Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat about the college football season.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Tuesday at noon ET!
Pat Forde (12:02 PM)
It's Tuesday. It's football season. Let's chat. Bring it on!
Hi Pat. Any prediction on the OU @ FSU matchup in Doak this Saturday night? I don't see FSU having the horses to keep up with OU if Landry Jones takes care of the football. The FSU defense is one of the better units in the country, but it's just so tough to hold OU down for 4 quarters and I have a feeling the FSU offense being rather "pedestrian" will seal their fate Saturday night. 38-17 OU!
Pat Forde (12:03 PM)
Nick: I like the Sooners in that one as well, though probably not by 21 points. Maybe 10. I think Florida State is a program on the rise but a little overrated right now and will have trouble slowing down OU. Also a lot of pressure on EJ Manuel in this game; we'll see how he performs.
Johnny (Cobra Kai dojo)
Hi Pat. Who do you like between the Cats and Cards this weekend? Do my Cats take care of them again which is becoming a theme...
Pat Forde (12:04 PM)
Johnny: I'd have to favor Kentucky to win its fifth straight in the series, though I expect it to be fairly tight -- maybe 3-6 points. Both teams look pretty atrocious offensively right now. Anybody fired up for 7-3?
Forde, how much longer does the "Big 12" exist?
Pat Forde (12:05 PM)
Ben: My guess is that you could number it in days, not months. Obviously the conference will play through this year, but I suspect the writing is on the wall. Which I think is bad for college sports.
James (BR, LA)
Hey Pat....if LSU is undefeated thru Sept, and therefore has beaten ranked Oregon, Miss St. and WV teams in the process, wouldn't they have earned the #' ranking w/ that resume?
Pat Forde (12:06 PM)
James: LSU already has earned my #1 ranking in the ESPN.com power rankings (which do NOT help crown a national title, and should be viewed as little more than entertainment). But yeah, if LSU wins out in September I'd say it probably has a pretty strong right to that spot.
Do you think it's a little premature for everyone to want Richt's head on a platter?
Pat Forde (12:08 PM)
Steve: Yes I do. Look, I totally understand the fan discontent -- Georgia has underachieved the past 2-3 years. But people are cliff diving after two games against very good teams. I thought Georgia showed some promise Saturday against South Carolina, and with the schedule easing up I think the Dogs could end up in the neighborhood of 9-3. Let 'em play before sending out the firing squad.
Pat Forde (12:09 PM)
FYI, for those interested today's Dash is now live on the site: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/6963609/college-football-dashing-scoring-frenzy-crazy-comebacks
Tom (Lincoln Park)
Pat, do you think Michigan's biggest asset this year is going to be the calm and poise of the coaching staff and Denard Robinson? When Denard threw his last INT in the 4th quarter, Brady Hoke didn't pull a Brian Kelly and turn purple. He just pulled Denard aside and had a conversation, and I think that kept Denard's confidence up. Thoughts?
Pat Forde (12:11 PM)
Tom: I think Hoke is a very good coach who has inherited enough talent (and a cushy schedule) to have some first-year success. Calm and poise are certainly good attributes to have, though that doesn't work for every coach. Sometimes the fiery guys do well, too. But Hoke said after that game that he's the most optimistic guy in the world and always thought they were going to win, and I think that helped his team.
Ryan (New Orleans)
Pat, I'm not a full convert, but I am about halfway on the bus. Boise is a great team and can beat anybody, this coming from an LSU fan (NOT SEC FAN). But, I do think they need to play stronger opponents on a consistent basis. Anyway, all the bowl projections have LSU Boise in the Sugar Bowl. How much would you pay for that to actually happen? How fun of a matchup that would be and great for college football??
Pat Forde (12:12 PM)
Ryan: Your open-mindedness is appreciated and respected. And I agree about the Boise schedule. An LSU-Boise meeting in any bowl (BCS Championship or Sugar) would be sublime. I'd love it. And for the record I would favor LSU right now.
What are the chances of Arkansas wins the SEC west?
