Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by to chat football.
Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. In addition to covering college football for the site, he contributes to ESPN's SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine. He also contributes to ESPN.com's golf coverage.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (2:00 PM)
Hi, everyone. Hope all is well. It's Wednesday before a pretty average Saturday. The schedule gods took the next two weeks off. But let's do this anyway.
Dan (Limerick, PA)
Does JoePa stand any chance at getting # 401 this weekend?
Ivan Maisel (2:01 PM)
I think Penn State has a chance because the Nittany Lions seem to have found an offensive rhythm with McGloin at quarterback. I would pick Ohio State to win but I don't think it looks like the slam dunk that it did a few weeks ago.
What do you put the odds at the Cam Newton will be suspended/ineligible prior to the SEC Championship game?
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said on the SEC teleconference today that Newton will not be suspended for the game. That rumor spiraled out of control this morning. We're all a little touchy on this subject.
Jonathan Shirley (Houston)
If voters for the Heisman are concerned with integrity issues and do not want Cam to get it, will they vote for LaMichael James who plead guilty to harassment of his former girlfriend?
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
I think the whole "integrity" issue is irrelevant. It's not as if every Heisman winner has been plucked from the church choir.
Ivan, you have been an advocate of Rich Rod given Michigan's offensive performance. I know the offense has been pretty good, but Michigan only has 1/3 of a team as the defense and special teams are awful. If he stays, is Michigan a two to three loss team next year and BCS contender in 2012?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
I would bet that Rodriguez makes changes on his staff after this season. Most coaches get that opportunity. It's hard to see how Rodriguez or anyone can defend the performance of the defensive staff. I don't care how young the players are.
Lou (Rockville, MD)
Ivan, your column this morning almost seemed pro-playoff. Has your tune changed a bit?
Ivan Maisel (2:07 PM)
No, I haven't. I am not a playoff guy, and I know that the tone of the piece today makes it sound as if I am. But I think it's a little odd that college football is the only sport where the pennant/playoff drive doesn't have the horsepower to get a team where it wants to go. So that's what I wrote. I thought Mike Sherman's comments were very interesting.
I liked your piece about late season wins vs early season wins. But I have to disagree in that early season losses seem to be more manageable than late season losses. And doesn't that make late season games more important?
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
It is better to lose early than to lose late if a team only loses once. But you can't lose twice, no matter how well you're playing at the end of the season. Yes, I know LSU did so in 2007. But I think of Florida State losing two early games in the late 80s and being possibly the best team in the nation by the end of the year.
Ivan, I am throwing a large tailgate in Auburn with the help of an old college friend and my girlfriend. Do you recommend Brats or BBQ sandwiches, considering the weather will be in the mid 60's? You should stop by and play some cornhole or ladder golf
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
I am a late convert to brats. If you go to the LA Coliseum, go down to the end zone to the left of the press box and have a spicy sausage at Martin's Louisiana Sausage. They are the best stadium food I eat.
Jason (Junction City)
Please explain, for us uneducated, how LSU can be ahead of Oregon in 3 of the 7 computer polls. Does winning and losing need to be used more in ranking these teams?
Ivan Maisel (2:12 PM)
Oregon played New Mexico, the worst team in the FBS, and Portland State, which is no prize in the FCS. The Ducks haven't played Arizona, Cal or Oregon State yet. That's probably the main reason. But when people ask me to explain the BCS computer ratings, my hair starts to hurt.
Michael (Evansville, IN)
Some commentators (Brad Edwards) have suggested that if Auburn were to lose to Bama but then redeem itself in the SEC championship game, the Tigers could finish ahead of Boise/TCU. I personally think that (if the Cam Newton rumors are unresolved) many voters will jump at the chance to drop Auburn. Could you imagine the voters intentionally leapfrogging Auburn over TCU/Boise only to find out later that Newton was inelligible? Your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I have a hard time believing the voters wouldn't push TCU or Boise over the top, and I think that regardless of Newton.
Ryan (South Carolina)
Why is a one loss Alabama considered a shoe-in for the title game, but a one loss Auburn would be left out? Despite the Auburn loss to say Alabama being a better loss than Alabama to South Carolina. Doesn't the have's and have not's extend beyond AQ and Non-AQ...basically the BCS is designed to get two of about ten ratings generating teams into the game.
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
Because Alabama would have beaten an No. 1 or No. 2 Auburn to get there. A one-loss Auburn team would have lost to unranked Georgia or an Alabama team that might be in the top 10 when they play.
Ryan (Cedar Rapids, Ia)
You may not be an advocate for a playoff system which is ok. I would like to see one, but I also like the system we have now. But dont you think we need to cut down on the bowl games? 70 of 119 teams make a bowl game, and you only have to go .500 to qualify.. talk about rewarding mediocrete. only 65 of roughly 320 make in in basketball.. any thoughts on cutting some bowl games?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
I don't want to cut bowl games. The players love them. They are rewarded for busting their humps all year long. The cities use college football to promote themselves. I don't have a problem with that.
Landon (Atlanta, GA)
Ivan, what was your take on the (incredible, by the way) "30 for 30" on Marcus Dupree in light of everything that's going on right now (pay to play, player safety, agent issues)?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
I have heard great things about it. I couldn't watch it last night. I forgot to DVR it. And now that you've reminded me, I'm really annoyed with myself. Thanks a lot.
John (Washington DC)
Who gets the at large BCS bids this year? Does the Big 12 get two or one? What conferences are likely to get two?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
Each conference may get only one at-large bid. I think TCU and an 11-1 LSU will get bids. The other two will come down to Boise State, Stanford and Ohio State. In that case, I think Stanford would get hosed.
