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 (12:07 PM)
Sorry folks, I'm here now.
Pat Forde (12:08 PM)
Bristol somehow created two chat rooms for me and I was in the wrong one ... where I had one question. Came over here and found all the questions. Let's get to them.
bubba (austin, texas)
Hey Pat - B1G seems to be pretty quiet so far on realignment. What's going on behind the scenes? Who, if anyone, might they add?
Pat Forde (12:10 PM)
Bubba: I think the Big 10 would prefer to keep its current hand unless forced to do something. If both the B1G and Notre Dame feel forced into a corner, they could join up. Then maybe you add a Missouri or Rutgers as a 14th. Going to 16 doesn't seem likely now that ACC has grabbed a couple potential targets.
Is the Big East going to be called the BIG 12? That's sucks if that happens. What happens to Gtown and St. John's and other non-football schools?
Pat Forde (12:11 PM)
Ryan: I don't know what any proposed merger of Big East/Big 12 would be called, but I'd say a survivor league is a real possibility right now. As for the hoop schools: I'd imagine they'd be invited to whatever league comes about, but don't know if they'd be interested or rather break off and do their deal.
Miles (Charleston, SC)
ACC....who's the next two in?
Pat Forde (12:12 PM)
Miles: The reported conversations are with UConn and possibly Rutgers.
Pat, I know that "academics" is the oft cited reason that WVU isn't attractive to the ACC.... but is that really a barrier? Aren't these athletic conferences? Is WVU's trivial pursuit team going to drag down the ACC's rep? (BTW... it should be noted that WVU's academics are on the rise. Improving SAT/ACT scores, improved law school. Engineering school that is top notch...)
Pat Forde (12:13 PM)
Zach: They might be on the rise, but they've got a long way to rise up. The latest US News college rankings (which came out last week) have WVU the #164 national university. That's not good. As for how important that is? Depends who you ask. But I see WVU having no option with ACC and probably not SEC either.
hi pat who is the sleeper team in the sec this season
Pat Forde (12:14 PM)
Zach: Arkansas. Been saying that all season. Not sure they can win in Tuscaloosa Saturday, but it will be close and competitive. Hogs are a top 10 team in my book. Only problem is they're in same division with two other top 10 teams.
Pat how would you feel about your Tigers going to the SEC?
Pat Forde (12:16 PM)
Chris: Mixed feelings. It would be a great option in terms of revenue and stability and playing on the biggest stage. Not sure it's a great fit culturally and competitively, and being separated from Kansas would be no fun. But in this day and age, just having a landing place would be big.
Pat, you know L'ville better than anyone. What have you heard on what they might do? What's the most likely scenario? If there is such a thing anymore....
Pat Forde (12:18 PM)
Ryan: Louisville, like WVU and TCU and UC and USF, could form a survivors coalition with Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor. Maybe you add more to it, maybe not. Louisville has built itself up to a $74 million athletic department with broad-based success, so it will have some options. But it would have preferred keeping the Big East together.
michael (charlote, nc)
pat, what do you think Ohio State needs to do in order to turn their season around? Would it be smarter for Fickell to play Miller in order to give him much needed experience?
Pat Forde (12:20 PM)
Michael: OSU needs to find some playmakers while waiting for Herron and Posey to come back. QB is a major issue; not sure what's the best move there, but Miller probably deserves a shot at more PT.
Josh (Schaumburg, IL)
More incompetent Dan Beebe or John Marinatto?
Pat Forde (12:20 PM)
Josh: Not a coincidence that the two weakest commissioners are having their leagues plundered.
jay manley (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
Proud passenger on the bus here. What does all this confrence shake up mean to Boise State? Can this benifit them in anyway?
Pat Forde (12:22 PM)
Jay: It's POSSIBLE that if we drop down to five major conferences, the sixth BCS bid goes to some sort of Mountain West/Conference USA hybrid. But I think it's more likely that the megaconferences just exert pressure to get more bids for themselves. Not sure where Boise will stand coming out of all this.
More shady and dishonest, the Presidents of Pitt/Cuse or ACC Commissioner Swafford.
Pat Forde (12:22 PM)
Shawn: Why choose between them? They all win. Though, from what I hear, the Big East has targeted Pitt prez as the ultimate villain in all this.
Will (Metairie, LA)
How do you feel about the LSU-WVU game? Any key factors that we might not think of right away?
Pat Forde (12:24 PM)
Will: As I wrote in my column this week, WVU is a score-in-bunches kind of team. Offense seems very predicated on momentum and rhythm. When it's going, it's tough to stop ... but there are significant stretches in every game this year where they've been out of rhythm. The longer it takes WVU to get going, the tougher it will be for the Mountaineers to win. So I think first quarter will be big.
