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 3 p.m. ET!
Bruce (3:05 PM)
Hi- Thanks for dropping by.
Bruce (3:06 PM)
Sorry had a little technical issue. Let's talk some college football.
Kyle Styck LasVegas, NV (Las Vegas Nevada)
I'm sure UNLV isn't your top priority, But do you believe Bobby Hauck can take Unlv to a bowl game?
Bruce (3:08 PM)
His track record up in Montana was impressive. I always thought that UNLV job has potential because you should be able to recruit there and it's very accesible to LA and other places. It may take afew years though before they go bowling. It's a tough league they're in, and facing Wisconsin and WVU in the non-conference won't be easy.
Matt (Minneapolis, MN.)
Bruce, is Tim Brewster the right man for the job at Minnesota? I want to give him a chance because Mason basically left the the cupboard bare and Brew has some really tough schedules but I also don't want to wait too long and miss an opportunity to hire a different guy who could bring us back to the Rose Bowl. Thoughts?
Bruce (3:10 PM)
He has to get them going fast. They really upped the facilities and he's had some issues off the field. My hunch is they'll make a change this winter.
Troy (Kansas City)
With Nebraska and Colorado leaving, does anyone in the Big XII North gain anything from a recruiting stand point. (I'm talking college football.)
Bruce (3:12 PM)
I doubt it. If anything the delicate future of the Big 12 and how it relates to much of the Big 12 North schools could be easier to negative recruiting against.
Bruce...I saw where you were non-plussed over UT Coach Derrick Dooley's tweet regarding good news...and the announcement that the Vols had signed the top rated punter for this year's class. What's up with that?
Bruce (3:13 PM)
I RTed what Pat had Tweeted. Usually when someone talks about "big news" you don't expect it to be a punter especially given all of the rocky news this off season down there.
deputy Gator (Vero Beach, FL)
whats your take on the florida gators this year where do they stand in your top 10 and why?
Bruce (3:14 PM)
I have them around #10 right now. I think they lost a lot of key leadership guys and experience which will be hard to replace.
Brian Kelly (South Bend)
Why am I optimistic right now? Hope you had a great time at Notre Dame.
Bruce (3:17 PM)
OK, you're optimistic because you're at a unique place with a team full of players who have bought into your new approach of doing things. You have full support of the administration/fan base. You also have a stud QB ready to lead and a great WR (Floyd) and TE (Rudolph) and above all because you have the utmost confidence in yourself, knowing that what you've done every place else has worked.
Bruce (3:18 PM)
And yes, I enjoyed my trip to South Bend/Chicago.. even had time to get some deep dish pizza with Rittenberg before flying out of OHare.
John (Happy Valley)
Bruce, Our annual game in HV... if JoePa was to retire now, rank them in order of most likely - least likely in the "succession sweepstakes":Tom Bradley, Glen Mason, Kirk Ferentz, Jay Paterno, Al Golden, Greg Schiano.
Bruce (3:19 PM)
Of those? OK: Bradley, Ferentz, Golden, Schiano, Jay and Mason.
When will Lebron, Wade, and Bosh sit down with Delany and Scott to discuss expansion, free agency, vuvuzelas, Isner's win at Wimbledon, etc. What a crazy summer?
Bruce (3:20 PM)
Steven (Knoxville, TN)
What do you think of Justin Worley, the VOLS new QB recruit?
Bruce (3:21 PM)
Good pick-up for UT. I think ESPN has him as the #22 QB in the country.
USC (Heritage Hall)
What's happening to us? Where are we 5 years from now?
Bruce (3:23 PM)
You'll be fine, but it will be some ups and downs. I think the team responds to the "Us against the world" approach and wins at least 10 this season. Wouldn't shock me if Barkley stays for his senior year in 2012, if their first year back in post-season, they were a BCS title contender. The young talent there now is that promising, however the next year when the depth issues take more hold maybe it's an 8-4 or 7-5 kind of season.
Bruce (3:24 PM)
There isn't much margin for error when you only have 15 scholarships to give out... some guys will get hurt. Some will get in trouble academically. Some you'll just mis-evaluate or they won't develop.
Why hasn't Mike Garret been fired yet?
Bruce (3:25 PM)
My hunch is USC will have a new AD fairly soon.
How do you think Mizzou is going to do this? Any chance they win the Big twelve North
Bruce (3:26 PM)
They should score a lot of points with Gabbert and Co, but I think Nebraska is still the best team in the North and they do get to play the Tigers in Lincoln.
Ted Miller wrote about this last week but I wanted to get your thoughts. What would it take for Tennessee to pull off the upset against Oregon
Bruce (3:29 PM)
For their DEs (Chris Walker especially) to have a big game getting pressure and also for UT to control tempo with their ground game. On the plus side, Justin Wilcox has experience coping with that scheme.
jon ny, ny [via mobile]
Most likely to play in BCS title game; Oklahoma, Texas or Nebraska?
Bruce (3:30 PM)
Coping out... In the time it took me to post that question, I changed my mind three times. Tempted to say Texas.
Who are your dark horse Heisman candidates? Cam Newton running Mahlzan's spread might be enough to net a Heisman and a SECCG berth. Your thoughts?
