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 (3:02 PM)
Dashing over from another ESPN.com chat... howdy folks... welcome to the season! Fire away.
Did Bennett make the right choice?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
For now, Bryan Bennett isn't transferring... that is purely his choice. If he REALLY wants to play, he should leave. If he REALLY loves Oregon, he should stay and hope he gets another shot...
Jason (Spangle, WA)
What is the turnover diff tonight between WSU and BYU?
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
The reason I favor BYU is it is playing at home with a much better defense... But I am really curious about how good the Cougs might be on offense.
What backup QB is most likely (not predicting injuries) to be the starter by the end of the year?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
Without injuries, Michael Eubank at Arizona State is the most obvious answer... he's the Sun Devils most talented QB... and if Brett Hundley underperforms, UCLA has two veteran backups.
Looking at the schedule, how important is a win tonight against BYU for the Cougs to earn a bowl berth?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
If WSU wins, I'd put the odds very high that the Cougs get to at least six... BYU would be a mid-level Pac-12 team, and beating one at home would give the Cougs a promotion in my eyes.
Jeremy (Procrastinating in Doe Library (Uc Berkeley))
Is Cal a legitimate dark horse candidate to win at least the Pac-12 North maybe even the pac 12?
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
Ted Miller (3:07 PM)
I think Cal has a chance to win 8 or 9 games. But that won't win the North.
Ted, with all the hype surrounding USC's dynamic offense, is their defense being underrated? Yes, they have a D-Line low on experience, but high on talent. The Linebackers are good, and the Secondary is one of the best in the nation, no?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
If healthy, USC's defense will be at least solid and potentially top-25. But 1-2 injuries on the line could leave you with a lot of freshmen in the rotation, which isn't good, even if they are talented.
Brad (Logan UT)
Besides Oregon, what Pac 12 team is most likely to take down mighty Tory this year?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
I'd say road trips to Stanford and Utah are tricky. At Washington, too. And UCLA is a rivalry game where USC has seen its hopes dashed before. And who knows how good Notre Dame might be?
Should the Huskys be concerned with the new additions to the Aztec offense under center and at wideout?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
Yes... San Diego State won't be a walkover game... Huskies need to show up focused. I expect them to win, but they need to show up with their A game.
Paul (Ogden UT)
If the Utes upset USC and Oregon to win the PAC 12 would White be in the Heisman conversation?
Ted Miller (3:11 PM)
If he puts up big numbers and Utah wins the Pac-12, I don't see how he wouldn't be...
Is the UW @ LSU game the biggest OOC game for National Perception? What are others?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
I don't think that's a huge one for national perception... LSU is ranked in the top-three and Washington is unranked and a few notches below the Pac-12's elite. UCLA-Nebraska might qualify as more of a Pac-12 measuring stick... Or even Cal at Ohio State..
Sandover (Chocolate Springs, MI)
More likely: Cal over OSU or UCLA over Nebraska?
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
I see the Pac-12 splitting those games, notching at least one upset... I like how Cal's personnel matches up with the Buckeyes, but I have a hard time with the Bears on the road. Not sure what to expect out of Bruins... so right now I'd say Cal
Duckfan in Cali (Sacramento)
Now that FBS has taken a step in the correct direction with a 4 team playoff in 2014, how relevent do you think the mythical BCS National Championship game now? Also, do you think it helps conferences like the Pac-12, or does it expand the "love affair" some very influential sports media outlets have with certain unnamed conferences *cough* SEC *cough* Big-12 *cough*?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
Well, if Oregon wins the mythical BCS title this year or next, would you feel pretty good about it? As for the 4-team playoff, we'll see... lots of questions to be answered, including the makeup of a selection committee. And if the SEC is riding eight national titles by 2014, it's safe to assume it will get the benefit of the doubt until someone knocks it out of the throne.
If Oregon beats USC (potentially #1 at the time of the first game) twice, will their soft OOC schedule hurt them against other undefeated teams, even though it wasn't their fault that KSU bailed?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Maybe.... but if Oregon finishes undefeated, I think it's nearly certain it would play for the national title... the only problem would be if the Big 12 and SEC champs are undefeated too.. then the schedule would be an issue.
Josh (Salt Lake City)
I'm a proud member of the MUSS. What Pac-12 student section takes 2nd place as best student section in the conferece?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
Oregon might take issue with that... you'll get a visit there soon enough...