Pat Forde (12:14 PM)
Berry: True story: my first draft of my preseason ESPN.com Top 25, I had Arkansas No. 1. Then Knile Davis got hurt, and I mulled over having to play in both Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge, and I bailed out. But I believe Arkansas is really good and will be in the thick of the race. Sept. 24 game in Tuscaloosa looks huge.
Pat: After watching Saturday, it appears as though PSU is far from being able to compete with the elite schools from outside the Big Ten. In your opinion, is it going to be this way for an extended period of time and as the second part of my question, what can PSU do better with its recruiting to hang with the better schools?
Pat Forde (12:15 PM)
J.B.: I think it is going to be that way for a while, because I believe the Nittany Lions are not being coached to their full potential. I'm sorry, Joe Paterno is a legend and deserves his place in the history of the game, but in the present I don't think he's an elite coach by any means and is not getting the most from his players, especially offensively. Recruiting is an issue going forward, given Joe's age and the fact that the better recruits are in the South these days.
Bucky (Alexandria, VA)
What was the atmosphere like in the Big House Saturday night? It sounded like it was rocking!
Pat Forde (12:16 PM)
Bucky: Absolutely rocking. It was wild. Very fun game.
What are your expectations for UVA for the rest of the year, and do you think they could be a dark horse in the ACC? Wishful thinking
Pat Forde (12:18 PM)
Caleb: This week is a really big one. If UVA can win at North Carolina, I can see a 5-0 start and some real momentum heading into the heart of the ACC schedule. But I was concerned with how Virginia got steamrolled in the fourth quarter last week, even if it found a way to rally and win. Indiana isn't very good.
Are you getting tired of driving the Bus? It's got to wear on you after awhile with all the negativity.
Pat Forde (12:19 PM)
Steve: I understand people who criticize Boise's schedule. But the lengths to which people go to diminish every major victory -- Virginia Tech last year, Georgia this year -- is puzzling to me. It's almost like people are afraid of Boise, don't want the outsiders being welcomed into the club. But it's all interesting and a lively debate, I suppose.
Pat what is your take on the Vols and Gators. How do you see this one playing out?
Pat Forde (12:21 PM)
Nick: I'm hopeful that Saturday marks a return to prominence for that game, because it was a really fun rivalry during its heyday. Tyler Bray is playing very well for Tennessee, but so is Florida's offense under Charlie Weis. Think Florida has more horses and is at home, so Gators win.
Pat is Texas still going to struggle on offense. Both quarterback were not that impressive after taking over for Gilbert. I think they still struggle on offense..
Pat Forde (12:22 PM)
Missy: Probably will continue to struggle. None of the Texas QBs looks ready for greatness -- at least not this year. Malcolm Brown is a star in the making, but the offensive line is fairly average. I don't see Texas scoring a ton of points this year.
Mark (San Francisco)
Whats your take on Stanford this year?
Pat Forde (12:25 PM)
Mark: Cardinal looked very good against two very bad teams. I was impressed with the defense, but the real tests are to come -- starting in Tucson Saturday. Nick Folk will give Stanford some problems. But I'm starting to think I had Stanford picked too low to start the year (at like 12). Might need to move the Cardinal up.
Im a Big Ten grad, but even I know we are inferior to the SEC and not just cause half my groomsmen were SEC grads. How can the Big Ten compete with 5 different natl champions from the SEC over the last five years? Is it a matter of talent, coaching?
Pat Forde (12:26 PM)
Shawn: I'd say it's a matter of both, but mostly talent. There's just more of it in the South these days, and those kids are mostly staying home. But also the coaching turnover at Michigan has hurt, and Paterno's diminished ability has hurt, and now the loss of Tressel will hurt, too. There are some good coaches in the Big Ten, but not as good as the guys in the SEC in my opinion.
When the "Big 12" falls, how big are the shockwaves through out college athletics, not only football?
Pat Forde (12:29 PM)
Ben: My guess is huge. I think we re-draw the entire map, and my concern is that the move to 64 (or however many) further excludes everyone else. Eventually you could have a reclassification of the top 64 into one part of Division I and the rest into another. And that might destroy the NCAA basketball tournament, which would be a true travesty. Also the damage to non-revenue sports could be huge.
Do you know what Voodoo Auburn is using to keep winning?
