Greetings. And Happy Holidays... Or Holiday Bowl day! Fire away.
Do you think Brian Johnson (Utah OC and Utah legend) will get canned if things do turn around on Offense next year?
Maybe if things are a complete disaster, but the coordination wasn't the prime problem with the Utes offense. It was QB issues and the across-the-board talent.
Pepsi or Coke?
Coke, without question.
UCLA's schedule is way tougher next year.... I know early favorites to win South, but do they have a solid chance at Rose Bowl?
A tough schedule is an opportunity! Things such as playing at Nebraska don't touch Rose Bowl chances. If the Bruins win the South, they'd have a puncher's shot at the Rose Bowl in the Pac-12 title game. And I see them as the South favorite, though Arizona State and USC are right there too.
Were the Cougs really that bad this year or was it the so called "Transition year" needed in order to take the next step?
I think the Cougs talent was better than their 3-9 record, though injuries were an issue. That would suggest that it was a transition year, with players needing time to get used to Leach, his staff and his schemes. It will be interesting to see how things go next year. This is still a team with a lot of issues, some of which aren't easy to solve in one year.
Who had the better first year? Rich Rod or Graham?
Both had good years. But ASU won the Territorial Cup and finished 5-4 in Pac-12 play, compared to 4-5 for Rich Rod, so I'd say Graham.
Ted, Kevin said yesterday that the Miller family Christmas card is on their refrigerator. Did the Gemmell's send you a Christmas card?
Gemmell's Christmas card was becoming a great partner on the blog this year.
Any news on the USC defensive coordinator job? My friend in Oregon was wondering also. I keep telling him to lay off the push ups but he never listens...
Kiffin has said he won't focus on it until after the Sun Bowl.... I've heard very little scuttlebutt, though some names have bounced around, such as former Cal coordinator Clancy Pendergast and Oregon State's Mark Banker.
Who's starting at USC next year, Wittek or highly hyped player of the year Max Browne?
I'd guess Wittek... I go with the more known quantity.
Who's Oregon's go to RB next year? DAT or Byron Marshall?
I think one of the touted incoming freshmen will be in the mix. Marshall will get first chance. De'Anthony Thomas will get touches, but he's likely to remain a hybrid player as a RB/WR.
Who can you realistically see being asked to join the pac 12 should they decide to make the jump to 16 schhols?
If the Pac-12 simply decided to go to 16 teams, i suspect they'd try to lure Big 12 teams first. While folks throw around West Coast teams outside of AQ conferences, there's little enthusiasm for any of them for various reasons.
Does Oregon have a shot in the Fiesta?
No... there's some discussion of calling the game off. Oregon then is hoping to add a directional school to its bowl game.
Ted - Bourbon or beer on New Year's Eve?
bourbon... most nights, I don't have the patience for beer.
Do you think the Pac 12 president regret not taking the Okie schools? A deal with Directv would more than likely have been done.
Okie schools and Texas as a forced tag-a-long.. yes, I do think it was a mistake. Not sure the Pac-12 presidents are in complete grips of the coming changes. It's as if once Larry Scott got them a big TV check, they stuck their heads back into the sand, as they had during Tom Hansen's tenure.
Ted, I'm going to ask you again, hopefuuly I'll get an answer. What type of season do you expect from Barry Sanders next year with Stephan Taylor gone?
Tony, you are so impatient! How do you know Sanders is going to start? I don't know much about Sanders other than he was a touted recruit, and his dad was the most exciting running back I ever watched.
What kind of year will you expect from Cal next year? Slow recovery or is all the talent on the roster going to turn around quickly?
Well if Dykes can work magic at QB, it might not be that slow. There's enough talent on hand to get back to .500 at least. Some of the touted defensive recruits need to step up and match their touts.
Since he doesn't talk about such things; how are the NFL beat writers so certian Chip Kelly will be in the NFL next year?
