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 11 a.m. ET on Friday!
Tim Griffin (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone. I'm not used to these early hours for my chatting, but fire away.
Sandy (Santa Rosa)
What's the latest with kicker/punter Zach Grossnickle out of Denver? Looked like he was going to CSU, then Nebraska, then KU, now CU is claiming him. Has he committed anywhere, or is he likely a silent commit? All along he claimed he was going PAC 10, but looks like a Big 12 lock to me.
Tim Griffin (11:03 AM)
Sandy: Grossnickle would be a huge get for the Buffaloes, particularly considering their struggles kicking. I know the coaches have placed big emphasis on him the last several weeks. I would think that his homestate school should have the advantage. And I would also think that he would like to keep kicking at altitude, wouldn't you? But we'll see. He's going to be one of the biggest recruiting stories to follow for Dan Hawkins this year.
Drew, Portland, OR
In this years Holiday Bowl, which position for each team will make the biggest difference?
Tim Griffin (11:05 AM)
Drew: How about OSU's underrated offensive line keyed by Russell Okung. If they can dominate in the trenches against Reed and the Ducks, I like their chances. Also watch Oregon's receivers. If they can make a few plays, it could be a long night for the OSU makeshift coordinating staff after Tim Beckman's departure. Should be a great game. I picked 49-47 Oklahoma State, but it wouldn't surprise me to see both teams combine for more than 100 points.
Lee Jay (Diboll,Tx)
Do you think Texas should be playing Florida or did the BCS make the right choice by choosing OU
Tim Griffin (11:07 AM)
Lee Jay: I had the opportunity to watch all of the Big 12's trilogy games over Christmas on ESPNU - in High Def, also, I might add. I think that Oklahoma is playing better than any other team in the Big 12 right now. So they deserved the opportunity to play in the championship game, and they made the most of it with a convincing Big 12 title game victory over Missouri.
Odell (Atlanta GA)
Hey Tim how do you think Florida's secondary will match up with OU's receivers and Gresham at the tight end position?Bama only had Julio Jones as a receiving threat but when he caught the ball he gashed them for a couple of big plays but with OU we have a number of great receivers would like to hear your thoughts on that Boomer Sooner!
Tim Griffin (11:09 AM)
Odell: I think that it will be difficult for Florida's secondary to match up with OU's talented group of receivers. The key will be how much pressure that Florida's athletic group gets on Oklahoma's offensive line. Only one team pushed them around - Texas - and they did it for only one half. But it was enough to pressure Sam Bradford and turn the game around. If OU gives Bradford enough protection, it could be a long night for the Gators and the key for Oklahoma's upset hopes.
What is the worst part of the Missouri defense?
Tim Griffin (11:10 AM)
Steiny: It's the cohesion, little pass rush meant the secondary struggled against the Big 12's best passing attacks. It was a recipe for disaster against the powerful Big 12 South teams like Texas and Oklahoma and even against Kansas.
Travis (Dallas, Tx)
Tim, is there anything OSU will throw at Texas that it has not seen already this season?
Tim Griffin (11:11 AM)
Travis: Probably not. I like Texas' chances in this game. Key for OSU will be to try to run the ball early and get Pryor in second-and-short and third-and-short situations for play-action passes.
What's your pick for the Gator Bowl? These two have to be two of the most Jekyll and Hyde teams in the country, so I have no clue what to expect.
Tim Griffin (11:12 AM)
Matt: I like Clemson just by a hair. I could see Nebraska win the game with a big effort. But I like the offensive talent that Dabo brings to this game. Should be a good game.
Better WR. Dez Bryant or Michael Crabtree?
Tim Griffin (11:13 AM)
Steiny: Give me Crabtree. Hard worker who is an inspiration to the rest of his team because of how hard he competes. Scouts tell me that he reminds them of a young Michael Irvin.
Jared King: ( Waycross,GA )
Love your blog which game do you think is the most interesting of all the big 12 non bcs bowl games? go huskers!!
Tim Griffin (11:14 AM)
Jared: I really am looking forward to all of them, but if I could pick only one it would be Texas Tech-Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl. The Red Raiders have something to prove and it's always fun to see Houston Nutt at the Cotton Bowl. I'm also enough of a history buff that it will be kind of sentimental to watch the last Cotton Bowl game played in Fair Park. I'm also looking forward to the Holiday Bowl with Oklahoma State and Oregon, too.
Baylor lost several close games this year. Will they have a better supporting cast for Griffin next year and be able to turn some of the close losses to victories?