Doogie (Autzen )
Does USC being back in the national spotlight help the PAC 12's image across the country?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
Yes and no.. the Pac-12 needs more top-25 teams... that means top-five Oregon and USC joined by a couple of other 9 or 10 win teams.... But USC brings eyeballs, no doubt. Just the way it is...
can oregon's secondary compete this year with USC downright scary passing attack. Last year completely blew me away the way the game started (and ended errr, make the field goal!!!) any way it turns out differently this year?
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
Sure... Ducks had a couple of injuries on D that night. Having a healthy Dion Jordan at end certainly would have helped... you can't let Barkley stand in the pocket.. to beat USC, you'll have to pressure him. The Ducks are strong enough up front to potentially make barkley uncomfortable.
Steve (Seattle, WA)
Recent trends show that in a conference championship game, the losing team doesn't get the BCS Bowl invite. (For example, Michigan going last year instead of Michigan State). Will USC and Oregon buck the trend, or will a third team get into a BCS game instead of the loser of the Championship Game?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Depends on how it all plays out... first of all, you need the losing team in the title game to have no more than 2 losses. Further, if the winner goes to the national title game, the Rose Bowl still wants to maintain a Pac-12-Big Ten matchup.... And if Stanford or Utah are 11-1 and lose out on the title game, they'd be good candidates for a second, at large BCS bowl berth.
In re: to your Oregon Best and Worst case, do you watch and/or have a favorite Sci-Fi show?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Not a HUGE Sci-Fi fan... but I like the good ones just like anyone else.. certainly respect the film making of Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of Rings... the Oregon B/W took me a bit of time...
Does the Pac 12 need to follow the SEC model ( 8 conference games, 7-8 home games, 2 non conference cupcakes ) to catch the SEC in national perception?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
I think the Pac-12, when the new playoff is adopted, needs to make sure it's on an even playing field. If the other major conferences play 8 conference games, the Pac-12 needs to do that too.
Stanford freshman who'll make the biggest impact this year: Peat, Whitfield, Sanders or Noor Davis? I say Whitfield, since we're deep at the other positions but desperately need another WR besides Montgomery.
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
I agree in theory, but we really need to see how the look when the lights are on and they're playing college football... if Kodi Whitfield is up to it, he could make a big impact at a questionable position. He was not, by the way, on the game one two-deep, for what that's worth. And if one of the freshmen are good enough to play LT, then that's saying something.
Robert (New York)
The USC defense was not national championship caliber last year... How are we to believe the unit is better this year, or is the offense so good it doesn't have to be?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
USC's defense has steadily improved under Monte Kiffin... back seven is back intact and it has a couple of sure-NFL guys... and the Trojans can score in bunches... The difference between good enough and truly good will be the D-line growing up quickly.
I'm a Cal alumnus nervous about the Nevada game. Calm me down: how does Cal improve its showing against the pistol when they didn't do so hot against it the last two years?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Bears should be fired up and focused playing in their renovated stadium... don't think Nevada is as good this go-around as it was in 2010.
What do you think of Chip Kelly's decision to go with Marcus Mariota over Bryan Bennett? And how do you foresee Coach Kelly getting Bennett involved in the game being that Bennett is a great athlete?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
I won't know what to think until I see Mariota play... I've not seen any more of him than you have. I think the Ducks want Bennett to feel like he's part of the team. And he's a good enough athlete that he could make plays on offense even if he's not the starting QB... but I'm not sure how Bennett would feel about seeing time at another position when he believes he could be a good college QB.
Bruce (San Diego)
Although USC has the best receiving duo in the Pac-12, arguably in the country; who has the 2nd best receiving duo in the Pac-12?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Oregon State, Utah and Washington State would be in the mix on that... I'd take the Cougs.
Hey Ted, I take issue with you claiming Oregon's student section to "take issue" at not being called the best student section. They have a loud stadium and crazy fans, yes, but their student section is small and a small part of their noise. ZonaZoo students are much more in number and much louder.
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Zona Zoo is strong too...
Pedro (Los Angeles)
How likely is that Ore St./Nicholls St. game to get canceled altogether?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
I don't know... I suspect the Beavers would like to play it because it would help their bowl chances... & Nicholls could use the check.. Not easy to reschedule a game.
If Jeff Tuel throws for more yards and TDs in this Mike Leach offense than matt Barkley does at USC, will there be any debate who is the better NFL quarterback prospect?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Leach's offenses, as good as they have been, haven't produced an NFL starter. Barkley is viewed as ready-made, start from day one in NFL guy. I think Tuel is an NFL QB, but he won't eclipse Barkley just because of bigger numbers. I suspect he will have bigger numbers than Barkley. He doesn't have Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd behind him.
