Chat with Rod Gilmore
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, College Football Live analyst Rod Gilmore stops by to chat about the spring season, as we'll be checking in with one of our CFB Live experts during April. College Football Live can be seen weekdays on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Gilmore joined ESPN in 1996, primarily working on ESPN's and ESPN2's Friday night telecasts. He graduated from Stanford in 1982, where he played football for three years, including being on the field for "The Play" and the famous "the band is on the field!" kick return.
Send your questions now and join Gilmore Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Rod Gilmore (1:01 PM)
Hi everyone, looking forward to more great questions. Let's get rolling!
Rod, will Texas rebound for a very, very un-Texas like season last year?
Rod Gilmore (1:02 PM)
I think so. I'm concerned about the quarterback position, but I like the new blood they brought in with Diaz and Harson as coordinators. At this point, they are behind Oklahoma and possibly Texas A&M.
Rod, do you think we'll see another team with 2 losses go to the BCS title game? Or do we have to have a perfect storm type of situation for that to happen?
Rod Gilmore (1:03 PM)
It's hard to see a scenario where a two-loss team gets there, unless they come out of the SEC in the next year or two. SEC teams with two losses have a strong argument against one-loss teams from other conferences. Two-loss teams from other conferences have no shot.
It's been awful quite about Boise State on ESPN. Do you think we'll have another good year? Do you think that Nevada loss is going to be held against us for years to come? Can't wait for the opener against Georgia!
Rod Gilmore (1:04 PM)
No, Boise State will be fine. They've got Kellen Moore and Chris Petersen still, and were a young but experienced team last year. They lost some key receivers but will otherwise be solid across the board. I think they'll win the MWC and will have a good shot to become undefeated. They have TCU at home this year, by the way.
My guess is that Auburn will be down this year, but how long do you think before they get back to the top?
Rod Gilmore (1:05 PM)
It's hard to say. They had so many losses. They lost eight starters on each side of the ball. Great players all, and that's not to mention Nick Fairley and Cam Newton. They'll have to get some good play from freshmen and JC transfers. It's hard to say how good those guys will be right off the bat. We'll see where they are in 2012.
Orville (Lubbock, Texas)
Rod: With TCU gone from the non-AQ pool, doesn't it make the likelihood of a BCS-buster far less likely? In the past, TCU & Boise were far ahead of the 3rd most likely and now there is no team to compare Boise to. I think TCU to the Big East hurts Boise a lot.
Rod Gilmore (1:07 PM)
I don't know that it hurts Boise much. There's a fair amount of pressure for the AQs to grant access to a non-AQ. If Boise State is undefeated, they'll be ranked high enough to qualify for a BCS game. It may give them more attention and focus as the only team there. Central Florida has a shot to be a BCS buster. They don't have the same reputation or cache as TCU did and Boise State does. TCU doesn't go to the Big East until next year, incidentally.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
It appears likely that Colorado will be the doormat in the new PAC 10-12 next season. Will they be, do you think, and if so, how long will it last?
Rod Gilmore (1:10 PM)
You seem to have forgotten that Washington State is still in the Pac-10! Colorado will be better than them, but they'll have a tough transition. They have a new staff and are getting acclimated to a new conference. It'll probably take them a couple of seasons to get comfortable, but they will get more and better access to Pac-10 and West Coast recruits now that they play in the Pac-10.
Rod, who do you think will be the class of the Big Ten this year?
Rod Gilmore (1:10 PM)
If Ohio State didn't have the issues that they have with the player suspensions and Tressel's issues, I'd be inclined to lean towards the Buckeyes. Wisconsin and Michigan State are probably a notch ahead of OSU heading into the season.
WL (Fort Worth, TX)
Speaking of TCU, what do you see for them this year and a couple of years down the road when they join the Big East?
Rod Gilmore (1:12 PM)
I like TCU. I think they've moved beyond being a one-hit wonder and are a strong program. Top-20 for the forseeable future. I expect them to be more like they were when Andy Dalton was a freshman starting QB--more special teams oriented and conservative while they break in Paschall.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Mr. Gilmore, which early season matchup are looking forward to the most, Oregon-LSU, OU-FSU?
Rod Gilmore (1:14 PM)
I'm really interested in the Oregon-LSU matchup. It's a potential matchup of No. 1 teams in the country. That matchup has a little bit more national implications than OU-Florida State. We're waiting to see if Florida State is back. We know Oregon and LSU are right up there.
Rod, what do you make of the Big East conference? Are they still deserving of a BCS bid?
Rod Gilmore (1:15 PM)
Like it or not, they have one. That's probably not going to change anytime soon. We'll see what the Big East can bring once TCU gets there and you have a chance to see what Dana Hogerson can do as WVU's head coach. If WVU and TCU are the standard-bearers in the Big East, you have moe clout than they've had in the past.
Trey (Long Beach)
How many wins do you see USC having this season? Will the defense be much improved from last year?
Rod Gilmore (1:16 PM)
I'm concerned that USC just has to get better on defense, particularly against the run. They've struggled for two or three years now on rush defense. That's something they have to take care of. In terms of their schedule, they have tough road games against Oregon, Arizona, and Notre Dame. I see three or four losses.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Your Cardinal get the Ducks in Palo Alto this year. Will the final result be different and Standord rides the wave to a Pac-10 title ,or are the Ducks still too much?
Rod Gilmore (1:17 PM)
That will very likely be a gamre for the Pac-10 North division title, and I would expect the winner of that game to be the Pac-10 champion. Stanford plays Oregon very well at home and beat them a few years ago. That said, it'll be an awesome shootout. Both teams look to be able to score a lot. Hard to pick a winner.
Rod - are you a believer in the ASU bandwagon this year? Why or why not?
Rod Gilmore (1:19 PM)
They are right on the edge. They played well enough last year to have a better record than they did. They make way too many mental mistakes--stupid penalties and turnovers, but they have all the experience and talent to be a contender for the Pac-10 title. I'll have to see them play smarter and more disciplined football. That to me is their big issue.
Rich (Girard, OH)
Early National Championship Winner?
Rod Gilmore (1:20 PM)
I'm still trying to decide between Oregon, LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma as my favorites. I have a group right behind them as my next tier. I'm still studying the field.
Josh (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
All the talk about Blaine Gabbert in the draft has been positive but most about Ryan Mallett has been negative. Is there a lot of difference between them and their skills? Which would you take if you were a pro coach?
Rod Gilmore (1:21 PM)
My own personal preference -- I come from the Bill Walsh school of QBs. You start by looking at a guy's feet and how accurate he is, and then you look at the intangibles -- toughness, football-saviness, etc. Only then do you look at arm strength and size. For me, comparing those two guys, I like Gabbert's feet better than Mallet's.
Can Joker phillips get ky football to rise to the level of the elite of the sec?
Rod Gilmore (1:22 PM)
It'd be nice to see that, and Kentucky has certainly taken a step up from where they used to be. They weren't a bowl contender for years, and they've gotten almost back to that level. Can they make that leap? Depth is really an issue. Their frontline players can play with anyone in the SEC, but don't have the depth for a 10 or 11 win season. I don't know how soon they can get that.
Rod Gilmore (1:23 PM)
Thanks for another great day of questions. Hope to see you again tomorrow!