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 Friday!
Tim Griffin (4:01 PM)
OK guys, after a harrowing trip through Dallas traffic I'm here and ready. Fire away your questions, please.
Mitchell Harris St.Louis, Missouri
Do you think Mizzou will go to the BCS bowl game?
Tim Griffin (4:02 PM)
Mitch: Yes I do. I think it's looking like whoever wins the Big 12 title game will end up in the national championship. The loser will likely end up in the Fiesta Bowl. So Missouri, who I think will end up winning the North, has a great chance to head to Arizona.
Johnny G. (Kansas City, Mo)
Its clear Mizzou's offense is outstanding, but is their defense strong enough for the elite teams in the Big 12 South?
Tim Griffin (4:04 PM)
Johnny: We'll see in the next two weeks. We saw late last year that Missouri wasn't up for the challenge of playing Oklahoma. Gary Pinkel has said this defense is different. I think Willie Moore brings a swagger that is important. But we'll know a lot more about the Tigers after they play Oklahoma State and Texas. And the Cowboys will be an interesting first test.
Mike (Lexington, KY)
Mr Griffin...I believe that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. Does any of the top teams in the Big 12 have enough defense to win the championship?
Tim Griffin (4:06 PM)
Mike: I like your homage to a classic football cliche, but I agree with you. And I think that Oklahoma and Texas both have those kind of defenses. Texas Tech might. But I think Missouri's defense isn't to that level - yet. I liken the comparison of Missouri maybe to the 1983 Nebraska team that lost to Miami in the national championship. It had an unbelievable offense, but just not enough defense to get them over the hump. We'll see about the Tigers, as I said earlier, in the next couple of weeks.
Zach Lamar, Mo
Do you think that Mizzou has a chance to run the table this year?? what percentage would you give it?
Tim Griffin (4:07 PM)
Zach: I think they can run the table through the North, but beating the teams in the South will be a different story. Considering they haven't won in Austin since the 1800s, it's going to be a chore for them to do it. And the championship game will be difficult too. How about 30 percent?
Dan (Lawrence, KS)
When listing the best wide receivers in the Big 12, Maclin and Crabtree are obviously tops. Where does Kerry Meier fit in?
Tim Griffin (4:09 PM)
Dan: Very highly. I'm definitely intrigued with Meier's development - especially considering he spend half of his practice time with the Kansas quarterbacks! And as good as Maclin and Crabtree have been this season, I think you have to seriously consider Meier and Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State for your all-league wide receivers after the first five games. I'm glad I don't have to make a final choice, yet.
Patrick (St. Louis, MO)
Could Derrick Washington actually be the best RB on the field Saturday night at Faurot Field?
Tim Griffin (4:10 PM)
Patrick:He's certainly playing like it. But I really like the OSU combination of Hunter and Toston. I think either of those guys couuld be the featured back for almost any team in the conference. Like Texas, maybe?
Tim, come on and answer the obvious question in the Big 12 this week. Who do you have winning this week: Texas, or Oklahoma? Why? And if you were picking first in a pick-up football game, who would you take: McCoy, or Bradford?
Tim Griffin (4:13 PM)
Kris: OK, I was trying to hold off until the end of the chat. But as I said on my blog, I'll go with Oklahoma by about a touchdown. They just have too many athletes for the Longhorns. But Texas has got a puncher's chance of winning this game. Keys for them will be a consistent pass rush on Bradford, finding somebody to pick up 70 or 80 yards rushing besides Colt McCoy and having a big play or two in the kicking game. They follow that recipe and they can win. I just don't think they can, however. And if I was picking a team for my sandlot, could I let the other guy pick first? I would be satisfied with either player as a leftover.
I'm on my way to Dallas right now, I was wondering what your plans for big D are tonight??
Tim Griffin (4:15 PM)
Daniel: I appreciate your check on my social calender. Be sure to watch out for traffic, I wasn't kidding when I said it was horrendous. I've got about six different offers - everything from dining with friends and colleagues, my brother-in-law or even my parents. But I bet I end up blogging here from my room and watching my old alma mater Memphis play Steve Kragthorpe and Louisville. Still have a bunch of work left to do to keep you guys informed!
