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 feldman (2:03 PM)
Thanks for stopping by... recruiting's heating up, let's get to it.
Maxwell (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Rank these hires from best to worst:MuschampGoldenHokeEdsallGrahamShawAlso, who will have the best season?Thanks in advance.
Bruce feldman (2:09 PM)
You have two first-time head coaches there which are wildcards although I like both of those hires. The hire I think looks the best in the short term is the Brady Hoke hire because of him bringing with him Greg Mattison back to Ann Arbor as DC. They needed that. Although I think the only grand slam hire there could've been this offseason woudve been Harbaugh to Mich... I think Golden is bringing some focus and seems to have hit the ground running at UM. Not so sure about Graham as a fit there but think he made a good move bringing in Calvin Magee to run the offense. Edsall did solid job with UConn although I dont see how he sells tickets the way the AD talked about and only had one win over a top 25 team in a decade there. I'd feel a little better about Shaw if he couldve kept Greg Roman and Fangio around, so I'd rather that one behind Will M of the two firstimers.
how many wins for Notre Dame next year?
Bruce feldman (2:10 PM)
At least nine. Lots of players back with experience.. good young influx of front seven defenders coming. Not sure they have anyone special inside, but they're getting a lot better.
I know there was a question when he was hired about Brian Kelly being able to recruit top end talent, does this recruiting class(and the work Kelly has done the last 2-3 weeks) tell us anything?
Bruce feldman (2:10 PM)
I don't know who had that question.
GlennB (Columbus, OH)
On the issue of schools oversigning players (football and basketball), do you think there will be more stories on this after national signing day and do you think the NCAA is going to step up and address this issue.
Bruce feldman (2:11 PM)
I worked on the Outside the Lines show about it recently and get into the subject later in the blog today. Check it out when it goes online. It is a very complicated issue.
Any thoughts on CAL's class so far? Any surprises closer to Signing Day?
Bruce feldman (2:12 PM)
Very impressed considering they just had a losing season. I'd like to be Tosh Lupoi's agent. That guy gets after it.
DEANintheYAY (The YAY)
LSU with at least a Top 50 Offense to go along with a SOLID defense...how scary of a thought is that???
Bruce feldman (2:13 PM)
Yeah, they'd probably win the SEC. We'll see if going for Kragthorpe over Loeffler was the right call to improve QB play and run the offense. I suspect things will be more user-friendly this time around.
What are your thoughts on Al Golden possibly bringing back Art Kehoe? I think it's very smart to bring back the one coach who was the common denominator for all five Miami championships. He and Soldinger were unfair scapegoats for Coker's incompetence.
Bruce feldman (2:16 PM)
Was shocked Art got fired. Was part of all five national titles there. He and Soldinger know as much about the inner workings of Miami as anyone. They were run out of there because some people thought they'd become complacent and got to be a negative influence from a chemistry standpoint. I've talked to some Olinemen who played for Kehoe. They love the guy. He is good with the basics. So much of how an Oline coach does though is connected to his OC. That fit is important. Also, Soldinger's too good of a coach not to be in college if he wants to be.
FSU playing for the National Championship in the next 2 years?
Bruce feldman (2:17 PM)
There is a realistic shot. Jimbo has made a lot of very shrewd moves.
Daryll (Scottsbluff, NE) [via mobile]
With Gabbert leaving and Franklin stepping in at Mizzou how do you think think they will do.
Bruce feldman (2:19 PM)
Saw him throw at the TCU Elite 11 camp. He's got a lot of tools. I think people underestimated his talent as a QB, but it'll still be a fairly rocky transition given all that Gabbert brought there. One thing to remember is that Pinkel/Yost seem to do a very good job of acclimating their QBs. Hasn't been much drop off from Brad Smith to Chase D to Gabbert.
Any under-the-radar non-AQs to watch next season? (besides TCU and Boise State)
Bruce feldman (2:20 PM)
Houston getting the 6th year for Case Keenum makes them dangerous. Also watch out for UCF. They keep building and they have a special little QB in Jeff Godfrey.
Trey (Long Beach, CA)
USC's appeal hearing is tomorrow... chances they win they appeal with the NCAA?
Bruce feldman (2:21 PM)
I don't think we'll know right away whether they win or not. Recent history says they have about a 10 percent chance to win so I doubt they do.
Do you see Michigan finishing strong in recruiting because of Mattison
Bruce feldman (2:23 PM)
No, I don't. I think it's too late in the process. I think David Brandon the AD squashed the 2011 recruiting class with the way he handled things.
Meni (Manchester, NH)
Bruce, name 4 Heisman front runners for 2011, will 2 be Sooners?
Bruce feldman (2:27 PM)
Andrew Luck... and then there is a cluster...Kellen Moore; Jones/Broyles; Weeden/Blackmon, Trent Richardson, Keenum,,, a wildcard in the race will be Geno Smith at WVU.
Chester (Miami, FL)
Do you think RichRod will return to coaching next year? I think he'd be great at a place like Clemson.
