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October 1, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Ted Miller

Ted Miller
  (3:01 PM)

Greetings.Fire away.

Jake (Honolulu, HI)

Ted, if you were Wulff, what would you tell Tuel to get ready for his first start in Autzen?

Ted Miller
  (3:03 PM)

I'd say, "Son, be afraid." No. I'd tell him if he's ever wondered what it's like to be deaf, he's going to experience it. Then I'd tell him to play within himself and let every mistake disappear the moment it happens. The I'd say, "Be afraid."

Cory (Boise)

If Boise goes undefeated, and Oregon wins the PAC-10, how will it make Boise St. case for a NC appearance?

Ted Miller
  (3:04 PM)

My guess is Boise's only shot is for Oregon to roll and for the teams atop the poll to all suffer losses. Boise also should root for everything that subtracts from SEC and Big 12 strength of schedule. It's a longshot.



Ted Miller
  (3:05 PM)

picked the Bears... and told folks I might be bonkers

Derek (AL)

Is USC still the favorite to win the PAC-10?

Ted Miller
  (3:06 PM)

Based on what I saw last weekend, I'd say Oregon. But it seems like the Pac-10 frontrunner changes every week. Probably will have to wait until the Trojans Halloween visit to Oregon to see where things really stand.

Tim (ATL)

ok Ted, the other bloggers never take any pac-10 Qs, so i think we should shut down any of the SEC/ACC folks in here to make it fair... how badly will the ducks miss WT3? considering they shut Cal down without walter and TJ, it appears that this Defense could be ready to take the leap to make the ducks legit rose bowl contenders... or will walter's loss be too big?

Ted Miller
  (3:08 PM)

The Ducks will miss Thurmond because he's one of the best corners in the nation, great on special teams and an outstanding leader. It's a big loss. And my feeling is the Ducks are vulnerable at corner. That wasn't exposed by Cal because the Ducks got so much early pressure they knocked Kevin Riley out of sync. Chip Kelly has repeatedly told me Thurmond was their best player. It's a hit.

Mike C. (Portland, Or.)

Where do you think Oregon and USC would be ranked approximately if they both go unbeaten until Halloween Night at Autzen?

Ted Miller
  (3:10 PM)

USC would be top-five, Oregon probably top-10. It would be a huge game.

rob (New Orleans)

Ted, if you could take any Pac-10 QB, to build a team to win, this year, whom would it be? I have Jake L. Thanks!

Ted Miller
  (3:11 PM)

Then I hope I'd pick before you... I'd take Jake Locker too. Today, at least. But if Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli continues on the path he took vs. Cal, it might be a toss-up for me.

Jake (Honolulu, HI)

Which game intrigues you more? Stanford-UCLA or USC-Cal?

Ted Miller
  (3:13 PM)

I'm going to USC-Cal, so that one is front-and-center. Stanford-UCLA won't crush either team's hopes for the season. It's more about the winner making a statement. The loser in Berkeley almost certainly won't be able to live up to its preseason expectations.

Brian (LA)

You would pass up Kevin Craft? Key to the Stanford/UCLA game? I think it is the ability of UCLA to slow down Gerhart and force Luck to pass.

Ted Miller
  (3:15 PM)

The Craft-Luck difference is interesting. Craft is the sad-sack senior with another shot. Luck is the hot-shot redshirt freshman who beat out the senior because of his great talent. My guess is Gerhart gets some yards -- 90 to 105 -- but doesn't blow up against a tough Bruins D. Then the QBs will have to make plays. So will that be Craft or Luck?

Mark (Mimai)

How do u see the outcome of the OU-Miami game

Ted Miller
  (3:17 PM)

I sure liked Miami better a week ago... That's a tough trip for the Sooners, though... Harris and the 'Canes bounce back.

Mike (Oakland, CA)

Do you think Tedford could stand to learn a lot from the pro football coach across the bay? The calm thing is great when we're playing well, but it's clear these guys gave up and that starts with the coaching.

Ted Miller
  (3:20 PM)

After Cal lost at Washington in 2007, I walked past a locker room where Tedford was going ballistic on his team... for maybe 10 minutes. He's calm and cool but he's not a robot. And keep in mind the tirade didn't really work. I don't think a lack of fire is the problem. I think everything went wrong for Cal at Oregon and everything went right for the Ducks.

Jake (Honolulu, HI)

Who needs it more? USC or Cal?

