Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat some college football.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:01 PM)
Hello and welcome. Thanks so much to all of you for showing up to wish me happy birthday, really kind ... oh, wait, you're not here for that? OK, on to the football!
Jeff (Lakeland, FL)
Can Georgia realistically beat Arkansas on Sat without AJ Green?Last year, he had 130 yds and 2 TD's in the game. Georgia struggled to score last week without him.
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
Jeff: That's why I'm picking Arkansas. Take best player off field and it will have an impact. Look at Georgia last week vs. SC.
Michael (Hermosa Beach)
Any upset predictions for week 3?
Pat Forde (2:03 PM)
I think Maryland has a shot at WVU. Mountaineers coming off draining rivalry game that they were lucky to win. Terps not great by any means, but if they can run the ball they got a shot. I'll think about some others.
I'm on the bus. I'm confused why so many people have Oregon and TCU ranked ahead of Boise. I know last year was last year, but isn't Alabama ranked #1 because they won last year's NC? Boise beat Oregon and then TCU in the Fiesta Bowl and they haven't lost since with 21 starters back. Besides, it's not like Boise lost to JMU.
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
Mike: The rankings are always dicey this early; wait until we get more games under the belt and let's see where everyone stands. I still have Boise ahead of both those schools -- third in my ESPN.com power rankings. Had 'em No. 1 until Va Tech did what it did Saturday.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Pat, what a great article on the longhorn program! A great look inside. Thank You. Looking at what has happend around college football with USC and Florida and other schools its a blessing we have Mack Brown. Im not saying Texas or coach Brown are, perfect or has ben perfect, but its hard to imagine that their are few better at running an over all program than Mack Brown.
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Blake: Thank you, I appreciate it. Mack and his staff were extremely gracious and open, which really helped. I was very impressed with the whole operation. It's a huge deal with a ton of moving parts, but Mack manages it amazingly well. Classic CEO type, but still has his hands involved in all the day-to-day workings. Enjoyed my visit.
Do you believe that Iowa can deal with all the adversity and come to AZ and beat us? Especially with the form that Foles is playing in?
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Nick: I will be at that game, looking forward to it. I like Nick Foles -- but judging him off games against Toledo and Citadel will not give you an accurate reading on facing Iowa. Hawkeyes might have the best D-Line in America. U of A O-line must give Foles time. Right now I'd favor Iowa.
Gary Pinkel (Columbia)
Pat, Is your 3 point nail biter prediction a compliment to the SDSU Atzecs or more of an indictment on past, uninspired non-con performances by Mizzou.
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
Pink: Little bit of both. I think Brady Hoke is a good coach and he seems to have SDSU playing at a higher level. And this looks like a game Mizzou might not be sky-high for. Still think Mizzou wins, but I don't expect a wipeout.
Who are the difference makers this week in East Lansing for either team....and happy birthday
Pat Forde (2:11 PM)
Tim: Thank you! Obviously QB will be huge -- is Crist OK? Will Cousins play a bit better than he ha sso far this year against mediocre competition? I love Kyle Rudolph -- best TE in America. For Michigan State, if they can keep both RBs productive that would be big. Looks like another close one in that series.
Andrew (Montgomery, AL)
Happy Birthday Forde. Now on to important things, betweeen Nebraska-Washington and Iowa-Arizona, which game will be more entertanining and why?
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
Andrew: I'd say game in Tucson will be more competitive. Not sold on UW being able to hang with Nebraska, even at home. Though I am curious about Jake Locker's athleticism vs. Nebraska's pressure to the QB. Not a huge Locker fan; just want to see if he can elude rush and make some plays.
When was the last time you saw Iowa play in person?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Grant: At Ohio State last year.
Keith (Union County, Florida)
Pat, is Tennesse as bad as everyone is saying? I see UT giving the Gators fits this sSaturday...how about you?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Keith: Tennessee has ZERO depth. Some decent talent in the starting lineup, esp RB Tauren Poole. But nothing after that. So I see Florida wearing down the Vols. Only chance Vols have of keeping it close is if the crowd gets to Brantley and the young Gators continue to misfire on offense. But I wonder whether a light flipped on during that late surge to bury USF.
