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 (12:01 PM)
Hi, everyone. It's a beautiful day in the Northeast. Can't imagine why you're indoors chatting. Let's go, fellow wage slaves.
Over the next month or so, Washington, Oregon, Stanford and UCLA will all play each other. First off, how cool is that?! Also, do you think any of the teams will go 3-0 or 0-3? Does one loss take a PAC12 team out of the National Championship discussion?
Ivan Maisel (12:02 PM)
I think it's way cool, and I think one of them will go 0-3. Now you're going to ask me which one. Well, I've got Oregon ranked No. 1.
If UofO or Stanford, Clemson and Ohio State go undefeated and the SEC champ has one loss....Who goes to the title game? I'm sure you're shaking your head at this conundrum! I think it's clear cut with resumes that the PAC-12 champ and Clemson go, obviously I'm not taking politics and money into consideration.
Ivan Maisel (12:03 PM)
I would be surprised if the SEC champ survived that scenario. But thank you for bringing up one of my favorite parts of October: trying to spin BCS disaster scenarios. I just don't think it will be as much fun when we have a four-team playoff chosen by committee.
Jacob (Daphne, AL)
After Mississippi's shutout loss at Alabama last Saturday, do you gather that Mississippi's offense was overrated or that Alabama's defense is just that good?
Ivan Maisel (12:04 PM)
I think it means that a healthy Alabama defense is still very good. Ole Miss is better, but has a ways to go before it can win a game like that on the road in the conference.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
I agree it was time for him to go. But couldn't Pat Haden have found a better place to fire Lane Kiffin than the tarmac at the airport?
Ivan Maisel (12:06 PM)
Yes. Pat Haden is one of the guys I respect in this business. Especially with an off week, I don't understand why it couldn't have waited until Sunday.
RBF (Waco Tx)
Lots of haters on Baylor right now. Look at the points we scored and the defense we have been playing. These haters point to OUs game vs ND. Please compare ND D with ours. thanks
Ivan Maisel (12:07 PM)
Baylor haters will be there until the Bears begin to play the serious part of their schedule in November. Just be patient. Baylor will have its chance.
Ken (Baton Rouge, LA)
I hear a LOT all the time this year about how great Oregon is. Yes, they are 4-0, but the 4 teams they have beaten have a combined 2012 record of 13-34. I agree that Oregon is a great team, but do you believe they could beat Alabama, Georgia, LSU, & Clemson, and are as good as everyone attempts to make them out to be?
Ivan Maisel (12:09 PM)
It's not as if they struggled with any of those teams. They flew across the country and routed Virginia. They played in a monsoon and routed Cal. They did what a highly ranked team should do to lesser teams. I don't think that should be dismissed. The beauty of polls is that we get to correct our mistakes every week. I started Oregon at No. 11. I believe.
You're an Alabama boy with Oregon at number one over the two times defending champs. In the words of John Lennon "how do you sleep at night?"
Ivan Maisel (12:09 PM)
And a Stanford grad. So you know I think Oregon is the best team.
Umm... Remember the fan that wanted Mark Richt canned?? Wow...
Ivan Maisel (12:09 PM)
The fan? I think it was plural. Plural plural.
Odds that Fresno State is a BCS Buster?
Ivan Maisel (12:10 PM)
Good but not great. Northern Illinois not only is 4-0 but 2-0 in the Big Ten. And the more that Iowa (4-1), the better that victory will look.
It looks like with Murphy at quaterback that the Gators offense has some signs of life. Along with that nasty defense (Something Mettenberger has yet to see) and LSU's defense looking suspect, is there any reason they cant steal a win in Baton Rouge next weekend?
Ivan Maisel (12:12 PM)
I think Florida can win that game. Since it's next week, I haven't really looked at it closely. But I think Florida is very good. It sure is tough to win in Baton Rouge, though. And since LSU has one SEC loss, it will be even tougher.
I would agree that Oregon is currently winning the "beauty contest" (aka destroying average to bad competition). But does any team have 3 better wins than Alabama (@TAMU, Ole Miss and VT)?
Ivan Maisel (12:14 PM)
Good point. I can't think of one. If Washington wins at Stanford, the Huskies will have three good ones (Boise State, Arizona).
