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 (2:07 PM)
Hi, everyone. Sorry I'm late. Let's go.
Which defense is better? LSU or Alabama
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Nick, I don't know. They've played one game! We have no perspective. Is Oregon really that good? Is Kent State that bad? Let's let them play for awhile before we makes assessments like that.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Ivan: I can understand why any conference would want Oklahoma, but what about Texas? They appear to be greedy and power-hungry and may have been the biggest single factor in the breakup of the Big 12. Will any conference want to risk taking them on? Thanks.
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
Of course conferences want Texas. They bring tradition, name recognition and a lot of TV sets. But the conferences will want Texas as an equal partner. Texas will have to decide if it can stomach that.
Did Bielema kick your dog? Or, what do you see in the Badgers that have them 17th in your rankings, compared to the 8-11 range that most others have them?
Ivan Maisel (2:12 PM)
My dog is 12 years old and a pretty easy target, judging by the way she's moving these days. But Bielema didn't kick her. I started Wisconsin too low. But, really, what does beating UNLV by 50 prove? If Wisconsin keeps winning, I'll respond in kind.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
Have you ever seen 4 plays impact a game like the Notre Dame/South Florida game? ND should have won that by 20+ points if not for four plays.
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
See it every week, Cory. That why college coaches age so quickly.
Hank (Columbia, SC)
Do you think Cincinnati can beat Tennessee? Thanks!!
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
Yes, I do. I think the Bearcats have improved a lot over last season. And the Vols remain very young.
Your impression of Boise State now? Do we really have to live with them as a legit NC contender?
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
Yes you do. I think the Broncos are that good. Again, based on one week. I reserve the right to change my opinion every week, although Boise State doesn't play Saturday, so I think I'll stick with that one for at least seven more days.
Brent (Birmingham, AL)
Is the unsettled QB situation at Bama and PSU the big story coming into that game this weekend? And if so, how do you see that playing out?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
I don't expect either team to come out of that game saying, "This is our quarterback." Both coaches have indicated that they are willing to play two quarterbacks for the foreseeable future. I'm taking them at their word.
Wow, Ivan, there sure isn't much in the college football world to talk about, eh... on the expansion front, it seems like the general feeling from the Pac-12 schools is that they want things to stay like they are for a bit, any chance that happens?
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
It depends where that sentiment comes from. If the presidents feel that way, yes. If the athletic directors feel that way, not necessarily. I think 16-team conferences are untenable. Too big, too unwieldy. But I don't know if that's the reason we're hearing hesitancy from the Pac-12 or not.
To what team can Oklahoma lose to this regular season?
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
at Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State. Their schedule isn't a cupcake.
With the way Mich State was physically dominated and beaten by Bama in BCS bowl last year, how important is Penn State's game this weekend to the Big 10's perception nationally? Also, with the way Mich was dominated (not just score) by Miss St. in their bowl, how big would a Penn State win be this wknd for the conference? The national perception seems to be we can't play with a top tier SEC team.
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
It would help the Big Ten a lot. Not just because of those two bowl losses last season. That perception has been shaped by games for at least five years, probably longer.
Who were the top 3 QBs that impressed you the first weeknd?
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
Griffin, Moore, Chuckie Keeton at Utah State. His presence as a true freshman making his first start on the road against the defending national champion was stunning.
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
Ivan, do you also see the college landscape going to 4 super conferences (Pac16, Big10, SEC, and ACC)? Will that be the death of the BCS and allow us to finally have a playoff? And off the subject...ate some Dew Drop today in your honor...
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
I just don't think we're going to end up with four super conferences. As I said before, I think 16-team leagues are too unwieldy. And there will be a lot of carnage if that happens. I don't believe the presidents have the stomach for that. I hope you had an oyster po-boy and some gumbo at the Dew Drop. Man, that's great.
No Lnadry Jones ? I guess you didn't watch his 75% completion rate with no interceptions huh ?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
Didn't see a down, no.
Luis (Eglin Air Force Base, FL)
Is there a better NFL ready running back than Marcus Lattimore?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
I think the guy on the Titans is pretty good. And there are probably, oh, 20 others. I mean, it's the NFL.
Ivan, is there any chance Miss St overlooks Auburn this week?
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
No. None. Zilch. They could lose but it won't be because they took the defending national champion that edged them by three points last season for granted.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Is it possible that Notre Dame is just not that good? Every year, we hear how they are finally poised to get back to a BCS bowl and it never happens.
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
It's certainly possible. The good news for the Irish is that they lost because of self-inflicted wounds. If they can correct their mistakes, I still think teams will have to be very good to beat them.