Mike (Los Angeles)
Do you give Air Force any chance of beating Oklahoma?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Mike: Actually, yes. Or at least a chance of keeping it competitive. I think AFA is pretty good -- troublesome style, very solid on defense, and Oklahoma has had some trouble with MWC teams in the past. And you know the Sooners have been hearing all week about how great they are after pounding Florida State, so focus and motivation could be lacking. Just a theory.
Thoughts on Randall Cobb?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Jack: He's great. Among the most versatile players in the country. MVP of Kentucky offense. Key to their season, at least from an offensive standpoint.
Do you think Texas Tech has a real shot at taking down Texas this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Grant: I'd be surprised. Obviously, Gilbert has to stay poised in his first hostile environment, but I think he's up to that task. I expect to see Texas open up the playbook a bit and turn him loose. His receivers are good. And the UT secondary might be best in country, so it should be ready for TTU passing attack.
Who spends more time in makeup? Palmer or Pollack?
Pat Forde (2:20 PM)
Matt: Haha. Enjoyed doing The Experts with them Tuesday (programming plug, 1-4 ET on the U every Tues). But Pollack can't sit still long enough for much makeup, so Palmer by default.
Tyler (Cairo, NE)
Happy Birthday Forde!!! What are you, like 27? Anyways, is Taylor Martinez aka "T-Magic" the real deal for the Huskers? And how do you think he will do away from home in Husky Stadium?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Tyler: Thank you -- yes, 27 exactly. Ha. I like Martinez a lot. Great athleticism and elusiveness. Just needs to make sure he doesn't try to win the game on every play -- take a sack or throw the ball away instead of forcing a throw that could be a disaster. But I like him.
Thoughts on tonights game, NCSU Versus Cincy, predictions?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Chris: Went into the week thinking this is a prime spot for NCSU to win a big game and take a step forward under Tom O'Brien. Then I looked at stats from UCF game. Yecchhh. Can't go there. Bearcats in a close one.
Shawn (Plano, TX)
Nice piece on Coach Brown. Did you get a sense for how long he plans to coach?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
Shawn: I did not. If he has a sense, he's not sharing it with anyone. He said he'll probably do what Bobby Johnson did at Vandy -- just come in one day and tell everyone the jig's up, and Muschamp is taking over. But I don't expect that in the next year or two. They're recruiting too well to quit now!
Favorite West Coast gameday (not Gameday) experience?
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Jake: Good question. Honestly, I've seen fewer games out there than anywhere else probably. Been to USC, UCLA, ASU, Oregon -- I'd say Oregon of that bunch. Although any game in the Rose Bowl is special.
Pat, what will it take for the NCAA or somebody to do something about the mess down in Gainseville. Rainey is #30 in Meyers tenure.
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Seth: 30th arrest, in case you were wondering. The NCAA has no say in something like that; it's basically a matter of the school's tolerance for a fairly consistent stream of legal troubles for its football players. And if Meyer keeps winning like he has, I'd say the tolerance level will stay pretty high. Not saying that's right, but that's the way it is in real life.
Do the Gophers have a chance at home against USC?
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Steve (San Francisco)
A lot of people are pointing to Forcier's early success last year as a reason to discount Denard Robinson's. Do you see him continuing to be successful against Big Ten defenses like Iowa and Ohio State?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Steve: I am one of those people -- though I am not discounting Robinson at all. Just practicing safe hype, with history as my guide. That said, I think Robinson is a special talent -- if he can stay healthy. He's pretty small to run the ball that much.
Happy Birthday Pat. What are your thoughts on tomorrow night's Cal-Nevada game?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Steve: A really interesting game. NO. 1 total offense (Nevada) against No. 1 total defense (Cal). Kaepernick is a unique talent at Nevada. Riley playing well at Cal. Putting Bears on upset alert.
Paul (Sacramento, CA)
Shocker Pat, an ESPN sports writer hardly ever comes out west.. I can't even imagine.
