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July 13, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (1:59 PM)

Hello, everyone. I am here to answer all your college football questions, economic (based on the series that Mark Schlabach and I kicked off today) and otherwise. Fire when ready.

Arthur (Atlanta)

When folks in the media say that "money" is the reason why we will never see a college football playoff, explain exactly what that means. Are the BCS conferences making too much now and are afraid a playoff would pay them less, or is it more giving up control/power than just strictly dollars and cents?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:01 PM)

I can tell you what I mean when I write/say it: not the money per se but the CONTROL of the money. The BCS allows the commissioners of the major conferences to control the money, just as they did under the bowl system. If the NCAA ran a playoff, as they do in every other sport, then the commissioners and their members fear that they would lose control of the money.

Jeff (Chicago)

What's your prognosis on the Noles this year? Is Christian Ponder the best FSU QB since Weinke?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:02 PM)

Christian Ponder is the best quarterback at FSU since Chris Weinke, and if that's not damning with faint praise, I don't know what is. It hasn't exactly been a stream of great passers there over the last decade.

Cole (Portland)

Most Intriguing opening weekend game?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:05 PM)

God bless the Pac-10. I mean, the best game of the weekend is Bama-Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A game. Two top-10 teams at a neutral site -- hard to beat. But Oregon at Boise State on Thursday night will be a keeper. And I'm curious about LSU going to Washington. It's a long way to go, and the Huskies will be better than anyone in Baton Rouge thinks. They will expect an 0-12 team, and if Jake Locker is healthy, that's a team that will be a lot better.

Lucky Pierre (Baton Rouge)

Ivan: Will you be upset if Stanford loses its fencing team?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:05 PM)

Read those 15 straight director's cup and weep.

Zach (Wilton, CT)

Have you noticed any drop in recruiting efforts (especially by schools in the hardest hit areas such as Michigan and Pennsylvania)? Have the schools cut back on recruiting budgets? Will those schools lose out now on the top players, and could the success of their football programs suffer because of it?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:07 PM)

I haven't noticed it in that regard. After all, it costs less to recruit in your backyard than to recruit nationally. You can drive to see players in your region. What I have noticed about those schools is that their recruiting pool is drying up. There are fewer jobs, so there are fewer people, which means fewer schools, which means fewer players. Someday I'm going to look at that data and figure out how big the difference is.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Ivan, do you think if the Moutain West hadn't signed the BCS contract, it would've ruined the conference's reputation, and future earnings?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:09 PM)

It wouldn't have ruined the school's reputation. It may have impacted future earnings. If the league really didn't participate in the next BCS, then the schools wouldn't be entitled to whatever slice of the pie that get. That could be big bucks.

Jr (Boston)

With all the problems BC had during the offseason, what would you call a good year for Boston College record wise?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:11 PM)

That's a nasty schedule that the Eagles have. Road games at Clemson, Va Tech, Notre Dame, Virginia and Maryland. Home games against Wake, FSU, NC State, UNC and Central Michigan. If they win more than seven, throw a parade for new coach Frank Spaziani.

RAY GORDON REID ( ODESSA TX )

QUESTION TO IVAN MAISEL, HI IVAN WHICH COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME ARE YOU LOOKING FOWARD TO

Ivan Maisel
  (2:12 PM)

If I had to pick one, I'd say USC at Ohio State. Or maybe the first one I cover, whichever one it is. It's been a loooongg offseason.

Abby (FL)

I saw on one of the ESPN blogs about the top 60 leaving the NCAA and forming their own super division. What are your thoughts on that?http://myespn.go.com/blogs/ncfnation/0-9-214/College-football-s-new-super-league-.html

Ivan Maisel
  (2:14 PM)

Won't happen. If the top 60 leave, who will the rent-a-victims be? There's no reason to make that change that makes sense, as far as I've seen. It makes sense if you're a fan but not if you're an AD.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Ivan, so what would the NCAA lose by finally implementing a playoff system, and actually controlling the money themselves?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:15 PM)

The NCAA can't "implement" a playoff. The NCAA does what its members decide to do. Those are the members in the conferences that control the money. The members like it the way it is.

