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 (1:59 PM)
I'm here early for a change. Welcome to the chat. Let's begin.
Ohio at Temple? Who wins?
Graham Watson (2:01 PM)
I like Temple in this game because it's at home. Both these teams are having about the same type of season. I also like Temple's defense at home. And Bill Cosby's going to be there, so that's a no-brainer.
Drew (St. Louis, MO)
Do you think there is any chance for an OU-TX National Championship Game??
Graham Watson (2:02 PM)
I think there's a chance, but not if Penn State or Alabama go undefeated. I honestly believe it will be a Big 12-SEC national championship game. Which teams? That's still up for grabs.
Bradford (Boise, ID)
Hey Graham, I'm a little nervous about Boise State's game this weekend. How much of a test will San Jose St give us? Any chance we lose?
Graham Watson (2:04 PM)
I'm not picking Boise State to lose this game, but it might be the best defense the Broncos have faced this season. I'm just not sure San Jose State has enough offense to keep up. There's a little concern about the way Boise State played at SJ State a couple years ago, but I have a hard time picking the Broncos to lose any game the rest of the regular season.
Notre Dame. Playing against Ty Willingham. Bob Davie announcing. Lou Holtz at halftime. What's Ara doing Saturday?
Graham Watson (2:04 PM)
He's running the tailgate.
Marc: Salt Lake City utah
If Utah wins its last four games would you say its a lock that utah goes to a bcs bowl? If so which bowl would you have them in? Fiesta?
Graham Watson (2:06 PM)
Absolutely. Utah would have to beat two ranked teams in its final four games. There's no scenario I can think of that would keep them out of the BCS if they go undefeated. And yes, I think the Fiesta would want Utah because it's close to Utah. Utah against Oklahoma? That could be interesting.
ray gordon reid boone north carolina 28607
QUESTION TO GRAHAM WATSON AT 2.10 pm hi graham oklahoma STATE OR TEXAS
Graham Watson (2:08 PM)
Texas. Oklahoma State has looked really good, but I don't think I've seen a more complete and explosive team than Texas. I was blown away with how much Colt McCoy has improved even from the beginning of the season. Texas is riding a huge wave of momentum. The Horns are going to be tough to stop.
Will Golden Tate and Michael Floyd win Clausen a heisman in the next two years?
Graham Watson (2:10 PM)
I think Clausen could be in the Heisman conversation once Notre Dame rights the ship and starts playing the schedules it used to play. No one is going to take Clausen seriously until he starts putting up baller numbers against some highly-ranked teams. But yes, it is possible.
Hey Graham - is there a better true freshman WR in the country than Mike Floyd? The kid is a stud.
Graham Watson (2:12 PM)
You're right, he's good. But I think there are a couple other guys that come to mind - DeAndre Brown and Julio Jones. And I'm sure there's a ton that I'm not mentioning.
Nate (Temecula, CA)
Graham, thanks in advance for answering my question/comment. I am a BYU fan/student and want to give props to TCU for just flat out beating us. Turning to optimism, if Utah beats TCU, and BYU beats Utah (top ten team then), how do you see the Mountain west shaking out bowl/bcs wise? And do you think my optimism has any chance of happening?
Graham Watson (2:15 PM)
If your scenario happens, I think all of these teams could knock each other out of the BCS, especially if Boise State, Ball State and Tulsa all remain undefeated. The only one-loss team I see getting in the BCS is TCU because its loss was to OU and it was early in the season. I don't think Utah gets in with a loss.
Matt (Apple Valley, CA)
Hey Graham! What's up with Ian Johnson this year? Are his numbers the product of a bad offensive line, or is there something else going on?
Graham Watson (2:17 PM)
His numbers aren't indicative of his year, I don't think. Boise State has gone a little more vertical this season, which means the Broncos aren't having to rely on Johnson to provide the bulk of their offense. Also, the Broncos have some other RBs getting into the mix, which is taking away some of Johnson's carries. But I wouldn't say he's having a bad year.
Does Butch Davis leave UNC for an SEC opening, i.e., Tennessee, if it opens?
Graham Watson (2:18 PM)
I can't see that happening especially since he said he wanted to turn UNC around and make it a football power. Last I checked, UNC was not a football power. Plus, why leave for a crowded SEC when he can make a name for himself in a wide-open ACC?
Deacon Jay (Tulsa)
Hello Graham, nice article on the Golden Hurricane. Obviously we need to take it one game at a time, but realistically, do you see Tulsa as a BCS buster?
Graham Watson (2:19 PM)
I agree with Todd Graham that if Tulsa goes 13-0, which includes a conference championship game win, it's going to be difficult to keep them out of the BCS. That open a scenario for two non-BCS teams to make BCS bowls. It could get real interesting in November and December.
Good props for a Tulsa team with an explosive offense. Do you think we'll get by UCF and Arkansas?