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Paul: Didn't say I've hardly been out west. Just haven't been many places. Been to USC a ton of times. If other teams step up and improve, I'll be there. Case in point: visiting Tucson Saturday.
Brenton (Baton Rouge)
4D, thoughts on the LSU QB situation? Jefferson has shown little progression. If you were the staff, would you give Lee another shot, or are you gunshy after '08?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Brenton: Lee's performance in '08 would leave me gunshy until 2018. But to be fair, he might have improved since then and coaches will be able to see that in practice. Jefferson has been disappointing. Starting to wonder about Gary Crowton's long-term viability there as coordinator.
Do you think Marvin Austin will play at all this season after these allegations are settled?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
John: I think once the allegations are settled, Austin's career will be over. I'd be very surprised to see him play.
Is Cam Newton the real deal? Can he take AU to an SEC title this year?
Pat Forde (2:35 PM)
Matt: Newton has played well so far this year -- his ability to run while being roughly the same size as an elk is impressive. Looks like a great fit with Gus Malzahn. Just need to see if he can maintain consistent passing touch. I don't know about winning an SEC title -- there is that school in Tuscaloosa to deal with -- but I think Auburn can be in the mix all year.
Pat, how would YOU propose a fix to the agent/player/college football trend that has seeped into the forefront of the year's stories?
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
Brandon: I don't think you can eradicate the problem. But I think drop-the-bomb penalties can serve as a deterrent and lessen the problem. And the NCAA seems to be in drop-the-bomb mode these days.
Can the Blue Devils beat Alabama in any scenario...Cutcliffe will send Kulak after the QB!!!
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
Mark: And Kulak will have some serious linemen in his way. There is no scenario in which Duke wins, no.
Because of Virginia Tech's recent lost and assuming Boise State wins the rest of their games, which game on Boise State's schedule do you think will win the BCS voters to put Boise State in the national championship game?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Charles: Boise's biggest remaining game of the moment is Oregon State. It would also greatly aid the Broncos if Fresno and Nevada have great years to pump those games up into something big. But honestly, Boise's fate is almost out of its hands at this point. Broncos need other teams to lose.
HB (The Burg, VA)
Birthday Boy, hook me up... Two games in, how good do you think Bama is, really? Roll Tide Youngin...
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
HB: Team to beat right now. Impressive win last week without best offensive and defensive player.
George (South Carolina)
Any thoughts on potential "Big 12" expansion to include TCU? It would seem like Texas would want to influence the Big 12 to expand from 10 teams in order to stay relevant. Texas does not want to be stuck in an irrelevant conference and it seems like a conference without a championship game is becoming a thing of the past, especially if you want to stay in the discussion with other big time football programs.
Pat Forde (2:41 PM)
George: Don't see it happening. Even when winning, TCU has terrible attendance -- see Oregon State game for details. Texas is thrilled to not have a conference championship game. So is Oklahoma. Big 12 is OK with 10 and adding TCU doesn't do much to help.
Daniel Kittrell (Greenville, NC)
What do you think about VT vs ECU this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Daniel: Very interesting game. Curious to see whether the Hokies are shattered. Curious to see whether ECU can maintain its confidence. Still think Tech wins, but I'm hardly convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.
What do you think of Ricky Stanzi in the two games. No Interception yet....... He looks much polished QB..
Pat Forde (2:43 PM)
Dev: Doing a good job avoiding all those mistakes he made pre-crunch time last year. Looks like he's matured quite a bit. Good sign for the Hawkeyes.
Corbett (Des Moines, IA)
Happy Birthday Pat, here's wishing you an ice cold Pale Ale and some barely cooked cow. My question, do you think that the media has contributed more to the perception of Les Miles on the hot seat than is warranted by the LSU brass?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Corbett: Thanks for the well wishes, pass the pale ale. Your question is a good one -- but I think there is legit heat on Miles, not just a media creation.
Angel (Portland, Oregon)
Happy Birthday, my daughters is today as well. I got her a new Duck outfit, mom hates sports so thought that would be perfect. Who do you see challenging Oregon (Ducks) in the Pac-10 and why is there a bunch of hate because of their ranking?
