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January 2, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Gemmell

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:00 PM)

Good morning gang. And happy 2013. My New Year's resolution is not to field any idiot troll questions. Let's get started.

Todd (CA)

Your last name is stupid and makes me think that you're ugly.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:00 PM)

Whoops. Oh well. Guess there is always 2014.

Donald (Eugene)

I will ask the question everybody is wondering (even us Duck fans): Why did Riley keep Vaz in the game against Texas?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:01 PM)

Why indeed. I've been a big fan of Riley's for a really long time -- going back to the Chargers days. But that loss is on him. No adjustments of any kind. Bad, bad, game for him.

Cardinal Pride (Satisfaction)

What are the early words on Skov, Toilolo and Ertz coming back for next year? If they all return are we looking at a preseason Top 5 team?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:02 PM)

I think Ertz is probably gone. Not sure about Toilolo or Skov yet. If Ertz goes, it might be worth Toilolo's time to stick around for one more year and be the go-to tight end.

Tim Gray (Palo Alto)

Does Stanford finish in the top 5 in the BCS standings?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:03 PM)

Very good possibility. Depends if folks are able to look past the non-cosmetic victory. If they understand that's just how Stanford is built, they should finish in the top 5.

JR (Houston)

Kevin don't be a sore loser, let me hear you say it..2013: Big 12 > Pac 12Baylor WRECKED your south champion and Texas (on an off year) bested your Cinderella team. Even your northern champion had a touch time beating mediocre 8-6 Wisconsin.But hey don't feel bad, at least ya'll are still ahead of the ACC..

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:04 PM)

No sore loser here. Baylor brought it. UCLA didn't. Horrible, horrible performance by the Bruins. UCLA and Oregon State made the Big 12 defenses look like the '85 Bears. Great showing by Baylor and Texas. Poor showing from the Pac-12 teams.

biggeazy206, middle earth [via mobile]

How sick will the PAC 12 North be next season? Toughest division in CFB?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:05 PM)

Potentially. If Stanford can rebuild again (and let's start assuming they will), plus with all that Oregon brings back, an Oregon State team trending up, Washington is hopefully tougher, Washington State should show some improvement and we'll see what Dykes can do at Cal. Very tough division.

JSN (SLC)

Most disappointing bowl loss so far for the conference?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:06 PM)

I would say Oregon State. UCLA was just flat out embarrassing, but it was quick. Oregon State's was slow and painful to watch. Pretty disappointed in Washington also.

John (CA)

With the mess at USC, do you think M. Lee would turn pro now if he was eligible?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:07 PM)

I would.

Bubba (Oceola, FLA)

What is your take on the Sugar Bowl tonight. Its not who wins but by how much do the gators win by, right?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:08 PM)

Probably. I think Florida needs to get some passing game going. I like Teddy Bridgewater and think he's a talented QB. But Florida should win handily. Then again, LSU was supposed to win handily also.

omar (ca) [via mobile]

Will Lane Kiffen reconsider calling his own plays after sun bowl fiasco?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:08 PM)

I sure hope so...

Trip (SoCal)

Speaking as a USC fan, I am very disappointed that Kiffin seems to have the Pac-12 bloga??s full support. Come on Kevin, Lane is an embarrassment. He took a leading Heisman candidate and the #1 preseason team and turned us into a bunch of losers. We have six losses for crying out loud! Kiffin seems to be more concerned with deflating Oregona??s footballs or lying to the pollsters than he does about his players. Anyone can recruit well at USC. Once you take away Lanea??s offensive a??minda? he actually is pretty useless.ps- Whata??s with us not showing up on time to a dinner in El Paso? Ia??m embarrassed

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:09 PM)

Full support? I think you missed Ted's column yesterday.

Frank (Tempe)

With a lot of heavy underdogs in the next few bowls, what team has the best chance to spring an upset?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:10 PM)

If there is going to be an upset, I think Notre Dame has the potential. I don't think they will, but that's the one that jumps out as a possibility.

Don (Berkeley, CA)

Will David Shaw lose at least one of his top assistants during the offseason?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:11 PM)

Maybe -- but it will have to be for a head coaching job or an NFL assistant job. I don't see either Pep Hamilton or Derek Mason making a lateral move within college football.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:11 PM)

By the way, I'm still in the media hotel and wifi is shoddy so I apologize in advance if things are moving slowly.

