Chat with Ted Miller
Miller has been covering college football since 1997, starting with Auburn and then heading West to Washington and the Pac-10. His columns for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer won first place in 2007 APSE Best Writing contest. The Atlanta native and University of Richmond graduate presently lives with his wife in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Send your questions now and join Miller in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday!
Ted Miller (2:01 PM)
I love chat. Chatty, chat, chat. Here it goes down, down into my belly. Fire away.
Scuba, Los angelas CA
hello ted, so excited to see your doing a chat =] do you think USC will finally have a BREAK OUT year for one of their highly talented running backs? and if so, who? as a usc fan i would love to see some stability in the back field since our passing game is kind of a question mark right now not knowing who the signal caller will be. Thank you, and ted, personally i think ur job should make u have to do a pac-10 chat every week =] haha just wishful thinking. FIGHT ON!!
Ted Miller (2:04 PM)
Thanks, Scuba.... As for the USC RBs, my guess is it's business as usual -- Carroll is too stubborn to change his "by committee" approach. Stafon Johnson should start as first among equals, but Gable, McKnight and Tyler will be in the mix... and this Curtis McNeal kid... hmm.
will washington improve under new coach? or is it de ja vu...all over again?
Ted Miller (2:05 PM)
I think Washington will improve with Sark. The program needs a high-energy guy and a high-energy staff. Things won't cure themselves overnight but there's not reason UW fans can't hope to get back to .500 within three years.
Do you think Mark Sanchez is making a mistake by entering the NFL Draft?
Ted Miller (2:07 PM)
No... he's going to be a top-10 pick. Sure, he might have gone No. 1 in 2010. Or he might have hurt his knee. Or he might have fallen behind Bradford. Too many variables for returning.
Joel (San Francisco, CA)
As for the Cal quarterback, why not Brock Mansion?
Ted Miller (2:09 PM)
It will be Mansion if Riley doesn't grab the prize this spring/preseason. But Riley has flashed promise, so it's not unreasonable to believe he's close to breaking through. Also, remember he was working with a green crew of WRs last year. And remember the Armed Forces Bowl performance...
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Who do you think has a better D Line going into the 2009 season, Cal or USC?
Ted Miller (2:10 PM)
That I paused is meaningful... but I'd still go with the Trojans. My excuse: 4 is better than 3. But I might change that after going to a few spring practices. Want to see first hand. And, Darryl, we all know how patient you are with things.
Jess (North Bend, OR)
Who do you think will win the starting quarterback job at Oregon State? Moevao, Canfield, or the sleeper Lalich?
Ted Miller (2:13 PM)
This is a really interesting situation. Moevao is such a good leader, and he played well last year. Canfield has more pure passing talent, and he played well coming off the bench late last season. Lalich has talent but was a bit of a head case at UVa. My guess is this one will go well into fall camp but Moevao holds onto the job... But Beavers fans should feel as good as any team in the Pac-10 about their Qb situation.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
But when the three are Derrick Hill, Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan, it can't get much better than that.
Ted Miller (2:14 PM)
True... that's a good three... but the Trojans have huge potential and numbers... they are deeper...but, again, we shall see how things look this spring.
How big an impact do you think the departure of Cignetti would have on Cal's relatively inexperienced offense?
Ted Miller (2:16 PM)
Actually... the Bears O welcomes back eight starters, so it's not inexperienced. It's not good to change OCs less than four weeks before spring, but that's the business. Because this is still Tedford's offense, my guess is things won't be drastically different under a new guy. I'm guessing, however, that Tedford is tired of changing OCs -- his next would be five since 2005.
With all 11 starters coming back on defense and most of the offense, what will be the biggest challenge the Gators have to face next season?
Ted Miller (2:18 PM)
Honestly... overconfidence. That's a loaded football team. But it's hard to face a season in which the only success is winning a national title, which is what the Gators face.
D. Erickson (Tempe, Arizona)
I'm busy, so quick and easy...Who do I start at QB this year? And how good is my defense going to be with the additions of Adams and Burfict?
