Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Beano Cook makes his weekly stop in SportsNation to chat about the college football season.
Carroll H. "Beano" Cook, who joined ESPN in March 1986, serves as a college football studio commentator. He also offers college football commentary on ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Cook Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Beano Cook (4:04 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome. I am really looking forward to the bowl season. I finished the regular season with a push on the Army-Navy game so I was ahead two or three games on the season. At least I did not have a losing season. No prediction this week, will have something before the bowls really heat up in two weeks.
Knute (South Bend)
Beano, what's your opinion of the Brian Kelly hiring? Also, I think we should have gone to a bowl game, do you agree?
Beano Cook (4:06 PM)
On the bowl bid, I don't have an opinion. Notre Dame made that decision and that is the school's right to do that. Brian Kelly is a great hire, but I also felt Charlie Weis was the right hire at the time. We will see. Kelly certainly has a solid track record everywhere he has gone. I think he is a good choice. The schedule is not that tough and don't tell me about academics.
Donald (Eugene, OR)
Ohio St finished their season almost 2 weeks prior to Oregon vs. Oregon St. Does this give Tressel time to install a new offense and prepare for the Ducks on defense or do the Buckeyes get out of shape on turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy?
Beano Cook (4:08 PM)
Good question. I think that is one reason the Big Ten wants to go to 12 games, so that they would have a championship game and the two teams would have time off after that. Ohio State is a surprise underdog...the last time these teams met in the Rose Bowl the Buckeyes were well over a two-touchdown favorite, 1958 Rose Bowl. Ohio State won 10-7 and that team shared the national title with Auburn. The Tigers had a perfect record and shared it.
Mark (New York City)
Beano, what do you think about Mark Ingram's acceptance speech at the Heisman ceremony?
Beano Cook (4:12 PM)
Back to the other question...for those who think Notre Dame is irrelevant, you are 100 percent wrong. Win or lose, that school is always relevant. I liked Ingram's speech at the Heisman. He was emotional and there was nothing wrong with that. I felt ESPN's presentation was impressive. Believe me, I am often critical of some of the things we do, like the graphics on the bottom of the screen.
Pete (Harrisburg, Pa)
Beno - was sorry to see Fred Honsberger passed away. Your take on the the Big10 expansion.
Beano Cook (4:13 PM)
The Big Ten is to add a championship game in football. They can't get Notre Dame, so maybe they will settle for Vassar. Seriously, Missouri could be a candidate, and I always felt that would be a good fit. They are in the Big 12, so I have my doubts about their interest. Could be a Big East school in consideration too.
Hi Beano,Pitt in the Big Ten just feels wrong. Maybe I'm showing my age, but Pitt is a northeastern school. Yeah, I know PSU is in the Big 10, but I hope Pitt doesn't join. Let them get Missouri and have BC come back to the Big East. Happy Holidays!
Beano Cook (4:14 PM)
Boston College made a terrible decision to go to the ACC in my opinion. The Big East has to live with eight teams.
Beano, I love that you have been one of the only commentators to go on record stating that you think there was a conspiracy underlying the Fiesta Bowl matchup. Care to elaborate (because I totally agree with you and don't buy John Junker's spin for a minute)?
Beano Cook (4:17 PM)
I have no proof, but it is awful strange that Boise State and TCU are playing. Let me say this about the Fiesta, it is the best run bowl of the BCS games. I have been told that by several members of the media. I think the public would have preferred TCU-Florida and Boise State-Cincinnati. I think they wanted to see the little guy go up against the big boys. I have no proof of a conspiracy but I wonder if those big schools wanted any part of Boise or TCU. Do you think there will be anyone left in the state of Idaho when Boise is playing? They would have had no problem selling tickets.
UCLA vs. Temple - Mr. Beano I have two tickets care to join me. Perhaps a double header with the Wizards playing the Nets after!
