Welcome to the chat. What have you got for me today?
What College Football Bowl Game are you Looking Forward seeing this season?
Call me a sucker for tradition, but I can't wait to see the Rose Bowl. Two defensive teams. Two great lines. Power football at its finest. Couldn't have picked a better, more traditional matchup for the 100th edition of the Granddaddy.
Will the Va Tech defense be able to stop Brett Hundley and company to win the Sun Bowl?
That's the question, obviously, is stopping Brett Hundley. He's the best quarterback in the Pac-12 at extending plays, and probably outside of Johnny Manziel, the best in the country and scrambling and making something out of nothing. It's not just enough to pressure Hundley. It's pressuring him and also being able to bring him down.
One of the concerns [from UW fans] with Coach Sark is how well players were developing. Thoughts on how that changes with Coach Pete? Has to improve, right?
You have to figure Petersen is pretty darn good at player development. At a school like Boise he had a lot of two- and three-star guys and he developed them into four-star guys. That's how you take a "mid major" conference team and turn it into a consistent top 15, top 10 type of program.
If you could ask for one thing for Christmas, what would it be Kev?Football related or otherwise...
A trip to the Rose Bowl. Fingers crossed.
Can you please put to bed the whole Andre Williams is better than Carey? Williams got 43% of his yards vs teams who were ranked below 100th in rushing defense.
Did a whole column about that last week. Even more shocking, zero receptions for Williams. I can't even comprehend how a running back has zero catches in this day and age of football.
How does your view of the Arizona State season change after the Pac-12 championship game?
It doesn't, really. I picked Stanford to beat ASU both times and I picked Stanford to win the conference. ASU is a good team, but they aren't quite at the level of Stanford ... yet. I think if Graham says with it, ASU is going to stay in the hunt for conference titles. I think they took a big step forward this year. To pull an old phrase, they are who I thought they were. And they still are.
HOW can ASU and OREgan get a win vs Stanford next year? Is a Larger Line the only answer??
Larger? Tougher? More physical? Stanford had a plan five, six years ago about what kind of offense they wanted to play. They are innovative, but at the end of the day it's pretty simple. We're going to line up our hogs against yours and we think we are going to win.
Should I be worried that Todd Graham has done a whole heck of a lot with Erickson's players? I mean we had 13 All PAC players but 12 weren't Graham's guys. It seems to me like Graham took over a very talented team and solved the only real problem they had- Discipline.
I think him and Norvell have done an outstanding job of developing the players into what he wants. Remember how everyone was screaming for Eubank to be the starter and look at what they've done with Taylor Kelly. They landed Foster and Jaelen Strong. They can recruit just fine.
Where do you see us next year in pecking order with our current team, new recruits, and transfers who have come into play who are eligible? The south section could be extremely tighter next year.
I was having a talk with Ted about that yesterday, as a matter of a fact. I have no clue yet where I'm going to vote in next year's media ballot in the South. It's absolutely nasty. ASU has obviously staked its claim. USC showed what it's capable of with proper motivation. UCLA (assuming Hundley comes back) is only going to get better because all of those youngsters are going to get older and stronger. And then you have the Arizona scout team making the move over. Long-winded answer to basically say I have no idea yet. But it's going to be a lot of fun to watch.
Would Chris Petersen have been a better fit as Head Coach at USC than Sark?
No. Because he didn't want to be there. He wanted to be in Washington.
Does loosing in the Conference Championship unfairly hurt the loosing team? Case in point, ASU's loss may have cost then the Alamo Bowl and a lower ranking as compared to Oregon.
I talked about this in the mailbag yesterday. That's the cost of doing business. If you win your conference game, you get to go to a BCS game. Would you rather have the opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl? Or just sit home on that last weekend and keep your fingers crossed for the Alamo Bowl? And let's not be too hard on the Holiday bowl. I have it on good authority that San Diego is pretty freaking nice this time of year.
