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 (11:59 AM)
Hi, everyone. I have a cold that is kicking my butt. I will try not to sneeze on you. No promises. Here we go...
Haden picking Sarkisian is a surprise. No? Didn't want Peterson, Sumlin was extended at A&M. Who would you rather seen to get the opportunity? Why did Haden sour on Peterson? Matter or declining wins, small school track record, or something else new?
Ivan Maisel (12:01 PM)
I was surprised that Petersen didn't make the sale. But that happens. As I wrote Monday, given what Haden needed, Sark made the most sense. USC is in a unique position because of the scholarship reductions. Sark runs what Kiffin ran. He knows the place. It all added up.
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Do you think Stanford leaves Tempe with a victory? Would the Pac-12 prefer the Cardinal to clinch the BCS Berth?
Ivan Maisel (12:02 PM)
I just got through recording today's podcast, and it has been posted, in which Ted Miller described how tough Arizona State has been at home and how much the Sun Devils have improved since Stanford drilled them in September. I think it's a tough game for the Cardinal to win. I don't think the Pac-12 cares who wins.
What's the likelihood of the SEC champ passing OSU if OSU beats MSU? Is there anyone outside of Columbus that thinks they would actually be undefeated if they played in a conference that wasn't all time terrible, let alone a conference like the SEC? Hell people in Columbus probably don't even think that.
Ivan Maisel (12:04 PM)
I would be flabbergasted, stunned, gobsmacked, etc., if a one-loss SEC champ overtakes an undefeated Ohio State. The margin in the BCS is not that close.
Ry (Bend, OR)
Ivan, who would you like to see in the BCS title game?
Ivan Maisel (12:05 PM)
I think the best game would have been Florida State-Alabama. That's not going to happen. I would be interested to see Florida State against Auburn's running game. That happens only if Michigan State knocks off Ohio State, and Auburn beats Mizzou.
Wasn't Sark only 7-6 every year? Washington didn't exactly benefit from his leadership. I think Haden was lazy and took and easy out.
Ivan Maisel (12:06 PM)
I disagree. Sark was 7-6 the last three years. UW went 8-4 this year in the toughest division in the nation. And here's the key point: UW won no games, not a one, the year before he arrived, and 12 in the four years before that. Sark did good work at UW. Not great. But very good.
I tried posing this question in an SEC chat last week, but all I received was a very dismissive statement about how the media hates the SEC (which is laughable). The SEC is the best conference in college football, but is the gap shrinking? Two mid-range Big-12 teams are now two of the top teams in the SEC. Does that speak to the gap between the SEC and other conferences shrinking, the help being in the SEC brings in recruiting, or something else.
Ivan Maisel (12:07 PM)
I think the gap has been shrinking for a few years. The SEC isn't as deep as the Pac-12 this year, for instance. I think the other conferences, the Pac-12 in particular, is bringing more to the party: more resources, better coaches, new facilities. The Pac-12 finally joined the arms race.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Are you surprised Orgeron resigned and even decided not to go coach the kids in the bowl game given what they've been through? How big a blow is his departure from USC?
Ivan Maisel (12:08 PM)
I am surprised, given what he appeared from the outside to mean to those players, that he left in anger. Really surprised.
Karl (Ballinger, Tx)
Ivan, who do you think will win the Texas-Baylor game on Saturday?
Ivan Maisel (12:09 PM)
I think Baylor wins. Greg Robinson has done a great job with the Texas defense. He has put some good athletes in position to make plays. But Baylor has athletes as good or better. Not to mention it's the last home game at Floyd Casey Stadium.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
Do you agree with Hoke's decision to go for two points?
Ivan Maisel (12:10 PM)
I did not at the time. I have read the analyses that say it was the smart play. I get that. I still think he should have gone into overtime.
Jerry (Cortland, IL)
Any love for Lynch for Heisman? He may not play against the best competition, but he also isnt surrounded by ten future draft picks like most other candidates.
Ivan Maisel (12:11 PM)
I am warming to the argument, I'll tell you that. I intend to watch the MAC Championship Game. I didn't see much of his game last week, I'm sorry to say. Was traveling to Mom's house...
If Mizzou beats Auburn and doesn't pass Alabama in the BCS, it's got to be the biggest tragedy in the whole BCS mess.
Ivan Maisel (12:12 PM)
I have thought about that, too. I am thinking there's some little-read clause in Mizzou's contract with the SEC that is going to keep them from supplanting Alabama in that scenario. "By the way, guys, you have to be in the league for five years...."
Disclaimer: I live in Columbus, Ohio. If OSU beats MSU this weekend, does Ohio State have a legitimate (say 33%) chance of winning the national title. The offense seems like it can score with anyone and probably has the best O-line and one of the top 3 running backs in the nations. However, the defense gave up 500 yards to a pretty bad Michigan offense. Your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (12:13 PM)
I think Florida State would defeat Ohio State handily. I think Auburn would, too. Missouri, I don't know. I think Alabama would beat the Buckeyes.
Was the Iron Bowl the greatest game you've ever seen?
Ivan Maisel (12:15 PM)
Certsinly, it was the greatest finish. I was in the stands for Cal-Stanford in '82, and I was in the press box for Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook in the Big House in '94. This beat both of those. And the more I think about it, it was the greatest game, too. Before Saturday, the greatest game I ever saw was the Iron Bowl in '85, when both teams scored in the final minute and Alabama kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired. This sure beat that.
Colby W. (Martinsville, VA)
Ive heard alot of talk about the "Iron bowl II" what do you think?
