Good morning gang. The iTunes is on shuffle and I'm ready to rock. What's on your mind?
Why won't Cal use Bigelow more?
Tedford talked about that on the coaches conference call yesterday. He said they are just bringing him along slowly and he's not quite as up to speed on the offense yet. Take it for what it's worth.
What has you worried the most about Oregon so far? Do you think they can put an end to the SEC domination if both Oregon and a SEC team reach the BCS Title Game?
I would say the injuries on defense are the biggest worries so far. Because as a unit, they are playing really, really good football. All of that extra time the backups got in the first three weeks is going to pay dividends down the line if some more guys get injured.
Not going to spoil anything, but this season of Dexter is going to be fantastic. Must watch TV for anyone who likes quality.
Kevin i'm concerned about the credit FSU is getting and the fact that they have a shot at the NC possibly over a PAC 12 team if they win out. It seems like they have a very weak schedule. How do you feel about this?
I gave them a little more respect after the Clemson win. But I still think an undefeated Oregon team gets the nod. If the Ducks take care of business, they should be fine.
If Utah loses this week against USC do you see them making a bowl game?
Gonna be tough. They have UCLA and OSU next, that means they'll hlave to win four of the next five against Cal, WSU, Washington, Arizona and Colorado.
How long do you think Oregon State can maintain the undefeated record?
Well, they've got some tough ones against Stanford and Washington before the Civil War. But they are very, very impressive. The fact that they go 11-straight weeks without a break is something to keep an eye on though.
Don't I at least deserve a shot? Am I really worse than the No. 113 QB in Division I?
If a change is made, I'm hearing that Kevin Hogan might be in the mix also. Could just be heresay. I think if Nunes has another bad game at home against Arizona and on the road at Notre Dame, then a change should strongly be considered.
How could you have left out the ASU/Oregon game from your best game in October list? A 5-1 ASU versus a 6-0 Oregon on ESPN Thursday Night? The Duck's presidential campaign against the concerned citizens of the Pac-12, led by Sparky? Get in the game Gemmell!
Two part answer: 1) The poll was DIVISIONAL games. 2) We can only have five options on the polls.
Will I ever remember to turn on the auto-update on the chat?
It's on... I just like to balance it out with the folks who got here early and submitted questions. Don't want to completely ignore them.
Is Kenjon Barner the nicest guy in the world?
Second only to you.
Kevin, what do you think Oregon's run/pass percentage will be against Washington this weekend? There seems to be some belief that the defense that stopped Stanford's running game will do the same against the Ducks.
The Ducks are moving at about a 60-40 clip right now. I'd wouldn't expect them to deviate from that.
Is West Virginia a National Championship contender?
Not without a defense.
How viable can Will Sutton be at the next level..? Does he move out or bulk up to stay inside...
I talked to Graham yesterday and asked him that very question -- specifically if he moves to end at the next level but Graham said he projects him as an interior guy. Which I thought was very interesting.
If Barkley looks pedestrian on Thursday, can we safely say something went horribly wrong with USC this season?
Two different elements there. If Barkley looks pedestrian and USC still wins, we can't say things are horribly wrong ... yet. We could certainly put an end to his Heisman campaign, though.
What is the most important factor in determining coach of the year? wins this season? Wins this season v. wins last season? Getting more from less? Doing more with better?
All of the above. I have no problem voting for a coach who doesn't win a conference championship -- so long as there is siginficant improvement. And I think right now Mike Riley is by far the leader in the clubhouse.
If Pac-12 sends a team to the NC. Does a 2 loss OSU have a shot at the Rose?
I'd say a one-loss OSU team has a better chance... as I wrote in the Bowl Projections (and I know you love reading those as much as I love writing them) that if the Ducks are perfect, they've likely beaten USC twice. So the question is does a three-loss USC team get the nod over a two-loss OSU team. And I'd probably say yes just because of the USC draw. But a one-loss team can't be ignored.
If no Pac-12 team goes undefeated, are the odds still good that we send 2 teams to BCS bowls?
Much tougher... things will have to happen at the top of the rankings -- FSU, LSU, Alabama etc. losing to even the field.
Is there any way Oregon can jump Bama to #1 without Alabama losing a game?
If Oregon looks unstoppable the rest of the way and Alabama looks mortal, then sure, I would certainly change my vote.
