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)
Hola... hope everyone is enjoying this outstanding Thursday. What's on your mind?
RIPstardust (Las Vegas)
Stanford seems to be a major role with recruiting the past few years. If they get decent QB play, is there any reason not to expect that they stay in the BCS picture for the foreseeable future?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
I think Stanford had set itself up well to remain in the top-half of the Pac-12 and to regularly be in the mix for top-level bowls. But I don't want to commit to the idea of Stanford as a team regularly playing in BCS bowls. That happened with the best QB in a generation. There's a little bit of wait and see with what might be next.
Omar (Santa Clarita, Ca) [via mobile]
Do you think my Trojans are going to buy into hype surrounding them and lose a game they shouldn't.
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
Maybe... that's been there MO even during their fantastic run under Carroll. The good news is they have a veteran leader with Barkley. He seems like a good candidate to keep the Trojans focused. But it's hard to predict USC will go undefeated, even though they likely will be favored in every game.
With the commitments of both Crawley and Wright, do you see the Buffs secondary immediately improving from last season?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
We might want to wait until we see these guys play vs. college competition, but it's hard to imagine the Buffs secondary could be much worse. It certainly seems like it will be more athletic in 2012. And speed helps... a bunch.
Matt Foxworthy (Seattle)
what do you think the odds UW can land Thompson, Payton and Beaver? all 3 or any at all?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
The honest answer: I have no earthly idea. My "expert on everything" answer is they need to get at least one (or two) after struggling in-state this year.
Mac (Salem, Or)
Duck's sit about 20th in recruiting seems like a low number coming off Natty/Rose Bowl appearance. Why?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
Recall a strong close last year, and the prospect for that is again present.... But to me the recruiting rankings for Oregon don't matter based on the football part of football. The final rankings have been pretty good of late.
Garrick (Tucson, AZ)
Hey Ted. With Greg Schiano now out the door at Rutgers, do you think it's now probable that the Arizona Wildcats land star QB Devin Fuller?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Chances are better today than they were yesterday. My buddy Ryan Finley just tweeted that same thing... Fuller was at Arizona Wednesday.
Any idea on what is going on with Utah's OC job?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
Just gossiped with someone on this... but I don't have anything I feel comfortable reporting. It appears that Whittingham has kept it quiet and will announce on signing day... My guess: Someone from NFL.
Ted, how do you chat and post lunch links at the same time??
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
awesomeness... or Kevin did the links today.
What about the outlook for UW D? how do you like their moves?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Long been a fan of Wilcox, and the other hires seem like upgrades... The Huskies need a talent upgrade, yes, but the talent that was on the field in 2011 was WAY better than the way things went down.
RIPstardust (Las Vegas)
Sounds like Foles has been shaky at Sr. Bowl practice. What are you thoughts on him as a pro, and where do you see him going in the draft?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
I think he'll have a nice career... Maybe a third-round pick? Not sure if he'll become a star or a starter, but there are worse things than being an NFL backup. Also, Senior Bowl practices aren't the end-all. If he shines at the combine, he'll be OK. I think he's got the smarts and temperament to perhaps even exceed expectations and become a starter.
Les Miles (Oregon)
Is the battle between Mariota and Bennett really that close? I just see Bennett as that "next level" QB. Would be foolish to not start him
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
I don't know. It seems some think that way, but with closed practices it's hard to say. Based on what I've seen of Bennett, if Mariota is better, then he must be pretty darn good. But if I were laying money on it, I'd pick Bennett to start.
Phil Knight (Atop a pile of money)
Should I unfriend Chip Kelly from my Facebook page for playing kissy face with Tampa Bay?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
No... you don't want him to unfriend you and go to the next NFL suitor.
G OFF (San Francisco)
Who gets drafted first, Michael Kyndricks, Mitchell Schwartz, Marvin Jones or Bryan Anger?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Good one... I'd guess Kendricks, but Schwartz seems to be rising. Jones has had a nice week at the Senior Bowl.
WHATS YOUR THOUGHTS ON UCLA RECRUITING SO FAR
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
IT'S GOING BETTER THAN EXPECTED SINCE MORA TOOK OVER. LOVE THE 300 POUND DT Ellis McCarthy. SEEMS LIKE HEADED FOR TOP-25 CLASS.
SunDevilJose (Chandler, AZ)
USC & Utah are probably the top two in the south. Do you feel like ASU will be in that mix? Or UA? UCLA?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
It's hard to project with 3 new head coaches... we just don't know how new systems will mesh with existing talent. ASU has the most questions of the three you note... UCLA maybe the fewest.
