Chat with Beano Cook
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Beano Cook makes his weekly stop in SportsNation to chat about the upcoming 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. It is nice to be back chatting after a few months off. W are getting closer to the 142nd season of college football. I have some questions, and this is the first of my monthly chats. We will do this again in June too...Here we go.
Pete (Chicago, IL)
What is your take on Illinois facing off against Northwestern at Wrigley Field this year?
Beano Cook (3:04 PM)
I think a game like that should be on the campus, but if it is a one-year deal, it is OK. It will be different and fans in the Windy City will embrace it. At one time, this match-up was special...it no longer is. Northwestern should make Illinois wear the Cubs uniforms to make sure the Wildcats win!
Kevin (Lawton, OK)
Do you think the Big 10 (+ 1) is actually seriously interested in Nebraska? Or is this all just an attempt to get their desired target of ND to join?
Beano Cook (3:07 PM)
Number one, I am not sure on Nebraska. If you put a gun to my head, I would say the Big Ten is legitimately interested. I am not sure whether or not Nebraska would join. However, the teams in the Northern Division is resentful of the way the television money is divided. As for Missouri, I think it is a given that it will go if officially asked.
Beano, did ND trade one offensive minded guy for another? The problems weren't putting points on the board, it was keeping them off. Will Kelly get a better defense in there this year or will it be another year of barn-burners?
Beano Cook (3:12 PM)
First of, let me talk about Notre Dame and the Big Ten. Most people think the Irish will go if invited. I do not think the Irish will go. I think Notre Dame will not be Notre Dame if it joins a conference. Notre Dame belongs to the country, not any conference. Let me say for every fan who loves Notre Dame, there is another that hates them. The three most liked and hated teams in the country are the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Notre Dame. The biggest criticism of Charlie Weis was the team did not hit enough in practice, in the spring and the fall. He treated the team like a pro one. Weis presumed the players were already skilled fundamentally and that was the wrong impression. The defense will get better in time under Kelly. Give him a chance to get his own players and let's see what he does on the field.
Who is on your heisman watch list?
Beano Cook (3:13 PM)
Let's start with last year's winner, Mark Ingram. Washington QB Jake Locker and Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett are right up there too. Seems strange not to say Tim Tebow.
I know that you are not big on technology Beano, so is someone else typing your responses for you?
Beano Cook (3:14 PM)
Yes. I don't have a computer, cell phone or call waiting. Believe me, nearly everyone I talk to says they wish they didn't have a cell phone. They have to have one.
Sean (Oklahoma City, OK)
Do you think an undefeated Boise State could get into the NC game over an undefeated Big 12/Big 10/Pac 10 team?
Beano Cook (3:17 PM)
No. Maybe they should be, but I don't think so. hey could also have trouble beating out an SEC team with one loss. There are a lot of people who feel Alabama and Boise State will play for the national title this year. Kellen Moore is quite a quarterback and the schedule is tougher this season.
Jim (Parks, NE)
Beano: It looked as if the Big 10 were in the driver's seat in regard to conference expansion, but didn't they let others off the hook by the recent announcement that they were many months away from a decision? Didn't that give the Big 12/PAC 10 time to create a TV network, the Big East time to protect themselves, etc.?
Beano Cook (3:19 PM)
Hard to say. People have known the Big Ten has had an interest in expansion for a while, so there has been time already. I just wish the Big Ten would go ahead and do this instead of talking about it so much. I am tired of reading about it. One thing is certain...if a Big Ten team faces an SEC team for the title, the Big Ten team will win no more than three times in a 10-year span featuring those conferences head-to-head.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Beano, I'm a HUGE fan of yours and Ivan's podcast. Who's your favorite and runner-up in the Pac 10 this coming season?
