Chat with Andrea Adelson
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, College Football Nation blogger Andrea Adelson stops by to chat about the season.
Adelson came to ESPN.com after serving as the Orlando Sentinel's college football blogger. She'll be keeping up with the national blog, while hosting Cover It Live events, as well as keeping track of the non-BCS teams.
Send your questions now and join Adelson Monday at noon ET!
Andrea Adelson (12:00 PM)
Hello and welcome to another live chat. Let's get underway!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which College Quarterbacks who are making their first ever start of 2010 do you think impresses you?
Andrea Adelson (12:01 PM)
Chris, the easy answer there is Denard Robinson of Michigan. This is his first season as a starter, I have been completely and totally impressed. I know he is doing it all right now, and those carries might take a toll, but he is the most fun player to watch in college football right now.
BYU's inexperience really showed on Saturday. Was Saturday's game a telling sign of a long season for cougar fans, or do you think they can bounce back from that? Props to a great Air Force team also, do you think they have a chance at beating Oklahoma on Saturday?
Andrea Adelson (12:03 PM)
Kevin, I worried about that inexperienced before the season started when I did not have BYU in my power rankings, much to the consternation of Cougars fans. They are still in there this week, but obviously a huge game against FSU awaits. The Seminoles beat them badly last year in Provo, and that was with Max Hall, Dennis Pitta, Harvey Unga and a pretty solid defense. I think Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps have to get more comfortable, but there are also holes on the defense, namely at linebacker, that need to be shored up. As for Air Force, I have been impressed with the Falcons, and this is going to be a huge challenge at Oklahoma. We have seen a Jekyll and Hyde team from the Sooners already. Given the unique system Air Force runs, and the mobile QB in Tim Jefferson, the Falcons could give them fits. But I think Oklahoma wins.
Nicholas (Reno, NV)
If the Reno community makes a strong showing, what chance do you think Nevada finally pulls a televised upset against a top 25 team this Friday?
Andrea Adelson (12:05 PM)
Well, Nicholas, it is more than just the crowd showing up, thought that will be important. The big question for me is how the defense will do against the Bears. This is a unit that is retooled under a new defensive coordinator, and let's face it, very lightly tested in the first two games. We all know what Colin Kaepernick can do -- but will he be able to get use usual 200-plus yards on California? I think I am going with the Bears in this one.
Chris (San Diego)
What happens if both Boise State and TCU are the two only unbeaten teams at the end of the season?
Andrea Adelson (12:07 PM)
This riddle is about as easy to solve as a Rubik's cube. It really all depends on the one- and two-loss teams out there. The way this season has started out, with all the surprises we have seen so far, my guess is .... I have no idea. I don't think anybody does, so get ready for this to be a major talking point as the season goes on if both stay undefeated. I can tell you that some computers have TCU ahead of Boise State, but none of them have both teams 1-2 right now.
paul (pittsburgh pa)
Has Ric R saved his job with michigan's performance on sat.?
Andrea Adelson (12:08 PM)
Let's not forget Rich Rod beat Notre Dame at the last second in 2009 and started out 4-0. A lot of good that did. The ultimate test is how his team does in Big Ten play, and whether it's a) competitive and b) can make it to a bowl game. Beating Ohio State would obviously be gravy.
With VA TECH's loss to JMU doesn't that nuke BSU's chances for a NC? TCU must be loving it right now, VA TECH's loss should put the FROGS ahead of the BRONCOS at the end of the year with their strength of schedule, right?
Andrea Adelson (12:09 PM)
Alan, I don't know about nuke, but it certainly doesn't help. Even if Virginia Tech wins out and wins the ACC, the Hokies are going to be penalized for losing to JMU. Don't forget its strength of schedule plays a role in Boise State's strength of schedule. So that means a down ACC is bad for Boise State, too. It remains to be seen whether TCU would finish ahead, but it did last season so it stands to reason that would be a good guess again.
was Monster Saturday a dud?
Andrea Adelson (12:11 PM)
A total dud. Very disappointing. I was actually afraid of that when my top story line going into the weekend was "Will these games live up to the hype." They rarely do.
