Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by to chat football.
Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. In addition to covering college football for the site, he contributes to ESPN's SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine. He also contributes to ESPN.com's golf coverage.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (2:01 PM)
Hello, everyone. Thanks for coming by. Here we go.
James (North Little Rock)
Which BCS schools have the easiest path to reach the National Title Game at this point in the season?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
None of 'em, James. They've got 10 or 11 games left to win. As we've seen in the 12-game- schedule era, that's really hard to do. Before last week, I would have said Boise State. Now, not so much.
Hollins [via mobile]
Is Denard Robinson the most exciting player to watch. If not him then who?
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
I am hard-pressed to think of someone else, exciting being the key word. I love how quickly Robinson accelerates, and he can make cuts at full speed. For Michigan's sake, I hope he doesn't keep carrying the ball 28 times a game. Actually, for his sake.
If Duke were to defeat Alabama this Saturday, then do you think that would be a bigger upset than JMU defeating Va Tech last week?
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
Yes. That would be a bigger upset than Temple over Virginia Tech a few years ago. Funny how Virginia Tech keeps finding itself on the wrong end of upsets.
Jeremy (Nashville, TN)
Marquee matchup in the Pac-10 this year NOT USC-Oregon but Stanford @ Oregon in a couple weeks... What do you think about the conference of champions this year? 2nd best to SEC or the best conference by seasons-end?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
Big Ten has looked good in the early season. You're right -- the Stanford-Oregon game looks much more important than it did before the season. And don't forget the Ducks are looking out for the Cardinal after last year's loss.
Greg P (Staten Island,NY)
Ivan, in one of the more unlikely scenarios but compelling would be an undefeated AirForce team making a BCS bowl! w/their schedule could they make the title game?
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
With road wins at Oklahoma and at TCU, Air Force would be pretty strong. Provided, of course, that the Sooners and Horned Frogs keep winning. They would also get sympathy votes from people who like a good story. Can you imagine a service a academy playing for the crystal football?
Andrew (Montgomery, AL)
Why do you think Iowa dropped in the polls despite winning impressively over Iowa State?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Ohio State played Miami. Oklahoma played FSU. Alabama played Penn State, etc. On "Monster Saturday," Iowa played Iowa State. That said, Iowa will get all the attention this week by playing at Arizona.
Larry Scott (Walnut Creek, CA)
Please be my consigliere and answer my question. Do you think I should go after Houston, Rice, SMU, and/or TCU to get the Dallas and Houston TV markets and make my Pac-14 or Pac-16 dream come true?
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
I dislike questions from "coaches" and "commissioners" but I'm making an exception here. I don't think those schools fit the academic profile that the conference presidents are looking for, if they are still looking at all.
Ivan, what will it take for the ACC to regain some respect?
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
My favorite story: Gerry Faust, well into his mediocrity at Notre Dame, goes into AD Gene Corrigan's office and goes on and on about how much he loves the university and his job. He goes on and on some more. And when he finishes, Corrigan says, "Gerry, win some -------- games."
If Nebraska goes on the road and wins easily at Washington, does that help them in terms of national perception? who wins that game?
Ivan Maisel (2:12 PM)
I think it would help because of the reputation of Washington quarterback Jake Locker. If the Husker blackshirts shut him down at home, that's a nice accomplishment to wave late in the season.
You don't think Rice fits the academic profile of the Pac-10? It's a better school than all of their members.
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
Yes it is. I stand corrected. But Rice wouldn't carry its weight athletically and it won't bring Texas TV sets.
Ivan, should Michigan lose a game or DRob get hurt, how do you think the M fan base and coaches react?
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
I asked Beano Cook that question on our weekly podcast this morning. It should be posted by now. I think Rodriguez would be cut some slack because the fans have seen what his system looks like with his players in it. Beano doesn't think the Wolverine fans would care.
General Neyland must have rolled over in his grave after the Oregon game. What must Tennessee do to even compete with top teams?
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
Not have three head coaches in three years. Not play freshmen all over the field, including on the interior lines. There's no mystery to how the Vols drove into the ditch. There's no mystery to how they'll get out. But it will take time.
Who is playing in the ESPN saturday night game?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
Doubleheader on ESPN: 7 pm is Clemson at Auburn. 10:30 pm is Iowa at Arizona.
Paul (Albany, OR)
I am not knowledgable on all universities academic standing, but is Rice truly a better academic school than Stanford?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
Rice is in the race, but it's in Lane 1. Stanford is in Lane 4. And the fact that I graduated from Stanford has absolutely nothing to do with that assessment. Nothing at all. No, sir. Absolutely unbiased.
Hank Hill (Arlen, TX)
Do you think SMU could have been the USC of the state of Texas if it wasna??t for the death penalty?
