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!
Good afternoon. I'm bouncing around with a sick 4-year-old in my house today, so I'm looking forward to the respite provided by some good questions. Fire away when ready.
Justin (Bay Area)
Tim, with Joe Ganz graduating at the end of the year, who do you see taking over as the starter at Nebraska? Witt? Lee? maybe even Spano? will they redshirt Cody Green?
Tim Griffin (4:02 PM)
Justin: I have no idea who's going to be starting next season in what promises to be a close race. And I don't think that Bo Pelini does either. I would think that Green would be redshirted because of his lack of collegiate experience and one of the other three would take over. But I have no idea who.
Hunter T (Tennessee)
Tim- my gosh!! Can't the nat'l champ game get here any SOONER?? I say we drop 60 on UF...what say you my friend?
Tim Griffin (4:03 PM)
Hunter: Just saw the schedule where it won't be coming around to Jan. 8. That sure seems a long time from now. But you can imagine if we are salivating to play the game, what are the Sooners and Gators doing? I bet they would like to play on Saturday.
Drew (Denver, CO)
Tim, I was watching College Football Live just now with the interview with Bradford and Tebow. Tebow won the heisman last year with a cast on his non throwing hand and Bradford is that way this year. Is this the new trend to win the heisman?
Tim Griffin (4:04 PM)
Drew: Maybe so. If Graham Harrell had rightfully been invited to New York City, you would have had another one, too.
Tim Griffin (4:05 PM)
Don't think that's the Huskers fault. The Gator Bowl struggled last season with the Texas Tech-Virginia matchup on the heels of a small crowd for the ACC championship game. That left them needed to make up some money. And Clemson is about the surest thing to a lock as far as drawing fans among ACC teams as anybody else. FSU wouldn't have don it because they've played in Jacksonville a couple of times in the last few years. And Georgia Tech wouldn't have brought as many fans, either.
Tim, While I realize it was a long shot for Graham Harrell to win the Heisman, I think it was a slap in the face to him and Texas Tech, to not be invited to New York for the ceremony. Can you honestly say that if either Colt, Sam, or Tim had a blowout loss(where the defense was embarrassed) that it would have kept them from coming to NYC? I highly doubt it and I was just wondering if you knew a specific reason why Graham wasn't at least invited to NYC.
Tim Griffin (4:07 PM)
Danny: Wonder if it had anything to do with the finances of the Heisman trust? Maybe they could just afford to bring three. But I think my feelings on the decision were well chronicled the last couple of days.
Blake (Ames, IA)
When do you think Iowa State with Gene Chizik at coach will bring us back to a bowl game? I think this season was a regression from last and really the only way we can do is up...
Tim Griffin (4:10 PM)
Blake: Remember, the Cyclones are supposed to have the easy schedule in the North with Baylor, A&M and Oklahoma State as the cross-division opponents. Wise non-conference scheduling and three victories in the conference could get them to six wins pretty quickly. It wouldn't be out of the question for next season.
nate davis (muncie)
Do you think it is the right move for me to come back next year, and win the Heisman,and win a BCS bowl game? Then i will get picked 1st overall in the NFL draft!
Tim Griffin (4:12 PM)
Nate: To build your name awareness and help your program it might benefit you to stay around. And you also might want to check out that Buffalo program, too. .
Mike (Beverly, Ma)
Tim - What's more impressive to you, what Sam Bradford did with OU or Tim Tebow completing 13 passes a game and taking one yard plunges? I told Mark Schlabach that 50% of the fullbacks in the NCAA could do that and he was obviously offended... What do you think?
Tim Griffin (4:12 PM)
Mike: I think Bradford's body of work is better than Tebow. You're right that he did take a lot of 1-yard TD plunges. Bradford simply gives those carries to DeMarco Murray or Chris Brown.
Whos you heisman pick
Tim Griffin (4:13 PM)
Brett: I knew somebody would ask me, so I'll give it up. 1. McCoy 2. Bradford 3. Tebow I voted Tuesday afternoon.
Tim, If you could only pick 1 QB from the BigXII to win you a game who would it be and would you pick that guy over Tebow?
