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)
Hi, everyone. What's going on? Tired of raking? Tired of getting rained on? You've come to the right place.
jon, ny, ny [via mobile]
Under what scenario can the Sooners still make the BCS championship game?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
Oklahoma is No. 9. The Sooners need Missouri to beat Nebraska and come into Arlington undefeated. They will jump ahead of the TCU-Utah loser and the Auburn-Alabama loser. With a win over Mizzou, they probably would jump over Boise. Then they need the other guys to lose (Michigan State, Oregon, etc.). Unlikely, but it could happen.
John (Warner Robins, GA)
Hey Ivan, not locked out of the house again are you? Predictions for Auburn and Oregon this weekend?
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
John, thanks for asking. I am indoors, which is a good thing, since Connecticut is a sodden, wet-leaf-strewn mess. I think Auburn and Oregon win and keep moving down the road.
Can you explain why Boise State advocates can remember the Fiesta Bowl from 5 years ago but can't remember the Va Tech vs JMU game THIS YEAR?
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
Good one, Rett.
Matt (Apple Valley, CA)
We all know that Boise State didn't completely dominate last night, but come on... is a 29 point victory seriously not enough??
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
That's my point, too. Boise State didn't hit on all cylinders last night and still won by four touchdowns. They must be pretty good.
Brian (Damascus, MD)
Hey Ivan,Love your articles and podcasts! How do you think Notre Dame will do next year? Thanks!
Ivan Maisel (2:06 PM)
Given up on seeing them in the Pinstripe Bowl this year, huh, Brian? I remain optimistic that Brian Kelly will win there because he has won everywhere he has been. I think it took him two years at Central Michigan, so this season's 4-4 record shouldn't be too much cause for alarm. Although that Navy was ugly....
Your pick for the Oregon vs. USC game this wknd? Will it be close, or will Oregon dominate?
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
I like Oregon because USC's biggest issues are a lack of depth and inexperience, especially on defense. Those are two things that the Duck offense takes advantage of. See the story I posted about that very subject this afternoon....
Ivan, Missouri vs Nebraska. Who wins, and why?
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
I like Nebraska because the game is in Lincoln and because Missouri will have to show uncommon maturity to survive all the backslapping after the OU victory and because it's hard to believe Nebraska will lay another huevo like it did against Texas.
Scott (New Jersey)
What do you say to someone who argues that it is the BCS championship therefore you should have to win a BCS conference to play for the BCS championship?
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
Technically, all conferences are members of the BCS. Some get automatic bids, some don't.
How big of an impact on college football does an NFL lockout make?
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
It will impact what some underclassmen decide to do next spring. But how it impacts them will depend on the timing of the talks and if there is a settlement. My agent friends tell me a rookie salary cap would solve a lot of problems.
Jimmy The Geek (Birmingham)
Ivan, one of Alabama's beat writers (Travis Reier) tweeted today that the Tide practiced against a simulated Auburn offense yesterday. The Iron Bowl isn't for another month. Think Saban is getting a little nervous?
Ivan Maisel (2:12 PM)
It's an off week. I don't think Saban is going to use it to tune up for Georgia State.
If you were head coach at Texas, what would you do now?
Ivan Maisel (2:12 PM)
Make sure that we beat Baylor.
mike (work for the man)
Michigan undefeated, wisconsin OSU 1 loss, can all 3 get a BCS Bowl?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
No conference may have more than two BCS bids. And I assume you meant Michigan State.
Ivan, if Cam Newton wins the Heisman as expected, won't Mark Ingram have to present him with the trophy? Uncomfortable!
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
Soof, I think you're confusing the Heisman with the Masters.
Mike (San Diego)
Ivan...thoughts on SDSU and Brady Hoke? I sure hope he stays a while
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
They might be the most improved team in the nation this season, which means he may not stay long. But I would be surprised if he left after one season.
