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September 2, 2:54 PM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (2:00 PM)

Hi, everybody. Glad to be here. Let's get at it.

Jason (Athens, GA)

Ivan, please tell me why ESPN is so anti-Georgia? They are the #1 team in the country and all I ever hear about is Florida this, Tim Tebow that. I have never seen a 4 loss team get so much love. Remember when we lost 4 games 2 years ago? People were saying UGA may be on the way down. What gives?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:02 PM)

Jason, I feel sure that the Athens Banner-Herald had the story last year that Tim Tebow won the Heisman. And became the first sophomore to do it. That is what we in the news business call, "News." Now that he is playing for a second Heisman, Tebow is going to get a lot of attention. I feel as if all anybody wrote about during the month of August was the Dawgs. Myself included. There's plenty of bandwith out there for everyone.

Donald D (Eugene, OR)

If PAC10 teams are beset by injuries again in 2008, do you think the league will re-consider the 9 game schedule and their relatively tough non-conference slate (UA not withstanding)? (Please say "No")

Ivan Maisel
  (2:04 PM)

I don't think so. The Pac-10 presidents wanted the full round-robin schedule, and I'm not sure they or anyone else would attribute the injuries to who the 12th opponent is as much as playing the 12th game in and of itself. And they're not going to dump a conference game to play an FCS team. There aren't that many on the west coast.

Adam (Blacksburg, VA)

Ivan, what does VT's reversal on Tyrod Taylor's playing status look like to the rest of the country? Many Hokie fans felt this year was a perfect year to RS TT in order to build a better team around him for the next three years. But do you think there is pressure from the league office to win more out of conference games? Or that Coach Beamer just thinks the ACC is even weaker than expected and can possibly win the laegue again this year with better QB play?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:05 PM)

I think it says Frank Beamer didn't like what he saw out of Sean Glennon on Saturday. Glennon is smart and has some talent. It's a mystery why that hasn't translated to the field yet.

buck (new york city)

I'm constantly disgusted by Wisconsin's out of conference scheduling. Being an alum, I want to see marquee matchups that actually give us a chance at playing for a national title. Even if we'd go unbeaten, with such soft scheduling we'd be the next Auburn. Do you think it's done to gain more $$$ due to sellouts vs. patsies?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:06 PM)

This would be the Wisconsin that's playing at a ranked Fresno State? Sounds pretty tough to me.

Peter (Greenville, NC)

Hey Ivan, big fan of yours! Do you give ECU any shot against WVU this weekend in Greenville? This will obviously be a stiffer test for us than VT was. Thanks!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:08 PM)

Thanks, Peter. Tell me what Hanna's going to do. I don't know how you can make a call on that game until you see how crazy the weather gets. I would think bad weather would favor WVU because of its running game but let's see what happens.

Dave (Denver, CO)

Ivan, with the emergence of a solid Colorado running game, QB play, defense and an overall change of attitude, how good can the Colorado Buffs be this year?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:08 PM)

I am real, real curious about the Buffs this season. I think they break through and finish second to Missouri in the North. I may be a year too early. But I'm guessing that Darrell Scott has that effect on the offense.

Ryan (Mayfield, KY)

Ivan, Alabama dominated Clemson this past Saturday night which made me happy. The whole "Bama's back" nonsense is starting again plus we made the cover of Sports Illustrated. DO you feel that this time loaded with redshirt and true freshman will live up to it and surprise the rest of the country with 9-10 wins this season?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:10 PM)

I think nine wins is achievable. I think if Bama plays the way it did Saturday, it will win more than nine. But as you point out, with young players, consistency is the last thing to arrive. This season will have more ups than downs, though. That performance Saturday was riveting.

RAPatton, (Dublin OH)

Ivan, would you say that the way that Kevin Craft overcame 4 interceptions in the first half to lead the Bruins over a much more talented Tennessee demonstrated the heart of a panda, and how far can that leadership carry UCLA? Can they become a Pac-10 power in coming years?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:11 PM)

I have never heard the expression "heart of a panda." What does that mean? I would say that Craft's gutsy comeback in the second half went a long way in that locker room. If he stays healthy, the Bruins may have a chance to be respectable. That's as bland an endorsement as I've ever read. Or written.

