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October 31, 1:15 PM ET
Chat with Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett
  (2:58 PM)

It's a historic day many have us have waited years for, and I hope everyone will participate. That's right, I'm talking about my Tuesday football chat. (Nothing else is going on today, right?).

Brian Bennett
  (2:58 PM)

Let's talk some football, Big East and otherwise

Chris Monti (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

West Virginia and South Florida have earned my respect for setting up games with SEC teams (ie. both have played Auburn recently). Have you heard anything about future non-conference match ups between Big East Schools and BCS conference schools that we can look forward to? I think every Big East team should schedule at least one out of conference game each year against a team from the ACC, SEC, or Big 10.

Brian Bennett
  (3:00 PM)

A couple off the top of my head, Chris: Louisville will play Georgia, South Florida is playing Miami and Florida, WVU will play LSU, Cincy gets Oklahoma at home in two years, and UConn has Notre Dame and Tennessee coming up. I'm sure there are many others I'm missing.

Steve K. (Louisville, KY)

Did I just replace Greg R. on the front line hot seat?

Brian Bennett
  (3:01 PM)

Absolutely not. Greg Robinson has owed Kragthorpe somehow, but Kragthorpe is under no pressure of being fired. If he gets this team to a bowl, he did a great job this season.

Aaron (Cincinnati)

Talk everyone in Cincinnati off the ledge...While Brian Kelly is a great coach TN will be looking for someone with more than 2 years D1 experience, correct? Most UC fans are aware he won't be here forever but I do think it will take a specific job to get him away.

Brian Bennett
  (3:03 PM)

Kelly has a lot more experience than that. He was at Central Michigan for three years and won two national titles in D-II. I'm not sure Tennessee is a great fit for him, though. I'd be more worried if Penn State came open, if I were a Bearcats fan

Michael (Bristol, England)

If given that your 3 top contenders in the Big East - Cincy, Pitt & WVU) have all yet to play each other and assuming they each win their remaining games with non-contenders (BIG if) how do you see the win/losses working out when they play each other?

Brian Bennett
  (3:04 PM)

Cheerio, Michael. Yes, I do see each suffering at least one loss. I think WVU will beat Cincinnati this week, Cincinnati will beat Pitt and then WVU-Pitt is a tossup. And there could be other losses in there. It's going to be fun to watch

Pete Zimmerman (Gainesville FL)

Firing Fulmer? The right thing to do to a longtime coach in a staggering system? Or The wrong thing to do to a coach who has delivered conference championships? Did Tennessee have to press the panic button and kick Fulmer out

Brian Bennett
  (3:05 PM)

I do think it was time for a change, because things had gotten stale there in Knoxville. Why they just signed him to a new deal is beyond me. The SEC has become a win now or else league, unfortunately.

Justin (Tampa, FLorida)

Why do I hear little to no conversation about how USF has the tendency to flop late in seasons, especially this year when the Big Least was theirs to lose?

Brian Bennett
  (3:06 PM)

Read my blog post from last Friday. It's definitely a troubling pattern and one that will harm the Bulls' reputation in the future

Paul (Milford MA)

If UConn wins its last three games - Syracuse, USF, Pitt - what are its chances of winning or sharing the BE championship?

Brian Bennett
  (3:06 PM)

The Huskies would then be 5-2 and would own the tiebreaker against Pitt and Cincinnati. Problem is, they'd need West Virginia to lose twice to tie and three times to win outright. That's a tall order.

Jim (Highland Park)

Brian, I'm putting you on the spot. Rutgers - Bowling or Not?

Brian Bennett
  (3:07 PM)

I say they finish 6-6. Whether that's good enough for a bowl will depend entirely on how many Big East teams are bowl eligible and how many slots are open for the league. I think they'd be low in the pecking order.

David (STL, MO)

Would it be a mistake to leave an undefeated Penn State out of the nc game in favor of a one loss Big 12-SEC champ showdown? Personally I think that would be the better game, and possibly the more deserving teams.

Brian Bennett
  (3:09 PM)

Personally, I'd rather see a Big 12-SEC matchup in the title game. But it's going to be tough to leave out the undefeated Big 10 champ. Man, wouldn't a plus-one be great this year?

Javon Ringer (el, mi)

Will I at least be holding the Doak Walker?

