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December 12, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Ted Miller

Ted Miller
  (2:58 PM)

Greetings! Hope everyone has recovered from an interesting regular season.

Jeremy (Honolulu)

How much of an advantage does Texas have in the Alamo Bowl being that the game is being played in Texas?

Ted Miller
  (2:59 PM)

Well, you'd think it would feel like a home game, so that's a big advantage. But Oregon has been pretty darn good on the road the past few years. Well, until the last third of this season.

seth (eugene)

why does the SEC rarely schedule games with the pac12? even when they do, they end up cancelling the games (ex. georgia vs. oregon, lsu vs. asu, etc.) or each conference usually has its better teams pick on the lower half of the other conference (ex. oregon vs. tennesse, auburn vs. wazzou). i mean if they are so good then why are they scared of us? i think we all want to see the top teams from each square off.

Ted Miller
  (3:02 PM)

The SEC has its own scheduling strategy. To be fair, the SEC has significantly upgraded its nonconference scheduling over the past few years, LSU in particular. Part of the lack of SEC-Pac-12 games is distance and economics. Georgia dropping Oregon, however, was a case of pure, craven fear. The Bulldogs didn't want to go 0-2 in a home-and-home series.

Don (Berkeley, CA)

Does Mack Brown get blown out in his final game as coach of the Longhorns? Does Texas even keep it within 30?

Ted Miller
  (3:02 PM)

I think Texas is going to come out on fire trying to win one for their coach. Oregon better show up.

Horton Hears a Pick6 (Pullman)

Do you think that the Cougars have turned the corner and will be going bowling next year as well?

Ted Miller
  (3:03 PM)

Yes... it might take a couple more years to make a legit challenge in the North Division, but I think the days of 3-9 are over.

Tim (ATL)

The discussion of Stanford v. MSU as it relates to "which would be the 4th team in a playoff" seems to highlight the idea that strentgh of schedule won't REALLY be a big factor. If strength of wins was the point, Stanford would be the no-brainer pick over MSU, but national pundits seem to mostly side with MSU. Thoughts?

Ted Miller
  (3:07 PM)

That would be a tough call on the committee, particularly with MSU losing to Notre Dame and Stanford beating Notre Dame, their lone common opponent. I tend the think Stanford's case would be stronger with the committee than other folks. It would be a great moment to point out the importance of SOS. But the Spartans did play a quality nonconference foe, and penalizing them because their conference is weak is almost unfair. For example, what happens the first time it's the argument for an SEC team over a Pac-12 team?

Stevers (CO)

I like a 6-team playoff. The 5 power conference champs and 1 at-large. 1 and 2 seeds get a bye.

Ted Miller
  (3:07 PM)

sure...

Joe Husky (Husky Nation)

Maybe instead of having SEC go to 9 conference games (like the Pac-12 and Big 10) they should schedule games versus Pac-12 teams (since the teams rarely meet in bowl games). Your take?

Ted Miller
  (3:08 PM)

the 9 conference games is critical. You need to standardize what each team does in its conference, and you need to standardize the number of losses a conference schedule distributes in the conference.

Dave (Seattle)

Kevin wussed out of answering this one: What is your view of Larry Scott, especially when compared to Slive? The TV deal was great (not for USC or UCLA), but other than that, nothing but silence from him. Slive was yelling from the rafters about a 1 loss SEC team having to play in the NC, even before the SEC CG. Thoughts?

Ted Miller
  (3:10 PM)

No... your thinking of the Auburn AD, not Slive, though obviously he agreed. What did you want Scott to be yelling about? He certainly hasn't been silent. He's very accommodating to the media.

Brad (San Diego)

Ted - We all know Brett Hundley has prototypical NFL QB size/speed, but do you think teams really believe he's ready? Decision-making needs to improve, and what about arm strength? I hope he stays another year.

Ted Miller
  (3:11 PM)

Hundley would be drafted pretty quickly based on talent, but I believe he'd benefit from coming back. He could go from a good to great QB next year, and that might mean a top-10 pick.

Blake (SLC)

Do you think we are eventually headed to a sub division made up entirely of the 5 major conferences?

Ted Miller
  (3:13 PM)

It's something that's on the table. It would allow for the big schools to provide "cost of attendance" scholarships, for one. There's something to be said for making a new division with 60 or so schools.

Justin (Ukiah )

Will USC make a strong closing run at some of the upper level prospects? Juju, Adoree, and Speedy?

Ted Miller
  (3:14 PM)

Sarkisian will certainly try. It will be his first opportunity to win over skeptical Trojans fans. Not sure how high that class will climb though. Sark needs a couple of recruiting wins, particularly vs. UCLA, to generate some momentum.

seth (eugene)

we have heard asu is a "sleeping giant" for a while now and it looks like they were close this year. what do they need to put them over the hump and awaken that giant, so to speak?

