Chat with Graham Watson
Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.
Send your questions now and join Watson in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Graham Watson (2:08 PM)
Here. Give me one sec.
Graham Watson (2:09 PM)
Hey there and welcome to the chat. I'm Graham Watson and I cover Independents and Others. Thanks for joining me. Let's get started.
Mike (Fort Collins, CO)
Where are you going to be this weekend? Chapel Hill? Fort Collins? Buffalo? Annapolis?
Graham Watson (2:10 PM)
I will be in Chapel Hill this weekend. My first trip to Michael Jordan land.
Is Troy going to win the sun belt?
Graham Watson (2:11 PM)
I think there's a strong possibility with FAU struggling that the Trojans could. I'd watch out for MTSU and Arkansas State. MTSU is a way better team than it showed last week and Arkansas State has one of the best quarterback in the league. Both will be stiff competition for the Trojans. Tonight will tell us a lot, though.
Danny: San Diego, CA
What's up with Utah's high rankings in the BCS computers; It's far from accurate...will it balance out?
Graham Watson (2:13 PM)
Is it far from accurate based on the computer criteria? That I don't know because every computer ranking is different. I think wins over Michigan and Oregon State carry more weight than wins over UCLA, Washington or Oregon at this point. So from that standpoint, they might be accurate. But these things tend to change as the season treks on and you have to account for the Harris Poll as well.
I know you're from Big 12 country...Got a prediction on the Red River Rivalry?
Graham Watson (2:14 PM)
I like OU. I'm with our Big 12 writer Tim Griffin, the Sooners are one of the best teams I've seen in a long time. They are solid top to bottom. This will be a great test for Texas, but I think OU takes it pretty convincingly.
Snake (St. Louis, MO)
Graham, thanks again for taking the questions. Cloudson is wondering about the upcoming Oklahoma State-Missouri game. We all know Mizzou will put up their usual 50, but what do you think will be the final score?
Graham Watson (2:16 PM)
I think this game will be relatively close, but not as close as many are predicting. Oklahoma State hasn't played anyone yet and I don't know if the Cowboys can trade jabs with Mizzou. I think OSU keeps pace for the half, but after that, Mizzou pulls away. 56-36.
If Notre Dame gets past UNC, they could conceivably go 10-2. As bad as they really are, how frustrating will this be for teams like BYU, etc. as 10-2 will likely take a BCS spot.
Graham Watson (2:19 PM)
I'm not sure 10-2 will get Notre Dame into the Top 8 where they'd need to be an automatic BCS team. This is the first time ever that an ND team is 4-1 and not ranked. And that's all because of the schedule. Beating North Carolina and Pitt would be the only quality wins on the schedule before the Irish hit USC. I'm not sure that gets them into the Top 8 without some major collapses by other teams.
Jack (Midwest City, OK)
GW, I would like to know if you believe Mizzou will look past Ok St toward the TU game? OSU 42 Mizz 41---I'm an OU fan but OSU is scary!
Graham Watson (2:20 PM)
No. I think the only teams Mizzou looks past are non-conference teams. The Tigers seem to get focused in conference play. Not to mention OSU is ranked and has shown a ton of offensive firepower. I see this game being a lot like the Texas Tech games the last couple years.
Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)
Graham, thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I've asked this from every ESPN personality doing chats for the last week and nobody has answered it. If BSU goes undefeated this year, do they still need BOTH BYU and Utah to lose in order to make it to a BCS bowl? Could it possibly happen that TWO non-BCS schools go to BCS bowls?
Graham Watson (2:23 PM)
It's possible that two non-BCS teams could get in, but it's never happened before and I think a second SEC of Big 12 team would get in before a non-BCS simply because of the difference in schedule. Boise State has a terrible schedule through no fault of their own. I crack up wen BSU fans get mad because I talk about Fresno State, but in reality, they should have been routing for Fresno State because that - prior to last weekend - would have been the only quality win Boise State could have grabbed to give it leverage over an undefeated BYU or Utah. Otherwise, yes, they need both to have a loss and BSU needs to go undefeated.
As a Nevada fan Graham, I can assure you MizzoU looks past no one. That game hurt.
Graham Watson (2:24 PM)
I can tell you Mizzou thought Nevada was going to be a threat. That's what that game was so out of hand. Buffalo, not so much. That's why that game was closer than expected.
Mike (Dallas, TX)
Red Raiders take Big 12 South this year?
Graham Watson (2:25 PM)
No. Both OU and Texas are quality teams. I might not take luck to get past Texas, Tech could hang there, but getting past OU would take an act of God.
Can the Gators banged up O-line hold off LSU long enough to allow Tebow time to make things happen on Saturday?