Ted Miller
  (3:21 PM)

Cal... cal can wash away the residual grime of the Oregon game... The Bears are still building toward elite status... Folks will talk of the fall of the Trojan empire if USC loses, but Pete Carroll and his program don't NEED to beat Cal.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Ted will you pleas show this rule so that eveery one understands it is where the contact is initiated.1. Player Safety.Helmet Crown and Defenseless Players (Rule 9-1-3). The committee has refinedthe rules regarding the use of the helmet as a weapon and the targeting of defenselessplayers. (The Points of Emphasis section of the NCAA Football Rules and Interpretationslists a number of examples of defenseless players.) Emphasis on these actions highlightsconcern about potentially debilitating injuries. It is now a foul when a player targets anopponent and initiates contact with the crown (top) of the helmet. This rule is intendedprimarily for the safety of the player who initiates the contact. It is also a foul if a playertargets a defenseless opponent and initiates contact above the shoulders. Each of these isa personal foul and thus carries a 15-yard penalty.

Ted Miller
  (3:22 PM)

There you go

Mike (destin, fl)

Pick a defense, pick an offense to go with if you could have a team this year? I'd pick Oklahoma's defense and maybe Oregon's offense.

Ted Miller
  (3:24 PM)

You obviously only saw Oregon-Cal... but I've learned not to bet against Chip Kelly. I like OU's defense. But I'd take Alabama. Great athletes, great system. As for offense, what about Houston?

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Best kickoff return man so far?Chris Owusu,SOPH WR STAN 8ret 355yds 44.4avg 94lng 3TD's D.J. Monroe,FRESH RB TEX 6ret 309yds 51.5avg 91lng 2TD's

Ted Miller
  (3:25 PM)

No idea... but thosee numbers for both are fancy.... first one to five TDs this year wins?

Mike (Oakland, CA)

But why is it that everything goes wrong any time they face any adversity on the road? Can you name a single impressive road win they've had in years (the exception being getting extremely lucky at Oregon in 07)? Despite their talent they consistently play scared and confused on the road.

Ted Miller
  (3:27 PM)

Gosh Mike... the 2007 road win is "lucky"? I thought that was just a great game. Hey, the road is tough. Most teams aren't as good on the road -- Georgia might be the exception. All but one of USC's losses came on the road. Of course, if Cal wants to make the next step, it's got to produce a clean sheet on the road.

andrew (elkhart in)

do you think notre dames offense is better than washington and will be able to beat them this weekend and what about USC can notre dame finally beat them this year?

Ted Miller
  (3:29 PM)

1. Yes. ND's offense should have it's way with the UW defense. 2. ND, playing at home, has its best shot in years vs. USC. Not that I'd take the Irish if I were in Vegas unless I got some points.

erin (omaha)

why are teams scared to come and play on the smurf turf?

Ted Miller
  (3:32 PM)

1. It's hard place to win; 2. It's not a huge $ payout; 3. It's still a no-win situation. Arizona State loses at No. 21 Georgia and folks talk about a "quality loss." Do you think if the Sun Devils lost 20-17 at Boise State, the term "quality loss" would come up? And Boise is ranked in the top-10.

David (NJ)

Ted, can you see the Cal season repeating 2007 if they don't pull out a win Saturday? With Tedford having never won in Los Angeles I am almost certain a loss to USC would be the bridge to a 3 game losing streak that will have the fan base give up by mid-october.

Ted Miller
  (3:33 PM)

It could happen, but you'd think that the players are mentally tougher than in 2007. There were lots of things going on with the 2007 team behind the scenes that don't seem to be happening this year. Just compare the personalities of the top stars: DeSean Jackson vs. Jahvid Best.

Jake (Honolulu, HI)

So how does Cal and Penn St. remain ranked ahead of Oregon and Iowa respectively?

Ted Miller
  (3:34 PM)

Because some voters -- the coaches, the Harris poll -- are ignorant. In both cases it's shameful.

Khoa Doan (Vietnam)

Ted,What's up with OSU? They're supposed to be the sleeper of the Pac-10.

Ted Miller
  (3:36 PM)

Long-distance question of the day! The Beavers have been able to reload on the O-line and on their defense the past couple of years. The reloading has looked more like a rebuilding so far. But keep in mind, even if they lose Saturday at Arizona State they will be 2-3. That's the magic number! The previous three seasons, they started 2-3 and still finished in the national rankings...

Jim (Portland)

Are you aware of any impact players who will not play this weekend due to loved ones missing or dead from the earthquakes/tsunamis?

Ted Miller
  (3:37 PM)

Not yet... but you'd have to assume there's some impact in the Pac-10 due the high number of Samoan players... let's just hope for the best.

Roscoe (Oakland)

Is ASU the best defense in the Pac10 this year?

Ted Miller
  (3:39 PM)

The Sun Devils are good... but let's see how they do in Pac-10 play. At this point, they certainly rank up there with USC and UCLA.

Jake (Louisiana)

ted, prediction of the LSU Georgia game,

Ted Miller
  (3:40 PM)

I predict a great tailgate in Athens. I don't feel like we really know either of these teams yet. But I've got a lot of buddies in Atlanta who'd skin me if I didn't pick the Dawgs.

erin (omaha)

how come you skipped my question? why are teams scared to play on the smurf turf

Ted Miller
  (3:40 PM)

I answered it.... scroll down.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Your Spiders are 4-0. Are they going to go all the way?

