Chat with Ivan Maisel
Send your questions now and join Maisel in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday!
Ivan Maisel (2:01 PM)
Hi, everyone. Let me say upfront that I am not responsible for the games this weekend. Couple of good ones, a lot that will make it tough for you to leave the baseball playoffs to watch. But I know you will. Here we go:
JT (State College, PA)
You got to experience the White-Out in Beaver stadium last week, what are your thoughts? Also where do you project PSU come January?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
I was impressed with the white out. I was impressed by Daryll Clark and blown away by Derrick Williams. I was puzzled by the singalongs during the timeouts. The song choices were total white-boy bubble-gum from the 70s. I guess that's who's buying the tickets, huh?
Steve: Manhattan Beach, California
Ivan, two questions. Don't you think the job Nick Saban is doing at Alabama is nothing short of amazing to get this level of play from such a young team? And do you think that their biggest hurdle is the game at LSU and if they can somehow win that they will most probably be in the BCS Title game?
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
Alabama looks really good through the first month, way, way ahead of schedule. LSU is obviously a big hurdle. So is getting a young team to maintain that high level of play. But so far, so good. If Bama plays in Oct. and Nov. as it did in Sept., it will be playing in the BCS Championship Game. That ain't exactly going out on the limb.
If Javon Ringer amasses 2,000 yards rushing and around 25 tds, should he win the heisman regardless of where the Spartans finish? MSU is a darkhorse to win the wide open big ten this year, agree?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
Agree that the Spartans are a dark horse. If Ringer can take the pounding, he'll deliver the goods. I was struck against Indiana how beat up he looked in the fourth quarter and how he gained the yards anyway. If he can do that for seven more games, I think heisman voters will have to take note.
"It could be that the Big 12 Conference has arrived." Ivan... come on man! Does Oklahoma in 2000 and Texas in 2005 mean anything?
Ivan Maisel (2:06 PM)
Dave, the point was that the rest of the Big 12 has arrived with Oklahoma and Texas.
Mike (Alexandria, VA)
If you had to pick today, who are your picks for the ACC Title game in Tampa?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Mike, I am flattered that you think I know which teams are in which division. When the ACC decided not to divide the teams geographically, they lost me. But I'll go with Maryland and Va. Tech.
Do you think that the BCS bowls will pair the ACC champ with the Big East champ, despite which teams they are, since they seem to be really inferior conferences this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
It's impossible to say, Chad, because the bowls select in order, and you don't know which teams from which regions will be in the other bowls. I assume that if BYU or Utah runs the table, they'll end up in the Fiesta, especially if a Big 12 team goes to the Championship Game. That would lend credence to a Big East/ACC Orange Bowl.
Nick (Los Angeles)
Ivan, what is more likely: A) the fighting Harbaughs beating the Irish in South Bend or B) the Stanford band being banned from the premises... again.
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
Come Join the Band.
Ivan, can you please tell me why anybody pays any attention to the AP Poll when it isn't included in the BCS formula? It is obsolete.
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
Ouch. I prefer to look at the AP poll as the most knowledgable and oldest. I trust it more than I do the coaches or the Harris.
Joel (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
I met you at the Florida-Miami game when you signed your book. It is a great read and I encourage all ESPN fans to buy it! Do you think my Gators can bounce back and go undefeated the rest of the way to reach the BCS Title game?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
Shameless sucking up works for me. Thanks, Joel. I do think the Gators can bounce back and go undefeated. Georgia has offensive line issues. Florida has -- once again -- running-game issues. But it's looking as if Jacksonville will decide the game. As God intended, right?
Clarence (East Coast)
Are the Heels poised to win 8 games this year? Thoughts on them still competing for the ACC title? @Duke, GT, @Md, NcSt, BC, @UVA. The VT lose is brutal.
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
I liked UNC as a dark horse until the loss to Virginia Tech, and for three quarters last Saturday, I felt smart. But the victory at Miami made me realize my first instinct was closer to the truth. I think the Tar Heels can win eight, easily.
Spencer (K-Town, UT)
I know the general consensus is that USC with one loss would make it to a National Championship ahead of an undefeated BYU or Utah team. Ivan, my question is should they get in ahead of either of them with one loss THIS YEAR with the Pac-10 being so mediocre? USC obviously has better athletes, depth, etc... but say Ohio St doesn't win the Big Ten and doesn't look that impressive. Is USC's schedule really all that more difficult? Is a win against Ohio St better than a win at the end of the year against an undefeated BYU or Utah team if they are both undefeated at the end of the year?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
I do see a scenario in which the BYU-Utah winner reaches the national championship game. It's a long shot, and BCS guru Brad Edwards may tell me I'm wrong, but I think it's conceivable, especially since BYU already is No. 8.
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
I still think the Ga-Fla winner gets to Atlanta. At this point, a 6-2 record easily wins the East.
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
Oops. Hit the wrong button. We'll play Jeopardy here. The last response is an answer. Here comes the question.
Chad (Savannah, GA)
Ivan, are you forgetting that UF has to play LSU in 2 weeks? LSU has a better line, on both sides, than UM does and will give UF all it can handle.
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
And now we go back to q-and-a instead of a-and-q.
David Fairborn, OH
BYU winning the championship = playoff by 2010.
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
Wow. Wouldn't that peel back the real motivation of the whole deal?
Brett (Boise, ID)
Let?s dream here... Boise State and BYU undefeated by season's end. Could both non-BCS teams have a chance to be in the BCS bowls during the same season?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
It's possible. But only one would get an automatic bid. The other would have to be selected for an at-large bid.