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Angel: Happy bday to your daughter; I'm sure she will look endearingly preposterous in her Duck getup. Looks to me like the challenger to Oregon is either USC, Stanford or Zona -- maybe Cal. But USC is ineligible. I don't have any hate for Oregon's ranking; got 'em #4 in my poll.
Speaking of hot seats, Rich Rod is probably thanking the college football gods for Denard Robinson right now, but there's still a lot to prove. How many wins does Michigan need for Rodriguez to keep his job?
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Brian: I don't know, but guessing he needs 7-8. But one thing I've found interesting: it took Rod quite some time to stumble upon his last two really good QBs. Last year Robinson was a bit player who sat behind Forcier. At WVU, Pat White only got onto the field when Louisville knocked a guy named Adam Bednarik cold late in the season. White never level the starting lineup again after that.
If GT and UGA lose again, what do you make of the state of the state?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Matt: Bring on Georgia State and Bill Curry!
Ryan (Arlington, Tx)
Loved the Mack Brown piece. Loved seeing the behind the scenes at Texas. I am not feeling too good about this new turn to power offense with the backs that we have. Do you see any way the Longhorns can run the tables the way they are playing right now?
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Ryan: Thank you. Texas has to pick up its level of play to run the table -- don't see it beating Oklahoma the way the Horns are playing right now. But there is time to improve between now and Red River, and Texas has the talent to be really good
Who's in your top 5 Heisman hopefuls?
Pat Forde (2:53 PM)
Phil: 1. Denard Robinson 2. Kellen Moore 3. Ryan Broyles 4. Marcus Lattimore 5. Maybe Andrew Luck.The wonderful thing is, Heisman top fives in mid-September are inarguably unimportant. Can have five different guys next week.
Nate K (Orange Park, FL)
Happy B-Day Pat, what are you thoughts on the FSU/BYU game? Do you think the Noels can get their mojo back and win this one big like last year? Thanks!
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Nate: I believe the Noles can get back their mojo in no small part because I don't think BYU is up to the challenge of a long road trip to play a pretty good opponent. Cougars were whipped by AFA, no reason to believe they can win at FSU. And no, that is not a ringing endorsement of the Noles.
Luke Smith (Georgia)
What do you think of Coach Kelly at ND so far?
Pat Forde (2:55 PM)
Luke: He's doing fine. Thought he looked a little flummoxed at times against Michigan. Decision to go for TD instead of FG at end of half ended up hurting, but that's Kelly -- same attack mentality he's always had. He'll be OK there, I am convinced. Gonna take time to get players. I watched ND lift and run in June and they don't look like the Bamas, Texases and Ohio States right now.
Pat- who is on upset alert this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
Nick: WVU on alert. Cal on alert. Oklahoma on scare alert, if not outright upset alert. Mizzou on scare alert.
Chris Garrett (Neosho, MO)
The thing about Mack Brown is that he can meet you, and then ten years later remember your name. That's why he's a great recruiter and one of the best coaches in the country. Hook 'Em!
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
Chris: This is true. Has a great knack for names. Makes it a priority, because he knows that it impresses people. It impressed me.
With everyone jumping all over Meyer for his 30 arrests in 5 years, has anyone researched the number of arrests by other coaches over that same time span? I know UGA has had 9 arrests this spring / summer alone and Richt is way ahead of Meyer over that time span, but I don't see the witch hunt over Richt or over any other coach. Why single out Meyer?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Pat: I don't see a witch hunt over anyone.
4d, earlier you mentioned a light flipping on for Florida last week do you think that is the case?
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
James: Could be. I've seen talented but inexperienced teams fumble around for a while and then find something that upgrades their confidence, and then, boom. They take off. The way Florida exploded in the last quarter and a half makes me think that might carry over. We'll see.
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
OK, ladies and gents, thanks for the questions and the birthday well wishes. Not that I begged for those or anything. Enjoy another great football weekend, see you next week.