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October 25, 8:08 AM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (2:00 PM)

Hi, everyone. Playoffs start this week. Let's get to it.

Paul, tallahassee Fl

The seminoles have been really good, really bad and really lucky at times this season, so how do you see us finishing this year? Can we win the ACC and maybe the orange bowl?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:01 PM)

I spoke with Bobby Bowden yesterday and he sounded encouraged but is still concerned about their inexperience. I think FSU is better, a lot better. But it's asking a lot to see them not stumble somewhere in the league. I'd say they're an early favorite for 09.

John (NYC)

Hi Ivan. What are your thoughts on how the top of the rankings might look if Texas Tech wins this weekend? Will the voters unite behind one school as a near-consensus #1, or will there suddenly be a two- or three-way split of the #1 votes?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:02 PM)

If Tech runs away with it, they'll siphon a lot of support. But Alabama has Arkansas State this week, which should be a big win, so I don't see the Tide falling. Tech could benefit from Penn State not playing, though.

Columbus, OH

If Penn State runs the table and assuming Alabama loses a game before or in the SEC Championship, do you think the Rose will take the Buckeyes in a rematch against USC? I hope not!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:04 PM)

Good question. 10-2 Ohio State? And a 12-1 Bama is available. I think the Rose would take Bama. Great historical ties, and the Rose Bowl could sell 200,000 tickets.

Bernard (Princeton, NJ)

People complain about Penn State's weak OOC schedule and Alabama is playing Arkansas State???? Are they serious?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:04 PM)

Bama played Western Kentucky, too.


which do you like more? A high scoring offensive battle or a low scoring defensive battle?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:05 PM)

Defense. More tension.

Tim (NY)

Ivan, can you please explain why the ratings used in the BCS standings are different than what the computer polls list on their website? For example: USC is rated 9th by Jeff Saragin and 7th by Ken Massey on the recent BCS standings. The Trojans are rated 3td and 4th respectively by those polls when you look on their individual website. Aren't those supposed to be the same?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:05 PM)

The BCS doesn't allow the computer ratings to account for margin of victory. The computer guys include it on their own websites.

Chris (Boston, MA)

Assuming Alabama loses, do you really think a PSU team is more deserving at a national title than say Florida...who's in a dog-fight conference compared to Big 10?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:07 PM)

It will be interesting to watch the Fla-Ga winner go against the sentiment among the voters for JoePa. I think the computers will overcome the sentiment, but if the voters side with JoePa, well, I'm not a smart enough mathematician to figure that out.

Pete (San Francisco, CA)

If Sarkisian leaves SC for U-Dub's head coaching job, who would be a good fit for SC's new offensive coordinator? Is Norm Chow coming back to SC?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:07 PM)

Pete, you will be the next OC for Pete Carroll before Norm Chow.

Jack H. (Austin,Tx)

Who do you think will come out on top, the Longhorn's destructive defensive pass rush, or the Red Raider's offensive line?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:09 PM)

That will be a lot of fun to watch. Orakpo has been one of the best players in the nation, especially in the second half of games. The big tackle at Tech is just as fascinating. I definitely will have the binoculars trained on those two.

Jon (Tulsa, OK)

Who do you see winning the Cal-Oregon matchup this week? Seems that it will likely come down to whether Oregon can run the ball the way they have lately, and whether Cal can block long enough to buy time for their passing offense.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:10 PM)

I'm leaning Ducks but I think it will be a great game.

Dan (Tulsa OK)

What would a win at Arkansas this weekend due for Tulsa's credibility?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:11 PM)

It would help. I think Tulsa's really good, and I think David Johnson is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. But there's a lot of room on the bandwagon.

Tam, Norwalk, CA BYU completely out of the BCS picture. If they beat Utah, and Utah beats TCU, will the Cougs have a remote chance? Or are Utah, Boise, and TCU simply going to win the overall argument for BCS busting?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:12 PM)

I'd say that the Cougars are in line behind Boise State, the TCU-Utah winner and Tulsa. And maybe Ball State.

Brad (South GA)

Why are there so many Alabama haters in the college football world or is it the Nick Saban haters? Why everybody against Alabama?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:13 PM)

The same reason that there are a lot of Yankee haters, and Belichick haters, and people who want to see Federer and Tiger lose. Human nature.

Patrick (Mobile, AL)

Ivan, I dont see AU getting rid of Tubbs with that $6 mill buyout, unless he goes somewhere else. Do you think anyone would take him off Auburns hands? Make a deal where neither side is penalized?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:13 PM)

I don't see Tuberville agreeing to give up $6 million. He seems smarter than that. But if he's on the market, someone would snap him up. Yesterday.

