Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com college football writer, Ivan Maisel, will stop by to take your questions on the economy and the impact it is having on collegiate sports programs.
Send your questions now and join Maisel on Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (2:00 PM)
Hey, everyone. I know it's summer but if the players are going through two-a-days, that means the season is here. Let's go --
Greg (Holmdel, NJ)
Clemson has always had a great football program. They won the national championship in 1981. Do you think hiring Dabo Swinney was an economic move....or do you think he can really win?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
It may have been both, Greg, but Terry Don Phillips or any other AD isn't going to hire anyone that he doesn't think can win. Swinney is a leap of faith, yes, but he brought a spark to the team that it lacked when he worked down the hall. You could see it in the second half of the season.
Harv (Charlotte, NC)
Why does everyone have Alabama ranked so high? They have questions at QB and on the o-line.
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
The defense is going to be very good. I think Greg McElroy will do well at quarterback. I, too, wonder about the offensive line. Three new starters, and senior Mike Johnson is shifting from guard to tackle. That's a big transition. Still, the ranking is a shout out to the defense, and to Nick Saban, and to Alabama's tradition. It is one of the few schools out there that, once it wins a few games, it gets the benefit of the doubt from the fans and the media. I'm not saying it's justified. But that's how it is.
Alan (Los Angeles)
In the mock draft you complained about Forde's pick of USC at number 1 because USC doesn't fill the stands every single game. That's a pretty weak argument. If you had said you disagreed because you felt Florida deserved it as National Champs, that's fine, but attendance?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Let me say a few things about the draft. I was fascinated at how the three of us came up with such different definitions of what constituted a top-40 program. I made my list and I took into consideration not only on-field success, but tradition, fan base, TV market, etc. I looked at it as if I were a commissioner and wanted to build the strongest 40-team division I could. I looked at the horizon. Pat and Mark looked much more at on-field success. Pat appeared to have a slightly longer-term view than Mark. So that's I said that about USC.
Rob (Los Angeles)
Irish fan in LA here. Do you really think this is the year I can start wearing Blue and Gold in public again without being ridiculed?
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
Yeah, I think this season at its best will be more like 2005. Notre Dame's record will be better than the team is. But that's a good thing, right?
Tyler (Austin TX)
What do you think about the Longhorns relatively weak schedule? Is Texas primed for more BCS disaster if they slip up in the Big XII?
Ivan Maisel (2:12 PM)
Disaster? I could have sworn that the Longhorns beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl last year, and that Texas is 3-0 alltime in BCS bowls. I guess I just have to study harder.We do agree that Texas' schedule is easy on the eyes -- and the shoulder pads -- but thta Oklahoma game should take care of that.
Ruvin (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Ivan, I stayed up late just so I could submit this question from the other side of the world - OK, not really, but here it is: call me crazy, but is it strange that I have a really funny feeling about Tennessee this season? Granted, playing at Florida in week 3 doesn't bode well for them, but with the kind of talent that Tennessee has always had coupled with a brilliant staff, do you see them getting through that conference schedule with only one loss?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
If I had a dollar for every time those Vol fans in Sri Lanka pipe up...Ruvin, you are the man! Thanks for staying up late. Now I'm going to keep you laying awake. The talent isn't there. Number of players drafted in the last four springs, beginning with 2006: 6-5-3-1. I think, as I wrote today, it's a young head coach taking over a mediocre team in a division where every other team played in a bowl last year. Give it time.
Sean (Pensacola, FL)
Hey Ivan, Im sitting in the student section in Death Valley on Oct. 10 for Florida and LSU. I need a good Poster Quote for my hellacious visit into to that crazy den of evil. Help a brother out!
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
Sean, could you teach my teenagers your work ethic? They don't do homework until the night before.
Ivan - If Penn St doesn't play for a national title with their schedule, do you feel that it will be a failed season? Heads gotta roll if they don't go undefeated with that cupcake schedule.
Ivan Maisel (2:18 PM)
Harry, with all due respect, it's fans like you that make other coaches retire early. You're telling me if Penn State goes 10-2, wins the Big Ten and wins the Rose Bowl, that heads have to roll. That's, uh, interesting.
Wes (Raleigh, NC)
Do you think the ACC Defensive Player of the Year will come from the Tar Heels this season? With big DT Marvin Austin taking on double teams for North Carolina, I think DE Robert Quinn could have a very special year.
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
I think you're right. I really like Austin. I like when a hyped high school kid comes in and plays as well as predicted. You know why I like it? Because it happens only about half the time. Flip a coin with all this hype.
Andrew (Banks of the Raritan, NJ)
Ivan, I respect the ESPN staff and their opinions, but no Big East teams in the Top 25? I understand that this is a transition year for the conference but here is my issue. A team like Rutgers isn;t ranked because of questions at QB, even though they have a dominant O-Line and very solid Defense, but a team like Nebraska with the same questions in a better conference is 19. Cincy has a powerful offense but a lot of questions on defense. Sounds a lot like your 23 team BYU. And Notre Dame, who couldn't even beat Syracuse last year is ranked ahead of Pitt and WVU? I don't take any exception with your top 16, but any of the Top 5 Big East teams would be able to beat any team from 17 down.
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I'm only one voter. I had Rutgers in my top 25. There are a lot of opinions re the Big East, and the fact that no one team stands out hurts in the polls. But Andrew, keep in mind that the coaches voted the same way. Not that they know anything, either. Coaches are so focused on their own teams that they are the last guys who know about the other ones.
Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)
We've got a 5 yard delay of chat penalty on Ivan Maisel. You'll need to pick up the pace. Still 1st down.
