Chat with Jim Donnan
Donnan got his head coaching start at Marshall in 1990, after holding the position of offensive coordinator for Oklahoma from 1985-89. Donnan coached Marshall to the Division I-AA championship in 1992 with a 31-28 win over Youngstown St.
He took over the reigns at Georgia in 1996 and led the Bulldogs to four straight winning seasons and an overall mark of 40-19. His career coaching record was an impressive 104-40.
Jim's joining us inbetween TV hits and radio spots, so we hope to have him around 3:30 p.m. ET, but be flexible. Send your questions now and we'll hold them for him on Friday!
Buzzmaster (3:32 PM)
Coach is here!
Chris Palatine, IL
Name a team you think can contend in the Big Ten outside of Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa?
Buzzmaster (3:33 PM)
Coach is here!
Jim Donnan (3:34 PM)
I really don't think anyone can this year. Ohio State is talented. Michigan's coming on strong. Iowa's got some problems overall. It will help with Drew Tate. If you said one team that might come on strong with their schedule, it might be Wisconsin. I like Michigan State to have a good year, but I don't think they have a defense to contend for the title.
Susan Little Falls, NJ
Can Auburn lose this weekend and still get a shot at the title?
Jim Donnan (3:35 PM)
Susan, I don't think they would have a shot at the SEC West, because they would be two games down to LSU. LSU would have to lose twice for them to get into the SEC title. I could see three or four undefeated teams this year. That's why Seperation Saturday is so big. In tennis jargon, you have to hold serve.
UGAJ ATL G.A.
You are doing a great job Coach. What is your overall feeling of this years Georgia team now that certain positions are starting to get settled? Why can't we get the ball to Martrez Milner?
Jim Donnan (3:37 PM)
Thanks for the kind words. I felt like Georgia was going to be very good in the preseason. I picked them to win the SEC East based on their schedule. Their defense is lights out. Their kicking game is as good as anybody's. It's all going to boil down to playing on the road at Auburn and playing vs. Florida. If they can go 2-0 in those, I think they can win the East. It's critical that they develop a red zone attack. They have to have the ability to score some points more so then they have the last couple of years.
Brad (Iowa City, IA)
Jim, Can Notre Dame stop a healty Mike Hart?
Jim Donnan (3:38 PM)
I've been impressed with Notre Dame's defense so far. But they haven't seen a balanced team like Michigan. This game is going to boil down to if Michigan can slow down Notre Dame enough to force some punts and field goals and if Michigan's WRs can make some big plays. I look for Hart and Walker to negate each other at RB and we'll have to see what happens with the receivers.
What is the national perception of Coach Tressel? Is he regarded as a top 3 coach?
Jim Donnan (3:40 PM)
Well, I don't know what everyone else thinks, but I sure do. He's won at every level he's ever coached at. Not many guys have won a I-AA and I-A title. He adapts his team to what his personnel is. He's at a place now where he can be very selective in his recruiting. You know that you have to beat a Tressel team. They're not going to beat themselves.
Chris, Kansas City, Missouri
Do you honestly think that USC will put three more TD's on the board than the Huskers? Does Nebraska have any shot of pulling an upset?
Jim Donnan (3:41 PM)
They've got a much better shot this year than past years. The big difference this year is pass protection. If they can give Zac Taylor some time, they have a shot. If they don't match up in the pass block, it could be difficult. One thing that bothers me is the injuries Nebraska has in the secondary. It looks like a mismatch in the secondary with the USC receivers.
Jerome Detroit, MI
I'm so sick of Michigan losing 4 games a year, when will this program turnaround? When will we finally get a new coaching staff that can take the athletes we have and make it a productive team.
Jim Donnan (3:43 PM)
I really believe this is going to be a big year for Michigan, regardless of the game tomorrow. The defense looks like it has a lot of potential. I'll say right now that Michigan loses one maybe two games at the most. I feel like they could lose this game and maybe the game against Ohio State, but the rest, they'll be favored to win.
Mike Miller, Louisville
What do you think of Louisville's chances at competeing for a national title?
