Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:01 PM)
I'm here. Fire!
Michigan State has long been regarded as an elite basketball school. With the rising of its football program and stability across the coaching staff, are we witnessing a potential "Florida" of a few years back in national championships?
Pat Forde (2:02 PM)
Corey: Hold on there, cowboy. Spartans are off to a GREAT start this season and are one of the best stories in CFB. But there's a lot of football still to play this year, and this was a team that was a pretty big disappointment last year. Basketball is rock solid, but football has to prove it can keep it going.
Can you explain how you assume Boise will be in the NCG? We all know they will drop a few more spots.How do you see them climbing back in the top 2?
Pat Forde (2:03 PM)
DJ: Boise needs other teams to lose. And history tells us they will. We're not going to have half a dozen unbeatens by year's end. But Boise's fate is not completely in its own hands.
B-Coak (NYC, NY)
Which team do you think is closest to controlling it's own BCS destiny? Seems to me it's Oregon, since they're #1 in both polls and SOS will rise as they play USC, Arizona, Oregon State, etc.
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
B: I'd agree with that assessment. If the Ducks win out, I expect to see them in the title game.
Pat, did you end up going to Mizzou because of Barnett? I know he was a grad asst there at one point before he was your HS coach. Ok now onto the real question: does Oklahoma show up like they did against FSU, or does Mizzou have a good fighting chance? Go Tigers!
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Nick: Coach Barnett is a Missouri grad and we sent several of our high school players to Mizzou -- but I went for a very different reason. The journalism school. As for the game: I think Missouri has a very good chance because its defense is so improved, and this game feels like exactly what Alabama and Ohio State walked into the two previous weeks. But ultimately I think Oklahoma is probably better than the Tigers and wins a close one.
Chris Ciraulo (Boca Raton, FL)
Florida State should be favored in the rest of their games. Who do you think is the biggest challenge left for Noles?
Pat Forde (2:07 PM)
Chris: At NC State could be tricky, but I think the hardest game might still be Florida -- even with Florida in a state of panic at the moment. And, of course, an ACC title game (I predict vs. Virginia Tech, bus) would be difficult.
Kevin (San Diego)
Any love for Lane Kiffin this week? I know you're not generally fond of him, but that was a pretty impressive coaching/motivating job for a team with 2 straight heartbreaking losses and no carrot at the end of the stick. Thoughts?
Pat Forde (2:09 PM)
Kevin: I agree completely. First time I've seen USC look like USC under Kiffin. That was strong. Though, it must be said, Cal is a completely different team home vs. away.
Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)
Is the Mad Hatter going to strike again and pull out another victory for LSU on Saturday?
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Ben: Intriguing game, and not just because El Sombrero brings his beguiling mojo to the field. It's strength on strength: Malzahn/Newton offense vs very good D. And it's weakness on weakness: LSU passing game vs. Auburn secondary. Think it'll be close, but I'm favoring the home team.
How much is your desire for Boise State to play for the national championship driving your voting for VT as a Top 25 team? Do you realize that VT lost to an FCS team and hasn't beaten a team that is currently ranked?
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
Rett: I have no problem voting V Tech 24th (think that's where I had the Hokies). I wasn't the only one who had them ranked this week. I think V Tech will win its division of the ACC.
Auburn, Oregon, Oklahome, Boise, TCU all gone undefeated. Who plays for it all?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Cliff: My guess -- and it's just a guess -- would be Auburn and Oregon. And there would be a lot of unhappy people.
Let's get you talking about things closer to home for you- do you think Kentucky can actually win the SEC East? How big is the Georgia-Kentucky game in the SEC East this week, and who do you think wins?
Pat Forde (2:14 PM)
John: Anyone can actually win the SEC East at this point. It's a tub of live bait. Georgia-Kentucky is very big this weekend. I'd give a slight edge to the Bulldogs, since they're the only team in the East that's put together two impressive victories in a row.
