Chat with Beano Cook
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Beano Cook makes his monthly offseason stop in SportsNation to chat some college football.
Carroll H. "Beano" Cook, who joined ESPN in March 1986, serves as a college football studio commentator. He also offers college football commentary on ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Cook Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Beano Cook (3:04 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome to the latest off-season college football chat. Plenty to talk about. The season is getting closer. I have watched a number of World Cup soccer games and seen -4 goals.
Do you see Notre Dame joining the Big Ten in the next 5 years?
Beano Cook (3:06 PM)
I have said from the beginning that I don't think Notre Dame would join the Big Ten. However, I did nto think Nebraska would end up in the Big Ten. I did feel Texas, Oklahoma and those others would end up in the Pac-10. If Notre Dame did go to the Big Ten, it would be a different Notre Dame.
Are you surprised Texas A&M didn't end up in the SEC?
Beano Cook (3:06 PM)
No. I thought if Texas A&M went anywhere, it would have been in the Pac-10.
With all that has happened (or hasn't happened) with conference expansion, what are the chances that the Big 10 goes to 16 teams?
Beano Cook (3:07 PM)
I don't think they will ever go to 16 teams. A lot will depend on what Notre Dame does. If the Irish join, maybe they would go all the way to 16 teams. The ego of the Big Ten is big, and maybe they do want 16 teams.
I think the Pac-10 looked bad in all of this...Texas and Oklahoma said no and all we got was Colorado and maybe Utah. Thoughts?
Beano Cook (3:10 PM)
I think the Pac-10, only adding Colorado and now Utah, makes some sense since they will have 12 teams. I was a little surprised that more Big 12 teams didn't go to the Pac-10. I think the Pac-10 will probably stay at 12. As for the Big 12, it could go after a few others like TCU. which would make sense. I think the Big 12 could end up petitioning for special permission to play a confererence championship with only 10 teams.
If Notre Dame went to the Big Ten, they'd be different alright. They'd be RELEVANT to people under 65 years of age.
Beano Cook (3:11 PM)
That is a good observation.
Beano Cook (3:12 PM)
Everybody has buried Notre Dame, but I have not. It is not going to be easy as it was at one time. They will have to win a title and not get voted in like it did in 1946 and 1966. Brian Kelly is a good coach.
Beano Cook (3:13 PM)
I thought Charlie Weis would get the job done, but obviously I was wrong. Kelly has won everywhere he has gone and he has the record. Don't tell me Notre Dame doesn't have material and if they don't win, don't blame it on the academics. Please.
UTAH HAS CALLED FOR A PRESS CONFERENCE AT 1PM MDT TO ANNOUNCE THERE MOVE TO THE PAC-10. WHERE DO YOU SEE BYU IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Beano Cook (3:14 PM)
I thought BYU and Utah would go together. Obviously,that is not the case. BYU and Utah will play every year, like South Carolina and Clemson, Georgia and Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State, etc. The Mountain West will still have a good group of teams.
Bruce (Columbus, Ga)
Beano: The Big 10 has said it wants only home runs in its conference expansion. Notre Dame would certainly qualify. Is that a realistic possibility? What about Rutgers? Is that a homer for them?
Beano Cook (3:16 PM)
I will say this about the Big Ten. Right now 12 teams, and I think there will be two divisions. Michigan and Ohio State in one, Nebraska and Penn State in the other. I don't think three of those four would be together. I think Penn State would have preferred Rutgers in there instead of Nebraska.
Beano, you said on your podcast that you thought that Notre Dame would eventually go with a pay-to-view television option. Why would a Michigan or USC agree to play ND if their fans are going to have to shell out big dollars to watch the games?
Beano Cook (3:19 PM)
I am saying years in advance. I think you will eventually have pro football where you see every one of your home games on free TV. Pay TV is differrent than cable. Notre Dame, in 10-12 years, may get involved in pay TV. If they are independent they keep it all, if they are in the Big Ten they will have to share the money.
Sean (Baton Rouge)
Whats your take on USCs' sanctions? Deserved or Not?
