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 (12:15 PM)
Hi, everyone. Thanks for being here. You're keeping me from shoveling.
Hello Ivan, the BCS is almost gone. For me the worst thing the BCS ever did was in 2011 make an undefeated LSU, who beat Bama on the road, play the Tide again on a neutral site, and not even award them a dual NC. Now with a playoff, that scenario is more likely.
Ivan Maisel (12:17 PM)
You may be the first to call the Superdome with LSU in it a neutral site. That scenario is more likely, and if you want a postseason, a playoff, that's what you get. A game at the end of the season that wipes out whatever happened before it.
With Cincinnati making the necessary upgrades to Nippert Stadium do you think that will be enough to be invited to a better conference like the ACC?
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
It will help, but I don't see the ACC expanding anytime soon. And all of these conferences look at academics, too. I don't know enough about Cincinnati to say whether it fits with the ACC or not, but if the academics don't fit, it doesn't matter how big your stadium is.
The Texas coaching situation reminds me a lot of when the other UT got rid of Phil Fulmer and look at them now. Do you see any parallels between the 2?
Ivan Maisel (12:19 PM)
Sure. Tennessee/Fulmer; Syracuse/Pasqualoni; Florida State/Bowden -- oh wait, I think that one worked out.
Do you think Gene Chizik will ever get a chance at a HC job again?
Ivan Maisel (12:20 PM)
Yes, I do, but it may take more time than usual after the Auburn turnaround. That doesn't put a good light on Chizik's performance, does it?
Hi Ivan, I'm not saying this will happen, but if I were Les Miles, I would be seeking the Texas job or an NFL job while he is still on top. The prospect of facing Saban and Malzahn every year is daunting, and if he has one or two more 3 loss seasons, he could be in Mack Browns position. Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:21 PM)
It's easy to see that happening as you describe it. But that would be Les didn't face up to the challenge. I think he relishes the challenge, and the one thing he has at LSU is a talent-rich state where he is the only state university in a major conference. So Texas wouldn't be an upgrade in that regard.
It seems like Texas's precipitous decline - in '09 they're playing for the NC, then no back-up what-so-ever for year - is pretty unique. I haven't heard anybody give a compelling proximate cause (Greg Davis? Years of entitlement and lack of urgency? Relying too much on coordinators?) and was wondering your take?
Ivan Maisel (12:24 PM)
If, as we have been led to believe, Texas doesn't recruit so much as it evaluates, that is, all those in-state kids want to play for the 'Horns, and Texas decides who it wants, then it may be as simple as wrong choices. Look at the long line of quarterbacks who came from Texas who didn't play at UT. The Heisman winner/runner-up in '11; the Heisman winner in '12....
Should Gophers switch to Tracy Claeys as head coach? He performed great while Kill was out.
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
Claeys would only do that if Kill decided he didn't want to coach anymore. They are very close, and loyal, as is that entire staff. It's one of Kill's best attributes.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi, Auburn - Florida State is THE game for this year's bowl season, which other 4 games would you put in your top 5 to watch this year?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
The Rose Bowl: two top-five teams in Stanford-Michigan State; the Cap One (South Carolina-Wisconsin) and the Outback (LSU-Iowa): SEC/Big Ten matchups, and I like the Chick-fil-A, Duke-Texas A&M. Likely our last chance to see Johnny Manziel in an Aggie uni.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Are you buying or selling Todd Graham not being interested in the Texas job? Similar feelings were expressed right before he bolted from the Steel City to Tempe.
Ivan Maisel (12:28 PM)
I am sure Todd Graham is interested in the Texas job. He's from Dallas. He's a football coach. It can't be any more complicated than that. But I have been told that Graham's contract makes it tough for him to leave for Texas.
How much longer do you think Spurrier continues to coach? I would think the next few years they take a step back and that might frustrate him to retire/leave. Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
As long as Spurrier and his staff continue to recruit the way that they have in the state of South Carolina, I don't know why Spurrier would leave. They play good football in the state, and he has been able to keep more good ones at home than any Gamecock coach I can recall.
Do you see Bill O'Brien leaving Penn State for the NFL this off season? I hope he doesn't. He has been great in Happy Valley.
Ivan Maisel (12:31 PM)
I agree. Bill O'Brien has been great in Happy Valley and been great FOR Happy Valley. I think if the right NFL job came, he would take it. That would be disappointing, but not surprising.
Mike R (Philadelphia)
Which college coaches will be sought by NFL teams in January? David Shaw, Bill O'Brien and Brian Kelly all kicked the tires last year.
Ivan Maisel (12:33 PM)
I think O'Brien and Kelly kicked the tires and have an eye on the NFL. I'm not convinced that Shaw kicked the tires or has any interest in the NFL. He has coached in the NFL, he has lived around it for most of his life, so it doesn't hold that cachet for him thta it might for others. He has the job he says he always wanted, and he's good at it, and he's happy. That's hard to mess with.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which College Football Bowl Game will you be Attending this season?
