Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by for a chat on the 2009 season.
Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. In addition to covering college football for the site, he contributes to ESPN's SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine. He also contributes to ESPN.com's golf coverage.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:02 PM)
Hang in there folks. Ivan is running a few minutes behind today. He'll be here very shortly.
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
Sorry I am late. It may be that I just don't want to face up to this week's games. I'm not really excited about them.
Jeremy (Baton Rouge)
If LSU destroys Auburn what do you think their chances are at BAMA?
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
I think any team with that good of a defense can win. But Alabama's defense is just as good and the game's in Tuscalosa. Right now, I think anybody would lean Alabama right now, but it's too more weeks of assessing the team before we have to pick one way or the other.
Patrick (New Brunswick, NJ)
Hey Ivan. Does Notre Dame get a BCS bowl bid if they run the table and finish 10-2? ... And if they don't, does Charlie get the pink slip?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I don't have the BCS rules in front of me, but I feel pretty certain that by rule if Notre Dame wins 10 games, they're in. By wallet, the wallets of the bowls, if they're 10-2, they're in. I don't think Charlie Weis's future at Notre Dame depends on a BCS bid. I think it depends on this team showing progress. In my mind, they clearly have done. But the backhalf of the schedule is not the picnic we once thought it was.
Ivan, who do you like in the Arkansas vs. Ole Miss game?
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
I kind of would lean Arkansas, to be honest with you. With the notable exception of Alabama, Arkansas has looked very good. The Ole Miss offense has not looked very good. A year ago, Arkansas nearly beat a much better Ole Miss team, plus I'm sure the older Razorbacks want to prove something to coach Nutt. I could see Arkansas winning this game.
Ivan: Pete Carroll has asked the question, "is the goal of he BCS to find the two BEST teams or the two most DESERVING?" Do you think there's a difference and, if so, what's your answer?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
Wow...That question is almost Zen. That may be a distinction without a difference. I would think the goal is to find the two best teams and I am not sure the difference of the best and most deserving. I guess I haven't been listening to enough Pete lately.
Ingram for Heisman? I know he's just a sophomore but the trophy is based on what you did THIS year...not last (hmmm...Tebow anyone??)
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
Mark Ingram has been great, especially the last two weeks. In a season where so few individuals have been able to sustain that sort of effort game after game, it's going to be easier for a relative unknown to surge forward. Ingram has the stats, his team has the success, but it's not going to be able to keep that up against the defenses that Alabama has coming up.
Caitlin (Grand Rapids, MI)
What does Penn State need to accomplish in order to win at Michigan this Saturday?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
To me this game is a mystery, because Michigan's signature win came again Notre Dame a long time ago and Penn State doesn't really have a signature win, because of the weakness of its schedule. PSU appears to have the better defense and the fact that Michigan has struggled to stop teams appears to bode well for a QB as experienced Daryll Clark. So, I expect Penn State to win and stay near the front of the Big Ten pack.
Is Terelle Pryor just playing in the wrong scheme and is he just not developing properly?
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
It seems like they can't settle on a scheme that they want him to use. They keep trying things. Clearly, he has trouble when he drops back and you can almost see the wheels turning in his head. What's surprising is he doesn't seem to be getting any better in that really important aspect of quarterbacking. Can they put him in some sort of option or zone read situation? I don't know. His struggles and the Buckeyes struggles has been one of the surprises of the season.
Are you among those writers who believe the ACC to be completely out of the NC race?
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
I don't think Miami or Georgia Tech is completely out, but there would have to be some wacky stuff happen. The fact that Miami lost so decisively to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech lost so decisively to Miami, there will have to be a lot of bodies fall ahead of them for either team to have a shot at Pasadena. That would make it 9 years and counting since an ACC team played for a national championship.
hey do uu think the gators will find there offense this week vs Mississippi state?
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
No. I think the Florida offense is what it is. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but I haven't seen anything in the first half of the season to indicate that suddenly we'll develop a downfield threat that will open up more of the field for the offense and more space for Tebow.
Where do you see Oregon in the field of one loss teams?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
I think if Oregon finishes 11-1, they'll be right at the top of the 1 loss teams. That will mean 11 straight wins. That will mean a victory over USC.
Do you think Clemson can upset Miami this weekend?
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
I think the only way it happens is if the Clemson defensive front finds a way to pressure Jacory Harris. Clemson has had troubles with getting pressure on QBs so far this season. This will be a good weekend to break out.
Does an undefeated Iowa or Cincinnati get into the championship game over a one-loss Texas or USC?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
I think Iowa does and I think Cincinnati might. It would depend on the Bearcats wins and who and how Texas would lose.
Any chance Vandy gets the Gamecocks 3 years in a row?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
I like South Carolina in this game. I think the defense is just too good. Vandy is a pretty young team, I think. You know it's a game that SC really wants.
Ivan, Do you believe Arizona has established itself as a top team in the Pac-10? Being 22nd in the BCS doesn't come from being a bottom team.
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
I like how Arizona came back to beat Stanford. I like the fact that they played a tough, non-conference schedule with Central Michigan and Iowa. What I also like about the victory last week is they rebounded from a very difficult loss emotionally to Washington. This team seems to be built from some solid stuff.
david (new orleans)
are you as convinced as everyone else that alabama and florida will play in the sec championship?? Florida yes, but bama still has LSU and Auburn
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
I think Alabama has been the most consistent team in the country. That can mean that they haven't had their trip up week yet. But, the fact that the LSU game is in Tuscaloosa to me is more of a plus than the Auburn game being in Auburn is a minus. I do think it will be Florida and Alabama.
