Chat with Ivan Maisel
Send your questions now and join Maisel in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Friday!
Ivan Maisel (2:01 PM)
Hello, and let's prove there' s something to talk about in college football in May.
Sam (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma)
I don't put too much value into spring practice. But who has impressed you this past few weeks?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
This may be no great shock, but I actually was very impressed with USC in the two practices I saw. They've lost so much on the defensive front, and you know they have a new QB, and yet the talent they have is just really remarkable. They are very, very good.
After losing their main WR corps how do you think Penn State will fare this season?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
I think that's going to make a difference, but the bigger concern is how young the defensive line is. I know Penn St. usually has some pretty good talent up front, but we'll see if talent overcomes their inexperience. I think we may find out just how elusive Daryll Clark really is.
How many games does Iowa win this year? Can they contend for the Big Ten title?
Ivan Maisel (2:06 PM)
I think they can and will contend for the Big Ten title. They have so many players returning from a team that seemed to find itself in the last month of the season. I would still say Ohio St. is the favorite, but Iowa and Penn St. will be right there in the race.
John (Akron, OH)
Hey Ivan, who do you feel will make the most difference whether Notre Dame finishes strong or weak?
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
I think it's the offensive line, which has been an underachieving group. The new O-line coach, Frank Verducci, has been around a long time. He has college and NFL experience. If he can unlock these guys and turn them into a better O-line, the results will be obvious and Notre Dame will be fine.
Will the Buckeyes score points this year? I know Pryor is outstanding, but they lost both WRs and I don't know if Herron or Saine can fill Beanie's shoes. Your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
There's some interesting questions there. You lose your two receivers, you lose a running back that carried the offense when healthy, and we all expect Pryor to be a superstar. He's not one yet, and it's probably unfair to him to expect him to to carry the offense on September 5. I think it's a big question mark and one of the most interesting questions of the '09 season.
Evan (Oviedo, FL)
Which freshmen do you think will have the biggest impact around the country?
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
The short answer is, I don't know. Based on what I've heard and read, I expect the linebacker that Notre Dame signed from Hawaii to contribute from Day One. I can tell you, having seen Matt Barkley play QB at USC, that he's not ready, but he's a lot closer to being ready than any freshman QB I can remember...maybe since Peyton Manning.
Adam (Chattanooga, TN)
With Tebow coming back for his senior year. Do you think any SEC team has a chance of taking the crown from Florida?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
It's an odd-numbered year, so the schedule works against them. That to me is the only question mark. Clearly there is a very good defense coming back with a very good offensive line and a once-in-a-generation QB. But the Gators' toughest conference games are away from Gainseville. In that league, it's never something to gloss over.
Larry ( Charlotte)
Who will be the Big 10's 12th team?
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
They won't get a tough team, but I feel certain that if Notre Dame called and said, OK, we're ready, the deal would be done. That's not going to happen either. Then you're looking at, as Beano Cook pointed out on out Wednesday podcast, someone like Missouri, and after that, maybe they go dip into the Big East.
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
It's fun to think about, but it's not going to happen anytime soon.
Scott Corpus Christi TX
Is Texas primed for a let down year with all the hype of Colt returning?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
Sure, but I don't think it will happen. They have a lot coming back. The issue will be, I think, on offense, a receiver who can stretch the field, something they struggled with last year. The biggest issue is finding a running back who can take some of the pressure off of McCoy, from him having to create offense play after play. But I don't think the pressure of expectations will bother this team. They felt cheated at the end of last year, so they have a lot to play for this year.
Ralph (New Orleans)
Who is your surprise team this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
I don't have one yet. Try me in August. But having said that, one team that comes to mind is Stanford, because of redshirt freshman QB Andrew Luck. If he is all that, as I hear that he is, then Stanford may surprise a few people in that league.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Is this FINALLY the year that Baylor makes it back to a bowl game?
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
I think there's a lot of hope, but I'd feel a lot better if Jason Smith were back.
Paul (Albany, OR)
In your opinion, will Oregon State continue its run of top 25 finshes and play in a bowl game this year? Any other thoughts on the Beavers forecast? Thanks.
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
It's never hard to forecast their season. They'll look bad for three or four weeks, then they'll finish 9-4. They always seem to come farther from August to December than any team in the country.
Just how good can Arizona State's defense be this year? I think they could possibly rival USC as best in the PAC. Also, will it be good enough to get them 8 wins this season?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
Somebody asked me about surprise teams, and when we think about the Pac-10 and who will challenge USC, the talk this season has been Oregon and Cal, or Cal and Oregon. I think ASU struggled with inexperience last season, so they did sort of drift off of everyone's radar, but you make a good point..there is room in that league for somebody to rise up. It certainly would be fun if it were the Sun Devils.
Besides Florida and Oklahoma who would you have in the National championship game right now
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
There's only room for two. I would say, if you made me pick someone to play Florida, it wouldn't be Oklahoma. I'll go ahead and say Texas for now, but let's please write this in pencil!
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
Ivan: Despite a bad year and a not great recruitment year, the talk & predictions out of Boulder this year are very positive. What do you expect from Colorado & why?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
I am baffled by the Buffs. I thought they would make more progress last year than they actually did. But there is room in the Big 12 North to move up. Missouri is going to take a step back. My first choice is Nebraska, but with as much experience as Colorado has, if they can figure out how to turn on a lightbulb or two in those helmets, they can certainly maker a run at it.
Shane (Lewiston, ID)
Ivan, I hate BSU. Will my hope for them to have a bad year come true or are they going to dominate the WAC?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
I don't foresee anyone getting rich betting against the Broncos, Shane. I'd love to be able to lend you support, but I don't see that happening this fall.
Allen (Columbus, OH)
Is there any hope on the horizon at Syracuse?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
Yes. I've heard a lot of enthusiasm from the Syracuse family about Doug Marrone and what he has put in place over the last five months. I think getting Delone Carter back will jumpstart the offense right away. If you can't have hope in the first season of a new coach, you are really bad off. So yes, there is reason for hope.
Will Ryan Williams be the starting RB at Virginia Tech at the mid way point? The kid is going to make people say Kevin Jones who?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
Wow. The thing about Williams, and the rest of the offense is, as good as that defense is going to be, there's not that much pressure on the offense to produce. All they have to do is not beat the Hokies themselves. If they can get a couple of scorers on the board, that is all that is going to take. I expect he'll get the opportunity to play and play early, and I'm curious about him too.
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
I hope everyone is enjoying our spring wrapups. Check out the latest podcast, and we'll talk again soon!