Pat Forde (12:30 PM)
Lisa: I have consulted with witch doctors from the Caribbean to the Louisiana swamps and nobody can pin it down. I will say this: that is a program that believes beyond a doubt it will win every game. Somehow. Someway. Very impressed with Auburn's will to win.
Maryland over West Virginia, really? What is your logic?
Pat Forde (12:31 PM)
Mary: Mountaineers have been very slow starting first two games. On the road against a better opponent, that could be trouble. Not ready to bet the mortgage on it, but I'll take a flyer on the Terps and their horrific uniforms.
Pat Forde (12:31 PM)
JR: Favorite play. I got the combo block!
Matt (Corpus Christi, TX)
What do you think of the Aggies RB's Gray and Michael? Can they be stopped? Especially with all the other weapons the Aggies have on offense.
Pat Forde (12:32 PM)
Matt: Love that RB tandem, and the whole A&M offense. Very strong. I picked A
Pat - given how bad most of the B1G looked this week, what's your opinion on the final standings in that league? Can anyone stop Wisconsin?
Pat Forde (12:34 PM)
Adam: Wisconsin looks much the best right now, but we'll see. Badgers have had two pretty soft opponents so far. Game against Nebraska still looks pretty big Oct. 1.
Half way through the chat and I'm sort of depressed about Penn State and the Big Ten now. Please give me some hope, even if it is just a tiny morsel.
Pat Forde (12:34 PM)
JB: Nobody does a whiteout like they do it in Beaver Stadium. That help?
Blake (Salt Lake City, UT)
Who do you like in the Holy War on Saturday?
Pat Forde (12:35 PM)
Blake: I really don't have a great feel for it, but I expect it to be close and low-scoring. BYU has played the tougher schedule and is more seasoned, but I wonder if the Cougars are at all beat up after successive road trips and 60-minute battles. Absolutely an underrated rivalry, though. Two fan bases that enjoy getting after each other.
Blake (Salt Lake City, UT)
What will be the last straw signaling the start of the super conference era?
Pat Forde (12:38 PM)
Blake: Just guessing here, but I'd say Oklahoma bailing on the Big 12 might do it. Don't see how that conference survives without the Sooners (and presumably the Cowboys). So then we have more than one conference pushing past the 12-team mark, and plenty of floating free agents, and everyone starts grabbing for whatever they can get.
Who do you like in the AU vs Clemson game?
Pat Forde (12:39 PM)
Matt: I've picked against Auburn and been wrong too many times over the last 16 games. Give me Aubie.
Any chance at all Miss State can get off the mat and give LSU a game Thursday on ESPN? LSU has basically been sitting by the pool all week while State got kicked in the groin.
Pat Forde (12:41 PM)
Doug: But as we all know, kicks in the groin are not fatal. They hurt like hell for a while, but eventually you're OK. I expect a close, competitive game. I think just about every game in the SEC West this year will be a donnybrook.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
What happens in South Bend if the Irish start out 0-3?
Pat Forde (12:43 PM)
Cosmo: The Golden Dome splits in half and Touchdown Jesus folds his arms in disgust. Kidding. It would be very dispiriting for a program that entered the year with such high expectations -- but honestly, Notre Dame has been here before. Still think the Irish are going to win a lot of games this year. The greater issue might be keeping recruits at this point.
What are your thoughts on David Wilson and the emergence of the classic VT defense? Could it take VT to 12-0....I see 11-2 on the year.
Pat Forde (12:44 PM)
Steven: David Wilson is a human highlight reel. Very fun to watch play. I will never pick VT to go 12-0, because the Hokies always find a pile of something to step in every year. But they could end up winning the ACC again.
Pat, I know you have OU defeating FSU by ten. What has to happen for FSU to get the upset?
Pat Forde (12:46 PM)
Reas: Slow down that Oklahoma offense, which might require a few turnovers. Manuel has to play smart, and the Seminoles have to run the ball. A big play or two from Greg Reid wouldn't hurt.
How is it fair that OSU players took $200 at a cancer event that they thought was NCAA approved and get 2+ games and Miami players take $300 from a criminal and knew that it was a violation and only get one game.
