Chat with Tim Griffin
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Tim Griffin (1:01 PM)
I'm balancing a sick 5-year-old at home today with everything else. But let's get ready to chat with "Yo Gabba Gabba" going in the background.Thank goodness for Nick Jr. on sick days.
Tim, do you think Texas will beat the SEC champ in the national championship?
Tim Griffin (1:02 PM)
Christine: I think the Longhorns have a great shot. I think what they need to do over the next month - as well, obviously as win the Big 12 title - is build some confidence in their running game. Alabama and Florida would tee off on Colt McCoy in a lot of third-and-8 and second-and-10 situations. I think that is vital for them over the next few weeks.
Jordan (Pasadena Tx)
with Texas' weak schedule comming up how long should mack keep McCoy in for? you dont wanna risk injury yet you want him to get his numbers to help his heisman numbers. finish the 3rd and out or let him rack up the numbers?
Tim Griffin (1:03 PM)
Jordan: I think it will depend on the feel of the game. I don't think anybody could argue that Mack Brown's timing was good last week, even if left McCoy three yards shy of the school single-game passing record. Mack's got a pretty good handle on things.
Justin (Seattle, WA)
Has anybody ever gone from the National Championship Game to the Alamo Bowl (or comparable, less-prestigious bowl) in just one year before?Also, is there any way Oklahoma doesn't become bowl eligible?!?!
Tim Griffin (1:09 PM)
Justin: Texas went from the 2005 national title game to the 2006 Alamo Bowl. The Sooners actually could skid past San Antonio to either El Paso or Tempe (Insight Bowl) if they don't finish strongly. And yes, there is a way the Sooners can't go bowling. They have to win one of their final games against A&M, Texas Tech or Oklahoma State. They lose all three of those games, they could be staying home this year.
Tim,As many have noticed...The Texas offense is much less threatening than last year. If you look at the numbers it may not seem that way, but I also feel the level of competition they have faced across the Big 12 is less than last year. I know it's hard for McCoy to put up the freakshow numbers he did last year, but what gives?
Tim Griffin (1:11 PM)
Greg: I think the Big 12 defensive coordinators have done a nice job of catching up with the spread across the conference. But I also think that injuries and suspensions have wreaked havoc on the Big 12. What would be different if Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham, Dez Bryant, Kendall Hunter, Robert Griffin and Todd Reesing all would have been eligible this season. I think the Big 12's national profile would be a little different.
Scott G (Los Angeles, CA)
Tim,Any chance Hawkins survives the season? If not, who do you think are the top coaching candidates to replace him?
Tim Griffin (1:12 PM)
Scott: I think the Buffaloes showed some life in their comeback victory against A&M. It will be interesting to see if they can duplicate it at Iowa State this week. Hawk has struggled on the road in the past. It's a big game for him to turn things around.
Pett (Manhattan, KS)
Is it safe to say that if K-State wins at least one of their last two games against either MU or NU that Snyder will be the Big XII COTY? How about if we win the last two? Do you think then that Bill deserves to be in the conversation for NCOTY?
Tim Griffin (1:13 PM)
Pett: I'm thinking that Snyder's case would be much stronger as the North Division champ, but he's done a good enough job in my mind to challenge no matter how the other two games go. My other top contenders would be Mike Gundy, Paul Rhoads and Mack Brown, probably in that order.
Jeff (Pittsburgh, pa)
what, realistically, do you think Bob Stoops will do for the rest of the season / this offseason to regain OU's "swagger"?
Tim Griffin (1:14 PM)
Jeff: How about win his last three games and win a bowl game. That would be a big change from how he's finished the last few seasons. It would give the Sooners something to build on as they move into 2010.
Robert (Columbia, MO)
Hey time, I absolutely love your blog... After this past weekend, can you make any more sense of the big 12 north?
Tim Griffin (1:16 PM)
Robert: I'm thinking that Nebraska and Kansas State look like the two most solid challengers. Nebraska a little bit more because of the Cornhuskers' defense. I like the Cornhuskers because they do get KSU at home next week.
