Chat with Beano Cook
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN's Beano Cook makes his by SportsNation to chat about the upcoming 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 (3:03 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome back to the latest off-season college football chat. We are a little more than a month away from the start of the season, so I am excited. I know some of you are concerned about the baseball trade deadline ...I am not losing any sleep over it. Fire away with your questions, I have a feeling I know one topic which will come up.
Jim (Grand Junction, Colorado)
Beano - The only NCAA sanction of Penn State that worries me is the $60 million fine. What happens to that money? Given the needs of American education, I wonder about taking a nickel away from any university. I wish the NCAA had just had Penn State to transfer the money to academics.
Beano Cook (3:04 PM)
The $60 million, part of it is going to be set up to be used to help young children.
JL (Marshall, VA)
I thought that the NCAA prez did a great job of explaining why the NCAA sanctioned Penn State. Prior to hearing his speech I was skeptical. I agree with his statement: do you?
Beano Cook (3:06 PM)
I agree with some aspects of what was done. I disagree with taking the wins away from Joe Paterno. What went on did not help the football team win games. I thought it was a case of piling on.
How tough is Alabama's schedule given Michigan, Arkansas and LSU pretty early?
Beano Cook (3:08 PM)
They have to travel to Arkansas and LSU while Michigan is at a neutral site. It is a difficult schedule and they play in the toughest conference. Nick Saban will have his team prepared. They lost a lot of talent to the NFL, led by Trent Richardson. The game at Arkansas on September 15h is one of the best, biggest early-season games in my opinion.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How much has the revelations surrounding the Penn State program altered/shattered/tarnished your opinion of Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lion football legacy? These sanctions are worse than the death penalty. Wouldn't you agree that Penn State football has essentially been wiped off the map? Do you think the program will ever recover?
Beano Cook (3:10 PM)
No, Penn State will be down for a few years, maybe a decade, but not wiped off the map or dead. I think the whole episode clearly hurts Joe Paterno's legacy. You would have to be naive to think otherwise.
Was Knute Rockne still coaching Notre Dame the last time the Pirates were over 500 this late in the season?
Beano Cook (3:12 PM)
They just won today, 3-2 over the Cubs. I think they were over .500 this late a little before Rockne's last year. Remember, they used to have guys like Stargell and Clemente.
Sergio Rodrìguez (Veracruz, Mèxico)
What Penn St players are the most talented? What team could take them?
Beano Cook (3:16 PM)
Silas Redd has been prominently mentioned as the RB had a solid year last season. USC was mentioned as being interested. There are a lot of schools quietly trying to find out if Penn State players are interested in jumping ship. We will have to see what happens.
Gill (Mpls, MN)
Sandusky worked for the football program. The Penn State cover-up was to protect the football program. The Head Coach, A.D. and their bosses talked about how it would affect the program and it's image. It went on from 1998 until last year. How can people still be saying that the NCAA and it's Presidents shouldn't be involved because it wasn't about the "football program"?
Beano Cook (3:17 PM)
The NCAA handed out the penalties they believed were fair. Some may argue that point, but it is time to move on.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Are the Trojans a lock for the BCS Championship Game if Silas Redd transfers from Penn State to provide depth?
Beano Cook (3:19 PM)
I picked USC already to be in the title game, whether or not they add Redd. Surely he would help. Right now I have Arkansas vs. USC as of right now, but I will make my final pick in the first August chat just before the season starts. Ivan Maisel has LSU and Oregon, by the way. The Trojans will certainly contend with Matt Barkley at QB.
how long will it take urban meyer to get ohio state back to big ten supremacy? is brady hoke a formidable opponent?
