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September 7, 2:19 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

  (2:10 PM)

Hang tight! We're tracking down Mark now!

Mark Schlabach
  (3:07 PM)

Sorry I'm late. Computer problems today. My laptop's power adapter decided to blow up Saturday night. Kind of like Georgia's offense. And Louisville's defense. And Auburn. And Michigan. And the Fighting Irish. Here we go....

Steve (Pac10 land)

Is Washington for real? What do you think about this weeks game against Ohio St in another Pac10 Big10 showdown?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:09 PM)

Regardless of what happens from here on out, I think Ty Willingham has showed he has the Huskies on the right track. They have one more win than I figured they'd have. The schedule gets tough. Ohio State, @ UCLA, USC, @ Arizona State, Oregon. Don't know what to make of the Buckeyes yet. They look a lot like they did in 2002, great defense and so-so on offense. At least they're playing a team from outside Ohio this week.

Josh Bennett Wake Forest N.C.

Norcross Blue Devil Class of 93 here. Alabama has recruited a few kids from our old alma matter. What do you hear in your circles about the impact Nick Saban is having on the SEC in recruiting?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:10 PM)

Class of '91. Don't blame Saban for going back to the old alma mater. Saban is doing more with less this year, but he'll drastically improve the Tide's overall talent in the next few years. He has worked hard to get back into Mobile, and he's still trying to keep close ties in South Florida, where he's not too popular. They're a lot better than I thought they'd be in the first couple of weeks. Competition gets tougher this week versus Arkansas, though.

Nate Lincoln NE

does neb have a chance against usc or will coach Callahan get out coached

Mark Schlabach
  (3:11 PM)

Don't know if Callahan will get out-coached. I didn't think the Cornhuskers were looking ahead. People are going to realize how tough and well-coached Wake Forest is at some point. Sam Keller called it a "character" win in Winston-Salem. They'll need more than character against the Trojans. USC will be motivated with LSU and Oklahoma hot on their heels.

Chris (Morgantown, WV)

I'm gonna go out on a limb as a WVU fan and not complain about dropping a spot. Why did Cal go up two rankings in the AP poll?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:13 PM)

I wouldn't complain. Not a great first half against Marshall, even though it's a rivalry game. At least that's what the Thundering Herd believes. Cal has two good wins under its belt. Beat Tennessee and Colorado State, which is much-improved this season. Outside of the top three teams -- USC, LSU and Oklahoma -- I'm not sure there are any other truly "great" teams.

Scott (Eugene)

How bout them Ducks? I think its safe to say Dennis Dixon was one of the top performers of the week. If we stay focused and beat a very talented Fresno State team and then win at Stanford, I think gameday has to come to Eugene for the Oregon vs. California game, I expect you there as well. GO DUCKS!

Mark Schlabach
  (3:13 PM)

It's on my calendar. I've been very impressed with how Dixon has played so far. I went down and saw him playing baseball in Orlando with the Atlanta Braves' rookie team. I know Mike Belotti wasn't too happy about his QB spending the summer in Florida, but Dixon has been pretty sharp so far.

Mike (Beverly, Ma)

When does Sam Bradford start to get some Heisman consideration for putting up ridiculous numbers.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:14 PM)

If he keeps putting up ridiculous numbers and the Sooners keep winning, he'll get consideration. Very, very hard for a freshman to get serious consideration, though.

Mike (Tigertown, MO)

On Saturday, I was watching the Oregon/Michigan game and I found watching Michigan's defense funny. I was also thinking that somebody is going to get fired. What do you think of Michigan's chances in the Big 10?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:15 PM)

I wouldn't give them much of a chance against Duke right now. They really have to circle the wagons. Henne is hurt. The defense looks lost. I thought they quit against Oregon. Not a good situation, to say the least.

Jeff (Tampa FL)

What does USF have to do to get ranked in the top 25?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:15 PM)

Keep winning. Let's not forget that they weren't very impressive against Elon in Week 1.

Mike (NYC)

How far off is Miami from returning to elite status, lor is it just wishful thinking that the U can return to its glory days with its current administration?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:16 PM)

The administration isn't the problem. It's the quarterbacks. I thought it was a huge trouble spot coming into the year and it showed against Oklahoma. There is talent there. I must say I was stunned at how porous the defense looked. But when your offense is going no where, it can be pretty demoralizing for a defense. Randy Shannon will get it turned around. Maybe not this year, but it will happen.