Bob (Holloman AFB)
Can Iowa's front 4 slow down the Badger run game or is Bucky still riding high from the OSU game and pulls out the win in Iowa City?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Bob: I give a slight edge to Iowa, playing at home and with the defense to confront Wisconsin's strength. Wonder if Wisco will run into what South Carolina did the week before: upset hangover. The Gamecocks did their best to avoid flattening out, held up for a half, then had nothing left. Seen that before in emotion situations.
The MWC (Houston)
Utah destroys Iowa State and gets jumped in the rankings by LSU. OU destroys Iowa State and jumps TCU, who may be the most balanced team in the country with the best defense. Why?
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
MWC: My thoughts exactly. Why?
A quick curiosity, but have you ever met any Dashettes or had any of them thank/acknowledge you for naming them to the glorified ranks?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Matt: I got a nice thank-you email from one Dashette a few years ago. That's it. Don't think most of them are overly plugged into college football -- but maybe I'm selling them short.
Robert (Grand Rapids)
If Ohio State went undefeated it would have gone to the National Championship game...however if MSU does the exact same thing it may not...does that not show how this system is incredibly flawed?
Pat Forde (2:19 PM)
Robert: You only have one example of how incredibly flawed the system is? Why stop there?
Should I be backing away from the cliff?
Pat Forde (2:21 PM)
Chad: Yes. Now, if you lose to Ok State and Mizzou the next two weeks, go ahead and jump.
Monica Bellucci (Italy)
I am a big College Football fan and read the Dash every week. Thank you for the Dashette honor!
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Well, there you go. My pleasure, Monica.
If UNC wins out, and wins the Orange Bowl, it would be pretty crazy to fire Butch Davis wouldn't you say?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
MJ: Um, no. Because unless I'm really wrong, this year figures to be followed by a godawful probationary hit that renders the program about useless for quite some time to come.
Thanks for the chat, Pat. My wolverines...repeat of 2009? Or a decent team with young QB's that don't know to throw the ball away yet?
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Jason: I really don't see a complete collapse like last year. With a week off, I expect Michigan to be ready and probably beat a pretty bad Penn State team, then pick up another couple wins after that. I'm going to guess 8-4.
As someone who covers both College football and hoops, which format do you prefer? The football regular season with the BCS or the bball season with the tourney?
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Bernard: No question, basketball with the tournament. Football could have that and STILL have a meaningful regular season. Zero doubt about it.
Tyler (Washington, DC)
Do you think there some questionable calls in Auburn vs. Arkansas? Thought that fumble-called-touchdown was iffy and fumble recovered for touchdown was weird too. Does the SEC protect teams best situated to make a big run?
Pat Forde (2:27 PM)
Tyler: I only saw parts of that game while watching two others in the Camp Randall Stadium press box, but there did appear to be some bad calls. However, I'm not buying any conspiracy theories as to why. Sometimes they just happen.
What do you think of Utah's chances for leapfrogging BSU if they win out? They get TCU at home, and Notre Dame is playing cupcakes until Utah plays them. Seems like they have more chances to impress voters when it actually matters.
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Klon: You might be right. Utah's schedule is backloaded -- but the Utes haven't done much up front so far.
Man it hurts to read the words 'pretty bad Penn State team.' How soon do you think before that gets turned around, Pat?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
JB: I honestly don't know. Could be a blip, could be a drought. No disrespect to JoePa, but seriously ...
how terrible are the computer rankings if missouri is not ranked in one but sixth in another?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Jason: Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?
Who do you think is the best running back in the nation right now?
Pat Forde (2:31 PM)
JS: LaMichael James, no doubt in my mind.
Can Texas win out and maintain its streak of 10-win seasons?
Pat Forde (2:32 PM)
Mike: I think there's a very good chance of it. Only one road game remaining, Oklahoma State comes to Austin ... I expect 10-2 at this point.
Pat, who is your favorite Mascot?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Trent: Ralphie. He's cool and runs like Earl Campbell. Nobody wants to get in his way.
