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!
Buzzmaster (3:25 PM)
Hang on folks. We're looking for Ted.
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
Folks... sorry I'm late... I'll type fast to catch up.
What are your thoughts on Chip Kellys handling of Masoli and James now? I don't blame him for not being able to babysit everyone on the team, but now that both are charged with felonies, how much longer can he wait?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
1. James wasn't charged with a felony. 2. We shall see what happens on Friday with Masoli. In both cases, there's plenty of background chatter, so I understand why Kelly has been slower to judge than other folks. Going forward is the best way to get a handle on how Kelly performs.
Kevin Riley (Berkeley)
Ifi become a good quarterback, can our offense be the best in the conference, especially if oregon's best players get convicted of crimes?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
If you become the QB you've flashed at times, I think Cal has a chance to be good on O. But it's as much about a line that couldn't pass block and a WR corps that didn't get open and make plays.
Daniel, PAC 10 Bball Tourney [via mobile]
Where do you think they would hold the PAC 10 conference champioship?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Maybe they'd alternate between warm weather spots -- LA and Phoenix.
Lou Diamond (Hollywood)
Teddy, is Oregon recruiting people that are simply not mentally ready for the responsibility that comes along with being a scholarship ath...or has the past couple months just been a string of bad luck?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
I don't think so. I think Oregon has had one of those runs. My impression is Oregon emphasizes recruiting character as much as any other team.
Who do you see as Alabama's toughest test next season? Do we repeat?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
Bama's toughest test is rebuilding the D. But the talent is there to repeat... in the SEC, at least. My national title pick is Ohio State.
If the Rose Bowl was in fact Masoli's last game as a Duck - do you see Thomas or Costa being able to fill-in quickly and have the success Masoli did in a short period of time? I know football is a team sport and I believe Oregon has a good team, but Masoli is such an important part of the system.
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
It may be premature to write Masoli off... what if he gets reduced charges? But, in the worst case scenario, it's tough to say. If Costa is back 100 percent and able to run the spread-option, Kelly might prefer his experience. But Thomas is the future. My guess is that, if Masoli is out, then you'd see both guys with Costa starting.
How do you think the CU transfer, Josh Smith will fit into UCLA offense? He's a lock for PR/KR.
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
I haven't seen him play, but word is he will fit in nicely and give the Bruins experience receivers some playmaking ability. It's about time for Norm Chow's offense to take a step forward. Still, it all starts with the O-line,which has been shaky.
The Pac-10 has set a much quicker timeline than the Big10 to determine expansion, however not much more has been said about expansion from the Pac-10 side of things. Do you feel like the Pac-10 is still committed to expanding, or is the fact that there are pretty much two options (Colorado & Utah, or Texas and A
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
I think the Pac-10 is talking about expansion this week at the hoops tourney. So, yes, the discussion is there. And, yes, it seems there are two options: DREAM: Texas and Texas A&M; GOOD: Colorado and Utah. I don't see any others that are terribly appealing.
What are your thoughts on ND joining a BCS conference?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
On the one hand, it seems like it's about time. On the other, I sort of like ND's unique position. Whether you like ND or not, college football is better when ND is good. Now, is it better for ND to be in the Big Ten (or Big East?) or continue to be independent? They might not have a chance if massive expansion takes place across the BCS.
Kevin Riley (Berkeley)
What do i have to do to become an elite QB?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Be consistent with your accuracy. Handle pressure better. Don't be afraid to run when guys aren't open.
Hey Ted, what do you think of Kiffin as a coach, he hasnt really proven anything as a head coach execpt that he is a great recruiter. do you think USC can have long term success under Kiffin as they did under Carroll?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
You are correct. Even Kiffin advocates have to admit he's accomplished almost nothing as a head coach. But let's keep in mind that he's obviously impressed a lot of people, who keep giving him opportunities. An NFL job,Tennessee and USC? Come on! You have to believe the folks doing the hiring aren't clueless. So, yes, I think he can have long-term success at USC. Can he match Carroll's run? Probably not. Runs like that don't happen often. Do I think he can win a national title and be an annual contender in the Pac-10. Absolutely.
When do we find out what the sanctions are against USC? As much as I'd love to see them get the death penalty, USC needs to be strong for both the Pac-10 and college football
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
Probably three to five weeks from now... I'm almost certain USC won't get the death penalty. Your guide should be Alabama in 2002. The Trojans likely fall somewhere inside of the sanctions vs. the Tide.
Joe (Jacksonville, FL)
Is it wise for Wazzu to move up the Cal game and have two bye weeks in a row before the Apple Cup? I know it makes sense from a crowd prospective, but the team could be rusty after that time off, and it also means they will be playing 11 weeks in a row without a break.
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
It's an interesting move. 11 weeks in a row is tough. But the Cougs will have plenty of time to gameplan for the Huskies.
Do you believe the new SC staff is better than PC's staff last year as whole? It sure seems like there are upgrades across the board...
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
In some spots. But evaluating now seems premature. It is fair to say that Carroll, particularly toward the end, seemed more inclined to hire friends than search for the best possible candidate.