Tim Griffin (11:17 AM)
Jake: They should with the return of Jay Finley and Kendall Wright. But they'll need to rebuild their offensive front and find some playmakers on defense to help Joe Pawelek. It's time for Art Briles to hit the recruiting trail, but he's doing it with some hope he didn't have last season.
Who will be Texas A&M's starting QB next season. Jerrod Johnson or Ryan Tannehill?
Tim Griffin (11:18 AM)
Should be a good competition, although Tannehill looked like one of the best young receivers in the conference when he was catching rather than throwing the ball.
4 star all-purpose back Rex Burkhead has committed to Nebraska. Do you think he is going to come in and play right away?
Tim Griffin (11:19 AM)
Burkhead is coming from one of the best programs in the state of Texas from Plano. He should have the physical tools to at least help. But look for Roy Helu Jr. to emerge as the Cornhuskers' featured back next season. He is a stud, to quote Bo Pelini.
Tim, do you think Taylor Potts can continue the same kind of success that Graham Harrell had at Tech? It seems like he has more tools (6'5, huge arm), but will he have the intelligence and accuracy that Harrell brings?
Tim Griffin (11:20 AM)
Jack: Potts has more physical tools than any of the quarterbacks who have played for Leach. But he doesn't have the intangibles of Harrell, who had more of them than anybody who played at the position at Tech with Leach. It will be interesting to see how Potts progresses next season.
Ben San Antonio Texas
Can you see Tubberville taking over for Weis after this year?
Tim Griffin (11:22 AM)
Ben: I can't see Notre Dame wanting to get rid of Charlie after the bowl victory, can you? Look for Notre Dame to be poised for a big season next year. Easy schedule might even get them into a BCS game.
Tim, I'm sure you have heard about the commitment of Jamarcus MacFarland to OU, have you been able to read the NY Times article that broke the story? There were some interesting items in that story that shine the University of Texas and others in a pretty unfavorable light. Being an "inside" guy how true to form does that article sound?
Tim Griffin (11:25 AM)
SV: Yes, I did read Thayer Evans' riveting account of McFarland's recruiting. But let's not be hasty about putting Texas or any other school in an unfavorable light. The story didn't link specific schools with the recruiting improprities that were detailed. But it doesn't surprise me. The story is probably pretty accurate. And I really liked reading about how OU assistant Jackie Shipp started screaming when he heard McFarland would be coming to his school. I bet that was his best Christmas present, don't you?
David (South Brunswick, NJ)
Is there a big time safety in the upcoming draft?
Tim Griffin (11:27 AM)
David: Maybe Taylor Mays from USC. William Moore of Missouri was highly regarded before the season but struggled with injuries this year.
Matt (Aurora, NE)
What do you expect out of the huskers next year? Will they be better or worse than this year?
Tim Griffin (11:28 AM)
Matt: It's kind of hard to say. Much of the defensive talent will be coming back. Suh should be a monster. But they have to find a quarterback to replace Ganz, which won't be easy. I think, however, if they play about the same as this year, 8-4 or 9-3, it might be good enough to enable them to sneak out with the North title. I think it's going to be very close and every even in the North in 2009.
Matt (Aurora, NE)
Who is your early early pick for offensive and defensive POY in the Big 12 in '09?
Tim Griffin (11:29 AM)
Matt: If he comes back, how about Colt McCoy and on defense, maybe Ndamukong Suh or Travis Lewis.
Casey (Santa Clarita CA)
Tim you love the BIG 12 so much. The secondary for Florida is incredible they remind me of the teams from Miami in the 2000-2002. What are you talking about? We will see?
Tim Griffin (11:31 AM)
Casey: I don't love the Big 12, I just see them more often. And I think the reason that Florida's secondary is good is because of the pass rush they often are benefitted with. But I don't know how many QBs they have faced like Sam Bradford, either. I know that Big 12 washout Jevan Sneed kind of made them look silly earlier this season, didn't he?
Tim: How overrated do you believe Notre Dame will be next year? Their bowl win was less than impressive beating up on an overmatched Hawaii team!
Tim Griffin (11:33 AM)
Hunter: Notre Dame will get a lot of bounce out of that bowl victory, no matter who it was against. And their schedule should be much easier next season with USC and Boston College at home.
No doubt, heck it was a top 3 of MY Christmas and I don't have all the vested time and energy into the situation. So with a talent like Jmac do you see him making the two deep? We are pretty talented and fairly deep at DT but also could have some guys going to the NFL, but Jmac is one of those elite guys who is going to compete anywhere immediately. How much do you think he will play and who do you think will go pro from this Sooner team?