Brian Bennett
  (3:09 PM)

You got some competition from Donald Brown and LeSean McCoy, plus others. Lot of football left.

Lenny:(Rineyville,KY):

What bowl game do u think Kentucky will play in? and who do u think the will play against and who do u think will win that game?

Brian Bennett
  (3:10 PM)

Call me crazy, but how about a rematch between the Cats and Cards in the Papajohns.com Bowl? It's close for both fan bases, and the pizza chain could market the heck out of it. Would spice up an otherwise boring bowl

Clay (Oakland, CA)

Pat White as a freshman or Robert Griffin?

Brian Bennett
  (3:11 PM)

Griffin has been sensational, but give me the guy who beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl as a frosh.

Garrett Hannah (Tonkawa, OK)

What do you think OK States chances are of beating Tech?

Brian Bennett
  (3:12 PM)

Any time you come off a huge, emotionally-draining game like Tech won against Texas, there's always the possibility of a letdown. And OK State is awfully good. At least it's at home. I say Tech pulls it out but loses to Oklahoma later on

Cory (Winston-Salem)

Do you see UF making it to the title game?

Brian Bennett
  (3:13 PM)

The Gators were my preseason pick, and I'm sticking with 'em. I like their chances against Alabama in the SEC title game. It's going to depend on whether they can get in with one loss.

Andy (MA)

Settle an argument with a friend please. A loss is inevitable but what would the final score be of UCONN vs. USC at UCONN in your opinion?

Brian Bennett
  (3:13 PM)

I assume you mean Southern Cal and not the Gamecocks. Trojans by three or four TDs in that one.

Drew (Lincoln,NE)

Who will get the ticket to the Big 12 championship if Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all tie for it?

Brian Bennett
  (3:14 PM)

I believe our Tim Griffin covered this in his blog earlier this week, so check that out. If I remember correctly, it would be the team with the highest BCS ranking at the time. Right now, Texas is one spot ahead of Oklahoma, leaving the 'Horns in good shape should Tech lose to the Sooners

Kirk (LA)

Who are your top choices to fill the openings at UW and Tennessee? How about Mike Price (UTEP) or Peterson (Boise St.)?

Brian Bennett
  (3:15 PM)

There will be a lot of names tossed around. I think Lane Kiffin and Muschamp are top candidates at this point.

Brian Bennett
  (3:16 PM)

No politics on this chat, guys. Don't include candidate names as your own handle, or I won't answer the question.

Gary (Tulsa)

Can LSU upset Alabama? After all, it is a day game.

Brian Bennett
  (3:17 PM)

I know this: it's not the first game Alabama wants to play as No. 1. The LSU motivation is already sky high with Nick Saban coming back

Jim (Indianapolis)

Brian - do you think that the St. Petersburg Bowl, or even one of the other bowls that the Big East has a tie-in with, could step-up with more money so the Big East can end this crap with the Gator Bowl and get something more reliable?

Brian Bennett
  (3:18 PM)

It's not so much money as it is prestige. The St. Pete bowl is brand new while the Gator Bowl is a New Year's Day bowl with some tradition. The Big East will work on getting better affiliations when their contract expires next year.

Mike (Boston)

Any chance that Edsall will be hired away from UConn by SU or another team?

Brian Bennett
  (3:20 PM)

He turned down Georgia Tech last year, and Syracuse is a step down at this point. It would have to be the right fit, and I don't see one right now. I think he's pretty happy with what he's building at UConn.

Chris (Wallingford, CT)

Maybe after this week, it's time for some bowl projections from the Big East blogger. I'll take a quick stab... Orange Bowl - WVU Sun - Pitt Car Care - Cincy International - UConn PapaJohn's - Louisville One of the bowls left vacant by a Pac 10 team - USF

Brian Bennett
  (3:22 PM)

Still so jumbled, it's hard to say. Right now, I'd go: Orange: WVU. Car Care: Pitt. International: UConn. Papajohns: Louisville. St. Pete: USF. Cincy takes vacant C-USA spot somewhere

Matt (houston)

Why is Louisville in the "others receiving votes" category after losing to Rutgers?

Brian Bennett
  (3:22 PM)

That is an all-time head-scratcher. The only thing I can figure is that some voter(s) simply didn't pay any attention to the scores.

LO

Is it time for the Big 12 to reorganize the divisions? South has been dominant for too long.