BHollandz (Next to The Burrito Stadium)

Why didn't Coach Riley make the adjustment against Texas to get Kelly help blocking Okafor? Also why did he abandon the run the 2nd half?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:12 PM)

As questionable as staying with Vaz was, that's what shocked me most. No max protect, no running back chipping on Okafor. No extra tight end to help block. Schematically, it was a bad showing.

drake [via mobile]

Kevin people are already writing off Arizona for the south, but we return an all American a great oline and tremendous WR's. Which will all make the new QB's job easier and we return the whole defense and add depth. Too early to write off the Cats

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:13 PM)

I'm not writing anyone off in the South. It's going to be the wild-freaking-west. Right now I see four teams that could win it.

Julian (Sunnyvale Trailer Park)

If Will Sutton returns, does that make the Sun Devils the favorites to win the South next year?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:13 PM)

If he's back, it's certainly going to help. But see the above answer for the South.

Angelique (Pasadena)

Which team will show the most improvement next season: UCLA or USC?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:14 PM)

Probably the Bruins. Hundley will be another year older. I think there are four offensive linemen back (Baca is the only one gone ... I think) and some of the young WRs will have gotten good experience. Finding a replacement for Franklin will be tough. Expect a by-committee approach for at least the first few weeks.

omar (ca) [via mobile]

Is usc actively looking for a DC now? How long do you see it taking?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:14 PM)

They are looking. I'd say a couple of weeks max. My guess is they want to see what NFL coordinators are out there also.

Gowazzu02 (Sark 0-1 V Leach)

Who is next years Oregon State? OSU despite their terrible bowl loss had a heck of a year following a 3-9 season.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:15 PM)

Not to get GoooooooooBears hopes up, but I think Cal has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. If they take to the scheme, I could see a quick turnaround.

Andrew (Philly)

Trying to ask the experts the same question, since you cover the NCAA interested in your take...Do you take a chance on a O/D Cordinator or an NCAA Head Coach to take over your team?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:17 PM)

For the NFL or college? If there is a coordinator that has paid his due and has proven to be a good coach, I would have no problem hiring a coordinator. If it's NFL, I don't see a college coordinator jumping right into that job. As for the college level, remember, Brady Hoke was never a coordinator and he's the head coach at Michigan. It's not required. But the seasoning helps.

Keith Price (Seattle)

Who is the real me, 2011 or 2012?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:17 PM)

Hoping for 2011...

Seth Johnson (Bellingham, WA)

What do you think Oregon'd biggest advantage is against K-State? and their greatest weakness?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:18 PM)

Speed, speed and speed. K-State is fast, Oregon is faster. Weakness wise, we know the defense already spends a lot of time on the field. Now they have to do it against a fellow up-tempo team. Sure, they practice 1s vs. 1s in practice, but it's not the same.

Optimistic Bear Fan (Bronx, NY)

Sneaking in a question here on my prep period. Do you think Cal has a chance to retain Sonny D if he has success in Berkeley?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:20 PM)

I'm going to tell you a quick story. When Chuck Long was hired as the head coach at San Diego State, a competing newspaper wrote a story that "big time" programs could come knocking.He was the OC at Oklahoma and had a "name." He tanked, horribly. The lesson here is let the guy coach a bit before you start worry about losing him.

Brad (Salem)

If Bama squeaks by ND, could UF, Oregon or K-State be voted #1 by the AP with an impressive bowl win?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:20 PM)

Doubtful. The AP voters will appreciate that they beat an undefeated team -- even if it is a squeaker.

omar (ca) [via mobile]

Would people fault pat haden if he went back on his word and fired lane Kiffen?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:20 PM)

Crickets...

Scott (Atlanta)

Kevin, does Chip Kelly bolt for the NFL like Pete Carroll did when the NCAA came sniffing around at USC?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:22 PM)

If he leaves, it won't be because of the NCAA. I know things have been elevated, but I still don't think sanctions are going to be that harsh. If he goes, it's because he wants to test himself at the next level. And you can't fault him for that.

Trojan1981 (Office)

I am sorry that I am late to the chat, Happy New Year to you! What are your thoughts on USC's performance on New Year's Eve, And should Kiffin get the boot? I personally think he should!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:23 PM)

No apologies necessary. Happy New Year to you too, buddy. I think he deserves one more year. But his seat is super, super hot right now. The final weeks of the season have been a total embarrassment.

