Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 29, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Gemmell

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:00 PM)

We're one day away from kickoff. Get your game faces on...

Eric (Vacaville, CA)

Everyone doubts Oregon RB D. Thomas for the Heisman because he plays two positions at RB/WR. but if he puts up good-great numbers in both spots does he get an invite to NYC?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:01 PM)

I don't think anyone doubts DAT's skills. I think people doubt the voters. They can be a fickle bunch and Thomas isn't a player your can easily categorize. But if he goes 1,000-1,000 it's going to be almost impossible to ignore him.

Chris (Sacramento)

Should I be drinking the Kool-Aid and believe Mora has turned things around at UCLA?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:02 PM)

I wouldn't say "turned," rather I'd go with "turning" because the guy hasn't coached a collegiate game yet. I like UCLA for a bowl game this year and I think you're going to see them trend up over the next couple of seasons.

Cam (Vta, Ca)

Who's the 2nd best team in the South? Utah or the Bruins?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:02 PM)

Utah until proven otherwise.

David Fertal (Calgary, Alberta)

1) Best Bond Movie: Diamonds Are Forever... Sean Connery is the man.2) What are your thoughts on Brian Bennett leaving the Ducks after missing out on the starting QB slot?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:04 PM)

Ah... Plenty O'Toole... gotta love it. I'm a Thunderball guy myself. As for Bennett leaving, latest I've heard is that he's staying, which is good news for the Ducks. They need him at the ready, but I can't imagine they won't have some packages put together just for him.

Anthony Gioffre (Washington Township, NJ)

Kevin, Who do you like in the Boise St-Michigan St faceoff? Boise St always seems to get up for that one big game. Can Joe Southwick fill the shoes of the great, Kellen Moore?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:04 PM)

I think Boise State comes back to earth a little bit without Moore. I'm big on Michigan State/Andrew Maxwell this year.

Gary Gardner (South Jordan, UT)

Why no love for John White IV?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:06 PM)

What kind of love are you looking for? Ted and I have both pumped the guy up. He's awesome. He's outstanding. He's the best thing since whatever came before sliced bread... that enough love for you?

Bryce [via mobile]

Oregon State going to get 8 wins? Can they beat a team like Utah at home?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:07 PM)

Possible, but I'd say 6-7 is more likely at this point. Their issue right now is getting the running game going. And you might have heard Utah has a pretty good defensive line. That'll be a tough matchup for the Beavers.

Todd Graham [via mobile]

HIGH OCTANE!!!!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:07 PM)

YEAH BABY!

Cris (Los Angeles)

Will teams be forced to double team Keenan Allen? Is he good enough to beat any DB one on one?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:08 PM)

I think one of those young wide receivers are going to have to step up to take some of the pressure off of Allen or he's going to see a lot of double teams. I like the idea of Cal moving to a more tight-end centric pro-style because that should open stuff up in the run and the passing game. And yes, he can beat any cornerback in the country one-on-one.

Gowazzu02 (Definitely not at work)

Will you be doing official game predictions? WSU v BYU tomorrow. Game time Hooo

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:09 PM)

The beauty of two bloggers is that you get two-times the predictions. We'll both be doing them. (Aren't you lucky). And I'm already on record as saying I like Washington State in this game. Call me crazy...

Pablo (Santa Fe Springs) [via mobile]

What kind of a recruiting edge does USC's opening of the new John McKay Center give the school? The Trojans already seem to be doing fine without having flashy new Oregon-style facilities.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:11 PM)

They are doing fine. But why does McDonald's and Coke spend so much on advertising. You don't just stop -- you evolve and constantly try to get better. The McKay Center looks great and will draw a lot of interest.

RingsforCO (Colorado)

I am a big grump, any suggestions on how to change this?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:11 PM)

It's OK buddy. I know we've had our differences on the blog. But I'm still your No. 1 fan. Try more fiber.

San bernardino, Nate [via mobile]

Cal has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Assuming we pull a win out of Ohio state, could you see us upsetting USC? And our running game has never been productive against the SC, how could this year change that?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:13 PM)

I think it's going to be a tough game at LA. But I do like the talent on both sides. If the offensive line gets situated, I think a committee approach in the running game is going to take a lot of pressure off Maynard, Sofele and Anderson and allow all three to flourish.

Busted ACL (Las Vegas)

If USC has a big lead in the 4th quarter, how long does Barkley play, or does he pad for Heisman purposes?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:14 PM)

I'd say maybe a couple of series into the fourth quarter. But if it's blown open, no need to risk injury. They have a tough schedule coming up.

AustinDuck (ATX)

Does Washington still play in the Pac12?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:14 PM)

Why? What have you heard?

