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November 6, 12:34 PM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (2:00 PM)

Hi everyone. Glad to be here. Little disappointed I'm not the new commissioner of the Big East, but I'll get over it.

Ben (Fort Worth, Texas)

Can two teams from one conference play for the National Championship? If Texas Tech wins out and Texas wins out they could, and should, end up 1 2 in the BCS standings.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:02 PM)

The rules allow for conference opponents to play in the BCS Championship Game. It looked as if Ohio State and Michigan would play two years ago. Didn't happen.

allen (pasadena)

With the latest poll conducted by sportsnation with regards to a college football playoff vs. the BCS, I think it's pretty clear who favors what format. It's obvious that the fans unanimously want a playoff. Stating otherwise - the debate is good for the sport, that the whole regular season is a playoff, and the huge success of the BCS thus far - is way off base. The debate isn't good for the sport... it's good for the media and it's coverage of it. If the whole regular season is a "playoff," shouldn't only undefeated teams play for the national championship? And the success of the BCS comes from the fact that fans genuinely love their teams and, given the current BCS format where you have to root against other teams, sure ratings are up. But that's taking advantage of the fact that fans are fans regardless of the system in place. It's like taking candy from a baby, except in this case, it's $125 million. I really think congress should step in at some point to address all of the money being made for an organization that is "non-profit."

Ivan Maisel
  (2:05 PM)

Well, that's a mouthful, Allen. I don't doubt that the fans want a playoff. My point is, be careful of what you're giving up. Just because you change doesn't mean it's going to be better. It just means it will be different. As for Congress, according to my 401K, which we now refer to as a 201K, I'm pretty sure Congress has more important things to do right now.

Dan, Los Angeles CA

Ivan, I really enjoy your balanced perspective on everything college football. Could you please breakdown what you think the conference strength perspective would be towards the Pac10 vis a vis other conferences, if every Pac10 school had 4 OOC games, instead of 3, and scheduled predominantly SEC or Big12 style OOC games. Even the MWC games the Pac10 schools lost were mostly BYU, Utah & TCU (good teams) or on the road. I think every Pac10 team would have 2-3 more victories - except USC of course, since they always win those anyway. Thanks.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:09 PM)

I get into that in my I-Formation column today. There are only seven teams in the other five major conferences that may play in a bowl game and didn't have a win over a I-AA team. In the Pac-10, only two teams scheduled a I-AA opponent. I think Pac-10 probably does pay a price for a tougher schedule. That said, the league isn't that strong this year, so don't get too carried away with that argument.

John (Dallas)

The computers and the polls rankings are clearly at odds. I like the computers where there's no personal or regional bias. Your thought?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:10 PM)

My problem with the computers is that we don't really know who puts the programs together or what their biases may be. The commissioners say that they have looked at the programs and that the programs are OK, but it's not exactly transparent.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:10 PM)

On the other hand, I'm so computer-dense that they could explain the whole thing to me and I wouldn't understand it.


Moreno and Stafford, gone or coming back?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:11 PM)

I assume they won't decide until January. Based on performance, I would think that Moreno would go and Stafford would stay. But I don't have any idea what they will do.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:12 PM)

Glen in Pensacola, I'm not answering your question because you asked it 50 times. Knock it off.

Jason: Lehi, UT

I'm tired of seeing fans storm the field with time left on the clock. Can't they read the clock? Anyways, how about a stiff penalty if that happens. Maybe letting the other team start at the 50 or something?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:14 PM)

It's obnoxious. The conferences fine the schools, and the refs assess penalties, but the schools are limited in what they can do. It almost cost Tech when they beat Texas a couple of weeks ago. If it had cost Tech a game, maybe that would have gotten some attention.

Jerry (Savannah)

Of the available head coach openings, how would you rank them in order of desirability?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:15 PM)

Clemson, Tennessee, Washington, Kansas State, Toledo....

Randy (Stillwater)

People are saying it would be wrong for OU to jump Texas in the BCS since UT beat them. But it has already happened with Mizzou and OSU, and nobody has said a word. Why?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:16 PM)

Because Mizzou and OSU are too far down in the poll for anyone outside the Big 12 to notice. Florida State won the national championship in 1993 ahead of Notre Dame, which beat Florida State. That's the more relevant comparison.

