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)
Greetings from Oregon... Excited about the game tonight. Fire away.
Jillian (Corvallis, OR)
Ted, how awesome is it that your Thursday chat coincides with the -best game ever-? What chances do you realistically give the Beavers to win, given that the past two years the ROAD team has won? Will you be at Autzen? Can you tell we're all excited?! I come to your chat every week, thanks so much for answering my manic questions (I took a half day vacation so I wouldn't miss kickoff).
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
It is awesome. I will be there. I think Oregon State has a great chance. I tend to believe that when everyone says one thing -- Oregon easy! -- the opposite happens. It's critical the Beavers get some early stops to boost their defensive confidence after last year. I picked the Ducks, but I certainly won't be surprised if the Beaver pull the upset.
Benjamin Finch (Arcos de la Frontera, Spain)
As an Oregon grad and an American living abroad, I am psyched for tonight's Civil War game. I even taught my students the Oregon fight song today! However, the game is on at 3 AM and I must pull an all-nighter to watch it. Does this say something about the loyalty and dedication of college fans to their teams and to the sport in general? P.S. The Spanish don't understand the BCS format either.
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
it does! Isn't it great how the Internet allows college football fans to keep up with their teams! Glad I invented it.
Teddy, who should Ohio State be rooting for tonight...who do we match up better with for the rose bowl?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Ohio State probably should root for the Ducks because the Ducks are ranked higher... but I think it would be a good matchup with either.
kyle (broken arrow,ok)
im risking my job to be in this chat and im a big 12 guy!lets hope my question gets answered
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
The answer is 43... didn't see any other question
kyle (broken arrow,ok)
i asked what is the minimum mccoy has to do to solidify the heisman saturday?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
I think a good number of McCoy voters are voting McCoy no matter what... I watched him vs. Oklahoma, so I'm a Gerhart guy.
Mitch (Dallas, TX)
Does USC land in the Holiday Bowl, and which Big XII team has the best shot at beating them?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Did you watch the OU-Okla State game? I'm not sure I'd want to play Oklahoma. That D is tough, and the Trojans O is struggling.
Ted (Sherwood, OR)
Who do you see as the biggest threat to Oregon State's D? They've got lots of weapons, but who will come out as the biggest offensive weapon today? Masoli's arm and legs? Or James' legs?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
The Beavers first need to prove they can stop the run, which means the basic spread-option play... a Masoli keeper or a handoff to James.
Brian Kelly (Cincy, OH)
What is the deal? Am I still waiting for a call from the Irish while they are looking at Stoops?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
When I heard you weren't ND's guy I instantly knew the Irish administrators were blowing it again. You're the best choice. Period. Even if they could get Stoops. (Though I'd take Meyer -- no offense -- first).
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Ted, How has the local media been towards Pete Caroll? Texas Next year will be in a similar situation lossing Colt McCoy, Jordan shiply and lots of offensive and deffensive lineman. I know Austin would not put up with a season like USC has had>
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
No offense, but Austin has had plenty of seasons worse that USC in 2009... and it's possible the biggest difference between USC and Texas this season is the schedule...
Hey Ted, your mother had good taste in names. Question for you: why is it that the two teams playing for the championship in the "best conference in football" lost to the WAC and Big East champs?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Because the season didn't end in September... but losing to two unbeaten teams isn't exactly the worst thing ever.
Paul (Albany, OR)
Ted, many duck fans are stating that O State's rush defense is overrated because they have not yet faced the ducks, which is a decent point. What they have failed to notice is that the duck rushing defense is ranked 5th in the conference even though they also have not faced the duck rushing offense. Can the Beavs move the ball and the chains on the ground against the ducks? Thanks.
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
The Beavers will need balance... but Stanford did show that the best way to run the ball against the Ducks is by running right at them... east-west won't work because the Ducks D is fast... but it's not very big..
Shane (Boise, ID)
How did CJ Spiller make the doak walker finalist over Quizz or a bunch of other backs. Spiller is a great all around player but doesn't have the running back stats to warrant his being listed there.
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Spiller is a great player. Jacquizz is a better running back, though Clemson O-line is really suspect. It's unfortunate that Quizz is so underrated...
