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 (2:06 PM)
Sorry, for being a bit late. I think I accidentally just hi-jacked an NBA chat by clicking into the wrong room. Let's go!
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
In my opinion Montee Ball and James White are the best one-two punch at running back in the Big Ten right now. Do you agree, if not, who is the best one-two punch at running back in the Big Ten?
bruce feldman (2:08 PM)
They are in the mix along with the duo at MSU. Edwin Baker is very underrated.
Bruce, loved your rivalry article. I have a few I would like to see. Tell me what you think. USC vs Florida, Notre Dame vs Alabama, Michigan vs Oklahoma
bruce feldman (2:10 PM)
Thanks Tom. And thanks for that idea last week. I would love to see all three of those matchups. I tried to keep it as one series per school in the blog.
Who are your top wide receiver playmakers for the 2011 season?
bruce feldman (2:12 PM)
Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles, Alshon Jeffery, Jeff Fuller, Juron Criner, Robert Woods, Eric Page and Mike Floyd if Kelly clears him.
Many writers are saying that whether the USC punishments were fair cannot be determined until we see if the NCAA will hammer Ohio State, UNC and Auburn just as hard/harder. Do you agree?
bruce feldman (2:15 PM)
I'm writing about this in the mailbag today. NCAA uses its "apples and oranges" explanation whenever it needs to. They're basically making the rules up as they go along... The best thing OSU has in its favor is they came forward with the Tressel stuff. The worst part is he lied to the NCAA which is a very big deal and he knowingly played star players for an entire season despite his knowledge that they were ineligible. And then the OSU brass only wanted to suspended him for 2 games.
Phillip (A stadium near you)
Bruce,after I have watched the 30 for 30 show on the "Pony Excess", I have been wondering,could there be a football program or programs committing violations to this extreme at this time?
bruce feldman (2:16 PM)
Yes, there could. Any program with passionate boosters anything can happen. Plus there are always going to be ppl (players or their families) tempted by money.
Mike (New York)
Hey Bruce,Love reading your stuff, and your tweets. How much success do you see Brady Hoke having in his first year at Michigan? He's got a pretty favorable schedule into November.Thanks!
bruce feldman (2:17 PM)
Thanks Mike. I'll be surprised if Michigan doesn't win at least eight this year. Lots of starters back. A star to spark the offense and a great defensive mind to try and fix the D.
UW Huskies back in the Rose Bowl in 3 years or less. Your odds?
bruce feldman (2:18 PM)
Sark has done wonders for the outlook, but Oregon is a force right now. I'd say 25 % chance.
Can the Huskers win the Big Ten this year? Who do you see winning each division, and the conference?
bruce feldman (2:20 PM)
Yes, I have Neb winning the Big Ten. Getting OSU in Lincoln is going to be a intriguing matchup. I'll go with OSU over PSU in the other division (Leaders).
Can the Vols win the East this year?
bruce feldman (2:23 PM)
The East is wideopen. I like Bray and the young WRs and the young O-line. Not sure how good the D is gonna be? They have some hyped JC transfers but JCs are always a crapshoot. And they need Janzen JAckson back. He's the best player in the program. I see 8 wins but not convinced they can be a top 20 team. Plus, the jury's still out on Dooley as a HC. He's only had one winning season in four and they didn't beat anyone decent last yr.
Is there any chance if Barkley and Kalil comes back for their seniors season for USC to be in the hunt for the national champsionship in 2012?
bruce feldman (2:24 PM)
Read the mailbag that goes up in a few minutes. Natl Title? Really doubt that but if Barkley's back, they can be a top 10 team for that year bc of how much firepower they have on offense. Depth is a major concern, but I think they'll be very good and then in 2013, they take a big step back as the sanctions settle in.
Jordan (Lincoln, NE)
Not that anyone in NE cares, but how do you see Texas this year?
bruce feldman (2:26 PM)
BEtter but still behind OU, OSU and A&M. They need to find a way to run the ball much better. The shakeup on the staff will be good for this program though.
Timeout..Dooley only having 1 winning season out of 4? You failed to mention that 3 of those were at LOUISIANA TECH! I'll take two straight top 15 recruiting classes as a sign of good things to come, and the way they competed last year. That roster was absolutely decimated after Fulmer got fired and that other one-and-done guy...
bruce feldman (2:28 PM)
I know they were but the point is, it's not like he was killing it in the WAC before he got hired at Tenn. UT should have top 15 recruiting classes every year. I said I think they'll be better, but I just said the jury's still out on him. He hasn't shown that he can win yet.
Which conferences do you see having 2 BCS teams this year?
bruce feldman (2:28 PM)
SEC and Big 12.
Engineer Mike ((Switzerland))
Coach with the biggest expectations on his shoulders this year?
bruce feldman (2:30 PM)
Bob Stoops will come into the season with a lot of preseason #1 hype, but Mark Richt is a guy who really needs to have a big year to keep the pressure down.
Noles v bama in national championship game this season. what say you?
bruce feldman (2:31 PM)
If FSU can get revenge on OU at the Doak, it could happen. I have FSU in my top 5 preseason.
Who wins the BE this year? West Virginia, South Florida? Or someone else?
bruce feldman (2:32 PM)
I got WVU. I think Geno Smith has a huge season.