Justin (Austin, TX)
Can the NFL draft Colt and Shipley together? It will be awkward for them to room together if they play for different teams...
Tim Griffin (1:17 PM)
Justin: Agreed. I don't think we'll see them together. It will also be interesting to see where Shipley will be taken as he's a little older than most of the draft-eligible players coming into the draft. But he's still a producer who I think can make an NFL team. I see him as a Wes Welker type.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Tim, do you think Okla. State or Texas Tech will finish out the season stronger?
Tim Griffin (1:18 PM)
Craig: I look for both teams to lose a game during the rest of the season. OSU will lose at Norman to the Sooners. I think Tech loses this week at OSU. That would give the Cowboys the inside track to the Cotton Bowl if nothing weird happens.
What are some of the bowl match-ups that you would like to see pan out for the Big 12 teams?
Tim Griffin (1:22 PM)
Colin: If you were asking my personal choices, here they are.Rose - Texas vs Florida. The Tebow-McCoy matchup would be delicious. Cotton - OSU vs LSU. Cowboys against Les Miles.Holiday - Nebraska vs USC. Two tradition-rich programs. Alamo - Texas Tech vs. Penn State. Leach vs. Paterno would be kind of cool. Sun - Oklahoma vs. Arizona. Battle of the Stoops brothers. Insight - Missouri vs. Michigan. Good matchup of offensive styles.Independence - ISU vs. Auburn. Would love to see Chizik vs. Rhoads.Anybody else have any others they would like?
Jeff (Washington DC)
Roy Helu Jr looked healthy for the first time in weeks Saturday night against Oklahoma. If Helu is indeed back to 100% what are the chances of the NU offense getting back on track this week against Kansas?
Tim Griffin (1:23 PM)
Jeff:Very good. The Cornhuskers are a different team when Helu is healthy. Their whole offense looks different to me when he's consistently gaining yards.
Jason (Akron, OH)
It looks like Nebraska or KState will win the Big12 north...how do either of them match up to UT?
Tim Griffin (1:26 PM)
Jason: Not good, but we still need a championship game. Both opponents would provide some sizzle because of the historic Nebraska-Texas feud since the pre-Big 12 era. And KSU is the only team in the North that Texas doesn't have a winning record in the conference's history. KSU is 6-4, including two upsets over ranked teams recently. They knocked Colt McCoy out the first time they played him and tormented him into a turnover fest the next. So I think he would like one more shot at the Wildcats.
Taylor (Manhattan, Ks)
Tim, why is everybody giving Nebraska the upper hand over K-State because of their defense? Has no one noticed that K-State's defense has been very solid as well? And with both offenses being inconsistent this season, do you see a similar, low scoring game to the one we saw in Lincoln this past weekend?
Tim Griffin (1:29 PM)
Taylor: I do see that kind of game next week. It well could be settled in the special teams and KSU is pretty good with Brandon Banks. But in the end, I think Nebraska's homefield advantage in Suh's last home game pulls them to a tight victory. How about 17-13?
Tim Griffin (1:30 PM)
Dave:If I was starting a team, I'd pick Ndamukong Suh. His talent is off the charts and it's always hard to find a strong defensive tackle. They are the rarest of playing commodities. And even though he's taken some lumps this season, I still would take Bob Stoops. Still think his coaching is a tad better than everybody else inn the league.
kyle (broken arrow ok)
call me crazy,but i think the longhorns will be just as good,if not better,when muschamp takes over.what do you think?
Tim Griffin (1:31 PM)
Kyle: Depends on Gilbert, if Mack doesn't stay that long. But I really like the attitude that Muschamp has infused his defense with. I can see him doing it to the rest of the team when he becomes the coach.
Tim do you think every team that can make it to a bowl will go to a bowl?
Tim Griffin (1:32 PM)
Michael: Yes I do. I think that all 6-6 Big 12 teams will be picked somewhere. And I also think that KSU gets to seven victories to become bowl-eligible.
a famous sports radio personality here in OKC claimed last night that ou's o line is as good as the Texas o line. What do you think?
