Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
Howdy and welcome to the weekly chat. Let's go to the questions!
Scott (New Jersey)
Pat, I am a Buckeye fan and I agree that as of right now Ohio States schedule is not strong. But do they take too much heat for it when it is Miami not living up to the hype or Wisconsin losing to Michigan State? It's not their fault that preseason schedule it looked like one of the tougher ones in all of NCAA and now it looks like there might be 2 teams that finished ranked on it.
Pat Forde (2:03 PM)
Scott: No, the travails of the opponents are not Ohio State's fault. But just because it's not Ohio State's fault doesn't mean the strength of schedule isn't hurt. That's just the way it goes.
Ryan Nettleship (Tempe, AZ)
Better conference (right now) -- Pac 10 or SEC?
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Ryan: Close call. We can go through the top few team-by-team:Auburn vs. Oregon? Adv. Pac 10.Alabama vs. Stanford? Adv. SECArizona vs. LSU? Tossup.South Carolina vs. Oregon State? SC, barely.Arkansas vs. USC? Probably HogsBut after that, I'd give the Pac-10 the edge in the middle and lower tiers. I don't think the SEC is very good in the bottom half this year.
Nevada loses at Hawaii (who just dismantled Fresno on the mainland) this weekend. The Boise Bus breaks down?
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Blake: No sir. Because Hawaii is on the schedule, too. Makes the Warriors look better!
Mik (San Jose)
Hi Pat! Here's a challenge for you. Rank these four teams from top to bottom: Texas, UCLA, Cal, and Nevada.
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Mik: I see where you're going with this. And I'll go there with you based on results vs each other: 1. Nevada, 2. Cal, 3. UCLA, 4. Texas. But Texas will end up having a better season than UCLA. Maybe better than Cal.
Ryan Mallett or Cam Newton...who has the bigger game and which team wins?
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
Brian: Mallett and Arkansas. Though I think both quarterbacks are tremendous and Newton has had the better season so far. But Mallett is going against a pretty porous pass defense and should put up big numbers in a Hogs upset. FYI, to Arkansas fans: Yes, I forgot to rank the Hogs in my ESPN.com power ranking. Just a mind cramp. My bad. No deep, dark agenda. They'll be there next week. (And a reminder: Our rankings don't matter. At all.)
Garrick (Boise, ID)
If Mark May tried to get on "The Bus" would you shut the door on him?
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
Garrick: Absolutely not. The Bus is open to any and all converts.
I know people ask for universities to pay college athletes, but Mr. Forde, do you realize only a handful of athletic departments make money (I think it was maybe 9-12 out of 120 FBS schools)? If schools like Cal are cutting sports like baseball, do you remotely think they have enough money to pay 85 scholarship players? Wouldn't the NCAA or government have to supplement schools?
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Jonathan: You are preaching to the choir, brother. There's never been a plan to pay the athletes that makes fiscal sense.
Jaquay Charlotte NC [via mobile]
How many wins does FSU have at the end of the season?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Jaquay: I think it' possible for FSU to be 11-1 going to the ACC title game -- partly because its ACC division just isn't very good. But the Noles have been stronger than expected so far and the schedule is pretty soft. Especially with Florida struggling and having to visit Tallahassee. But even at 11-1, I'm not sure I'd favor FSU in the ACC title game. Have to see how the competition (I expect it to be VT) looks at that point.
Pat, as a Husker fan I am wondering: Should Nebraska go undefeated, would weakness in the teams in the Big 12 hamper their chances at a BCS title? Given that say Auburn and Boise go undefeated?
Pat Forde (2:14 PM)
Bryon: At 12-0, Nebraska's resume would definitely have some holes in it in terms of quality wins. But at 13-0, if the Cornhuskers beat Oklahoma, that might be enough. I don't know. It would be close.
Mizzou or A&M?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
Gabe: Like Mizzou's chances -- but the Tigers haven't left the state of Missouri yet, so we have to see what their mettle is on the road. Not at all sold on A&M.
