Chat with Bruce Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, college football Insider Bruce Feldman stops by to chat about the college gridiron.
Feldman is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. He joined ESPN in July 1994 as a writer for ESPNET (now ESPN.com) and in May 1998 came to ESPN The Magazine. He spent much of the past two years in the South working on his book, "Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting."
Send your questions now and join Feldman Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Bruce (12:59 PM)
Thanks for dropping by. Let's get going.
Jimmy K (Toronto)
Bruce, is there an NFL draft coming up? You'd think it's tomorrow with all the coverage. Anyway, wanted to get your thoughts on my 'Horns. Seemingly, it seems Muschamp is firmly devoted to the 40 acres and has his talents peeking the interest of a few OOS recruits. Do you see him continuing to cherry pick 2-3 non-Texas studs year in and year out?
Bruce (1:02 PM)
People love to talk about the draft. It hits a nerve similar to the one that many have for recruiting and signing day, hence the long build-up. Muschamp is in a good spot. He has autonomy of the way the D is run. UT pays him well and he works for a coach who everyone seems to like. Texas is going to be able to cherry pick a lot of out of state blue-chips regardless, although with how much talent there is in state, I don't think they plan to chase too much.
What are Nebraska chances of winning the big 12?
Bruce (1:04 PM)
Decent, but the offense needs to take another big step forward. I do like the RBs they have there and I think UT came back to the pack after last season with Colt/Shipley/Kindle/Earl Thomas leaving.
David (Chicago, IL)
As a member of the media do you take offense to Meyer attacking a reporter for reporting on an interview with a player? Looks to me like the reporter did nothing wrong. Meyer should have simply stated that the player misspoke and he then should have clarified the players statement. Meyer seems wrong here. Your thoughts?
Bruce (1:06 PM)
I blogged about this today. There is blame on both sides. I think Urban crossed the line with the "you're a bad guy, man. You're a bad guy" part.I'm surprised he didn't have that conversation in private rather than in front of the media.
are you trying to discredit coach saban and the alabama football program by emphasizing the number of employees in our coaching staff?
Bruce (1:08 PM)
No. As I wrote in the story, there are many schools that have very big staffs. The issue comes in when staffers, as allegedly was the case at Michigan, cross the line about coaching on the field or work outside the parameters of the NCAA rules.
Do you think Danny Hope can get Purdue to a bowl game this year?
Bruce (1:09 PM)
He needs a QB (Marve?) to emerge fast. I think the Big Ten will be strong this year with OSU, Iowa and Wiscky on top and Michigan should be much improved.
cory (Boise, idaho)
Bruce do you think BSU will be favored over VT, and a score prediction for the game. I think BSU defense will not let tyroid taylor run, so VT will have to go to the air which is BSU advantage. I like BSU 24-14
Bruce (1:10 PM)
Since it's on the east coast, I think Tech will be a slight favorite. Gonna be a great match up, Boise returns almost everyone save for great CB Kyle Wilson while VT has a loaded backfield.
what are bama's chances for repeating?
Bruce (1:10 PM)
Pretty good. They are my preseason #1. Think Hightower will have a huge season.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Good Morning Bruce,Do you think Jake Locker is the best overall athlete (strength, speed, size) to ever play QB at any level?
Bruce (1:12 PM)
Not sure... I'd have to think about it because lots of great football players play QB at high school. Jim Thorpe? In terms of speed Baylor's Robert Griffin is the fastest QB to ever play college ball.
Bruce, what is your all-time favorite Combine or Pro Day tale? The alleged 4.12 Deion 40? Rod Woodson's domination in Indy? The urban legend that Barry Sanders ran in the 4.2-4.3 range at his OSU Pro Day wearing hi-tops and cut-off jean shorts?
Bruce (1:13 PM)
I like the Deion combine stories and about him not stretching.. "Ever see a cheetah stretch before he takes off?"
Whats your thought on Tennessee's new coaching staff? What will be the teams achilles heel this year and who do you think makes a major impact on the field for the Vols?Thanks
Bruce (1:14 PM)
I like the new DC from Boise Wilcox and the new special teams coach Eric Russell is highly regarded by coaches. Leach thought he was one of the best assistants he's ever been around. Don't know too much about the others. bennie Wylie was a good hire too. Players respect him and he's a solid guy.Achilles' Heel this year: inexperienced O-line.
What did the Florida reporter do wrong? This whole incident just sounds to me like another example of Meyer losing his marbles.
