Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat some college football.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:00 PM)
Howdy and welcome. It's July ... what better time to talk college football? And basketball? To the questions...
Mr. Forde in your article "Cornhuskers rachet up the heat" you refer to Husker fans as being "self-proclaimed kings of institutional class in college football." I have heard announcers, opposing coaches, opposing player, and even opposing fans state what a great place Lincoln, NE is for a college football game. I don't see that as "self-proclaimed". So, my question to you is: Do you have something against the Husker fans or do you just feel the video was over the top? Thank you
Pat Forde (2:03 PM)
Scott: There have been some testimonials over the years to Nebraska fans from opponents -- I know this because Nebraska fans store the quotes and trot them out on a moment's notice to say how classy they are. There is an element of self-congratulation there, that's all I'm saying. I also heard from some Oklahoma fans/players from the 80s who found Nebraska a bit less hospitable when the Sooners went into Lincoln and won.
Tony (Omaha, NE)
I am not sure I understand the tone of your article today, but maybe you could clarify. Sure, Nebraska has been known for treating opponents with respect over the course of our history...but when did we ever let another team disrespect us on a regular basis without taking a stand? I think Nebraska has been painted the bad guy a little too much lately, especially when its no secret that Texas has been playing the big bad bully for far too long. Are we not supposed to stick up for ourselves?
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
Tony: By all means, stick up for yourselves. Gives us something to write about in July. Not a problem with me -- but you have to admit, it runs a bit counter to the Nebraska image over the years.
If Coach Hawkins has another bad season at Colorado is he out? Would he have already been out had the university had the money to buy out his contract?
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Matt: Nobody in America is on a hotter seat in 2010 than Dan Hawkins. Well, except maybe Ron Zook. I like Hawkins tremendously as a person, but he needs better results on the field in a hurry.
Can Mike Leach return as a head coach? If so when and where?
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Tim: He can and will, I believe. Probably a step down from the Big 12, but somebody will be seduced by his track record -- both wins and losses and offensive production. I could see a Conference USA school taking a shot at Leach in 2011.
Who has the better first year, Joker Phillips or Charlie Strong?
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
Jordan: Good question. Phillips inherits a better team and kept some of Brooks' infrastructure in place. Strong is starting over. I don't think either team will be great, but I'd bet Kentucky ends up with a better record.
With the focus on VT/Miami/UNC/FSU, it seems like GT is being overlooked in the ACC. Doesn't that seem odd to you? Maybe not, since you're not too high on that conference to begin with...
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Matt: GT is almost always overlooked, so it doesn't shock me. I'm hopeful that the ACC will finally resemble a quality conference in 2011 -- but the league has to show me before I'll believe.
Mike (The U)
Will Miami beat Ohio State? Also I as a Miami Fan have never been to The Horse Shoe should I go to the game?
Pat Forde (2:11 PM)
Mike: I have no idea who will win that game -- but if you love college football, Ohio Stadium is a must-visit. Tremendous atmosphere -- if the Buckeyes fans are behaving themselves.
Care to offer up four players who will be leading for the heisman at the beginning of the year?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Jordan: I will, but remember this: Mark Ingram was on nobody's leading candidate list when the season began a year ago. So take it for what it's worth. 1. Kellen Moore, Boise; 2. Mark Ingram, Alabama; 3. Dion Lewis, Pitt; 4. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas. Before the first "What about So and So???" question comes in, remember: we're totally guessing here.
Why are people calling Nick Saban the best coach in college football? So many names out there hard to believe nick is the best. What's your opinion?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Chris: Any of those other names own national championships at two different schools in the same decade? That's phenomenal. Especially how quickly he took Alabama to the top. I'd start my list with Saban right now.
How about a dark horse National Title contender?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
James: Depends what you consider a darkhorse. I've been plugging Boise State as No. 1 since last January -- does that count? If not, I'll take a flyer on Oregon. Obviously the Ducks have to overcome losing Masoli, but Costa has experience and the rest of the team is pretty loaded.
If Brian Kelly is a good fit at ND, how long before they are in the National Title discussion?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
John: I think Brian Kelly is a great fit at ND and a great coach. But this will be a process, not a quick fix. Looks to me like the Irish need to upgrade their talent on both lines to compete for a national title, and that sort of thing usually takes a few years.
Jason (South Dakota)
Really not sure what UNL is thinking with that video. Not only does it run counter to the image of the shool it is simply embarrassing. To the team, the school and the fans. Something one might expect to rise from a Jr. High rivalry, not from the University of Nebraska. Stupid move Big Red.
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Jason: Like I said, it gives us something to talk about during the summer. But some of the folks doing the talking live in Austin. Don't think Texas isn't paying attention and taking notes.
What is the most overlooked team in the SEC?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Jonathan: Arkansas is the Hot Team right now, and I can understand a lot of that. But I think Auburn has a chance to be pretty stout again. If the Tigers have another good year, I will admit to a gross error in analyzing the Gene Chizik hire. Wasn't a fan at the time.
Have we heard the last of the mega conference talk?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Ryan: For now. But keep an ear to the ground a few years from now...
