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!
Ivan Maisel (12:03 PM)
Hi, everyone. Lull time. Too late for games. Too early for bowls. I. am. slowly. being. dulled. into. submission. Let's try to fix that.
Morgan (AtLANTA )
Where do you see the UGA football program next season? Thank You.
Ivan Maisel (12:05 PM)
Where do I see the Dawgs? The offense should be just as good or better. Losing Jarvis Jones will leave a mark. I expect that Georgia and Florida will be fighting at the top again, as the gods intend. There's nothing like that game in Jacksonville when more than just pride is at stake.
Your Heisman ballot, please?
Ivan Maisel (12:06 PM)
Te'o, Manziel, Klein
Ivan Maisel (12:06 PM)
Continuing my career tendency to not vote for the winner, by the way.
keegan mcclellen (kansas)
How did Oklahoma not make it to a BCS bowl I know they lost there conference but look at K-State they lost to Baylor but Oklahoma lost to 2 top 10 teams k-state and ND please explain
Ivan Maisel (12:08 PM)
There are four at-large slots. Notre Dame automatically qualified for one. Florida, by being No. 3, automatically qualified for one. Northern Illinois, by being No. 15 and finishing ahead of an AQ champion, automatically qualified for one. The last went to No. 5 Oregon. It was not a commentary on Oklahoma. The Sooners never had a chance, thanks to the BCS rules.
If Bama wins a sloppy game, could UF, UO or K-State be voted #1 by the Associated Press with an impressive bowl win?
Ivan Maisel (12:09 PM)
Theoretically, sure. In reality, no.
Glenn (Quahog, RI)
What non BCS bowl is most intriguing to you?
Ivan Maisel (12:10 PM)
I like Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma in the Cotton. I like Syracuse vs. West Virginia in the Pinstripe. Both feature teams that, before this season, played each other every year. So there may be more of a regular-season familiarity to the games. I think that will make them more competitive.
Here's my take on Horns' football. No one on that coaching staff will play bad cop and read these kids the riot act...put his boot up their you know what like Muschamp would do. Therefore, Horns are lacking leadership and direction. There's a sense of complacency rather than a sense of urgency. There are no scandals and the athletic dept. makes money hand over fist....therefore, no reason yet to change course...wins and losses are more important to fans than they are to the administration. Yes, it's a young team dominated by underclassmen. Think about this: Garrett Gilbert over Andrew Luck, Johnny Football a defensive back, RGIII to Baylor, no to Drew Brees, Case McCoy with a weak throwing arm. Who's evaluating QB talent?
Ivan Maisel (12:12 PM)
There's no question that Texas has made recruiting mistakes. But I just don't think complacency has anything to do with it. With Bryan Harsin leaving to become head coach of Arkansas State, Mack Brown must hire a new offensive coordinator, and put in one more new system. And have one more new QB evaluator.
How do you rate Teddy Bridgewater against the nation's elite QBs?
Ivan Maisel (12:13 PM)
I don't rate Bridgewater against the elite QBs. I rate him among the elite QBs. He's as good as anyone.
College football is becoming more like basketball...with these 50, 60 70 point games.
Ivan Maisel (12:14 PM)
I am not a fan of it, Sam. I like chocolate ice cream but I don't want it as a meal. Well, not always, anyway. I want a balanced game. I want the tension of a low score. I like defense. Call me crazy.
Fred (Walla Walla)
Why does everybody complain about all the "meaningless" bowl games on TV in December and not the really meaningless non-conference games (with a few exceptions) on TV in September? Was there recently a law passed where we have to watch every game?
Ivan Maisel (12:16 PM)
I would support such a law. I agree with you, Fred. September can be painful. I like the bowl games. Love them. There's one every day. What hurt the matchups this year is taking four good teams out of the pot because of NCAA violations. Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina and Miami would have helped make better games.
When do you see the end of SEC dominance? And are you as tired as the rest of the nation outside the southeast of seeing championships?
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
I don't see the SEC's dominance ending any time soon. Look at what make the SEC great: the revenue of filled stadiums, the passion of crazed fans, the effects of great coaches, lured there by the salaries funded by the revenue of filled stadiums and all that TV money. I don't see any of that changing.
Thoughts on Sonny Dykes at CAL? Coach Gould let go?!?!
Ivan Maisel (12:19 PM)
Dykes stepped in it there. I hear the Old Blues are upset. Gould has been coaching running backs at Cal for a long time. Either Dykes has a RB coach he loves or he just blindly made the change without understanding the message that letting Gould go would send.
Super Bowl is moving to NJ for a year, would you like to see the BCS title game or whatever they call it going forward played in a Northern city in the rust belt from Chi-Cle-Pitt or the northeast such as Philly-NYC-Boston?
Ivan Maisel (12:21 PM)
I assume that the championship game will go to Indianpolis fairly soon in the rotation. I'm sure Delany will advocate for it. And Indy has proven itself to be a great host.
Jarvis Jones and Jadeveon Clowney are superior to Manti Te'o.
Ivan Maisel (12:22 PM)
I don't normally include "intangibles" in my Heisman thinking. But given Te'o's role on the ND defense, and given how that defense is the reason that the Irish are No. 1, and given Te'o's character, and given how he also had the stats to show he played well, as much as stats determine anything on defense, I gave him my vote.
big recruiting week for Penn state wouldn't you say?
