Chat with Ivan Maisel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel stops by for a chat on the 2009 season.
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. He also contributes to ESPN.com's golf coverage.
Send your questions now and join Maisel Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ivan Maisel (2:01 PM)
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the ESPNU College Football Podcast....oh wait, wrong script.
300 consecutive sellouts in Memorial Stadium. Are Husker fans the greatest in college football?
Ivan Maisel (2:02 PM)
Did you see my note in three-point stance this morning? That was so long ago that the No. 1 team when the streak began in 1962 was....Northwestern.
Do you think Boise can climb higher in the polls, and can they play for a National title if things fall into place?
Ivan Maisel (2:03 PM)
Boise can and will climb higher. But it will help their case if Oregon doesn't go 5-7. Start wearing your green and yellow.
How do you see the Arkansas-Alabama game going? So far this season the only weaknesses the Tide have shown are in pass and kick coverage. With Mallet bombing away in the first few games do you really think the hogs can pull the upset?
Ivan Maisel (2:04 PM)
Todd McShay and I just got finished discussing this game on the podcast. Arkansas's chance of winning will come down to what Nick Saban cooks up for Ryan Mallett and how Mallett responds to it. It's a lot to ask of Mallett to handle the Bama defense.
From what I saw last week from Florida and Texas I think that Alabama is definetly the best team in the nation so far. What are your thoughts? And where do you the Tide finishing this year?
Ivan Maisel (2:05 PM)
I think Bama has played the best the first three weeks. There's a lot of time left, though.
Angelo (Toronto, Can)
Do you think Houston is legit, can they take down Tech this weekend...do you think combined they hit 100 points?
Ivan Maisel (2:06 PM)
I think Houston is legit and I think the Cougars can win this weekend. It will come down to how well the Red Raider defense can do a week after a physical, emotional game at Texas.
If FSU receiver Jarmon Fortson doesn't drop a pass that hits him in the hands on Labor Day, is everyone saying the "U" is back?
Ivan Maisel (2:08 PM)
Which pass that hit him in the hands? The last one or the one at the flag earlier in the fourth quarter. I think Fortson is going to be a great receiver, by the way. We'll find out if he's mentally tough, that's for sure. But the way that Miami dominated Ga Tech, I think we'd be saying the U is back either way.
Glynn (Little Rock, AR AFB)
Not a question but I just wanted to thank you for coming over to Al Udied, Qater to visit us in last year. Once in a lifetime time chance to chat with you one on one in person and I enjoyed.
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
Hi, Glynn. That trip was a thrill for me. Glad you're on this side of the world now. Thanks for saying hello.
Bama succes through three games is undeniable; however, through those three games, special teams' play has spotted opponents 20 points (KO returned for TDs, mised FGs, missed PATs). As confernce play opens up Saturday against the Hogs, these mistakes could be the difference in a SEC West thats seems one of parity. What can/has been done to cure the obvious "chink in the armor?"
Ivan Maisel (2:09 PM)
Saban insists that it's not a scheme, it's players not being disciplined. That usually doesn't last too long on his teams. We'll see.
Mississippi is a good team with a great qb, but no way are they they 4th best team in the country. USC beat them last year, what needs to happen for them to make it two in a row Thursday night?
Ivan Maisel (2:10 PM)
I think the Ole Miss offensive line needs to be as shaky as it has looked so far. You can't mess with the South Carolina defense. It will embarrass you.
What do you think of Coach Kelly's gesture to pay for the disgruntled fan's trip to Boise?
Ivan Maisel (2:11 PM)
I thought it was hilarious and said more about Chip Kelly than the entire story that I wrote.
Ivan, what's your take on the mass exodus from the Florida bandwagon? Are you in the Urban Meyer, players had the flu and they didn't need to open up the score, camp or in the media response, the offense still hasn't replaced Percy and might not be as good as expected and only wins because of Tebow, camp?
Ivan Maisel (2:13 PM)
I'm leaning toward the offense still hasn't replaced Percy explanation. A lot of teams have dealt with the flu. I do agree with Urban that he didn't need to open up the score. I buy that one.
Omar (Davidson, NC)
Can OU win at Miami in two weeks if they don't have Sam Bradford?
Ivan Maisel (2:14 PM)
If Landry Jones continues to play as he has the last two weeks, yes. However, he has never started a road game before. It would be a lot to ask of him to play that well at Miami.
Can the Huskies keep their Momentum and upset the Cardinal on the road?
