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 3 p.m. ET!
bruce feldman (3:02 PM)
Thanks for dropping by... Working remotely today. On the biggest screen I've ever seen and a new keyboard. Expect more typos than normal! Lets go.
Bruce Is Georgia going to the SEC Championship this year?
bruce feldman (3:04 PM)
They're my pick to win the SEC East. I like Aaron Murray a lot and I think Isaiah Crowell will help fix one of the SEC's worst running games. Plus its Yr 2 in the defensive scheme.
Dave (State College, PA)
Bruce, is there a chance Temple makes the move back to the Big East (football only) in the near future?
bruce feldman (3:07 PM)
No, I don't see that happening.
Which team with a losing record last year will win 10+ games this year?
bruce feldman (3:07 PM)
I think Texas has the best shot to make that big of a jump, but that'd mean 9-3 and a bowl win I'd say.
LG (Leprechaun Legion)
Mr. Feldman,IF MFloyd3 is ONLY suspended one game and there are no serious injuries to the RB's or DB's I would like to hear your over/under of 9 wins this year (I personally think anything UNDER 9 wins would be disappointing) and where do the Irish end up bowlwise this year??? Thx have a great weekend.....LG
bruce feldman (3:08 PM)
Thanks... I would take the over. I think given those circumstances and the schedule, ND has a very good chance of winning 10 games this year.
O/U on whether this chat will be Tressel free?
bruce feldman (3:09 PM)
Well, now it's Over.
Kyle (West Palm Beach)
Bruce, enjoy your reads. What are your thoughts on the Gamecocks this season? Do you think they can get back to Atlanta? If not, who is your pick from the SEC East? Thanks
bruce feldman (3:10 PM)
Thanks Kyle. I'd like them a bit more if they didn't fizzle at the end of the season and their QB situation was more stable. Am very high on Lattimore/Alshon and they have two very good pass rushers and now they're getting a special DE in Jadeveon Clowney to go with those other guys. Just not sure if Shaw/Garcia can lead them from being a top 25 team into being a top 10 caliber squad.
David (Alexandria, VA)
What is your take on how good Logan Thomas can be for VT?
bruce feldman (3:12 PM)
Am very eager to see what he can do. I just did a piece on CF Live that'll run today and Thomas is mentioned in there. I'll also have more about him in the blog later today. He is replacing a very good college QB. Can Thomas be that consistent in Year 1? Not sure.
Charles (Knoxville, TN)
I watched Ole Miss' Brandon Bolden play at Tennessee last year and had never heard of him. After looking up some of his highlights, I'm blown away by the guy. Is he the best kept secret in the SEC?
bruce feldman (3:14 PM)
He's one of them. State has a really unsung talent at RB too. I first saw Bolden when I was down in Oxford working on Meat Market. Frank Wilson (now the RB coach at LSU) really liked Bolden and two of his other teammates who ended up at Tenn. He thought Bolden was a great all around talent who could be a good RB or even a good linebacker.
BCS coaches on the hot seat - Dabo, Richt, Zook, Hope, Wulff, M. Stoops, Neuheisel...any others?
bruce feldman (3:16 PM)
Erickson at ASU; Bob Toledo at Tulane; David Bailiff at Rice.
Bruce - I understand everything that is going on in Alabama is devastating. However, I do not see the point of Nick Saban and Gene Chizik at the NFL draft. I actually view it as selfish because I believe their main purpose was to get exposure for their schools and make their names synonymous with the NFL. I find them very disingenuous for this. Thoughts?
bruce feldman (3:18 PM)
They weren't the only college coaches who participated on draft coverage. I'm sure the thinking is recruits watch the draft and that visibility is good for recruiting. Keep in mind college head coaches are NOT allowed out for the spring eval period.
Terence (Long Island)
Just a comment: s an Irish fan I agree and appreciate your opinion, but can you avoid the "if everything possible goes right this year" type of questions because every team can say that. I feel like us even-keeled Irish fans aren't always represented
bruce feldman (3:20 PM)
I guess I meant I was saying if Floyd is around for almost the whole season. That was the caveat I was buying there. Stanford's very good with Luck back and I think MSU is tough and Michigan will be improved. USC has talent but has depth issues. There are a lot of winnable games here for ND given the experience they now have in Kelly's system.