Bruce feldman (2:28 PM)
I think he will be back in 2012.. and Clemson makes a lot of sense if Dabo can't get them to at least nine wins.
Chris (Lake Charles, LA)
In the last few weeks, Houston Nutt hired David Lee as OC/QB coach with playcalling duties, Gunter Brewer as WR/Passing game coach, and Keith Burns as DB coach. Do you think these hires change much, if anything, in Oxford? Or can we expect more of the same?
Bruce feldman (2:29 PM)
Theyre all well-respected coaches, but they need upgrades on the field. They need help at WR, need QB Nathan Stanley to prove to be a good QB and have to overhaul the D, which was now needs to replace its entire middle.
Frank (Arlington, VA)
No Denard Robinson for Heisman next year?
Bruce feldman (2:29 PM)
Depends how Al Borges uses him.
When is the UCLA/Rick Neuheisel/Norm Chow drama going to end? Is Norm still going to end up at Utah?
Bruce feldman (2:31 PM)
I'd think it has to clear up in the days right after Signing Day. My colleague Ted Miller had a good explanation of that soap opera in his blog 2 days.
Denard staying healthy is much more in question than Al Borges as a coordinator
Bruce feldman (2:32 PM)
It is but you can say that about Richardson, Keenum and the rest.
No LaMichael James among your Heisman front runners?
Bruce feldman (2:33 PM)
Ooops.. sorry I knew I forgot a few RBs. Also shouldve added Knile Davis from Ark... And A&M QB Ryan Tannehill
Is 2011 a do or die year for Mark Richt?
Bruce feldman (2:36 PM)
Yes, he has to get them back into the top 25 or else they'll go in another direction. The 2010 season was dismal and also having so many off field arrests in the past few years on top of it hasn't helped his cause.
Jessica Liao (Los Angeles, CA)
Nick Waisome pulled a Greg Reid, but is he the next Greg Reid?
Bruce feldman (2:37 PM)
Not sure he can be THAT good. We'll see. Few DBs had better bowl games than Reid did a few wks back.
Recently VT has been the class of the ACC. However, I notice they are absent from ESPN's list of top recruiting classes. Any reason for VT fans to worry?
Bruce feldman (2:38 PM)
Only worry if Coach Beamer leaves town. I do think FSU is ready to shake up the order there and I could see UVA getting better instate but I don't see Tech tumbling to be 7-5 or anything.
UConn's HC hire. Moving the program forward? backwards? or the same?
Bruce feldman (2:40 PM)
I think forward. He did a remarkable job at Syracuse. He's also more respected amongst the local coaches than Edsall was. I think he can improve the place.
Todd (Dade CIty, FL)
How do you rate Miami's class thus far? Golden has made up a lot of ground but is "the U" getting the right kids?
Bruce feldman (2:43 PM)
A big key will be keeping Anthony Chickillo, one of the top 25 players in the country. He visits there this weekend. They need to lock him up. They only have room to sign around 15 or 16 so even making the ESPN top 25 will be a reach. Getting Grooms and Crawford were big pickups. Both are top 150 guys. But he needs to find another QB and land some more DBs and WRs. The other thing everyone in coaching knew about Golden was that he can recruit. The UM targets may never have heard of him because he'd been at Temple but once he got in front of them he'd have a chance but he's working against time. I suspect he's gotten in too late for five-star DE Ray Drew, but he seems to be doing better than everyone imagined he wouldve at this point.
How much did landing Rumph help Bama's chances with Clowney? and what are the chances Bama lands Clowney in your opinion? and how do you see Bama finishing with recruiting?
Bruce feldman (2:45 PM)
I keep hearing it's really a 2-school race for JDC between So Carolina and Bama with SC the leader. Bama has 8 ESPN 150 commits already. Doubt they'll end up worse then top five in ESPN rankings.. BTW, much more on Bama's class in today's blog up soon. Also I have some quotes from an NFL coach about Clowney.
Enoth (Bakersfield, CA)
Do you think Will Muschamp/Jimbo Fisher will be a better rivalry than Bo/Woody? Which rivalry will be more intense...UF/FSU or FSU/Miami?
Bruce feldman (2:46 PM)
Let's not get too far ahead of things with the Bo-Woody comparison. Let's check back on that one in 2019.
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
So I take it you don't see Tannehill's senior year going the way of Jerrod Johnson or Reggie McNeal?
Bruce feldman (2:47 PM)
Not unless he gets hurt and tries to play through it. Lots of skill talent returns around him and that Oline which started 2 freshmen and 2 sophs, will be so much better.
Hoke's chances of having a top 25 recruiting class when it's all said and done? If he doesn't, how much does that hurt his reputation (while still new).
Bruce feldman (2:50 PM)
Long shot.. You can't put too much stock into a month turnaround, especially if the coach came from a school where there was almost no overlap. It's not like he'd been in the same region or had been a coordinator at another school recruiting these guys. It doesn't hurt his rep at all considering the circumstances.
jr (los angeles)
how does usc's recruiting class look
Bruce feldman (2:52 PM)
Strong. It's #4 in ESPN rankings right now which is remarkable considering the sanctions (no bowl last year or in 2011).. They have two good QBs, and a couple of dynamic skill guys leading the way and a loaded D-line haul. Theyre doing very well locally in Southern Calif.
