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September 18, 11:38 AM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (2:00 PM)

Hi, everyone. Beautiful day in southern New England. If it were up to me, we'd have class outside today. Here we go:

Bart (Americus, Ga)

Hey Ivan. Dont think I know anyone named Ivan, but anyway, what's your take on UGA and Bama, and with a dawg win, what effect will it have on their ranking?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:03 PM)

I win. I know a Bart. Bama needs the win to be taken seriously as a national contender. Georgia will begin to reap the benefits of the SEC by beating a top-10 team at home. But Oklahoma plays a top-25 team (TCU) at home, so Georgia would have to win big to make a dent in the Sooners' lead.

Josh (Asheville, NC)

With Butch Davis' homecoming at the school where he assembled prob the greatest college football team of all-time (2001 Miami Hurricanes), can UNC upset the Canes this weekend???

Ivan Maisel
  (2:04 PM)

I would have thought so before the Tar Heels' QB got hurt. Now, I'm a lot more skeptical, especially the way that Miami has begun to mature under coach Randy Shannon. At Florida, you could see the 'Canes had talent. At Texas A&M, that talent began to produce.

Jason (Houston, Tx)

What do you think of the way Charles Scott physically took on Auburn's vaunted D? He reminds me of Jamal Lewis.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:06 PM)

I was really impressed with Scott. You know what it made me think of? Him not playing in the second half of, what was it, the Kentucky game? Am I right on that? Anyway, he had a lot of yards after contact and always seemed to fall forward. Very impressive. I would like to see him run on more than first down.

Karl, Austin TX

Can you explain to me why it seems that Colt McCoy is off the radar for the heisman? I know Texas has yet to play anyone big and we will find out what Texas is made of over the next 4 or 5 weeks, but people seem to forget that Florida Atlantic was a bowl game winner last year and they did return their starting QB.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:07 PM)

Karl, I wouldn't base too many arguments on FAU. After all, Javon Ringer of Michigan State rushed for 282 yards against FAU. McCoy will get his time on the national stage when the Horns play OU and Mizzou on consecutive weeks. Be patient.

Susan (Dallas, TX)

USC is the best team in the country hands down. But the SEC and BIG 12 are complaining that if they each have an undefeated team one will be shut out from the NC game and that is injustice. Question - what are they complaining about?? How soon they forget USC ranked #1 in BOTH polls and they were shut out in 2003? I look at the rankings and I shake my head many of these teams are currently over ranked - Auburn should never have been Top 10 with a 3-2 win two weeks ago, so LSU's win looks better than it actually was. So the question is - how do we get them to shut up?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:08 PM)

You could always have a playoff. But then you wouldn't pay attention to college football until January.

Carl: Charleston, WV

Ivan: Given the experiences with Saban & Petrino, will the NFL hire coaches from college football again? Conversely, given the surprising flops in recent years, are pro head-coaches a choice for college football?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:10 PM)

These things run hot and cold. Some years it's experience. Some years you have to be a coordinator. The problem most ADs have is that they think, "That school hired an NFL guy. I should, too." Or, "We have to have experience." Bob Stoops was a defensive coordinator when Oklahoma hired him. If it's the right guy at the right school, he'll win. USC fans went ballistic when the school hired Pete Carroll.

Mason (Provo, UT)

If BYU destroys every team they play for the rest of the season ala 04 UT, and lets say there are no other undefeated teams by the end of the season, will BYU deserve to play in the NC?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:11 PM)

I would think so, but you've got a lot of ifs there. I'll say this: BYU would have a 22-game winning streak if it finishes 12-0. That will be hard to ignore.

Marcus (Salt Lake City)

Ivan, Settle a bet? What are the top five most scenic venues? I've got Husky Stadium number 1 (yes, I know! A ranking with UW at the top!!!).

Ivan Maisel
  (2:13 PM)

I love Husky Stadium. But I haven't been there in eight years, which just kills me. BYU has a beautiful setting. The Rose Bowl (duh). Notre Dame, with Touchdown Jesus peeking over one end zone. And last, Oregon. Autzen is almost surrounded by beautiful evergreens.