Beano Cook (3:21 PM)
Number one, I have no problem with a two-year bowl ban. However, the loss of 30 scholarships was ridiculous. The NCAA was under so much criticism that it was acting like the NFL. The NCAA had to show it meant business and 20 would have been enough. As for Pete Carroll saying he was surprised, all I can say is he was getting out of dodge before Wyatt Earp was coming. In hearings like USC went through, they are usually two days. USC's was three days; that should tell you something.
Should the Big 12 and Big Ten switch names now?
Beano Cook (3:22 PM)
That is a good question. Excellent. The answer is yes, but you know they won't. Nobody in college sports knows how to count any more. By the way, uruguay is up 1-0 at half over South Africa.
John (Pasadena, CA)
Mr. Cook, Does Lane Kiffin deserve a pass if he can't get the Trojans going with the imposed sanctions from the NCAA? A two year pass that is.
Beano Cook (3:24 PM)
He was an assistant coach when a lot of this went on. I don't know what his involvement was. As for fans, they will have to make their own judgment.
Was it really worth it for Nebraska to go to the Big Ten? I will miss Oklahoma-Nebraska.
Beano Cook (3:26 PM)
They didn't play ever year anyway, they met two out of every four years. I think Nebraska is a good fit for the Big Ten. I fell for the big 12 a bit, but it was a good decision for the 'Huskers. I don't care for the ambition of the Big Ten, driven by money. Nebraska only brings football and women's basketball as major assets to the Big Ten.
How did Mizzou end up looking so bad in all of this? We've dominated Nebraska, but they get the invite???? Why???
Beano Cook (3:27 PM)
I thought Missouri would go to the Big Ten. I was surprised.
JL (Marshall, Va)
Will Oklahoma ever be willing or able to go against Texas, such as joining a different conference, etc., or are they too bound up financially to ever move on their own?
Beano Cook (3:28 PM)
Oklahoma will probably stay with Texas in the Big 12 -2.
Alex (New York)
Which coach is really on the hot seat this season?
Beano Cook (3:29 PM)
Rich Rodriguez of Michigan. There are a few others. Last year Charlie Weis was firmly on there. Mark Richt of Georgia may be under some pressure. I would say Rodriquez is number one on the list.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
I thought you would be too busy reading box scores and calculating batting averages with runners in scoring position to start NCAA football chat so soon. Great to see you. Do you think with the newly forming superconferences that teams like Florida International, Youngstown State, etc. will benefit because teams will want much easier non-conference games with the more brutal in-conference schedules?
Beano Cook (3:31 PM)
Hard to say. I will say that I have been calculating Ubaldo Jiminez's stats in Colorado as well as Stephen Strasburg in DC. It is nice to see something good come out of Washington for a change.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Regardless of whether the coaches knew or not, don't you think it's appropriate to punish a program? Carroll keeps crying that the current kids had nothing to do with it...Well if that mattered, nobody would ever get penalized. There needs to be some kind of deterrent, Pete! Doesn't there?
Beano Cook (3:33 PM)
Yes, I am not against punishing programs. I just disagree with the actual penalty in this case. I wish the NCAA would put in a rule that you had to be a full-time student to play. The NCAA, in recent years, has been more interested in making money. I am less pro-NCAA now.
Congress is appaled that you would insult them.
Beano Cook (3:34 PM)
I am not the only one.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
Beano: According to Dan Beebe there's going to be a Big 12 network and also a Texas network. How could that possibly work and survive?
Beano Cook (3:35 PM)
I don't have the answer to that. Beebe is a miracle worker keeping his league today.
Tom (Los ANGELES)
Come on, aren't you looking forward to Rick Neuheisel facing Colorado in the Pac-11?
Beano Cook (3:35 PM)
It is Pac-12 with Utah. I presume both of those teams (Colorado and UCLA) will be in different decisions.
I understand Texas staying in the big 12, they get the most money. But what about the rest of the teams that get considerably less amounts.
Beano Cook (3:37 PM)
That is a valid point. It is a problem in baseball too and it is not a good situation. The other schools don't seem to care because they are still a conference. Could you imagine Kansas in the Mountain West ... I don't think so.
ok michigan goes 7-5 into a mediocre bowl....Rich Rod fired or not.....michigan goes 10-2 goes to a major new years day bowl...fired or not??
Beano Cook (3:39 PM)
They have a new AD and college president, so 7-5 may not be good enough. 10-2 is fine. If Ohio State is one of the wins, it will be good enough, but I don't think that will happen.