Why is it that when expansion is discussed, BYU is always downplayed as a possibility? They have a much larger fan base than Utah, better attendance, and dominate the Salt Lake market. While Utah has had more national attention recently, BYU has a longer history of good play in most collegiate sports, including football. Moneywise, BYU would bring in much more money. I get there is a cultural problem with the PAC 10, but I've seen a lot more about TCU than BYU as a replacement for the Big 12. What gives?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
it's just not a fit: cultural reasons, university reasons, playing on Sunday reasons, athletic department reasons. Pac-10 expansion is not ONLY about football.
UW seems to be on the verge of a breakout year, especially on offense. Has anyone you've talked to given the indication they may have a "sophmore" slump and not play to potential?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
It's hard to predict a sophomore slump. I haven't hears about any frosh getting fat and happy, if that's what you're asking. The Huskies have a lot of nice pieces back on offense. It will be interesting to see how they do vs. Nebraska's D.
Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)
With the situation at Oregon up in the air, have Oregon State's chances of winning the Pac-10 gone up? As a Boise State fan, seeing Oregon State beat TCU, lose to BSU and then win the Pac-10 obviously helps us if we're thinking NC run next year.
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
You've got it all planned out! I think nine teams benefit if Oregon's backfield takes a hit due to off-field issues. But the Beavers also took a couple of hits this offseason, losing a pair of linebackers, one to injury and another to the military.
Jessica Acker (Oronoco, MN)
Ted, Are you sure you're not a parking ticket, because you have FINE written all over you...
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
mike (san francisco)
Ted, do you think Cal's 2010 defensive recruits will make an impact on improving Cal's Defense next year?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
They will make an impact if for no other reason they should push the veterans. LB and spots in the secondary seem particularly vulnerable to frosh challenges.
How will Clancy's NFL experience help w/ CAL's D?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
My guess is players will respect his pedigree. Getting guys to buy-in is half the battle. Of course, he'll have to adjust to some of the differences in college football, such as defending a true-spread option.
Will (Northridge, CA)
If the Pac 10 is gonna expand why not expand to 16 schools, Go Get Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M??
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
I don't see that happening, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. I've read plenty of stuff about radical realignment ideas. Back in 2000 or so, I wrote about the college football powers dropping out of the NCAA and former a group of about 60.
Who do you think establishes themselves in the Secondary this year at SC given the loss of 4 starters to graduation
Ted Miller (4:03 PM)
It helps to have CB Shareece Wright back... It's not good that Drew McAllister is out spring due to hip surgery because he was the leader to replace Taylor Mays. T.J. Bryant at corner, safety T.J. McDonald almost certainly are in the mix. Lots of talented young guys trying to break through, too. The Trojans won't lack talent, but inexperience could mean some braincramps.
Jason (Central Point, OR)
Considering Dennis Dixon's prior success at Oregon before Masoli, could it be that Darron Thomas or Nate Costa could have plenty of success in that system with a full spring / summer?
Ted Miller (4:05 PM)
Sure. Masoli was a big reason that Oregon was going to be in the preseason top-10. But even without Masoli, the Ducks won't drop out of the picture. But, again, I'm not ready to write Masoli off.
In response to Will about expanding to 16 teams: remember, in the Pac-10, there has to be a unanimous vote to bring in a new school. Bringing in 1 or 2 schools is going to be difficult enough, but bringing in 6? There's no way that's going to happen all at once
Ted Miller (4:05 PM)
Ted, the Pac-10 conference made a front-end hire specifically geared towards setting up a TV network. The issue I see is that currently the Pac-10's footprint only covers 4 states (and not necessarily the most populated states). Any chance that a Pac-10 TV Network could come to fruition, or will the Pac-10 need to join forces with the ACC or Big East in order to make it happen?
Ted Miller (4:07 PM)
There are plenty of skeptics that the Pac-10 would set up a TV network alone. Some type of partnership with another conference might make more sense. The expansion talk goes along with this. Say the planets align and Texas and Texas A&M join the Pac-10... that's a lot more appealing for a TV network, eh? HUGE longshot, but you see the point.
Will (Northridge, CA)
Wouldnt a Pac 10 CCG be better suited to San Diego than LA or Phoenix?
Ted Miller (4:08 PM)
Fine with me. I love going to San Diego. And I'd guess folks from the NW wouldn't mind a December trip to So Cal.
Tony (Eugene, Or.)
I know people are quick to fault Kelly for the recent Oregon off-field incidents. But looking at how he handled the Blount situation, the fact that he quickly dismissed him from the team. It was obvious when more facts came to light that he decided to give Blount another chance. Doesn't then this warrent Kelly to not act AT ALL until all the fact are in?
Ted Miller (4:10 PM)
Kelly is in a no-win situation. I'm different from a lot of folks. I think the best approach is to err on the side of leniency. Sure, it doesn't play well on the editorial page, but it plays well in the locker room.
Ted Miller (4:11 PM)
Folks. Sorry for the late start. See you next week.