Monte (Dublin, OH)

Since OSU is no longer the most hated college football team, who takes over?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:14 PM)

I read Rob Oller's column today in the Columbus Dispatch discussing that. He nominated Florida. Inspired choice. But I thought Notre Dame retired that trophy a long time ago.

Michael (Baton Rouge)

Why is USC getting all the attention? They beat OSU, which they were favored by 11 points. If you are favored by more than 2 o 3 then the game isn't really that good. Just because OSU was ranked in the top 5 (of yet another beat down) please stop giving credit to playing an overhyped slow team. Nobody will argue with USC being a great team, but let them play LSU or UGA's schedule and you will count at least 3 losses.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:15 PM)

Michael, I love loyal fans, but if you think USC would go 5-3 in the SEC, you need to back off the cough medicine.

Lou (Bethesda, MD)

Ivan, first off: happy new year in advance. Second: thoughts on PSU-ILL and the White Out?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:17 PM)

Thanks. For the first time in four years, I think, there is no Jewish holiday on a Saturday this year, for which I would like to thank the lunar calendar. I like Penn State because Illinois mailed it in against ULL and Penn State hasn't mailed it in against anyone. Penn State a whiteout, Georgia a blackout; Too bad they're not playing each other. That would look strange.

Mike, OH

OSU will still win the Big Ten, you heard it here. For some reason, Tressel gets his players ready for Big Ten play. Beanie coming back will help Pryor alot. What do you think Ivan?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:18 PM)

I have heard the Beanie/Pryor theory. It makes sense in the abstract. In reality, Wells has one of those injuries that never heals. I want to see him play two games in a row without a problem before I commit to him.

Ben (Atlanta)

Georgia Tech should be 5-1 when they go to Clemson on 10/18. After that, they have 3 of their last 4 ACC games at home (the only road game being UNC) Is it inconceivable to think that Paul Johnson could win the ACC in his first year at Georgia Tech?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)

Not after what the Yellow Jackets did to Mississippi State. When you see the triple option once a season, it's tough to prepare for. And unlike the service academies, Tech has some speed. A little, anyway.

Lou (Bethesda, MD)

Ivan, gotta say: yours is the only profession where its INCONVENIENT that a Jewish holiday falls on a Saturday.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:20 PM)

Touche.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Which QB do you think should start for Oregon? Masoli, Harper, Thomas?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:21 PM)

Pretty soon you'll be able to just pull out the student directory and read names. You have to think if Thomas knew enough offense to get the Ducks three touchdowns last week, then he should play. Now that his redshirt has been burned, why save him?

J-Mac (Columbus, OH)

Ivan, I asked last week about where to go for college football games on my vacation to Georgia next fall. What about up here in the land of the cold football (Midwest). What are some of your fave tailgate parties up here. We like to think the Ohio State fans compete with the SEC fans better than our team does!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:23 PM)

I'll be honest. I don't tailgate very often. I'm usually up in the press box watching games. Besides, if you go to a tailgate and you're the only one not drinking beer, it's pretty sad. So I'll have to disqualify myself.

Mike ( Happy Valley, Pa)

What are your thoughts on the Wisconsin/Michigan game?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:24 PM)

I think Wisconsin will play well and win easily. Michigan is a year away. Wisconsin has had two weeks to prepare and has a veteran offensive line and very good running backs.

Travis C. (Lake Highlands)

Have you seen Baylor's QB Robert Griffin yet? My gosh, how did the big programs let this guy get away? Can one player turn a perennial loser like Baylor into a bowl team?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:26 PM)

I watched almost every play of the Baylor-UConn game last Friday night. No, I don't have a life. Your point, though, I agree with. My only concern is that, if UConn hit Griffin that hard, what's going to happen to him when he plays Oklahoma and Texas? Yikes. I do have a lot of respect for Griffin, and for Briles for convincing him to play in Waco.

Gill Minneapolis., MN

Now does it look like the Alabama Board of Trustee' veto of Jimbo Fisher's contract with Alabama Birmigham ended-up doing the Blazer's a favor?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:27 PM)

I wouldn't go there. Neil Callaway hasn't exactly turned around the Blazers yet.

