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August 22, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Gemmell

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:00 PM)

Good morning gang. What's on your mind?

Dillon (New Jersey)

Between USC and Oregon, which team is more likely to lose before their showdown on Nov. 3?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:02 PM)

I think USC certainly has the tougher road going into that game. They have Stanford, Cal and Utah -- three of the toughest defenses in the conference -- in a four-game stretch. They'll come out of that battle-tested.

Alex (Anaheim)

What will Cal's strength be this season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:03 PM)

Defense and control. The defensive front is up there as one of the best in the conference. They have good running backs and a deep-threat wide receiver. Enough to keep the safeties backed off. If they can develop a couple of other options besides Keenan Allen -- and I'm hearing good things about the tight ends -- they should be able to control the football fairly well. And if they lose it, the defense is talented enough to get it back.

Chris (Provo, UT)

I'm surprised that WSU are nearly two touchdown underdogs at BYU next Thursday. I see it as a game that could go either way. Why is WSU so underrated? And who are you picking to win this game?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:05 PM)

Me too! That was a pretty shocking spread. I guess people feel like the systems aren't going to come into place quick enough for the season opener. I'd say the defense will struggle more than the offense -- remember, the offense is already built to be a pass-first team. I'm already on record predicting a WSU win so I'll stick with it.

Gowazzu02 (Definately not in my work office)

Gabe Marks. Thoughts?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:06 PM)

I actually talked to someone in the know this morning and they gave him rave reviews. Said he won pretty much every one-on-one battle and had a great camp. Plus, Marquess Wilson has taken him under his wing. All indications are they are going to be a scary 1-2 punch.

Ben Ingersoll (Fresno, CA)

Who's better? Brian Bennett the blogger OR Bryan Bennett the QB...?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:08 PM)

Few can turn a phrase like the velvet-tounged Brian Bennett. I love his moxie, but the arm strength, athleticism, ability to read defenses, escapability, throwing, catching, running and pretty much everything else required to be a college athlete just isn't there. Heck of a nice guy though.

Joe B. (St. Louis)

Hey Kevin love your work:Question, what are your thoughts on my Tiger recruit (DGB) Dorial Green-Beckham? Big kid with great hands and speed to boot. Freshman All-American? Freshman of the year? What kind of season do you see him having his first year in the SEC? I think the sky is the limit for the this kid. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:09 PM)

Appreciate the kind words, but I'm not going to speculate on a team I don't cover or the progress of a player I haven't seen. I will say we would have loved to have him in the Pac-12.

ChipKellySpread (The Endzone)

As I look at our losses with Chip, a few of them came from buying into the hype. In that regard, I love seeing USC on the cover of everything. How do you think they are handling it?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:10 PM)

So far, they are saying and doing all of the right things. The players and coaches I've talked to all seem extremely grounded. With that said, we won't know how they REALLY are handling it until they face some adversity in the season.

Papa Smurf UTE (Salt Lake City)

Whittingham, Johnson, and even Wynn himself have told UTE fans not to worry about him missing the final 3 full practices of fall camp. Is this coach/player speak, with them blowing smoke up our collective butts, and there is something definately wrong with Wynn's shoulder, or is is just really sore, and he needed to rest it for a few days? We already have to worry about Wynn making it through the whole year unscathed, and now this. What's you take?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:12 PM)

Until we see Wynn taken out of a game for an injury, I wouldn't stress about it until you have to. The fact that he's back at practice and took every throw yesterday tells me they were just resting him to make sure he's fresh. As I've said before, I've known Jordan since he was a sophomore in high school and would love to see him play a full season and have success. Let's see how the first few weeks play out before hitting the panic button.

Bobby (Washington DC)

It seems like both Utah fans and sport writers love Star Lotulelei, how possible is it he becomes a Heisman finalist?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:13 PM)

Slim to none (and that might be the first time Star and slim were ever used in the same sentence). He's outstanding, but the big guys just don't get the Heisman love.

Travis (Tempe)

Do you feel Arizona State has the tools necessary to be a surprise bowl team this year? It seems that attacking style defense and an offense loaded with RBs can find ways to hang around in games.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:15 PM)

Yes, I think they have the tools. But that doesn't always equate to wins. I think the running backs are solid and while I'm a bit surprised that Taylor Kelly won the job, he obviously earned it. I think a nice rotation of him and Michael Eubank will keep defenses on their toes and I think the defensive line is quietly underrated.

