Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Pac-12 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 (then) 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)
Greetings. Hope everyone is having the best day ever. Fire away.
Ipm (Park city)
Will Utah rebound this weekend and get a win?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
I picked the Utes. Like homefield advantage. Like DeVonte Christopher coming back. It's possible that the Utes, who whipped Pitt and BYU, will rally over the second half of the season because the schedule is easier. But beating the Beavers feels like a must-win for bowl hopes.
You see any potential hic-cup this weekend for Stanford?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Absolutely.. USC is at home and the Trojans looked good last weekend at Notre Dame. Last year, the Cardinal won on a last-second field goal at home. I picked Stanford to win soundly but I wouldn't be shocked if USC kept it close or even notched the upset.
Ted, true or false: Cliff Harris never plays another down for the Oregon Ducks?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Purely speculative on my part: I think he'll be a Duck again.
Bengal (Death Valley)
Make your pick. LSU v. bama
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Man... what a game that's going to be. Hope it lives up to the hype. LSU.
Is there an X and O reason why Notre Dame makes Barkley look like Peyton Manning?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
There's a Robert Woods reason... I think Barkley and his teammates get up for Notre Dame. I think Lane Kiffin had a good plan. But in terms of pure scheme, I'm not smart enough to say for sure but I'd say know. The Trojans are not a team that tricks you with scheme.
Benjamin (Yreka, Ca)
I know it doesn't really matter, but why isn't Keenan Allen on your list of Pac 12 Offensive POY candidates?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
When your team is struggling, you have to do more ... and your evaluation takes more of an entire season, big picture deal. If Allen ends up No. 1 in the nation in receiving yards, he'll be in the running. May need to get a few more TDs. Only has 5.
What will ASU's record be when they play in the P12 Championship and what is the most likely bowl game they will play in?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
1. 10-3 or 9-4 (they blow one game); 2. Alamo Bowl if 2 BCS bowl teams; Holiday if just one.
How much playing time (if any) do you think LMJ and DT need to see this week in order to knock off the rust for the UW game?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
I think being fully 100 percent is more important than knocking rust off. But if they are ready to play, they'll see plenty of action. Most coaches are of the mind if you're healthy, you play. They don't "save" you.
Brady (Portland, OR)
Does Oregon stand a chance against Stanford without Cliff Harris?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
er... yes. The Cardinal lost by 21 in Eugene last year. Harris had a good game, but he wasn't the only difference-maker. Would Harris, playing like his old self, help? Absolutely. But he hasn't been doing enough in practice to get on the field as a starter anyway, so the Ducks should be fine.
Ted, a very serious question: about a year ago, you said that if Jeff Tedford stayed as the head coach at Cal for the next decade, that you would have no doubts that Cal would make a Rose Bowl. As of today, do you stand by that statement? Why or why not?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
Tough question. If you're asking if my confidence in that statement remains the same, I'd say no. The QB issue has become more nagging. But let's see how things play out the rest of this season. And you should know that Tedford almost certainly will be back in 2012. The program is struggling, no doubt. But I'm not ready to jump off the Tedford bandwagon just yet. I saw too much good coaching (and recruiting) in the past. But, yes, I understand the growing frustration and see more justification today than I did in the past.
Jon (Mountain View)
Why isn't Keenan Allen getting as much of your attention as some of the lesser conference wideouts...like, say, Robert Woods?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Robert Woods a lesser wideout? Do you have eyes?
Evan (Tempe, Az)
I noticed you projected the Devils to lose one more regular season game. What game of the remaining schedule do you think the Devils will lose?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
That was more a sense that the Sun Devils will blow one game, as many teams do. Arizona and Cal to end the season, though in Tempe, would be the most likely candidates in terms of quality, but an away game that doesn't command the Sun Devils focus might be a better candidate, such as UCLA or WSU. Which one? No idea. I also wouldn't be shocked if the Sun Devils run the table.
Theodore, fact or fiction: If Standford wins out, they will be playing in the Natty.
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
fact... I don't think Oklahoma State wins the rest of its games. The Cowboys are the biggest road block. I think the Cardinal would eclipse all other potential unbeatens, such as Boise State or Clemson.
Sean (Corvallis, OR)
I have a feeling OSU's Sean Mannion may throw for more yards than Andrew Luck this year. Would you be surprised if he had the highest Pac-12 yardage at the end of the season?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
Yes.. I'd be shocked. Nick Foles at Arizona is going throw for the most yards. He averages 363 per game, compared to 281 for Mannion. Luck plays for a team that runs more than it throws. That's part of the reason Stanford is so good.