Gonna visit Big 12 country...should I go to Texas, Mizzou, Oklahoma, or Nebraska? Lots of love from Dawg country...GO dawgs! Long live Uga VIII!!!
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Chris: Texas, no question. Boulder is the backup, at least in terms of college town and scenic beauty.
SEC POY so far?
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Tobey: Cam Newton, by a wide margin.
Would the regular season be just as exciting if we had a playoff involving only the top 8 conference champions? The little guys would get a chance and teams wouldn't be overly punished for losing a tough game.
Pat Forde (2:35 PM)
Donald: Eight would be great. Sixteen better. Twelve works fine. I'd take four. Even a plus-one. Anything over the current setup.
Phil (Iowa Ctiy)
Do you think its right for a team like Iowa to get punished the whole season for one bad half of football on an away game? Is there any chance that Iowa can get back into NC talk with big games still left in there schedule?
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Phil: Iowa knew the stakes going in. Lose a game, lose a lot. So, yeah, it's fair to be punished for losing to a team that subsequently lost on the same field to Oregon State.
Who is playing like the Number #1 Player and/or Team right now and why? need something to back it up not just the name
Pat Forde (2:37 PM)
Shawn: Well, I have Boise State atop my ESPN.com power rankings and Kellen Moore atop my Heisman poll. You can read today's Forde-Yard Dash for the whys.
So, you don't think Kiffin has done a good job at USC? Not as good as Joker Phillips or Charlie Strong? Wow, your hatred for the man goes unveiled.
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
David: Reading Comprehension 101 -- I was listing the best first-time head coaches. Lane Kiffin was already a head coach, last year at Tennessee, as much as all Volunteers fans would love to forget that it ever happened.
Coming home to work the game this weekend? I know of a few J-School alumni parties...
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Chaz: Thanks for the invite, but I will be at LSU-Auburn. Have fun without me.
Oscar (Los Angeles)
Not to mention that you are punishing Matt Barkley in the Heisman race through his association with Kiffin
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Oscar: I am? Really? I kind of thought USC's two losses have more to do with that.
Hey Pat,You have Oregon and Auburn on a neutral field, does the BCS still suck?
Pat Forde (2:39 PM)
Paul: Of course it does.
Jacob (Stillwater, Oklahoma)
Who wins in Stillwater this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Jacob: I like Oklahoma State's chances. Nebraska spent all off-season obsessing on Texas. Can it bounce back after the crash?
What do you think are the odds of Boise State playing TCU for the BCS title? Would this hurt college football?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Karsten: I think the odds are long. I think it would get a poor ratings number. But no, I don't think it would be bad for college football if they're the two best teams.
Coach of the Year????
Pat Forde (2:43 PM)
John: Good question, glad we don't have to decide until season's end. Mark Dantonio comes immediately to mind ... but then again, he hasn't even attended a couple of his team's games this year, has he? Gotta give Gene Chizik some love. And Kyle Whittingham. And Mike Gundy. And Jim Harbaugh...
If Barkley isn't in the heisman discussion because of losing games, as you said, then why is Robinson and Luck?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Trey: Robinson is not in my top five. Actually, neither was Luck last week, though Stanford has lost once and USC has lost twice. And Stanford beat USC. I'd rank Luck ahead of Barkley, sorry.
Pat (West Caldwell, New Jersey)
How about Robbie Caldwell? Took over a month before the season started and his team could be playing in Atlanta come early December!
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Pat: Well, theoretically his team could be playing in Atlanta come early December. And if that happens, sportswriters around the Southeast will weep with joy, because he's the greatest quote machine in recent college football history. And besides -- Vandy in the title game??? But it won't happen.
Mizzou Fan (The Quad)
What is the best GameDay sign I can have by the Columns this weekend?
Pat Forde (2:47 PM)
Mizzou: Maybe something about what it takes to build a new column ... Nah, never mind. Love that they're putting the set there. Think it will be perfect.