Pat, Wisconsin looks scary good with Russell Wilson at QB. But they play in the B1G and don't have any marquee matchups on their schedule. Even if they go undefeated, aren't they going to need quite a bit of help?
Pat Forde (12:25 PM)
Travis: Slow down there, frisky. What about Nebraska Oct. 1? Last I checked the Cornhuskers were undefeated and ranked, too.
Joey Small (Tulsa, OK)
I've never seen a buyout as large as the one in Bobby Petrino's new contract at Arkansas. Guess he really wanted to stay there. But was negative recruiting perhaps so hot that he felt the need for such large buyout figures?
Pat Forde (12:26 PM)
Joey: Might have been. Petrino had damaged his credibility to the point that he needed to stay put somewhere, and Arkansas appears to be the beneficiary of that.
Why wouldn't Texas go independent in football? They have everything ND does plus an ability to win NC
Pat Forde (12:27 PM)
David: Because this isn't just a football decision. Where do the other sports play? Notre Dame has its other sports in the Big East for a reason -- they need a home.
Pat, what was better for the ACC, Clemson over Auburn or FSU's good showing?
Pat Forde (12:28 PM)
Tim: I'd go with Clemson over Auburn. Auburn might ultimately be about a 7-5 team, but it was the defending champ on a 17-game winning streak and Clemson needed a statement win. FSU's return to prominence is inevitable.
scott (Los angeles)
I'm only 24 so I can't relate to previous conference reallignments years ago, has there ever been a change this big before?
Pat Forde (12:29 PM)
Scott: That depends on how far it goes. If we end up with either the Big 12 or Big East (or both) demolished, it will be unlike anything we've ever seen in my opinion.
Does mizzou have a chance vs Oklahoma?
Pat Forde (12:30 PM)
Vince: Slim. Chances of an OU hangover are lessened by the revenge factor after losing in Columbia last year. Mizzou will have to execute almost perfectly on offense to have a chance.
Who takes the Aggies/Cowboys matchup tis week?
Pat Forde (12:31 PM)
Aggie: I think the Aggies do in a shootout that might go down to the last possession.
Bobby Peterson (Oxford Mississippi)
What other Schools are interested in joining the SEC? what would be a good fit?
Pat Forde (12:33 PM)
Bobby: Missouri is the best fit -- big TV markets, solid broad-based program, very competitive in football and basketball in recent years, contiguous with three SEC states. Cultural fit a bit off, but endurable. Only other option would be an ACC school, but the buyout is huge and there would be probably be internal resistance to all but Maryland, Va Tech or a North Carolina school. And I don't think any of those are looking to leave.
If the Pac-16 happens, will the California schools stay in the same 4-team pod? Why would they break apart schools that have been together since the Pacific Coast Conference days?
Pat Forde (12:34 PM)
Nick: I don't know how it would shake out, but one attraction to breaking them apart (one pod of USC, UCLA, ASU, Arizona; other Stanford, Cal, Utah, Colorado) would be greater access to California for the other schools in the league. Which they'll all want.
Allen (Cedar City, Utah)
Why don't you think OU is the #1 team in the nation? What more do you need to see from them?
Pat Forde (12:36 PM)
Allen: I need to see what I've seen from LSU, which is total dominance of two quality opponents in Oregon and Mississippi State.
Dustin (Austin, TX)
Why aren't we hearing more about Texas, Notre Dame to the B1G as a possibility?
Pat Forde (12:37 PM)
Dustin: Texas has this thing called the Longhorn Network, and the Big Ten has this thing called the Big Ten Network. Not sure the two would coexist easily. Texas basically needs a sweetheart deal, and the Big Ten doesn't have to give it one.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Pat, what was LSU thinking scheduling West Virginia and Oregon for out-of-conference games? Is this the toughest regular-season schedule a team has played in a long time? They still have Arkansas, Alabama, Florida (all ranked) and Auburn and Tennessee as well!
Pat Forde (12:38 PM)
Bryan: I don't know what LSU was thinking, but I salute it. Good for the Tigers for not being scared to schedule.
Kacey Robbins (Provo, UT)
Pat I am afraid of all the super conferences and BYU getting left out. How scared should I be?
Pat Forde (12:40 PM)
Kacey: I think if BYU wants into a Big 12/Big East survivor coalition it would be welcomed with open arms. But that would mean giving up on independence as soon as it was embraced, which I know would be hard for the school to do. And it's hard to know whether a Big 12/Big East combo conference would be considered BCS-worthy. Or if we'd still have a BCS. So much still to hash out.
