Chat with Ivan Maisel
Send your questions now and join Maisel in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday!
Buzzmaster (2:00 PM)
Ivan should be here in minutes!
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
Hello, I'm out on the West Coast. I had to come this far to see spring football before it ended. I'm ready to try and answer your questions.
Will Notre Dame ever join a league and is it possible the BCS or Playoff system can force them? I think league title games should be played by all leagues.
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
I suppose that the leagues could gather together and make that decision. But they do not think that way and I don't think they would ever ask any school to join any conference or unjoin a conference. Period. Now, occasionally, they ask them to switch conferences but that's a different story.
Dave - Madison, WI
If everyone thinks a playoff is such a great idea, why do I only see modified bowl systems suggested? Where's the home games for OSU, PSU, Michigan?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
Well, I don't know who everybody is. I think the public wants a playoff, but as I wrote today, I think the BCS has done a terrible job of explaining why a playoff is not feasible in the eyes of the people who make the decisions. They have to get out there and make their case. They need to explain why we have the system we have and it is not an easy case to make. They did not create this out of thin air. There are reasons we have reached this point. They just have to do a better job of explaining those reasons.
Matt (New Brunswick, NJ)
Ivan: nice BCS article. Here's a concern I have about going to an 8-team playoff: might it ruin some of the traditional rivalries that play on the regular season's final weekend? USC/UCLA in '06 and WVU/Pitt in '07 wouldn't have been nearly as important on an 8-team playoff system.
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
That's absolutely right. I think of the Ohio State-Michigan 1 vs. 2 game in 2006. If we had had a playoff, all they would have been doing is playing for seed. The tension of that week wouldn't have been nearly as thick. I think the college football regular season is the best their is. As I've said before, I don't think the BCS has explained that well enough.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Is the VA Tech/Nebraska game a good non-conference indicator of what to expect from both teams? What is your prediction?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Well, sure. Absolutely. Also, when I think of Virginia Tech showing what it's got, I think of the first weekend, when it plays Alabama on a neutral site.
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
Great article Ivan. As an Auburn fan, I feel Utah's pain last year. We got the shaft in '04. So what COULD the government force the BCS to do? Are we talking anti-trust and breaking it up? I think we are stuck with the horrible thing for the time being.
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
I can't find anyone outside of the Attorney General of the state of Utah who thinks there is an anti-trust issue here. Nor can I find anyone who thinks Congress or its staffers can come up with a solution to whatever problems it perceives in the BCS.
Dave (Mesa, AZ)
I firmly believe the BCS and playoff debate was soley created by TV execs (especially ESPN) to help their ratings and that the NCAA makes so much money with bowl games/bcs that it will never change.
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
I think that people on TV and in print and online have had plenty to say about the playoffs. That's the way the news media works. But I think the powers that be in college football have their own very large soap box which they have failed to mount and make their case. I would agree with you that certainly in the near term, nothing is going to change.
It seems that the way college football crowns its national championship generates more discussion, more debate, and ultimately a greater interest all year round versus basketball that generates that much interest the week before the tournament starts and the three weeks of the tournament. Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I think you're right. I think the level of tension and excitement that is generated in college football through the season is better than any other American sport. But the cry for a playoff continues. I think to pretend it's not there or to just ignore it as the commissioners seem to be doing is a mistake.
Brian from Battle Creek, Michigan
Was hiring Greg Robinson as Michigan's defensive coordinator a good move?
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
I do think it was a good move. Robinson has a long and distinguished career as a defensive coach. He and the defensive staff that he inherited seem to be on the same page, which was a problem at Michigan last year when Scott Shafer was the defensive coordinator.
Chris: Murfreesboro, TN
Can LSU win the SEC West this year? What do you see their overall record being?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
They got a lot better in the month of December. The performance in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl was a measure. The schedule is certainly at least daunting in the sense that they have to go to Georgia, Alabama and Ole Miss. But I think the West will come down to how good LSU's young players play and how dominant Alabama's defense may be.
I believe it was you who recently penned an article about Auburn and it's eventual ascension. Do you really believe that? Competing against the master recruiter of them all, my Nick Saban, in the very same state?
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
I have not written about Auburn this year. Mark Schlabach was there recently and wrote a piece. To answer your question, I think Gene Chizik has got a lot of work to do.
David (Gainesville, FL)
Wouldn't the tension be just as much between those great college rivalries if each conference only got to send one representative? Meaning you have to win the conference to get a shot for a championship. Seems legitimate to me.
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
I don't forsee any conference being willing to forgo the possibility it could put two teams into any playoff.
Ben (Carrollton, GA)
Paul Johnson had a great debut season in Atlanta. What will he do for an encore? ACC Title? That offense is going to be a force to be reckoned with now that the players are better versed in the system.
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
I think this is going to be a great season in the ACC. What scares me about Georgia Tech is how poorly they played in the bowl game once everybody started talking about how good they were. Maybe the Yellow Jackets learned their lesson and they'll be able to ignore that here on out. But I want to see them do that first before I get too excited about them again.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
Ivan: I see that in addition to seeking entry into the BCS, the non-BCS leagues are seeking revenue sharing. What they're asking for is equality in income without equality in outlay. Will Hatch's Utah teams be willing to match Nebraska, Notre Dame, LSU, etc., in spending for football? Will the MWC be willing to spend as much at the SEC, Big 12, etc.? What a load of bull this whole Congressional investigation is.
