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January 14, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin
  (3:01 PM)

Good afternoon from toasty Omaha. The temperature has soared into the mid-40s this afternoon -- Chamber of Commerce weather for sure. Let's chat about some Big 12 football. Fire away.

Techsaninutah (Utah)

How many recruits does Tech lose now that Lincoln Riley has apparently been given his walking orders?

Tim Griffin
  (3:02 PM)

It's hard to determine that number. Riley did a great job coaching late in the season and also in the bowl game. He's a comer despite being 26. I hear he's interviewing at Southern Mississippi. I wouldn't expect he'll be out of work very long.

Brandon (Ames, Iowa)

With Paul Rhoads in place and the emphasis on our terrible Defence, we saw a drastic change (IE our players learned to tackle.) Has our low talent pool capped or do you think this is going to keep rising. The Cyclones schedule is incredibly difficult this next year, it would be nice if we could improve with it.

Tim Griffin
  (3:04 PM)

Brandon:The job that Rhoads and Wally Burnham did in getting that defense back together was masterful. It was fitting that Ter'ran Benton came up with the big play to seal the bowl victory. But like I've said, I could see ISU being better next year and it not being shown in the Cyclones' won-loss record. They are getting the tough South schedule with Texas-Texas Tech-Oklahoma and adding Utah and Northern Illinois in the non-conference part of the schedule. It's gonna be hard to duplicate this season's 7-6 mark.

Dave (Tampa)

Of the top candidates interviewed for A&M DC are any really able to bring back the wrecking crew or at least a respectable defense that could get the Aggies in to division contention?

Tim Griffin
  (3:05 PM)

Dave: I don't necessarily see it because none of the guys who have interviewed have any idea what the Wrecking Crew was like back in the day. But that being said, I would think that Boise State's Justin Wilcox and Air Force's Tim DeRuyter could come in and help the A&M defense. But it will be a difficult transition for them, particularly in the South Division.

Dave S. (Omaha)

Hi Tim welcome to Omaha. I have just a few quick questions. Other then the obvious quarterback issue for the Huskers what do you think our biggest challenge will be next year? Is it possible our team made such a giant leap in just a short time? And could one player like Suh really define the defense causing a drop off next year?

Tim Griffin
  (3:07 PM)

Dave: Thanks for your warm welcome and your even warmer weather! Biggest challenge for Nebraska will fill the big shoes of Suh. I'd also like for Shawn Watson to bring the tight end back to the passing game again. I look for a tight battle at I-back between Burkhead and Helu. And it does kind of explain some of Lee's problems with his elbow injury. But Bo Pelini seems to think his defense will be fine without Suh. Who am I argue about that pronouncement?

Steve P (Dallas, TX)

So Tommy Tuberville comes in and proclaims he wants to keep the coaching staff intact and then turns around and lets go two of the most recognizable faces of the program, what gives? Will there be recruit backlash?

Tim Griffin
  (3:08 PM)

Steve: I would think there might be. Ruffin McNeill was such a respected recruiter across Texas. Letting him go can't help Tuberville's transition.

Craig (Ames)

Hey, got a question about my Cyclones. I have read you say several times that you think that ISU will have a better team but worse record based on the schedule next year. How many wins do you think we can realistically hope for? Do you think we can surprise enough teams to become bowl eligible again?

Tim Griffin
  (3:09 PM)

Craig: As I said earlier, it's going to be tough for the Cyclones. If they can get to five or six wins, it will be a step forward for Paul Rhoads, considering the change in cross-division opponents.

Zac Lee (not really) (Nebraska)

Hey Tim,Do you think I (Zac Lee) will be the starter next year for Nebraska's opener? Or do you think Cody Green, etc. will beat me out?

Tim Griffin
  (3:09 PM)

Zac: I would prepare to battle for your starting job this spring, but it looks like you're a little ahead right now.

Ryan (Lincoln)

Tim, who are potential breakout offensive and defensive starts for the Big 12 next year?

Tim Griffin
  (3:11 PM)

Ryan: How about Jared Crick from Nebraska, Blaine Gabbert from Missouri, Alexander Robinson from Iowa State, Ryan Broyles from Oklahoma and Aaron Williams from Texas to name a few. Keep an eye on all of those guys in 2010.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Tim, Is there anyone more graciuos than Colt McCoy? In a time were there is so much negativity in pro sports. Ie: Infidelity, guns in locker rooms, strip club brawls, dog fights maybe Col'ts blessing is to transend the game? Im glad the media is coverng this. Hi have a feeling when it is all said in done Colt McCoys impact on football will be far bigger than a National Championship.