Do you still consider Colt McCoy seriously for the Heisman? I see many more players out there right now who are better. McCoy has not been great this season.
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
I agree. He has the name recognition that if he begins to play as he did last year, that he could quickly U-turn and go back up the Heisman charts. But so far he hasn't been as efficient as he was a year ago.
Scott (Iowa City)
Iowa has exceeded all expectations thus far (I would guess even for the most diehard fans). How realistic is a 12-0 season?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
It doesn't help that their two toughest games are on the road. On the other hand, they've already won two tough road games in Penn State and Wisconsin. So, I think they're capable of winning at Michigan State this week and at Ohio State next month. This is a very good team.
Why is it that Boise State is capped on for not playing tough teams in non conference play...but BCS teams are not capped on for refusing to play Boise State?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
I think Boise State is treated unfairly in this regard, but I also don't see that changing any time soon.
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
If I had told you in August that on Oct. 21, Boise State would be 4th in the BCS rankings, you would not have complained. So, hang in there.
USC is the ONLY top-15 team with a loss to a currently unranked program, and yet people are ranking them in the Top 5 and talking about a national championship. Why aren't they judged on their resume instead of their name?
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I think voters look at USC and see potential that other teams simply can't put on the field. I do agree that this season, the disparity between USC's reputation and performance seems substantial.
the race for the hiesman has become very close between two great SEC players. just wondering who you think will win in the end
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
I don't agree that it has come down to two SEC players. I think Jimmy Clausen will have something to say about who wins the Heisman.
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
As will some others.
Murdoch (auburn, al)
Is the honeymoon over for Chizic?
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
I don't think so. But, you can never underestimate the nature of the Auburn fans.
nick m. (atlanta, ga)
it's absurd that people are talking like mark richt is on the hot seat. while he's in no danger of losing his job, do you feel Georgia football has peaked and won't ever consistently threaten for the National Title like Florida does?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
It's too late for Georgia to pour the ketchup back into the bottle. Fans are conditioned to win.
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
Anything less will torque them off.
Do you think the Big 12 will only have one team go to a BCS bowl? Is it still possible for Ok State or even Tech?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
No. Definitely no on Tech. OK State, if they beat Texas, would have a shot.
Mike W (Cincinnati)
Seriously, why is Tebow even considered a front runner for the Heisman? Yes his team is undefeated but he's only throw 8 TDs and ran for 5. Thats 13 total TDs! If you look at the last time Tebow won the Heisman he had 55 total TDs. He's not even close to that total. Don't you think its about time to consider him the Heisman leader?
Ivan Maisel (2:47 PM)
Yes. I think the standard that Tebow set over the last two seasons is remarkably high and to date, he has not measured up.
Is it important for McElroy to have a break out game against the Vols Saturday or is Bama's multi-attack going to handle them?
Ivan Maisel (2:48 PM)
The Alabama offense is certainly a lot better when McElroy is making smart decisions.
Ivan Maisel (2:49 PM)
They have proven they can win when McElroy is shut down. It will be interesting to see how much Alabama uses the Wildcat against Tennessee.
Kirk (Orange County, CA)
Is this the last year for Norm Chow at UCLA? His contract with UCLA is being suplemented by the Tenn Titans and expires at the conculsion of the season. Can UCLA afford him and Do they really need him?
Ivan Maisel (2:50 PM)
I think they could afford him. As to whether they need him, Norm will have a job in coaching as long as he wants one.
Ty (Detroit, MI)
Ivan. Even though Florida and Texas still have an inside track to the NC title game, my question is if both continue to look this sloppy and sluggish will the game lose some of it's sparkle? If the two teams met today it'd have stinker written all over it!
Ivan Maisel (2:51 PM)
Yes, I do, because the serious fan will understand how good these teams are, but the casual fan might not.
Ivan... what's going on at Oklahoma? Outside of the injuries, why is the offensive line so porous?
Ivan Maisel (2:52 PM)
At some point, they stopped being inexperienced, don't they? I don't have an answer for you. The offense's biggest problem has been the loss of Jermaine Gresham moreso than the loss of QB Sam Bradford.
Oklahoma or Nebraska....I don't know whose offensive line is playing worse right now.
Ivan Maisel (2:53 PM)
I haven't seen Nebraska. I've seen Oklahoma and it's difficult to fathom that anyone would be that much worse than Oklahoma.
Lou (Rockville, MD)
Would a one-loss PSU team that has steamrolled the remainder of opponents be in any part of the NC discussion come the end of the season?
Ivan Maisel (2:54 PM)
It's possible. But I think that's the last thing that PSU needs to think about.
How many years are teams going to make the mistake of passing over Charlie Strong for a head coaching gig?
Ivan Maisel (2:55 PM)
That's a good question. I can't imagine it won't happen this season, but I've said that before.
Paul (Dallas, TX)
Do you attribute Bradford's injury to Stoops bringing him back too early? Is everything that is happening at Oklahoma Stoops' fault?
Ivan Maisel (2:56 PM)
I tend to believe that it's a freak thing and that it was just Oklahoma's turn.
Matt (Cedar City, Utah)
TCU or BYU?
Ivan Maisel (2:56 PM)
I'm pulling for a difficult decision for the BCS, so I'm going with TCU.
Ivan Maisel (2:57 PM)
Thanks for the questions. Enjoy the weekend. We'll talk to you next Wednesday.