I've seen this season. It will be interesting to see how Skip Holtz has them playing after their less-than-impressive performance against Tulane last week.
JF (San Juan, PR)
Tim you dodged the MSU-ND question. Could you, please, pick one of the teams to win?
Tim Griffin (4:46 PM)
J.F.: O.K., but only for you. I'll take MSU because of the home field and a dash too much Ringer.
Michael (Atlanta, GA)
I'm a little offended by your analysis of Texas' chance vs. OU. Last year's Texas team was the worst I've seen in 10 years, and they lost to OU by basically one play (J. Charles fumble on the goal line). OU is about the same as last year, and Texas is much better considering we handled both of our first 2 opponents unlike last year. Are you really getting swept up in the annual early season OU hype?
Tim Griffin (4:49 PM)
Michael: Don't necessarily agree with you, but I respect your opinion. As I said earlier, OU's offense is better than last year's. Texas hasn't been tested and they still don't have that pesky running back situation settled. And they also have two freshman safeties.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Which middle of the pack Big 12 team has the best chance to pull off the inevitable upset over one of the elite teams in the conference? Colorado? Nebraska? KState?
Tim Griffin (4:50 PM)
Clay: I'll say Nebraska or Oklahoma State. I love Nebraska's home schedule with home games against Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. And keep your eyes peeled for Nov. 29. It would be interesting to see if Oklahoma has to beat Oklahoma State (in Stillwater) to claim the South title and keep alive their BCS hopes.
Omar (Davidson, NC)
Tim, if USC, OU, and Florida go undefeated this year, who will be the odd team left out? Would it be Oklahoma, considering how many people would love to see USC take on one of the SEC's best?
Tim Griffin (4:52 PM)
Omar: That's an interesting question. Would be interesting to see how the computers winnow that out. But there's no doubt that there still is a little stigma for the Sooners about their BCS woes in recent seasons. It would be interesting to see if that would harm this team.
Chris Fowler said that USC's whooping of OSU was more impressive than Florida's 2006 title game whooping of OSU. Keep in mind that Florida outgained OSU by 300 yards and had 20 minutes more time of possession, whereas USC only outgained OSU by 140 yards and lost T.O.P. by 4 minutes. Do you agree with Fowler?
Tim Griffin (4:53 PM)
Nick: I agree with Chris. It just seemed like the Trojans were toying with OSU. Obviously, not having Beanie Wells hurt. But it was still a convincing beatdown, no matter how you want to judge it.
Mark (Costa Mesa, CA)
UNC alum here. What do you think of our chances against Va Tech this weekend? Also, what about Brandon Tate for Heisman? Is that a pipe-dream, or does he have an outside shot?
Tim Griffin (4:55 PM)
Mark; Butch Davis had the Tar Heels headed in the right direction. And the ACC isn't nearly as strong as the other major conferences. You'll have a shot at the Hokies, paticularly if they are looking past you thinking about Nebraska. But Tate for Heisman might be a tad far-fetched. Too many other guys are getting publicity and playing better in front of him.
Darren (Lubbock, Texas)
Is Texas' defense as bad as last year? Will Texas Tech and Missouri still pile up huge numbers against Texas' pass defense this year?
Tim Griffin (4:56 PM)
Darren: The young Texas backs scare me against both of those teams. Key will be the pass rush. Longhorns have produced only two sacks this season and must improve quickly to have success against the Big 12's top passers.
Pat (St. Louis)
Tim, what would be your ranking of the top 5 wide reciever corps in the Big 12?
Tim Griffin (4:59 PM)
Pat: How about 1. Crabtree 2. Maclin 3. Bryant 4. Dezmon Briscoe 5. Kerry Meier I'd also probably shove Coffman into that list somewhere if you wanted me to include tight ends.
Louis: (Midland, Texas)
How ugly will it get in College Station this year? It looks like Baylor might be better than Texas A&M.
Tim Griffin (5:00 PM)
Louis: Might be. That's why Saturday's game against Miami is so big. It will be interesting to see how the Aggies respond to their week off.
Jason (Austin, TX)
Okay, Longhorn fan here, and I love the QB recognition that the conference is receiving but realistically (besides Freeman) do you see first round NFL caliber QB's in this year's or next year's draft?
Tim Griffin (5:01 PM)
Jason: Agree with you, although maybe Bradford could morph into a late bloomer. But the other Big 12 quarterbacks have the stigma of being short guys who play in offenses tailored for their talents. That's why Freeman might be the only one of this group to get a high NFL draft position.
Tim Griffin (5:03 PM)
Pat: Sorry about that 1. Missouri 2. Texas Tech 3. Oklahoma 4. Kansas 5. Oklahoma State
Tim Griffin (5:04 PM)
Guys: Thanks again for all of the questions. I've got to run. Enjoy the games this weekend. How about same time next week?