Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 6, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin
  (4:03 PM)

Just bounced into the chat room. It's kind of hard to keep from getting lost around this hotel. Let's get started talking about Texas-Alabama and everything else around Big 12 football.

Matt (Jacksonville, NC)

Tim, do you have any ideal who will be the Def. Coordinator at Texas A&M?

Tim Griffin
  (4:07 PM)

Matt: I'm hearing Phil Bennett's name a lot for that job. He's experienced at that school and in the position of defensive coordinator. He also was head coach at SMU before heading to Pittsburgh.

Jeremy (Knoxville)

Who is your pick for the new Texas Tech coach and who do you think will actually get the job?

Tim Griffin
  (4:09 PM)

Jeremy: I think the best candidate out there might be Kevin Sumlin at Houston. Don't know if he's interested or willing to move with Keenum and all those receivers expected to come back. I think the coach who might get it will likely be either Ruffin McNeill or Tommy Tuberville. Don't know if they can get around Art Briles' huge buyout in his Baylor contract.

Logan (SLC)

Is Neb. a top ten team next year even losing SUUUUHHHHHHH!!! Also you think we still run the option a little like we saw in the bowl game?

Tim Griffin
  (4:11 PM)

Logan: I sat in on the discussion of colleague Mark Schlabach's preseason top 25 that will be released after the BCS title game. I think Nebraska will be in the top 10. Also, I loved the use of the Wildcat and Rex Burkhead in that game. That was a wrinkle that most hadn't seen. If the Cornhuskers can run the ball like they did against Arizona in 2010, they will be in very good shape.

stephanie (cincy)

Tim, Ohio State Buckeye here. I am really hoping UT wins it all. Mack Brown, the UT players and fans are the the best there are fun,classy and respectful. If those things won football games UT would be the NC's every year. HOOK 'EM!

Tim Griffin
  (4:11 PM)

Stephanie: Sounds like you might be a closet Longhorn fan, there.

Tim Griffin
  (4:13 PM)

Jonas: I think Virginia Tech will be a top 10 team next season in most preseason polls as well. I might go with the Cornhuskers to have a better shot at a one-loss or undefeated season. The Cornhuskers have the majority of their tough games at home next season. Should give them a break.

Mark (Dallas, TX)

What are your thoughts regarding the lengthy layoff between the conference championship games and tomorrow night's game?

Tim Griffin
  (4:16 PM)

Mark: Always seems that the long layoff affects teams -- particularly Big Ten schools that have an even longer layoff than others without access to a playoff game. It will be interesting to see how much rust is apparent for both teams. If one team might be susceptible it would likely be Texas. Alabama looks to have played consistently all season.

Jason (Dallas)

Any truth to the rumor that Leach would go to A&M to be the OC?

Tim Griffin
  (4:17 PM)

Jason, I've heard that on the message boards and it doesn't make much sense. If Leach wants to stay in coaching, his best option might be as an NFL offensive coordinator.

Mo (NYC)

I'd be curious to know your thoughts on how legit the Texas D is. Sure, they have impressive statistics, but is there anything to the argument that they didn't really play the toughest schedule this year?

Tim Griffin
  (4:22 PM)

Mo: I agree the Longhorns haven't exactly played a schedule of world beaters although they do lead the nation in rush defense. Alabama will be the toughest rushing attack they have faced. It will be a challenge for them to check Mark Ingram during the entire game.

Rob (Omaha, NE)

Tim, did Nebraska's bowl performance affect any opinions around ESPN of Texas' prospects heading into the title game? The lack of respect for Texas coming in has been kind of an indirect disrespect to the Huskers for shutting down McCoy and the Texas O.

Tim Griffin
  (4:23 PM)

Rob: Nebraska's effort in the bowl games opened a lot of eyes around the nation. And maybe it might have built a little more respect for Texas. But I still think the nine sacks and three interceptions that Colt McCoy and the close victory over Nebraska did more damage for the Longhorns' national reputation than any game this season.

Jeremy (Knoxville)

What has to go right for UT and/or wrong for Bama for UT to come out with a win?

Tim Griffin
  (4:24 PM)

Jeremy: I think Alabama needs to stay ahead of the chains and stay away from long down-and-distance situations. If they can do that, their offense should be able to hum. I also think that Texas needs to get a cheap touchdown and dominate the special teams to win the game. Points may be at premium against the Crimson Tide. It will be interesting to see how the Longhorns attack the Alabama front

Tim Griffin
  (4:24 PM)

Jeremy: I think Alabama needs to stay ahead of the chains and stay away from long down-and-distance situations. If they can do that, their offense should be able to hum. I also think that Texas needs to get a cheap touchdown and dominate the special teams to win the game. Points may be at premium against the Crimson Tide. It will be interesting to see how the Longhorns attack the Alabama front

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will there be a College Football Bowl Game in the future at the New Meadowlands Stadium? I know that there will be a College Football Bowl Game in December 2010 at Yankee Stadium.

