Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, college football reporter Ivan Maisel stops by to chat.
Maisel recently took a look at football's nonconference games and how schools go about scheduling them.
Send your questions now and join Ivan to chat Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:05 PM)
Hang on folks. We're having a few issues here.
Ivan Maisel (1:10 PM)
Thanks for your patience, we're having some server issues. We're using an old typewriter and big sheets of paper. So let's go.
Ivan, on the topic of big time non-conference games.....USC vs. OSU is likely the biggest one for the 2009 season. What about 2010? Outside of the annual Notre Dame vs. Michigan clash and the Alabama vs. Penn State game, are their any other big non-conference games on the 2010 slate?
Ivan Maisel (1:11 PM)
Oh man...Well, the short answer is I don't know. Steve, you are killing me, but I am flattered that you think I have committed the 2010 schedule to memory.
At the end of the bowl season, will Florida State have 10 wins for the first time since the 2003?
Ivan Maisel (1:13 PM)
That means they only lose 2. I'm going to go with 9-3. The good news with the Seminoles is the offense ought to be really good now that there is so much experience at long last. Far be it from me to question Mickey Andrews' ability to conjure defense out of an inexperienced roster. But, I just think there will be a little learning on the job. I'm not going to say that they'll be 10-1 when they go into Gainesville.
Should the fact that Virginia Tech schedules no FCS teams this year come into account if they are one of a few one loss teams at the end of the year?
Ivan Maisel (1:15 PM)
Absolutely. I think the voters are savvy enough to make that leap. I think Virginia Tech will receive untold benefit from playing Alabama in the big game in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. The same goes for getting Nebraska in mid-September. The echo from those two games will reverberate far into the season. However, playing 4 of their last 6 on the road is no picnic.
Is Kiffin really a good idea for the Vols, trash talking the Gators(never smart, but makes for good publicity) recruiting violations, etc.?
Ivan Maisel (1:17 PM)
I think it's really hard to assess exactly what Kiffin is doing until we get to the fall. We can all -- and we all have -- rail about the new Tennessee staff's inability to stop committing NCAA misdemeanors, but no true assessment can be made until the season begins. And I'm sure as far as Kiffin is concerned, it can't start soon enough.
Will we ever see a USC and Florida regular season game and do you of any major non-conference games on the horizon that excites you? I know about the Miami and Ohio State game coming soon but Im sure there are others.
Ivan Maisel (1:19 PM)
I think unless Florida can convince USC to have its home game in Tampa we will not see USC-Florida. As I pointed out in my scheduling story today, Florida has not played a nonconference opponent outside of the state since 1991. But I like the way you think. As for big games this year, as we've discussed already, Alabama-VT, USC-OSU, Nebraska-VT, NC State-Gardner Webb. One of these things is not like the other.
Ivan Maisel (1:20 PM)
Actually, I should add TCU at Clemson. Kudos to the Tigers for not shying away from playing the Horn Frogs. Both had a late hole in their schedule to fill and both agreed to dive in.
Ivan, everyone knows Michigan scheduled Delaware State (yikes!) this coming year, but the AD made it public they wanted a big name team (California). If Michigan improves this year will better teams come calling? Or is it because of money and travel costs?
Ivan Maisel (1:21 PM)
Yes, I think as long as Michigan is selling 110,000 tickets a pop and can afford opposing teams the opportunity to play in such a storied building as the Big House, then they will find people to come play there.
Rich (Newburyport, MA)
What do you make of the relatively silent recruiting year the Buckeyes are having? Should I be worried we're not being as splashy as last year?
Ivan Maisel (1:23 PM)
No, I wouldn't worry. There are too many factors to assess before you can officially fret. We don't know the level of talent in Ohio this year. Call me old school, but I refuse to express concern or excitement about any recruiting class 8 months before signing day.
I agree there should be better out of conference match ups. Should most big schools follow Tennessee's model of scheduling (one marquee game each year, then a decent mid-major, then weaker teams), or should scheduling be even more aggressive than that?
Ivan Maisel (1:26 PM)
It's really sad that we've been reduced to hoping to cajole the big names into scheduling one tough nonconference game a year. There are a lot of them that are coming around to that idea. Some have a big nonconference game built in, such as USC-Notre Dame, Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech. Others are beginning to feel the benefit in BCS terms and ticket sales are worth the plunge. Boston College has done so for a number of years. Alabama is coming back to doing so. USC is adding in an additional game to Notre Dame. UCLA has been consistent in doing so. Oregon has too. There are others. None of the others happen to reside in State College, PA, but even the JoePa's are playing Alabama next year. Maybe there's hope for everybody.
Ivan, which team do you think as the most impressive non-conference schedule? UGA has a tough one (@Ok St, @Ga Tech, Arizona St), but I'm sure there are others.
Ivan Maisel (1:29 PM)
Well, Virginia Tech plays Alabama and Nebraska. That's pretty salty. USC has Ohio State and Notre Dame. Florida State is at BYU and at Florida. I'm sure I'm leaving out others, but those three have shown they're not afriad of playing anybody.