How does it feel to be the greatest prognosticator in all of college football? You defeated Ted by going 75-17 in the Pac-12 while he went 74-18 in predictions. You correctly predicted the Pac-12 Championship game winner. In your preseason media poll, you managed to correctly predict every single team's placement in the entire conference from 1st Place to 6th Place in each division and predicted the conference champion. The entire world of college football eagerly awaits when you publish your bowl predictions.
Haha. Now I'm just blushing. We'll do our bowl predictions soon, and there's a good chance Ted could pull ahead of me like he did last year by picking Texas (thanks for that, by the way, Beavs).
Did the Ducks dodge a bullet by not playing in the BCS this year?
I read that somewhere. And it's an interesting question. I think the way they fizzled, the Ducks weren't playing their best ball. Perhaps they peaked too soon? I think a dose of humility is a good thing for this program moving forward. I'm actually writing a column about that for this afternoon.
Considering UCLA's easier schedule next year, do you think the Bruins have a reasonable shot at the playoffs in 2014?
You have to figure out a way to beat Stanford and Oregon (and now, ASU for that matter) before you start talking playoff. I can't wait, however, for the first guy to ask Jim Mora about his thoughts on the playoffs.
Who gets the next Texas Job? Will they STEAL a coach from the PAC 12???
Not sure who gets the job. I'm not on the inside there. I'm sure there will be some big names tossed out there. But I don't think it will be a Pac-12 coach.
How does Kyle Whittingham sell Utah football to his recruits after back to back losing seasons?
You sell the win over Stanford -- the team playing in its second straight Rose Bowl. You sell the close games to Oregon State and UCLA and Arizona State. And then you look that young man in the eye and tell him he's the difference maker they need.
You answered someone earlier: Would you rather have the opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl? Or just sit home on that last weekend and keep your fingers crossed for the Alamo Bowl? In this case the PAC 12 Championship game really hurt ASU's Rose bowl chances because they'd have won the conference outright without the Pac 12 championship. I have never liked the idea of penalizing someone for winning your division.
But they weren't penalized. They were rewarded with home field advantage. I get what you're saying. But you have to win the games. It's that simple.
Hey Gemmell, I know you love stirring the pot with UW fans, but why no mention that ASJ won the Mackey award for best TE in the country anywhere on the blog? Not enough troll link-bait in that article or something?
It might not have been on the blog, but I'm pretty sure we had a news story about it. Stuff like that generally goes on the news rail.
How do you see the Peterson hire impacting UW recruiting? To me, that's about as close to a homerun for the U-Dub as you can get in terms of replacing Sark. Could the Dawgs be next year's dark horse in the PAC12 North?
I think we need to see what the makeup of his coaching staff looks like. I think the talent is there to stay competitive in the north, but I'm not sure if they take that step into the upper-tier, yet. From a recruiting standpoint, the early vibe I've gotten is that he's been a hit. Now he's got to sell it. And it wouldn't hurt for the Huskies to win convincingly over BYU.
Great answer! You would make a good recruiter!
I'm always available for consulting work.
Is Utah ever going to straighten out its QB woes?
Not sure if it's something that can be "straightened out." It's injuries and a ton of bad luck.
Kevin, will Oregon pull out any big coup's in recruiting by signing day?
Guess we wont' know until signing day. Predicting what a 17- 18-year-old is going to do is tough. I think winning the Alamo and going into the offseason with a bit of a positive spin will help.
I agree that the Rose Bowl matchup is exciting. Do you see it being a close game that could go either way?
I'd be shocked if it's anything else. Stanford doesn't play too many blowout games. And they don't get blown out either. If it's more than 10 points in either direction, I'll be pretty surprised.
Advise for depressed Bear, Ute, and Buffalo fans?
If I'm a Buff fan, I'm probably not all that depressed. I think it was a pretty good first season. For Cal, it was just ugly and for Utah, it was just bad luck. Best advice is to support your team through tough times. It will make the good times that much more rewarding.
