Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by to chat.
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.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at noon ET!
Buzzmaster (12:19 PM)
Hang on folks, looks like Ivan's gotten tied up with travel. We're getting him now!
Buzzmaster (12:20 PM)
We've got him!
Ivan Maisel (12:21 PM)
So, everyone as usual, sorry I'm late. But let's go to work.
Does South Carolina have the ability to be a consistent contender in the SEC. With the facilities arms race, I know we need to keep putting money into the program at increasing rates, but as a program, can we sustain success over time as opposed to one run every 30 years?
Ivan Maisel (12:23 PM)
First of all David, I think South Carolina has already proved they can be a consistent contender in the SEC. I think they began proving that at least in 2010 and if you're just worried about contending, they've done that before that even. The key issue is the word "program." A program is more than just the Ball Coach. Tell me who replaces Spurrier and I'll tell you whether South Carolina will be a program. It's no more complicated than that. It's real hard to do.
When will David Cutcliffe start getting some coach-of-the-year-love? 5-1 at Duke?
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
Yeah, I agree. I think David Cutcliffe and Bill O'Brien certainly get in the overachieving coach of the year contest and may as well throw Louisiana Tech in there too. As to where a Duke goes from here, a bowl game would be a success - they're close to qualifying for that. Anything beyond just a bowl game would be gravy. The bigger issue to me is the fact that Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford are all winning. What's going on there? Is it style of play? Is it tougher academic standards across the board? I don't know what the answer is, but I think it's great fun for football to see it happen.
MikeDaTiger (SEC Blog)
Ivan, What in the world does LSU have to do to get something resembling an offense going?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
Well, you got to be healthier on the offensive line. I think LSU is paying the price for its recruiting issues at QB. When you lose 2/5 of your seniors and the only guy you got to replace him is a transfer or a younger guy, that speaks to recruiting issues. Now, LSU looks like they have something in place, there are three guys that will be there next year. But right now, the road's pretty pock marked.
Timothy Irvin (Los Angeles, CA)
Ivan, if Notre Dame Wins out (wins over Stanford and USC) are they are going to be in the National Championship game? What say you, sir?
Ivan Maisel (12:28 PM)
Well, they have to beat Oklahoma too. They have to beat everybody else. I don't think Notre Dame at 11-1 will make the championship game. I think Notre Dame at 12-0 -- well, I'm violating the first rule of BCS discussion, not to project what's going to happen, because nobody knows. I think every year is a year that you have to assume that you have to be undefeated to make it to the championship game.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Does Missou have any chance against the Crimson Tide this weekend? They're having a very rough welcoming to the SEC, but beating Alabama would turn around any team's season.
Ivan Maisel (12:30 PM)
Sure. They have a chance, they're going to play the game. But I can't imagine that this Missouri team is going to be able to beat an Alabama team that has had a week off to get healthy to figure out how to plug the holes left by a slew of injuries and to refocus.
Ivan Maisel (12:30 PM)
But to answer your question, yes, Missouri has a chance.
Master Ace (Alabama)
Why do you think Florida State lose games on a consistent basis when they are favored to go unbeaten in ACC? Do you think Fisher at fault for letting them lose these type of games?
Ivan Maisel (12:31 PM)
Ace, if I knew that, I wouldn't be doing this for a living. It's really remarkable to get to halftime last week where they were and to just find a way to give that game away. That's no slight to a North Carolina State team that's clearly got a lot of talent. It was remarkable.
Clay Bawse (Marathon)
All season long people have been doubting the Gators. They went to A&M and no one expected them to win, they won. They went to Tennessee and most people expected them to lose, they won. They played LSU and most expected them to lose, they won. And my bet is when SC comes to Gainesville many, including you, will expect the Gators to lose. Should people start betting for them instead of against them? You're thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:34 PM)
How should I know? I keep doubting them.Actually, I came away from Gainesville very impressed. Not just by the win but by how the Gators win. They are winning at the line of scrimmage and they are winning in the second half. The SEC East, thanks to the schedule, may be over by Halloween. But that means the next three weeks are going to be a blast.
Carl LaFong (Warsaw In)
Ivan, nobody has run on the Irish yet. Do you think Stanford can on a consistent basis?
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
Stepfan Taylor is a very good back. The Stanford offensive line has been better than expected. But what I see is whether the Cardinal can show some balance in their offense and make the Irish d-front play them honestly. Josh Nunes struggled on the road at Washington. He looked great at home against Arizona. He has to play well on the road for the Cardinal to have a chance.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Is Oregon the only team that could beat the Crimson Tide?
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
I think South Carolina or Florida could beat Alabama, too. I'm not saying they would. I think they could.
Master Ace (Alabama)
Can West Virginia and Oregon play for the title even if Alabama does not lose a game? If so, what are the reason(s)?
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
If all three are undefeated, it will come down to computer ratings and the beauty contest of the polls. The biggest issue there may be Oregon's weak non-conference schedule. That may hurt the Ducks. Alabama played Michigan, and the Wolverines may turn out to be very good. West Virginia plays in a league where only one team has a losing record, I think. What does all of that mean? The team that has a bad week and falls behind the other two will be left out.
TheES (East Lansing)
I was at the Knight Commussion meeting yesterday, really thought the research painted a bleak picture about spending in college sports. Don't you think it's time for BCS presidents to take one for the team before the asteroid hits? It really is unsustainable in its current form.