Tim Griffin
  (4:26 PM)

Chris: I've got to believe a savvy game promoter will try to start a game the Meadowlands. How about the return of the old College Football Classic? Having two top teams play up there to kick off the season would be pretty neat.

Mark (Carbondale, IL)

What the Salukis should accomplish to be eligible to join Big 12, or Big 10?

Tim Griffin
  (4:26 PM)

Mark: Getting a Division I-A football would be a start.

Tyler (Aggieland)

Hey tim love the blog. My choice for A&M's new D Coordinator is Deruyter from Air Force, shut down the spread in the mountain west and houston in the bowl game. Also, what are the chances Von Miller returns for his senior year? He could be a beast with another year in the weight room...

Ron (Montana)

Question about Kansas Football. With the official announcement of the entire coaching staff, which member is the most important to the rebuilding of the Kansas program?

Tim Griffin
  (4:28 PM)

I've also heard some good things about the Air Force coordinator and was impressed with the dismantling they had of Houston in the bowl game.Whoever gets the job really needs Von Miller back for another season. If he departs for the NFL draft, the Aggies will be looking at some immediate help from that young defensive unit that struggled during the season.

Dave (NYC)

Do you think Texas Tech continues trending in a positive direction or will they regress without Leach? By the way, what is wrong with him? Seems like he had a little God complex.

Tim Griffin
  (4:31 PM)

Dave: It will be hard for the Red Raiders to keep their progress without Leach. Tech received more national publicity with Leach than any other coach. And I don't know about Leach's problems, other than the Adam James stories.

stephanie (cincy)

Oh, I am out of the closet. Ever tailgated in Austin? I am a fan forever!

Tim Griffin
  (4:33 PM)

Stephanie: Even better than Hiney Gate at Columbus.

Ron (Montana)

Tim, You failed to answer my Kansas football question. Who is the most important coaching hire on Gill's staff?

Tim Griffin
  (4:35 PM)

Ron: Because the Jayhawks aleady have a semblance of an offense, I would say Carl Torbush.

pookybear (Des Moines)

You kind of remind me of Mack Brown. He has more hair, but you look younger.

Tim Griffin
  (4:36 PM)

Pooky Bear: I wish I had his wallet.

Chris (Charlotte, NC)

With Boise St. returning 21 or 22 starters are they pre-season #1 or just #2 behind Alabama?

Kyle (Jacksonville)

Hey Tim, how do you think Texas will fair next year? They are losing some pretty major roles on their offense and defense. The future seems bright with their ability to recruit great players, but more in the next two years how do you think things will turn out for them?

Tim Griffin
  (4:40 PM)

Kyle: It's gonna be a challenge to fill in for Colt McCoy, Sergio Kindle, Shipley, Muckelroy and the rest. Because Gilbert will be Texas' likely starter, you might consider them a little young at that position. I've got Oklahoma and Texas as my current co-favorites in the South.

Nathan (TX)

Before the conference championship games, a lot of pundits were claiming the following:Florida matches up well against TexasAlabama matches up well against FloridaTexas matches up well against AlabamaAdd seven points to Texas in the B12CG (pretend the end-zone interception was a touchdown). Would your prediction for the NCG be any different?

Tim Griffin
  (4:41 PM)

Probably not much after the Tide's performance against Florida in the SEC championship game. That was a revelation for a lot of people.

Scott (St. Louis)

Tim, with the revelation that Zac Lee will have to have surgery on his throwing shoulder this offseason, coupled with his better play in the bowl game, do you see Nebraska's offense being more explosive next year?

Tim Griffin
  (4:42 PM)

Scott: Could be, although I still would like some receivers who would allow Lee/Green to throw the ball more downfield. Maybe the recruiting class will provide that.

Ryan ((Denver))

With most people thinking Missouri would be the best choice for the big 10 to expand, who would take their place in the Big 12? TCU seem like the right choice but the north/south line up would be wierd. Do they go to an East West line up?

Tim Griffin
  (4:45 PM)

Ryan: That would all have to be determined. I think the East/West might be the best way to break up the Texas/Oklahoma logjam in the South that has accounted for every championship since 2004. I do see Missouri being very interested in the Big Ten. The comments from the governor were telling -- particularly because they came before the Big Ten even made its statement about expanding.

Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)

Would you mind just calling me "Pooky Bear" for a minute in a reply to this question? I think my wife would get a huge kick out of that.

Tim Griffin
  (4:46 PM)

Whatever, "Pooky Bear." How about a question.

Chris (Charlotte, NC)

You didn't answer the Boise question so I will ask another. Kellen Moore pre-season Heaisman favorite? Not sure he wasn't in NY this year as the #1 QB in the country with 39/3 TD/INT ratio and 2 other QB's were, lol.

