Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat about the college football season.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Thursday at noon ET!
Pat Forde (12:00 PM)
Hello and welcome to the high noon chat. Fitting, since it's High Noon in the Big 12 these days. Let's get to the questions.
BYU DUDE (California )
What are the chances BYU Notre Dame and Texas form an independent alliance with a few more teams ?
Pat Forde (12:01 PM)
Dude: It's not out of the question. Right now the emphasis will be on what BYU does if the Big 12 offers it to take A&M's place. I believe they're watching that rather keenly in South Bend, and probably in Austin, too. Funny how things go in cycles -- nobody wanted to be independent in the 90s, now all of a sudden it might be back in vogue for a select few programs.
Texas fans want to know (California )
Should Texas go independent where would they put their Olympic sports teams
Pat Forde (12:03 PM)
Texas fan: Huge question, especially since Texas is good in so many Olympic sports. There are several "confederations," or leagues, where you can stash some Olympic sports. And most of the rest of the Texas Olympic sports are good enough to schedule a quality independent schedule and get an NCAA postseason bid. But basketball could be problematic.
Phillip (a stadium near you)
Not alot of talk of the Penn State Alabama game this week.I know the Penn State fans are ready but the question is can this Penn State team muster up enough offense to keep this game interesting?
Pat Forde (12:04 PM)
Phillip: The Penn State fans might be the best thing Penn State has going for it. I think the Nittanys are in trouble. Can't see them scoring enough points to win unless Alabama is sloppy with the football, and after last week I'm going to guess that's been a point of emphasis for Nick Saban with his QBs. Bama 27-7.
Heading down to Knoxville to watch my Bearcats get a road W, where do you rank Neyland Stadium for game day experience?
Pat Forde (12:05 PM)
Aaron: It's a great spot. Love going to games there. The Volunteer Navy in the Tennessee River is cool. The checkerboard end zones are cool. The campus is cool. You'll have fun. And I think the Bearcats will pull the upset.
Why is everyone talking about 16-team conferences? Is there something wrong with 14 team conferences? It seems like these would be easier to live with
Pat Forde (12:07 PM)
Max: Well, 12-team conferences are even easier to live with, but suddenly those aren't good enough. Basically the push seems to be to add inventory, especially if it's quality inventory, if only to keep it from going somewhere else. Every move being made (or considered) is to maximize revenue. That's it. There is no other consideration, which is a pathetic shame.
Being a Mizzou alum, do you miss the Arch Rivalry game between Missouri and Illinois? Being an Illini alum, it's nice to start off 1-0 for a change.
Pat Forde (12:07 PM)
Jake: Yes, I do. Thought it was a great way to start the season.
College Football is a great game to watch...college football teams/programs are becoming a joke off the field with this realignment crap and blocking one school, etc etc. Pat, all I care about right now is Boise State, they go undefeated, are they in the NCG?
Pat Forde (12:09 PM)
Eric: Even an undefeated Boise team will need help. It will need all the "power conference" teams to lose at least once. That may happen. But Boise was not helped in the SOS department by TCU losing. However, next three games for Boise are better than people think: Nevada, Toledo and Tulsa all could win their respective leagues. Bus.
If UGA goes 0-2 and finishes 3rd in the SEC East, Is Mark Richt gone at the end of the season?
Pat Forde (12:11 PM)
Rett: If UGA goes 0-2, there's still a decent chance it finishes 10-2. The schedule gets MUCH easier, especially since Georgia does not draw Alabama, LSU or Arkansas from the West and plays Mississippi State between the hedges. Absolutely no need to panic right now or make any definitive decisions about Richt.
Pat, isn't maximizing revenue what our country is all about? Don't you think the system where the Longhorns and Sooners of the world have to support the Baylors and Iowa States of the world was doomed to fail?
Pat Forde (12:12 PM)
Dave: I will respectfully submit that if maximizing revenue is what our country is all about, we're a pretty shallow country. And that the last place maximizing revenue has been the be-all and end-all has been American universities. The Longhorns and Sooners sure love to beat the Baylors and Iowa States, but they don't want to share revenue with them. Interesting.
Mr. F.: Over/Under on number of total QBs that see action in the PSU/'Bama game Saturday.
Pat Forde (12:13 PM)
With all this conference mayhem, why have none of the automatic qualifiers jumped on Boise? Too small a college? Some sort of academic dis-qualifier?