Whats up with the seemingly lack of respect the PAC is getting with post season talk? We play one more conference game than SEC and beat each other up. PAC has to be the best conference RIGHT NOW top to bottom?
I think that's a fair statement. Only the ACC is sending a higher percentage of its teams to bowl games. Right now it's about taking care of business. The Pac-12 had a very strong nonconference season and the best way to build up your national rep is to win the bowl season. Remember the Pac-12 was favored in seven of eight games last year and went 4-4. I'd say anything worse than 6-3 would be considered worst case scenario. And Stanford has to win.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!? You have Oregon #2 in PAC12 Power Rankings?! I can not see how you can justify placing them ahead of ASU just because they have a prettier image and got a better bowl because of that alone. They are a team who gave up in Tucson. ASU fought every game, win or lose.
Full disclosure, Ted and I were pretty slammed the last few days and we didn't consult on the final power rankings. I think we should have, because I probably would have made the same argument.
What are the chances UCLA lands Damian Mama and Joe Mixon? And if they land these two prospects will that translate into a top 10 recruiting class nationally?
Nabbing those two guys would obviously be a huge national recruiting coup. From what I understand, neither has visited UCLA yet. Maybe Mora can promise Mixon some time at linebacker to sweeten the deal?
Dissension in the Pac-12 Blogger ranks?
Haha. Nah. Just busy schedules.
Over/Under on concussions in the Rose Bowl?
Now that Mariota is coming back, and considering how Oregon fizzled (your word) at the end of this season, what do you see as the biggest hurdles my Ducks need to get over to avoid a continuation of said fizzle next season?
Not to give away too much of my column for this afternoon, but I think Oregon needs a little dose of humility. It's been a pretty crummy season for them from a PR standpoint so maybe a reminder that BCS games don't grow on trees is exactly what they need to get a bit of that swag back.
Kevin, what was your final ESPN Heisman ballot?
Winston, Carey, Sankey, Mariota, Carr (I think).
Kevin, we really wanted to invite Carey and Mariota to the ceremony, but for some strange reason Mason, McCarron and Manziel got way more votes.
See Ted's column yesterday. I think it's one of the greatest things I've ever seen him write. And I told him that when we talked this morning. He nailed it.
Who gets to go to the Rose Bowl this year? That might cause dissension in the Pac-12 blogger ranks. I can see that festering well into the off-season.
We'll do a best of seven round of rock, paper, scissors and hope for the best.
The PAC 12 coaching line-up is unreal, all of which are great coaches. Not all can win in the league. Who is the first one to go?
This league has had a ton of coaching turnover, and each team keeps raising the bar. You're right, the coaching talent is unbelievable. I'm not sure if anyone wants to leave. If you want to coach in an ultra-competitive league against some of the best minds in the game, this is the league to be in.
Why is Pancho in Phoenix upset? They stole a win from Wisconsin, lost to Notre Dame and got hammered by Stanford TWICE! They should be 9-4 right now.
I was on the sidelines for that game for my behind-the-scenes piece with Graham and I can tell you I was just as confused by the chaos as everyone else. I'm not sure "stealing" is the right word. Had Stave just done what every other quarterback in the history of football had done in that situation, we wouldn't be talking about it.
Kevin, don't you and Ted both live relatively near Pasadena? Why can't you both go?
Something about messing with the space-time continuum when Ted and I are in the same press box at the same time.
I've been to the Rose Bowl before. Been there, done that. No big deal. You can go this year.
I agree that the Utes got hit pretty hard with injuries (QB and otherwise), but the guys we get to toss the ball seem to be lacking that pac-12 talent level. Maybe one of the new freshman will show us that talent in spring ball, but it still irks me to see guys like Chuckie Keeton slipping past the QB radar at Utah.
Perimeter speed is definitely something they need to improve. And the offensive line play has to get better.
Do you think there will ever be a Pac-12 blog for basketball? It would be extremely entertaining in the football off-season.