On the conversation of receivers... Quan Cosby might not be the fastest, tallest, strongest WR... but with his age and experience where would you rank him with other big 12 WR's... he's definately the go to guy in austin
Tim Griffin (4:16 PM)
Jordan: Quan is the go-to guy in Austin, but I can't help feeling that Texas would love to have a new millenium type of receiver, that guy who runs 4.3 and is about 6-4 and 220 pounds. Kind of like Roy Williams or Michael Crabtree. Quan is a nice player and I put him in the upper level. But I'm sure Mack Brown wishes he had a Crabtree or Maclin for Colt to throw to.
Tim, give me a sleeper on your player of the game tomorrow in big D.
Tim Griffin (4:18 PM)
Mike: How about Chykie Brown at cornerback for Texas. He's going to have his work cut out with Manny Johnson, Iglesias and Broyles. But coaches have been raving about his development. And for Oklahoma how about kicker Jimmy Stephens. He's never had to make a clutch kick since arriving at college. It would be interesting to see how he handles things in a pressure moment.
Chris Indianapolis, IN
Do you see Ball State going undefeated? if so do they get a BCS bowl bid? If not, who do you think can beat them in the remaining 6 games?
Tim Griffin (4:20 PM)
Chris: Thanks for asking me a question about somebody other than the Big 12. I try to be a multi-faceted reporter. I really like the Cardinals, and not just because it's the alma mater of David Letterman and Jason Whitlock. I think they can go undefeated, but it will be tough because every MAC team will be playing against them like it's a holy war. And even if they go undefeated, I don't think they have enough juice to climb into a BCS bowl game. Not enough quality pelts on the wall when compared even with other non-BCS teams like BYU, Utah or TCU..
Scott (St. Louis)
Tim, can Nebraska even hope to stay with Texas Tech this weekend? I don't hold out a lot of hope for my Huskers.
Tim Griffin (4:21 PM)
Scott: Neither do I. And this is why. When Nebraska played in Lubbock the last time four years ago, they lost 70-10. I think this Nebraska team is worse than that team and I think this Texas Tech is markedly better. I look for a big Tech win, but maybe not a 60-point margin.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Tim, which state do you think has the best high school football? California, Texas, or Florida?
Tim Griffin (4:23 PM)
Will: Great question. I guess it's what you really are looking for. I think Texas has developed into the best place for quarterbacks, Florida best for defensive talent and California best for running backs. So if I'm recruiting, I'm going to all three. But the recruiters tell me that the players in Texas are just a little more advanced than those in the other two schools and they might not even be more talented. It's because Texas high schools allow players an extra period of practice as part of the regular school commitment and because of the development of players like Chase Daniel and Matthew Stafford in seven-on-seven passing leagues.
*Not Big 12*. Who you got in the UNC-ND game?
Tim Griffin (4:25 PM)
Burr: How about North Carolina. That guy Bruce Carter is something. Heck, I almost put him on my Heisman ballot earlier this week for all of his success blocking kicks. Butch Davis has done a nice job with the Tar Heels this season.
Could BYU hang with, or even beat, any one of the "Big" schools (i.e. highly ranked, OU, Mizzou, Bama, LSU, Penn State, etc)? if so, who?
Tim Griffin (4:26 PM)
David: Love the Cougars offense, but don't necessarily think they can play defense with the big boys. I think that would really hurt them against teams like Bama, LSU, Penn State, OU or Texas. They might be able to win a shootout against somebody like Missouri or Texas Tech.
Miguel (Freeport, TX)
Speaking of high school football in Texas, where would Oklahoma be without raiding the talent of the state to their south?
