Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by to chat.
Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. In addition to covering college football for the site, he contributes to ESPN's SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at noon ET!
Ivan Maisel (12:02 PM)
Hello, everyone. We'll be here at noon every Wednesday from now through the second week in January, I'm guessing. I'm looking forward to it, and hope I don't spill any of my lunch on your laptop. Here we go...
With Knile Davis and Marcus Lattimore both coming off injuries from last season, who do you think will have a better season? Are either of them legit heisman contenders?
Ivan Maisel (12:04 PM)
I am stunned, as I wrote the other day, that Marcus Lattimore is 100 percent, which is what Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier claims, only nine months after tearing his ACL. After that, it depends on how you gauge it. Does Tyler Wilson open the field for Davis? Or will Lattimore get more yards because he's the bellcow of the Gamecock offense? I'm leaning Lattimore.
Carl LaFong (Warsaw In)
Ivan, I for one thinks Michigam is way overated. To many questions at wide receiver and the defensive front. I see 8 wins max..
Ivan Maisel (12:05 PM)
We all fall victim to putting too much credit on the bowl victory, because it's the last game we saw all those months ago. But I think Michigan does better than 8-4. I am a believe in Denard Robinson and I am a believer in d-coord Greg Mattison.
Hi Ivan,I'm mystified. How can a seemingly fine institution as UNC, prostitute its' educational intgrity on the altar of athletic success? How can anyone take competition seriously when such inequities exist? What do you think the NCAA should do?
Ivan Maisel (12:07 PM)
We hold UNC to a higher standard than most public universities because of its stature. That's what makes this whole episode so mystifying. But I have been covering this long enough to know that if there's a shortcut, the athletes will find it. That was true of the guys I went to school with at Stanford,and that is true today. The fact that the UNC administration seem to pave the shortcut is what is so disappointing.
Do you know what Joe Schad was smoking when he ranked the Ducks 15th?
Ivan Maisel (12:08 PM)
I have never seen Joe smoke anything, so, no, I can't help you.
Who are you picking to win the MAC?
Ivan Maisel (12:10 PM)
I keep saying that Ohio is a dangerous opener for Penn State, which will be in a new system with a lot fewer players. No one listens to me. I also like Western Michigan, with a lot of returnees and the memories of painful losses last year to spur them on.
Ivan, Great article on Urban vs. History. How do you feel he will do in the next 3-4 years? I think he will be the next coach to raise the crystal football for 2 programs, am I in the minority or majority?
Ivan Maisel (12:12 PM)
Thanks, Gregory. That story posted this morning, for those of you who haven't seen it. I wrote about coaches who win national championships and go to another school, where they don't win them unless their name is Nick Saban. That said, Meyer is at a place where he has all the resources and good recruiting foundation. I think he'll do very well at Ohio State.
Who is a sleeper team outside the preseason top 10 that could be the 2012 version of Auburn from 2010?
Ivan Maisel (12:13 PM)
Matt, if I knew that, I'd be in Vegas. I think about that Auburn team all the time. They had a once in a generation player, and they had a foundation of 25-plus seniors. That mixture is as rare as it was powerful. That's why Auburn was able to do what it did. I don't know of any schools out there who match that profile.
As you mentioned my Bobcats will be Penn State's first opponent after the scandal. Will the atmosphere be super-charged or subdued?
Ivan Maisel (12:14 PM)
I think Beaver Stadium will be wild that day. Anger and adrenaline are powerful. Penn State fans are mad at the world. Think of all that has happened since last November. You can't live forever on anger and adrenaline but they'll fuel the fans for a while.
How much credibility does the Aresco hire give the Big East
Ivan Maisel (12:15 PM)
I tweeted yesterday that Mike Aresco is universally respected and universally liked. He is a gentleman, a nice guy, and whipsmart about television and college football. He gives the Big East a lot of credibility.
Brian (Portland, Ore)
Hi Ivan - do you see anything going anywhere from all of these groups looking into legal action against the NCAA for the process it went through in sanctioning Penn State?
Ivan Maisel (12:17 PM)
No, I don't. But I don't blame them for trying. I would probably do the same thing.
Ric A (Brooklyn, NY)
If Arlington lands the Champions bowl, what happens to the Cotton Bowl game? Likewise with New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl? Logistically can they accommodate fans and hotel issues for two major games one/two days apart?
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
No one has explained this to me, either. I'm not sure anyone knows how that's going to work yet. The conferences have a lot of work to do in a short period of time. The first games are less than 30 months away. Super Bowls are planned four or five years out.
Your thoughts on how WVU and TCU will fare in their new digs?
Ivan Maisel (12:19 PM)
I think they will do a lot better in the Big 12 than Texas A&M and Mizzou will do in the SEC. TCU is on its home turf, and has a veteran, successful coaching staff. West Virginia has a really good team. They won't take people by surprise -- Dana Holgorsen ran the same offense at Oklahoma State -- but the Mountaineers are good.
Pick three teams we could see defeat the SEC in the national championship.
Ivan Maisel (12:22 PM)
Hmmm. I am not bullish on USC because I don't see how the Trojans are going to keep enough bodies healthy through a 14-game season. But if they do, I'd put them on that list. Michigan State has a very good defensive front, and that's always the big difference between the SEC and everyone else. The Spartans on offense concern me. And I'd say Oregon, because I like Oregon's team this year.
