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September 21, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach
  (2:05 PM)

OK, here we go...Another rainy day in Atlanta. Hope you had a good weekend.

Sean (Cleveland)

Why after a blow-out win and a impressive performance on D, even though it was against toldeo, did the buckeyes drop in the polls?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:07 PM)

A Toledo team that wallopped Colorado on top of that. ... I don't have a problem with Miami and Virginia Tech jumping them, though. Both those teams had impressive wins.

Taylor (Florida)

What has Florida done on the field to deserve the #1 ranking?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:09 PM)

I think 'Bama might be the best team at this point in the season, but I think Florida has the potential to be the best team at the end (again). They have to find some young WRs to help, and I still think they need an every-down back who can pound defenses when they have to. Have to get healthy again after the flu. But they were the best team coming into the season and haven't done anything to lose that ranking, in my opinion.

Cory (PA)

Will we finally get to see who Penn State really is after they play their revenge game against Iowa?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:09 PM)

No question. Iowa has bounced back well after the narrow win over Northern Iowa. After three weeks, we still don't know anything about two top-10 teams -- Penn State and Ole Miss. We'll start to find out how good they really are this week.

Brandon (Rainsville, AL)

Mark, do you think Alabama is for real this year, and do you think if they do reach the SEC championship game again this yeard they could beat Florida?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:11 PM)

As I said earlier, I think Bama has been the most impressive team, along with Miami, as far as on--field product. Bama beat a good Va. Tech team, then steam rolled two lesser foes. But they run the ball as well as anybody and play really tough defense. McElroy is probably better than John Parker Wilson, based on the first three weeks. Get LSU at home, but have to play at Ole Miss. I think they're the team to beat in the SEC West.

James (Alabama)

Can you please explain to me how Ole Miss is ranked number four in the nation right now?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:12 PM)

Again, Ole Miss received a lot of hype after last year's finish and win over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. The Rebels have a lot of people back, including Jevan Snead and Dexter McCluster. We'll learn a lot about them Thursday night at South Carolina.

Allen (D.C.)

I'm confused; why wasn't the same formula that was used for Florida State going above BYU in the rankings after beating them, used for Houston who is still below Oklahoma State? I just don't get how an undefeated team is below one of the teams it beat at that teams stadium...

Mark Schlabach
  (2:14 PM)

I agree with you completely. I had Houston ahead of Oklahoma State in my power rankings. They beat the Pokes on the road. And Okie State didn't look fantastic against Rice, either.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:14 PM)

I agree with you completely. I had Houston ahead of Oklahoma State in my power rankings. They beat the Pokes on the road. And Okie State didn't look fantastic against Rice, either.

Jenny (GA)

Considering how awful Georgia's defense has played last year and this year, do you think that Coach Richt needs to fire/demote DC Martinez? Do you think he will?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:16 PM)

I agree with you completely. I had Houston ahead of Oklahoma State in my power rankings. They beat the Pokes on the road. And Okie State didn't look fantastic against Rice, either.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:16 PM)

Richt is pretty loyal to his assistants. I think Georgia's biggest problem is lack of pressure from DEs. Justin Houston might be able to help, but they have to get to the QB more often. There isn't a Charles Grant, Charles Johnson, David Pollack, etc., on the roster right now. Defensive backs need to play better, too. They had a chance to make some plays on the ball and didn't.

George P. Burdell (Atlanta)

Ok- Georgia tech was very overrated at 14 -got it. But did they deserve to completely drop out of the rankings?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:17 PM)

Jackets have some issues right now. Not very good at all up front on offense. Defenses are taking away the dive and making Nesbitt beat them with his feet or arm. He can't beat them with his arm. Too many penalties and silly mistakes. But I think they'll get better.

Adam (Virginia)

Where are hundreds of stories and analysts wanting to give the Big East's auto BCS bid to the Mountain West this week?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:18 PM)

Good point, Adam. MWC missed a golden opportunity this weekend. And how about some toasts for Cincinnati? Most underrated team in the country with one of the most underrated coaches.