Ted Miller
  (3:15 PM)

They need to get bigger and deeper, particularly on defense, while not losing their speed.

Mike (Bellingham)

Will Petersen(and staff at UW) be able to recruit in the Pac-12 at a high level?

Ted Miller
  (3:16 PM)

My guess is yes because recruits know his winning track record with Xs and Os and developing talent. But it will be a different type of recruiting for him, which will require an adjustment.

Mike Wong (San Jose)

The starting USC QB for 2014 will be...

Ted Miller
  (3:16 PM)

Kessler.

john (atl, ga)

So can we finally quit pumping up the Oregon Ducks as the greatest team ever all preseason and during the season for them to lose to a more physical team year after year after year.

Ted Miller
  (3:19 PM)

no... Oregon is an elite program. It just lost to a very good Stanford team two years in a row. Just like Alabama has now lost to spread teams in consecutive years. Saban can't beat the spread! Saban can't beat the spread! Oregon has beaten physical teams -- Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl the previous two seasons. Stanford would do what it did to Oregon to just about every FBS team, other than Florida State and Alabama.

Marcus Mariota (Eugene)

My pride wouldn't let me leave the Ducks like this, but how much money did I leave on the table by coming back?

Ted Miller
  (3:20 PM)

A lot... but I suspect it will still be there in 2015. Don't think we'll have another "Matt Barkley" deal.

Robert (Butte MT)

Ted where do you have the UofA in your preseason rankings for 2014? And do you give them a chance at the pac 12 south title?

Ted Miller
  (3:21 PM)

Not sure yet but Arizona has a chance to be a darkhorse top-25, South-contending team... if it figures things out at QB.

Ted Miller
  (3:21 PM)

Not sure yet but Arizona has a chance to be a darkhorse top-25, South-contending team... if it figures things out at QB.

Roman (Tujunga)

The PAC12 teams that will have the biggest turnaround and fall will be....

Ted Miller
  (3:22 PM)

Cal will be better. Arizona State and Stanford lose quite a few important guys, though I expect both to start the season ranked.

Ethan (NY)

Hello, Pac-12, VT fan here. I've seen a lot of comments from UCLA fans about how UCLA is going to steamroll and put up 40+ points. I don't see it, do you? The Hokies' D is too good to have that many points put up on them. They ony gave up 14 to UA! I think UCLA has a reasonable 24 points, and the game will be something like 21-17 or 24-21 UCLA. Thoughts?

Ted Miller
  (3:23 PM)

I will be shocked if UCLA scores 40 against Bud Foster's defense with extra time to prepare. I suspect those trash talking fans are just trolling or they don't know much about V-Tech.

jimmy j (sjc)

Any shot for Ryan Burns to nab the starting QB job from Kevin Hogan at Stanford next fall??

Ted Miller
  (3:24 PM)

always a shot... but it would shock me. Hogan has great upside.

Aaron (Leesburg, VA)

Your comments on type of recruiting reminds me of Gary Williams former CBB coach at Maryland in this area. Gary's Maryland teams were perennial Top 15 contennders, that made it to Final Fours, and eventually won a title with second tier talent. But after they won the title, and 5 star talent came to College Park he struggled. Different type of player, different attitude. And by that I mean not as hungry, with feelings of entitlement. You know Peterson, or have talked to those who do. How do you think he handles the prim donnas, as opposed to the jilted lovers? Williams didn't adjust well, wasn't willing to play the game.

Ted Miller
  (3:26 PM)

From what I know about Petersen, he won't recruit a me-first guy even if he carries "five stars." He's going to upgrade the star-rating from Boise, but he has no patience with jackwads. He won't recruit them. Or, if one slips through, keep him around.

Joe Husky (Husky Nation)

Ted aren't you the columnist who once wrote that bowl season is like a whole new season? What you saw from a team during the regular season is not necessarily what you'll get during bowl games. If so, then why so much confidence in the Pac-12?

Ted Miller
  (3:27 PM)

Yes... I've written that a number of times. My confidence is based on the matchups. They are very favorable to the Pac-12 -- see the Vegas odds. I also think most teams are happy to be going to their bowl. Even Oregon, which isn't happy, probably feels like it has something to prove.

Kyle (Gtown, AZ)

Yo Ted, Am I just bitter or does the PAC12 have the worst bowl tie-ins of any major conference (besides Rosebowl). ASU playing the #6 team in the Big12...NUMBER 6! ASU finished 2nd in the PAC 12. How is anyone at ASU supposed to feel good about this disappointing matchup after such a good regular season??

