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 (2:58 PM)
Greetings... what in the wild, wild world of sports is going on?
clark kent (metropolis)
In your argument about who should be number 2, your main point was that the Ducks have the best chance at finishing number 2. I thought the rankings are current not future? Im not saying the Ducks arent good and may ended up number 1 or 2 when its all said and done but even you have to admit thus far the Ducks schedule has been weak and to this point in season do not deserve number 2. Especially when your argument is "well they may end up there?"
Ted Miller (3:00 PM)
No... my argument is the Ducks have the best chance of finishing No. 1, therefore should be No. 2.... of all the teams matched up against No. 1 Alabama, I think Oregon has the best shot of winning. I know some folks point out Bama hasn't played anybody either, but just like Oregon, they past the eyeball test.
Desmond Hume (Not Penny's Boat)
I was at the Oregon v. ASU game brother, I think that Ducks team is legitimate. With that being said, what do you expect to see, record wise, out of ASU the final 5 games. See you in another life brother.
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Feeling a little Lost are we, Desomnd... I'd set the over-under with Arizona State at 7 wins. The late schedule, starting with a visit from UCLA Saturday, is rugged... at Oregon State, at USC, Washington State and at Arizona. The Sun Devils should be the Cougs, and I see them getting at least one more. Guessing many Sun Devils would like to clip the Wildcats in the finale.
heil (san pedro, ca.)
ted, love your columns/blogs on pac 12 football. if Matt Scott throws for 350 yards, Kadeem Carey gets 110 yards rushing...what do you think the chances AZ wins Saturday?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
Those numbers would fit in with what the Wildcats have done this year. To me, the rushing total would bode better than the passing numbers. So I'd rate the Wildcats win chances at 58 % with those totals. BUT... and it's a big one ... you can pile up nice numbers and also screw up... fumbles, interceptions. Yards only mean so much. Wildcats did OK moving ball at Oregon, ended up with a bagel on the scoreboard.
Daniel Roseville [via mobile]
Ted why no love for the Trojan defense this week? Arizona won't score more than 21
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
No more than 21 at home... we shall see... That would surprise me. I like the USC defense. But I also like the Stanford defense, and you saw what happened in that one with Arizona.
Ron Burgundy (Whale's Vagina)
Why has UCLA's fast-paced spread offense slowed down significantly the last 4 games? Will Noel Mazzone and Brett Hundley speed things up against ASU? They definitely do better when things are faster. You stay classy, Ted.
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Well for one playing better teams... Oregon State, Cal and Utah are good on defense. Hundley had his worst game vs. Cal, throwing four picks. I don't know if it's a case of speeding things up vs. ASU... both teams play up-tempo, no-huddle, so that wouldn't shock the system. I'm more curious if the Bruins can exploit the void left by DT Will Sutton being out. Can Johnathan Franklin and the running game get going on the road? If the Bruins can run, that will make things much easier for Hundley.
Scott Beavers [via mobile]
Can oregon lose this year?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
Chris (Portland, OR)
Hi Ted, I'm an Oregon fan a little bit puzzled by the lack or street credit that's being given to Oregon State. Do the voters explain away their preferences to Notre Dame, simply by saying they're Notre Dame, rather than looking at the BYU team they both played? I appreciate this is not always the best way to compare teams, but with no other reference, seems the most useful. Your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:13 PM)
I think folks are still wrapping their minds around the transformation... I mean, did you watch Oregon State last year? They not only went 3-9, they looked the part, particularly on both lines of scrimmage. Part of the Notre Dame charm is, well, Notre Dame. And the Irish have played what was reputed in the preseason to be a tough schedule, though it doesn't look as much the part now. Still, there are several quality wins, including Stanford, no matter the ending. And if ND wins at Oklahoma, that will be an A-list triumph.
Bruce (Virginia Beach)
Ted, Air Raid has largely fizzled and my Cougs have not lived up to the hope going into the season. Is Leach on target in his criticisms and calling out of receivers, seniors, etc?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
I think Leach has an expectation level that the Cougs are not accustomed to... I'm not sure, however, that calling out guys, particularly seniors, is going to win them over or help in the short term. But Leach is crazy like a fox.... he's working a motivational angle that perhaps my small mind doesn't get. I am surprised about the lackluster offensive performance this year, but the blame falls more heavily on offensive line woes than scheme.
Beaver Nation (Willamette Valley, OR)
Which of the remaining games left on the docket minus Oregon, gives OSU fans some worry? ASU and their tempo? Or Stanford and their Defense?
Ted Miller (3:19 PM)
Every game... There are no gimmes on the schedule, including this weekend. Arizona State will be a test, but it's good that game is in Corvallis. At Stanford feels like a significant measuring stick.