Pete Mudrow (Salt Lake City, UT) [via mobile]

So is it a matter of time before Wynn gets injured for the season and Utah has similar results as last year? Or does this season have the chance of being something special for Utah?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:15 PM)

I think Utah could have a very special season. Great players, the schedule falls into place nicely. I think if the offensive tackles come together the offense will be fine. And I never like to assume a player is going to get hurt. Call me sentimental, but I just don't like to think that way.

Kevin (Riverside, CA)

Does Lane Kiffin go big against Hawaii on their first offensive drive or stay conservative?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:16 PM)

I expect them to go big. I think there is a statement to be made for that top-billing.

Natalie (Salt Lake City)

What is the best OVERALL conference in the nation (when you combine football, Olympics sports, academics, facilities, locations, etc.) ?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:18 PM)

Pac-12, by far ... especially when you include all sports. Nine national championships last year and 119 since the turn of the century.

Uh oh Chongo (B1G-10 Country)

Do you and Mr. Miller ever bother to read the comments section in your blog entries? Do you find that the Pac-12 readership is often more literate and informed than the readership of other conference blogs?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:19 PM)

I can't speak for Ted, but sometimes I do go in and read them from time to time. I've found the Pac-12 blog readers to be the most informed, educated, and down-right good-looking group in the blogosphere.

Matt Scott (Tucson, AZ)

Any chance I get some Heisman hype if my line protects me?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:20 PM)

Possible. You're a fantastic athlete and you can make plays with your arm and legs. Heisman folks love dual-threat guys. But the wins will have to be there, and there are a lot of questions about your defense right now.

Gowazzu02 (Definitely not at work)

Chicken or Egg question. I asked this of Ted last week but he ignored me, since your much smarter then Miller, figure i'd ask you. SEC Defenses, are they so Great because they are Great or because the SEC offenses are really really bad plus embarrassingly bad OOC. same with Pac12 D's. They bad because they're bad or because they face the Pac12's great offenses week in and week out? Inquiring minds.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:22 PM)

I wouldn't say much smarter... maybe a couple dozen IQ points, but who's counting? I actually did a story on this on the blog recently. Pac-12 defenses face some of the best offensive players in the country and some of the most innovative offenses in the country and some of the most innovative offensive coaches in the country. Week in and out, they are seeing something different. That's extremely tough for defensive players to digest, so the fact that defenses are on the rise in the conference speaks to the talent level of the players and the talent level of the defensive coordinators.

Zach (Pullman)

What do you think is Mike Leach's reasoning for not officially naming a starting qb. Everybody knows it will be Tuel.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:24 PM)

I think it's just Leach being Leach. I talked to someone in the know up there yesterday and Tuel has been taking most of the first-team reps. I don't have a problem with him not announcing. His team, his rules.

AZfan (Tucson)

Hey Kevin, has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Rob Riggle (21 jump street, Step Brothers, Hangover)?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:25 PM)

Ha... first I've heard of that. I used to get some Mike Meyers comparisons. Brad Pitt comes up often too at social gatherings.

NJWildcat (NYC)

Kevin,Who is the biggest surprise rookie from the Pac-12 so far in the NFL preseason?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:26 PM)

I'll be honest, I haven't kept up with the NFL as much as I'd like because I'm pretty focused on the Pac-12. But I will say I was really bummed to hear about DeCastro. Good guy, great player and I hope he gets back soon.

Bob (Los Angeles)

On a scale of 1-10 (1 = worst, 10 = best), how would you rate USC chances to beat Oregon 2x?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:27 PM)

I'd say a 6. Two very, tough games.

Bryan (Salt Lake City)

Just curious...you going to come see a game at Rice-Eccles this fall? Would be happy to buy your lunch pre-game....

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:27 PM)

Thanks Bryan. I hope to. One of my favorite venues.

Keith Price (UW-ville)

Still smiling, even though you put me at #5. You and Ted realize the QB touches the ball every play, yes?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:28 PM)

Don't be mad buddy, no shame being No. 5 in this conference.

Kyle (Austin, TX)

How many points does the Husky defense surrender to SDSU on Saturday? An exact number please. Quickly!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:29 PM)

No more than three touchdowns. Aztecs have some rebuilding to do on offense.

Brett Nottingham (Palo Alto)

What are the chances I get put in a key game this year with Nunes struggling?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:30 PM)

25 percent. When I talked with David Shaw, he seemed pretty set on his decision that Nunes was his guy and he was going to stick with him. Nunes is really going to have to struggle for you to get past him on the depth chart. I'd re-evaluate the situation after USC and Washington.