Graham Watson (2:27 PM)
Chris Low, our SEC writer, said he thought LSU was the best team in the trenches in the SEC. I'm going to have to agree. I, like many, wasn't sold on LSU coming into the season, but they've been inspiring so far. I think Florida will be able to make things happen, but I don't think the Gators win.
ray gordon reid plains ga 31708
QUESTION TO GRAHAM WATSON AT 2.3O PM HI GRAHAM CAN OKLA STATE DENEFSE SOME STOP MISSOURI
Graham Watson (2:29 PM)
I don't think any defense can stop Missouri consistently. I think OSU will have more success than others, but it will have a ton of trouble. OSU is good against the pass, look for Mizzou to go to D Wash a little more this game.
jared: ( Waycross,GA )
Do you think navy can pull off the win against Notre Dame this year?
Graham Watson (2:31 PM)
I've gone back and forth on this. Early in the year, yes. A couple weeks ago, no. Now, uh, maybe. Here's the thing, ND's blitzing defense might have success against the triple option. But if Kaipo-Noa is in there, the Midshipmen can use the run to set up the pass, which I think can be effective against the Irish.
nick (iowa city)
What do you think of the Hawkeyes turning it around? They've lost so many close games and still have a positive attitude. Is a bowl still possible? Do you think have got the stuff to go to the NFL?
Graham Watson (2:33 PM)
The Hawkeyes have lost three straight, but the Big Ten is so wide open that I don't rule out anything. I think there are three wins remaining on the schedule, including this weekend's game against Indiana.
Charlie Cardinal, Valpo Ind.
People say Ball State has a weak schedule... lets call it "un-luck" of the draw. Typically, they have pretty big Non-Conf. opponents. How can they over come this? Are they stuck? If they Blow out Western Kentucky by 60 points, will that back fire like it might for a BCS school "picking" on the little guys? Thanks!
Graham Watson (2:36 PM)
They can't overcome it to make the BCS. The Cardinals would have to go undefeated, the other undefeated non-BCS' would have to lose and they would need a couple other teams to fall ahead of them. It's a longshot for the Cards through no fault of their own. And Western Kentucky is a BCS Independent. So no, it wouldn't be picking on the little guy.
Graham Watson (2:36 PM)
Not BCS, I mean FBS Independent. Sorry.
Jarod (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Graham, what do you think is a bigger problem for the MWC, WAC, C-USA, et al: The very limited access to the BCS or the total lack of access to probably the next two tiers of bowl games? Unless an awful lot happens, if my Frogs go 11-1, the best they can hope for is...the Las Vegas Bowl. Thoughts?
Graham Watson (2:38 PM)
Actually I think the Frogs, if they go 11-1, could put themselves in an interesting position relative to the BCS. It's a longshot, but their only loss would be to the No. 1 team in the country and they would have beaten two highly-ranked teams. That would be a better resume, in my opinion, that an undefeated Boise State or Ball State.
How soon will teams be penalized in the polls for playing Big 10 teams? If you talk about weak schedules, playing a Big 10 teams seems about the best way to do it.
Graham Watson (2:40 PM)
I don't think you'll see a Big Ten team in the national championship.
Joe - LA
is 4-1 and not ranked. And that's all because of the schedule. Graham - are sure about this statement you made? It's not because of the schedule at all, it's because people now vote because of who they like and dislike. Please, it's all hatred towards ND! PERIOD
Graham Watson (2:41 PM)
Never understood that, really. Why would any voter hate one team specifically? For what reason? Seems like there's too much stuff to do to concentrate so much effort into keeping one team down. I just don't think they're ranked because they've beaten they've beaten the bottom teams of some bad leagues.
Wes (North CA)
Have you happened to see Tulsa's offense in person? I am sad to say I havent, but it is pretty amazing losing Paul Smith and they just keep on blowing people out.
Graham Watson (2:43 PM)
I haven't and probably won't until the Arkansas game, but I was stunned to see what they did to Rice. That made me a bit of a believer. Too bad they play such an awful schedule. They might end the season ranked, but that won't get them a better bowl than winning the conference without a ranking.
Jay (SLC, UT)
How is BYU ranked high than TCU and Utah. Both TCU and Utah have legitimate NFL prospects. BYU doesn't have one player that scouts would even consider looking at before the draft.
Graham Watson (2:44 PM)
NFL prospects don't factor in to college football rankings.
Who you like 2nite?
Graham Watson (2:45 PM)
I like Troy. I think the Trojan passing game will carve up the FAU defense and I haven't been impressed with Rusty Smith at all this season.
Beware of the "act of God" comment. I once lost a bet after saying that comment with less the 1 minute in a game and up by 10 points. The Chicago Bears scored on a fumble recovery, got the onside kick, and 20 seconds later I lost $110.00..