Ivan Maisel (12:24 PM)
This is a big recruiting year for Bill O'Brien. His numbers are down. He needs immediate quarterback help. It will be interesting to watch how he uses 15 scholarships to fill 25 holes.
Word outta gainesville is that shariff floyd, matt elam, and jordan reed are all leaving early. Which one will be the best pro?
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
I don't know but I love watching Matt Elam play. You can see he just loves it. And he's got the talent to back it up.
Bdubs (South Bend)
Ivan do you see ND becoming a major player year in and year out, or is this season just luck?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
I think the Irish are back, because of how Kelly has tweaked the recruiting. He has pushed south, where the best players are. Notre Dame's old formula of using the midwest as its base doesn't work as well. The Irish's defensive line is from, if memory serves me, Georgia, Texas and Florida. That's the key. Go where the players are.
Do you know if Sumlin ever has aspirations of going to the NFL? Or, do you think he is at A&M as long as he wants, assuming he continues to win. If he stays, I just hope down the line, the Aggies don't make the same mistake they made w/ RC. In addition, college coaches need to stay in the college ranks.
Ivan Maisel (12:28 PM)
Has Kevin Sumlin coached in the NFL? I don't think so. He doesn't strike me as someone who would be interested. But let's not say he's an Aggie for Life just yet. He has coached one season. One very good season, mind you, but he's not quite ready for the Hall of Fame.
What are you hearing about Matthews & Joeckel? If they return for their senior year, watch out. Playing a 2nd year for Sumlin, with the Heisman winner, all the young guys coming back, and a chance to really do things in the SEC and on a national scale...I'm just hoping they stay. Of course, I can't blame them either if they jump.
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
That's the key, isn't it? That OL really does wondrous things for Manziel. I wouldn't blame any kid for leaving. But I hope they stay, too.
David Dempsey (jupiter, FL)
I read where Big East Catholic schools considering breaking off from the football schools and forming own league. Do you think, had the original Big East football schools (Syracuse, Pitt, BC and then later UM, VT, Rutgers, Temple and WVU) done that back in 1990 (when PSU petitioned BE for membership), the Big East would have Penn State probably still have UM and perhaps FSU (I dont think they had joined ACC yet). Imagine what the landscape of college football would look like now?
Ivan Maisel (12:30 PM)
Not taking Penn State was a blunder of historic proportions. We're seeing the result of that blunder now.
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
I don't think Saban leaves for the NFL. He has said himself he takes a lot of pleasure from helping young mature grow and achieve. He's pretty damn good at it, too.
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
Oops, forgot to post the question. Here it comes.
Do you Saban heading back to the NFL if Bama wins? He would have proven he is the master in the college game, but he pretty much a disappointment with Miami. Is he fine with that or will his ego require him to give it another go.
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
And now, another question...
Ivan do you think Manziel's numbers were a little misleading? I mean he had 75% of his passing and 68% of his rushing TDs against teams whos defenses were ranked 64 or higher in SMU (64), Arkansas (72), Auburn (80), Louisiana Tech (dead last at 120) and 2 FCS schools in South Carolina State and Sam Houston State. To go even further he didn't even face UGa or South Carolina this season. It surely suggests that offense against whomever and being an offensive player will win you the Heisman
Ivan Maisel (12:34 PM)
Manziel answered any and all questions about whether he could play well against the big boys with his performance at No. 1 Alabama. I will admit he had the advantage of a Heisman race without a front-runner, and the timing of his game in Tuscaloosa couldn't have been more ideal. But that wasn't a game he played. That was a recital.
Preseason favorite for next year? Why? Do they live up to the hype? (Unlike the west coast team that said they could play and beat anybody anywhere at the beginning of the year!)
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
I think Oregon (if Kelly stays) and Stanford will be in the mix again. Ohio State, Alabama, LSU. Off the top of my head, that's a top five. But I'll be honest with you. I haven't thought much about next season yet.
Can ND even keep the title game close? On paper this game looks like a huge blowout. Just cant see bama ever struggling w pitt at home.
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
I think it will be a competitive game. Notre Dame doesn't make mistakes. The Irish don't beat themselves. I think Alabama has more talent and more big-game experience but I think it will be a good game.
Doug (Natick, MA)
If you were the czar of the Bowl System, how many bowls would you have and when they would be played? I enjoy the bowls on Christmas week through New Year. To spread 35 over 31/2 weeks is overkill.
Ivan Maisel (12:39 PM)
I love it. I want as many bowl games as there is room to televise them. What's better than a game every day? And I would feel that way even if my employer wasn't televising nearly all of them.
David (Sarajevo, Bosnia)
True or false: Over the next 3 years, Manziel becomes the first player to win 3 Heismans and leads A&M to a national championship.
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
What will be interesting with Manziel is to see what standard the voters hold him to. Based on the experience of Tebow, Luck, Peterson, all the way back to Peyton Manning, the bar gets raised each year and the player is compared to his own past performance, not those of other players. In other words, I don't think Manziel wins another one.
Ivan Maisel (12:42 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Talk again soon.