Would Virginia Tech be a good fit in the SEC to go along with Texas A&M?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
Virginia Tech is certainly a good fit in football. But the university expended so much political capital in moving from the Big East to the ACC, which took Tech begrudingly, that I would be stunned if Tech had the guts to turn around and leave seven years later.
Luis said NFL ready running back, not better running back. As in, is there a running back in college that is better prepared for the NFL than Marcus Lattimore.
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
Oh, misread that. Probably not. I mean, let's see what kind of year that Cyrus Gray of Texas A&M and Chris Polk of Washington and Trent Richardson of Alabama have. I like Lattimore better than any of them. But he can't come out this year, so the discussion is moot until 2012.
Fred (Walla Walla)
In a perfect world, would Florida St go to the SEC and Kentucky to the ACC? Would work great for both football and basketball.
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
It would work out well for us fans. But I think Florida State and Kentucky like being the biggest fish in their ponds.
Uh, Ivan, isn't the Big Ten vs SEC head to head tied at 9 each the last five years?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
I haven't looked it up. I just know the biggest margins and the most important victories have gone to the SEC.
Do you think we will see points taken off the board this year for a penalty in the end zone?
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
I can promise you that will happen. The celebration penalty in its old form has been around for nearly 20 years and players still got penalized for it. They're not all of a sudden going to realize what they are doing..
Cory (Geneva, IL)
What are the chances that if the four super conferences do happen, that they break away from the NCAA and have their own association, doing away with the BCS and having a playoff?
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
I think they would miss March Madness.
Jeff (Winston-Salem, NC)
Why would the SEC be interested in Virginia Tech when they have zero team national championships in any sport and have only won 9 bowl games in their history and 6 post season NCAA basketball games?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
Frank Beamer has built a very good program with a big fan base. You also get a big TV market (Virginia/Washington, DC).
George (Tel Aviv)
If Stanford runs the table (big if), do you see them getting in the BCS title game over an undefeated Boise, Oklahoma, or Alabama, or even a one loss Ok or Al with Oregon's defeat and a pretty weak ooc schedule.
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
Way, way too early to tell. Does Stanford win every game, 57-3? Do they win the rest 37-33? How do the other teams play to achieve their records? We need some more definition. It's pretty blurry out there right now.
I know it was against the University of Nobody Cares, but did you like the progress of Brantley in Weis' offense?
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
Yes, I did. Brantley sounded so much more confident and at ease talking about this offense before the season compared to what he played last season. I think that comfort was reflected in his play.
Jamie (Ft Worth)
I think TCU sold their soul to get to BCS conference. They had a good run but no way they maintain it at that level.
Ivan Maisel (2:41 PM)
Jamie, you may be hitting the panic button, bud. It was one game. And even if it's one season, don't forget that the Forgs went 8-5 in 2007 before going 36-3 in the three following years.
Ivan, Do you think Auburn will be a bowl team?
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Brad, I have to admit that after the game, sitting in the Jordan-Hare press box, that I had the thought that the comeback might have made the difference between a bowl game and no bowl game. I decided it was too early to get into that.
Ivan, with all the talk of expanding to super conferences, aren't we being a bit short sighted in including teams with RECENT success like Boise, TCU...? Aren't they a coach away from returning to obscurity and we'll have made them a fixture in a power conference?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
Everything is about timing. Ten years ago, Mack Brown still hadn't won a conference championship. Now Texas is a colossus. If this is when the market goes haywire, Boise State and TCU have great timing.
After seeing Coach Bob Stoops' comments yesterday about the Red River Rivalry, what do you think the chances are that Oklahoma joins the Pac-12 and that Texas becomes an independent?
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
I'd believe anything right now, although I hope someone somewhere takes a deep breath. I find it hard to believe that Texas and Oklahoma would forsake one another. But after making a list last week of great rivalries that have been ditched (Neb-OU, Pitt-Penn State, Texas-Texas A&M?), nothing would surprise me.
Can Cal get to a bowl game this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:48 PM)
Absolutely. I like the way that the Bears took apart Fresno State. I wonder how much of a home field will AT&T Park turn out to be. That could make a difference in a conference game.
What is your thought on Tennessee being the last of a string of SEC schools that will not complete a home and home series with Oregon, especially after Oregon went to Tennessee last year and played?
Ivan Maisel (2:49 PM)
Escape clauses have been historically loose in game contracts. Schools ought to start putting teeth in them to prevent their opponents from bailng out.
Ivan Maisel (2:49 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Talk to you next week.