Tim Griffin
  (3:12 PM)

Blake: I would agree with you. Colt McCoy was a legitimate class act throughout his career. I've been lucky to cover a bunch of them over the years like David Robinson, Warren Moon and others. He was a breath of fresh air and will go down in history as one of the greatest players in Texas football history -- whether he wins a national championship or not.

Sara (Boston, MA)

Are you hearing that Muschamp told TN to move on?

Tim Griffin
  (3:13 PM)

Sara: Yes I did hear that. I guess the Big Orange go to Plan B. I wonder if that could include Mike Gundy?

Dave (Tampa)

Ruffin to A&M?

Tim Griffin
  (3:13 PM)

Dave:Interesting scenario. Don't know if he calls defenses like what Mike Sherman wants. But he's a good candidate.

Sam (Odessa, TX)

Why isn't Mack getting credit for not pushing Colt to play through the injury? He did the right thing by shutting him down. I don't know if many coaches would've done that given the circumstances surrounding the game. Not going to name names but a certain coach in Oklahoma might have done otherwise. Thanks.

Tim Griffin
  (3:15 PM)

Sam, I don't know if you cast that wide of a brush. But it's clear that McCoy couldn't play and Brown realized it. In a national championship game, that says something. Also, remember a certain Oklahoma coach didn't have DeMarco Murray play in last season's championship game against Florida. He would have helped the Sooners in that one.

Dave (Omaha)

Why aren't defensive prospects knocking down Bo Pelini's door to play for the Huskers? We haven't seen much of a surge of interest despite the strong Husker showing on defense this year.

Tim Griffin
  (3:16 PM)

Dave:Don't know why that isn't happy. One would think that all of the publicity that Suh received would be a boon for the Cornhuskers' recruiting.

Ryan (Lincoln)

Big 12 head coach most likely to pull a Kiffin -- to take off for greener pastures?

Tim Griffin
  (3:18 PM)

Ryan: Do be honest, I don't see any of the guys in the Big 12 being that crass. Also, I think that Brown and Stoops are at destination jobs. Pelini is close to being there -- except for maybe a job like LSU or Alabama. Snyder and Pinkel are entrenched. Maybe Gundy or Tuberville if the right job comes along. But I don't think they leave for most jobs out there.

David (Texas)

Are teams going to stay away from Leach until the lawsuits are over?

Tim Griffin
  (3:19 PM)

Yes. I think "The Pirate's" image will need some buffing before he gets his next college job. The NFL might be a different story. I'm hearing the next place he might surface will be as an NFL offensive coordinator.

Jake P (DC)

Tim, us Horns fans will continue to thank our lucky stars that Muschamp is concretely planted in Austin for the time being. That said, do you see anyone actually leaving the Texas coaching staff? Lots of criticism of o-line coaching this past season (which supposedly led to Texas losing a top recruit)....

Tim Griffin
  (3:19 PM)

Jake:Even with the criticism, I don't see any Texas coaches on the hot seat. Mack Brown hasn't fired a coach since he arrived at Austin. I don't see him starting now.

Orville (Lubbock)

Will Robert Griffin be ready to play for Baylor next year and if so will he be as good as his expectations after the injury?

Tim Griffin
  (3:20 PM)

Orville: I'm hearing that Griffin is ahead of schedule and should be ready to play during the spring. His return will be critical if the Bears have any hopes of making a bowl next season.

ron (Ponca City, Oklahoma)

Will Travis Lewis and Jeremy Beal Stay or go?

Tim Griffin
  (3:21 PM)

Ron Ron: We'll find out tomorrow. But I'm hearing both are leaning to stay.

Andrew (Austin)

Any chance Tennessee is interested in Greg Davis instead?

Tim Griffin
  (3:21 PM)

Andrew:I wouldn't bet on it.

DoubleDV (Dumas, TX)

What's your rankings for the conference next year, top to bottom?

Tim Griffin
  (3:22 PM)

Double DV: Check back next week. But I'm leaning to Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri at the top.

Jared (Denver)

Who wins the Big 12 next year? There is a lot of turnover from the South!

Tim Griffin
  (3:22 PM)

Jared: Whoever wins the Texas/OU game has the inside track. I'll say Texas right now, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Sooners win and claim the 2010 title.

vatsa (no mans land, TX)

Tim, if Leach gets hired at Tennesse, do you think SEC defenses will be shredded and all the SEC hype would come down?

Tim Griffin
  (3:23 PM)

Vatsa: First, I don't think Leach will get hired by Tennessee. He wasn't picked last season and he came then loading a lot less baggage than this year.

jake (florida)

With kids leaving CU, when will Bohn and Benson realize that Hawkins is not the right man?

