Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (2:01 PM)
Hi, everyone. Let's get to it. I've got shopping to do.
What round do you see Kellen Moore getting drafted in? Also, how many broncos get drafted?
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
Todd McShay and I discussed this in our ESPNU College Football Podcast on Tuesday. Todd suggested at this point that Moore would go in the sixth round. I think he'll go higher based on the Tebow Theorem: it only takes one team to believe in him.
If the Gamecocks win the Capital One Bowl, could they be a Top 5 team to start next year? They return 17 of 22 starters.
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
Hold on, another Gamecock question coming, and I'll answer both...
Do you think the South Carolina Gamecocks can get Mike Stoops or Randy Shannon for DC?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
I think 17 of 22 starters is huge and will lead to the Gamecocks being ranked high. I think top five is too high for me, in part because of the loss of Ellis Johnson, the defensive coordinator who is the new head (ball) coach at Southern Miss. Mike Stoops is an interesting name to replace him, if only because Steve Spurrier and Bob Stoops remain very good friends from when Bob served as the HBC's defensive coordinator at Florida.
Jason (Vienna, VA)
Has it been reported or confirmed if Urban Meyer has actually signed any contract (or agreement) with Ohio State? From his statements, it seems like he was misled by OSU's execs (Gene Smith) and couldn't he demand something more?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Jason, you asked this question eight times. I hope you don't mind if I only answer you once. If Meyer bought Gene Smith's line of thinking on the severity of the penalty, he's not as smart as I think he is. As I said in my Three-Point yesterday, every AD says he is "surprised" by the severity of his school's penalty. It's as if they talk themselves into believing that the NCAA isn't going to slam them, when anyone on the outside can see what's going to happen.
Michael (Seattle, WA)
Mr. Maisel, how does Gene Smith still have a job? Is the fact Ohio State is hosting the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (2nd/3rd Rd) his only saving grace until June? If anyone should lose their job...
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Gordon Gee believes in him. That's a good place to start.
Tougher assignment: Oregon's D to bring down Montee Ball? or Wisconsin's D to catch LaMichael James?
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
I just wrote my answer and it disappeared. Let me try again....
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
I'd say Wisconsin bringing down LMJ. He'll be healthier than he has been since his midseason elbow injury. He'll have speed/quicks that the Badgers (or anyone else) hasn't seen all season, and he'll want to prove something with Ball there as a Heisman finalist.
Every year we hear "fans" complaining about the number of "meaningless" bowl games. How are these games any more meaningless than most of the games played in September? Did I miss the memo where people are being forced to watch?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I think that complaint comes my fellow scribes more than anyone. It bores me, too. We've had five games so far,and three of them were really good.
Bruce (Columbus, Georgia)
The last several years have seen major failures in NFL coaches going to college - Callahan, Wannstedt, Sherman, Weis, etc. There have been exceptions, most notably at USC. I think Mora might be another. What do you think?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
That's a good point, Bruce. I always wonder about a guy like Mora, who hasn't recruited in ages, who has no ties to high schools, etc. I honestly don't know who he knows among college coaches. How smartly will he hire? Not to mention the problems that UCLA has with aging facilities and a decade of mediocrity. I admit that I am skeptical.
Greg (Los Angeles, CA)
Explain: 1 player from USC secretly accepted benefits that could only be seen if you drove 100 miles away from campus, saw the house his parents lived in, pulled their financial records to see if they could afford the house. OSU: HEAD COACH KNOWINGLY COVERING UP for his players' violations, allowing them to play all season, allowing the school to accept bowl money, etc AS WELL AS other violations that were uncovered after the initial violations were uncovered. USC:hammered, OSU: wrist slap. Discuss...
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
It's all a conspiracy, Greg. Everybody hates USC. That seems to be the only answer that will placate the Trojans. In truth, and I will admit to not having read the USC case lately, the NCAA believed that assistant coach Todd McNair knew of the violations and did nothing (which McNair still denies. Judging by former USC AD Mike Garrett's arrogant reaction to the ruling, I'd say the NCAA may not have gotten the cooperation from USC that it wanted. Everyone knows what a school should do to keep the NCAA happy. Open your kimono and show the NCAA everything. Ohio State did, and people think it got a wrist slap. I'm not among them. I think a bowl ban is harsh.
Edward Williams (Omaha NE)
Instead of having bowl games at the end of the season, they should have bowl games to start off the season. That way people are more excited about the first game. It would bolster these cupcake nonconference schedules everyone plays. We would get better games to start off the season. And it would leave plenty of room at the end of the season for a playoff.
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I have seen that idea elsewhere, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Cowboys have adopted it with their Kickoff Games. But you have to remember that bowls are there to promote tourism and their host cities, and Jan. 1 has been the central date for more than a century. Pasadena and Miami look a lot more enticing when you're in the Midwest and it's snowing outside your window than they would on Labor Day.
Who do you like in the Champs Bowl the Irish or Seminoles?
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
Florida State. More speed, better finish to the end of the season. Again, Todd McShaw and I discussed this and all the bowls through Dec. 29 on our ESPNU College Football Podcast that posted Tuesday. Check it out.
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
And while I'm on the subject, check out Beano Cook and I on the Podcast that posted Wednesday. We remembered the Hall of Famers and other notable college football people who died in 2011. It's one of my favorite shows every year.
Can the NCAA at least attempt to have a uniform set of punishments kind of like a court of law or something (I believe Jay Bilas suggested this)? If you do A, you get B and it's all spelled out in the code?
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I'm not a big fan of minimum sentencing in the courts or with the Infractions Committee. There always may be extenuating circumstances and I want the committee to hear them and make its decision.