Jeremy (PA)

Penn State's 2 toughest games (Big 10 Opener vs. Iowa and OSU) are both in Happy Valley. Do you think The Nittany Lions have a shot at running the table? If so, will they get into the title game, or is their schedule too weak?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:16 PM)

It's all relative. Are there two other 12-0/13-0 teams? I don't think an 11-1/12-1 could overtake an unbeaten Penn State in the polls, but I suppose it could happen. I suppose Penn State has a shot at running the table. But until I see the rebuilt o-line and the rebuilt receivers, I'm not as bullish as you.

Melissa (Washington, D.C)

Hi Ivan- Read your piece about Tim Tebow. Did you learn anything about him during your interview that you didn't already know?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:19 PM)

Is that your polite way of saying you've read all that before? Here's what I learned: I've never heard of any player referred to as a "vicious competitor" and "compassionate" in the same thought, which is how OC Steve Addazio described him. When I asked Tebow about it, he was proud of the description and we began to discuss that compassion and how that is the most important part of his life.

Nathan (Santa Cruz CA)

Hi Ivan,I hear a lot of folks complaining about the lack of marquee non-conference games

Ivan Maisel
  (2:20 PM)

Good. I hope they keep complaining, and I hope they stop buying tickets. That's one sure way of getting the attention of the athletic directors.

Craig G. (Fairfield, California)

Hey Ivan, I love the College Football podcast you do with Beano. I know you're a Stanford guy, but do you think Jahvid Best has any chance for the Heisman? Can Cal beat USC? Thanks!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:23 PM)

I think Best will be a Heisman candidate, and I think the Bears can beat the Trojans in Berkeley. What we don't know is how quickly the young USC defense will jell. Best has two problems to overcome in the Heisman: one, the headstart that Bradford, McCoy and Tebow enjoy, and two, the skepticism directed toward any Pac-10 player who isn't a Trojan. But he's the real deal, that's for sure.

Steve (Blacksburg, VA)

Will you be in Atlanta for the VT/Alabama game? If so, what bar after the game?!

Ivan Maisel
  (2:23 PM)

Bar after the game? Steve, the kickoff is so late that by the time I file my story, the bars are closed. But I go old-school in Atlanta: Manuel's.

Joe (Chicago)

Ivan, do you think that Nebraska can be the darkhorse that breaks up the big 12 'big 3' of Tex, OU, and Pokes?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:25 PM)

I don't the Huskers are that dark of a hose, and I don't think that OSU belongs in a "Big 3" just yet. Gundy is 0-8 against those two. I know, he's been close against the Longhorns. But he hasn't beaten them yet.

Bryan (Long Island)

Big Maize and Blue fan who wanted Lloyd Carr replaced....with anybody but Rich Rodriguez. But now that we're stuck with him, what kind of year do you see Michigan having? Also, who wins the starting QB job, Robinson or Forcier?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:27 PM)

I think Rich Rod will get it done at Michigan. He's won everywhere he's been. I expect Michigan to win 7, maybe 8. I saw Forcier this spring. But I don't know how anyone can discuss the competition until Robinson gets to campus. His HS record indicates he is some kind of athlete.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Ivan, Who has the best chance of winning the sec west?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:29 PM)

On paper, Ole Miss. Alabama, Ark and LSU all go to Oxford. Here's what you don't know: Houston Nutt's teams at Arkansas always performed better when underrated. This year, the Rebels must perform when expected to perform well. That's the key. And that's why if I had to pick, I'd take Alabama.

Chris (Phoenix)

Ivan,So, you say it's a control issue. What role (if any) do you see ESPN playing in the implementation of at least a Plus 1 format which would use the set up we already have and substitute the current NCG with a set of winners from a BCS National Semi-Final? As ESPN is distributing the $$$ for the conferences to control, I would think that The Worldwide Leader has a say, no?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:30 PM)

Valid question, Chris, and if I didn't work here, I'd answer it.

