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 (2:59 PM)
Howdy folks... hope your brackets are spotless.Shoot.
Lately it feels like its been all big 12- SEC competition for the national title, is this the pac-10's year for resurgence? Does usc have a good shot at going undefeated?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
I'm not feeling the Pac-10 getting into the national title hunt this year. Oregon was the top candidate but now it's lost a QB who might have become a Heisman Trophy candidate. USC would be the best second choice, but the Trojans have a new coach, a new system, a new secondary and a tendency to throw up on themselves at least once a year.
Can Darron Thomas make the type of strides that Dennis Dixon did in just one season with Chip Kelly? Justin Roper, and Masoli both excelled under Kelly when he focused on them. Chip seems to have a history of getting the most out of his QB's.
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
That'sthe big question. First, he's got to beat out senior Nate Costa. It is notable that Dixon blossomed quickly under Kelley AND that Masoli was pretty darn good by the end of the 2008 season -- recall the Holiday bowl beatdown of Oklahoma State. Still, I don't think a first-year starter can reach the level that Masoli would have touched in year three with Kelly.
Knoxville , TN [via mobile]
Will TN win it ALL this year ??
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
No. But the Vols should win the state championship.
Urban Meyer (Gainesville)
Ted, you are not a bad guy.
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Thanks... but you should be apologizing to the reporter you lambasted without justification instead of visiting here.
Chris (Fullerton, CA)
I have heard that Pac-10 expansion is Utah and Colorado or not at all. I hear no way will they take BYU and the next step down is UNLV, who they won't touch either.
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
You may be hearing right...
John (Athens, Oh)
Hey Ted! Who do you have winning the Pac 10 this coming season, is it possible for Kiffin to win a Pac 10 title in his first season?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
I had Oregon. Now I'm a USC lean. But I'm excited about a NW spring trip. I want to get a look at Oregon State's QBs as well as the QB competition at Oregon. To me, what is starting to tip the scales toward the Trojans is my belief the D-line has a chance to be special.
Tanner Bergh (SD)
Will Alabama have a legit chance to go Back-2-Back this year and stay elite in the SEC?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
Absolutely.... Saban has been collecting talent. The D may take a step back but the offensive skill is impressive.
Chris (Concord, CA)
Ted, how do you see Oregon's running back situation sorting itself out this season with the highly touted freshmen coming in? Will James split carries with Seastrunk, and would either of them be happy about that? Also, with Barner still around as a quality backup, do you think Williams will redshirt?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Oregon is fine at RB... James misses only the first game, and James and Barner will be an outstanding combo. I suspect at least one of the incoming frosh will get plenty of carries, too, and Seastrunk seems to be the most likely candidate. My guess is James and Barner combine for 2,250 yards.
I know its out of your league, but what is Urban Meyer's glitch? He seems more arrogant everyday.
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
Great coach. Driven. Smart. But that was not his best moment. He should, as I said, apologize. He was out of line. And, by the way, completely inaccurate.
Gary (Fort Worth)
1. ucla has the most balanced returning team and might share the 2010 crown w/u-dub.2 nat'l media running a year-late (as usual) re: andrew luck/stanford=rebuilding in 2010. 3. doom in 2010 for most of the pac-: both bay area schools, -orygun- and -ariz. schools.4. i didn't like the vibe around 'sc last year--way before the scandal re-heated up...5. w/o a better o.c. or effort in 2010, 'sc's slide continues in 2010. sc's players seem more focused on partying/women (not a bad thing) then their execution between the lines.6. akeem ayers's '10 numbers will be down--no all-world front 7 to absorb blockers as in '09.7. the same injuries to key players/numerous stars under disciplinary suspension and/or injured vibe that contributed heavily to the pac-10's pathetic showing in the post-2009 cfb season bowl games is rolling right in to '10--you won't hear any pre- or in-season, sec-style chest pounding from this die-hard pac-10 fan about how transcendent west coast football is this coming season--we're about a 2-team league and that's it.8. other than ucla and u-dub, who in the pac-10 in '10 cfb will be worth a flip? none, i say--unless some program surprises (hint, it won't be stanford in '10 coming from "nowhere" and bringing the noise).
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
I felt like your effort deserved to be posted.
Trae Adkins (SD)
Why do the chat reporters answer questions from "Urban Meyer" and "Jon Scheyer" when its almost a garuntee its not the actual people?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
That's not really Trae, by the way. Hey, folks are just trying to be amusing. How is that bad?