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
Yes. And Bernie Madoff could still have his eight-figure house in the Hamptons if he weren't making license plates.
Aaron (Rhode Island)
What will determine who wins btw Iowa and Arizona? Who controls the line of scrimmage or quarterback play?Go Hawks
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
Iowa's offensive and defensive lines are so good, I find it hard to believe that the Hawkeyes won't find a way to win. Especially if Ricky Stanzi continues to avoid throwing the ball to the other colored jerseys.
Scott (Plano, Texas)
What is wrong with the Texas Offense? I am tired of hearing "We have a young inexperienced QB" "We have a young line", "no RB wants to step up." I believe part of the blame should fall on Greg Davis/Mack Brown. The Longhorn Nation has not liked what it has seen so far. Bama has had key player losses and they are doing very well. Will Texas come out against Texas Tech this week and exorcise some demons (mediocre O and Mr. Crabtee's play circa 2008?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
Yes, Scott. I don't understand why a complete revamping of the offense featuring a new quarterback and a new scheme is not racking up 50 points a game after two games. Totally with you there.
Ivan, what is up with the national media's discrepancy in treatmen of ND and UM after Saturday's game?? If Crist plays the whole game ND wins by 10+ but he didn't and they lose in the closing seconds by 4 and everyone acts like the Irish were blown out. What is your take?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
My take is that's a big if.
Bingo (SF, CA)
I am through with college football. The NCAA is a joke and a sham and the whole USC/Bush issue totally brings it to light.As with steroids in baseball, the "owners" turn a blind eye, make their money then arbitrarily mete out punishment when someone gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Except the difference is these kids aren't getting paid (don't give me that BS about an education...there not getting that at all).Pro football and basketball need a true minor league system and if a kid chooses to go that route then it's on them. And if a kid chooses to go to college then he has to stick to it and play by those rules. I still think college athletes should get some form of compensation based on the revenue they bring into the university and the conference. Until something changes I am done with the sham that is *College* sports.
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
We will miss you, Bingo. As for the BS about education, I just paid my first college tuition bill. I don't think it's BS at all. I agree that the players should stick by the rules. Lord knows they hear them enough. As for compensation, if you pay one team and don't pay the others, you'll get a Title IX lawsuit slapped on your behind so fast you won't know what hit you. It ain't perfect, but it beats anything they play on Sunday.
Ivan, what's your take on the Nike "pro combat" uniforms that several teams have worn so far this season? I like the traditional uniforms of Nebraska, Michigan, Penn State, etc.
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I don't know about you, Jack, but I looked at Virginia Tech's new unis and I thought, "Man, I'm getting old." From what I hear, the Hokie fans don't like them and the Hokie players love them. The coaches uses the uniforms for recruiting. So what we think doesn't matter, at least until our 40 times drop. A lot.
Ivan...love the chats, but don't understand the perception about Denard's health. First, some guys the same size...Eric Crouch, Antwan Randle-El, CHRIS JOHNSON, a LOT of college running backs. Second...would you rather have him hit by LB's and DB's 28 times a game (or 25, since he'll be scoring 3 times!), or hit 15-20 times, but hit by Dlinemen another 8-10 times a game unprotected in the pocket?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
That's a very interesting observation. You have something there.
Beats anything on Sunday? They take the best players from college and the level of play is significantly higher and there is no griping about who deserves to be crowned as the best or has the right to play to earn that honor.
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
Of course you wouldn't know. You're in Philly. The pros lack passion. They lack more than one or two styles of offense. They lack tradition. They lack fight songs and marching bands and alumni and the fact that the game means something to everyone in the building. Other than that, I loooovvvvveeee the NFL.
Regarding your earlier post.... are you saying that Rice has a better academic profile than your alma mater Stanford?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
No I am not. I didn't read the question as thoroughly as I should have.
Travis (Phoenix, AZ)
Ivan, how do you think the Pac-10 will be perceived come Sunday morning?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
I assume you're referring to Arizona and Washington. I think they have a chance to beat Iowa and Nebraska, respectively. Don't think they will, though.
What's your favorite nickname for Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez? T-Mart, T-Magic, T-Mobile, or another one? This is really important to Husker Nation.
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
It would be like me voting for the mayor of Lincoln. I am not registered there. I have no say in the matter. Given the way he runs, how about "Taylor Swift?" Yeah, maybe not.
Hey Crazy Ivan, do you see an undefeated Utah playing an undefeated TCU in November? What BCS bowl does the winner of that game play in?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
How great would that be? I hope it's cold in SLC for that one. Keep in mind that if a Pac-10 or Big Ten team plays in the BCS Championship Game and a non-AQ team qualifies for the BCS, that team goes to Pasadena.
with duke's ability to but points on the board with great passing affectness and being 10-10 in the red zone you think duke might be able to expose some holes in that alabama secondary. im not saying they'll beat them but at least be able to put the first touchdown on the board against alabama?