Shawn (Colorado Springs, CO)

Is Utah's win over Michigan much of a story, or is Michigan just really going to struggle this year?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:13 PM)

I'd say all of the above. Michigan is very young and being spoonfed a new offense. Utah is a story this year. It's possible that the Utes and BYU get to their game with 11-0 records and playing for a BCS berth. Think about how crazy that would be. That rivalry is mean enough as it is.

Ken (Tarzana, CA)

Hey Ivan, another year has past and ESPN continues to employ ZERO college football on air personalities with ties to the West Coast. Is this done by design or coincidence?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:13 PM)

It could be a vast single-wing conspiracy, Ken.

Amy: Bird City, Kansas

Ivan: Is the USC/Ohio State THE game of the season? What happens to the loser?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:15 PM)

What happens to the loser? Not much. Barring a blowout, which I don't expect, I wouldn't think the loser falls out of the top 10. If USC or TOSU gets to Dec. 2 with an 11-1 record, one or both will be in the national championship game.

Chris (Corvallis, OR)

Ivan, what do you think the chances are that Oregon State goes to Happy Valley this wkend and pulls off the upset? I know we looked weak against the run vs Stanford but we have Al Aflava back for this game. I think they could surprise some people this wkend. Thanks!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:16 PM)

The book on Mike Riley's teams is that they have started slow and finished fast. That doesn't bode well for Sept. 6. If they play each other in late Dec. or early Jan., though, I'd take the Beavers.

Evan (Portage, MI)

Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone thinks that Ohio State is just going to run away with the Big 10 this year, because Wisconson, Penn State and untalked about Michigan State all have shots at good or great years.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:18 PM)

Someone will challenge the Bucks this year. I think it will be the Badgers, if only because that game is at night in Madison. But Penn State, Michigan State, Illinois or maybe even Iowa have a shot, too.

Pete (Oxford, MS)

Ivan, what kind of chances do you think Houston Nutt and the Wild Rebel formation have this weekend against a great Wake Forest defense?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)

This game interests me. I think both teams are underrated. I am impressed with how well Ole Miss played last week, and I keep thinking of how, 10 years ago, Nutt brought Arkansas out of nowhere to an 8-0 start (I think). Wake is really good, once again. I'll be watching if I can find it.

Erik (Huskerville)

Hey Ivan, how about Bo Pelini's D in the opener. Not stunning, but much better effort than under the last staff. Do you see a big turnaround this season?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:20 PM)

Anything under 50 points per game would equal a big turnaround. I see the Huskers returning to the land of the living.

Patrick (Morgantown, WV)

Ivan, which conference took more of a PR hit this past weekend: the ACC or the Big East, and why? Clemson was rocked by 'Bama, but Louisville was lifeless against UK, UNC barely squeaked by and FCS team, but Pitt blew it to BGSU, etc. etc. Which conference really needs to step up and prove itself this weekend?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:21 PM)

The ACC took a much bigger hit than the Big East. West Virginia, the league favorite, played well. That didn't happen in the ACC. No one else played well either, save for Wake.

Terry (ATL)

HOw can u say that if OSU and USC both lost 1 game by december they would play each other for theNational Championship? What about the SEC and their tough teams?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:23 PM)

How about USC or OSU finishes with one loss (this game), and that team will get to the championship game? The loser isn't going to fall below seventh or eighth. Plenty of time to climb back.

Ryan (Ferndale, MI)

OSU and USC can't play each other for the national championship. No one would give Michigan a chance to replay Ohio State. Why should the loser of this game get to? If I remember correctly, most analysts (including you) concluded "they had their shot"

Ivan Maisel
  (2:24 PM)

Big difference between playing at the end of the season and playing on Sept. 6.

Vince (Kalamazoo, Mi)

Most people are saying that the best teams in the MAC this year are CMU and Ball State. Does that sound about right, or is there a darkhorse to watch out for?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:25 PM)

May be out on a limb here, but I'd say that Bowling Green might contend for the MAC, what with winning at Pittsburgh. Call me crazy.

Scott (Simpsonville SC)

IVAN, Your thoughts on South Carolina's defense and chance to stop/contain Vanderbilt's quarterback.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:26 PM)

I am really curious about this game. Chris Nickson rushing for 166 yards last week got my attention. So did the Gamecock defense. I'll be watching. Darn it all. There go by convention-watching plans.

Mike (Atlanta)

"No one else [in the ACC] played well either, save for Wake." 21-0, holding the NCAA's leading returning yardage RB to 50 yards seemed pretty okay to me.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:27 PM)

You're absolutely right. Boston College, geography notwithstanding, is in the ACC. Correction duly noted.

Shotgun Spratling (Flowery Branch, GA)

Is everyone sleeping on Tulsa? I have them ranked 20th currently.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:28 PM)

I want to see David Johnson throw after what he did last week. With them playing at North Texas this week, that game may never end.

Mike (Atlanta, GA)

Has the game passed Fulmer? He seems to continually get outcoached against teams. TN seems to be regressing....way too much talent for that though. Thoughts?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:29 PM)

He got outcoached Monday. But keep in mind that loss made him 7-2 in overtime games and he's 6-2 in one-point games. The guy knows how to coach.

Mike (Beverly, Ma)

Ivan, is OU being underrated because of back to back Fiesta Bowl losses? They might have the best offensive and defensive lines in the country, arguably the best QB in the country (look at his passing stats), and a heisman hopeful in DeMarco Murray. So they played Chattanooga last week, they only let up 36yds the whole game! This team is hungry and it's looking to win it's third straight B12 championship.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:29 PM)

I'm bullish on the Sooners. I think they are for real, and I think the embarrassment of the Fiesta Bowl will motivate them all year long.

Mat- Harvest, AL

Ivan, Florida St plays two FCS teams this year. Does that mean they have to win 7 or 8 to get to a bowl?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:30 PM)

I'd have to double check, but I'm pretty sure that rule doesn't exist anymore.

Nick (Denver Co)

can UTEP win against Texas this weekend

Ivan Maisel
  (2:31 PM)

Nick, with all due respect, UTEP got beat decisively by Buffalo last week. I mean, I think Turner Gill has done a great job with the Bulls, but Buffalo is not Texas. I would be very surprised if Texas lost.

Burn Sumter, SC

Why no love for the Razorbacks? Will the Texas game be close?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:32 PM)

Something about nearly losing to Western Illinois made me a skeptic. Call me crazy again.

Andrew (Atlanta, GA)

Looks like the voters were quick to take back UGA's #1 ranking. After being up 38-0 early in the 3rd, Richt decided not to run up the score like USC. Did Jeff Owens injury really drop the bulldogs to #2, or did it hurt that the game was not televised?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:34 PM)

I think voters, being inherently lazy, looked at the 45-21 score and penalized Georgia. The fact that it was 38-0 in the third quarter when Mark Richt rested his starters would affect my vote. I guess that just wasn't important enough to the coaches and the AP guys.

Curtis-Salt lake city

Will javorski lane be back and return to his bowling ball form of last year, or is he screwed in Sherman's offense??

Ivan Maisel
  (2:35 PM)

I don't think he's screwed. I think he's a fullback. If he allows Sherman to convert him into a fullback, Lane will make a good living in football for many years.

Dom (Columbus, OH)

UPSET ALERT: San Diego State over Notre Dame, your thoughts?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:36 PM)

Not this year, Dom. Chuck Long hasn't been able to attract the local talent the way that Aztec fans would hope. He may struggle to keep his job.

Richard (Atlanta)

Ivan, we need to get teams to stop scheduling cupcake games. It's an injustice to the season ticket holders and as USC just proved, it doesn't earn you favors with the voters. How about this idea: When a school pays a FCS team $500,000 to show up, that money comes out of the coach's salary. Seems fair since the coach only uses it to pad his win/loss record.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:38 PM)

Not all coaches have control of the schedule. And I wrote in the I-Formation today, sometimes there isn't a whole lot that can be done to avoid scheduling problems. I like your attitude but I wouldn't dump it all in the coach's lap. Or take it out of his wallet.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:39 PM)

Thanks, everyone. I'll be at Miami at Florida on Saturday. Talk to you next week.