Tim Griffin
  (3:23 PM)

Jake: That realization might come to the CU braintrust midway through the season.

David (Texas)

I would imagine Art Briles keeps a bag with a change of clothes in his office just in case another team comes calling!

Tim Griffin
  (3:24 PM)

David: I think Briles' hefty buyout should keep those clothes back home in his closet. I think Briles is focused on the job ahead at trying to get the Bears back to a bowl game.

Landy Jones (Norman)

Will I follow in Sam's steps and win the Heisman my sophmore season?

Tim Griffin
  (3:25 PM)

Landry: You're going to need to play all of your games like the Sun Bowl to do it.

Shane (Charlotte)

Why isn't Bret Venerables or Kevin Wilson up for any job hirings over this offseason? I guess other people finally realize they aren't good coaches?

Tim Griffin
  (3:25 PM)

Shane: Actually, I think it's the case that coaches are hot when their teams are most successful. With the Sooners coming off an 8-5 season, it's tough to drum up much interest.

vatsa (no mans land, TX)

Tim, with RGIII back, who is the big 12 doormat? ATM or Baylor?

Tim Griffin
  (3:26 PM)

Vatsa:Could be either one of those teams or maybe even Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are really going to miss Zac Robinson's leadership next season.

Marty (Omaha)

I know there is a huge love fest for the South, but Bo hasn't been wrong all year don't you think the Huskers will be the team to beat in the Big 12 a lot of others think so.

Tim Griffin
  (3:27 PM)

Marty: I still want to see more consistent improvement in the offense. You won't win many games 17-14 in the Big 12, particularly against the South Division. Shawn Watson needs to grow his offensive unit during the off-season before I'm convinced.

Dan (NYC)

What is the deadline to declare for the draft tomorrow?

Tim Griffin
  (3:28 PM)

Dan:Tomorrow is the deadline for juniors and sophomores who want to declare early for the draft. Should be an interesting list to see who stays and goes.

Josh (California)

Think Gilbert is going to be as good or better than McCoy?

Tim Griffin
  (3:28 PM)

Josh: I was impressed with his first major work of his freshman season, but it will be a huge step forward to match McCoy and his career record of wins .

Mike (Omaha)

Any takeaways from your dinner with Big Suh? Impressions?

Tim Griffin
  (3:30 PM)

Mike: Very impressed with Suh and his family. Great steaks and good company at Omaha Prime. Got a tasty fillet that was as good as any I've ever eaten. And Suh is a legitimately good kid -- as well as the finest defensive player of his generation and the best Blackshirt of all time. Am I overstepping the praise? I don't think so.

John (Boston)

To Vasta: Leachs offense hasnt faired too well when it has played sec teams in bowl games....in fact look at the stats big 12 spreads do about 50% average production vs sec defense....

Tim Griffin
  (3:31 PM)

John: Which is the reason the SEC is 12-3 against Big 12 teams since 2003 and 0-5 in bowls the last two seasons.

Ryan (Lincoln)

What does Dan Hawkins need to do to keep his job?

Tim Griffin
  (3:31 PM)

Win nine games and make a bowl trip. And having his team in North Division title contention also would help.

DoubleDV (Dumas, TX)

You figure Texas/Oklahoma vs. Nebraska in the Big 12 title game? What do you think is a better match up, for a more exciting game?

Tim Griffin
  (3:32 PM)

Double DV: I love the idea of a rematch from this season's championship game, but I think any of those games would be intriguing.And remember that Texas has to go to Nebraska during the regular season next year.

Ben (Atlanta)

Tim, with so many former SEC defensiver coordinators/head coaches coaches in the Big 12 now, Pelini, Muschamp, Rhoads and Tuberville... do you see the offensive trend in the Big 12 starting to balance out?

Tim Griffin
  (3:33 PM)

Ben:Yes I do. The Big 12's defenses bounced back a little bit this season. For that, the defense against spread offenses is the biggest reason.

Heywood (Omaha)

If Nebraska comes to Washington and posts a really good game say 42-13 or something like that would they be the team to beat in 2010

Tim Griffin
  (3:34 PM)

Heywood: Don't think so, yet. Keep an eye on teams like Alabama and Boise State at the start of next season.

Ryan (Austin)

With Shipley and Earl Thomas both gone, who do you think is going to be the primary punt returner for Texas next year?

Tim Griffin
  (3:34 PM)

Ryan: Considering their speed, I might look at D.J. Monroe or Marquise Goodwin.

Dave (Omaha)

Tim, do you believe the SEC is a better conference overall than the Big 12? Seems to me it all cycles and right now the SEC may be in a slightly higher place- I'm really tired of hearing how wonderful the SEC is. I'm not convinced.