All 9 pac teams are favored in their bowl games. Which teams are most vulnerable to upset, which are most likely to roll over their opponents?
Off the top of my head, I think there is reason for concern in pretty much every game except the New Mexico. I don't see how Washington State doesn't roll in that game. Every other game, there is a vulnerability and if things start going bad, it could snowball.
What's up Kev? you doing bowl mania this year?
Going to try. Chongo sent me the details. I'll try to get in on it.
Thanks for the direct to Ted's column on Heisman Bias. Amazing!! Do you think Mariota's stellar play this year masked average position units which should be better next year?
I think the guard play wasn't as good as they hoped, and Mariota's ability to run and scramble certainly helped take some of the pressure off those guys. No question, line play has to improve. And having Grasu back is a big help.
Ted, this was actually strategy on my part. I know my team isn't good enough to compete with Michigan State this year, so I wanted us to drop to an easier bowl and boost our 2014 preseason ranking.
Any word on some of the UW Assistants? Will Wilcox and Loupol stay or are they going to USC. Who will Petereson hire as OC?
Probably won't know what the coaching staff looks like until next week. Folks up there are pretty tight-lipped right now. Lots of money still in play.
Ted Miller? East Coast Bias? What's that? I don't usually read his articles; they get published past my bedtime.
We saw your guess at a current Heisman ballot, but what if the playoffs were this year and you were on that committee... Who do you vote goes?
I'd have to really, really study it. But off the top of my head, I'd say Florida State, Auburn, Alabama and Stanford.
"Every other game, there is a vulnerability and if things start going bad, it could snowball." - KG I know the Ducks had a 10 win season, but that still stings.
Haha. I swear I didn't even think about that. But good catch.
I've been wandering around aimlessly since Breaking Bad ended... can you recommend a new show to get into?
The Americans is coming back for a second season. I'd start looking into that.
Who do you see as the Wildcats starting QB next year ?
Good question. Aren't there seven on the roster? That's definitely an offseason storyline to keep an eye on.
Do the Beavers have a chance against Boise State U??
Sure. Boise State has a skeleton coaching staff and OSU has one of the most explosive players in college football.
Great Scott, Kevin! It's only a problem in the space-time continuum if you meet yourself...Oh. I think we just uncovered Ted Gemmell's greatest secret.
What, if any, impact will playing in recruiting rich Texas have for the Ducks?
I think it can help. A lot of coaches will hold coaching "clinics" when they are in town for bowl games. Which is another way of saying meet-and-greet with local coaches. Wouldn't be surprised if Oregon is already lining something like that up.
Why does Alabama get a spot in your playoffs instead of MSU? Isn't winning your conference worth anything?
Three of the four are conference champs. One team is from a stronger conference. Think that makes sense.
Is David Shaw "contractually locked" in at Stanford or If the Mack Brown Domino falls will he be linked to any jobs
Shaw is always going to be linked to jobs -- college and pro. He's obviously under contract, but contracts can be broken or bought out. But I don't see him going to Texas. Not sure that's a good fit for him. And I don't think he's looking to make that kind of a move.
Kevin, I'm from Socal, but living in the Bay Area now. I'm not getting all the fuss about Mondo - Iguana Burrito (San Jose, Santa Clara) and Taqueria 3 in Sunnyvale are so much better. Also, In N Out does make the best burgers. Maybe its a nostalgia thing for you and me, but when you are back up here you need to try these other burrito places.
Mondo has that college nostalgia for me. But try Muchos in downtown San Jose on Santa Clara Street. It's awesome. And I still think In-N-Out is overrated.
Nice job on the teams-that-didn't-make-bowls article, Kevin. I noticed that there were no AQ teams on that list, but how close was a Pac-12 team (hello WSU, OSU) to making it?
Thanks. I don't think the Pac-12 teams were really in jeopardy. If you have a chance to bring in Western Kentucky or Oregon State, you're going to go with the Pac-12 team.
