Chat with Andrea Adelson
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Non-AQ blogger Andrea Adelson stops by to chat some football.
Adelson joined ESPN.com in 2010 after spending time as a college football columnist at The Orlando Sentinel. She has covered college football since her days as a University of Florida student, and lives in Orlando, Fla. She also runs ESPN.com's Big East blog.
Send your questions now and join Adelson Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Andrea Adelson (4:01 PM)
Hi everyone! Let's chat.
Why the collapse at UCF this year? I mean, how do you go from 11 wins to 5 the next season with only losing a handful of seniors?
Andrea Adelson (4:03 PM)
I think there are a few reasons. 1. Jeff Godfrey hit a sophomore slump. He was not nearly as effective as he he was a year ago, and UCF was limited in some of the things it could do. He was even benched for Blake Bortles in several games. 2. There was a transition on defense with a new DC, and I think that had something to do with it as well. 3. The senior class that left was a big reason why UCF won 11 games. There was a leadership void that went unfilled.
Who do you think wins the Hawaii Bowl? Southern Miss has a really good team and we've been struggling as of late. Any chance we can pull off the upset?
Andrea Adelson (4:05 PM)
I do like Southern Miss in the game, but this is bowl season so I do not count out any possibility for an upset. I just think the Southern Miss defense has been playing great, and is very aggressive and opportunistic. The Golden Eagles also have a senior QB in Austin Davis who has meant so much and provides so much leadership. For those reasons I give the nod to USM.
What kind of success do you see TCU having in the Big 12 next year? Pachall to Boyce should be a pretty solid WR pair.
Andrea Adelson (4:07 PM)
I think TCU is set up to have a solid season in the Big 12 next season. I really thought Pachall did a wonderful job in taking over for Dalton, much better than I expected. Boyce is an absolute stud. The defense made major progress, too. I would anticipate a Top 4 finish.
Caspian (Fort Collins, CA)
Hi Andrea, why so many doubters about Kellen Moore in the NFL? Do you really think Moore's ceiling really is lower than NFL starters like Chad Henne, Tavaris Jackson, Matt Moore, Colt McCoy, Curtis Painter, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Cassell, Kevin Kolb, and Tim Tebow?
Andrea Adelson (4:08 PM)
The doubters come out because he does not have the "prototypical" body type to play QB in the NFL. He looks like your neighbor next door. But we all know what happens when you dismiss somebody because they don't have the right body type. Moore is one of the smartest players in the game, and I think he would be an asset to any team for that reason alone.
When is everyone posting their bowl predictions?
Andrea Adelson (4:09 PM)
Predictions for pre-Christmas games are going up tomorrow morning!
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Andrea, what is your opinion of BYU's first year of independence? Successful or not?
Andrea Adelson (4:10 PM)
I really think it has been a success. I know there is no "marquee win" but BYU made major strides over last year, has a QB the players believe in, and have a chance to get back to 10 wins. I don't think that can be considered a disappointment.
if keenum destroys penn st defense, how do you think his draft stock will rise, i know he is projected 4th some even say 6th round
Andrea Adelson (4:10 PM)
I don't know that one game will make his draft stock rise. He needs to have good performances at the combine and in whatever postseason all-star game he decides to go to, if he decides to go at all. Remember Andy Dalton's stock started to rise not after the Rose Bowl but after the Senior Bowl.
Kellen said in recent interviews he was more interested in being a coach in some capacity.
Andrea Adelson (4:11 PM)
I think he would be a great coach.
Andrea, any chance of a Arizona St upset? I think they will expose the Boise secondary just like TCU did, and Brock will throw bombs baby, all day.
Andrea Adelson (4:12 PM)
As I said, there is always a chance, but how is Arizona State going to stop Kellen?
Rick (Fort Worth)
Of the teams "stepping up in class" (ie, moving to new conferences) next year, in your opinion which ones have the best chance for success short term? How about long term?
Andrea Adelson (4:13 PM)
I think Boise and TCU are the best positioned to have success. They have solid head coaches, solid foundations in place and will benefit from the increased $$ that comes from going into a bigger conference. I don't have much hope for UCF, Houston or SMU to begin dominating their new conference, at least in the long-term. There are so many questions surrounding all 3.
Andrea! What do you think about Tim Deruyter as the new Fresno St HC!?
Andrea Adelson (4:14 PM)
I think it is a good hire, and I think it is a good move for Fresno to go in a defensive direction. That has been a weak part of the team for years.
What do you think accounted for my Cougars performance in the CUSA championship game? I was there and I still can't explain it...
Andrea Adelson (4:16 PM)
I just think they were outcoached. Southern Miss had a great game plan to pressure Keenum, take him off his rhythm and confuse him with the schemes they were playing. It was a great defensive game plan.