With the four team playoff coming there has been much discussion on teams improving their strength of schedule by not scheduling FCS teams. As I am sure there are many such teams that play FBS foes for the money it brings the university, will this potential loss of income be significant for the FCS schools?
That's a very, very good point. We still don't know what the criteria will be for the selection. I'm hoping it weighs heavily on strength of schedule. But yeah, some of the sacrificial lambs in the FCS could probably lose out on a payday or two.
Have you heard the latest on UCLA's Jordan Zumwalt? Is he playing this weekend?
Haven't heard yet... but the always-versatile Damien Holmes has been outstanding moving around at pretty much every linebacker position.
Missed one week, but let's get back on track: UCLA has a _____% chance of winning at Cal on Saturday. (Fill in the blank)
Do we really need to wait until Nunes costs Stanford two more winnable games before making a change? He has no leadership ability and is short and intermediate passes look like intentional grounding.
I'm not going to rehash the entire column I wrote on Monday (which apparantly made me extremely popular in the Bay Area). Yes, Nunes was bad in that game. First, give credit to UW for playing really, really good defense. Second, there were plenty of drops from the WRs and missed assignments from the OL that contributed to his bad play. I'm not saying never make a change. I'm just saying don't have a knee-jerk reaction to one loss. The only stat that matters is W/L and he's 3-1 against teams that have a combined record of 14-4.
Its hard to question Chip Kelly given the success that he has had, but after two subpar weeks for De Anthony Thomas, do you think he is being used incorrectly in the game plan, that teams are keying on him defensively, or that he might have some undisclosed nagging injury? The last two weeks sure haven't looked like the first three for him, or even like several big games last year. I know Pac 12 games are a tep up from Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech but this is quite a disappearing act. Any thoughts about how to get him the ball in more open space where he can use that amazing speed?
Agree -- hard to question CK. I don't think there is any injury out there. DAT came out and talked to the media after the WSU game and looked fine ... if there was an injury, they probably wouldn't have sent him out to talk. I'm not going to tell CK how to use his players. And he's not worried about getting his player a Heisman. So until they tank on offense, I'd say in Chip you have to trust.
What does Sean Mannion need to do this weekend to jump into the QB competition and offensive POY with Kelly, Mariota, Price, and whatshisface from USC?
More of the same. The kudos will come.
Does Jonathan Franklin find the endzone on the ground this weekend?
Good question. He hasn't scored on the ground in more than a month. But they are finding other ways to score -- obviously. I'll say sure, why not.
What's wrong with Cal???
Read Ted's column this morning. He nails it.
Why is ASU not getting any love in the polls? Shouldnt the division leader in a deep conference be getting more than 15 points?
I've got them at No. 24 in my poll and Ted has them in No. 25. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I'd guess most people are holding the Missouri loss against them. They haven't beat an FBS team with a winning record yet. Not their fault, they can only play who is in front of them. But Illinois (2-3), Cal (1-4), Utah (2-2) probably doesn't inspire the national voters. But those of us close to the conference know what kind of strides they have made and we've rewarded them for it.
Am I for real, or is this just a fluke so far?
No reason to think you're a fluke. Keep up the good work.
Are you getting with the UW hype after the Stanford win? Or do you think Oregon does to UW what they did to Arizona and dominate throughout the game??
Predictions come out tomorrow morning. I'll say, however, that Oregon will put a better offensive product on the field than Stanford did.
What needs to happen for Utah to notch the upset tomorrow night?
Still the same answer regardless of injury situations -- the Utah DL needs to pressure Barkley. Hit him, make him uncomfortable. Pass defense starts with the guys up front.
Kevin, apparently you have mastered the art of "The Tease"... Well done.
17 years in the business ... this ain't my first rodeo.
WSU fan. Give me some hope against Oregon State this weekend please.
I don't think enough people are giving WSU credit for the first half against Oregon. They are content to say that Oregon played sloppy -- but WSU had a really, really good gameplan. They were completely fearless on both sides of the ball. They gambled and lost -- but give them credit for taking a few shots at the champ. So if you're looking for hope, I'd say this was the first real game that we didn't see the Cougars get down on themselves.
can you beat Ted at arm wrestling? what about a drinking contest?
Yes and yes. I can pound way more Arnold Palmers than he can.
Do you believe Cameron Marshall's sub-par numbers on him or on the new offensive system at ASU? Do you see DJ Foster or Marion Grice taking over the #1 spot any time this year?
