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 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 in between TV hits and radio spots, so we hope to have him around 4:30 p.m. ET. Send your questions now and check back for Jim's answers.
Buzzmaster (4:29 PM)
We're getting coach right now!
Jim Donnan (4:32 PM)
Anybody that's ever played or coached the game realizes what an impact Bo had on college football. He's just a guy that everyone looked up to. A guy with tremendous integrity. Everything was always by the book. His teams really exeplified class. It was a sad day for all of college football. He put his stamp on the game that not many people will ever have that kind of impact.
Have you ever seen a more dominant tandem than Pat White and Steve Slaton?
Jim Donnan (4:33 PM)
Certainly it's close to being one of the best. They can hit from such long distances on any play. I got a chance to see White in the spring and realized that he is a good passer on top of his running skills. Your best chance against him is to force some turnovers.
Mark H. (Bowling Green, OH)
Will the fact that the Ohio State starters have not played a true all four quarters this season be a problem if the game is a slugfest Saturday?
Jim Donnan (4:34 PM)
That's always a concern, but I would much rather be beating everyone decisively than anything. But these guys are going up against each other every day in practice, so they've been up against the best. So, I don't think that will be a factor.
Cory (little Rock)
Jim do you think any of the 1 loss teams in the SEC could beat Ohio State or Michigan?
Jim Donnan (4:35 PM)
Sure. For the same reason that anybody in the top 10 in the country can beat anybody on a given Saturday. Certainly these two are the best two teams, but they haven't had as tough a challenge because of the depth in the league.
Coach, how can the team best honor Bo tomorrow? An armband, something on the helmet, play just ten players on the first play of the game? Or just win the dang game....Your thoughts?
Jim Donnan (4:37 PM)
The first thing they've done is been prepared for the game. The suddenness of it shouldn't effect the team. The fact that Coach Carr will do like any coach will do, you have to go on and keep fighting. I'm sure there will be some kind of symbolism involved. The crowd will be effected too. He coached and played at Ohio State as well. It's going to effect it, but the preparation of it is over. The teams are ready to go.
Hawk: Woodbridge, VA
I am a Buckeye in Virginia and I fear the motivation that Michigan has with so many forcasting that they will lose. This is poster material to get them more than ready for OSU.
Jim Donnan (4:39 PM)
I really don't think any of the players listen to that. The proof is in the pudding in that the way Ohio State has led the series the last few years. Both teams know that and the reality of it that you have to do it on the field. You have to do your talking with your playing. These guys have gone through the year undefeated, which is hard to do.
Not to take away from Florida this year as being a great SEC team, but what about the great season Arkansas is having. What do think their bowl possibilites are?
Jim Donnan (4:41 PM)
I look at Arkansas right now as a team that really has a lot of cards in their favor because they have had a chance to play teams in the top 11 in the BCS. They really have been impressive the way they've improved. Early they had close wins, but they really have every edge on the SEC because they have a power running game. That helps your defense and QB to know you have that running game. Even if they win out, USC is going to have to lose because of that first game.
Jim Donnan (4:42 PM)
As far as the scenarios for the different teams, for USC if they win out, they're in. For Florida, they need USC to lose. Notre Dame needs USC to beat Cal and then to beat USC. Arkansas needs to win out and USC to lose and to beat Florida in the SEC title.
Scott (Madison, WI)
Why shouldn't Wisconsin be in the national title mix if USC, Notre Dame, and Florida all end up with 2 losses?
Jim Donnan (4:43 PM)
Just strength of schedule. It's not their fault that they didn't play OSU, but everyone they've beaten has around 4 loses. And couple that with Buffalo, San Diego State and Bowling Green. That accounts for their lack of getting much BCS attention. It's been a tremendous job by the new coaching staff. Things look good for the future.
Brian : Evansville, IN
Will the 2 best teams play for the National Championship? When will there be a playoff?
Jim Donnan (4:46 PM)
You know, I'm concerned about that, because of the possibility of teams knocking each other off. I'm concerned that we'll have a real mess if too many teams lose. I feel like the system is set up that there's a great chance you could see the best two, but I still would like to see a +1 system. If you look at the NCAA basketball tournament, I feel like Florida was the best team. But if they had a BCS system, they wouldn't have even made the tournament - they lost two conference games. Can you imagine if that happened in football? They wouldn't have even been in consideration.
Mike Stroud, Ok._
What are your thoughts on a rematch in the title game?
Jim Donnan (4:47 PM)
It can happen. It really could, particularly if it's a close game. All these other teams need for it to have a decisive win.
Sean Jacksonville Florida
Who should replace Jeff Bowden at Florida State?
Jim Donnan (4:49 PM)
It's a difficult situation there for everyone involved. When you have a dynasty and then it starts to crumble, especially the last couple of years, someone has to take the sword. I believe their problems don't just stop and start with offense. They've had some problems on defense. I don't know what the answer is in who to bring in. They need to start recruiting better.
David (Atlanta, GA)
Coach, what does Georgia need to do in the off-week to give it the best chance to knock off Georgia Tech next weekend?
Jim Donnan (4:51 PM)
One of the benefits of an off week is to try and get everyone healthy. But, I'm sure they spent a lot of time mentally practicing, watching a lot of tape on Georgia Tech. There's no one in the program that's lost to Georgia Tech. The players have played well in the series.
I'd like to know what Brady Quinn's chances are of winning the Hiesman Trophy?
Jim Donnan (4:52 PM)
I feel like it all revolves around Smith tomorrow. If he has a good to excellent game, it's going to be impossible to catch him. If they stumble and he doesn't have a good game, then Quinn can make up some ground next week. He's got a chance, but Smith is going to have to help him.
IS STEVE SLATON BETTER THEN R. BUSH?
Jim Donnan (4:54 PM)
I always hate to compare players because each guy is different. But basically, the guy reminds me of a human rocket. It looks like he's at full speed on his first step. He's shown amazing ball skills as a receiver as well. You have to see him live to appreciate his skill level. It's not like the guys on defense are not talented. This guy has just got that burst that you don't expect for a guy to be running full speed that quick. The other factor is that Pat White is such a threat to keep the ball, you have to assign some people to stopping him.
Jim Donnan (4:55 PM)
That would be my ultimate backfield this year, McFadden, White, Slaton. Every defensive coordinator in the country would have insomnia. You probably wouldn't even need an offensive line.
Dan (Heber Springs, AR)
What do you think about Darren McFadden and his Heisman chances this year and next year?
Jim Donnan (4:56 PM)
There's going to be a race between Slaton, McFadden and White. His chances are going to be increased because Slaton and White will take votes from each other. I look for McFadden to make some noise here in the final three games of the year.
Jim Donnan (4:59 PM)
A couple of keys for OSU and Michigan. I feel like Michigan's run defense is so good that Ohio State is going to have to challenge it from a different perspective. I look for them to spread it out and run some counters and option plays. Not a lot but enough. I look for Michigan to come in there and establish Hart, but also come out in three wides and throw deep early. The other key issue is which team can capitalize if there's a ball on the ground or a tipped pass. So, if you're an offensive team and your guy fumbles it you need to recover. There won't be many mistakes, so you need to capitalize.
Buzzmaster (4:59 PM)
Thanks to coach for chatting today!
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