Todd (Charleston SC)

Really? Clemson in front of Tenn?? How do you figure that? SEC >>> ACC, More history, more talent, more competition.. the list goes on.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:17 PM)

Clemson has SEC fans and SEC resources in the ACC. Tennessee has to play Georgia, Florida and Alabama every year and has to recruit out of state for most of its players

Brian (Baltimore, MD)

Scenario - Penn State, Ohio State, USC, and Oregon State all win out their remaining schedules. Is it possible to see an Ohio State/Oregon State Rose Bowl matchup and a Penn State/USC (insert BCS bowl here) matchup?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:20 PM)

I don't think so. If you assume that the Big 12 and SEC runnersup will get BCS bids, and if you assume that Utah or Boise State will get a BCS bid, that leaves only one at-large bid for either the Pac-10 runner-up (USC in your scenario) or the Big Ten runner-up (Penn State). I think they either play in the Rose Bowl or they don't play.

Corey (michigan)

Ivan,love your work. What the heck is wrong with Notre Dame? Do you give them a pass because they are young, or does it go much deeper then that?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:22 PM)

I think it's more than youth, if only because that team is not as young as you think, and even if you blame it on being young, some of those "young" players have been playing for a while. I thought at midseason that ND was turning the corner, but over the last four weeks they just don't play as if they've improved. If anything, Clausen has regressed.

Drenen Tucker (Stroudsburg, PA)

Remembering back to last year where Ohio State and LSU were 7th and 8th in the BCS rankings at this time, what do you think Penn State's chances are to play in the BCS Championship game? DO Ala and Fla each have to have 2 losses, as well as TX, TX Tech, and Oklahoma each have 2 losses? Can you also comment on why Clemson is looking in OK for a head coach that is a Def. Coord. now when Bud Foster is just up the road in Blacksburg...

Ivan Maisel
  (2:24 PM)

I just don't think we'll see last season happen again this year or anytime soon. The problem that both Penn State and USC have is that two of the teams that are ahead of them will lose (which is good) but will lose to two of the other teams that are ahead of them (which is not good). There are too many things that have to happen for either one of them to expect there's a real chance of it happening.

Jordan (Columbus, OH)

What are your thoughts on BCS conferences pairing up with "little brother" conferences to eliminate the weak competition at the bottom? For example, the Big 10 and the MAC, Pac-10 and WAC, Big East and C-USA. Take a five year period and evaluate the records. The two worst teams from the BCS conferences go down to the 2nd tier while the top 2 2nd tier teams move up. Evaluate again after 2-3 years or so. Obviously a hypothetical idea. Thoughts...

Ivan Maisel
  (2:26 PM)

Sort of the way teams are "relegated" in English soccer. If you don't win enough, you drop down a league. I think it's a great idea. The problem is that the people who are in charge of the BCS run the leagues that would have to drop down. They're not going to give up the BCS and the money that goes with it.

Jim (Austin, TX)

Perhaps you can shed some light about Harris and USA Today polls ranking Florida and Oklahoma ahead of the Longhorns. To me, this seems to be an attempt by the humans to manipulate the BCS, when the computers have it right.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:29 PM)

On the other hand, Jim, it could be nothing more sinister than the voters having different opinions from you. The thinking is that out of 100-and-something voters, the regional biases will cancel out and there will be some sort of consensus.

Brandon Phoenix, AZ

I'm tired of Notre Dame blaming it on youth. Look at FSU's offensive line and what their doing. Time for Notre Dame to figure out another excuse.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:30 PM)

Alabama's best receiver and best running back are true freshmen, and its best defensive player is a true soph. Youth isn't as young as it used to be.

Mark (Dallas)

If the BIG South has a 3 way tie, do you think it's more important for a voter to look at how/where a team lost, or when they lost? For example, Texas played four Top-11 ranked teams in consecutive weeks, finally losing their only true road game by 6 points with 1 second left on the clock. OU and TECH didn't have that brutal of a stretch and they get week off in between. My pick would be TEXAS as they would've earned it more than TECH or OU. Your thoughts???

Ivan Maisel
  (2:31 PM)

Texas has an easy argument to make why it should be No. 1, but the Longhorns have to root for the Sooners first. How cool is that? Texas fans singing "Boomer Sooner." It's like "Fear Factor".

Ivan Maisel
  (2:32 PM)

I'd say North Carolina, Florida State, Cincinnati, Michigan State and I don't know.

John (Chicago, IL)

Wasn't Iowa's upset of Penn State Saturday a perfect example of why NOT having a tournament is great for college football? Had there been this 8-team tournament with the 6 BCS conference champions each getting a bid, the loss would have been near-meaningless for the Nittany. As it stands it was an instant classic and a game that won't be forgotten by Hawekeye fans.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:33 PM)

That's always been my argument about November. I'm scared a playoff would turn it into February. Who pays attention to college basketball in February?

