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 (4:03 PM)
Good afternoon everybody. Sorry I'm a little late, Just finishing some research on a story about how this Texas Tech team might be better prepared to challenge Texas than any other Red Raider team in the Mike Leach era. Look for it later this afternoon. But I'm ready for some questions.
Hey Tim, love your work. What do you think of Russell Okung, Oklahoma State's left tackle? Looked like he held his ground pretty well against Orakpo last week.
Tim Griffin (4:04 PM)
Rick: I agree with you. Okung had a good day neutralizing Orakpo last week. He likely will be a high draft pick and have a chance to play at the next level. What I love about him are his long arms. It's almost a 15-dollar cab ride to try and get around him.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
What's your BCS Conference Rankings? I got Big12, SEC, Big10, Pac10, ACC, Big East.
Tim Griffin (4:05 PM)
Jake: I'll say Big 12, SEC, Big 10, Pac 10, Big East and ACC. And I think you can argue that the Mountain West merits inclusion right along with the Big East and the ACC below the Big Four.
Scott, New York
58-0? Is it safe to say that Hawkin's extention at CU may have been a bit premature? How long will it take to turn this thing around?
Tim Griffin (4:07 PM)
Scott: I know the 58-0 loss was a huge setback to Hawk and his program. But remember he's doing this with a banged-up, injury-riddled offensive line that is very young. His best running back, Darrell Scott, has been hampered by injuries all season. His defense looked like it just wore out last week. I was surprised by the timing of the extension, but I'm never one to tell athletic directors how to run their business. But I think that in order to turn things around, they have to get a quarterback more like the ones we are seeing have success around the conference. I think that's the biggest challenge facing them.
David (gainesville, FL)
Hey Griff, Florida or Georgia this weeekend and why?!
Tim Griffin (4:07 PM)
David: I'll take Florida, because I think Urban Meyer has a long, long memory.
What happens if Tech beats Texas, Then OU beats Tech and they all win the rest of thier big 12 schedule. Who represents the south in the Big 12 Championship? Thanks
Tim Griffin (4:09 PM)
Matt: Good question. If you have the three-way tie you describe with the losses you have listed, it would revert back to the fifth tiebreaker, which is what team has the highest BCS ranking. Texas is solid ahead of the other two. But that's something that bears watching each week during the rest of the season.
joe (new orleans)
Tim, lots of people are trying to pin LSU's recent defensive woes on co-coordinators. I think it's simply the fact that they lost 2 veteran cover corners, an all-SEC 3 year starter at LB, an all-American safety and the most decorated defensive lineman in SEC history. What do you think?
Tim Griffin (4:10 PM)
Joe: I think the personnel losses are extreme, but I've always seemed to notice that defenses sometimes struggle when two people are calling plays rather than one. I guess it's human nature. But I think it's a little bit of both.
Dusty, Amarillo, TX
What else must Texas Tech do other than show up and play like they did against Kansas to pull the upset?
Tim Griffin (4:12 PM)
Dusty: I'm working on a story about that right now. But I think critical factors to watch will include the following 1. Protecting Harrell to enable him to pick on the young Texas safeties. 2. Having some semblance of a running game. Red Raiders have combined for 91 yards in the last four games against UT. 3. Getting off the field on third down. 4. Not allowing any big returns. If they can have success in all of those categories. I really like their chances of springing an upset.
Who will be UW new coach? Is Pinkel a possibility, should we even want him?
Tim Griffin (4:13 PM)
David: As I said earlier this week, I think Pinkel might be at the stage of his career where he's not interested in that kind of challenge. How about Muschamp, Pat Hill or Chris Peterson from Boise? But if I was hiring, I think I would give a long look to Mike Riley at Oregon State. Look at what he traditionally does with less every season there.
if Tech loses to TEXAS will they bear the same treatment Ok State got with dropping just a few spots in the polls, or with the Bias come into play?
Tim Griffin (4:14 PM)
Justin: Think it entirely depends on how the game plays out. If they play strongly and lose, I think voters will take it into consideration. The other good thing for both teams is that it's the primary game at night. That means almost everybody from around the country will be watching.
Who do you honestly think will play in the National Title game? Texas v. PSU, Texas v. Bama, PSU v. Bama, Bama v. Texas Tech, PSU v. Texas Tech, etc. PHILLIES!