Walter (Jackson, LA)
Who are some of the better players in college football to interview?
bruce feldman (3:25 PM)
I'm going to answer this based on the last few years or so I've guys I've really enjoyed speaking with: the Rodgers brothers, Nate Costa, Ahmad Black, Jerrell Powe; FSU's Greg Reid, Cody Hawkins... sorry this is taking me way longer than it should... I'll come back to it later
Luis (El Paso)
Bruce...your thoughts on Texas A&M and its 18 returing starters?
bruce feldman (3:26 PM)
Like their firepower on offense... don't like the schedule though. I expect them to be a top 15 team, but not sure they have enough on D against that schedule to be better than that.
Dave (Bay Area)
Bruce, do you see the trajectory of conference TV package money tapering off any time soon? The recent deals are remarkable, especially for less-than-rabid conferences like the Pac12.
bruce feldman (3:28 PM)
I really don't unless rating drop off and this sport seems to be growing as its grown from being a regional sport to a national one thanks to the added TV windows/coverage, twitter and the web. Now, you can have a rooting interest in games two time zones away. It's all kinda relevant.
Pete (Chicago )
"Even-keeled Irish fans" is an oxymoron, isn't it?
bruce feldman (3:28 PM)
Hahaha... I actually know a few who are.
Brandon (Lubbock, Tx)
Bruce- Now that tommy tuberville has coached a year at texas tech and with one of the best recruiting classes tech has seen what kind of production can we see on defense with red raiders after being 3rd to last in defensive passing yards given up last year?
bruce feldman (3:30 PM)
Not sure. I have a friend in the coaching world who thinks Tech's new DC was a great hire. It has to get better on D from last year. And I think Seth Doege will do well. I know Leach was really high on his skills and I've heard good things from the guys I know who are still there on that staff.
Are you related to Brett Farve? You kinda look like him, but younger.
bruce feldman (3:31 PM)
Nope, no relation. Never have gotten Favre comparison. I get Paul O'Neill and John Stockton sometimes.
Bill (Pensacola Fl)
Do the Canes crack the top 25 this year?
bruce feldman (3:32 PM)
Only if their QBs can dramatically cut down on the INTs. If they can keep it to 1 pick a game, the way those backs can run behind that OL they'll be a tough team to beat.
Any thoughts on BYU's first year as an independent?
bruce feldman (3:33 PM)
They should be better than last year but those first four games are tricky. Might not open better than 2-2 and 1-3 is possible.
Dave (Morgantown, WV)
Thoughts on how WVU will fare this year? Does Holgs hit the ground running? Big East Champ? What about the game vs LSU in Motown?
bruce feldman (3:35 PM)
Yes, he's hit the ground running and gunning. I expect Geno to have a monster year and for them to win the Big East. I might go to that LSU game. Could be interesting. Not convinced WVU has the line play to hold up against the Tigers, but that'll be a wild atmosphere there.
Matt (West Coast!)
Bruce, can Utah become an upper tier team in the Pac12?Whittingham picked up where Urban Meyer left off!
bruce feldman (3:36 PM)
Yeah, I think so. It'll be easier for them to recruit in Calif now and to keep more of the top players when they do come up locally at home. Whittingham is a terrific coach.
Charlie Weis (Gainesville, FL)
Can I fix John Brantley?
bruce feldman (3:38 PM)
I think so if you can restore his confidence. There is plenty of speed for you guys to work with in terms of mismatches on the perimeter with Rainey, Demps, Jordan Reed, etc. The O-line though is a concern given that it has to be overhauled.
Jacob (Nashville, TN)
Gordon Gee dismantled our athletic department at Vandy. Now he's behind Jim Tressel at Ohio State.Dead man walking?
bruce feldman (3:40 PM)
OSU's handling of that press conference in MArch was awful. Gee comes out looking like a clown, especially in light of the comments he made when he took over at OSU. We have to see if the NCAA gives Ohio State a sense of what would happen to the program IF they don't get rid of Tressel moving forward. The lying to the NCAA and knowingly playing ineligible star players for an entire season is going to be a big deal for the NCAA COI.