Graham Watson (2:46 PM)
Wow, thanks for the advice. Lucky I didn't put any money down.
Graham, in a perfect world if Cal's passing game came around and their D keeps playing great, if they run the table(yes big if) is there a chance their ranking might not be high enough at the end of the season and thus they get screwed out of the RoseBowl like in 05'?
Graham Watson (2:48 PM)
Over USC, you mean? I can't see how because USC would have two losses and there is no way the voters could keep Cal out. I'd formerly protest if it happened.
Is Notre Dame a top 10 team in 2009? Thanks...
Graham Watson (2:48 PM)
Not to start the season, no. Can't speak to how the rest of the season will fare.
PSU or Wisc ?
Graham Watson (2:50 PM)
Joe Pa all the way. I wasn't impressed with Whisky at Fresno and the Badgers are starting to show their true colors.
What do you make of Jimmy Clausen' recent stretch of good play? 6 tds and no ints the last two weeks.
Graham Watson (2:53 PM)
I think he;s finally showing consistent flashes of the player ND recruited. Granted, I want to see him go against a high level defense and I'm not sure when that's going to happen.Maybe Pitt.
Who do you see winning the Wake-Clemson game Thursday night?
Graham Watson (2:55 PM)
That's going to be a pretty evenly matched game. Wake's rushing defense is a little suspect, so that, to me, gives Clemson the edge.
Kyle ( Boise, ID)
Do you think BYU is a little overrated? They squeaked by a sub-par Washington that got smoked by Arizona.
Graham Watson (2:56 PM)
I think I reserve judgment of BYU until next Thursday.
Mike (Fort Collins, CO)
Where would rank the Mountain West compared to other conferences, as of right now?
Graham Watson (2:58 PM)
In terms of if you were to put those conferences head-to-head, probably fifth. The MWC is better than the Big East.
Is there any way you see Alabama going all the way this year?
Graham Watson (3:00 PM)
I think it's going to be tough given the way the Big 12 is surging and the way the SEC has a knack for beating each other up. I'm not sure Bama gets past LSU.
UNC's defense isn't high level? 12 interceptions?
Graham Watson (3:01 PM)
Total defense is ranked in the mid-50s and Notre Dame recently discovered its running game. Might not see Jimmy do a lot in the air because of that.
Chris (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Lots of BCS conference questions. Give the little guys some love. How about Tim Hiller and Western Michigan?
Graham Watson (3:02 PM)
Not going to be in the BCS this year.
justin new york
Byu is getting mad whenever media or fans talk about them byu will beat new mexico and tcu badly. do you agree?
Graham Watson (3:03 PM)
Nope. I think they'll beat New Mexico, though I think new Mexico will run the ball well against the Cougs. Playing at TCU will be a whole different challenge.
Marcus (Salt Lake City)
Hi Graham, good work on the blog this year. Do you have any insider info on who's headed to Washington assuming Willingham is gone? I've heard Pat Hill, Kyle Wittingham, maybe a couple other names. Any other non-BCS "promotions" you see happening?
Graham Watson (3:03 PM)
Lane Kiffin is a name as well.
Glenn (West Monroe, LA)
WE know the game in the swamp(LSU@FLORIDA) is going to be a close one, if LSU pulls it out will they get more respect and jump some spots in the polls.
Graham Watson (3:05 PM)
here's a logjam at the top and I'm not sure I see any of those teams, with the exception of Texas... errr, the Red River loser... moving anytime soon.
Graham Watson (3:05 PM)
A couple more folks
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
Graham....please tell me that Tony Franklin or Tommy Tuberville will be fired at the end of the year at Auburn.
Graham Watson (3:06 PM)
Didn't Tony already get fired on the Internet this week? :) I'd be surprised, but not shocked if it happened. That's all I'll say.
It appears to me by your comments that your biased against ND, howcome every team ND plays is supposed to beat them and yet they not only win but have shown flashes of a great passing game? No credit there at all.
Graham Watson (3:08 PM)
Who think every team ND plays is supposed to bet them? Quite the contrary, If ND doesn't go 10-2 or 11-1, there's a huge problem. This is a cake schedule with the talent ND has.
Tim (Colorado Springs, CO)
Hey Graham...just wanted to say that I really appreciate the "TLC" you give to the non BCS conferences. Since the MWC is improving and the Big East falling do you see the MWC or WAC getting an Automatic bid anytime soon?
Graham Watson (3:10 PM)
That will be decided in a couple of years and the BCS will look at the entire body of work. I think that if either of those conferences get one, and that's a big if, it would go to the MWC just because it's been solid top to bottom every year. I know not every team is great, but better than the WAC top to bottom. That's what's hurting Boise State right now.
Graham Watson (3:10 PM)
OK. Thanks everyone.