Lou (Rockville, MD)
One good bowl game against Penn State does not a NFL quarterback make. Case in point: the Sanchize's 400+ yards in the Rose Bowl. Jets may be regretting that pick.
Andrea Adelson (4:16 PM)
Yes exactly, Lou.
Aaaron (Fort Worth)
Thoughts on TCU's OC Justin Fuente taking over at Memphis? Can he get them turned around?
Andrea Adelson (4:18 PM)
That is a tough situation for any coach to take. Memphis needs an upgrade in facilities, has a flagging fan base when it comes to football, and has had major quarterback issues over the last two seasons. But he has done a great job at TCU and learned from a great role model in Gary Patterson. Is that enough? Who knows. That job is not one of the most attractive right now, but has been in the past.
I know this is the non-AQ chat, but AA I need something to keep me sane at this point. Tell me there's a light at the end of the tunnel for Pitt
Andrea Adelson (4:19 PM)
Greg, I am still digesting the news myself. I have barely had time to compose my thoughts. I was telling somebody that of all the Big East coaches, he would have been last on my list to leave this year.
After the ASU debaucle, do June Jones and SMU part ways this offseason?
Andrea Adelson (4:19 PM)
I don't know about this offseason, but I don't see him in it for the long haul. Nothing he has done would inspire much confidence for the future.
Looking at the Wyo/Temple matchup for the first bowl game of the season... I think this could be one of the better bowl games of the early season, much like the Wyo/Fresno game of 2009 which kicked off the season and had some of the best ratings ever for the NM bowl, not to mention better than 75% of the other bowls.
Andrea Adelson (4:20 PM)
This one could really be good. I really want to see how Smith handles himself in the bowl game.
me (the interwebs)
Where does Jake Heaps end up? Is his failure at BYU a reflection of his talent level and/or lack of leadership or an indictment of the BYU coaching staff?
Andrea Adelson (4:24 PM)
Great question. My guess would be somewhere closer to home. I think his failure is probably a combination of both. It certainly seems as if the players rallied more around Nelson than Heaps and I am not sure why because nobody is really talking about that. Bronco was the coach when Max Hall was around so I'm not sure all the fault lies there, either.
John (Ft Worth)
Ben stole my initial questions. Let me follow that up. Top 4 in Big 12 next year? Who do u think will be better? OSU loses alot, Baylor prob loses RG3 and receivers, TX - terrible QB situation their - stack the line against them. OU seems to have some issues there. Whats your thoughts?
Andrea Adelson (4:26 PM)
Well I was going to add in there that a lot depends on the other teams and who comes back, which is why I said Top 4.
Mike (looking busy at work)
With the Big East explosion, the fallout looks like a conference of solid non-AQ teams. Do you think any can compete for a National Championship? How long will it take?
Andrea Adelson (4:28 PM)
I think Louisville, Cincinnati and Boise are best positioned for success in the near term, but you bring up a good point. Would the Big East even have the clout to get an undefeated team into the national title game, or even a one-loss team for that matter? Undefeated Cincinnati got left out a few years ago. So I still think it is going to be tough. The key is that auto bid into the BCS.
So with Boise, and TCU gone, who do you see as the most likely of the next of the BCS busting teams? Southern Miss? East Carolina? LA Tech? Nevada? Fresno ?
Andrea Adelson (4:30 PM)
I am going to say nobody for right now. Southern Miss and Fresno are going through coaching changes; East Carolina is struggling; Louisiana Tech had a great season but there is uncertainty there with the WAC. Nevada is moving conferences and took a step back this year after a breakthrough in 2010. A lot of that depends on nonconference schedules, too.
Even with the loss of the big gun teams in the MWC, the schools that are left (and coming in) are taking very aggressive approaches to coaches and salaries. We have seen some improvement in the bottom dwellers as well. Do you think the MWC is toast, or are we going to see them reload with a new generation of BCS buster material?
Andrea Adelson (4:32 PM)
Toast in terms of a BCS buster? It is a good question. I think there have been good hires in the conferences, and there are some solid programs. But I can't predict just yet who is going to rise up and go undefeated with a chance to make a BCS game.
Andrea - What about those NMSU Aggies? How bright is the future down in Las Cruces??
Andrea Adelson (4:33 PM)
Kudos for a huge improvement this season. I think coach Walker is doing a good job for what he has to work with in terms of facilities and budget. With Fresno, Nevada and Hawaii leaving, the WAC has got to be there for the taking.