Todd (Portland)

Aside from USC who could Oregon lose to? Do we have a trap game on the schedule?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:16 PM)

Yes, at Cal on Nov. 10. I know it's a week after the USC game, so we'll see how high or low they are that week. But Cal always plays Oregon tough at home. And they have the defensive potential to give the Ducks fits.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:17 PM)

I think at least seven go with USC and Oregon in BCS games. Don't know enough about the rest of the conferences yet to make a predictions.

Bob (Denver)

With so many WRs, do you see USC using 3 or WR sets??

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:17 PM)

Yes. And four wide receiver sets. And double backs and double tights. USC is going to be scary multiple with their personnel sets.

Brent from Eugene,Oregon [via mobile]

Have heard alot of talk on UW new defense. What is your take on their new defense and do you see them surprising teams this year.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:19 PM)

They should be better. And all indications out of camp are that they are. I think Josh Shirely is going to have a stellar year and if they can create some pressure and get Price back on the field, they'll be in good shape. But they have to figure it out quick because those first six weeks are brutal.

Gowazzu02 (Definitely not in my work office)

Kevin any truth to the rumor you and Ted were switched at birth?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:20 PM)

OK, the truth had to come out eventually. We weren't switched at birth. I'm Ted's alter-ego. I'm a fictional person with a fictional family, wife, son and dog. He was tired of contradicting himself on the blog so he created me to have an alternate opinion. I am his Tyler Durden.

marinersblue96 (Bellevue)

What are the chances that Keith Price's numbers are better this year? Who do you see him having the most success against?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:22 PM)

The schedule is tougher, but he's another year older and wiser in the offense. I think the fact that he's healthy, and can use his full arsenal -- ie. his ability to run, move the pocket, make plays with his feet -- will add to his resume.

Mike (Tucson)

Which Arizona state RB has the best season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:22 PM)

Cameron Marshall.

Gowazzu02 (Definitely not in my work office)

Ted has come up with the "best case/worst case" To show his creative writing skillzzzz. Have you kicked any ideas around to let your creative wit fly?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:23 PM)

Ted asked me if I'd do a couple this year because they are extremly time-consuming. But I know how much you guys love them -- and the fact that you love that Ted does them -- that I didn't want to intrude. It's his thing. And it's your thing with him. I dare not broach that -- especially as I try to carve out my own identity on the blog. But I'll say this, like the rest of you, I cry whenever I read them.

Roy (Seattle)

Is David Shaw's selection of Josh Nunes as QB1 indicative of a more conservative coaching style, especially compared to his predecessor? Will that carry over into in-game decision making?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:26 PM)

I wouldn't say that. Nunes simply won the job. He was the more efficient quarterback and he didn't turn the ball over as much. That's what Shaw was looking for. I know Shaw gets hammered as being conservative because of two plays last year -- the Wildcat against USC and the end of the Fiesta Bowl. But look at the entire season and he was fairly aggressive. There were trick plays, a pass to the quarterback -- and some of the most innovative formations with the triple tights and six or seven offensive linemen. I like Shaw and Pep Hamilton as play-callers and I think Nunes will do a good job executing that plan.

Fredy (Seattle)

Kevin, do you guys follow the comments that occur when you post? Anything that made you laugh so hard it hurt? Thanks!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:27 PM)

I do from time to time... and I've been known to poke my head in a few times. Nothing stands out off the top of my head, but you guys are whitty and insightful. Couldn't ask for better readers.

Jason (Portland)

Now that you and Ted are buddies, any chance you could get him to do something with that hair of his?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:27 PM)

I'm on record saying that if the USC-Oregon game ends in 9-6 in overtime, I'm going to shave his head. He hasn't agreed, but I'll make it happen.

johnny (CA)

Do you think that there's any possibility that Utah may beat USC?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:29 PM)

Sure, it's possible. I think the defense has to play phenominal football and make Matt Barkley extremely uncomfortable. The offense will need touchdowns -- not just field goals. Because USC has so many weapons on offense. But if they can keep Barkley and Co. off the field and make the most of their opporutnities on offense, it's certainly possible.

