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)
Greetings... Hope you're Christmas shopping is nearly complete... You do have my list, correct? Fire away...
What are your thoughts on Vontaze Burficts success in the NFL so far. As frustrating as he was to watch, I'm glad he found some coaches to get him back on track.
Ted Miller (3:01 PM)
Good for him... It's never too late to pull yourself together. He always had the talent. Brandon Magee told me he'd prove doubters wrong, and as one of them, I'm glad to be wrong. Sometimes a paycheck -- or the threat of losing one -- helps a guy see the light.
Walt White (Norfolk, VA)
Ted,Are you ready to get crap piled on you if K-State wins the Fiesta?
Ted Miller (3:02 PM)
sure... but who says I won't pick the Wildcats to win?
How will the hiring of Dykes affect recruiting? With basically an entire new staff, will many commits now look elsewhere?
Ted Miller (3:03 PM)
Hard to say right now, but Dykes is known as a very good recruiter as well as a guy with a good eye for talent. And if he gets a D-coordinator that gets guys excited, things should hold together well. Certainly QBs and WRs probably like what they see from Dykes' offense.
How come on your worst case Scenario you don't have Lane leaving for the NFL? or is it because if he leaves then it wouldn't be a worst scenario
Ted Miller (3:04 PM)
You may have answered that question yourself... And you need to get out of the office.
How does Collin Klein fair against the Duck D? They have played well against some dual threat QB's like Matt Scott, Taylor Kelly, Newton in NCG, ect.
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
Klein is a really good player, but he won't be a shocked to Oregon's defensive system or anything. I think the Fiesta Bowl will be about 2 things: 1. The line of scrimmage, where Oregon is much better than folks outside the Pac-12 footprint think; 2. Oregon's across the board speed. But keep in mind that Bill Snyder is not a coach to be trifled with. Expect K-State to bring its A-game. The Ducks might be distracted by the "Chip Kelly to the NFL" talk, even though they will deny it.
What is the likelihood that UofA goes from having no QBs drafted ever, to having one drafted in consecutive years?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
I think Matt Scott has a good chance to get drafted, perhaps even by the third or fourth round. He'll need a good combine, but I'd certainly rate his chances as good.
Ted, there's no way you would pick KSU over Oregon after everything you've said this year. Mariota, Barner and DAT would all have to have season-ending injuries to make you even consider it.
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
I never said Oregon would whip Kansas State. Only that the Wildcats -- and Bill Snyder's scheduling philosophy -- would prefer not to find out in the regular season. I was impugning K-state's bravery, not its skill.
Michael Eubank (ASU)
I'm hearing I might not be at ASU next year. Why is that?
Ted Miller (3:10 PM)
You want to play and Taylor Kelly looks like he'll start for 2 more years....
Will Sutton (Tempe)
Should i go to the NFL or will it be worth my time to stay another year?
Ted Miller (3:12 PM)
I'm not sure where you fit in with an NFL system because you lack prototypical size for a DT (DE?) but I can't believe you could play any better than you did this season. I'd love to watch you play another year, as would Sun Devils fans, but my advice is to enter the draft.
Nick S (San Diego/Eugene)
Kevin answers my questions. Why don't you Ted? WHYYYY?????
Ted Miller (3:14 PM)
Kevin doesn't know what you did last summer... with those cows... and shaving cream... and maraschino cherries...
Cody Mannion (Corvallis)
Who starts in the alamo bowl?
Ted Miller (3:15 PM)
I have no idea. And I feel that way because I think this is a straight-up competition. Whoever plays better before the bowl game starts...If I were flipping a coin, I'd go with Mannion.
Glad to see that you joined the PAC blogs bowl madness. Who is on your upset alert?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
I think we might see one of the heavy favorites in the BCS bowl games go down... Alabama, Oregon, Stanford, Florida, Florida State...
Does that mean you actually just flipped a coin?
Ted Miller (3:17 PM)
Matt Barkley (LA)
Was coming back for another year a mistake?
Matt Barkley (LA)
What went wrong this year?
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
1. Based on how things went, yes, but that question is more for you... there are a lot of reasons to still be in school other than football... it's kind of fun being the QB at USC; 2. What went wrong? It didn't seem like the general plan on either side of the ball went well. The O-line and LBs were worse than expected. There was a lack of discipline, notable with some stupid penalties at critical times... and sometimes things just don't fit together. I don't think head coach Lane Kiffin distinguished himself after doing a nice job in 2011.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think Robert Woods will roll the dice with Max Wittek and return for his senior season, or declare for the draft?