Ted Miller
  (3:30 PM)

It's because the Big 12 had 2 BCS bowl teams and the Pac-12 didn't. In 2011, when USC was 10-2 and ineligible and the Pac-12 had two BCS teams, the situation was reversed. I think the Pac-12 bowl tie-ins are as good as they can be.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Have the SEC and Pac-12 separated themselves from the rest of the country? How would you compare the coaching depth in each conference after the hiring of Chris Peterson by Washington?

Ted Miller
  (3:33 PM)

The Pac-12 has upgraded its coaching depth exponentially over the past three seasons, and the Pac-12 was arguably the match for the SEC this year, at least in terms of top-to-bottom depth. The issue is those coaches now consistently winning -- on field and in recruiting -- and leading the Pac-12 to national titles. That's what separates the Pac-12 and SEC right now.

Rick (Phoenix, AZ)

Is KaDeem Carey gone after the bowl game?

Ted Miller
  (3:34 PM)

I'd personally advise him to leave. RBs have a short NFL shelf life. Sankey, too (that's for all the Washington fans who constantly whine that I don't mention Sankey every time I write about Carey).

Brad (San Diego)

Gemmell was trying to say that the SEC and Pac-12 don't have bowl tie-ins because of geography, but I say BS to that. Pac-12 goes to Texas for two bowls, so clearly we're willing to meet in the middle. Your take?

Ted Miller
  (3:35 PM)

I agree with Kevin. Also, the SEC has great bowl tie-ins already. It's not looking for change. The only solution is for someone with big bucks to say, "I'll start a bowl game in (say) Houston with the SEC and Pac-12 and pay both teams $9 million."That's not going to happen.

J (Vegas)

If you were offered to play at any pac-12 school, based on the city it is located in, which would you choose?

Ted Miller
  (3:36 PM)

Washington State... then I'd got to The Coug every night and put on 50 pounds.

John (Colorado)

Let's be real here, Ted. Todd Graham has NEVER won with his own guys! All he did to this ASU team was take 12 of Dennis E's All Pac 12 guys and make them commit less penalties. We will see ASU drop off significantly in the near future, if Graham even stays

Ted Miller
  (3:37 PM)

we shall see... I wouldn't take that bet to Vegas, though.

Ed Orgeron (LOUISIANA)

Ted, do you honestly feel Pat Haden should have given me a shot? The kids and the fans wanted me.

Ted Miller
  (3:39 PM)

I don't think Haden considered Orgeron a legit candidate at the beginning. And then he didn't think he was the long-term answer. They are very different people, and I think Haden wanted a more white collar, polished guy. We'll see if his instincts were right going forward. And I'd love to see Orgeron get a head coaching job and prove himself.

JoeinWestSea (West Seattle, Washington)

True or false: Top-to-bottom the Pac-12 has the best head coaches in the country.

Ted Miller
  (3:40 PM)

true... every coach other than Sark has a 10-win season.

Donald (Eugene)

Was Oregon's November performance an aberration or the start of a downward trend?

Ted Miller
  (3:41 PM)

I think the bowl game will be revealing there. I'm leaning toward an aberration -- Mariota's Knee! But it's legit to ask the question.

UAmatt (Tucson)

Kadeem Carey put his paperwork in to the NFL draft advisory board, and says 1st or 2dn round would be hard to pass up. In today's NFL with the short shelf life and apparent ability to switch up RBs with not much issue (even look at Gerhart and AP, both do well behind the line), do you think carey goes 1st or 2nd round in this year's loaded draft

Ted Miller
  (3:42 PM)

we've got to see what he runs at the combine. If he's 4.5, he might go first round. I doubt he lasts past the second round.

Evan (New York)

Was Marcus Mariota not given a far shake in the Hiesman race towards the end? He went 3/4 through the season without an interception and was the back bone of the Ducks offense. He has 2 bad games and only throws 4 picks all season and all of a sudden hes not good. Meanwhile guys like Johnny "Football" are throwing interceptions every game.

Ted Miller
  (3:44 PM)

Mariota had his worst games over the final third of the season, and he lost his marquee game in front of a national audience. He was a victim of circumstances as much as anything. For example, if the Arizona loss came in week five, he might be in New York right now.

Matty (Somerville, CA)

Is there a chance that the PAC 12 will expand. Maybe into the PAC 14 with Boise St. in the North and San Diego State in the South?

Ted Miller
  (3:46 PM)

i don't think that's going to happen. The Pac-12 would only expand to add big names -- and big markets -- such as Texas.

JoeinWestSea (West Seattle, Washington)

If the conference goes 7-2 or better in bowl games how many pre-season top 25 Pac-12 teams do you envision in 2014?