John (New York)
I think Andrew Luck will be the best QB in the country next year and it won't even be close. Your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Hmm... Jake Locker? Luck has loads of talent and had a great redshirt freshman season. But when you're a quarterback with a Toby Gerhart obsessing defenses, the going is a lot easier. Luck will have to step up and lead the offense next fall. He has the ability to do it. He's got NFL talent. But I'm not ready to crown him just yet.
Mike (Lincoln, NE)
Do you feel that Washington has a good chance of beating Nebraska this fall?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
The UW offense with Locker vs. the Nebraska defense will be interesting. And Husky Stadium offers a good homefield advantage. Ask Miami in 2000. So, yeah, I think the Huskies have a chance. But after watching the Holiday Bowl... well, let's just say I anticipate picking the Cornhuskers, who might end up winning the Big 12.
Ted! For the love! Please answer only Pac 10 questions during your chats. If we wanted to know who was the SEC West dark horse, we'd go over to Chris Low's chat. They don't answer Pac 10 questions there, we don't want you answer other conference's questions here!
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
I have love for all conferences.... and the questions just flow by and I grab them... I saved yours though.
What do you think of the ACC this year? They look pretty good? It looks like UM may have a pretty good D-Fense this year led by that D-Line. What do you think of UM's chances to be ranked in the top 10 this year?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
It seems like Miami is due... all that young talent needs to grow up. But Miami needs consistency. Sometimes they look like a top-10 team. Others... think bowl game vs. Wisconsin...the Hurricanes look uninterested.
Kevin (Houston, TX)
Does Washington have a chance at the Rose Bowl this next season? They have a pretty tough non conference schedule that I think could more than prepare them for their conference games.
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
A chance... sure. Is it a good one? Probably not. The Huskies visit USC, Oregon, Arizona and Cal. That's a tough road slate for the Pac-10 champ. But if the conference is as balanced as it looks, you might see a champ with two conference losses.. so who knows?
ryan, col, oh [via mobile]
Is terrel pryor heisman favorite?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
He's in my top-five... Pryor needs to play like he did in the Rose Bowl the entire season.
What's with Toby Gerhart being 2nd in the Heisman ballot, but not even in the top 5 running backs for the draft?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
Well the Heisman doesn't have much to do with the NFL -- Gino Torretta, Andre Ware, etc. -- and NFL teams tend to favor speed guys over power. But I think Gerhart will be an effective NFL player.
Joseph (Spokane, WA.)
What are yor thoughts on who leads the Sun Devils into battle this year? Threat or Osweiler?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
My money, as of today, without watching a practice, is on Threat. He was good enough to win the job at Michigan, and he is generated a lot of buzz. But last year, that was the case with Osweiler.
No love for the SV today?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
Always, sweater... just sent our neighbors to eat at Felix's in Mobile... now I'm hungry.
Will (Northridge, CA)
I would like to know in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 who did USC lose to that would be considered throwing up on themselves??
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Well, which team did the Trojans lose to in any of those years that you feel was superior to them?
Jed (The City)
Ted, I just don't understand why UofA is being written off already. Evidence: They've gotten better EVERY SINGLE YEAR during Stoops tenure. While they certainly had close wins last year, non of their losses (save the bowl game) were by more than a score. They are returning everybody on offense. They are returning most of their guys on defense, and have ready and proven depth for all the guys who are leaving except at LB. What is not to like here? Are we being counted out because of one game (our bowl loss)? Not saying we're a shoe-in to take it all, but I think we have to be discussed in comparison to teams that we beat who lost more to the NFL.
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
Hey, I was a voice in the wilderness on Arizona last year. Check my blog. And the Wildcats do look good on offense. But they lose seven starters on defense, including both D-tackles and all three LBs. And they have new coordinators on both sides of the ball -- four of them, to be exact. Those are significant questions. And, by the way, Stoops didn't disagree with that assessment before spring practices.
would the pac 10 have to eliminate the round robin schedule and have 4 non-conference games in order to have a legitimate conference championship game?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
If the conference expanded to 12 teams, it wouldn't be feasible to play the round robin... And, it would make sense to play four nonconference games and follow the national model of padding the schedule with patsies. Of course, Pac-10 teams would probably just add another tough opponent.
matt (la, ca)
now that you are off the cal bandwaggon how many victories for the bears in 2010?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
Eight. No. Nine. No eight. OK: 8.5.