What do you think of Maryland's hire of Mike Locksley as OC? Do you think he'll be able to help secure any of the elite prospects coming out of DC region this year for the Terps?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
I hadn't heard that, but I've been in stores and writing all week. It makes sense. Locksley did a great job recruiting for Ralph Friedgen in his early years at Maryland a decade ago.
Ivan, I think that Bill Snyder has done a masterful job this season. Do you think that Kansas State can beat Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. I hope you have a Merry Christmas! Thanks.
Ivan Maisel (2:27 PM)
I really like Kansas State this year. That's a tough, physical team that plays well together. I do like them over Arkansas.
Brian (New York)
If Oregon manages to win the Rose Bowl, would you put them in the preseason top 5?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
Tell me who comes back next season and I'll give you an answer. But generally, I'd be comfortable with the idea of the Ducks remaining among the elite for another year.
How soon do you think until the BCS conferences break away from the NCAA? 1) Applying the same rules to Texas' athletic department and The University of Rhode Island's athletic department is asinine. 2) The BCS conferences can afford to pay their players on top of scholarships, and, with nearly every program getting hit with violations in regards to boosters, why don't they just form their own league where boosters are fine? It makes sense to me
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
I will be real curious to see whether, at the convention next month, the NCAA members override the $2000 Cost of Attendance payment that has been approved. If they do, the gulf between the haves and the have-nots will widen. With all the money that the haves are getting in the new TV contracts, it's untenable that they don't increase what they give student-athletes.
What is your thoughts on the selection of the Sugar Bowl? Aren't there more deserving teams that should have been invited? It doesn't make sense to me.
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
I thought the Sugar Bowl made a huge mistake in not taking Kansas State or Boise State. And Virginia Tech hasn't sold its ticket allotment. The university says its people will be there. Regardless of whether VT shows up or not, I believe the Sugar Bowl made the BCS take a huge credibility hit.
Ivan, happy Chanukkah. In the 3-pt stance earlier this week, you mentioned that there were few former college players who became Senators (in discussing Craig James). Not a Senator, but don't forget about Justice "whizzer" White.
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
Thanks, and thanks to all of you who have emailed me. I have learned a lot, and I'm still double-checking a few of the submissions. I did get plenty of examples of House members who played college football, which is fine, but not what I asked for. Anyway, I will have an item in Three-Point tomorrow with the answers.
Speaking of the NCAA, what penalties do you expect to come of the Gamecocks missteps. The most egregious appears to be an honest, albeit stupid mistake by the compliance officer (since removed from her job) and the department has appeared to be as accomodating as possible to the NCAA.
Ivan Maisel (2:36 PM)
That was a pretty bad mistake, honest or not. As I said earlier, it will help South Carolina that it has thrown open its books to the NCAA. If the NCAA agrees with the school, then it sounds like "failure to monitor" instead of "lack of institutional control." The latter is what takes schools to the big house, and I don't mean Ann Arbor.
Britton (Las Vegas, NV)
Money and fines are not going to work -- donations will just increase -- but is there any other punishment outside of bowl bans that the NCAA can work with? Reggie Bush was long gone when USC got banned and none of the players involved are on the 2012 Ohio State roster.
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
The NCAA moved away from TV bans because it hurt the opponent and diminished the TV inventory of the school's conference. Taking scholarships is the most effective and fairest penalty, I think. That is still the go-to punishment.
How long until the Cotton Bowl becomes the 5th BCS bowl. I miss the old days of Lindsay Nelson on NYD in Dallas.
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I am feeling charitable today. Normally I ignore someone who submits the same question OVER AND OVER. But I also miss Lindsey Nelson. He was a very good announcer and a very nice man. I met him once late in his career and very early in mine. He made the Cotton Bowl (and Notre Dame football and the Mets and the SF Giants and....) memorable.
Brian (New York)
Prediction on Barkley? Just a thought...if he was going pro I doubt USC would be streaming the presser live over their website.
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I'm hoping he stays, too. It would be great for USC and great for college football.
Nathan (San Diego, CA)
Are we done with expansion for the foreseeable future or will some conference make a serious run for Notre Dame or other schools? Big East and Big 12 seem the most unstable, if conferences want to pounce.
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
I don't think we're done. But how about the idea floating amongst the commissioners to do away with the AQ designation. That would mean a lot of the recent realignment was for naught. I bet a few lawsuits would sprout out of that.
Maggie (Mnneapolis, MN)
Since he isn't going to be an NFL QB, wouldn't Denard Robinson have to at least entertain leaving for the NFL early as an athlete/WR? He'd do well at the NFL Combine.
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
I suppose. But what if he enjoys playing with his teammates? What if he wants to be a senior in college on a successful team? You can't put a price on that. The thing about the NFL -- for the players, it's a business. If a young man doesn't have to have the money for his family, if he can wait another year, then he would be smart to do so. You're only 21 once.
Regarding USC and OSU, as an SEC fan, I was dissappointed that the NCAA did not issue a harsher penalty as OSU sure as hell covered up the violations so their players could play in the Sugar Bowl last year. Whether or not USC knew 100% about Bush, Tressell and others at OSU 100% did know. I guess it was worth it because the NCAA sure did not seem to take it into account and they won the game.
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
I have heard from Arkansas fans who remain outraged that Ohio State and the Big Ten worked that deal to allow Terrelle Pryor et al to play in the Sugar Bowl last season. They have a point. I haven't seen that anyone at Ohio State other than Tressel knew of the violations. That's the crux of the case. Tressel knew and covered it up. Ohio State uncovered that fact when it searched his emails in the course of its investigation.
Ivan Maisel (2:47 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Have a great holiday. We'll talk next week.