Chat with Beano Cook
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Beano Cook makes his stop in SportsNation to chat about the college football season.
Carroll H. "Beano" Cook, who joined ESPN in March 1986, serves as a college football studio commentator. He also offers college football commentary on ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Cook Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Beano Cook (3:02 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome to the first off-season college football chat of 2010! It is a long time until Labor Day weekend and the start of the football season, but it will occur eventually. In the mean time, we have to get ready to go through baseball. The NFL has a salary cap that is sliding. Baseball doesn't have a cap and there are very few chances for many teams to win. Fire away.
Who was the biggest disappointment this past bowl season?
Beano Cook (3:04 PM)
There were a few. The showing of Cincinnati, the Big East winner getting blown out by Florida. You know the SEC is a lot better, but that was a disgrace. Houston getting blown away by Air Force was a surprise. Oklahoma State's offense was non-existent. Perhaps I would throw in West Virginia getting beaten by Florida State.
How will Notre Dame do without Clausen?
Beano Cook (3:07 PM)
It will be tough. Let me say that it is not an easy schedule, this is not a Notre Dame-tough schedule. Brian Kelly only has to face three true road games--Boston College, USC and Michigan State. For the Navy game, there will be two admirals, two ensigns and a brigade rooting for the Middies. Then again it is usually the case when those two teams play. Clausen was a key player and the next QB will have big shoes to fill. Notre Dame has material and Kelly will establish his system. They also have NBC.
Beano any word about Pitt joining the Big Ten?
Beano Cook (3:08 PM)
No. Jim Delany will make the decision and whatever it is, the athletic dirctors will approve. Missouri remains the logical choice. As for Rutgers, believe me, TV fans will not be drawn to them in the New York market unless it is an important game or the only one on. That is the case in many situations; fans will watch the most important game.
Pitchers and catchers report next week Beano...got your Pirates opening day tickets yet?
Beano Cook (3:10 PM)
I am well aware that pitchers and catchers report next week...it is circled on my calendar. Next to April 15th, that is the date I hate the most! I do not have my Pirates opening day tickets yet, but I am working on it. The New York Yankees will be the darlings of the New York media and the partial media will think that is great but they also think no salary cap is great too.
Who is JoePa looking at for qb next year?
Beano Cook (3:12 PM)
We will find out shortly in spring practice. It is not going to be easy to replace Clark. Penn State plays in the Big Ten, not the SEC, so it will be OK. Paterno also has to be concerned about replacing some talented players on the defensive side. Ohio State should be the favorite in the Big Ten, followed closely by Iowa.
Now that there has been time since Bobby Bowden "retired", are you even more upset with the way the school handled it?
Beano Cook (3:13 PM)
Yes. I have said that I was upset before. I think it was a disgrace and Florida State showed very little class in the way it was handled. Bobby Bowden made Florida State a national power when few thought it would be done.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Beano: Your list of bowl disappointments didn't include either Boise or TCU. In my opinion, both teams looked pretty weak. Someone had to win so Boise did. Other than that, I thought they looked worse than almost all AQ teams. Do you agree?
Beano Cook (3:15 PM)
No, I don't agree. That doesn't mean that you may be right, I just don't agree. I do think both teams were disappointed that they had to play each other. To me, that was a disgrace.
Can we have a moment of silence for our first chat post Bobby Bowden?
Beano Cook (3:16 PM)
we just did...
Think Kevin Newsome is regretting his decision to go to Penn State over Virginia Tech? Might not even take a snap at PSU and he'd be a 3 year starter had he gone to the Hokies.
Beano Cook (3:16 PM)
That is hard to say. You may be right.
Dennis (Airville, PA)
Boise State has been complaining for many years that top teams will not schedule them. But Nebraska offered a 2 & 1 series and Boise turned them down. Can they still claim to be unable to schedule top teams?
Beano Cook (3:19 PM)
I did not know that about the two for one with Nebraska. Boise State made a mistake. Until Boise State plays a number of big teams, the school must accept offers like that. To their credit, Boise State will play Virginia Tech on Labor Day night on national TV plus Oregon State as well. Boise State must beat the Hokies to compete for a national title. There are many who feel they can go undefeated and play for the national championship this season...if someone said that 10 years ago they would have thought you were nuts.
Rick (Salt Lake City)
Will next season be the time the Mountain West gets the respect it deserves?
