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 (1:57 PM)
Gonna start the chat a little early this week. So let's begin.
Dick (WDC Metro)
Army vs Air Force this weekend. What's your take? Does Army turn the corner and continue their resurgence?
Graham Watson (1:58 PM)
I really like what Army is doing, but I'm not sure the Black Knights are going to hold Air Force down. The Falcons have been surging and if they don't beat themselves then this should be a win. I do think that Army has been awesome the lst few weeks and this game will be closer now than maybe it would have been if it had been played a month ago.
Will ( Springdale, Ar )
Who win the matchup between Texas defense or Tech offense?
Graham Watson (2:00 PM)
I like Texas in this game because it plays both offense and defense and sometimes the Tech defense doesn't show up. The way to beat Graham Harrell - and I've been watching him since he was at Ennis HS - is to hit him. He gets frustrated when he gets hit and he starts making mistakes. Look at what Nevada was able to do to him early in the season.
John, St. Louis, Missouri
What bowl do you think Mizzou can get if they win out and win the Big 12 Championship? And what Bowl do you think Mizzou can get if they win out and lose the Big 12 Championship?
Graham Watson (2:02 PM)
Well, if Mizzou wins the Big 12 championship it gets the Fiesta Bowl. If they win out and lose, they'll play in the Cotton bowl again because Texas will probably be in the national championship and OU will get the other BCS bid because of its ranking.
Graham, Do you think Will Muschamp leaves Texas and goes for a head coaching job, or does Mack Brown give him a big time raise to keep him at D coordinator??
Graham Watson (2:03 PM)
I think it's totally possible especially with all the positions already opening up and a ton to open up at season's end. Muschamp is fiery and he relates to his players well. He's probably got a destination in mind that would make him leave Texas regardless of the money he's offered.
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
Who are your picks for the BCS National Championship game in Miami right now?
Graham Watson (2:04 PM)
Texas v Penn State, though that first team could change after this weekend. The Longhorns get past Tech and it's smooth sailing.
KJ (Denver, CO)
What's the word on Minnesota being 7-1 after their horrible season last year? Do they have a legitimate shot at a decent bowl?
Graham Watson (2:06 PM)
The Gophers have been awesome this season, but they still have three tough games ahead and an Iowa team that's gotten better the past couple weeks. They're in fourth right now, so they'd probably have to win out to get a high-level bowl, but I wouldn't put the Alamo Bowl out of reach.
Chase (Dallas, Texas)
Will USC, given they finish the season with 1 loss, undeservedly be put into the title game if Texas and Alabama both lose? I can't imagine a more undeserving team but it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see the pollsters give them enough points to land them in the game. What do you think? I can think of 5 or so teams currently ranked that would deserve a shot over USC.
Graham Watson (2:09 PM)
I think it depends who Texas or Alabama or Penn State for that matter lose to in the coming weeks. Alabama has a lot of legit teams remaining on the schedule, the other two do not. I too don't think USC and its cake conference deserve a national championship bid, and I don;t think they'll get it. It will be a Big 12 and SEC team if there are no undefeated major conference teams remaining.
Tim: Indianapolis, IN
What do think Ball State's chances are of making a BCS game? Also, will you be at any of the upcoming Ball State games?
Graham Watson (2:10 PM)
I don't think Ball State can make a BCS game short of every other non-BCS team in front of them taking (that includes Tulsa). I was just talking to someone about this a few minutes ago and it's going to be a cluster heading into the stretch here. There might be four undefeated teams and three could be left out of the BCS. Kinda takes the steam out of going undefeated. Not sure about going to any Ball State games this season yet. Probably the Central Michigan game in a couple weeks.
I know USC does not deserve to be ahead of unbeaten teams but they did beat Virginia by a ton a Ohio State by 32 when Penn state only won by 6 but the big 12 did not fare so well in BCS bowls last year Kansas and Oklahoma were beaten pretty well and Missouri won against Arkansas without its head coach?