Supposedly the Pac-12 picked up Colorado for the Denver Television market. I don't know much about T.V. deals, but I don't see much benefit to the conference where the Buffs are concerned. Tell me why I'm wrong.
Ivan Maisel (12:23 PM)
Denver's a major metropolitan city with a lot of TV sets. Why isn't that a benefit? The Buffs are down but that's because they haven't had the financial resources that other schools have had. They're getting that Pac-12 money now, so let's see how quickly they catch up.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will this year's Florida State team remind old guys, like you and I, of the Noles squads of Bobby Bowden's glory days with the explosive young recievers on the outside. Are they ready to step up for Jimbo Fisher this season?
Ivan Maisel (12:24 PM)
I like Florida State this year. Veteran quarterback, explosive young players, deep on defense. A lot of to like. I'd put FSU on that list of teams that could beat the SEC at year's end.
Brett (Conshohocken, PA)
It sounds like Lester Munson thinks the former players and coaches have a sound case for an appeal/lawsuit against the NCAA, especially with Paul Kelly in their corner. What are your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:26 PM)
Paul Kelly knows the NCAA landscape. That's no small consideration. But if the NCAA makes the rules, and is a voluntary organization, most courts usually say, if you don't like it, don't join. I hope I'm wrong, because I think the NCAA handled it very poorly and should be told to go sit in the corner. And I am not a lawyer. The LSATs scared me off.
Chace (Enid, Ok)
Chances Oklahoma makes it back to the title game?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
I like OU a lot before Habern and Evans disappeared. That was a big blow. There's nothing like an experienced offensive line in college football. The Sooners lost a big advantage.
Is USC really all that? Seems like most ppl have them in the NCG game already but I don't see the legos fitting the same way. Top ten team very likely, but not top 2. Guess I skipp the serving of kool-aid.
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
As I said,I am skeptical, too.
Jason (Jacksonville, FL)
FSU's "explosive" players? Are they incoming freshmen? I don't remember them from last year's squad. I really like their defense though.
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
I think it's reasonable to assume that WR Kelvin Benjamin and TB James Wilder, Jr. will make a splash this season. Among others.
Do you think Maryland can bounce back after last years disappointment? If not, how long before Edsall hits the road?
Ivan Maisel (12:30 PM)
I think Maryland will be better. Hard to have a worse season, though. Edsall is a good coach. He didn't fit well with how Ralph Friedgen ran things. The transition has been difficult. But a year should make a big difference.
Does Frank Spaziani have the hottest seat in CFB? Win totals going from 8-7-4 after inheriting a team that went to back to back ACC championship games? Thanks!
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
Spaz has had massive problems on offense. He is confident that the newest coordinator, Doug Martin, will make a difference. But you know how Boston fans are. If the Eagles lose the opener to Miami, everyone will assume that 0-12 is on the way. I don't think that. I think this team will be better than last season. And I think they'll beat Miami, anyway.
re: USC. I respect you opinion Ivan but you are nuts if you think anybody will be able to stop, let alone slow down, USC's offense.
Ivan Maisel (12:33 PM)
Loren, they practiced the other day with all freshman LBs because all three starters were banged up. And it's August. If USC stays healthy, and if everyone plays to potential, sure, the Trojans will be very good. But those are huge ifs when you have 71 scholarship players, nine of whom you expect to redshirt, and no walk-ons.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
It seems to me that your skepticism about USC must also include doubts about Lane Kiffin as head coach. Although dealing with penalties, he has continually had very highly rated recruiting classes, faces a league with new members and new head coaches. If he can't do it now, then when?
Ivan Maisel (12:34 PM)
Kiffin has impressed me with what he has done at USC. I was skeptical, yes. But that team is well-coached.
Jeff (Winston-Salem, NC)
Do you think Virginia Tech will live up to the hype they always seem to get? VT has a terrible record vs the top 25 and is 9-16 in bowl games but seem to be in the national championship talk despite being able to beat decent non-conference teams and win bowl games.
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
I think this is a big year for the Hokies. Mike London has made inroads in recruiting the Tidewater area for UVa. I think Frank Beamer saw his staff get old, and that's why he brought his son Shane back to help shore it up. The Hokies are going to be an interesting story all season.
As a west coaster I am leaning towards USC-Oregon as game of the year. Whats your take?
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
That and LSU-Bama. But it's August. Something will pop up somewhere else. It always does.
Are you going to watch the launch of the Pac-12 Network tonight?
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
I don't know if I get it in Connecticut. But I will look for it.
Brett (Conshohocken, PA)
What should I expect as a Penn State fan going to away games at Virginia and Nebraska this year?
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
I love games in both places. Virginia did a great job of upgrading its stadium a decade or so ago. Charlottesville is such a great college town. Leave time to tour "the grounds" and to check out Monticello. And no fans are more welcoming than the ones in Lincoln. You'll have fun.
Hello Ivan--love your stuff so no offense meant by this question, but traveling from game to game, is it the cheerleader section still worth checking out, or does aging take away that thrill?
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
Devin, when the cheerleaders started looking like my nieces, I got over that thrill pretty quickly. And now that my daughter and son are in college, I'm way over it. See what you have to look forward to?
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
Enjoyed it, everyone. Talk to you next week.