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)
Howdy folks... you're all invited to my playoff. Fire away.
the discussion of whether teams should have to be conference champs to be in BCS title/tourney has focused a lot on the bama-LSU issues, though the real issue to me is a situation where stanford could have gotten in ahead of the champ of its own conference. Do you think this should separate into tow parts - whether a conference can get 2 teams in the top-4, vs. whether a non-champ can just the champ of the same conference? thanks!
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
It's all very complicated because we're going to have to make a very small distinction: top 4 teams. That's going to involve plenty of subjectivity, only slight less than the top-2 of the BCS rankings. I think the process should put a high priority on being a conference champion.
Adam (Dallas, TX)
In regards to neutral site semis, how much consideration is being put into the fact that most fans of teams won't travel to both semis and NCG. Is the assumption that the seats will all be filled by local residents? TV ratings will be great either way.
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
A complicated issue. Only a small handful of boosters would go to both games. It's not only about money, it's about getting that much time off from work! I think the belief is all three games would be so big, it wouldn't be hard to sell out. And if the semis are at traditional bowl sites, warm weather also will be an attraction...
Ken (Corvegas, OSU)
Ted, I feel like I ask you this question every week, and I never get an answer. Who do you think is best suited for the starting position at RB for the Beavs?
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
That's a very specific question about unproven players, one that Mike Riley isn't even answering. It's not the sort of question I typically take in a chat. Know why? I don't have an good answer for you.
With his well rounded and diverse background, do you see Andrew Luck leaving football in his early 30's and doing something else with his life?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
No... I see him leaving football in his late 30s and doing something else with his life. We need some landscape architecture done around my pool... do you think Luck is available before he runs off to play football?
Stephen (El Segundo, Ca)
Ted, with all the talk of a play-off heating up, isn't the only logical system one in which the playoff consists of all of the FBS conference champions, and only the champions? This eliminates any arguments about different scheduling practices between the conferences and also eliminates the incentive to schedule weak out-of-conference games. Maybe it will also eliminate some of the insane conference realignments that have recently happened.
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
I think so. I think Larry Scott and Jim Delany, if they are forced to compromise on the Rose Bowl, should force the SEC to compromise on this... There will be exceptions, of course. It's possible one year we have a couple of 3-loss conference champs and need to revert to a ranking system that provides an exception.
Coach Graham said he wants to see some separation in the qb competition. To me Eubanks' spring numbers seem to separate him (at least a little bit) from the other two...or is that just me hoping that a red shirted top recruit will come in and save my team?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
Eubank has plenty of upside and I feel certain he will play. But Bercovici is a MUCH better passer. My thought is Bercovici wins the job and Eubank sees plenty of action...
Dude (Purple Hall)
How much do you think the Husky defense has improved this spring? I've heard they've done many great things against the offense, but people say that's because our OL is suffering.
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
I haven't seen the Huskies defense this spring, so that's hard to say. But it would be hard to say even if I had. One, for the reason you state -- the O-line has been hit hard by injuries. We won't really know until the games start. But there is potential there, with good players on the line and in the secondary.... LB was so bad last year, even with the solid Dennison, that's an area that gives me pause.
Yo Mamma's So Fat (She got baptized at Sea World)
Do you see Colorado making a head coaching change after this season?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
No... 2 years is not long enough, barring off-field issues, to evaluate a coach. Hopefully that's not even on the table...
Kyle (St. George)
Which team do you think had the best spring?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
The ones who know their starting QBs and didn't suffer any major injuries...
Ted, as a Utah fan I hate the 4 team option. We had two undefeated seasons over the last decade under the BCS and in neither of those years would the Utes have landed in the playoff since going into our BCS games we were ranked below 4th both times, yet we finished in the top 4 final rankings both seasons. Doesn't an 8 team model make more sense to name a true champion? This all just feels like front to keep all the cards in the BCS power brokers back pockets while not really improving the objectivity of crowning a champ by much at all!
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
i hear you on that... but 8 teams isn't going to happen. I suspect that our new system would include an evaluation process that recognizes a team like Utah being unbeaten ... Say Boise State is unbeaten and ranked 5th in the AP poll next year, behind 1 undefeated team and 2 1-loss teams... I suspect the new system would bounce Boise State into the Final Four.
Kyle (St. George)
Ted, if you got drafted tonight would you hand Kevin your laptop on your way to shake Rogers hand or would you finish out the week?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
I'd finish out the week.
