Chat with ESPN The Mag's Bruce Feldman
Send your questions now and check out Bruce every Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
Also, be sure and check out Feldman's book:
Cane Mutiny: How the Miami Hurricanes Overturned the Football Establishment.
Bruce Feldman (1:02 PM)
Hi...thanks for dropping by... still trying to sift through this Reggie Bush mess while getting ready for the huge weekend of games.
Two words for you Bruce...STEVE SLATON! All the haters can zip it. The Mountaineers are for real.
Bruce Feldman (1:04 PM)
That's right. he and Patrick White are lethal in that system. I'm not that sold on the defense, but it is going to take a very fast, very disciplined defense to contain WVU's offense.
UGAJ Stone Mtn G.A.
Hey Bruce are you a Georgia believer and can we repeat as champs in the SEC?
Bruce Feldman (1:05 PM)
I am a believer in the Dawgs defense, but not in the offense yet. So I'll say no no repeat this year.
Hey Bruce - Love your stuff. Where is the outrage over this Reggie bush thing? For my money, this is much worse than the Rhett Bomar debacle at OU, and a lot of media talking heads crucifed Stoops for that.
Bruce Feldman (1:07 PM)
Thanks... I'm sitll mulling over your point about OU vs. Bush on the which is worse front. You're right if USC did know about what he was into. I think there is a underlying sentiment that the OU car scandal might go beyond those two players, but if what Yahoo reported was accurate than I would agree with you at this point.
Donnie (Columbia, MO)
Bruce, how about some love for Mizzou? They've looked great on both sides of the ball in dominating lesser opponents. With thier schedule, a 9-3 season is possible. Can Chase Daniel and co. win the Big 12 North?
Bruce Feldman (1:09 PM)
I'm there for you donnie. I'm not only on the Chase Daniel bandwagon. I'm serving drinks on it. He fits that system so well and they have two great tight ends. The D looked very good against Ole Miss, but the Rebs really self destructed. Still, I'll buy the 9-3 and go with them as the upset winner of the Big 12 North.
Bruce Feldman (1:11 PM)
Just a headsup: my lead item in the blog today is about Reggie Bush ..in a nutshell, if this is true, I think the DAC folks have to strip him of the Heisman. As for the national title, the NCAA doesn't actually award that. It's the AP and the Football coaches.. but if the NCAA follows the Yahoo blueprint, I think we're looking at a monumental story.
Scottie (Jackson, MS)
Bruce, Do you think that Croom will lose his job at Miss State if he doesn't win a game this year? (I don't think losses to Tulane, J'Ville State, and Kentucky are even out of the question)
Bruce Feldman (1:13 PM)
I think they'll win at least 2 games. Their D is decent enough and there are some softies on the schedule..so I think he will be back in 07. He took over a complete mess. You have to time a guy some time.
Sean (Atlanta, GA)
If all teams go undefeated, how would you rate the following in your final standings: Ohio St, Notre Dame, Auburn, WVU? I know it is the 3rd week of the season, but it seems like WVU better pray for teams to go down this year.
Bruce Feldman (1:15 PM)
Good question...if OSU runs the table I don't see anyone jumping over them. I do think because Auburn plays in a league with a title game, it's a much harder road than the others, but winning at Texas and winning at USC would match up with any SEC related win. I'll say OSU, AUBURN, ND, WVU because after this week, things get a lot smoother for the Irish till that USC meeting at the end.
Ben, Tulsa OK
if USC gets stripped of their 2004 NC...does that give it to OU?
Bruce Feldman (1:17 PM)
Oh boy... Auburn? Of course they have their little NY Times scandal too, but I doubt the NCAA hammers them. Can there be a season without a champion? Maybe it's fitting since the year before we had two of them... what a mess!
Terry, Durham, NC
this is a serious question. does it make sense for the ND's and Michigan's of the college football world to compete against the USC's and Miami's and even OSU lately, when they have ALL had serious problems with theirs programs while ND and Michigan NEVER seem to have these kind of problems, yet they are in competition with these "outlaw" programs for the BCS championship?
Bruce Feldman (1:21 PM)
I think you should capitalized SEEM..if you think ALL schools in 1-A aren't prone to scandal, you're kidding yourself. Reggie Bush almost went to ND. ND and Michigan recruit many of the same kids that those other schools you listed do. BC, which is a very prestigious school, has had its share of gambling scandals too. It can happen anywhere. Do those schools have as many questionable characters as some others? Probably not, but it's not as cut and dry as you think.
Mike (Chicago, IL)
ND and Michigan have no problems? Ask Charles Woodson and Kim Dunbar.
