Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:09 PM)
Ivan will be here shortly, everyone!
Ivan Maisel (3:10 PM)
Hey, sorry I'm late. Sorry to see spring ball end, but let's get to it!
What are the chances the state of Alabama produces a third straight national champion?
Ivan Maisel (3:12 PM)
It won't be Auburn, it won't be Troy, but I think Alabama will be very good, and their schedule is favorable. The question now is, in light of what happened last week, what effect will those emotions that everyone in Tuscaloosa is beginning to experience will have on the team and its season. Nick Saban is one of the best at teaching a team how to manage those emotions, and it will be fascinating to watch him manage this team through what it's about to go through.
The SEC East appears to be down. They will be back eventually... so 3 years from now who do you see representing them in the SEC championship?
Ivan Maisel (3:15 PM)
Three years from now, Hugh, seriously? Think back three years ago when Urban Meyer was the toast of the SEC, the bottom had not fallen out at Tennessee, and Georgia was coming off its best season in years, and look at what's happened since. You want me to predict what'll happen in 2014? I'll go out on a limb and say Vanderbilt won't be in it. After that, no idea. I will say this: Georgia will be very good this year, but 2014 will be Mark Richt's 14th season at Georgia, and I'm skeptical that anyone will last that long at any school anymore. I would not be surprised if there was a change at Georgia between now and 2014.
Do you like the Noles as much as Mark does?
Ivan Maisel (3:17 PM)
No, I don't like them as much as Mark, but I do like them. AS I said in Three-Point Stance this morning, I think E.J. Manuel will give FSU the easiest transition to a new quarterback of the four schools that had QBs drafted in the first round. I do think that Jimbo Fisher has momentum on his side in the ACC and in the state of Florida, but I have picked FSU as a comeback team for the last time. They have to show me they'll get there on their own. I won't be there cheerleading for them anymore.
Can you see Michigan pulling out 8-9 wins this year?
Ivan Maisel (3:19 PM)
Yeah I can, because I see Rich Rodriguez left a lot in place. Given the flux in which the whole Big Ten is going to take place this year, I think it's anybody's league. Wisconsin is rebuilding, Ohio State is what Ohio State is these days, Iowa is rebuilding. Are you gonna bet Michigan State as being ready to win the conference? I'm not ready to make that statement. They could make another step or two forward.
With Matt Barkley returning, how can USC not be in your preseason top 25?
Ivan Maisel (3:20 PM)
USC's problem is no different this year than it was last year: they don't have that many players. They played most of last season with between 55 and 60 scholarship players, against teams with 85. They have fewer than 40 returning lettermen. It's simply a numbers decision.
Why is Northwestern not getting any preseason to 25 love? I know they shouldnt be top 10, but they are returning everybody from a pretty good team last year, and Pat Fitzgerald has quietly turned them into a solid program the last 4 years.
Ivan Maisel (3:21 PM)
I agree with everything you said. I have a question for them at QB, but they have a lot coming back and a very good coach. I don't know how you make any sort of prediction in the Big Ten. I can see this being Northwestern's year.
Zach (SLC, UT)
Notre Dame, does their end of the year momentum carry over?
Ivan Maisel (3:23 PM)
I think it will. That's a hard thing to predict with any degree of accuracy. They are so starved for success that I think anything they can seek their teeth into and serve as a shove-off point this season will work. They certainly finished very well. Brian Kelly continues to prove that he knows what he's doing on the sideline. I think they'll be better and a lot of fun this fall.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Thoughts on the Pac-12 TV deal?
Ivan Maisel (3:25 PM)
I think it vindicates everything Larry Scott has been saying since the conference hired him. I think it's exactly the reason why they hired him. I can't wait to see the effect this contract has on the Pac-12. I think it'll propel the league forward and is great for the sport.
Arthur (Newark, DE)
Over/under: UNC wins 8 games again this year.
Ivan Maisel (3:26 PM)
I'll go over. They've lost a lot of talent, but given the difficulties the Tar Heels had with the NCAA, and the fact that Butch Davis was able to steer them through all of that and be as successful as they were, it speaks well for this season to come.
Scott (Los Angeles, CA)
If there was ever a year where a school with the academic requirements of Stanford could make it to the BCS title game, it would be this year. Any chance of it happening?
Ivan Maisel (3:28 PM)
I think Stanford will start on the short list of contenders, but no team ever has everything go its way twice in a row. Given the fact that they have a new coach, and given the fact that they had their greatest season in 70 years last fall, I just don't expect Stanford to be in New Orleans next January. As a Stanford alum, I appreciate their belief that they could get there. Be still my heart.
Brett (Pasadena, CA)
What is your opinion on the MWC moving the Boise State - TCU game to Boise?
Ivan Maisel (3:29 PM)
I thought it was a naked power move. They didn't hide it behind anything. They just said to TCU, you're leaving, you gotta play this game in Boise. Deal with it. I understand it in a Machiavellian sense, but I'm not surprised that TCU is disappointed in the decision.
Ivan Maisel (3:30 PM)
Thanks a lot, sorry I was late! I'm sure we'll be talking again soon!