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 2 p.m. ET!
Bruce (1:58 PM)
Thanks for dropping by on this rainy Friday. Bowl season's about to start so let's get to it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What does the NCAA Do In College Football if a Team's Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Trips an Opposing Player?
Bruce (2:00 PM)
Not sure.. I'm actually kinda surprised that this hasn't happened more in the past given how crowded those sidelines get.
Ryan Johnson (Idaho)
Bruce, in your opinion does the WAC survive? What other teams can be acquired to make the conference viable? Will it even matter in 6 months if there is another huge power conference shake up?
Bruce (2:01 PM)
It'll survive but it's really going to be diminished. Right now I think they can only hope to look down, not up because they don't have leverage with schools from "bigger" leagues.
Is the fact that they are already considering changing the Big Ten divisional names a good thing ("we hear our critics, so we'll reconsider") or a bad thing (it just shows how much they screwed up the first time)?
Bruce (2:03 PM)
In this case they've heard the critics and are responding because they realize this is new and still moveable. I think it showed that a bunch of folks in their 70s kicked around an idea and didn't listen to anyone born before the 50s.
How do you explain the UCLA season?
Bruce (2:05 PM)
Beat-up O-line and really shaky QB play. Jonathan Franklin is a good RB and played well. The defense is young and talented but they need a QB to emerge. I feel like they'll be better in 2011, but not sure if that just means 7-5 or 9-3ish.
Eric (Manchester, NH)
Since Texas is a mess, and the Huskers are gone, is Oklahoma the favorite to win the Big 12 yet again?
Bruce (2:06 PM)
Yes.. OU is young and talented. I'm curious where A&M goes from here and Ok State returns the entire O-line and a lot of key players but loses Hunter and Dana Hologorsen the playcaller.
Mike R (Los Angeles, CA)
What are your thoughts on USC's NCAA sanctions appeal, given the information found in the Todd McNair documents released yesterday?
Bruce (2:08 PM)
I read some stories on it yesterday. It's interesting stuff. A lot of the details of the case seem dubious. But the NCAA wasn't convinced. I still don't think he or USC is winning any appeals because the track record on such doesn't bode well.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hi Bruce, how much longer do you think Jeff Tedford will be at Cal?
Bruce (2:10 PM)
He's done a very good job there, but the program has lost a lot of momentum. If they don't get to a bowl game next year, he could be gone. Stanford rising up at the same time Cal went into decline doesn't help his cause. They have talent but are really inconsistent and need to find a QB.
Would you agree that anything the Big Ten does will be criticized? Literally, I cannot think of another conference that takes so many hits from the media (some due to their own doing). So why would Delany cower when anything they do will be criticized? Why not just wait and eventually people will forget?
Bruce (2:11 PM)
I think you're right about the first part. The thing that made this laughable is that it's all so confusing and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to which schools went where. That made is worse.
Can, should, and is Cam Newton going to the NFL
Bruce (2:13 PM)
My hunch is he goes to the NFL. Hard to top this season. Plus he loses four starting O-linemen. The other thing is, whatever questions the NFL has about it--some of which stems from the offense he plays in (in terms of drops, etc) won't change in 2011. Those questions will still be there.
Does Scott Tolzien have the qualities to be a good NFL QB?
Bruce (2:13 PM)
I think he does. I like both he and Stanzi. Not sure they'll be starting QBs up there, but I think they'll get chances.
If Boise stomps on Utah will they be a preseason top 10 team next year? I realize they lose about 10 starters, but I would think that a 12-1 season with 1 loss to a top 15 team on the road would be enough to warrant a top 10 ranking, no?
Bruce (2:15 PM)
Maybe. Although beating Utah isn't going to wow that many people considering that TCU hammered them in SLC and a banged up Notre Dame thumped Utah as well.
Any thoughts on the FCS Semifinal games?
Bruce (2:15 PM)
Am very curious to see how Pat Devlin does vs. Ga. Southern. I actually wrote about that in my blogged Thursday.
Bob Bowlsby (Palo Alto)
Will Jim Harbaugh be coaching our Stanford Cardinals in 2011?
Bruce (2:16 PM)
I'd be very surprised if he does.
who gose first in the draft Cam or Luck ?
Bruce (2:17 PM)
My guess is Luck. There will be less questions about him.
What's the latest on who Texas is going to hire for OC and DC? I thought Teryl Austin was a done deal as def. coordinator.
Bruce (2:19 PM)
I was told by someone at UT earlier this week that Mack wasn't going to make any rushed decisions. Curious to see if they make a run at NM State coach DeWayne Walker. Not many head coaches leave for coordinator gigs, but some unusual circumstances.. more on that in today's blog.