JIMBO FISHER (A BIG BOWDEN SHAWDOW)
HOW AM I DOING SO FAR ? WHAT IS THE LONG TERM FORECAST FOR THIS YEAR?
bruce feldman (3:43 PM)
You're doing very well so far... and I expect a top 10 season. One quibble: let your assistants talk, please. If James Coley can be this interesting in 140 characters, let's find out what he can do if permitted to actually open his mouth.
Bruce, as an alum and a daughter of a trustee, tell Jacob Gee is not going anywhere. He brings in more endowment money than any prez in the country.
Dan (Washington, DC)
Will JoePa ever retire?
bruce feldman (3:44 PM)
No, I doubt he will. He's doing what he loves and I don't think he golfs. Plus his staff has things figured out pretty well in how things are delegated there.
David (New York)
Is it wrong for a fan to be disenchanted with football with the recent controversies? The NCAA allows ineligible players to play in a bowl game cause no one would pay to watch the JV OSU team. A player's dad pimps him out to the highest bidder and there's no punishment yet Boise recruits sleep on couches and hell breaks loose?
bruce feldman (3:45 PM)
No, I get why fans get frustrated at how the NCAA handles things... It is very confusing especially with the different arms of the NCAA in play.
Bruce, who are the 2 best running backs in the SEC this year? And which SEC team has the best O-Line? In your opinion...
bruce feldman (3:46 PM)
I think the best two will be Trent Richardson and Marcus Lattimore over Knile Davis.I expect Bama's Oline even while losing James Carpenter to be very solid.
Skyler (Orange CA)
Can anyone best Andrew Luck for the Heisman?
bruce feldman (3:48 PM)
Its always possible but he's my front runner. I suspect if the Heisman ballots were due after the the BCS title game Luck would've gotten a lot more votes. He wouldn't have overtaken Newton but it wouldve been closer.
Brian (Canton MI)
They say defense wins championships.. With Richrod out and a "Michigan man" in at the helm a defensive minded coach at that.. Are the Wolverines heading in a better direction than before? Or are they just spinning wheels?
bruce feldman (3:50 PM)
They'll be better. Rodriguez needed to hire a new DC if he got another season. Mattison is the best move Brady Hoke has made. They need more players though. They have one outstanding defender in NT Mike Martin and no other elite guys at this point. We'll see how some of these younger guys develop. The O is so good they should still win at least eight though.
Caleb (Starkville MS)
Do you think Mississippi State can finally break through this season? Huge game week two at home which I feel like is our key to winning the west if that is possible.
bruce feldman (3:51 PM)
I wrote about the SEC West race for the mailbag today. I suspect they lost too many good defenders and two cornerstones of the O-line to compete with Bama/LSU/Ark for the West title.
Have you heard anything about the rumors of Russell Wilson transferring To Auburn?
bruce feldman (3:52 PM)
All I've heard has been speculation. My buddy Ryan McGee talked to Wilson the other night but sounds like he's just still uncertain. An interesting story there in how things played out at State.
Is the Badger staff improving their recruiting skills? Or is the Rose Bowl appearance and 9 straight bowl games finally starting to pay off? We've never gone in California, especially never gotten a top QB.
bruce feldman (3:54 PM)
Maybe.. Bret B always was a strong recruiter and know he has more cache because the program has been at a high level for a while. They can keep more people's attention. To get a QB from De LaSalle who a lot of teams liked is impressive. You figured they could land RBs and linemen. QBs from Calif are different stories.
Andrew Hoge (San Diego)
Will Monte Kiffen and Ed Orgeron shore up USC's defense this year?
bruce feldman (3:56 PM)
I expect the D will be a lot better. The players have more experience in Kiffin's system. They do have some depth in the secondary which was a major problem last year. Their D-line figures to be tougher. Biggest concern with USC is the O-line. They need two of those true freshmen to come in and play early. Depth is a major problem there.
