Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller will stop by to talk some college football.
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 Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Ted Miller (3:00 PM)
Howdy folks... fire away
Alan (Portland, OR)
If Masoli is still struggling this Saturday, should they starting thinking Costa? Thomas?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
That's a tough one. Are we doubting Chip Kelly's judgment on QBs? If Kelly still believes Masoli is his man, then he probably knows best for his team. That said, my guess is that Kelly will think about getting Costa into the mix if Masoli has another 4 for 16 day passing. And yet... if the Ducks win without passing well, why bench the QB? Winning is what matters.
Ted, with the loss of Micheal Floyd, are the Irish on "upset alert" this weekend against Purdue?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
no... but it wouldn't shock me.
With the win over USC can you see Washington becoming an above average or better team with a chance at a small bowl?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
I think we get the measure of Washington this weekend. It's one thing to play a good team close (LSU) and to notch an upset (USC). It's another to establish a pattern of winning. It's also hard for me to wrap my mind around Washington winning six or seven games with their schedule, as well as with how things went last year. But if the Huskies win at Stanford, there would be no reason to doubt... I'd say bowl team.
Travis (Los Angeles)
Ted, do you think UCLA is the real deal?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
I'd like to see more of QB Kevin Prince, who won't play again until Oct. 10, but that defense is stout. It will keep the Bruins in most of their games this season. So if real deal is 6 or 7 wins and a bowl game. I'm in. If it's 8 or 9 wins, I'm still waiting for a couple of cards to flip before going all-in.
Will J (Portland, OR)
I think Oregon St will win this weekend. They are coming off a tough loss to Cincy, and UA couldn't move the ball at Iowa. Thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
I picked Oregon State but I went back and forth because I still think Arizona is a good team -- though my preseason celebrating of the 'Cats would seem smarter if Rob Gronkowski's back didn't kill his sure-to-be All-American season. I've got real concerns with the Beavers O-line and the lack of a pass rush could help new starting UA Qb Nick Foles find a rhythm... but I like the Beavers playing at home and starting to catch their stride.
Ted, my friend and I argue all the time. Who do you think is the true "America's Team" of College Football?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
Good topic... I don't think there is one.Notre Dame? You love them or hate them?USC? Same.Florida? My Georgia buddies would stomp me for saying such a thing."America's team" is about a team that attracts purely casual fans. That's just not the backbone of college football.If there is an America's team, it's the underdog.
AU (Birmingham, AL)
If Auburn went undefeated and there were still 3 undefeated teams, would Auburn still lose a shot at the NC because of how under the radar they were at the start of the season?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
No... if the Tigers win at Arkansas, LSU and Georgia and beat Ole Miss and Alabama and Florida (in the SEC title game). They will be No. 1 in every final poll. Period.Good luck with that.
What is your take on the latest polls? As a diehard buckeye fan, I found it tough to believe that OSU dropped from 11-13th after a 38-0 win over Toledo. Oklahoma jumped us, even though BYU lost, USC stayed ahead even though they lost by the same margain as OSUvUSC etc... THOUGHTS ON THE POLLS?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Polls.. pfftt..Don't get too worked up just yet.... In my latest Power Rankings, I mistakenly omitted Florida State and my mailbox is full of angry FSU fans... and rightfully so.Typically, these things work themselves out by season's end and the polls start to be far more defensible.
What happened to Mitch Mustain at USC.... He was supposed to be the real deal? Does he and Carroll have issues? What a wasted talent...
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
Lots of folks have been asking. Mustain has talent and likely will get a shot at the next level, but he's just never outperformed the other USC Qbs. He was a clear loser to Mark Sanchez and he seemed to fall behind Aaron Corp last year, too. His problem has always been decision-making, and his practice interceptions have caught Pete Carroll's ire. I guess the issue at present, though, is if Matt Barkley is still hurt (he'll start but is still hurt) and Aaron Corp was that overwhelmed, why not give Mustain a chance. My guess is Carroll doesn't think that makes his team better. Not like he doesn't want good QB play.
Is Cal's Kickoff team the biggest problem facing the Bears? The kickers cannot seem to kick the ball past the 15 yard line which results in the other team starting near the 40 every time.
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
I laughed at Jeff Tedford when he told me that was his biggest concern entering the season -- kickoff team? I thought he was messing with me.He wasn't. Field position is so important. Cal has three solid kickers, but clearly none has a big foot. And the coverage has been lacking. It's a big deal and it might bite the Bears on the butt at some point.
Ted - Should I be alarmed when my wife (huge Penn St. fan) starts rooting for Ohio St, Michigan, and Minnesota? Is strength of schedule really that important? I mean, I wouldn't root for the Ducks if humanity depended on it.
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
Funny... your wife is sharp.If you're trying to get to a BCS game, you should always root for all your opponents to win... Boise State should don green this weekend to root the Ducks over the Bears... I know it's hard to imagine rooting for the Ducks, as a Beavers fan, but wouldn't it feel better to beat the No. 8 Ducks rather than the 5-loss Ducks?
Who wins on Saturday? Alabama's Defense? Arkansas' Offense?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Mike (Berkeley, CA)
Ted, I go back and forth between being panicked about Cal's road deficiencies and giddy about Jahvid's potential day (assuming stats don't lie). Your thoughts on the game?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
The road issues were more about time zones, though obviously the Bears lost three pac-10 road games last year... keep in mind they won in Autzen in a thriller in 2007... As for the game, I'm sure Best will make his plays, but in games like this it's almost always someone you don't expect who comes to the fore. For Cal, maybe it's Kevin Riley or Marvin Jones. For Oregon, LaMichael James or the forgotten Ed Dickson.