Tom (Santa Monica, CA)

Did USC's national championship hopes die in Columbus on saturday? What has to happen for them to get to Miami?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:15 PM)

Ohio State didn't help SC. And as long as Penn State is undefeated, with its 31-point defeat of the team that beat the Trojans, they're going to be in the back of the bus.

Zach (Midland, TX)

Ivan, Who is your pick to win this week in Lubbock??? I'm leaning towards Tech because they have less pressure. Thoughts?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:16 PM)

I thought Texas would win. But Colin Cowherd reminded me this morning that USC had a four-game stretch against ranked teams at the end of the 2006 season and lost the fourth one on the road to UCLA. I'm going to look at both teams some more.

Rick (Dallas)

Unlike what some are reporting Texas does not have to lose twice to play in the Big 12 Championship. If tech beats Texas and OU Beats Tech a three way tie would send the highest ranked BCS Team. I think OU would get the nod. What do you think?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:17 PM)

OU lost the earliest, so that makes sense. That win over TCU looks pretty good, too.

Craig (PA)

Ivan, can i judge your skill on the past wrong predictions of one of your ESPN collegues? If not, they why is Penn State unfairly judged on Ohio State's past loses?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:18 PM)

Hey, I get judged by what is said on TV by other people all the time. It's not fair. I agree with you. I think Penn State is really, really good. But the Nittany Lions are going to pay a price for being in that league.

Mike (Austin, TX)

Ivan, word of advice, don't ever, and I mean ever, listen to Colin Cowherd.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)

Well, I was on his show.

Mike (Cleveland, OH)

Ivan, if Tuberville gets canned, is the Auburn name a big enough name for Rich Rod to jump at - he could give the spread offense another try.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)


Stevie (Dallas, TX)

How about answering Zach's question and not avoid it.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:21 PM)

My point is I don't know. I'm going to keep studying the game. They don't play until Saturday.

pat (storrs, ct)

What chance does UConn have of finally beating WVU this weekend? Do you think donald brown will put his usual eye popping numbers?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:22 PM)

I think UConn's got a shot. I know WVU looks like it's pulling together but I'm not ready to say that's a BCS team yet.

Ralph (Atlanta, GA)

How many will the Dawgs win by this weekend?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:23 PM)

I'm leaning Gators. They have looked tremendous over the last few weeks. And I think the way that Alabama took advantage of the inexperience on the Georgia offensive line has scarred me. I'm not ready to trust the Dawgs yet in a game of this magnitude.

Mike (Toledo)

Would you say that Pryor is better worse or about the same of what you thought he would be? And do you think the Penn State loss is going to make him better or worse?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:25 PM)

Better than I thought he would be. But he still looks like a freshman at inopportune times. Obviously, the decision not to take the first down on the play that ended with his fumble. And I don't like the way he throws downfield. The ball doesn't zip. I assume it will as he gets stronger.

I'm at work (Washington DC)

Yo Ivan! Where do you want to be this weekend, Lubbock or Jacksonville?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:26 PM)

I'm going to Lubbock. My choice. I haven't been there since the early 1990s. And whenever a game of this magnitude lands on a campus that hasn't had one like this in years, it's a happening. That's what I want to see.

Phil (Chicago)

What makes you think the Rose Bowl would take Alabama over Ohio State? Did you not see last year when they took a mediocre Illinois team over much more deserving candidates.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:27 PM)

One, they got roasted for doing so last year. Two, they had a noncompetitive game. Three, Alabama has a rich history in the Rose Bowl. The words "Remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then" are in the Tide fight song. Four, Ohio State would be a rematch against USC. That's their excuse.

Dave (Dallas)

Do you find it (a) ironic, (b) humorous, or (c) dumbfounding that certain fans and media that follow college football look to see the glass half empty in a victory like PSU had over OSU (whereby, it was about as good as a game I have seen this receivers running 15 yards open in 7 on 7 look alike video game football, no penalties by PSU and only 4 by OSU, and only one turnover that made all the difference between these 2 teams) and because of this they try to indict the Big Ten or PSU's chances of matching up in the future. Meanwhile, I look at the NFL week in and week out, the gold standard for football level of play, and I see a heck of a lot more games like the PSU vs. OSU battle each week..maybe 40% of the games go like that each week. And, never do I see games go the way of a recent OU game (55 points in a half...then giving up 30 the next half). When are people going to realize that 7 on 7 football is not necessarily better and that it is certainly not any predictive value in future matchups? I would think that after seeing 7 of 9 most recent BCS champions being those who are experienced in winning games like PSU won the other night would enlighten some, but it does not. What is your take?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:29 PM)

Long question but a great point. I really enjoyed that game Saturday night. I thought I'd never see a game that good with only one touchdown scored ever again. I like defensive games. The tension late in the game is great.