LSU or Mississippi State? first home game for Tigers and at night.
Andrea Adelson (12:11 PM)
LSU for sure. Just think the team has better talent and always plays well at home.
Do you think both Utah and TCU will go into their November 6th matchup undefeated? Do you think the winner will leapfrog Boise in the rankings?
Andrea Adelson (12:13 PM)
Great question, RJ. It is quite possible both teams will go into that game undefeated. I am not as sure about Utah, only because it has to play at Air Force right before the TCU and that one is going to be difficult no question. I think Utah wins at Iowa State. We'll see when Jordan Wynn returns, that could be a factor as well. Utah is low in the rankings at this point, so if the Utes are undefeated and beat TCU, I am not sure if they will have enough to leap Boise State.
Drofdarb (Boise, ID)
Hey Andrea, What should Bronco fans know about the Wyoming football team? Thanks.
Andrea Adelson (12:15 PM)
Last time Boise State play at Wyoming, it was a tight game the Broncos ended up winning 17-10. Wyoming has a very good quarterback in Austyn Carta-Samuels, so I won't be surprised if they try and attack a secondary that had some problems against Virginia Tech. Also, this is a team that has had to deal with tragedy following the death of freshman LB Ruben Narcisse in a car accident last week.
Joseph (Tampa fl)
Miami showed some promise last week but made some serious mistakes with interceptions, do you see Miami bouncing back versus Pitt?
Andrea Adelson (12:15 PM)
Only if Jacory Harris stops throwing interceptions.
So, JMU beat VTech, I suppose they're in the BCS National Championship discussion too, right? Because beating VTech alone merits any team worthy of playing for the BCS National Title...
Andrea Adelson (12:16 PM)
Now, now Chris, settle down. There are many people out there who believe this is a one-game season for Boise State based on that Virginia Tech game, and others who do not. Let's try and remember the Broncos return 20 starters, went undefeated last season and do have some tough games left to play, contrary to popular belief.
trojanbrutha (Greenville, AL)
Andrea, from the two games that TROY has played so far, what are your thoughts about their chances as a 10-win team this season?
Andrea Adelson (12:18 PM)
You can't say enough about the work Larry Blakeney does at Troy, can you? Corey Robinson has been impressive without a doubt, and the Trojans came oh-so-close to beating Oklahoma State. Given the fact that Troy and Middle Tennessee are the toast of the Sun Belt, a 10-win season is certainly possible. But two huge games to watch in my book -- at MTSU and at North Texas. Dasher could be back for the Blue Radiers and the Mean Green are much improved.
Jason (Columbus, OH)
I love my Buckeyes, but I am not buying the hype, yet. OSU has not generated much of a pass rush this season so far. Nate Williams is still hindered, and OSU has only 3 sacks in two games. And the lone sack in the Marshall game was from a safety blitz. Now, I know that Marshall throws a lot of short passes and quick outs that are hard to get to the QB that quickly, but Jacory Harris had all day for those 12-15 in and out patterns. Do you think they need to pick it up to be a true contender, especially with Iowa looking good so far?
Andrea Adelson (12:20 PM)
Jason, I certainly understand your concern, but how about some appreciation for a big win in a tough non-conference game. Certainly your defense had something to do with Jacory Harris throwing 4 interceptions. The Miami offensive line is actually pretty good, so I would not worry just yet. Another area that would concern me, though, is special teams. Ohio State has got to shore that up. Iowa has looked good, but I don't think that's a surprise to anyone, do you?
After the recent report from Nebraska that BSU continually asks for huge cash payments for home and home series, Why does the "big boys" continue to get labeled as "scared to play BSU"? While "BSU is trying to schedule tough games"? If BSU REALLY wanted to play the "big boys" wouldn't they offer to play for travel costs? Doesn't BSU need Nebraska more than Nebraska need BSU?
Andrea Adelson (12:22 PM)
Good question, Rett. The reason Boise State has to ask for so much money is because they get no home game in return. And that means no marquee game to bring in lots of $$ for home. Also, try and remember that the WAC does not get the same type of money that teams from the power conferences get, based on TV deals and the BCS contract. Several non-AQ teams have gotten upwards of $500,000 to play on the road. But those teams, of course, are "guaranteed wins" so nobody cares that they get so much money. Why is Boise State getting criticized? Well, because it's Boise State.
