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)
Happy New Year... Almost. What's only your mind?
Agustin (Bay Area)
Hey Ted! What will be more vital to Oregon's success in the national championship game: containing Cam newton or containing Nick Fairley?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Newton without question. If Newton has a bad game, Oregon wins going away. If Fairley has a great game, it doesn't mean Oregon won't win. Newton at his best is practically unstoppable.
Chuck (Las Vegas)
After watching Utah lose all of its big games, and barely get by Pitt at home in overtime are you still convinced Utah can handle the PAC 10?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
L. Edgar (Las Vegas)
Are the jobs of Dennis Erickson and/or Rick Neuheisel still in jeapordy this year? It seems as if the time has passed for them and they are OK but is that true?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
If both post losing seasons, then both are in trouble. But it feels like Erickson has been building toward 2011. The Sun Devils look like the favorites in the Pac-12 South. UCLA has big questions, starting with who are the coordinators? So in advance of 2011, my feeling is Neuheisel's seat is warmer than Erickson, in large part because the Sun Devils -- on paper -- look more promising.
ace in oc (orange county california)
chances the ducks can upset cam newton and the tigers?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Good... not really much of an upset if it happens either. Take away Newton and it wouldn't be a close game.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Pac-10 team will win a College Football Bowl Game This Season?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Stanford and ORegon.
Which Pac-10 fans are the most obnoxious?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Pac-10 fans are all scholars and saints.
If UConn and Jordan Todman can grind out some long drives and limit the amount of time OU has the ball can the Huskies pull the upset?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
That's a key: Play keep away. Get your defense some rest. Don't make mistakes. Get TDs in the redzone. Hope OU makes mistakes. UConn is a big underdog for a reason, but the Huskies winning certainly wouldn't be the biggest upset of all time or anything.
The article you linked today on Fangio made me fall in love. If Slick Rick doesn't get him, I'm blaming my depression on you.
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
That's an interesting situation... you'd think Neuheisel might have a shot if Harbaugh bolts, but you'd also wonder if Harbaugh would bring Fangio along with him, despite word of a "strained" relationship.
What's your prediction for the NCG?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Not ready to say yet... even though I've pretty much committed here and elsewhere.
Did 3 spirits pay you a visit on Christmas Eve for your ways? Who do you like in the Bama-Michigan St. game?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
Bama big. Hey, update me on what happened in the Iron Bowl. Last I saw, Alabama was up 24-zip.
Saw you did some nice stories on UConn today. Do you give them a chance against Oklahoma?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Thanks... Every team has a chance, and UConn is a well-coached team that will play hard and probably won't beat itself. I'm picking the Sooners, but if the Sooners don't bring a focused, motivated effort, the Huskies will get them.
What's the key for Oregon to win the game, and what's your prediction?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
The key is to prevent Newton from running. Make him throw. And hit him. Hard. You'll have to wait on a prediction.
You have a lot of faith in that Boregon team. I can't wait to see Auburn knock that smirk off your face.
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
How can an Alabama fan root for Auburn. You might have to turn in your Crimson Tide Credentials and secret decoder ring. Didn't you used to make fun of me for COVERING Auburn?
Jim (Parks, NE)
As a Nebraska fan, I enjoyed the September win over Washington but was sorry that the Huskers did so much damage to the career and prospects of Jake Locker. Will the Huskers do even worse damage tonight or will Locker shine?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
I think Locker will play much better but Nebraska still rolls. The issue is both lines: The 'Huskers are significantly superior up front.
Ryan (San Diego)
Never too early. . .2012 Pac-12 Championship Game. Who is in it, where is it played? Please do no answer with "The winners of the North and South divisions will play at the stadium of the higher rated team." (this is not my first Miller chat!)
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
No. 10 Arizona State at No. 1 Oregon.
Jeremy Bates (Seattle, WA)
Ted, I'm pretty good still... right?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
What did you think of Mike Stoops giving up in the 4th quarter of last nights bowl?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
It was a bad night all around for Stoops and the Wildcats. Not sure I'd say he gave up, but Arizona seemed deflated after the early going. And why didn't Scott get a chance in relief of a struggling Foles (unless he is still hurt).
Lorraine (San Jose, CA)
Any word on who Stanford might hire?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Stanford has a coach! If Harbaugh leaves you mean? Tough to say: No one say Harbaugh coming in 2006. My feeling is Bob Bowlsby has given it plenty of thought though.