Do you think there is a chance Oregon is starting to recruit with the idea of Chip leaving. Helfrich has passing back ground and they have been stock piling young receivers recently and not so much on the running backs?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
No... the lack of RBs is due to transfers...
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Ted, can you let me know how the young DTs, Moala and Jahli, are progressing? Will one of them step up this year for Tedford?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Jalil plays outside... Both had good springs... Jalil seems a likely starter and Moala is competing with Kendrick Payne... Cal's D-line looks strong on paper and it looked strong when I visited.
DuckDude (Barkley's Nitemares)
Will there be a more dominant linebacker corp in the Pac-12 than Oregon's Kiko, Clay, Lokombo trio?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
Stanford is probably No. 1, followed by Oregon... Cardinal runs 8 deep with really good players...
Ryan (Sunny Scottsdale)
Seems like coach graham has "won the off-season". Should I be skeptical or just hop on board. The fan in me screams "yahhoooo," but the skeptic in me remembers being thrilled about Erickson's hiring too.
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
You should hop on board... It's more fun than skepticism. My only warning is that the 2012 Sun Devils have some issues...
Tim (San Diego)
Given that Jim Mora came in with a new philosophy and trying to change the culture, its a little disheartening that we are in year infinity of quarterback competitions between the same mediocre guys. Expectations are dwindeling. What are realistic expectations for UCLA's offense and defense?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Well, Mora couldn't just magically solve longstanding QB issues... It seems like Mazzone's system is a better fit for all 3. And it seems that Hundley has not yet arrived and his lack of experience has him behind Brehaut and Prince. Realistic expectations starts with improvement. The numbers should be better on both sides of the ball and the Bruins should win more than 6 games.
Tre Carson (Eugene)
Ted, do you think I am going to regret my decision to leave Oregon this year?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
I know Oregon regrets your decision...
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will the Barry Sanders Jr or one of the highly touted offensive lineman see the field in 2012 for the Cardinal?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
If Sanders is good enough, but the Cardinal is deep at RB.. my guess is he redshirts. As for the O-linemen, I'd bet at least one, maybe 2 plays... one might even win a starting job. Shaw told me as much during spring practices...
Johnny (Swat Lake City )
Ted- Who has the most difficult Schedule top to botom of all the PAC next year ?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Cal... at Ohio State, at USC, at Utah... also Stanford and Oregon... or maybe Washington... at LSU (ouch) & at Oregon... plus USC, Utah and Stanford, though all at home.
The real Rob (SLC)
In order to get to know the Pac-12 better, we've decided to follow the Utes to one away game each season. Last year it was USC in the Coliseum. What's your recommendation for our away game this year?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Washington .... Seattle is a righteous town. Great restaurants... best seafood in the US (sorry Bay Area).
Am I going to be able to watch the Pac-12 Network on Direct TV?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
my guess is a deal eventually gets done.. but as of today, no deal.
CBROWN (NINE MILE FALLS)
Is Marquess Wilson back on path after the ribbing he took from Coach Leach? He sure stepped up Saturday.
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
not sure he ever lost his way.... Leach is just pushing him to get better and not be satisfied... Looks like the motivational ploy worked, based on the spring game.
DuckDude (Barkley's Nitemares)
Who is scarier in their senior year, TJ McDonald or John Boyett?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Both are very good. I wouldn't go over the middle vs. either. McDonald is more highly rated and is a likely preseason All-American. And I know that bothers Boyett to no end. I'm fairly certain they will be the first-team All-Pac-12 safeties. It will be interesting to see what they run at the combine.
Roscoe (Ann Arbor)
As a Utah fan living in Michigan, will I be able to watch all the Utes games this fall without buying some premium package?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
If you live outside the Pac-12 footprint, you will have to pay for a special sports package... but if you're already a big sports fan, you may already have it.
What would Keith Price need to do in order for him to be talked about in the Heisman race?
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
Well, a win at LSU with 3-4 TD passes would be nice. The Huskies early schedule is brutal. If Price plays well and the Huskies head to Arizona on Oct. 20 with no more than 2 losses, he might be able to play himself into the discussion as the schedule eases up.