Beano, who do you think got the best deal out of expansion not exploding like it could have?
Beano Cook (3:40 PM)
Big 12-2 and Big Ten +2.
Jordan (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Do you think that Alabama will repeat?
Beano Cook (3:41 PM)
I never think a team will repeat. My answer is no, but I have not made my final pick of teams playing for the national title. I think Ohio State, because of the schedule, will be one of them playing for the title. I make my official pick in late August.
Do you think that Derek Dooley will be able to lead my beloved Vols out of the wilderness in the next 3 years?
Beano Cook (3:43 PM)
We will find out sooner or later if he can. It is tough playing Florida, Alabama and Georgia every year, plus throw in an occasional LSU, Arkansas and teams like that.
Harlan (Dallas, Texas)
Beano, in relation to all this "material" that Notre Dame has (and has supposedly had for years...if that were really true, wouldn't they have had more than one single first round draft in the NFL in the last 20 years? And please don't talk about how highly rated their recruiting classes are as an indication of "material." As we all know, recruiting rankings are often the result of who recruits the kid, not the kid.
Beano Cook (3:44 PM)
I agree they have not had first round picks, but I still feel they have a number of high school all-americas. Maybe I do overrate Notre Dame.
Beano, the Big East hasn't been touched yet in expansion. Do you think it will be?
Beano Cook (3:45 PM)
Not this time around. There were a lot of rumors, about Rutgers and Pittsburgh at one point. Rutgers w0uld be making a mistake. Penn State is disappointed that the 12th team in the Big Ten is not the Scarlet Knights.
Why the big deal about conference names? The Atlantic 10 (college BB) hasn't not had ten teams in years and nobody says anything. Big Ten is a brand name.
Beano Cook (3:47 PM)
That is true. I can't disagree with you. When you have 12 teams and are called the Big Ten, does that make sense?
Brandon (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Do you think Florida State will win the ACC Atlantic Division?
Beano Cook (3:48 PM)
It will be competitive. The ACC often has surprises, so it is hard to predict right now. Speaking of the ACC, I am happy to see Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich returning to play this season. He wass sidelined due to cancer last season but appears ready to play in 2010.
So is the Big 12 really now just Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and the 7 dwarves? When those schools say jump, the rest do.
Beano Cook (3:49 PM)
When Okilahoma dominated the Big 8 years ago, the Sooners were called OU and the seven dwarfs.
What will Notre Dame finish this season? How much will the Irish miss Clausen?
Beano Cook (3:51 PM)
They will miss Clausen a lot. Notre Dame's schedule is not that tough, but tough enough. The 2012 schedule will be by far the toughest in the country.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Beano, does a MWC without Utah deserve a Auto Bid?
Beano Cook (3:52 PM)
Good question. They added Boise State, so why not get an automatic bid. I am a great believer is spreading out the money an that does not make me a communist.
By the way, the Big Ten won 2 BCS bowl games last year in addition to beating LSU and Miami. Why don't you pile on a conference like the Big East - they don't schedule anyone, AND they stink.
Beano Cook (3:53 PM)
I admit the big East is the weakest conference in football.
Beano Cook (3:54 PM)
Right now, with the addition of Nebraska, I feel the Big Ten is the second-toughest conference behind the SEC.
Do you see Iowa developing a big rivalry with the Huskers now?
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
Not necessarily. I am sure Wisconsin and Nebraska will be discussed as a potential rivalry. Years ago, Minnesota and Nebraska were considered a huge rivalry.
Adam (East Lansing)
Do you think Michigan State could ever get half the success from its football program as it does from its hoop program? We need an Izzo for football desperately!
Beano Cook (3:56 PM)
Mark D'Antonio is very good and even Izzo mentioned him at the press conference last night. By the way, I am glad Izzo had the common sense to stay in East Lansing and not go to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
With USC not getting to travel to Hawaii, UH misses out on a projected $1 million. Is the NCAA going to do anything about it?
Beano Cook (3:58 PM)
Probably not. If Hawaii loses out on a USC game, they could get another pretty viable opponent. I don't know that the USC game would be cancelled.
Beano Cook (3:58 PM)
Great questions....see you again sometime late in July on a Wednesday...enjoy your summer.