Good morning folks. Hope we all have plenty to be thankful for. And if I don't say it enough, I'm thankful for you guys. Let's get to it... as promised, Chongo gets first dibs today.
It is January 14, 2013 and you are Larry Scott. What are the top 5 things you want to accomplish before the first Pac-12 kickoff in the fall of 2013. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:a) Refereesb) Pac-12 network/Dishc) Conference expansiond) Othere) Referees
First priority is continuing to expand the network -- and that includes DirectTV. Second, leaning as much as possible on making strength of schedule the most important element in the playoff selection process. Third, keeping an eye on expansion. Questions are already flowing in about what the Pac-12 will/should do. If I were them, I'd have a plan in place. Exactly what that plan is, I don't know yet. Fourth, a standardized injury report. I know fans don't love the idea -- but a standardized injury report across the conference would eliminate a lot of the clashes between coaches and the media this year. When Lane Kiffin walked away from an injury question, he walked away from the 10 or so other questions that would have pertained to the Cal game. An injury report eliminates that. Fifth -- postmark a nice set of Omaha Steaks to be delivered to the Pac-12 bloggers on Jan. 15th for all of their hard work. Thanks for the question and the poem this morning.
Don't you two knuckleheads ever get tired of picking against us.........and being wrong?
I picked you guys against ASU. And I picked you against Cal and Oregon State and you tanked on me. How come I don't get an apology email when I pick you and you lose. Can't have it both ways.
How was Ka'Deem Carey so overlooked before the season started? And by next where do you think he'll rank in your player rankings?
He was overlooked because people weren't sure what to make of a new head coach with a new system on a team that didn't go to a bowl game last year. It's not that crazy ... I would expect he'll be in our postseason top 25 and our preseason top 25. He's had an outstanding year and I'm glad he's getting the recognition for it.
Would Kenjon Barner lock up the Walker award with 100+ yards and a couple touchdowns this weekend?
Maybe. Franklin could do the same.
Kevin sorry the Beavers lost at Stanford thanks for picking us anyway.
See. I appreciate that.
USC has a boatload of talent. Is it fair to expect from them, as I do, a win every time they play a game? Am I just a homer for still being confident that they at least SHOULD beat ND?
You're a fan. Nothing wrong with wanting your team to win every week. But winning every single week is really, really hard. People ask why I have Ohio State No. 2 in my top 25 -- it's because they are undefeated at this point in the season. That's insanely hard to do. Ask every other team in the country other than Notre Dame. Never be ashamed of being a homer for your team.
How do I get my guys fired up to play the corpses and zombies of the Palouse?
Sark: "Imagine what it will feel like if you lose."
First, that bar scene gave me shivers it was amazing and second, If Florida loses as does Notre Dame Oregon could still play for the NCG right, I hear a lot of trash talk from SEC people saying they cant even win their division, but neither did Alabama
Agreed... the bar scene was absolutely phenomenal. Great acting, well-written scene. Yeah, the not winning the conference argument is just dumb. As for whether it bumps them... who knows. As David Shaw says, you can't argue with a computer. But I think if they beat OSU and get a shot at UCLA and win there, it will certainly help.
More crucial for an Oregon victory this weekend: Marcus Mariota or Kenjon Barner?
Little disappointed in you Kevin going against UCLA last week. Dont make the same mistake again! In all seriousness how do you see UCLA's Oline playing against Stanford's front 7?
It's key. I talked with Mazzone about the O-line a couple of days ago. He's running freshmen out there -- and with freshmen, you not only have inexperience, you have a lack of physical maturity. They are 18-19 years old against 21-22 year olds. That's a huge difference. With that said, the offense, an outstanding RB and an athletic quarterback have helped compensate a little bit. I think the line has played pretty well given the circumstances.
How exciting would an Oregon vs. Kansas State matchup for the Fiesta Bowl be?
Naturally, I'd prefer the Ducks in the national championship so I can take the Dexter tour of Miami. But if that's the other option -- I would love to see that game.
do you think UCLA throws this game so they dont have to play Oregon
No. No. No. Stupid insinuation and an insult to everything Mora has built. As I said in the What to Watch post this morning, that would be cowardice. And you don't get to 9-2 and win your division by being a coward.