Tim Griffin (4:15 PM)
Beau: How about Texas and Penn State. I think the Longhorns have got a relatively easy path if they can get through the game Saturday night. Penn State might have played its toughest challenge last week. So I'll make that call until I see how the Tech-Texas game turns out.
Tim, people point to the Big 10's failures in BCS games as a reason not to include Penn State in the title game. I feel as though the conference you cover is a great example of how you cannot judge a great team (2005 Texas) on the failures of others (01 Nebraska, 03-present Oklahoma). Your thoughts?
Tim Griffin (4:17 PM)
Rob: I agree with you totally. I think each team should be judged on its merits. But I don't think Ohio State - or Oklahoma, for that matter - will get their deserved national props until both can win a bowl game. The memories of their BCS bowl game meltdowns are still too vivid for a lot of people.
So when is some national media guy gonna step up and take my Red Raiders this weekend? Texas's best road win is against a stinky Colorado. Lubbock is an extremely tough place to play and it's no secret Tech's offense is going to pick apart Texas's immature secondary. Here's your chance Tim...
Tim Griffin (4:18 PM)
Mike: Sorry, can't do it. I've seen Tech play in person three times. I just think they will struggle just enough to let Texas sneak out of there with a win. But I do believe that Ralph Russo of the AP and Colin Cowherd of ESPN radio both picked the Red Raiders this week.
Manuel (Houston, TX)
You picked Tech to lose this week, again. I thought after this past week, you would have learned your lesson by now. I guess it has been good luck for us for you to against Tech. What do you have to say about this jinx?
Tim Griffin (4:19 PM)
Manuel: I guess they should hope I pick against them the rest of the season considering how they played last week, huh?
Why is Will Muschamp getting no credit, in advance of this game, for possibly being able to derail the Tech offense? Isn't it true that you don't have to sack Harrell, just disrupt his timing a bit? Doesn't it seem likely that 'Rak and the boys will be able to do that, considering their resume to date?
Tim Griffin (4:20 PM)
Chuck: Maybe it's just me, but I think Muschamp is getting a lot of credit for Texas' defensive turnaround. Or am I imagining his name on all of those coaching vacancy lists? But I would expect Texas to bring a lot of pressure for Harrell. That will be a key in their defensive success.
Mack Austin, Texas
How long does Gene Chizik have left in his tenure at Iowa State? If he gets canned, does he get another shot as a head coach?
Tim Griffin (4:22 PM)
Mack: I'm still a little curious about the timing of when Chizik took the ISU job. I know Jamie Pollard was excited when he hired him. It depends on how his last several years turn out, but I've got to think that Chizik will have a fighting chance to turn around the ISU program.
Tim,You, Ted and Mark and Ivan, all have ignored my question regarding the Huskers and if Bo can get them back to the top like Stoops did w/OU and Saban has with 'bama. I know you guys hate the huskers but please, all I ever read on these things is the same questions. Please let me have a chance.
Tim Griffin (4:24 PM)
Bill: No hate for me. I think Pelini was a heck of a hire for them. He's been doing a great job of coaching to the strengths of his tem this season. But getting back to the levels of Stoops and Saban would mean a BCS bowl this season, correct? I don't think he can get them back there that fast. I think a bowl will be a good step this season.
Ken (Lawrence, Kansas)
What do my Jayhawks need to do to turn it around defensively?
Tim Griffin (4:25 PM)
Maybe get Bill Young back? Just kidding there. But they need better pressure from their defensive front. I saw Kansas' last two games and they were just hanging the Jayhawks' secondary out to dry. Also, they have to do a better job of making plays on third down. Easier said than done, I know, but it's the secret of a great defense.
Tom (College Station)
I am tired of everyone talking about how bad Texas is against the pass...What about Tech's pass defense? People keep overlooking Tech's defense, when did they become a top 10 defense?
Tim Griffin (4:26 PM)
Tom: They haven't but the key is that they are better. How much, we don't know. I guess well see on Saturday night.
I know the A&M hasn't been good this year...but what do you think of the talented young guys they have? i.e Jerrod Johnson, Ryan Tannehill, Jeff Fuller and Cyrus Gray! Please Answer!!!
Tim Griffin (4:27 PM)
Blake: Very pleased with the young talent the Aggies are developing. That will be the key for their turnaround - as well as getting a bunch more like that on defense.