Rob (Omaha, NE)

Can we scrap the rule limiting a conference to 2 teams in the BCS please? Don't you think that chances are very good that someone deserving from the Big 12 will feel hosed again this year?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:30 PM)

Follow the money, Rob. No conference wants to give one of the others three bids.

James Williams (Greenville, SC)

If Texas wins this weekend and Colt McCoy has another big game, will be be the heisman winner no matter what happens the rest of the season?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:31 PM)

If he stays healthy, yes. Don't forget, in the second week of November last year, Dennis Dixon was the runaway leader in all the Heisman polls.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

I dozed off. Is Dave's question over yet?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:31 PM)

You'll never make it through college, Michael.


OU's pass defense is 93rd in country....are they just that bad, or are the Big 12 QB's that good?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:33 PM)

Once middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds blew his knee out against Texas, the Sooners' defense fell apart. I can't remember one guy meaning so much to a defense. It's not a championship defense -- duh.

Brian (Dover)

Is it possible that Penn State may be the best team in the country right now, EVEN THOUGH they play in a weaker conference?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:34 PM)

Absolutely. Let the screaming begin.

Mitch (Gainesville, FL)

Ivan, let the people (like Phil from Chicago) know that the Rose Bowl couldn't have picked Georgia last season unless the Sugar Bowl released the Bulldogs. That wasn't going to happen because all signs pointed to Hawaii being the other team in the Sugar Bowl.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:35 PM)

That is true, except that the Rose Bowl never bothered to ask for Georgia.

Charlie (Mesa, AZ)

When did being a fan of a conference start? I don't remember anyone caring which conference was stronger during the '90s; now it's all anyone wants to talk about.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:35 PM)

I think it's one of the byproducts of the BCS. Makes it fun, doesn't it? I love hearing the SEC fans chant when they win a big non-conference game.

Smiley (Tacquiera el Milagro)

Will my Rebs go 7-5 and make the Music City Bowl? What are your thoughts?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:36 PM)

That means beating Auburn and Mississippi State. I'd say 6-6.

Michael (Odessa, TX)

Ivan, If Texas Tech beats Texas this weekend, do you see Oklahoma or Oklahoma St. being able to knock them off after beating the team that beat both of them?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:37 PM)

With the Oklahoma game in Norman, I think it's going to be tough for the Red Raiders, although that Sooner defense gives me the willies.

Travis (Midland, TX)

If Tech does beat Texas, Does that put Harrel in the front seat for the heisman?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:37 PM)

Not necessarily. What if McCoy has a great game?


Do you think all conferences should crown their champions the same way?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:38 PM)

No. I don't know why they should. The Pac-10 has no playoff, but it has a round-robin, which is every bit as legit. Maybe more.

Chris (Corvallis, OR)


Ivan Maisel
  (2:40 PM)

I think everyone hopes that the Beavers have to win the Civil War to get to the Rose Bowl. That would be one helluva show.

Dan (Cleveland)

Ivan, Penn State one flag thrown against them against OSU, which was declined. The refs clearly missed the Penn State player punching the ball forward down field on Pryors fumble which is a penalty. How do you address the fact that OSU's opponents are the least penalized teams in the country for three years running? This is a fact.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:41 PM)

Obviously, there's a vast conspiracy against the Buckeyes, Dan. But it's a secret. Don't tell anyone.

Dave (St. Louis)

So you didn't like my original TCU question, but if TCU beats Utah, should they (two wins over top 10 teams, one los on the road versus #1 OU) be placed ahead of Boise St. (one win versus Oregon and lots against Little Sisters of the Poor)?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:42 PM)

I think TCU would leap over Boise. I'd want to see the game before I say whether they deserve to. I plan to watch it, too.

David Fairborn, OH

Be honest, Ivan the Great. Would you be at all interested in a Minnesota - Oregon State rose bowl? (PS, go Ducks)

Ivan Maisel
  (2:43 PM)

Oh. My. God.

WIll (Tampa, FL)

Ivan, what do you see as the outcome for this weekends cocktail party in Jacksonville, and why?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:44 PM)

I think Florida has looked really good for the last month. I like the Gators. Special teams have been really good. Speed is tremendous.

Matt (Atlanta)

Sorry Ivan, Dan doesn't represent the rest of the Ohio State fans. Let's face it, that game had holding penalties far and wide, and neither team had many called so it went both ways. How do you see Ohio State bouncing back this year and next with so many seniors basically having nothing else to play for?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:46 PM)

I don't see the Buckeyes mailing it in this year. Tressel's teams don't mail it in.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:47 PM)

Thanks, everyone. Enjoy Saturday. Oughta be a good one.