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 (2:04 PM)
Thanks for dropping by... let's go!
Johnnie (Phoenix, AZ)
Hey, Bruce - based on what you saw, read, or heard about Nebraska's spring game, did your expectations for the Huskers next year go up, down, or stay the same? Thanks.
bruce feldman (2:06 PM)
Stayed the same... I never try to read too much into anyone's spring game. I put Nebraska #10 in my CF Live poll the other day.
Matt (State College)
If Rob Bolden stays at Penn State, is Penn State a legitmate Big Ten and National title contender then?
bruce feldman (2:08 PM)
Glad you asked. In my Friday mailbag that'll be up shortly, I open with this very topic... I don't think they're a national title contender, but I do think they can be in the mix for the Big Ten title. Read the mailbag later for a lot more about Penn State.
What are your thoughts on WVU upsetting LSU in Morgantown this year?
bruce feldman (2:11 PM)
I give them a shot. They're offense is going to be dynamic with Holgorsen running the show. Geno Smith could be in the Heisman race. He's very sharp and has a good arm and Tavon Austin is a playmaker. Plus, Bruce Irvin is as ferocious as any pass rusher in the country.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Has Bama's secondary improved enough from last year for the Tide to win the SEC West?
bruce feldman (2:13 PM)
I think so. They are my pick to win the SEC. If they can get solid play from the new QB, they'll be in the BCS title race. I have them at #2 in my preseason rankings.
LG (Cbus, Oh)
What do you think are reasonable expectations for ND this year? I believe MFloyd will only be lost 1 game and the defense is looking fast, compared to the last 5 or 6 years. IMO I am guessing 10-2 with the losses coming to Stanford and MSU or USC. I don't see a game on ND's schedule where they have "no chance" of winning. Not even sure how good Satnford will be, Luck will be awesome. Thoughts?? Thank you....Happy Easter. LG
bruce feldman (2:16 PM)
If they're only without Michael Floyd for the opener (USF), I think ND is what you said a 10 win team, which would get them into a BCS bowl. Stanford is the best team they'll face. After that they face some capable teams, but except for maybe Michigan State, I think ND would be favored in the rest. Now if Floyd's sat down for three games, it would be a different story. I could see them going 1-2 to start. We'll see how Brian Kelly handles this one.
Jared (Tallahassee, FL)
Bruce, you seem to be very high on FSU and EJ Manuel in particular. While EJ will be a huge part of the offense, do you think FSU has the running game to make a run at the BCS Title?
bruce feldman (2:17 PM)
I do. They had to replace two very good OLs in the middle, but I know Jimbo is high on the JC center (Fahrenkrug... a chat spelling name nightmare)... They also have a really nice stable of RBs.
Dan (Montgomery, AL)
Are spring games worthless?
bruce feldman (2:18 PM)
Pretty close to it but at least they gave us something to watch. They're not totally worthless but their merits are very overblown.
Yellow Fever (Jersey City, NJ)
BRUCE! Who wins the QB battle out at Cal? How does the team do? And (most importantly), is there a Pac-12 media day scheduled out in New York this year?
bruce feldman (2:20 PM)
I'll guess Maynard the transfer from Buffalo. He's got some play-making skills but not sure how accurate or consistent he'll be. I think expecting any better than a middle of the Pac-12 finish would be overly optimistic... Not sure if theyre doubling up again. Hadn't heard.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Everyone is talking about Bama and LSU in the SEC West. But can the Hogs with a more mobile and probably more mature Tyler Wilson steal the cookies when no one is looking.
bruce feldman (2:21 PM)
They have the firepower no doubt, but I don't like their chances since they have to go to both Bama and LSU.
I know you don't have any insight into on USC's appeal of their NCAA sanctions, but what is the NCAA doing that takes so long to respond? Do they do more investigations or are they just "mulling it over" for several months?
bruce feldman (2:22 PM)
No idea. It's dragged on about two months longer than most people thought. Best I think USC can hope for is some scholarship relief.
Bruce, will you be coming to Provo with the ESPN crew for any of the BYU games this year? We'll save you a prime seat in the LES Press Box.
bruce feldman (2:23 PM)
I don't know my schedule yet... Went to TCU-Utah last year. Gorgeous part of the country for those who haven't been.
How do you see WSU doing this season? Seems like they've (slowly) been improving each season.
bruce feldman (2:24 PM)
They're definitely getting better, but not sure they have enough on D to be a bowl team. They do have a legit QB in Jeff Tuel and a great young WR though.
Bold statement: Urban Meyer will coach at _____ next.
bruce feldman (2:25 PM)
My guess a few months ago was Ohio State, but that was before all of the Tressel stuff came out. Don't know about the timing of all this though.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Bruce, who would you rank as the top 3 coaches in the Pac 12?
bruce feldman (2:27 PM)
One of my top guys just left for the NFL in Harbaugh, so I'll go with CHip Kelly, Riley and Whittingham over Sark/Tedford... Weird to leave out the guy (Erickson) with the two national title rings.
Curious as to what you think Everett Golson's peak is. Realizing he is 6'0", is tyrod taylor a fair "best case scenario" for Irish fans to root for?
bruce feldman (2:31 PM)
I liked Golson when I saw him at Elite 11 last summer. Didn't think he was even 6-0 feet tall. I think he's a different QB who suits more of a spread than what Taylor played in. ND assistant Ed Warriner had a great little college QB in Todd Reesing... maybe that would be a scenario to root for.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Does the SEC win another NC this year? Which team can possibly unseat them?
bruce feldman (2:32 PM)
I'll say Oklahoma has the best shot. I think they have the fewest big questions of any of the contenders.