I am reading the comments on your articles and the articles of other writers and there are a lot of people who read them that really do not like you. Do you read the comments about you? Do they upset you? A lot of them are harsh. You have to have an opinion about them. Thanks
Pat Forde (2:16 PM)
Adam: I don't have to have an opinion about something I don't read. I'm glad readers have a forum to discuss my stories, but I don't spend much time there myself.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Forde, what will come of the Josh Luchs article? NFL and NCAA going to start to work together to solve the agent problem?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Jake: Hopefully so. I expect a more concerted and unified effort from everyone with a stake in the situation. NCAA enforcement is doing its part; time for the NFLPA and law enforcement to step up.
Hi Pat. Air Force played very well against Oklahoma and has looked great in the rest of their games. They have some big games coming up against TCU and Utah. If they can somehow sweep those two, what kind of a bowl game are they looking at?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Justin: Air Force has had a very good season so far. Now comes the tough part, as you mentioned, with games against two undefeated and highly ranked teams. Winning in Fort Worth will be tough; at least the Utes come to Colorado Springs (my hometown, btw). If AFA somehow wins both, its ranking should skyrocket toward the Top 10. We'll see.
Aaron (Rhode Island)
In my opinion, Kirk Ferentz gets the most out of player's abilities when compared to any other coach, especially the d-line (see GT's triple no-option in the Orange bowl). If the Hawkeyes pressure Robinson to throw, how can they lose?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Aaron: Pressuring Robinson to throw hasn't been as simple as it sounds. However, if Iowa does that, the Hawkeyes have a great chance to win. Are there still ways they can lose? Yes. A special-teams meltdown a la Arizona is one of them. Lack of pass protection/run production by the OL is another. But, if you want to state Job One to beat Michigan, containing Robinson's running is it.
Brian (NYC, NY)
With the "Near Death Penalty" that USC got from an agent paying just 1 player. Shouldn't North Carolina get at least an equal penalty with multiple players involved?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
Brian: We don't even know the full extent of the allegations against UNC yet, so it's impossible to predict whether the penalties will be similar to USC's. I'd imagine the penalties will be very, very severe -- but we don't know yet. Also: don't forget the penalty being paid right now with all those players sitting out. USC never had that.
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
Pat, instead of driving the Boise bus have you considered driving the objectivity bus? It's the one where performance and level of competition matter more than historical pedigree - and where Boise is "leading" right now. Isn't that really what it's all about anyway?
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Josh: I've been on that bus, friend. Boise is No. 1 in the mock BCS rankings for a reason. It has done the most to date to deserve it.
Which team do you think will be the most likely to pull an upset this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Nelson: I think Arkansas wins at Auburn. I would not be shocked to see Wisconsin beat Ohio State. Nor would I be shocked to see Kentucky beat South Carolina. Classic hangover game for the Gamecocks, on the road, against a decent opponent. But Kentucky has to overcome one thing: it has NEVER beaten a Steve Spurrier-coached team. Not at Florida, not at South Carolina.
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
One more SEC upset watch to consider: Miss State-Florida. But can't call that one because it's hard to imagine Gators losing a third straight under Meyer. Esp at home.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Forde, how were the mock BCS results conducted? Did they have actual results from computer polls to put it together? If so, how many?
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Jake: Yes. All the BCS data is at hand except for one of the six computer rankings, which won't come out for the first time until Sunday. In other words, expect Boise to be #1 Sunday. The mock results are very close to authentic.
lsu, best defense this year? remember they are putting up these numbers with one of the most struggling offenses out there?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Greg: LSU's defense has been awesome, no doubt. Patrick Peterson in the secondary and Drake Nevis up front look like All-Americans. And how about the playmaking of freshman DB Tyrann Matthieu? I don't think LSU is as good as its record or ranking, but there is no knocking its defense.
If Clemson loses to Maryland is Dabo's job safe and does Butch Davis keep his job?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
Russell: Butch Davis should have no shot at keeping his job past this season. As for Swinney: I'm not sure he's the answer, but canning him after what would be 33 or 34 games doesn't seem like the answer, either.