LaMichael James announces he is returning next year... not that it is worth anything, but is he the frontrunner for the heisman, or does the depth in the oregon backfield end up hurting his numbers too much?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
that's good news for Oregon... he may share more carries and that might hurt his chances. But he strikes me as a guy who just wants to win... bigger question is the O-line: Are the gaps going to be a large in 2011?
There is something i hate more than that "cow college." LAC-10ers!
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
Still mad about all those whippings from USC and UCLA?
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
how'd you rank the Pac-12 south teams going into next year? I'd say 1. USC, 2. Utah, 3. Arizona, 4. ASU, 5. UCLA, 6. Colorado
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
off the cuff... 1. ASU; 2. USC; 3. Arizona; 4. Utah; 5. UCLA; 6. Colorado. right to change my mind is reserved.
Charles (Portland, OR)
Ted, have you heard that LaMichael James is back next year at the U of O? What do you think of their chances next year?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
Oregon will start off as a top-10 team, top five if they win the championship... some questions on both lines, but plenty of guys with game experience to step in... THomas should be just that much better...Ducks are a decided favorite in year one of Pac-12.
How in the world does Oregon work in LMJ, Barner, Seastrunk and D. Williams (not to mention Huff)...next year?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Two words: Chip Freaking Kelly. Have faith.
I have looked everywhere for an reason for this and I can't find it anywhere... I can see how the NC game falls one weird days other years, because it's a week after Jan. 1st. This year, though, the 8th falls on a Saturday - the perfect day for football! Why, then, is the National Championship game on a Monday?!
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
Smarter men than me make those decision... I'm just a guy who types.
JL (Warrenton, Virginia)
Will Saturday's game get Rich Rod out of his misery or will he still be the coach at Michigan?
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
It seems like that might be the case. And it seems like Michigan and the 49ers are squaring off over Harbaugh, who's surely enjoying all the love. SHould I prank text Harbaugh now with a $100 million offer to stay on the Farm?
John's question reminds me... as good as LMJ is, kenjon barner really looked like his old self in the civil war and gave the ducks the 2 in their 1-2 punch that they had sorta missed since his concussion... anyway, with all the attention on James, do you think barner can hurt auburn a bunch? (he was great in the rose bowl last year)
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
I think Chip Kelly closed practices because he's going to spring some funky stuff on Auburn, and an obvious possibility is both on the field at the same time... And James was banged up the final few weeks. The rest will help him a bunch.
I dont see alot of improvment from year to year for some programs (ei. Ari, UCLA, Ari St, Cal). Why is this?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
Different reasons for each team... ASU was much better this year and only started two seniors. UCLA and Cal had QB issues.... Arizona seemed to lose something over the second half of the season...
The Big 12 blogger, David Ubben, said during the week that the Big 12 -2 was interested in picking up the Arizona teams, ASU and U of A. Is that true and if so, what are the chances? Is that anything more than smoke and mirrors?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Well David and I were talking about that in terms of an ideal scenario -- as in going after a big market instead of settling for any two teams. I've heard no chatter about it. It's just speculation on what my be a future intrigue. At this point though, Az and ASU probably feel pretty good about the Pac-12 South and what it means for their futures.
Jason (Cleveland, OH)
Ted, thanks for taking time from a busy week for this. Has anyone interviewed Masoli to get his take on PAC10 vs. SEC play? If so, what were his thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
good thought... i may google that after the chat... have not seen anything yet. Masoli is a pretty smart guy, my guess is he'd take a fairly neutral stance.
Mike (Portland, OR)
I hear some claiming that Auburn is more "battle-tested" because of the close games they've played this year vs. the blowout wins Oregon has posted. SEC > Pac-10 aside, how could anyone think there'd be reason for MORE confidence in Oregon had they barely scraped by most teams and had Auburn won every game by 3 touchdowns?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
There's always a feeling that winning close games means you know how to make plays in the clutch, in the fourth quarter, when the screws tighten... the problem for Oregon is if it played Auburn's schedule it still wouldn't have played any close games (other than Alabama).
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
Masoli is a pretty smart guy? Uh...
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
he's an above average student and pretty insightful when you talk to him... we're talking "brain" ... not common sense.
Do you predict Haubaugh's place of residence next year will have a Michigan zip code, or a California one?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Number Police (on Patrol)
Chip Freaking Kelly is three words. Is that a Pac-10 education you have?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Thanks for checking in Mr. Literal... went to the Univ. of Richmond.
Brett (Fort Worth, TX)
I don't even think the national title game will be close. I think Oregon will win by a scoreline along the likes of 52-28. Auburn has been in tight games with a number of opponents, unlike Oregon who just beats down teams.