Ivan, I was wondering what your take is on why Louisville and florida state would be ranked ahead of Oklaohoma with a top 5 ranking on defense, it certainly isnt strength of schedule. Oklahoma has dominated Fl State the last few years as well.
Ivan Maisel (12:15 PM)
It's just a residual of the preseason, which is a residual of last year. I feel reasonably sure, without stopping to look it up, that Notre Dame wasn't ranked very highly on the first weekend of October last season. If the Sooners keep winning, they will rise to the top.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Is Zach Mettenberger on the verge of becoming the first LSU QB drafted in the first round since Jamarcus Russell?
Ivan Maisel (12:16 PM)
Well, yes, I suppose. But you make that sound as if that spans a long time. That spans Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson.
Who is your ACC champ and would they compete with the SEC champ?
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
I think Clemson is in the top five on merit. And given that the Tigers beat LSU in January on a neutral field and beat Georgia at Clemson this season, I have to think that Clemson would compete with the SEC champ.
Jabber (Des Moines)
What's your favorite non-BCS bowl game, Ivan?
Ivan Maisel (12:19 PM)
The one that's on when I pick up the remote in December. I am not picky. The Chick-fil-A does a great job. A lot of them do great jobs with the schools. I just want a good matchup.
Is there a scenario where Clemson could make it into the championship with 1 loss (say South Carolina) and there are zero undefeated teams? Assume UGA and SC keep winning....
Ivan Maisel (12:20 PM)
It's never good to lose on Thanksgiving weekend. LSU did it in '07 and made it to the championship game. But only after a couple of upsets on conference championship weekend. You can't count on that. Better to lose in October and start the climb then.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
The Badgers last 10 losses have been by 7 points or less. Is this a large enough sample size to come to the conclusion that something is wrong with them or is it just a string of bad luck? My thoughts are that last year (when most of these losses happened) and to a lesser degree this year, they were so one-dimensional on offense that eventually it caught up with them by the end of the game.
Ivan Maisel (12:22 PM)
I don't think something is wrong with them. They are winning a lot of close games, too. What you're saying to me is that they are good enough that no one has blown them out over the last two-plus seasons. That's a good thing.
Under what possible scenarios do you see Northwestern possibly upsetting my Buckeyes?
Ivan Maisel (12:23 PM)
Ohio State could be flat after Wisconsin, Venric Mark could be Venric Mark after missing a month. The Wildcat offense cranks it up. It's not a farfetched scenario.
Alex DC (Virginia)
Can my Terps beat Fsu Saturday and if so does that put them towards a good bowl game needing only 1 more win for a bowl game
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
The Terps will have to play very well. Florida State looked pretty sloppy in the first half at BC last week and I'm sure watching that video did not leave the Seminoles or their coaches in a good mood. It's also tough for a team just getting used to winning to take a game like this on the road.
Tommy Trojan (University Park)
Why is USC being used as a punch line by ESPN writers and propped up as the evil protgonist in the latest ready made drama involving a polarizing figure that alienated an entire state? You guys want it both ways...
Ivan Maisel (12:26 PM)
You're just figuring that out? Of course we do. I don't know exactly what you're referring to re the punch line. But keep in mind that the writers at the website also do not speak in one voice. Geno and I disagreed about the firing on the podcast Monday. Doesn't mean I'm wrong. It means that Geno is.....
Jon (Atlanta / GA)
What does it say about the Big 12? WVU beats OK State.. But loses to Maryland 37-0. Is the ACC that much better?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
I think it says that Maryland is very good, that WVU is very young, and that Oklahoma State found out how hard it is to play in Morgantown.
Jon (Atlanta / GA)
Clemson will trip up against GT. They have a history of doing it. Chances it happens again?
Ivan Maisel (12:28 PM)
I covered the game two years ago when the Yellow Jackets spanked them. I remember that trip because I left my IPhone in the rental car when I dropped it off at 3 a.m. Sunday. Pretty much spoiled the trip. Enough about me. Georgia Tech is good, and good at home. But I think Clemson has too many weapons. I imagine that Tajh Boyd remembers how he played at Grant Field.
Barry Sanders, Jr. (All-American Highway)
Stanford has an embarrssment of riches at OL thanks to last years recruitng haul. Am I a few games away from being the best RB in the country? Folks are saying they saw a whole lot of dad in my moves last week...