What about Rick Neuheisel? Expectations are high for him right now. No coach has a hotter seat than Rick, no?
bruce feldman (2:33 PM)
It is very hot for him. Going 4-8 in YR 3 does that to you. He shook up the staff. Now he needs to have a QB blossom to boost the offense. There's some talent there on D, but are they better than a 6-6 caliber team? They should be better than that by now.
Chase (Austin, TX)
If Ohio State get "hammered" by the NCAA, wouldn't that tell people not to self-report in the future and be cooperative with the NCAA? Seems like Ohio State invited the NCAA and was communicating with them throughout the entire process (unlike other schools).
bruce feldman (2:34 PM)
That is the best thing OSU has on its side. It leaves Tressel off to the side because they caught him and then he ended up getting caught in more lies in that farce of a press conference they had.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
OK, but how does Dooley differ from Chizik who positively failed at Iowa State but still got Auburn an NC?
bruce feldman (2:36 PM)
HE doesn't, but I think everyone would've said the jury was out on Chizik too going into 2010.
Is the Pac-12 South a two way race now between Utah and Arizona State?
bruce feldman (2:38 PM)
Yeah, although I wouldn't count Zona completely out since they have a very good QB and stud WR to spark the offense.
Andrew (San Diego)
We talk about USC and OSU, what about UNC?
bruce feldman (2:39 PM)
We'll see what the NCAA comes up with. That one is pretty unwieldy. Butch's right hand man John Blake has already had to be pushed out and you had so many players and so many outside people connected. Plus, there was an academic scandal on top of that.
Jonathan (Farmington, AR)
Who in your estimation is the Hogs best receiver?
bruce feldman (2:41 PM)
HArd to pick since you have four very good ones. I'll go with Jarius Wright. He's the fastest and the best option runner of the bunch. HE makes a lot of stuff with that offense sizzle.
If you placed Robert Griffin on any one of the higher ranked teams, would he be a no-brainer Heisman candidate?
bruce feldman (2:42 PM)
Yeah, probably so. He'd need to lead Baylor into the top 20 though to get invited to NYC.
you thoughts on the major snub of tommie frazier into the hof?
bruce feldman (2:43 PM)
He belongs in, as does Derrick Thomas and a bunch of others. They were great college players. I think the HOF process for the college game is really shaky.
Why does the SEC play so many OOC games (4)? (3 of which are cupcakes)
bruce feldman (2:44 PM)
They'll say because they play so many brutal games in their conference. I think there are a lot of teams outside the SEC though they play three non-league cupcakes. Some play four.
What are the chances that a player left as a jr. for the NFL, that since the lock out is on. Could someone like Patrick Peterson could come back a play his senior season? I think it is a waste of talent to not have a contract or anything at this this time. Do you think they should be able to come back for senior season?
bruce feldman (2:46 PM)
No because they all take some kind of benefits as soon as they sign and sorting all of that out would be too big of a mess.
Why does Bob, who can't spell SEATTLE, get two questions and mine remains unanswered?
bruce feldman (2:48 PM)
Cause I saw his and not yours till now.
Do hate the Gamecocks or something?
bruce feldman (2:50 PM)
No, why? I think I've been accused of hating about 55 of the 120 FBS schools. I don't think I've ever been accused of hating SCarolina till now.
Roy (Columbia, Missouri)
Muschamp's first year record @ UF?
bruce feldman (2:51 PM)
He'll get off to a fast start but then the schedule gets rougher. 7-5.
Whats the more annoying question: why do you hate my team, or why don't you answer my questions? People need to relax. Anyway, what team do you think will surprise and be in a BCS game this year?
bruce feldman (2:54 PM)
I don't mind the Why Dont You Answer My Question one... I get it. You guys don't see the volume of questions and how fast this moves. The Hate My Team stuff is silly. I get accused of being a homer and a hater of often the same school. ... My answer has been FSU, but since first saying that FSU's stock has seemingly gone up pretty high with a lot of folks.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Biggest key for a huge year in Tallahasee, improved play at WR, or defensive improvement in year two under Mark Stoops?
bruce feldman (2:55 PM)
Defensive improvement. It got better last year from before, but needs to take another step forward.
bruce feldman (2:55 PM)
Three more questions...
favian (Columbus, OH)
I really feel that west virginia will be back on the national scene this year and I also believe they will be in the top 10 to finish the season. A BE championship & a BCS win. Your thoughts? Two GREAT Coordinators
bruce feldman (2:56 PM)
I like them to be a top 15 team.. not sure they have enough horses to slow down LSU when they come to town.
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Hey Bruce, in light of your recent rivalry article, now that BYU has more scheduling freedom, who would be a good new rival for them? Of course I realize that Utah will always be THE rival, but maybe a secondary one?
bruce feldman (2:58 PM)
I don't know. Aside from Utah not sure who else makes some sense.
Bo (North Carolina)
Which coach will have a better career winning % at their current schools when they leave those schools...Golden, Fisher or Muschamp?
bruce feldman (2:59 PM)
I'll guess and say Jimbo since he's got the most momentum built up.
bruce feldman (3:00 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. If I didn't get to yours send it to me via Twitter at BFeldmanESPN. Off to find some lunch.