Graham Watson (2:22 PM)
Yes and yes because I believe that there's not a team in the country that can physically keep up with Tulsa. Most teams aren't conditioned to play that way. Maybe like a high-level team (Texas, OU, Bama, etc) but not UCF or Arkansas. I think Tulsa beats UCF for revenge and I think it beats Arkansas because it's a better team. The only concern is the short week to prepare for the Razorbacks.
Is Rice good enough to take C-USA and do you think they'll get a bowl invite?
Graham Watson (2:24 PM)
No. Tulsa will win the conference title. But, Rice is good enough to get to a bowl game. I think the offenses of the West side of C-USA are nails. It's tough for the East teams to get into track meets with those teams, and when the West teams square off together, I like Rice and UTEP's defenses best outside of Tulsa.
Graham! If Boise runs the table and UTAH loses to TCU. Would TCU jump BSU?
Graham Watson (2:25 PM)
I have a strong feeling that TCU would just based on how high the voters vaulted the Frogs into the polls this week. TCU just plays a better schedule. That's unfortunate for Boise State because I'm sure they thought Oregon and Southern Miss would be better teams when they scheduled them.
Ben (Philadelphia, PA)
Who do you think comes out this weekend, OSU or PSU?
Graham Watson (2:27 PM)
I would be worried about this game if I'm a Penn State fan. Ohio State seems to have flipped the switch the last few weeks and is only getting better. I think Penn State has enough weapons to pull it out, but this is going to be a tough test at the Shoe.
Adam (Boise, ID)
There are some questions about teams leapfrogging each other, ie TCU over BSU if they beat UTAH. Can BSU jump over UTAH with a win over SJSU and Utah's off week?
Graham Watson (2:30 PM)
They could, especially since a lot of teams have been jumped during bye weeks (Georgia, Bama), but I think voters are really careful with non-BCS teams and not messing with the order too much because of the BCS implications. And even if Boise State did jump Utah, it wouldn't last long. A Utah win would put it right back at the top of the non-BCS.
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
Graham what are your thoughts on the AU/West Virginia game Thursday night. Does AU have a chance?
Graham Watson (2:32 PM)
You know, five weeks ago I probably would have said yes, but now I worry that Auburn is in a tailspin. You never know what you're going to get with West Virginia, though, especially on Thursdays (see Colorado). I'm calling an Auburn rebound on this one.
Tim: Indianapolis, IN
I know Ball State doesn't have a real tough schedule, but they have been man handling teams left and right. Why are people still in doubt of how good they really are?
Graham Watson (2:35 PM)
I don't think people doubt how good they are, just how good their schedule it. I like the Cardinals. I think they have a talented quarterback and running back, but the MAC isn't getting a lot of love and Ball State is suffering because of it. I do think the Cardinals will get some respect if they can beat Central, Western and NIU.
Jake (Ft. Worth)
So what'd you think of Amon G. Carter last Thursday? I was impressed with our fans for a Thursday.
Graham Watson (2:36 PM)
I was actually surprised at the BYU turnout. There were about 40,000 fans at the game and I'd say half were wearing BYU gear. When BYU scored, the response was unreal. I do think TCU fans did a better job of showing up for this game than they had Thursday games in the past, but man, there was a lot of dark blue there.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Graham get real with the Ball State comment. They would have no chance against any bcs conference team.
Graham Watson (2:37 PM)
They beat Indiana this year.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Are you surprised at how poorly the "experienced" mizzou defense has played? I know I am, they could have been playing with flags against the Longhorns and probably wouldn't have pulled too many.
Graham Watson (2:38 PM)
Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Mizzou's defense looked like an FCS team against Texas. UTEP put up a better fight. I really thought the Mizzou defense would catch on once conference play began, but now I'm wondering if Eberflus might be on the hook.
Where you at this week?
Graham Watson (2:39 PM)
Ah, I will be in Bristol this week for my 10-hour stint on College Football Overdrive. TV is a little out of my comfort zone, so we'll see how it goes.
Jeremy, New York, New York
They beat Indiana? Are we talking about basketball or football? I'm confused. Washington State is also a BCS school but I don't think I win over them would be impressive either.
Graham Watson (2:40 PM)
OK, I'm going to boo you on that one. Washington State is the worst team in college football history. Indiana is just mildly bad.
Matt (Savannah, GA)
If you take Georgia Tech's record and slap the name "University of Miami" next to it, would they get more respect?
Graham Watson (2:42 PM)
I think a lot of it has to do with the "gimmicky" offense. I'm totally serious. It's something that's new to the ACC, so people are quick to discount it. It's like Texas Tech a few years ago. I think what makes GT good is the work it does in the trenches. That's where it should earn its respect.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
The TCU defense is fast and smothering...are they better than, say, any defense in the Big 12?
Graham Watson (2:43 PM)
Obviously not considering what OU was able to do to the Frogs. But I will say that I believe TCU was able to get like four sacks on Bradford. That's something.
Now do you think Mark Synder should be fired?
Graham Watson (2:45 PM)
Yeah, I'm really disappointed in Marshall. The Herd could have run away with the East and now I think East Carolina is going to steal it back from them. I'm not ready to pull the firing card yet, but a few more losses will definitely warrant action.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Should Charlie Weis be fired? He only got into the BCS because of Ty Willingham's recruits. His recruits aren't showing up to play.