Do you get the feeling that Oregon is playing in the Rose bowl no matter what even with a loss to Stanford? Stanford beating Oregon and winning out would put them right in the national title hunt. Even if Oregon beats Stanford the chances of a one loss Oregon team going to the Big game is slight, the Rose bowl much more likely?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
My projection is that Oregon will get a BCS bowl berth at 10-2 or 11-1, barring any nutty winding roads imposed on Stanford's end. But that also hangs on Oklahoma State not winning out. If you get an SEC champ vs. the Cowboys for the national title, and Stanford finishes 13-0 after the title game, it would go to the Rose Bowl. But at 10-2, Oregon would be a good candidate for a second BCS bowl berth. Lots of scenarios,really.
Lord Vader (Death Star)
I must know your thoughts on UW's D-Coordinator, Nick Holt. Fire or keep?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
If the Huskies don't improve on defense, and the numbers at season's end are the same as they are right now, Sarkisian will face a tough call with his friend. For $650,000, he could have his pick of coordinators. Still, I think Sark is loyal to Holt and that Holt is a good bet to survive into 2012 (which by the way, is the last season on his contract).
Casa Reynoso at Mill and Southern in Tempe in 20 min. Green Chile burritos. Are you in or out?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
fed ex me a burrito... I'll still be typing away.
Do you think the Ducks can outscore Stanford? I guess the better question might be, do you think the Ducks defense can hold Stanford enough to win the game?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
Sure... Oregon has a good defense. Lots of speed. It did a good job containing the Luck and the Cardinal in the second half last year. That said: It's a big deal that the game is not in Eugene. Crowd noise is a huge help for the Ducks defense at home. In Palo Alto, Luck will be able to communicate whatever he wants. And he does A LOT of communication at the LOS.
Mr X (The Truth)
Ted, be honest. ASU has beaten a bunch of nobodies and lost to a less than good Illinois and been pounded by the Ducks, what are the chances all you media people have overranked the devils
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
well... beat 6-1 USC and a solid Missouri team. I think the chances we've overrated them are very, very small.
David (Davis, CA)
What do you think of my gut feeling that Cal can win 8 games this year?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
7 is realistic... eight would require an upset of ASU or Stanford on the road. If I were guessing, I'd say Cal wins 7.
if "Luck plays for a team that runs more than it throws," how is he the heisman front-runner?! He will be a great pro, he's a great college player, but in terms of THIS season (disregarding last season as you must do) Moore, Boyd, RG3 and Wilson are having as good or better seasons. That doesn't even take into account Richardson. Oh, and Stanford has played NO ONE.
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
The Heisman Trophy is supposed to be for the best player in college football. If you held a COLLEGE FOOTBALL draft, every coach in the nation would pick Luck first. For me, the fact that Luck calls running plays at the LOS instead of passing plays because he sees things like a coach instead of a player who wants fancy stats is another reason to give him the Heisman. The award shouldn't just be about numbers. Though I personally like your boy Kellen Moore because I think he deserves a "career achievement" honor.
Will John White IV rush for over 100 yards against Oregon State?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
You'd think he'd have to for the Utes to win. My expectation is that Jon Hays will play better at home with WR DeVonte Christopher back, and that might help White find some creases as the defense has to back off a bit.
Eric (Poulsbo, WA)
What is your take on the Nick Holt situation on UW? I know alot of fans are calling for his head, but I'm not sure UW could find a better defensive coordinator to fill the position.
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
It's a pretty zero-sum game: How is the Huskies defense doing? The numbers say Holt isn't doing enough after 3 years in Seattle. Sark could get a lot of good guys for $650,000 a year. But I'm not yelling for Holt's head. Let's see what the numbers are after 13 games.
CJ (Crescent City, CA)
Ted: Is Oregon State headed for a prolonged downturn, or is this just a rebuilding year?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
Well, they've got a redshirt frosh QB who looks good. A true frosh RB who looks good. A couple of fresh ends who look good. I'm actually thinking we should be a big-time buy-rating on the Beavers. And I didn't feel like that 3 weeks ago.
Will the new TV deal allow ucla, UA and (probably) WSU to go out and spend for top caliber coaches?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
It would allow them to spend more, for sure. But the much bigger issue than head coach pay is assistant coach pay. The Pac-12 lags behind BADLY in that area. Guys like ASU offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, to name one underpaid guy, is due a HUGE raise.