Bruce Feldman (1:23 PM)
I don't want to pile on too much, but this is one of a dozen such replies listing issues ranging from a player terrorizing a campus for his sexual conduct to cheating that other users are reminding me of.
Bruce, I'm a Texas fan in Big Ten country. It's been a rough week. Give me hope for the rest of the 'Horns season.
Bruce Feldman (1:24 PM)
They won't have to play an offense as balanced and talented as OSU again the rest of the regular season and the young backfield only will get better with experience
Don't forget chris webber!!
Bruce Feldman (1:25 PM)
OK, I get the point... thanks ..let's move forward
Bruce, how do you see Penn State rebounding the rest of the season? They have to go to OSU next week, and it's been a LONG time since they won there.
Bruce Feldman (1:27 PM)
Hoefully for PSU fans sake, we won't see much more of Morelli trying to run the option or whatever that was... I think PSU loses to the Buckeyes and wins 8 games this year. I feel like they lost too much from last season on their lines and in the secondary.
In response to an earlier question, how can the NCAA strip USC of a title they never gave out? This stuff is all mythical in reality, right?
Bruce Feldman (1:28 PM)
Right, but as I explained the AP and the Coaches poll annoint a titlist. If the NCAA declares Bush ineligible, they can't just ignore that.. I don't think. Can they?
Did you see the game last week? UCF kept UF under 60 points!! and everyone said it was not going to be a close game!! How do you think the Golden Knights will do this week at home vs cross state rival USF (WAR OF I-4)?
Bruce Feldman (1:29 PM)
I actually did watch some of that game on Gameplan online...The Knights had no shot. I was surprised how badly UF thumped them.. Still, I like UCF to bounce back in this one
Crew (Ann Arbor, MI)
First of all great pick for your WVU game. You guessed the exact score, very impressive. Second I know you chose ND by a slight edge for this weekends UM/ND game. Is the slight edge because ND is home? Also do you think Michigan's defense is getting back to how they were in 1997 when they won the title?
Bruce Feldman (1:31 PM)
Thanks... that was fortunate because I thought MD would score that late TD to beat the line...My instincts are telling me Michigan is going to pull the upset. but for some reason I just cant buy Lloyd Carr over Charlie Weis.
Ben (Baton Rouge)
Most of the Experts have chosen Auburn over LSU in this weekends match-up. Do you think the chip LSU will have on its shoulder going into the game will give them just what they need to go in and win the game in Auburn?
Bruce Feldman (1:32 PM)
I actually don't. LSU doesn't need any more motivation playing Auburn. They just have to tackle a lot better than they did last year. I would feel differently about picking a winner if this game were in Baton Rouge
Ryan (Morgantown, WV)
How unreal did Slaton look last night? I have now watched him play for over a year now. For all of you who see him on t.v. It does no justice, he is ten times faster in person.
Bruce Feldman (1:34 PM)
He is scary good. He has a gear no RB one outside of Reggie bush seems to have. Plus, teams are already off balance because of White's speed. With White on that zone read threat, the backside defensive end can't collapse on Slaton so it gives him a lot more cut back room. It's a lethal combination with all that space.
After the OSU/UT game I am confused. Is Ohio State really that good, or is UT just not as good as everyone thought?
Bruce Feldman (1:35 PM)
I think OSU is really that good. It's going to take a great defense to slow down Troy Smith.
Ashton (Lubbock, TX)
why isn't texas a&m taking a beating in the media for their non-conference schedule in the same way Texas Tech took a beating last year?
Bruce Feldman (1:37 PM)
Listen there isn't a person in the media who likes Mike Leach more than me, but I don't think you could assemble a few worse teams than Tech rounded up. I think one of those teams had given up like 400 points in 1-AA the previous year.
Can the Gators continue to win with a running back by committee? The old adage goes "if you have 2, you dont have any" but isnt a 2 back offense necessary against those tough SEC defenses?
Bruce Feldman (1:38 PM)
I don't think so. I feel like they need someone there to step forward. Or else I don't see them winning more than 9 games.
bryan panama city fl
if there is a team that comes out of the SEC undefeated, how does anyone else have an argument that they shouldn't get the bcs championship game, being the SEC is a power house conference? I hear commentators already writing them off.
Bruce Feldman (1:40 PM)
I know where you're coming from, but how could you slight OSU, which would've beaten the defending national champs, ending the longest win streak in the country on their home turn and beating Michigan and Iowa. Or ND, which would've beaten Michigan and go to USC to beat them?
As an SC I must admit that the Bush story is getting worse and worse, but the question that I have is that from my understanding the NCAA doesn't have the power to subpoena individuals, so how will the NCAA validate the Yahoo story. I am not saying that I don't believe most of the story but at the same time people giving out the information are not the most creditable sources. Your thoughts? Before I forget, I think Slaton should win the Heisman, that guy is GOOD. Thanks.