Tim Griffin (1:32 PM)
I guess he didn't watch the fourth quarter of the Texas-OU game, or the OU-Nebraska game very closely.
Ryan (Lincoln, NE)
In your opinion, should Bo Pelini start Cody Green or Zac Lee in Lawrence this weekend?
Tim Griffin (1:33 PM)
Ryan: I think I would go with Lee, because of what he showed in the OU game. But I would also insert Green early, because I think his zone read will work more against the Jayhawks that it would/did against the Sooners.
Tim Griffin (1:36 PM)
I like Nwachukwu at A&M and Bradley McDougald at KU for what both have accomplished.
Historic Texas/Nebraska feud? What feud would that be? Are you thinking OU/Nebraska Tim?
Tim Griffin (1:38 PM)
RJ: No, I'm remembering about how Nebraska and Texas battled on almost every item when the league was created -- from the location of the league office to the commissioner to whether the league would have partial qualifiers. Texas won out on all accounts, which is something the people at Nebraska haven't forgotten. And then, there are two pretty good title games between the two teams won by Texas in 1996 and Nebraska in '99
Jared (Kansas City)
What ever happened to Texas running back Chris Whaley? Did he get red-shirted? I would have thought with the issues with the running game, he would have gotten a shot.
Tim Griffin (1:39 PM)
Jared:Whaley is on the roster, but still awaiting his first snap. I heard there were issues in his conditioning and his ability to quickly pick up the offense. And like you said, I think if he was ready, he already would have been playing.
Do you think Texas could stumble in the next few weeks?
Tim Griffin (1:40 PM)
Erik: No I don't, at least through the regular season and Big 12 title game. All of them will be played in the state of Texas.
Tim Griffin (1:41 PM)
Dave: Considering the power jam at the top with Texas and Oklahoma, it could be a long time. Tech won a share last season in the Red Raiders' most memorable season, so I would count them as being first. After that I would say Oklahoma State (facilities better than others), followed by A&M and Baylor.
Whats your take on the MWC expansion rumors? Could they really get an automatic BCS berth?
Tim Griffin (1:43 PM)
Thomas: If any team outside the Big Six deserves a BCS bid, I'm thinking it's the MWC. If they added Boise and Fresno to the mix, it would be pretty salty.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Is Texas going to be ready to play a big boy in the BCS Champ game? They have played nobody this year and while they have a great coaching staff they won't be tested at all.
Tim Griffin (1:44 PM)
Chad:You are right about the lack of competitive opponents for the Longhorns, although they have beaten OU, OSU and Tech. But give Mack Brown a month and I bet he would have his team ready to play in a BCS title against any team that might be out there.
What are the chances A&M's QB Jarrod Johnson is a top 5 Heisman candidate next season?
Tim Griffin (1:45 PM)
James: He's going to have build on this season's individual success with some team success.But with that being said, no Big 12 quarterback has had a better STATISTICAL season than JJ has.
Ndamukong Suh (Lincoln, NE)
Am I a virtual lock for the Outland Trophy and other defensive awards, given how my numbers measure up to those of my competition (Cody, McCoy, etc...)?
Tim Griffin (1:46 PM)
Big Suh: I would think so. You might want to have a really big game against Trevor Marrongelli on Saturday and maybe ask Bo to put you in on offense like last year against the Jayhawks.
Is OU the most snakebitten team in the nation this year in terms of injuries?
Tim Griffin (1:47 PM)
Matt: Hard to argue with the Sooners, who have lost more games to injury than any other Big 12 team. And losing Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham stripped them of their two top offensive weapons.
Tim Griffin (1:48 PM)
Texas 2-1OU 4-1A&M 10-1TT 12-1OSU 15-1 Baylor 50-1
Joe (Omaha, NE)
There's a lot of talk about making it so that the NE/OU rivalry happens every year. What about this reorganization of divisions? Big 12 East: Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma. Big 12 West: Texas, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M.
Eric (Joplin, MO)
Who is the real Landry Jones? 6 TDs in a game or 5 INTs in a game.
Tim Griffin (1:51 PM)
Eric: Probably somewhere a little in-between I would guess.