Probably not this year (barring injuries). They have a very deep crop of RBs and they have done a fantastic job using them. Great balance and it's keeping defenses off their game.
Seriously Kevin, if I listen to this Mama Cass song one more time I am going to freak out.....plus the food down here is terrible. Give me three songs for three different PAC-12 teams that define their seasons so far. See you in another life brother.
Great to hear from you, brotha. See you in another life. Oregon- Indestructable.Colorado - Don't stop belivin'USC - Everybody wants to rule the world.
How stubborn of a person is David Shaw really? He can't still believe that having 8 offensive linemen on the field at the same time is a good strategy. Can he?
I love the big-guy package. It's innovative and no one complained when it was working last year. Yes, they had Martin and DeCastro on that line. But when Peat, Garnett, Murphy all come into their own -- that line is going to be filthy for the next couple of years.
Looking at Oregon State's schedule ahead, besides the Civil War, what's the most likely tripping point?
They have to play Washington and Stanford on the road. I think they've shown they can handle tough games on the road (Arizona, UCLA) but it's still tougher to play away. And I can't describe (unless you've been there) just how loud CenturyLink was at field level. One of the loudest environments I've ever been in.
Chip Kelly has demonstrated that he's got NFL aspirations. Is that the only threat to UO being able to keep it's coach? Is he a flight risk to another FBS program?
Doubtful. The NFL will call again, and I think he'll answer the phone. But I'm not sure he bolts.
Favorite new Pac-12 coach thus far in the season. GO.
They are all spectacular human beings with great senses of humor and couldn't be more accomodating to Ted and I.
First, hope all is well. Second, if you sell tickets to the drinking contest with Ted I am in. Third, my question: By design or necessity UCLA (the team I follow) appears to be using many true freshmen. As I don't follow anyone else closely, are they on par with the rest of the Pac-12 in this regard or above the norm?
Colorado and WSU are using more. I think Colorado has used 21 -- 13 true and 8 RS. Their fantastic SID Dave Plati emailed me a stat (which I'll use in a Colorado story this afternoon) that freshman have taken a combined 1,031 snaps so for. That's crazy!
Which team needs my get busy living or get busy dying speech the most?
Ooooo.... one of my favorite movies and speeches. Very inspirational. I think Utah and/or Stanford could use that.
Hey we're a part of the PAC-12. Say something nice about the Buffs.
Loved that you guys haven't given up yet and than you pulled off a win -- especially a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind win. I talked with Embree about how much this has tested him as a coach and he was very forthcoming saying it's obviously hard, but the team looks to him for an example. Naturally, it's tough, but I think he's got the right attitude.
Any more info on Directv and Pac12 network deal? If not by basketball season I am out.
Talked with Larry Scott about this on Saturday. No movement yet. They are being offered the same deal as every other company.
When was the last time Oregon State had an easy game?
A recent article stated the Pac-12 is the 3rd best conference. How are we the third? I'd like a little clarity on that.
That's a formula the ESPN Stats and Info folks used based on computer rankings, W/L records, number of teams in the polls, tea leaves and the stock market. I don't buy too much into it given the fact that the Pac-12 plays the nine-game schedule. Pac-12 is as tough and deep as they come.
I hear rhythm and rhyme hit you up. Sorry about those two. They just miss the Pac-12 boards. Real question: why am I so sure about USC winning the rest of the way? Is this a medical condition?
Not too far-fetched. Obviously, the South looks a lot tougher with the rise of UCLA and ASU. And of course, there is still the Oregon game(s). If USC plays like the team we all thought they were, certainly they could win out. But it's a bigger if than it was in August.
With this Dobbs fella' coming in and Eubank waiting in the wings, do you see any way I end up being a 3 year starter?
You are playing efficient, mistake-free football. That's how you keep your job. Keep it up and you'll continue to be the starter.
Kevin, As long as you're already watching Dexter, you must stick around for Homeland. An awesome show!
Oh, I am. Love it. Loved "the smile."
Oregon at ASU, at USC, at OSU. I would bet my house their is one, maybe two, losses in there. Is their SEC style non-conf schedule going to bite them in the a___?
That's always been the toughest part about the Pac-12. But it's also one of the things that makes this conference so great. To heck with national perception. I love this schedule and approach. Great for the schools and great for the fans.
kevin, even though they are downplaying the rivalry this week (coaches/players) do you think guys like Colt Lyerla still know about it and care about it? he is an oregon kid as well. i would imagine he know's something about it..