SDZald (SD)

You used to cover SDSU and MNT West. Any chance SDSU gives Washington a game or are they once again slipping into the pit now that Hoak is gone?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:30 PM)

I think SDSU lost a lot on offense, Ronnie Hillman, Ryan Lindley etc. and their best LB Miles Burris. I see Washington winning that game by a couple of touchdowns. With that said, SDSU quietly has one of the best cornerbacks on the West Coast in Leon McFadden. Keep an eye out for him in that game.

JL (Warrenton, Virginia)

Will Peat start as a freshman for Stanford?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:31 PM)

If he doesn't start, he'll see time. The Cardinal have those funky six- and seven-linemen formations, so I'd expect to see him on the field even if he doesn't get the nod at tackle.

74Coug (Virginia Beach)

Teams that will over-achieve this season? Teams that are likely to under-achieve?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:33 PM)

I think UCLA fits in both categories. I like the quarterback and the scheme. At question is whether it all comes together. We've seen this before with the Bruins. Scary potential that never comes to fruition.

Owen12 (Always in our memories)

In your "fight club" response earlier you mentioned you family and dog..... Inquiring minds,,,, what type of dog do you have?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:33 PM)

Beagle. And a loud one at that.

Brad (Bruinland, CA)

Thoughts on Joseph Fauria being the breakout player in the Pac-12 this season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:34 PM)

He was breaking out last year. He's going to be a stud in Mazzone's system if Hundley gets time to throw him the ball.

George (Mesa)

Thoughts on Brandon Magee?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:35 PM)

Very insightful and intelligent young man. Good locker room guy, good player. I've enjoyed every conversation I've had with him and wish him success.

Owen12 (Always in our memories)

How did Ted meet his mother? Best show on tv btw.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:35 PM)

Maybe not the best -- don't love the Barney-Robin marriage storyline. But it's one of our top three or four shows on TV right now. Fear the cockamouse.

John (Jacksonville, FL)

Do you think Chip Kelly has some big surprises this year with all this new talet?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:36 PM)

I think they will keep doing what they do best -- maul and score quickly. I'm more excited to see how he uses De'Anthony Thomas. So many possibilities.

Todd Graham (Tempe)

Am I undderrated as a coach? I had success at Rice but left after 1 season because the admisistration wasn't willing to put their full support behind the program. I had success at Tulsa and left for a BCS job in Pittsburgh. I admit taking the Pittsburgh job was a mistake. But doesn't my track record prove that I can turn around teams and have success?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:37 PM)

I like what you've done so far -- you've been classy and preached discipline. The program needed a little bit of both. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.

Kevin (SoCal)

Best LB core in America = PAC12. How do you rank Oregon, USC, CAL, and Stanford in terms of Linebackers? Who gets drafted first? Who's a sleeper LB?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:39 PM)

Linebackers -- Stanford, Oregon, Cal, USC in that order... but there isn't a lot of separation between those top two. I think if Shayne Skov is healthy, and proves he's back from the knee injury, he's the first one drafted. Travis Long at WSU is the sleeper.

Tim (Saratoga)

Were you surprised that Nunes won the job over Nottingham? I thought it was Nottinghams to lose considering they seemed to be pretty even and he's younger

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:40 PM)

People forget that Nunes was ahead of Nottingham on the depth chart going into the season last year before he got hurt. So I wouldn't say I'm surprised. Nottingham has the better upside and athleticism, but Nunes was just more effiicent so I'll give credit where it's due.

Mike (Mission Viejo)

Are you picking USC to win the Pac-12? What about the National Championship?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:42 PM)

As of right now, with the potential USC has and all of the weapons, I have that at No. 1. We'll see where I have them six weeks from now, but if all comes together as planned, I think they win it all.

Ryan (SLC)

Where will Juan Blanco Quatro rank among PAC 12 running backs at the end of the season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:43 PM)

He'll be all-conference, first- or second-team for sure.

Jordan (Washington)

What are the chances the huskies go in to the bayou, and sneak one out? And if so what do you think they would need to do in that game to win?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:44 PM)

I think there is a chance. And I think Price needs to do a little shock and awe. Work in some QB runs to keep the safties guessing. Callier and Sankey need to be effective on the ground.