Ted Miller
  (3:41 PM)

You mean for a second-consecutive title? Maybe. But how long before someone scoops up Mike London?

Tim (Chicago)

Clausen or Locker?

Ted Miller
  (3:44 PM)

I'm rating Clausen a top-five Heisman candidate, but if I were starting a team I'd go with Locker. I know Locker. I don't know Clausen, which means I can only "know of" him. So as a personality, I'd favor Locker, who's self-effacing and team-first. Again, I don't know that Clausen is not, but I'd go with what I trust.

Sean Carpin (Philipsburg, PA)

How do you see USC faring the rest of the year without power back Stafon Johnson?

Ted Miller
  (3:46 PM)

I don't think Johnson's loss will be a huge hit to the running game, though he's so good near the goal line. Allen Bradford, C.J. Gable, Curtis McNeal, Marc Tyler -- these are all outstanding talents who can produce. But Johnson always struck me as the most mature of the group. He's never whined about carries and he seems to be a true leader. That might be missed.

Tyler (Madison)

Really, its the longest national football rivalry but never gets any attention, I know the Big Ten is down this year, and they are not powerhouse teams, but feel with a Badger's win they should be in the top 25 at 5-0, are you going to take the Badger's or the Gophers in this game for the Battle of the Axe?

Ted Miller
  (3:48 PM)

Badgers... and 5-0 is hard to keep out of the top-25. My buddy and Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg says he's underestimated the Badgers...

Al Groh (Charlottesville)

Ted, I'm packing up my office to make room for Mike London as we speak.

Ted Miller
  (3:48 PM)


Gordon (Iowa)

How do you think Jahvid Best and Cal's O line will stack up against USC's defense on Saturday? Do you think he could be a front runner for the Heisman with a big performance?

Ted Miller
  (3:50 PM)

Best needs to redeem himself for the 55 yards at Oregon if he wants to stay in the race.... if he gets 100 yards and Cal wins, I'd say he'd be back in the hunt. Cal has a good O-line. It just didn't show it last week. My guess is the Bears will look a lot better in their home stadium where the offense can communicate and hear the snap count.

samohopar (los angeles)

If UCLA wins on Saturday, do you think they have a legitimate shot of making it to 8/9 wins instead of the 6/7 you projected?

Ted Miller
  (3:51 PM)

Yes. Still, the offense must continue to improve. And I wonder how smooth that transition back to Kevin Prince at QB will go. Got to like with Neuheisel is building in Westwood.

Tim (IL)

What do you think of the talk that Pete Carroll is now paying for not being involved on Offense?

Ted Miller
  (3:53 PM)

Not being involved? Hmm. I doubt that. In fact, I wonder if Bates has been limited by instructions handed down by Carroll. Despite his loose-goosey rep, Carroll likes to play it safe and run the ball on offense and rely on his defense.

MACK BROWN (austin tx)

ted, no way the computers/bcs screws us again if we go 13-0

Ted Miller
  (3:53 PM)

I don't think so. 13-0 would mean Texas is playing the SEC champ for the title. Most likely.

MillerDuck (Eugene)

The Oregon Defense played lights out on Saturday against Cal...fluke or foreshadowing of rest of the season?

Ted Miller
  (3:55 PM)

Chip Kelly was praising his defense all off-season. I think the Ducks are solid on defense -- their team speed is outstanding. The loss of CB Thurmond hurts, though. Let's see how the secondary responds.

randi (bluffton in )

do you think charlie weis has the best team he has had under his tenure so far?

Ted Miller
  (3:56 PM)

No, his best team was 2005.

sweatervested1 (Space)

Ted, who is the best team in the country? Come on!

Ted Miller
  (3:57 PM)


Ted Miller
  (3:58 PM)

Kidding sweatervested! Where have you been, these should be shiny happy days for you!

Dan (Washington, DC)

Ted - any chance the Pac 10 ever institutes a conference championship game anytime soon?

Ted Miller
  (3:59 PM)

Not really... probably have to add two teams and that doesn't seem front-and-center right now. But I think the chances are better under Larry Scott than they were under Tom Hansen

tony (alabama)

If every one is saying bama is the best team in the cuntry do you think it will take them winnig a big road game to put them on top or a lose from fl. or tex.

Ted Miller
  (4:01 PM)

Not everyone is saying that but the Tide has been the most consistently impressive team. I don't think the SEC has much to worry about. My guess is the champion, as long as it has no more than one loss, plays for the title. Some folks in other conferences might object, but that's probably the way the computers and pollsters will rate things.

Ted Miller
  (4:02 PM)

Folks... fighting the urge to stay but other duties are calling... good questions. See you next week.