Bruce (3:31 PM)
I think he's a big big longshot. Not sure a guy who really hasn't played much major college football can come in and spark a Heisman. I think Newton will be great at times and really shaky at other times. I think Mallett is more the upset guy to go wild and stun Bama in the West and go on the Heisman run.
Matt (Huntington WV)
UC third straight Big East champs?
Bruce (3:32 PM)
I'm leaning to Pitt, but Cincy should be explosive on offense again.
A few weeks ago Schlabach tweeted he believes FSU beats UF this year. Agree? I do, UF lost way too much talent but more importantly, they lost Charlie Strong which was paramount to their success
Bruce (3:33 PM)
Yeah, I think I answered something like this a while back. I agree with him. The timing is good for FSU here.
CanesPundit.com (Miami, FL)
Bruce, provided Jacory stays healthy, is there any reason why the Hurricanes can't contend for a national title this year?
Bruce (3:35 PM)
The closest thing to a reason why they couldn't would be some inexperience on the O-line. And having said that I think they're a lot better athletically up front than they were in 2009. They are loaded all over the place and they're not so young any more. They have a very good chance to have a great season if they can stay focused and that's on the leaders in the locker room.
Johnathan (Blacksburg, VA)
Am I the only one who is drawing eerie comparisons between Arkansas this year and Ole Miss of last year?
Bruce (3:36 PM)
Nope, I've heard that a few times.. The one big difference is that last year Bama wasn't as proven as a favorite in the West to take the pressure off Ole Miss as is the case for Arkansas now.
Conor (Santa Barbara)
Kirk Ferentz was mentioned above as a potential replacement for JoePa. This seems strange; when was the last time a head coach left for another team in the same conference?
Bruce (3:38 PM)
Interesting question.. Nutt went from Ark to Ole Miss but he was forced out. In almost every other instances there is a step in between. Mike Riley didn't do it this offseason when he could've gone Oregon State to USC.
D. Dooley (knoxville, tn)
how many games do you see me winning this year?
Bruce (3:38 PM)
5 or 6.
John (Huntsville, AL)
Tubberville left Mississippi to go to Auburn.
Bruce (3:39 PM)
Stephen (St. Paul)
Who has the hotter seat Mark Richt or Damon Evans?
Bruce (3:39 PM)
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Bruce, more than a handfull of times the Big12 knocked off a NC team in the big12 championshiip game. Might it help the big12 strength by not having a Confrence championship game?
Bruce (3:40 PM)
That's what a lot of people are thinking although I'm sure fans of other leagues cringe at that thought.
As of right now, your prediction on where Seantrel Henderson is next year?
Bruce (3:43 PM)
Not sure. Aside from USC no other school can talk to him. Does he decide to stick with USC and go there? Or does he go to prep school for a year and go through the entire recruiting process again? If he opts to transfer and can't get a release from USC, he'd have to alert whoever (Miami or OSU) and they'd have to have room under the 85-man scholarship limit at the time and then he'd sit out a season. He could try and make an appeal to get released but I'm not sure how viable that would be to get him on the field in 2009.
Bruce (3:44 PM)
I'm surprised he's not at USC already because the longer this drags out the worse his chance of playing any place else. Thing is, he should never have signed anything a few months ago until the NCAA made its ruling. People would've held space for him just in case.
John (Huntsville, AL)
And didn't Dinardo leave Vandy for LSU? Seems to happen a lot in the SEC.
Paul (Sacramento, CA)
What blake said is not true... What about Nebraska and OU.... Didn't they both lose conference title games and get in the title game?
Bruce (3:45 PM)
Yes, they did, alhtough I think things have changed quite a bit since then.
Steve (Blacksburg, VA)
Is there a better backfield than Evans & Williams?
Bruce (3:46 PM)
The only one might be Ingram and Richardson.
Which coach will be the next Jim Grobe the coach that can get the most from underrated athletes?
Bruce (3:47 PM)
Besides Gary Patterson or Mike Riley? I'll say Dave Christensen at Wyoming.
Best gameday atmospheres in each conference are? and if you haven't been to weaver d's in athens, you're missing out. best chicken, period.
Bruce (3:50 PM)
I'll say Eugene, Blacksburg, Baton Rouge, Austin, Madison, Morgantown.
Not passing on my follow-up question are you Bruce?
Bruce (3:50 PM)
I didn't even see it.. Send it again.. This thing moves too fast.
How concerned should Notre Dame fans be about Brian Kelly's defense? Cincinnati seemed to struggle on D last year, but Kelly came up as a defensive coordinator.
Bruce (3:51 PM)
Cincinnati though also had like one starter returning from the year before and a new scheme to work with and a new DC. Tough to navigate all of that and become the 85 Bears.
Other than Boise State and TCU, who could be a possible BCS Buster?
Bruce (3:52 PM)
Utah or maybe Houston.
Bruce (3:52 PM)
Am not saying they'll be a BCS buster but keep an eye on Middle Tennessee, they could win 11, which is a ton for a Sun Belt team.
Rob (The 614)
Of all the campuses you have been to, what is your favorite overall campus setting, not just football atmosphere but the whole campus as a whole?
