Just talked to Mark, folks, we're pushing his chat back to noon. He's finishing something up.
OK, sorry I'm late today. Mondays are always hectic and I'm still recovering from a red-eye back from Salt Lake City, where I watched BYU take UCLA to the wood shed. Here we go....
Mark, have you ever seen a program as cursed at one position as Oregon seems to be? Duck quarterback is an injury waiting to happen.
No, really unfortunate news for Justin Roper. They lose Costa and now him. Lost Dixon and Ainge was hurt last year. The good news is Chip Kelly is there and he does a great job preparing quarterbacks. But it's a big blow losing Roper for as long as a month, no doubt.
Auburn looked pathetic againts there best, and that's not saying much, competition so far. Are they in for a hurting vs LSU?
I don't think you can count Auburn out because its defense is very good, and LSU is starting a young quarterback. But Tuberville and Tony Franklin have to take a long, hard look at the offense. Might need to simplify it to make it easier for the quarterback. They'll have to score more than three points, obviously, to beat LSU.
Mark, I know the competition has been nothing short of weak, but how do you see Penn State stacking up against OSU and Wisconsin? Are we seeing the first legitimate team since 2005 or is it too early to tell?
I think Penn State looks very good. Obviously, Oregon State and Syracuse aren't world beaters, but Joe Paterno has to be encouraged by how his offense is playing. They blew both teams off the field. Temple is no pushover, and Illinois will be a test. Then road games at Purdue and Wisconsin. We'll know how good PSU is in a month. I think they might be very good.
Mark I see you are finally giving LSU some respect judging by your latest bowl predictions. Why is everyone overlooking LSU?
New quarterback. Lost Dorsey, Steltz, Hester, etc. I like how Hatch and Lee have played so far, but the competition is about to get much tougher. They have to get the ball down the field more than they have in the first two games. Scott is a great tailback, though.
Mark, I noticed that you have OU playing USC in the National Championship. I know there is a lot of football left, but assuming OU plays Mizzou in Kansas City for the Big 12 Championship, how many points to you see being scored in that game? 125?
It will be a shootout if those quarterbacks stay healthy. Daniel and Bradford are completing more than 70 percent of their passes right now. Amazing.
Mark, did you have a chance to catch the UM-ND game? I don't think RichRod is that far away from having a great offense. The RBs and WRs seem fast enough and the O-Line was opening some holes, I just don't think Threet is the guy for that system. You agree?
I think Richt obviously needs a quarterback to run his system, who can run and throw. If they avoid the six turnovers against Notre Dame, it's probably a close game. Sam McGuffie is the real deal.
USC vs. Florida in the championship who you got?
I've got Oklahoma-USC right now. We'll see if the Gators can find a running back and how the defense holds up against SEC competition. Gators look pretty good, though.
Even though FSU's opponents have been 1AA schools beating them 115-7 has got to count for something right? Plus the Noles get Parker back this week, is there a deeper WR corp in college now?
Kudos to Jimbo Fisher for going with Ponder over Weatherford. Seems to have put some life in that offense. But the road gets tougher starting with Saturday's game against Wake Forest. Let's see how the receivers do against FBS schools.
Is SEC overhyped? scorelines of 3-2, 14-7. teams barely beating each other and still conf is good?
Top to bottom I think it's still the best, although the Big 12 is making up ground fast. Vandy is 3-0. Kentucky is 3-0. Georgia, LSU, Florida, Auburn, Alabama all ranked in the top 10. SEC has offense issues. Big 12 might have defense issues (only one team ranked in the top 50 in defense last year). Two distinctly different styles of play.
With the way Alabama and georgia looked this week, what are the chances of a Crimson Tide upset when they visit Athens in 2 weeks?
I'd say Alabama will give Georgia fits. The Crimson Tide must play like they did against Western Kentucky instead of Tulane. But Georgia gets that game at home. Georgia has to protect better and rush the passer more. If not, Dogs won't win the SEC East.
Can someone at ESPN please start a "Fire Al Groh" push in the national media? Given the talent that he has had during his tenure, the general level of ineptitude is ridiculous and Virginia fans are reeling at this point.
tough year for U. Va. too many losses off the field, losing Sewell and Fitzgerald, etc. Groh did a nice job last year, but he has put a ton of talent in the NFL. It's a tough job.
Pac-10 took one on the chin this weekend, UCLA, ASU, Cal, near-thing at Purdue (costly because of the QB injury, too). Can we stop getting Pac-10 SEC comparisons yet? Once again USC is propping that conference up from falling on its face.
Looks to be USC and no one else once again. But we said the same thing last year, then Stanford beat the Trojans. Cal should be OK. Oregon will be OK if Roper comes back quickly. Arizona State can't protect Carpenter. Arizona is better but still not great.
I am a Michigan grad yet I still have a lot of respect for Javon Ringer at Michigan State. Now that he is not splitting carries with Jehuu Culcrick, will he get noticed on a national leve?
Huge game against Florida Atlantic. Spartans are flying under the radar again. Tough loss at Cal, but they'll be tough to beat in the Big Ten.
how does penn state dominat 3 teams and still only be ranked 16?
Three bad teams...But I still think Penn State is really good.
When should I have the moving trucks arrive at the my door?
Soon. Ugly, ugly losses. Not only are the Orange losing games, but they're not even competitive. This is really a setback for Syracuse, kind of like throwing the whole season away before it started.
Mark, when will the Mountain West start getting some love? We went 4-0 against "quality" Pac-10 schools this weekend. Also, you think my Horned Frogs get into the top 25 after this weekend, assuming we destroy the Ponies, like we should?