Pat Forde (12:14 PM)
Mike: Number of television sets in Idaho. Remember, it's all about the revenue.
Who do you got between BYU vs Texas this Saturday?
Pat Forde (12:15 PM)
Damian: Texas, but not with complete conviction. BYU beat Ole Miss on a late turnover, and Texas last year lost a lot of games because of turnovers. But I believe the Longhorns will be much better in that area this year and are, in terms of talent, simply better than the Cougars. Playing at home, Texas wins.
Big L (Utah)
Would 16 team super conferences be bad for college football?
Pat Forde (12:18 PM)
Big L: In my opinion, yes. Crowning true champions would be extremely difficult. Travel and scheduling would be a nightmare, especially for non-football sports, which are total afterthoughts in all this. The NCAA basketball tournament would be seriously at risk -- and most of us like that event just a little bit. Rivalries would be trashed. Leagues would be largely homogenous corporations. The ONLY possible benefit would be the creation of a playoff, but the detriments would be far greater.
Come on Pat.... there is no way this UGA team wins 10 straight. Lost 9 of last 10 vs ranked teams. Offense is totally dysfunctional. Both lines of scrimmage are overmatched. As good as Aaron Murray may be, he's 6-8 as a starter. Richt is done if they lose to SC (which is likely). And the players know it... that effort last weekend was totally uninspired.
Pat Forde (12:19 PM)
CC: OK, so they've lost 9 of last 10 to ranked teams. How many ranked teams would be left after Saturday? Right now, two. One at home (Miss State), one at neutral field (Florida). Even losing those two games, Georgia would finish 8-4. That may not be good enough to save Richt, but it's ridiculous to say the season is over after an 0-2 start against ranked opponents. People don't want to admit it, but: BOISE IS GOOD. There is no shame in losing to Boise State.
Tom (Lincoln Park)
All right, Pat. Michigan-Notre Dame. We didn't learn much about either team last week (except that Brian Kelly is a blowhard), so what do you think happens under the lights?
Pat Forde (12:22 PM)
Tom: Great question. This game has been really hard to predict in recent years -- the underdog has won the last three and four of the last five. If ND doesn't give the game away like it did against USF with red-zone turnovers, I believe it will win. Michigan is going to get better under Hoke, but I think ND is better up front on both sides of the ball. But the atmosphere should make for an incredible home-field advantage for the Wolverines.
Assuming obstacles are removed so that A&M goes to the SEC as the 13th member, in your opinion, which schools would likely want to be considered as the 14th member to "balance" the conference?
Pat Forde (12:24 PM)
Glenn: I think the top candidates would be Missouri and Maryland, but West Virginia and possibly Virginia Tech or North Carolina State are possibilities. I think Missouri works best in every way but geography, and that could be overcome by moving Auburn to the East. (It would still play Alabama every year as its locked-in interdivisional opponent.) But I have no idea for sure what the SEC is thinking.
What would a lawsuit against A&M and the SEC actually entail? Is there any weight to this delay tactic at all?
Pat Forde (12:26 PM)
Aaron: I really don't know what it would entail, and yes, I think it's more a delay tactic than anything else. I do know that Mike Slive wants a smooth and happy transition and really hates when things get ugly, so he'd very much like to avoid all that. But my guess is that it's a matter of when, not if, Texas A&M comes onboard the SEC.
Jonny Danger (Houston)
If the Big12 and Big East get cherry picked, that leaves one conference in the west (PAC) one in the East (ACC), one in the SouthEast (SEC) and one kind of straddling the midwest/looking East (B1G). Doesn't that seem a little geographically biased?
Pat Forde (12:28 PM)
Johnny: I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that the Big East gets cherry picked. It's fairly easy to predict one league that would be dismantled (the Big 12), but less sure to me which other one would go (ACC or Big East). The BE has a couple of things in its favor, and one of them is what you mentioned -- geography. I think it would be desirable to have a league base in the northeast, given the people and media centers there. And the BE is just about to hit its media-rights jackpot, which will make it extremely financially viable. So stay tuned on how that shakes out.
Mark (San Francisco)
When will analysts start to believe Stanford is good again? Yes they lost a coach and soem players, but have you looked at the quality players they have on their team right now, in addition to Luck? I noticed you ranked them #12. Seems a little harsh
Pat Forde (12:31 PM)
Mark: I'm certainly not opposed to moving Stanford up based on results -- and beating San Jose State doesn't count as tangible results. If the Cardinal wins at Arizona Sept. 17, I expect them to be 8-0 going to LA to play USC Oct. 29. If Stanford is 8-0, believe me, the ranking will take care of itself.
