Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's Pac-12 reporter 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 (3:04 PM)
What's on your mind?
some guy (seattle)
who do you think will be the next hc at Washington? Or who would you think would be a good fit?
Ted Miller (3:05 PM)
I think it will be Petersen or Nussmeier. I think both would be great hires. Petersen would look good because he's turned just about everyone else down.
aztri81 (Phoenix, AZ)
How do I get any work done for the rest of the day and tomorrow, when I know I have tickets on the 50 yard line for the Pac-12 Championship? P.S. Go Sun Devils.
Ted Miller (3:06 PM)
Just take the rest of the week off. Your boss won't mind. Promise.
If you're predicting an ASU win, what is going to be the factor that Stanford can't handle in the desert this weekend?
Ted Miller (3:08 PM)
I think Arizona State just plays a lot better at home and has improved dramatically since the first game. And see both Stanford losses on the road.
How much does the Mariota decision silence the premature critics of Helfrich as head coach?
Ted Miller (3:09 PM)
Well, it's a vote of confidence from his QB. A nice win in the bowl game would certainly elevate the offseason mood and general confidence with Helfrich. But the only way Helfrich proves himself is by getting his team back to the top of the Pac-12 and back in BCS bowl games. That's the new standard for Oregon.
Still getting over the Play (Seattle)
Trent getting passed over for Defensive Player of the Year was a travesty. Does that give the Cardinal O-Line an extra boost of motivation vs. Sutton this weekend?
Ted Miller (3:16 PM)
I was surprised too but the coaches voted and obviously felt that Sutton was playing better than his numbers suggested.
Allen (Fort Drum New York)
PAC 12 Coach of the year, Todd Grahm or Mike Leech. I think Leech taking WAZZU to a 6-6 record is more significant than ASU. Grahm has more to work with and inherited a fairly decent team. Your thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:18 PM)
obviously moving slowly here today... Graham, no question. Led his team to Pac-12 South title in toughest year in Pac-12 in ages. Leach did a nice job, but 6-6 doesn't get anyone coach of the year.
lamont (los angeles)
how do you think the sark hire willl play out in the future
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
I think Sark wins at USC. I've long seen him as a good coach. The question is does he win BIG. As in national title contention every year. That won't be as easy because the Pac-12 is much better than during the Pete Carroll years.
Pick one who you think (know) will be hired by UW.
Ted Miller (3:20 PM)
I wouldn't be surprised if Petersen finally takes the leap.
would wilcox say with petersen? Or is he gone to sark SC
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
I think he'd follow Sark if he's not named the head coach, but that $1 million buyout might be an issue for USC.
Ted Miller (3:22 PM)
And of course Wilcox and Petersen have worked successfully together, so that might be enough for him to stay.
Any chance Oregon State will be any better next year considering the talent on the team?
Ted Miller (3:24 PM)
Always a chance, particularly if Mannion returns for senior year. The Beavers need to upgrade at defensive tackle and rediscover their running game. We saw in the Civil War that there's something to be said to sticking with it intead of throwing every play.
Ben S (West Texas)
Despite the unfortunate second loss to Arizona and the heart-attack type win over Oregon State in the end... Where do you think the Ducks could go bowling? Ive heard Holiday Bowl, Alamo Bowl.. and even Orange Bowl.. Could their BCS birth streak continue?
Ted Miller (3:26 PM)
Always a chance for a BCS bowl if in top-14, but I'm not betting on it. I think Oregon will get invited to the Alamo Bowl.
Joel Husky (Husky Nation)
How do rate the job Pendergast did while at USC? Does he have a future with another Pac-12 team?
Ted Miller (3:27 PM)
I think Pendergast is going to be picked up quickly. He might even stay at USC if Wilcox doesn't follow Sark. He might end up at Washington. I bet some Cal fans would welcome him back if the Bears end up with an opening.
vic (no cal)
What would you personally advise a college athlete to do if they were nearly guaranteed of being a Top 5 pick in the draft of their sport? Stay in school or go start your career and finish school later?
Ted Miller (3:29 PM)
My first though: Do they feel strongly one way or the other? Second, how important is the money -- is there an immediate need. I tend to think guys should make a move as soon as possible, particularly when you're in the top-half of the first round. But you're only young once. College is a pretty good time. It's typically a tough call.
Way-too-early PAC12 candidates for 2014 Heisman? Mariota, Jack, who else? How about Ty Montgomery?
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
Hundley... Mariota will be No. 2 on just about every preseason list behind Winston.
Dan (Mesa, AZ)
There is a chance for rain on Saturday night in Tempe. Would one of the teams benefit from that?
Ted Miller (3:31 PM)
Stanford... you'd think the big, power running team would prefer rain. It's also going to be a bit chilly here. Close to freezing if you can believe it.
Tell me if I'm wrong. To me it seemed like Oregon State lived by the play action pass. Five teams in a row bit on the play action a vast majority of the time even though Mannion never handed the ball off. That led to a ton of passing yards. Once teams decided to just go after Mannion it seemed as if Oregon State had nothing to go to. If you have the same opinion do you think some coaching issues need to be addressed?
Ted Miller (3:34 PM)
You guys know I think very highly of both Mike Riley and Mark Banker. It's just not easy to win in Corvallis. But I agree with your point: Play-cation doesn't work if there no run threat. I think O-line injuries changed what the Beavers wanted to do. And I'm sure Riley and his staff are re-thinking some things in advance of spring practices.
