Chat with Bruce Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Bruce (1:59 PM)
Thanks for dropping by. It's a sunny morning in LA. Ready to talk about some college football pipelines, the 2010 season, conference expansion.. so let's get to it!
Ryan (Newport Beach)
Hey Bruce, since the big east has sixteen basketball schools and are considered the best basketball league why don't they tell Notre Dame to join them for football or they will drop them in all other sports. The Big East needs to use this leverage to expand their football league. I also think their expansion with basketball began this conference expansion chat, and its ironic because they could lose an auto bcs bid for football if they are unable to expand with the other major conferences.
Bruce (2:00 PM)
I don't think that'd provide enough leverage to force ND to join up. In fact, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will you Attend the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on December 30 at Yankee Stadium?
Bruce (2:01 PM)
I won't, but I'm sure I'll be watching on TV.
yehonala04 (North FL.)
Will the recent buzz around the U Shannon ext. ,ND series renewal and curiosity about FSU post BBowden aid the ACC in tv negotiation?
Bruce (2:03 PM)
I think those are all positives for the ACC, but I doubt it'll make a big difference in that side of things or at least as it relates to the ACC's pecking order in the TV talks relatively.
How long will it take Charlie Strong to turn things around at Louisville? How do you rate this hire?
Bruce (2:05 PM)
I liked the hire. Everyone who has worked with Strong is very high on him, but with first-time head coaches it truly is very unpredictable how they'll do. I think 2-3 years is reasonable considering the Big East isn't as top heavy as a lot of other leagues.
Is all the conference expansion talk just a smokescreen or will it happen?
Bruce (2:06 PM)
No one knows for sure with the possible exception of Jim Delany.. My hunch is it will happen because it sounds like there'd be more money involved.
Am I crazy or could UCONN be somewhere ranked between 20-25 when the season starts?
Bruce (2:07 PM)
I've heard some people I respect say that. They have a very good RB in Todman and are well coached. I didn't have them in my preseason top 25 in the CF Live poll though.
Tech or Boise? after the spring tech looked strong but boise is boise, so whats your take?
Bruce (2:07 PM)
It's on the East coast, I'll go with VT. They should have a fierce running attack this year.
With Herzlich cleared to play and nearly their whole offense returning do you think BC can win the ACC?
Bruce (2:09 PM)
Interesting team.. two great LBs (Kuechly) is the other.. a great OT in Costanzo and a very good RB in Montel Harris, but I'm not sold on the QB play and I think they're a notch beneath the top five in the league (UNC, VT, Miami, FSU and GT)
Bruce (2:10 PM)
Mark from Austin, thanks for the kind words! Can you tweak the way you refer to Nebraska so I can post it.
JL (Marshall, VA)
Will Jon Gruden ever be a coach again? I've read that he really enjoys being a broadcaster but I've also read that several college teams and maybe a few pro teams after him to coach.
Bruce (2:13 PM)
My hunch is that he will and he could work at the college level. He spends hours upon hours studying systems at both levels with other coaches (Jim Leavitt, Rick Venturi among them).. I think he's terrific on TV. But I'm sure it'll be tempting to get back into it because of the allure of the game itself.
Mark (Hershey, PA)
What are your top 5 running back combos in college football this season?
Bruce (2:15 PM)
Ugh.. I know I will forgot at least one or two, so I'll just go with my top two: VT and Bama.
Nick M. (Atlanta, GA)
You were on SVP the other day talking about SEC coaches on the hot seat. Richt wasn't discussed, but Van Pelt mentioned him after your segment. How can people think he's in danger considering he's one the most winningest head coaches in football today?
Bruce (2:16 PM)
The program has lost some momentum. He is one of the game's truly decent men.. Anyone who saw that TV piece about he and his wife adopting those kids from Eastern Europe and raising their family had to be touched... But..
Bruce (2:18 PM)
The gap between them and UF has grown quite a bit in the past few years. I don't think it's a hot seat, but if they have another 8-5 season and go 4-4 in the SEC, it'll start to get hot. Folks get tired of a coach if he has been at a place for 7-8-9 years or so.
Hey, Brucey, love your work. I keep hearing that if Mizzou or Nebraska bolt to the Big T1E1N, that TCU is the obvious choice to replace. But I don't buy it - they are a teeny tiny school and we already own the Dallas market. I think that BYU is a better choice - new market, national prestige, history, etc. And they fill up stadiums. Your thoughts?
Bruce (2:20 PM)
Thanks! I agree with a lot of your points, but the school has great history and they are playing at high level. The tough part about BYU is they don't play games on Sundays, which can be a problem scheduling in the other sports.
What under the radar QBs should we be keeping our eyes on this season?
Bruce (2:24 PM)
Not sure if you'd consider Jerrod Johnson at A&M under the radar. My darkhouse on this is Brandon Weedan the new QB at Oklahoma State. He's a 26 yr old former baseball player. He's in a great system with new OC Dana Holgorsen coming over from Houston. When I saw Holgorsen and Graham Harrell a few months ago, they thought Weedan may have the strongest arm of any QB who has ever played in this system. Another guy with a cannon who I was impressed by is Ryan Katz, the new Oregon State QB.
