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 (1:02 PM)
Let's take a break from all of the recruiting capsules to take a few questions.Fire away.
Do you think Case McCoy would redshirt this year since he Connor Wood and Gilbert seem to be better? If he redshirts, and Wood doesn't, that seperates a year between them, so he'll get a chance to start after everyone else leaves. I believe Colt will tell him to do what he did, reshirt and keep getting stronger.
Tim Griffin (1:03 PM)
Khaled: I think one of the two players will end up getting redshirted. Like you mentioned, it makes sense to separate them. I would expect that Mack Brown and Greg Davis would go with the player that adapts quickest to the offense as the player behind Garrett Gilbert and Sherrod Harris. The other player will likely redshirt.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
Would you care to denigrate Nebraska's recruiting class some more?
Tim Griffin (1:07 PM)
Josh: I don't think I'm dengrating the Nebraska recruiting class any more than some of the reporters in the state are writing about. It's true that the Cornhuskers could have used a big-time receiving threat to stretch the field. They didn't get it in the recruiting class. That's the one item that separates them from schools like Texas, Texas Tech and even Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers have to beat people with 10 or 12-play drives and don't have the quick strike ability. Look at the Texas game to see that. And as far as Owa is concerned, I got several e-mails saying good riddance from a couple of Cornhusker fans. Let's get real. He was the top recruit that Bo Pelini was trying for. The Cornhuskers' coaching staff invested a lot of time in recruiting him. To say it won't hurt that he chose UCLA rather than coming to Lincoln would be a lie.
Thanks for your time... After no one expected to see Brion go to the big red what do you see the QB position turning out like next year. Especially since Bo already said that Lee won't be there for spring.
Tim Griffin (1:08 PM)
Scott: I look for a heavy opportunity for Cody Green to learn the offense with Lee out. Don't forget about Spanos if his knee checks out. But I also look for Lee to come back and play some in the latter part of the spring. Green really needs to make a move early in training camp to competed against Lee when he gets back.
Bob (Big Easy)
Tim, what's all this "gossip" about Texas possibly moving to the Big Ten? Thanks.
Tim Griffin (1:10 PM)
Bob: It's not really gossip, but just some fanciful internet speculation that Texas would likely be the best addition when you look at a lot of factors. I agree that Texas would be the most "out of the box" addition that Jim Delany could add. But I still think there are too many hoops for the Longhorns to jump through in order to get there. But remember this fact: Texas would conservatively make more than $10 million per year in television revenue if it moved to the Big Ten. And it would provide all kinds of growth for the fledgling Big Ten Network if they ever moved into Texas. It's something to think about.
Jimmy K. (Toronto)
Tim, I forgot to mention last week what a great job you do with your blog. I won't complain again about the Horns not going out of state to pick up 1 or 2 recruits. I think that's what separates them from the SC's of the world. They're built around a team that cares about the school and winning for the state and not a bunch of individuals. What do you think?
Tim Griffin (1:13 PM)
Jimmy, thanks for the kind words. I also think the fact that Texas has such a hammerlock on Texas talent doesn't hurt, either. Mack Brown went 25 for 25 getting commitments from players who visited the school. Most of them were from Texas. It's a recruiting machine he's developed in Austin.
RAYGORDONREID ( AUSTIN TX 78767)
QUESTION TO TIM GRIFFIN AT 1.20PM HI TIM HOW YOUTOMMYTUB GONNA DO IN LUBBOCK
Tim Griffin (1:14 PM)
Ray: I like that Tuberville stacked his class with defensive players. It was needed, particularly along the defensive front. With all of the offensive weapons coming back, I think the Red Raiders could emerge as a darkhorse contender in the South with some breaks.
With the number of decommitments on signing day and the lack of star recruits in this class, do you believe Oklahoma State's recruiting efforts were a bit of a disappointment?
Tim Griffin (1:16 PM)
Compared to the schools like Oklahoma and Texas and even Texas A&M it was. But I really like Johnny Deaton. I think he'll be a surprise. And the linebackers Lewis and Lavey should be big-time players.
Ashtyn (Jefferson City, MO)
It's obviously been their weakest point in the last few years, but do you think Pinkel overreacted by using almost one third of Mizzou's recruits on the secondary? Especially as it looks like many conference teams may be reverting back to more run-first offenses.
Tim Griffin (1:17 PM)
Ashtyn: I think Pinkel saw his team's struggles last season and decided he needed an upgrade in talent. It will be interesting to see if the stacked group of players will help out. But like you said, it does seem that most teams are switching to run-heavy offenses. I see that especially happening with the power teams in the North like Nebraska, KSU and Colorado. We don't know what Chuck Long will do at KU.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
canada watches CFB? who knew
Tim Griffin (1:18 PM)
Hayden: I guess they need something during the afternoon before "Hockey Night in Canada" kicks in?