Bo (Lubbock)

This scenario in the Big XII hasn't had much play in the media lately, but is more than possible: TTU loses to OU, who then loses to OSU in stillwater. Say that happens, and TTU (who would win the South in a head-to-head tie with UT) wins the title game against mizzou. Does Tech play for the national title or does a team like USC or Utah hop them?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:34 PM)

Bo, you'd have to tell me how bad the loss to OU is, what happens with Alabama and Florida, USC and Utah, etc. Nothing happens in a vacuum. But I don't recommend that anyone lose late in the season. LSU last year was an anomaly.

Brett (Rockville MD)

Penn State and Oregon State win out... does the Rose Bowl Committee take Penn State and a Big 12 or SEC runner up and send Oregon State elsewhere in the BCS after the drubbing of the Beavers I witnessed in Happy Valley in September?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:36 PM)

I think Oregon State gets the Rose Bowl bid because it beat the team it is tied with (USC). I don't think the Rose Bowl gets a choice, even if it means a rematch. The Rose Bowl is looking at two rematches: Oregon State-Penn State and USC-Ohio State.

Lou (Bethesda, MD)

But who really pays attention to football in late December? Maybe if your team is playing in one of the 250 bowls, you watch? But a WHOLE lot of people would be watching the playoff games in late December. And if PSU ended up winning, then Iowa fans can still say they beat the national champions.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:38 PM)

But the point is, I think it's a big risk to cheapen your regular-season product. That's what pays the bills. Change doesn't automatically mean the product will be better. It just means it will be different.

Luke (Lakeland, FL)

The diversity of your selction process on which questions you pick is astounding. I mean they are all about the same schools.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:38 PM)

This time of year, people are asking about the postseason. I'm not ignoring questions about Iowa State and Oregon. I'm not getting any.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Hey Lou in Bethesda, and what if some 3-loss team gets hot and wins the college football national title? Have we really settled anything?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:39 PM)

There's that, too.

Stan (Palo Alto, CA)

I know you were born and raised in Alabama, but went to Stanford for college. Hypothetically, who would you root for in a BCS National Championship Game between Stanford vs. Alabama?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:40 PM)

Probably Stanford, as the underdog. I did buy a ticket from the 1935 Rose Bowl between the two of them. found it on EBay. Framed it and it's in my office.

Mike (Tampa, FL)

But who would win on a neutral field, Iowa State or Oregon?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:41 PM)

Oh, Oregon. Absolutely. And thanks, Mike, for getting the joke.

Tina (Spokane)

Ivan, who wins the Apple Cup in Pullman this year? What's the spread and the over/under?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:41 PM)

I would love to cover that game. Seriously. It would be a great story. But I'm going to Penn State next week. Oh well. I covered Kansas and Kansas State in 1988 when neither team had won a game in a year or two.

Mark (Dallas)

In response to your comment about Texas fans rooting for OU. Wow, I don't think I could bring myself to do that. In all honesty, I'd rather root for TECH and have them win the BIG 12 than to allow OU to jump past us in the BCS. Either way, I still say TEXAS is going to a BCS game whereas TECH or OU won't be. I hope voters keep in mind OU's 0-4 BCS streak they have going. Hook 'Em!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:42 PM)

That is a true Texas fan. Willing to see his own team go down rather than risk the Sooners give them a chance to move up. I salute you, Mark.

Tina (Spokane)

Thanks, but you didn't answer the question!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:43 PM)

Oh, my bad. I'd go with the Huskies.

Mike (Dallas)

I just bought a ticket for the 2009 National Championship Game between Texas Tech and Florida. What do you think?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:44 PM)

I think you got suckered on EBay.


Ivan, there's a 3 way tie atop the Big East right now, and it looks like the annual Backyard Brawl might possibly determine the league's BCS rep. Both Pitt and WVU have crapped their pants a couple of times this year and seem unpredictable to me. What do you think will happen in this game, and who gets the BE's automatic BCS bid?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:45 PM)

To tell you the truth, I think CIncinnati has been the most consistent team of the three at the top of the Big East. But to answer your question, I trust Pitt more than WVU at this point.

Pat, Auburn

If Auburn job was to get open, who, in your opinion, should be the next head coach?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:46 PM)

Tommy Tuberville. I hear he wins a lot.

Evan, Harrisburg

Ivan, there's a lot of buzz that next week's Penn State-Michigan State is going to be JoePa's last home game at Penn State. Have you heard anything about this? And how "big" of an event do you think this would be, historically speaking, in college football?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:47 PM)

I would be surprised if JoePa announced anything before the game, but certainly that thought will enter a lot of minds. I know I have thought about it.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:47 PM)

All right, guys, gotta bail. Talk to you next week.