Michael (Sacramento, CA)
Will the Trojans lack of depth be exposed by the Arizona fast paced offense?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
It might be challenged... but the trojans knew in the preseason that they'd face up-tempo teams throughout the schedule. It won't be a shock, but it will be taxing in the fourth quarter. The key for the Trojans is forcing the three-and-out when they can and getting their own time of possession going. If USC can run the ball well, and they may be able to against the middling Wildcats front, that will be a huge advantage.
Im traveling from Austin to see my Bruins take on the sun devils in Tempe. What do the Bruins need to do to come out with the Win?
Ted Miller (3:23 PM)
Protect the football, first off. Keep ASU QB Taylor Kelly contained... he likes to run and he likes to throw on the run -- like the Anthony Barr to play a key role there. And run the ball with Franklin. We need to see how the Sun Devils D will look without Sutton causing problems in the middle.
Who will gain a bigger advantage this week, USC playing a spread or Oregon watching the film of USC playing a spread?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Oh... interesting question. My impression is Arizona & Oregon have a lot of similarities, though the Wildcats are better at receiver. I think both get an advantage, but it may be better for the Ducks. It would seem to me that USC can't afford to hold much back against the Wildcats, so that might be revealing to CK and his staff. Still, football is about matchups, and the Ducks and Wildcats will matchup different vs. USC's players.
how ugly does colorado oregon get?
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
Kelly isn't a guy who aggressively runs up the score, see last week at Arizona State... if the Ducks are up big at the half, they'll bring in their backups. It then becomes Colorado's responsibility to stop those guys... I'd be surprised if the margin is more than say, 55.
Can you cite a time when you've actually picked an upset in your weekly predictions? It seems like this week would have been a good chance for you to do so...
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
my impression is I pick an upset fairly frequently but I haven't really researched it... Are you implying I should have picked a certain team in Tucson?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
I'm having a really bad typing day by the way..
Why do you think MOV should be part of the BCS formula? No concern it perversely incentivizes teams to humiliate each other?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
You can massage it to make it show dominance without asking coaches to go all Barry Switzer on teams... say give consideration for a 21-point win but make it irrelevant to win by 40... sure, you'd have a team up 28-14 running a 2-minute offense to get a 21-point lead, but so what? If they do that, they might end up firing a pick-6 and winning 28-21.
Sick Naban (Not Tuscaloosa)
I don't know what this fancy-pants game is you all play on the west coast, but I don't like it. Will there ever be a team from out west that plays some real power football and tries to challenge me err... the SEC at its own game? It has produced a bit of success the last six years after all. Or is that just not considered cool enough for anyone in the Pac-12?
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
Nick, I'd like to introduce you to Stanford.
Peter (Palo Alto)
Why do you think Marquess Wilson is not putting up the numbers that he has in the past?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
It seems he and Leach are not clicking. The musical QBs -- leach's term -- hasn't worked well. & Wilson is just not catching the ball. His sure-hands have not been there this year. It's also possible we've been overrating him... that he's a good but not elite WR.
Fred (Walla Walla)
With Kiko Alonzo, Colt L and possibly Mike Clay sitting this one out: could CU keep things a lot closer than everyone thinks?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
Maybe... but Oregon is plenty deep. Does it matter if the Ducks win by just, say, 24? The issue is whether they all will be ready to go on Nov. 3.
1loudmouthduck (in my pond)
Really? Madonna turned down a date with someone?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
Do not say anything bad about the queen of pop... And remember: It was mutual!
People think Sark should be on the hotseat. Others believe that his seat is just warming up. While some believe that his seat will start to warm up if we don't make it to a bowl game this year. I'm personally disappointed with the blowouts, but I understood those losses. The loss to Arizona though might have been the tipping point for some people. Your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Huskies fans expected more this season, and so did Sarkisian. If Washington finishes with a losing record, it would be fair to say that Sark would likely be on at least a few "hot seat" lists next fall. I think AD Scott Woodward likes his man. And if you look at the roster, the Huskies set up well in 2013. Sark has done a nice job of digging the program out of a hole. But he does need to take the next step. But you guys know me: I tend to advise patience. Sometimes that's right, and sometimes it's wrong.
Jenkins (South Carolina)
Isaac Seumalo - freshman of the year? at least true freshman of the year?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
Definitely a candidate... so impressed with him. Center is a tough position period, but it's even tougher for a young guy. Thing about this: Last year, he blocked high school guys. Last week, he blocked Star Lotulelei.
