Chat with Mark Schlabach
Schlabach joined ESPN.com in July 2006 as a college football and basketball columnist. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Mark spent nine years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering Georgia and the SEC, as well as the NFL and NASCAR. Before joining ESPN, Schlabach spent two years at the Washington Post covering college football and basketball, and boxing.
Send your questions now and join Schlabach in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Monday.
Buzzmaster (2:09 PM)
We're tracking down Mark now! Keep your questions coming!
Mark Schlabach (2:11 PM)
Sorry, crazy day, obviously, with what happened at Clemson. I was on a conference call with Texas and Colt McCoy. Here we go....
Broad Street Brian (The Keystone State)
I live in the Pa, and I just don't believe PSU is that good. Can you convince me why I'm wrong? Who's to say they aren't this years Ohio State?
Mark Schlabach (2:12 PM)
What impresses me about Penn State is they've won with offense (Illinois, Oregon State, Wisconsin) and defense (Purdue). Clark is playing very well, Royster is running the ball very well and they have weapons at wideout. Defense has played better that expected. If they beat Ohio State, I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish 12-0.
The Texas win was against most experts' predictions -- what was the difference between the teams on paper and what happened on the field?
Mark Schlabach (2:13 PM)
I think most people just thought Texas would struggle against Oklahoma again. Colt McCoy had played well against sub-par competition, then really stepped it up against Oklahoma. I don't think anybody thought Shipley would do what he did, either, and the running game was solid.
Brian( Halifax, Canada)
If and when do you see Michigan turning things around under Rich Rodriguez?
Mark Schlabach (2:14 PM)
When Rich Rod gets the right personnel to run his offense. I thought Michigan would struggle this year, but I never thought they'd lose to Toledo at home. It's a terrible loss, regardless of the transition under Rodriguez.
Whats your take on all the negative comments the Clemson players have towards Bowden in the wake of his firing?
Mark Schlabach (2:17 PM)
I think Bowden probably lost his players after the loss to Alabama. Just never seemed to get momentum back after that game.
Tracey- Clemson SC
Who do you as potential coaches at the top of Terry Don's list?
Mark Schlabach (2:18 PM)
My early list would include: Will Muschamp, Jim Grobe, Bobby Johnson.
Scott (Algona, Iowa)
What is wrong with Wisconsin? How do you think things will shake out in the Big Ten?
Mark Schlabach (2:24 PM)
Other than Clemson, I'd say Wisconsin is the biggest disappointment of the season. Obviously, Penn State showed Badgers still have a long way to go on defense.
Mark (Bham, AL)
Did Clemson just beat Auburn to Will Muschamp by making the move 1st?
Mark Schlabach (2:25 PM)
Maybe beat Tennessee to the punch. I think you'll see more early firings, as schools try to line up themselves for potential replacements.
David, Charleston SC
Rumors that Clemson interim football coach Dabu Swinney has fired ofensive coordinator Rob Spence.... true?
Mark Schlabach (2:30 PM)
Working it now...
Wes (Atlanta, GA)
Who do you think will be the next coach to get the chop and who will replace them??
Mark Schlabach (2:30 PM)
Look at my "On the Mark" column today...and a few names on the hot seat, including Fulmer and Greg Robinson and Willingham.
Jose (Augusta, GA)
Where do you see Tommy Bowden ending up? Down at FSU with daddy?
First we lost Sturdivant, and now with Vince Vance gone, how realistic is it that my Dawgs can stay in the hunt for the SEC or the gaudy NC hunt we were in?
Mark Schlabach (2:32 PM)
Can't keep losing left tackles. Throw in Jeff Owens and it's hard to replace that many linemen. MIght not hurt them against Vandy, but will be tough against LSU and Florida.
Patrick (Orlando, FL)
Mark, in your opinion, which is the best job that could potentially be open at the end of the season (including roster, fan base, facilities, etc.)?
Mark Schlabach (2:34 PM)
There might be a few good ones, including Clemson, Tennessee, Syracuse, Washington. Any FBS job is a good one.
Jake (Columbia, SC)
If Clemson turns it on now and wins out, do you think they will give the head coaching job to the new interim coach?
Mark Schlabach (2:34 PM)
Swinney will be given a chance to win the job. If he gets Clemson to Tampa, I'd say he'll have a chance.