Tim Griffin
  (4:47 PM)

Chris: Really wasn't impressed with Boise's offense in the Fiesta Bowl.I was more impressed with their defense and special teams. Moore's going to have to show me something as next season progresses.

Dustin (Dumas, TX)

Tim, if Missou SHOULD leave for the Big 10, who do you think the Big 12 should pick up?

Tim Griffin
  (4:52 PM)

Dustin: I think TCU does the most for football. Or you could head west and try for either BYU or Utah. Ultimate excitement would be for Arkansas, although I don't see them leaving the SEC. Or my personal favorite in terms of travel appeal -- New Mexico. All would be a good choice.

Tim Griffin
  (4:52 PM)

Dustin: I think TCU does the most for football. Or you could head west and try for either BYU or Utah. Ultimate excitement would be for Arkansas, although I don't see them leaving the SEC. Or my personal favorite in terms of travel appeal -- New Mexico. All would be a good choice.

Chris (Houston)

"Probably not much after the Tide's performance against Florida in the SEC championship game. That was a revelation for a lot of people."A revelation for a lot of people or and apparition for Alabama? Does anyone remember what Alabama had to do to beat Auburn or Tennessee?Also, I don't get the Saban is the master manipulator/motivator talk; especially when compaired to Brown. January 1 2003 tEXAS 35 - lsu 20. That LSU team went on to win the national title the very next year, so it isn't as if there was some kind of huge talent difference.

Tim Griffin
  (4:54 PM)

Chris: Remember that Texas had some struggles against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech. And I think the talent differential is a little different from the 2003 Cotton Bowl than it is now -- particularly in the trenches.

Tim Griffin
  (4:54 PM)

Chris: Remember that Texas had some struggles against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech. And I think the talent differential is a little different from the 2003 Cotton Bowl than it is now -- particularly in the trenches.

Tim Griffin
  (4:54 PM)

Chris: Remember that Texas had some struggles against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech. And I think the talent differential is a little different from the 2003 Cotton Bowl than it is now -- particularly in the trenches.

Tim Griffin
  (4:54 PM)

Chris: Remember that Texas had some struggles against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech. And I think the talent differential is a little different from the 2003 Cotton Bowl than it is now -- particularly in the trenches.

Brett (King of Prussia, PA)

Who do you think was at a greater disadvantage in the Alamo Bowl? Texas Tech without a coach, or Michigan State without 14 players? I'm a Penn Stater and even though Michigan State didn't pull off the upset, I was pretty impressed with what they accomplished considering what they had... and on second thought, how much more air mail would Texas Tech have delivered if Leach was on the sideline against MSU's secondary?

josh (california)

Anyone still think TCU is the best team in Texas?

Tim Griffin
  (4:56 PM)

Remember that Texas had some struggles against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech. And I think the talent differential is a little different from the 2003 Cotton Bowl than it is now -- particularly in the trenches.

Dustin (Dumas, TX)

Tim: Should the situation happen where Missou left for the Big 10, TCU gets picked up by the Big 12, do you think Boise makes the jump to MW? Or does Boise keep their cupcake league?

Tim Griffin
  (4:58 PM)

Dustin: Might be more pressure for Boise to play in a stronger league after its recent taste of success.

Queen Elizabeth (England)

Tim, best Big XII coach of the 2000s, Bob Stoops or Mack Brown. If Texas wins a title, Brown, right?

Tim Griffin
  (4:59 PM)

Queen: Stoops does have six conference titles including three straight from 2006-08. But Brown's two national titles -- if he gets them -- would trump him.

Biggy Mac (Omaha, NE)

Do you like McCoy or Young more? I would take Young any day of the week...Your pick?

Tim Griffin
  (5:00 PM)

Think I would take Vince as well, although Colt can really seal his legacy with an upset tomorrow night.

Chris (Houston)

I am aware of Texas' struggles against Oklahoma and Nebraska, and the slow start against Tech. Hell, everyone is aware of that thanks to the bang up job the guys with tape recorders and microphones have done in the past month. I was asking if any of those guys recall the close calls that Alabama had with Tennessee and Auburn. Also, would you like to explain to me the fascination with Saban's abilities over Brown's, given their head to head matchup and bowl records?

Tim Griffin
  (5:02 PM)

Chris: That's what we are there for.And I'm just saying that Saban's talent level with Brown is more equal in this game than ever before. Muschamp will be an X-factor for the Longhorns because of his knowledge of Saban and his program.

Åsmund (Austin)

Do you think Sheffield can take the starting QB position at Tech next year?

Tim Griffin
  (5:03 PM)

Asmund: That will be the most interesting quarterback battle in the Big 12 this spring. You could make a case for either Potts or Sheffield winning out.

Tim Griffin
  (5:03 PM)

Guys, thanks again for all of the good questions. Enjoy the game tomorrow night and we'll check back soon. Thanks,Tim