Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 6, 6:04 AM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)

Hi, everyone. Sorry I'm late. Got held up on something. But let's talk about tomorrow night or whatever else is on your mind.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)

Nathan in Rowlett, TX

Ivan, How good is floridas defensive line? Are the even as good as texas' because in bradfords worst outing and when he most pressured he still through for 5 touchdowns.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:21 PM)

I think that's one of the biggest keys to the game. If the defensive line can get to Bradford, which will be tough given the Sooners' offensive line, then we will have to see how Bradford holds up. If the Gators can't get to him, watch out.

Sheila (San Francisco)

What should we make of the Jagodzinski firing?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:22 PM)

Everybody has a boss. His boss told him not to do something and Jags did it.

John (Arlington VA)

Ivan, thanks for chatting. How good can VT be next season w/18 of 22 Orange Bowl starters returning? The schedule is tough w/OOC games against Bama, Nebraska, and ECU, but all the tough ACC games are in Blacksburg (Miami, UNC, BC, NC State) except the GT game in ATL. I'm cautiously optimistic but this schedule appears too daunting to make it through unscathed.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:23 PM)

I really like the Hokies for next season. They improved so much over the course of the year and as you pointed out, most of them are back. The one thing they will have to do is live with those expectations for eight months. That can be a tough burden to carry.

Louisville, KY [via mobile]

Do you think it is a good move for U of L to keep Kragthorpe as a coach?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:24 PM)

I don't think two seasons is long enough to decide on any coach.


Who are your picks to make it to the national championship next year?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:24 PM)

I think it's foolish to make the predictions until we see who's coming out for the draft.

Jon (DC)

I'm sorry, but there is just no argument that tomorrow night's game is the actual national championship. if the regular season were the "playoffs," then utah won. Utah smacked Bama, and Florida squeaked by. Utah is the National Champion this year, and tomorrow night's game is basically the loser's bracket final.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:25 PM)

You can think that all you want. But either Stoops or Meyer is going to hold up the crystal football.

Brandon Janesville, WI

What will be the difference in tomorrow night's game. I say Florida's special teams. Your thoughts?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:27 PM)

Based on the regular season, that's the biggest advantage that the Gators have. But if the Gators are returning kickoffs, that's because the Sooners are scoring. So I don't know if I'd want to bank on that or not.

Andre (Miami)

Is OU defense good enought to give their team a chance to pull away from the Gators? Every one is talking about UF's defense vs. OU offense, but what about the other way around?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:29 PM)

The Sooner defense played well over the last three or four games. They are clearly not as good as any of the other units that will be on the field tomorrow night. But I'm not ready to say that Florida will light them up. I want to see how effective Harvin is, and as I said earlier, how much pressure Florida can put on Bradford.

Jim (Salt Lake)

After the Sugar Bowl, Kyle Whittingham said that "someone was going to have to explain" why the Utes don't deserve a share of the title? Care to take a crack at that?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:31 PM)

I don't have a good explanation, or at least one that will satisfy you. I suppose I would say, if you look at body of work, that Utah has a win over the No. 3 team in the Pac-10 and the No. 2 in the SEC. They also beat TCU, which will finish in the top 10. That's pretty strong, but I don't know if it's stronger than Oklahoma beating nine teams with nine wins plus Florida, or Florida going through the SEC plus beating Oklahoma.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Is it back to the Valero Alamo Bowl for PSU next season or can they get back-to-back BCS bowl bids for the first time ever?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:33 PM)

Penn State has to rebuild its offensive line and find some receivers. That's a lot of work to do. But I don't think they'll fall to being the fifth-best team in the Big Ten. I'd guess Capital One or Outback if I had to guess. But I really haven't looked hard at next season.

Billy (Florida)

You do know that punt returns are part of special teams, right?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:33 PM)

I brought up kickoff returns because OU has allowed four KORs for touchdowns.

Ralph (Pittsburgh, PA)

they TRIED to give Southern Cal a "share" of the 2003 championship, but refused to give the same to Auburn the next season and now Utah. Let's be honest here...Los Angeles, Auburn, AL, or Utah. Media market size matters, which is why they tried to force USC in 2003 and dumped on AU and Utah!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:35 PM)

Ralph, if memory serves me, the BCS changed the formula after the 2003 season and again after the 2004. In the 2003 season, USC led both polls and didn't get into the game. They changed the formula to make sure that didn't happen again. Auburn had a legit complaint in '04, I thought. Still do.

Jamie, Amesbury, MA [via mobile]

Why is BC firing Jagodzinski? College coaches interview with NFL teams all the time...

Ivan Maisel
  (2:36 PM)

If your boss tells you not to do something or he'll fire you, and you do it anyway, I'm guessing that you would get fired, too.

Enos; St. Louis

Can Mizzou survive the loss of Daniel, Maclin, & Coffman and still be a force in the Big 12 North?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:37 PM)

Nebraska looked really strong in the second half of the season. I think the Huskers are back.

thomas (los angeles)

usc is losing so much on defense that oregon has to be the favorite to win the pac 10 next season. what are the ducks' chances for even more? what are your thoughts on them being undefeated next season?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:38 PM)

The Trojans are losing nine defensive starters, but until the problems translate from the preseason predictions to the field, no one will pick against USC.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas has USC favored over Florida by 3 points and USC favored over Okla by 10 points.. Why don't we let Las Vegas pick the 2 best teams to meet up.. Instead of the Opinion Polls with all the Bias, Favorites, and the so called "deserving?" the BCS is uninteresting when in doesn't even have the best team in it USC and one of the greatest defenses in college football history.. Can we Use Vegas as a poll?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:39 PM)

Vegas is the ultimate poll. They're just measuring public opinion and trying to divide it in half.

Donald D (Eugene, OR)

Do you think the PAC10's bowl record can be explained by the league's difficult non-conference (and round robin in conference) schedule which prevents non-deserving teams (eg ASU & UCLA) from loading up on cupcakes to win 6 games and qualify for the post season?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:41 PM)

That's part of the explanation. The other part is that Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, BYU and Miami aren't exactly a Murderer's Row. Penn State is very good, and USC did away with them. But the rest....

Sam (Norman)

Ivan, is this the greatest QB matchup in college football history? There's already talks that Tebow is among the best ever at the position, and I imagine the same case will be made for Bradford should he decide to stick around next year. He's actually a long shot (within his own insane standards) of breaking the career TD record as a junior. What these guys have done up to this point has never been seen before by my count, but you've been around a bit longer.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:42 PM)

The only matchup off the top of my head that I can think is Wuerffel vs. Manning in 1995-96. But that's just off the top of my head.

mike in hawaii [via mobile]

ivan i met u in qatar. hope all is well. do u think my beavers can continue to compete for a pac ten title?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:42 PM)

Hi, Mike! I think that Mike Riley is one of the best coaches in the nation and keeps proving it, so my answer is yes.

Matt Tampa [via mobile]

Will usf ever be a elite program?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:44 PM)

I think the Bulls took a step back this season. I'm not so sure that they will step up next season.

Matt tyler, tx [via mobile]

To sam in norman. Lienart vs young was the best

Ivan Maisel
  (2:44 PM)

Leinart vs. Young was better. You're right.

Colby (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Do you think Utah's beating of Alabama was them being that much better than bama or just an unprepared bama team that thought they deserved better than Utah?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:45 PM)

Combination of Utah being better prepared, Alabama being hung over from the Florida loss and, most important, the Tide losing Andre Smith and then, in the first quarter, Mike Johnson from the offensive line.

Mark (Columbus, OH)

Hey Ivan. What's your take on the Fiesta bowl Monday night and how Texas looked a little inconsistent (until the end, of course) was held well below their season average? Is that testament to maybe a little trouble for Oklahoma on Thursday?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:46 PM)

I think it's more a testament to not playing for five-plus weeks.

MJ (Austin, TX)

"but I don't know if it's stronger than Oklahoma beating nine teams with nine wins plus Florida"...who are the nine teams with nine wins? I only counted six teams on their schedule with nine wins that they defeated (Cinci, TCU, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri)...still a solid resume but not the same as nine wins over nine-win teams.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:50 PM)

Yeah, I got that wrong, didn't I? Thanks for the correction. It's seven wins over FBS teams with eight victories.

Kris, PA

Ivan, when will some people stop crying and saying, "we didn't take the game serious and thought we deserved a better opponent, which is why we crapped our pants in the game." That's all you hear out of fans of teams like this year's Alabama, 2005's Georgia, and 2006 and 2007's Oklahoma. I say if you can't focus enough to bring your A game, then maybe you weren't as good as you think. When will some of these idiots realize that you have to come to play EVERY SINGLE GAME, especially ones that pay $18 million? Enough with the excuses!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:51 PM)

That's the good part of how college football does it.

Steven Columbus, GA [via mobile]

Ivan, Do we need to read anything into tomorrow's night's game based on the poor showing by Texas Tech and Texas? Sad day here in GA today.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:53 PM)

I would be careful. Don't forget that Tech and Texas both may have had motivation issues. OU certainly doesn't have those.

Steve (SLC)

Ivan - here's the thing. Alabama losing Smith didn't affect their defense at all and Utah shredded their defense....ABSOLUTELY shredded a "vaunted" SEC defense. Even with Smith the Utes would have won going away.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:54 PM)

I just don't think that Alabama would have allowed eight sacks if Smith and Johnson had played. The Tide would have had better ball control, eaten up clock and not handed the ball back to the Utes time after time.

bruce (dallas)

Should the Heisman be awarded after the bowl games? Colt would receive more votes based upon the Fiesta Bowl?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:54 PM)

I don't think so. Every other sport awards its MVP award after the regular season.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:54 PM)

All guys, thanks. I have to write a story. Thanks for the chat. Talk to you soon.