Mayle the Junior (Pullman)
Should the Cougs stick with Halliday next season or go with one of their young guns?
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
They should play their best QB. I suspect that will be Halliday. But if one of the young guys is lights out, I'm sure Leach will go with him. Leach's prime directive with QBs is accuracy. He'll want Halliday to get better at that. And substantially cut down in INTs.
Brad (San Diego)
Theodore: Any chance UCLA sneaks up into the Holiday Bowl, or is it pretty much locked into Sun Bowl or Las Vegas Bowl?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
Always a chance... maybe the Pac-12 shocks everyone and gets a 2nd BCS bowl team. But the Sun Devils finished two games ahead of UCLA in the South, including a recent head-to-head win. Not sure Pac-12 would appreciate the Holiday Bowl skipping over the Sun Devils.
Jason (Lexington, KY)
Top 2-3 CFB books you've read, for my winter reading list?
Ted Miller (3:39 PM)
I don't read a lot of college football books but I'd highly recommend "Meat Market" by Bruce Feldman and "Three and out" by John Bacon. Inside stories on Orgeron at Ole Miss and Rodriguez at Michigan. And you get to see the true Lloyd Carr.
vic (no cal)
Did the decision not to press charges against Winston seal the deal on him winning the Heisman? That was the only way he wasn't going to win, wasn't it?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
Winston is almost certainly going to win the Heisman Trophy, though there were no winners in that sad ordeal.
Jennifer (Palo Alto)
Why would I want a strong conference for my team? Look how easy it was for Ohio State and FSU who are likely planning for the BCS Championship. USC had it easy during the Pete Carroll days in conference and got to play for a couple of BCS Championship, which they have none by they way.
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
Well USC won in 2004, no matter what the NCAA says. I was there. I saw it happen. But there is something to be said for not only the depth of the pac-12 but playing a 9-game conference schedule against that depth. Go look at the SEC schedule and how many misses its top teams had in conference play. The big test of the playoff will be how it will handle strength of schedule. For example: If you valued strenght of schedule, a 2-loss Pac-12 champion would play in the four-team playoff.
UtahAlumnus (St. George, UT)
Do the Pac12 bloggers ever get together for a flag football game? And if so, who is the all time QB?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
Everyone is afraid of Gemmell. And Dinich.
Kyle (Austin, TX)
Has there ever been a better line of poetry than "Fields lying miraculous in violent silence"?
Ted Miller (3:45 PM)
no caps though, ee
Outside of this little bubble called Nebraska, the rest of the country probably doesn't know about the bitter, bitter debate about Bo Pelini occurring amongst the loyal Husker faithful. As an outsider looking in, what are your thoughts on him as a coach and the direction of the program?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Tough one... He doesn't seem like a good fit for a program that favors a more laconic, upright brand of leadership. But that would matter less if he won more. I'm surprised he was retained, but maybe he was too costly to dispatch?
cooper (the city)
how much fun will it be to watch TUI running the show during the bowl game? what do you think the chances are Woodward lets Wilcox walk and brings in someone like Clancy P. I would hope you would support who we are. Not, who we are not. These six individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line 23 nights for the next 4 months, to represent you, this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team.
Ted Miller (3:48 PM)
I don't know how the whole Huskies coaching thing will work out, though the program does seem hamstrung no matter what. I think Tui will be a head coach some day, so this will be good experience for him.
At this time (the end of the 2013 regular season) what do you see as UCLA's biggest weaknesses going into to the 2014 season? Anything that can't be overcome between now next September?
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Some big holes with the defensive front 7, and I don't think Myles Jack should be full-time both ways. Who's the No. 1 receiver? I think there will be a big uptick on the O-line though, and there are a lot of nice young players who should take a step forward.
Andrew (Agoura Hills, CA)
If Tim DeRuyter gets snatched up by some bigger program, could you see Coach O being a good fit for Fresno State?
Ted Miller (3:51 PM)
If that happens, Coach O would be a fantastic fit at Fresno State. He'd recruit the heck out of the area and have the Bulldogs at the top of the MWC.
UtahAlumnus (St. George, UT)
If you believe our dear coach, the Utes are "close" to competing for the South. Maybe we saw that early in the year, but the second half of the season does not support that. Thoughts?
Ted Miller (3:55 PM)
Look at the season... there was a lot of close, see Oregon State and Arizona State. What happens if Travis Wilson doesn't get hurt. You saw how Oregon slipped with Mariota hurt but still playing. How would UCLA have been if Hundley was out? I think Utah is close, but I don't see it making a huge jump next year. Conference is too tough. I do think if things fall right the Utes are back to being a bowl team.
Which will have a bigger impact on local LA recruits choosing between SC and UCLA: Hiring Sark or UCLA's committment to Mora and his staff.
Ted Miller (3:56 PM)
UCLA should win the recruiting battle this year just due to continuity. It will be up to Sark to regain Trojans turf in 2014-15.
vic (no cal)
Can you smile next time in your profile picture? People need to smile more.
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
smile.... what's that?
Who should I be rooting for to lose this weekend for Oregon to make a BCS bowl? As a side note, how bad does Ohio State get creamed by FSU if they both end up in the National Championship Game?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
I don't think Florida State creams Ohio State. And I doubt things fall Oregon's way in the BCS...
Ted Miller (4:00 PM)
OK gang.. time for me to roll on. Have a great weekend.