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
As a Stanford grad, that was a very difficult sentence to write. That's what took me so long.
Dane (Ames, Ia)
What did you think of Paul Rhodes decision to go for 2 on sat? Personally i thought it was a good call but poorly executed, and I would have rather had the game in Arnauds hands and not our PAT holder.. I do love our coach though, hes bringing intensity back to Ames
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
I agree with you. I loved the call. The guy was open. The pass was poor.
Ivan, if Oregon played Stanford today in Stanford, would Stanford win? Given the way Stanford is playing now, I gotta think so
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I would take Oregon. Stanford led Oregon 21-3 in the second quarter and lost by three touchdowns.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Obviously Ohio State is doing the Stanford hosing you CAN'T beleive a 12-0 Boise who has lost one game in 3 years is doing it ... right?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
There are so many ifs here. If TCU is in the championship game, I think Stanford would go to the Rose Bowl. I don't think the Fiesta wants to take Boise for the third time in five seasons. Would the Sugar or Orange take Boise over Ohio State? Over Stanford?
Ivan, what is the difference between a college giving players a modest stipend (bad), and a bowl giving a players a windfall of free goodies such as Ipods, DVR's, clothing etc. Nobody says anything about freebies, but this would seem to violate some rule about player benefits.
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
I don't understand the distinction, either, other than a) tradition and b) it's a gray area that the NCAA is willing to tolerate in order to promote the greater good, in this case not incurring the expense of paying everyone.
Who is your favorite coach as 1.) a reporter, 2.) a general fan of college football, 3.) a homeowner with a big yard to mow?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
I like coaches who pretend to think I ask intelligent questions. I like guys who treat people with respect. It would be hard for me to pick one. But Mack Brown would be on the short list. As a general fan, how can you not love JoePa? I'm going to pretend I understand the third question.
Dolores O' Riordan (Limerick, Munster, Ireland)
Wouldn't it be more fitting if Notre Dame played Syracuse rather than Navy in Ireland in 2012? Do you think Notre Dame & Syracuse should become permanent rivals for the sake of Ireland? Fighting Irish vs. Orangemen = Catholics vs. Protestants
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
Dolores, are you trying to start up the Troubles?
Luke (Marquette, MI)
Ivan, being a Badger fan going to college in Wolverine country has made this a great four years for me. What are the chances my Badgers cap it off with a Rose Bowl win?
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
Wisconsin needs someone to beat Michigan State. Since the Badgers have beaten Iowa and Ohio State, they enjoy a huge advantage as long as the Spartans are out of the room.
Would the Orange Bowl take Boise State to play Virginia Tech in a rematch? Stanford might get in there.Also, the Syracuse Orangemen are named after the Dutch House of Orange, so we won't restart the Troubles.
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
Nick, I just don't think the Orange Bowltakes a west coast team. Virginia Tech will show up on South Beach, so that might allow the OB to do so. But they'd have to sell Andrew Luck/Kellen Moore and hope that people want to see them.
Vincent (Richmond, VA)
If neither TCU and Boise State go to the National Championship Game this season will that affect the recruiting and overall programs of both schools knowing for sure that a non-BCS school will never go the the National Championship Game?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
I am rooting for TCU or Boise State to get to the championship game because I don't like what it would say about college football if they didn't.
Glenn (Fresh Meadows, NY)
With the flop of Dan Hawkins at Colorado, is that what's keeping Peterson and Patterson from not stepping up to a BCS team (Not to mention June Jones who went from Mid Major to Mid Major when Hawaii hit it's peak) And do you think either or both coaches will finally bolt for the big leagues this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
Petersen is an unusual guy. He's not motivated by the bigger school. He likes doing his deal in Boise. Patterson, I can't answer you. He's got a pretty good deal where he is.
Seriously, is Les Miles good or bad for LSU's image. I know we are winning, but is their national respect for this man and this program? Thanks.
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
I think this year has helped Miles, especially after the last two. Say what you will about the Tennessee and Florida victories but LSU just manned up and whipped Alabama.
Do you honestly think the PAC12 would ever hold their championship game in Pullman? If and when WSU gets good again and wins the North, don't you think they would be pressured to move the game to Seattle?
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
That would be a tough ticket. Martin seats what, 35000? I can't imagine that the Cougars would take their game to Husky Stadium, and having the Seahawks' stadium available would be a week to week deal.
If Oregon wins out and goes to the NCG, do you think another school makes a run at Chip Kelly?
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
They can run at him all they want. I don't think he's going anywhere. He just got a new contract. He's making $3 million a year. Where's he going to go?
I hate the fact that TCU beat an over rated Utah and then jumped us in the human polls. We beat a pretty good Hawaii team and got punished? They have Auburn jump us on a week they play Chattahoo?? It just seems so unfair that most of this is just a beauty pageant.
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
I can't speak for everyone. But TCU impressed me the most because beating Hawaii on the mainland is much easier than beating Hawaii at home. Colorado beat Hawaii this year. Auburn getting credit for beating Chattanooga doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Who is on your Heisman ballot as of today?
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Newton, Moore, Luck; I think that's what I have.
So you want teams to schedule tougher, but you are rooting for Boise St. to make the title game. How do you reconcile that? Should Florida be able to play Boise's schedule and have you be a proponent for them?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
I don't reconcile that. Intellectually, I want teams to play harder schedules. Emotionally, I root for the underdog. Always have. When I have to reconcile the two, I take the measured approach. I throw darts.
Jamie (Provo, UT)
Do you believe Miss. State will beat Alabama this Saturday?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Yes. I think this will be a real gut check for Alabama. The Tide isn't going to win the national championship. They're playing a team with a lot of emotion after the death of Nick Bell.
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
Thanks guys. Talk to you next week.