Your thoughts on the TCU/Oregon State game at Jerry World (aka the Death Star)?
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
It will be an interesting game.... Both teams have a lot of guys back from good teams. But TCU will be basically playing a home game with a veteran QB, while Oregon State will be breaking in a first-time starter at the position. Advantage TCU.
Pete Carroll (Seattle)
How long do you think Kiffin is going to stay at USC before they call and beg me to come back?p.s. I already miss the college game a little bit
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
Pete! We miss you too. My feeling, as of today, is that Kiffin will stay at USC as long as USC will have him. I believe him when he says he's got his dream job. Now, will he win enough to say a long time. As of today, I think Kiffin is going to be successful. Pete, maybe you can go the the SEC and set up a Kiffin-Carroll game?
Will (LoS ANgeles)
What does SC have to do to regain the pac 10 championship?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Play up to its capabilities. Every Saturday. And Barkley needs to take a step forward.
Is there a better conference in the country than the Pac-10 in terms of the starting RB's? Polk at UW, Rodgers at OSU, Vereen at Cal, James at UO and I'm sure who ever emerges at the top of the USC depth chart will be elite.
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
THe Pac-10 is very good at RB.
Quincy Pondexter (Syracuse)
How dare someone imply that I, Quincy Pondexter, would not be chatting about Pac-10 football a couple hours before the biggest game of my life! Now Ted, before I go out and dominate, will the Huskies make a bowl next year?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
Yes, Q, I think the Huskies will go to a bowl game in 2010. Now back to WVU film.
Tim, the Pac-10 has lauded its full conference, round-robin schedule for quite some time. Do you feel like the Pac-10 is even interested in a championship game?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
I think the Pac-10 wants to make more money. And I don't think the conference has gotten enough credit for the round-robin. I'm anti-round robin. I know most Pac-10 fans like it. But I think it's the reason the Pac-10 doesn't get as many bowl teams, particularly BCS bowl teams.
Eric Ray (LBK, TX)
Ill take the Big 10 and the Big 12 RB's over any Pac 10 RB's. I would take a lot of players over players from the Pac 10
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
No you wouldn't. Not if you were trying to be right.
It is the year 2011. Who is the best running back in the Pac-10 from the state of Texas?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
Are you trying to get me to choose between Jacquizz and LaMichael? Fine. Best back would be LaMichael Rodgers. OR Jacquizz James.
Is Jonathan Stewart the best NFL player to ever go to the University of Oregon?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
er... Gary Zimmerman, Dave Wilcox, Norm Van Brocklin, Dan Fouts, Mel Renfro
Do you honestly feel that a Pac-10 championship game can make more money for the conference, though? I feel like it would be hit or miss, like the ACC: if FSU is playing Miami in the championship game, it's packed, otherwise it's not a huge draw. Likewise, if the Pac-10 championship game isn't USC vs UCLA in the Rose Bowl, I don't feel that it'll have the same draw as the SEC championship game
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
I think it could be with inspired leadership... would it be a home run every year? No. But I think you could see a lot of tickets for Washington vs. Arizona in LA.
Do you think the new Coach at USC will play more of Nick Perry, being that he was tied with Everson on Sacks? It seemed that the old coaches was keeping this talented kid down. I predict he will double his sack total this year.
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
USC's D-line strikes me as potentially dominant, and Perry looks like a budding star. He needs to be a complete player, though. Not just a pass rusher.
Bobby Hauck (Las Vegas)
Why wouldn't UNLV be considered for Pac-10? Is it the fact that it is Las Vegas? Is it the football team is not good, yet? Is the athletic budget too small? Is it the academic reputation (has one of the best hotel admin. and desert research programs in the country)?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Lots of reasons... many you touch on. You've got to look at the totality of the athletic department and institution. Of course, if the Pac-10 powers believed that adding UNLV would give revenue a bump, they'd consider it. But they don't think that. Me personally: I'd love to trip to Vegas more.
Who do you like better this season with the new quarterbacks, Notre Dame or Florida?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Florida. Brantley is going to be a star.
Daniel, Ca [via mobile]
Ted, I have to give it to you, you are the funniest and most refreshing of the conference bloggers. Glad youre a Pac 10 guy.
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Thanks... but Mom, why are you posting as "Daniel."
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
Gang... it's been fun, as usual, but I need to grab a late lunch. See you next week.