Hey tim who is a BCS Buster this season? Utah, Boise State or TCU and why.
Tim Griffin (4:28 PM)
Bryan: I got to think Utah is, if they can beat TCU and BYU. But I'm fully expecting one of those three teams to be in the BCS this season.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
With some of the results we've already seen, do you think Nebraska, Kansas or Missouri can actually compete with the winner of the Big-12 South in the conference Championship game? At best I see one of those 59-35 games.
Tim Griffin (4:29 PM)
J.B. - I agree with you. North teams have been waxed by an average of nearly 35 points a game in the last four Big 12 title games. I don't see much of reason to expect anything otherwise, unless Missouri really gets fired up for a second date with Texas.
Eric (South Bend, IN)
Is there any chance that Arkansas moves into the Big 12? If they did, who gets pushed out? If not, could you see anyone replacing one of the lackluster Big 12 team?
Tim Griffin (4:30 PM)
Eric: Arkansas makes the best sense from a geographic and competitive standpoint. But don't see it happening because the Razorbacks are getting too rich with that BCS money. That being the case, I don't see any of the teams being pushed out. I see the Big 12 as being pretty solid.
Darrell Charlotte, NC)
Hey Tim: I'm going to Morton's steakhouse tonight for a business dinner. Please settle an argument before I arrive. Better Team (not individual players): 2005 Longhorns or 2008 Longhorns
Tim Griffin (4:31 PM)
Darrell: Can I come. Love me some crabcakes as an appetizer, with a fillet, creamed spinach, potato, a glass of Merlot and creme brulee for dessert. Better team after eight games appears to be this Longhorn team. But I'm reserving my answer because that Longhorn team did some spectacular things down the stretch.
Nate (Denver, CO)
I think you misunderstood Bill's question about the Huskers. I think what he was asking is if Pelini can play off of Nebraska's strengths (i.e. traditional power program, excellent facilities, Blackshirts, etc.) and get the Huskers back into the national spotlight? Both Stoops and Saban are playing off of the great traditions of their respective schools and have done a great job developing players. Nobody in Nebraska expects a BCS bowl this year or even next year, but will he be able to incorporate the Stoops/Saban strengths in the Big Red?
Tim Griffin (4:33 PM)
Nate: Sorry for the confusion. Yes, I think Pelini is the right guy to take control of the Nebraska program. And it has many of the same positives that both Alabama and Oklahoma have. I think Bo is smart enough to play off of what you have mentioned. And he's got a wise boss by the name of Tom Osborne who's probably telling him the same thing.
Who was the best national champ of the BCS era and why?
Tim Griffin (4:34 PM)
Dustin: For a best one season team, I'll say Miami of 2001 or USC of 2005. And the reason is players. Look at all of the NFL guys off that Miami team and that USC team. It's also interesting to notice that both those teams lost to hungrier teams in the following season. Both I like both of those teams the best.
Andrew, Midland, TX
Tim, Have you heard about Raiderville outside of Jones Stadium in Lubbock? I have heard a number of media guys have had a hard time getting a flight and room in Lubbock. Is this the case for you too?
Tim Griffin (4:36 PM)
Andrew: Yes, I've heard about Raiderville. I just wish I was going to be out there at 5 p.m. today when Mike Leach stops by with some Bigham's Bar-B-Q. And I've heard horror stories from some of my fellow media members are going through. I'm flying into Amarillo tomorrow night, but shouldn't be too much of a problem. And I got a hotel room back in the summer, so that wasn't a problem.
Tim, Who is the best QB in the Nation?
Tim Griffin (4:37 PM)
Bryan: Colt McCoy, for his leadership as much as his playmaking at the present time. But keep an eye on Graham Harrell if Tech can get an upset over the Longhorns this week.
Eric (South Bend, IN)
Tim, I think you made a typo. You said "USC" or "Miami" were the best national champs of the BCS era, however I think you meant "Notre Dame". Just wanted to point that out.
Tim Griffin (4:37 PM)
Eric: No I didn't. USC and Miami of those two seasons were the best teams I have seen. Don't know how the Irish even got into the conversation!
Marcia Brant (Odessa, TX)
Hey Tim! So does Will Muschamp leave Texas this year for a Head Coaching job somewhere or does he stay at Texas for another year? Hope we can keep him around for at least one more year! Hook'Em!!
