Chat with Bruce Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, college football Insider Bruce Feldman stops by to chat about the college gridiron.
Feldman is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. He joined ESPN in July 1994 as a writer for ESPNET (now ESPN.com) and in May 1998 came to ESPN The Magazine. He spent much of the past two years in the South working on his book, "Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting."
Send your questions now and join Feldman Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Bruce (2:02 PM)
Thanks for dropping by. Am home in LA this weekend to watch games. Feel like there's going to be a few big upsets tomorrow. Let's get to it.
Do you think the Gamecocks win the SEC East? They look pretty good behind Marcus Lattimore! Lattimore for Heisman!!!!
Bruce (2:03 PM)
This is the best a Carolina team has looked under Spurrier because of Lattimore/JEffrey and the talent at DB. I still feel like UF is the best team in the division though.
Hey Bruce, I keep hearing Boise State has a cupcake schedule (I disagree by the way). If Nevada beats Cal tonight, and the rest of the Wac gets some good wins out of conference, (and Boise State goes undefeated of course) will that be enough for BSU to get to the championship game?
Bruce (2:06 PM)
They'll need A LOT of help. Boise can't have more than one unbeaten AC conference champ out there and I doubt given the struggles of VT, they would get picked ahead of 1-loss teams from the SEC and maybe the Big Ten either. I suspect if Nevada beats Cal at home, it'll be seen as much as an indictment of Cal as it will 'Hey, there's another good team in the WAC. Cal is coming off an 8-5 season where it got blown out by Washington, USC, Ore St and Oregon.
David (San Francisco)
How do you think the Neb - WA game will unfold. I'm not sure that Washington is really that good, especially their O-Line and D-Line. Nebraska wins by 13
Bruce (2:08 PM)
I agree. I think the Huskers are too physical on both lines. But am curious if U=Dub can make Martinez beat them with his arm. The Huskies do have pretty good skill talent around Locker to keep it interesting.
Andrew (Montgomery, AL)
Okay don't keep us all in suspense. Who are those big upsets you're are feeling tomorrow?
Bruce (2:09 PM)
I went with Tech over UT as my biggest upset and UCLA, somehow after that debacle to rally and beat Houston.
Kev (San Diego)
What the heck happened to Norm Chow at UCLA? Has he lost it?
Bruce (2:10 PM)
He doesn't have hardly any O-linemen to work with and the QB has been in andout of practice. I think it'l start getting better by midseason.
Any chance the Vols upset UF this week? They looked good against a fast paced Oregon team last week until the pick-6.
Bruce (2:11 PM)
A very outside shot. I think UF has more speed, more depth and will be more prepared. UT just seemed to let off the gas once the Ducks turned up the intensity. I think UF will do the same.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who is the best quarterback in the Pac 10, Locker or Luck? Locker receives all the hype but Luck is the one producing on the field. The Huskies will be 1-2 after this week and with their schedule may not go bowling again this year.
Bruce (2:12 PM)
I'd go with Luck because I think he's more polished. And he's a great athlete too.
Ross (Seatte, WA)
Buy or Sell: Texas A&M's defense improved enough to make them a contender in the South? Jerrod Johnson as a Heisman Contender in November?
Bruce (2:12 PM)
Am tempted to go with buy on that one.
Dave (North Carolina)
Can Butch Davis save his job?
Bruce (2:13 PM)
Long shot. Things really got bleek for him when his top assistant had to resign the day after the opener.
Bob (Big Easy)
Bruce, did Ohio State finally close the door on the pundits, with last weeks win? Thanks.
Bruce (2:14 PM)
No, they will if they win the BCS title game though. Part of the slaying of that dragon probably needs to come at the hands of an SEC champ.
What's your prediction for UF's record this year?
Bruce (2:15 PM)
Is this one of my favorite bartenders? I'd say 10-3 because I think Bama beats them again in the SEC title game.
The most important factor for Iowa to leave Tucson with a victory is ________________________.
Bruce (2:16 PM)
Getting pressure on Nick Foles more so than Stanzi not throwing picks.
Ryan (Walford, Ia)
What are you more impressed with so far this year? Ricky Stanzi's decision making or the hawkeyes new look offensive line?
Bruce (2:17 PM)
I'd say STanzi playing solid for four quarters.
Can we steal a W from a SC team that's looking beatable now?
Bruce (2:17 PM)
USC really has looked shaky but I could see Barkley and those WRs lighting up the Minny D. I don't think the Gophers win this one.
How do you see the ND-MSU game shaking out?
Bruce (2:20 PM)
I think ND bounces back if Crist can stay on the field. I have a hunch the ND defense does a much better job containing the run this week. I'll pick ND in the upset.
Clyde (Los Angeles)
How bad does Neuheisel's record have to be at UCLA this year before his job is in trouble?