Ivan Maisel (12:40 PM)
I was there, too. And I agree with you that it was bleak. It will come down to whether the BCS schools move off into their own division, I think. I don't think you can harness spending without an antitrust exemption, and Congress will never give them one.
Lou (Gaithersburg, MD)
PSU finally gets in peoples' good graces - a bit - thanks to their recent success, and then of course Sandusky gets sentenced. Hopefully they'll finish nicely and then it'll be January and the perjury trials start. Who knows what the ramifications will be? Do you think that we all have a short enough attention span that come next September, things will be somewhat back to normal for PSU? (Of course, not forgetting what went wrong).
Ivan Maisel (12:41 PM)
No one will like what normal will be next season, Lou. Without this senior class, and with the ability to sign only 15 guys, it's going to go downhill and only go downhill faster as the next couple of years unfold.
WVU has given up 108 points in 2 games, which is more than Alabama gave up last YEAR. Have people forgotten that good teams are solid in ALL phases of the game? Or is Defense completely optional in today's game?
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
That's a great point. And that's the kind of judgment that the voters will have to make. I think that plays into Alabama's and Oregon's hands, in that three-way scenario.
If a team from the PAC12, SEC, and BIG12 are undefeated. Could the lack of a championship game keep the BIG12 out? I feel that playing an extra game would put the PAC12 and SEC over the BIG12.
Ivan Maisel (12:44 PM)
On that championship weekend, West Virginia plays Kansas, which won't have more than two or three wins. That's going to hurt the Mountaineers.
Matt (St. Paul)
Ivan, what's your opinion on the Big Ten Conference....the slow slide to mediocrity started awhile ago and now it looks like it's fallen off a cliff....what steps can the Big Ten take to get back to respectability?
Ivan Maisel (12:46 PM)
Matt, thank you for the opportunity to plug today's podcast. Adam Rittenberg and I discussed that very topic. There is a lot of frustration within the league. The B1G is printing money, and they aren't getting much to show for it. Part of it is a lot of coaching turnover. Part of it is that there are simply fewer top players in the Midwest than there used to be. I think this is cyclical. As the coaching staffs settle down, the league will recover.
allen (eagle -land )
Will BC win another game this year?
Ivan Maisel (12:49 PM)
The Eagles will win another game. I don't know where. And as I look at the schedule, I may have to renege on that first statement. They don't play Virginia. They play at Wake. It looks really grim. With the hiring of AD Brad Bates from Miami (Oh.), the speculation has to begin on whom he might hire to replace Spaz. Bates didn't knock them dead with who he hired at Miami.
Jason "The Popeye's King" (Homestead)
Hello there sir, how do you see the SEC East playing out? And have you ever had Popeye's Chicken?
Ivan Maisel (12:50 PM)
I still like South Carolina more than Florida, and I still like Popeye's. Been eating it for 40 years. Well, let me rephrase that. I started eating 40 years ago. Don't see a whole lot of Popeye's in Connecticut.
Bryan (Manhattan, KS)
What do you think the chances are of Collin Klein and company going undefeated in Manhattan? And do you think that they are title contenders?
Ivan Maisel (12:52 PM)
I don't expect anyone in the Big 12 to go undefeated. There are too many good teams. K-State has to play in Morgantown, which is tough. If the Wildcats win that one, let's talk. The schedule looks a lot more manageable after that. The toughest game, against Texas, is at home.
A short note in the Eugene paper reports that other than seattle and portland, the cities with the next highest ratings for the UW/UO game were Birmingham and Greenville SC. You surprised that folks in SEC country are staying up for the ducks?
Ivan Maisel (12:52 PM)
Absolutely not. That's been the genius of the BCS system. What happens in Eugene is important in Tuscaloosa, and vice-versa. I don't the playoff will screw that up. I sure hope it doesn't.
Mark (South Carolina)
Hi Ivan. Do you have an opinion on how the SEC decides division winners? All conference wins versus only in-division record. Wouldn't it be fairer to use only in-division record and then total SEC record as the first tiebreaker?
Ivan Maisel (12:53 PM)
No, because the teams belong to the SEC, not the SEC East. And think about it, no other sport decides its championship that way.
Alan (Omaha, NE)
Ivan... what is your take on the dysfunction in Lincoln, NE? It seems Bo Pelini is too stubborn to adjust and he is in his 5th year. Now... he has a new boss that he seems to be indifferent to... perfect storm?
Ivan Maisel (12:55 PM)
The Huskers don't seem to have an answer for the spread offense, which isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Bo Pelini is a smart guy. He'll figure out what to do. I'll be honest. I know very little about the new AD, so I can't speculate on what he thinks.
Ivan, I hate to tell you but the playoffs WILL screw up the "national" nature of the game. If winning your conference gets your team into the playoffs, why would you care what happens on the "other" coast?
Ivan Maisel (12:56 PM)
Well, winning the conference will get you in the BCS. But with four playoff slots and five major conferences, there has be some interest back and forth. Plus teams are going to want to know who they might play. They'll be watching.
Do you think that people underestimate the impact of home games, especially in the SEC? South Carolina may or may not be better than Florida, but the fact that the game is in Florida will have an impact, I think.
Ivan Maisel (12:57 PM)
The Swamp was as loud for LSU as I have heard it in a long time. They've got something to cheer about. I agree with you.
Ivan Maisel (12:57 PM)
Thanks everyone. Talk to you next week.
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