Brian Bennett
  (3:23 PM)

North was pretty good with Kansas and Mizzou last year, and Nebraska used to be a force and may get there again. These things are cyclical.

LOU (SOUTH EBND)

YOU FORGOT GATOR BOWL NOTRE DAME lose to big east teams and take their bowl bids and money the American way.

Brian Bennett
  (3:24 PM)

Right now, I'd say Big 12 team in Gator and ND to the Sun, though Cotton still a possibility

Matt - Cincy

Cincy has a contract to play Georiga as well as Oklahoma and Ohio state within the next few years... is this good or bad for the program if it wants to get to big time bowls?

Brian Bennett
  (3:25 PM)

It's good -- as long you play well. But let's face it, in the Big East right now, the only way to get to a "big-time" bowl is to win the league anyway.

Shawn ( Gaithersburg MD)

Brian, should Pitt wear their away white uniforms this weekend at Heinz Field in order to finally play a good game at home?

Brian Bennett
  (3:26 PM)

It is confusing why Pitt seems to play so much better at home. Maybe they feel the pressure to play well in front of the home fans, who have been (rightly, for the most part) critical of the program the past few years. It's a trend that Pitt needs to reverse to get where it wants this year

Jon (Gainesville)

Hey Brian, point blank quesiton: Assuming Joepa goes out on top at Penn State, is Schiano ditching Rutgers for Happy Valley next year?

Brian Bennett
  (3:27 PM)

I don't think Schiano would be the top candidate at this point. His star has dimmed a bit from the past two years.

Pete from Piscataway

Brian, Will the Scarlet Knights see you in Piscataway on Thursday December 4th when RU plays Louisville? This game always produces some excitement. The Rutgers faithful would love to hear your thoughts about tailgating and atmosphere in Schianoville.

Brian Bennett
  (3:28 PM)

Too soon to tell. Depends on how the teams play. If I had my druthers, I'd be going to Cincinnati at Hawaii that week. Professional reasons only, of course

Jud-Salt Lake City, Utah

Do you think that the MWC deserves an automatic BCS bid over the Big East?

Brian Bennett
  (3:29 PM)

If we're talking just this year, then maybe. Historically, though, the Big East is very deserving of its bid. Again, why don't MWC fans cry about how bad the ACC has been in bowls?

MacNeil (Fort Worth)

With the growing chances of two non-bcs bids being given out, what are the chances that TCU receives an at large bid. In other words, assuming TCU and Boise runs the table, along with Ohio State, which two teams would most likely receive the final two bcs spots

Brian Bennett
  (3:30 PM)

I don't think that's going to happen. I think we'll see two Big 12, two SEC, two Big 10 and one non-BCS in the 10 slots.

Mike (CT)

I think the Big East has some great coaches. Who do you think is the best?

Brian Bennett
  (3:33 PM)

I really like the way Edsall and Kelly handle their in-game adjustments and always seem to have their teams prepared.

GoWVU (Los Angeles)

Brian, the Texas Bowl originally announced an alternate-year deal for the 2006-9 seasons with a BE or C-USA team facing a constant Big 12 opponent. Rutgers (BE) went in '06 to face Kansas St, while Houston (C-USA) went last year to face TCU (who filled the Big 12 spot). Yet the bowl again lists C-USA as the Big 12 opponent this year. What happened to the BE portion of the contract? It would come in handy this year with Notre Dame apparently set to usurp the Gator Bowl spot from the regular BE membership.

Brian Bennett
  (3:33 PM)

It's my understanding that the deal changed and the Big East is no longer associated with that game

Alan(Hurricane, WV)

Any chance Syracuse sees the W column again this year? If so whos the best bet for the W?

Brian Bennett
  (3:34 PM)

I think their best chance is against Rutgers this weekend. The rest of the way looks pretty demanding.

PJ (Greenville, SC)

Brian, WVU's defense gets better each week, but still have been yet to see a high powered passing attack. I think Cincy will be a challenge for us (WV) in Morgantown, whether Grutza comes back or Pike is under center! Who are you leaning towards early in this game (without giving your actual prediction of course)?

Brian Bennett
  (3:36 PM)

Looks like Pike will be the guy, with Grutza maybe standing in as No. 2. It's going to be a challenge, for sure, and I'm looking forward to being there in Morgantown. I give the edge to West Virginia at home.