Bruce (2:21 PM)
If he doesn't get to five wins, it'll be sticky. The other thing and this may be more important than the win total is having the team competitive. If they get blown out a few more times like they did at home by Stanford people will get nervous there.... I do expect the Bruins to respond from hitting rock bottom last week but if they don't, the schedule is thick enough where they could go 2-10.
New AD, likely 4 loss season at minimum and an unhappy fan base. I never thought Richt would be on the hot seat but things are not looking up for him. Is it possible?
Bruce (2:23 PM)
Am writing about this topic in the mailbag for later today. It's going to get warm if they lose this weekend to open 0-2 in the league. That would also mean they've lost four in a row against top 25 teams at home. Still, I don't think he's going to get canned this year, but it will get warm.
Brandon (Easley sc)
Bruce... Whats the key for clemson to go into Auburn and pull out a win.
Bruce (2:23 PM)
Containing Cam Newton as a runner.
Why are you not a Boise fan? You took Va Tech over them, and it seems that whenever BSU is brought up in the National Title discussion you down play them. Do they have to go 36-0 before they get a shot?
Bruce (2:24 PM)
I'm trying to be realistic. I've said many times they are a very good team, but to get to the BCS title game you need to have one of the best two resumes and playing a bunch of WAC teams, you need your non-conference wins to be over top 10 teams and that's not going to be the case here.
Jill (College Station, TX)
If Texas A&M is 5-0 after the Arkansas game do you think they are the favorite for the Big 12 south?
Bruce (2:26 PM)
No because the four wins before the Ark game won't carry much weight, and to be honest there are almost as many questions about the Hogs D coming into this season as there were about A&Ms. For now it's still OU/UT and then everyone else there.I think A
Bearcats got rolled last night. Is Butch Jones the answer, & can he turn it around this year in a weak big east?
Bruce (2:27 PM)
He's a good coach with a good staff. I think you have to be patient with him. Their O-line is really shaky. It doesn't look like they have enough on either side of the ball to win the big east.
NC State looked decent last night for the ACC's first BCS non conf win. What other non con game this weekend gives the ACC the most likely chance to regain some respect
Bruce (2:29 PM)
The big one and this is such a long shot that I almost forgot it, would be Duke knocking off Bama. Clemson winning at Auburn would be nice as would MD at WVU and Wake at Stanford. I don't think any of those four occur, but I'd give Clemson the best hope of it.
Connor (J-ville, NC)
Does Russell Wilson have a shot at the Heisman? He had a great game last night.
Bruce (2:30 PM)
He's a long shot, but he is a really good QB and deserves a lot of praise. Great story on and off the field.
Your impression on Ricki Stanzi this year and Iowa so far and the game in Tucson's predictions.
Bruce (2:31 PM)
Much improved. More consistent this year. I picked Iowa to win in a close one although the fact that this will be a very late game for Iowa is something that gave me second thoughts.
Bob (Richmond, VA)
With all of this conference realignment, do you see any FCS teams making the jump to FBS in the next few year?
Bruce (2:31 PM)
Besides Villanova? Probably not.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Quick one for you, Bruce. PSU - Over/under seven wins this season?
Bruce (2:32 PM)
I wouldn't say under. I feel like they'll go 7-5 regular season and with the bowl I like their chances to win 8.
Sarah (Toledo, OH)
Bruce, first: I love you. Second: if Shoelace doesn't play the entire game tomorrow, who do you think plays next? Gardner? Forcier? Both? Thanks!
Bruce (2:34 PM)
Thanks Sarah, I appreciate the support. I think Rodriguez plays both and tries to get Gardner more game-action to get him ready just in case Shoelace gets dinged up later this year. I also expect RichRod to do everything he can to get one of their RBs cranked up to build up some confidence and get defenses something else to worry about.
Huskers chances to make it to the Big 12 championships in the final year?
Bruce (2:35 PM)
Great. The rest of the Big 12 North is really shaky.
john (hoover, AL)
if you were a NFL GM, you can only take one running back from Alabama's roster, who you got?
Bruce (2:36 PM)
I don't think you could go wrong with either. I'd probably go with Ingram because I know more about him at this point.
Big Rob (Austin)
Jeff Demps 1200 or less this year?
Bruce (2:36 PM)
Chance of UNC finishing the season with 9 wins?
Bruce (2:37 PM)
I'd say under just because we don't know more about where the investigations are going and the turmoil around the coaching staff. That's a lot to block out for those players.
Will Oregon's relatively weak schedule hurt them in BCS standings?
Bruce (2:39 PM)
This is another subject I'm covering today in the mailbag. They need Arizona to knock off Iowa and for USC to start looking impressive to boost the power of the rest of the league or else they're definitely #4 behind potential unbeaten champs in the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12.