Say ONE positive thing about Ohio State?
bruce feldman (3:57 PM)
Great tradition. They always have talent. Loyal fan base.
Dayne lundgren (Savannah, GA)
What is your thoguhs on Ej manuel from FSU?
bruce feldman (3:59 PM)
Impressive guy... Very bright. Great size. Says his shoulder is finally 100% and Jimbo told me they revamped his throwing motion so it's no longer all arm... Myron Rolle said Manuel asked him to wear his #3. EJ understands the big picture. He's a guy his teammates look up to and their parents want them to hang around.
For my birthday, my girlfriend is buying me tickets to any Ohio State game of my choice. Home or away. Please help me choose.
bruce feldman (4:00 PM)
Week six at Nebraska will be fun. Pryor and Co's first game back. Major test for the Huskers.
Roy (Columbia, MO)
With Texas breaking in new coaching staff & with the OU monkey off their back after last year's big win in Columbia... Does Mizzou have a chance to break through
bruce feldman (4:01 PM)
Not sure this is that year.. Yeah, UT is rebuilding, but OU and OK State are loaded and A&M is strong too. Plus Mizzou just lost two top 10 draft picks.
What are your thoughts on Cris Carters kid who is going to Bama next year?
bruce feldman (4:04 PM)
Saw him at the UnderArmour game two years ago. He's got good size. If he's driven half as much as his old man, he'll leave Bama as a bigtime WR... one of coolest things I heard last year was sitting at lunch at our meetings listening to Chris Spielman tell stories about offseason workouts competing against CC while at OSU. Two intense guys going at it.
Trey (Long Beach)
Is Robert Woods the best WR in the Pac-12? In the country?
bruce feldman (4:06 PM)
That kid is spectacular. He is one of those guys anybody can watch practice and realize is a stud. He's got great, great feet. Is he better than the two WRs for the Oklahoma schools? Not ready to say that though. They have produced a lot more so far. Alshon is in the mix there too.
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
Hey Bruce, just bought and read your book Meat Market. Just wondering, any word of whatever happened to Rishaw Johnson? I know he got booted from the Ole Miss team but not sure what happened to him after that
bruce feldman (4:08 PM)
He is now at Cal U in PA hoping to have a good senior season so he gets a shot at the NFL. He was either gonna go there or to Abilene Christian and he picked Cal U, which has a bunch of FBS dropdowns including Josh Portis. I talked to him a few months ago. I think he realizes he can't blown this chance.
Adam (Seattle, WA)
Does WSU become bowl eligible this year? If not, how long until the Cougs make a bowl game?
bruce feldman (4:10 PM)
I doubt it. They've gotten a little better but they were so bad. They do have a good QB and good WR and some decent LBs, but they probably need to win at least five to save Paul Wulff's job.
bruce feldman (4:10 PM)
bret (southern oregon)
what is your take on the beavers this year? im so over hearing about the ducks...they start getting better goto the rose bowl and lose then goto the championship and lose..are the beavers gonna start making some noise this season
bruce feldman (4:13 PM)
It's good that they still have James Rodgers around. He's a leader by the way he works and is a playmaker and they have some good young skill talent, but losing Quizz is a huge blow. Ryan Katz is a promising young QB with a cannon, but I dont think they're good enough on either side of the ball to be much better than 7-5.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
More likely for Longhorns: 4-8 or 11-1?
bruce feldman (4:14 PM)
Closer to 11-1. I'd set their over/under at 8.5. I could see 9-4 or 8-5 from them this year. I'll be shocked if they miss a bowl again though.
David (Gaithersburg, MD)
Speaking of the cheating issues from a little back in the chat...does the NCAA ever get back around to dealing with UNC? All of the Boise St charges together, barely added up to what one player for UNC was getting in extra benefits???
bruce feldman (4:15 PM)
The UNC case with the John Blake involvement and so many players and agents apparently is a lot more complicated since it involves so many people outside of just the school itself. Curious to see when things get moving on that front.
bruce feldman (4:16 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didnt get to yours send it to me on Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.