Bill Snyder (Wildcat Land)
Ted, by and large our youngsters have the the intrinsic values to face any team that we deem will make our program successful by getting better every day. I want it known that Oregon approach KSU about moving their scheduled date against Kstate because Oregon wnanted to play LSU in 2011, a game they eventually lost. To be fair to all parties, it should be noted that we added a 9th conference game to our schedule rather than the traditional 8 due to conference realignment? My question to you is, why are you so adamant in being less than truthful about the fact that Oregon had as much to do about cancelling the series against my Wildcats. Best wishes, Bill Snyder.
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
What is less than truthful? Oregon wanted to reschedule. Kansas State didn't. 8 & 9 has nothing to do with it -- pac-12 has played 9 since 2006.
Jamee (Springfield, OR)
Looking ahead to next Saturday (for shame). What are you most anxious to see play out between the match up of Oregon vs USC?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
Barkley, Woods & Lee vs. Oregon secondary
jordan poyer - greatest thing out of Astoria since Kindergarten Cop or Goonies or ever?
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
It's not a tumor! Always had a penelope anne miller thing... Astoria is a cool place... And Poyer is a heck of a CB.
It's tough being a Pac-12 God. How do you handle it, Ted?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
Hey, hey... I'm no god... Nooo... King maybe... but no god.
Chris Hauck (Philadelphia, PA)
I'd like to see the Trojans throw the ball over the middle to Lee and Woods to utilize quick slants and their receivers speed and quickness. Its seems Kiffin and the play calling has kind of gotten away from that this season. I think they need more aggressive play calling on offense - do you think SC has been fairly vanilla on offense this season?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Yes... and I agree.. the idea should always be getting those two with the ball in space on the move... I love crossing routes... I will say that Kiffin probable shares our feelings and that defenses have said, "We can't let Woods and Lee kill us with quicks slants and crossing routes." I also will say I thought the simple fades would work better, that Lee & Woods would be able to consistently win jump ball battles. Hasn't worked out that way.
Rick (Salt Lake City)
Is Utah under performing or are they just not good?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
They probably aren't as good as they looked in the preseason. They probably have underperformed. Injuries have been an issue. And the schedule is at fault. The final five games are easier, and the Utes could end up doing about the same thing they did last year, which is rally from an 0-4 P12 start. I do think the biggest issue is on the O-line. The Utes had to replace both starting OTs from 2011 and they haven't gotten consistent production on either side.
Roll Tide (Alabama)
bring on the pac 12
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
All of us... should we bring some side dishes? And are you bringing Dreamland...
how in the world did the pac 12 get so much tv money for adding two terrible teams in utah and colorado?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
three words: Ted Freaking Miller...
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Larry Scott is a deal maker, and Utah and Colorado aren't terrible programs. The Utes have won two BCS bowls, and Colorado has won a national title.... The Buffs won't always be down.
I miss your restaurant recommendations among all your football talk. Have you found any new favorite eating spots during your travels this year ?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
I'm going to re-visit that after the season... we all need to make new lists... My biggest frustration is a lack of Seattle trips because there are a bunch of new places I haven't tried... and the new Top Chef is there this season... or was there, I guess.
Justin Wilcox (Dempsey)
I was able to accept the trouncing by LSU and Oregon and chalked that up to poor offensive play, turnovers and just an overpowering opponent. But Arizona is just inexcusable...especially with the poor pass coverage and Trufant's mental mistakes. Should I be worried my defense will turn Holt like on me? What happened to my progress?
Ted Miller (4:01 PM)
Hey... welcome to the Pac-12... and a brutal schedule. The performance against Arizona was a black eye, without a doubt. Just as there is pressure on Sarkisian, so is there pressure on his new coaches, particularly Wilcox. I'm curious to see what happens this weekend in Seattle... could be a low-scoring game with Oregon State. Seems like the Huskies are better against pro-style teams, which they see in practice, rather than spread teams.
Ron S (Gilbert AZ)
Speaking of Alabama being slow and out of shape compared to Oregon, I think the Ducks would tire them out after the first half. Do you think that has anything to do with Nick Saban's comments about how he wants to slow down the hurry up offense with a rules change?
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
slow... out of shape? Have you seen Alabama play? Watch them eat Mississippi State up on Saturday. Outstanding on both sides of the ball... good QB, great O-line... beastly talent on defense. I think Alabama-Oregon would be a great matchup for the title. Of course, both teams have plenty of work ahead, including both teams on Nov. 3.
Jason (in 6's basement)
i spend 16 hours a day in my basement in ESPN chat rooms why won't you validate my existence?
Ted Miller (4:03 PM)
validated... you exist... and 16 hours is not enough on the Pac-12 blog.
Ted's wife (Vegas)
How did you get so handsome?
Ted Miller (4:04 PM)
The love of Kansas State fans... it's transformative.
Ted Miller (4:04 PM)
And with that, I must bid you adieu... enjoy the games this weekend folks.