Ron (Hoboken NJ)

Is Ray Rice's current workload going to come back to haunt Greg Schiano later on in the year? Kordell Young is more than capable of getting a few carries during the game to spell Rice

Mark Schlabach
  (3:18 PM)

I wondered how the loss of Brian Leonard would affect Rice. He's putting up great numbers so far, but I would be a little concerned about his durability and health if he keeps getting this many carries. The emerge of a passing game certainly helps him, though.

Michael (Baton Rouge)

Should LSU be worried about this South Carolina team when they come play in two weeks?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:18 PM)

I don't think South Carolina has enough firepower to keep up with LSU. But anytime Spurrier comes to town, you better be a little concerned.

Pat (Atl)

What do you think of BC's chances in the ACC? It seems FSU is down again this year and VT has been less than impressive.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:20 PM)

I think Georgia Tech, Clemson and Boston College are the best teams in the ACC right now. Florida State and Miami are still struggling. Virginia Tech's offensive line is really hurting them. Now they're going with a freshman quarterback. B.C. at Georgia Tech this weekend and Clemson at Georgia Tech in three weeks will go a long way in determining the league's pecking order. Nice start for Coach Jags, though.

Dave (DC)

Besides Florida, which teams do you see giving LSU the greatest challenges for the remainder of this season?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:21 PM)

They get Florida, Auburn and Arkansas at home. At Alabama will be a very emotional game. The way LSU is playing, they might be good enough to go unbeaten in the SEC. I'm not sure there's a great team outside LSU and perhaps Florida (still concerned about the Gators defense) this season. Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee all have serious issues. South Carolina still has a ways to go. Kentucky's defense isn't good enough. Alabama is probably a year or two away. Can Casey Dick be consistent enough at Arkansas?

Heath (Houston,TX)

So will Dmac and Jones dominate Alabama again...I'm seeing over 500 All purpose yards between the two this weekend!!

Mark Schlabach
  (3:22 PM)

Alabama's a little tougher than I thought. Saban has them playing hard on defense. Freshman Terry Grant looks like the real deal at running back. I wouldn't be over-confident, although the Tide hasn't faced a ground game like the Razorbacks' attack yet.

Jack (Jacksonville, FL)

What are your thoughts on the FSU-Colorado game this weekend?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:23 PM)

Was a little surprised Arizona State pulled away in the second half. FSU is struggling right now. UAB really took it to them for three quarters. Weatherford seemed a little more comfortable, but Antone Smith's concussion would have me worried if I were an FSU fan.

John (Tampa, FL)

When will the media figure out that people call the school USF, not South Florida. I don't see the media disrespect LSU by calling it Louisiana State or UCLA being called California-Los Angeles.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:24 PM)

I call LSU its proper name some time. The football program has only been around for 10 years. It's not as recognizable as USC, UCLA or even TCU.

Brian (Sac, CA)

What are the chances that the Vols give Florida a fight this week? Somewhere between slim and none?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:26 PM)

I think the Vols can put up a fight. Tennessee looked pretty good in the second half versus Southern Miss, a pretty good football team. Ainge is pretty accurate right now. Some wide receivers have stepped up. Foster and Hardesty running the ball well. Florida is banged up. If Caldwell doesn't play (they say he's out for two weeks), and Harvin is ineffective because of tendinitis in his knee and Achilles' tendon, then the Gator attack might be slowed down a bit. I expect it to be a shootout, though. Both defenses are young and unproven to this point.

Mike(Somerset, KY)

Michigan vs. Notre Dame- somebody's gonna be winless. What happens to the losing team from here on out?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:26 PM)

Duke in a winner-take-all?

Rob (NYC)

What were your thoughts on Tryod Taylor? Keep in mind his first action was in Death Valley against the best nation in the country.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:27 PM)

I heard very encouraging things about Taylor during the preseason. Very athletic, very fluid, pretty accurate arm. I don't think Frank Beamer's decision was as much a reflection on Sean Glennon as it was on his offensive line. The Hokies had five good linemen going into camp and lost Ed Wang, the right tackle. They haven't recovered. They need a mobile quarterback back there.

Bob (Arlington, VA)

What are your thoughts on Mike Belotti's postgame comments that Oregon could've scored more points against Michigan? Also, an Oregon player took a hammer to the Michigan logo prior to the second half. That was classless, in my opinion.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:28 PM)

Could have done without the hammer, to be honest. I didn't see BYU pulling down the hammer during the Las Vegas Bowl.

chris (pittsburgh)

Does the USF win finally legitimize the Big East?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:29 PM)

I thought it was legitimate last year. Cincinnati's blowout of Oregon State and Rutgers beating a good Navy team also helped.