ChaSe (Kalamazoo, MI)

Ivan---Hi. Do you think Western Michigan will be a MAC sleeper? And, do you see us beating Temple Saturday? thanks

Ivan Maisel
  (2:28 PM)

I never consider WMU a sleeper, at least not since Bill Cubit has been there. I think that's an interesting game. Temple is good. WMU has the advantage of getting the Owls coming off of Penn State. You know that had to be a physical game.

Andy (Miami, FL)

Do you really think no one will care about college football until January if there is a playoff? I find that absurd. Any playoff would involve 16 teams at the most, meaning winning conferences and finishing with only 1 or 2 losses would still be key to making the playoff and keeping every week and every game relevant and important.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:30 PM)

College basketball ratings have gone down the last several years -- until March. I don't think college football would be any different. College football ratings have gone up since the inception of the BCS. All we do is talk about and obsess over the rankings, the relative strengths of teams. There is more interest.

Joe - LA

How do you come up with - michigan is still a year away? Is this your "expert" knowledge that you have or just a guess like every idiot on espn?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:31 PM)

How are things at diplomacy school, Joe? Oh, I don't know. Losing to Utah, losing to Notre Dame by a healthy margin, which turned around and got waxed by Michigan State. I have talked to people within the program, but I think you could make the claim that the Wolverines are a year away without inside knowledge. All you have to do is read their scores.

Matt (Denver, CO)

Ivan, How will my buffaloes fair against Fsu this weekend in Jacksonville? Will FSU be able to get the offense started?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:34 PM)

I am bullish on Colorado, although I'm not sure why. I think I want the Big 12 North to be good again. I would like to see Cody Hawkins make smarter decisions than he has made the first month of the season. I gave him a break last season because of his inexperience. But he needs to be smarter now. I sure like those freshman running backs. And I love watching Hypolite on the d-line. What a motor! I think Colorado can beat Florida State, because I don't think Florida State can beat Florida State. Seven turnovers last week -- wow.

Aaron: (Arlington, TX)

IVAN!!!! Please talk about Texas Tech. I have been trying to get you to talk about them for 30 minutes!!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:34 PM)

I thought the defense would be better this season. The whole reason they started out ranked as high as they did was people believed the defense would be as good as it ended the season last year. Hasn't been the case. I'm skeptical. And Texas looks better than I expected.

Bob (DC)

I don't think your basketball to football comparison is valid. Total interest in all levels of basketball is way down while total interest in all levels of football are way up. I mean has interest and ratings in the NFL suffered since the playoffs expanded with the addition of more divisions and more wildcard teams?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:36 PM)

No, it hasn't. But the appeal of pro football is a completely different animal than the appeal of college football. I love college football. I don't watch that much pro football. Maybe, by dint of my work, I'm not the average fan. I don't know the basketball interest levels across the board. I'll take your word for it.

Carrie: (Lawrence, KS)

What's your prediction for the Huskers-VaTech game this weekend? Are the Huskers back?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:37 PM)

I like Nebraska Saturday but more on faith than evidence. I haven't looked at the game closely yet.

Vic ( Tom river)

Basketball to football common Ivan you are reaching for excuses for no playoff system.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:39 PM)

I wouldn't say I'm reaching for excuses. I just think a playoff isn't the cure-all. Think two years ago. What a great week of buildup for the 1-2 game between Ohio State and Michigan. Winner plays for the national championship. If we had a playoff, they would have been playing for a seeding and the stakes would have been much less interesting outside of the fan bases.

Gary (Pittsburgh, PA)

I'm against the tourney concept, but wouldn't it be cool to implement inter-conference challenges each year similar to college basketball? then again, I guess thats what some of the bowl pairings are for.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:40 PM)

That would be cool. I would hope our programming people would try to pull off something like that. Most schools are reluctant to give away home games, though. Maybe if you had a few neutral sites, it would work.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:40 PM)

Got to go, everyone. Thanks for showing up. Talk to you next week.