Tim Griffin (11:35 AM)
SV: McFarland is highly regarded as one of a handful of players who can come in and play immediately. It is a position of strength for the Sooners with McCoy and Granger coming back. The players who I'm hearing will be most likely to come out are Jermaine Gresham and Sam Bradford. But with Reggie Smith and Curtis Lofton both being taken below where they might have thought when they declared for the draft, it might bode well for them coming back. We'll see before the Jan. 15 deadline.
Would Shipley of Texas been drafted if he had gone to the NFL this year instead of getting another year of eligibility?
Tim Griffin (11:35 AM)
Jake: I hear that he likely would have, although it might have been late on the second day because of injury concerns.
Should Marlon Lucky have left school his junior year?
Tim Griffin (11:37 AM)
Steiny: Probably. His draft status is lower after his senior season, but he did get a college degree, so it probably wasn't a bad deal for him, either.
Tim Griffin (11:37 AM)
Steiny: Yes I do. I'm picking Oklahoma State to win, 49-47. Wouldn't surprise me if a big play on special teams is the difference.
David (Houston, TX)
Lane Kiffin a good fit for Tennessee?
Tim Griffin (11:38 AM)
David: I think he is. People forget how hot he was when he was at USC. I'm hearing he's really getting the Volunteers into Florida, which will be a big key for them.
With the Big 12 losing its quarterback star power, what will be its claim to fame next year?
Tim Griffin (11:40 AM)
Colby: Don't discount those quarterbacks who will be back. McCoy, Z. Robinson, Reesing and maybe Bradford among the bowl teams. I still look for the conference to be known for its offense next season.
Matt (Aurora, NE)
What do you think of Pelini and Venables breaking down Florida together? Should Pelini have done this?
Tim Griffin (11:42 AM)
Matt: I know that Bo still remains very close with his old friends on the Oklahoma staff. And Urban Meyer contacted Mack Brown for some tips about defensing Oklahoma. I wouldn't read too much into it. Coaches help their friends in coaching all the time.
What is your take on Cody Green, the 4* QB that is commited to the Huskers? He has impressive stats this year.
Tim Griffin (11:43 AM)
It's easier to do that in high school than in college football. Let's see how he plays against college players before we start annoiting him as a star.
Joe (Wichita, KS)
I believe that Bo Pelini was referring to Joe Ganz, "He's a Stud." Do you think that Marlon Lucky has largely been a disappointment at Nebraska? He was overshadowed by Brandon Jackson and Roy Helu Jr during his tenure at Nebraska. Last year was his best year, but the Huskers were terrible, so a lot of that got overshadowed. I don't think he's got the explosiveness and ability to break tackles at the next level. What do you think?
Tim Griffin (11:44 AM)
Joe: I just meant that Pelini's favorite word of description for anybody is "a stud." Lucky did struggle this season, but showed flashes last year. I really like how he catches the ball. I think that might be his ticket at the next level - even more than running the ball.
Is the Big 12 North going to be more competitive with the Big 12 South next year, or will it be another 3-15 record again?
Tim Griffin (11:45 AM)
Colby: The North should figure to close the gap a little bit next season. 3-15 was an all-time worst and I don't see it as one-sided next season.
Tim, C'mon man, gimme one! How do you think Oklahoma will measure up with the speed/playmaking ability of the Gator's O? Conversely, what are some of the challenges facing the Florida D as they try to contain Bradford and his high-flying attack?
Tim Griffin (11:46 AM)
Mo: Sounds like a lot of points on both sides and an entertaining game. I just think the Florida defense will make more plays and push them to a victory. Should be a good game, though.
David (Houston, TX)
When will rookie contracts be limited in the pros? Do you think more players will stay in college longer as a result?
Tim Griffin (11:47 AM)
David: I'm hearing the fears about a wage scale shouldn't start until next season than this one because the NFLPA still hasn't picked a leader to replace Gene Upshaw. It might be tough for the NFL to cobble that together this year. Next season, might be a different story. But I still think we'll see a bunch of players declare for the draft this season, including some who clearly aren't ready.
How likely is it that the Big 12 tweaks its tiebreaker rules after what happened in the south division this year?
Tim Griffin (11:48 AM)
Mo: I think there's a great opportunity for it to happen at the league meetings next season. The league got a black eye and will want to do something about it.
What is your prediction for the Big 12 Championship next year?