Tim Griffin (4:28 PM)
Miguel: Easy there, the state is open for everybody, isn't it. The Sooners have traditionally used Texas recruiting as their backbone. But they've branched out to other areas across the country in recent years. Oklahoma State actually has more players on its roster from Texas than OU does. And what about the job that Missouri and Kansas have done. They've done the best job of picking up the two- and three-star recruits and developing them once they get there. Guys like Chase Daniel, Stryker Sulak, Sean Weatherspoon, Aqib Talib and Todd Reesing immediately come to mind.
John Chiles is a freak athlete that should be on field. He will not be a pro QB. HE should ask to be moved to TE or receiver - thoughts?
Tim Griffin (4:29 PM)
Bruce: That's probably a wise assessment. Chiles has had trouble passing the ball this season. I think Mack Brown has almost given up on his "Q offense," although I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up on the field some tomorrow. Who knows, he might be that big receiver for Texas I was talking about earlier?
Steve (Rlaeigh, NC)
Any word on whether Fozzy will play at all on Saturday?
Tim Griffin (4:30 PM)
Steve: I'm kind of thinking he won't be a big part of their offense, although I haven't heard any official word.
As a Sooner, the only thing that worries me going into this game is the Texas front seven. Do you think OUr O-Line can handle the shorthorn front seven and pass rush?
Tim Griffin (4:31 PM)
James: They should be able to. This is an OU offensive front that had pro prospects galore. But they have to protect Bradford and enable him to pick on the green Texas secondary. They do that - keep him upright and relatively well protected - and OU wins. It's that easy.
Jeff (Clarksville, TX)
In your opinion, where does the OU/Texas game rank in college football rivalries?
Tim Griffin (4:33 PM)
Jeff: I may be prejudiced, but I think it's one of the best, if not THE BEST. Others I would consider to be in the same stature would be Army-Navy, USC-Notre Dame, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and Florida-Georgia. Florida State-Miami isn't in that class anymore.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
What is your opinion of the ACC right now?
Tim Griffin (4:33 PM)
Troy: Not good. I thought Clemson was supposed to be good this season. I saw Wake Forest in person and was impressed. But they aren't in the same class as any of the top four or five teams in the Big 12.
Tim, We'll be at Across the Street Bar and Barley House on Yale Street at about 10. Please Join.
Tim Griffin (4:34 PM)
Reed: Thanks for the offer. Give me a couple of blog post ideas and I'll be there that much sooner.
Adam B (Denver, CO)
What are the chances that Colorado pulls an upset over Kansas this weekend? Last year's game in Boulder was close and it seems Colorado is a better team this year despite their offensive line woes.
Tim Griffin (4:36 PM)
Adam: Colorado has traditionally dominated that series before Kansas' recent success. But I don't think it's a good matchup for them. Colorado's offensive line is in shambles and Dan Hawkins might be sitting on a powder keg as he tries to decide whether to bench his son. The Buffs have some nice running backs, but they need somebody to open some holes for them. And even with all the talk about defenses being down in the Big 12, that's still hard to do.
Josh- Little Apple, KS
Ok going off a previous answer of yours in which you compared the 2008 Missouri Tigers to the 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers, if the game was played on a neutral field who do you see as the victor- the Gill, Rozier, and Fryar led huskers or the Daniel, Washington, and Maclin led tigers?
Tim Griffin (4:37 PM)
Josh: That would be a great game. I might go with the Cornhuskers, just because of the way they used to dominate everybody. But maybe I'm looking at them through the wisfulness of the past.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Tim I think you are greatly mistaken. Right now I think Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Boston college could easily take on Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech. Oklahoma is on a different level right now and would agree the ACC isn't on that level YET.
Tim Griffin (4:38 PM)
Troy: I hate to sound like somebody who covers the Big 12 for a living, but ... bring on the bowl games and let's see.
Ron (Fort Myers,FL)
Would you say,that by beatting Texas in Dallas tomorrow,will OU be pretty-much a "lock" for the BCS Championship Game and why?
Tim Griffin (4:39 PM)
Ron: It does give them a two-game lead over the Longhorns, but they've still got this nagging problem in Lubbock that won't go away. And I'm also thinking that the Sooners will be challenged when they face OSU for Bedlam in Stillwater. That game is always uber competitive there.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Tim, I would like to see you bloggers argue about your respective conferences!