How does a unranked Michigan team beat an unranked ND team and make that type of jump in the rankings? It's not like they were playing a top ranked offense?
Bruce (2:47 PM)
There's been a shift in voting philosophy among pollsters to have a much more fluid approach. Teams that lose get booted out. Or don't look very impressive, they plummet.
Bruce (2:48 PM)
Sorry.. just got a call.. hang w me..
Is FSU that weak or is OU that good for such a lopsided game last week? Do you see them bouncing back against BYU and the ACC teams?
Bruce (2:51 PM)
FSU's D is really young and really suspect. I think OU deserves a lot of credit. They're very explosive.. I expect FSU to respond well against BYU and make strides the rest of the season. I wouldn't give up on them this year just yet.
Does Baylor and RGIII have a shot a knocking off TCU this weekend?
Bruce (2:52 PM)
Yeah, they do. I still think TCU wins but this is one really am curious about. He is a great talent, but I don't think the Baylor D will contain Andy Dalton and that offense.
Craig (Braintree MA)
The Gophers started the season with an entire starting defense with no experienced starters. How often does that happen and can they find success this year?
Bruce (2:53 PM)
Last year, Cincy only had one returning starter on D and came within a Nebraska missed FG of playing for the BCS title... And no I doubt Minny finds much success this year.
Todd (Athens, Ga)
If UGA loses this weekend to Arkansas, do things turn south for the Georgia program and Mark Richt? Georgia hasn't played for a SEC Championship since 2005.
Bruce (2:55 PM)
The seat would start to get a little warm. It would be his fourth straight loss against ranked teams at home. I don't expect him to get canned but it will increase the talk and add a lot of pressure.
About to fly overseas and will have zero access to college football for a week - any recent, must-read recommendations?
Bruce (2:56 PM)
Bring Forde's all-access look at Texas. There's some good detail and it'll probably take 30 minutes to read and make some of the flight go by.
Stan (Madison, WI)
Do you think Illinois will make a bowl this year?? or is Zook done.
Bruce (2:57 PM)
Yes, he's done I think.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Bruce, For the first time under Mack Brown at Texas they have zero turnovers and zero sacks allowed? Could this mean the running game is working better than people think?
Bruce (2:57 PM)
Or they played two really bad defenses.
Bruce, who are the up-and-coming coaches to look out for when the next round of the coaching carousel starts up again in December? I'm thinking Al Golden's name will come up for more than a few. And no, I'm not suggesting WVU will be coach-shopping.
Bruce (3:02 PM)
From the assistant pool, expect more talk about UT DC Will Muschamp; the OU coordinators, Auburn OC Gus Malzahn, Bama DC Kirby Smart; OK State OC Dana Holgorsen, Neb DC Carl Pelini; Oregon State DC MArk Banker, Stanford OC David Shaw, USC LB coach Joe Barry, and Miami OC MArk Whipple
If Nebraska had beaten Texas last year and Cincy played for the BCS title, do you think Kelly stays at Cincy?
Bruce (3:02 PM)
Great question. How could he leave or make the move to leave after that game?
Why can't you answere any of my good questions , you have answered 2 questions again this week on the same old tired subject of Mark Richt seat getting hot ? There are others with better questions.
Matt (San Diego)
Just bought "Meat Market" this morning. Enjoy the latte I just bought you. What do you need to see from USC againts Minny to show that they are going in the right direction?
Bruce (3:03 PM)
I didn't see yours.. sorry
Bruce (3:04 PM)
Thanks.. Cut down on the penalties; hit big plays; get pressure on the QB. Force turnovers.
Mike (NE Ohio)
Bruce, with speculation about The Vest possibly retiring should OSU win the BCS title, would Bo Pelini be a legitimate candidate to replace him?
Bruce (3:05 PM)
If he did retire, I think Pelini would be a good choice to replace him.
Bruce (3:05 PM)
Three more questions..
why has the florida GATORS offense looked so horrible?
Bruce (3:06 PM)
Just struggling with the transition to new players and an altered scheme. Some growing pains. I think they'll get it sorted out.
Thoughts on Edwin Baker and Le'veon Bell, MSU's potent running back attack?
Bruce (3:07 PM)
Impressive young backs to go with a great QB. Curious to see how good the D is.
Best and worst case outlook on Michigans big ten record they have alot of home games...and is a bcs bowl possible??
Bruce (3:09 PM)
REalistically: Best case is 10-2.. Worst case I think is they get injuries at QB and go 6-6. Lost in Denardmania has been the improvement of the O-line and the emergence of DL Mike Martin and OLB-DE Craig Roh as stars. I talked about them some going into the season and they've been even better than I heard they'd be.
Bruce (3:09 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.