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 (2:00 PM)
Thanks for dropping by. We got US Open on the TV and a lot of college football news buzzing around us. The Friday mailbag will be up in a few minutes so let's get to it!
Why does everyone think South Carolina has questions at QB and O-line? Garcia is a good quarterback and we haven't heard anything about him for about a month and a half. That's a good thing! And Connor Shaw isn't that bad either. O-line, 3 experience seniors, 1 junior who leads this o-line, and 1 talented redshirt freshman. RBs are fine and WRs are dominant. Defense is stacked from head to toe and that all equals an SEC Championship!
Bruce feldman (2:03 PM)
There is a lot to like about SCarolina, but they didn't finish 2010 well and then on top of that you had all of the issues with Garcia, their senior QB. I still expect them to be a top 25 team, but am skeptical about him given some of the decisions he has made.
James (Palo Alto)
How surprised will you be if Dayne Crist outplays Andrew Luck much of the season, and the final game of the season sets up as the best QB matchup of the year, each team with one or two losses, and BCS bowl bound?
Bruce feldman (2:04 PM)
I like Crist and I expect him to have a very good season, but I'll be surprised if he has the better season. Luck is the best QB in college football.
Lee (Las Vegas)
Rich Rod hired as the next coach at Ohio State; what are the odds?
Bruce feldman (2:05 PM)
1000/1 about the same as Bill Stewart getting that job.
Which team will come out on top this season by winning a national championship?
Bruce feldman (2:05 PM)
I have OU over Alabama.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How do you think that Syracuse will do in 2011?
Bruce feldman (2:10 PM)
I think Doug Marrone has them on the right track. They really only have one road game where you'd think they'd be a big underdog (at USC).. otherwise they have a pretty good shot at a 5-1 or 4-2 start. I think 7 wins this fall is realistic.
Brett N. (Maryland)
What realistic expectations can I have about Randy Edsall and Maryland this year?
Bruce feldman (2:11 PM)
This is actually a topic I delve into in the mailbag today. I could see 8 wins given all they have coming back (DOB, Davin Meggett the leading rusher and 4 OL).. for more check out the mailbag later.
Cliff Harris thoughts?
Bruce feldman (2:13 PM)
I never imagined anyone could get an Altima to go 118. His career at Oregon is definitely in jeopardy. He put himself and the program in a bad light especially after last year's bad offseason in Eugene. My hunch is he'll get one more shot there IF his story about whose car it was checks out.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who is in more danger of being the next victim of the NCAA, UNC or Oregon? Both programs had more bad news this week.
Bruce feldman (2:15 PM)
UNC... The John Blake phone records do not bode well there. Lots of agent activity. I wrote this last August but I would not be surprised if this eventually costs Butch Davis his job there as the NCAA tries to sort it all out. Blake was Butch's righthand man.
Outside of the athletics departments, what are things you see from Universities that make football teams elite and a place where kids want to go?
Bruce feldman (2:16 PM)
The connections they have with the coaches; the visibility of a program meaning how much theyve won and which NFL players they produced; the feeling of the players currently in the program and the size of the campus,
Dan (New Jersey)
What mid major(s) do you see having a chance to play in a BCS bowl this year?
Bruce feldman (2:17 PM)
a chance? Boise, TCU, Houston UCF.. by MM I'm using the non AQ conference definition.
Bob (Minneapolis, MN)
Do you see Jadeveon Clowney making an immedate impact on the SC D Line?
Bruce feldman (2:18 PM)
Yes, he's too gifted not to at least help get after the QB on third downs as a situational guy at least.
Bruce feldman (2:19 PM)
No Andrew, it's about football and actually everything but that.
Drew (New York)
How do you see BC's new offense under Kevin Rogers performing this year?
Bruce feldman (2:20 PM)
He'll help a lot. Very bright guy. That was a good addition. His QB has a very, very strong arm. He just needs more reps.
Justin (Tucson, AZ)
What would it take for Arizona to get rid of Mike Stoops and who would be the leading candidates to replace him? Urban Meyer?
