Chat with Brian Bennett
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville.
Send your questions now and join Bennett in The Show at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday!
Brian Bennett (3:03 PM)
Hello, everybody. Let's talk some college football on Thanksgiving eve eve
TJ - New York
With LeSean McCoy returning next season, I feel like his name has to be on the short list of contenders for the Heisman next year (along with Colt McCoy, Bradford and Tebow providing they return). What are your thoughts?
Brian Bennett (3:04 PM)
Agreed, and that's a pretty good list you've got going there.
Stephen (Knoxville, TN)
Brian, do you think that Brian Kelly will... A)Leave Cincinatti for Tennessee, B) Leave Cincinatti for Notre Dame assuming it opens, or C) Stay at Cincinatti?
Brian Bennett (3:06 PM)
I think if Notre Dame would come open, Kelly would be on the first train to South Bend. Tennessee, I think, is a little more questionable. He doesn't strike me as an SEC guy, though the Vols have had success with Bruce Pearl.
How can Kenny Britt not a Biletnikoff Finalist (top 10)? That is a travesty considering he is top 3 in many wide receiver categories. (How sweet was that Cuse win over Notre Dame....guess Notre Dame would last in the Big East, no wonder why they wouldn't to join the league.
Brian Bennett (3:07 PM)
Same way Donald Brown is not a Doak Walker finalist. Anti-East Coast bias, I suppose
How do you have Pitt ahead of Rutgers in your conference power rankings after the whipping RU put on them?
Brian Bennett (3:08 PM)
I base it on the whole season, not just head to head, and I think Pitt has had a slightly better season (3 losses vs. 5). I don't have UConn ahead of Cincinnati either, and the Huskies whipped the Bearcats
Ty (Detroit, MI)
Brian, can you please be the only one to explain to me thus far how ANYONE could have Florida ranked ahead of Texas or Oklahoma? Is there any SEC win that looks as good as the wins those two teams have, not to mention OU beat TCU and Cincinatti.
Brian Bennett (3:09 PM)
I didn't like that. Florida has been awfully impressive, sure, but who have they beaten? Georgia is decent, but not nearly as good as they were hyped to be. Other than Bama and Florida, the SEC is pretty down, if you ask me.
Sun Bowl selection committee chairman John Folmer seems set on Notre Dame. How will this play out against the NCAA rules you mentioned yesterday?
Brian Bennett (3:10 PM)
I have no doubt the Sun Bowl wants Notre Dame. I want a new Ferrari. Neither of us will get our wish. The Sun Bowl would have to work something out with the Big East to get Notre Dame and place a Big East team elsewhere, but I don't sense much interest on the part of the league in doing that.
Steve (Syracuse, NY)
Chances Syracuse pulls back to back road upsets to win won for the greggors?
Brian Bennett (3:10 PM)
I don't see it. Cincinnati is too close to overlook anybody, and the Bearcats are a lot better than Notre Dame. Now, if WVU loses Friday and clinches it for Cincy, maybe the Bearcats come out flat and lose.
Jason (San Jose)
Assuming Oregon State beats Oregon, who do you see Cal playing in the Sun Bowl?
Brian Bennett (3:11 PM)
West Virginia, assuming the Mountaineers don't lose their last two
Are the lower tier bowl - International, St. Pete, Papa Johns - ranked in any order? Are any Big East teams likely to get an at large bid. If so, who and where?
Brian Bennett (3:12 PM)
No, after Meineke, those three bowls work together to figure out the best mix, usually based on geography. The only way the Big East has to go the at-large route is if Rutgers loses to Louisville (which would make both 6-6) and/or Notre Dame beats USC
Alright Brian...You are the Sugar Bowl Pres. Would you rather have Bama v. Utah and a possible repeat of last year or Bama v. Cincinnati, or is it just wishful thinking the cats could go to NO
Brian Bennett (3:13 PM)
Assuming Alabama loses to Florida, of course, I'd rather have Utah. Undefeated team trying to prove itself. Then again, I think Cincinnati fans would have more fun in New Orleans ...
LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh PA)
Brian, why do you think I decided to come back next season?
Brian Bennett (3:14 PM)
You like college. I just hope you don't get hurt. A running back's career doesn't last very long.
Tyler Norris (Austin, TX)
Why are we discussing anything but the Big XII South mess?
Brian Bennett (3:14 PM)
I don't know. Do you have a solution?
Drew (Gainesville, FL)
Here's something impressive about Florida: In the last 5 games our defense has allowed 0 TD's until we've scored 6 TD's...I don't care who you're playing that's impressive. Allowing 0 TD's is all but unheard of in the Big 12...