Heather Didrich wrote in the ACC blog that BC fans shouldn't blame Spaziani for this dismal season. Many of us fans disagreed. Your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
I agree with Heather. Spaziani took over a team last year without a quarterback who had ever played a down and without his best defensive player and won eight games. He's the same coach. He is playing his best quarterback now. Unfortunately, Rettig is a freshman. That takes time and patience. BC will be back soon enough.
ok - was not very clear. If you were head coach at Texas, would you get involved with the offensive play calling as a signal that you were making a change at year end?
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
Mack is not going to take over playcalling. I know it's a favorite pastime of Orangebloods to rag on Greg Davis, the guy who taught Vince Young and Colt McCoy to win everything in sight over the last seven seasons. There's nothing wrong with the Texas playcalling that a better offensive line wouldn't solve. Texas still doesn't have a running game, and now they don't have a quarterback who can compensate for that problem. But they'll get it fixed.
Under what scenario could Utah make it into the national championship game? Would Boise St. have to lose? If all the AQ schools finished with 2 or more losses is it possible that an undefeated Boise St. would play an undefeated Utah in the NC game?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
For this and all other "scenario" questions: yes, there is a scenario in which what you describe will happen. It's October. There are six Saturdays left in the season. The possibilities are mind-boggling. The uncertainty is what makes this fun.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
I am to the point I want TCU or Boise to make the title game whether they deserve it or not, preferably against Alabama. That way, they get the biggest Titan in college football. If they show they can hang with them, let the non-AQ's have a chance every year. If the best Boise team ever gets blown out, we can end the non-AQ vs. AQ nonsense. Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I understand your point and I sort of agree with it. Every season should be its own entity. I'm not sure that it works out that way, though. And I can assure that whatever happens, the fans on the losing side will have an excuse as to why no long-term conclusions should be drawn from the result.
Glen (Irvine, CA)
Utah is flying under the radar. As they should be, given their SOS. But they are obliterating opponents with balance on all 3 phases of the game. Is that why you have Utah ranked over MSU, Mizzou and Alabama?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
I probably overrated Utah because their schedule has been so weak. It's all backloaded, and it starts this week. I think they will prove me right. The game next week against TCU is going to be a blast.
If Auburn stumbles, is Kellen Moore suddenly the frontrunner for the Heisman? Or is Newton so far out in front that Auburn would need to take 2 losses?
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I think Newton is the frontrunner, and I think Moore is firmly in second place with LaMichael James in the discussion as well. If Newton has a bad game, it won't be irreparable. Auburn shut down Mark Ingram last year and he rebounded to win.
Auburn beats an Arkansas team by 22 and takes a knee on the 3 yard line against LSU yet they get slammed for their defense while BSU beats "homecoming special" La Tech by 29 and is praised. How is BSU ranked ahead of Auburn in the polls. Do you guys feels sorry for them or something?
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
No, we don't feel sorry for them. We disagree with you. That doesn't make either one of us stupid. That means we disagree. And keep this in mind for the next six weeks. The only vote that has to be right is the last one. The rest of it is all for entertainment purposes only.
Ivan, what do you think about Syracuse the rest of the year? Does Doug Marrone have your vote for national coach of the year yet?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
I think that as bad a hire as Greg Robinson was at Syracuse, that's how good Doug Marrone has been. Kudos to Daryl Gross for picking Marrone. Syracuse is not good enough to assume that they will win any of the final five games (at Cincinnati, Louisville, at Rutgers, UConn, BC). But if they get to a bowl game, Marrone should get a parade down Salina St.
I personally think Sparty gets exposed in a big way this weekend. Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
I assume that Iowa will be ready to play because Kirk Ferentz is so even-keeled. But that was a heartbreaker last week. If ever a team had a reason to have a hangover....
Dooley says Tennessee is like the Germans on D-day. If that means they don't have leadership, isn't that also a reflection on himself?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
Yes. But keep in mind that this is a very young team. These are the cards that Dooley was dealt.
Anthony Kim (Dallas, TX)
Do you think Nebraska should revive their rivalry with Oklahoma when they join the Big Ten so that they will have an out-of-conference rival?