Donald Brown (Storrs, CT)

Will I ever play in the NFL?

Brian Bennett
  (3:36 PM)

You'll definitely get a chance. You're freakishly well-conditioned with speed and strength.

Clay (Oakland, CA)

It's no secret that South Florida is struggling...to what do you attribute this uninspiring stretch of games?

Brian Bennett
  (3:37 PM)

The secondary has been terrible. The offensive line is allowing too much pressure on Grothe, who struggles when you can get hands in his face. Big East teams have figured out how to scheme against the Bulls, who haven't changed up their looks enough. And injuries have hurt.

Matt- Cincy

I just have to get your thoughts because this amuses me to no end. A Pitt fan has claimed Pitt will be in the Nat. Championship next year. Give me your honest, truthful thoughts on the possibility of that happening.

Brian Bennett
  (3:38 PM)

It's a long shot, at best. But if McCoy comes back, they're almost assuredly the preseason Big East favorites.

Jud-(SLC)

Good point, wouldn't a playoff solve all these problems?

Brian Bennett
  (3:39 PM)

As I've said, I'm a plus-one guy. Think of what we could have this year: Big 12 champ vs. USC in one game, SEC champ vs. Penn State in the other, with the winners meeting. Wouldn't that solve just about every complaint (sorry, Utah and Boise fans)?

Joe (austin)

Does OU jump TX in the BCS if it beats Texas Tech and OSU or does Texas' victory earlier in the year keep them out front?

Brian Bennett
  (3:41 PM)

That one will probably rest entirely in the hands of the voters. A lot will depend on how impressive Oklahoma looks and what Texas does the rest of the way. Brace for the usual chaos and controversy

John (UConn)

Donald Brown or Shady McCoy?

Brian Bennett
  (3:42 PM)

Fantastic question. They're both great in different ways. You can't go wrong either way. I like McCoy a little tiny bit better, but that's just a personal preference. I think he can do special things other backs can't.

Mike (Wilson, NC)

Texas USC Rose Bowl ?

Brian Bennett
  (3:43 PM)

I'd watch that, wouldn't you? It's going to be interesting to see what the Rose Bowl does if its Big Ten choice is Ohio State. They couldn't possibly want that rematch, could they?

Christopher(Oklahoma city)

Will Sam Bradford will the Hiesmen in his time at OU?

Brian Bennett
  (3:43 PM)

He might win it this year if he can lead his team past Texas Tech and has a big day

Robert Memphis

Do you know what has more depth the big east or the ACC.

Brian Bennett
  (3:45 PM)

Well, the easy answer is the ACC, since it has four more teams. I like the teams at the top of the Big East slightly better than those at the top of the ACC (and does anyone even know who those teams are?). Very good chance the ACC and Big East champs meet in a BCS game

Jay (Tampa Fl)

Does Pat White get drafted as a running back or defensive back.

Brian Bennett
  (3:46 PM)

I see him as a WR

Joe (WV)

Your pick for most improved Big East team so far?

Brian Bennett
  (3:47 PM)

Most improved during the year? West Virginia. Most improved from last year? Pitt

Onder (Norman)

Brian, how is Cincy's QB Grutza healing? I remember him in the OU vs Cincy game and I hope everything is working out OK with his ankle/leg!

Brian Bennett
  (3:47 PM)

He practiced yesterday and is supposedly coming along. I'll have a post on this later today.

Cody (Hannibal, MO)

Why is Florida ahead of Oklahoma in the polls? Oklahoma lost to a top 5 team on a neutral field and Florida lost to an average team at home. Florida did beat Georgia but it seems like Georgia is playing out to be just Missouri in the Big 12. Since Oklahoma lost to Texas they have put up huge numbers and gained little respect. Why do you think this is?

Brian Bennett
  (3:50 PM)

It's the way Florida is playing, absolutely crushing LSU, Kentucky and Georgia. Plus, the SEC gets a ton of respect, probably more than it deserves this year. But, if the Gators win out, they will have beaten LSU, Georgia, Florida State and likely Alabama. That would be a pretty good resume, even with the bad loss. Certainly better than Penn State's resume, no?

Peter (NYC)

How is it that ND can be this bad for this long and still command national attention, bowl attention and big cash...I just don't get it...!