Tim Griffin (4:39 PM)
Marcia: Gonna be hard to keep Muschamp around if he's got a head coaching job somewhere. But if you were him, would you stay if you got the promise to be the next Longhorn coach? I don't think I would. He's got a lot of ties to the Southeastern Conference. I'm hearing several good jobs will come open in that league.
Tim, do you think if the Big 10 got the point of being desperate for a 12th team (it's close now), they could court Missouri away from the Big 12? The academic standards are there, the geography makes sense. What do you think?
Tim Griffin (4:40 PM)
Rob: Missouri makes sense from a geographic standpoint. But I still think Notre Dame is their ultimate bucket dream if they can pull it off.
Kevin Houston, TX
Tim, I realize this is ESPN and they were very depressed, but Texas won the championship in 2005. Not USC.
Tim Griffin (4:40 PM)
Kevin: Sorry about that. I meant USC in 2004. Like I also said, the Texas team stunned them the following season. Just trying to answer too many questions with this.
Tim, If Lane Kiffin (Ex Raider coach) Gets a job as a Head Coach for college where do you think it would be?
Tim Griffin (4:41 PM)
Bryan: The natural match would seem to be Washington, with the timing and also with his ties to the Pac-10. But maybe that makes too much sense. I would expect he'll be coaching somewhere.
Tim, Enjoy your opinions and great info on the blogs; I check them frequently due to your constant additions. What's your opinion on Texas Tech's Ryan Reed's age being a factor in the NFL draft? Positive or negative?
Tim Griffin (4:42 PM)
Andy: Thanks for the compliments. I think Reed would be a good player in the NFL, but I do think his age and previous health concerns (knee/cancer) might push him down a little bit. Really excited to see him hook up with Orakpo on Saturday night.
Jimbo Fisher (Tallahassee, FL)
Grade the job I'm doing at Florida State Tim..
Tim Griffin (4:43 PM)
Jimbo: Solid job that's getting better each week. Maybe a B. But what about your boss? How much longer is he going to be there?
Trey (El Dorado, Arkansas)
If the Big 10 couldn't talk Notre Dame into being the 12th team, what kind of chances would a team like Central Michigan have of being invited as the 12th?
Tim Griffin (4:44 PM)
Trey: I agree that CMU is the strongest power in the MAC, but there's no way they get in. There are too many other directions I would bet Jim Delany would be pointed.
Stephanie (Austin, Texas)
Tim, how certain is Texas that Major Applewhite will become a head coach for UT? Does he have what it takes to be a big-time head coach?
Tim Griffin (4:45 PM)
Stephanie: Major has done a great job with the running backs this year. I look for him to be the initial follower of Greg Davis, who by the way is having a Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year kind of season. After a couple of years like that, I think Major would be ready.
And the '95 Huskers is the best team you've ever seen!
Tim Griffin (4:47 PM)
Tim: One of the best. I go back a long way, remember. How about USC 1972, Nebraska 71, Alabama 78 and yes, Notre Dame 1966. All were very dominant against the teams of their eras.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Tim how do we know this is you and not some ESPN intern?
Tim Griffin (4:48 PM)
Troy: Can I tell you I'm sitting in my kitchen in San Antonio? It's about 75 degrees outside and I've got to pick my son up at daycare in about 90 minutes. And I've got a story to write and a talk show to appear on in Oklahoma City between now and then.
Do you think Gary Pinkel remains at Missouri, and if so, do you see them remaining strong within the conference, or do they drop when Chase Daniel leaves?
Tim Griffin (4:49 PM)
Rob: There will be a natural drop, although I think Gabbert will be a good player for him. I think Nebraska will be coming back and Colorado as much better next season. But Pinkel has done a nice job of recruiting the two star players and coaching them up once they get to college. I think he'll have to do that again.
Jennifer (Newport Beach, CA)
Matt Stafford or Tim Tebow?
Tim Griffin (4:50 PM)
Jennifer: As what, a quarterback? College version - Tebow. Pro version - Stafford. Best player in college football this season - Colt McCoy
Daniel (Dickinson, ND)
Tim, what teams out there do you think can beat a healthy Texas team?