Andrew Hoge (San Diego)
Hey Bruce, who is your heisman favorite?
bruce feldman (2:32 PM)
Easiest question of the day! Andrew Luck.
Chris (EA's Dungeon)
I'm setting the over/under at florida's wins at 9.5, Over or under in the upcoming season?
bruce feldman (2:34 PM)
I'll go under. I'd have set it at 8.5.. You have LSU, Bama and FSU who I think will all be top 10 teams plus road games at South Carolina and Auburn.
I know you're biased against USC, but I was wondering what you think about Robert Woods? Do you think he has a shot at the Heisman with his receiving and returning ability? I heard he plays a little DB as well. Thanks.
bruce feldman (2:40 PM)
People think national media folks are biased against everybody. As I wrote the other day, Robert Woods is the most dynamic young talent in college... I don't think people outside of LA realize what a talent he is. Because USC has been one of those schools that has such a Heisman pedigree, it's not hard for a Trojan to get on the radar. I suspect if there's gonna be a candidate there, it'll be Matt Barkley. Tough for any WR even a return guy to really make a run at that. It's tough enough for a RB to get it.
Mike (New York)
Do you think in 2011 Denard Robinson improves upon his strong individual performance from last year or does he take a step back in Al Borges new pro-style system
bruce feldman (2:42 PM)
IT'll be hard for him to be more productive overall just because he put up such gaudy running numbers last year and they probably wont let him run it quite as much. I suspect he'll be more efficient as a passer because he's a year older with another year of timing with his receivers and O-line.
Bruce, can you forsee a scenario where Ohio State can still go undefeated while the coach and 6 players are suspended?
bruce feldman (2:44 PM)
Anything is possible. OSU still has plenty of athletes. Also, CU and Miami are both coming through coaching transitions and have their share of question marks too. And Michigan State has to come to Columbus.
When does the new book drop?
bruce feldman (2:44 PM)
It's set to come out July 20.
Justin (Tucson, AZ)
Do you think Arizona has any shot at winning the Pac XII South if their linebackers and O-line can get enough confidence going?
bruce feldman (2:46 PM)
They have a terrific QB and WR, but they just have so much to replace on both lines, I'm skeptical. But that division is the more wide-open and winnable of the two, so we'll see what Big Mike Stoops comes up with.
Alan (SF, CA)
Besides Boise State and TCU, who else might be BCS busters?
bruce feldman (2:47 PM)
UCF, Houston, BYU or a real darkhorse SMU.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Are the Aggies a legitimate darkhorse for the national title this year?
bruce feldman (2:49 PM)
This topic is Issue #2 in the Friday mailbag today after the Penn State one. I like them and have them at
Scott (Orlando, FL)
Bruce, who is a player that no one is talking that everyone should be keeping on their radar?
bruce feldman (2:53 PM)
I have a few: Bruce Irvin WVU DE; Alex Okafor, Texas DL; Lamar Miller, Miami RB; Geraldo Hiwat, Boise State WR, Jamal Womble NIU RB.
Chester (New Jersey)
Do you think with Nebraska joining the Big 10, the potential rise of Michigan, and the the solid play of OSU, Penn State, MSU, Wisconsin, and Iowa that the Big 10 could challenge the SEC the dominance over the next few years
bruce feldman (2:54 PM)
It helps, but there's a huge gap between the SEC and the rest. The run of BCS titles is staggering at this point.
Hey Bruce, do you think Syracuse is capable of winning the Big East in the next year or two? Marrone seems to have them on the right track.
bruce feldman (2:55 PM)
Marrone does have them on the right track. I like WVU to win that league though.
Give me one reason why UGA should be better this year than last year? Too many question marks for me...Thanks!
bruce feldman (2:56 PM)
Isaiah Crowell will boost what was one of the worst running games in the SEC and second, it's year two in the defensive system.
Thoughts on Arizona State's new uniforms and logo?
bruce feldman (2:58 PM)
I like the old logo better.
bruce feldman (2:59 PM)
Three more questions...
Bruce - what kind of year do you expect out of BYU this year, with 19 starters back, but a tough schedule up front?
bruce feldman (3:01 PM)
I like Jake Heaps potential there. Not sure they can expect to be better than 2-2 out of the gate. All of those four games are tough. I think anything more than nine wins in the regular season seems like a stretch.
How much stronger will the Big East be perceived with the addition of TCU?
bruce feldman (3:03 PM)
It provides a much needed boost when they get there in 2012. I like the direction of WVU, SYR, USF and Louisville. TCU can be a consistent top 20 team and I think WVU will be also. The challenge is for two of them to be consistent top 15 teams. WVU knocking off LSU would do wonders for the Big East.
Yellow Fever (Jersey City, NJ)
Following up on that Big East question - is Rutgers ever going to win the conference? I mean that literally - ever? Is Greg Schiano the man for the job? It seems like it's been all downhill since Ray Rice, Mike Teel, Kenny Britt, et. al left.
bruce feldman (3:08 PM)
He's done wonders elevating the program, but I'm not sure he can get it up that high. Doug Marrone coming to Syracuse was a bad thing for Rutgers because he's a great recruiter and that will affect RU's some in the battle for players there. TCU coming into the league also will just make it that much tougher.
bruce feldman (3:08 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours, send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN.
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