Tim Griffin (11:50 AM)
Colby: I like Texas in the South. OU will challenge (particularly if Bradford is back) along with OSU, which could be poised to take a Texas Tech-like leap into contention. The North is wide open and my pick for a winner changes by the minute. I guess I like Kansas because Reesing and Sharp will be back, even with the toughest schedule. But it wouldn't surprise me if Nebraska, Missouri and even Kansas State challenges.
Jared (Kansas City)
Hey Tim, love the blog. I know you've already said that Texas is your Big XII front runner for next year. Who do you think their main competition for a national title will be?
Tim Griffin (11:50 AM)
Jared: How about Florida, if Tebow comes back. Also keep an eye on USC, too.
Casey (Santa Clarita CA)
Tim I enjoy your chats I know we disagree sometimes. What are you thoughts on the Ohio State vs Texas and Shipley vs Jenkins?
Tim Griffin (11:51 AM)
Great matchup in this one. I really like Jenkins to be able to shut down Texas' passing game. It will be a challenge for them to throw the ball against OSU's defense.
Why not Colorado for the North?
Tim Griffin (11:52 AM)
Colby: They've got to find a quarterback and stay healthy. Those are a big couple of ifs, even if Dan Hawkins thinks they are going 10-2 next season.
Blake (Destin FL)
Do you think the media (ESPN) is biased towards the BIG 12? Do you honestly believe Florida/Oklahoma score will be in the same ballpark as Florida/Alabama? I think there will be a lot of sports analysts like you eating their words when they watch an unentertaining, one-sided BCS Championship game.
Tim Griffin (11:52 AM)
Blake: That's why they play the games, isn't it? We'll see on Jan. 8.
How does Jevon Snead going 9-20 for 185 yards against UF make a defense look silly?
Tim Griffin (11:54 AM)
Kevin: I was thinking more specifically about one particular 86-yard pass to Shay Hodge. I bet the Gators still remember that.
the Big 12 is so overhyped the offenses are so good cause no one plays defense
Tim Griffin (11:55 AM)
Brian: It will be interesting to watch the bowl games. That could be the litmus test on how good Big 12 defenses really are.
Tim, you seem to be forgetting what happens to OSU when they play on the big stage. Old mother goose egg! Though they certainly have extra motivation to restore their reputation this year, I can't see them beating Texas. Too many weapons to defend, and OSU is, like most Big 10 teams, slow as molasses.
Tim Griffin (11:56 AM)
Mo: I know what the rap is about The Ohio State University. But the last time the Buckeyes matched up against the Longhorns - in Austin, to boot - they handled themselves pretty well. Colt McCoy has played a lot of games since then. It will be interesting to see how he responds this time around.
How impressed were you with Austen Arnaud this season?
Tim Griffin (11:57 AM)
Steiny: At times, Arnaud looked very good. At other times, he was very raw. It will be critical for Paul Rhoads to find a strong coordinator to help him develop.
Tim do you think that the Florida will be surprised with the quality of OU's defense? After all How many points were scored by other teams after the game was well in hand for the Sooners?
Tim Griffin (11:59 AM)
Phil: I would feel a lot better about Oklahoma's defense if Austin Box is back healthy playing in the middle. And the loss of DeMarcus Granger concerns me a little, too.
Here's an interesting one: Tebow or Bradford?
Tim Griffin (11:59 AM)
If I was drafting for an NFL team, I'd pick Bradford. But if I wanted to win now in college with equal talent, I might pick Tebow. I love his leadership and moxie.
Are you tired of hearing the nonsense SEC supporters talk about how bad Big 12 D is without pointing out that the offenses in the SEC are truly pathetic? Auburn won a game 3-2!? The defenses involved in that game were not that good. Maybe Big 12 defenses are not as good as those in the SEC, but SEC offenses are definitely inferior to the Big 12.
Tim Griffin (12:00 PM)
Keith: That's why they play the bowl games. And I can't wait.
Do you think that out of all the QB's in the Big 12, Josh Freeman will be the best NFL QB?
Tim Griffin (12:01 PM)
Steiny: I need to see him develop a little more. I would put Bradford ahead of him right now. But nobody matches Freeman's size or raw athleticism.
K-state hire back Bill Snyder? Is there really any chance he can make a difference for them?
Tim Griffin (12:02 PM)
Don't be surprised if the wise old taskmaster gets the Wildcats back winning. He inherits an underrated returning group of talent. Snyder also has hired a nice staff. It wouldn't surprise me if KSU makes a bowl next season.
Tim Griffin (12:02 PM)
Guys: Thanks for all of the good questions today. Happy holidays and enjoy the games this week. We'll catch up sometime next week. TG
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