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 (2:06 PM)
Sorry for being a few min late... had a technical glitch and was getting a File not Found message... lets go
Justin Smith (Pittsburgh,PA)
Terrelle Pryor I think is going to be suspended a couple of games for next year for Ohio State and I was wondering will this hurt the Buckeyes of getting maybe a BCS bid?
bruce (2:09 PM)
Missing a bunch of key guys for five games and who knows how long the NCAA will suspended Tressel for, that's a lot of uncertainty. Then again Wisc and Iowa also have a bunch of key guys to replace... I still expect OSU tobe the Big Ten fav... The schedule except for a road trip to Neb is manageable. Right now I'd like to see how the NCAA respnds to the Tressel story but if he's able to coach the team at least by the start of the Big Ten slate (home vs. MSU) I think they're still the favorite.
bruce (iraq (soon to be home))
bruce, does the SEC have a team play for 2012 national title for a 6th straight year and what are the top 3 teams you see that could be one of them?
bruce (2:10 PM)
Hey Bruce.. thanks for your question. I think they have three with a legit shot: LSU, Bama and Ark. All have QB issues to sort out but have the cast around them to make a big run.
How good will BYU do this coming year in football?
bruce (2:11 PM)
Better. Heaps emerged as the season went on and there are some good young skill guys around with him.
Stephen (Charlotte, NC)
Bruce, enjoy your work! Thanks! Cheating seems rampant in college football. Given the $$ conferences make from TV now, couldn't a lot of it be controlled by making the conferences take part of the TV $$ to fund a more substantial NCAA enforcement group, penalize coaches (should be harsher than players), and return TV $$ by penalized teams??
bruce (2:19 PM)
Thanks Stephen. I'm not sure how much of it would be slowed down.... sorry phone call...
bruce (2:22 PM)
Sorry about that...In one sense that seems viable, but I think it still comes back to what the NCAA brass and college presidents can tolerate. And your point about the money would seem to drive towards that, but I just don't see themevery conceeding to go that route.
How long does turner gill last at ku?
bruce (2:22 PM)
Its only been one season. Way too soon especially for a guy who proved he can run a D1 program before.
Paul Harris (Kansas City, KS)
How well do you think Virginia Tech football will do this year with a new quarterback and getting new running backs. How well do you think Tyrod Taylor will do in the NFL?
bruce (2:24 PM)
Glad you asked... I'm leading the mailbag today with Logan Thomas. Check it out later today... Not sure if Tyrod's arm is consistent enough to be a starting QB in the NFL, but he'll get a long look because he's very versatile and tough.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
Is Notre Dame even a sleeper Title game contender or are they just too far off? Schedule sets up pretty nice, I can only see one game they aren't favorites in.
bruce (2:24 PM)
I think they can be a top 15 team but don't think they're good enough on either line to be a BCS title game contender.
Has the NCAA announced when they will hand out the sanctions to Ohio State?
bruce (2:25 PM)
No, they have not. That will be an interesting position. OSU has backed them into a corner with this as its unfolded after the December announcement.
Kyle (Germany )
Chances jimbo wins a bcs title at fsu?
bruce (2:26 PM)
He's made some nice moves in his first year plus, but still has a ways to go. Um, let's say 35% on that.
Ron (Westwood )
Can rick survive another 4-8 season?
bruce (2:27 PM)
4-8? No way. I'm not sure he'd survive a 6-6. This is year four. Need to show more than that.
Ryan (Walford, Ia)
First off thoughts and prayers to people affected by the earthquake and tsunami... How do you see the B10 shaking out this year? Im extactic they moved the Iowa Neb game to a friday! If you had to guess now, who plays for the B10 championship?
bruce (2:30 PM)
Well said, Ryan... I expect MSU, PSU andMichigan to be improved and OSU, Iowa and Wisconsin to take a little step back. Then mix in Nebraska and I think you have a compelling race. The OSU situation now with Tressel makes this hard to gauge at this point because there's so much of an unknown with the NCAA. Keep an eye on Neb. They get OSU at home and they have a lot of speed.
Are there any more potential "bombs" lurking out there, as far as college football scandals go, before the start of next season?
bruce (2:31 PM)
I've heard there are, but will see what comes out next. Been a rough 12 months for college sports.
When the NCAA hands out punishment, they could only do it to Tressel and the program right? The 5 players already received their punishment, so the NCAA won't suspend them for any more games?
bruce (2:33 PM)
No I don't think the players would get hit harder but I wouldn't be surprised if they vacated the wins from the 2010 season given their eligibility was compromised and their head coach played them for the whole year even though he knew that and signed a document that has now been proven to be inaccurate. Violations of Bylaw 10.1 is a very serious matter to the NCAA. Almost every coach snagged in it has lost their job.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
You didn't mention Georgia in your SEC NC evaluation, but aren't they a real candidate as a sleeper?
bruce (2:34 PM)
I've written that I think they'll win the SEC East but I don't think they're in there with the top three in the West. Being much improved off a 6-7 team doesn't usually jump to 14-0 or 13-1.
have you heard anything about Miami's practices so far?
bruce (2:36 PM)
Heard that there is new energy and spirit with the new staff by basically designating most of the starters as back-ups and putting jobs up for grabs. They need to make major improvements in the QB play and find some CBs. If they do both, this will be a top 20 team.