Tim Griffin
  (3:36 PM)

Dave: I go with the SEC now because of the success in head-to-head bowl games. Like I said before the bowls, the Big 12 needed to have some success in the Cotton, Independence and BCS title games against SEC opponents. Instead the Big 12 went 0-3.

Gambling Man (Las Vegas)

Since they played all those freshmen last year, and have some experience, is A&M a real sleeper to win the South?

Tim Griffin
  (3:36 PM)

Aggies need to show some substantial defensive improvement. They got nine starters back and Von Miller's return is huge. But the defensive coordinator will set the tone for what they are able to do.

Ryan (Lincoln)

Who has better numbers next year: Garrett Gilbert or Zac Lee?

Tim Griffin
  (3:37 PM)

Ryan: Because of the offense he plays in, I'll go with Gilbert by a nose.

Bo (Dallas)

Huskers start 2010 rated ahead of OU and TX in Top 25 polls?

Tim Griffin
  (3:37 PM)

Bo:Maybe OU, but I wouldn't think Texas.

Jason (Port Arthur, TX)

How long do you see Mack staying on? Will has to be itching in his shoes.

Tim Griffin
  (3:38 PM)

Considering the rebuilding nature of the Longhorns in 2010, I would expect Brown to stay at least through 2011 to enjoy the spoils of the rebuilding with his incoming group. So I'm guessing after 2012 or 2013.

Erik S (York, NE)

Tim, Will Cody Green ever redshirt he should this year whats your take?

Tim Griffin
  (3:41 PM)

Erik: Green could have used the redshirt season but was kind of forced into action by the injury to Spano and the departure of Patrick Witt to Yale. Green also started off behind because he was injured. I bet given the choice and circumstances, Shawn Watson probably would have like to redshirt him this season.

Nathan (Florida)

Has this been the craziest season for coaching changes and drama that you have seen?

Tim Griffin
  (3:43 PM)

Nathan: Especially the last several days. I've never seen anything like the rioting among Tennessee fans when they tried to block Kiffin from leaving the practice facility.

Dan Hawkins (Boulder, CO)

Need your advice: should we rent a house, or buy?

Tim Griffin
  (3:44 PM)

Dan: As with all coaches who have struggled but returned for a season, I would suggest renting.

Andrew (Austin)

Not sure how much you can go into this, but do you sense any animosity at Texas towards Davis? Every time he's under fire Mack comes out with some pretty impressive statistics but it seems you can always point to definite spots in big games where he makes dubious calls...

Steven (Dallas)

Is Mizzu staying in the Big 12?

Tim Griffin
  (3:47 PM)

Steven: They seem to be dropping a lot of hints they would like to be elsewhere. Let's see how things play out over the next 12-18 months.

Matt (Syracuse)

Everyone is considering Dan Hawkins gone after this year. Do we have any chance that he actually pulls out a good year and turns the team around?

Matt (Houston)

Tim, given what you saw of Colt vs. Bama's defense in that first series, deep down in your heart of hearts, do you think Texas wins that game if McCoy stays healthy (like every Texas fan does)?

Tim Griffin
  (3:50 PM)

Matt: Tyler Hansen will have another year of experience and the defense will be more experienced.

Brian (Des Moines)

Tim, say Missouri turns tail and runs to the Big 10. Does the Big 12 add a school? If so who? Or do they drop a school?

Tim Griffin
  (3:51 PM)

Brian: First call by Dan Beebe would be to Arkansas. Then they might look at Utah, TCU and BYU. I wouldn't expect them to drop a school, but wouldn't have trouble adding another one.

Chad (Knoxville)

Would it not be a recruiting violation for Orgeron to be calling and recruiting UT commits to USC during this dead week?

Tim Griffin
  (3:52 PM)

Chad: According to NCAA rules, it should be.

Carlos (Australia)

Where do you have the Huskers ranked for 2010?

Tim Griffin
  (3:52 PM)

Much like my colleague Mark Schlabach, I'd have them between 10th and 12th. Going in they are my second best team. I like Texas a little more, with Oklahoma a little behind them.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Think Muschamp will go "home" to Georgia if Richt is let go? Is he at all afraid of being the next Jimbo Fisher?

Tim Griffin
  (3:53 PM)

Josh: I would be interested to see the reaction that Muschamp would have if somebody mentioned Jimbo Fisher around him. But I do know he's very comfortable at Texas and will one day be handed the keys to college football's version of a Ferrari if he replaces Mack Brown. We'll have to see if the lure to coach his alma mater might bring him back to Georgia.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Tim, do you think that was a pretty terribly coached championship game? Fake punt, single coverage on Shipley, running an option with McCoy, not taking a knee, short punts that give away field position. Two of the "best" coaches in the game sure made some terrible decisions.