Beano Cook (3:20 PM)
They have respect. I have said for a number of years the Mountain West should get an automatic bid and be included in the BCS. It is always going to be about money. I think the league gets some respect already. TCU, BYU, Utah were all solid programs.
Steve (Ann Arbor)
Beano, will RichRod get more from his players this year or will he crash and burn as in the first 2 years here? I'm an engineering student and I require an excellent football team for a Fall diversion.
Beano Cook (3:22 PM)
He is one coach that must win 6-7 games. The school has a new athletic director and if a change is made, the new administrator should look at Al Golden of Temple, the most underrated coach in America. He is good and if someone doesn't grab him soon, they should fire the AD,
I think the Tide will be a favorite to repeat next season...what do you think?
Beano Cook (3:23 PM)
Alabama will be the favorite. Nick Saban has a lot of talent back plus he is a great coach. As I have said before, I would hire him as my coach but not my bridge partner. You make the wrong bid with him, he will go through the roof.
dan (coushatta, la)
i know you like the plus 1 system. please tell who you would have included both this past season and the year before. it seems that the 5th school in both years would have a bigger complaint than the team that would have been the 3rd choice. thanks, dan
Beano Cook (3:24 PM)
Alabama, Florida, TCU and Cincinnati...1 plays 4, 2 vs 3.
What do you think of Bill Curry coaching again and starting up a new program?
Beano Cook (3:27 PM)
I think he is like any other coach...he wants to do it until the day he dies. If he wants to coach and he is going to die at 9 pm on a Saturday, he will make sure he coaches that day. I once said to my late mother, that if she was going to the hairdresser, and if she was going to die at 9 pm that night, she would still go that day. She said naturally.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Is The Hottest & The Coldest College Football Bowl Game In History?
Beano Cook (3:28 PM)
I have no idea. There have been many cold games, and I am glad that you are interested in being part of the chat. The next one won't be until after college hoops...
What grade would you give the LSU football team and their coaches last season with the "talent" they had coming into the season?
Beano Cook (3:29 PM)
Look, that lis life in the SEC, not the Big Ten. I would give LSU a C+.
Terry (the 'Burgh)
Did I read this right? Cal is spending $321M to DECREASE their stadium seating capacity by 9,000 fannies (from 72k to 63k)? Why on earth? There must be more to this story, either way that's gotta be a first. If not, goes along way to explain why the State of California's in such deep [soup] fiscally.
Beano Cook (3:30 PM)
I have not heard about that, it may be true and I don't have the facts on that. If the same existed in North Dakota, it would only cost $2 million.
Do you think Colorado could ever become a big time program in college football again? It is a beatuful location and town and the state would go nuts for a real college football team.
Beano Cook (3:31 PM)
Not on a consistent basis. There are more good skiiers in that state than football players. Football is not usually played on snow.
Beano, first off love the chat! What are your thoughts on Ricky Jackson and Russ Grimm entering the NFL HOF? Do you think Curtis Martin will go in next year on this first chance? Will either Bill Fralic or Chris Doleman ever get any serious consideration?
Beano Cook (3:33 PM)
I think it is great, but I am partial for obvious reasons. On a winter weekend in January 1977, Pitt coach Jackie Sherrill had 3 recruits coming in--Jackson, Mark May and Hugh Green. Pretty good trio. Sherrill was a great judge of talent.
Didn't you pick Notre Dame to win the NC pre-season last year? Nice pick! Are you picking Boise State to win it this year?
Beano Cook (3:35 PM)
No, I picked Florida to win the national title. Obviously I was wrong. I also thought Mississippi would win the SEC West last year. Be grateful that I am not on Wall Street. Arkansas will be a darkhorse next season for the national title. I am not saying they will play for the title, but a darkhorse since many of the tough games are at home.
This must be the first season in a quarter century that you're not picking Notre Dame to win 11 games. Could that mean they actually do it this year?
Beano Cook (3:36 PM)
Number one, good observation and I deserve that. Number two, as I have said before, Notre Dame has not won a national title since 1988 and to me, that is unreal. There are two facts that you can predict right now for 2010--Notre Dame games will be an infomercial for NBC, and two, they will raise ticket prices, just like they did last year.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Beano, give me two good reasons why the Big 10 wouldn't go after Texas. The increase in Big 10 Channel viewership would be astronomical, and Texas raises both the academic and athletic profile of the Big 10 more than Pitt.
