Lee Mail

Message Board

Tuesday, August 28
Updated: August 29, 4:43 PM ET
Lee-Mail: Lots of early season surprises

By Lee Corso
Special to ESPN.com

Which team is more overrated, Florida or Miami?
Robert Brown, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Neither. Both are very good football teams. The only reason that either of them might not go to the Rose Bowl is that they both might stumble once along the way -- an undefeated team like Oregon or Virgina Tech might topple them. Nebraska is the most overrated team in the nation right now.

Mr. Corso, I would like to know what you think about Alabama winning the West division in the SEC this year?
Mark Cook, Southaven, Miss.

Editor's Note
Lee Corso and the rest of the Gameday crew can't get to every campus this season, so ESPN.com has given fans another option: It's called "Lee-Mail." Lee has an opinion on just about anything related to college football. So, go ahead and send him a question. He'll answer each Wednesday during the season in "Lee-Mail."

The Tide has a great chance of winning the West. Dennis Franchione will do a terrific job, and they have talent. They'll have a tough time beating both Mississippi State and LSU. Either the Tide, the Bulldogs or the Tigers will be the West champ in the SEC.

The Syracuse defense looked pretty sharp against Georgia Tech on Sunday, but their offense didn't. How do you think they will mach up with Tennessee in Knoxville?
Chris Hartley, Bristol, Tenn.

The Vols will run past, around, over, and through Syracuse. The Orangemen are going to be shocked by how fast Tennessee can run. Tennessee has too much speed for Syracuse to handle. If they thought Tech was fast, wait until they see Tennessee -- Forget about it!

Do you think Michigan has a chance to get a BCS bid?
Dex, Utica, Mich.

Sure, I think they've got a chance. Most people are picking Northwestern as the surprise team in the Big Ten, but the off-the-field distractions might be too much for the Wildcats. Michigan is seeking revenge, and their defense is much improved this year.

Will Notre Dame have what it takes to come away from Lincoln on Sept. 8 with a win?
Jon Rogers, Norfolk, Va.

I didn't think so when we did our picks on the preseason College GameDay show, but after seeing Nebraska play last weekend, I've changed my mind. Now, I absolutely think the Irish have a chance to beat the Huskers in Lincoln. Nebraska's offense looked average at best -- the only player they have is Eric Crouch.

Kansas State
After upsetting Nebraska last season, Kansas State could play spoiler again, this time in Norman.

Lee, do you think anybody on Oklahoma's home schedule is a legitimate threat to beat them in Norman?
Matt Bunker, Spring Hill, Kan.

Kansas State has a decent chance on September 29. And Texas A&M has an outside chance on November 10.

How much longer will it be before Penn State gets back to the level of strength that they're used to, and how difficult will it be to get the good prospects to stay away from Florida?
Mike, Burlington, Iowa

I don't think they'll ever get back to that level, because they were just so unbelievably good. The Big Ten is a tough conference to win in. I'm not sure if they'll ever be as good as they were back in the day.

Do you really think Virginia Tech has a chance to reach Rose bowl, with a new quarterback, an offensive line with no starting experience and a big stumbling block in the form of the Miami Hurricanes?
Sim, Chicago

You're right -- all of those are big obstacles, and I don't really think they can do it. But God struck my car with lightening last year when I picked against them, so I'm not going against God this season!

Lee, why isn't Auburn getting any respect around the nation?
Brad Tillery, Auburn, Ala.

They lost too many offensive players. They lost about 70 percent of their offensive team from last year -- some really great players. That's why Auburn isn't ranked as high as they've been in the past. But they'll be back -- they have some solid young talent.

Every year the media starts saying, "Nebraska has to throw the football in order to win." They said it to start the season in 1994 (championship), 1995 (championship), and 1997 (championship). Why do outside sources (the media) insist on trying to change the way things work just because it doesn't "fit" their system?
Nathan Turner, Kansas City, Mo.

You'll have to define "media." I can't speak for the media. I personally have never said that the Huskers need to change their offense.

I think their problem this year is their defense. They aren't the great defensive team that they've been in the past. They don't have a lot of offensive weapons -- they don't have good wideouts, and their QB has a bad shoulder. But I've never said they should change their system. I think they need to keep running it and running it -- and stay out of third-and-longs.

Frank Solich doesn't have the same feel for game calling as Tom Osborne had. Do you agree?
Mike Dietrich, Laurel, Neb.

Yes, I agree. But there is a very simple explanation for this: experience. You can't compare the two -- Osborne has about 20 years of play calling experience on Solich. Frank will come around, just give him time.

How do you think that a team like Purdue will respond to losing Drew Brees? Can you see them contending for the Big Ten championship in the next year or two?
Steve Bauer, Redford Mich.

The Boilermakers will be a contender for the Big Ten championship as long as Joe Tiller is their coach. This year, their attack will focus more on the running game and their defense.

Are you finally going to show Steve Spurrier the respect he deserves and pick his Gators to beat Bobby Bowden's Noles?
Scott Vancil, Carbondale, Ill.

Too early to tell, but when the time comes, I'd sure pick for Spurrier and against Bowden if I think the Gators can get it done.

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