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 feldman (2:11 PM)
Sorry for being a little late.. got caught in a downpour here in NYC. Let's go.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Let's leave Jim Tressel out of the discussion for now. I would say the three best head coaches in the Big Ten heading into 2012 are: Bret Bielema, Mark Dantonio, and Pat Fitzgerald. Who do you think the top three head coaches in the Big Ten?
bruce feldman (2:12 PM)
Those are three good picks. Hard to have this discussion though and not include Kirk Ferentz. Also, after this year we'll find out a lot more of where Bo Pelini ranks in this kind of thing.
Amaan (New Jersey)
Is LSU your favorite to win the national title and do you think fans will see the Jordan Jefferson of late season or the one touchdown guy for 5 guys we saw at the beginning?
bruce feldman (2:14 PM)
They are in my preseason top 6, but I have Bama coming out of the SEC West since these two play in Alabama. I think Jefferson will be the starter and play much better thanks in part to steve kragthorpe and enabling the playmakers there to fit better in the scheme.
What's a college football person doing in NYC in the 1st place?
bruce feldman (2:15 PM)
I flew here the other day for meetings and then went up to Bristol for TV and more meetings. I need to make sure I eat some Italian food while I'm. I really miss that since moving out of NYC.
Do you buy into the WVU pre-season hype with Holgorsen? Or will it be a complete bust?
bruce feldman (2:16 PM)
I'm buying in on that one. I'll be surprised if WVU doesn't rank in the top 10 in offense this season. I expect them to win the Big East and win 10 games this year.
Bruce, who has the best stable of RBs in the SEC?
bruce feldman (2:19 PM)
Ronnie Wingo's strong spring coupled with Knile Davis makes Ark a tough team to beat, but I lean to Bama with Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and Dee Hart.
What was your reaction to the Quinton Coples situation?
bruce feldman (2:22 PM)
Curious to see how this one unfolds. The investigation with all of those players was so widespread, it's taken a long time for the NCAA to try and wrangle. This latest twist given all of that from last year is brutal timing for UNC and Butch Davis. Given John Blake's apparent involvement from last year, I don't see how UNC doesn't eventually get hammered by the NCAA and that was before this latest Coples "situation" came out.
As a Nole fan how excited should I be? Top class this year and top class next year. Could we be getting back to the glory days?
bruce feldman (2:23 PM)
Giddy. Let's say giddy is the vibe for you. You have a talent rich roster, impressive young leadership in the lockerroom and a staff that is super hardwired for recruiting.
What non BCS team is poised to become a BCS Buster and be the "new" Boise St or Utah?
bruce feldman (2:24 PM)
Still might be Boise. If not them, keep an eye on UCF. Stud young QB in Godfrey and lots of speed around him.
You don't have to name the teams, but you predict the BCS Championship will feature teams from which 2 conferences? (SEC I will assume will be 1 of them?)
bruce feldman (2:24 PM)
I'll say Big 12 and SEC.
What will happen 1st, the NCAA decides on USC's appeal, or the NCAA hits Ohio State?
bruce feldman (2:25 PM)
USC appeal. THE COI isn't coming down with its take on OSU till October at the earliest I think.
Bob (Alexandria, VA)
What are your thoughs on Brady Hoke's recruting efforts thus far? Very impressive!
bruce feldman (2:28 PM)
Looks good so far, although keep in mind most new HCs ride a wave of energy in the wake of a coaching transition. Here's what tends to come with a coaching transition: attrition from players from the old regime; recruits buying in, a "more aggressive defense" (somebody could replace Rocky Long or Joe Lee Dunn and the new DC supposedly would make those guys seem laid back, and then in the spring/summer come the obligatory "puke buckets" features about how the new head man runs such a tough disciplined approach guys are losing weight and puking everywhere.
Can you convince the honchos at ESPN to give you and Finebaum a TV show and make it 100% college football?
bruce feldman (2:30 PM)
Damn.. I was just up there and shouldve brought this up. I'll send n email and see what they say.
Lee (St. Louis)
What's your best guess - where does Tyler Gabbert end up?
bruce feldman (2:32 PM)
Louisville? He has a connection to Shawn Watson and there is room on the depth chart. Yes, Teddy Bridgewater is there but every program has some QBs in the pipeline and I hear the U of L staff does a good job of selling once guys get on the campus.
Chris (New York)
Is "paying" college football players going to solve any problems?
bruce feldman (2:34 PM)
No. People often bring up paying players in the wake of any agent scandal as they point out that players will see the school selling their jerseys and making money off them. Thing is giving them say $400 a semester isn't going to reduce the temptation of someone getting a deal on a car or cash from a booster.
"paying college players" = giving them a scholarship. That should be all the payment they need. They're students first.
bruce feldman (2:36 PM)
Given the time commitment involved, it's not hard to make a case that they're athlete-students more than student-athletes. In many cases their class schedules about what course they can and cannot take are dictated by their practice schedules. Also if a regular student gets a minor in possession or driving with a suspended license or in a bar fight, it's not news. If a third team defensive tackle does, it's all over the wire and twitter.
Eric in Chicago, have you seen some of the recent TV deals? Please.
Phillip (A stadium near you)
Bruce,how bout some props to LSU for scheduling non conference games against Oregon and WVU.Florida hasn't played a non conference game out of the state of Florida for 20 years.what do you think of that?
bruce feldman (2:39 PM)
LSU does deserve credit for that.. same for ORegon and WVU. In fairness to Florida, they do play a powerhouse program in the nonconference every year in FSU and they have played Miami. For UF to play at FSU it's as much hostile territory as it would be for the Gators to go to Arizona or say ND, Mizzou or Wisconsin.
bruce, what is a rivalry you would like to see played (that isn't?)
bruce feldman (2:43 PM)
Great question Tom. In fact this is going to be the subject of an upcoming Wednesday Top 10 list... Here are two: TCU-Texas and USC-Tennessee.
Bruce, can we please stop talking about paying players. Regardless of people's opinion... it won't happen. Period. Let's move on.
bruce feldman (2:44 PM)
I agree. I don't see it happening either. It just doesn't seem viable, as I said on CF Live yesterday, the topic is too big of a mess to realistically be figured out even if people agreed they should be paid.
bruce feldman (2:46 PM)
Three more questions...
Is Devon Kennard moving back to the d line?
bruce feldman (2:48 PM)
I don't think he will. They have more depth concerns at LB than DE, where they have two very good players in Nick PErry and Wes Horton and some promising young players. They might go with a "Cheetah" package as Orgeron had at Ole Miss on 3rd downs using Patrick Willis and Rory Johnson as DEs, but in this case you already have two very good pass rushing ends already.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Even though you Cover College Football, What is your Favorite NFL Team?
bruce feldman (2:50 PM)
I honestly root for teams with players Ive gotten to know and like from their college days. I like the Texans bc of Eric Winston and DAvid Anderson; the Packers bc of Aaron Rodgers; the Bengals now bc of Roy Williams and the Pats because of BenJarvus G-E.
Speaking of rivalries, think Penn State-Pitt will ever get going again? We all know how Joe feels about the Panthers.
bruce feldman (2:52 PM)
I hope so. This is another one that will be on that Top 10 list... too much great history and proximity here between the two proud programs.
Give us another tease on the rivalries you would like to see. Has to be Ohio St and an SEC team in there.
bruce feldman (2:53 PM)
Ohio State and Florida could be really, really interesting in the near future if a few things happen that have been speculated about.
bruce feldman (2:54 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN. Have a great weekend!