Dylan (Portland)

Going into the season, do you think the Ducks are underrated due to the assumptions that Barner isn't going to be as good as LaMike, and that either QB won't be as good initially as DT?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:46 PM)

Tough to call the No. 5 team in the country underrated. But I'm sure they'll use whatever they can as motivation. Ducks will be fine and the schedule allows plenty of time for the new QB to get up to speed.

Eric (WA)

Thoughts on the martin Stadium improvements

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:47 PM)

Haven't been there live yet but talking to folks who have seen it, it's looking pretty good. Can't wait to get up there.

Jason (Vancouver, WA)

Who do you think wins the Oregon QB battle?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:48 PM)

Have a coin? I like the fact that Bennett has experience. But Mariota just played so well in that spring game. Too close to call. I know that's a cop-out, but I really, truly don't know.

Paul (Seattle)

Did you watch the new Pac-12 network yet? What are your thoughts?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:49 PM)

I have seen it. So far, I like it. I think Ronnie Lott needs a little refinement, but Neuheisel is great on camera. Very comfortable with some nice insight. So far, I'm a fan.

Owen12 (Always in our memories)

What coach would you want to sit down and drink a beer with?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:50 PM)

Scotch, always scotch. And going back to my MWC coverage days, I've always enjoyed talking with Kyle Whittingham. Though the times I've talked to Mike Leach have been great too.

Owen12 (Always in our memories)

Price, Barkley and Tuel to some extent are all proven, what off the radar QB from another program jumps up and puts his name in the hat as next Great pac12 qb?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:52 PM)

"Great" quarterback is a tough status to achieve in this conference. But I'd say Hundley. He'll have the time to put it all together and the offensive support. Good crop of freshmen wide receivers this year and if they can all grow together in the offense, I think in a year or two he could be a real break-out guy.

Julian (Portland, OR)

How realistic are the chances that the Beavers make a bowl this season? If they don't, will this be the last year we see Riley and company in Corvallis?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:53 PM)

I think it's very realistic. The QB and wide receivers are there. The defense is solid on the line and in the secondary. I've been hearing good things about Storm Woods and the running game. I think there is a good chance they are bowl-bound. If they don't, I would hope Riley gets to stick around. He's building something pretty good. If it doesn't come together this year, it will next year.

Littleton Waller Tazwell Bradford (Seattle, WA)

I saw where Ricky Galvin was moved to wide reciever, is that still the case or will we see him out of the backfield or both. Will he be a Percy harvin type player?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:54 PM)

Wow... someone is a Pike. Phi, phi. I'd expect to see Galvin bouncing around between both the slot and the backfield. He's a quick, versatile guy and they want to get him in space as much as possible.

Scott (SF)

Is this Tedford's last year in Berkeley?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:55 PM)

I hope not. I like Tedford and think he's a very good coach. The pieces are in place for them to be a 9-10 win team this year. Ohio State will be telling.

JA (Los Angeles)

First, thanks for all the hard work. My question is, on average, how many games do you think it takes for a college team to adapt to a new coach/new system?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:56 PM)

It really depends. Sometimes it's seasons, not just games. Coaches need to get the right players to fit their schemes, and sometimes that means two or three recruiting cycles.

Alec (Seattle)

Do you think there is any chance the Washington Huskies beat Stanford and Oregon, and win the North title?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:58 PM)

Possible, but not likely. Don't see anyone but Oregon winning the North. That Stanford-Washington game will be a good one though.

John (Cali)

Thought on Tedford's weeklong trip to meet with Belicheck? Think it will have any sort of impact on the offense this year?

Kevin Gemmell
  (3:00 PM)

I like it. The more you can get from those around you, the better you are. Sounds like the tight ends will play a bigger role in the Cal offense this year also. The more multiple you can be on offense, the tougher you are to defend.

Brian (Spokane WA)

UCLA over or under 7 wins?

Kevin Gemmell
  (3:00 PM)

I'm going with seven on the dot.

Kevin Gemmell
  (3:01 PM)

That's all for today folks. You've got Ted in the chat tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day.