Jeremiah Masoli (Eugene, OR)
Ted, I want your Heisman vote. What do I need to do to get it?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Blow my mind tonight on ESPN... two tds running, three passing...
Blake (Abilene, tX)
I did not mean that question to be negative towards USC. I just know that even when Texas goes 10 and 3 there are plenty of fans screaming for Mack Browns head. Does USC have those same kind of fans or is the atmosphere different?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
Lots of teams have those sorts of fans... My feeling -- and living in Texas you'd probably know better -- is that once Brown won his BCS title, he made him secure for life... just about. Most folks will expect Texas to take a step back next year with such significant star-power losses. Oh, and, by the way, the Horns may win Brown a second national title in advance of those losses.
Josh (Boise, ID)
Per the BCS guidelines, we all know that only one non-AQ team is guaranteed a BCS bowl if the qualifications are met. If Texas and Cincy lose, TCU will likely make the NC Game and BSU will likely (assuming they win Saturday) be ranked 4 in the nation. Do you think the BCS will really pass on BSU and pick a two loss Iowa or Pen State?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
I believe Boise gets into a BCS game..... i think the BCS bowls will be under intense pressure -- good, I say -- to do the right thing.
Ted, please tell me you will not be ranking a 10-2 Oregon ahead of a 13-0 Boise State in your final poll, assuming Oregon wins tonight and Boise on Saturday?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
WKRP (Cincinnati, OH)
Do you think Cincy can beat Ohio State anywhere (home, neutral, & away)?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
I think it would be a good game... Cincy hasn't played a defense as good as Ohio State's this season.
Ted, if you were starting a team right now which Running Back would you take Jacquizz Rodgers, Lamicheal James, or Legarrette Blount
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Kevin (Scottsdale, AZ)
Ted.... What is the buzz around USC this year...was it truly a rebuilding year or are the Trojans the next Florida State??
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
I think the FSU possibility is real. But if I were betting, the Trojans will figure things out... the big issue, to me, is Carroll taking a hard look at his staff. It's not as strong as it used to be.
I believe the answer you are looking for is 42...Ted, do you think teams would take a more serious look at playing Boise State if they got rid of the smurf turf?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
If I were an AD, I'd tell Boise, "Come to may place. That's it." What does a BCS team, in our present system, gain by visiting Boise State? Folks on the East Coast still don't REALLY believe the Broncos are elite... but you'll note they aren't eager to test that theory.
Should Arizona fans be worries about Sonny Dykes possibly leaving? Any ideas on who Arizona would get as a DC if/when Mark Stoops leaves.
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
Arizona is a well-coached team... Fans should worry about losing both coordinators or either guy... not sure at this point which direction Stoops would go...
Kevin (Scottsdale, AZ)
Who will turn out to be the better Pac 10 QB... Barkley, Luck, or Noles?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
I'd say Luck at present, though all three -- you mean Foles -- have bright futures. And my position might change in 2010, who knows?
Sophie (Seattle, WA)
With a relatively strong recruiting class and not losing too many seniors who played much this season what do you think UW's chances are for making a bowl game next season, assuming Locker comes back.
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Decent... if Locker comes back, which may be a big if. The biggest problem is the that the Pac-10 may be even better next year and the nonconference schedule again is tough... BYU, Syracuse and Nebraska.
Ryan (Medford, OR)
Can you see The BCS putting UO back against BSU if Oregon loses?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
no... I don't think Oregon gets picked for a BCS bowl if it loses, and bowls don't like rematches anyway.
I keep hearing that the Pac-10 is the deepest conference. While the Pac-10 is giving the SEC a run for its money for the best conference, you have to admit that the SEC is really deep as well. 10 teams are going bowling and MSU was 1 blown call (see the Houston game) from being eligible. Vanderbilt is the only team that isnt any good and they could still beat washington state
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Both conferences are deep... but keep in mind nearly every SEC team schedules itself four or at least certain wins every year (Georgia being a notable exception). That's how a lot of teams get bowl eligible. I see teams in the middle of the SEC and think: Hey, it's Arizona State!
Are the Cougs progressing at all or is it gonna be another 1 or 2 win season in 2010?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
I see reason for hope, but it's hard to imagine the Cougs escaping the Pac-10 cellar... to me, if they managed to win two conference games next year, that will be real progress and may help Paul Wulff get a fourth year.