Dino (Bristol, CT)

Does Michigan mail it in this week against ND? Looks as though they quit on Carr in the 2nd half on Saturday.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:30 PM)

I would think guys like Mart Hart and Jake Long would prevent that from happening. But I imagine that's a pretty rough locker room right now.

Steve, Burlington, Canada

After Miami, and with Utah State, Tulsa and Colorado on the horizon, how does OU stay pumped before the RRR?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:31 PM)

The Sooners might score 100 on Utah State. Tulsa is a rivalry game, at least it's close by. Colorado is much better than a year ago. Just stay healthy until they go to Dallas.

Os (Piscataway, NJ)

Mark, rank the major bcs conferences as of right now.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:33 PM)

Off the top of my head: 1. Pac 10 2. Big 12 3. SEC 4. Big 10 5. Big East 6. ACC

Bazzy (Knoxville, TN)

What the heck is wrong with Texas A&M? They have plenty of talent, but barely beat Fresno St at home. This kind of stuff happens all the time. Is it Franchione's fault? His inexplicable game plans and play calling seem to hurt (see OU, Nebraska games last year) more than they help (see Texas game).

Mark Schlabach
  (3:33 PM)

I didn't think Fresno State would stay down forever. Pat Hill is too good of a coach. That might end up being a quality win for the Aggies.

Scott (Baton Rouge)

Is it possible for a defensive guy like Dorsey or Steltz from LSU to get a serious look for hiesman?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:34 PM)

Charles Woodson won it. Steltz is off to a hot start, but three INTs came against an awful offense.

Jason(Lake Wales, FL)

Have you had a chance to get a good feel for the tone coming out of Athens? I lived in Georgia for seven years. The hatred for SOS is huge. Richt hasn't really stepped up.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:35 PM)

Vintage Spurrier. Wins with defense and a running game. Rubs it in Georgia's noses afterward. Georgia is very, very young. I didn't like some of the play-calling, but I think the Dogs are hampered by their inexperienced offensive line. Stafford didn't play well. His receivers dropped balls when he made good throws. I thought they were pretty lethargic and ill-prepared to play. Taking nothing away from South Carolina, though. Their defense played lights out. Ran all over the place. Great win for Spurrier.

Tommy (Smithfield, VA)

Mark!?! How do you have the Big Ten above the Big East??? I know Penn State played well (at home). But it seemed like alot of the other had a hard time, even the ones that did win!

Mark Schlabach
  (3:36 PM)

Wisconsin is still pretty good, despite the close loss at UNLV. Iowa is on the rebound. Indiana will go to a bowl. Ohio State is going to be OK. Michigan State is better than expected. Purdue looks better. I had to think about that one, though.

Bill (Australia)

Mark, how do you deal with some of the ridiculously foolish comments some people make?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:36 PM)

Open a Foster's?

John (Clemson,SC)

Who do you think are the new power houses in the acc now the Floirda St and Miami are struggling.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:38 PM)

I said earlier that Georgia Tech, Clemson and Boston College were the best in the league. I don't know if any of them are powerhouses, though. Georgia Tech looks very good. But they've beaten N. Dame and a I-AA team. Clemson looks pretty good, but can Cullen Harper keep up this pace? Will see what the Eagles do on the road against a good opponent.

Steve (Jackson, MS)

What cave have you been hiding in... the Big 12 over the SEC? Pac 10 maybe but not the big 12. The SEC has 6 teams ranked in Top 25. Big 12 4. I think you should reevaluate this situation here.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:40 PM)

LSU and Florida are good. Alabama, I don't know yet. Tennessee got whalloped by Cal. Georgia is too young and inexperienced on the offensive line. Auburn's offense has been really bad. Kentucky's defense will hurt them. Arkansas has to throw the ball well before I think they're a legitimate top 15 team. I don't think the conference is as strong as it's been in the past. Too many great players to replace from a year ago. A lot of freshmen playing in the SEC right now. At the end of the year, they might be better. But I'd take Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M over the top teams in the SEC right now, especially after the top two.


what does north texas state have to do to get back on the wining track with first year with todd dodge do you think that he will get his first win and if so what team do you think has a chance on if he does it win again this year do you think that this was a big mistaks or just a learning curve for him and his coaching staff thanks...

Mark Schlabach
  (3:43 PM)

You've got to give him a few years to get it turned around. They're scoring points and throwing the ball over the place. Obviously, the defense has to improve before they'll start winning.

Tim (Bodie, CA)

NCAA should change the football formula similar to that of international futbol... the top 5 I-AA teams each year should be promoted to I-A, and the bottom 5 I-A relagated to I-AA...then we'd really see how good Appy State and the directional mid-west schools are.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:45 PM)

Great theory. Love it. Would MIchigan and Notre Dame join the Gateway or the Ohio Valley?