Brian Bennett (3:16 PM)
No doubt, the Gators have been mighty impressive. I picked them in the preseason to win it all, so I'm feeling pretty smart. If they beat Bama, they're going to the BCS title game, no questions asked. Just not sure they deserve to be ranked No. 2 right now is all.
Matt (Charleston, WV)
The Big XII South is a color-by-numbers compared to the ACC if you ask me.
Brian Bennett (3:17 PM)
You got that right. I feel bad for Heather Dinich having to sort through that mess every week. Then again, none of it matters to the national picture.
Isn't time for Weis to go? He has the same winning percentage as Bob Davie and Ty Willingham and they both got canned.
Brian Bennett (3:17 PM)
It's awfully hard for me to see how they justify keeping Weis other than that ridiculous contract right now. Especially with Kelly out there ...
Yashar (Iowa City, Iowa)
What is with the lack of Heisman hype and national recognition for Shonn Greene? The guy is the nation's leading rusher, has the highest ypc average (min 250 carries), and is the only back to go over 100 yards every game of the season... If he doesn't get an invite to New York Iowa fans will be irate!
Brian Bennett (3:18 PM)
Same thing with Donald Brown, etc. You just don't get Heisman love on a team that has multiple losses and is mid-pack in its conference, unless you have mind-boggling, historically dazzling numbers. That's how it's set up.
Jay (Somewhere in Ohio)
I have a solution for the Big 12 South mess. It may just be one man's opinion, but isn't that what 2/3 of the BCS voting is? Texas played Big 12 North champion Missouri, and beat them. A lot of arguments against Oklahoma is that they did not play Mizzou. Put Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship against Missouri. If they win, measure their performance against Missouri's compared to what Texas did against them. If OU loses, send Texas to the NC. Sorry Tech, but losing late hurts too much.
Brian Bennett (3:19 PM)
Not sure Texas fans would like that arrangement. And then you have the problem of a team in the BCS title game that didn't even win its own division. Sheesh, what a mess.
Speaking about an undefeated team trying to prove itself, and likely to get the shaft yet again in favor of Utah...I give you the Boise State Broncos!
Brian Bennett (3:20 PM)
I'd sure like to see them get a shot, but sadly that doesn't look possible
Real quick question we all agree that Notre Dame is not what it once was. I listen to people you work for say they are not a major player in college football(4D) if this is true why when they lost this weekend did ESPNEWS keep the score on breaking news for hours after the game. My conclusion is like it or not Notre Dame is college football win or lose.
Brian Bennett (3:21 PM)
They're like the Yankees. People are interested in what they do and love it when they lose. That's one of the rare unifying things in this sport.
Brian, Was that you throwing Oranges on the field Saturday? I was afraid you were going to get the Bearcats a penalty.
Brian Bennett (3:22 PM)
No, I was trying to catch one to put in my Blue Moon. Have you ever seen a team's fans throw oranges for the game BEFORE they clinch an Orange Bowl berth? Strange stuff.
My gf is trying to run interference on a trip to Charlotte if Rutgers wins next Thursday (says I have to be in Richmond on Sunday for her dad's 50th b-day). Question, when do I dump her - right after the win or wait until the invite is formally announced?
Brian Bennett (3:22 PM)
This officially would mark the first time the Meineke Car Care Bowl has ruined a relationship
hey brian love your blog. Do you think that Pitt could be a suprise national championship contender for next year? Also where do you think leasean Mccoy is going stack up with Bradford and Colt Mccoy
Brian Bennett (3:24 PM)
National title contender may be a bit strong. They're going to need to find some linebackers. But they should be favorites to win the Big East. As far as the Heisman, McCoy and Bradford are going to start out as the favorites, naturally. One of them will win it this year.
Hey Brian. What if Texas beats A&M by about 20 points, Oklahoma beats OSU by say...4 points..who in your mind would be more deserving of the trip to Kansas City (read: Miami)? Also what's up with all the people disregarding the ridiculous schedule of TX, while glorifying wins against Citadel?
Brian Bennett (3:26 PM)
This is so, so tough. I give the edge to Texas for beating Oklahoma on a neutral field. But I also think Oklahoma is terrific. Can't we just have a rematch in the Big 12 title game? Who wants to see Missouri there?
Where do you think that Cincy would end up standings if they were in the big 12? My roommate thinks they would be in the running to win the big 12(based on West V over OK last year). I told him they would be fighting for 4th or 5th in The North!
Brian Bennett (3:27 PM)
Depends what division they were in. In the North, I think they'd compete well. In the South, probably fourth or fifth. But here are two scores for you to ponder, with both games in Norman: Oklahoma 52, UC 26 .... Oklahoma 65, Texas Tech 21. For what it's worth.