Ted Miller (3:21 PM)
I think he should seriously consider it. Woods is going to have a nice NFL career in any event, but I think he can bolster his draft stock if he comes back... One of the critical issues USC needs to solve is not focusing so much on Marqise Lee.
Cardinal Alumnus (San Diego)
You've written about the difficulties of playing nine in-conference games. What do you think the chances are that the PAC (12 or more) adds another cupcake to teams' schedules? And if that happens, will the California schools still always play each other?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
If the Pac-12 goes to an 8-game conference schedule, the California schools might have to sacrifice their annual meetings, though USC-UCLA & Cal-Stanford would still play every year. I think adding a cupcake is GOOD thing. The scheduling philosophy with 9 games is A, B, C -- 1 tough foe, 1 middling foe, 1 easy one. The Pac-12 with 8 games, could add a second C while still playing a good
Jacob (Seattle, WA)
As a Husky fan I see our upcoming bowl game as the most important game of the year for UW. It is a chance for Wilcox to prove our D is as improved as everyone says and hopefully our offense can shake some of the injuries that have piled up and have a solid game against a good defense.
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
Well, it's more important in some ways because of the Apple Cup. If the Huskies had won the Apple Cup and then won their bowl game, they likely would have been top-15 entering next season. Still, what if the Huskies lose their bowl game to Boise State and then pound Boise State in the Husky Stadium opener? That would work out fine. And, if the Huskies beat the Broncos in the bowl game and then lose the opener, well, that won't go over well.
Chances the following coaches leave for the NFLChip Kelly?David Shaw?Nick Saban?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
I don't think Saban or Shaw have much NFL interest...
ASU is 14 point favorites in our bowl game against Navy, yet I'm still worried because our rush defense was the worst part of our defense this year. Is it more about the speed and athletes we have? Please comfort my worries :)
Ted Miller (3:28 PM)
Jason... ASU is going to beat Navy.
Larry Scott (PAC 12 Home Office)
With the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC at 14 teams, where do you see us going next?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
14 doesn't seem like a good number to me. 16's the key number here. Think about it. 16-Elevens. 16 dwarves. 16, man, that's the number. 16 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Scott and the conference CEOs seem content at 12, and there are not a lot of obvious options that add value. My personal opinion is the Pac-12 passing on the Pac-16, which included Texas and Oklahoma, will prove to be a mistake. Though Scott says differently, I think he wanted that and the conference presidents were too busy counting their TV money to think long term.
What is your best guess Anthony Barr comes back for his senior year (independently of whether he should or not)? Go Bruins!
Ted Miller (3:33 PM)
This is a tough one. I think Barr could clean house with defensive awards next year if he comes back. He'll get great, NFL-level coaching in Westwood from Mora & Co. He's new to OLB, so there's plenty of room to improve. He could play his way into a top-15 pick if he comes back. But he also probably would go pretty early this spring, just based on potential... really tough call on that one.
Matt (San Mateo)
How about the Buffs? Spending some dough to get back to the top. Good to see from a program down in the dumps as of late. Only a matter of time before they are back in the hunt. It's all cyclical right?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
A good coach with a good staff solves a lot of things. It may take a few years for the Buffs. They are like Washington State was in 2008 -- they look like an FCS team in terms of talent. But if Colorado commits to winning, commits to the things that help a coach win, it will get back to winning. The past success isn't too long ago... heck, the Buffs played in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2001 season.
Conventional wisdom is that Helfrich is the guy if CK leaves Oregon... how surprised would you be if someone else is hired? Obviously Christ Petersen always gets talked about, but do you think it is as open/shut helfrich's job as the rumors suggest?
Ted Miller (3:38 PM)
If Phil Knight & Pat Kilkenny want Helfrich, then he'll be the guy... I think Petersen comes up a lot because it makes sense, and there's always been scuttlebutt that Petersen has long held Eugene in high esteem. I never think something like this is simply open and shut, but I do know that Helfrich has good backing and is highly thought of..
I agree that 16 seems to be where people are headed, but is that really a conference at that point? you'd hardly ever play the teams in the other division unless you went to 10 league games (unlikely, right)? Obviously Texas is worth a ton of money because its texas, but wouldn't a scheduling agreement like what the pac/big tried to do make sense with the big-12?
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
I hear you... we are in the process of reinventing the college game, and it sometimes doesn't feel right. But this is all money driven, and looking backwards could get you left behind.
When do your and Kevin's bowl predictions come out?
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
I think we'll do it game by game, but Kevin coerced me -- 2 words: water boarding -- into joining you guys bowl pool on ESPN.com... I filled out my ballot in 33 seconds, so I reserve the right to change my mind.
