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 (2:03 PM)
Hi, everyone. Big news just breaking re Cam Newton, it's Championship Week, we've got last weekend's game to hash over. Let's go.
Erik (Mountain View, CA)
Ivan, what does your gut instinct say for Stanford's bowl location? BTW, please set all your colleagues straight that Stanford doesnt travel for bowl games, last year we did help set a Sun Bowl game and stadium record.
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
You just did. But seriously, Erik, I find it hard to believe that people will go to Miami for the Orange Bowl. Maybe alums on the east coast will go. But if memory serves, USC didn't show up at the Orange Bowl a few years ago.
quick take on the Cam ruling? NCAA is pure comedy
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
They ruled on the evidence they found. No one has implicated Auburn with any hard evidence that I have seen. If it comes up, I assume the NCAA would revisit the case.
Ivan why does a close loss on the road vs a ranked team make everyone assume Boise isn't legit? A one loss season is pretty amazing after not losing a regular season game since 2007. Why the hypocrisy?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
An undefeated record is harder to attack. Once Boise State lost, even in overtime on the road to a ranked team, the knives came out. It didn't make the ranking system look good. The coaches inflict that wound on the sport every year.
Last saturday Georgia had a 35-34 lead with 1:39 left, the ball, no time outs for Georgia Tech. By simply taking a few seconds to kneel and with the 40 second clock ,the game is over. But Mark Richt's group scores a touchdown on the 1st play. Tech gets the ball back with well over a minute left- a TD and the 2pt conversion and it's OT. Can you imagine the outrage if Tech had tied that game? Why are the college coaches in particular so poor at game situations and clock management?
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
I wondered that myself. But in defense of Richt, and I haven't followed up to find out what he said. If you call a safe dive into the line, and the defense just stands there, of course the running back is going to take it to the house. I don't think Richt believed that Georgia Tech would flop on defense. It's surprising to me that no one has taken Paul Johnson to task for that.
Matt (St. Paul)
Ivan, we're only one day into December and the search for the next Gophers coach is almost reaching comical status at the number of names thrown out there. Everytime it seems one is brought up, another is denying or distancing themselves from the opening. Is there any chance that AD Maturi doesn't screw this up? Confidence is low and waning fast here in the Twin Cities.
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
Don't ask me. I thought he screwed up when he fired Glen Mason.
Frank (Ceres, CA)
What award did Beano win? I hadn't heard of it before.
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
Beano won the Bert McGrane Award, given by the Football Writers Association of America, those of us who cover college football. It's sort of a lifetime achievement award given by the writers for someone who has been in the business and done well by college football. I surprised Beano with the news on the podcast today. Download and listen.
Larry (Los Angeles)
Is there some question that Kyle Brotzman's FG in regulation was good even though the officials called it bad? I've heard comments but are they just Boise sour grapes or is there a real question?
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
The first field goal he missed was really, really close. I thought, watching it live, that he made it. The Nevada fans in the field goal instantly cheered, but I don't know if they reacted to the kick or the officials' signals.
Why are people giving South Carolina great chances to win this Saturday? That defense is in no way going to slow down Cam Newton and with the National Championship Game on the line for Auburn that are not going to flop against a three loss team.
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
South Carolina led at Auburn, 20-7, earlier this year. I know, who didn't lead Auburn by double digits earlier this year? So this game is at a neutral site and South Carolina is playing better than it did at midseason. So, too, is Auburn.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
If the November Notre Dame defense shows up for all of next year, they play for the National Title right? I'm not saying they'd be one of the two best teams, but no one on their schedule beats them.
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
God, I love college football fans.
Do you think we will eventually see the fiesta and orange bowls not have the direct tie-ins with the big-12 and ACC, respectively? seems like lots would be better off with TCU/Stanford in the Fiesta, and Neb-OU/FSU-VT in the orange... phoenix isn't a big-12 town, and the orange bowl would probably like the flexability too...
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
Tim, your assessment makes a lot of sense, but it will not happen. The leagues don't want to give up the security of knowing their champion will play in a specific, major bowl. I think everyone would be better off if there were no specific ties, this season especially, as you pointed out. But the leagues would never take the risk.
I am curious on your take about Marcus Lattimore's 14 carries against Auburn...did Spurrier abondon the run or was Auburn just doing too good a job stuffing Lattimore. Do you expect more of Lattimore if he struggles again against the Auburn front 7?