Brian (Columbus, OH)
Things look like there are about to get awkward at WVU. If anyone can make this smooth, its Coach Stew right? And no way this gets as messy as the RichRod situation right?
Bruce (2:21 PM)
I like both Coach Stew and Dana, but this has big soap opera potential there. That said, they have a ton of talent back with Geno, 4 OL, good young WRs..They lose Noel who's played hurt most of the year and 2-3 other guys. Otherwise they have a lot to work with.
Trey (Long Beach, CA)
USC had 8 wins in 2010. In 2011, do you think USC will have more than 8 wins, or less?
Bruce (2:23 PM)
They won't play 13 games so they'd need to have a better record. I think they'll win at least eight given Barkley and Woods and Tyler are back. But they have to go to Oregon and ND next year. Skill guys are good and the D will have had more time to adjust to what Monte Kiffin wants on D. They need LBs bad though and O-line depth is spotty.
This whole Coach in Waiting thing without a hard deadline, do you think it will continue? West Virginia put in a hard deadline, but Texas did not and Florida State didn't really either.
Bruce (2:23 PM)
It's a very bad idea. It wasn't working at MD. Franklin wasn't going to get that job. You just get stuck with money promises.
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
Will Oregon have the best backfield in the country next year with LaMichael James (who likely will stay), Kenjon Barner, Lache Seastrunk and Dontae Williams?
Bruce (2:24 PM)
I don't know.. depends on who is leaving Blacksburg and Tuscaloosa.
NY Miami Guy (New Yawk)
any idea on the new Miami OC that Golden might pick?
Bruce (2:27 PM)
He wants a pro=style guy. I bet he keeps Stoutland the O-line coach and Whipple will be considered. There aren't a ton of pro-style guys out there in college these days. My hunch is he looks at guys with NFL ties. I'd wondered if he reaches out to John McNulty, who is in the NFL now and was at Rutgers and someone Shannon once tried to get.
Word is that Dan Mullen's ego was too big which was why the U didn't favor him as their coach? If this is true, has the U lost all of its swagger?
Bruce (2:30 PM)
I'm not sure if ego is necessarily it. I just think a school can be turned off by attitude which may not be ego per se. I'd heard that Mullen really wasnt enamored with the Miami job, and if that's how it came across in his talks with UM, it's why he fell out of consideration fast. With UF filled, I suspect he will keep an eye on how Mark Richt does since he knows the new AD there from his days at UF.
Isn't a 16-team playoff, as Mark Cuban suggested, kind of too big because you're not getting the best of the best? Four teams won't get an agreement from the ACC or Big East, but isn't eight teams a better idea if any playoff is suggested?
Bruce (2:30 PM)
I'd like to see a playoff, but not one bigger than an 8 team playoff. I don't think having teams with three and four losses in a playoff is a good thing.
Mark (Los Angeles)
Wouldn't it be better if the first polls (AP & Coaches) diidn't come out until sometime between weeks 4-6?
Bruce (2:32 PM)
Probably, but people are still going to have some kinds of rankings that will influence pollsters.
Whats your take on the new PITT coach and do you think he will be able to take this team to a national title?
Bruce (2:33 PM)
He did a good job there this year. As I wrote on Monday these hires are all crapshoots to some degree or another. Pitt is a good job. I want to see who his coordinators are.
after Ricky Dobbs gose into the service will we see him on sundays ?
Bruce (2:34 PM)
My guess is yes. He's athletic and tough and smart. I think he might get a look at WR or safety for someone. He'd be an asset.
Bruce (2:35 PM)
Here is today's mailbag by the way. Just posted.http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/blog?name=feldman_bruce&id=5930195
Do you think VT has a chance against Stanford?
Bruce (2:36 PM)
Definitely. Tyrod has been terrific this year and the Hokies are well coached. Good match-up between Luck and Bud Foster's D.
Hi Bruce, Thanks for breaking via tweet the impending move by my UMass team to the FBS. Your thoughts on the move? We ahve been waiting for this upgrade for years here in MA. Love the prospect of UMass playing its home games at Gillette stadium-we had more than 32,000 at Gillette for a game earlier this year. Yes they will lose some student support but will more than gain it with Alums-80% of UMass alums live in greater boston.
Bruce (2:38 PM)
I think it's a good move up. The school has put together some really good teams in the past 15 yrs.
Bruce (2:40 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. enjoy all of the games this weekend. If I didn't get to your questions, send them to me via twitter at BFeldmanESPN.