Joe (Deep South)
True or False. Superconferences will be the death of small schools like Boise St. ?
Pat Forde (12:41 PM)
Joe: I really don't know, but it could be. The real tragic potential consequence to me would be the death of the NCAA basketball tournament as we know it.
Travis (Tulsa, OK)
Is the greed and ego of UT ultimately responsible for the pending implosion of the Big VII
Pat Forde (12:41 PM)
Travis: There is plenty of responsibility to go around for that pending implosion. But absolutely, part of it would rest with Texas. No question.
Pat, do you think Russell Wilson is a Heisman Contender?
Pat Forde (12:42 PM)
Phil: Absolutely. A top-five candidate as of now, we'll see what happens going forward.
Steve (San Francisco)
Is anyone thinking about the sports other than Football in the realignment discussions?
Pat Forde (12:43 PM)
Steve: Not much at all, which is one of the many shameful elements of all this. Complete disregard and disrespect for those programs.
Bobby (Oxford Mississippi)
Who Do you have winning the SEC east? It's not as powerful as the west but teams are still dangerous?
Pat Forde (12:44 PM)
Bobby: I'd say South Carolina, though it will have a tougher-than-anticipated game with Vandy this weekend and Florida looks pretty good so far.
What happened to title 9? Because with realignment it doesnt exist.
Pat Forde (12:45 PM)
Ben: I'm pretty sure Title IX can still exist in a realigned college sports landscape, since it's a federal law. The laws supercede any of the other decisions being made.
James (Destin, FL)
I don't understand why people think super conferences are a bad thing. The object still remains the same, beat the teams on your schedule. For the NCAA tournament the selection committee will seed the teams as usual. For football, conference-bowl alignments will need to be tweeked. What else?
Pat Forde (12:47 PM)
James: With all due respect, that's a very simplistic view. If the super conferences break off from the smaller conferences, who says Butler, VCU and Xavier even get invited to the same NCAA tournament? As for football: if the trashing of rivalries and geographic sense, plus the further blurring of what constitutes being a true league champion (schedule will be bigger than ever) don't bother you, well, they bother me.
What? There are some negative aspects to realignment, but the tourney shouldn't change much and Title IX is still fine. People are freaking out.....
Pat Forde (12:49 PM)
Scott: If we end up with four superconferences, what happens to the other 250 schools in Division I? If they enter a different strata, do they play in the same NCAA tourney? Do they even want to, if they're kicked to the curb in other ways? Many potential problems that could affect the NCAA tournament.
Adam (Boise, ID)
I see the loss of Skov for Stanford as a big impact. How much does this hurt the Stanford defense?
Pat Forde (12:50 PM)
Adam: A lot, in my opinion. NFL player. Emotional leader. And as much as Stanford's program has improved, I'd have to think the depth isn't what it is at other top-10 programs.
Chris (Virginia Beach)
So who should my fellow ECU Pirates throw eggs at first for all of this mess?
Pat Forde (12:51 PM)
Chris: The university's founding fathers for putting the school in Greenville, N.C.
Chris (Clemson, SC)
FSU at Clemson this Saturday, who would you pick to win? Clemson is coming off a good win over Auburn with impressive performances by Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins and FSU lost to #1 Oklahoma.
Pat Forde (12:52 PM)
Chris: Big game, fascinating game. My gut says FSU is better but could be flat after super-emotional scene and very physical game Saturday. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see Clemson win.
Pat, why are you to Anti-USC?? They could be 1-2, really? Give me a break... they were far more talented and better than either Minn. or Utah..... they were shooting themselves in the foot playing tons of Freshmen..... USC is the most talented team in the PAC-12 and a Top 10 team nationally.... you know that.
Pat Forde (12:53 PM)
Paul: Minnesota had the ball with a chance to win at the end. Utah had the ball with a chance to tie at the end. That's how the Trojans could have been 1-2, especially if those games were on the road. Most talented team in the Pac-12? Top 10 nationally? Um, Fight On, I suppose.
I am heading to Morgantown this weekend. Is it really as crazy as people write about?
Pat Forde (12:54 PM)
Mike: It's pretty crazy. But if you're an LSU fan, you know crazy by now.
Frank (Alexandria, VA)
Why do you love the SEC so much more than the other conferences? It's pretty obvious you are an SEC lover.
Pat Forde (12:55 PM)
Frank: Maybe it's obvious that the SEC has been the best conference for five years running, and the winners usually get the most praise. Just kinda how it works in the media.
