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 (12:03 PM)
Hi, everyone. Sorry I am a couple of minutes late. ESPN has 14 different IDs and passcodes and it always takes me a while to remember which keys unlock which doors.
MG (Bay Area)
Ivan,See that Stanford ranks a solid #2 in ESPN's Championship Graph. Can they break thru some of the bias against West Coast Teams - especially since the PAC 12 has been ranked by conseneus the Strongest Conference to date this year - Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:04 PM)
I think they need to break through USC first. The Trojans are playing some salty defense these defense. Stanford's depth should make a difference. But USC wants this one.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How hot is the seat under Will Muschamp right now? Are the number of season ending injuries suffered no longer an acceptable excuse after losing at home to Vanderbilt and likely missing a bowl game? The talent is too great not to win six games, right?
Ivan Maisel (12:05 PM)
I think the number of season-ending injuries are absolutely an acceptable excuse. Vandy's a good team. I would expect that Muschamp will make changes on his offensive staff and the Gators will go from there.
Should I be worried that my Buckeyes have a common opponent with Baylor? We beat Buffalo with our starters in the whole game and only led by 10 in the 4th quarter. Baylor, the very next week, beat them 70-13 and pulled their starters at halftime. Plus we've had other issues along the way. I fear the voters will look at this and think they should vote Baylor in front of us. What do you think will happen?
Ivan Maisel (12:06 PM)
I think you need to worry about Alabama or Florida State losing first.
On a neutral field, how many teams would be favored over Fresno St? If Fresno St played a conference schedule in a big 5 conference, would they have fewer than two losses? The media and coaches are doing fans of the sport a disservice by continuing to over rank Fresno, when all they do is see zero losses, yet obviously don't watch the games. Fans of the sport want to see how Baylor will stack up against a named program. Nobody wants to see them hang 70 on an over matched Fresno team. Honest question: How many complete Fresno games have you seen in 2013?
Ivan Maisel (12:09 PM)
Complete games? Does that mean I'm not allowed to use the remote on Saturdays? If those are your rules, we're all in trouble. I've watched good chunks of two Fresno State games. I don't have a problem with the rule as it stands. Fresno State isn't a done deal. They may be overtaken by Northern Illinois (big game tonight) or UCF. There's some fun in that race.
Afternoon Ivan! Do u have Johnny Football as the Heisman Winner?
Ivan Maisel (12:10 PM)
No! I don't! But I'm not voting for another month. Let's see what happens. I think Manziel is the most exciting player, the most dangerous player. But he's making too many mistakes to win my Heisman vote.
Richard (Birmingham, AL)
Texas A&M went on a 14-0 run to start the game, and Alabama responded with a 35-0 run. LSU went on a 10-0 run to end the 1st half and start the second, 'Bama then went on a 21-0 run to end the game. Alabama also blows some of their opponents out from start to finish. What can you do against a team like that?
Ivan Maisel (12:12 PM)
Well, when you frame it like that, I don't know. It's clear that Alabama does not panic, and that they know how to win, whatever that entails. But there's a team out there that will jump out to a big lead and have a better defense than A&M, and have better line play than LSU. Florida State, maybe?
Ivan any chance Auburn can get to the BCS championship game?
Ivan Maisel (12:13 PM)
The Tigers would really have to do a number on Georgia, do a number on Alabama, and do a number on Mizzou or South Carolina. And get some help. But it's impossible.
ted (cape cod)
Is David Cutcliffe your frontrunner for national coach of the year if not then who is?
Ivan Maisel (12:14 PM)
If Duke wins the Coastal, yes. If not, I would go with Art Briles, or maybe even Nick Saban.
Weston (Easton, Oregon)
Die hard Oregon alum on east coast. To me, pinnacle for Oregon is Rose Bowl and Pac 12 every year. What chances do you give Oregon to get in Pac 12 championship, make the Rose Bowl and hammer a undefeated Ohio State team?
Ivan Maisel (12:15 PM)
What chance to do you give Stanford to a) lose to USC and Cal or b) make it to the BCS Championship Game? That's the only way that Oregon gets to the Rose Bowl.
Ivan: why do people insist on hating on Mack Brown? The guy's team is better than most teams in the NCAA, and the guy is the epitome of class. He should be allowed to go out on his own terms.