There's a strong undercurrent of mutual interest. If Kelly wanted the rumors to die down, he could simply say: "I will be the coach at Oregon next year if they'll have me. I don't want to coach in the NFL next year. I want to coach only Oregon."
Hypothetical.... If the ducks dominate kstate....the tide win ugly over notre dame...and the gators choke....what are the odds of a split ap championship?
What your take on Dinnergate? Kiffin being pompous as usual or media and fans on a witch hunt?
A witches' brew of all that, but the simple fact is Kiffin could have avoided the muddle by just showing up on time.
If the Millers and Gemmells were neighbors, would it be more like The Flintstones or Desperate Housewives?
Animal House? Naa... we both have young kids. Flintstones would work, though Kevin is more a Fred and I'm a Barney.
If Alabama started the year ranked number 10 would they be in the NCG today?
Fair question... But the SEC gets so much street credit that winning the conference title as a 1-loss team makes you first among equals among other 1-loss teams. It will be that way until some teams start beating the SEC in the title game and other bowl games.
If you got to pick any two teams to play in the Miller Bowl this year, who do you pick?
Oregon and Alabama.
Stanford's sold 40,000 tickets to the Rose Bowl. Are you surprised that people are surprised about this?
I am surprised. Good for Stanford.
Does that make you Barney Miller, then?
So the only way a one loss Pac12 Oregon team gets at going to the NCG is if the big 12 and ACC teams beat the SEC teams in the minor bowls or ND beats alabama?
No... Oregon would be playing for the national title if it were undefeated. The Ducks resume as a 1-loss team doesn't include a marquee nonconference win, and the highest ranked team it beat was No. 14 Oregon State. Alabama beat LSU and Georgia, both ranked in the top-10.
J. Scroggins (former USC QB) is he the starter in Tucson next year?
Maybe... but I was fairly impressed with Denker. Scroggins has some catching up to do.
Dear TedAre you shocked that Steve Marruci hasn't taken any NCAA jobs yet?
he's been out of the game for a while, but I am surprised he's never seemed eager to get back on a sideline.
If i don't blow a 14pt lead vs Stanford in the last 4 minutes and a lead vs ASU, finishing 10-3, Am i coach of the year in PAC 12?
Mac or PC?
a couple of big ifs, but it's certainly possible.
Mac... best change I ever made.
Who do you see entering the 2013 draft from Stanford? Who SHOULD enter the draft and who should stay for another year in your opinion?
I don't like to say "should," because it's a personal decision, and a Stanford degree adds another level. It's a valuable slip of paper. Not sure if anyone is a NFL certainty, or if he can improve his stock with another year. I think the guy who has a tough choice is Skov, who could boost his stock with a big senior season. He could win the Butkus.
Is Sark on the hot seat for failing to win 8 games again?
His seat is a lot more uncomfortable than it would have been if he'd won his final two games. Another 7-6 year wouldn't bode well. But I suspect the Huskies make a move next year, something like 9 wins, national ranking.
5 years down the road...which tier will Utah consistently finish in the Pac-12?
I think Utah plays its way into the middle, which means some years it's a threat for the top-third. And every so often magic happens and the Utes win the division, which means a shot at the Rose Bowl.
Assume we had the playoffs this year, what other two teams would be in the final four?
Alabama, Notre Dame and Florida would be certain. The question is how to handle the Oregon-Stanford issue. It would be hard to deny the sight test with Oregon, but Stanford won at Oregon. I think a committee would take the Ducks, but it would be controversial.
With the money coming in from mega TV deals , is the influence of boosters not named Phil Knight being diminished?
not if the booster is bringing the $...
What will it take for Larry Scott and Slive to get Pac-12 vs SEC bowl tie-ins?
Someone willing to ante up the money for a marquee bowl game, one that convinces the SEC to drop one of its upper-tier bowls. A real long shot. It's a regional and financial issue.
When you gonna post your bowl predictions?
Kevin made me join that bowl ESPN.com, Pac-12 blog contest. I made all my picks in 30 seconds. We also will post our "formal" predictions on game days.