Beano Cook (3:24 PM)
I would have said Oregon is Jeremiah Masoli didn't have his legal troubles. I think it could be wide open...I will say that I am rooting for Washington and I think Locker is terrific. I will pick in August. I will also make my final national championship pick then; last year I did not have one of the two participantsin the title game. Right now I have Ohio State playing for the national title and I don't think that will change. I am not going to pick Alabama because two years in a row is tough. That is not to say it will happen. I am not necessarily picking the best team, but the one I think will win. Ohio State is one of the picks because of the schedule.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Beano, It looks as if the rumors about Texas getting its own TV network are true. How do you think this effects the confrence expansions. Might the Big 12 trump the other confrences and go out and bring in 2 teams?
Beano Cook (3:27 PM)
It is still up in the air. Let me say this about conferences having their own networks. The only games the average fans, besides ones the alumni and family will watch, is one with a pointspread on it. Average fans outside of alumni and family won't care about games without a number. Some people watch NFL games because they like to bet. If WW III is on TV and you can't bet, nobody will watch. I am exaggerating but it ist rue.
Ingrid (Stockton, CA)
If the Big 10 is looking at increasing, then why not the Pac 10? It could add Utah and BYU and those would be legitimate add-ons. I wouldn't trade a case of refreshing Otter Pops for bringing in smaller state schools, like San Diego State or Fresno State. Those schools can't go to the slate with power as often as the larger Utah-based schools. What do you think?
Beano Cook (3:29 PM)
I would think that those are the two teams the Pac-10 would look at. BYU in one division, Utah in the other and you have a perfect 12-team set-up. The Utes had six players drafted.
Beano, did you take Princeton to cover against Rutgers back in 1869?
Beano Cook (3:30 PM)
They already had odds on the game. Points did not become part of it until the 1930s. Don't think you are the first person to ask me that person.
Will Rich Rodriguez be the first coach to be fired this year?
Beano Cook (3:33 PM)
No. He is the number one coach on the hot seat. That doesn't mean he will be the first fired. I don't care if that was a new system he bought in, the cupboard was not bare. Michigan has a new AD and school president, so I think it would be a good idea for Rich Rod to win at least eight games. I will say that if Rodriguez is let go, Temple coach Al Golden would be a viable candidate.
Greg (Reston, VA)
Is Virginia ever going to contend for the ACC title? I'm not sure any coach could do much more than has already been done. Its a academic school and tough to recruit to.
Beano Cook (3:35 PM)
Virginia is tough academically and it doesn't have much of a tradition. This is a school that does well in lacrosse and tennis. The Cavaliers have done OK at times.
Tadashi (Newport Beach)
What has Lane Kiffin done to earn $4 million per year?
Beano Cook (3:36 PM)
I have no idea. It is like asking me what members of Congress have done to earn what they make. It is beyond me.
Ted (St. Louis)
What conference is on shakier ground: the Big 12 looks ready to have a mutiny and it looks like the Big East won't be very big very soon?
Beano Cook (3:38 PM)
The Big East has some problems, there is no doubt about that. If the league loses two teams, there are problems. Rutgers would go to the Big Ten, but trust me, football would have a problem and basketball recruits from NY-NJ don't want to play in IOwa City. They want to compete at Madison Square Garden or the Carrier Dome. Let me say one thing about all of this money -- it will be spent. As the late Mr. Art Rooney once said, you live up to your means.
Wesley (Ellsberg, KS)
Was Turner Gill the right hire for Kansas? Seems to me his record at other schools isn't that impressive and he's riding on his reputation as a college player instead.
Beano Cook (3:40 PM)
We will find out. Ask me in November 2011. Give him some time, and what he did at Buffalo was remarkable. I know it is a little tougher to win in football than it is in basketball in Lawrence.
The pirates are only six games out! How excited are you?
Beano Cook (3:41 PM)
Playoff tickets may go on sale soon. Earlier I was making plans for the postseasobn. I cannot believe I did not get to go to the Royals-Orioles series. It is hard to believe Baltimore's ownership has allowed that franchise to implode.
What's the first expansion domino to fall? Is it Boise St to the MWC?
Beano Cook (3:43 PM)
Maybe, but the Big Ten situation is the one that will likely start the dominoes tumbling.
