Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 31, 2:35 PM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (2:59 PM)

Hello, everyone. I have no April Fool's jokes planned for you. And I've only fallen for one so far. Got RickRoll'd.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:00 PM)

I do want to remind you, if you haven't seen it, that my story on Notre Dame just posted. And Beano Cook and I podcasted today. On to the chat.

Paul (Harrisburg, PA)

Mack Brown at Texas, among others, has already committed many players for 2010. How realistic is that? Is recruiting this early a prelude to players being dumped by colleges if they don't live up to expectations? How many of the 20+ recruits will actually make it to Texas & who will do the dismissing, the school or the player?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:03 PM)

I am mystified that Texas already has -- did I hear 17? -- commitments. I actually discussed this last week with Charlie Weis, who has three. He said he called and asked Mack about his philosophy, and that Mack told him they are Texas kids who want to go to Texas. Fine. But what about the growth and maturation that takes place during senior year. And what about the theory, which one coach explained to me, that you have to be careful with kids from Texas. The high school programs there are so advanced, he said, that sometimes what you're getting is the finished product. He's not going to get bigger or faster. In other words, I would be wary, too.

John (Boston, MA)

Hi Ivan- love the podcasts with Beano. When he mentioned today that Notre Dame could contend for the National title in '09, why didnt you scold him for drinking in the middle of the day?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:04 PM)

Beano has made it to 77 without my advice on when he should or shouldn't drink. If being that vibrant and still having that many marbles means drinking in the middle of the day, sign me up.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:04 PM)

Not that he was drinking, though. (Insert disclaimer here).

Sylvain (Calgary)

Hey Ivan, Will ND really deserve a spot in the BCS if they go 10-2 and lose to USC?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:05 PM)

Deserve? What's deserve ever had to do with it where the BCS is concerned? Notre Dame remains, if not an 800-pound gorilla, then a 600-pound one. A 10-win Irish team will bring excitement, TV ratings, ticket buyers and hotel-room renters. That's what BCS bowls want.

Supermansuey (Gainesville, FL)

As a Gator moving to San Antonio, I would like to know if you have any advice on how to answer comments from sad Longhorns, Red Raiders, and even Sooners about why "UF deserves to be National Champions," why the "SEC is overrated," and on and on. I am anticipating lots of choice comments, and if I can tell them that Ivan Maisel said to tell you ____, I think they will shut up. Thank you!

Ivan Maisel
  (3:07 PM)

Nothing I could say would sway them. You know what I suggest? Say, "You're right." What does it matter? You still have your t-shirt. The Gators still have their rings. They can argue all they want. Won't change anything.

Jack

Kentucky just fired Billy Gillespie after two years after not making the NCAA Tournament (and his bad relations with the UK community). If Rich Rodriguez doesn't make a bowl this season or has three years without a BCS bowl, does he get fired?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:08 PM)

Rodriguez isn't adding to his won-loss record with behavior issues. And Michigan football isn't over the edge like Kentucky basketball. So I'd say he'll be fine in either scenario.

Keith (Dallas, TX)

What's your opinion on two teams playing in a state neither are based in (e.g. - Oklahoma vs BYU at Jerry World in Dallas)? We all know Oklahoma/Okie St. are Division III FB teams without Texas players but this is ridiculous.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:09 PM)

What about Notre Dame-Washington State in San Antonio? Or Notre Dame-Arizona State in Jerry World in a few years? The tickets will sell, my friend. The tickets will sell.

John from Boise, Id [via mobile]

What are your top 3 games you are most looking forward to opening week?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:10 PM)

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech in Atlanta, Oklahoma-BYU in Dallas, Miami at Florida State

Steiny (NYC)

How is Oregon going to replace Patrick Chung?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:12 PM)

That one's easy. They're not. That reminds me of my favorite Patrick Chung story. Boise State almost signed Chung, but as a consolation prize, got a running back he played against that no one else found: Ian Johnson.

CC (Atlanta)

You're looking forward to OK/BYU more than UGA/OK State? You feeling ok Ivan??

Ivan Maisel
  (3:12 PM)

I remain a skeptic on the Cowpokes.

Jason (PSU)

Did you see JoePA at Madison Square last night? Hilarious. Anyway, looking forward for the PSU 09 season, what do you predict? We lost our o line minus one and the secondary personnel and scheme was exposed from USC. Do you think it improves this year?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:14 PM)

You lose not only your o-line but your three top receivers. But USC "exposing" the secondary doesn't bother me. Very few teams have the athletic ability and depth that the Trojans have. No one ever said Penn State's defense was complicated.

Antoine(Charlotte,NC_

Hey, Is 3-point stance coming back this fall and do you know who has the inside track on the SoCal quarterback spot? Thanks

Ivan Maisel
  (3:15 PM)

Yes, it's coming back, and no, I don't know who has the inside track. Given that the spring game isn't until Apr. 25, I'm not sure anyone has an inside track.

Dave (NJ)

Do you think the Big East could put a team this year in the National Title discussion? Which team(s)?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:16 PM)

I don't see that, no.

Charles Fort Lewis, Washington

Clemson has always played around with the media. Nobody will expect much from the Tigers this year but this team could surprise people as the OL should be much improved and with Spiller doing his thing. A qb must step up but the defense should be very good, especially the front seven. What's your thoughts?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:18 PM)

I'm real curious about the Tigers. Dabo Swinney has hired some very good, experienced coaches. He's got veterans in important spots, as you point out. He's also got Clemson's history of defying expectations, good and bad. What we're waiting to find out is if that was a Tommy Bowden thing or if it's still there. Beats me.