Ted- I think you do a great job but I have to make one point. If Stanford and Clemson both win out I do see Stanford passing Clemson after they beat Oregon but only to be passed back once Clemson has possibly two more top15 teams to finish the season in S. Carolina and V.Tech again in the ACC title game.
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
I think Stanford will be ranked ahead of Clemson in both polls, and I think things will be close enough with the computers that Stanford would be ahead of the Tigers in the BCS standings. That's what Brad Edwards told me, by the way. Not certain, but that's the way things look. There's also some momentum behind the idea that the only team that could end the SEC run is Andrew Luck. OR at least that would be the most interesting matchup.
Ted, will you finally admit that Utah's record in the PAC substantiates the fact that depth and talent do matter - and that the Little Sisters of the Poor may be able to hang with the big boys once or twice a year, but certainly would not go undefeated in thrown into an AQ conference? Political correctness aside, Utah struggles empirically prove this.
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
I hear your point, but a numbers guy might say "Wait a second" on sample size. For one, we're not all the way through the season. Second, this Utah team had some big questions in the preseason AND just about everyone noted that if QB Jordan Wynn went down, things would be tough in Salt Lake. In general, I've always believed in the notion that the grind of an AQ conference would be a major challenge for an non-AQ power making the switch. But it's also not fair to use the Utes 7 games to make grand statements. I think Boise State THIS YEAR would do well -- not undefeated, but do well -- in any conference. Boise State NEXT YEAR might not. That Utah team that whipped Alabama in the Sugar Bowl might be doing just fine in the Pac-12 this year.
would you compare cals program to the Red Sox prior 2004? I mean, could we call it "The curse of great Kevin Riley scramble" Similar too 1986 Bill Buckner. ?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
maybe... it's always stuck in my head that the first time I saw Tedford really lose it was after that scramble. before he'd always seemed imperturbable.
goyo keizer, or [via mobile]
If LSU beats bama, who's ranked higher? A one loss Oregon or a one loss Alabama?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
It would be close. 1-loss Alabama wouldn't have a 13th game, so if Oregon beat Stanford and then Arizona State, which could be close to the top-10 by the Pac-12 championship game, 12-1 Oregon might slip by 11-1 Alabama. Of course, part of that is how LSU beats Bama. Last-second field goal or decisively? Keep in mind, as good as LSU and Bama are, the SEC has a similar problem as the Pac-12: A lack of depth. Pac-12 has four or five good teams, not unlike the SEC. Not sure the computers would boost Alabama as much as some might think by season's end. But lots of variables.
Paul (New York)
Is Jeff Tedford in trouble if Cal has a 2nd straight losing season?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
i don't think so.. in large part because he has no contract buyout, as reported by Jon Wilner. It would cost cal $10 to fire him.
Could Wazzu knock off the Ducks because Loebestael is coming of age?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
stranger things have happened but the Cougars winning at Autzen would be a MAJOR surprise.
Whats the best case scenario for the huskies this season? I can see Stanford beating Oregon, and a possible Husky win over the ducks, but even then where would that land us?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
With 2 BCS bowl teams, a 3-loss Washington team might eclipse a 3-loss Arizona State team in the Alamo Bowl's estimation. If the Huskies won out, and Stanford won the North, the most likely spot still would probably be the Alamo Bowl because I don't see the Huskies climbing high enough in the rankings to get a second BCS bowl berth. Of course, if the Huskies beat Oregon and win out and Stanford loses twice... then the North goes to UW.
Why is UCLA still so bad? They have decent recruiting classes. They have a desirable school. What's wrong in Westwood?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
If I knew for sure, I'd be making more money. But my general feeling is the school doesn't fully invest in the program. It doesn't pay market value for coaches, particularly with LA's cost of living, and the facilities are inferior. And, as great as the Rose Bowl is, it's not as good as a really cool 60,000-seat on-campus stadium.
Gavin (Campinas, Brasil)
You're the AD at OSU. What do you do with Riley?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
Say thanks for being so loyal to our program, and don't worry I'm not listening to those folks who want you gone.
Is Nick Foles that good or just someone putting up big numbers on a bad team?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
Tom (Phoenix )
UW is the most overrated team in the pac 12 BY FAR. UA is better on both sides of the ball- and even with the suspensions, they get the W. Line has fallen from 8 to 4.5
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
we shall see... that line has been interesting.
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
OK gang... back to the salt mines. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend.