Chat with Beano Cook
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Beano Cook makes his weekly stop in SportsNation to chat about the college football season.
Carroll H. "Beano" Cook, who joined ESPN in March 1986, serves as a college football studio commentator. He also offers college football commentary on ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Cook Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Beano Cook (3:01 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome back to our weekly college football chats. We kickoff the season and go until some time in January with these 3 pm ET chats. It is the start of the 143rd season. Predictions will be made at the end of this chat around 4 pm ET.
T.J. (Norman, OK)
Right now as it stands, what team in college football is the most prestigious in your opinion...taking into account cleanliness of the program, traditions of winning, & quality of schedule over the years?
Beano Cook (3:03 PM)
That is hard to say. Certain schools stand out. Stanford is not a big winner but is a clean program with great student-athletes.
Billy B. (Irish Fan)
Now that Floyd is back, how do you think the Irish will do this season?
Beano Cook (3:04 PM)
I think the Irish will go 10-2. If they are 4-0 at tne end of September they will have a shot at playing for the national title. I said the same thing last year and they did not go 4-0 in September.
As the resident CFB historian, do you ever recall entering a season with more angst (all the scandals) yet anticipation as 2011.
Beano Cook (3:06 PM)
I cannot remember so many bad things happening to college football in the off-season, at least like this in the last 50 years. It has been pretty wild.
Beano - i think the south florida/nd game is a very dangerous game for the irish - love the way skip holtz prepares a team - how's this for a holtz escapes with a victory and the irish lose next week to michigan 0-2!! your thoughts?
Beano Cook (3:07 PM)
I don't think they will lose to South Florida. Michigan may be a different story. If Notre Dame loses to USF, well. Notre Dame finished strong last year and beat USC and Miami to end their season. I think there is some momentum and I like Brian Kelly as a coach. I think he is going to get the job done.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
Mr. Cook, do you ever see college policies implemented that will hold former athletes accountable for rules violations? Im all for compensation reform, but that reform and breaking set rules are two separate issues. As it stands now, staffss and athletes are being penalized for infractions that they had nothing to do with; Id like to see the violators held accountable vs the new athletes that are held out of bowl eligibility.
Beano Cook (3:09 PM)
It has always been that way. A school breaks rules and it is usually the current players that pay the price. We things change? Let us hope that some things change dramatically based on what has gone on during the off-season.
Is Nick Saban the best college football coach right now?
Beano Cook (3:10 PM)
You would have to put him among the best. What else can I say. He won national titles at two different schools. You can certianly make a case for him. There are several people in the discussion.
Don Quixote (La Mancha)
Would I be dreaming the impossible dream if I expected Arkansas to end up in the NC game?
Beano Cook (3:12 PM)
Arkansas has a very good team. Two problems -- the Davis injury hurts the running game and playing Alabama and LSU on the road is tough too. The loss to Alabama last year made my prediction of Arkansas as a sleeper a wrong one. Arkansas will be good.
Is the ACC overrated?
Beano Cook (3:13 PM)
The ACC is rated fifth among the BCS conferences, ahead of the Big East. I don't know where you would like to rate them?
NC Weasel (North Carolina)
Assuming Texas A&M heads to the SEC ..... who joins them as Team #14? I am sure you think this is bad for college football as a whole, the Super Conference era beginning to dawn. But how bad is it?
Beano Cook (3:15 PM)
That is the big question. There have been a lot of rumors like Missouri, Clemson and Florida State. This could be the dawn of the super conference and I am not sure how bad that will be for the sport...I can tell you that it is not good. It would lead to a playoff a lot faster.
Dan (Corn Country)
Do you believe the punishments handed down to Miami players were consistent with that of Ohio State?
Beano Cook (3:17 PM)
Punishment is handed out, it is hard to say if it is harsher than another school. The Miami story is far from over. What happened at Miami is a lot worse than what happened at Ohio State.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Beano, I hate Notre Dame. However, Brian Kelly is doing a great job of recruiting top notch defensive talent to the Irish, gaining a commit from a five star DT this week? Doesn't this just prove, that it's the coach, and not the weather, or academic rigidity, or diminished prestige that's held ND back. We've seen this at other struggling blue bloods, like Alabama, USC, and OU, who once again flourished after hiring the right guy. M apologies for the essay.
Beano Cook (3:18 PM)
Notre Dame has always gotten material. That is not the reason they have not won the national title.
What are your thoughts on how Brady Hoke will fair in his first year at Michigan?
Beano Cook (3:19 PM)
We will find out early, but this has to be an improvement over what has happened the last few years. Michigan still has Denard Robinson and will improve under Hoke, a coach I liked.
Is 2011 Joe Pa's final curtain call?
Beano Cook (3:20 PM)
I made the prediction earlier this year that 2011 will be his last season. In the future, I do not intend to make any other predictions on Joe Paterno. We will see what happens.
Will the Big12 look at what the Pac12 tried to do to them did and try to bring in CA and West Coast Based Schools so that they can recruit and gain exposure in larger TV markets. ex San Diego St and Fresno St
Beano Cook (3:21 PM)
No, I don't think so. I am not sure what they are going to do. It is a matter of time now that Texas A&M has said it intends to leave the league.
Is there any pressure on Les Miles?
Beano Cook (3:22 PM)
There is always pressure on the SEC, on every team, every year. Then look at LSU's schedule and you know there is pressure.
Kevin (Albany, NY)
So what will Michigan's record be based on your opinion?
Beano Cook (3:23 PM)
Michigan will win eight games this season.
Beano Cook (3:23 PM)
With some luck, the Wolverines may win nine games.
Terry (South Carolina)
The New York Post picked the Gamecocks to win it all, How do you think they will fair this year and is this pic crazy?
Beano Cook (3:26 PM)
I don't think it is a crazy pick. It will be tough to do and if South Carolina was in a league besides the SEC that would be more realistic. Never sell Steve Spurrier short. Marcus Lattimore is one of the best running backs in America and he is coming off a huge season. If Steve Spurrier wins the national title in the SEC, it will be like a Republican winning the Mayoral race in Chicago. Or Pittsburgh too!
What was the best Notre Dame game you ever attended?
Beano Cook (3:26 PM)
Notre Dame 24, Alabama 23, December 31, 1973.
Beano Cook (3:27 PM)
Does anyone have tickets for the Mariners and the Royals?
Do you think this year for Texas will be another down year? What do you see as the likelyhood of BYU beating the Longhorns on September 10th?
Beano Cook (3:28 PM)
We wll find out. It also depends what standard you use. The over-under in Texas is 8 1/2 games so you know the expectations are higher than you'd think.
Should Miami get the death penalty if these allegations are proven true?
Beano Cook (3:28 PM)
Why,why oh, does Iowa get no respect?
Beano Cook (3:29 PM)
I cannot answer that. They get respect...quit complaining.
Lou (Latham, NY)
What do you think about the big house finally playing a night game with the Wolverines vs ND?
Beano Cook (3:30 PM)
I feel sorry for the fans trying to get home at 1130 pm...At least the game is in September and not in November.
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Beano,Is BYU the most likely replacement for Texas A&M in the Big 12?
Beano Cook (3:31 PM)
That is possible. That would be a smart move for the league. It actually makes sense.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (@CheeseheadSN)
I can't get over how much talent the Badgers have in their backfield. Both Montee Ball and James White would be starters on most college teams and that doesn't even factor in the two impressive freshman Gordon and Lewis. I know it sound presumptuous but do the Badgers have the deepest backfield in the country?
Beano Cook (3:32 PM)
You can make that case. They are a darkhorse to play for the national title. One of the best games of the year will be on October 1st, Nebraska at Wisconsin. Madison should be crazy for that one. Russell Wilson gives them experience at QB that will help.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Do you think TAMU's inferiority complex to Texas has resulting in them making an emotional and incorrect decision? Or do you think this is a sound move?
Beano Cook (3:34 PM)
Number one, I do not know if it is emotional or not. Texas A&M has not won that big in the Big 12, so do you think they will win big in the SEC?
Matt (Music City)
When you started on College Gameday 24 years ago did you ever think it would turn into the Saturday morning institution that it has become?
Beano Cook (3:36 PM)
No, I did not. When they started traveling on the road, I did. I have done it 25 years, I started with Larry Burnett, then the next year was with Tim Brando, now of CBS, and Karie Ross, now Dombrowski. Lee Corso joined Gameday in 1988. My first year was 1986.
Buddy (Dallas, Texas)
Is 2011 the year of the non-threatening non-conference schedule? Has there ever been a year this bad?
Beano Cook (3:38 PM)
Oklahoma vs Florida State, Oregon vs LSU, Alabama vs Penn State, Boise State vs Georgia ... there are a handful of meaningful non-conference games this season and usually every year. I agree, a lot of teams do not play tough non-league schedules.
Do you think Urban Meyer ends up at PSU, OSU, UGa, UCLA or some other place?
Beano Cook (3:40 PM)
ESPN this season. If Ohio State makes a change, he could end up there. Let's give Luke Fickell a chance first.
Do you agree with me that Virginia Tech is the best/smartest program for the SEC to pick up as its 14th team?
Beano Cook (3:41 PM)
I think it would be a smart pick, absolutely. I think they are more likely to go after Florida State.
Speaking of coaches, will john gruden coach again? He has a good football head and seems to enjoy working with the younger guys. Could we ever see him in the college ranks?
Beano Cook (3:42 PM)
I have no idea, ask him. I will say that I have heard he enjoys what he is doing right now. So does Bill Cowher.
USC fires Kiffin in 2 years, just as they are coming out from the sanctions, and they hire Meyer to win them a NC...
Beano Cook (3:43 PM)
I have no idea. We can speculate about where Urban Meyer will end up, but right now he is on our team.
Matt (shreveport, la)
I know that a lot of people think LSU will be distracted by the off-field problems, but this is more than just a game for most of these kids. It's a step towards their future in trying to get to the NFL. I think they will be just as passionate and hungry for a win. Your Thoughts?
Beano Cook (3:45 PM)
I think they will be passionate for a win, why wouldn't they be? The question is, can they stop Oregon?
Which non-conference game are you looking forward too?
Beano Cook (3:46 PM)
Oklahoma-Florida State on September 17th.
Ivan said he thinks the Irish could be 11-0 going to Stanford the finale Thanksgiving weekend. Could Brian Kelly continue the trend of 2nd year coaches playing in/winnin the BCS title?
Beano Cook (3:46 PM)
It could happen.
why does UC get no respect? they had one bad season and everyone assumes they are going to suck... and would you give them a chance to win the big east??
Beano Cook (3:47 PM)
I have no idea.
Beano Cook (3:47 PM)
I respect everybody, so please stop asking me about no respect..this is not Rodney Dangerfield's hour.
The great Beano Cook...CFB is finally here! Who do you like LSU v. Oregon and BSU v. Georgia.
Beano Cook (3:49 PM)
I will tell you about Boise State-Georgia in a few minutes as that is my pick of the week.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do the Huskers crash the party, and take the Big 10 their first year?
Beano Cook (3:50 PM)
They have a shot. They have to go to Wisconsin, which will be a very difficult game. They have two top defensive players and I like the quarterback plus Burkhead is an underrated running back who is tough on the goal line.
Robert (Montgomery, AL)
Do you think some of the bigger teams in college football should schedule games vs service academies? Helps the exposure of the academies and brings in some money - just seems like the right thing to do. Bama going up to West Point would be pretty cool.
Beano Cook (3:51 PM)
It would be nice but I do not have a strong opinion on that.
coryon (glenpool oklahoma)
you think Oklahoma will be number 1 by the end of the season?
Beano Cook (3:53 PM)
Here we go, my prediction is Oklahoma will beat Georgia for the national title. Florida State, Oregon are also very much in the hunt. I stayed with the pick I made earlier in the summer. Georgia may be a surprise to some, but I think Mark Richt will respond to the challenge as a coach on the hot seat.
Brian (Carrollton ga)
I was surprised at your pick for title game. Im a big fan of the bulldogs and thought i was the only one who saw it the same way. this weekend should tell if we are right
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
That is a big game against Boise State. I am picking Georgia 34, Boise State 31. Thanks for your questions, see you next week, at 3 pm ET. Enjoy the first weekend of games. It is season number 143.