Not a chance they throw the game. Those Bruins want to WIN and have a chance at Oregon.
Happy Thanksgiving Kevin. What needs to happen for USC to get it done this weekend?
Thanks Hopeful. Happy Thanksgiving to you. What do they need to do? #beLEEve
Kevin, you know dexter is shot in California and Not MIA?
Really!? (frowny face).
Who do you think Is the best candidate for Cal to hire?
I've gotten about 50 questions so far asking this question. I think there are some interesting options out there -- both in the conference, the NFL, and in the non-BCS ranks. I've talked to a couple of folks who know a guy who knows a guy who is interested. I don't want to put any names out there yet, but I think we'll see some movement sooner than later. So yes, this is me dodging the question because I know enough to know I really have no clue ... yet.
Deb Morgan or Sarah Walker?
Not gonna lie... got a thing for Deb.
What does USC need to do to pull the upset?
Not turn the ball over ... not commit penalties... USC is a far more talented team than Notre Dame -- especially at home. But they haven't played like it much this year.
Who is the best NFL prospect from the Pac-12 this season?
Interesting question... I still think Matt Barkley can be a solid NFL quarterback just by virtue of his understanding of the pro-style offense. But it depends on your priorities... Obviously Star Lotulelei is a phenomenal prospect on the D-line and I think Jordan Poyer is an outstanding cornerback.
True or False: UCLA has a realistic chance at beating Oregon at Autzen?
True. Before last week I would have said false. But Oregon looked -- dare I say -- vulnerable last week. I listed to the game while driving back from the Rose Bowl -- and I DVR'd it and watched it when I got back. Stanford's defense was outstanding in that game.
DO you think mora would leave UCLA if Sark was hired away from UW?
Doubtful. I think Mora has found a great home at UCLA. I spent some time with him after the game and he's really, really happy there.
What changes do you see needing to made to improve the football products at Cal, WSU, and Colorado?
For Colorado -- it's experience. They are saying goodbye to eight seniors on senior day. EIGHT! That's a young team. They'll grow up and hopefully learn from this. At WSU, they just need to get "Leach" players. He's got some now, but not enough of them. For Cal, they have talent, and I guess at the end of the day it came down to coaching. I take now joy in writing this because I like Tedford and I'm sorry to see him go. But with the talent on that roster at WR and RB and across the lines, no reason they shouldn't have won at least six games.
Have you seen Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. II more than once yet?
Haven't seen any of them. My wife wants rent them all eventually and watch. Not really my genre ... but we make sacrifices to keep our women happy. So we'll probably rent them in the off season and catch up.
Arizona vs. Boise State in the Vegas Bowl. Who wins?
Hmmm... I'm an Arizona lean for now -- just based on what I've seen. Honestly, I've seen maybe three of BYU's games this year all the way through, so I can't comment too much on them. But obviously I've seen a lot of Arizona and like what I see.
Lord of the rings or Star War (the good ones)
Hmmm... really depends on my mood. But I'll lean towards the Star Wars series.
Lets start the Ka'deen Carey for Heisman fiasco? what do you thing Mr. Gemmell, will Carey be a front runner for the heisman next year? And will he be the best running back next year?
I'm not sure he'll be a front-runner. And let's be honest, front-runner status hasn't exactly been too kind lately in the preseason. But I think if he continues to do what he's doing, he'll be on a lot more radars. I'm very, very impressed with him.
What needs to happen for the Beavers to reach a BCS game?
Beating Oregon is a good start (oh yeah, and don't lose to Nicholls State). Then it's just keep the fingers crossed and hope a BCS game finds you attractive enough to extend the invite.
did you win your chipotle bet
Hinges on this game -- and I picked the Wildcats so either way I'm a winner, I suppose. A UA win assures me the Pac-12 Blog predictions crown. A loss means Chipotle for K-Bone. (And to be honest, living in San Diego, I've never actually been to Chipotle because the mexican food in this city is amazing).