Rod (San Francisco)
What are Gerhart's chances at the Heisman
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
Decent... he'll get invited to NY... a lot of voters seem set on Tebow vs. McCoy no matter what happens on the field... but if both QBs slip -- and INgram doesn't gain 200 yards vs. the Gators Saturday, Gerhart could slip through and win..
Bryan (Alamo, CA)
Is there a reason that the Holiday bowl said it will take the winner of AZ and USC on Sat? I don't have anything against that, it just seems like Cal would be a better traveling team than AZ.
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
Cal's been there twice in recent years.. bowls like to bring in new teams. USC has never played in the game. And Arizona fans could drive to San Diego.
Which player have you had the most "OMG" or "holy crap" moments watching this season?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
spiller has a pretty good highlight tape... I thought Gerhart vs. USC, Oregon and ND was impressive...
Trey (Las Vegas, NV)
Who do you like in the SEC Championship Game?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
Will Harbaugh stay at Stanford?
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
That's a tough one... he's so competitive that you'd guess that he'd want to coach at a so-called "big-time" place where he doesn't have to worry about academics... but he's got ties to the area and seems to be content... there are worst places to live than Northern California... plus, he's got money (long NFL careers help). I wouldn't be shocked either way... though Stanford fans should root for Rich Rodriguez to break through.
Knute Rockne (Heaven)
I keep hearing that Brian Kelly is not the guy for my beloved Irish. If that is true who is the best choice from the rest of coaches being rumored for the job?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
If I were making the decision, I'd go after Kelly as my first choice. If defense is the thing, what about Whittingham at Utah?
How is it that we cannot call it the "Red River Shootout" or the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" but the PC police haven't jumped all over the "Civil War"
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
I call it the Red River Shootout and the World's Largest Cocktail party... you should too..
Matt Barkley (L.A.)
Ted, will I ever get to be in magazines like Mark Sanchez? I mean, I have awesome blonde hair and I'm starting as a freshman. Am I on my way?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
And pose with Olivia Wade! My guess is by the end of next year, you picture will start to appear in magazines... though probably ESPN and SI before GQ.
Does Blunt see any action tonight?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Good question... I'd guess no, but maybe Kelly's got a secret plan..
Rodney (Eugene )
Hey Ted, was just wondering what you think is the biggest difference between the Pac10 and the Big 10. People classify big10 as the "slow" conference, which I don't quite understand? Is their brand of football different? Are the players out of high school in midwest different than the ones in the west coast?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
I don't get bogged down in all that... the Big Ten hasn't looked slow in the Cap-One or Outback Bowls vs. the SEC.... I think all the BCS conferences are fairly close in terms of overall talent. If there is a slight speed difference between the Big Ten and the Pac-10/SEC, it's about weather... in November, much of the Big Ten is frozen, so teams play accordingly. That's not the case in most of the SEC and Pac-10.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
When Pete Carroll finally retires, should he be allowed to choose which bowl game USC gets to participate in?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
So... you don't sorta feel like Bowden, after all he's done, and how he's conducted himself, doesn't deserve some sort of nice send-off? I do, but then again when I was a young cub reporter, Bowden invited me into his office and treated me like I was a national guy... and I also loved that when reporters asked him why he diden't suspend sebastian janikowski before the sugar bowl he said, "Because he's good." Ha.
Would it have made any difference at USC this year if Sanchez had stayed?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
absolutely. a season QB would have made a huge difference.
What's your thought on the ten point spread for the civil war?? Think its too high??
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Do you think Masoli has any chance of possibly succeeding at the next level in the NFL? He's proven he can pass(of course, out of the shotgun) and not just run. But more teams(Dolphins, Titans, etc.) are moving to the Wildcat offense.
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
that's a tough one... he's certainly not the prototype. But Drew Brees wasn't either. Not sure if he'll get drafted but all it takes is one guy to fall in love with your potential. By the way, it's more about Masoli's height than running the spread-option... He's a capable passer.
Travis holz (Eugene)
Simple: can Oregon beat the Floridas and Texas of the world?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
yes... what happened the last time Oregon and Texas played?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
Folks I have to bolt a little early for an ESPN news deal.. thanks for stopping by. Hope you all get great bowl berths.