Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com college football writer, Ivan Maisel, will stop by to take your questions on the 2009 season.
Send your questions now and join Maisel on Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (2:00 PM)
Hi, everyone. At long last, the season is here. Let's go.
What do you think the crux of the matchup is this week in Atlanta between Alabama and the Hokies? You think anyone's giving Tech a chance?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
Two very similar teams. Good defenses, young offenses, good special teams. Tech QB Tyrod Taylor has an edge in experience but struggled last season. Bama QB Greg McElroy has been impressive in the spring and summer. I don't think Tech will pull a Clemson and shrivel up against the Tide. If Taylor has a good night, Tech wins. That simple.
Ivan, I don't think much will come out of these allegations at UofM, but it's another dissapointing occurance since Rich Rod took over. What are the long term implications of the latest bad news out of Ann Arbor?
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
I don't think there are any long-term implications. Michigan is doing what every other program is doing.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
What is your best guess of how the Duke PG at QB experiment will work out for the Orange?
Ivan Maisel (2:06 PM)
Paulus is the best option that new coach Doug Marrone has, and if that's not damning Paulus with faint praise, I don't know what is. He's a good leader, which this team needs badly.
David (Athens, GA)
Are you giving my Bulldogs a chance in Stillwater? I am getting the sense that this game may be similar to the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii, Boise State a few years ago, and OK State 2 years ago... lots of hype, but Willie Martinez had months to scheme
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
I think Georgia will win. Mark Richt's teams always play well on the road. And Oklahoma State has been in the unfamiliar position of being told for months how good they are. That does strange things to players' heads. Look what it did to Georgia last year.
Jeremy (Athen, GA)
Ivan, Isn't the biggest the to come out of the Michigan allegations is the fact that the players came out against the coach. What does that say about where this program is headed?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Find me a player anywhere who doesn't think the 20-hour rule is a joke. The players answered the questions honestly (kudos to the Free Press, by the way). Again, if Rodriguez were trying to hide something, he wouldn't have practices open to the media.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Mr. Maisel: Best QB in the Big Ten is...?
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
Daryll Clark at Penn State. Cool under fire, good size, good arm. Can move when he needs to.
do you think wvu will return to a power house under stew or will they fall off the map?
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
I don't know. Stewart struggled in his first go-round as a head coach. There aren't many who get a second chance and are successful at it. Gene Stallings comes to mind. This year is a big one for Stewart. He's got Jarrett Brown as a fifth-year bridge at quarterback between Patrick White and his younger brother.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Thank you for confirming my belief. That said, why is everyone so high on Pryor for Heisman if he isn't even the best QB in his own conference?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I didn't realize everyone was high on him for the Heisman. Pryor is a wonderful talent but he's got to be able to use that talent with a thicker playbook than he could use last year. It would be fun to watch if Ohio State decides he's ready to be turned loose.
curtis johnson (georgia)
Ivan, what do you think it will take for OU to finally win a bowl game? Is their bowl winning percent as bad as the perception?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
I don't know that there's anything to blame, anything that connects the losses. Boise State was a fluke -- a wonderful fluke, but still a fluke. West Virginia, yeah, that's a problem. But last year? Who would have thought OU would turn it over inside the 10 yard line twice in one game?
How do you think Sergio Kindle will do with his hand on the ground this year? The Muschamp factor can't be discounted. And do you think the national media is sleeping on the Texas defense this year somewhat with all the guys back plus the most accurate passer in NCAA history on the other side of the ball overshadowing it?
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
Tim, how is the national media or anyone else sleeping on the Texas defense? First of all, McCoy deserves the attention. Second, there isn't a defense in the Big 12 that has shown it deserves national praise. Not based on last year. Let's see what happens this year.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Any chance Nevada gets out of South Bend with a win?
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
There's a chance. I really like to watch Kaepernick. But I don't expect it to happen. I think Notre Dame will earn respect this season.
Mike (Happy Valley, Oregon)
Ivan, lets be realistic. There is only one real game happening this Thursday and that is U of O and Boise St. What is your take on this self proclaimed grudge match on the Smurf Turf?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
I'll be there. Can't wait to see it. I'm glad Oregon agreed to play at Boise State. Not many teams from AQ leagues will do that. My take? Oregon's got a lot of work to do on the road.
Why are most analysts picking Texas over Oklahoma? Oklahoma is better at almost every area, except possibly reviever? Including best D-line in the Big 12 and best RB's in the Big 12?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
Texas has a veteran offensive line. Oklahoma has one returning starter. That's a big discrepancy in my mind.
Eddie (New York)
How do you think the Miami Hurricanes will fair during their brutal four game strech to start the season?
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
If they stay healthy, they may survive. The question will be, if they only win one or two, will they continue to fight? It's a young team and getting better. Will they continue to improve?
Will B. (Atlanta)
Nervous GT fan here. With one season of GT's triple option offense in the books, who benefits more: Tech for running the system for a year and returning all their key players, or their ACC opponents who have game tape to get wise to Tech's tricks?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
Good question. It seems as if Paul Johnson has been very good throughout his career at tweaking his offenses to remain difficult to stop. There may be an advantage in the defenses having seen it, but that doesn't mean they'll stop it.
Let's say Notre Dame does well like Lou Holtz has predicted, and they end up on the verge of a BCS bowl, say 10-2 or 11-1. Might public perception based on their past 2 seasons, combined with this year's cush schedule, prevent them from making a BCS bowl?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
If Notre Dame wins 10, the Irish will go to a BCS bowl because the bowls will always invite a Notre Dame team with 10 wins. I think it's in the bowls' DNA.
Jesse S. (Wiscsonsin)
Will Bret Bielema survive another year as the Badgers Head Coach?
