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)
Afternoon folks... anything on your mind?
Hi Ted - Utah used to get a lot of the "under the radar" recruits because people wanted to go to UTAH because they could play more than at Pac10 schools. Will Utah miss out on these types of palyers now?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
One of the challenges with moving up in the world is trying to retain the strategies that inspired the promotion while taking advantage of being in a new pay grade. Washington State, after three consecutive top-10 seasons, tried to upgrade its recruiting and failed. The key to recruiting is evaluation. For any team. If Utah feels like it can get a five-star guy, then get him. But evaluate him just the same. And don't forget what got you to two BCS bowl wins in the first place.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Ted, a lot of polls have Oregon up in the top 10 in the nation but don't really have any players in the all america 1st or 2nd string. What's going on?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
Who would you rate an All-American at this point? The reason the Ducks look good is they have solid talent across the board. Look at UCLA. The Bruins have several stars but also worrisome gaps on their depth chart.
ted in the spring you had cal 4th now you have them 7th? what changed in your analysis of the team?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
in large part, teams four through eight in the Pac-10 are a toss up. My changing feeling on Cal was based on changing feelings on other teams, but also on Cal's Pac-10 schedule.
Brendan (Eureka, CA)
Please present a valid argument for putting USC ahead of Oregon. UO is returning 90% of their entire two-deep (minus Masoli), won the league by two games and absolutely destroyed USC last year. QB replacement options are a rock solid 5th year senior or a 3rd year players that has shown tremendous promise. Meanwhile, USC is coming off a 9-4 season, finished 5th in the league, lost one of the best coaches in the game, returning only 11 starters and more players are transferring out every day. Now USC is supposed to finish ahead of Oregon just becuase they have a returning QB that nearly threw as many picks as TDs last year? Please help me understand.
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
Masoli was the Ducks best and most important player last year. You have no idea what you will get at QB this year. Also, Oregon is at USC, at Cal and at Oregon State, with the game in LA being perhaps the conference game of the year. That said: I don't feel very strongly about making USC No. 1. The Ducks would have been an overwhelming No.1 with Masoli. I just feel experience at QB -- Barkley looked great this spring -- is critical to play at an elite level.
Tim (San Diego)
USC has two 4 star QB's in the 2011 Class (Kessler and Witik) do you think it's smart for them to load up at QB with the sitiuation they're in now??
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Yes... but I don't think USC will have trouble recruiting QBs over the next few years, even with sanctions. It's the lines where things could get troublesome.
Is Masoli really going to UNLV? Should UNLV want him?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Nothing official with a destination as far as i know... As for Masoli, winning is important. Masoli is a guy who can win you football games.
How do you think the huskies will fare this season.
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Bowl team with plenty of potential upside ... can't afford too many injuries though.
Utah is supposed to be our rival upon joining the Pac 10... come on... we need a better rival than that.
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Feel free to choose any team you don't want to like. Maybe UCLA because of Neuheisel?
Nick(Cali) [via mobile]
If UCLA falls on its face will Rick start to feel the heat or will he still not be held accountable for his record?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
Neuheisel inherited a mess and isn't getting any help with his tough nonconference schedules. If the Bruins flop, obviously the heat turns up. But my general impression is Neuheisel is rebuilding well. The breakthrough should be 2011.
Nick(Cali) [via mobile]
If Masoli gets a 3rd chance what is that saying to kids? If you can win games you can be a criminal and get away with it.
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
sort of, yeah. but you've got to be really, really good to do so. In other words: I hear the bad lesson, but its applicable constituency is small.
Steve (Portland, OR)
What division split is best for the long term strength of the Oregon schools? Do you think the Pac-12 championship is best held in Arizona and could that help attract Texas and Oklahoma to a future Pac-16 east division?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
Best? Put OSU and Oregon in a division with the California schools. Best possible? Probably a "zipper" split that ensures as many s. Cal trips as possible. I think playing the game in Glendale is a intriguing possibility. And,yes, if it generates big revenue, that might inspire renewed talk of a pac-16.