Bruce Feldman (1:43 PM)
You're right. They dont have the power to subpoena...My guess is someone who was close to this Bush mess has a big ax to grind. If that info is in the Yahoo stories, I imagine it will find its way to the NCAA offices. Again, I wrote a little more extensively about this for my blog today
The Penn State '05 defense shut down Troy Smith. Any chance they can do it again in '06?
Bruce Feldman (1:44 PM)
Nope, This is a much sharper Troy Smith than he was at midseason last year..also this is a much shakier PSU defense, both up front and in the secondary. I think OSU will throttle the Nittany Lions this time
Can OU's defense do the job against Oregon? I know Oregon's offense is much better that Washington's, but I'm hoping OU can play D like they did in that second half.
Bruce Feldman (1:45 PM)
OU needs to tackle a whole lot better or Jonathan Stewart and Dennis Dixon will become real famous tomorrow
Dave (Wash DC)
Bruce: How many touchdowns does Leak throw? A dozen?
Bruce Feldman (1:45 PM)
tomorrow? I'll say 3.
If WV runs the table and there is only 1 other undefeated team; is it possible under the ridiculous BCS formula a 1 loss team could play in Championship instead of the Mountaineers?
Bruce Feldman (1:47 PM)
Yeah, I think it's possible, especially if Miami whacks Louisville because then they'd drop in the polls a lot and that would really invalidate the Big East.
JP (Wash, DC)
Hey Bruce, If Iowa beats Ohio State and runs the table...would they make it to the BCS Title game...or do they have too much ground to make up being at #16 right now? Thanks.
Bruce Feldman (1:48 PM)
That would've been my darkhorse answer to your question George N in Columbus... I do think Iowa would need a ton of breaks from other teams though
I'm confused... you previously wrote that Florida had the toughest schedule in the nation... now you seem to be arguing that even if they went undefeated and won the SEC championship game that ND and OSU would both be more deserving? I realize either way a 3rd or 4th undefeated team would get hosed, but voters really need to be able to abandon their preseason rankings...
Bruce Feldman (1:50 PM)
Yes, I do think Florida has the toughest road, but there is still a prevailing thought about who they feel is the best team not who has survived the toughest road.
Patrick (Seattle, WA)
The Washington Huskies have looked better this season. Is 4-7 a possibility? Are they making strides, or is it just impossible to be that bad for that long?
Bruce Feldman (1:52 PM)
I think 4-7 is possible.. The Huskies stil have a long way to go. Gilby left behind a complete mess
Do you think FSU will finally get their running game going this week against Clemson....and will Bobby Bowden ever consider another OC other than his son?
Bruce Feldman (1:53 PM)
I do think that they will get their ground attack going. Man are they due... No, Jeff Bowden stays with the old man as long as he wants.
Its the 3rd week of the season, lets have this BCS conversation in another 10 weeks.
Bruce Feldman (1:54 PM)
I know.. but we all love to speculate about the what ifs just in case we think our teams are going to get screwed.
Bruce, cam we get a lock of the week against the spread this weekend? Don't say WVU although that was mighty impressive.
Bruce Feldman (1:55 PM)
No, no lock of the week because that's me just asking to be jinxed.
Reggie Bush (New Orleans)
How much will this hurt my reputation?
Bruce Feldman (1:57 PM)
In terms of endorsements I actually don't think it will hurt that much at all... In the end I think the mainstream public thinks college guys should be paid plus in the upshot of this people are hearing about all the good he is doing with his money for the people of New Orleans. In the end, it's tough to villafy a guy for that especially when you see some of the characters who get commercial deals.
What's your opinion on having a playoff system to prevent an undefeated team(s) from getting shut out of the title game? Or do you think a mythical NC is the way to go.
Bruce Feldman (1:58 PM)
I would love to see an 8-team playoff system, but it just ain't gonna happen.
Bruce Feldman (1:58 PM)
time for 2 more questions..
Why is everyone just pencilling in ND to win over Michigan State? It seems to me that Sprty has thier number.
Bruce Feldman (1:59 PM)
Because MSU struggled with lowly Idaho and seems to be a sinking ship. I doubt Weis won't have them primed for MSU this time around
James (Dallas, TX)
If the 4 or 5 teams mentioned earlier go undefeated could this be the year that drives serious consideration of a +1 bowl system?
Bruce Feldman (2:01 PM)
Sorry, it's not going to happen. The Bowl people have too much power. Thanks for all the questions. Feel free to send me stuff though the blog mailbag. enjoy the games