Graham Watson (2:13 PM)
yeah, but everyone knows that there's more weight given to what a team does at the end of the season than at the beginning. USC beat an Ohio State that was without its best player and playing a young, inexperienced QB. And the Virginia team that started the season is miles away from the Virginia team playing now. It's not even the same game if it was played this weekend. And Kansas beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl last year.
Snake (St. Louis, MO)
Graham, thanks for taking Cloudson's question. He's wondering was the Mizzou-Texas fiasco the result of Pinkel not getting the team ready, or is that just him covering for the obvious gap that continues to exist between the Big XII North and South? Mizzou's performance against a weak Colorado team would seem to suggest the latter. Thanks.
Graham Watson (2:15 PM)
Hey. Several players have candidly said that the team was not ready to play for both that game and the Oklahoma State game, which is a little reminiscent of 2004, when Mizzou thought it could step on the field and beat teams without any preparation or effort. Not so, obviously. And while I don't think MU could have beaten Texas anyway, I do think it would have been a better game. I think things are straightened out now.
Brian (Maumee, OH)
If Boise State and Utah both go unbeaten, could the determining game for who goes to a BCS bowl actually be the Civil War of Oregon at Oregon State?
Graham Watson (2:16 PM)
You know, that's a good point, but I think the determining factor will be that Utah will have beaten three ranked teams to be undefeated. TCU, BYU and Michigan (ranked in the preseason coaches poll). Boise State would have beaten one.
Do you think that Texas Tech has the best offense in the nation?
Graham Watson (2:18 PM)
That's tough to say because unlike past years when the Tech offense has just blown everyone away with its stats, there are a lot more teams with good numbers this season. If you asked me this question next week and Tulsa beat Arkansas, I might say Tulsa has the best offense, then Tech, then Texas, then Oklahoma State.
Sarah: (Broken Arrow, Ok):
Since Tulsa played on Sunday after the rankings came out and they play again on Saturday against Arkansas could they possibly move up into the top 10 or 15 maybe? Will they take into consideration they played 2 games during the stretch?
Graham Watson (2:20 PM)
Yes, they'll take into consideration that they played two games. Obviously, Tulsa would have to beat Arkansas to move up, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Golden Hurricane nuzzle right up to TCU, making the BCS standings a crazy mess heading into the final couple laps of the season.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Is BYU in a bit of a funk right now, or are TCU and UNLV simply the best teams they have played?
Graham Watson (2:21 PM)
TCU is the best team BYU has played, but the Cougars are in a bit of a funk. Luckily, they play two on the lower end of the conference, which should provide some confidence heading into tough games against Air Force and Utah.
Who do you see winning the BC-Clemson game Saturday?
Graham Watson (2:23 PM)
I like BC because Clemson has just been so streaky this season. BC has won four of its last five and Clemson has lost three straight. BC had a tough game against UNC, but I think they rally and beat Clemson handily. I think the Tigers are done.
Coach Richt ( Athens, Georgia)
Graham what do you think our chances are of getting to the BCS Title Game?
Graham Watson (2:26 PM)
I think you beat Florida this week - and win out - and the BCS game is yours, but not the title game unless Bama just tanks the rest of the season and even then, you'd need Penn State to lose. A one-loss Big 12 team will get in and either an undefeated Penn State or a one-loss SEC team.
So Graham, who has the SEC beaten OOC to show its dominance. Clemson????
Graham Watson (2:27 PM)
That doesn't matter. The SEC is the top conference in the country. The simple fact that they beat up on each other week in and week out is credibility enough. If a team can get through the brutal SEC where even Mississippi State can pull off the upset, it deserves to be in the national title game.
Chris (San Diego)
Will you be in SLC for the Utah vs. TCU game? Prediction?
Graham Watson (2:28 PM)
All signs point to yes on that one. And I'm not ready to predict that one yet. Both teams have a trap game this week.
Graham Watson (2:30 PM)
I think he's better for a couple reasons... He has a coach that knows how to make quarterbacks into stars and he's a better passer and he seems to read the game better than Brad did. Brad played on instinct. Griffin actually checks his reads and uses what the defense gives him.