Bruce (3:54 PM)
I like UNC, I like UT.. The campus at Notre Dame itself is more impressive than any place I've been. Everything is so well manicured and the buildings are stunning. West Point is also pretty stunning.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you Follow The NFL? If you do What NFL Team are you a Big Fan of?
Bruce (3:55 PM)
I do. I grew up a Steelers fan, but now like the Ravens a lot. I root for teams that have players I've gotten to know well over the years.
Why was the lack of a conference championship viewed negatively by the Big 10 but the Big 12 is more than fine with getting rid of it?
Bruce (3:57 PM)
This is a good question... If Ohio State had beaten Florida or LSU in the BCS games, I don't think you would've had much of that. People in the media and beyond were looking for explanations/excuses why the Big Ten was losing big games and bowl games and didn't want to use the ESSSS-EE -CCC speed point of view.
TY Hilton from FIU is the best player no one has heard of.
Bruce (3:58 PM)
People have heard of him. Many college fans know the story of him making good on the prediction of him scoring on his first career touch.
Bradford (Boise, ID)
Bruce, what does Boise State need to improve to enhance our chance of beating VA Tech? Thanks & happy 4th of July weekend!
Bruce (3:59 PM)
Thanks... find ways to slow down the Tech running game and not get rattled by being so far from home like they did in Athens a while back.
Tell Seth from Miami that we Bama fans know EXACTLY who Ty Hilton is - he ran a kickoff back on us last year - great player.
Will UNT fire Todd Dodge after this season or is it too early?
Bruce (4:00 PM)
Unless he gets to 7 wins, I think he's gone. He has a lot better facilities than Dickey did when he won league titles at UNT. I visited that place back then. It was unbelievably bad.
Bruce (4:01 PM)
Had a buddy on that UNT staff gave me a tour. In the locker room right in front of the starting QB's locker was this leaking pool of Godknowswhat from the ceiling.
I send in 3 great questions and you post the one of somebody asking what your faorite NFL team is. You are a jerk. I am out of here for good,
Bruce (4:02 PM)
Come on man, I didnt see any of your questions.. other than this comment.
Why such the hype for Brantley? He is scarcely much more experience than Cam Newton, Aaron Murray or...well...anyone!
Bruce (4:03 PM)
I guess it's because people put more stock in Urban's praise than they do in others.
Nick Saban (Tuscaloosa)
If coach Paterno only coaches two more years and gets twenty more wins, I only have to have 16 undefeated seasons in a row to pass his record for all time wins. Do you see that happening?
Bruce (4:04 PM)
How many wins does Dan Mullen get this season? Any upsets in the among the wins?
Bruce (4:05 PM)
6-7. The D should be very good.
Opening Night only 2 months from today Bruce. We're gonna make it.
Bruce (4:05 PM)
Great news.. Going to be awesome. Lots of fun match ups.
is henderson even qualified yet?
Bruce (4:06 PM)
Yes, I heard he was.
John from Happy Valley forgot to put Larry Johnson in the succession sweepstakes. I think is near the top of the list along with Bradley. Your thoughts?
Bruce (4:07 PM)
I think if any PSU assistant has a good shot its Tom Bradley.
How many wins will Brady Hoke get this year?
Bruce (4:08 PM)
I'll say 6. They should get 3 in the non-conf but the league is tough. Can they beat AFA and CSU at home AND go on the road to beat Wyoming? I gave them only one of those 3.
John (Lewiston, ID)
If Idaho goes to a bowl game this year, will Robb Akey still be the coach next year or will bigger programs (i.e. WSU) go after him?
Bruce (4:10 PM)
Good question. He did a great job last season and WSU is on shaky ground.
Bruce (4:10 PM)
Three more questions.. almost lunch time here.
Simmons (Tucson, AZ)
How do you see Arizona doing this year, and what will it take to get them up to the upper tier of the Pac 10 (Pac 12?)? Or is that not likely ever to happen?
Bruce (4:12 PM)
Nick Foles needs to have another big year and I think he will but you have so much to replace on D. I see 7 wins and I do think they can get into the upper tier of the league.
Chris (Odessa, FL)
Kiffin, Baxter, cell phone? Anybody, anybody, Buehler?
Bruce (4:14 PM)
Not sure what is going on with that. It was in the hands of USC's compliance office. Right now a lot of stuff going on around Heritage Hall at USC.
Drew (Los Angeles)
I hate when people bring up the BSU Athens game! That was forever ago, coached by a Dan Hawkins team! This is a different team, better coach, better talent, more to prove! BSU will bring it in DC!
Bruce (4:15 PM)
OK, we shall see. It'll be a lot of fun.
Campbell (Round Rock, TX)
Will A&M have enough D this year to contend for the Big 12 South?Can they beat ou in College Station and Texas in Austin?
Bruce (4:16 PM)
I am a big believer in that offense and when I visited College Station a few weeks back bother Jerrod Johnson and Von Miller talked about why the D will be so much improved. I expect 8-4.
Bruce (4:17 PM)
Thanks for all of your questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN. Have a great and safe July 4th weekend!