Marc (Woodbridge, VA)
Does the Gator Bowl have any interest in West Virginia?
Brian Bennett (3:29 PM)
The Mountaineers are on their radar, but they've been there three times since 2003, so I think the Gator would like someone new. I'm hearing Nebraska will go if the Huskers beat Colorado. Big fan base guaranteed to sell tix, and keeps the Notre Dame option alive for next year.
Jay (Somewhere in Ohio)
This has been such a wacky year. Can you not help but get the feeling that somebody (OU, UT, or TT) might slip up this weekend a la West Virginia last year against Pitt?
Brian Bennett (3:30 PM)
Wouldn't shock me. Texas has a rivalry game, even though A&M stinks, and Okie State can't be overlooked.
Ben (Cincinnati, OH)
Brian, How come I constantly hear negative things about the Big East throughout the nation? Does anyone not check out the Big East's bowl records the past couple of years, especially in the BCS bowls. I'd take UC, WVU, and Pitt over most conference's top three teams.
Brian Bennett (3:31 PM)
The Big East deserves some criticism, but what bugs me is how people forget that the Big East has been much, much better than the ACC in recent years. And look at the BCS standings today: Cincinnati 16th, highest ACC team (FSU) 20th
Greg (Lincoln NE)
Hey Brian, why does everyone keep referring to the head to head match up with Oklahoma and Texas? It is a three way tie right? Tech did beat Texas? I mean it did happen didn't it? If so many want to crown Texas the Big 12 South Champion then what about Tech?
Brian Bennett (3:32 PM)
Well, people are counting out Tech because they lost 65-21. It's hard to have an argument that you're the nation's best team when you come up with that turkey. And there's no chance Tech ends up with the higher BCS standing because of that. So it's a two-team race.
Hey Brian..Thanks for giving Canada a Little bit of love here..Can Oklahoma really say they should be ahead of Texas??? They have played the worst team in D-1AA chattanuga(FCS) and D-1A Washington(FBS)that nullifies any good victory over TCU and Cincy!
Brian Bennett (3:33 PM)
Yeah, but Texas played UTEP, Rice, Arkansas, FAU and Colorado ... not exactly murderer's row either
ok say Bradford is as consistent as he always is in the OSU game.. Mccoy also good in the T.A&M game, who wins the heisman and why?
Brian Bennett (3:34 PM)
Another impossible decision. I have Bradford slightly ahead right now, but it's too close to call.
Do you think bama can beat florida?
Brian Bennett (3:35 PM)
Yes, I do, and I think all the people who are just trying to hand Florida the SEC title are just going to fire 'Bama up. That's an awfully good defense.
Assuming Cincy beats Syracuse, what matchup would you like to see them have in the BCS and why.
Brian Bennett (3:36 PM)
Well, I think they'll play an ACC team in the Orange Bowl, and to me, Georgia Tech and Florida State are the most interesting teams there. UC vs. Boston College could set some all-time record low TV ratings.
Dan (Lynchburg, VA)
How would you feel about a Rutgers and UNC rematch? I am a big Rutgers fan and I was embarrassed that Thursday night. Do you think RU has improved enough beat UNC?
Brian Bennett (3:38 PM)
I don't like bowl rematches unless the regular-season game was truly memorable or exciting. And that one truly wasn't
Rich (San Fran, CA)
Although Cincy has been impressive and West Virginia & Rutgers have bounced back late in the season, it looks like the Big East is a bit down this season. Also tyhe ACC is basically wide open. What's your opinion on these conferences getting automatice BCS bids THIS year?
Brian Bennett (3:39 PM)
I still think they're deserving. Cincinnati will likely finish the year in the top 15 of the BCS standings. Nothing wrong with that.
I'm confused about the selection in the Sun Bowl. I thought it was the Pac 10 vs. Big 12 this year. South Florida was in it last year. Can the Sun Bowl take either the Big East or the Big 12, whatever they want?
Brian Bennett (3:41 PM)
Yes, the Gator and Sun have a deal in which they will each take a Big 12 or Big East team twice in four years. Gator is likely to take a Big 12, as I mentioned earlier, which means Big East for the Sun
Is Jonathan Baldwin the best WR in the Big East?
Brian Bennett (3:42 PM)
Nope. Kenny Britt is. But I can't wait to see Baldwin for the next two years
Larry (Glendale, CA)
Do you think this season will be like the 2006 season where USC should have faced Florida for the national title?