Brian Bennett
  (3:50 PM)

Tradition and a huge fan base.

Jon (venice, CA)

I don't think anyone would want to watch the ACC and big east champ play anyone besides each other. Each league's champ would get DESTROYED against the #1-6 teams from the Big 12 and #1-4 teams from the SEC. Let the little boys league champs play each other, except ban both from the 'BCS'

Brian Bennett
  (3:52 PM)

OK, Jon, just tell me who the No. 4 team would be from the SEC? LSU? Would that be the team that got taken to the wire by Auburn? The same Auburn team that West Virginia destroyed? Or let's go to the Big 12. Didn't Oklahoma get crushed by the Big East champ in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl?

Mike (CT)

Game of the year. Who do you got...Washington or Washington ST?

Brian Bennett
  (3:52 PM)

Ha. I got the remote control, to make sure I never set eyes upon that travesty.

Kelli, Denver

(Am I being ignored because I am a girl?) Again, why is there this expectation that Bama will lose to LSU and possible Florida in an SEC matchup. Who cares how good your offense is when the defense you are playing causes fumbles and interceptions. Hard to score six when you don't have the ball.....

Brian Bennett
  (3:53 PM)

Who's expecting Alabama to lose? All I said is that LSU will be extra-motivated this week. Alabama's still a better team. Alabama-Florida would be a great game. I hope we get to see it.

Carl (houston,tx)

Is there going to be a conference championship on the big 10/big east someday? I think the should (not fair for other conferences to play an extra game and risk a season)...

Brian Bennett
  (3:54 PM)

Definitely not in the Big East ... there are only eight teams and they all play each other. Don't think it's on the Big Ten radar either.

Cody (Hannibal, MO)

I agree, it would be better than Penn State's resume. Do you think if Oklahoma wins out they will have a chance at going to the national title?

Brian Bennett
  (3:55 PM)

A very good chance, yes. If Alabama and Penn State are undefeated, though, they could be third in line.

Shane (Oklahoma):

Florida's resume is better than Penn State's? Consider this: Penn States signature win, at Ohio State, is tougher than any game Florida has or will play this year. Give me Bama on a neutral field vs At Ohio State any day.

Brian Bennett
  (3:56 PM)

That's one game. I'd take Florida's wins over LSU, Georgia, Florida State and Alabama if that happened.

Casto (Washington, D.C.)

Brian, the SEC fans only remember when their teams play Syracuse and teams of that level when it comes to the Big East. They forget the losses, of which the SEC has 5 in a row against WVU (thanks Georgia, Auburn, Miss St and Ole Miss)!

Brian Bennett
  (3:57 PM)

Thank you.

Jon (venice, CA)

ACC and Big east are WAY down compared to last year. SEC is down too, but their #4 would still beat the crap out of the Big East Champ. Also, KANSAS.... that is KANSAS beat the ACC champ last year. Now consider that the conference is WORSE this year.... put Oklahoma against Big East/ACC champ this year you get a 40 point victory for oklahoma, same with LSU and their non existent offense against ACC/Big east champ

Brian Bennett
  (3:59 PM)

The same Kansas that South Florida (currently seventh-place in the Big East) beat this year? Hey, nobody's arguing the Big East isn't a little down this year. But it's better than you think.

Clay, Columbus, Ohio

Do you think Notre Dame should be be in the Big East, like they are in basketball?

Brian Bennett
  (4:00 PM)

Only if the Big East could guarantee them their own TV network and would let them keep every penny of their bowl payouts.

Ian, Hollywood CA

Hey Brian, if Kelly and my Bearcats run the table, what are the odds of him getting coach of the year given all the QB problems?

Brian Bennett
  (4:00 PM)

Probably not going to happen nationally because Cincinnati gets overlooked a lot. But he'd be a lock for Big East honors

Patrick (Mobile, AL)

Shane in Oklahoma trying to talk up Penn State's signature win is beating Ohio State. This is the same Ohio State that the SEC has used as a whipping boy for the past 2 years? Brian, should he be institutionalized?

Brian Bennett
  (4:01 PM)

Shouldn't we all for loving this crazy sport that makes us argue over the same things every fall?

Brian Bennett
  (4:01 PM)

That's all for me. Thanks for the questions. Enjoy the week and good luck to your teams.