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
There is no rule about how much money you spend. The biggest governor on any school's pocketbook is 85 scholarships. As a reader pointed out to me, if Utah wants fair competition, then ask them how they feel about the Nebraskas and LSUs of the world only being allowed to hand out 85 scholarships. I'm not arguing against the 85 scholarship rule, I'm just saying the playing field is a lot more level than it might be.
Chad (Ames, IA)
I know it it pretty early to ask this, but what are your thoughts on the Big Ten race this year? Which teams do you think will contend for the conference title (and why)?
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I expect Penn State to fall back a little bit because of the inexperience on the offensive line and at wide receiver. I think Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern will be better. I think the conversation still has to start with Ohio State. The biggest issue I see for OSU is the way the schedule finishes - at PSU, Iowa, at Michigan. That's a lot of work over three Saturdays.
If Tebow guides the Gators to another championship, is he the greatest college player of all-time (I'm loathe to even write that)?
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
He'd certainly be on the short list, if he can do that. There have been a handful of great players and leaders who would be in that conversation. Don't forget Danny Wuerffel took the Gators to two national championship games and won one. So, for Tebow to surpass Wuerffel, he has to get the Gators to the BCS title game and win it.
Ivan, love your articles, don't you think a playoff might make some teams not compete as hard if they know they have a top four spot locked up? Wouldn't it take some of the fun knowing you can lose a game and still get in the playoffs at the end of the year?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
Yeah, I think that possibility exists. We see what happens in the pro sports in those situations. It would depend on how many teams you have in the playoff and a coach's ability to motivate his team. But what you described is an occupational hazard of the playoffs.
Brian (Battle Creek, Michigan)
Can we just crown Florida SEC East champs? I don't see anyone else in the division challenging them.
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
Yeah, they are the clear favorite. I haven't completely written off Georgia. The Dogs now have an experienced offensive line and they do have an older QB in Joe Cox who knows the system. But, yeah, Florida has so much coming back, they are really going to be fun to watch this season.
Peter (Greenville, NC)
Hey Ivan....I've been reading that the new commissioner of the PAC 10 is more open minded and will bring fresh thinking to that conference. What are the chances that the PAC 10 expands to pick up Utah as a "compromise" to the MWC "crusade" for a fairer post-season in college football? Thus...creating a domino effect that could affect conferences like the WAC, C-USA, and Big East? Thanks!
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
My experience has been that college presidents in general and the PAC-10 presidents in particular rarely make a decision with the best interest of athletics in mind. If they thought there were two schools out there who were academically compatable with their schools, then they might think about expanding. Don't forget in the mid-90's, the PAC-10 reached past Utah to offer membership to Texas A+M. I don't see the PAC-10 presidents expanding because Utah would be a good football member.
Blair - Michigan
Am I completely delusional thinking that Michigan should be vastly better this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
I think the defense will be a lot better. How much better the team will be will depend on how quickly one of the incoming freshman QBs can learn the offense enough to execute it against Big Ten defenses.
Mitch (Gainesville, FL) [via mobile]
does Gene Chizik get his three years at Auburn, or is he run out of town by then?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
It's hard to believe that "a full three years" is a phrase that has descended into college football. I don't three years is a fair measurement. Chizik came in with terrible publicity, which is not really his fault. Because of what happened when he was hired, he does need to give Auburn fans some sign of progress fairly soon.
Tommy F (Omaha Ne)
Hey if your going to talk about the greatest of all time & NC's, you may want to give me some props. I did it 2 years in a row and kept running after every Florida Defender tryin to bring me down. Nice 75 yard jaunt i fondly remember 15
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
Listen, nobody is a bigger fan of what Frasier accomplished at Nebraska than I am. But he did miss a big portion of one of those two national championship seasons.
I don't know why, but the fact that everyone is writing off the Vols this year, makes me think they could do some things, dare i say it, even beat the Gators in the Swamp, please tell me i'm crazy
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I don't think you're crazy at all. Delusional possibly....I think it's a lot to ask, especially with a new coach installing systems with players that he did not recruit. That would be a lot to ask of the Vols in 2009.
Patrick (Wichita KS)
Ivan, perhaps instead of asking why the BCS hasn't used its soapbox more effectively, maybe you should ask why the NCAA has created a double-standard for football and the rest of its sports when it comes to crowning a champion. Why does the NCAA stay out of this?
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
The last thing the conference commissioners want is to give up control of the football postseason to the NCAA. The NCAA began looking into a playoff in 1994 and the members shut down the process almost before it began. At the end of the day, the NCAA office can not take over college football unless the membership allows it to do so.
Was there anyone in college football as important to his team's success in 2008 than Andre Smith was to Bama?
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
I think Florida's QB was pretty important.
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
But I get your point and I think the Tide's O-line will dictate how successful the team is. That defense will be really good, though.
Could Mark Richt be the best Coach to not win a National Championship, he seems to always get to ten wins, but can't seem to get the big one. With Florida and Alabama poised to be in the SEC championship for the next few years, i don't see him getting one, Great coach, but not Championship Great
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
That's always a fun question. I'd say Richt and Frank Beamer would be at the top of that list at some order.
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
Thanks everyone. We promise we won't leave you adrift in May. There will be a lot of good stories to come. Talk to you again soon.