Chances of a non-USC/Oregon Rose Bowl team this year from the Pac 10?
Bruce (2:25 PM)
Decent. I was impressed by Oregon State when I saw them. Washington may have a puncher's chance with Locker. I feel like Stanford will be good but not quite good enough without Toby.
Dale (San Marcos, Texas)
Who has the best Defense in the country? BAMA last year, USC year before, and then it was LSU.
Bruce (2:25 PM)
I'll say UNC. They have talent everywhere.
Navy or Air Force doesn't seem to get a lot of offseason publicity. Seems they ended last year on a good note and are returning lots of folks.
Bruce (2:27 PM)
I had Navy in my top 25 in the CF Live poll. AFA was solid last year. I just wonder how much they'll miss Tim DeRuyter since he's moved on to run A&M's defense.
Are any coaches on the hot seat in the Pac 10 this year? How bout Erickson at ASU or Wolff at WSU?
Bruce (2:28 PM)
Yes, both of them.
Michael Wright (South Bend, Indiana)
Hi Bruce,It seems like some teams (i.e., Florida) run the spread to exacerbate their talent advantage while others (i.e., a Cincinnatti) do it to negate a talent disadvantage. I feel that, right now, Notre Dame is in the latter category. Do you think Brian Kelly can move Notre Dame into the former category?
Bruce (2:29 PM)
Interesting way to put it... I do think Kelly can--and will do that. He was a great hire. big upgrade as a head coach over Weis.
what do think about Dillon Baxter future at USC after being youtube hype for his run at there practice...is he possibly a heismen winner by his junior year??
Bruce (2:32 PM)
He's impressive. Saw him a few times this spring. Every time I was out there he had at least two runs that made you stop and talk to the guy next to you about it. He's got great patience and vision. I know Kiffin brought up Reggie Bush's name at one point after one those crazy runs, and I get where the comparisons come from because hes young and from the same part of the state and a change of direction guy, but he doesn't have Reggie's 10.3 speed. Baxter's fast but not that fast. Not ready to talk about him as a Heisman guy though.
Do you agree with the outcome of the NFL Pipeline bracket?
Bruce (2:32 PM)
Yeah, I did pretty much. I thought the folks who worked on that did a really good job with that package.
I saw Cousins of Michigan State 3 times last year and thought he looked very solid. Do you agree?
Bruce (2:33 PM)
I did. He's an underrated QB. He and Tolzien at Wisconsin don't get enough credit.
Truthfully, what do you think of WVU coach Bill Stewart? As a coach, not as a person. Do you think that WVU is stagnating and/or back-sliding with him?
Bruce (2:34 PM)
He's won some big games, but I do feel like they are back-sliding some. And I see some of the Larry Coker comparisons.
Shquille (South Carolina)
Hey Bruce im a huge Georgia fan, What are our chances of finally beating the Gators this year? And another question, can Aaron Murray really be a good Qb this year for us? or will he be awful like Joe Cox was last year?
Bruce (2:35 PM)
Whenever I've seen Murray in person, I've been impressed. He's still young, but he's accurate and athletic. Two good things. If you're going to get UF this should be the best time, but I still feel like UF is a more talented team and wins the division.
Bruce- Any word on when the sanctions from the NCAA will come down on USC? With Reggie Bush settling out of court, does provide more or less fuel to fire in regards to potential punishment?
Bruce (2:36 PM)
Nobody really knows for sure. The guess (as based on previous hearings) would be that word comes out in the next 10 days. Less fuel because the NCAA had less to work with from him.
Sam (Los Angeles)
Do you think Rick Neuheisel is long for the job at UCLA? Is he the guy to bring them back to national relevance? What do you think about the job he's done so far?
Bruce (2:39 PM)
I think he's going to be there a while. He went there. His kids are out there at practice all of the time. He loves the place. I think he's doing a good job. He's recruited well the past two years.. There wasn't much to work with when he got there. They have a couple of studs on defense at all three levels. Not sure there are enough difference makers on offense though. And yes, I think he's the ideal guy to bring them back to being relevant.
How bad will ole miss football be next year?
Bruce (2:42 PM)
They'll be decent, but not as good as the past two seasons. They still will have a great D-line with Jerrell Powe and Kentrell Lockett. The schedule is really soft. They're a pretty safe bet to open 5-0, but I think they'll end up around 7-5.
Who is the head coach or coordinator that is the most persuasive interviewee, i.e., has you drinking their Kool-Aid by the end of the interview.
Bruce (2:44 PM)
That's a good question. Maybe Mack Brown.
Why doesn't the Big XII kick Missouri out now and take TCU?
Bruce (2:44 PM)
For what, batting their eyelashes at Jim Delany?