Hey Pat...please tell Paul in Sacramento that New Mexico State is very excited to hear that edging out Minnesota puts you in the top ten...
Fair enough.... name a team with more talent than USC in the PAC-12 top to bottom. Can't do it, can you?
Pat Forde (12:56 PM)
Paul: Oregon comes to mind rather quickly.
Robert (Thomasville, NC)
Is a playoff system more likely in a superconference system or what we have (had) with multiple conferences?
Pat Forde (12:58 PM)
Robert: Theoretically, it would put us closer to a playoff. But as I told Tony Kornheiser today on his radio show, this is like tearing down a mansion to build a better kitchen. There are saner ways to get to a playoff than destroying the entire landscape first.
Bueller..??? Bueller....??What does Chris Rainey have to do to get more publicity as a legitimate heisman candidate? He's already doing so much!
Pat Forde (12:59 PM)
Clay: If the team keeps winning and his numbers remain this good, he will be in the mix. Nobody in the SEC on an unbeaten team is going to be in danger of being underexposed.
Incredulous (Ann Arbor)
Dash: Why does UM lose to SDSU
Pat Forde (1:00 PM)
Incredulous: I expect Ronnie Hillman to be able to run effectively on that Michigan defense. The hard part will be slowing down Robinson. Admittedly a bit of a reach pick.
Will Tulsa be fully recovered for the game this Saturday? That was a nasty all-nighter!
Pat Forde (1:01 PM)
Bill: Nobody has had a tougher start to the season than Tulsa. Played Oklahoma. Played Oklahoma State after midnight. Now must turn around and travel to Boise. That's brutal. New head coach Bill Blankenship probably wants to have a word with AD Bubba Cunningham about the schedule.
Franklin (New Mexico)
It seems crazy to say this, but is Illinois really the third best team in the BIG this year? Sure, 2/3 of their games have been cupcakes, but Illinois dispatched them handily. And the ASU win looks like the best non-conference anywhere in the BIG this year. Could they actually be a contender to play in the conference championship game?
Pat Forde (1:02 PM)
Franklin: It does seem crazy, but it's not completely nuts. Illinois has a good formula going: run the ball, stop the run, rush the passer, play a lot of home games early. League isn't full of world-beaters by any stretch. Still don't see Illinois making it to Indy, but you never know.
Pat, what's the most underrated FOOTBALL story of the first three weeks?
Pat Forde (1:04 PM)
Jamie: Very good question. I'm going to say the upcoming round-robin donnybrooks in the Big 12 (Ou, A&M, Ok State, now Texas) and SEC West (Bama, Ark, LSU). And they start this weekend. Best individual team story is probably LSU -- suspend starting QB, lose playmaking WR for a couple games, still start like gangbusters. Impressive.
Sam (Nor Cal)
Pat- Have you seen GA Tech yet? Thoughts so far and on UNC?
Pat Forde (1:05 PM)
Sam: Saw a little of the Kansas game Saturday -- really impressive with Tech's big-play ability. Will be a very good matchup with a solid UNC D. I'll take the Jackets at home.
what would you rather do if you are South Carolina: vacate your wins for illegial benefits at the Whitney Hotel? or just vacating the Whitney Hotal? #notahotspot
Pat Forde (1:06 PM)
Brian: Clever. And more trouble for an SEC school.
Paul (Valparaiso, IN)
Pat, what are the chances Luke Fikell remains head coach? I think he will be a great coach and I don't feel it is his fault taking over a team, that is very talented, but had the wind knocked out of them this past year with all the NCAA allegations.
Pat Forde (1:07 PM)
Paul: Luke Fickell might one day be a very successful college head coach ... but it's not going to be at Ohio State in 2012. At least that's my strong suspicion. OSU is a cadillac job and will get a big-time, proven coach.
Brandon Weeden Heisman Candidate?
Pat Forde (1:07 PM)
Mike: Sure. Could be an even stronger one with a big game and an OK State win this weekend.
Jay (Fort Wayne)
Do you like Kevin Wilson as a good fit to build a program at IU?
Pat Forde (1:08 PM)
Jay: Gunner Kiel does, and that's more important than whether I do.
Paul (Valparaiso, IN)
Would you rather be Coach Kelly or Coach Graham after Saturday's game at Heinz Field?
Pat Forde (1:09 PM)
Paul: Coach Kelly. I believe his team will win, and he should have two healthy hamstrings.
Pat Forde (1:09 PM)
OK folks, shutting it down now. Great turnout, great questions. Sorry about the delayed start, but I went extra to make up for it. Enjoy the games this week and I hope your favorite conference is still intact by next week's chat.