Bruce feldman (2:22 PM)
They've been to bowl games three years running. I think unless they go 4-8 or worse, he's safe although 5-7 will get him on the hot seat at least... Urban Meyer won't be coming back to take over Arizona.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Which JUCO defensive tackle will have the biggest impact in CFB, John Jenkins, Sheldon Richardson, or Sylvester Williams?
Bruce feldman (2:23 PM)
I'll say Sheldon Richardson if he's 100 percent there for camp.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Are Travis Lewis and Vontaze Burfict the leading candidates for the Butkus Award this year?
Bruce feldman (2:24 PM)
I would put BC's Luke Kuechly on this group too. He's a tackling machine.
In the past two years it seems like there have never been more NCAA scandals in than ever. Is this because the activity is more prevalent or is this a product of the 24 hour media cycle?
Bruce feldman (2:25 PM)
Both. The 24 hr cycle and Twitter, etc feeds the frenzy but also because there is more access now via social media and more ways for ppl to get tripped up via FOIA records through phone calls and emails as well as more money lingering via agents and outsiders with players becoming more known commodities than ever before.
Where is Manti Teo on the Butkus list...surely ahead of Kuechly?!?
Bruce feldman (2:27 PM)
Kuechly led the nation in tackles. Talk to any coach who faced BC about how outstanding that guy is. The list should start with him. Burfict needs to cut way down on the mental mistakes before he's ahead of him.
Ed Orgeron (LA)
Loved "Meat Market" What coach would you want to write a similar book on today?
Bruce feldman (2:29 PM)
Haha ...thanks. I'm not sure I'd be game for spending another 12 months-plus inside a football office. But if there is a program I'd love to be a fly on the wall for it'd be at West Virginia with Holgorsen.... It helps to drive a book to have an interesting main character and he is that.
Dave (London, UK)
There's already the doubters about Arkansas this coming season. Just like every year. Why do we go through this every year, and What do you think about the Hogs? Is there that much hate for Petrino.
Bruce feldman (2:30 PM)
There's actually a lot of respect for Bobby Petrino as a coach in the media. I suspect even the people who don't like him still concede he is a very good football coach. The reason why I have them behind Bama/LSU in the SEC is because they play both on the road. I still think Ark will be a top 12 team this year.
Why isn't this UNC car issue getting more press? One player, 93 tickets, 9 plates, 5 cars in less than 2 years?! That would make Terrelle Pryor jealous.
Bruce feldman (2:32 PM)
It is a getting a lot of media coverage now. But Pryor is a bigger name as is Jim Tressel and Ohio State, especially after the press conferences the school had in Dec and then in March, that added to that frenzy... UNC won't be flying under the radar once the NCAA gets around to sorting out that mess.
Tyler (Grand Island, NE)
So Sportsnation has the best CFB Tradtions contest going on right now? Who has the best tradition in that contest or who do you think will win? I would love for my Huskers to win but it's hard to beat some of the other great traditions out there.
Bruce feldman (2:34 PM)
I like your question but not in a chat format because I'll forget too many good ones... here's what comes to mind: dotting of the I; running through the T in Knoxville; War Eagle; hearing Enter Sandman at Lane; pre-game at West Point.
Joey (Florence, AL)
The only "advantage" I see OU as possibly having over 'Bama is QB experience. Is that the only reason you pick them to win? The Sooners do have to go to Tallahassee you know.
Bruce feldman (2:36 PM)
I give Landry Jones a pretty big edge. He;s a three year starter and a Heisman candidate and he has a go-to star WR in Ryan Broyles. Bama should have the better D, but OU has talent over there too. They have a great LB and very good DEs.
thomas (los angeles)
bruce, if matt barkley leaves early for the nfl, would kiffin be allowed to hand out 16 scholarships instead of 15 in february 2012?
Bruce feldman (2:39 PM)
No...the only thing that would affect is it'd give him more flexibility with the 75-scholarship limit. It'd still be 75 but at least he would be one person further under it. They might not be able to sign as many as 15 if they can't finesse it under the 75... I'm pretty sure Kiffin would prefer to keep Barkley for one more year.
Al (from Dadeville)
If you were a college coach would you rather have Tim Tebow or Andrew Luck as your quaterback?