Brian (Baltimore, MD)
Is Daryll Clark on the Heisman short-list next year? Is Evan Royster? Are both?
Graham Watson (2:32 PM)
I think Daryll Clark, should Penn State win out, would be on the Heisman list this year. He won't win, but he'll probably get an invite. so to answer your question, yes, I think both will be watched, but there's no telling whether Penn Sate will be this good next year. I think the rest of the conference, especially Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State, all catch up.
Graham ( NC)
What head coach do you personally think Clemson needs the most??
Graham Watson (2:33 PM)
I wouldn't rule Gary Patterson out of the mix. He builds his teams based on defense and UNC has shown this season that that's the way to be successful in the ACC.
Graham, that's a load of crap! Why is it that the SEC "beats up on each other week in and week out" but if another conference "beats up on each other" it's a sign of weakness of that conference?
Graham Watson (2:35 PM)
I'd say the same thing about the Big 12 because of how many teams are ranked in the Top 25 for both conferences. I'm not sure playing Ole Miss or even Baylor is the same as playing, say, Indiana or Washington.
Ms.Watson, Please tell me why Joe Burnett of UCF doesn't get more respect?
Graham Watson (2:36 PM)
He gets respect from teams, but because UCF is so down this year, he's getting lost in the shuffle of all the great DBs out there. I will say that scouts are very aware of him and he'll have no problem standing out at the combine.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Still going to the Eagle Bank bowl Graham?
Graham Watson (2:37 PM)
A rematch of Navy and Duke? I can't wait.
WHY DO YOU THINK THE BULLDOGS WILL BEAT THE GATORS?
Graham Watson (2:39 PM)
I don't. Or at least, I didn't say that. I was impressed with the way Georgia's line held up last week, but I think LSU came into that game thinking the line was going to be weak and took that for granted. I don't think Florida does the same thing. This is going to be a close game, probably too close to call, but Georgia's game is all going to hinge on whether they can continue to diversify the offense and get Moreno consistent, productive touches.
Why is Knowshon Moreno getting no heisman love?
Graham Watson (2:40 PM)
Because he hasn't been as consistent as a lot of other guys this season. It seems like this year's Heisman will go to a quarterback. Just too many guys putting up ridiculous numbers this season
Charlie Weis (Notre Dame)
Ms.Watson, what bowl do you see my team landing in if we win out including a win on the road at USC?
Graham Watson (2:42 PM)
Wow, if you beat USC (which I don't think will happen, but I'll play along)... Uh, probably a BCS bowl. Maybe the Sugar. I'm not sure I see you sweeping Pitt and BC. I think you lose to one of the two.
BYU will win out and make a bcs game if boise loses and utah beats TCU do you agree
Graham Watson (2:43 PM)
No. I think if Boise State loses, and the MWC teams all have one loss then Tulsa or Ball State will go to a BCS bowl. Though, I don't think Ball State will stay undefeated.
ken (south bend)
Now that Notre Dame is playing much better than you predicted at the beginning of the season, and USC doesn't really look all that great, how do you see the Irish finishing the season (including the whatever bowl game they will be in)?
Graham Watson (2:46 PM)
No, Notre Dame is exactly where I thought they would be this time of year. The games they lost were games I thought they'd lose. They're 5-2 now and I think they finish the regular season 8-4, which would put them in the Gator Bowl and probably beat whatever Big East team they'd play.
Troy (La Plata, MD)
Graham be better than all of your other co-workers. Not one, other than Heather Dinich, have given any props to Duke for beating Vandy. I think they deserve a round of applause, don't you?
Graham Watson (2:48 PM)
I'd agree. Everyone hyped up Vandy early in the season. No backing off that now.
Mike *(Obnug, ID)
Ms. Watson, do you really consider Utah's win over Michigan a win over a ranked team? Last I checked they have a losing record.
Graham Watson (2:49 PM)
Hey, the coaches saw fit to rank Michigan in the preseason. I thought it was ridiculous, but it still goes down as a win over a ranked team.