Beano Cook (3:43 PM)
I have not heard this much about the domino theory since we went into Vietnam.
Hi Beano,You've probably had this question before, but if you have I've not seen it. If you could have any college QB from the last decade to run your 2 min drill to win a game, who would you pick?Who would you pick from the QB's playing in 2010?
Beano Cook (3:45 PM)
Wow, interesting question. I would consider from recent years Matt Leinart, Jimmy Clausen. I am afraid to name anyone because I don't want to forget anyone. Clausen did it so many times last year.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
What are your expectations for Miami of Florida? Will Randy Shannon get the team back on the track of a national title? Will their tough and really excellent schedule make that impossible? Good luck, Randy!
Beano Cook (3:46 PM)
The schedule is very difficult. Miami will lose at Ohio State. Florida State is not easy. There is some pressure on the 'Canes to have a good year. The game at Pittsburgh is not a given W.
Alabama replaces NINE starters on defense. Isn't this being overlooked by the pundits picking 'Bama #1, or are they that confident in their replacements?
Beano Cook (3:48 PM)
I agree with you. Many are picking Alabama to win the national title and I feel questions in the secondary are one reason I am not picking the Tide. They will probably face Florida twice. The SEC is so tough. If the Tide was in the Big Ten, Bama would go 12-0.
L. Edgar (St. Louis)
How will realignment really affect recruiting. There have been many articles talking about teams leaving the Big 12 losing recruits from Texas. Would that really be a factor? Is it worth worrying about for a school when considering leaving a conference?
Beano Cook (3:50 PM)
It depends on the school and where they go. Wxample, if Rutgers went to the Big Ten, it would help a little in football, but not enough to compete, but it would really hurt in basketball. Kids playing basketball would want to play in the Big East and it would be like Boston Collegem where the school went for the money and hurt basketball.
Baron (Large, PA)
Pitt doesn't make Big Ten (Cuse/UConn/Rutgers/Neb/Mizzou). Go to ACC with WVU/Ville/USF? Go to Conference USA for football and stay in Big East/Catholic League for hoops? Go Independent? Thanks
Beano Cook (3:51 PM)
I have no comment on any of that.
If expansion is all about money... what do you think about the SEC making a preemptive strike and inviting TCU and OU/Houston in order to capture part of the state of Texas' collective consciousness?
Beano Cook (3:52 PM)
That is a silly observation.
Sam (Washington, D.C.)
Will Vanderbilt play in any other bowl in our lifetimes? What would former offensive coordinator Ted Cain have to do to get fired, if the past couple of years only got him demoted?
Beano Cook (3:53 PM)
Vanderbilt could get back. In 1982, I said for the Commodores to go to the Sugar Bowl, nine teams would have to go on probation. Now it would be 11 teams on probation.
Rick (Ann Arbor)
It's quite apparent you don't like the Big 10 by reading all your bias. Please step aside and let a REAL analyst on the chat. You need to learn how to separate bias being an analyst. Poor job by you sir.
Beano Cook (3:53 PM)
Everyone is biased one way or another.
PATRICK (ANN ARBOR)
PUT IT ON THE BOARD JIM HARBAUGH WILL BE MICHIGAN'S COACH NEXT YEAR!!!!!!
Beano Cook (3:54 PM)
Could be, and it would be a good choice.
Beano, ESPN referred to you as a "football historian." How does that make you feel?
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
Old. I am old.
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
Unlike some announcers, I had no say on when I was born.
William (Nashville, tn.)
Beano: Can Steve Spurrier get to the SEC Championship game this year?
Beano Cook (3:57 PM)
It is tough for South Carolina. Playing Florida, Georgia and Tennessee each season and they have more material.
Beano Cook (3:57 PM)
Spurrier wants to win but it is not life or death for him at this point.
Beano Cook (3:59 PM)
Thanks for all of your questions. I will be back for my next chat on Wednesday, June 16th at 3 pm ET. See you then.