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
I think Duke can score on Alabama. That Tide secondary still needs directions to get from the locker room to the field.
so if Michigan losses or Denard struggles will you guys admit you over hype things a little too much? I mean heaven forbid espn admit it was wrong rather than a team under achieved according to them
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
I admit I overhype things all the time. We keep it real here. But overhyping comes from being so excited about the games. I plead guilty.
I appreciate your recognition for Iowa, you stand seemingly alone amongst your peers in that regard. Is there any way an undefeated Iowa doesn't make the title game? They'll get their due respect by then, right?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
That would include a win at Arizona, a win at Michigan, and home victories over Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. Sounds good to me.
Ivan, I've got a feeling in my toes that Boise drops one to a WAC opponent. IMO, all you have to do is stop Kellen Moore. (I know, easier said than done). Which WAC team stands the best chance in doing so?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
Watch Nevada play Cal on Friday night. Colin Kaepernick is a very good quarterback. The Wolf Pack has pushed the Broncos the last three seasons.
As a Buckeye fan, I hope D. Robinson is the real deal, just because it would help the Big Ten gain more respect to have Michigan 'back', but I'm having a hard time believing so, bc I don't think he can get through the big ten playing this way. Too big and physical for one person to do that much. Do you agree?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
He needs some help from somebody on that offense. No question.
Ivan, first- Bama's secondary gave up all of 156 yards passing to PSU and hasn't allowed a TD yet this year...I'm pretty sure they can find the field. More importantly, is Wisconsin's D going to cut it against AZ state? 35 combined points allowed to 2 terrible offenses...
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
Penn State has a true freshman quarterback. I don't think Arizona State can play the physical style that Wisconsin demands.
They took back Reggie's Heisman, can they take back Charles Woodson's and give it to Peyton?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
I'm with you on that one. That, to me, was the greatest Heisman injustice of the last 25 years. In second would be Tommie Frazier losing to Eddie George in '95.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Give us a prediction on the Texas vs Texas Tech game! Thanks
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
Texas has more players. I'm going with the 'Horns. I'm not convinced that the Red Raiders are completely comfortable in Tub's schemes yet.
WVU looked to be a good pick to win the Big East after UConn, Pitt, and Cincy all went down (pretty ugly) early on. But after WVU's performance against Marshall, which team looks the best to win the Big East? Still the 'eers?
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I still like Pitt. An overtime loss at Utah is nothing to be ashamed of.
Ivan, I don't buy the point of view that a college scholarship is "worth $250,000" and therefore college athletes are compensated fairly. Oh really? Give them $250,000 as high school seniors and see what they spend it on. I bet they don't spend it on college tuition, room, board, and books. They go to play sports, not to attend college.
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
I don't understand how the spending habits of an 18-year-old lessen the value of four years of tuition, room and board. Some do go to play sports. Some don't. And some of those who don't figure out they're not going to play sports after they turn 25 or 30 and they get an education that will set them on a path to making a living for the 50 years that follow.
Texas-ex here and the comment above does not represent the majority of the Longhorn nation. Gilbert has started two games and has no interceptions (in fact, Texas has no turnovers) and has not allowed a sack. First time in Mack Brown Texas history. after 2 games. Best to catch Texas early as they will only get better (much better by end of year).
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Good points all.
Ivan, what questions do you hate the most? Questions about why you "hate" their team, Heisman talk in week 2, playoff scenarios, or conference power talk????
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Earth (Under Your Feet)
People need to understand that a very small percentage 1-3% of college athletes make a living in that profession. Go find a board room and ask how many are college athletes, I almost guarantee you see a few hands.
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
Employers love athletes. They have discipline. They know how to compete. And customers/clients want to deal with them.
If OU, OSU, and Bama all go undefeated, who goes to the big game?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Then you're getting into breaking down whom they beat by how much and at what point in the season. Would that be a great debate or what?
i agree with joe. i went to a prep school that specialized in basketball and i never once heard a recruiter mention the value of the education it was always GIRLS, parties, and playing time. so how can you expect kids that dont go to school for an education to even care about theyre education? if you ask me the entire system is screwed beyond repair. (btw i agree with joe from florida)
Ivan Maisel (2:47 PM)
Some recruiters stress the long view. Some don't. Some coaches are good. Some aren't. The good coaches sell their entire school, not only what they offer athletically but how playing at the school will set the kid up for the rest of his life.
Ivan Maisel (2:47 PM)
Thanks, guys. Talk to you next week.