Glen, Pensacola Florida
Mark, thanks for taking this...What are your thoughts on the Defensive performance of LSU and how do you think it impacts them for their remaining games? I mean, if UF could stop the run so good then South Carolina should eat them up with their defense...right?
Mark Schlabach (2:35 PM)
Not having Ricky Jean-Francois hurt LSU, but I was really surprised how Florida was able to spread them out and run by them. LSU didn't tackle very well.
Can UNC still have a great season without Brandon Tate?
Mark Schlabach (2:37 PM)
Tar Heels are obviously very well-coached, and their defense will keep them in most games. They've won without T.J. Yates, and Cam Sexton has played well. Losing Tate hurts because now Nicks gets a lot of attention. Tate is a very dynamic player.
Travis (Jacksonville, FL
Now that Bowden is out at Clemson, is Cullen Harper still benched?
Mark Schlabach (2:38 PM)
With Bowden and Spence out, it will be interesting to see what happens. Regardless if Cullen Harper or Korn starts, the o-line has to block, which it hasn't done yet.
Chris, Myrtle Beach SC
Do you think Lane Kiffin will be a head college coach somewhere next year? If so where?
Mark Schlabach (2:39 PM)
Yes, I do think he'll be a head coach in college next year. Tennessee or Syracuse? Fulmer might be able to save his job, though.
DeShawn (Dallas, TX)
Mark, I post questions every week and never has one of my posts been chosen!! Anyway, I'm really impressed with the BYU team up in Utah. Their defense can be suspect at times, but they can score on anybody. That's right... ANYBODY! Do you see them having a legitimate shot at the title this year if the upsets keep coming??
Mark Schlabach (2:40 PM)
If the upsets keep coming, yes, they'd have a chance. But they'd have to be very impressive against TCU and Utah, their toughest two games left on the schedule. I saw them against UCLA and couldn't believe how easy it was. (I answered your question.)
Ray (Gainesville, FL)
Mark, You cant honestly be confident in claiming the Big12 is better than the SEC this year when the Big12 has just begun conference play. SEC is knocking each other off, and Tenn is the only team with a non SEC loss.
Mark Schlabach (2:40 PM)
I just think the Big 12 is deeper. Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky (on offense at least), Miss. State are all struggling.
Can we keep Jim Grobe's name out of coaching change discussion until after the season at least? I mean, let us Wake fans enjoy what we have: namely the best defense and worst offense in the ACC).
Mark Schlabach (2:47 PM)
Great coach, but I think he's pretty comfortable at Wake Forest. Nebraska couldn't pry him away. Arkansas couldn't do it. I think he loves where he is right now.
Bizzy B (Biloxi,MS)
My school is Mississippi State. We just beat Vandy. Do you think we can pull off beating Tennessee this weekend?
Mark Schlabach (2:48 PM)
Have you watched Tennessee play offense? Yeah, you have a chance to win. Great defensive effort against Vandy.
Russell Witt (VA)
Mark I see your point about some of SEC's elite are down but aren't you missing the point? Look at 'Bama? They were supposed to be at least 2 years away. Vandy wow! S. Carolina is finaly getting it together and the 'D' in the SEC is better than some of the NFL's!
Mark Schlabach (2:49 PM)
It's hard to say which league is better. Big 12 has great offenses. SEC has great defenses. A lot of very good teams in the Big 12 right now.
Billy (Auburn, AL)
Now that the supposed guru of the spread offense has met the SEC defenses and been sent packing do you see Auburns offense getting better.
Mark Schlabach (2:50 PM)
Quarterbacks have to play better.
Josh (Atlanta, GA)
would Georgia Tech get ranked if they beat a Clemson team that is in shambles? What about their shot at Tampa.
Mark Schlabach (2:51 PM)
Paul Johnson has done a tremendous job at Georgia Tech. I know the top two quarterbacks were out, but they beat Gardner-Webb by a field goal. Tech is getting better week by week and might be there at the end of the season.
Mark Schlabach (2:52 PM)
Folks, sorry, but I've got to run. Crazy day and still chasing down the Clemson story. Have a great week and enjoy next week's game. I'm looking very forward to a trip to Austin on Saturday.