John (Sacramento)

Congrats to the Cardinal on a gut-check win,but was that the worst "running into the kicker" penalty ever? The Badger kicker could have had his leg shattered.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:23 PM)

You're right. Because Stanford hasn't had a single bad call against them all year. (Cough, Notre Dame, cough). Bad calls happen. Way it goes.

Julian (Sunnyvale Trailer Park)

Marion Grice got better and better as the year went on. What do expect from him in 2013?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:25 PM)

I think the way that ASU uses its running backs is extremely effective. Their screen game is solid, they split them out in the slot and they make the most of them in space. Grice has a role and he plays it well.

Travis (Indianapolis, IN)

Happy New Years. Kevin do you believe the Irish stand any chance against Alabama?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:26 PM)

Happy New Year to you Travis. Of course, I think they have a chance. They may have tiptoed through quite a few raindrops this year, but they are undefeated. And that's hard to do.

Gowazzu02 (Sark 0-1 V Leach)

Whats on your to do list for the off-season story list?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:27 PM)

Kickers, kickers and kickers. Why is the Pac-12 so bad at kicking? Nice to see Williamson have a strong showing last night. But on the whole, it was a bad year in the conference for kicking and I'd like to dig into that a bit.

Steve (Charlotte)

of the remaining six bowl games, which do you will think will be the best game?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:28 PM)

Fiesta -- and not just because it involves a team that I cover. I think it's going to be an awesome game.

Paul (Albany, OR)

Kevin, as a Beaver fan I really do appreciate coach Riley and his work. But I also agree with your assessment of the Alamo Bowl "in game" coaching. Do you ever talk with coaches after the fact (weeks and months, not hours) where they open up about their mistakes and how they did not see it while it was happening? How after going over film it was not so much the players making mistakes but the coaches not adjusting? Thanks.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:29 PM)

I do... quite often. After there is an mourning period, I'll chat with coaches and coordinators and they'll usually be a little more open about what went wrong.

Lee (Los Angeles)

Happy New Year, Kevin. ASU lost its running backs coach to Texas and rumor has it Mike Norvell is getting attention - do you see additional coaches leaving ASU?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:30 PM)

Possible, but Norvell is a Graham guy. Like the Stanford assistants, I don't see him leaving for a lateral job elsewhere. Has to be a HC position.

Jacob (Seattle, WA)

UWs O-line has been a problem for a long time. We redshirted a number of guys this year and our recruiting looks good along the O-line. Do you think 2013 could finally be the year UW has the depth to absorb injuries to lineman?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:31 PM)

That's always what separates the good teams from the great teams -- can you absorb injury. Scanning the roster, it looks like they have the bodies. But it depends on off-season conditioning and the strength coach. He's going to spend eight months with these guys. He's the most important coach on staff right now.

Phil (Lowell, MA)

Does K State have the athletes to compete with oregon or do you see this as a blow out?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:32 PM)

Last time I looked, they had a Heisman Trophy finalist at QB. Yeah, they have athletes.

Paul (Portland, OR)

Kevin, what on earth happened to this good Pac 12 showing in the bowl games? Between the Beavers (who at least competed), USC and UCLA, it's been a bit pathetic. Thanks to Stanford and the 'Zona schools for at least "representing".

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:33 PM)

Yep. Big fat bummer from those teams. It's frustrating because we all know what those teams are capable of when they are at their best. And clearly, they were not at their best in the bowl season. As you said, props to the AZ schools and Stanford for showing up.

Trojan1981 (Office)

After Max Wittek performance, Would he still have the edge on the QB battle?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:34 PM)

Competition = open.

Gowazzu02 (Sark 0-1 V Leach)

RE: off season to do list. Can you do some in depth research are the Pac refs really as bad as we all think they are. Comparative to other conferences.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:34 PM)

Will do.

Tim (San Diego, CA)

The annual Chip Kelly to the NFL talks are an inevitable offseason storyline. What type of situation is he waiting for? What NFL team would you guess he goes to?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:35 PM)

I think a team where he has some personnel control. Also, he needs an owner/GM who are going to give him the freedom he needs to do things his way. It might go against the grain of NFL thinking and it's not always easy for GMs to allow that. It has to be the right fit. But it could work.