Bruce (1:17 PM)
I don't think he didn't anything really wrong. The context of the story from that quote is a little light. Best case scenario: there is a follow-up question asked to get the player to elaborate. But it's easy to say that way after the fact.
Can TCU repeat the success they had last year?
Bruce (1:18 PM)
Yes, Dalton's back. The offense should be even better. I talked to Patterson a few weeks ago and he made the point this is the first time Dalton's been able to work with the same OC for two years in a row. Tough on D to replace Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington, but they have a lot of other fast guys back with experience.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
Will college football ever consider going back to a no-overtime rule (with the exception of bowl games)? I don't see the problem with ties in the regular season.
Bruce (1:19 PM)
I doubt it. I hope it doesn't. I'm not a fan of the tie at all.
Mike (Chapel Hill)
Don't leave UNC hangin. Is the ACC really a one-horse race with Virginia Tech? Any other surprises to look out for in the ACC?
Bruce (1:20 PM)
UNC's D is too fast and too good for them not to be a top 20 team. I think UNC, VT, Miami and FSU battle for the ACC title and all four will be in the top 20.
Taylor (State College, PA)
Everyone keeps focusing on UGA's new defensive coaches Grantham, Belin, and Lakatos and ask how they will preform next year. But how do you think the offensive coaches at Georgia will do this year? I feel like Willie Martinez took a lot of pressure off of Bobo and Searels, do you think they can preform or will UGA simply have to up its caliber of offensive coaches as well as defense?
Bruce (1:21 PM)
Can their O-line possibly have worse luck with injuries. Searels has always been considered by SEC defensive coaches among the best OL guys out there. He didn't forget how to coach.
Jon Gruden (Unknown)
The Hogs are a darkhorse for the National Championship this year. Your thoughts?
Bruce (1:23 PM)
Yeah, I also think Wisconsin and FSU are the other way off the radar picks. I love the Ark offense, but the D is really suspect and Alabama is still in the league. But because Bama's in the SEC West and will be the favorite there won't be that pressure on Ark as a trendy pick which is one of the things that sunk Ole Miss last season I think.
Can you expand more on Jeffrey Godfrey's potential (from your blog yesterday?) It's amazing a 5-11, 170lb frosh QB might start for a respected D-I program.
Bruce (1:24 PM)
He's a very mobile QB with a powerful arm and he's also a sharp enough guy to play the position early. The big thing lacking is physical size. Then again, he's not that much smaller than Kellen Moore was when he beat Oregon in Autzen two years ago.
How do you explain Boise State's success despite no budget, small stadium, coaching changes, and a remote location in a small town? Fresno State was supposed to be having this kind of run, not Boise.
Bruce (1:25 PM)
Great coaching. Great leadership. Smart decisions by the staff.
Aaron J. (Boise)
Has BSU, Utah, TCU, ect., kicked off the glass slippers of being ciderellas and be true title contenders? or are they just really big fish in the midmajors pond?
Bruce (1:26 PM)
Almost. It probably takes one more season. They have narrowed the gap, but UGA thumping Hawaii had set their cause back.
Macy (Orlando, FL)
Is there a specific reason why people aren't attacking Urban Meyer more than they are now? Is it the media's love affair with the SEC? He threatened to fight a media member, if this was Rich Rodriguez, people would go nuts right now.
Bruce (1:27 PM)
I think there have been several columns from around the country that said Urban was out of line or handled this wrong.
Why does the "Big 10 expansion" story get rehashed every year? Notre Dame was asked a long time ago and they said no. Who else would join?
Bruce (1:28 PM)
With the lure of big TV money, I'm sure Mizzou, Syracuse and Rutgers would be very intrigued.
Are we any closer to playoffs in CFB?
Bruce (1:29 PM)
No, afraid not... I tweeted this yesterday: the american football coaches association polled almost every FBS head coach and it was almost unanimous they preferred the bowl system to a playoff.
BYU frosh Jake Heaps is impressing in Spring camp. Would it be wise for the Cougs to start someone else and break him in easy no matter how well he does in spring and fall camps?
Bruce (1:30 PM)
Not sure. He's a very sharp guy. He might give them the best shot of winning. Rare freshman QBs can handle it and thrive. He might be one of them.
If the Noles hold their opponents to under 50 points a game this year will Ponder in the Heisman hunt? I thought he was the best QB in football last year until he got hurt. Please tell him to never try to tackle after an interception again even though that was the closest thing to a tackle the Noles had last year.