Tim Griffin (4:52 PM)
Daniel: On any given day, I think there are probably 10-15 of them. I think a lot of the team in the top 10 could be the Longhorns with a masterful performance and a couple of breaks. For example, I might think that Oklahoma with a healthy Ryan Reynolds might have done the trick at the Cotton bowl a few weeks ago.
Michael, San Antonio
Do you think Rak will have a better game at Tech than last week with OSU?
Tim Griffin (4:53 PM)
Michael: He should. And you notice that he rarely has bad back-to-back games. I'm getting he bounces back strongly.
Blake (Jenks, OK)
You have got to be joking about who is the best QB in the nation right now? You say Colt McCoy? How come most draft experts say Sam Bradford would be in the top 5 of the draft this year and #1 overall QB taken.
Tim Griffin (4:54 PM)
Blake: I think they are doing that as far as pro projects. Who has better players and a better line around him now? I think Bradford does.
Does nebraska have a chance at, though a long shot, and upsetting oklahoma on saturday, and what would it take aside from a miracle.
Tim Griffin (4:55 PM)
John: Not exactly a miracle, but they need some help with turnovers. Similar games to what they have done in the last two or three with a big edge in TOP. And maybe a couple of big special teams plays thrown in for good measure.
How can you not add the 54' or 55' Oklahoma teams
Tim Griffin (4:55 PM)
Ben: I'm old, but not that old. My greybeard sportswriting friends all talk about that team, or the 46 Army team.
Mickey Andrews (Tallahasee, FL)
My defense or GT's triple option?
Tim Griffin (4:56 PM)
Mickey: You've been around the block once or twice. I think you've probably cooked up a defensive strategy - or four or five - that has stopped a triple option back in the day, haven't you?
I'm a die hard Oklahoma fan and i think the Sooners as a whole are overrated. Sam Bradford has carried that team for two years now and made everyone better than what they really are.
Tim Griffin (4:57 PM)
Ben: You might have something there. The Sooner offensive line didn't play nearly up to their clippings against Texas. DeMarco Murray has struggled until the last couple of games. And the defense has had a lot of trouble after Ryan Reynolds got hurt. So it has been a rougher-than-expected for Stoops, hasn't it?
A lot of people are comparing what Texas did to Missouri to what they can do to Texas Tech. However, Texas Tech's offensive line is much better than Mizzou's. Do you think Texas will have a tougher time getting to Harrell and they did to Chase Daniel?
Tim Griffin (4:58 PM)
Louis: I would think so, because Harrell has only been sacked three times. And I'm betting the Tech linemen are hearing about it this week after allowing those two sacks against Kansas last week. Also, don't discount those wide splits the Red Raiders use. It's very tough to get around those big guys.
Blake (Jenks, OK)
Respectfully, Tim I agree OU has a better line and skill players around Sam Bradford but correct me if I am wrong you are saying Colt McCoy is a better QB but less talent around him hides this? The pro scouts are clearly saying he is taller, better arm, better vision, etc. I think it is easy to see Colt McCoy is faster and stronger but not a better overall QB than Colt McCoy. Not my opinion but NFL scouts and Mel Kiper.
Tim Griffin (4:59 PM)
Blake: What I meant was that Colt is having a better year and his team is having a better season. Colt also beat Sam head up, so that's the reason why he's ahead in the Heisman.
Greg (Columiba, MO)
Do you think Missouri should be ranked higher? I don't get how they can drop that many spots when they lost to Texas but Ok St. didn't drop as much.
Tim Griffin (5:01 PM)
Greg: I think the Tigers are ranked about right. They lost back-to-back games and their defense didn't show up against Texas. So I think the pollsters got them about right.
Eric Natalia, Texas
What three areas has Texas improved on to where they have turned into a true National Title Contender. I have been to every game but at CU. They continue to amaze me. They are looking great. Colt is the real deal~~
Tim Griffin (5:02 PM)
Eric: Colt McCoy has gotten a lot better from last year, Mack Brown has pieced together a running back by committee rotation and Brian Orakpo has boosted the defensive line. That's enabled them to protect a young defensive secondary. Don't know if they can do that this week, however. I guess we'll see.
Tim Griffin (5:02 PM)
And with that, I've got to leave. Check back next week on the same Sports Nation channel. Again, I appreciate all of the good questions and conversations. Enjoy the games this week, everybody.