Paul (Albany, OR)

Have you heard about any Dog House issues with Sean Mannion and Mike Riley? Something seems so odd in how this is happening.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:35 PM)

I haven't. And I've talked to people close to the situation. It was pretty head-scratching.

Julian (Sunnyvale Trailer Park)

Graham mentioned that both Eubank and Bercovici will have the chance to compete for the starting job again next season. Is there any way they could beat out Graham's guy in Taylor Kelly? Also, do you see either, or both, of those guys transferring?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:37 PM)

I wonder if Bercovici is the right fit for what Graham wants to do. Don't think Eubank would transfer. I like the fact that it's "open" because it will keep Taylor motivated. Kudos to him for winning -- and keeping -- the starting job. But this is a what have you done for me lately game.

Travis (NYC)

Do you west coast guys think there should be more bowls like the Pinstripe, so we can see how the southern boys play in real weather?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:39 PM)

Travis. I'd love to see more SEC-Pac-12 matchups. That would be fantastic. Time, place, weather, whatever, I know the conference and its fans would love it too.

Jeremy ((Pdx))

Oregon vs K state score prediction? MVP of the game?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:39 PM)

Lots and lots of points. Kenjon Barner.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Will Wittek's performance raise more questons, and lead Woods to consider the NFL more seriously?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:40 PM)

I think Woods already declared. Which is the right move. After watching the Sun Bowl, what does he have to come back for?

Keahi (Shittatle, WA)

Given the underwhelming performances of the PAC as a whole here in the post-season, do you think that people have greatly overestimated Oregon heading into the fiesta bowl? I cannot help but wonder whether they will come in and get totally trounced by K-State

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:41 PM)

I don't think so. We know what Oregon is capable of when they are at their best. Oregon could lose. But I don't see them being trounced.

Gecko (Fudge Texas.)

Which is better: An 8 team playoff (all at-large), or a 16 team playoff (11 conference champs and 5 at large)?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:41 PM)

I think eight teams is enough. If you're No. 9, too bad.

Eric Taylor (Dillon, TX)

If Chip Kelly goes pro, any chance Oregon looks outside the program for their next coach? Or is their OC gonna get the spot

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:42 PM)

They may look. But I think Helfrich would be a perfect fit (see Ted's story this morning).

HugeInTheEug (I think I said "TheEug")

Give me your five year out prediction of the Pac...Pretty much the same as now, or some surprising teams at the top (or bottom)?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:43 PM)

Hmmm... consulting crystal ball... I see ... UCLA winning the conference... I see Mike Leach being competitive in the North ... I see ... MacIntyre getting calls to coach USC... whoa... the crystal ball just exploded.

Brian (San Diego)

But what is No. 9 is Santa Clara?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:44 PM)

Ouch... uncalled for. But in that case, yes, too bad. I'm a man of principle.

David (TX)

Will any teams east of CO. join Pac12 soon?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:45 PM)

Soon? No. Unless we see a mad dash for conference to start scooping up teams and the four-league, 16-team super conferences, the Pac won't expand anytime soon. But if their hand is forced, look to the Lonestar State first.

Silvestrefelem (Tucson) [via mobile]

What happens to bowls when the NCAA switches to playoffs?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:45 PM)

They'll continue. And the now BCS bowls will be semifinals.

Uh oh Chongo (Danger Island)

WSU, Utah, Cal, Colorado-who is bowling next season?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:46 PM)

Cal has the best shot of that group -- even in a brutal North. Utah is probably next in line. Then WSU and then Colorado in that order.

Ray (Denver)

Who is the better coach, Shaw or CK?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:47 PM)

Interesting question. Different coaches. Different philosophies. Different approaches. Different styles. I don't think Shaw would be a good coach at Oregon and I don't think Chip would be a good coach at Stanford. Both are great for what they do and where they do it.

Silvestrefelem (Tucson) [via mobile]

Do you think Carey has a shot at the stiff arm trophy next year?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:48 PM)

He'll have plenty of preseason buzz (count on it from the Pac-12 blog). If he puts up similar numbers, he'll be right in the mix.

David Shaw (Palo Alto, CA)

What are the top three things on my offseason "to do" list to keep my program on the ascendency?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:48 PM)

Find a center. Find wide receivers. Never be satisfied.

