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 5 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (3:01 PM)
Hello, everyone, from sunny Newport Beach. I think it's sunny, anyway. I'm in a hotel conference room talking to you.
Ivan, Really?? In your 3 point stance you are giving an excuse to Georgia Tech and Oregon about the 4 week layoff when they are playing against big ten teams that finish two weeks earlier than that. How about you give the credit where it is due? Iowa and OSU's defenses shut them both down. Come on!
Ivan Maisel (3:04 PM)
Jason, you and several other Big Ten fans missed the point I attempted to make, largely because I didn't make it very well. The offenses that Georgia Tech and Oregon run depend upon timing more than most offenses. I do think the layoff affects them more than the Iowa and Ohio State offenses. Just because you're paranoid sometimes does mean we're not talking about you.
ESPN was supposed to be working out an AQ team game for Boise on TV for 2011. Ohio State has an opening (the week before their game at Penn State) that season. Any chance tOSU would take that game?
Ivan Maisel (3:04 PM)
It's my understanding that Boise State is playing Virginia Tech at FedEx Field the first weekend of the season.
Jordan (Pasadena Tx)
Do you truely think that Bama will "Roll" Texas or is everyone underestimating Colt McCoy and the Longhorns?
Ivan Maisel (3:05 PM)
I don't think Bama will roll Texas. I do think everyone is understimating Colt McCoy and the Longhorns. But I think Alabama will win a close game.
Bernard (Princeton, NJ)
Guess most of you ESPN boys wont have the Big Ten to kick around this off season and next season. Now we can all agree that the Big East is just really bad!
Ivan Maisel (3:07 PM)
Cincinnati didn't do the league proud. But the league still got what, four bowl wins?
Dennis (Cleveland, OH)
Mr. Maisel- With the Big Ten winning 3 of the 6 highest paying bowl games and beating 2 conference champions, 1. What Big Ten team were you most impressed by and 2. how long does the "inferior" conference talk go away?
Ivan Maisel (3:08 PM)
I was most impressed with Iowa, although I thought the Hawkeyes would win. I figured that the disciplined defense that Iowa plays would be effective against Georgia Tech. I didn't expect that Tech would score only 14 points. As for the Big Ten inferiority complex, I think it will be dormant for at least the next eight months.
In your opinion how badly did the FSU admin handle the whole Bowden saga? Why not let him be a token on the sideline for one last year? Jimbo was calling all the plays as it was?
Ivan Maisel (3:10 PM)
I don't want to cover a season without Bobby Bowden to talk to, either. Emotionally, I agree that sentiment. Void of emotion, I understand why Florida State made a tough call. But I still maintain that if you win 300 games, you get to coach as long as you want.
ny insight on who the next DC will be at UGA?
Ivan Maisel (3:11 PM)
I wonder if Mark Richt is holding the job for Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a former Georgia defensive back. If that's not the outcome, I'm stumped.
Chris (Columbus, OH)
I'm willing to give you that the break does take a toll on a team, even more so on one that lives and dies by rhythm such as Oregon. Do you think that break was a much of a factor for the Ducks defense or where they, along with myself, shocked at number of pass attempts and a general movement away from "Tressel ball"?
Ivan Maisel (3:13 PM)
I don't think anyone expected Terrelle Pryor to throw for a career high in completions and yards. Forgive me for not having those numbers in front of me. I can't recall another quarterback making that big of a leap from the regular season to the postseason. Pryor got healthy, and you have to think that the mini-spring practice that bowl prep has become helped him as well.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Chris Low (SEC Blogger) just gave his pre-season Top 5 and had Boise St. #3. Where do you put them?
Ivan Maisel (3:14 PM)
I'd say top five, but Chris, if you're reading two chats in a row, I appreciate it. But I'd suggest you take up a hobby
Why no love for the GMAC Bowl? The championship game isn't until tomorrow, folks!
Ivan Maisel (3:15 PM)
Shout out for my hometown -- thanks. Central Michigan vs. Troy is actually a pretty interesting matchup, and it gives us a game to watch while we wait for tomorrow night.
Ivan, Notre Dame haven't lost as many recruits as people thought they would after the coaching change. Teo also said he would come back too. How do you see them next year without their two big playmakers (Jimmy and Golden) and a new coach?
Ivan Maisel (3:16 PM)
Kelly doesn't have a scholarship quarterback who will be healthy available for spring practice. That's got to hurt.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Ivan, I'm sitting in my office responding to emails and scheduling my techs. When you own the company you can do what you want :-)
Ivan Maisel (3:16 PM)
Ha! To quote Mel Brooks, it's good to be the king.
C'mon Ivan, admit your flawed one-sided argument for GT's poor performance didn't take into account Iowa's ability to return so many injured starters!