Ted Miller (2:20 PM)
Word is you are going to get Burfict into school, giving the Sun Devils a deep LB corps, and Adams may start immediately, forming an outstanding young tandem with Lawrence Guy. As for Qb... word is there's a really tall frosh out of montana who's already enrolled...
pick one right now. Mullen at State or Kiffen at Tennessee?
Ted Miller (2:20 PM)
Eric (Pullman, WA)
What reasons for optimism should I have for the upcoming football season at WSU?
Ted Miller (2:23 PM)
First, it can't get worse, right? And, odds are, injuries won't be as epidemic this year. And a second year with Wulff's systems should help. But, to be honest, it might be a slog to get the program back into bowl contention. Even with a solid recruiting class, there are talent gaps...
Jess (North Bend, OR)
Who is your pick in the Pac-10 to have a breakout year? How about one on offense and one on defense?
Ted Miller (2:26 PM)
Tough one... Offense: guessing one of the incoming Oregon receivers is going to come up big -- Gaines or Jackson. Defense: DT Lawrence Guy or one of USC's sophomore DLs -- Jurrell Casey or Armond Armstead. Also, isn't it time for Everson Griffen to live up to his potential?
Mike (Portland, OR)
How well do you think the transfer from Cal, James Montegomery, will do at WSU?
Ted Miller (2:27 PM)
I think he'll be the starter this fall... and I think he's another reason for Coug fans to have hope. He would have gotten plenty of carries last year at Cal.
Tony Atlanta, ga
Will Michigan ever return to it's glory days
Ted Miller (2:28 PM)
Yes... without question, whether it's with this coach or the next. Too much tradition. And fan support.
Dan - San Jose
What should I expect from Stanford in 2009? Can I plan on going to a couple of games and watching a bowl-bound team, or just a team that plays hard and might win a handful of games?
Ted Miller (2:30 PM)
Stanford needs Rb Toby Gerhart to resist the $ of the major league draft. If that happens, the pieces are in place for a winning season and bowl berth. Of course, the Cardinal has to pass and defend the pass better. So Qb and secondary are hot spots this spring.
Larry (Glendale, CA)
Do you see UCLA winning a national title in football during your lifetime?
Ted Miller (2:31 PM)
Yes... but I plan to live a LONG time. Ever seen Highlander?
Nick (Corvallis, OR)
who is the head coach at Oregon next season.
Ted Miller (2:31 PM)
Either Mike Bellotti or Chip Kelly.... Oh, you mean one guy... if I were in Vegas, I'd put a $5 bill on C-Kels.
Tony Atlanta, Ga
Is the rest of the Pac-10 catching up with USC and who has a chance to unseat them at the top of the PAC-10
Ted Miller (2:35 PM)
USC seems vulnerable this year, at least in terms of what the Trojans usually have on hand. And Cal and, perhaps, Oregon both have the personnel to, if things fall right, unseat the Trojans. But, as I've said before, USC isn't a Pac-10 problem. It's national problem. USC is the premier program in the nation. The Trojan would dominate whatever conference they played in. I know SEC fans hate reading that, but in their honest hearts they know it to be true.
According to most of the recruiting websites, the Pac-10 had the second-best recruiting after the SEC. And those websites mysteriously have an abnormal percentage of their best prospects in the South... What will it take for the conference to get more respect nationally?
Ted Miller (2:37 PM)
No conference plays as difficult a nonconference schedule as the Pac-10. But the Pac-10 has to win more of those games to get national respect. And it certainly can't lose a bunch of games to the Mountain West if it wants to claim equality with the SEC and Big 12.
Nick (SLC, UT)
Any chance Utes go into Autzen next season and stun the world? ;) Go Utes!
Ted Miller (2:39 PM)
as I was saying.... Heck yeah the Utes got a chance... Boise won at Autzen (though the Ducks were using their 14th QB in the 4th quarter). And, by the way, did you watch the Sugar Bowl.... chance? Heck yeah.