Ivan Maisel (2:15 PM)
This is a real test of UW's maturity. It's going to be difficult to shake off that glorious feeling and focus. Plus the game is on the road against a pretty good, very physical Stanford.
thomas (los angeles)
usc obviously lost last weekend because of turnovers, yet all the guys who fumbled stayed in the game and appear on track to start this weekend. is carroll's apparent failure to punish the real problem with the team?
Ivan Maisel (2:16 PM)
The turnovers are appalling, especially for those of us who recall a few years ago when USC racked up plus-20 in turnover margin every season. The Trojans are minus-one in turnover margin so far.
ryan (Cedar Rapids, Ia)
Whats your thoughts on the Iowa Penn St game this sat night? who ya got?
Ivan Maisel (2:17 PM)
That's the game I'm covering. I'm real curious to see whether Penn State's offensive line, which has not looked very good so far, can keep the Iowa defensive front at bay.
Chad (Des Moines, IA)
Hey Ivan, so few buddies of mine and myself were talking last weekend about how it seems every year the same 5-10 teams are playing for the NC. Of course due to getting all the 4 and 5 star recurits, so our idea was setting a cap on how many 4 and 5 star players are allowed at each school... kind of leveling the playing field. I know it will never happen just a fun idea, what are your thoughts?
Ivan Maisel (2:19 PM)
Interesting thought. My first reaction was it's not fair to the players. My second reaction is, who declares them four- or five-star players? My third reaction is, it's not that far a leap from the 25/85 scholarship limits to what you're saying. In the end, though, I don't trust the ratings enough to do something like that.
If sean lee ends up not playing against iowa, how much does that hurt psu?
Ivan Maisel (2:20 PM)
I was on a conference call with Sean Lee this morning. He hasn't practiced yet this week. I would be surprised if he played much or was effective. But Navorro Bowman is practicing and should be ready. He's Sean Lee-like, if last season is any indication.
Bryan ((Leesburg, VA))
Is it annoying when people keep submitting the same question to you or is it a good way for someone to get a question answered because you may have missed it when it came in before? I only ask because I don't want to be a jerk and keep sending you the same question over and over.
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
I lean toward it's annoying. Thanks for asking.
Ivan Maisel (2:21 PM)
The way the questions come in, though, I may not see all of them. So it's OK, but the guys who hit the send button every 10 seconds will never get their questions answered.
How is Beano feeling? When do we get him back on the podcast?
Ivan Maisel (2:22 PM)
I talked to him yesterday. He sounded good. I'm hoping for next week.
Larry (Glendale, CA)
Is it just me or is Jake Locker a rich man's Tim Tebow?
Ivan Maisel (2:23 PM)
Locker has a better arm. I don't know how much Tebowosity he has.
How big is the Florida-LSU game on October 10th? Mark Mangino big, Charlie Weis big, or Phil Fulmer big?
Ivan Maisel (2:24 PM)
It's pretty big. But it's not even the biggest game in the league that day. Bama goes to Ole Miss the same day.
Ivan, I sent you an email last year about the "slotting" issue with the polls. Pat Fodre's article yestyerday was spot on . What is wrong with the way Doug Lesmerises voted(i.e. voting almost soley on results and not preseason forecasts) and why don't more people vote that way
Ivan Maisel (2:25 PM)
I have become more what-have-you-done-for-me-lately than I used to be. If Doug can back up his argument with logic, then fine. It's the guys who don't pay attention that drive me nuts. The coaches have BYU ranked ahead of Florida State.
Rob (Charleston, SC)
Ivan, what do you attribute the thus far lackluster VT defense to? Does Bud Foster get them ready for the Miami game this weekend?
Ivan Maisel (2:26 PM)
Todd McShay was just saying on the podcast that he thinks it's a lot of poor tackling. That's very un-Fosteresque. I expect he'll get it corrected.
If the initial rankings were done a month into the season, do you think the bowl matchups would change any?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
Good question. Probably so. But never forget the polls are there to sell newspapers (and web ads). That's why they were created.
Penn St v Iowa??? Notre Dame v Purdue??? That's the best ESPN/ABC has to offer me Saturday night?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
You're welcome, James.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Tebowosity? Un-Fosteresque? Where can I get a copy of the Ivan Maisel College Football Dictionary?
Ivan Maisel (2:28 PM)
Like most of what I write, I make it up as I go along.
mj (Miami )
Ivan, can you get me a date with Heather?
Ivan Maisel (2:29 PM)
I can ask. Can her husband come, too?
Chad (Las Vegas)
Aren't the bowls, minus BCS, a joke. They are made for making money. They don't pit the #3 SEC vs #3 Big 10 team for that kind of matchup. They pit what team can bring us more fans/money, and what fans produce good TV ratings.