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
Brian, I covered the game, and all I remember is Spurrier yanking Garcia in the fourth quarter. South Carolina may have lost the game, anyway, and Spurrier might have done so to teach Garcia a lesson for the long haul. But that decision pretty much guaranteed that the Gamecocks weren't going to hang on to that game.
Mark (Houston, TX)
am I the only one that feels at the moment nobody in the country is playing better than Wisconsin. I'd seriously go out on a limb and say if they were to play either Auburn, Oregon, TCU or Stanford they'd likely win.
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
I think the two best teams over the last month have been Wisconsin and Stanford. That would be a great Rose Bowl, but it won't happen unless South Carolina beats Auburn.
Mark (Houston, TX)
outside of Cam Newton running the ball, who's been Auburn's most impressive RB this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
I like Dyer more than McCalebb. Dyer is a physical back, and he's fast.
Ivan,What are your thoughts on the potential Cotton Bowl matchup of TAMU and LSU? Who do you like in the game and why?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
Add Texas A&M to Wisconsin and Stanford for best teams over the last month. That momentum may not stretch to Jan. 7, but the Aggies would beat LSU if they played this Saturday.
Congratulations to Beano, great honor. Ivan, I doubt you enjoyed the Iron Bowl, but I'll bet you were impressed by it. Greatest comeback ever?
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I enjoyed it and I was impressed by it. It was the greatest Iron Bowl comeback ever, greatest comeback in Auburn history, but I don't know that it was the greatest comeback ever.
What's your take on the Civil War? Prediction?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
I'm covering the game. I think Oregon will win handily. I expect the Beavers will play well, but they've been so up and down all year. It's hard to believe they will play well enough to win. But I am excited to go. I've never covered a Civil War.
Nate K (Orange Park, FL)
Ivan, do you think the Blackshirts will be able to stop Jones and that crazy passing attack?? Another great match up tp watch!! Also does Beebe come down from his office and give the trophy to Bo if the Huskers win?!?! Thanks!!
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I don't know why I'm leaning Oklahoma. Nebraska has the better defense. But I fully expect Beebe to hand the trophy to Nebraska. Some of us are old enough to recall the late Pete Rozelle, the former NFL commissioner, handing the Lombardi Trophy to Raiders owner Al Davis.
It seems that Jim Delany's decision to go to 12 teams has never made more sense than it does today...with a Champion decided by BCS rankings how can any of the three 11-1 teams be considered for a national title over the other two? A Big Ten Title game this year would have given the conference a shot at a national title IMO with a loss in the top 2.
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
A championship game might have helped. But I blame the Big Ten's weak non-conference scheduling for its inability to climb in the ratings.
Brad (Marietta, GA)
Can Florida State win this Saturday and get a BCS slot? It would be less of a crime than UConn sneaking in.
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
Florida State in the BCS wouldn't be a crime at all. You don't have to apologize for winning your league. Neither would UConn, for that matter.
Nobody in Oregon thinks the Ducks will win handily. We will be happy with a one point win over the Beavs.
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
I don't blame you. And my initial inclination was to think it would be close. But then I remembered the game two years ago, when Oregon pounded a better team than the Beavers have this season. The final was 65-38.
The Wolf (Blacksburg)
If Auburn loses this Saturday, do they then most likely go to the Orange Bowl?
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
That makes the most sense.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Are there enough 6-6 teams to fill all the bowls or are they still talking letting 5-7 teams in?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
Georgia, I think, became the 70th team by reaching 6-6 on Saturday night. Washington can get there Saturday by beating Wsahington State.
Greg (Hattiesburg, MS)
What is your opinion about people who say the Pac-10 has no defense? Could any defense stop Oregon or Stanford in your opinion?
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
They haven't watched much Pac-10 football. At least Oregon and Stanford, anyway.
Kyle Brotzman didn't exactly give a reaction to that first miss as though he thought he made it either. I would've expected him to show something other than self-disappointment had he thought it was good.
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
Very good point.
Stevie G (Chicago)
To answer The Wolf's question, a lot of people think that if Auburn loses on Saturday, it still goes to the N.C. game...
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
These are the same people who clamor for a playoff. They think it's OK for a team to lose and still move on. Drives me nuts. It made the sport look bad when Nebraska did it in 2001 and when Oklahoma did it in 2003.