I think this is one of the best non-traditional rivalries in the nation. Of course they are downplaying it publicly, but I promise you it's not happening behind closed doors. They all know about it.
True or false, Stanford will only go as far as I can take it
Don't try this, but if you look in a mirror and say "SEC" three times...they appear.
Did Washington just give me the blueprint to pull an upset at Stanford this weekend? What are my chances?
Not exactly a difficult blueprint. Stop the run, make the first-year starter beat you. The difference in this game is that he's back at home and not in the noisy CLink. I think you bounce back with a more respectable game this week.
Arizona is 3-2 yet i feel disappointed. How should i feel about my Wildcats?
Feel very, very good. I talked to RichRod about this. The hype machine went into overdrive when they were 3-0. And then boo birds came out now that they've dropped two in a row. The truth lies somewhere in between.
Ted must have no love for OSU.... He left Sean Mannion off the Offensive player of the year in PAC-12 watch list.... Not even on his others to watch list. Can you talk some sense into him. Mannion leads the #4 in the nation passing attack and its ranks 1 in the pac-12.
I plan on sending a strongly-worded email to Mr. Miller.
So many more wins do my Buffs rack up?
Hmmm... looking at the schedule right now... and ... uhm... gosh, Boulder is a great town.
As an OSU fan who bleeds orange and black, I fear too many OSU folks are getting ahead of themselves with all this Rose Bowl talk. Do you agree, or are they really, truly a Top 10/15 team?
I talked with Markus Wheaton about this on Monday. It's OK to be excited as a fan. So long as the players don't start buying into it. Lots of work still to be done for the Beavers. But they have shown 1) they can win on the road 2) they can win with balance 3) they can win close games. Those are all very, very good signs.
Jon Wilner has Michigan ranked higher than USC? Any thoughts?
Jon is a very good friend. He and I don't see eye-to-eye on how we rank teams. To each their own.
The Hobbit is being spread over 3 movies. Thoughts on the decision?
That's just the trend these days. Not totally against it, but will probably wait for NetFlix.
Which of the New Coaches looks to have the brightest future?
I'd say all of the above. Each is doing well in their own way. I think WSU wasn't turned around as quickly as we all thought -- and that's OK. I think Halliday with some more seasoning is going to be very good and the emergence of Marks bodes well for the future. RichRod, Graham and Mora have all done great things so far. I think we should be extremely excited as a conference for having these four in the league.
while we're on the subject of POY trackers .... omitting Michael Clay from the defensive side is a crime. Seriously.
Very fair point. Not sure what the penalty for said crime would be. But I'll suggest a lawyer to my co-blogger.
If the Utes pull off the upset tomorrow on national television, how does it affect both teams on the recruiting trail?
Interesting question... I'd love to tell you I can predict what's in the mind of a 17-year-old. But I can't. Some guys want to play for USC simply because it's a brand name -- and win/loss doesn't play as much of a factor. But if Utah wins, it's certainly a great chance for the coaching staff to walk into living rooms and gloat about it. Can't hurt.
Kevin, what do you love most about your job as a sports analyst? The way I see it, you have the best damn job in the land getting to work around college football for a living! Yes?
Without question. Very, very blessed. And my favorite part is the relationships with the coaches, players and readers. I love the chats with readers. There quite a few coaches I text with about non-football stuff because they are just good guys and I really like seeing players move on beyond college -- regardless of whether it's in the NFL. I still keep in touch with a lot of guys who aren't even in football, but are just good guys.
"you have the best damn job in the land getting to work around college football for a living"And just think how great it would be if he got paid!
How many PAC teams in the top 10 at seasons end bro??
Hmmm... I'll say two...
Whats been your favorite Stadium to visit in the PAC12 , Rank them from 1-12
Not enough time for all 12... but I love the view from Rice-Eccles.
Am I the only one worrying about the possibility of a complacent OSU team this weekend? With all due respect to WSU, it DOES appear to be the one easy game left on the schedule (not counting a possible makeup).
Last question -- I wouldn't worry about them being complacent. I talked to a few different guys about that after the UCLA game. They are motivated by the 3-9 season and essentially the message was they never want to feel like that again. I wouldn't worry too much about complacency.
As always, a great chat session. Thanks for coming out. You've got Ted tomorrow, and, as always, I hope your team wins. See you next week.