Michael (Montgomery AL)
Do you think MTSU still has the upper hand in the Sun Belt without Dwight Dasher? That almost-win against Minnesota doesn't seem as impressive now. What about Troy?
Andrea Adelson (12:23 PM)
Great question, Michael. I still had MTSU winning the Sun Belt because I thought Dasher might be back in time for their game in two weeks. We still have no word on whether that will happen. MTSU is now down to its third quarterback after Logan Kilgore sat out last week. I am going to see how the Dasher situation plays out before I predict that game. If he's not there, the advantage has to go to Troy.
Do you think Houston can stay strong with Case Keenum out from his concussion?
Andrea Adelson (12:24 PM)
Houston showed last week it can run the ball behind Bryce Beall and Michael Hayes. Cotton Turner did well, too. Houston gets a break playing a pretty bad UCLA team this week, so I think there is a chance the Cougars win even without Keenum. He didn't throw a TD pass last week for the first time since 2007 and they still were able to win. Pretty easily, too.
Considering that TCU has to play in salt lake this year it is very possible that the undefeated team coming out of the Mountain West might could be the Utes not the Frogs. This is just rampant speculation obviously but how much would you like an undefeated Ute team with wins over Pitt, ND, and TCU? More than an undefeated Boise?
Andrea Adelson (12:26 PM)
Joe, It's a tough question to answer at this point. I think the Mountain West obviously has a more difficult schedule than the WAC. But I really would like to judge an overall body of work. How does Utah win its games? How does Boise State? How does TCU?
As it relates to your ESPN powerrankings, at what point in the season do you throw away your preconceived ideas about "how good you think a team is" and start evaluating "what they (and their opponents have done"?
Andrea Adelson (12:28 PM)
Rett, I have already started to do that. If you look at my rankings from Week 1 to now, you will see movement up and down of teams that are undefeated based on how I think they have performed. If you are asking about Oregon, I have the Ducks in the Top 10 right now. But one caveat -- New Mexico is one of the worst teams in college football, and I don't have high expectations for Tennessee.
Andrea, love your work. Is it safe to say Brewster is officially done in MN barring something unforeseen? What will it take to turn a program like the Gophers around?
Andrea Adelson (12:29 PM)
Mike, Last time I checked he still had his job. Obviously an FCS loss is not a death knell for every coach, but somebody on the hot seat obviously cannot afford a horrible loss like that. Not to mention they almost lost on the road to an MTSU team without Dwight Dasher. As for turning around the program, I think the key is the coaching staff, and putting a plan in place to make your players successful. There are many programs out there that don't get 4 and 5 star recruits and win.
Pretty obvious UCF should go with Godfrey (even though O'Leary is not saying that) Does UCF have a chance of winning CUSA East with true freshman Jeff Godfrey at QB?
Andrea Adelson (12:31 PM)
Great question, Darrell. I was very impressed with the comeback Godfrey led last week against NC State. It's not unheard of for a freshman to lead a team, of course, and he just presents so much more than Calabrese does. If you look at UCF, the tough games are at home (ECU, Southern Miss), so that is a huge plus right there.
Chris (San Diego)
SDSU is off to a good start. Do they have a chance of beating Missouri this weekend?
Andrea Adelson (12:32 PM)
If Ronnie Hillman has another game like he did last week, there is a chance. But let's keep things in perspective. SD State has played two pretty mediocre opponents. BUT I will say I think the Aztecs go to a bowl game this year. Can't take away a 2-0 start -- the first one since 1994!
What are the chances that an undefeated TCU and Boise State BOTH get BCS Bowl bids again this year? Assuming no more than two other undefeated teams, which I assume would go to the championship over TCU and BS.
Andrea Adelson (12:33 PM)
Well, it happened last year so I don't see why it wouldn't happen again. Especially since they are already ranked so high in the polls.
Michael (Knoxville, TN)
Andrea, What odds do you give the Vols against the Gators in their annual tilt?
