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 (2:02 PM)
Welcome to the chat. Be with you in a sec.
Graham Watson (2:04 PM)
OK. Back. Let's start the chat
What is the key to the game for Utah if they are going to beat Alabama?
Graham Watson (2:06 PM)
I think Utah has to play like it did against BYU and hope the JP Wilson makes some mistakes. I think it's going to be a tough game for the Utes to win unless Alabama just comes out totally uninspired.
Tim (Minneapolis, MN)
Let's say Sam Bradford wins the Heisman and the Sooners win the National Championship......does he enter the draft?
Graham Watson (2:07 PM)
I don't think so. Everything he's said and every scout Ive talked to is pretty sure he's staying.
Do you see TCU beating Boise? should be a great game
Graham Watson (2:08 PM)
I'm a big believer in defense trumping offense and there's no question that TCU has one of the best defenses in the country. And Boise State O-line has been suspect some of this season. The question will be whether the TCU offense decides to make an appearance unlike the Utah game.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Who do you think will win BYU or Arizona? I sure hope the Wildcats get a hotel off the strip.
Graham Watson (2:09 PM)
BYU has a lot of offensive weapons, more than most of the teams Arizona has seen this year, which should be a factor. BYU will probably have the home field advantage and the Cougars are going to be eager to erase the memory of the Utah game.
Paul (Greenville, NC)
Do you think ECU can handle Kentucky?
Graham Watson (2:10 PM)
Yes I do. ECU is playing as well as it did at the beginning of the season and Kentucky is the type of team that matches up well with the Pirates. I really like them in that game.
Tim (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Who gets your nod for the heisman trophy this saturday?
Graham Watson (2:11 PM)
I like Bradford. He's just consistently played heads and tails better than any of the other candidates this season.
Only 1 BCS conference out west Boise, Idaho
Rumors of the Cotton Bowl becoming a BCS destination in near future? Fact or Fiction. Will MWC (with Boise State)get an autobid? Fact or Fiction
Graham Watson (2:12 PM)
When Jerry World opens, I believe this will be fact and maybe bump the Orange Bowl out. I'm not sure the MWC will get an automatic bid. I think there's a strong chance, but that doesn't even come up for another couple years.
ANDY (FT. WAYNE INDIANA)
Graham, what is your opinion on ND decision to keep Charlie?? Also what is you prediction for the game and should ND go back on their decision and fire Weis if the lose to Hawaii
Graham Watson (2:15 PM)
Eh, I think there are a couple ways to look at this. Did Notre Dame improve? Yes. Is it doing the right things off the field? Yes. Can Charlie fire up his players? No. And that to me is the biggest thing. It doesn't seem like they respond to him or want to play for him. Obviously, I'm not in the locker room, so I don;t know, but that's what it looks like on the field. As for firing him after the Hawaii Bowl? I doubt it. Besides, I'm not sold that they're going to lose that game. I think it will be closer than a lot of people expect.
There's no doubt that TCU will give Boise State all they can handle and it will be tough for Boise State to win that game. However, does Mark May realize Boise State is 12-0 against the MWC? Do you think Boise State would of lost 4 games in the MWC this year? Or do you just think May is an idiot?
Graham Watson (2:16 PM)
Are they 12-0 this year because to me that's all that matters. Who cares if they beat a 6-6 Utah team back in 2006. Or whatever. That has nothing to do with Dec. 23.
Beau (San Diego, CA)
What are your thoughts on Ball St V Tulsa. Two teams that got quite a bit of hype while undefeated.
Graham Watson (2:18 PM)
Honestly, I think, at least from what I've seen, read, heard, etc., that Ball State will be a little more resilient than Tulsa. Both are great teams, but I think Ball State will respond better in this game.
Greg (Boca Raton)
What do you think of FAU's matchup with CMU in the Motor City Bowl? I smell a shootout!
Graham Watson (2:19 PM)
I don't like this matchup at all. Rusty Smith and Co., are certainly better than they were at the beginning of the season, but I think Butch Davis puts an inspired team on the field for this one.
Jim (Baltimore, MD)
Graham, this is the umpteenth time I've seen you infer that TCU's offense didn't show up against Utah. It seems to me that Utah's defense is pretty good too. Perhaps TCU's offense showed up, but got shut down?