Tim Griffin (4:14 PM)
S: I might pick Colt McCoy if he could play with Oklahoma's line, running backs and receivers.
Brian W. (Edmond, OK)
Tim: With all the big conferences using the BCS in their 3 way tie breakers, how would you break a 3 way tie without using the BCS at all?
Tim Griffin (4:15 PM)
Brian: Remember that three-way ties are very rare. If I couldn't use the BCS standings, I might use the net point differential in the two games played against the others, capped at 21 points per game.
Why are people bashing the Heisman candidates at all??? They have all had great seasons and are deserving while carrying themselves with a level of maturity that is not seen in those that criticize. These are college KIDS that are playing hard everyday. People should strive to have characteristics like they do and not try to tear them down.
Tim Griffin (4:16 PM)
JR: I agree with you. The Heisman is supposed to be an uplifting award. I sense a lot of "Debbie Downers," considering the people trying to cut other candidates down.
Threw this one in before the show started so I apologize if it's a repeat. Tim, love the blogs...hope you're back next year and don't go pro or anything like that. We know that Mullen is gone but now there are reports that UCF is going to fire O'Leary and is negotiating with Strong. How big of an impact is this on the Gators for the NC against my Sooners? Richt in 2000 come to mind?
Tim Griffin (4:18 PM)
Chad: First of all, thanks for the nice words. I'd like to be back, if you guys will have me. But the loss of Mullen is potentially big. Remember how Oklahoma struggled without Mike Stoops for the 2003 championship game against LSU and its loss against KSU before that. Losing a coordinator is potentially a big deal.
Tim you are obviously biased and if it was up to a jury to decide the Heisman you would get thrown out due to your bias. Tebow aka Superman would put up similar if not better numbers against the defenseless Small 12! No way Bradford and Colt would put up numbers as good as Tebow in a league that actually plays some defense!
Tim Griffin (4:19 PM)
Sean: Again, I think you guys are underestimating the Big 12's defense. Just go back and look at the only head-to-head between the conferences. Look at how Arkansas was flummoxed by Texas. And look at the success the Razorbacks had later in the season. But that's why we play the bowl games.
Is this year the most hotly debated in Big 12 and perhaps NCAA football history?
Tim Griffin (4:21 PM)
Kurt: It seems like every year it keeps providing more controversy. But I can remember when Florida State made the game rather than Miami in 2000. Or when USC didn't make it in 2003. I think the BCS provides us with this almost ever year.
Michael (Dallas, Tx)
First off love the blog, read it multiple times a day. Alright time for me to vent. I'll be the first to admit that Tech shouldn't be in the title game because of their loss and schedule. I'll be the first to admit that Harrell should not win the heisman. However, I might boycott college football next season as a Tech fan. We go 11-1 in the toughest conference in the country or only loss even though a bad one comes on the road against a team playing for the national championship, no bcs bowl because of the bcs rules so we end up with a Cincinatti Va Tech barn burner, Harrell doesn't get a heisman INVITE even though he is in the top 3 in yards, qb rating, touchdowns and on and on. I don't even want to invest myself any more. Next season as soon as they lose one game there goes the National Championship hopes and any chance for any of our players to get recognition because they are in a "system". Sometimes I wish I was born in Austin.
Tim Griffin (4:22 PM)
Michael: I feel your pain and agree with. I do think the BCS should make allowances to have three teams from the same conference if they are ranked in the top eight, if one of the representatives isn't as highly ranked. But I don't know if that will ever happen.
Steve (Raleigh, NC)
Thanks for sharing your Heisman ballot. Now, who do you think will win?
Tim Griffin (4:23 PM)
Steve: I have no idea. I kind of sense McCoy getting a "sympathy vote" boost the last couple of weeks. But I also think Bradford really helped himself with his two huge games to finish the season and Tebow did too. So I don't know who got the biggest bounce.
If ball state beats auburn next year, and goes undefeated, and WINS THE MAC CHAMPIONSHIP. WOULD THEY THEN GET RESPECT!
Tim Griffin (4:25 PM)
Zach: Yeah, I think beating Auburn would give the Cardinals some more national respect. But they've got to do it first.