Pat, Any chance the Ole Miss "Rebel Black Bears" defence can scheme around the run and have a chance to upset Alabama with Jones possibly being out?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Josh: Like the Rebel Black Bears. Latest in the ongoing mascot follies in Oxford. But no, I don't like what's been a very disappointing defense to bottle up Alabama. I expect a very angry running game from the Tide and a ton of yards on the ground.
The SI story came out this week regarding agents and college football, but do you realize that college basketball may be 100 times a bigger problem, Pat? Have you ever looked at AAU teams? Would the NCAA ever go after college basketball, considering the organization just signed a billion-dollar contract for the tourney (can't have marquee names out of it)?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Lindsay: Guess you missed my column yesterday on that topic. I actually said college hoops is 1,000 times worse.
What do you think Nebraska's chances are this year? Martinez is putting up some pretty big numbers for a true freshman and the defense is still pretty solid even with the loss of Suh.
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Vic: Nebraska has a great chance to be 12-0 going into Big 12 title game, but strength of schedule won't be very high. As of right now, only Oklahoma State and Missouri are ranked, and that might not be the case by the time Nebraska plays them. Also: I expect Texas to play its best game Saturday. Whether that's enough to win is another story, but I expect it to be close and very hard-fought.
I was at the Miami FSU game and it looked like the players have lost all faith in the coaches. I'm worried!
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Tyrone: That would be a bad thing in the middle of a season. No time to be jumping off the ship now, especially in an ACC that shouldn't be that hard to win in.
Can Arizona win the Pac-10? Or should Wildcat fans be looking to next season already?
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Ryan: Arizona could still win the Pac-10 -- but a home loss hurts, and there is a trip to Eugene still on the schedule, and also one to Palo Alto. Gonna be an uphill fight.
B-Coak (New York)
Rank these teams in order of most likely to go undefeated:Oregon, Ohio State, Nebraska, Auburn
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
B: 1. Ohio State, which doesn't have to play Michigan State; 2. Nebraska, could easily be 12-0 before encountering the hard part -- OU in Big 12 title game; 3. Oregon, which must visit Cal and USC and Oregon State; 4. Auburn, which I think will lose Saturday and plays in a murderous division.
Love your work Pat, both the Dash and on The Experts on ESPNU, (now that I'm done brown nosing to get my question answered) Many people talk about Boise's offense, ala Kellen Moore, Pettis, Young, trick plays, etc... But what about that DEFENSE!? We lost Wilcox (d-coord) to Tennessee and keep dominating teams. Thoughts?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Evan: Brown nosing will get you anywhere. Boise's defense is extremely underrated -- I believe it's No. 2 in the nation to date. D-line has been spectacularly disruptive. Cornerbacks the only question mark.
Lewis (New York)
Are you ready to eat your words regarding the OSU vs Wiscy score. 49-48?? Do you really think Clay and Tolzien can penetrate OSU's D for 49 points??? If so, on what basis?
Pat Forde (2:41 PM)
Lewis: You misunderstood me. The COMBINED SCORE of the previous three meetings in Madison is Ohio State 49, Wisconsin 48. The score this time figures to be something like 20-17, I think.
Will the fact that Kellen Moore doesn't play a whole game many times in the season be the downfall for his heisman chances?
Pat Forde (2:43 PM)
Adam: I don't think so. His numbers are still really good and if the team keeps winning I expect him to be right in the mix. There are others in the same boat -- Taylor Martinez has sat out quite a bit in the second halves this year as well.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Aren't you really hoping for all teams to finish with 1 loss and throw the BCS into a tizzy?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Chad: That would be fine with me. Though it would be even more of a tizzy if Boise and/or TCU/Utah were undefeated while everyone else had one loss. THEN it would really get wild.