Pete Carroll (Los Angeles, CA)
I lost both my offensive and defensive coordinators, my starting QB and my entire defense. If I finish in the Top 10, can I finally get a coach of the year award?
Ted Miller (2:40 PM)
Bryan (Chicago, IL)
Is the USC @ OSU the nonconference game of the year for the Pac-10? Does that game answer more questions for USC or OSU? Both seem to have lost big parts of their defenses.
Ted Miller (2:42 PM)
Yes... it's a marquee matchup that will announce one or the other as a national title contender. It's bigger for Ohio State because the Big Ten has taken so much heat the past couple of seasons. Got to defend the 'Shoe.
CJ (Los Angeles, CA)
Who do you think wins the UCLA QB Derby? My money's on Prince. And what are the chances we win upwards of 8 games?
Ted Miller (2:44 PM)
you're going to kill me... I'm a craft lean. I'm curious as to how he reacts this spring... does he wilt or assert himself. And keep in mind that Prince and Forcier couldn't unseat a guy who threw 20 INTs in 2008, so what makes it certain they'll do it now. As for eight games... that's a little high but stranger things have happened...
Mike (Berkeley, CA)
If Cal manages to go 5-0 (vs Maryland, vs E Wash, at Minn, at Ore, vs USC) to start the year, will they be ranked in the top 5? And then will we see our annual second half slide?
Ted Miller (2:46 PM)
If the Bears go 5-0 vs. that slate they might be No. 1, particularly if USC beats Ohio State. As for the second-half slide... is that an annual deal? I thought it only happened in 2007. The Bears won five of their final seven in 2008.
Ricky( Los Altos, Ca)
I understand Jeremiah Masoli and LeGarrette Blount are very good but is that enough for Oregon to be competitive this year. They lose many on the O-Line and D-Line. They will have to break in a number of WR's and their secondary doesn't have many returners either. So what's keeping Oregon in the top half of the conference?
Ted Miller (2:50 PM)
Did you read my mailbag? Answered this. Those who think highly of the Ducks in 2009 believe there's enough depth on hand to answer many of these questions. To me, the only real issue is the defensive line. A big issue, yes, but one that can be solved if young guys step up.
Jang (Alexandria, VA)
I am planning to buy Rose Bowl tickets expecting Cal to make it. Is this a good idea?
Ted Miller (2:51 PM)
I like the spunky optimism. Good idea? Probably not in this economy. But it's not a ridiculous idea.
CJ (Los Angeles, CA)
Don't forget Prince missed most of his Senior season of HS with a torn ACL -- hence his redshirting. What are your early feelings on our matchup in Tennessee? We're not going to pull a CAL down there, right?
Ted Miller (2:54 PM)
Boy, you guys haven't been much on the road of late. That's an issue. And Neyland Stadium might shock the system of all those young Bruins who figure to start or play a lot. That's going to be a tough one for UCLA. Not unwinnable, but the Bruins will be decided underdogs. As for Prince, fair enough. To be honest, I haven't seen much of him. Craft and Forcier got almost all the reps when I watched the Bruins last preseason.
Ted- who is your all-time favorite team in college football. How about your top program and then your favorite team in the past(mine is OSU 2000-01)?
Ted Miller (2:57 PM)
I have love for all teams.
Lincoln (Edmonds, WA)
Any talk of the Pac10 going back to 4 non-conference games? Although I love the round-robin play, if other conferences don't follow suit, it hurts us nationally.
Ted Miller (2:59 PM)
Not that I've heard. The Pac-10 just needs to be more judicious in its scheduling. Play one marquee nonconference foe a year. Then play two teams you should beat. The ole A, B, C model.
Ben Mobile AL.
Who starts at QB for the trogens? Corp or Mustain, what about the freshmen?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Corp starts with a slight lead, but I think this one is fairly wide open, even with the Barkley.
Troy (Montrose, CA)
Who is going to be the next commissioner of the Pac-10?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
The next pac-10 commissioner will be... wait. We're out of time. Sorry. Thanks for checking in!