Beano Cook (3:38 PM)
That is unrealistic. Texas will be in the Big 12, period. Why would you even think Texas would be remotely interested? If the Big Ten doesn't go after Missouri, the league doesn't know what it is doing. I am not saying it will happen.
Beano, why the dislike for baseball, you ever play the game?
Beano Cook (3:39 PM)
I played it, but poorly. That would make me a perfect candidate to play for the Royals.
Will Terry Bowden ever coach again at a major school?
Beano Cook (3:40 PM)
I don't know. He has been away several years and it is not easy to get back in.
Can you think of any good reason for the PAC10 to expand? The 9 game round robin schedule is perfect, why would anyone want to change it? It's not like Utah or Colorado would add major media markets either.
Beano Cook (3:41 PM)
I always thought that if they expanded, it would include BYU and Utah is they wanted a championship game.
Beano Cook (3:42 PM)
The two divisions would be good...one division would probably be Arizona, Arizona State, USC, UCLA and either Stanford or California and BYU or Utah. It would be like the SEC, so BYU-Utah would play every year, etc.
Todd (Sulligent, AL)
With the threat of the NFL not playing in 2011, how do you think that will affect the underclassmen who may want to skip their senior season and declare for the draft?
Beano Cook (3:43 PM)
We already know who is in the 2010 draft. The only real surprise was Washington QB Jake Locker returning to school. There could be a rookie salary cap somewhere down the line.
Dennis (Airville, PA)
Beano: What about Syracuse for the Big 10. You mentioned earlier that NY fans would watch only big games or if no one else was on, but if Syracuse got its act together, they could have some big games and the academics are in place.
Beano Cook (3:44 PM)
You can mention Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt, but I think if any of them went, it would hurt the basketball. I don't think a kid from NYC would go to play a football game in Iowa City.
Will my Boise State team be a national championship contender for real in 2010? I love the Virginia Tech game being on national TV early!
Beano Cook (3:45 PM)
All I said is they have a chance with Moore at QB. Ivan Maisel right now has Boise State playing Iowa for the national championship in 2010...that is an early pick, subject to change. My pick was Ohio State vs. USC for the title, subject to change come August.
Todd (Sulligent, AL)
I was asking about the 2011 draft, Beano. If there is a work stoppage, will there be a draft in 2011, and do you think underclassmen will be hesitant about declaring with the threat of work stoppage?
Beano Cook (3:47 PM)
The answer to that is a definite yes. Sorry I misunderstood your prior question. If the NFL players don't come to an agreement with owners, it is simply another case of greedy athletes. The owners should make money because they are the ones that take the risk.
Brandon (Houston, Tx)
Beano, does TCU or Boise run the table next year?
Beano Cook (3:49 PM)
If they both run the table, they could play for the national championship. I think it will be harder for Boise playing Virginia Tech and Oregon State, but Chris Petersen has so much talent coming back. It helps to start with a veteran quarterback with great talent. I have a lot of respect for Gary Patterson at TCU too, though he loses Jerry Hughes from the defense.
Richard (Victor, West Virginia)
When does the Big East plan to be proactive and add football teams to the conference?
Beano Cook (3:51 PM)
It would be tough since you have 16 schools for basketball. You are not going to see any football only schools...You can't possibly have more than 16 hoop programs in a conference. I don't see expansion happening...I could see a move to bring in a replacemenr if Rutgers leaves for the Big Ten...logical choices would be East Carolina or Central Florida.
brett (los angeles )
do u think usc runs the table next year as monte at defensive cord and lane as the offensive play caller?
Beano Cook (3:52 PM)
I said USC is my choice to play for the title game as of now, but I don't think they will run the table.
Beano Cook (3:52 PM)
With that schedule, USC could lose a game and still play for the national title.
Mark (St. Louis)
If you could make one rule change in college football, what would it be?
Beano Cook (3:53 PM)
Wow, that is a good one. I think we could change the facemask penalties. I would change the NFL overtime rule and make the kickoff from the 40.
Rich (LA, CA)
Beano, which program in your opinion has more upside, GT, ILL or UVA?
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
Georgia Tech will be the higher ranked next year. I don't think Virginia does. Long term, I would say Illinois. Fans of the Orange Krush are pretty rabid in Champaign.
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
Thanks so much for all of the questions. I had a great time. See you on a Wednesday to be determined in April...