Andrea Adelson (12:34 PM)
Not great odds, but I haven't been impressed with the Gators, either. It's going to be a tough road start for John Brantley. The 100,000 fans there could prove to be a problem especially with the snapping issues he's had with Mike Pouncey.
Chris (Fullerton, CA)
Isn't this weekend Bobby Hauck's first real shot at seeing where his Rebels are with a trip to play a solid Idaho squad? Any chance UNLV can pull the upset?
Andrea Adelson (12:35 PM)
Why wouldn't he have seen where his team stood last week against a much more solid Utah team? I think Idaho wins this one. Hauck has a long way to go at UNLV.
Ricki Stanzi (Iowa City, Ia)
What about me and my beloved hawkeyes? I have no interceptions this year and we are winning dominantly. Talk about no respect once agayne...............
Andrea Adelson (12:37 PM)
No respect? Ricki, you guys are ranked No. 4 in my power rankings. Guess I don't count, huh?
Andrea, considering that ND only had Crist for a half how do you think their season plays out?
Andrea Adelson (12:38 PM)
Curt, I think Notre Dame makes it to a bowl game this year. The defense isn't going to see another player like Denard Robinson again this year, and the offense is going to keep getting better. I want to see Kelly install more of that spread attack to see how Crist handles it.
Juan Moses (Panama)
Goin back to that question you answered a while ago, If both TCU and Utah are udefeated for their November 6th showdown (both should be in the top 10), and TCU beats Utah at home (where they've won 19 straight) will that be enough for TCU to leap Boise?
Andrea Adelson (12:38 PM)
Juan, TCU may have already leaped them at that point based on games against Oregon State, Baylor, SMU, BYU and Air Force. It all depends on how those teams fare as well. Remember, opponent W-L and opponent strength of schedule are factors.
Chris (Fullerton, CA)
If the AQ conference are so mighty and powerful, why don't they break away from the NCAA?
Andrea Adelson (12:39 PM)
Chris, There has been a lot of talk about that being the end game of super conference expansion. I would not be surprised if that eventually happens.
Matt (Shreveport, LA)
What is your take on the LSU QB situation? It is so frustrating knowing that we have the talent to make a run but we don't have a QB that can put the ball in the hands of the playmakers.
Andrea Adelson (12:40 PM)
Matt, I can see how frustrating it must be for LSU fans, who have been waiting on Jordan Jefferson to play somewhat close to decent for the last two years. He is going to have to get better in a hurry or another season without an SEC title is ahead.
Alex (Richmond, VA)
Please name these tough games that Boise has left to play? Take out Oregon State (who hasn't looked too hot anyway) and their SOS is extremely similar to JMU's, whose conference is rated above the Sun Belt and the MAC.
Andrea Adelson (12:42 PM)
UMM, why are we taking Oregon State out again? Are they off the schedule?Boise State has five bowl teams left on its schedule. Guess they don't count either, right?
Grant (salt lake)
Who is the better QB for the utes? And if you had to choose one to lead your team which one would you pick? Also how long do you let Jordon Wynn rest his thumb?
Andrea Adelson (12:44 PM)
Grant, I think Jordan Wynn has proven to be the better quarterback, don't you? I don't think Utah needs him for their next two games, but I also don't think you want to go into the game at Iowa State will him sitting out two games. It really all depends on how he can grip the ball. The thumb is so important when it comes to that. I will let the doctors make the decision on that.
Is Bama's young defense going to be ready for Ryan Mallett in 2 weeks?
Andrea Adelson (12:46 PM)
I think this is going to be the first true tough test for Alabama this year, and you can bet dollars to donuts Ryan Mallett is going to try and take advantage of the secondary. Robert Bolden made mistakes, yes, but he was able to move the ball on Alabama. I do have questions about the Arkansas defense, though. And Arkansas was only up 7-0 on ULM for a very long time. So I am still unsure on just how good Arkansas is at this point.
No doubt Denard Robinson had a career game against the Irish and maybe Rich Rod's offense is starting to work, but will it work that well against fast powerful teams like Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State? And what upsets do you foresee this weekend?
