Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by for a chat on the 2009 season.
Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. In addition to covering college football for the site, he contributes to ESPN's SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine. He also contributes to ESPN.com's golf coverage.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:04 PM)
Ivan said he will be here in about 5 minutes.
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
Hi, everyone. I want to urge you to check out two pieces I think you'll like. One is the story I wrote on the Memorial Stadiums around the nation as part of our Veterans Day tribute. The other is the special guest on the ESPNU College Football Podcast: Keith Jackson. It's so great to hear his voice again.
Seth A (Orion, IL)
Since you're the only college football analyst who doesn't seem to have a severe hatred for Iowa, I decided to ask you this question. Why all the hatred for Iowa?? Everyone says now that they've lost we have finally seen what type of team they are. They STILL had a chance to win that game in the 4th quarter. They lost because their starting QB got hurt. Nobody looks at the possibility that Iowa is maybe just a darn good team, who might be even better next year.
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I think the incredible circumstances that have surrounded more than one, more than two, more than three, etc., Hawkeye victories have caused your grizzled veteran media types to be skeptical. I felt like, hey, a win is a win is a win, especically if you're 9-0. I liked Ricky Stanzi, and now we all know how good he is.
Jillian (Corvallis, OR)
Forgive my second comment, but I just read your article on Memorial Stadiums and I have tears in my eyes. Masterful writing, Ivan, simply masterful.
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
Thanks! I enjoyed the research. The whole notion of "Memorial Stadiums" is something we take for granted. I know I never thought of why they are named that way.
David (Mediocre Michigan)
Hi Buzz. Ivan -- love your style. In a 3 point this week you said U of M should recognize the improvement. Local media screams that RR took over a fundamentally sound program from Uncle Lloyd, and broke it. Do you agree and was it necessary?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
Well, there's an analogy there somewhere about Mercedes and BMW. Both good cars. Need different parts. Rodriguez's style and Carr's style, personally and fundamentally, are different. The transition remains in progress. If Michigan doesn't improve next year, then I'll begin to wonder.
The non-BCS teams continue to get discredited because they don't play a tough schedule. Does anyone notice that TCU has played a much harder schedule than say Texas who might not beat a single ranked team this entire year (if OU beast OK State)?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
I spoke with TCU head coach Gary Patterson today, and until he pointed out that they won at Virginia, at Clemson, at Air Force and at BYU, have played two games in the rain and one in the snow, I didn't realize it. I'm covering the Utah game, and I'm excited to see TCU.
Do you agree or disagree with Lane Kiffin's comments about coaching salaries? He generally talks like a spoiled brat, but I think he's dead on here.
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
Kiffin said if you win, nobody questions salaries. He's right. I'm not sure that makes the pay scale OK, but the market controls that.
Crazy that Vince Young and Colt McCoy might miss out on the Heisman?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
I voted for Bush, so I don't think it was crazy. We all remember VY's incredible game against USC, but that came after the vote. McCoy played better last year than this year, so I'm not surprised by that, either. Great player, though.
Alex (New Rochelle)
Big East a little better than being portrayed nationally? And what do you think of PItt?
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I think the Big East is better than its rep. If Cincinnati and Pitt win out leading up to their Dec. 5 game, that will be quite a show. Florida-Alabama may suck all the oxygen out of the college football room that day, but Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will be a keeper.
Dean (The West)
In an alternate reality, Boise State is in the Pac-10 conference. Looking objectively, what would their win-loss record be? See where I'm going with this?
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
Yes, I do, and I understand the question. I don't think they would be undefeated. But they are, and should have credit for it. Oregon's loss really hurt them, too.
Ivan, go on, tell us how proud you are to be a Stanford Alum..... That said, how long until J. Harbaugh apologizes for the academics remark and joins the Maize and Blue?
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I am, except for the part where I had Oregon as my No. 9 game in the Pick 'em Challenge last week.
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
to answer your question re Michigan, I can't imagine anything happening that soon. Bill Martin is retiring as AD in Ann Arbor next year, and I would be surprised if the guy coming in makes an immediate change. Ask Syracuse how well it works out when an AD makes a coaching change in his first month.
Jacob (New Orleans)
So what do you think has a better chance of happening: Ingram visiting and leaving New York with an extra souvenir, or 'Bama finding the end of the rainbow? Or are they reciprocally dependent upon one another?
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
The odds are OK on both. If I had to pick one, I'd say Ingram, because he has one fewer game to win to get the souvenir.
5 best teams you've ever seen?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
95 Nebraska, 92 Alabama, 04 USC, give me a minute
do you know which BCS bowl have priority this year in terms of at-large selections? what are the chances of USC vs. UF/Bama loser in the Sugar Bowl?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
The first two picks go to the bowls that lose their "host" team. As it now stands, that would be either Sugar-Fiesta or Fiesta-Sugar. After that, it's Orange-Fiesta-Sugar.
I'm surprised to hear you talk about how good Rick Stanzi is. I haven't watched much of Iowa this year but whenever I have I've seen him throwing multiple interceptions. The stats back that up as he has double digit INT's. Are you sure Iowa wasn't just winning in spite of him?
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
Yeah, I meant 4th-quarter Stanzi, not 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-quarter Stanzi.
Speaking of best teams ever, 1994 Penn State!