Paul (Sacramento, CA)
Bill n TED ,Should us USC fans be angry if nothing happens to the other schools being investigated by the NCAA? I personally will be mad when the dust settles and we are the only ones with the hammer dropped on us. It will be a disgrace.. In my humble opinion..
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
It will be interesting to see what happens when the smoke clears. But understand that USC role modeled how NOT to react. It seems like all the schools at issue now are tap-dancing for the NCAA and trying to look as concerned as possible. That's not what Mike Garrett did, which to me is the biggest reason USC got smashed. It wasn't the crime. It was the attitude.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Heading into fall camps, who is the dark horse of the Pac?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Stanford....if the D comes through.
What are the top 5 most memorable Pac-10 game you've seen in person? (any season)
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
tough one.... not including USC-Texas for NC.... Oregon State-UW in 2000 .... Marques Tuiasosopo doing a 200-300 vs. Stanford in 1999... The Curtis Williams UW game at Stanford in 2000... Oregon-Arizona Double-OT last year.... Civil War last year.... 2002 apple cup when Coug fans tossed bottles on the field... sure there are others....
Steve (Portland, OR)
Why did you say Corvallis isn't great for a Pac-12 championship game if the best record hosts? Reser Stadium has great engineering and when they finally complete it..it will look among the top 2 or 3 stadiums in the conference. It also has great views and the culture is similar to Eugene.
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Purely an issue of stadium size -- smaller stadium, smaller gate. I love Reser -- one of the best press box food spreads in the conference. And Steve Fenk gives reporters good parking places.
Kristina (Corvallis, OR)
Do you think College Gameday will come to Corvallis to highlight Oregon State this year? Odds?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
Maybe... gameday goes where the big games are.... if Oregon State is a top-10 team, that would be a possibility.
what are the biggest ooc games you are looking forward to in 2010? iowa vs arizona, tcu vs oregon st, boise vs oregon st, neb vs wash? will pac 10 do well in ooc?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Nebraska-UW.... Locker vs. one of the best Ds in the country. If Oregon State beats TCU, then the game at Boise would be HUGE. As for nonconference overall, lots of tough games -- don't forget Wisconsin and Texas, too. Those games can help or hurt the conference's image.
Isn't it a little strange that, except USC, that all the NCAA investigations are focusing on the SEC?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
strange? no. But I'd warm against any gloating. This is a system-wide issue. I think agents have their mitts on just about every major school in some way or the other.
CP (North Carolina)
Florida always regarded as good, but not great, finally made it to the top in the 90s. Utah and Boise St became major power on national level in 2000s. Which program(s) is on the rise and could become perennial top 15 program at the end of 2010s? Thanks Ted!
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
UNC... miami, FSU, Nebraska and Washington rebounds.... South Florida.
Robert B. (New York)
Ted, Do you think this "everyone must have an L.A. school in their division to recruit" idea is being a little overstated? Or is this really worth compromising natural rivalries and geographic sense?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
I think it's overstated. But some coaches and ADs don't. Guess whose opinion matters? And I've got to say the the Northern vs. Southern California rivalries don't really move the needle with most observers.
Football Outsiders ranked the 1991 Huskies as the 26th best team of the past hundred years? Too low? Too high?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
that was a really good team... probably should be a couple of notches higher.
sweatervested1 (2060 Chiron)
I guess you just don't have time to talk to your good buddy SV anymore.
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
You said mean things about the Pac-10. I know you love the Pac-10. It's the only way you get to see an decent QB play.
It may be system wide, however, some coaches a more pro-active than others. Jim Tressel has put a concrete wall around the players parking lot, closes practices and signs off all player car registration. I recall that he was made fun of for being so tight. I am guessing some coaches wish they had been that vigilant.
