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 (2:59 PM)
Howdy... fire away.
TedCan Matt Scott of Arizona be one of the premier quarterbacks in the Pac 12 this season in Rich Rod's offense?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Yes... for one, things are fairly murky after Barkley/Price... Based on how Scott played in 2010 in relief of Nick Foles, and how his skill set matches Rich Rod's spread-option offense, I'd think Scott could put up nice numbers. Some questions at receiver, though.
Lamar (South SLC )
Ted, Who is the most underrated team in the PAC12 south this fall ? Most Underrated from the North ?
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
I think UCLA and Cal will do better than many think.
Jeremy (New York)
Do you expect much of a positive change for the UW defense with Holt gone or will it take a season or two for the new system to really take hold? Or was Holt just a scapegoat?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
This is a bottom line business and the bottom line is Holt's defenses weren't any good, and this past season talent was good enough to be at least mediocre. I've long been on record as a believer in Justin Wilcox, so, yes, I expect immediate and the steady improvement this fall and in the future.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Ted, do you have a feel for who has the upper hand in the UCLA QB race? Thanks1
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
I'd say I'm a Hundley lean, but Brehaut has the summer and the first half of fall camp to make up ground. I think Prince is in third.
What do you think of Mike Breske's statement that linebacker is the strongest position on the Cougar defense?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
It was not my immediate thought, but he'd know better than I. Part of that is Travis Long, the Cougs best defender, now playing OLB in a 3-4 look. It seems that some of the youngsters stepped up this spring. It will help if Kaufusi gets reinstated... I'd guess he will.
Steven (Portland, OR)
Do the Beavers have any chance in upsetting Wiscy this season?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
Sure... the Badgers will be making a long trip west with a new starting QB and the Beavers have some offensive weapons. The issue: Can Oregon State stop Montee Ball? My first guess is no.
What's the biggest story for any Pac-12 team going into the season?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
Barkley and the return of USC to the national picture.
Ted, do you think Keith Price will get Heisman attention this year? Everyone points out how awful UW's defense was against Baylor, forgetting the fact that Price outshined last year's winner RG3!
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
If he goes down to LSU and puts up good numbers in a competitive loss, he'll be on the map. Then there's that midseason gauntlet of Stanford, Oregon and USC... Price will need a couple of upsets early to get into the picture.
Huskies fan (Seattle)
I'm tired of hearing about Utah being a contender in the Pac-12. They get to miss Oregon and Stanford two years in a row? I understand the scheduling process can be wonky sometimes, but how is this fair?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Well, it wasn't some Ute conspiracy. And keep in mind, to win the Pac-12 Utah must: 1. Beat out USC in the South; 2. Win the Pac-12 title game. So, yes, the Utes get a boost with the schedule misses but it's not like they are being gifted anything.
When will you point out that it's really Stanford and Oregon catching a break by not having Utah on their schedule instead of the other way around?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
It is a break for Oregon and Stanford to miss Utah, which is clear a top-half of the conference team.
Best Pac-12 secondary in 2012 will be...?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
My lean in USC...
What do you think could be the biggest trap game, or any game other than oregon that could stop USC from an undefeated regular season
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
At Utah on 10/4... I also think at Stanford on 9/15 could be tricky, though that will be the first big game for the new Stanford QB.
How do you see Cal's LBs ending up at the start of the season? Currently Whiteside & Wilkerson are behind the seniors even though they are much more talented
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
Whiteside is behind McCain at one OLB and Wilkerson is behind Forbes inside. The question is whether Camporeale will hold onto is OLB spot. He's not the most physically talented of the group, but he's held off the youngsters so far. It also will be interesting to see what happens with Wilkerson. He was a starter outside and you'd think they didn't move him inside just to be a backup.
Richard (SLC, UT)
Which of the 4 new PAC coaches do you feel will have the most success this season and why?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
I think Mora and Leach have a lot more to work with and should have an easier transition. Jeff Tuel's spring game was certainly encouraging in Pullman. Still have questions about the O-line and defense. I think the Bruins could end up No. 3 in the South and win 7 or so games.
With C.J. Anderson having a great spring and losing weight, do you see him possibly contending for Isi's starting spot by the middle of the season? He looked great at the spring game and spring practices.
Ted Miller (3:25 PM)
I think Anderson and Sofele will have a legit competition in fall camp, and more than a few folks believe if Anderson continues to work hard with his conditioning he'll win the job. Both are certain to get plenty of touches.
Golden Bear (Berkeley)
With all this playoff talk I constantly go back to 2004 and realize that in nearly every scenario Cal would have been much better off then what actually happened to them. Will I ever get over Cal's Rose Bowl snub?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Not until you play in one... And you might want to make a move before 2014, when the Rose Bowl might no longer be the Rose Bowl we know and love.
Paul (Boston )
Ted, Who is Utah's Best offensive weapon other than John White ??
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
DeVonte Christopher... but the Utes are sneaky good at WR and TE/H-back.
Landon (Atlanta, GA)
Most are saying that USC will be #1 IF their depth isn't hit very hard. What kind of a chance do you give them to staying healthy enough to do that?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
It's completely about luck. Here's a factoid for you: When Oklahoma won the national title in 2000, no starter missed a game the entire year. Amazing. I will admit I talked to someone the other day who watched USC this spring and he said the Trojans No. 2s looked pretty good and this lack of depth talk is overblown. Part of it is positions: The Trojans could afford to lose a DB more than a D-lineman. And they can afford to lose No. 7.