Tripp (Macon, GA)
Auburn is obviously losing a lot from their National Championship team, but they do have some strong young talent. Thoughts on next year for Auburn's record?
Bruce feldman (2:53 PM)
I think they lose too many good players in such a tough division. It's not just Newton and Fairley, but four OLinemen and their top WR in Darvin Adams. Dyer and Emory Blake and they're recruiting well, but I think they're going to be too young and inexperienced. I think 8-4, maybe 7-5.
Bruce, I say the Vols can get 8 wins next year. What's your take?
Bruce feldman (2:55 PM)
That was my call a few wks back. Good young QB in Bray, super talented young WRs and what should be an improved O-line. The downside is I'm not sure how good the D will be by SEC standards beyond Janzen Jackson.Also, the schedule is manageable.. 8-4.
Hank Hill (Arlen, TX)
Which 2 schools will be a good fit for the Big 12?Boise State, BYU, Louisville, and Memphis?
Bruce feldman (2:57 PM)
OF those I'd say maybe Louisville... Memphis right now is awful in football and really not committed to it as a Big 12 program needs to be. BYU I think wants to be on its own. Boise has the football part but I'm not sure fits in the rest of the sports, but of that group I'd put them second.
How do you feel about Harsin bringing the Boise State offense to the Longhorn's athletes? I find myself pretty excited.
Bruce feldman (2:57 PM)
I would be thrilled if I'm a UT fan with the two coordinators Mack Brown hired.
Fred (Walla Walla)
Will Justin Wilcox be a head coach in the next 3 years?
Bruce feldman (2:59 PM)
Yeah, I think he'll get a long look in a year at both Arizona schools if neither coach there has a strong 2011. Wilcox's buddy Peter Simon is another rising star there to remember in the coaching world.
Bruce feldman (3:00 PM)
Jared from Atlanta.. thanks for the kind words. They are much appreciated.
Jessica Liao (Los Angeles, CA)
Any chance Will Muschamp steals some of the Texas recruits much like Lane Kiffin did with Tennessee? Do you think Will Muschamp can continue the trend of SEC head coaches winning a national title in their second season?
Bruce feldman (3:02 PM)
I'm not sure he'll get any away from UT. That's asking a lot. By then Urban Meyer's loaded 2010 signing class will have more of an impact, but will Jeff Driskel be the guy to lead them to that level as just a second-year soph? That's probably asking too much. I'm also not sold that the Charlie Weis move will work out in terms of staff chemistry there.
Bruce feldman (3:02 PM)
Three more questions...
TIGER FAN (Red Stick)
Will Kragthorpe be able to find a way to get Russell Shepard more involved in the offense? The kid is SOO explosive, but Crowton just didn't use him well/enough!!
Bruce feldman (3:03 PM)
That has to be one of his top priorities right after "Improve QB play"
Hank Hill (Arlen, TX)
How is TCU good enough for the Big East, but not good enough for the Pac-12? I thought the Pac-12 wanted the Texas market especially Dallas and Houston. Why don't the Pac-12 acquire Houston, Rice, SMU, & TCU and have two divisions named Surf and Turf.
Bruce feldman (3:05 PM)
It's not just about a football fit for some leagues, especially the Pac-10. The college presidents in that league I don't think wanted BYU or TCU or SMU.
Hey Bruce---What do think of LSU,s recruiting class ????
Bruce feldman (3:07 PM)
It'll be as good as anybody if all of their top guys stay in the boat. This was arguably the best year for instate recruits in a generation and LSU is landing almost all of the top guys. Anthony Johnson and Lael Collins are as good as any two linemen any school is bringing in and WR JArvis LAndry is a top three guy at his position. Plus, you add in the top JC QB in the country in Zach Mettenberger and you hve some bigtime starpower.
Read the conference bloggers to do lists for the off season. What do you think the Big 10 can do to improve its image besides win games? I think they need to hire young employees to connect with a younger audience. The Big 10 is stuck in the 1950s.
Bruce feldman (3:15 PM)
The Big Ten seems to get stuck half in and half out. Just a few years ago there was all of this excitement about how Rich Rodriguez was bringing in this offense that was taking the league into the new generation? Keep in mind Joe Tiller had run a spread just about as early as anyone in major college football at Purdue. Well, when there's some awkward transition with Rodriguez, there is this huge outcry that he doesn't get the place and what Michigan is about. When Wisconsin wins big Barry Alvarez talks about how they don't run some gimmicky offense, which by the way had enabled a few schools to win BCS titles.... They also looked pretty stodgy in picking their names for divisions with Leaders and Legends... Was anyone in that room under 75 in the decision-making process?
Bruce feldman (3:16 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN. Also, check back for the blog today. We're talking Oversigning, FSU in 2011, Bama recruiting, why 5-stars tend to go bust and an NFL coach evaluates Jadeveon Clowney.