Is Moevao more hurt then the Beavers are letting on? Seems to me he should be the starter if healthy enough.
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
I don't think he's more hurt. I think he's getting better but isn't 100 percent.Also, Canfield has been lights out since spring. Sure, he wasn't great vs. Cincinnati but I'd pin that loss more on the O-line than Canfield.It will be interesting to see how Mike Riley handles the situation when Moevao is 100 percent... he appears to be getting closer.
Alex (San Fran)
Don't you think it's ridiculous when Cal gives the ball to Shane Vereen multiple series instead of Best? When you have the best player in the country on your team, you need to give it to him. Or at least throw the ball because Riley has looked good this season, and I haven't been impressed with Vereen.
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
No... I just saw a stat on how much more productive Best is in the first quarter vs. the fourth. Best isn't a 30 carries guy. He needs to rest. Cal is fortunate to have a backup tailback who'd start for a lot of teams. I know you want to see best all the time BUTTo be his best best must rest! ha!
At the end of the year how many Pac 10 teams will be in the top 10 and top 25?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
two top 10... four ... maybe five ... top 25.
Ted, this chat has been highly disappointing. I'm sending you an invoice for a portion of my internet bill.
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Hey Ted, can you tell us what your thoughts are on Corp? The guy played poorly. Do you credit it to him not being that good or him not being ready?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
I feel bad for him. He had one game, on the road, coming back from a broken leg with a game-plan that didn't give him much to work with.Was he bad? Yes. Does this mean he can't play, no way. How many quarterbacks were great from their first start on? Few...
Jason (Los Angeles)
Is this Miami hype a little out of control? Haven't seen a single person pick them to lose this weekend.
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
If the 'Canes lose this weekend, we can say the hype is out of control. Va Tech is a tough place to play, but Miami is clicking..
Ali (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Ted, when do you realistically see QB Kevin Prince returning to the field at full strength? It is my understanding that he'll lose a lot of good weight(muscle mass), and not be immediately football ready as a result of his jaw being shut.
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
Islamabad.. golly. For real?Your point might be why Neuheisel qualified why Prince would be healthy by Oct. 10 but might not play... a broken jaw tends to reduce the amount of steak a guy can eat. That said, I'm sure that UCLA's staff has been focusing on nutrition and conditioning, not to mention that a QB doesn't have to go toe-to-toe in the trenches. Losing five or 10 pounds won't ruin Prince's ability to throw.
If you could describe Penn States schedule in one word, what would it be?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Who's opening weeks have been tougher? Ducks or Miami?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
If I throw in Oklahoma on Oct. 3, I'd say Miami... Do we count LeGarrette Blount?At FSU, Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech and Oklahoma is ridiculous.
matt (los angeles, ca)
please tell me why cal doesn't beat oregon by 4 tds? or do you just pick cal to win by the spread each week?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Matt, I will be shocked if Cal beats Oregon by 28 points. I will be surprised if it's not a competitive game that goes into the fourth quarter. Why? Because that's typically what happens in tough Pac-10 games.
JJ STOKLEY (SF, CA)
Cal going undefeated you heard it first!
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
You weren't first.... but duly noted.
Hey Ted, which Cal receiver do you see stepping up now that Nayan Boatang is injured?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
Keep in mind that Boateng was No. 3... I'd say Jeremy Ross steps up, as he did at Minnesota... maybe Alex Lagemann gets more chances.
should we be worried about colt mccoys early struggles
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
I'd worry when -- if -- he loses a game... He's still Colt McCoy. My guess is he and the offense are just struggling to find a new rhythm.
Which Pac-10 player is the most important to his team at this point in the season?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
Jake Locker. Without question.And at this point he's headed toward first-team All-Pac-10 and a likely 2010 Heisman candidacy if he comes back for his senior year.
Bruin Fan (LA)
Everything I read made it seem like Brehaut would at the least get some snaps last Saturday. Obviously that didn't happen. Can you give us your insight on 1) what happened, 2) his role this year, 3) likely potential?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Neuheisel has always seemed high on Brehaut, but my guess is Craft's experience game him an edge. I haven't seen enough of him to comment on his long-term potential, though I've only heard good things. There aren't a lot of games left on the schedule when you'd experiment with the lineup. Unless Brehaut clearly outplays Craft in practice, you'll probably seem Craft as the backup -- or starter until Prince returns.
Don (San Francisco)
Any thoughts on Toby Gerhart's pro potential?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
I think he's got good pro potential... he probably wants to showcase his receiving skills a bit more... but his size and better-than-expected speed suggest to me he'll play on Sundays.
Is anything better for college football than a good, fast cocky Hurricanes team?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
I love it when teams like Miami, Michigan, Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, etc. are good. I'm sure the ACC would be excited to invite the old Canes back to the show. THe conference needs more elite teams not more merely good ones.
Hey Ted, I need a good breakdown of the Humboldt State and Dixie State game this weekend. Who will win this D2 powerhouse game?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Humboldt State won't be whistling Dixie, that's for sure.
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
Folks... as usual, it's been fun. Got to run.Hope all your teams win this weekend.