Speaking of non-conference match-ups, the Oregon Ducks have 3 interesting foes in Utah, Purdue, and an opening night game with Boise State @ the smirf turf, how do you think that game will turn out? Do you think Oregon'll hit 10 wins?
Ivan Maisel (1:30 PM)
Oregon has been, I think, unrivaled in its willingness to play tough games and go on the road. The Ducks have played series with Oklahoma and Michigan in the last few years. Going to Boise State is always a trap and yet that's where they open this season. I have always respected Mike Belotti for his willingness to go play anybody anywhere. I think that's been great.
neal Klar (virginia beach)
Ivan, talking about schedules, miami's has to have one of the toughest early schedules in the country, do you think they can surprise everybody and have a great year?
Ivan Maisel (1:33 PM)
Yeah, Miami has probably got the toughest first month of anybody. At Florida State, Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech, Oklahoma. That's just not fair. It's going to be fascinating. This is a young team that a lot of people think will turn the corner this year. While I agree with that assessment, I think it's going to be a very long turn. It's too bad all those games weren't spread throughout the schedule. If the 'Canes somehow get off to a fast start, that means two things: 1) they will win the Coastal Division, 2) new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple will get a new head coaching job somewhere real soon.
Mark (Ann Arbor)
Do you think there's any correlation between the Decline in the Big Ten and the Decline in the Big Ten's OOC scheduling?Go Blue!
Ivan Maisel (1:35 PM)
No. I don't think there's a cause and effect. My personal theory is that the decline of a manufacturing base in the midwest has meant a decline in the number of players that the midwest produces. Not to go all macroeconomic on you.
If the BCS forced all BCS schools to play 2 big games - would that leave the smaller schools scrambling for money to save their programs?? Is there really anyway out of this without losing schools if we want to go back to great non conference schedules?
Ivan Maisel (1:37 PM)
There is some talk of allowing I-AA victories to count toward bowl qualification only once every X number of years, rather than once per year. If that happens, then your prayers and mine will be answered and we will see more top quality games. I am curious to see how the economic downturn effects ticket sales and whether schools deem it necessary to put more attractive matchups on the field. That might be another route toward the solution we all desire.
Being in the Big East, Is Pitt doing a good job of scheduling. They go @NC State this year and got Notre Dame and Navy home. In the future they have scheduled with VT and Clemson i believe.
Ivan Maisel (1:38 PM)
Yeah, they have. I am, frankly, surprised that they don't have more top quality nonconference opponents. Pitt five years ago would have been the perfect opponent to schedule because they had a name and they weren't very good. Now that they're getting better, people might not be as quick to schedule. The games they do have are good solid regional opponents.
Come on Ivan, you can't cite ND as a tough opponent right now. Maybe in a few years, but not right now.
Ivan Maisel (1:40 PM)
Fine, Parrish. Why don't you take your wins and losses and go home. I'm still listening to fight songs over here.
With the controversy over Texas and Oklahoma last year, somewhat due to scheduling of non-conference games, how do you see the picture this year in the Big 12 and the national championship picture?
Ivan Maisel (1:42 PM)
Absolutely, Oklahoma's games against TCU and Cincinnati were definitely and argument in the Sooners' favor. I still think the Longhorns made the tradgic mistake of losing after the Sooners did. They very shrudely solved that by moving the Texas Tech game this year. I like Texas more than Oklahoma this season, because Texas has an experienced offensive line and Oklahoma does not.
Is there any incentive for SEC teams to schedule tough OOC opponents? It seems to me that winning the SEC (with 0 or 1 loss, and even 2 losses) gives you a pretty good argument for the national title game.
Ivan Maisel (1:43 PM)
Yeah, based on the last couple of years, it certainly does. I don't know what's going to break the league's stranglehold on public perception. In the poll driven process that we have, the belief that the SEC is the best takes on a great deal of importance.
bill (roland oklahoma)
im a huge arkansas fan how many games will they win this year im saying 7 to 9 but they have to go to bama to ole miss to lsu and to FL so how many games
Ivan Maisel (1:45 PM)
Yeah, I think that's absolutely a possibility. If, for no other reason, then the bottom half of the SEC West in complete disarray. Auburn and Mississippi State are starting over, which is good news for the three SEC West teams that are picked to be in the top 10 this year.
Ivan Maisel (1:45 PM)
Bobby Petrino is not only a good coach, but with Lane Kiffin now in the league, no one is picking on Petrino any more. There's another plus.
OOC Schedules mean a whole lot less if the NCAA adopts a playoff system. What are your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (1:47 PM)
Pat! Playoff system...Hmmm, I haven't heard anyone mention that. What a great idea!
Will Vanderbilt make a bowl game for the 2nd straight year?
Ivan Maisel (1:48 PM)
I do. I think they have a good nucleus of players coming back. They now have been there and done that. If this is the second question I've answered from you, don't get carried away.
What team do you think will be the surprise of the 2009 season?
Ivan Maisel (1:50 PM)
I have John and they're not in Lee County. If I had to pick a surprise team I would say Nebraska, followed by Oregon.
Ivan Maisel (1:51 PM)
Thank you to everyone. If our new chat process gave you problems, remember you're not alone. It gave me problems too. We'll try to feed the hamsters better next time.