Tim.. There is NO way that anyone on the Eddie Robinson list of finalist's deserves that trophy more than Mike Leach. Before about a year or so ago, anyone not living in Texas or a state touching it, knew Tech even existed. Which makes their recruiting very tough; and on top of that they have to compete against all the other Big 12 schools, plus, all the other schools in Texas. The only other person on that list who I would consider to vote for would be Utah's Kyle Wittingham. Agree or disagree.. and why?
Tim Griffin (4:28 PM)
Ronnie: I agree that Leach has done perhaps the best job in the Big 12 over the last five seasons or so. But this year, specifically, I don't know. He had some great parts coming back in Harrell, Crabtree, Morris, McBath, Vasquez, Reed and Williams. I think most people - myself included - expected them to challenge for the title this year. They did it. I don't think that Texas was expected to play as well as they did. That's why I voted Mack Brown as my coach of the year.
Dan (Norman, OK)
Everyone keeps disrespecting the Big 12 defenses, but isn't that simply a result of having a heavy concentration of the best offenses (and QBs) in one conference? I really think the Big 12 offenses could rack up points against any other major conference defenses also... including the SEC.
Tim Griffin (4:29 PM)
Dan: My feelings on the subject have been well known over the season. I agree with you.
Kevin (San Diego)
Tim, with all due respect, you are an absolute joke! The Big-12 should be embarrassed for the brand of defense it puts out every Saturday. Most overrated conference I've ever seen.
Tim Griffin (4:31 PM)
Kevin: We'll see come playoffs. I seem to remember a team from the West Coast that had some great numbers a couple of years ago that had some troubles with a Big 12 defense. Like USC against Texas in the BCS title game in 2005. Or Texas Tech's play against Texas the year before that. That's what they play the bowls for, isn't it?
Casey (Santa Clarita CA)
Tim will Oklahoma get invited to another BCS game if they get beat by 21 or more?
Tim Griffin (4:32 PM)
Casey: Don't think that past performance really factors into a team's particularly bowl opportunities for another season. They are judged on their single-season merits.
Why don't they vote on the awards after Bowl season? Then we wouldn't have mistakes like Troy Smith, Vince Young/Reggie Bush, etc. Wouldnt it be great to be able to pick between Bradford and Tebow after they duke it out?
Tim Griffin (4:33 PM)
Ken: I agree with you, but the Heisman seems to be locked in that weekend after the regular season ends. And yes, it would be a lot easier to pick a winner after the BCS game than before it.
Tim, BEST TEAM OF ALL TIME? USC's Defense, OU's offensive line, FL's Off backs and rec, led by Colt McCoy.
Tim Griffin (4:33 PM)
Baron: I like the sound of it.
Bryan (Smallville, KS)
When you do you think Mack Brown will retire?
Tim Griffin (4:34 PM)
Bryan: I don't think it will be anytime soon. I think Brown probably wants to hang around for one more legitimate shot at the national title. It could happen next season.
Dustin (Lubbock, TX)
Tim, the non-invite for Harrell pretty much tells future Tech recruits this. You can make the play of the year, beat the #1 ranked team in the game of the year, lose on the road, orchestrate a comeback with 9 breaks in your non-throwing hand, and still not get an invite to the Heisman ceremonies. We have enough politics (bail outs, corrupt politicians, the war, etc.) We don't need it in college football. Also, is your vote for McCoy a "sympathy vote?"
Tim Griffin (4:37 PM)
Dustin: I think that Harrell had a heroic season, capped by his final regular season game. I only wish the Heisman Trust would have scraped together a few more nickels and dimes to let him come. And no, my vote for McCoy wasn't a sympathy vote. I watched his last game against Texas A&M very closely as I did Bradford's last two games. I just think - by a small margin - that Colt is the best player this year.
Change the Heisman Trust?
What if we voted for president the same way they vote for the Heisman. 1, 2, 3. Do you think it should be just one vote?
Tim Griffin (4:37 PM)
Actually, I think that's a pretty good idea. And it would tend to eliminate much of the sectionalism that is seen now with the award.
Who do you see winning the big 12 next year?
Tim Griffin (4:38 PM)
Blake: I'll go with Texas and either Kansas or Nebraska from the North. And I'll make the Longhorns my favorite right now.