Brian Bennett (3:42 PM)
No, I think the Big 12 champ and the SEC champ should play for the title, whoever those teams may be
Dan (Tampa, FL)
Brian, what are your thoughts on the impending rematch between Oregon State and Penn State in the Rose Bowl, if the Beavers can dam up the Ducks [and their run game] this weekend? Penn State laid a solid whipping on them early this season, but that was before the super duper confidence booster win they got against USC.
Brian Bennett (3:44 PM)
First of all, I hate the idea of that rematch but think it's fitting for the stuck-in-the-1950s Rose Bowl. There is no bigger impediment to a playoff than the Rose committee, the Big 10 and the Pac 10. They already gave us a joke game last year by taking Illinois, and I hope they get another one this year. But at least they'll have their pretty rose parade. (This issue riles me up a bit).
Mike (Country Roads, WV)
With Pat White leaving, but the Defense staying intact. What are my Mountaineers chances of being a legitimate Big East/National Championship contender next year.
Brian Bennett (3:45 PM)
Brian, love your work. Please tell me what the heck is wrong with Notre Dame? Have the players lost respect for Weiss? It's unreal, with their talent, they will be 6-6.
Brian Bennett (3:46 PM)
See, I don't think their talent is all that great. At the very least, it's young. And I'm still looking for that decided schematic advantage
Drew (Gainesville, FL)
I agree, the Rose Bowl's clinging to the 'old ways' is ridiculous. Illinois against USC and a potential State rematch? Not to mention condemning the SEC to playing mismatched mid-majors in the Sugar.
Brian Bennett (3:47 PM)
Awful. Just awful. We could have had USC-Georgia last year. Something like Penn State-Alabama this year. Of course, if Oregon State loses (and Jacquizz is hurt), USC-Penn State will be good.
John (Spokane WA)
Okay, lets assume OU will jump texas, like will happen cuz im a UT fan. Texas gets an at large bcs bid, to the fiesta right? against??
Brian Bennett (3:49 PM)
Yep. We could be looking at Texas-USC in the Fiesta if Oregon State wins and OU jumps the Horns. Sounds like a nice semifinal game, huh?
If Pitt beats WVU are they still not going to get to the Sun Bowl?, That doesn't seem fair to Pitt?
Brian Bennett (3:49 PM)
Fairness has little to do with it. Selling tickets does. Pitt hasn't been great at this, which is why they might not even go to the Meineke bowl
Who are we going to see up here in the International Bowl?
Brian Bennett (3:50 PM)
Donald Brown and the UConn Huskies.
james (gillette, wy)
what if florida loses this weekend then beats bama in the sec championship game and texas and oklahoma win out with one going to and winning the big 12 title. will we have a texas-ou rematch for the national championship?
Brian Bennett (3:51 PM)
Very possible. I don't like the concept, and I hated the idea of a Michigan-Ohio State rematch a couple years ago, but this is one I could get behind.
Jeff (Mountaineerville, WV)
If Coach Stew left things alone with White and let him run instead of trying to make him a passer, are they still in the top 10???
Brian Bennett (3:52 PM)
Well, that doesn't solve the defensive issues against East Carolina. It doesn't solve the short-yardage problems. And Pat White probably gets hurt earlier and more frequently.
Matt - Cincinnati
Isn't it strange to think if the Bearcats win their next 2 games, and win the bowl game, they'd likely be ranked in the top 10? Did you see any of this coming whatsoever?
Brian Bennett (3:54 PM)
Early in the year, I thought it was possible, with all they brought back. But after all the QB injuries, no way. That's why Kelly should be a national coach of the year candidate.
Would you rank USC ahead of Penn State right now? It doesn't make sense to me that they would be ranked ahead of them in any poll.
Brian Bennett (3:55 PM)
Tough call. Based simply on common opponents, you'd have to say Penn State gets the call. Nittany Lions beat Oregon State and Ohio State, USC lost to Oregon State
If Texas and OU rematch for the title. Who wins?
Brian Bennett (3:56 PM)
Oklahoma certainly seems to be the hotter team right now. But Big Game Bob has been bad in bowls lately.
Brian Bennett (3:57 PM)
And yes, I just avoided answering that question
Fran (Syracuse, NY)
Did a win on national TV help Syracuse's chances of nabbing a top-flight coach?
Brian Bennett (3:59 PM)
Not sure that makes any difference in the coaching search. It could help the next guy a little bit in recruiting, though
Brian- Wasn't that "decided schematic advantage" quotes one of the most ridiculous comments made at new hire press conference or that matter any press conference?? It couldn't happen to nicer guy and a better university....
Brian Bennett (4:00 PM)
Yes, and it's another reason that people are gleeful when Notre Dame falls on its face
Brian Bennett (4:01 PM)
Well, that's all my time for today. Thanks for the question and I hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving.