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November 14, 12:26 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach
  (2:10 PM)

OK, sorry I'm a few minutes late. Traveling today and had problems getting into the system. Here we go. Hope everybody had a great weeekend.

Justin (Texas)

What do you think of Oregon State and there chance at a Rematch of Penn State? What about Quizz Rodgers do think he is Heisman material?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:12 PM)

I've been very impressed with what OSU has done so far. I'll actually be in Tucson Saturday night to see them play Arizona. Two tough games left, and we'll see if they can get through them. Rodgers will probably have some momentum going into next year for the Heisman, but I think it's a three-man race right now between Harrell, Crabtree and Tebow.

Joe, Indianapolis

If Fl wins the SEC title game why would Alabama go to a BCS game? They would have beaten 8 teams .500 or below (9 if Uk cant beat UT)

Mark Schlabach
  (2:14 PM)

The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 1 in the country. I'm not sure they can't beat Florida in the SEC championship game. The Gators are playing out of their minds right now, but can they keep it going at this pace? We've seen teams do this before and lose in the conference title games. Alabama is very good on both sides of the ball. Regardless of who wins the SEC title game, the Sugar Bowl will take the loser and the winner goes to the BCS title game.

Mike (Columbia, MO)

Does Missouri have any chance at winning the Big 12 title game?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:15 PM)

Sure. If Daniel gets hot and Maclin makes some big plays, the Tigers have a chance. Defense has to hold up better than it did against Texas, though.

Joe Gunn (Oxford, MS)

If Ole Miss beats LSU, do you see them cracking the top 25? Also, if Ole Miss wins out (beats LSU and Mississippi State), what bowl do you see them in?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:16 PM)

I think the Rebels could end up in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and maybe even the Outback Bowl if they win out. I guess the Cotton Bowl could be a possibility if they beat LSU, but I think the Chick-fil-A Bowl is the most likely destination at this point.

john (cincinnati)

mark, do you think the big 12 commish is more likely to vote for a playoff considering the year teams are having from big 12...only 2 can play in bcs per rule???

Mark Schlabach
  (2:17 PM)

I was at the BCS meetings this spring in Florida, and everybody but the SEC and ACC seemed to be against a playoff. I don't know if you'll see the two-team rule ever get removed in the current format. Is it fair? No. But they really want to share the wealth.

Angelo (Cleveland)

Huge game Sat night who you got Texas Tech or the Sooners

Mark Schlabach
  (2:19 PM)

I'm going with Texas Tech. I know they've had a ton of problems scoring in Norman, but I really like Harrell and Crabtree and the way they're playing right now. Oklahoma's defensive front is banged up, and I think the Sooners really have to get pressure on Harrell, or he'll pick the secondary apart. Of course, the Red Raiders have to slow down Oklahoma's offense, which won't be easy. It will be another shootout.

Justin (Provo)

Who wins Holy War Byu or Utah

Mark Schlabach
  (2:20 PM)

I know the game is in Salt Lake, but I'll go with BYU in a mild upset. Cougars were impressive winning at Air Force on Saturday. Should be a great game.


If Florida were to lose to FSU, and then lose to Bama, would they be headed to the Capitol One Bowl again?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:21 PM)

The Sugar Bowl wouldn't take Georgia over Florida with the way the Gators won in Jacksonville. I can't see FSU beating Florida right now -- or The Citadel.

Ryan (SLC)

Still think Arkansas could beat Utah? You did see MWC bottom-feeder beat SEC cellar-dwellar Tennessee right?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:21 PM)

I think it would be a good game. By the way, Tennessee quit playing about two weeks ago.

Chuck (Los Angeles)

Which of these QBs do you see leaving for the NFL at the end of the year: McCoy, Tebow, Mark Sanchez, Harell, Bradford, ________________ (other fill-in)?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:23 PM)

I think it will be interesting to see how the possibility of an NFL salary cap for rookies will affect some of these guys' decisions. Harrell is definitely gone because he's a senior. Matt Stafford is another guy who could come out early. Mel Kiper has him ranked very highly. Bradford would probably be the next guy.

Ryan: (Diamond Bar, CA)

If USC wins out, Mizzou wins Big 12 title game...does USC play SEC Conf Champ in national title game? USC vs Florida would be great great game

Mark Schlabach
  (2:24 PM)

Could happen. But remember, voters put LSU in the 2007 BCS title game because the Tigers won the conference. Georgia might have been a hotter team. What if Oregon State doesn't lose its next two games and wins the Pac-10? What happens then?

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Not that they'll really deserve to play anywhere but what bowl can you see inviting a 7-5 Notre Dame team to play with no real signature win?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:25 PM)

If they get to eight wins, they're a lock for the Gator Bowl. They still might go there even at 7-5. If not, then they fall no farther than the Sun Bowl.

Tigerpawl: NC

Mark: Any news on Clemson:s coaching search?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:26 PM)

Nothing earth shattering. Terry Don Phillips has talked with Lane Kiffin, Bud Foster and Brent Venables. I think Bobby Johnson from Vandy and Will Muschamp from Texas are still in the mix. Maybe Texas Tech's Mike Leach, too.

Steve (Syracuse, NY)

Now that my beloved Orange finally dropped the hammer, who do you see coming in to replace GRob?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

Still really early. Given Darryl Gross' connections to USC, he might make a run at Lane Kiffin. Randy Edsall is a U-Conn graduate. Steve Addazio, assistant head coach/OL coach at Florida, coached at Syracuse for four years and is a popular choice among former players. I'd take a look at Turner Gill at Buffalo, too.

Kenny (Jackson, TN)

If not for Nick Saban, would Houston Nutt be the SEC coach of the year?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:32 PM)

Nutt has done a great job and inherited pretty good talent from Orgeron. Bobby Johnson would also have to be considered. Urban Meyer, too.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:34 PM)

I'm not saying it will happen, but I bet it would be Texas Tech because the Red Raiders lost last.

Josh (Moline, IL)

Thank you for mentioning Shonn Greene this week in your article, seems he was ignored by the media this weekend(hello Gameday!) Are Greene and Crabtree getting shafted by the high octane offenses that inflate the QB numbers? McCoy seems to be the only one that doesn't have amazing playmakers doing half the work for them.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:35 PM)

I don't know. They're all great players. Shipley and Cosby and those Texas backs gain a lot of yards after the catch, too. Texas' strength isn't throwing down the field. It's all pretty quick passes.

Glen, Pensacola Florida

Mark, Common opponents for Florida and Alabama are: LSU, Ark, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ole Miss. I guess due to Florida lossing to Ole Miss that gives Alabama the edge or would you take the way Florida has manhandled the others as a tie at this point? How would you compare the teams?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:37 PM)

Both are great teams and entirely different. Florida is as explosive as any team in the country. Alabama is more workman-like and pounds opponents. As far as common opponents, Alabama manhandled Georgia. So did Florida. The Gators pounded LSU, too, but that game was in the Swamp. Alabama played at LSU, and Urban Meyer didn't use to coach the Tigers. Look at Saturday night's game at Troy to see how much energy LSU had invested into that Alabama game.

Dave, Bham, AL

Who's it gonna be...tell me, right now, who is going to be Tennessee's head coach next year?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:38 PM)

My early money was on Will Muschamp or Mike Leach, but my gut is telling me it might be Brian Kelly. Great coach who is doing an unbelievable job at Cincinnati. I don't have any inside information to make me believe that, but it's just a hunch. I think he'd be a good fit at Tennessee.

Charlie (Bored at work)

Is the Pac-10 really as weak as everyone (IN THE EAST) is making it out to be?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:39 PM)

USC is really good. Oregon and Oregon State are pretty good. Arizona is much better. Cal is above-average. The rest of the league? Not so good.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Has a heisman winner ever NOT made 1st team All-Conference?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:40 PM)

Good question. I assume you're referring to the Big 12 quarterbacks. Will be interesting to watch.

Kim (Atlanta, GA)

Mark, if you dismiss the Noles against the Gators at Doak, you do so at your own peril. UF went 20 years without winning there, Spurrier never won there, and the 2006 National Champs squeaked out with a 7 pt win against a 6 loss squad.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:40 PM)

Great rivalry. Tough place to play. But Boston College just won there on homecoming.


If michigan state beats penn state and get a bcs bid, does it have the ability to go head to head with an sec team let alone the size of their defensive and offensive lines.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:41 PM)

Michigan State is a very underrated team and has a chance in any game because of Javon Ringer. They can control time of possession and the tempo of the game. Mark Dantonio has done a great job. If they don't win the Big Ten, they'll go to Capital One Bowl or Outback Bowl. Good season.

Ryan, (Waco,TX)

Why did we not see Florida jump ahead of Texas with them destroying South Carolina so badly? I know Kansas was once ranked but they're only a part of what they once used to be to begin this season.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:42 PM)

Can't lose to an unranked team at home, regardless of how good they're playing right now. Texas has played a solid schedule, and the SEC isn't as good as the Big 12 this year.