Jimmy The Geek (Birmingham)
I'm comfortably on the Cam Newton bandwagon, but Trey has a point: since when is an undefeated record a prerequisite for the Heisman? That'll be news to, oh, Danny Wuerffell, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders, Doug Flutie, Tim Tebow, etc., etc., etc.
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Jimmy: Nobody said you had to be undefeated to win the Heisman. But most often you need to have fairly significant team success. Ask Wuerffel, Flutie and about 50 others about that.
what do you think MS bulldawgs record will be at the end of the year and which games will they lose and win?
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Ken: Dan Mullen has been terrific. My guess at record: 8-4.
Would Boise st. be better with Cam Newton or Auburn be better with Kellen Moore? I think Newton would be better for both teams. Therefore he should be #1. Moore would be slammed in the SEC. Call me a homer but it's true.
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Matt: You have no idea whether it's true so, OK, I will call you a homer. Not that I don't respect your homeriffic opinion.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Is the aggressive Mizzou man defense vulnerable to the big play? I don't think they've faced a Broyles or Murray like playmaker other than Jeff Fuller.
Pat Forde (2:50 PM)
Clay: Could be vulnerable, yes. This will be Mizzou's biggest test. If will help if Aldon Smith is able to go.
So you are Saying USC has not had any success? They have lost 2 games by 2 points.....both of which they should have won.
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Adam: Wow, y'all are stubborn. If you want to simply write off a home loss to Washington, go for it.
Do you think that ECU will win Conference USA despite losing 9 starters in defense?
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Mark: ECU is in position to win it, but I have to think there might be a loss or two awaiting a team that has won so many close games. Usually those even out. But great job so far by Ruffin.
Do you think Jake Locker will still be chosen #1 overall in next year's draft?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Phil: No, I don't. At least if I were doing the drafting. Nothing against him, but accuracy and decision making (not to mention winning) have not been his strong points.
Do you really think James is ahead of Kendall Hunter by a wide margin?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Jeff (Evans, GA)
A.J Green recently said he felt he probably owed it to the Georgia fans to come back next year because of the suspension. What do you think the chances are that he actually does return?
Pat Forde (2:55 PM)
Jeff: I don't know. AJ seems like a pretty good guy, but I don't put a lot of stock in what any player says about his pro decision during the season. Wait until January and then we get down to the truth of the matter. In October, they're all staying.
Michael (Hermosa Beach)
Does Mizzou have much of a hostile stadium? Landry Jones lost a bunch of road games last year....
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Michael: I'd say the Faurot Field intangible fluctuates with the success of the team. Given Mizzou's undefeated record and the stakes Saturday, and that it's a night game, I expect it to be pretty loud. But Oklahoma is probably used to pretty loud.
In all of it's horrificness I think the tape of Eric LaGrand going down should be shown in every HS football locker room.
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Stephanie: Have to say I agree. Nothing scared me more watching my oldest son play football than the specter of a head-to-head hit with his head down.
Pat can one attribute Florida's recent offensive woes to the loss of Dan Mullen?
Pat Forde (2:59 PM)
Jayshawn: Possibly. Or maybe all the wide receivers were overrated, because I don't see them getting open or breaking many big plays. Or maybe Brantley is just struggling to step into the starring role, no matter how much he thought he was prepared. Probably a combination of all three.
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
Brink (Portland, OR)
Why are you so East Coast Bias'd?
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
Brink: Dude, Bus!
Anyone else think it's a little premature to say Joe Pa needs to go? I mean look at what's happening to Urban Meyer at Florida without Tebow, even great coaches have bad years.
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
Alex: Understood ... except for the four-decade difference between Meyer and Paterno. Joe is well into his 80s. It's not realistic to believe he's doing the coaching he once did. And it is realistic to doubt whether he ever will again.
Pat Forde (3:02 PM)
Whoops, look at the time. I'm done. Thanks for all the questions, maybe the biggest turnout of the year. Enjoy the games this week!