Chat with Tim Griffin
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin stops by to chat about the upcoming season.
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 Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Tim Griffin (3:01 PM)
Let's get this party started. Fire away when ready.
Jon (Topeka, KS)
Can Neb still win Big 12 North over Kansas?
Tim Griffin (3:03 PM)
Jon: I still have Kansas favored by just a smidge. I've really been impressed with Kansas' balanced attack so far this season. Check my story on their running game that will be posted a few minutes after this is over. I think we'll have a better idea of how good Nebraska is after the Cornhuskers plan at Virginia Tech this weekend. That will be a nice test for Zac Lee. We'll see how legitimate the Cornhuskers really are at that game.
Any chance of Houston or TCU replacing Colorado in the Big 12. they are a doormat in football and basketball and don't even participate in some spring sports. Both of these schools have played their way in,in my opinion.
Tim Griffin (3:13 PM)
Sorry, a little problems with my wireless there. Like I said before zapping out, I don't see any rush to get rid of Colorado from the conference's standpoint. They were one of the biggest power schools when the conference started and did win four North titles in five years earlier in this decade. It's just a cylical thing, in my opinion.
Oklahoma State's win over Georgia has lost some luster; Especially after the Bulldogs gave up 37 to South Carolina. They aren't the 3rd best team in the Big XII still are they??
Tim Griffin (3:15 PM)
Ryan: For now, I think they are. They have played two opponents better than either Nebraska or Kansas has faced. OSU dominated Georgia and had a couple of tipped passes that helped change the momentum against Houston while playing without the Big 12's top running back for nearly three quarters. We'll see how it plays out.
Ty G. (Dallas, Texas)
Hi Tim,What percentage chance do you give my red raiders to win in the showdown in Austin this weekend? I'm just wanting them to compete and not get blown out.
Tim Griffin (3:16 PM)
Ty: I would say less than 10 percent. It's gonna be Taylor Potts' first start, the fans in Austin remember last year (even if the Longhorns say they don't) and Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree are gone.
Chris (Birmingham, AL )
Darius Reynolds and Marquis Hamilton are available in my BIG 12 and SEC FF league. Which one will get more balls thrown their way?
Tim Griffin (3:18 PM)
Chris: I would pick Darius Reynolds. He'll run some Wildcat plays and look for him to throw a pass or two this season. He already tried one.
Derek Campbell (Independence, MO)
Mr. Griffin-Why would Missouri fall out of the AP rankings but move into the Coaches Poll after a win? I know that it was not the prettiest of things, but they came from two scores down and went up by a touchdown to win. I think that they should at least deserved to remain at 25 or at most bump to 24.
Tim Griffin (3:20 PM)
Derek: Poll voters are a hypercritical lot and style points do matter, particularly when the Tigers trailed most of the game against a non-BCS opponent. They'll have their chance to convince those voters and state their case for a ranking when they visit Nevada and host Nebraska. Those will be interesting games.
Heather Hampshire (Dallas)
Do you think all the criticism of Texas' non-conference schedule is a little bit unfair? After all, we were supposed to play Arkansas and Utah this year, who both pulled out. And we tried to schedule Minnesota last minute, but couldn't get that deal done.
Tim Griffin (3:22 PM)
Heather:Unfortunately for the Longhorns, good intentions don't count much in college football. You're going to hear a lot about the Longhorns' weak schedule in November if they keep winning. I actually think that string they have with Oklahoma followed by road trips to Missouri and Oklahoma State will be pretty difficult. I wonder how many pollsters will consider that.
Brian C (San Angelo, TX)
Obviously, the Big 12 has been sketchy in regards to its top teams, but as a whole from top to bottom, would you say the conference is over-rated?
Tim Griffin (3:24 PM)
Brian: I wouldn't say the conference as a whole is overrated. I just think the less-than-imposing starts by supposed power teams Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas haven't helped build much support. I still think the top 7-8 teams in the conference are as good as any. But in order to prove that, Big 12 teams have to win their out of conference games against other BCS schools to prove it.
Trey Wright (ST LOUISSSSSS!!)
Is Blaine Gabbert not the greatest potential Professional Quarterback in all of College Football!?!?
Tim Griffin (3:26 PM)
Trey:Maybe after the first game, but Gabbert looked a little more mortal in his second game. Still like him a lot and he has a lot of upside. But let's see how he learns from those lessons he was taught by the Bowling Green defense.
Brandon Sieckman (Overland Park, KS)
Tim, love the blog! You always keep my day going with it!With a renewed running game and a new stout defense, if the Jayhawks keep it up, is it crazy to see them finishing 10-2? I only see OU and Texas as "probably lose" games on the schedule. I think the TT matchup is a toss-up. What do you think?
Tim Griffin (3:28 PM)
Brandon:I have been impressed with the Jayhawks so far. But they still face that challenging gauntlet and winning at Texas Tech has never been easy for them. And I still think the North Division is going to be very balanced. I give them a slight edge at this moment because of their improved running game and better-than-expected pass rush.
Tim- with all this talk about the Big 12 being overrated, what team(s) in the Big 12 do you feel are underrated?
Tim Griffin (3:29 PM)
Kyle:Good question. For now, how about Kansas and Nebraska. We'll learn a lot about them over the next couple of weeks. And Texas Tech will have a chance to prove something this week in Austin -- although that game will be extremely difficult.
Tim, do you think that Oklahoma State could win out and beat the rest of their remaining schedule and some how compete for a Big XII title?
Tim Griffin (3:31 PM)
Tyler:No recent why they shouldn't. Florida took off after a loss to Ole Miss last season and won 10 straight games. But in order to go on any kind of run, the Cowboys' hopes will start with the improvement of Zac Robinson. His inconstent play has been the most noticed concer they have this season.