Glen, Pensacola Florida

Mark...ok! But Florida has destroyed highly rated defense after highly rated defense! I know Bama's defense is rated high as are they going to stack up against an offense that is averaging almost 200+ rushing yards a game? Yes, they have a great d-line but so did LSU, Vandy, Kentucky and USC..not to mention Georgia had the #1 rushing D at the time! Your thoughts?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:44 PM)

The Gators have definitely beat up some good defenses, but none of them were as good as Alabama. The Tide might have the best D-line in the country (especially when Cody is healthy). Alabama can control the clock with their big O-line. I won't count Saban out in any game.

Dave (Dallas)

What is your prediction for the ACC finish? I do not follow ACC football well enough to be able to sort things out. Does the Florida State - Maryland winner play for the title?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:44 PM)

Maryland and Miami are in the driver's seat in their respective divisions. I gave up trying to figure it out. It's too unpredictable. Three ranked teams all lost last year. Unbelievable.

Ed in D.C.

Anyway the Buckeyes make a BCS Bowl other than the Rose Bowl and if so where could they end up? I understand the Rose Bowl is possible with a PSU loss.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:46 PM)

If USC wins the Pac-10 and goes to the Rose Bowl, Ohio State would be a possibility for the Fiesta Bowl to play a Big 12 team.

Lane (Shawnee)

If Oklahoma wins this weekend and next weekend against Oklahoma State, will they jump Texas and go to the Big 12 title game?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:46 PM)

I'm not great at breaking down the computer averages, etc., but I have to think voters will go back to head-to-head when considering Texas and Oklahoma. Just my belief.

Dave (Atlanta, GA)

Mark, who's more important for the Dawgs to retain next year: Stafford or Moreno?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:47 PM)

Stafford. But I still think both enter the NFL draft.

Frank (Atlanta)

Tuberville - Coaching or not coaching the 2009 Auburn Tigers?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:48 PM)

I'd keep him. I think he's earned the right to have a bad season. But I'm not sure Auburn will bring him back. We'll see. Tough call.

Mark, Costa Mesa

Just chiming in to say that your article last week (that you kept pimping during last week's Chat) was pure drivel. See the 1000+ comments. Do some research next time.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:48 PM)

I did my research. Just look at the schedules. A lot of people agreed with me, too.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:51 PM)

I did my research. Just look at the schedules. A lot of people agreed with me, too.

Eric (Pullman, WA)

Is the Apple Cup this weekend the worst matchup of the BCS era?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:53 PM)

Could be worse. North Texas could be involved.

Eric (Austin, TX)

Is Muschamp a lock to leave Texas or will he stick around?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:54 PM)

He told me he really likes Austin. Texas can keep him there if they try. But he's a hot commodity right now.

Alan (Washington, DC)

Mark, how come the disdain for the non-BCS teams? I can promise you Utah, Boise State, or Ball State would be running roughshod over some of your beloved BCS teams in the Big East or ACC. Give the little guys some love!

Mark Schlabach
  (2:56 PM)

I love the underdog. I think you have to earn it in football, though. And you have to play tougher schedules, and I know it's difficult to get Oklahoma, Georgia, etc., to play on the road. But there aren't 65 bids to go around.

Kevin (Cincinnati, OH)

Do you see the Big East maintaining an automatic selection after next season? Which league is more disappointing...ACC or Big East?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:56 PM)

ACC has a bunch of pretty good teams. Not so many in Big East, but I think Cincinnati is pretty good. So is West Virginia. Rutgers is finally coming around.


Why does it take you so long to answer these questions? You ESPN people are not too bright.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:57 PM)

Air touch card working a little slow in Tennille, Georgia.

Calvin (Fort Lauderdale FL)

Why does charlie strong get no-props from the media - there are no seniors on UFs defense.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:58 PM)

Charlie has done a great job and should get consideration for a head coaching job. Dan McCarney deserves some credit, too.

Joel (Tempe)

If President Obama gets us a playoff system, is he the first beloved Democrat in the South since George Wallace? Will he win the Southern states in 2012?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:59 PM)

If he gets it done -- and hopefully he's more worried about the economy and national security -- this Southern conservative would vote to re-elect him. I don't see it happening after what I witnessed at the BCS meetings earlier this year. But we'll see. Maybe presidential intervention will nudge them forward.

CW (Neodesha, KS)

Is that the former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney???

Mark Schlabach
  (3:02 PM)

yes. left south florida for florida after co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison left for Baltimore Ravens....Folks, I have to run and get back on the road. Have a great week. Talk to you next week.