Chat with Ivan Maisel
Send your questions now and join Maisel in The Show at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday!
Ivan Maisel (3:01 PM)
Hi, everyone. I hope you'll read my story on BC coach Frank Spaziani that posted today. None of us write as much this time of year, so we I churn one out, I want to make sure you see it. Let's get to your questions.
Jonathan (Richmond, VA)
Do you think that rookie RB Ryan Williams will overtake incumbent Darren Evans this spring for the starting spot at Virginia Tech?
Ivan Maisel (3:03 PM)
I never think any "rookie" is going to come in and overtake an incumbent, especially one who ground out some tough yards against BC in the ACC title game. Evans went 31 for 114 in that game and really helped the Hokies play keep away.
Houston, Texas [via mobile]
Ivan, don't know if you can tell all here, but is it true that you and Pat Forde get together before the beginning of each season and figure out which teams you are going to be for or against, and then you both have to stick with that all season long? Reason I ask is because of stuff like the forever faithful predictions for Ohio State to win Bowl X, year after year. It is like you both stick to whichever view you started the season out with even though we all know that Ohio State and Mr. Sweater Vest Tressel suck and will likely (hopefully) never win another bowl game for the rest of time. Just a question but it makes me wonder when one of you guys pumps out an article that states "Ohio State will win and this is why", even though they continually disappoint. Like I said, don't know if you can comment turthfully here, but is that a true statement?
Ivan Maisel (3:05 PM)
We all make a lot of predictions. For one thing, they're fun. For another, readers like them, judging by the clicks they get. I can't speak for Pat but I am not wedded to any pick I make. Fickle as they come.
Brian (Atlanta, GA)
Best opening week game: UGA/OSU or BAMA/VT?
Ivan Maisel (3:06 PM)
I like Alabama vs. Virginia Tech. I love the concept of opening-week, neutral-site games. Those games announce to everyone that the season is here, like the Sunday night game before Opening Day in baseball. Don't forget Oklahoma and BYU playing in Cowboys Stadium on that opening Saturday as well.
It's a shame someone wasted all that time typing that out on a mobile phone. That said, do you think the Gators might be under a little too much pressure, a la UGA last year? I don't think they can afford another Ole Miss type loss this season.
Ivan Maisel (3:08 PM)
Shame? I was awed. But you're talking to someone who has filed 700-word stories via BlackBerry, so I know how difficult it is. Anyway, I don't think pressure is the big culprit for the Gators. I think it's self-satisfaction. Coaches who win national championships all say that the next season, their players have a sense of entitlement. I don't foresee that on any team that Tebow captains, but the Gators had a rocky 2007. Anyway, it's something to watch for.
Chris (Portland, Or)
How are the Ducks looking this season? With a favorable home schedule, could they win the Pac-10?
Ivan Maisel (3:11 PM)
The schedule is definitely in your favor, and my podcast partner Beano Cook will love Oregon for that reason. That was a relatively young team that got better as 2008 went along. But I'm not picking against USC this season, even if the defense is almost brand-new.
Donald D (Eugene, OR)
Looking at the TV schedule for 2009, do you think it would be a good idea for espn to broadcast the Oregon at Boise St game in Black&White to avoid massive retinal damage from the sight of the Duck's unis on the Smurf?
Ivan Maisel (3:12 PM)
That is a great point. Think of the damage to all those flat screens across this great land of ours.
Rick (Dublin, Ohio)
If Terrelle Pryor improves his passing and coach Tressel loosens the reins, is he a Heisman candidate in 2009?
Ivan Maisel (3:14 PM)
Two very big ifs, Rick. He's also going to need some experienced receivers, and he'll be playing behind a pretty young o-line. I don't see him having a Heisman year in '09.
Ivan, Who is going to be Alabama's QB?
Ivan Maisel (3:16 PM)
I assume it will be Greg McElroy, because he'll be a fourth-year guy.
Does Washington win a game this year?
Ivan Maisel (3:17 PM)
Absolutely, as long as you tell me that Jake Locker is back at quarterback. Put a talent like Locker with a quarterback coach like Steve Sarkisian and magic should happen. That doesn't account for the other 10 positions on offense, but it's a start.
What spring game are you most excited for?
Ivan Maisel (3:19 PM)
I can't remember ever being excited about a spring game, Alex, but especially over the last decade. Coaches have turned them into controlled scrimmages. Marketing guys have turned spring games into fanfests, which I think is a great idea, but spring games themselves don't do a whole lot for me.
Hey on the topic of college football, how do think the jayhawks are going to be this year.
Ivan Maisel (3:20 PM)
As long as Todd Reesing is on the field, and I think he first started for KU in the Reagan Administration, the Jayhawks will be just fine. The schedule is a butt-kicker again, though.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
What is your favorite college town?
Ivan Maisel (3:23 PM)
Are you going to make me pick one? Wow, that's brutal. I'd say from among Eugene, Athens, Oxford, Boulder, I'd be happy. That's not the same as favorite campuses. I love Notre Dame's campus, for instance, but South Bend doesn't do all that much for me.
devin bachman howell michigan
Ivan do you see rich Rodriguez wining more game this next up coming season
Ivan Maisel (3:24 PM)
Yes, I do. I'm hoping to get to Ann Arbor this spring. But I figure two things: one, his teams have been much, much better the second season at every school he's coached, and two, Greg Robinson is a really smart defensive coach.
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
What are your thoughts on the proposed 8-team playoff system by the Mountain West (which 90% of fans seem to approve of according to the ESPN poll)? Or, as an ESPN employee (BCS Contract), do you have to say the BCS is great and no changes are needed?