Ivan Maisel (3:18 PM)
Kyle, you're taking what I said about Georgia Tech as a slight toward Iowa. It wasn't meant that way. In fact, the first sentence of the item said, "No disrespect to Iowa." Let me explain what that means. It means, "No disrespect to Iowa."
If I told you that the BCS national championship game was a blowout, who would you assume had won?
Ivan Maisel (3:18 PM)
USC about five years ago.
what does ucla need to get better????
Ivan Maisel (3:19 PM)
Depth and health. It's not rocket science. When Kevin Prince got hurt this year, the Bruins had nothing to fall back on.
Where would you put Auburn in the preseason after recruiting a top 5 class?
Ivan Maisel (3:21 PM)
Recruiting rarely turns a team around the following fall, especially in the SEC. Auburn has some holes to fill, especially on defense.
Given Alabama and Texas have great defenses, who's defense is better suited to play the opposing offense, and why?
Ivan Maisel (3:22 PM)
That's a good question, and I'm not sure I'm smart enough to answer it. I'll say this: Alabama won with the run, and toward the end of the season, it began to win with the pass. I didn't see the same balance from Texas. The other question I have is if Texas is leading the nation in rushing because it's that good or because so few teams in the Big 12 depend on the run. I think the Texas defense is excellent, but I have that doubt in my head.
Ivan, opening your statement with "No disrespect to Iowa" does not get you off the hook. For instance: "No disrespect to the SEC. But the SEC is tremendously overrated."
Ivan Maisel (3:24 PM)
Well, I don't know what else to say. I said that I thought Iowa would win. You're going to believe what you want. That's fine. I never mind disagreeing. That's the fun.
Do you think it hurts or helps Oregon State to schedule tough non-con opponents?
Ivan Maisel (3:25 PM)
I think it helps. Oregon State is always strong at the end of the season, in no small part because they play tough teams early in the season. I think they go to Boise State early next year, don't they?
Ever heard of anything like Bob Stoops heading to Tuscaloosa as Saban's "guest" to watch his "practice coordination?" Is this a big deal?
Ivan Maisel (3:26 PM)
The timing is interesting, yes. On the other hand, Stoops has lost to Texas in four of the last five seasons.
Andy (Charleston, SC)
The Hokies dont open with Boise St. Its on Oct 2
Ivan Maisel (3:27 PM)
There you go.
Seth A (Orion, IL)
You seem to be getting a lot of flack for bashing Iowa, but I will defend you. As a huge Iowa fan, all season long everyone was ripping the Hawkeyes as overrated, and you were the only one who backed them much of the time. However, I still feel like Iowa is getting disrespected. 11-2, should have been 13-0 if Stanzi hadn't gotten hurt, and now returning a ton of starters. with the dominating performance last night, possible preseason top 5 team next year? especially with florida and texas losing a lot.
Ivan Maisel (3:29 PM)
Thanks, Seth. I haven't really thought a whole lot about a top five for next year. I threw out some help to Schlabach, who's putting ours together. Iowa is at least top 10, top 8. Top five? I'd have to think more.
How is this: Big 10 t.v. contracts are expensive, and it will expire in the next few years, at which time Disney/ABC/ESPN would have to negotiate. If the conference is seen in a positive light, your employers would have to pay those fat, slow, cheese eating Mid-Westerners more money. Thus, no disrespect to you or anyone working at ESPN, the college football "experts" are continuing to sully Big10 in anvance of an expensive contract renewal. Afterall, you can't argue with Big10 ratings! What say you, sir? Respectfully submitted!
Ivan Maisel (3:30 PM)
Oh, yeah, I get memos all the time from the executive office telling me what to write. C'mon people.
Is the Pac10 to close to call next year? I think the top 4 or 5 have good chance of winning it. What do you think?
Ivan Maisel (3:32 PM)
The Pac-10 will be a great race next year. I think Oregon starts off as the favorite to defend, but you can make a case for USC, Stanford, Oregon State, and if you're really bold, Washington.
Can you explain how non-conference schedules are determined. I know how conference games are scheduled, but I feel that non-conference schedules should be weighted more equally so the BCS schools are playing opponents of equal caliber. For example, look at Miami's non-conference next year. At Ohio State and at Pitt. Florida plays at FSU and USF. Alabama hosts Penn State and travels to Duke. Miami has 7 top 25 teams on the schedule and I want the top teams to all play a difficult non-conference schedule.
Ivan Maisel (3:34 PM)
Mike, the weight isn't measured by schedule toughness but by the weight of the wallet. Miami has to schedule that way to pay its bills. Alabama and the big-stadium schools don't. They schedule one big game to keep the networks and fans and BCS computers happy, and they buy home games to pay their bills for the rest. I don't like the system, but until Miami fills LandShark, that's what the 'Canes are going to have to do.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
Where do you think you'll have Nebraska going into next year?
Ivan Maisel (3:35 PM)
I'd say top 10 isn't a stretch at all.