Ivan Maisel (2:30 PM)
That's exactly what they are there for, to fill hotel rooms, restaurants and provide the networks with good ratings. If you keep that in mind, you don't get as annoyed by the bad matchups.
Whats the intrigue of the Penn St-Iowa game? You would think with the history of VT and Miami and with them both in the Top 15, the game would be getting more hype and, more notably, GameDay. What gives?
Ivan Maisel (2:31 PM)
I'm covering Penn State-Iowa because I saw Miami last week. If you're asking why ABC put that game in prime time, that's a question above my pay grade.
Ivan, hearts all across ACC country just broke with that Heather answer.
Ivan Maisel (2:32 PM)
Don't you think Auburn has to be ranked now?
Ivan Maisel (2:33 PM)
Yes. As the leader of the I Was Wrong About Aubie Club, I agree that the Tigers should be rated. Chris Todd -- who knew?
Max (Ann Arbor)
Hey Ivan. Michigan has looked pretty good in the early going. With that game in East Lansing on the horizon do you think theres any chance the Wolverines overlook Indiana this weekend? Kirlew and Middleton are a pretty scary duo.
Ivan Maisel (2:34 PM)
I don't think Michigan is experienced enough to be cocky about anyone. They're still having fun and learning. They need to have a little more success before you can think about them getting cocky.
Ivan, I think we can agree that Al Groh has used up his ninth life at UVA. Since you wrote about "fit" last week, what do you think of Tommy Tuberville as a "good fit" at Virginia? Hey, he wouldn't even need a new wardrobe!
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
That's an intriguing notion. But Groh's teams have started slow and finished fast before. I'm not ready to write him off.
would you agree that clausen is currently the best qb in the nation?
Ivan Maisel (2:35 PM)
In the Irish Nation, yes.
Would it be false to say the the Tar Heels have the best D in the ACC?
Ivan Maisel (2:37 PM)
I really like the way the Tar Heels have looked so far. I think it is the best in the ACC. But I want to see them against more teams like ECU and fewer like The Citadel.
why is it that clausen isnt getting more heisman love? and please, spare the the part where he hasnt played against stiff competition bc aside from jahvid best, no one up there has.
Ivan Maisel (2:38 PM)
Wins and losses. It's not fair. But the Heisman voters get their heads turned by a team's record. If the ND defense makes one more play against Michigan, Clausen would be higher in the Heisman talk.
Ivan, are you surprised by the strength of the OU Defense, especially after all the ridicule the Big XII gets for defense? They have played great the past 5 games (held MU and UF to season lows last season, and have the best scoring/rush/total D over the first three weeks this season). Will their D carry the Sooners to victories over Miami and Texas?
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
I am floored by the OU defense. Bob Stoops has never had two consecutive shutouts, and he has had some good defenses in the last 10 years. They are deep up front, and fast and strong. That Miami game is looking pretty salty.
The answer is pretty simple why PSU vs. Iowa is on instead of the Miami game. Penn State and Iowa both have a giant fan base. Miami, not so much.
Ivan Maisel (2:39 PM)
Yep. There's that.
Why would the polls move a OU team that got beat by BYU.BYU gets smashed, and i mean smashed at home vs FLA STATE.Why would you move them above tOSU? Also, where is the love for CINCY??? Team looks good... Maybe the next big ten team?
Ivan Maisel (2:42 PM)
I had a conference asst. commissioner ask me that same question. I can give only my take on it. Oklahoma is getting props for the two games since BYU beat it. FSU smashed BYU, but the Noles are still paying for that Jax State game. Ohio State probably got hurt by USC's loss. And Cincinnati should be higher.
Jason (State College)
Which team would you rather have as the most dominant team in college football? Penn State or Miami? I saw this on PTI yesterday and wanted your opinion.
Ivan Maisel (2:43 PM)
I like how Randy Shannon has a team that is swaggering but is disciplined on and off the field. In that case, I'd like to see Miami be rewarded for it.
John (Fort Worth)
Do you see TCU as a legit BCS Buster? Will they pass Boise in the polls if both are 12-0 since the MWC is stronger that the WAC?
Ivan Maisel (2:44 PM)
I would think so. Let's see what the Toads do at Clemson. That win should get them some props if they can pull it off.
greg (south bend)
ivan, how do you stay non biased in your writing?
Ivan Maisel (2:45 PM)
I'm glad it looks that way. I'm trying to. And there are plenty of people who would disagree with you. I would say professional ethics and a lot of Yuengling Lager.
Ivan Maisel (2:46 PM)
On that note, thanks everyone. See you next week.