Don (SF)

Why is everyone predicting a great season for Utah when they lost 5 conference games last year?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:31 PM)

Because they return a bunch of players, have a schedule that misses Stanford and Oregon, a stud running back, good wide receivers, a good quarterback when healthy, the best defensive line in the conference and the best defensive lineman in the nation... sounds pretty good to me.

ASU Fan (Tempe)

I was going over the schedule for my Devils this year, and I honestly think we will have 9, maybe 10 wins. Despite what you haters say.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:32 PM)

Right on. Believe, brother. That's what it's all about.

Ken (The beautiful Corvegas)

There's been so much hype surrounding the Beavers regarding major improvements on defense and with the offensive line. How much of this is "hype", and if it isn't, where do you expect the Beavs to finish at the end of the season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:33 PM)

I think the key is going to be Isaac Semaulo at center. Mike Riley said the center has a lot of responsibility in this offense, so if he gets up to speed quickly, the line will follow. I think Oregon's defense is going to be sneaky good. Just my opinion.

Zach (Bend, OR)

Best Bond movie of all time has to be....Goldfinger! I do have a soft spot for Golden Eye though as it was the first Bond movie I remember seeing. And Brosnan at that point as Bond hadn't gotten lame.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:34 PM)

Wow... the first one you saw was Golden Eye...eye feel old.

Jason (San Diego)

My cats lack anyone of note, especially on defense. Do you see anyone from Arizona landing on the P12 all conf 1st team?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:35 PM)

Maybe Jake Fischer... so many good linebackers in this conference though he'll have to really break out.

Brian (Spokane WA)

Give me your scores UCLA vs Rice and WSU vs BYU.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:36 PM)

I'll give scores when Ted and I release our predictions tomorrow morning (they are under lock-and-key until then). But I'll just say I'm picking both Pac-12 teams to win.

CJK5H (WSU equipment shed)

What are realistic stats for Tuel's 2012 football season (assuming no injuries)? Will Gabe Marks and Wilson both break 1,000 yards?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:37 PM)

Tuel crosses 3,500 yards pretty easily (assuming no injuries). Wilson is over 1,000 by Halloween and if Marks is as good as advertised, he'll be close.

bruincheerleader (Palm Springs, California)

why no love for UCLA anywhere in ESPN-land?...for all u know they might win 8 games this year or more

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:39 PM)

I've got them going to a bowl game -- I'd say that's a pretty good start for a new head coach, a new quarterback and a completely revamped offense and defense.

BUFFinOR (Oregon)

How many wins for CU? Do they get a bowl invite?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:40 PM)

I think with all of the true freshman that will be playing (14-16) getting to a bowl will be tough. I'd say 4-5 wins with the knowledge that Colorado will be trending up in years to come.

Steve (Phoenix, AZ)

Why has Ka'Deem Carey gotten so little attention this off-season? He was a good back last year as a freshman and he seems to fit perfectly for Rich Rod's system.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:41 PM)

It's not that he hasn't gotten attention, it's that there are a lot of really good returning backs in the conference this year. Like everyone else, I'm excited to see what he does in the offense.

Tim (Salt Lake City)

How much will the Utah miss Brian Blechen these first three games? I don't see a huge passing threat coming out of N. Colorado, Utah State, or BYU. Will he be rusty coming into the USC game?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:42 PM)

There is always that concern when a player misses a quarter of the season. Of course, they'll miss him. The last thing Utah needs is team issues so hopefully he learns from the mistake, the rest of the team learns from his mistake, and they can ove on.

Tim (North Carolina) [via mobile]

Over/under Washington holding SDSU to 20 points on Saturday?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:42 PM)

Boy, that's close. But I'd probably take the over, but not by much. 21-24 range seems about right.

Kevin (San Diego)

Which team do you see as the surprise of the Pac-12 this season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:43 PM)

I think UCLA could get up into eight wins. I also think Cal has 9-10 wins in them.

Winston Free (A place with no PAC 12 Network)

Unlike many pundits, I believe that Oregon v USC on Nov 3 will not be a battle of the unblemished records. One of the two if not both will drop a game before then. What do you think?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:44 PM)

It's certainly possible. USC has the tougher road than Oregon does. But if all goes according to plan, I like both teams being undefeated.

Shane (Moscow,ID)

I always get ignored by you guys!! Why are you guys underestimating the new Husky defense and the impact that could have on our team. Imagine that potent husky offense paired with a stingy defense for a second! Thoughts?? Or let me guess...NOTHING

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:45 PM)

Ted sent me a memo to ignore you. But I felt bad, so I'm answering your question. I think we need to see the new defense in action before we can pass judgement. At least that's the approach I'm taking. The last time they were on the field, well, ya know. I think a good defense would do wonders for Washington. I think we all need to see it though before we start believing.