Solomon (Chattanooga, TN)

Don't you feel that the coaches supposedly looking down their noses at "Mack's philosophy" are being hypocritical? Every player Texas has committed had offers from other schools first, including Oklahoma, LSU, Florida, and yes, even Notre Dame (Adrian White, Reggie Wilson, Connor Woods all held offers from Charlie Weis before committing to Texas).

Ivan Maisel
  (3:19 PM)

I don't know that any coach looks down his nose at Mack's philosophy. The skepticism I expressed is solely mine. Most coaches would love to be able to adopt Mack's philosophy. Mack doesn't recruit much. He selects. Pretty good philosophy.

Hagler (Tullahoma, Tn)

It's already been a long off season! First to win a national title in their respective sport....Calipari at Kentucky or Kiffin at Tennessee?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:21 PM)

I'd say Calipari. And he'll have to hurry to beat Kiffin's record of what, eight weeks?, to commit an NCAA violation.

Rob (Wilm., DE)

What do you think are the most realistic expectations for Jimmy Clausen this year (e.g., can he insert his name into the Heisman discussion, however slightly it might be)?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:22 PM)

Given that this is the first time in Heisman history that the top three finishers return the following season, I'd say Clausen will be swimming out there on the edge of the pool. So will every other candidate who isn't named Bradford, Tebow or McCoy.

timothy (tampa)

hi Ivan, should I believe Weis this time around when he tells me that the run game and OL will be better? bc every other time he was just blowing hot air up my skirt.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:24 PM)

I think the o-line is better. They think they've got a seven- and maybe an eight-man rotation. They've got four returning starters being tutored by a new coach. They've got two good running backs, and quarterback with two good receivers and a good tight end that should keep the defense honest. So I think there's a lot of reason to believe that the running game will be better.

Colonel (West Point, NY)

It seems strange that certain conferences seem to have great/weak coaches as a whole. For example, the SEC has a strong group of coaches but the ACC is surprisingly weak for a major conference. Even the Big East seems to have better coaches on average than the ACC. Do you notice that also?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:27 PM)

I disagree with you. I think the ACC has very good coaches. Bowden, Beamer, Butch Davis, Grobe, Johnson, O'Brien, Friedgen, Cutcliffe. And that's just off the top of my head. Shannon, Spaziani and Swinney are unproven, I'll give you that.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Ivan, Can you see Alabama useing both Greg Mcelroy and Star Jackson this upcomeing season?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:29 PM)

I would expect to see Jackson get some snaps, yes. Alabama is scrimmaging today. I'm curious to see what numbers they release.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Hypothetical here but what would happen if say the SEC and BIG 12 said NO to the BCS and made a deal with ABC, or someone else, to have their 2 conference champions play in a 'new' bowl/championship game?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:30 PM)

Given that my employer, which runs ABC, has just signed a deal to televise the BCS from 2010-2013 seasons, I can't imagine how your scenario would happen.

Phil (Chicago)

Great ND article, however, I do not see any prediction from you. What record do you see them finishing with this year and do you see them in a BCS bowl?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:31 PM)

I think they will win at least nine and go to a BCS game.

Blair - Michigan

Does the addition of Forcier, redshirts on the o-line and more speed allow me to have SOME hope for a better year in Ann Arbor?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:32 PM)

I spent two days in Ann Arbor last week. I think there is cause for optimism. My story is scheduled to run next week, so stay tuned.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:32 PM)

Who doesn't love to plug their own stories?

Tim (Nashville)

Would it be at all possible for a large school -- Ohio State, Florida, USC, etc. -- opt out of their television contracts and televise their football games on their own network like the New York Yankees?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:34 PM)

Like Notre Dame? Seriously, I don't foresee any school leaving a conference to do that. There are too many historic and financial ties for any school to undo in order to go it alone.

tom brick n.j. [via mobile]

Has a school ever won a national championship in both football and basketball in same year?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:35 PM)

Didn't Florida do it in 2006? I do recall USC winning the national championship and the College World Series in the same year.

Nick (SLC, UT)

Do you see Congress getting anywhere with these Anti Trust hearings?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:36 PM)

Waste of time. It always depends upon whose ox is being gored. This time, it's your ox.

Aaron (New York)

Loved the ND article. The article speaks to the changes and maturity of the offense, but that defense, specifically the secondary was getting torn up last year. From your interaction with the team, what (other than pure maturity) makes you think the defensive side of the ball will be able to compete?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:38 PM)

I'll confess. I spent all my time with the offense. That's where the biggest issues are, and that's where Weis was. Tenuta is a good defensive playcaller. He will make opposing quarterbacks very uncomfortable with his blitzes. He did it to Brady Quinn in 2006. That's why Weis hired him.

joe (chicago, IL)

Ivan, do you feel like college football has lost its purity? it seems like theres more controversy than ever before. Its somewhat sombering for an old fan like myself.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:39 PM)

Compared to the cheating scandals of the '70s and '80s, this is nothing.

Kellen (Boston)

Bradford / Griffin / Paris: best combination of elite athletes ever. All three could win their sport's respective POY awards.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:39 PM)

Great point. That's a hell of a note.

Sam (Boise, ID)

Who do you think wins the Boise State-Oregon tilt to open up the season? Why did it not make your top 3?

Ivan Maisel
  (3:41 PM)

I forgot about it. That's a great game. The reason I put OU-BYU in there is because the debut of Jerry World is going to be something to see.

Ivan Maisel
  (3:42 PM)

Thanks, everyone. We'll talk to you soon.