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
Mark (Denver, CO)
Do you think the Pac-10 will change its name to the Pac-12. I think they should. Would this lead the Big Ten to do the same and force the Big XII to become the Big X?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
The Big Ten is going to stay the Big Ten. My guess is the Pac-10 becomes the Pac-12. No idea what the Big 12 is going to do. IN a few years, it might not matter.
where does whittingham fit as far as current coaches in the Pac10? would he be considered one of the better coaches? or just average?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
Huge Whittingham fan... I'd rank him among a handful of the nation's brightest young coaches.
JC (Scottsdale, AZ)
Any chance Justin Wilcox can get the Tennessee defense to play like his Boise St. team did (last year) against Oregon this fall?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
You have to feel that the Vols hired a guy who knows Oregon's offense. That might help, but you'd also expect Chip Kelly might have a better plan this year. The Vols upset chances hinge on disrupting a QB who won't have played in an atmosphere like Neyland before. Wilcox might be able to pull that off.
The current investigations started at UNC, which is not in the SEC. You might want to check those comments about them being all SEC.
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
Yeah....but how many SEC teams are involved now? You could make an argument it's regional.
Greg P (Staten Island,NY)
Ted, Is this the year that ND beats USC?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
Toby (Newport Beach, CA)
Larry Scott has stated that he wants the Pac-10 brand to become even more glamorous. What are a few ways to accomplish this?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Check in next week during the Pac-10's East Coast-West Coast media swing. You're going to see some fancy things.
Greg P (Staten Island,NY)
Ted, you sure u don't want to think about it! Love the short quick answer haha!
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Kelly will get Notre Dame back. Great hire. Just won't happen next year with new QB in new system.
Ben (Big Easy)
If USC were to have Michigan like slide after a hall-of-fame coach leaves, then what are the chances Kiffin will be back next season with new AD in charge?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
I'm almost certain that Kiffin won't be one-and-done at USC, whatever happens. Haden was involved in Kiffin's hiring and he's not the sort to have a quick trigger-finger.
What did I say? I was just pointing out that the college from southern California has a two year bowl ban. Thats all, so shoot me. Lets be real, who do you have 1) SEC defense or 2) A QB from the conference you cover. Come on!
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
I'd take Alabama and Florida's defense (and defensive talent). Then Locker, Luck, Barkley and Foles above any other SEC D.
What does Erickson have to accomplish this season to feel secure with his job?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
My guess is a .500 finish would be enough for him to return in 2011. Sun Devils should be fairly salty in 2011 with a returning starter at QB and lots of D talent.
Kiffin and Sark are pretty cordial with each other, right?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
yes.... of course, it might be a challenge to remain close while competing on the field and in recruiting over the coming years.
Those "fancy things" have to be a new TV deal....without it, the conference will slide and never be what it could be.
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
those fancy things will be about making the conference more appealing for a new TV deal...
How will the additions of CU and Utah impact the pac-12 with regards to how they schedule OOC games?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
Don't think it will change much, particularly if the conference, as expected, sticks with a nine-game conference schedule. Pac-10 teams embracing aggressive nonconference scheduling, in large part because they need the revenue.
Ted...are you feeling any better about my Wildcats' chances to make the Rose Bowl now than you did in the Spring?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
I want to see how those 3 new LBs look before I start talking Arizona in the Rose Bowl. Offense should be Rose Bowl worthy,though.
Greg (Olympia, WA)
What do you think of WSU playing the Oregon schools at Qwest Field for awhile? Will that fill seats and build the rivalries or does WSU have to get better first?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
I think WSU is getting better. As for playing at Qwest, it sounds like a good way to generate revenue, which WSU needs to do. As for filling seats, that's about getting better. Coug fans will show up to watch a competitive team.
I don't know Ted, LSU has a real good D too!
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
Really? Did you see what Locker did to that day last year?
Ted, how does it feel to be the second most popular "Ted" in Scottsdale behind Ted Willams' head?
Ted Miller (4:03 PM)
Ha!And on that note, I've got to say goodbye. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend, even you SV.