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
Yeah, I voted for Nebraska that year. Sorry. My other two teams that are the best I've seen would be Miami in 2001 and USC in 1979.
Alan (Rip City)
Are you willing to tell us the worst team you've ever seen?
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
I covered winless Kansas vs. winless Kansas State in 1988. I think that qualifies.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
But for a single play, 83 Nebraska as well.
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
Perhaps, but I never saw them in person. I covered the USC '79 team in college, and I didn't pick up the college football fulltime until 1987. Got here as fast as I could, though.
Ry (Eugene, OR)
Who do you like to play in the Rose Bowl?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
Oregon-Ohio State. That would be a lot of fun, two teams that haven't been there in a while. That makes the atmosphere at the game so electric.
ralph cozzino (bloomingdale,new jersey)
what is the worst ohio state buckeye team you have seen?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
Ha! I don't see a lot of bad teams. Not the nature of my job. I am a total unapologetic front-runner.
Tyrone (Silver Spring, MD)
Josh Nesbitt has 15 rushing touchdowns, has over 10 ypa passing, and has lead his team to a 9-1 mark and #7 in the BCS. He also has Heisman worthy clutch play in close wins over Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. What else does he have to do to get one miserly vote in Heisman Watch?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
Good question. I don't know. I think so much preseason attention was devoted to Dwyer, and then the offense laid an egg early at Miami, and only recently has it dawned on everyone what kind of numbers that Nesbitt has.
Jordan Hill (Kingstree, SC)
who will the acc champ play in the orange bowl? top 3 choices for opponents? Clemson or Ga Tech?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
Let's assume that the Sugar takes the SEC runner up and the Fiesta takes the Big Ten runnerup at 10-2 with its first pick. I say that because I figure most bowls pick a team that will sell tickets with their first pick. That leaves the Orange Bowl with Cincinnati, TCU, Boise State. Cincinnati again?
Do you believe the Hiesman goes to the best player in college football, regardless of position? Who to you think that actually is?
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
No I don't. I hear it's Suh at Nebraska. That's what his supporters claim, anyway.
Ivan, I like your podcasts but I think you really did a disservice when you acted like the fact there is no grand conspiracy means nothing is wrong with reffing in the SEC and elsewhere. Facts are refs like everyone know there are millions of dollars at stake and all the blow calls going for the cash cows is not an accident. And don't act like LSU winning would have meant the same thing as bama.
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
Sorry. I also think Oswald acted alone.
Big T (State College, PA)
In the spirit of Veterans Day, what are the chances that Army (3-6) returns to a bowl game? They have VMI (should win), North Texas (should win) and Navy(possible win) left.
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
Navy should win on paper, but if ever a game didn't depend on paper, it's Army-Navy. It would be great if all three service academies made it to bowls.
Out of Boise, Cincy, and TCU which has the best chance of playing for the championship if two of the current top 3 fall?
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
TCu will suffer in the computers by closing with Wyoming and New Mexico. I think Cincinnati could overtake the Horned Frogs.
LOL.. Nice Ivan. Yeah it's a total random that the big boys get all the calls. I guess you didn't take statistics.
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
I took it for three weeks. When I discovered it was more complicated than figuring out earned run averages, I hightailed it back to history class.
Ivan (ivan) & Geno's (geno's) conference CONFERENCE conference of the YEAR YEAR YEAR? (tried to make it sound like your podcast audio)
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
The Southwest Conference: Texas and TCU are undefeated and Houston has one loss.
How do you think this college football season will be remembered in college football history?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
We have a habit of remembering only the tail end of the season. So it's hard to say. So far, I would remember it for the lack of a dominant team.
What are the chances that USC makes it to a BCS bowl game?
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
It comes down to USC winning out and the Fiesta Bowl deciding that USC fans will come over for the game. I'm not convinced that they will. But I bet John Junker, the guy who runs the Fiesta, will know more about that than I do. Of course, there's always the chance the Trojans win out and find a way back to the Rose Bowl.
Giancarlo Toffoli (St. Jean, Canada)
Mr. Maisel, with the dismissal of Charlie Weis being a foregone conclusion (I hope not but the nagging nabobs of negativism in the media and Irish fans around the world seem to think so), who in the land of Oz would want to take over a team? I keep hearing the flavour of the day is the coach from Cincy and the man in the Monday night booth, J. Gruden. The Islanders of the NHL stuck with Al Arbour in the seventies and he lead them to four Stanley Cups. Would it not make sense to give "Chahlie" more time to work with these young men?Thank you
Ivan Maisel (2:48 PM)
I love this email for the Canadian spelling (flavour, not Arbour) and for the Spiro Agnew shoutout. Although it was nattering nabobs, not nagging. Anyway, I can see Weis coming back and that being beneficial.
If they were to play in the Rose, Ohio State and USC rematch, who do you like?
Ivan Maisel (2:50 PM)
boy, I don't like bowl rematches. Talk about anticlimactic.
Are we seeing the end of the modern USC dynasty or is this a rebuilding year?
Ivan Maisel (2:51 PM)
It's the end if the Trojans' streak of Pac-10 titles and top-five finishes comes to an end. But I expect USC comes right back. How can you not expect that?
Ivan Maisel (2:52 PM)
Thanks, everyohne, talk to you next week.