Ivan Maisel (12:34 PM)
I am doing the Pasadena doubleheader. Four top-five teams in six days. Life is good.
While we're on the subject...what's the deal with all the SEC-Big 10 Bowl tie-ins? For a conference that is the "best conference", they sure do perenially have way too many bowls with the conference that most agree is perenially in the bottom 2.
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
Bowls are about selling tickets and drawing television viewers. Which conferences have the biggest fan bases? SEC and Big Ten. You are equating football competence with team attractiveness. They are two different issues.
Looking at the supposed list of potential coaches for Texas, I could envision a situation that none of them come here. If not them, who else?
Ivan Maisel (12:37 PM)
I agree. I wrote a note on that yesterday in my Three-Point Stance. A dozen coaches have been to two BCS games in the last five seasons. I could find only two who I didn't have reason to eliminate: Brian Kelly of Notre Dame and Dabo Swinney of Clemson.
Do you think Georgia will ever be able to "get to" and win a NC with Mark Richt and the current coaching staff in place? Seems as if the talent is always there, but we just can't make that last step up. Thanks !
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
Well, you were a fluke of a tipped pass away in 2012. Same coaches this year. Georgia's coaches aren't the problem. Injuries were the issue this year. I'd take a long look at how they condition/train/lift/you name it,
Keith (Seattle, WA)
Which TE do you like better, Ebron or Seferian-Jenkins?
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
I felt like everytime I saw Ebron, he was making a big play. That's why I like him.
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
30-second pause. Be right back.
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
Who is the better DT? Ra'Shede Hagemen of Minnesota or Louis Nix III of Notre Dame?
Ivan Maisel (12:41 PM)
Nix has the better physical tools. I felt like Hageman was more productive this year. Nix, of course, got hurt. I like Hageman.
Texas is going to go with a big name. Do you see Gundy possibly?
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
I like the thought. I'm not sure if the Longhorn faithful will accept it. But Gundy could handle the p.r. side of the being the Texas coach. And he is used to running a program with a sugar daddy behind it. Texas has a lot of those.
Steve (Upstate NY)
Obviously Florida St is as athletic on defense as any team Auburn has faced, but I'm not sure enough credit is being given to Auburns offensive line. Can Florida State's front 7 hold up for 4 quarters?
Ivan Maisel (12:43 PM)
Auburn's offensive line is really good. You're right. I think that's a wash, or may tip in Auburn's favor. I call it a wash. But no one has told me how the Auburn defense is going to stop Florida State. That, to me, is where the game hangs.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
Do you think Alabama could have problems with Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl? On paper, the Tide is the better team, but the sting from the 2008 Sugar Bowl vs. Utah is still there.
Ivan Maisel (12:44 PM)
Alabama players/fans are more likely to respect OU than than they did Utah. If Alabama shows up, they are so much deeper and more experienced than OU that the Tide should win easily.
Do you think Hundley will turn pro and how the heck was Anthony Barr left off the ESPN All-American team??
Ivan Maisel (12:45 PM)
I hope Hundley stays. He could use the extra year. Barr was, to me, the toughest decision we had. I couldn't figure out to leave the other guys off.
Orville (Lubbock, TX)
You earlier mentioned evaluation of players as part of recruiting. In recent years, Texas has led the country in early recruiting taking players in their junior years. I think that that has led to a decline in the quality of the players once they arrive on campus. Do you agree?
Ivan Maisel (12:46 PM)
I do agree. Texas was a leader in recruiting that way. But a lot of schools are doing it now. They seem to be making better decisions.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
The Big XII needs a big time coaching addition to the conference, not for Texas to poach one from a fellow school. Agree or Disagree?
Ivan Maisel (12:47 PM)
Good point. That would benefit the conference, sure. But you don't know who Oklahoma State would hire.
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
Are you surprised Jameis Winston's name was left off so many ballots? Do you know how many of those empty ballots were from previous Heisman Trophy winners?
Ivan Maisel (12:48 PM)
I am not surprised. I don't know if any were former Heisman winners. I know of two guys who are both older. I think the whole thing rubbed older guys the wrong way.
Is Texas the "best" coaching job in the country in your opinion? I know thats tough to define, but I would think recruiting base and financial support would be two of the biggest factors.
Ivan Maisel (12:50 PM)
It's on the short list. It has so many plusses, and a few minuses that are a result of those plusses. There are more chiefs in that program than at most, and a head coach needs Indians. Guys like Mack Brown and Darrell Royal, who can shmooze people, have succeeded there. John Mackovic, who wasn't interested in shmoozing, did not.
Ivan Maisel (12:50 PM)
All right, guys. Thanks. Talk to you again soon. Not the next two Wednesdays, though. They are holidays. Later....