Lets say JMac returns to Missouri next year, and Blaine Gabbert steps up at QB, what do you think Missouri's chances are in the North?
Tim Griffin (4:39 PM)
Donnie: All would be helpful, but the biggest question I've got with Missouri is its defense. The Tigers can't play like they have the last two weeks of the season and expect to win the North again next season.
Tim, you can't say Graham deserved to be in NY when you didn't even have him on your ballot.
Tim Griffin (4:40 PM)
David: Yes I can because I think the top four or five candidates should be invited. It's been done that way before and should have been done this year. I also think that Shonn Greene of Iowa and maybe Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech would merit coming to NYC.
How would OU's offense be if Bomar had stayed?
Tim Griffin (4:41 PM)
JR: Obviously Bomar had the great natural gifts. And he could take a pounding as we saw during his one season as starter. But the Sooners won the Big 12 title every year since he's left. The only difference would have been in OU's bowl games. And for what Oklahoma is doing with the no-huddle offense right now, Sam Bradford is the best guy to be running it.
Jerry Jones (Dallas, TX)
Do you think the Cotton Bowl has a chance of getting into the BCS?
Tim Griffin (4:42 PM)
Jerry: Get out your check book. It look like you were successful with the NCAA basketball tournament. You might need the same thing to crack your way into the BCS.
John (Houston, TX)
Do you think the Big 12 will change the tie-breaker rules next year?
Tim Griffin (4:43 PM)
John: Yes I do. It's too politically sensitive for them not to do something at the soonest opportunity.
Gavin, okc, okla.
Hey Tim whats the latest on any coaching changes in the big 12, especially involving the SOONERS? THANKS
Tim Griffin (4:44 PM)
Gavin: Right now, no Sooner coaches are leaving the program. I would think that Wilson and Venables both will get opportunities to lead their own programs some day. But it hasn't happened for either yet this season.
Tim, where do you see Texas, Tech, OSU and Missouri finishing in the rankings with double digit wins?
Tim Griffin (4:46 PM)
If all were to finish with victories in the bowls, I would think OU and Texas would be 1-2, Tech would be in the top six, OSU in the top 10 and Missouri in the top 20
Sam Bradford (Norman, OK)
Should I come back for my junior year?
Tim Griffin (4:46 PM)
Sam: I wish you would come back just for the Texas-OU game next season. I think it's going to be the most anticipated game of the series so far.
Rex Johnson (Omaha, NE)
Your observations on Sam Bradford leaving for the NFL early have been discucssed and Colt McCoy has stated his position. What are your thoughts about other Big 12 QBs, specifically Todd Reesing and Josh Freeman?
Tim Griffin (4:47 PM)
Rex: I don't see Reesing leaving because of his size. And I think Freeman will likely leave, unless Bill Snyder gives him a heck of a sales job on his way out.
Tim you yourself saw that Beebe said that the current big 12 tiebreaker answers the question "who has the best chance of winning the championship" and Beebe felt the right decision was made. With Beebe defending the current tie breaker rules, what are the chances they don't change it at all? I think pretty good, according to the Big 12 commish
Tim Griffin (4:48 PM)
James: Remember it takes a super majority of nine votes to get changed. But in being around the conference, it seems that what schools like Texas and Oklahoma want, they usually get. And I think Texas officials really want a rules change to right what they feel is a big wrong from earlier in the season.
Dan Beebe (Irving, TX)
How do you like this CHANGE for the BIG 12...bequeath Mizzou to the Big Ten, drop Iowa State, pick up TCU and SMU, and realign the divisions; sending the two Oklahoma schools to the North Division and adding TCU and SMU to the South Division. This would have solved this season's tri-tie conundrum.
Tim Griffin (4:50 PM)
Dan: Don't know if your friend James Delaney at the Big Ten offices really wants Missouri when he might be able to pick up Notre Dame one day. I think most administrators around you conference like the way the league is set up.
Bill Snyder (KS)
Hey Tom, how do you feel about my old self coming back to wildcat country? Do you think i can really turn another broken program around at my age or do you think this is a ploy to get fans hopes ups and sales up? Tom Osbornes return to nebraska seems to be looking like its going in the right direction but he is also the AD with a very talented football staff. How do you think i will fair?
Tim Griffin (4:51 PM)
Bill: I'm interested to talk to you after the recruiting period to see if you think that returning to college football was that good of an idea. But I think you've missed the games more than you think. It's good to have you back.
Do you think that Muschamp wait until Brown retires and be promoted to head coach or bolt for another job?
Father Jenkins (South Bend, IN)
Notre Dame will NEVER join ANY conference, TIM!!!
Tim Griffin (4:55 PM)
Father Jenkins: I know that. I just like to throw it out to continually indicate the best option that the Big Ten has. But who knows. Too many more years of Charlie and you guys might come crawling to a conference like the Big Ten.
Bill Snyder (KS)
Tim* correction for the spelling earlier my deepest appologies. I feel I have missed the games more than I thought as well, I also am realizing that I had one heck of a staff before leaving. Most of my staff is now at other schools either being head coachs or coordinators...do you think i can actually put together another "dream team" like I did...by the way, does your wife still make that mean apple pie?
Tim Griffin (4:56 PM)
Bill: You already sound like you are ready for the recruiting trail if you are asking about my wife's apple pie. I'm the cook around this family! But you are right. Your dream staffs with the Stoops brothers, Venables, Jim Leavitt, Dana Dimel and Phil Bennett over the years were some of the best I have ever seen.
Tim, I have a friend at Tech who is close to Michael Crabtree who says she asked him and he's coming back for another year. Obviously after the snub this year, it's a million to one shot at the Heisman, but do you think it's a good idea regardless?
Tim Griffin (4:57 PM)
Matt: I know it seems that Mr. and Mrs. Crabtree (Michael's parents) have a pretty significant disagreement if he's staying or coming back. So I think it will be interesting around the Crabtree dinner table before the turkey is served over the holidays.
Why did I go pro and leave OUs defense like it is?
Tim Griffin (4:58 PM)
Curtis: If's it any consolation, I bet Bob Stoops and Brent Venables mumble the same thing every night.
Karl (Ballinger, Tx)
Tim, Which Big 12 teams would you predict to win their bowl game?
Tim Griffin (5:00 PM)
Karl: I know some people are saying that the Big 12 can go 7-0 in the bowls, but I don't think that's possible. If I was doing a confidence pool with the top team being my biggest Big 12 favorite it would be this. Texas Kansas Oklahoma State Texas Tech Missouri Nebraska Oklahoma I'll pick a 5-2 record and predict that Nebraska and Oklahoma will lose.
John Heisman (New York, NY)
You obviously are a statistics-phile because you obviously did not consider Tebow's last two games without Harvin, his intangibles, and the way he pushed his team to greatness after the Ole Miss loss.
Tim Griffin (5:02 PM)
John: What about how Colt McCoy played the season without a featured back and instead had to become one. Or how Sam Bradford had to play much of the season with DeMarco Murray slow to recovery from a kneecap injury last season. I think both of those injuries/handicaps were just as significant. And I didn't see Tebow throw for five touchdowns in his loss against Ole Miss did like Bradford did against Tech. Nor did I see him lead his team to a short-lived lead from a 19-point deficit against Texas Tech like McCoy did. I think their intangibles are just as strong as Tebow's, if not stronger.
Blake Fite (Jenks, OK)
Mark Schlabach at ESPN uses strength of schedule in comparing FL vs. OU interchangeably with defensive statistics when he say's Florida has 8 top 30 defenses they beat and OU has only 2. Do you thing this analysis is fair or not the entire picture?
Tim Griffin (5:04 PM)
Blake: With all due respect to Mr. Schlabach, I think OU has beaten more ranked opponents than anybody else in the country. I still think the SEC's great defenses is a myth of playing less-than-spectacular offenses. We see that every week in the Big 12. But we'll see in the bowl game.
Tim Griffin (5:05 PM)
Thanks again for all of the questions. We've got another Motrin dosing coming up in a few minutes so it's back to being "Daddy Day Care" for the rest of the day. Thanks again and we'll chat next week.