Brian (San Diego)

ASU and UCLA has become a pretty important game the past few years (deciding the South's champ both years), how do you see next years game shaping up? And is this a trend for the future - these two teams deciding the south?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:49 PM)

As I said, the South is the wild west right now. I think UCLA could repeat, and I think ASU, Arizona and USC could all win it. Each divisional game next year is going to be a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Gecko (Fudge Texas.)

I see you have ventured to the second page of bowl pick'em (85th... ouch). We at the first page miss your presence.

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:49 PM)

Too much faith in the teams I cover.

Shad (Manhattan, KS)

Kevin are you ignoring me today?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:50 PM)

You didn't say Happy New Year.

Brad (Atlanta)

I am an SEC fan, and one of my friends was criticizing Shaw today. I think he is one of the more impressive coaches, all around, in the nation. Is he as genuine in person as he seems?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:51 PM)

An SEC fan knocking a Pac-12 coach? That doesn't seem right... Yes, he is. I've spent a lot of time with Shaw -- back when he was an OC at San Diego -- and now at Stanford. He was the same guy then as he is now. What you see is what you get.

Shad (Manhattan, KS)

Sorry Happy New Year Kevin. Will you answer one of my questions now?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:51 PM)

Fire away, buddy. As long as it doesn't contain any Dexter spoilers or if I can answer it or if I like it.

HugeInTheEug (I think I said "TheEug")

Is SC the Most Talented Six-Loss Team in CFB history?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:52 PM)

Might be. By far, the most disappointing team in 2012.

El Diablo (South)

ASU has really been the only Pac-12 team to dominate their opponant this bowl season. Do you see them taking a big step forward next year, with 2013's brutal schedual? Or do they stay mediocre again? They play Wisconsin, and Notre Dame so please enlighten us with a way to early prediction....come on CHICKEN! I double dog dare ya!

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:53 PM)

I'll go with seven wins for next year as a start. I certainly don't see them taking a step back. They'll need to fill some holes on defense and get some leaders to step up, but the program is headed in the right direction, for sure.

Nick (canada)

Happy new year Kevin. Any thoughts on what the approach to klein will be by the Oregon defense

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:54 PM)

My guess is they'll spy him early and if they can keep him harnessed, they'll start bringing some pressure. If he breaks free, I'd expect man coverage with the DBs and a few more outside contain zones with the LBs.

Jason (Seattle)

Any word on Brandon Magee's injured arm? Draft prospects?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:55 PM)

Haven't heard. But I think he's pretty locked into playing with the Red Sox. I haven't really looked at his status ... been a busy few days. But I hope it's not too serious. By far, one of my favorite players to cover.

Johnny Manziel ({College Station TX})

While beating Bama do you think I have NFL talent

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:57 PM)

I think you are an outstanding athlete, but have some work to do to be a next-level quarterback. Talking with folks who know QBs (both from the SEC and NFL) you need to go beyond your first look and get better at reading defenses and going through progressions. One read and run won't work at the next level. But there is still time to grow.

Weez (An Office near Boulder)

MacIntyre's staff at Colorado will be announced in the next day or so. The rumor is it will mainly be his SJSU assistants. With the assistant pool $ he was given should he have looked more outside?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:57 PM)

Not if he trusts his guys. It wasn't just him that rebuilt San Jose State. If those are his guys, he should bring them with him.

Jeremy (Boise)

You keep saying schools from Texas but which schools exactly? We know A&M isn't leaving the SEC, Texas wants power so they are unlikely leaving the Big 12, Tech, TCU, and Baylor really don't offer that much. So what schools are you thinking?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:58 PM)

Jeremy... I've talked to people in the know. I'll leave it at that. But there is more at play that can't be said publicly.

Shad (Manhattan, KS)

In the Interview Ted did with John Hubert, John called the Oregon Secondary "prima donna's" and said that they don't like to tackle. do you see this adding any more motivation for the secondary?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:59 PM)

I missed that one. But if he said it, I'm sure Oregon will take exception to it. Anything you can use as fodder this time of year is gold.

Marcus Mariota (Phoenix)

Am I as good as Manziel?

Kevin Gemmell
  (2:59 PM)

Yes.

Kevin Gemmell
  (3:00 PM)

That's it for me folks. Have to get on the road and head home. A healthy, happy 2013 to you all. Enjoy what's left of the college football season.