Beano Cook (3:22 PM)
It is hard to say how long it will take Ohio State. The Buckeyes will always be good, but the question is, can Urban Meyer take them beyond being good. Ohio State's biggest game for the division title will be on the road at Wisconsin. Remember this, Ohio State is not eligible to compete for the conference championship. As for Michigan, Hoke did a nice job last year. I believe the Michigan-Michigan State winner will play Wisconsin for the Big Ten title at the end of this season.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Beano; Thanks for answering the question. I disagree with you though. Covering up did definitely help win football games, just as covering up helped Nixon win the election. Although the problem might have been short-lived, it did help JoePa win a few. Keeping Sandusky as DC also helped. JoePa wasn't piled on. He placed football wins ahead of people's lives.
Beano Cook (3:23 PM)
It is ridiculous to compare an election to this. You are entitled to your opinion.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Is Brian Kelly done in South Bend if the Irish aren't playing in a January bowl game?
Beano Cook (3:24 PM)
No. I think that the schedule is tough. I think he has to get them to a major bowl next year. It is going to be tough this year facing the likes of Oklahoma, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, etc. It is not impossible to make a big bowl this year, but I feel it is not likely.
Beano,Are you excited about the Olympics starting Friday? It will give us something to watch until football season starts.
Beano Cook (3:25 PM)
I have to be honest. I am interested but I am not that excited. It has become too commercial.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will a Sooner squad with lower expectations fulfill the promise many predicted for Coach Stoops last season? Will MIke Stoops be able to restore the intimidation and ferociousness the OU defense has been lacking in recent years?
Beano Cook (3:27 PM)
Oklahoma always has some expectations and the winner of the game against Texas should win the Big 12, even though West Virginia may argue. Landry Jones is a solid quarterback and I would not count the Sooners out of the national championship picture by any stretch. Getting Whaley back at RB also helps.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How amazed are you at the recruiting job Lane Kiffin is doing at USC? I didn't think quality would be able to overcome the lack of quantity on the Trojan roster over the long haul, but now I'm not so sure. Especially if they close the deal and win it all this year. Your thoughts?
Beano Cook (3:28 PM)
I am surprised. It is not a tough job to recruit at USC, but he has done an outstanding job there considering the circumstances with the scholarship reductions.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
How does the NCAA handle the order of their business? They came out with this Penn State ruling pretty quickly yet the Miami (FL) reported violations have yet to have rulings released.
Beano Cook (3:30 PM)
It is because of the Freeh report and relying on the amout of information and thorough nature of the investigation by former FBI director Freeh. I think the Miami situation will take a long time before penalties are discussed in that case.
Is Derek Dooley on the hot seat?
Beano Cook (3:31 PM)
I would say the seat is not hot, but it is warm. Tennessee fans have expectations too.
Mindy (Brandon, MS)
Who is the best coach in the SEC in your opinion?
Beano Cook (3:31 PM)
Beano Cook (3:31 PM)
Every question should be as easy as that last one.
Bill (Lexington, ky)
What do you think about Charlei Strong, how long will he remain at Louisville?
Beano Cook (3:32 PM)
He has done a nice job but it is hard to say how long he will remain there.
randy edsall has been a train wreck since he got to college park....how long until maryland pulls the plug?
Beano Cook (3:33 PM)
I advise Coach Edsall to get better real quick.
Jharkle (Paducah, KY)
Beano, What's your early take on UGA going to Mizzou? Should be an electric atmosphere in Columbia, MO.
Beano Cook (3:35 PM)
Missouri has a nice home schedule with Alabama and Georgia coming in. Nice for the first year. The bad news is the Tigers will have to go to Alabama and Georgia next year. By the way, the team with a tough early schedule in the SEC is Florida.
All I have to say about the Penn State scandal is that I miss the days of realignment dominating the college football news cycle, and that fact frightens me.
Beano Cook (3:36 PM)
Thank you for giving me a nice chuckle.
Penn St has a reported $1.6 Billion endowment. The $60M is the least of their penalties. The scholarship decrease is going to kill them.
Beano Cook (3:37 PM)
The scholarship will hurt. That is the big thing for right now. The four-year bowl ban obviously hurts the program too, but not as much as the scholarships, in my opinion.
charlie weis, 3 years at KU - over or under?
Beano Cook (3:38 PM)
It is fairly difficult for Kansas to be good on a consistent basis in football. That is a tough call.
How many games will ND win this year, and who do you think will emerge as their starting QB?
Beano Cook (3:40 PM)
The over/under is 8 1/2. It is a tough number either way against that schedule. I think there is pressure on Coach Kelly to win nine. If the Irish win nine that will be very good, considering the schedule. It is still up in the air in regard to QB. I suggest they beat Navy and Purdue early.
Who is the best QB in college football this season?
Beano Cook (3:43 PM)
Matt Barkley going into the season. Guys like Denard Robinson, Landry Jones, Tyler Wilson and several others will get some consideration but I would say Barkley. That is why they play the season, so we will find out.
Thoughts on Georgia without Crowell?
Beano Cook (3:45 PM)
Georgia is still the favorite to win that division. The key game will be against South Carolina. It is amazing how Steve Spurrier has made South Carolina a contender in the SEC. I think there is some pressure still on Mark Richt.
Inesita Lara (Mexico)
If you are not interested in Olimpics due to they are commercial. You shouldn't be in football, even pro or college.Money is part of the sportsNice to read you. Is Saban interested in NFL or viceversa?
Beano Cook (3:46 PM)
I do not believe Saban is interested in leaving Alabama any more, despite the challenge of the NFL.
Are you planning to visit Cal's renovated Memorial Stadium?
Beano Cook (3:46 PM)
No. I have been at the old stadium a couple of times, so I don't have to see it again.
Jeff (Mooresville,N. C.)
Bull, the best quarterback is Geno Smith, West Virginia and you will see come football time.
Beano Cook (3:47 PM)
You may end up being right. He is certainly among the elite in college football too. Smith is very good.
Beano, I'm a Huskers fan who has always lived in Big Ten country. I think the Nebraska-Penn State protected cross-over was built on the legacies of Tom Osborne and Joe Paterno. Do the penalties at Penn State hurt or help Nebraska as they continue to integrate into their new conference home?
Beano Cook (3:49 PM)
Nebraska will play Penn State every year even though they are not in the same division. Penn State will be a weaker program, so I suppose it will help Nebraska in a way. At least that is the case in the near future.
Hi Beano....I'm a CFB fan in general but have 3 teams I follow closely, the Irish, the Illini & the Lobos.I have a pretty good idea what to expect from the Irish but what can i expect from the other two this season?
Beano Cook (3:50 PM)
Illinois will try to rebuild under new coach Tim Beckman. New Mexico should be respectable in their league.
Rick (PSU fan)
Joe Paterno had a fall from grace. Has any football coach had anything close to that happen in you view?
Beano Cook (3:51 PM)
It is pretty hard. I cannot think of anyone that compares. It is very sad what has happened to his legacy.
Can Connecticut challenge in the Big East?
Beano Cook (3:53 PM)
West Virginia is out of the league, so that makes it a little easier. The conference is wide open. It is going to be wild to see that league after Pittsburgh and Syracuse go to the ACC. Paul Pasqualoni has a very good running back in McCombs. I guess Connecticut fans will care more about football this year since the basketball team cannot play in the NCAA tournament.
Kevin (San Jose)
The U of Washington just got a commit from an 8th grade San Diego QB...your thoughts?
Beano Cook (3:54 PM)
A little early. I think that happened at LSU with a guy who ran a 4.5 40-yard sprint too.
Rich (New Jersey)
Which match-ups in September and October are you most looking forward to?
Beano Cook (3:55 PM)
September, I am looking forward to Boise State-Michigan State on August 31st, Florida's trip to Texas A&M, and Alabama at Arkansas.
Beano Cook (3:56 PM)
That is it for the off-season. We start the season with our first regular season chat on August 29th at 3 pm ET. I will have my official national championship prediction then.