Check out my "On the Mark" column later today on ESPN.com. You're getting some love.
Auburn/LSU. Home team's won every year since '99. Call the winner this year.
I'd go with LSU right now because Auburn's offense looks so inept. But these are the game Tubs typically wins. Auburn is still very good on defense. If they get the running game going, they'll be tough to beat. It's going to be a very physical game. Tough spot for Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee.
Do you think that Oregon's injuries are due to their spread offense or just bad luck. It doesn't seem like other teams who use the spread are as plagued as Oregon. Should they change their offensive scheme?
Just bad luck. A lot of teams are running that same offense. Dixon's injury was a fluke.
How do you feel about the Terps? After a huge win over Cal this week, should we be in store for more? Or will this be another year of losing the games we should win, and winning the games we should lose?
I'd pretty much given up on them after the loss at Middle Tennessee. Might have been a program-saving win for Friedgen. They needed some momentum after the last couple of years. This might do it.
The market and UCLA took it on the chin. Which will recover first?
Market. Too many freshmen and sophomores playing for the Bruins. Might still get to a bowl game, but they'll have to recover from that whipping quickly.
What are your thoughts on WVU? Seems like you have counted them out this season.
No, I still think they have a chance to win the Big East. They'll have to beat South Florida to do it. I'm actually going to see them at Colorado on Thursday night. Want to see someone else besides Pat White making plays. Bad loss at East Carolina, but the Pirates are a pretty good team.
Do the poll voters even pay attention to some of these games? Neither WVU or FSU has beaten a I-A opponent yet they are still ranked. WVU even with playing a mediocre I-AA team has been outscored this season 51-52.
Nice stat. I can tell you after compiling our top 25 power rankings yesterday, there are some pretty mediocre teams near the bottom.
What do you think of the Hokies chances of possibly winning the ACC Champinship game and playing in a BCS bowl after their week 1 loss to East Carolina?
I think the Hokies still have a long way to go. Good win over Georgia Tech. But the Yellow Jackets turned it over too many times, which is going to happen in Paul Johnson's first season. Taylor has to throw the football better for Va. Tech to have a real chance. Guess they've given up on Glennon, huh?
The Big East or the ACC, which conference is the worst at this point?
Check out my column later today. Neither league is very good right now....
UNC looked strong in their win over Tutgers Thursday night. As a long-time fan, can I finally start to have hope they will have a winning season?
Yes, no question Butch Davis has upgraded the speed on defense and the wideouts look great. If Yates continues to play well, UNC will have a chance to win the division (which I predicted before the season, by the way). Heels are legitimate.
In all fairness SC Gamecocks should be 3-0 right now. How awful are the qbs and receivers. Shouldn't spurrier just play garcia and deal with a rough season.
Garcia didn't look very good when he was in there Saturday. Defense is very good. Offense is putrid.
Do you think Dennis Quaid should be coaching Orange football because he can at least "act" like a coach? Where will the Irish rank at season's end with 11 wins?
If Notre Dame wins 11 games, they'll probably be in the top 10. That's the way the media votes.
dawgs-going to keep squeaking by in these big games like lsu last year and have the same result as the tigers? or is the sec too tough to play that close week in and week out?
Have to protect Stafford. Have to pressure the quarterback. Have to catch the football. Tough schedule. They have some things to fix.
Mark, isn't it time we erase the pejorative term "mid-major" from sports vocabulary? There isn't a separate league for non-BCS schools, they're still D-1. And can anyone honestly argue that BCS conferences (especially the ACC, the BigEast, or even the PAC1+9 conferences) that there's clear superiority over conferences like the Mountain West? BYU, Utah, TCU are "mid-majors"?!! . . . common. The MWC deserves an automatic BCS-bid just as the other BCS conferences do, the bar for entry should be the same. I thought America got over the "separate drinking fountains" issue back in the 60s.
Mountain West -- not a mid-major. WAC, Sun Belt are probably still mid-majors. But there's more parity in football than basketball.
Mark, What team do believe has the most team speed in the country this season?? USC, Missouri, and LSU all look pretty fast up to this point...but it seems that the SEC is hands down the conference when it comes to defensive speed...whats your thoughts??
USC, Missouri, Oklahoma, LSU, Florida all look really fast. Ohio State, not so fast.
How much of the SEC struggles do you attribute to how tough the SEC is and how much is due to them being over rated as a conference.
As I said earlier, a few SEC teams are terrible on offense with new quarterbacks and systems. Defenses continue to dominate. Big 12 has the quarterbacks and receivers, we'll see if they have the defenses to hold up. SEC is not as good as it was last year, but there are five teams ranked in the top 10 right now.
Big Michigan fan struggling to live in Ohio... frankly I thought the young offense showed some positive signs in the ND game (when they weren't handing the ball to the Irish). Do you think we'll keep that bowl streak alive this year?
It will be tough, but it's possible. Have to beat Toledo, Northwestern and Minnesota to have a chance. Steal two wins somewhere else.
Would a one loss USC team play in a national chapionship game over an undefeated USF team?
Hmmmm. Good question. USF's win over Kansas will go a long way. Would have beaten West Virginia. I don't know. We'll see how fast USF moves up the polls.
QUSETION TO MARK SCHLABACH AT 12.45 PM HI MARK GAtors or vols saturday
OK, folks, sorry to cut it short, but I've got to run. Crazy day today. Check out my column, which should be up in a couple of hours. I'm sure you'll have some thoughts on it next week. Best of luck to your teams this weekend. Go Cubs.