If Cameron Marshall Stays healthy and barring any other major injuries, can you see ASU bowl bound?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
Absolutely.... Some things need to fall into place, but the over-under for me with ASU is 5 wins... optimists will see a bowl game...
Do you think a top level USC offense would be able to compete with a top level SEC defense, whether it be LSU, Alabama or even South Carolina in a NC game?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
Yes... I think USC could put up 40 on anybody when things are clicking.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Ted, are you coming to visit the renovated Memorial Stadium this season?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
I go where my bosses send me. They send me -- and Kevin -- to big games. If Cal starts winning, I will visit... I am eager to see a game at the renovated stadium... Memorial used to have the worse press box situation -- outside! -- in college football.
Robert (New York)
What team with early question marks do you think we'll learn the most about in Week 1 (or maybe Weeks 1-3)?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
We'll get a good look at Washington State tonight... the Arizona schools have tough week 2 games. How might the Huskies hold up at LSU? And UCLA vs. Nebraska? And USC and Stanford in week 3 is a big measuring stick. A 2-0 start from UCLA could raise some eyebrows.
Yellowsobu (Pac-12 Blog)
With Washington's schedule so heavily front loaded, do you think losing the 4 guantlet games could cause them to sink like Arizona did last year?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
That is a possibility... a 2-4 start is possible and that could drag a young team down. It will be up to Sark to keep that from happening as the schedule lightens up...
How come Ralphie is so cool. And big?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
Because she's a real live Buffalo. That is just cool period.
More likely to happen: WSU goes bowling or Mike Riley loses his job?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
WSU goes bowling... and that's the one I'm more rooting for...
Phil Wilcox (usc)
How long does it take Arizona to learn RichRod's offense? And the 3-5 D? Do we have to wait 3 years for the new systems to be truly bedded down?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
I think Rodriguez inherited a rebuilding job... The defense, in particular, lacks talent. The offense should be OK this year with Matt Scott, but Rich Rod will be breaking in a new QB in 2013. So I think year three is when things should start coming together.
Don't you think that one of those other Utah DLineman are poised for a break-out year thanks to Star?????
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Utah is solid across the front... Star is the Star, and he makes life easier for everyone but the Krugers are both good, too. Utah's defense is not a one-Star constellation!
Any coaches legitimately on the Hot Seat this year? I personally don't see anyone getting the boot this year.
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Many would say Tedford and Riley, the two longest tenured coaches... I think both should be OK barring a disaster...
SDZALD (San Diego)
Do you think Larry Scott should get low marks for not getting deal done with DirectTV?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
No... I think Direct TV should... Direct TV is saying it doesn't care about the West Coast.
Dan (Dayton, OH)
If USC gets to a BCS game this year (not necessarily the national championship), is Silas Redd gone after one year?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Maybe... Or maybe he wants to come back and be the feature back, getting lots of touches with a new QB... My guess is he's going to enter the draft.
how do you thimk byu will do tonight?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
I picked BYU to win... Don't have much faith in the WSU defense at this point. But maybe I'll be wrong.
Pac12 Network is not on Comcast in Chicago. How do I deal with this.
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Complain... as much as possible.
So how do you think Nunes will do replacing Luck? He was a big time recruit of his own 4 years ago
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
My guess is he'll do fine, at times looking like a first-year starter... The key is not trying to be Andrew Luck... manage the game, let plays come to you... forget (after learning from) mistakes as quickly as possible... that sort of thing.
Nov. 3, Oregon or USC? How is the Oregon receiving corps going to do? Will Josh Huff be more productive, or will he have another disappointing year?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
If Huff stays healthy, he should take a step forward as a WR... just like you, I've been waiting for all those highly rated recruits to emerge. At this point, Oregon looks solid at receiver but not great. My feeling is that estimation is more likely to go up than down.
Who's best equipped to deal with injuries?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
No one... but I think Oregon is a fairly deep team.
Matt (Police Officer)
Ted, do you ever just wake up and think "How did I get so lucky to watch and talk football for a living" while us shmucks work all day?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
yes... but I would never call you guys that...
Does Barner have a shot at being an NFL back?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
OK gang.. time for me to run... back to the blog! Hope all your teams win this weekend!