Kyle (Little Rock)

I just got back from the LR touchdown club at which Mike Slive spoke at. He said he doesn't forsee a playoff in college football right now. What will it take for there to be a change? At least maybe the top 8 playing it off?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:46 PM)

Pac 10 and Big 10 have to get on board. They're tied into the Rose Bowl, and I don't see that changing under the current leadership. What if LSU, Oklahoma and USC all go unbeaten this year? Which team gets left out?

Reed, Dallas

Are the Longhorns playing this season? I wouldn't know because not a soul except for the regional people talk about the fact they beat a very good TCU team. But OU spanked an "outstanding" Miami team. I guess were just used to having our team talked about a lot, but a #6 Texas team, one year removed from the title should get more face time. Thoughts?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:46 PM)

Looked bad in Week 1 and in the first half against TCU. Turned it on in the second half. I've had them in the top 10 the whole season.

John, MD

Any chance MD hangs with WVU on Thursday?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:47 PM)

I hope Friedgen is keeping it pretty vanilla on offense. They looked pretty mediocre the first two weeks.

Bryan (Poca, WV)

What are the chances the Big East has WVU, UofL, Rutgers, USF, and Cincy in the top 25 at the same time??

Mark Schlabach
  (3:48 PM)

Cincinnati still has a ways to go. The other four might be in there next week.

Drew (Gainesville, FL)

Florida's offense looks as highpower as our defense was last year. Does our offense prove they can carry the team despite a soft defense against Tennessee, or is the reason Tebow and company haven't been stopped, or even slowed, because of luke-cool competition?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:49 PM)

I think the offense is very, very good. But they couldn't have possibly looked bad against Western Kentucky and Troy.

Rob (Baltimore)

Can and will Penn State go undefeated?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:50 PM)

Don't get ahead of yourself. They've beaten Florida Intl. and a pretty bad Notre Dame team. They get Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State at home, which will help. But I don't know if they'll go unbeaten.

Jack ( Ann Arbor )

Please answer.....If Lloyd Carr does get fired...Who do you think would be in consideration for the job ??

Mark Schlabach
  (3:51 PM)

If Carr is fired or resigns, which will probably happen at this point, I think Les Miles would be the first choice.

John (Baton Rouge)

After Saturday nite, why is LSU not ranked # 1.. USC plays a weak schedule...

Mark Schlabach
  (3:51 PM)

The Tigers are getting much, much closer. Keep winning and they'll probably get there because of schedule strength.

Robert (Gainesville, FL aka Titletown)

UF's offense looks good. Really good. Even with the injuries to Caldwell and Harvin, I'm not that worried about that side of the ball. The defense gives me cause for concern. Do you think it'll be enough to stop UT?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:52 PM)

Replacing nine starters on defense is one thing. Replacing Reggie Nelson, Moss, Siler, Ryan Smith, etc., is very, very tough to overcome. I thought it would be a concern the entire season, and I still feel that way.

Adam (Iraq)

How do you see the heisman race shaping up?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:55 PM)

Always answer questions from Iraq. I think Brohm, McFadden, Rice and Slaton are still there. I think Bradford could be an interesting candidate. Brennan keeps throwing for a zillion yards against soft competition. Tashard Choice is putting up huge numbers at Georgia Tech. How about Dennis Dixon? John David Booty (love his new campaign, by the way).

Holly (Chicago)

Can Weis get it done at ND? I'm not sure we should have gotten rid of Ty Willingham.

Mark Schlabach
  (3:56 PM)

Weis will get it done. They lost their entire offense and a lot of guys on defense. I knew this was going to be a transition year. He's recruited much better on defense and they have good, young players on offense. They're headed in the right direction.

JImmy (Baton Rouge, LA)

Why would Les Miles want to leave LSU, the SEC and a base for southern recruits for The Big Ten and Michigan besides him being an alum??

Mark Schlabach
  (3:57 PM)

Played there and coached there. I'm not saying it's a better job or program. I just think he'll be the first choice if Carr goes because of his connections to Michigan.

Lou (Bethesda, MD)

Speaking of Miles, I have to give him credit for learning from Saban's mistakes. You'll notice he never said flat out "no way" to a Michigan opportunity. I kinda think you can't ever blame a guy for wanting to coach at his alma mater, but that would be a tough choice with what he's got going on at LSU. Your thoughts?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:57 PM)

He's had a great record at LSU. Tigers fans better start giving him some love.

Hank (Atlanta)

Where are the top 5 schools for beautiful women?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:58 PM)

Check Herbstreit's list. It was pretty darn accurate.