Is Lane Kiffin losing the trust of Alumni-Fans-boosters and most important Pat Haden
T.J. Simers had a great column yesterday about Pat Haden and the patience he has with Kiffin. I had it in Lunch Links yesterday so go back and give it a read. Really a nice piece.
what if K-Bone reveals himself to be Ted Miller haha
Mind = blown
Whats the next domino to fall in the expansion game?
Good question. I think a lot hinges on what happens with San Diego State and Boise to the Big East. I know they said they are committed, but there are a lot of other factors behind the scenes -- some of which I'm not privy to share at this point.
I won't be having turkey tomorrow :(
Sorry buddy. I'll have an extra serving for you.
What do you think of Kiffin telling Barkley to come into coach's meetings to get him to understand more about game-plan development for NFL interviews over the next few months? (Shameless plug for Good Guy Kiff)
No issues. I think it's a great idea.
where does Kadeem Carey fall into next seasons heisman talk?
In the mix. If you were to make a list of 10 potential candidates, I'd say he's in the 6-8 range.
K-Bone do you call Ted T-Mizzle?
I don't have a nickname for Ted. I guess I probably should. Teddy Football?
where do you think the ducks will ultimetly end up?
I think a lot of things need to fall into place for them to get into the title game. Best guess is the Fiesta -- at least that's probably the most likely scenario.
Do you think the pac-12 will expand in the next 2 years?
I think it depends on them reacting to other moves. I don't think they'll make a preemptive strike to expand. But if dominoes start falling again at a furious pace, they might have to respond. And as I said earlier, I think they need to have a plan in place (if they don't already).
With a weak O-Line and suspect D, do you actually think UCLA has a chance against Stanford
The O-line isn't weak and the suspect D has the Pac-12 defensive player of the year front-runner. Yes, they have a very good chance -- especially at home where they only have one loss and Stanford is 3-2 on the road.
Kevin, why are my Huskies SO much better when playing at home?! When we are on the road, we look like a high school team (beating Cal is not impressive). When we are at home, we are a top-10 team. We knock off Stanford, OSU, and should also have beaten USC if not for a fluke blocked punt and fumble, and there's no doubt in my mind that we would have taken it to LSU and Oregon if played in Seattle. Don't laugh, it's the truth!
$1 million question. Probably because it's impossible to predict how 18-22 year olds perform in certain situations. Some teams are just that much better at home than on the road. I will say the Clink at the end of the Stanford game was the second-loudest environment I've ever been in as a reporter. The first was the Chargers-Colts playoff game a few years back. That place gets crazy loud. Might have something to do with it.
What is your take on Manziel? Is he the greatest thing since sliced bread? or is it the first time in a long time that the SEC has had a decent QB?
I think he's a very good player. I'm not sold on him as a complete quarterback yet. I've talked to coaches and coordinators (both in the Pac-12 and SEC) who say he's still jittery in the pocket and needs to get better at his progressions. Which is why I'd still take Mariota (Bryce, your question just came in). But as far as athleticism goes, he's a stud.
Thoughts on Anthony Barr from UCLA? Dare to project where you might have him next year on the PAC12 Preseason 25 list (assuming he stays)?
After the season, Ted and I will take about a two-week vacation from each other. Then we'll probably start making a preliminary list before spring ball and start solidifying in June. I would expect Barr to be in the Top 10.
Hey Kev...Joe Bruin here. Will you be at the Stanford/UCLA game this Saturday? If you are, be sure to give me a chest bump!
I will ... eagerly anticipating said chest bump.
why is Dion Jordan a finalist for the linebacker award, isnt he a d-lineman
Sketchy area. I know Oregon doesn't proclaim to be a 3-4, but they have 3-4 elements. Those OLBs who put their hands down -- hybrid guys like Jordan, Chase Thomas, Travis Long -- it's a grey area.
Does the fact the humans only dropped Oregon to #4 (same as Bama after losing to A&M) show the PAC12 is getting respect and East Coast Bias is a thing of the past?
Maybe. I can't speak for how others vote. It's so subjective. Would be nice to think the East Coast Bias doesn't exist... but...