Tim Griffin (4:40 PM)
Troy: Check out the podcast we tape every Sunday night with the esteemed Ivan Maisel as the moderator. We hash all those things out. People have told me it's an enjoyable thing for a college football fan to listen to.
I think Missouri should be more worried about the 2008 version of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, before we start comparing them to the 83 Huskers!!!!
Tim Griffin (4:40 PM)
Matt: Point well taken. But I still say the first team to 50 wins tomorrow night.
Tim Griffin (4:42 PM)
Ed: I think it will all depend on who they are matched up against. A team like Texas Tech or Missouri might give them a chance to win a shoot out. But I think most top teams would really pose a challenge for the Cougars.
Tim. Love the blog. Tell me if Ron Prince's job is safe this year. Your thoughts?
Tim Griffin (4:44 PM)
Adam: Thanks for the compliment. I'm hearing that Prince will need to win a couple of games to convince the powers that be around the Little Apple to keep him around - even with the contract extension. They need to do a quick job of shoring up the defense and getting Ian Campbell involved again. Where has he disappeared to? The game against A&M is huge for them. They need to play some defense, or A&M might run them out of Kyle Field - literally and figuratively
Jon (Norman, Oklahoma/Iraq)
Hey Tim! Being in Iraq during the season is horrible, but at least i get to watch the best game of the year! Since the BigXII is so dominate this year, would a one loss OU/UT/Mizzou team get the nod over a one loss SEC team?
Tim Griffin (4:46 PM)
Jon: First of all thanks for your service. My family and I wish you Godspeed to come back home and watch games in person really soon. As far as a one-loss Big 12 team making a BCS bowl, I think it will depend on timing. I think a team will be able to afford an early loss more than maybe one in the championship game. Just ask Missouri.
A.J. (Norman, OK)
Tim- Do you think Demarco Murray's father's comments about him not being 100% or not having confidence back will effect his play this week? If so, do you think it will motivate him, or slow him down?
Tim Griffin (4:47 PM)
A.J. - I don't know about that story. It seems like everybody's dad was getting involved this week telling us how banged-up their sons area - both DeMarco and Mike Rivera. That being said, I think it's fair to say that DeMarco Murray isn't the back he was last season. After breaking runs of 49 and 19 yards against Chattanooga in OU's opener, his longest gain this season has been 14 yards. He needs to provide more of a breakaway threat tomorrow to give the Sooners a chance to win.
Tim Griffin (4:48 PM)
Justin: Huge impact for ISU losing Bates. It means they have two barely used freshmen behind Arnaud. An injury could doom them very quickly.
Shaun (Tuscaloosa, AL)
I know you don't cover the SEC, but do you think Alabama can run the table?
Tim Griffin (4:50 PM)
Shaun: I've been very impressed with the Tide, particularly the way they went into Georgia and hushed the Dogs from the start. In a way, they kind of remind me of that 2000 OU team that came out of nowhere to win the national championship. Both teams have a coach in his second season. Both teams played in the Independence Bowl the year before, although Alabama won their game and OU didn't. But I'll go out on the limb and say that the Tide should be good enough to avoid Memphis or Shreveport for their bowl this season. That should be good enough to keep most Tide fans happy, shouldn't it?
Matt (San Antonio, TX)
How many times do the Longhorns need to get to Bradford to win the game?
Tim Griffin (4:52 PM)
Matt: I'll take a line from Will Muschamp when I answer this. I don't think it necessarily is just sacks, but also hits on the quarterback. If they can get to him 8-10 times and notch three or four sacks, I like their chances.
David (Crane, MO)
Tim, love the blog. Do you think Pinkel's decision to not run up the score on anyone affects their ranking or the perception of those in the BCS when that time comes? Chase Daniel has rarely played in the 4th quarter. Will that come back to bite Missouri later in the season?