Ted Miller
  (3:47 PM)

Hard to say... at least 5 (Stanford, Oregon, ASU, UCLA, USC). Only Arizona and Washington (and maybe Utah) are losing their QBs, at least as of today.

Doug (Phoenix)

What sort of total bowl payoff will the Pac-12 teams see approximately?

Ted Miller
  (3:48 PM)

$500,000 less per team than the other major conferences because of only one BCS bowl team.

Max (Placerville)

In hindsight, do you think Pete Carroll left USC because he knew the sanctions would be bad?

Ted Miller
  (3:48 PM)

no... i think that played a role but he wanted to take another shot at the NFL.

Kyle W (SL,UT)

Who's my starting QB when we travel to the Big House to open up next year?

Ted Miller
  (3:49 PM)

to be honest, I have no idea. Don't think Whittingham does either.

Ryan ("working" in the office)

Ted - are my Utes a potential "Contendor" or "Pretendor" for next year's South Division?

Ted Miller
  (3:50 PM)

I think the Utes bounce back with a bowl game but I don't think they're a big threat to win the South. Too many questions.

Chip (Philly )

Auburn's gimicky offense may work in the SEC, but how would they do against the speed and physicality of the PAC12?

Ted Miller
  (3:50 PM)

It wouldn't work against teams that play big boy football like Stanford.

lamont (los angeles)

what team do you see finishing with the best recruiting class?

Ted Miller
  (3:51 PM)

Alabama. And Florida State.

John (Kentucky)

What team do you think is most likely to get into the CFP next year from the Pac 12?

Ted Miller
  (3:51 PM)

Oregon.

Gene Block (Lala land)

What was my portly AD thinking when he burned a home date so that UCLA could "host" Texas next year in Big D?

Ted Miller
  (3:52 PM)

He wanted to make a national statement and take home a nice check?

Jim Mora (Westwood)

Ted: I don't have a 10-win season....yet. GO BRUINS!

Ted Miller
  (3:53 PM)

Oh yes you do, says this Atlanta Falcons fan.

Lawrence (Los Angeles)

Do you see Cal getting a Wazzu like turnaround in Dykes Year Two? And why hasn't he fired Andy Buh yet?

Ted Miller
  (3:54 PM)

I am surprised that Buh appears to have survived. Not sure if Cal is bowl eligible next year, but it should win at least three or four games and be more competitive.

Nick Saban (Tuscaloosa, AL (for now))

so Ted - you're saying 'Bama doesn't play 'big boy' football? I beg to differ. UA's offense plays well everywhere - just like Oregon's O - assuming the QB doesn't have a bum knee and is a legitimate dual threat.

Ted Miller
  (3:55 PM)

we were joking... using the argument folks use against the Pac-12/Oregon... Trust me: I know Alabama plays big boy football.

Hot seats (AD's office)

Which Pac-12 coaches do you think have the warmest seats (or maybe least cold seats) next season?

Ted Miller
  (3:57 PM)

So much turnover, it's difficult to be on a hot seat just yet. You'd have to say the two vets: Whittingham and Riley, just based on recent losing seasons. I type that believing both are outstanding coaches in tough situations, but I realize how fans are.

Morrie (Pomona, CA)

Is Marquis Lee a done deal to the NFL next year?

Ted Miller
  (3:57 PM)

i'd wager yes.

JoeinWestSea (West Seattle, Washington)

Ted have you heard any word out of Larry Scott on plans to improve officiating? Every major national Pac-12 game this year had a lot to criticize.

Ted Miller
  (3:58 PM)

we talked about that last week (check the video http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/66596/video-pac-12-commissioner-larry-scott-6)... he wants to, of course. In fact, they pac-12 has been trying very hard to improve officiating. Just hasn't happened yet.

Prich Coug (Cougville)

IF Dykes goes 1-11 or 2-10, that seat will be REALLY warm

Ted Miller
  (3:59 PM)

yes.

Mitch (LA)

Pac 12 Network on Directv.......Ever??????

Ted Miller
  (3:59 PM)

one side must cave, and neither seems willing to...

Trey (Huntsville)

A previous poster referred to Auburn's offense as gimmicky yet he cheers for a conference with Oregon (A team Auburn beat with a simliar offense) Hello pot, meet kettle.

Ted Miller
  (4:00 PM)

In the pac-12, we call that "sarcasm." We have a lot of that out here. The comment was a reversal of how some SEC fans have dismissed Oregon.

Anwer My Question Please (Seattle)

Where do Cougs rank next year in Pac 12? Your best guess?

Ted Miller
  (4:00 PM)

middle.

Ted Miller
  (4:01 PM)

OK gang... time for me to roll on. Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.