Graham Watson (2:46 PM)
Um, Jimmy Clausen has set career bests in each of the past three games, Golden Tate is playing well above his head and Michael Floyd is one of the best freshman receivers in the country. The team is 4-2, and the UNC loss was a heartbreaker. How are they not showing up to play?
Will J (Portland, OR)
Graham, I think Idaho is giving the Wazzu Cougs a run at the title as the worst FBS team. If they played who would win?
Graham Watson (2:47 PM)
It would be the ugliest game ever and probably like a 66-65 result since neither school plays a lot of defense. I'll take volunteers to field a team against Washington State.
Graham....While I wish Ball State hadn't got leapfrogged by other non-BCS schools in the rankings....am I crazy to also be excitted about it? I figure the more non-BCS schools ranked the better it is for all non-BCS schools in the long term! I am just a nut job for thinking that?
Graham Watson (2:49 PM)
I definitely think the fact that six non-BCS schools in the rankings makes for a talking point and maybe a reexamination of the automatic bids.
BJ: (Greenville, SC)
What was your opinion when Stephen Garcia was hit by the ref, during last weeks USC vs LSU game, also should that have been interference or is there a rule on that?
Graham Watson (2:51 PM)
I heard about this on the Herd and went to YouTube to watch. I was stunned. Dude threw a forearm. It would have been funny had it not been so tragic. There's no interference by the ref. The ref is in play. Same thing if like the ball bounces off his head. It's in play. But man, there should have been some discipline for that guy trying to relive his glory years.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Graham, Wazzu had tryouts a few weeks ago for QB, didn't you get the memo?
Graham Watson (2:52 PM)
Yeah, I had to work. I throw a tight spiral though.
John (Winterville, NC)
Would ECU be back in the top 25 if they finished the season say 11-3, or 10-4?
Graham Watson (2:55 PM)
There's only so much room in the Top 25. First, I don't think ECU is going to finish that well. Let's remember that they just beat a Memphis team that had both its starting and backup quarterback broken with the first 11 minutes. Second, I think six is going to be the max for non-BCS teams in the polls. Maybe seven if Notre Dame or Navy goes on a tear. But I think the six in there right now are the best out there.
Alex (Jonesboro, AR)
Graham, Do you think the Sun Belt will send multiple teams to bowls this year? With the two new ones, I just don't see all of the big conferences filling all of their slots.
Graham Watson (2:56 PM)
I think the Belt will have three bowl eligible teams - Troy, ULL, ASU. I'll go out on a limb and say that if Desormeaux and Fenroy are healthy, ULL will win the Belt. Troy will go to a bowl. ASU will be left out.
Graham, I know Wazzu is really, really bad, but the worst team EVER? Don't you remember those late-80's SMU teams. You know, after they were resurrected from the death penalty? I remember Lou Holtz threatening to bench any player that scored the touchdown that put ND up over 60 against SMU...and I remember the Rocket running out of bounce on the 5 yard line to avoid just that.
Graham Watson (2:57 PM)
OK, worst team without some sort of scholarship limitation or postseason ban. How about that?
John (Greenville, NC)
Who do you see giving Tulsa the hardest time in breaking their bcs hopes? Maybe Ecu in the cusa championship game?
Graham Watson (2:59 PM)
Probably Arkansas on the short week. But really, I just think Tulsa outlasts other schools. When it's focused and on, as it has been for every game by SMU, it is powerful team. Now, no team can play at a high level every weekend, but I think Tulsa got its mental block out of the way a couple weeks ago.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
What do you think of the Maryland Terps?
Graham Watson (3:00 PM)
What can anybody think of Maryland? No one has any idea which team is going to show up. It's a total crap shoot. I think the Terps are good but wildly inconsistent.
Have you ever ran out of bounce? What is that?
Graham Watson (3:01 PM)
When you run out your clothes get all staticky (is that a word?)
Which non-bcs team do you honestly think will make it to a BCS bowl?
Graham Watson (3:02 PM)
Ask me this question in three weeks, after Utah/TCU. I'll know by then.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Do you think that the inconsistency shown by Maryland is a result of the coaches or a lack of leadership on the football team?
Graham Watson (3:03 PM)
It's probably a little of both. Obviously, the gameplans are there and right and good, but these guys have to get fired up to play every week. There has to be some sort of internal motivation that comes from each play individually.
Matt : (Orlando, FL)
Wake vs. Miami?
Graham Watson (3:04 PM)
Shockingly, I like Miami.
Lucas (Ann Arbor)
Michigan or Michigan State this weekend? Both teams coming off terrible losses, and the game is in Ann Arbor. I like UM's chances.
Graham Watson (3:04 PM)
Michigan State. I don't think UM has anyone who can stop Ringer and he;s gonna be fired up after rushing for like 61 yards last week.
Graham Watson (3:05 PM)
OK. Gotta get back to work. Talk to ya'll next week.