Why is Utah ranked so high in the south? Did they have a good proven QB who is not injury prone come in that I m not aware of?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Well, they did pretty well with QB issues this year. They look to be even stronger on D this fall.
ducktails777 (atlanta, ga)
If I type in ALL CAPS will it increase the likelihood my question will get ANSWERED?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Brian (Riviera Maya)
Obviously replacing Luck is the biggest unknown for Stanford next year, but we always seem to have solid if not terrific quarterbacks. If it's not Nottingham, I have no doubt someone will step up. I also think with Montgomery and that ex-baseball player, the WR position will work out. What does scare me is our defensive backfield. How do you see things working out there next year?
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
lose 3 of 4 starters in secondary, yes, that's a worry, particularly at safety. there's some potential.. the return of Wayne Lyons should help too... but you are correct in thinking that's as big a question as QB.
RH (The Cloud)
What is closer to the truth? DT left Oregon because his stock could not get higher...or he left because he was going to get seriously challenged for the starting gig in 2012?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
The former... I think he's ready to get paid to play. I'm not one of the guys who thought he'd get beaten out. In conversations with Kelly, he never even intimated that as a possibility.
Not football, but My buddy sean miller needs a weekend sweep bad...thoughts...?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
the pac-12 is playing hoops this year? looked at the top-25... thought the season was called off.
Thoughts on Kellys flirtation with the NFL? Was it a contract issue (not enough $ from the BUcs, or Uncle Phil stepping up) or did he really have a last minute change of heart? DO you see him leaving in the 2-3 years if the opportunity arises again?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
I think he still wants to be Oregon's coach. But he's very competitive. Some day he'll want to take on a new challenge. I'd say it's 50-50 if he's still Oregon's coach five years from now. That said, he may have had a eureka moment and decided he loves coaching Oregon.
Albert Einstein (Not-Quite-Sure)
If UCLA gets a letter of intent from Bryce Treggs, Arik Armistead, and Shaq Thompson, will it tear a hole the Universe??
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
that would be a game-changing haul...
What's the likelihood the league goes to an 8-game conference schedule?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
coaches want it, ADs don't... Larry Scott understands the value of 8-game schedules... if the Pac-12 becomes the only conference with a 9-game slate, I'd expect he might push for a change, sooner rather than later.
Jeff (Wilsonville )
As an Oregon fan, I must say that Wilcox scares me. He seems to always know how to stop Oregon, he did it at Boise and he did it for 30 minutes at Tennessee (more talent and it would have been longer). Is that because he knows Oregon's system or is he just that good
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Maybe both, but Wilcox is a heck of a coach. Oregon fans should be concerned that one of their own is now a Husky ... and gunning for them.
Han Solo (A galaxy far, far away)
Can De'Anthony Thomas make the Kessel in 12 parsecs? I can.
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Jon (Fairfield, CA)
Ted, of the Conferences 36 OOC games, 9 are vs. FCS schools. How does that 25% compare to other conferences?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
off the top of my head, based on track record, I'd guess it's the best among AQ conferences.
Hector Hernandez (Heart of Dixie (trojan fan))
in a battle of qb's , Barkley vs McCarron who comes out on top with heir current squads?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
McCarron is a nice QB. Barkley will be the top pick in the 2013 NFL draft. As of today, I'd like the Trojans over Alabama. Not so sure with USC vs. LSU.
Tylurker (Land of Oaks)
Are you excited to visit the new press box at Memorial Stadium? You have to admit, the view to the west from Strawberry Canyon is the best in the Pac12 (though, Montelake is nice). How you think the product on the filed in 2012 will compare with the upgraded facilities?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
If Maynard gets better, Cal has a chance to win 8-9 games. As for the press box, I can't wait. I was there in 2008 when the Bears beat Oregon in torrential rain storm... I was typing under a trash bag so my laptop wouldn't get wet... a real, live press box would make the Strawberry Canyon experience even better.
Cade (Cedar City,Utah)
who do you see as the main running back for the utes this year? white or york? why?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
white... did you watch him this season? That's why. But giving him help is a good thing. Every team needs multiple RBs, particularly run-first teams.
Shawn (Southern Oregon)
Going to one road game this year. Where's the best place to drink a pint in the Pac12?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Every place I've been in the Pac-12 has good places to enjoy an evening. It also depends on your age and what you're looking for: Dirtbags/Coug/Taylors are good places for college students on road trips. I had some truly righteous pizza at the Pie in Salt Lake. Before the season, this is a topic we will revisit.