Mike (Dallas)

How concerned should UF be about Caldwell's injury?

Mark Schlabach
  (3:59 PM)

He's the veteran leader of the offense and a big-play threat. With Harvin being hampered by Achilles and knee injuries, and Fayson hurting his knee last week (he came back into the game), Louis Murphy and Cornelius Ingram will have to step up. Trust me, the Gators aren't short on receivers. But those are some good ones they might have to do without.

Chris (ATL, GA)

The idea that Brennan keeps putting up big numbers against weak opponents is ridiculous. Look at his stats from last year against BCS conference teams. He put up career numbers against ASU!

Mark Schlabach
  (4:01 PM)

He put up great numbers in the bowl game. He's a great quarterback playing in a QB-friendly system. He'll be a good QB in the NFL. But Hawaii hasn't played anybody yet. I'm not taking anything away from La. Tech, but Derek Dooley is in his first season and inherited a team with some holes. It was a great effort. But come on, Northern Colorado?

Bob (Starkville)

Who is the best coach at a non BCS school that besides Boise States coach that could move up to a BCS job?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:03 PM)

Gary Patterson at TCU. Pat Hill at Fresno State (even though they struggled the last two years). Bronco Mendenhall at BYU. Paul Johnson at Navy.

Kyle (Little Rock)

Do you see someone going after App States coach considering he won two consecutive national championships and beat Michigan?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:04 PM)

If he was a little bit younger, yes. I think if Baylor makes a change in the next couple of years, Moore would love to have that job. It's his alma mater. But I still think Guy Morriss can get that program turned around.

Charles (Lexington)

Who do you like in the battle for the Bluegrass? If MTSU racked up yards/points on UofL, UK surely should. Question is, will my Wildcats D bend but not break?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:04 PM)

I've got a feeling Louisville's defense will play better against Kentucky. I'm sure Steve Kragthorpe changed some things on defense this week. That game should be a big-time shootout. Pat Forde will stay close to home and document it this weekend.

Chris (Arizona)

MARK! What happens this Saturday in Seattle? Do the Huskies keep it close? What would that win do for national perception of the "soft" Pac-10?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:05 PM)

I think they'll keep it close, maybe even win. Not sure what to make of Ohio State yet. Not very impressive against Akron. Blew out Youngstown State (which is better than losing to Appalachian State, I guess). They've got a ways to go on offense, though.

Alex in Richmond

So Colt Brennan is the product of a QB friend system playing against weak competition but Steve Slaton is a legitimate Heisman candidate? You're right....all those tough Big East defenses make it hard for him in that RB unfriendly spread offense.

Mark Schlabach
  (4:07 PM)

South Florida doesn't play tougher defense than Northern Colorado? Rutgers isn't a better defense than La. Tech? He asked me where the Heisman race stacked up right now. Brennan hasn't faced a great defense yet. He's had one of the best careers in NCAA history, and he's truly a great, great quarterback in a great offense, but he hasn't done anything to move up in the race at this point in the season.

Rob (Baltimore)

Who's your favorite to win the Big 10?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:08 PM)

Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State at this point.

Mike: (Pasadena, CA):

OMG - someone in SEC land actually said the Pac-10 "may" be stronger than the SEC! I'm about to faint.

Mark Schlabach
  (4:08 PM)

I don't know if it will end up that way at the end of the season, but a lot of SEC teams have a lot of growing up to do in the next several weeks. There are a lot of very young teams in the league this year.

Keats (Walnut Creek, CA)

Given your response to a question about stupid questions, how many Fosters have you had during this Q&A session?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:09 PM)

None. Lots of water, though.

Jeff (Syracuse)

The Orange are bad, and sadly I have season tickets. How do you start to fix the program over the offseason?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:09 PM)

I don't know. I thought they'd be better at this point in Greg Robinson's tenure, but I honestly don't know.....

Aaron (Texas)

Texas A&M beat Fresno State by two points in triple overtime at home, yet moved up 5 positions in the coaches poll. Ummmm, why?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:10 PM)

I would guess that Pat Hill-coached teams still get a lot of respect from other coaches across the country. It was a quality win for the Aggies. Closer than expected, yes, but I thought Fresno State would be better this year.

Kurt (Palm Harbor, FL)

Is Matt Grothe for real? Thoughts?

Mark Schlabach
  (4:10 PM)

I thought he was for real last year. Now they've got a running game to help him. He was one of the best freshman QBs in the country last year.

Mark Schlabach
  (4:11 PM)

Folks, I've got to run. Enjoy the rest of the week and next weekend's games. I'll see you next Monday.