Andrea Adelson (12:49 PM)
I think how Robinson goes will determine how Michigan finishes out. Obviously Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State have better defenses than UConn and Notre Dame, so it will be interesting to see if he can be stopped against them. I have a feeling that his speed could be a decisive factor. Upsets this weekend -- I'm going chalk on the Top 25 games for right now.
Duke showed some offense against Wake, but will the defense allow them to stay in the game against Alabama?
Andrea Adelson (12:49 PM)
Dan, I'm afraid not.
Chris (San Diego)
The MWC has 2 teams in the top 5 (with Boise State joining next year). The Big East's best win as a conference so far this year is... Akron? Even with the loss of Utah and BYU, with BSU, Fresno and Nevada joining doesn't the MWC still deserve AQ status?
Andrea Adelson (12:51 PM)
The ACC's best win is ...The MWC is going to have a tough time simply because the bottom teams are so bad. The ACC and Big East don't have anybody as bad as New Mexico, Colorado State and UNLV right now. That is what is hurting. It's not about having a handful of good teams, it's about a league top to bottom, according to the qualification parameters.
What do you think about the Gamecocks' win over UGA? Do you think that this means USC will have a great season, or did they get lucky?
Andrea Adelson (12:53 PM)
I have had South Carolina ranked in my Top 15 since the start of the season, so I have been high on the Gamecocks and thought they would win the game. But we need to see some consistency out of them. They have had some big wins in the past only to fall flat on their faces. But I think the biggest factor that could change all that is Marcus Lattimore. Spurrier hasn't had a back that good since Fred Taylor at Florida. And when he had Taylor, he realized too late that he should just ride him. I don't think he is going to make that mistake this year.
Adam (Shreveport, La)
Andrea, love your work. With respect to Rett's question, I think the fact that since BSU has pocketed the money from 2 BCS bowls then that should more than make-up for the lack of Nebraka wanting to come to town. Thoughts?
Andrea Adelson (12:53 PM)
More than make up for it? They still get less than the AQ conferences and get way, way less from TV money.
After this weekend, are you convinced that Demps is the playmaker that Meyer has been looking for?
Andrea Adelson (12:54 PM)
Clay, I didn't need this weekend to be convinced. I have said since last year they needed to use him more, and have never been able to figure out why they didn't. He should be used the way Percy Harvin was used. You can't completely stop speed like that.
Chris (Virginia Beach)
Andrea, How about some ECU talk? Does anyone realize that Dominique Davis has accounted for 12 td's (passing,rushing) and only one turnover? Yes, the D needs some work, but they are young and will get better as time goes on. Is it just me, or can they start to think 3-peat in Greenville? I know they play at Southern Miss and at UCF, but I'm not overly impressed with them. Some thoughts on my Pirates, or you have to walk me plank!!
Andrea Adelson (12:56 PM)
Chris, I realized it -- watch for a Dominique Davis story coming later this week. As for as thinking 3-peat, I think it might be too early for that. I will give them HUGE props for the win over Tulsa. I picked Tulsa. But Memphis is not very good. Very, very tough stretch upcoming with games at Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Southern Miss. That will tell us a lot more about ECU and whether we should be thinking 3-peat.
Devin (Kansas City)
what do you take from the universty of kansas win over georgia tech? After turner gill failed miserably in his debut do you think its possible that ku is starting to come together and be a potentially good team in the ncaa ranks?
Andrea Adelson (12:57 PM)
Is it possible he just made the wrong decision at QB in the opener? The play of Jordan Webb obviously made a huge difference --- 3 TDs and 1 INT. The defense wasn't terrible in the opener, after all. Kansas just couldn't score!
Marcus Lattimore...best freshman running back in the country?
Andrea Adelson (12:58 PM)
Hands down yes ... after Week 2. Another one to watch ... Ronnie Hillman at San Diego State. But I had Lattimore in my Heisman Top 5 this week.
Andrea Adelson (12:59 PM)
Last question coming up ...
How much better does Alabama's running game get when Ingram comes back?
Andrea Adelson (1:01 PM)
Jeremy, That is a great question. I think it will be the best in the country, the way people were expecting before he got hurt. Thanks so much for your questions this week. Join me again next Monday!