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!
Buzzmaster (12:06 PM)
Ivan will be here momentarily!
Ivan Maisel (12:12 PM)
Hi, everyone. Sorry I'm late. Thanks for being here. It's keeping me indoors.
Did Tre Mason's performance on Saturday boost him to the #2 or even the #1 spot in the heisman race?
Ivan Maisel (12:13 PM)
I don't think so. Mason rushed for 1,600 yards but he got 300 of them in one game. That's an MVP game performance, but I don't think that means he should win the Heisman.
Kenneth (Fairfax, VA)
Where do you think that this year's Iron Bowl finish ranks among the great endings of history?
Ivan Maisel (12:14 PM)
I thought Hirohito signing the treaty to end WWII on the USS Missouri was pretty good. Other than that, nothing.
Nick (Tulsa, OK)
I honestly couldnt believe the Sooners A. finished 10-2 B. Beat OSU the way the did and C. Made it to the Sugar Bowl to play the favorite over ANY team in the country. Is there any way OU comes out with a win, or will it be as ugly as Baylor vs UCF?
Ivan Maisel (12:15 PM)
Yeah, I had a Eureka moment Saturday afternoon when it suddenly dawned on me that it meant OU would play in the Sugar Bowl. I think OU has the name and the reputation that will keep Alabama on edge. Which is too bad for OU.
You've never seen "Casablanca"?
Ivan Maisel (12:16 PM)
As endings go, you may have me there.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
Enough about the Iron Bowl and BCS games. Talk about the matchup on everyone's mind........Wisco v South Carolina. Who do you like and why?
Ivan Maisel (12:16 PM)
I like South Carolina's run defense, and if Connor Shaw is ambulatory, I'm not picking against him in his last college game.
Lou (Tampa, FL)
Ivan, you have, rightfully, extolled the virtues of John Urschel all year. What do you think Mark Emmert's thoughts are on a Penn State player being the top Student-Athlete (of all time possibly)?
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
Emmert is probably delighted that Urschel is directing positive attention to Penn State. I think he's smart enough to figure out that will help undo the damage he did to Penn State.
B Mand (Sarasota, FL)
Do you see the NC game being a shootout or do you think FSU will be able to hold Auburn under 30 points?
Ivan Maisel (12:19 PM)
That's a once-in-a-lifetime turnaround. I don't see that happening next year, or any time soon.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
True or False, Chris Peterson leads Washington to a Pac-12 title within 3 years?
Ivan Maisel (12:20 PM)
True. The Pac-12 North is at an interesting crossroads. Stanford loses a lot of fifth-year seniors. Oregon stumbled coming down the homestretch. Sarkisian left Petersen a good foundation of talent. I think it's possible.
The LSU-Iowa match up looks like a potentially rough one for the B1G. But, how does QB Jennings match up against a solid Iowa defense?
Ivan Maisel (12:22 PM)
Iowa uses execution to make up for what it lacks in athleticism. LSU will have better athletes, but the Tigers are young. That's why I think Iowa has a chance. Ferentz doesn't try to fool anyone. He lines his guys up and they play.
I'm still disappointed that Oregon didn't get picked for the Sugar Bowl. Wouldn't that have been the game that everyone has been dying for the last two years. Yes its not the BCS but lets get it done finally and they failed. Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:23 PM)
I agree that would have been fun. But the Sugar Bowl is in the ticket-selling, hotel-filling business. Oklahoma is only one spot, I think, behind Oregon in the ratings, and a helluva lot closer to New Orleans.
You didn't answer B Mand's question!
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
My apologies. I thought I clicked on a question regarding what NCAA president Mark Emmert thinks about Penn State guard John Urschel winning the Academic Heisman. Sloppy. Do I think Florida State can hold Auburn under 30 points? I do. It's a veteran defense with a coordinator that spent the last few years at Alabama. I don't think it will be very much under 30 points, but I think it's possible.
Playoff Intrique (VA)
Does the playoff actually increase controversy next year? If auburn and FSU were given the top two spots how do you dole out the last 2. I imagine Mich St., Ohio St. , Baylor, Alabama, Stanford and perhaps a Missouri, Oregon, and Oklahoma St all would feel they have a case for a spot.
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
There will always be an argument over who's No. 4. What's interesting is that the commissioners skewed the inaugural committee older, looking for gravitas. Older coaches/ADs/players may value conference championships more than the conventional wisdom. I think Alabama would have gotten in, but it would be interesting to hear the committee's take.
So how many Saban to Texas questions have you been filtering out today? My o/u is 500
Ivan Maisel (12:28 PM)
The rumor won't die, will it? I still don't buy it, and I don't know that anything has changed since I answered the questions last week, save that it seems more certain that Mack Brown is actually out.
Once Saban spurns TX, any chance they approach Richt? As a UGA fan I sure hope so. We need a change at the top. No SEC title since '05. 8-11 wins is nice and all but not when inferior programs like Auburn are getting there twice in 4 seasons.
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
Georgia fans sound about Richt the way that Texas fans sound about Brown. You are lucky to have Richt. Injuries killed Georgia this year. It's not hard to figure out.
Keith (Seattle, WA)
What has prevented Pat Fitzgerald from getting his Wildcats over the hump similar to fellow eggheads Stanford and Duke? Does he get it done next year in the watered down Big Ten?