What do you feel of Tulane's new found success? Will they win their bowl game this year and what do you expect of them in the future?
Is Shaun King still playing QB? It's great that they got to seven wins, but to be honest, I don't know a darn thing about them this year. All I know is they had a bowl drought, now they don't, so good for them. Have no idea what to expect in the future. Sorry.
Kevin, if the strength of schedule argument is going to mean anything, surely it should be Baylor and Stanford who get first consideration before Alabama. 9 conference games is brutal.
Stanford is in there. And I think the Pac-12 schedule is a lot harder than the Big 12 schedule.
What do you think about Kirk Herbstreit's comments about Jim Harbaugh being a darkhorse for the Texas job? Any chance that happens?
Haven't heard or read those yet. But I have a hard time believing he'll leave the 49ers.
Obviously a lot of things would have needed to go differently, but how awesome would an ASU-Wisconsin Rose Bowl have been?
So awesome. But I'll take this matchup.
You really put Stanford in the playoffs over Michigan State? The same Stanford that lost to Utah? Classic.
The same Stanford that beat Notre Dame which Michigan State lost to? As I said, I would need to study it more extensively. This is a chat, and it was off the top of my head.
Given the upcoming playoff, what changes do you recommend I implement for 2014?
Depends what the rest of the conferences do. If everyone moves to an eight-game schedule, then the Pac-12 needs to be on a level playing field. If they go nine games, keep it as is. The Pac-12 is already very ambitious with its nonconference scheduling. But there has to be some uniformity when it comes to league play.
How does the Pac12 get some better bowl alignments after the Rose Bowl?
It just locked up new extensions with all the bowl games except New Mexico and it added Buffalo Wild Wings. More Big 10 matchups will make for better games.
MSU has 1 victory over a team in the current BCS or AP top 25... Stanford has 4 over BCS top-25, and 5 if you measure the AP top-25... strength of their resume isn't even close...
Love the chats--and think you deserve a bigger stage, maybe a higher profile job. Hope you are staying put too. What is the next year plan for you and Ted?
Thanks JRB. The chats are one of my favorite parts of the job. Happy to say it will be more of the same from Ted and tomorrow, next week and next year.
Will we have see an SEC-Pac-12 bowl agreement?
Hit on that in the mailbag yesterday. It's a geography issue and filling seats. It would have to be a centralized location and it would have to be a quality matchup every year to fill that stadium. I think it's a tough draw to make that happen annually.
Looking forward to next year, how do you think ASU will fair after losing key players such as Will Sutton and Marion Grice?
There is some re-tooling to do, for sure. I think the biggest issue they need to address is better special teams play. Get a reliable punter. Gonzelez is a solid kicker. But overall special teams play, kick coverage etc., has to get way better.
Do you think Pendergast gets out of the Pac-12 regardless of how the coaching shuffle pans out?
That's a really interesting question. What he did at USC was oustanding. He's one of the better defensive minds in the country so he'll land on his feet somewhere. Hopefully it's still in the Pac-12 because his expertise is great for the conference.
Everyone keeps talking about the need to fill seats and hotel rooms at bowl games but don't TV ratings matter as well??? Alabama-Oregon would have been off the charts for TV ratings.
Not as much as tourism money, apparently. Agreed, that game would have been a ratings home run. I think the SEC Big-12 scheduling alliance also played a role.
What Pac team needs to win its bowl game the most?
Stanford -- for the sake of national credibility for the conference. You have to win your BCS game. And then Oregon because they need to right the ship, finish in the top 10 of the rankings and head into the offseason with some momentum. The same could be said for the other seven teams. And I think UCLA probably needs a win to justify the Mora extension and perhaps keep Hundley around for another year. But Oregon and Stanford are still the league's two highest profile teams. And as Stanford and Oregon go, so goes the national reputation of the league.
OK gang. That will do it for me today. Another great chat, as always. You've got Ted tomorrow. Be nice.