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
I would hope that they find a way to play each other. But I doubt either team will want to schedule a permanent rivalry. OU has home-and-homes scheduled with some big programs over the next 10 years. Ohio State and Notre Dame are in there; I can't remember the others. I think Tennessee?
Cocktail Party Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
It's just weird that neither Florida nor Georgia is ranked. I've been saying for a couple of weeks that Georgia is going to win the East, largely because it would be a great story if the Dawgs pulled it off and I root for great stories. I don't know how you predict which Florida team will show up in Jacksonville. But Aaron Murray is coming around for Georgia. I'm going to take Georgia.
Chad (Los Angeles)
Ivan, Can you explain why teams like Texas, Florida, etc. get ranked even with a subpar season and why voters aren't subjected to losing their voting privledges when they obviously aren't paying attention to this season or only care about a schools "TRADITIONS".
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
The coaches are especially guilty of this. I don't pay much attention to the Harris poll. The AP guys do the best job but I say that because I voted in it for 16 or 17 seasons.
Ivan, I disagree heartily that poll votes at any point in the season are "for entertainment purposes only." The standard poll voter's response is, "[Team] didn't lose, and I've had them ranked there all year, so I'm not changing anything." That's effectively saying, "I'm not going to admit I might have been wrong since August." Inertia is a gigantic problem in the poll system, and it's a cop-out to say the AP doesn't count. Harris and the coaches take their leads from the AP, and always have.
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
My point is that if anyone is wrong in their poll vote, they can correct the following week without doing any harm. That is, until the last vote. That one has got to be right.
What big time programs might have a legitimate shot at Chip Kelly when they have a coaching vacancy? Penn St comes to mind.
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
I would be surprised if Chip leaves Oregon for another college coaching position. He isn't motivated by the same things that many coaches are (money, tradition, etc.). He likes it at Oregon. He's got a good gig. I think he'll be there for a while.
Parker Mink (Knoxville)
Ivan, do you like how Dooley handles his press conferences? It seems that he is always putting his team down and poking/prodding at them. Why do you think he does these things, or is it just being how I interpret it?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
I find Derek Dooley refreshingly honest. He's not the stereotypical coach. Some, like you, are a little unnerved by that attitude. I like a coach who will speak honestly.
How will Baylor handle the classic lookahead game against their woeful little brother Texas before the mega-game with fellow national power Oklahoma State?
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
I love that question.
How is Bryant Moniz not an O'Brien award finalist? He only leads the nation in passing yards by a ridiculous margin.
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
He is paying the penalty for playing very late Saturday night, and for the sins of Colt Brennan, i.e., Hawaii's bad performance in the Sugar Bowl three years ago. That's not fair to Moniz, but I think that's got something to do with the skepticism.
Buck (Dothan, AL)
Seriously--what's it going to take to put the Big Least on Double-Secret BCS Probation?
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
This is Year Three of a four-year evaluation of each individual conference. The evaluation takes into account how high the league champ finishes in the BCS each season. By the way, Cincinnati finished third in the nation last season (pre-bowl). That is very good for the Big East's future.
Greg Clark (Memphis)
Ivan, Mississippi State is currently ranked for the first time in 9 years. They play Kentucky this weekend, and with a win they will become 7-2. They have a bye week following that, and then go on the road to play Alabama. How big of a game will that be for both squads?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
If Mississippi State and Alabama win out, that game will be huge. And if they don't, it still will be pretty big. The campuses are a short drive apart.
So Auburn misses the 2004 National Championship game because of a weak Out of Conference (even though it had a higher SoS than both USC and Oklahoma), but Boise gets ranked in the top 2 in 2/3rds of the BCS because they beat a bunch of cupcakes?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Auburn should have been in the national championship game in '04, and their schedule was judged against those of USC and Oklahoma, not against a standard of the typical team.
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
Thanks everyone. Check out my podcast with Beano Cook today. I'll be at Oregon-USC this weekend. Talk to you next week.