Bill (Saint Louis, MO)
ivan, be honest: how do you like my 'dores chances against auburn this week? the unclear status of chris nickson's shoulder worries me.
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
Vandy has won by being opportunistic, by allowing other teams to beat themselves. The way that the Auburn offense has played, that easily could happen Saturday. If I had to pick a winner, I'd take Auburn, but I could be swayed.
Sylvester (San Diego, California)
Which is cursed worse, Oregon QB's or UCLA RB's?
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
I'd say UCLA, because they have lost running backs at both positions in the backfield. That's the most amazing stat of last Saturday. UCLA freshman Derrick Coleman rushed for 86 yards on 10 carries, and he's 17!
UTEP, Marshall, and Memphis all have more players in the NFL than Missouri, Texas Tech, and Kansas. Does this not prove what a joke the Big 12 is?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
No, it proves what a joke the Big 12 WAS. This year is different. It's not exactly breaking news that the North Division stunk for years.
eric (austin, tx)
Texas/ou let's get ahead of ourselves and say they both win this weekend. your thoughts for the 11th?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
Cannot wait. I am going to Austin tomorrow and then covering Oklahoma at Baylor on Saturday. That's how much I can't wait. I think Oklahoma is more well-rounded than Texas, but that it will be a helluva game.
Hey there Ivan. Is Mike Leach a potential candidate for any of the possible job openings out there after the season? (a lot of conjecture, I know). People in Lubbock seemed to be worried about losing him if Tech has a big season since he didnt get the big contract renewal before the season started.
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
that's an interesting question. You would think that Leach would have gotten more attention than he has. If the Red Raiders start playing defense as they did in the second half of last season, he'll get a lot more attention. The thing is, I don't believe there will be a lot of high-profile jobs available this season. I don't know if there would be one he would want.
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
That's three in a row about the Big 12. I'll move around some.
Neutral field, are you really going to put your $ on Missouri to beat even an average team like Auburn, Oregon, or Michigan State?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
Yes, yes and yes.
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
O.K., now I'll move out of the Big 12.
Can two one loss SEC teams from the opposite divisions who did not play each other, play in the BCS title?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
That would mean one of them would not have played in the SEC Championship Game, which means it's improbable that they would rise to No. 1 or No. 2.
Ohio State's opponents have been the least penalized in the NATION the last 3 years!!! Please justify this as not being a conspiracy against the Buckeyes.
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
Wow, that's some real grassy knoll stuff going on. Do you really think that Big 10 officials, as well as the crews from the other conferences that work Buckeye games, have gotten together and decided not to throw flags against Ohio State's opponents?
Same question as Corey in Chicago: Except insert Donald Brown and another Big East Championship for the Connecticut Huskies. Could Donald Brown win the Heisman w/ 2000+ yards and 15-20 TD's?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
I think Brown would have a tougher time than Ringer because the Big East is down this season. But the thing is, you don't know who the other candidates are and how many games UConn wins while Brown is putting up those kind of numbers.
Rob (Charleston, SC)
Ivan, do you think Tommy Bowden has overstayed his welcome? What saves his job this year? What sinks it?
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
Bowden signed an extension through 2014. If he is fired, Clemson owes him $4 million, according to one of the South Carolina papers that I read today. I don't think he's going anywhere.
Nathan (exchange student in Finland)
Is it just me, or does it seem that everyone is overlooking Oregon this week vs USC. Everyones talking about a 1 loss USC team in the national championship game, but they have to play against Oregon, who they lost to last year. Who wins?
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
If Oregon had a healthy starting quarterback, I would give them a lot better chance. The game is in LA, and USC has something to prove after its performance in Corvallis. I think USC will win.
Elias (Nashville, TN)
Ivan, you're the absolute best .com writer on here. And you're from Alabama. So tell me... is this really it for Phil Fulmer? Can he somehow manage to save his job again? Or do you see the powers in Knoxville moving in a Lane Kiffin or Bronco Mendenhall direction? Thanks.
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
I found it stunning that last week Fulmer felt compelled to remind everyone of what he has achieved in Knoxville. But it goes back to my favorite Dan Jenkins' line, from the novel Baja Oklahoma: Nobody how good looking she is, somewhere somebody is tired of her. Be careful of what you wish for, Vol fans. Changing coaches is no guarantee that you will improve. Ask Syracuse and Arkansas.
Rob (Chicago, IL)
Michigan. Ahead of the curve, behind the curve, or about what you thought?
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
With that second half, ahead of the curve. Maybe Coach Rod does know what he's doing, huh? He's an outstanding coach and it will take time for his system to jell there. The fans need to remind behind him.
A lot of good games this weekend. Who is the best matchup and why? What implications does it have and who wins?
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
Boy, I don't think so. This weekend is no match for the baseball playoffs, if you ask me. Oregon-USC, Ohio State-Wisconsin, Missouri-Nebraska, and that's about it. Often when the schedule looks boring, we get a lot of upsets. Hope so.
Justin Oxford MS
The rebels could easily be 5-0 this year. Our defensive line is finally healthy. What are the rebels shot at beating bama this year? LSU and Auburn are extremely vunerable this year so a win there could put them in atlanta.
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
I spoke to Houston Nutt for my I-Formation column that just posted. He said the same thing about being 5-0. That said, Ole Miss made enough mistakes that it is 3-2. I think the Rebels ought to focus on South Carolina rather than start game-planning for 'Bama.
You are forgetting Uconn - UNC
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
That is an interesting game. Someone else chastised me for forgetting Florida State-Miami. That game has outlasted its sell-by date. At least this season. Let's get those programs back on track before we pay national attention to that game.
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Gotta hop. Talk to you next Wednesday.