Ivan Maisel (12:30 PM)
That was a great run. I was there. The first guy, who was right in front of Sanders, still hasn't figured out why he didn't lay a hand on him. But the answer from David Shaw has been the same for since last spring. When Sanders figures out how to pass block, he'll get more playing time.
Dave (Denver, Co)
Any possibility of seeing an offensive explosion between Iowa and MSU?
Ivan Maisel (12:31 PM)
I haven't seen "offensive explosion" and "Michigan State" in the same sentence in a few seasons.
I'm in an all-SEC game eliminator pool... Everyone is on UK @ SC... I like to mix it up... UGA @ Tenn or LSU @ Miss St the better play?
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
I don't think Tennessee can compete with Georgia. The Vols barely escaped South Alabama last Saturday.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
But Ivan, Wisconsin isn't winning close games. Over that same span, they have only 3 wins by just one possession, which leads me to believe that they can blow out the weaker teams, but when faced with a strong opponent, they have some trouble closing them out.
Ivan Maisel (12:33 PM)
Thanks for doing the research. You may be onto something. Most running offenses can't score quickly. Last season, the Badgers had quarterback issues. Joel Stave has played better this season. I don't think you lay the blame on him for a one-play loss on the road against a top-five team. Let's see if it happens against a mid-level Big Ten team.
Why do a handful of 4 and 5 star RBs commit to the Tide each year? If they want to really play RB, they should probably go to another school. Yeldon will be the main cog next year too. Unless these guys switch positions, they won't see much playing time.
Ivan Maisel (12:34 PM)
For the same reason that most kids sign with Alabama. They think Nick Saban will teach them how to play on Sunday.
I have grown to be negative on the BCS (and I know I'm not alone in that boat), but I will admit that since the 2004-2005 USC-Oklahoma-Auburn season I think the BCS formula has gotten it right. And i'm not even 100% the BCS was wrong that year. Your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:35 PM)
When the FBS went to a straight 12-game schedule, instead of playing 11 or 12 games depending on the calendar, the BCS's problems went away. Coincidence? Possibly. But that's what happened.
Gary (Hartford CT)
Are these Ad's (Manuel and Haden) setting a bad precedent by announcing firings 1/4 of the way through the season? PP hadn't even had a chance to compete against the AAC schedule yet?? I think its getting crazy out there.
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
Just the latest iteration. Coaches used to get five years. Now some get two. In 2004, Florida fired Ron Zook in late October. In 2011, Arizona fired Mike Stoops in mid-October. This season, Pasqualoni and Kiffin didn't make it to October.
Scratches (Bawlmer, MD)
Is there any way Kevin Sumlin leaves aTm for USC?
Ivan Maisel (12:37 PM)
The one thing I thought of is that Kevin's parents live in Indianapolis and he has a lot of family in southwest Alabama. Both are a long way from Los Angeles. I don't know what he might do. But it would be a good problem to have. And he just may have it.
When Brown is terminated at year end, who is the biggest target to replace him at Texas?
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
I don't understand who is going to hire the next head coach, if Texas makes a change. DeLoss Dodds is retiring. Is the Texas job so good that a coach would take it not knowing who his AD will be. Of course, Mack taking over as AD would solve that problem. But Mack still wants to coach, as far as we know. It makes the Oklahoma game next week so much more interesting.
Marcus Mariota (Uncle Phils Football Complex)
When do I take a 4th quarter snap?
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
Washington comes to Autzen next week. Maybe then.
OU on upset alert in a trap game vs TCU?
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
Should be, yes.
Rightfully so OU & Baylor are getting all the love in the Big 12 race but Texas tech can realistically go 7-0 heading in to Norman and with hosting Okie st @ home. If they can manage a split at least you're looking at 8-1. Their game with Baylor is in Cowboys Stadium. Do you think they are being over looked at all in the Big 12 race especially with the Job Kingsbury is doing?
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
Texas Tech is always being overlooked in the Big 12, just as they were in the SWC. Part of the joy of playing in Lubbock. You're right, though. The game against Baylor will be a prove-it game for both sides.
Washington doesn't go to Autzen this year...Oregon has to play in Husky Stadium.
Ivan Maisel (12:43 PM)
And I stand corrected. And I gotta hop. Thanks. Talk to you next week.