Tim Griffin
  (3:54 PM)

Josh: Let's leave it at this: there were some interesting coaching decisions made on both sides.

Nate (Boise)

Replace Iowa State with Boise and tell me what you think the Broncos record would be in 2010, assuming that the toughest games are not all on the road? Be honest.

Tim Griffin
  (3:55 PM)

Nate: Much like TCU, I would see them having a lot of success in the Big 12. But winning at places like Nebraska, Texas or Oklahoma would be a challenge. I'll say 10-2.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

QB Applewhite, Simms, Mock, V. Young, McCoy, RBs Williams, S. Young, C. Benson, J. Charles, And people want to get rid of Davis?

Tim Griffin
  (3:56 PM)

Blake: You raise an outstanding point. Greg Davis has consistently churned out some outstanding quarterbacks during his time at Texas. That might be one of the most productive positions of anywhere in the country over the last decade.

David (Texas)

I've heard from people in the media calling that game a beatdown did watch something differant cause I saw a true freshman give 'Bama all they wanted he just turned it over too often

Tim Griffin
  (3:58 PM)

David: I think the game would have been a lot different if Colt McCoy hadn't gotten hurt. Texas seem to have the ability to run the ball during those first five plays. Considering the pass rush that Texas was consistently able to produce against Greg McElroy, I wonder if the game would have been different if Texas had gotten the Crimson Tide into an early 10-point hole.

Ryan (Tempe, AZ)

if the Huskers land 5 star recruit "Owa" the #2 DT in the nation from Oregon, does he play right away rotating with Steinkuler and do we see as much of a dropoff at the tackle spot as expected?

Tim Griffin
  (3:58 PM)

Ryan: Remember Mr. Crick. I think he'll be a huge player for the Cornhuskers over the next several years.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

You're so diplomatic, Tim. Thanks for the hard work. Tell San Antonio hi for me. Sure miss that place.

Tim Griffin
  (3:59 PM)

Josh: Thanks. I try to be. There were some interesting coaching decisions made on both sides.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Tim, I do not think people realize that Muschamp would leave Georgia, Tenn, who ever as a head coach to be a head coach at Texas. So now as a cordinator why would he leave the Head coach opp. at Texas to move to the back of the line when the oppening comes about.

Tim Griffin
  (3:59 PM)

Blake: It still might be tough for him to say no to his old alma mater. But like I said, Texas is a special coaching job.

Kenneth (Fayetteville, NC)

Tim, now that Skip Holtz has left East Carolina for USF, could Tommy Bowden, Bud Foster, Mike Leach, Ruffin McNeill or Al Golden be in the Pirate's view? McNeill played at ECU.

Tim Griffin
  (4:00 PM)

Kenneth: You raise an outstanding point. Don't know if McNeill would be in the mix for the head coach. But maybe as the DC there?

Bobby (Sand Springs)

boise would be 10-2 next year? am i wrong or are they not set to play OU, UT and TTU in the south and they still have Nebraska in the north as well as better competition with the rest of the north than they ever saw in the WAC. you really think they would only lose 2? Doesn't seem like the Big 12 blogger is too big on the Big 12.

Tim Griffin
  (4:01 PM)

Bobby: I think Boise will be pretty good next season and the Big 12 could be down a little bit next year.

Josh (VA)

Who in your honest and professional opinion should be the next head coach at Tennessee?

Tim Griffin
  (4:02 PM)

David Cutcliffe.

Ken (Houston)

Tim, great job as always...might need to remind our friend Sam in west texas that Sam Bradfords return to play was his and his alone. All the consulting and trips prior to UT game. Where do you hear the best RB in Texas will be going?

Tim Griffin
  (4:03 PM)

I'm hearing Seastrunk really likes Auburn.

Tim (Omaha)

What do you think the mood will be like in Lincoln when Kansas comes to town next year. I think TO and Turner will be having a long dinner chat the night before

Tim Griffin
  (4:04 PM)

Tim: It's going to be interesting when Turner comes back to Lincoln for the first time. And I'd love to be a bug on the wall for that dinner chat you describe.

Marty (Omaha)

It's going to be tough with Suh gone, so many nicknames rhymed with suh we can't think of any for Crick any suggestions?

Tim Griffin
  (4:06 PM)

Bo's Defense -- Delivering crunching licks with Crick?

Tim Griffin
  (4:06 PM)

On that one, I better sign off. Thanks again for all of the great questions. We'll check back again next week.