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
Yes. Barry Alvarez hired him and is in no hurry to run him out the door. Not that Bielema should be out the door. He deserves the chance to succeed with his players.
Why is it with such a good class stepping up and more talent overall this year Texas Tech is being written off? A Junior QB and a depth at receiver that is unheard of. Harrison Jeffers and Batch and tailback...it just seems to be Leach's best overall team just not star studded.
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
They lost a senior quarterback and they lost the best receiver in the nation. And they're a passing team. And they faded at the end of last season. That all plays into it.
My NCAA 2010 game keeps putting UNC in this year's national championship...what are the odds of that happening??? 10-1, 100-1, 1000000-1?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
I like the Tar heels this season. But I don't like them that much. Try playing them against someone other than Carson-Newman.
Mike (Portland, OR)
Is Sunday's game against CSU a must-win for Dan Hawkins?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
I don't think there are must-wins on Labor Day weekend. There is pressure on Hawkins to win. I'll grant you that. But if the Buffs improve to, say, 8-4 with a loss to CSU, he should get an extension.
Abraham (Eugene, OR)
I am torn between Rosh Hashanah and watching my Ducks take on Utah. Can you give an advice to a fellow Jew?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
What, we can't watch football that Saturday? You're kidding, right?
What game is going to be a great week one game that not many people are talking about?
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
Keep an eye on Baylor at Wake Forest. The Bears' Robert Griffin III is a special quarterback. Wake always plays good defense.
Matt (Baton Rouge, LA)
How is it that Alabama is almost on every expert pick to win the SEC West? No love for LSU at all?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
Alabama has most of its defense returning from an 12-2 team. LSU went 8-5 with a young team that got better at the end of the season. Edge to the Tide.
If Florida goes to the big dance, which of the teams that might meet them there poses the biggest threat? I would guess Texas, not for the obvious reasons, but because of Will Muschamp (only defensive coordinator to ever beat Urban Meyer at home and away). Thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
The Texas defense should be better this season, and Muschamp is a very smart coach. If Virginia Tech beats Alabama this week, keep an eye on the Hokies. Their defense is very good.
James (New York, NY)
Any thoughts on UW vs. LSU? Also, will Sark make Locker the best QB in the PAC10 this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
I'm covering the game and I'm very curious to see what Sark has done with Locker. I think this is a trap game for LSU. When you're 19 years old, it doesn't matter what your coach says. You hear the team you're playing went 0-12, you may let it slide. Plus the game is 2000 miles away and kickoff is at 9:30 p.m. body clock time. LSU should win but it's a test of the Tigers' maturity.
Generally speaking the second is the coming out party for upper echelon coaches. Do you think Bo Pelini and the cornhuskers will return to a higher level of prominence this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
I like nebraska a lot this year. Pelini impressed me last year. I think the Huskers will win the North and return to the national elite.
Im sure you have answered this before, so please excuse, Tim Tebow or Tommy Frasier? Which one do you think is the best college Qb? I'm a huge Vince Young, and Colt McCoy fan, but I see those two in a different catagory. What are your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I still like Wuerffel over Tebow. Wuerffel took UF to two national championship games. Tebow has taken (as a starter)the Gators to one. I like Frazier more than either one. Let's see what happens this season. That comparison isn't fair to Tebow.
Devil's advocate (Hell's law office)
There is a lot of potential this year for rematches from regular season to the conference championships (LSU vs. UF, GT/VT vs. FSU)...if you had to make a conference right now, would you have a conference title game, or just a regualr season winner to determine your champion?
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
Conference championship games are money grabs. I'd gladly sacrifice them.
Which non BCS QB would you want on your team?
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
Between Kellen Moore of Boise State, Colin Kaepernick of Nevada and Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan, I'd go with LeFevour. But I'd happily take one of the other two.
Jeff (Phoenix, AZ)
Wait a minute . . . Matt Leinart took the Trojans to within a few minutes of three straight titles. How can he not be considered the best college QB ever?
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Andrew (Nashville (via Mobile, Al))
Was there an ESPN memo to replace the phrase "non-BCS" with "non-AQ"? I'd never heard the term before this season, and now suddenly it's everywhere.
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
I didn't get that memo. AQ is more accurate. The other leagues are in the BCS. They don't automatically qualify (AQ) to get into the big bowls. It's a small distinction but it's true.
My Horns seem to have set themselves up for another tie-breaker nightmare with OU or OSU this year due to the weak non-conference schedule....meanwhile OU scheduled 3 bowl teams from last year and OSU plays Georgia. Should Texas have scheduled themselves more of a challenging non-conference slate?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Didn't Arkansas bail out of a game with the 'Horns this year? I don't think Texas is entirely to blame. That said, I would be stunned if we see a repeat of last year anytime soon.
Kevin (New Jersey)
Is Rutgers getting a lot of love this year or is the big east really that weak?
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
The big East is weak. I'm not sure that 12-0 will be enough for Rutgers, not with the state of its non-conf schedule.
uh oh... you allowed to a USC fan to talk about their "disputed" title... cue the LSU folks arguing that the poster was wrong in his assumption...
Ivan Maisel (2:47 PM)
Oh, yeah, they already started asking.
What do you think of the job that Pat Fitzgerald has done at NU and do you see the Wildcats contending for a Big 10 championship in the near future?
Ivan Maisel (2:49 PM)
I think Pat Fitzgerald has done a tremendous job, especially for a guy so young. I'm curious about how much the 'Cats can build on last season's success. If they take another step up, then they will contend soon.
Ivan Maisel (2:49 PM)
That's it, everyone. Thanks. Talk to you soon.