Pete (Boise, ID)
Again with this pesky expansion and changes in NCAA FBS football. Who do you think the PAC would go after if they expand to 16? I don't see the BIG 12 falling apart anymore. I know the PAC 12 is all about research schools so who is left? BSU is horrible when it comes to quality of education, but it fits the footprint. nobody likes ByWHO (not research), Hawaii is a pain for all teams who have to travel out there... anymore left? UNLV? UNR? What are your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:42 PM)
I just don't see any good choices outside of the Big 12, and even those choices do mean a culture change for the conference.
Kenjon Barner (Eugene)
Am i going to be a good NFL back?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
I hope so... You're about as likeable, insightful guy as I've been around covering the Pac-12. I think at the very least you can be a good number 2 back. It's very difficult to measure good college RBs vs. NFL RBs, unless they are preternaturally talented like Adrian Peterson.
Ted, which entry is yours? Kevin named his entry after himself, but I see nothing that is named "Ted Miller 1"
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Kevin made Ted Join too, pac10admin... Unleash the hounds on my picks.
the ducks [via mobile]
How does the playoff playout if it was played this year?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Oregon wins the national title.
Ken (Los Angeles)
Best stadium in the Pac? One just stadium alone, the other including gameday experience. Go!
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
I love Autzen. When the Coliseum is pack and united around a highly ranked team, it's incredible. If UCLA gets back to being a highly ranked team, you can't beat the Rose Bowl... & I think the new Husky Stadium is going to be great, particularly if the Huskies finally get things going again. Didn't go to Cal this year, but I hear it's pretty good, too.
Engineer Mike (Switzerland)
How much interest do you think Chip has in the NFL? Might he be one of these guys satisfied with running a college program?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
you hope if you're a Ducks fan... The NFL folks think he's as good as gone. For my own selfish reasons, I want him to stick around. The flirtation last year could be read 2 ways: 1. He's eyeballing the NFL, but wants the right place; 2. He flirted but them realized he loved his present wife.
the ducks [via mobile]
I'm a huge ducks fan, but if stanford could shut us down like they did. What would alabama do?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
Not sure Stanford's defense isn't better than Alabama.
Brad (San Diego)
After watching Brett Hundley's first-ever college play, I thought UCLA was going to have two 1000-yard rushers this season. Do you think he'll be more run-focused next year with Franklin in the NFL?
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
I don't think so. I think running is part of his game, but I think Noel Mazzone wants his QB to be a passer first. And that's good for Hundley, his health and his NFL chances.
Engineer Mike (Switzerland)
Ginger or Mary-Ann?
Ted Miller (3:53 PM)
Mary-Ann... all the way.
What happened to Stanford fans at the PAC12 Championship game? And I don't want to hear about the rain.
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
It wasn't just rain.... it was horrible. Trust me. This was no sprinkle. This comes from a longtime Seattle resident, so I know the difference. Further, it was a 5 p.m. kickoff in a metropolitan area with notoriously soul-crushing traffic. further 2, it's notable that Stanford quickly sold out of Rose Bowl tickets. Was it a good showing for Stanford fans? No. But the excuses were pretty legit.
How does the pac-12 resolve a tie if the pac-12 North and South teams both finished unbeaten?
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
Is Colorado better suited for the pistol offense then the west coast?
Ted Miller (3:58 PM)
That's a philosophy/personnel issue... I don't think anything specifically precludes the Buffs from doing one or the other well. I do think the so-called West Coast offense has proven pretty complicated for young QBs. And if you saw San Jose State's offense this year, it's difficult to not be intrigued.
Thanks very much for joining us in the game. I thought I should mention that Buffalo and Ute fans were disappointed that Pac10 Admin isn't a fan of their teams, but I personally think you're fans of 9 teams too many.
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
Remember I've been doing this since 2008. That handle is purely a function of how complicated it would be to change my username from an administrative standpoint..
Ted: is there any other team out there that can match Notre Dame in terms of fame, tv ratings, selling tickets etc..? It's no coincidence that this is going to be the highest rated nc game ever and tickets are going for more than Super Bowl tickets,, that it involves Notre Dame? Am i right? Because if it was more about Bama last years game would have set all those kinds of records?
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
No... Notre Dame, love them or hate them, is the first team you think of when someone says, "College football." Alabama, Michigan, USC, Texas, etc.... those are national brands, but Notre Dame comes first, even with its extended downturn before this season. Not my opinion. Just a fact. I think college football is better when Notre Dame is good.
Yes, we know Ted. But I'm referring to the teams you like on your profile.
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
Oh... I should get that changed... Haven't looked at my profile since 2008.
Ted Miller (4:03 PM)
OK gang... got to hit the road. Thanks for stopping by!
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