Jim Donnan (3:45 PM)
I like their chances. It boils down to on paper the game tomorrow with Miami and the game with West Virginia. You lose a player the magnitude of Michael Bush, everyone else has to step up. I think the game tomorrow will be about how the Louisville defense goes against Miami's offense. If Miami can do what their capable of, it's going to put some pressure on the Louisville defense. Another thing to look for from a fan stand point is how the officials call it tight or not on pass interference.
Brian Normal, IL
What do you think the outcome of the Michigan State vs Pittsburgh game will be?
Jim Donnan (3:46 PM)
I really think Pittsburgh has made marked improvement. I give the edge to Michigan State because of their offense. You've got two premier QBs going at it, but I'm going to give the edge to Michigan State.
2 questions Coach. How impressive was that win for WVU last night? and Why was Slayton's fumble into the end zone allowed to be recovered for a TD by another player? I thought that should have been a touchback for Maryland? Hit 'em well out @ ACC!
Jim Donnan (3:47 PM)
First half was very impressive, but one of the things that always worried me as a coach is how you handle things when you're ahead. It goes to show you that when an offense is really good, you can't stop them. This offense is as explosive as any. They didn't have to use their passing game, but I think that's an improved part of their game.
Which team drops out of the race to be the best mid-major tomorrow, TCU or Boise State?
Jim Donnan (3:48 PM)
I got to go with Boise State winning against Wyoming. TCU has its hands full against Texas Tech. They use so much pressure on defense and can shut down the receivers, but the multitudes of sets Texas Tech throws out there, I think that will put a lot of pressure on TCU.
Jim Donnan (3:49 PM)
The one thing that helps TCU in this game is they get to play against a similar style as Baylor. But this is a whole new ballgame for Texas Tech. I continue to marvel that whoever Coach puts in that offense, it looks like he came out of the womb running the offense.
I know you are a Georgia boy, but it can't hurt to talk about the Gators and Vols just once? Who wins this matchup? Will it be decided by the two teams ground attack as it has been in the past?
Jim Donnan (3:50 PM)
The big deficit for Tennessee, which they've counted on in the past is their defense is not overpowering. It's going to be hard for Tennessee to move the ball against Florida, while it won't be as hard for Florida to move the ball. But I don't think Florida will show a ground game, because they really don't try to run the football. But I give the edge to Florida because of their defense.
Aaron (Clinton, OK)
Is OU's defense really this bad, or will they come to play at Oregon on Saturday?
Jim Donnan (3:52 PM)
Oklahoma's defense the last couple of years has started slowly. Teams have gotten a lot of easy plays on them this year. They're going to go against a multifaceted attack which is different then they've seen. This is going to be one of the premier games as far as showcasing some really good offenses. I think how Paul Thompson plays on the road will be key. He should have a chance to play well, with Oregon's team being beat up. This should be a high scoring ball game.
How about that Steve Slaton?? WOW
Jim Donnan (3:53 PM)
Slaton, until you see him live, you have no idea how fast he is. He looks like Carl Lewis at RB. He has some jets. He just puts so much pressure on your defense because you have to key on him. It's a big burden to try and stop these guys. It's a coach's dream, because you have talent to run your scheme and they keep the ball away from the other team.
Jason Saddle Brook, NJ
Does Michigan have a chance this weekend if they can run the ball and limit Quinn & Company or will the do what Michigan does best and blow it in the 4th quarter again?
Jim Donnan (3:55 PM)
I agree that's one of the best menus for beating Notre Dame. That's what ND did last year. They've got to force some turnovers, because Notre Dame hasn't had any this year. They have to force some turnovers, cover all the check downs and don't let up any first downs when you're in his face.
Brad (Iowa City)
Jim, what game are you most excited for this weekend?
Jim Donnan (3:57 PM)
Well, the highest ranked teams are Auburn and LSU, it's 3 vs. 6. From a talent perspective, a combination of speed, size and quickness, I think you're really going to see a good football game. Two big question marks are is Tennessee back to being competitive and how does Michigan perform against Notre Dame.
Jim Donnan (3:57 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. We'll see you next week.