Chris (Abilene, TX)
What must happen for A&M to have a chance to win in Norman this week?
Tim Griffin (1:53 PM)
Chris: They really need to get a pass rush from Von Miller and the defense. It would also help if JJ starts hot and puts pressure on the Sooners both running and passing. It will be a tough chore. Stoops has beaten the Aggies by an average of more than five touchdowns at Kyle Field since he started at OU.
How about an Arizona-Oklahoma Sun Bowl?
Tim Griffin (1:54 PM)
Matt: I mentioned that earlier as my dream Sun Bowl, although I don't think the Stoops family would share my sentiments.
Tim, thank you so much for picking Texas Tech to lose this weekend. I was afraid you would jinx us by picking us like you did when we played A&M and like you didn't when we played Nebraska. I really like our chances against an overrated OSU whose best win was against an overrated Georgia team that might not even go bowling this season
Tim Griffin (1:55 PM)
Mike: Should be a good game. But Okie State's defense is a little bit better than in the past. Don't expect your quarterback to blister them for seven touchdowns this season like Harrell/Potts were able to do last year in Lubbock.
How about TEX AM vs NAVY in the Texas Bowl? Big time sellout there Ags fans would enjoys playing Navy.
Tim Griffin (1:55 PM)
Steve: Didn't get that far, but that would be an interesting game. Bet the folks at the Texas Bowl would like it, too.
Janine Lindemulder (San Fernando, CA)
Who will win between TCU vs. Texas?
Tim Griffin (1:56 PM)
Texas by about a TD. Don't know if Horned Frogs have the offensive firepower to stick with Texas for 60 minutes. It would be a good game, however.
What chances do you see your Alma Mater, Memphis, hiring my schools former head coach Tommy Tuberville? What impact would he make in Tiger Country?
Tim Griffin (1:57 PM)
Ray: Don't see Tubs heading there. Memphis is a tough football job, for the reasons that Tommy West listed on his way out the door. I would be intrigued by Charlie Strong or Terry Bowden, but I don't think either of them would be interested, either.
Any word on home and home with USC vs. Texas ?
Tim Griffin (1:58 PM)
Olaf: Still negotiating from what I here. TV might help drive that deal to fruition.
Riley (salt lake city, utah)
what do you think the chances of an upset for UT at A&M are? and if that happens and TCU runs the table does TCU go to the national championship?
Tim Griffin (1:59 PM)
Riley: A&M will be pesky for Texas. I'd look for a game kind of like the one in 2005 - Maybe 40-29. But if A
Bill McCartney (CO)
With Snyder at the helm again at KSU, what do you think about me coming back to coach the Buffs?
Tim Griffin (2:00 PM)
Bill: First, do you really want to. You've looked so serene in retirement the couple of times I've seen you. I guess I would never say never, but I'm thinking they would turn to somebody else.
I know you cover the Big 12, and might be biased. But, in all honesty, which conference is stronger: B12 or SEC?
Tim Griffin (2:00 PM)
Chris: I think the SEC is better. Better consistent defense.
NU hasn't beaten any currently ranked teams this year. Blackshirts realy back?
Tim Griffin (2:00 PM)
Bob: Not until they do it. But Bo has them pointed in the right way.
Justin (Austin, TX)
What makes a conference stronger: Having 3 power teams and no other really good ones, or having 1 or no power teams, but everyone in the conference can beat everyone else anytime?
Tim Griffin (2:02 PM)
Justin: I think having a wealth of good/great teams is that way. That's why I like the SEC. I think that describes them better than the Big 12 at this time.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Did Mizzou fans underestimate the Christensen to Yost transition, or is the 5 game 2nd half slump simply a result of youth and inexperience?
Tim Griffin (2:03 PM)
Clay: Don't forget losing Maclin and Daniel and Sulak and Hood and Coffman and all the rest. Those were some studs on that team. I think that's more to blame than any switch in coordinators.
Tim Griffin (2:03 PM)
Thanks again to everybody for all of the great questions. I'll check back with you next week.