Do you think Dillon Baxter will live up to his hype?
bruce (2:38 PM)
Not so sure. Havent heard great things about his commitment/work ethic. DJ Morgan, the RSF back, has a real burst and has been the young back that has people inside that program fired up.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Collegiate athletic directors are supposed to oversee their coaches. With the recent rules violations at the University of Connecticut, University of Tennessee, and Ohio State do you see the NCAA changing rules so that athletic directors are punished along with the coaches?
bruce (2:39 PM)
Doubt it. Those folks usually risk losing their jobs too, and I'd be surprised if Tennessee's Mike Hamilton doesn't lose his job in the next year or so given the moves he has made there.
Is anybody outside of Columbus actually buying Tressel's excuses? It's really scary how blind people are.
bruce (2:42 PM)
I've heard from some OSU fans that don't buy them, but feel like people have come down too hard in their reaction. That's the problem when you have ADs/presidents who come out with punishments as OSU had. It looks like a farce (given Dez Bryant lost a whole season and he's not a head coach of a huge program) and inspires an uproar. The thing turned into a grease fire.... No doubt Tressel has done a lot of great things and generated plenty of reasons for strong support but on one hand you have him coming out with a book talking abouit integrity and then this happens and how it all came out has drawn a very powerful reaction.
Chances kenndy pola gets a head coaching job?
bruce (2:44 PM)
He needs USC to get back into the top 10. I know he's well respected by the players, but I'm not sure what's coming out where he seems like a natural fit.
How good can Sheldon Richardson be?
bruce (2:46 PM)
Great talent is what I've from the coaches I've talked to. He's as gifted as any JC Dline import in the country. Does he want to be great and bring the effort more than every fifth snap?
JP (Columbus, OH)
Bruce what can you tell me about Roderick Smith at OSU? I've heard amazing things. The next Beanie?
bruce (2:48 PM)
That's exactly what I've heard too. Big, tall, powerful back with a track background. Wrote a lot about him a few weeks back about redshirts to watch out for in 2011.
Christopher (Boston, MA)
Any chance that Ohio State and the NCAA worked hand-in-hand to come up with the two-game suspension? Any chance the NCAA already knows the entire story and Ohio State didn't release the entire story yet? Gene Smith isn't a dumb AD.
bruce (2:51 PM)
I doubt it because if that were the case the NCAA knows that the entire sports world is watching to see how they react to a big glamour program and waiting for them to react. If they don't do something more, they'll come out looking 10 times worse than OSU did and it will send a message that not being forthright with the NCAA in investigations isn't such a big deal.
Greg (Los Angeles)
With the fiasco going on at Ohio State I would be ticked if I was USC. I guess when the NCAA decides to really go after someone they don't stop until they get their man huh?
bruce (2:52 PM)
The NCAA keeps talking about apples and oranges. The juxtaposition of Ohio State's head coach and Todd McNair is one that has clearly gotten a lot of USC folks' attention.
Idris (Brooklyn, NY)
Is there just more pressure to win these days with coaches in college football and basketball than in the past, thus leading to more violations (or win at all costs attitude)? Is it the players? Are there more violations or is it just due to more coverage (compared to past decades)?
bruce (2:54 PM)
I wrote about this two days ago. The money's way bigger, as is the spotlight/platform and there's so many more people watching and involved. Plus, there's more rules to trip over and to try and get around. Mess.http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/blog?name=feldman_bruce&id=6196290
Matt (Birmingham, Al)
Where do you see Auburn in the SEC West pecking order this year. And what bowl do you see them ending up in?
bruce (2:55 PM)
Too many guys to place: Newton, Fairley, almost the whole O-line and a big chunk of the D-line. I think at best theyre fourth in the West.
bruce (2:56 PM)
Three more questions....
Speaking of USC comparisons, the "I'm not going to fire Jim, I just hope he doesn't fire me" comment seems ridiculous as the "NCAA is jealous of USC" comment made by Garret USC was going through the same thing?
bruce (2:59 PM)
Gee tried to make a joke at a press conference while Garrett said his to boosters. Both comments won't be forgotten and are probably ones their PR folks cringe when they think of them.
With TCU and Utah moving to AQ conferences, who replaces them as the perennial "BCS buster"? Houston? Fresno?
bruce (3:01 PM)
I think there will be three very good teams to keep an eye on in C-USA: Houston with Keenum and Charles Sims back; UCF and SMU which has almost everyone back but a tough non-conference schedule with A&M and TCU.
bruce (3:02 PM)
I'm not as sure about Fresno given how much experience they lost from 2010.
Since TCU is already in the fold, would it be out of the question for the Big East to go after some Big 12 North schools? They can't be happy with the Texas deal.
bruce (3:04 PM)
Not sure an Iowa State or K-State help the TV deal.. obviously KU has a great hoops program but if they're expanding I think a UCF makes more sense... also a few of those schools, especially Mizzou probably would be more tempted by a move to the Big Ten.
bruce (3:05 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.