Patrick (Kansas City)
If Nebraska and/or Missouri jump ship to the Big 10....does that help or hurt them recruiting wise??
Bruce (2:45 PM)
I think it might hurt them just a touch with recruiting in the state of Texas. But I don't think it'll be that significant because big conference schools still go into Florida, Texas and Cali regardless.
Stevey Nipas Ca [via mobile]
Wats up Bruce! Good Chat. Which freshman in the Pac 10 contributes the most and has a big year? Thanx
Bruce (2:47 PM)
Thanks.. Deontae Cooper the RB at Washington was the first guy I thought of but Dillon Baxter will be a factor too.
What do you think about LSU's chances at winning the SEC West this year? Do you think LSU can have a double digit win season?
Bruce (2:48 PM)
Not sure.. I wrote about LSU today in the mailbag in my blog. They have a HUGE opener in ATL against a very good UNC team. If they lose that Miles seat gets hot fast. I think LSU still has a lot of good talent and I like the hires Miles made on the staff this winter, but am not sure they are stable enough at QB to win 10 and overtake Bama.
Wow, no Texas in that pipeline ranking? Okay...if you say so.
Bruce (2:49 PM)
I had Dallas Skyline in my position rankings for linebackers FWIW.
Scott (St. Louis)
Bo Pelini would like you to reconsider UNC as best defense.
Bruce (2:50 PM)
If Bo still had Suh, I'd agree with him.
Just wanted to say thanks for answering my question! I submit all the time, but very seldom get an answer. Have a great day!
Bruce (2:50 PM)
Thanks. You too!
cornelius (little rock)
hey bruce, do you see fsu playing for a national title in the next 5 years?
Bruce (2:51 PM)
I think Miami and FSU both will play for a national title in the next 5 years.
Does Stanzi at Iowa Boom or Bust this year?
Bruce (2:51 PM)
Boom. Love their schedule to with all of the home games.
Tom (Halifax, VA)
I know you previously stated that you think the Hokies will beat Boise in DC, but what kind of stock do you put in past history of early season games? The Hokies have lost to USC, LSU, and Bama in the last 6 years in big games early in the season. With that said, all of those teams ended up being national champions in those years, and two of the games were close games, so there wasn't great shame in most of those losses, but the Hokies haven't shown their best results in the past either.
Bruce (2:53 PM)
Those were all elite teams they lost to. It's tough to read too much into trends like that. Do we read anything any more into Boise going cross country to start the season at UGA five years ago and getting blown out?
Troy (Montrose, CA)
Is Miami the east coast USC or is it the other way around?
Bruce (2:55 PM)
They're still very different situations. One had great history. One had none. Both are private schools in fertile recruiting areas, but Miami has no big boosters and USC does. USC can pay its staff triple what Miami can pay its staff. The dynamics around the places aren't as similar as people try to boil it down to be.
The Beavs play both Boise St. and TCU on the road... do we win either/both those games?
Bruce (2:56 PM)
I was impressed by them when I watched the Beavers. I'll say they split.
Sean (Dallas, TX)
Who do you think is going to have a better season next year, Landry Jones or Garret Gilbert? And who wins the Red River Rivalry?
Bruce (2:57 PM)
I like Landry Jones WRs more because he has Broyles so I'll say him. Not ready to call that one quite yet.
Larry (Glendale, CA)
Which "match-up that should have happened" would you have most like to see? Mine is the 1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. 1994 Penn State for the 1994 National Title.
Bruce (2:58 PM)
A good question for a blog topic I think.
Where do you think Pitt finishes the season ranked and how do you think they'll fare OOC against Utah, Miami and ND?
Bruce (2:59 PM)
Somewhere between #15-20.. Great running game. I think they'll be favored in two of the three except for the Miami although depending on what UM does at Ohio State right before it could be all three.
Do you believe Alabama loses to an opponent in the regular season this year?
Bruce (2:59 PM)
I don't. I have them preseason #1.
Do you think it's only a matter of when that Greg Schiano is going to leave Rutgers? And if he does, where do you think he goes?
Bruce (3:00 PM)
I think he stays. He knows he has a good set up there with his family and his kids grandparents so close.
Bruce (3:01 PM)
Three more questions...
Nick (Auburn AL, )
What are you opinions on how good Auburn will be this year? thanks man
Bruce (3:03 PM)
They should be good, but not 10-win good yet. Lots of good young talent. I think Cam Newton will be spectacular at times, but because he's so inexperienced he'll make some costly mistakes too.
chance Syracuse has a godd year?
Bruce (3:04 PM)
Not so good. It's going to take Marrone a few years to get that place back together. He took over a major project there.
Is Chris Peterson one of the elite coaches in the country? Do you think he could thrive at a big time school?
Bruce (3:05 PM)
He's done a good job there, but not sure how well he'd fit at bigger schools. That's a different thing all together. The guys before him at Boise went to bigger schools and it hasn't worked out so well.
Bruce (3:05 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.