FearTheTree (CardNation)

The only thing i've wanted to see the last three years is a Stanford v SEC game. What are the chances my prayers are answered this year?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:45 PM)

This year... probably not going to happen.

Isi, California [via mobile]

What numbers do u see me putting up even with Anderson behind me at 2?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:48 PM)

I think you're both going to have really good numbers, and it's not out of the realm that you could be No. 2 behind Anderson for some games. But I still think you are a 1,000-yard rusher with double-digit TDs.

Mike (las Vegas) [via mobile]

The Best actor playing bond is Sean Connery. Head and shoulders above all of the others!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:48 PM)

Agreed.

Taylor Kelly (Tempe, AZ)

Shoot me straight here Kevin, what's the over/under on games I start this year?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:49 PM)

That's on you. We know one for sure. But Michael Eubank is going to be on your heels. But I admire your tenacity and how you recognized what you needed to fix, went out and fixed it, and won the job. Big ups to you.

Creeper (Gemmell's House)

I'm watching you....

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:50 PM)

Was wondering why the dog was barking. I'd look out, she'll lick you to death. And yes, very creepy.

Kyle (Boston)

Will USC's defensive line depth determine the outcome of the Nov. 3rd game versus Oregon?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:51 PM)

It's going to be a huge part of it. Oregon likes to run -- Barner is going to be outstandin between the tackles and DAT can hit the edges. USC is solid on two of three levels.

Pac12-Fan (Pac12Land)

Who has the 2nd best D-Line in the Pac12 behind Utah? 3rd? 4th?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:52 PM)

In order, I'd say Utah, Cal and it's a coin flip between Stanford and Oregon.

inmyrhyme (Hall of Troy)

Tomorrowwwwwww!!!!Ahhhhhh, doesn't that feel great?!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:53 PM)

It does, it really does.

Chris (New York)

From your conversations with David Shaw, what would you say is the percentage of responses he begins with "There's no question..."? Also, to what extent is the San Jose State game a "first-team tryout for "Jugs" Vaughters or is he certain to keep his starting role even after Skov returns?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:54 PM)

Haha, he's more of a "Gosh" and "Doggonit" kind of guy. They are huge on Vaugthers. I wouldn't be surprised to see him and Skov starting together with Lancaster and Tarpley rotating in.

Steve Sarkisian (Montlake, WA)

Any chance my Dawgs march into LSU and pull the upset?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:54 PM)

Last week I think I gave you guys a 25 percent chance. This week I'm going to up it to 26 percent.

Eduardo3939 (Los Gatos)

What are your thoughts on the Bryan Bennett transfer scare? Ducks would have been precariously thin at QB had he left.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:55 PM)

Glad it didn't happen. I think they are going to use him more than people think. He's too good of an athlete to just be sitting with a clipboard. He'll see time.

Nick (salt lake)

If Star improves on last year, does he get mention for the Heisman?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:56 PM)

Have gotten this question three weeks in a row and the answer won't change. No. It's not fair, but that's the nature of the award. He's the best at his position though and a Top 10 pick.

Cav (Logan, UT)

I noticed that Utah was not on your Preseason top 25. What is your concern about the Utes that holds them back?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:57 PM)

I really went back and forth on them and Washington. I think I need to see what the offense looks like with a healthy Jordan Wynn before I designate them to the Top 25. They are awfully close to the bubble, though.

Ryan (Ohio)

Will the Pac 12 ever scrap the 9-game conference schedule?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:58 PM)

I hope not. And I hope the new playoff system puts a lot of weight on strength of schedule.

Jeff (Vancouver, WA)

Where do you rank Mariota among Pac 12 qb's at the end of the season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:59 PM)

Because of the offense he runs and the players around him, I think he instantly becomes one of the top 5, at least statistically and based on Kelly's history with QBs.

Jay (El Paso)

I feel ike a crack head needing their next fix. After reading just abuot every article on the web about the start of football season and matchup previews, any off the beaten path sites you can suggest to get more info about tomorrows games?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:59 PM)

Never, ever leave the Pac-12 blog. We are all the fix you need.

BlogReaderMan (theBlogosphere)

What interview at the PAC 12 blog have you enjoyed the most?

Kevin Gemmell
  (3:01 PM)

I always like talking with Kyle Whittingham and Mike Leach. But I really enjoyed my conversation last week with Taylor Kelly. I also like talking to offensive linemen. They are always so surprised that someone wants to chat them up.

Kevin Gemmell
  (3:01 PM)

That's it for me folks. You've got Ted tomorrow. (And some actual games). Enjoy your day.