Bruce (1:30 PM)
No doubt a top five QB and legit Heisman contender.
Chip Kelly (Eugene, Or.)
A lot of people are saying my team's doomed next year after all these incidents. You know we can still win the Pac-10 and have at least an outside shot at a national title, right?
Bruce (1:31 PM)
Yes, I know. Nate Costa is better than people think and Darron Thomas could be special in that system too.
Big G (Nebraska)
Can Dan Hardy knock off Georges St. Pierre on Saturday?
Bruce (1:32 PM)
I doubt he does. I think GSP is too well rounded. Then again, Serra did it, right?
Final Four Picks (Indy)
Who is you picks to make it to the final four and did you do a bracket and throw it out like everybody else when Kansas went down?
Bruce (1:32 PM)
I have Kentucky beating Cuse.. Villanova was the first sign my bracket was going under.
what do you think of the miami d-line? I think moving bailey to DE makes them very scary and will make those LBs look really good. Wha do you think?
Bruce (1:34 PM)
Should be outstanding. Injuries really wrecked that group last season. Two key guys: the development of Micanor Regis who I've heard is set for a breakout season and Marcus Fortson, who is coming off injury.
Which college coaches have good reputations for developing players? Living in the Northeast, I've always thought Schiano and Edsall do a great job with the talent they get. Your thoughts?
Bruce (1:34 PM)
Sure.. Put Beamer in there and Grobe and Mike Riley and Ferentz.
Who do you see playing in the 2010 National Championship Game and why?
Bruce (1:35 PM)
Bama Ohio State at this point.
Mike (Shreveport, LA)
Does Ohio State have the best program right now in terms of football and men's basketball combination?
Bruce (1:36 PM)
This year, probably.. If you asked in January I would've said Texas.
Will (Metairie, LA)
What are you thougts on LSU for 2010? The Tigers will be much improved, and have a good shot at winning the West. Having to start Jordan Jefferson before he was ready has been a factor in the dip in record the past two years. Russel Shepard will breakout under Billy Gonzales' direction. Our success really depends on the O-line progress.
Bruce (1:37 PM)
It does, and T-Bob getting hurt doesn't help obviously. They have to be able to run the ball a lot better this year. It was really disappointing last season.
Which coach do you think is on the hot seat this season? Win or be gone!
Bruce (1:39 PM)
Ron Zook, Paul Wulff, Ralph Friedgen, Dennis Erickson, Rich Rod, Todd Dodge.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
What show is harder to watch: Lost, or 24? I cant watch either
Bruce (1:39 PM)
I actually have never seen either although I have many friends who are addicted to them.
Mike (Chapel Hill)
I'm back...Suh fell short last year of being a defensive Heisman winner. Is there a defensive player that you like this year that can give the QBs a run for their money?
Bruce (1:41 PM)
Nope. If Suh couldn't do it after the year he had, I don't see any other player doing it. If anyone has hope they'd need to have some pre-season run-up too, and I don't think that guy is out there.
Mike (NE Ohio)
What's the better scenario for Tebow? Gets drafted and rides the pine for a year or two while learning the QB position, or gets drafted by a team that uses him right away as an H-back/special teams player/Wildcat QB/jack of all trades?
Bruce (1:44 PM)
Probably the latter because he can contribute and still learn the position.
Bruce (1:44 PM)
three more questions...
Jason (Lewisburg, PA)
Best cornerback in the country: Patrick Peterson?
Bruce (1:46 PM)
He's tough to beat. Might be the guy. Great size, feet and toughness.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
what is your favorite beer? I like that seirra nevada pale ale
Bruce (1:47 PM)
I drink mostly Miller Lite these days. If I can get Purple Haze, I'll always order that though.
How many wins do you think Rich Rod needs to keep his job?? I don't have much faith in Tate this year...I feel he is going to have a very rough year.....and Rod is going bye bye!!!
Bruce (1:48 PM)
At least seven. The new AD's comments indicate he'd better win now. Might need eight. It's Michigan. You can't have three lackluster seasons in a row.
Craig (St. Paul, MN)
Is it just dumb luck that a school like Iowa can have such a successful football coach hire, but have a couple of consecutive lousy basketball ones? Or is there something to this football school v. basketball school thing?
Bruce (1:50 PM)
That is a great question. I'd love to think about it more and talk to some folks inside the process to give you a more thought-out answer. I'm sure there is some luck involved. Money and support issues also play into it too.
Bruce (1:54 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN. Enjoy the games tonight!