Ivan Maisel (12:30 PM)
Injuries prevented him this year. Northwestern still doesn't have the depth to make up for key injuries. But I remain convinced that Fitz will get it done at Northwestern. His track record is too good, and his sense of what the school is is ideal.
Who would be your 4 playoff teams if this was 2014?
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
FSU, Auburn, Bama, Michigan State. I have been sweet on the Spartans all season, and they finished stronger than Baylor did.
Kenneth (Fairfax, VA)
Do you think the Big Ten championship result was an upset?
Ivan Maisel (12:33 PM)
No, I don't. I liked Michigan State to win. Defense is hard for me to resist.
Last Saturday in Atlanta, we saw a display of porous defenses coupled with wide open gimicky offenses. So when did the SEC morph into the WAC?
Ivan Maisel (12:35 PM)
I hear you. I have to admit, I don't enjoy watching games like that. In 2012 I covered the 70-63 game between West Virginia and Baylor, and Texas A&M's 59-57 victory over La Tech. I didn't have a good time. I still think Auburn deserves to be in the BCS Championship Game, but I think FSU will throw on Auburn all night.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What College Football Bowl Game are you Looking Forward seeing this season?
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
The two games in Pasadena, which have four of the top five teams; Oklahoma State-Mizzou in the Cotton Bowl; Duke-A&M in the Chick-fil-A; Arizona-BC and the two good RBs in the AdvoCare in Shreveport....and all of the others. Nothing, nothing, nothing beats turning on the TV for three weeks and seeing a college bowl game.
Bryan Harsin as our new coach....Like the hire?
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
It's very Malzahn-like. Bring in a guy who knows the system that the players fit.
Steve (Upstate NY)
Since when did the triple option in college football become a gimmick offense?
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
Since people aren't old enough to remember the '70s and '80s.
Does the 4 team playoff really hurt the other "BCS" bowls? Will people want to pay good money to see the Rose Bowl if say the top teams in the Pac-12 and BIG10 both place out of the game?
Ivan Maisel (12:41 PM)
Other bowls, yes. Not the Rose Bowl. It's too special.
Fred (Walla Walla)
If schedule strength and conference championships will be "strongly considered" by the selection committe, why don't most pundit project Stanford as a hypothetical playoff participant?
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
The loss to Utah is a killer.
Does Charlie Strong to UT make any sense, or is he not quite a big enough name?
Ivan Maisel (12:44 PM)
I thought of Charlie. He's a tremendous coach. He's very loyal to Tom Jurich and Louisville, which gave him a chance when no one else would. I wonder if Charlie enjoys the spotlight enough to withstand what he would be hit with in Austin.
Could a guy like Leonard Fournette be enough to put Alabama or LSU over the top next year?
Ivan Maisel (12:45 PM)
I find it hard to believe that any recruit could put an LSU or an Alabama over the top. May be old-fartish of me, but both teams have so much talent.
I realize that competition for head coaching roles is intense. Would you take a role like Kentucky/Wake Forest or stay as a coordinator for a better chance at another place the following year?
Ivan Maisel (12:47 PM)
That's the hardest question in coaching. There are examples of success on both sides. Look at what James Franklin has done at Vandy. Look at how patient Kirby Smart has been at Alabama. I'm not sure there's one answer that fits all.
You didn't really answer the question above... could you see Texas approach Richt? I've heard his name mentioned there before when Brown was under fire.
Ivan Maisel (12:48 PM)
I think when Richt leaves Georgia he will leave coaching. I think he would go into missionary work. He's a deeply religious man.
Will strength of schedule actually matter? The non conf opponents for the two title game participants: Wash St, Ark St, W Carolina, Florida Atl, Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Syracuse and Idaho... Pathetic
Ivan Maisel (12:49 PM)
It is embarrassing, and I'm glad you pointed it out. I remain hopeful that the Commissioner Mike Slive and Saban will convince the rest of the SEC to play a nine-game schedule. Doubtful but hopeful.
Deric (Boulder, CO)
Pac 12 has the best assortment of coaches of any conference, and it's not close is it?
Ivan Maisel (12:50 PM)
That would be a great offseason column to compare Pac-12 to SEC and see how deep you have to go before one side emerges better.
Ivan, OSU was able to put up 24 unanswered against the Spartans...tough loss, but do you think the trajectory is still up for the Buckeyes?
Ivan Maisel (12:51 PM)
Absolutely. They are 24-1 under Urban. Hard to argue with that. There again, they would have benefitted from a tougher schedule.
If the playoff would guarantee the big 5 conference champs a spot in the playoff, then add 3 at large teams, there would be much less controversy. I have no idea why this isn't done. Winning your conference and being told sorry, that's just not good enough would be like the NFL playing its season and then telling the North division champs "sorry, we just didn't think you did enough this year".
Ivan Maisel (12:52 PM)
Good point but everyone is so scared that the playoff would have a detrimental impact on the regular season that they wanted to take a baby step. March Madness, as much fun as it is, has sucked the buzz out of the regular season in men's hoops. No one can afford that to happen in football, because it pays the bills.
Ivan Maisel (12:53 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Enjoyed it. Talk to you next week.