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Tim, which of the coaches at new schools, which do you think will have the best upcoming season?
Tim Griffin (1:19 PM)
Craig: Don't underestimate what Turner Gill will be inheriting at Kansas -- particularly his South schedule. No Texas, No Texas Tech. No Oklahoma. I think that might equal a couple of cross-division victories the Jayhawks didn't have. If they get them, who knows? Maybe Mangino is still the coach.
steve (Colorado Springs)
Whats the story with Trayvon HEnry out of Oklahoma?
Tim Griffin (1:22 PM)
I think he still needs to make his grades. I'm hearing Arkansas is running ahead at this time. He might double sign with a junior college and a FBS school with hopes he makes his grades between now and the summer.
Michael (Long Beach, CA)
Tim, do see any chance of Blake Bell challenging Landry Jones for the QB position. Or do you see a redshirt in his future?
Tim Griffin (1:23 PM)
Michael: I don't think Bell will challenge Jones immediately. I look for him to redshirt and get accustomed to college next season with plans of playing in 2011. Jones can struggle with interceptions like he did at times last season and expect to keep his job. But Bell needs some seasoning first.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
What was the worst recruiting class in the Big 12, not just in terms of getting highly rated recruits but also in terms of filling needs, providing for the future, etc.?
Tim Griffin (1:24 PM)
JL: I didn't like Kansas State's class. Or Colorado's. They both needed some help and didn't get it. Although Bill Snyder has been confounding the recruiting skeptics for a long time. He might have something up his sleeve with this class.
Tim if ISU can keep some stability on the coaching staff di they have a realistic shot at competing in the b12
Tim Griffin (1:26 PM)
Jeremy: I love the job that Paul Rhoads did at ISU and the enthusiasm that he brought to the program. He reminds me so much of Dan McCarney in his approach to the game. But the difference between Rhoads and McCarney are the quality of his assistant coaches. Don't discount the effect that Wally Burnham and Tom Herman had in the success of the Cyclones in 2009. And also that schedule that kept them from playing Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, didn't hurt. That changes next season and will make it difficult for Rhoads to duplicate that first-season success. But he got off to a great start.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
haha, I guess so
Tim Griffin (1:27 PM)
Maybe those "loonies" help bring college football into the provinces. But if he's a sports fan, he's got to love American college football. I think it's easily the most exciting sport. Not nearly as antiseptic as the NFL version.
Sean (Boston, MA)
With Hawkins' job on the line (again) what are the chances that Nick Hirschman will see playing time at CU this season?
Tim Griffin (1:28 PM)
Sean: That might be something to keep an eye on during the spring. Hirschman is a very underrated prospect. He could have the opportunity for some playing time immediately. But I know that Hawk likes the spark that Tyler Hansen brings to the program.
Will the Oklahoma-FSU game have national championship implications for the Sooners? It looks like a big opportunity for the Sooners who are at home and get a very young (but big name) FSU team.
Tim Griffin (1:30 PM)
Jason: It's the kind of game that Stoops needs to win and it would be huge for the Big 12's national perception as well. The conference has struggled with those games the last few years and needs to win a few of them in 2010.
Andy (Lincoln, NE)
Tim:In response to Jimmy's point about UT's recruiting, I might say only that nobody -- NOBODY -- does less with more than Mack Brown. Two B12 championships and 1 MNC in more than a decade, when all he has to do is drive an hour or two (at most) in either direction on I-35 to have his pick of the best prospects in the nation. UT under Brown = UNC hoops under Dean Smith. This makes MB the most ridiculously overrated coach among the glamor schools. Just think what Pelini (or Chris Petersen or Frank Beamer or Paul Johnson or ... ) could do with that talent. Just compare him to the other two coaches who have (had) similar situations: Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer. Much more impressive results over the same span than Mack.
Tim Griffin (1:31 PM)
Andy: Don't discount what the presence of Bob Stoops has had with Brown over the years. Meyer faces a similar challenge but Pete Carroll never did. But your point about Mack and Dean Smith is an interesting take.
Has Mack and Muschamp's recent success forced Stoops and co to look elsewhere for top recruits? They have a solid class, but really whiffed on top Texas talent.
Tim Griffin (1:32 PM)
But they rebounded nicely with the Corey Nelson get. I think he'll be a nice player for them.
Tim it seems like the south teams are again winning the recruiting war. With the north be able to catch up in the next 4 to 5 years?