"by moving Auburn to the East. (It would still play Alabama every year as its locked-in interdivisional opponent." As an SEC fan this is what bothers me about expansion. What happens to the Tenn/ALA game that is the locked-in game for each team? What happens to "The Third Saturday of October"? I say keep our traditions alive and the other teams out.
Pat Forde (12:32 PM)
Ian: That's precisely why expansion sucks. Well, one of the many reasons why.
Dan (Prosser, WA)
Is there any shot for Kellen Moore to win the Heisman this year? Or is this one of those close, but not really gonna happen things...
Pat Forde (12:34 PM)
Dan: I believe he's got a legit shot at it. I think he earned some new admirers with his performance against Georgia without last year's stud WRs and with his presumed big-play WR for this year suspended. He just carved the Bulldogs up. Now, his numbers will need to be great and Boise will have to be unbeaten, but if those things happen I believe he can win it ... but it also depends what Andrew Luck and others do.
If Bryn Renner goes 22-23 every game and UNC wins the ACC championship, can he win the Heisman?
Pat Forde (12:35 PM)
MJ: Well, sure. Call me when he does that.
Will Notre Dame finally be forced to join a conference? With how mediocre they've been lately, why would the major conferences make BCS concessions to them again the next time the contract comes up?
Pat Forde (12:37 PM)
Brian: As of now (Thursday at 12:35 ET) I believe ND feels it can maintain independent status. If the Big Ten changes its mind and decides it has to expand, that may change -- but for now I think both that league and ND are comfortable where they are. Again, completely subject to change.
Pat, please explain why the NCAA bball tourney would be at risk with cfb re-alignment?
Pat Forde (12:39 PM)
John: If we end up with four superconferences, I believe they could move to separate themselves from everyone else -- either form their own NCAA division, or break from the NCAA entirely. If either of those happen, I'd say the NCAA tourney is at least altered to a ruinous degree. If you play a basketball tournament without Butler or VCU, and if there are no first-round upsets like Morehead State over Louisville, the tourney loses a huge part of its appeal.
Have you ever met someone outside of Big Ten country and under the age of 40 that is a Notre Dame fan? The under 30 crowd wonders why they get coverage, preferential treatment in the BCS and are constantly overrated. Their days are long gone. Just wondering when you think the media (whose job it is to know these things) will figure that out?
Pat Forde (12:41 PM)
Kevin: I suggest checking with the Notre Dame admissions office. You might find out that the school still is getting a lot of applications from people outside Big Ten country -- and presumably all of them under the age of 40. Check the ratings and you'll see that Notre Dame is still doing OK as a TV entity.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
I thought Joe Bauserman looked good against an awful team in Akron. It kind of raised my expectations for the offensive unit at Ohio State (at least a bit). What were your thoughts?
Pat Forde (12:42 PM)
Chris: I agree, thought he played well and looked like he's ready to lead the team. But, as you pointed out, Akron is terrible. Toledo will be a better test, and obviously on the road at Miami a better test still. We'll see if he's up for it.
Marc (Malden, MA)
How is it that the NCAA has no authority on how it's football championship is decided? It's the most ridiculous thing in sports.
Pat Forde (12:44 PM)
Marc: I agree. I'm interested in tracing the roots of how the NCAA let go of the football postseason and turned it over to bowls and conferences. I know it goes back a loooong way.
Blake (Salt Lake City)
Does the Pac 12 accept Oklahoma / Okie State without Texas?
Pat Forde (12:45 PM)
Blake: Very good question. At least one prominent college administrator I talked to says no. Others think maybe yes. That's why what Texas does -- independence, accept a minimized Longhorn Network and go to Pac, or stick with the destabilized Big 12 -- is going to be a huge part of all this.
Feel any love for the Razorbacks this season?
Pat Forde (12:46 PM)
Nate: I've felt a lot of love for the Razors. Was toying with picking them #1 until Knile Davis got hurt. Still think they're a Top 10 team, possibly top five.
Brian (Columbia, SC)
Pat,With the talk of realignment, what happens if the left outs sue? Im an East Carolina Fan, and you can't tell me that Vandy, Wake, Duke, and Baylor deserve BCS status more than ecu, ucf, or boise! Could all the left outs sue or get congress involved regarding the tax exempt status?
Pat Forde (12:48 PM)
Brian: I don't know. I guess if they form superconferences and attempt to completely exclude the "left outs" from any chance at a BCS bowl or playoff, there could be grounds for a suit -- but I'm not a lawyer. Whatever happens is going to be really acrimonious and potentially lead to litigation. Which would really be a lot of fun, wouldn't it? We need more lawsuits.
Jayson (Kalamazoo, MI)
Pat, why is GameDay going to Michigan to see two programs that are well pass their glory days when they could be in Happy Valley covering Alabama-Penn State?
Pat Forde (12:51 PM)
Jayson: Where only one program is past its glory days? There's a lot of appeal to Michigan-ND, regardless of their current status: first night game in Big House history, new coach at Michigan, Denard Robinson is a Heisman contender, ND is ND -- and opening pratfall aside, was expected to have a big year. It probably was a close call, but I bet you get a closer game in Ann Arbor than State College.
Or better than any non-conference game, GameDay could be in Athens to see a conference game that really matters and may decide the SEC East championship....just my two cents
Pat Forde (12:51 PM)
Dave: Duly noted. But there will be a ton of conference games to cover in the weeks ahead.
Speculating about conference realignments in season = sucks. Let's talk about the product on the field. After 1 game, has RW transformed UW to a National Champ contender?
Pat Forde (12:53 PM)
Justin: It does suck. Trust me, we're trying to cover the season and deal with this on top of it and it's not ideal at all. But we also can't ignore it. However, to your point: I'd say Wisconsin looks very good and is the Big Ten favorite at this point, by a smidge over Nebraska. So, yes, the Badgers would have to be in the EARLY national championship discussion.
Jason (Greeley, CO)
What are the chances that a few Super Conferences would break away from the NCAA and start their own governing bodies? Couldn't this be a good thing?
Pat Forde (12:54 PM)
Jason: Well ... who would be in charge of compliance? Anyone? Or do they all just pay the players via boosters and form their own minimum grade requirements and let them have agents at age 18? I'm not ready to sign up for that.
Chip Kelly's offense has looked rather average against elite SEC teams. Is it a scheme problem? Or are elite SEC teams just better?
Pat Forde (12:55 PM)
Rett: The latter. The best SEC defenses are fast enough and physical enough to neutralize Oregon run game.
Paul (Washington, DC)
Pat, what's worse -- speculating about conference realignment or talking about goofy uniforms like Maryland's?
Pat Forde (12:55 PM)
Paul: At least those atrocities aren't going to change the structure of the sport. They're hideous to look at, but that's all.
Pat, who do you like, Miss. State vs Auburn this weekend???
Pat Forde (12:57 PM)
Blaine: Dawgs. But I expect Auburn to play a lot better than it did last week and make it a close game. I don't think Auburn is very good, but say this much: there is a survival instinct to that program right now that is impressive. They go down without a fight.
Any chance the Utes pull the upset over USC in the first ever Pac-12 game this weekend?
Pat Forde (12:58 PM)
Tim: I'd say there's a chance, but not a great chance. USC looked very ordinary against Minnesota, but it seems like Utah was pretty ordinary against weaker competition. Maybe the Utes were saving a lot in the passing game for this one -- they better hope so. I'll take the Trojans in a close game.
How much of shot do you give Arizona tonight with their countless injuries and no Criner?
Pat Forde (12:58 PM)
Joe: If Criner is indeed out, Arizona is in trouble. Don't see it happening without him.
Any thoughts on ASU vs. Missou? Should be a great one.
Pat Forde (12:59 PM)
Brian: Yes, part II of a big weeknight doubleheader for the state of Arizona. I think Mizzou's offense will struggle against the ASU D. Expect it to be low-scoring. And as Bob Davie pointed out on The Experts this week, we might see an NCAA record for bubble screens in this game. Hope not. ASU 21, Mizzou 17.
Jason (Greeley, CO)
If a few Super Conferences break away from the NCAA, wouldn't others follow suit, eventually leading them all coming together to create a new governing body that works better than the NCAA? The NCAA has need an overhaul for a while, so why not just start from scratch once the new Super Conferences are set in stone?
Pat Forde (1:01 PM)
Jason: Easier to type than to make happen. But you never know.
Pat Forde (1:02 PM)
Nate: Thanks! And thanks to everyone who submitted questions or dropped by. Appreciate it. I'll be back next Tuesday at noon for more. Enjoy the weekend games everyone!