Jim ( Georgia)
How can you say moreno hasnt been consistent when hes only had ONE bad game in which he carried the ball only 9 times because he came out with an injured elbow? Name one person who has not had a bad game?
Graham Watson (2:49 PM)
Paul (Fort Worth)
GP would not leave Fort Worth to coach at Clemson...come on!
Graham Watson (2:51 PM)
I'm not thinking he would either, but there's talk... GP has had a lot of offers over the years, but someone has to pay him probably 2.3 or 2.5 to leave the comfy recruiting confines of Texas. I will say this... If TCU makes a BCS bowl, I think the chances of his leaving skyrocket because what's left after that?
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Is Wannestedt perpetually on the hot seat? Pitt fans are always complaining about him, and then he comes through with one or two big wins that buys him some time.
Graham Watson (2:53 PM)
I think he is because he can;t get his team to play consistently. I will say that I'm not a big fan of Pitt. I think it's one of the most overrated teams in the country (see Bowling Green loss), but the Panthers keep getting key wins to keep Wannestedt around. But if he doesn't start putting a consistent product on the field, it might be time to go a different direction.
Weak Graham! using the preseason poll to justify UTAH is ridiculous and I think you know that! Only BoiseState has a win over a current top25 team of the non-BCS unbeatens. come on now!
Graham Watson (2:56 PM)
You could throw 100 arguments out here. Utah has two wins over BCS schools, one that beat USC. Utah still has to beat two ranked teams to be undefeated. Its conference is tougher than the WAC. And Boise State played the third, fourth and fifth-string QB for Oregon, and the fifth-string threw three touchdowns in a near comeback. I'm just saying if you want to point out weak talking points be careful what you wish for.
Ok Graham dont you think McCoy is a little over rated? Georgias defense would tear him up and moreno, stafford, and company would tear texas to pieces!
Graham Watson (2:58 PM)
I actually don't believe that because I've seen nothing to support that. Neither Georgia nor Texas has played a comparable team to the other, so it's total speculation. Did anyone think Mizzou would steamroll Arkansas and hold McFadden in check in the Cotton Bowl last year? Texas has held some of the nation's best offense enough so that Texas' offense, also one of the nation's best, could score enough points to win.
Do you think Matthew Stafford will jump to the NFL after this year?
Graham Watson (2:59 PM)
I don't see that happening especially since he has a lot of talent coming back.Georgia would be a frontrunner for the national championship next year.
Matt (SLC, UT)
Hey Graham, I am ready to buy my tickets to the BCS game, which one do you think the Utes go to? Who are they going to play? Don't tell me they play the weakest team in the BCS again (see Pitt in 2004).
Graham Watson (3:01 PM)
The Fiesta seems to be the destination for the non-BCS teams and I think it would be attractive to a team like Utah or Boise State because of proximity.
Graham Watson (3:02 PM)
But I wouldn't rule out the Cotton either. I don't think it will be the Sugar after what happened last year.
Graham Watson (3:02 PM)
A couple more then I'm out
Geez, I think the main post you missing is Boise has the win over a current top25 team. last I checked Oregon's only losses are to USC and BSU. Who has't beat michigan? near comebacks don't count BSU did it and from most of the media it will never be enough. There is alwasy an excuse as to why BSU isn't this or isn't that, 5th string QB and all I mean it gets old, and UTAH will be exposed like BYU against a team that can play D.
Graham Watson (3:05 PM)
Why would Boise State's win over a current Top 25 team count more than two wins over current Top 25 teams, one of which is ranked higher than Oregon? Again, excuses could be made either way. That's why this year is shaping up to be one of the most controversial ever. There are like four teams that could have a legit beef with the BCS when it's all said and done based around the same discussion that we're having right now. Who's to decide one win over a certain team that's not No. 1 is better than the other? This is a no-win argument.
ND/Pitt, who you got??
Graham Watson (3:06 PM)
Graham Watson (3:07 PM)
OK. Gotta get back to work. Out.