Kyle (Bellevue, WA)
You say that Pac-12 fans "need to focus their energy on 2 things: 1. Maintaining some type of real Rose Bowl; 2. Demanding only conference champs eligible." However, I'm not familiar with a forum in which fans can make their voice be heard. How can Pac-12 fans voice their opinions to the powers that be?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
This is the age of social media and fan blogs... if enough folks speak up and write things, it will get noticed... hey, write the Pac-12 office -- you will be heard.
Greg (LA, CA)
Who do you project as the best offensive linemen in the conference this year?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
Tough one... no first-team All-Pac-12 O-lineman returns and just 2 second-teamers. Probably one of 1 USC guys: C Khaled Holmes or OT Aundrey Walker. Maybe Stanford OT Cameron Fleming.
All the spring talk around the Beavers' defense has been about the talent and improvement on the edges. But their biggest weakness last year was up the middle. With all the same guys back next year, and nobody saying they've seen improvement, how can there be any realistic hope for a meaningfully tougher "D?"
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
It seems to me Oregon State is going to need to cover up its lack of talent and depth at DT... The best it seems they can hope for is guys who maintain their ground and take up blockers so LBs (and DEs) can make plays.
Is Farmer USC's #3 WR? Or are they going with someone else?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
If healthy, I say yes. But health has been his issue.
IPM (Park City)
What players on Utah's defense do you think will step up there game this season other than star?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
Lots of guys... the Krugers will both be better... Sounds like they are pretty happy at LB despite losing 2 starters, Martinez and Walker....Free safety Eric Rowe had a nice freshman year.
Puddles (Duck Park, OR)
I'm really excited for Saturday, what should I be looking for in the spring game? WRs, QBs, Safeties? Things to watch etc?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
QBs and WRs... How well will Bennett/Mariota sync up with his WRs when they finally play in front of a crowd? I'm curious about whether Mariota can live up to the hype that says he's a legit threat to win the job.
Cliff Harris (Weed, CA)
Will I get drafted? if so, what round
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
seventh... you're worth a late pick because of upside if you mature.
Who has a better 1st yr, Rich Rod or Jim Mora?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Mora... he's got more talent.
Vontaze Burfict (Cloud of smoke)
I've been telling every (mumbling) reporter who will listen that I really (mumbled) up when I was in (mumbling) college but I'm a better (mumble) person now. Does anybody (mumbling) believe me? Will I get (mumbling) drafted?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Same as Cliff... too much potential upside to not risk a late pick.
Ron (Sacramento, CA)
Any chance Cal can beat Ohio State on the road? Anything working in Cal's favor?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
Yes... Ohio State is lousy on the O-line and Cal's front-7 is probably going to be the most athletic the Buckeyes see all season. That one could end up 17-10. Should be low scoring.
Camera Man (Tempe)
You mentioned earlier that the Sun Devils have some issues...what do you think they are...and can they be overcome
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
WR, LB, O-line, safety... uncertain who the QB will be. The O-line probably exceeded expectations this spring. The D-line looks OK. The LBs really need a healthy Brandon Magee. There's some promise at WR, but a real lack of experience.
Ted, because we love talking about things ridiculously too early on the Pac 12 blog, who do you think will be the highest drafted player from the conference in 2013 after Barkley?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Engineer Mike (Switzerland)
Why is bacon so delicious?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Because it's made magical fairies who fill you with sunshine. And salt.
Joe Stephanson '03 (Everett, WA)
Happy Birthday to UW legend, and Everett, WA native, Coach Jim Lambright!
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
hope that's for real...
Both UCLA and ASU have well-known locker room issues. Who do you think is doing a better job fixing them?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
That's hard to say. Players talk about how close everybody is becoming. Then when losing starts, things fall apart. We can't measure a locker room by words. We've got to see how it handles adversity. Or if it helps create a team that outplays its talent. My impression at present is both Graham and Mora have done a good job of getting their players attention and have set down clear standards. But you can't really measure anything until we see how things hold up during the season. Are guys still playing hard late in the season? Is the team better in game 11 than in game 2? That's how you measure those things.
Eric (Albany, OR)
Where would you rank Oregon State's secondary in the Pac-12? With Jordan Poyer being the #2 corner in the nation (according to Ivan), and Rashad Reynolds having a fantastic spring, are they top 5? top 3? How do you feel about Poyer playing offense (wildcat formation)?
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
The Beavers secondary should be the strength the defense. Poyer is legit. Safety is a bit of a question, though. Lance Mitchell will be missed.
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
OK gang... time for me to hit the road. Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.