Jeff (Chicago)

Ivan - where did "we fooled 'em again" come from as a catch phrase at the end of your podcasts with Beano Cook?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:32 PM)

I know I borrowed it from somewhere but I can't remember. It seems to fit us, and, for that matter, my entire career. I mean, I make a living going to football games. If that's not fooling somebody again, I don't know what is.

Nolan (Hartford)

What are your thoughts about Notre Dame this year? Do they have success? If not, will Clausen get replaced? Will Charlie's contract get bought out, or is he really there to stay?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:35 PM)

I think if ND doesn't win nine, Charlie will leave before anyone tells him to go. I think ND can win nine. The BC game isn't as tough as it once looked because of the injuries and grade issues there. It will be interesting to see which of the following games prove tough for ND: at Mich, Washington, at Pitt, at Stanford. That's what will tell us how much the Irish have improved.

Brent (Idaho)

Can UCLA win eight?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:36 PM)

Absolutely. I think the Bruins will be a lot better this year. They have some experience on defense, and they have a quarterback who can complete a pass.

Gill (Mpls, MN)

It seems that most new revenue football generates ends up going to it's coaches salaries thus negating any additional money for the school. Is there anyway to slow this down without anti-trust issues?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:37 PM)

No. The market is what the market is. As I wrote in my piece today, an athletic dept.'s bottom line is measured by Ws and Ls as much as it is P and L.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

Taking weather out of the equation, which stadium would you choose to watch a college game?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:38 PM)

Give me any stadium with 90000 people in it, and put there 30 seconds before kickoff, when every fan for either team thinks his team is going to win. That energy is golden.

Steve (Fresno)

Ivan, does Oregon have ANYTHING to gain by playing Boise State? If they win, big deal, they just beat a WAC team. If they lose, their season is done. I don't expect them to lose, but why would they even agree to playing Boise in Boise?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:42 PM)

I like the game for Oregon. Some coaches, and Bellotti must be one of them, believe you only improve by playing good teams. That's a tough, tough opener, but that's when you want to play a tough non-conference opponent. In the end, if Oregon loses to Boise and wins the rest of its games, I would guess it would still be playing for everything.

john (cincinnati)

ivan, you can't give us your opinion regarding whether you think the broadcast networks who control the $money will or will not eventually be the motivating factor in giving college football fans a playoff???

Ivan Maisel
  (2:43 PM)

That I can do. Listen to what the presidents say. Money is not their issue. It has more to do with the academic calendar and with their desire to make sure the tail doesn't wag the dog. They adhere to the belief that the school is the dog. Go figure.

Donnie (St. Petersburg)

Will Urban Meyer retire as a Gator?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:44 PM)

Even though he says he loves Notre Dame, I can't imagine why he would leave Gainesville.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Ivan, I'm an accountant and read your chats to take a break from work. Please don't use the term P and L ever again.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:45 PM)

My mistake. Actually, I'm thrilled at least one of you knew what I meant.

Adam (Kansas)

Ivan, Do you think Snyder has what it takes to be back at the top again with Kansas State?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:46 PM)

I think it will be very difficult for him to recreate what he had there a decade ago. When you retire and you're bored and well-rested, you forget what a drain that job is. And Snyder has never been a guy who knew how to ease up on the accelerator.

John (State College)

Ivan, I can't stop buying tickets to get the attention of my AD to pump up the out-of-conference schedule. If I give up the season tix to buy single game seats, I lose my seat location. And the value of tix to the one or two marquee games if I try to "buy" good seats off the internet, is more than the sum of the season tix. Any other suggestions to get my AD's attention?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:47 PM)

That's a good point. I saw a quote in Mark Schlabach's piece today about how season-ticket holders are giving what they have to give to maintain their status and not a dime more. I think if fans did that, and made their reason known to the AD, he or she would have to listen.

Matt (Houston)

Ivan,If USC, Florida, and either Texas or OU all finish undefeated - who would you expect to play for the title? If Texas is passed over again will we be seeing flags with 49 stars on them?

Ivan Maisel
  (2:48 PM)

I think Joe Barton's head will explode.

Ivan Maisel
  (2:49 PM)

Thanks, everyone. Conference media days begin next week. Hang in there. The season is close. Talk to you again soon.