Dave (Atlanta, GA)
Thanks for the time Tim. Will Dan Hawkins be coaching the Buffs in 2010 and will they ever return to national contention? Go BUFFS!
Tim Griffin (3:33 PM)
Dave:If I'm to believe the story about Colorado's lack of money in their athletic department, yes I do think he'll be back. And I think that one day they'll be back in national title contention. It just takes the right coach.I don't know if Hawkins is that guy or not.
Tim, how do you feel about Baylor's chances this weekend against UConn? They put up a pretty good fight, and should have beaten a strong UNC team last week.
Tim Griffin (3:37 PM)
Jason: I like Baylor's chances, particularly with the uncertanties of UConn's QB situation. This is a different Baylor team that went to Storrs last season. I'll take the Bears in a close one.
Kevin (Kansas City, MISSOURI)
What's the real Mizzou and Blaine Gabbert? Week 1 domination of Illinois or week 2 struggle against Bowling Green?
Tim Griffin (3:38 PM)
Kevin:I'm thinking somewhere in between. That level probably is enough to keep them in Big 12 North title contention and let them win 7-8 games this season.
What are the chances of K State pulling out a victory this Saturday. What possible challenges do they pose for my Bruins?
Tim Griffin (3:40 PM)
The Bruins will have a new qb with Prince out of the lineup. I was impressed with what I heard about KSU's defense. The offense is a different story. They need to lean on Daniel Thomas, hope for a consistent game from their quarterback and pray their special teams get turned around. It will still be a tough task because it will be played on the road.
Kris (McKinney, TX)
why doesn't texas tech's D get as much credit for the huge turn around since ruff took over?
Tim Griffin (3:43 PM)
Kris: It's natural for Tech's defense to be forgotten about because of all the big numbers that Mike Leach's offense has always produced.That being said, I think Ruffin McNeill is the most underrated D-coordinator in the conference. His unit's improvement and the improved running game were the two biggest reasons the Red Raiders earned that three-way tie last season.The Red Raiders have always had trouble matching Texas in the trenches until last season. I'm interested to see if that trend continues on Saturday night.
James Moore (Bryan, TX)
Hey Tim, love the blog. I was pleasantly suprised to see some semblance of the wrecking crew return last week. Can Mike Sherman really come from the NFL and succeed like Pete Carrol, or is he just the next Bill Callahan?
Tim Griffin (3:45 PM)
James: Again, I think that Sherman will be a little in between those levels. I was impressed about the story in how Sherman turned to some high-school football coaches in his area to talk and learn about the spread offense. That was a smart thing to do and showed that he doesn't have any airs of superiority if he did that. It looked like a pretty wise decision against New Mexico. We likely won't learn much more until A
mike randle (chicago il)
Where does Sam bradford go from here the front runner for the heisman trophy now may be out for the season which could effect him in next year Nfl draft
Tim Griffin (3:47 PM)
Mike: I think Bradford still is a high first-round draft choice no matter what. I hear some of the pro scouts knocking him about his durability after his injury, but give him a break. I think it will be critical for him to come back and have a strong finish. But if he does that, he still will be a high NFL draft pick and still make millions.
tyler (ravenna, ne)
what do u think the chances are for nebraska to beat v tech
Tim Griffin (3:48 PM)
Tyler: Say about 40 percent. They will need some big plays to get there.
Matt (Cedar Falls, IA)
Best O coordinator? Best D coordinator?
Tim Griffin (3:49 PM)
Matt:How about Mike Leach at Texas Tech who by all accounts is his own coordiantor and Will Muschamp of Texas on defense. And I might say Shawn Watson at Nebraska as the top offensive coordinator as well.
BJ (Waco, Tx)
How many games will Baylor win?
Tim Griffin (3:50 PM)
BJ: I thought before the season they would win six, but I wasn't counting Wake Forest. How about 7-5 and a trip to the Houston Bowl. Would that suit you?
Justin (Austin, TX)
Will this finally be the year a Texas QB gets the heisman?
Tim Griffin (3:52 PM)
Justin: It is amazing that a Texas quarterback has never won the Heisman. I think that Colt McCoy needs to run the table and hope that Tim Tebowl struggles through a bad game or two. If that happens, I can see McCoy winning the Heisman. But he's going to need some luck.
Brent (Lincoln, NE)
Better team entrance, Va Tech's Enter Sandman or Nebraska's Tunnel Walk?
Tim Griffin (3:53 PM)
Brent: I'll go with the Tunnel Walk because I like the Alan Parsons Project more.
Tim, the best offense and the best defense in the Big12 through last week is. . .
I know stoops is keeping it low but realistically, will Bradford be back for Miami? (im going to that game...go canes)
Tim Griffin (4:00 PM)
I think that might be pushing things. If I'm realistic, I think the more likely chance will be him ready against Baylor.
When is Colorado's best chance for their first win?
Tim Griffin (4:02 PM)
C.J. How about this week against Wyoming. They match up well against the Cowboys.
Tim Griffin (4:03 PM)
Also Joe, my computer went out for a few seconds when I was trying to answer your question about the best Big 12 offense and defense so far.Best offense is Kansas, despite who they played. I love the balance and the running game.And best defense is OU. They played well enough to win both games, holding BYU to 14 points and shutting out -- or stoning, to steal a phrase from Brent Venables -- Idaho State.
Tim Griffin (4:04 PM)
Guys:Thanks again for bearing with me through my computer problems today. Hopefully, better luck next time.Enjoy the games and let's check back again next week, OK?