In your opinion, why didn't Cal snatch up Gary Andersen?
Sandy Barbour went another direction. She liked Dykes. Wanted offense more than defense.
Ted, best view from a Pac 12 football venue:a) Lake Washington - Husky Stadiumb) Golden Gate Bridge/downtown SF - Memorial Stadiumc) The Flatirons - Folsom Fieldd) San Gabriel Mts - Rose Bowle) other
that's a great lineup.... There's nothing like the Rose Bowl for the Rose Bowl. It's one of the great environments in sports. I suspect once the renovated Husky Stadium is up, it's going to be considered the most scenic venue in college football. It's got the lake and the snow-capped mountains.
Do you think Bennett will transfer from Oregon?
I'll see him this week. I'll ask him. I'm sure he's thinking hard about it.
Best potential site for a bowl game outside the USA?
Barcelona... only because it's my favorite place.
Colorado's awful season. Was it talent or coaching?
I think it was far more about talent than coaching, but I've read intelligent criticism of the coaching. When you're losing, though, it's easy to find coaching shortcomings that seem reasonable but only after the fact. Embree was a first-time head coach, so there was certain to be some learning as he went along. He had a lot of quality guys on his staff. Sometimes things just don't work out.
Ted,Do you think Cody Kessler should get a half in the Sun Bowl? If Kiffin is really interested in having an open competition, don't you think it would only be fair to give him a chance?
I think Kiffin needs to do whatever it takes to win the game. End of story.
Your thoughts about the likelihood of Mora staying for multiple years at UCLA?
Solid... it's always hard to say, as a guy's thinking might change or he might get a great offer. Mora frequently harps on how much he now prefers coaching in college compared to the NFL. And he's a West Coast guy. Now, what if Georgia came calling with $5 million a year? Is that something that might appeal to him? Hard to say. But my feeling is Mora likes his present situation.
Just for a change of pace...Rafa, Fed or Djoki?
Federer... best ever.
Peanut Butter or Chocolate?
Which team has the most talent next year? Which has the best depth?
Hard to answer now. Need to know who's leaving and who's staying. Oregon would be my first thought for both, though it does take some hits on defense.
Ted, I have an in with the Stanford Band. Any interest in being The Tree for a day?
I must remain unbiased.... but the Tree is a righteous mascot, just based on its reveling in its own absurdity.
Do you see Taylor Kelly keeping the starting position for the next two years? Or do you predict Mike Eubank will eventually take over?
I see no reason to believe Kelly loses that job.
Assume Chip leaves. Does he win a SuperBowl before Oregon wins a National Championship?
Mexican or Italian (food that is)?
Tough one... venue is most important.
What happened to UCLA's tradition of going "over the wall"?
Hopefully it's dead and buried.
Ted, any plans for New Years Eve? I'm up for just about anything!
My plan is to begin my quest for world domination.
And what about Oregon States chances for the rose bowl?
Oregon State has the same problem as everyone else right now: Oregon and Stanford at the top of the North. I think the Beavers will be better next year than this year, which pushes them toward the top 10. But can they pass the Ducks and Cardinal, who are both top-10 teams? It would help the Beavers, of course, if Chip Kelly bolts town for the NFL.
The Boise State game was likely the PAC-12s toughest bowl matchup. Odds they sweep the rest?
The Pac-12 is favored in all the other games, but I suspect someone will faceplant. The big thing for the conference is, No. 1, winning both BCS bowl games.
Does UCLA get enough stops to take out a Baylor team that was much improved at the end of the season?
I picked the Bruins... I think the keys are 1. Johnathan Franklin dominating a bad Baylor defense: 2. Turnovers.
Mark it down CU wins at least 5 next year, lots of experience finally!!
That might be a bit ambitious, but you never know.
OK gang... I've got to head down to the Fiesta Bowl headquarters for a bit. You guys take care. See you next week.