Pat Forde (12:47 PM)
David: I'm not an NCAA spokesman. Not sure what all went into the ruling.
After the beating Oregon took in the polls after week 1, why would anyone schedule a meaningful game on a neutral site? The Ducks were sloppy but except for the turnovers, were very competitive.
Pat Forde (12:48 PM)
Donald: I thought Oregon was dropped too far in the polls. I dropped the Ducks to 8 or 9 in my Top 25. Losing a virtual road game to LSU is not a bad loss.
Who do you see winning the Rocky Mountain Showdown this weekend? CSU is 2-0 while playing two soft opponents, and CU is 0-2 playing two somewhat decent teams.
Pat Forde (12:49 PM)
Terry: Throw out the record books when the Rams and Buffs get together! My guess is that Colorado is still the better team, but that rivalry has had some significant upsets in it over the years -- more often CSU pulling the upset.
Pat what are your thoughts on how coach Fickell is using or not using Braxton Miller. And who do you have winning the OSU/Miami matchup
Pat Forde (12:52 PM)
Merrick: I think it's difficult for even experienced head coaches to come up with a seamless way to use two QBs. So it's a difficult chore. Clearly the Ohio State coaches aren't ready to trust Miller in a close game, which means I'd expect to see a whole lot of Bauserman Saturday at Miami. Hard to know without seeing practice whether that's the best plan or not.
Jimmy (NY, NY)
How bad will it get when the dust settles from the conference re-alignments? Jimmy doesn't like where this is heading.
Pat Forde (12:53 PM)
Jimmy: Neither does Pat.
What are your thoughts on Arizona St and Illinois
Pat Forde (12:54 PM)
Kyle: Underrated game on the weekend calendar. I mentioned it in my column today -- winning coach has to feel a whole lot better than he did coming out of last season. A 3-0 start for either team would be pretty big. I kinda think Illinois can pull the upset.
Quick question, how many questions do you usually get in one of these chats?
Pat Forde (12:55 PM)
Ben: It can run anywhere from about 800 to 1,500, depending on time of day and time of the year. Not as many at the noon chats as the 2 p.m. ones in years past, but that's a concession to my schedule.
Steve (Palo Alto)
What are your thoughts on the heisman race?
Pat Forde (12:57 PM)
Steve: Tons of players in the mix right now. Start with Luck and Moore, add Shoelace and Russell Wilson, possibly another QB or two. (Weeden, Landry Jones, etc.) But also tons of great WRs this year, some stud RBs in the SEC, and don't forget my special teams/defensive darkhorse, Tyrann Mathieu of LSU. Many weeks ahead to sort it out.
Pat, what is the sports cliche you'd most like to see die a quick death? Mine, when people attach an indefinite article to a very definite, singular player ("when you have A Landry Jones . . . when you play A LaMichael James")
Pat Forde (12:58 PM)
Kyle: Excellent choice. I die a little inside every time I hear a player or coach say, "We take it one game at a time." I've also about had it with new coaches who "change the culture." And one you hear a lot in losing press conferences, "It is what it is." Well, why don't you EXPLAIN what it is and why it is what it is?
Ryan (Las Cruces)
Doesn't DeWayne Walker deserve his comp car this week? Who would have thought he would have the typically downtrodden Aggies ready to upset Minnesota?
Pat Forde (12:59 PM)
Ryan: Yes, he certainly does. I should have given him that, but I wanted to get that video in the column because I thought it was hilarious. But big props to Walker for that huge win.
Terry (norman oklahoma)
Pat, what conference will your alma mater be in next year?
Pat Forde (1:00 PM)
Terry: I have no idea. I'm sure Mizzou will land somewhere good given its TV markets and the overall health of the football program and athletic department, but where? No clue.
Is Okstate a legit contender this season?
Pat Forde (1:01 PM)
Randon: Yes, I believe so. Think the Big 12 has three very good teams in it: OU, A&M and Ok State.
Pat Forde (1:01 PM)
OK folks, I'm out of time. Thanks for all the questions, see you again this time and place next week. Once again, a link to today's Dash for those who haven't seen it:http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/6963609/college-football-dashing-scoring-frenzy-crazy-comebacks