Ivan Maisel (12:16 PM)
I agree, and I plead guilty to being caught up in the Dump Mack fever at the end of September. You'll have to speak to Texas fans as to why their are eternally grumpy about him. I've never understood it.
Winston looks like the best "college" quarterback since Tebow. Everybody loves him, he exudes nothing but confidence, and is a winner.
Ivan Maisel (12:17 PM)
He's having an incredible freshman year. He's made a few mistakes the last few games, and I still think FSU is where it is because of its defense, first and foremost. But Winston is going to be fun to watch next year.
Bren (Berkeley, Ca)
I'm a bit concerned that the playoff format will dilute the quality of opponents that teams will seek to play. With conferences pushing towards 16 members (8 team divisions) the emphasis will be on hoping to keep one team from each division undefeated prior to the conference championship. This way a conference can hope to possibly get 2 teams into the playoff...what say you?
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
Actually, I think the opposite will happen, and already has begun to happen. The playoff committee has made it clear that strength of schedule will be a priority, and I feel like there have been more big intersectional home-and-homes announced recently than has been the norm.
How do you not have Malzhan as coach of the year? Even if Aub loses to UGA n Bama from a 3-9 season to a 9-3 season with almost the exact same team minus the QB how is he not coach of the year?
Ivan Maisel (12:19 PM)
Duh. Of course, Malzahn should be coach of the year. Brainlock there.
Don (Marietta, GA)
Who are the top 3 running backs in college football right now?
Ivan Maisel (12:20 PM)
There's a question I haven't heard since about 2003. I'd say Ka'Deem Carey at Arizona, Andre Williams at BC, and Lache Seastrunk at Baylor.
Can Neb upset MSU? MSU usually struggles in this spot of favorite...especially on the road.
Ivan Maisel (12:21 PM)
That's a good point, but I think this Spartan defense will travel well. Man, they are salty. And the Nebraska offense has struggled against good defenses.
NIU vs. Ball St. Who wins? And if Lynch has a big game, does he finally start to get included in Heisman talk? At least top 5?
Ivan Maisel (12:22 PM)
I am excited about this game tonight. I think NIU wins. I want to see Lynch against a tough conference opponent. I have him in my top five already.
What do you think about Saban/Alabama providing training for the FSU staff? Pretty heavy connection there and Bama/FSU seem to have a lot of the same characteristics.
Ivan Maisel (12:23 PM)
I think that you will be sick of reading about that midway through December, because you are going to get a heavy dose of it if FSU and Bama make it to Pasadena. It makes for a great storyline, though.
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
Hey, before I forget, check out my story that posted today in which I go on a travelogue of the 93 FBS schools where I have covered a story/game since I started covering college football.
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
How do you view the Badgers resume? Are they a 2 loss team or a 1.5 loss team and will they make a BCS Bowl?
Ivan Maisel (12:26 PM)
I seem them as a 1.5 loss team and I'm ranking them accordingly. I think they will make it to a BCS bowl unless a one-loss Michigan State beats Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Weston (Easton, Oregon)
Ivan, Lets say you are a one man playoff commitee. As of today, which 4 teams are in?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
Sorry, Weston. The season isn't over today. Let the thing play out. Lsat week, we all assumed that the Ducks would glide into the championship game. We all assumed wrong. Let's see what happens. Then we can argue over who should be in the top four.
What remaining game are you looking forward to covering the most?
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
If Auburn beats Georgia, the Iron Bowl, although I don't know if I will get that assignment. That game is played at an emotional pitch without the BCS ramifications. It will be crazy if the two of them have one loss between them. I know in 1971, both teams were undefeated. There may have been one year where the two of them had one loss between them. I'd have to look it up.
Jabber (Des Moines)
Isn't Stanford WAY overrepresented on the playoff committee?
Ivan Maisel (12:31 PM)
Yes. The committee hasn't formulated a recusal policy yet. But I trust that group to do what they think is right.
Chris (College Station)
Why does it seem like a lot of the media/voters cant get over Manziel's off the field antics and look at his on the field accomplishments. if the season ended today he would have thrown more TD's than last year with only 2 more interceptions and a much better completion percentage. Most heisman winners dont repeat because they are judge by their stats from the previous season and they don't do as good. Manziel will have better stats than last year but it seems like most voters just dont want to give him the heisman again.
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
I see those numbers, but I also see big mistakes at inopportune times. Is he the most talented guy out there? Yes. Has he played the best? I'm not willing to go there yet.