Ivan Maisel (3:26 PM)
This just in from my editor: the BCS is great and no changes are needed. Seriously, I think there are some really smart ideas there. But it's like Social Security reform. That's really smart, and it has no chance of happening anytime soon. Maybe if everyone keeps chipping away. I say this as a bowl guy, not a playoff guy, as a guy who thinks the BCS has made college football a better product: I don't see how the commissioners can continue not to listen to their fans
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Grilled stickys at The Diner and Belgian Waffles with strawberry syrup from The Waffle House. If Penn State isn't on your list of great college cities, you don't know college football.
Ivan Maisel (3:28 PM)
Yeah, I do love State College. Good point. If nothing else, they don't sell Yuengling in Connecticut.
Jason (richmond va)
Bill Stewart stumbled this past year west virginia will he have a better team this year?
Ivan Maisel (3:28 PM)
Without Pat White? I don't see how.
Troy (Montrose, CA)
Who is going to be the next commissioner of the Pac-10?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Ivan Maisel (3:29 PM)
I thought it was inspired to make a run at Condeleeza Rice. If I had to make a guess, I'd say Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby. As a Stanford alum, I'd hate to see him go, although I do wish he'd quit taking seats away from the Sixth Man Club.
How is Austin not the best college town? I know its becoming more of a city these days, but come on...
Ivan Maisel (3:30 PM)
Well, that's my exact reason. I love Austin. But it's not a college "town" anymore than Los Angeles is.
Andrew (Nashville TN) via (Mobile, Alabama)
Am I crazy, or in the past year did you not write nearly as many articles as you used to? And what happend to 3-point stance?
Ivan Maisel (3:32 PM)
I think I wrote fewer articles. For one thing, counting our bloggers, we now have 10 people covering college football. For another, three-point stance is stretching now, and should be ready to return. Think of it as being redshirted.
With the way the SEC has hogged national championships of late, do you think there's any way the SEC Champion doesn't continually qualify for the big one?
Ivan Maisel (3:33 PM)
Sure. There may even come a day when USC doesn't win the Pac-10.
what do you think about Alabama admitting they've had a letter of inquiry from the NCAA for 10 months today and admitting possible major violations and lack of institutional control?
Ivan Maisel (3:36 PM)
I think all of us journalists dropped the ball in not getting that letter FOI'ed somehow. I don't know the particulars of the case. But everything I've heard and read about it didn't point to a lack of institutional control.
Will Aaron Hernandez be Tebow's favorite target this season?
Ivan Maisel (3:37 PM)
Hernandez really improved over the course of last season. He is a great weapon in that offense. I can't wait to see how the new OC, Steve Addazio, uses him this year.
Kevin (Orange City, Iowa)
Who has the best chance at winning the Big 10 next season??
Ivan Maisel (3:38 PM)
I think Ohio State and Penn State, if they can find offensive lines, and Iowa if it can replace Shonn Greene with something, somehow.
Cal (Berkeley, CA)
I know that you graduated from Stanford, but I guess you are still an insufferable hick from the South. How could you vote Bradford first for the Heisman Trophy? Bradford deserved the Davey O' Brien Award, but he was NOT the best player in college football. It should have been a two-horse race between McCoy and Tebow, a true toss-up. Bradford should have unanimously finished third.
Ivan Maisel (3:40 PM)
Cal in midseason form in early March! We may have to agree to disagree on most everything you said, Cal. Although I do agree that I'm from the South. Keep in mind the vote came before the bowl games.
David (Newport, RI)
WVU does return 8 of 11 defensive starters and could definately be a candidate for the Ewing Theory/Tee Martin effect of athletics. Jarrett Brown at least has some experience and the Big East is there for the taking with no clear cut favorite.
Ivan Maisel (3:41 PM)
Both good points. I love that description: "Tee Martin effect." But man, Pat White was so good.
Andrew (Nashville TN)
This Jan. 1 had the worst slate of football games I can ever remember (Wilbon wrote a column about this). Can ESPN change this trend, by either returning more games to Jan.1 or changing the selection process?
Ivan Maisel (3:44 PM)
Bowls are going to pick teams that will buy tickets and fill hotel rooms. That said, I would love to see the bowls reclaim Jan. 1 and make the national college football holiday that it used to be. When you have several games after Jan. 1, you rob the day of its special feeling.
Scott (Austin, TX)
Do you see Ok. State making a run at the Big 12 crown this year? They always play my Horns tough, and even though we've been in their heads for a while I worry about a road game in Stillwater.
Ivan Maisel (3:45 PM)
I think Ok State is a full step behind Texas and OU and I didn't see anything last season that changed my mind.
Actually I have a favor to ask: Instead of spending so much time making predictions that do nothing except show how little you and Forde know about the future (albeit it's not as bad as watching the college basketball analysts pick UNC to win the title every year), could you devote half that time to actual reporting on college football? I mean as much fun as it is watching you guys fumble predictions week after week, it might be equally fun to mention people like the national leading rusher before we have to hear about them from Mel Kiper Jr. as a sleeper pick.
Ivan Maisel (3:48 PM)
I make very few predictions during the season. We all make them before the season. There is more college football reporting on this site than there is on any other. There are 10 of us. As for the leading rusher last season, I wrote about Donald Brown of Connecticut in the first month.
The Ewing Theory states that a team ges better once its star leaves. Tee Martin led a team to the national championship! The comparison is nonsensical.
Ivan Maisel (3:49 PM)
The quarterback before Tee Martin was Peyton Manning.
Ivan Maisel (3:50 PM)
That's it, everybody. Thanks for tuning in. Catch you later. And thanks from those of you who defended me against the readers who complained. But I choose the posts, so I don't mind hearing from them.