Tim Griffin (1:33 PM)
Jeremy: The key will be how Pelini revitalizes Nebraska. If he can do that, the rest of the North will have to ramp up what they do. And if so, we might see the North more challenging. To do that, he needs to start attracting players like Owa -- even if he said he won't miss him.
Does home life suck for Dan Hawkins considering he had to bench his own son?
Tim Griffin (1:34 PM)
Ed:Ask his wife, Misti. I imagine it made for some interesting pauses around the dinner table after the decision was made. But that being said, I've always thought that Cody Hawkins is a great kid. And he's learned a lot about life playing for his dad the last couple of years. That can't be easy for anybody.
Lukas (San Antonio)
Of the kids TECH picked up, which defensive player looks to "shine" in Tubs system?
Tim Griffin (1:36 PM)
Lukas: I know our scouts really liked Jackson Richards, but I think Dartwan Bush could be a better player. He reminds of some of those successful Tech pass rushers of the past.
Whats your evaluation of Sergio Kindle and who would he fit well with in the NFL?
Tim Griffin (1:37 PM)
Ruby: Quite frankly, I think that Kindle was a little bit of a disappointment during college. He was one of the top recruits in the country and only made the coaches' second-team All-Big 12 team last season. But if any pro scout watched him in the BCS title game, they had to be salivating. I think he'll be a protypical roaming pass rusher in the NFL.
C'mon Tim. How can you print a question like Andy's? Mack's teams have won more games than anyone in the same stretch. He suffered some horrible luck in each of the last two NC hunts.
Tim Griffin (1:38 PM)
Patrick: That shows some of the opinions that are out there. Brown has won only two Big 12 titles with all of that recruiting talent. Stoops has won six during that same period. I think it's a valid question.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
who deserved to be fired more: Leach, or Mangini?
Tim Griffin (1:39 PM)
Hayden: Looking from on the field production, or lack thereof, I would say it's Mangino. It's tough to frame a seven-game losing streak to finish the season that cost your team a chance to make a bowl appearance.
Tim: Texas looked as if it might have a down or rebuilding year coming up with the losses of McCoy, Shipley, and others. Will the recruits they got be able to step in immediately and make them Big 12 and/or national contenders right away next year?
Tim Griffin (1:41 PM)
Orville: Their defense has taken a big step forward with the new recruits, but I think they'll miss Sergio, Muck, Earl Thomas and especially Lamarr Houston, who I think was one of the nation's most underrated players last year. I'm leaning to making OU a slight favorite, but my pre spring poll will be coming out on Monday. Still haven't totally made my mind up yet.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
agreed, CFB>NFL totally. its all the new rules methinks....
Tim Griffin (1:42 PM)
Hayden: The most underrated rule that makes college so much better than the pros is stopping the clock after a first down. I know it makes for a longer television game, but since when do we complain about more of anything? Those extra 20-25 plays -- particularly in a conference skewed toward offense like the Big 12 -- really make a big difference.
Ashtyn (Jefferson City, MO)
OK, seriously, thank you for being able to answer about twice as many questions as anyone else seems capable of doing on these chats. And for making Feb-July a little more tolerable.
Tim Griffin (1:43 PM)
Ashtyn: My pleasure. I aim to try to get as many questions from the readers as possible.
with tuberville's strong defensive push in recruiting his 3 weeks here, how do you think the red raiders will fare on defense this upcoming season (especially with a little bit of a lighter season in terms of opponents looking to underclassmen to fill large shoes)
Tim Griffin (1:45 PM)
Spencer: It's going to be interesting to see how that defense holds up with the early game against Texas and the way the late schedule finishes up. I think the Red Raiders were extremely underrated on defense last season, particulary with their blitz packages that freed up Brandon Sharpe for a lot of pass rushing. If they can do that again or improve -- they might be able to be that surprise challenger I was talking about in the Big 12 South.
greg (atl ga)
do you think auburn met its needs
Tim Griffin (1:45 PM)
Chizik always had the reputation of being a good recruiter when he was down in the Big 12. I saw some good things in the class he put together yesterday.
Ashtyn (Jefferson City, MO)
How about the Nebraska women's basketball team? Think they can dethrone UConn this year?
Tim Griffin (1:47 PM)
I'm hearing some good things about the Lady Huskers from my friends in the Nebraska media corps. They would have the chance to play for the national championship down here in the Alamodome. The Huskers' men teams are undefeated playing there. The volleyball team was upset in a national title semifinal there a couple of years ago.