Graham Watson (2:22 PM)
Anyone watching the game would tell you that Utah's defense had a great noght, but the Utah offense kept the Utah defense on the field too long. TCU didn't have many problem moving the ball they just couldn't finish. I don't think I'd be in the minority in saying that Utah probably should have lost that game since its offense didn't show up until the final two minutes of the game.
Ryan (Boise, ID)
Do you think my Broncos would have been a top-25 team if they were in the Mountain West this year?
Graham Watson (2:23 PM)
Probably, but I don;t think they would have been undefeated. Maybe one or two losses.
Who do you think will win the gator bowl?
Graham Watson (2:27 PM)
This is a tough one because Clemson is playing really well right now and Nebraska has exceeded expectations this season. My lean is toward Nebraska.
Howard (Tulsa Oklahoma)
Is the Hawaii Bowl a launching pad for Notre Dame to become successful again?
Graham Watson (2:27 PM)
I think it can be. No better way to get a jump on 2009 than by winning your final game. Notre dame needs all the positives it can get.
What are the chances of both Brady Hoke and Nate Davis coming back next year. Also, any opinions on MAC officiating? :)
Graham Watson (2:28 PM)
I think they both come back, and no, not really.
When do players have to decide if they will enter the draft ?
Graham Watson (2:29 PM)
I assume we're talking about football... As far as I know, and I haven't looked in the past couple weeks, but that date hasn't been set yet.
Matt Lane (Tennessee)
Why didnt alabama get a shot at Texas? They are the next top 2 teams in the BCS and it would be a better game.
Graham Watson (2:30 PM)
Because the Sugar has an agreement with the SEC and though Bama didn't win the SEC championship, it was the next-best team. Just like Texas was the next-best team Big 12-wise.
Luke (Jacksonville, NC)
How impressed were you with the pirates defense against tulsa last week? 7 turnovers!
Graham Watson (2:31 PM)
I was impressed with ECU, but I was also shocked that David Johnson was so careless with the ball. A couple of those passes were underthrown and that last pass wasn't his fault since Marion fell down. But yeah, ECU is starting to look like its September self.
Dan - San Jose
Boise State would beat down both of the Orange Bowl teams. Cinncy and VaTech? Blah! No end in sight though for the BCS B.S., eh? So, so sad.
Graham Watson (2:32 PM)
I agree that Boise State would beat VT, it might have trouble with Cincy.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Graham, how many bowl games do you think you'll attend this year?
Graham Watson (2:33 PM)
I put in a request for five or six, I don't remember, and I think I'll probably get three. But I don't know what my schedule is yet. I'm guess the Poinsettia Bowl and Sugar Bowl are locks.
If La Tech wins the Indepenence Bowl, do you think Coach Dooley will stay in Ruston or leave for a larger program?
Graham Watson (2:33 PM)
He will stay in Ruston.
8ntmuch, Meridian, ID
Graham, With the season pretty much finished, who do you see as the Non-BCS front runner going into next season and why....
Graham Watson (2:36 PM)
I'd say Boise State since it doens;t lose many of its top players. BYU and Ball State will be up there too if Austin Collie and Nate Davis stay with their respective schools.
which bowl game do you think is the most interesting?
Graham Watson (2:37 PM)
I like the Poinsettia Bowl because it's two highly-ranked teams from rival conferences. A classic offense vs defense matchup. It has all the trappings of a good game.
Darrell (Orlando, FL)
Does Memphis have a chance against the Bulls?
Graham Watson (2:38 PM)
Not if they can't throw the ball and Arkelon Hall hasn't been the same since the broken thumb.
Myles (Portland, OR)
What do you think the O/U will be in the Holiday Bowl? How about a Duck victory!
Graham Watson (2:38 PM)
Personally, I like Oklahoma State, but I think it's going to be a good either way.
Graham, Do you think that the Syracuse job is that big of a step over the Buffalo gig for Turner Gill to take it if offered? If I were him I'd stay and wait for something bigger.
Graham Watson (2:40 PM)
I've talked to Turner about taking other jobs and he;s been pretty open about saying that he'll go where he's most needed. Now whether that Syracuse, Buffalo or some other place, I don't know. Gill is a religious man and he'll use that to guide him.
Jon (Chicago, IL)
What do you think about the New Mexico hire?