Beano Cook (4:19 PM)
I think if I am going to see the Nets-Wizards, that is the only thing I want to do that day. The anticipation for that game would be too much.
Does Ingram winning Heisman finally solidify the SEC's dominance over the other conferences?
Beano Cook (4:20 PM)
The SEC dominated anyway. It has been the best conference for several years. If someone else won the Heisman, I would say the same thing about the SEC. It is like the democrats in Chicago, complete domination.
Who would you include in a plus 1 format and would that really be better than what we have now? Thanks, I love all your work.
Beano Cook (4:23 PM)
I would be for a plus-one format and have been for five years.
Dick (New Mexico)
Is there added pressure on Mark Ingram in the national title game now that he won the Heisman?
Beano Cook (4:23 PM)
There is alwas pressure. I think Ingram will handle it.
Beano Cook (4:24 PM)
As for the Heisman Trophy, it gets bigger and bigger every year.
Why are you always saying the schedule for ND isn't that tough? That is what they said this years too and it turns out they played 8 bowl teams. Next year appears to be down, but what about in a couple years when they play USC, Michigan and Oklahoma. Don't see any of the SEC or Big 12 teams playing schedules like that.
Beano Cook (4:26 PM)
Everybody goes to a bowl (except ND). It is easier compared to what they used to have. The Irish have seven home games, and three road games--BC, Michigan State and USC. Navy and Army will be so-cslled neutral. I know I said they had an easy schedule for ND and that is one reason why at 6-6, Charlie Weis is no longer the coach.
Grant (Leonville, La)
OH great BEANO do you think Saban will win more National Championships than Bear Bryant?
Beano Cook (4:27 PM)
Bear Bryant won a bunch, but those were years where two teams won national championships. That won't happen that much any more. The 1973 team claims part of the championship because the poll was out before the bowl game, which Notre Dame beat the Tide, 24-23. Saban will win his share in Tuscaloosa.
James (Flint, MI)
What are your thoughts of a MAC scool joining the BIG 10 or Iowa State?
Beano Cook (4:28 PM)
I don't think either one of those will happen.
Allen (Long Island)
Will were ever see a defensive player win the Heisman again? Or is Charles Woodson going down in history? I thought Suh deserved it.
Beano Cook (4:30 PM)
Number one, Woodson was also a player who returned punts. He returned one for a touchdown against Ohio State in a big game. Alex Karras in 1957 finished second and Hugh Green in 1980 was also a runner-up. I don't see a defensive lineman winning it, very unlikely but not impossible.
What did you think about the Cougars this season?
Beano Cook (4:31 PM)
Very entertaining team. Keenum certainly had an impressive season. Kevin Summlin has a bright future.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Beano, two part question. If the Big 10 expands to 12 teams, who do you think would be the best team to add? And, who do you think the Big 10 actually WILL add?
Beano Cook (4:32 PM)
I feel Missouri would be the best team if the Big Ten would expand. I think Missouri has more in common with Big Ten schools than with the Big 12. Besides, they have the best journalism school in the country.
Rick (St. Louis)
What was your favorite Heisman Trophy presentation moment?
Beano Cook (4:33 PM)
I would say John Cappelletti of Penn State. I don't think there is any about that, back in 1973. By far.
Do you agree or disagree that Notre Dame betrayed their loyalty to integrity when they lured Brian Kelly away from his players before their biggest bowl game of their career?
Beano Cook (4:34 PM)
Number one, I don't see anything wrong with Notre Dame in the timing in the hiring of Kelly. That is my opinion and that is the way it is in college football today. Somebody always seems to get hurt. You have a coach lead you to success and they want to improve themselves...it is sad that the coach doesn't enjoy the bowl game either.
Who do you like in the Fiesta Bowl and why? Everyone on ESPN is trashing Boise and even going so far as to predict a blowout. I agree that TCU should be favored, but I like my Broncos chances, do you?