If I see you at the game, can you just give me a wave instead?
Sure. A high five or fist-bump would also be appropriate.
Hi Kevin,I'm curious? Everyone always talks about not being able to stop the Ducks when they get out in space. Do you know why or have a theory of why it seems the Ducks run to the short side of the field more often than none (in Stanford game this happened a lot resulting in throwing the ball away) and getting bottled up, instead of running more fly sweep or running screen type plays with DAT or Barner to the side with much more space giving them more open space for one on one coverage? Go Ducks! WTD.
They don't do it all the time. But my best guess is they have the speed to make the tight turn on the short side -- which most teams don't. The bulk of the time, teams run away from the short side. So why not go where the other team doesn't expect you to?
What do I do now?
Regroup. Take stock in what you accomplished. Don't jump at the first thing unless it's a really, really good thing. Get some sleep, come back in a year or so. You are very well respected and will land a good gig.
In your opinion what are the top 5 games in the pac-12 so far this season? Do you have a ranking at the end of the year?
We'll do something, I'm sure. Off the top of my head: Arizona-Stanford, USC-Oregon, Arizona-USC, Oregon State-UCLA, Oregon-Stanford. I know I left some good ones out so apologies for offending you and your team.
Why do you think UCLA was so underrated this year?
I think they entered the season with a ton of unknowns. A coach who never has coached in the college game before. A redshirt freshman QB who has never started. A new offense, a new defense. A running back with a history of fumbling. A young offensive line. Lots of reasons not to expect a 9-2 year. But hats off to Mora and Co. for what they have accomplished.
Should I take the Cal job?
Don't think so. You've got a good thing cooking at Boise. Not sure how true the rumors were you were offered Notre Dame. If it's true, and you turned down that gig to stay in Boise, I can't see you leaving for Cal.
Who is coach of the year in the pac-12?Mora? Riley? Kelly? or Shaw?
I would say it's a toss up between Mora and Riley. I would really need to sit down and weigh the pros of each. But both are extremely impressive. And for the record, those were my thoughts before last weekend.
Best places to celebrate a Stanford victory in Pasadena?
Don't know the surrounding area that well. But if memory serves, Colorado St. is where all of the bars are. Someone from the area can probably pipe in.
Should I take the Cal Job?
Lol! Would love to see a David Shaw-Rex Ryan reunion in the Big Game. A-W-E-S-O-M-E.
Corn or flour tortillas?
Flour. There are a bunch of places in Old Town San Diego that make the fresh in front of you. Sooo good.
If expansion is all about TV markets, then the PAC12 is in a bind. Only 3 good markets left on this half of the country: Sacramento area (no D1), San Diego (SDSU?) and Las Vegas (UNLV). Seems like there really aren't any good markets left for the PAC outside of going way off the reservation and getting way east (OK, TX, etc). I think it would be interesting to setup some sort of "minor league" affiliation with the Mtn West teams. Basically groom some of those teams for expansion potential in 5-10 years.
TV markets are a huge part of it -- but not the only part of it. You have to consider the state of the school, other sports. San Diego State has upped its standing as an academic institution. The basketball program is fantastic and the football team is on the rise. UNLV -- not so sure. I think any plan that's in place might include SDSU. I know AD Jim Sterk reached out during the expansion rush prior to joining the Big East. Will be interesting to see. But at the same time, the Pac-12 already has a strong presence in San Diego with all of the USC/UCLA alums. I'd love to predict what would happen in expansion. But I wouldn't be shocked to see the Pac look at some Texas schools also.
Who wins in a cage match: Lane Kiffin, Mike Riley, Mike Leach, or Kevin Gemmell?
I think Kiffin and I are left standing. But he's a big dude. People don't really appreciate that until you stand next to him. He's also probably in better shape than me as of today.
Happy Thanksgiving K-Bone! Enjoy some family time and remember: Thanksgiving is not about eating until you're full, it's about eating until you hate yourself.
Thanks buddy. Same to you.
With that, I'm out gang. Another great chat. No Ted tomorrow because of the holiday. Enjoy the weekend and a safe, happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your families. You guys rock.