Ben (Newport Beach, CA)
How will the Stanford LB situation work out? A lot of guys for not enough spaces
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Depth is always good... guys get hurt, and guys get tired. If you trust 6-7 LBs, that's a good thing. And there's always the chance of scheming things up... going with a small fast unit where perhaps you're DEs in the 3-4 become Nos. 5 & 6 LBs. There is no downside to having a deep crew at LB.
Brad (San Diego)
UCLA didn't have any trouble recruiting good talent during the Neuheisel era, but still can't win on the field or in recruiting against USC. What are the biggest things that have to change to make those happen, and will it happen in the Mora era?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
1. Stars aren't the only thing. It seems some of those touted guys weren't as good as they were projected to be; 2. Culture... UCLA needs that "all-in" culture that typifies winning teams -- see Oregon. That's about discipline, about dedication, about doing the extra work in the weight room and film room. That's about caring. And it would help to solve issues on the O-line and QB.
When will USC's lack of depth bite them in the rear? Even in their loss last year, Oregon dominated the 4th quarter as they had the previous 2 meetings.
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
That's the big question... if you start reading about USC suffering season-ending injuries, that could quickly turn the season south.
xultaif (hollywood, ca)
How can WSU afford Leach et all, but Cal can't afford Tosh Lupio? Is Tedford's salary to blame?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Cal is richer, but it's also a more expensive department (and region)... And cal wasn't ready to put its staff pecking order out of whack -- or to give everyone big raises -- to keep Lupoi.
Palouse Pillager (A sea of apples)
Mike Leach being such a hot name. What is the mark of success for him and WSU? What does he need to do by when to keep his sweet scent of eliteness and his job?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
Bowl game in 2012. 8-9 wins in 2013... repeat, and cycle in a 10 win season every once and a while...
What do you think the chances of Nick Foles getting drafted by my Denver Broncos, i think he would be a good fit. if not in denver, where do you think he will land?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
Not a good thing for Foles because he'd immediately become the starter.. better to get some seasoning for 2-3 years.
Ryan (Tempe, AZ)
Who starts for QB next year at UCLA?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Nick Holt (in a cardboard box)
What are you hearing about Oregon's sanctions? Seems like they're going to get something if DT is leaving early and Chip wanted out too
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
1. Kelly came back, so that dispels that; 2. Nothing to do with Thomas... sanctions wouldn't touch him in 2012.I don't think Oregon is going to get hammered. They'll get something, but nothing that threatens their place at the top of the North.
AJ McCarron (Alabama)
Since you did not answer my question from before, let me ask you this, Am I good enough or better to compete in the PAC-12?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Absolutely... you've got an NFL future, so you'd be a good Pac-12 QB.. but Barkley is playing another game, at least at present.
If Coach Whit is looking to the NFL for his OC, what are the changes Mike McCoy is coming back to the U?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Hmmm... can't say yes or no but if Whittingham could get him, he certainly could do worse. But McCoy's sort of made himself an NFL guy...
Bryan (Rancho Palos Verdes)
Will USC have a top ten recruiting class for 2012?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
not with just 15 scholarships... but they are getting top guys and could finish strong.
Is Connor Halliday the toughest S.O.B you have seen in a while. I mean playing with a lacerated liver after Star hit him. I was so impressed with him when I heard that. Do you think he will start for WSU this year?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Both Halliday and Tuel have shown uncommon toughness. I'm a Tuel lean, but Leach has a new system. We'll have to see how each adapts.
Adam (New York)
If Stanford closes on any of these elite OL prospects (Murphy, Garnett, Peat), do you think there's a chance they could see the field next year? Usually linemen redshirt, but the openings might be there.
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
The good news is Stanford has good guys who are older, so my guess is those guys would redshirt.... but you never know.
Brady (Portland, OR)
Who is the best player in the Pac 12 next year that nobody has heard of?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
USC WR Victor Blackwell.
Now that you have placed a 50-50 shot of Kelly still being around in 5years, you want to piss a few more fan basis off, and give a go at what other Pac 12 coaches could get pulled away by the NFL
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
Mora, Tedford, Sark... those would lead most lists.
Lance Romance (Winnipeg, Canada)
Now that the dust has settled, Osweiler declaring seems more and more like the right move for him.
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
Well, if he gets picked in the first round, then yes... And if he goes in the 2nd, that's not so bad either. But it makes you wonder if he took a step forward in 2012 if he could have ended up a top-15 pick... But, yes, his decision looks better today than it did when he made it.
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
OK gang... time for me to hit the road... thanks for stopping by.