Richard (SLC, UT)
Will USC need to put two blockers on Star when they play Utah in October?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
yes... everyone will.
any new news on Kaelin Clay? which WRs do you see stepping up behind Allen and Harris?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
After Allen and Harris it will be 2-3 incoming freshmen... Tedford pretty much said that all of spring and he told me the same last week in Phoenix. Heck, the post-spring depth chart only lists Allen and Harris.
Have faith in Maynard? Or will he feel the pressure of ppl breathing down his neck?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
Have faith... second year starters generally improve. Know what could help Maynard? Good shotgun snaps. Think about all those bad snaps last year. Now think about what it must be like for a QB in shotgun fretting about where the snap will go. A QB worried about the snap isn't looking at the defense or thinking about his progressions. He's obsessed with just getting the ball into his hands. Eliminate that worry, and Maynard can start being more quarterback-y.
When are they going to give Kevin a chat? Think hes ready for the big leagues?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
Hopefully soon... not that I'd ever want to miss our Thursday dates. And, yes, Kevin is ready for you guys.
Andre (Tallahassee, FL)
Could Kenjon Barner be a heisman darkhorse this year?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Maybe... but he's got to share the ball with De'Anthony Thomas, whom I think will get more highlight sort of plays as a receiving-running threat. But if Barner matches LaMike's numbers, why not?
Noah (Southern California)
Preseason top 5 from Mr. Ted Miller: GO!
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
1. LSU; 2. USC; 3. Alabama 4. Oklahoma; 5. Oregon... the OU suspensions might be an issue... and watch out for West Virginia and Florida State.
Who is your favorite reciever in the pac 12 and why?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Robert Woods... skills + hard work maturity. Dude knows what he wants and makes sure no one is outworking him. And I mentioned mad skills, right?
ASU make a bowl? How many wins do you see them having?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
borderline... over-under on wins feels about 6. Lots of holes to fill, including QB. New systems. But my early impression was there was good buy-in with Todd Graham and his staff. Still, have to have a wait-and-see attitude.
Best Pac-12 defensive line?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Interesting one... I'd say Utah, but Cal has a lot of potential. Oregon is good too. Solid depth.
Landon Arnesen (Atlanta, GA)
Dennis Dodd tweated today that he thinks only the BTN and an SEC Network would ever succeed. Agree?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
I won't bet against Larry Scott. The hires have been strong across the board with the Pac-12 Network. I have little doubt it will succeed.
Fat Kid (The Hill)
Let's say I travel to Tempe this year to watch Utah vs. ASU. What are some good places to get my grub on?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
If you like Mexican there are plenty of choices... I'd rate Cowboy Ciao as a must-hit. If you like steak, Mastro's is pretty righteous. Lots of sportswriters love the Te Pee.
Richard (SLC, UT)
Cannot wait for the season to start! Anyway ESPN can speed up time and get us to the end of August?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
I will consult with Darth Duffey and Ruthless Reynolds, my bosses.
How many bowl teams will the conference have this year?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
i want to do a USC away game this year. last year was boulder, should i go to seattle or salt lake this year?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
I love Seattle and know Seattle since I lived there for a long time. If you haven't been to either city, I'd say Seattle. But Salt Lake is WAY underrated. Talk about Mexican food... Red Iguana rates highly.
What do you think of the Delaney Model? Do you think others will jump on board?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
I pro-Delany model... I like the priority being given to conference champions over a rating system.
Ted, have you visited every stadium in the PAC 12 ? if yes, which one is your personal favorite ?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Yes... For a really big game, you can't beat the Coliseum. The Rose Bowl is awesome as a venue, but UCLA needs to get good again for it to rate highly. Autzen is the best atmosphere in the conference. Now, we may have to hold judgment with renovations at Cal and Washington finishing up/under way.
Ryan P (Colorado)
With new Texas transfer Conner Wood how do you see the CU Buffs finishing in 2012?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
It's not certain that Wood will win the job, though everybody seems to have penciled him in. On paper, the Buffs look like they will take a step back... new QB, new RB, loss of WR Paul Richardson, their best weapon. But the schedule is far more favorable than last year. A 3-0 start is likely, and then comes three winnable conference games. If things fall into place, the Buffs could win six and earn a bowl berth. I think they are a year away from a bowl, but it's not inconceivable.
Tonio (Monroe, OR)
How much does the lack of the depth at Oregon concern. Especially when breaking in a new QB. Barner has proven he isn't all that durable. Keeping him healthy could be a challenge. DAT isn't an every down back. This is my only real concern for this team. What are your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
Oregon has good depth most places. The lack of RB depth is a concern. The Ducks really need true freshman Byron Marshall to show up ready to play. But you don't need to worry about depth until guys start getting hurt. So don't worry.
How long do you think it will take Mike Leach to make the Cougs respectable?
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
The rest of the summer. The Cougs will be at least respectable this year. I think expecting a bowl game is reasonable. Leach is good enough that he'll get a win or two just by outsmarting an opponent.
chris (new york)
Embree is a top 3 coach in the Pac-12. He's a huge upgrade from Hawkins. Buffs will be in National title hunt within 5 years. Mark my words.
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
words marked... I want Colorado to be good because it would mean more trips to Boulder for me.
Cal @ Ohio State. Winnable game or is that a pipe dream?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
winnable... Ohio State has O-line issues, and you don't want that against Cal's front 7. Now can the Bears score points on the road against a good D in a really, really hostile venue?
Adam (Coos Bay, OR)
Is Sekope Kaufusi going to be reinstated at Wazzu?
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
I hope so.. and I think so... but I haven't gotten anything solid on that. I expect CougFan will tell us soon...
Ted Miller (4:03 PM)
OK gang... time for me to bolt... thanks for stopping by.