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
Yep. I stopped to look a couple of things up mid-answer. Got a feeling that's not really Hochuli, though.
Do you see this as being the season that someone other than USC could win the PAC 10? The Trojans are replacing just about everything and have tough road games.
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
I agree with you. Not enough that I actually voted that way, but the stage is set. USC will be interesting this year. Don't forget that Pete Carroll replaced both coordinators as well.
People keep speaking about the big-game failures of Ohio State. How come Oklahoma isn't lumped into the same conversation. It seems like people give the benefit of the doubt to Oklahoma when the Sooners have a longer losing streak in BCS bowls.
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
Oklahoma won a couple of big games in the regular season last year. That may have something to do with it. Otherwise, trust me, the Sooners are catching a lot of grief just as the Buckeyes are.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Ivan, I think history is important, but teams like Oregon St. wouldn't get in using your definition, because of their lack of history (28-straight losing seasons). They shouldn't be penalized forever (because of history), when it's obviously a different program this past decade.
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
Will means get into the top 40 of the draft we had last week. You just proved what I was talking about earlier. Three different people drafting; three different philosophies. I did not draft the Beavers.
Chris (New Orleans)
Do you think (defensive coordinator John)Chavis can the LSU defense back on track and get back to the SEC title game?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
Ha! I added the parentheses and screwed up the edit. Didn't space it right. No good deed goes unpunished. Anyway, I think John Chavis is a very good coach, and I think LSU's defense will respond to him very quickly. But LSU has to play at Athens, at Tuscaloosa and at Oxford, plus the Gators come to Baton Rouge. I think that's a lot to ask of a young quarterback, even one as talented as Jordan Jefferson.
B (Hunt Valley, MD)
September 3rd can't come fast enough!!! Who do you see winning on the Smurf Turf between Oregon and Boise State?
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
I don't know, but I'm planning on being there to cover it.
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
Here come two questions that arrived back-to-back. They represent the optimism and pessimism of a certain fan base.
V-22 GySgt (USMC)
With the loss of so many to graduation and the draft, does Ohio State have what it takes to beat USC, win the conference, and be a national title contender? Or is it going to take more than that for the Buckeyes to be recognized as a contender considering our recent "national stage" blunders?
Do the Buckeyes have what it takes to score a touchdown this year against USC?
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
Gotta love it. I'm not sure how to answer both questions quickly. I think Ohio State will be continue to improve. I'm fascinated by Terrelle Pryor. He's such a talent but you could feel the growing pains last year. I think the Buckeyes will score a touchdown against USC this year, Jeremy -- that's a young defense that will be playing on the road -- but I still expect USC to win.
Ryan (Miami, FL)
How well do you think the U will do this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
If the first four games were the last four games, Miami would be dangerous. What I wonder about is how well a young team will do running that gauntlet. The physical and mental toll could be telling. I can't wait to find out, either.
Jesse (The District)
Ivan- Curious which of the top three teams would cope and continue to compete best, if, heaven forbid, Tebow, McCoy, or Bradford went down with any injury?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
That's a great question, and I don't have an answer. I suspect Florida with John Brantley, only because Texas moved John Chiles to wide receiver.
Dan (Atlanta, Ga)
True or False, if he were the feature back in an offense and not in the option offense, Johnathan Dwyer would be a top 10 Heisman candidate?
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
I think he's a top-10 Heisman candidate now. The problem, Dan, is no one is looking past the top 3. Dwyer does have enough name recognition that if he plays well, he will be considered. But those three quarterbacks are in line ahead of him.
Andrew (New Jersey)
How's your alma mater looking right now? Will this be the year that Harbaugh can finally fully break the Cardinal out of the mess that Teevens and Harris left behind? Is 8-4 unreasonable?
Ivan Maisel (2:40 PM)
I hear great things about quarterback Andrew Luck. Running back Toby Gerhart came back for his senior season. Everything that could happen in the offseason for Stanford to get better did. But now it has to happen on the field. The home game against UCLA on Oct. 3 will identify the contender between those two teams.
Ivan--With 17 starters comming back and a new stadium,do you think minn can make a run at the big ten??
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
I think Minnesota can win eight because of the experience and the stadium. I don't think the Gophs have enough to win at Penn State or at Ohio State, much less do it in consecutive weeks (Oct. 17-24).
Megan (Los Angeles, CA)
Ivan, I don't understand the hype about the Big 12. As I remember, three of that conference's big four teams last season - OU, UT, Texas Tech, and OK State - lost their bowl games decisively, and the one that won - Texas - just barely beat Ohio State. The teams play patsy nonconference schedules and then lose in the post season, so how is it that we actually know the conference is any good? What ruler is everyone using to measure their quality? All this preseason posturing really seems to put teams in other leagues at a serious disadvantage.
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
Well, if you put it that way...Megan, you make a good point. But I still think Texas and Oklahoma could compete in any league. I think Nebraska will be for real this year. A lot of others feel the same way about Oklahoma State. And say what you will about Texas Tech, but Mike League has won eight game or more in the last seven seasons. The league goes pretty deep.
Dan (Columbus, OH)
How do you plan to deal with Beano on Wednesday given that you and your colleagues passed over Pitt in the Gordon Gekko subdivision?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
That's easy, Dan. Beano doesn't own a computer. I don't plan on telling him.
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Seriously, I will tell him. I'm like you. I want to hear his reaction.
Burr (South Florida)
Ivan, what does Notre Dame have to do to earn respect? It seems if they win, it's because the schedule is too easy.
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Win. Make that, schedule somebody and win.
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Talk to you again soon.
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