Ivan Maisel (12:16 PM)
I think if Duke beats Florida State, that would be one of the biggest upsets in college football history. And Iron Bowl II won't happen without that.
Ivan Maisel (12:17 PM)
Hey, Ka'Deem Carey, you've submitted your question 10 times. How many times should I answer it?
Bubba (Kansas City)
What do Ohio State, Auburn and Mizzou have in common? None played in a bowl last season and at least one will play in the BCS title game this year.
Ivan Maisel (12:18 PM)
It's amazing, isn't it? Think of this preseason Pick Six to win division/conference titles: Arizona St/Stanford/Duke/Auburn/Missouri/Baylor. I can't imagine the odds Vegas would have given you on that.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What College Football Teams Play their Home Games at the Same Stadiums as NFL Teams?
Ivan Maisel (12:20 PM)
Pitt, Tulane (actually not any more; they move on campus next year), San Diego State, Georgia State, South Florida, Temple. I may have missed one.
Why won't they just give Winston the Heisman and take it away if he is convicted? Surely anyone besides him at this point knows they would be getting it by default anyway.
Ivan Maisel (12:21 PM)
I agree. Our voting deadline is Monday at 5 p.m. If he is eligible on Monday at 5 p.m., he will be on my ballot.
Andrew (San Diego)
If Ohio State were to lose on Saturday, where does that leave them in the bowl picture? BCS at large?
Ivan Maisel (12:23 PM)
Yes. The Orange Bowl will have the first pick if Florida State beats Duke. I think we all assume the Orange Bowl would take tOSU.
So in theory if FSU played Alabama who do you think would win?
Ivan Maisel (12:25 PM)
It would have been a lot of fun to preview, what with the whole master-pupil angle. Jimbo Fisher has taken what he learned working for Nick and installed it in Tallahassee. Jeremy Pruitt, his DC, left the Alabama staff last January. I would take Alabama, because I think you take the king until he is dethroned. But I think Auburn did the dethroning on Saturday.
Nathan (Spokane, WA)
In talking to USC fans (Texas fan here) they don't like the Sark signing. To quote one of them: "USC is one of the most prestigious programs in the nation, we should be able to sign anyone. Instead, we settled for a luke-warm coach." So, my question is: Why didn't USC go for a high profile coach? Why not try for Kirby Smart? Todd Graham? (I'd say more elite than Sark) Heck, I think Art Briles would've been as close to perfect as you could get.
Ivan Maisel (12:26 PM)
Haden wasn't going to hire a guy like Smart, who has never been a head coach and doesn't recruit LA. I don't think he wanted to run an uptempo spread like Graham runs because USC doesn't have the bodies on either side of the ball to play that many plays. Art Briles just agreed to a long-term extension at Baylor.
Is sure seems like there is a big swell of trying to give the Heisman to anyone but Jameis at the moment, if he's not charged by the deadline, do you think he wins?
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
The Bama Auburn game was a great finish, but no way it was a better game than USC-Texas. Not even close.
Ivan Maisel (12:27 PM)
You may be right, given what was at stake. But that was just the BCS Championship Game. This was the Iron Bowl.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Are you surprised to hear Mariota is returning to Eugene? Do you think DAT will follow his lead?
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
From what I know about Mariota, I'm not surprised. And I think he saw in the last month of the season when he didn't/couldn't run as much, that his throwing game is not NFL-ready. He's got good coaches; he's got a good team. And Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and a lot of other guys will tell any of those quarterbacks the value of staying in school an extra year.
What would the national media do with itself if suddenly its politicking for who should play in the national title game didn't mean anything? I for one look forward to that day.
Ivan Maisel (12:29 PM)
I think that day is Monday.
jim trevethan (solon ohio)
Here you go Ivan and rest of the Buckeye bashers, they will beat sparty, then go on to beat FSU with or without Winston, hopefully with and it will be an offensive shootout. But here is the big kicker, bucks will run the table again next year giving Meyer a 41-0 start. How do you like this one Ivan?
Ivan Maisel (12:31 PM)
That would be a great story, since that would put them in range of the all-time unbeaten record of 47 games. I'll have to go look at Ohio State's non-conference schedule next year.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
Should we view Auburn's win against Georgia differently from any other win? They deserve the W, no question about it, but because of the incredibly lucky ending (much more so than against Alabama), I wouldn't even consider putting them ahead of an undefeated OSU team
Ivan Maisel (12:32 PM)
I think that's a defensible opinion. Auburn just ran for 296 yards against Alabama, which was giving up 91 rushing yards per game. It's still about what you do between the tackles. And Ohio State just beat a seven-win Michigan team by one point. I'm sure you can, you have and you will make a case for the Buckeyes. Go for it.
I saw numerous times once UF had lost to Georgia Southern that it ended the nations longest active bowl streak, doesn't FSU have a longer streak at 30+ years than UF did?
Ivan Maisel (12:35 PM)
Yes. I think Florida State's streak is over 30 years old.
Drew (The Office)
Who do you think wins the Pac-12, B1G, and SEC championship games this weekend?
Ivan Maisel (12:36 PM)
Arizona State, Michigan State and Auburn.
Dave (West Coast)
You should answer a few more questions about the SEC. Don't think you have talked about them enough.
Ivan Maisel (12:37 PM)
Yeah, I hear you. But let's review. Auburn-Alabama just played one of the greatest sporting events of my lifetime. SEC teams are 3-4-5, waiting for one of the top two teams to lose. I think there's plenty of relevant material there.
Monday is just the day after the national media gets to admire its handiwork.
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
No, on Monday, the playoff era begins.
Ivan Maisel (12:38 PM)
That's it. Talk to y'all next week. Enjoyed it.