Wouldn't you say that Stoops has had amazing luck in the same stretch, such as Colt's injuries in the final two games in '06 and the tiebreaker in '08? Without bad luck, those would both have been conference championships for UT rather than OU. Then, both coaches would have 4 conference championships.
Tim Griffin (1:49 PM)
Patrick: I think Stoops might argue with you about any luck after losing Bradford and Gresham this season. That was the worst luck any team I can remember recently. And if they are healthy this season, I think Oklahoma would have been a tougher game for Texas.
Can Brion Carnes live up to his relative Tommie Frazier?
Tim Griffin (1:50 PM)
Ryan: It's going to be tough to do that. Tommie Frazier was one of the best winning quarterback I've ever seen. Just an exceptional player.
How do you rate A&M's QBs behind JJ? Will they beable to keep up the offensive produciton after he leaves next year?
Tim Griffin (1:51 PM)
Sherman said yesterday that he's moving Dorman to tight end. They have the three kids coming in next season, but it will be tough for them to have any bowl hopes if something happens to JJ.
As a UT fan, I also feel that Mack Brown is overrated. Yes, he's won a NC, but I doubt he would have done it without VY. I think his knack for keeping Greg Davis, whom my friends and I can call about 33% of the play he's going to run before he does has really hurt him. They'll bring up the fact that UT has had some of the best offenses under Greg Davis' coaching, but with all that talent against an inferior opponent is easy. Just look at what he's done in the big games against a formable foe and the offense just disappears. The only time it didn't happen was with VY, and that's because VY made something happen out of nothing.
Tim Griffin (1:52 PM)
Renegade: I don't think the majority of Texas fans support your ideas. And Colt was a pretty productive player over his career. It was just a shame he got hurt in the Alabama game. Because I'm thinking the game might have turned out differently if he had been healthy.How about you guys? You think Texas would have won that game if Colt had been healthy?
Tim, why does is seem that you rarely post things about OSU? Are we THAT boring?
Tim Griffin (1:53 PM)
Steve: I think the Cowboys did a nice job this season. Great coaching job by Gundy to keep the team together after the loss of Dez and Kendall Hunter's injury. The loss at OU and the bowl loss will take away from that, but for most of the season, Gundy might have been one of the best coaches in the Big 12 last season.
Which team should be more comfortable with it's QB situation going into the Cotton Bowl in October? Gilbert was a more prized recruit, but is his experience in Pasadena enough to match Jones's full season?
Tim Griffin (1:54 PM)
Matt: I've got to think Stoops like where Jones considering all of the things he faced last season. I would give the Sooners an edge at quarterback because of his more extensive experience.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
Tim; Don't you think you might be over-emphasizing the negative about Nebraska recruiting? They didn't get Owa, they didn't get a star receiver: bad, yes, but they still got a very good team. I think the positives outweigh the negatives, but you always take the negative with Pelini.
Tim Griffin (1:57 PM)
Jim: I still think those two flaws are the difference that keeps Nebraska from being very good team and a national championship contender. For whatever reason, they aren't getting those building blocks that they need. It's hurt them and they needed to get those kind of players. I'd like to see what Bo could do if he got those kind of players. It would be something to see.
With the success Pelini has had with non-elite talent so far, does Nebraska really ever a shot at winning an NC under him? Or do we just have to hope for soft schedules to be a outside shot to make like Va Tech has been in years past?
Tim Griffin (1:58 PM)
Grant: I wouldn't put much hope in soft schedules with Missouri developing like it is in the Big 12 North and Oklahoma and Texas on the other side of the conference. The Cornhuskers -- or anybody else -- are going to earn a Big 12 title.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
Suh: Bust or Superstar? Didnt show me much in the bowl....
Tim Griffin (1:59 PM)
Hayden: Showed me much during the regular season. I think on the right defense, he could end up being like Reggie White in the NFL.
Who do you think will have the best quotes at OSU this year, Gundy or Dana Holgorsen?
Tim Griffin (1:59 PM)
I'm looking forward to hearing them from both.
Jeff (Washington DC)
What happens if Colorado shows 'moderate' improvement this year, but doesn't seem to build up any real momentum for the future? Does Hawk get another year? Can Colorado afford to fire him then?
Tim Griffin (2:00 PM)
Jeff: That will be an interesting question. Also, would be the situation that Mike Bohn might take a run after a coach that might build more excitement in the program. Say like, Mike Leach?
Who's on the cover of the big 12 mag's going in next year? who's are star(s)?
Tim Griffin (2:02 PM)
Lenny: How about Jerrod Johnson and Jared Crick? How about that alliteration?Hey, thanks for everything. We'll check back again really soon. I've enjoyed it -- you don't know how much.