Adam Nettina (Ellicott City, Maryland)
Welcome back Andrea!Missed you last week at Army-Navy, but the President says "hey" :)Anyways, after the game, longtime Annapolis Capital beat writer Bill Wagner said he noticed less of a "gap" in athleticism between Army and Navy, and he thought Army has finally proven it's closed the gap in the rivalry. I disagree. I think we've heard that tune before, and what Army has is 1) a great coach and 2) a great gameplan on defense in stopping a quarterback who essentially can't throw. Did you catch the game at all, and do you think Army's caught up to Navy from a personnel standpoint?
Andrea Adelson (4:35 PM)
I do think Army is better from a talent perspective, Adam. It is hard not to like Steelman and Hassin -- very talented players to be sure. You are right about Ellerson, too. I think the gap has closed, but Army still has a ways to go to catch up to Navy.
What do you see as the MWC's bowl record this year? If TCU and Boise show up they should mop the floor with LaTech and ASU. I think Wyoming has the edge on Temple. And I like Air Force and SDSU to win too. 5-0?
Andrea Adelson (4:37 PM)
I don't think 5-0 is out of the realm of possibility. The MWC has won the bowl challenge cup for several years now and always has a good performance. I think AFA-Toledo is a pick 'em, from my perspective, and I wonder if SDSU is going to get up for a Sun Belt team.
Lol, the funny thing is Andrea, even with the top 3 of this years WAC (Fresno, Nev, Haw) the WAC has been up for grabs ever since the end of the first month.
Andrea Adelson (4:37 PM)
Good point, Rocky!
Hey Andrea, whats your thoughts on BYU passing on the Big East?
Andrea Adelson (4:38 PM)
I am not surprised. There are too many unknowns at this point. First, BYU really wanted to hold onto its TV rights. Was it going to be worth it to give those up to join a conference with such an uncertain future -- ie AQ status is a big unknown.
what is your opinion on the mwc asking for AQ after boise and tcu leave
Andrea Adelson (4:39 PM)
I am not surprised. The MWC has to do it. But I really don't know about the chances with Boise State bolting. I think they would have been much higher if the Broncos would have stayed for 2012 and 2013.
Eugene (San Antonio)
Why do you think that every year Troy Calhoun declines to consider other, more high profile coaching opportunities?
Andrea Adelson (4:41 PM)
I think he is happy at Air Force, and feels a deep sense of loyalty and commitment to what the academy means and stands for, being an AFA grad himself.
just think if Utah, Boise, TCU, BYU, AF and SDSU were all in the same conference, that conference would be inviting Louisville, Houston and Cincy. oh, what could have been.
Andrea Adelson (4:44 PM)
I am not so sure about that, JC!
Rick (Fort Worth)
After the Big East raids, what do you see C-USA and MWC doing to shore up their memberships? Even with the football "merger" proposal, they have holes to fill in all the other sports too. It would seem UTEP going west (now that UH and SMU are gone) makes sense, as does LaTech moving east. What other moves might be reasonable to see?
Andrea Adelson (4:45 PM)
Good question, Rick. I know the MWC Board of Directors discussed the future of the merger during its meeting earlier this week but no action was taken. It makes sense from a football perspective, but obviously both need to shore up their ranks for their other sports. I wonder if en entire merger would make sense - you would have 17 teams and could just schedule geographically and keep all the rivalries that already exist.
Any news on the Hawaii job?
Andrea Adelson (4:47 PM)
All I have heard is that 30 applicants have put their names in for the job. Norm Chow is reportedly one of the applicants.
What is the likely hood that the Big East could loose its AQ status with the MWC applying for considerations of getting an AQ status?
Andrea Adelson (4:48 PM)
The Big East will not lose its status as an AQ if the MWC gets it for the next 2 years. One has nothing to do with the other.
Andrea. I know you're probably sick of this conference speculation but I'd like to hear your take on the Big East Expansion. Now that Air Force and BYU have turned down the BE as western division additions, what other AQs might the BE consider to bolster that side of the conference?
Andrea Adelson (4:50 PM)
I don't know that the Big East is going to add anybody else from the West. Navy is ideal and there are indications that could happen somewhere down the line. The other candidates could be Memphis, Temple or East Carolina for that 12th spot.
Here's one for you Andrea that I would like to know.....What is your thought of a Surviving BIG EAST that would retain AQ status in current conditions? Which teams?
Andrea Adelson (4:52 PM)
Well if we are talking about the currently configured Big East, then there is a chance because of what Boise brings to the table. BUT we have no idea whether AQ is even going to exist in 2 years! What really helps the BE is there is nothing written that lays out how a conference would lose its AQ status.
Andrea Adelson (4:53 PM)
All right everybody, I have to cut this chat a few minutes short with some breaking Pitt news to cover. Thanks for joining me today and enjoy the games!