BenDair (out there)
how is a 13-person committee better than just taking the top 4 in the BCS?
Ivan Maisel (12:34 PM)
Good question! Because people I trust discussing it and coming up with a decision is better than 120 voters who may or may not be paying attention plus six computer ratings whose formulas aren't made public.
Brian (New Jersey)
If USC upsets Stanford, and FSU is the only remaining unbeaten. Would you take a one loss Alabama or a one loss Oregon (with both winning their conference) to be in the championship against FSU?
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
Interesting. A one-loss Alabama who is a conference champion only happens if the Tides loses at Mississippi State and beats Auburn, or if Georgia beats Auburn and Alabama beats either Miss. State or Auburn. But Oregon can only win the conference if Stanford loses to one-win Cal. I don't think that's going to happen.
MG (Bay Area)
Hypothetical - If Stanford plays their "A" Game (which I don't think they have done this year on both sides of the ball) could FSU Beat them?
Ivan Maisel (12:37 PM)
Hypothetical -- I'd love to see it. I don't know the answer.
Ivan, why do SEC basketball teams with the exception of UK and occasionally UF suck so bad from year to year? Is it the lack of dynamic coaches, fan support or something else?
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
Harkle, I know you're from Kentucky, but this is a college football chat. I last covered a college basketball game, let's see, today's Wednesday....in 2000. You must be able to find someone who could give you a more intelligent answer than I could.
BenDair (still out there)
Oregon gets into Pac12 championship game if they lose out and Stanford loses to EITHER USC or Cal. Pac12 goes my conference record, not division record before looking at any tiebreakers like head-to-head
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
You are right and I am wrong. Thanks for clearing that up. In that case, I think the only one-loss team Oregon would have to worry about would be Auburn.
Why trust a committee over the BCS? Because the coaches poll has been and always will be terrible. Louisville is ranked 6 spots ahead of UCF, who beat them (and both have one loss). The Harris Poll is even worse, because none of those people seem to watch college football at all.
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
That's it exactly.
Jordan (Big 12 country)
what's your take on baylor vs tech? its been a bit of a rivalry lately with the bears assuming dominance since RGIII, does tech have the fire power to make it a game or will baylor assert their offensive prowl? score prediction maybe?
Ivan Maisel (12:41 PM)
I just don't think the Tech defense can slow down Baylor enough to win.
ted (cape cod)
Will FSU QB Jacob Coker transfer to Alabama?
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
I have heard all kind of rumors about Coker graduating early and taking his two years of eligibility somewhere else. But I haven't heard Coker say anything about it. That's why I haven't written anything.
Where can I find ESPN's Bowl Projections?
Ivan Maisel (12:44 PM)
Click on the "Resources" tab at the top of the college football page.
People can say what they want about the coaches poll, but no way it's any worse than the AP (media) poll......LSU has been ridiculously overrated all year. The media hasn't figured out what any unbiased fan does...the SEC is no better than any other major conference this year.
I'm sure that won't get posted though....i've noticed on these ESPN chats that anything that criticizes the AP poll never does.....must be a sacred cow to you guys.
Ivan Maisel (12:45 PM)
O.K., I'll bite. It's not a sacred cow. But I do trust the AP poll more than the others, because I trust writers to take the voting more seriously, and to spend more time on it, than I do the coaches who don't make time to do anything beyond what's in the best interest of their team.
MG (Bay Area)
Ivan,Are you at a Starbucks, in an Airport, or on a Beach in Hawaii when you do these?
Ivan Maisel (12:46 PM)
Sometimes. Last week, I was on a plane flying to Stanford. This week, I'm in my study. Much more boring. Sorry.
The AP poll has no bearing on the BCS...
Ivan Maisel (12:47 PM)
No, it doesn't. Never has. But I did take the bait to defend it.
Brian (New Jersey)
Which matchup would be more interesting for the 100th Rose Bowl, an offensive shoot out between Oregon and Ohio State, or a physical defensive battle between Stanford and Michigan State?
Ivan Maisel (12:48 PM)
I would happily cover either of those Pac-12 teams against either of those Big Ten teams. If I had to pick, I'd say Stanford-Michigan State, unless you can promise me that Mariota will be healthy again.
Ivan Maisel (12:48 PM)
Gotta go, peeps. Schlabach will be here soon. Be patient. He drawls when he types. See you next week.