Beano Cook (4:37 PM)
Boise State beat Oklahoma a few years back. I think TCU deserves to be favored but these teams played last year and it was a one-point game. I think we have some good bowl games like Ohio State-Oregon and Iowa-Georgia Tech. That Hawkeyes vs. Yellow Jackets contest has two outstanding coaches in Kirk Ferentz and Paul Johnson.
Beano, would you agree or disagree that no school can "Lure" a coach away who doesn't want to go?
Beano Cook (4:39 PM)
Money lures a lot of people. Remember Kelly grew up int he Boston area watching Notre Dame football highlights as a youngster. he quoted Lindsey Nelson in the press conference. Moving to third quarter action...I understand Cincinnati fans were frustrated. Be grateful you had Kelly for three years. You won two Big East championships. There were BCS bowls. It is like Bogart told Bergman in Casablanca that we will always have Paris.
Tom (Los Angeles)
Which is the best non-BCS bowl this season?
Beano Cook (4:42 PM)
Oklahoma vs. Stanford if Andrew Luck weren't hurt. LSU-Penn State is very intriguing. A sleeper is USC-Boston College and South Carolina-Connecticut. I also like Pittsburgh-North Carolina.
Do you think Cincinnati fans and players were unfair ripping Brian Kelly?
Beano Cook (4:43 PM)
Be grateful he was there but I can see why they were disappointed. At least he stopped there for a few years. Kelly was the runner-up for the Tennessee job and I am sure that he is glad now that he did not get it.
How about something out of the box...Navy to join the Big 10. Great Academics, MD/DC market?
Beano Cook (4:43 PM)
Forget Navy, that will not happen.
Larry (Glendale, CA)
Do you find it fitting and very symbolic and telling that the BCS rewards the weakest conference (Big Ten) by taking 2 teams most years?
Beano Cook (4:45 PM)
The Big Ten is not the weakest conference. That is the way it is. You cannot take more than two teams from any conference. So if they don't take Iowa, who should have gone? Certainly no other Big East or ACC team.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Beano, Have you ever noticed that Ohio St. is the only big time football program that does not have an in-state rival?
Beano Cook (4:46 PM)
Good point. That is an excellent question. Minnesota doesn't have one. You are right, good observation.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Why no mention of the REAL football championship being played at the Stagg Bowl this weekend anywhere on ESPN or in your podcast with Ivan? Purple Bowl #5 for those counting!!!!
Beano Cook (4:47 PM)
I like the lower divisions. They play exciting football and it does mean a lot to those schools, no question. It is a big thing and that is why they are televised.
Ron (Tampa, FL)
Why would the Big 10 add a championship game, I think it hurts the conference more then helps in regards to getting a second team into the BCS?
Beano Cook (4:47 PM)
I don't agree. I don't think it will have a big effect.
Would Cincinnati fit in the Big Ten?
Beano Cook (4:48 PM)
No. I don't think they would consider Cincinnati.
Why not just move Ohio St vs. Mich to "Championship Saturday" and forget about expanding the BIG10?
Beano Cook (4:50 PM)
Won't happen. The Big Ten wants to expand. It is about money, always. They see what the championship game does in other leagues. It is all about big business and anyone who tells you differently is naive.
What about a kansas or colorado for the Big 10?
Beano Cook (4:50 PM)
Ridiculous. No way.
Beano, latest Pirates hot stove is that they are considering signing some members of congress to manage and a couple local news guys to pitch. If this happened would you go to a game?
Beano Cook (4:51 PM)
I would go if that was the case. If it involved Congress, I would go to boo.
Larry (Glendale, CA)
What would the Big Ten call themselves after they add the 12th team? The Big 12 is already taken.
Beano Cook (4:52 PM)
I know. The Big Ten plus two.
Beano Cook (4:52 PM)
Thanks for your questions. I will be off next week but I will return to chat in two weeks, on the 30th of December...Happy Holidays.