Bruce feldman (2:40 PM)
You couldn't go wrong with either because they both are winners and great leaders...I think I'd rather have Luck because you could run more stuff with him.
Bruce, I love Brian Kelly, but think he is blundering on the Michael Floyd situation. I realize he is still "suspended", but it seems to be heading towards him playing opening weekend. Even as an ND fan, I think he should sit out at least 2-3 games.
Bruce feldman (2:42 PM)
That's why they play him the big bucks. Floyd is a difference maker and with it being his third alcohol offense, it certainly put the program in a tricky spot. I'd figured they'd sit him at least the opener and maybe Game 2 (and in all honesty, they should be able to beat USF even without Floyd), but doesn't sound like that's gonna happen.
Northwestern wins ten games. Am I crazy?
Bruce feldman (2:45 PM)
Darren, is this you?
Bruce feldman (2:47 PM)
Actually, I think you have an outside shot at 8-9 IF you can get some run game established beyond Dan Persa. There is no OSU game, but you still have to play at Neb, at Iowa, at Illinois and at BC. I'd be surprised if you win more than two of those and facing MSU, PSU and Michigan wherever will all be challenges.
Matthew (Los Angeles,CA)
I have Stanford winning the national championship. What is your opinion on the National Championship?
Bruce feldman (2:48 PM)
Asking probably too much, especially for a rookie head coach. I am a big believer in the O with Luck... They have good safeties but not sure they have enough in the front seven.
Joey (Florence, AL)
Who do you have in the SEC vs. the world games(LSU vs. Oregon; Boise vs. UGA; Bama vs. Penn St)?
Bruce feldman (2:49 PM)
Leaning to LSU now that Harris won't play... Very confident in Bama... not sure about the Boise-UGA game though.
Who will be the next big east football member after tcu?
Bruce feldman (2:49 PM)
My guess is UCF.
Big Steve (New Jersey)
Would you consider BC a top 25 program of the last decade? Or does their lack of BCS games hurt them too much?
Bruce feldman (2:51 PM)
I think they're right around there.. They've been consistently very good and produced some excellent talent (Matt Ryan for starters) but aside from the year with Ryan in the rain at VT, it's been a lot of good but not very very good.
Is Georgia a house of cards that will tumble if they lose to Boise? If you can't beat Boise at home, how can you survive the SEC?
Bruce feldman (2:54 PM)
Great question.. I think they'll have a bounce back year and I'm sold on QB Aaron Murray, but if they lose to Boise and then face a good South Carolina team next, I'm not sure Richt would survive a season with an 0-2 start. It'd be nearly impossible to get things back on the tracks after that considering what happened last year.
John (Heart in Blacksburg)
Why is it that so many people are down on Virginia Tech when teams like Alabama also have to replace their QB and get ranked #2 in the preseason?
Bruce feldman (2:56 PM)
I don't think people are down on VT. The D will be good and I like David Wilson and the WR, but here's the deal with Bama. They have Trent Richardson, a ton of experience now on D and Saban has more of a track record of producing great teams that can play for BCS titles.
Bruce feldman (2:58 PM)
Three more questions...
Looking way too far ahead, way too soon, let's say Houston Nutt fails to make it to a bowl game this year and loses to State in embarrassing fashion. He gets fired. What direction does Ole Miss go? Experienced HC that's down on his luck (RichRod, Leach, etc.) or up and coming DC or OC?
Bruce feldman (3:00 PM)
He'd probably have to have a 3-9/4-8 kind of season for Pete Boone to fire him and even though I doubt they'd fire Nutt. IT'd cost too much to boot him and I just don't see OM doing that. My hunch on the next OleMiss coach is watch Huge Freeze, the new HC at Ark State. If he has two good years and Nutt doesn't get that turned around, Freeze has some key players in his corner and may land that job.
big 10 champions?
Bruce feldman (3:01 PM)
I'm going with Nebraska. It'll be a fun race.
Robbie (Crossville, TN)
Bruce, my three month old daughter wants to know if Bray's stock will be up, down, or about the same after this season?
Bruce feldman (3:01 PM)
Up!.. Good young WRs.. good young O-line. He's got talent and a good OC to learn from in Jim Chaney.
Bruce feldman (3:03 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.