Tim Griffin (4:53 PM)
David: You make a great point. I think that if Pinkel had been sadistic, he could have easily scored 70 against Nebraska last week. And I think if Missouri keeps winning convincingly, margin of victory won't matter that much for them.
Who will finish at the bottom of the Big XII?
Tim Griffin (4:54 PM)
Wade: We'll know more about that tomorrow. I think the losers of Baylor-ISU and KSU-A&M will be the early favorites.
Hello Tim,Whats the predict for Mizzou and OK state and how could mizzou defense Improve?
Tim Griffin (4:55 PM)
Willie: You've got to get back and play like you did late last season. I thought you were the best and most productive defensive player late in the country. I said Missouri 51, Oklahoma State 38 in my blog. So you better get to bed early and get your rest tonight. Because something tells me you'll be seeing a lot of Kendall Hunter, Keith Toston and Dez Bryant tomorrow night!
Jeff (Kansas City)
Tim, How do you see NFL teams evaluating Big XII qb's? Do you think running the spread hurts them in terms of attarctiveness to scouts? Or do you think the size issue (Daniel, Reesing) is what will really matter?
Tim Griffin (4:57 PM)
Jeff: Great question. I do thing the combination of size and the spread will be the biggest limitations for Big 12 quarterbacks. And scouts have also told me they aren't really enamored of the arm strength of quarterbacks like Daniel, Reesing, McCoy or Harrell. I think that the quarterbacks who have the best long-term future out of the Big 12 are Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford because they are bigger guys with guns for arms. I think that will help them get their chance.
Richard (Amarillo, Texas)
Do the Aggies win another game this season?
Tim Griffin (4:58 PM)
Richard: Yes, I think it starts tomorrow. Their ground game will pull them to a mild upset over KSU. Look for a big game from Goodson. After that, I don't know.
RAY GORDON REID MARIETTA GA 30090
QUESTION TO TIM GRIFFIN AT 5.05 PM HI TIM HOW MANY BIG 12 TEAMS IN BOWL GAMES
Tim Griffin (4:59 PM)
Ray: Depends on how many BCS teams. I think every Big 12 team goes to a bowl with the exception of Baylor, ISU, A&M and KSU. So I guess that would be eight.
Jordan (San Antonio)
Can I get a Go Spurs Go at the end of this Chat?!?!?!??!?!?
Tim Griffin (4:59 PM)
Jordan: Not from here. The season doesn't start for another couple of weeks.
Mannie (San Antonio, TX)
Hey Tim. In response to your comments about Sam Bradford and Josh Freeman, do you see Sam Bradford coming out of school early for the draft either this year or next?
Tim Griffin (5:00 PM)
Mannie: I think that might have to do with what he's accomplished. If OU has won a national championship, I think it would be easier for him to go. But I know that Bradford loves the college life. He might be kind of like Matt Leinart, hanging around for a couple of years to soak up all of his career he can.
Gator Fan (Madison, WI)
As a conference, how do you think the Big 12 compares to the Big Ten or the SEC? It seems that Big 12 and SEC are the top conferences this year. Do you agree?
Tim Griffin (5:02 PM)
GF: I think the Big 12 is right there with the SEC this year. I give the SEC a slight edge because teams seven through 12 are a tad better than the Big 12 teams at that level. I think the Big Ten is a step back this year, Pac-10 comes next and then Big East and ACC battle for the bottom. And I think the Mountain West is as good as the Big East or ACC this season - particularly teams one through three.
Dave, St Louis
What do you think would be the most exciting hypothetical bowl game?
Tim Griffin (5:03 PM)
Dave: Great finishing question. How about Oklahoma and Alabama for the national championship. But my favorite bowl game might be a potential Fiesta Bowl matching Chase Daniel and Missouri against BYU and Max Hall. How about 70-63, Missouri?
Tim Griffin (5:04 PM)
Guys, thanks again for all of the questions and enjoy the games tomorrow. It's been fun as usual. Everybody be safe tomorrow and come back next week.