Lou (Rockville, MD)
Pat, is there any way at this point that a JoePa farewell is a truly celebratory occasion rather than just a sad anti-climactic goodbye?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Lou: Good question. I guess it depends when that farewell is. No disrespect to the man, but I think it would be appropriate to step down after this season if it continues on its current path. There would certainly be a celebration of his career at that time, but the team might not finish very well. It's a tricky situation.
Does the bus have gps? If so it should have Glendale as a "previous trip" twice!
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Jason: Haha. New bus, new GPS.
Are you on the bus mostly because you hate the BCS, or are you just a Boise kind of guy?
Pat Forde (2:47 PM)
Steve: I'm on the bus mostly because I believe Boise deserves legitimate consideration for the national championship game, and I've been surprised and disappointed at the backlash against the Broncos. But it doesn't hurt that I hate the BCS, too.
What is your take on the Big East this year?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Ed: Bad league, but interesting. Pitt is the biggest disappointment and Syracuse might be the biggest surprise. I kinda think both the Cuse and Louisville -- which have shared the basement two straight years -- could wind up in the upper half and in a bowl game.
Pat, having been a resident of CS, have you attended any Air Force games, and how would you rate the stadium experience there?
Pat Forde (2:50 PM)
George: I attended a ton of games there and loved the experience. Seeing the cadets march in and listening to them do their cheers was always cool. The performing Falcon mascot was cool. A stadium right up next to the Rocky Mountains was very cool. The occasional snow game? Cool. Lots to like.
JP (Washington DC)
Can you justify Bama being ranked above South Carolina in both polls after they suffered a 14 point beat down in Columbia?
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
JP: I struggled with that a bit in my ESPN.com power rankings. First had Bama ahead, then decided I couldn't do that -- not after a two-touchdown loss. Called in a change and moved South Carolina ahead of the Tide.
Who cuts the nets down in April?
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Jeremy: Hard to go against Duke right now. But it's sure hard to repeat.
Does Mrs. Dash ever get frustrated that college football is on all the time at the house, or does she understand you have a "job" to do?
Pat Forde (2:53 PM)
Joel: I'm at a game most Saturdays, so the TV is left to the control of Mrs Dash and the Dash children. But I do try to hold sway at home on Thursday nights to watch games, and I will be watching tonight. Big spot for WVU.
What's the record for most posted questions without a response? I think i'm at 78 now over the last few months with you.
Pat Forde (2:53 PM)
RJ: Well then, let's not let it get to 79. There you go.
making trips round the us, PLEASE HELP. what stadium in each conference should i visit? (include MWC and WAC, but no other non BCS!)
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Chris: Wow, good question, tough to answer on the fly, but ... ACC: Clemson. Big East: Cincy. Big 12: Nebraska. Big Ten: Ohio State. Pac 10: Rose Bowl. SEC: Georgia (SO many good options in that league). MWC: BYU. WAC: Boise to see the turf and the team, but could you really turn down Hawaii?
michigan iowa your pick
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
What do you think of the argument that Boise would fall apart in an SEC schedule? Wouldn't SEC funding and SEC recruits change the entire face of Boise, thus breaking the argument down?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Derick: Why, yes it would. Smart man. So would seeing some SEC teams travel to Boise and play in 30-degree November weather.
Since you mentioned the game tonight, what is your pick? Can WVU start building towards a BE championship?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Henry: I'll take the Mountaineers. Think they're the best team in the Big East.
Blake (Salt Lake City)
Pat, how quietly are the Utes flying under the radar right now?
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Zach (St. paul)
Bielema is a jerk right?
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
Zach: I don't think the two-point play was a very good decision. I think justifying it with this "it was on the card" dodge is even worse. If you're going to run it up, man up and say you're running it up. I guess there's something deeper behind the scenes between coaches, but Bielema didn't come off looking very good doing that.
Being an engineer/scientist I can't help but love your use of real data to support your real argument. Bus. Keep it up.
Pat Forde (3:02 PM)
Buzz: Thank you! And on that happy note, it's time to sign off. Thanks for all the questions, enjoy the games this weekend. I'll be on the chat schedule again next Tuesday, with the Dash hot off the press.