Michael (Clinton, Mississippi)
What was your take on Ole Miss' taking Jeremiah Masoli at the beginning of the year? It doesn't seem to have helped their win-loss record.
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
I understood why Houston Nutt did it, but you can't expect a quarterback to show up in August, learn the offense, learn the teammates, and be a good leader. Just wasn't going to happen.
John (New York)
Fellow Stanford grad - what do you think are the chances of the Cardinal playing in the title game if Auburn and Oregon both lose?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
If that happens, there will be furniture thrown someone. The voters and the computers would relaly torque people off. I don't think the voters would back Stanford, and I don't think the computers would back Wisconsin. But it would depend on how the games were lost (by Oregon and Auburn).
LSU lost twice in 2007 and got a BCS title shot though, Mr. Maisel. I can understand one slip-up and still getting a chance but two?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
That season shouldn't be used an an example of anything. What a mess.
Auburn Grad here, with the new news, Should i buy my ticket to Glendale? and where is a good place to tailgate?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
My memory is that the Cardinals' stadium has loads of parking, so tailgate away. I'd buy it. If Auburn loses, you're still going to the National Championship Game to see No. 1 play No. 2. What's wrong with that?
Patrick (Mobile, Al)
Ivan, I cant think of a question to ask you, but I did just get back from the Dew Drop where I ate a dog and some onion rings in your honor...lol
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
You didn't have the gumbo?
Mike (Paris, OH)
How can Auburn pass Oregon after the Alabama game? They needed Alabama to basically fall apart with dropped passes & turnovers to win that game. Then Oregon blows out Arizona.How does that make any sense?
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
The computers love schedule strength. They don't measure margin of victory and they don't see how the game was won.
Thomas (Lincoln, NE)
What happened to Bama's running backs? Ingram looks horrendous and Richardson looks no better. Last year they were world beaters.
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
Ingram began the season injured. Richardson got banged up at midseason. The offensive line isn't as good as it was last season. A lot of factors contributed.
Larry (Glendale, CA)
Which team would win between Michigan State vs. Ohio State in these 3 scenarios - @ East Lansing, @ Columbus, and neutral?
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
I'd take the Buckeyes in each scenario.
Cason (Phoenix, AZ)
How come it seems like Jim Tressel and Ohio State do not get any credit for winning six consecutive conference championships (outright or shared)? It seems like the media would rather attack than state what Tressel and OSU have accomplished. Is it because OSU has such a large fanbase and people just want readers or reaction?
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Feeling a little underappreciated? Tressel has done a remarkable job but he won't get the credit he deserves until the Buckeyes win a few more bowl games and play a little tougher schedule. His university president did him no favors with that outburst last week.
Do you think Boise could get into the Holiday Bowl if by some miracle Washington State beats Washington?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
I don't know. I haven't heard anything tricky being attempted beyond getting them into the Las Vegas Bowl against Utah.
If Boise of TCU were in the SEC where do you have them finishing?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
I think that question is a red herring. It doesn't have anything to do with anything. We don't wonder where Stanford would have finished in the SEC West, or how Florida State would fare in the Big 12 South. Take each team on its merits.
Paul (Sacramento, CA)
As a USC fan, give me one good reason not to be outraged by the recent news on Cam Newton.
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
Ha! You get to see the best player in college football play on Saturday.
Ben (Fort Worth)
I'm having a hard time understanding a lot of your objections to the TCU-Big East move. Why is being in an AQ conference post-Gary Patterson worse than being in a non-AQ in the same situation?
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
I think it's a great move for TCU. I question whether it's a great move for the Big East.
With TCU headed to the Big East, Boise remains the only non-AQ with any stature. Doesn't that help them year-in and year-out get ranked high enough for the non-AQ bid? Right now, they are ranked high enough with one loss.
Ivan Maisel (2:48 PM)
Exactly! Chris Dufresne of the LA Times made that point on the phone to me yesterday. The non-AQ champs get a bid if they finished 12th or higher. Who is going to compete with Boise State now that Utah and TCU are moving up?
Ivan...keep up the good work. Who are you picking tomorrow night...my Wildcats or the dreaded Sun Devils?
Ivan Maisel (2:49 PM)
Man, I forgot that game was tomorrow night when I scheduled my flight to Portland. I hope my Delta flight has satellite TV. Something has to go right for ASU this year, doesn't it? Once?
Ivan Maisel (2:50 PM)
Thanks, everyone. We'll talk BCS matchups next week.