Andy (Charleston, SC)
Since we're talking about the Hokies, do you think it makes sense to take carries away from Ryan Williams next year with Darren Evans back? I can see Evans in a complimentary/relief role but I don't think its logical to take away the best player on the Hokies for anyone
Ivan Maisel (3:36 PM)
It's a problem that every coach would love to have. I'm sure, if Evans is at 100 percent, that Bryan Stinespring will find a way to use both to devastating effect.
No disrespect to you, but if given an opportunity, Paris Hilton could write the best blogs on espn.com
Ivan Maisel (3:37 PM)
The rest of the readers, and I, are glad you're not my editor.
Hey Maisel, can you and the rest of the ESPN crew admit that TCU did not play any better than Texas did in the Big 12 championship? So far, it looks like the BCS is right for once.
Ivan Maisel (3:39 PM)
I can speak only for myself. Yeah, I blew that one. TCU didn't play well Monday night. Texas struggled and won. TCU struggled and lost. That's probably another feather in the cap for Boise State.
Given Boise State Plays VT (in DC) and Oregon State....do you think that will be enough to help them get into the MNC if (big if) they can go undefeated again. Going 3 seasons with no losses in the regular season is almost impossible I think...but doable.
Ivan Maisel (3:41 PM)
I think Boise State has crossed a threshold. I think they will get the benefit of the doubt from the voters. I think if they go undefeated next season, they'll play for the national championship. That's a dumb statement to make, not knowing what everyone else does, but the point is, Boise State has proven what it needs to prove.
Matt (Millport, Alabama)
If Alabama win the NC game, can we expect to see them at #1 start next year, despite their loses on defense?
Ivan Maisel (3:42 PM)
Ingram was good this year but can you really say he mattered more to his team than Gerhart or Suh? In my opinion he should have finished 3rd in the voting.
Ivan Maisel (3:43 PM)
I voted for Gerhart. You're preaching to the choir. I think Cal fans can enjoy the Big Game victory by knowing they cost a Stanford guy the Heisman. It doesn't get any sweeter than that in a rivalry.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Ivan: Can the NCAA do anything regarding the Capital One Bowl field issues? Is there any way they can put in some stipulation about ending the contract if field conditions are substandard? I mean I'm glad PSU won and I'm pretty sure the field conditions had something to do with it but that was embarrassing for a bowl venue.
Ivan Maisel (3:43 PM)
I hear the SEC office is livid. It will be interesting to see what the fallout is.
Laurie Charnigo (Anniston, Alabama)
Can Alabama contain McCoy like they did Tebow? How is McCoy different in the passing game than Tebow? Also, I hate to ask this, being a Tide fan, but did Tebow just have a really bad game during the SEC Championship or did Alabama really contain him?
Ivan Maisel (3:45 PM)
McCoy is quicker than Tebow, more liable to throw on the run and better at it. I think Alabama did a great job of containing Tebow in the pocket, which takes away som much of what makes him dangerous.
Jon (Washington DC)
Way too early prediction -- Alabama vs Penn State next year. Who are you picking?
Ivan Maisel (3:47 PM)
Given the fact that Penn State doesn't have a quarterback who has ever taken a snap, and Alabama is the first FBS opponent, and the game is in Tuscaloosa, I think I'll pick the Tide.
How much do you see the current research and congressional testimonies on head injuries affecting the future of contact sports, especially in college with 18-22 year old amateur athletes. Obviously what's best for the athletes needs to be done, but it seems likes there's no limit to how far regulations could go. Do I need to take the tin-foil off my head?
Ivan Maisel (3:48 PM)
It's a great question, and I think that significant change will come if, and only if, Congress keeps the heat on after the TV cameras pack up and move on. The status quo will be tough to break in a situation like this.
Which conference would be the most benefited by expanding, Pac10 or Big10?
Ivan Maisel (3:49 PM)
The Big Ten has its own network, and expansion likely would expand the network's footprint as well. The league is going to do whatever it does to make the most money it can make.
Gene (T-town, al)
I heard that Gerhart would not even get drafted in the first round of the NFL draft, but Ingram would if he was eligible. So how is Gerhart better than Ingram.
Ivan Maisel (3:50 PM)
The Heisman isn't given based on NFL potential. Gerhart gained a couple of hundred more yards and scored a lot more touchdowns.
The Big Ten has been a punching bag all year due to their bowl season last year. Does the Pac 10 suffer the same fate and disrespect this coming year after their awful bowl performance this year?
Ivan Maisel (3:52 PM)
It wasn't just last year's bowl season. There was an accumulation of high-profile losses over the previous two seasons as well. If the Pac-10 stumbles around for three years, it will bear the brunt of the criticism, too.
Ivan Maisel (3:53 PM)
That's it from Newport Beach. I think I'm chatting tomorrow from the Rose Bowl. Talk to you, then.