Brett (Heath, OH)
Pat - why would Illinois bring in two new coordinators and pay them both very handsomely, when they ultimately could be looking for a head coach after the season? What is going on in Champaign?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
Brett: Great question. No idea. Though I do have to say, Mike Guenther hung on to Ron Turner about three years longer than anyone expected him to. Maybe he's going to give the Zooker a solid 20 or 30 years to prove he can't do it.
Is Butler a one time wonder or is Brad Stevens building a legitimate power in indianapolis?
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Richard: Appreciate the basketball question - said we'd take those, too. I think there is potential for a legitimate power there. Stevens is a great coach doing very well in recruiting -- he's in the thick of the fight to get Cody Zeller, little brother to Luke (ND) and Tyler (UNC) and maybe the best of the bunch. I can see a Gonzaga-level or Xavier-level consistency at Butler if Stevens stays. Maybe even better than that.
In five years USC will be...
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Ryan: ... Back in contention to win the Pac-10 and go to a BCS bowl under second-year head coach Steve Sarkisian.
How do you see A&M doing this year? I think the season basically hinges on how much improvement there is on D. Will we see the Wrecked Crew or a return to the Wrecking Crew?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Scott: Agreed that the defense is key. It's been SO bad lately. Needs to step up significantly, because the offense should be really prolific. Love Jerrod Johnson and all the skill guys.
nick (lincoln, ne)
since when did creating enthusiasm for a game spark such controversy? your article makes it sound like we held a city-sponsored event where we burned a texas logo (oh wait, that's what florida atlantic did to us a while ago: http://ballhype.com/video/fau_burns_big_red_n_for_nebraska_game/). why wouldn't it be acceptable for a university to create a video of which is intended for fans for the sole purpose of creating hype for an upcoming season? the only mention of texas is at the very end. i am truly flabbergasted by your article.
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Nick: Sorry to flabbergast. And you be sure to get on Florida Atlantic for such a terrible thing, given its rich tradition of success over the decades. The only mention of Texas is at the very end -- but why mention Texas at all, if you don't want it to provoke a reaction?
Emanuel (Las Vegas)
And in your 5-year scenario for USC, the AD will be ....?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Emanuel: I only need a five-day scenario to bring in a new AD at USC. Way overdue.
What are your expectations from Pastner & Memphis this year with the talent he has brought in?
Pat Forde (2:32 PM)
Zach: Great recruiting job there in a hurry. I expect Memphis to be in the field of (gag) 68 and winning Conference USA fairly easily.
Quick breakdown of the Big 12 North -- who do you see coming out on top?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Jessica: 1. Nebraska; 2. Missouri; 3. Colorado; 4. Iowa State; 5. Kansas; 6. Kansas State. Totally off the top of my head.
James (Ann Arbor, MI)
Pat - I enjoy reading your content but I am kind of confused at your stance on that Nebraska video. I am not a Nebraska fan as you can probably tell from where I am from but to me this is just a hype video trying to get fans pumped up for the season. They say they want to beat Texas but isn't that what a team/school should say about an opponent. I guess I just don't get what the big deal is. I thought it was a cool video and if I was a Nebraska fan it would get me pumped up for the coming season.
Pat Forde (2:35 PM)
James: I thought it was a cool video too and if I were a Nebraska fan I'd be pumped as well. But if I'm Texas, I've also got bulletin board material of the highest order -- this is an athletic department production, not just some fan chatter. And if I'm Bo Pelini, I now have to work hard to remind my players that there are five games before Armageddon to take care of, and six more afterward.
P-Forde - Your thoughts on the Gators this year with new QB Mr. Johnny Brantley at the helm?
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
Eric: I think Brantley will be great. Bigger question marks are on the other side of the ball, with the personnel losses and departure of beloved DC Charlie Strong. But the rest of the division is really in flux, so the Gators could win it.
If Boise runs the table with wins over VT and OSU do you see them playing in the BCS title game?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Tyler: I do, yes. Hope the voters give them a chance. But they have to win the games first.
Frank (Crayton, NY)
True or False. The Big East will be a better top to bottom conf than the ACC this fall.
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Frank: I believe the Big East has been better than the ACC a couple times in recent years -- but this year I'm not sure I see it. So I'm going with false. Brain drain has hurt the league: Petrino, Rodriguez, now Kelly.
What is more entertaining to cover live football or basketball games?
Pat Forde (2:41 PM)
Matt: Good question. The football regular season is far bigger than in basketball, and the game-day atmosphere is priceless. But the NCAA tournament is hard to beat -- which football could discover if it would embrace a playoff.
Lindsay (Chicago, IL)
Pat--Other than perennial power Ohio State, do you see any other Big Ten teams with the potential to have a notable season?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Lindsay: I think Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State all will be good. How good? I don't know. But yes, the Buckeyes top the list for that league.
Rob (Barre, VT)
True or False? Oklahoma beats Texas this year and ends up playing for the BCS Championship.
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Rob: I don't see Oklahoma playing for a national title. Or, most likely, beating Texas. But let's wait until October to predict that game.
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
OK, folks, I have to sign off. Got to see what the NCAA has decided with this 68-team bracket. Column to come! Thanks for all the questions, enjoy the rest of summer!