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
I think -- and hope -- it will be a highly competitive game.
reading about the ohio state players "pledging to stay" - is there any force behind such a pledge? when players announce this early, are they signing anything that MAY NOT go to the draft?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
My first instinct on that is to find it dubious... but we shall see.
After Oregon beats Auburn, will the SEC fans shut up at all? I think probably not...
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
SEC fans won't shut up... ever. They love the game and their teams and they enjoy crowing. You know: Like we all do.
Drofdarb23 (Boise, ID)
Ted, I'm sure you watched the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Did the Pac-10 invite the wrong team? Boise State has consistently been better over the same time period as the Utes...
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
The selection of Utah was about more than just football... there's also TV market size (Salt Lake vs. Boise) and other sports, as well as academic issues....
So all Auburn and Ohio State have to do is say "we didn't know"... but isn't that why USC got hammered so hard? Because they "didn't know" when they should have?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
The NCAA has been doing a rotten job of late, if that's your general question... It will take some guts and character to do the right thing and reduce USC's penalties. So don't hold your breath.
Bruce (Columbus, Georgia)
I haven't seen every bowl game but I have watched several and am yet to see a team that was really as sharp as they were in regular seaon. Has the delay between last game and bowl game gotten so long that teams lose a lot of their sharpness?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
That's fair. If you watch enough bowls through the years, you realize they are seasons unto themselves... very good teams get fat and lazy and look terrible, while undermanned teams play with fire and score upsets... it's hard to work practices around the holidays. Some players are already thinking about the NFL... there are many variables at work.
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
Some coaches are better with 5 days to prepare rather than weeks... or a month. Some teams lose an advantage when opposing coordinators get extra time to create a scheme.
Rick Neuheisel's seat is how hot going into 2011? Lukewarm, hot, or nuclear meltdown?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Hot... but nothing that 7 more wins should at least cool down. But he won't survive another losing season.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
No offense, but picking Washington to score 31 on Nebraska seems a little dubious given that they only gave up more than 30 to one team all year -- Oklahoma State. What makes you think Washington can do what Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, etc. couldn't, especially considering Nebraska's advantages along both lines and secondary?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
that might not be the best score prediction I've ever produced... but the Huskies did score 21 with Locker having the worst game of his career. so if locker completes 50 percent of his passes instead of going 4 of 20, that might mean an extra 10 points.
Were you surprised at the attention Cliff Harris received with all the awards?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Harris makes a lot of plays. Those who watch the Ducks every week know he makes some bad ones, too. But those don't get recorded as statistics as much... and Harris has some impressive numbers as a CB and return guy.
What are Kevin Riley's chances of a shot in the NFL?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
He'll get a shot... I wouldn't think he'd stick on a roster, but sometimes you get surprised.
Have you and Chris Low made a bloggers bet yet for the NC?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Chris and I will be enjoy a cold one and talking about our families in a couple of days... you might be surprised, but the bloggers really don't trash talk each other. Other than HD. She's relentless.
So, Chip Kelly said nine UO underclassmen applied for NFL draft evaluations, and all are returning next season: LMJ, Paulson, Cliff Harris and ????
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
Good news for Ducks... no surprises on depth chart heading into 2011.
What exactly are those feather or flower looking things on Oregon's uniforms? Duck Feathers?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
They are the feathers of a most angry duck! QUAACCCKKKK!
Engineer-Mike (Portland, OR)
Why-oh-why do we not have more PAC-10 / SEC match-ups? Oregon-LSU is gonna be awesome next year. I wish we could get at least one QUALITY match-up with the SEC every year. (In fact, we should do our best to schedule them only a year in advance, and agree to pair two good teams!)
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Pac-10 teams are eager to schedule the games, SEC isn't. I love big nonconference games, period. They are true measuring sticks. That Oregon-LSU game will be great fun.
58 Oregon players had a GPA of 3.0 or higher...Auburn Tigers, how 'bout you'se guys?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
Good for Oregon... no idea about Auburn, but that's impressive for the Ducks.
Paul (Portland, OR)
Keep meaning to share this, but a friend's wife coined a phrase late in the season around the Ducks. She said, "Release the Quacken!"
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
Good one... you Oregon fans are very creative.
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
Well gang... got a long list this afternoon that I need to take care of... by the way, Oregon fans, it's COLD down here right now. So do a sun dance. Happy New Year to all. Thanks for stopping by.