Graham Watson (2:41 PM)
I think it's a great hire. Locksley is a great coach, a great recruiter and the type of guy that can fire his kids up. He'll make New Mexico a power in the MWC.
John (Blacksburg, VA)
What is the inside scoop on Skip Holtz and will he still be the Pirate HC next season? Would like to see him at Virginia Tech when Beamer is done.
Graham Watson (2:42 PM)
From what I've heard, he'll still be a pirate next season, but that's what I heard yesterday. We all now how quickly things can turn in this business.
Who do you think will win the Outback Bowl?
Graham Watson (2:45 PM)
I've learned not to pick against Shon Greene
Dan (Logan, UT)
Hey Graham! With a lot of the offense returning at Utah State, including duel threat QB Diondre Borel, a stable of solid running backs (namely Robert Turbin, Marquise Butler, and more) and some young recievers, do you think that Gary Andersen can get the Aggies to 6-6 or better in his first season as head coach?
Graham Watson (2:46 PM)
i think the Aggies were highly competitive toward the end of the season and that's something to build on for the future. I also think Brent Guy's decision to play a lot of young guys will help Andersen in his transition. I wouldn't be surprised to see five or six wins next year.
Will Collie come back for his senior year, or jump to the NFL? Can he succeed there?
Graham Watson (2:48 PM)
He said he was coming back, but that was in the emotion of a tough loss. Nevertheless, I think he returns because BYU will have a great shot at the BCS if he does.
Why isn't more being made of the story of a black coach leading Buffalo to it's first bowl after it turned down it's last bowl invitation in order to take a stand against prejudice and racism? I've seen it mentioned, but this is a movie type story and I don't think it's getting enough press.
Graham Watson (2:50 PM)
Because Turner Gill doesn't like talking about it and Willie Evans - one of the black players from the 1958 team - doesn't think that's an issue. It's hard to write a story when no one wants to make that an emphasis. personally, I think it's a story of a good coach turning around a program that no one thought could be changed. That's a good story in itself.
You don't think TCU will be one of the best Non AQ schools next year? They are returning a 2 year starting junior QB and almost the entire offense (including a stud freshman RB recruit coming in). The defense is losing some key guys, but most of the guys replacing them have gotten a lot of gameday experience already and should take over without missing too big of a step.
Graham Watson (2:50 PM)
Yeah... As I was typing another answer I realized I forgot to put them in there. I think TCU could win the MWC next season.
Make your pick as a non biased observer! OU vs UF! Thanks!
Graham Watson (2:51 PM)
John (Boise, ID)
Graham you know nothing about college football. You think Boise State would have trouble with Cincy, even after Hawaii gave the game to Cincy?
Graham Watson (2:53 PM)
Why is that always the first thing people say when they don't agree with you? It's such an ignorant statement... Look, Cincy had no reason to play that Hawaii game. None. It wasn't going to change their season one bit. And it was on the island, which is not an easy place to play as Boise State knows. Put Boise State and Cincy on a neutral field and yeah, Cincy gives the Broncos trouble. I mean, Nevada played Boise to a possession.
Sooner (Norman, OK)
It seems that people think Florida will beat OU easily because they think Big12's defenses are nothing. What do you think?
Graham Watson (2:55 PM)
See, and I don't understand that. Anyone who has seen Bradford play should know the kid could throw a football through the eye of a needle. He's so poised and smart that it doesn't matter what type of defenses he's playing, he's still going to be able to make plays. That's what good players do. i must be the only person in the world who doesn't think this game is even going to be that close.
Rudy (Lewisville, TX)
Graham. I'm pretty impressed with the new system that Fedora has put in place at Southern Miss and I'm looking forward to them re-gaining control of C-USA. What do you think about this?
Graham Watson (2:57 PM)
I think the young guys at Southern Miss are going to surprise a lot of folks next year. They've played well down the stretch and that's a testament to coaching, confidence and really just understanding the system. I know there were some questions about Fedora early, but I'm starting to believe he can keep the tradition going at USM.
Ben (Tucson, AZ)
so who do you like in the Hawaii bowl?
Graham Watson (2:58 PM)
Honestly, I like Notre Dame because despite how awful they've been this season, they still have more talent. But the game will ultimately come down to turnovers and both teams commit a ton.
Graham Watson (3:00 PM)
OK. I'm out.