Sam ((PA))

Now that BYU lost is there any shot that a non-AQ school could make it to the NC?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:21 PM)

I don't know about the BCS title game. I thought BYU would have a shot because of its schedule. Boise State's schedule is too weak, and TCU's wouldn't be much better. Houston is a darkhorse for BCS bowl, but I don't think they could make it, either (although they'd have wins over Okie State and Texas Tech).

Jason ((Tulsa, OK))

Why isnt the OU D getting more love shutting out Tulsa and giving up less than 5pts per game?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:22 PM)

They should start getting some love. That's the first time Tulsa has been shut out in five years. Todd Graham said he's never had a team shut out. We knew they were going to be very good up front. Didn't know if Reynolds would be all the way back so soon. Great defense. And Landry Jones is playing darn well, too.

Britt (Rome, GA)

What do you think about the match up between Alabama's secondary and Arkansas's aerial attack? Alabama did struggle last year against heavy pass teams (i.e. Florida and Utah).

Mark Schlabach
  (2:23 PM)

The Tide can't let Ryan Mallett stand in the pocket and pick them apart. He's very, very good. When Georgia pressured him and forced him out of the pocket, I didn't think he was nearly as good.

Steve (Seattle, WA)

Is it just me or is Jake Locker a rich man's Tim Tebow?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:24 PM)

I don't know about rich man's Tebow, but he's very good. Sarkisian gets a lot of credit, but it's clear Washington is a lot more confident with Locker out there.

Ryan (Detroit)

Is MSU still a viable dark horse to win the Big Ten?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:25 PM)

I guess anything could happen, but I'd be surprised after back-to-back losses to Central Michigan and Notre Dame. Big Ten hard to figure out right now. I think it's Penn State and Ohio State on top, not sure after that.

Garrett (Colorado Spring, CO)

In your opinion, with the exception of Florida and Alabama, which two teams in the SEC have the potential to wreak havoc this season?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:26 PM)

Ole Miss, but let's see what they do the next three weeks. Not sure about LSU's offense; not sure about Georgia's defense. Not sure if Auburn is ready for prime-time, although Gene Chizik has them playing very well.

Eddie (Medford, OR)

Why after ending the winning streak of a good Utah team are the Ducks of Oregon not rated. Their only loss was to #12 Boise when Oregon was Ranked 16.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:27 PM)

Because the Ducks look so bad losing to Boise State on national TV, I guess. Beat Cal and you'll be back in the rankings.

Matt (Cincinnnnnnaaaati)

If my Bearcats run the table, (could be wishful thinking) where would you put them in the BCS lineup?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:28 PM)

I think they'll end up in the Sugar Bowl, which has the last choice among at-large teams. Big bowls love big fan bases and tradition, which Cincinnati really doesn't have. But the Bearcats are a very good team.

Mark (TX)

Is Cal the team to beat in the PAC-10 now?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:29 PM)

I think so. USC has a lot of issues on offense right now. Cal has the best RB in the country, and Kevin Riley is playing pretty well. Defense has to get a little better, but I'd say Cal is the favorite at this point.

Ken (Work)

So with your backtracking on how good you thought UF and Texas are, are you changing your mind as to who we will see in Pasadena for the NC game?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:30 PM)

No, I've still got them in the championship game. They just haven't been as dominant as I thought they'd be at this point. But both can get better (and probably will).

Alex (Philadelphia)

Locker is faster than Tebow, and has a stronger arm. I bet he gets drafter higher as well.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

But Tebow has two national championship rings and is pretty dang tough.

Mike W (Chicago)

When will Tony Pike get into the Heisman discussion. He's led his team to a 3-0 start and a top 15 ranking and has more yards thrown, touchdown, and a better completion percentage than Tebow and McCoy

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

What's he completing? 78 percent of his passes? Sick. He'll get more attention if Cincinnati keeps winning.

Alex (New Philadelphia, OH)

Should the Jayhawks be on upset alert facing Southern Miss this week?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:32 PM)

I'd be careful. Golden Eagles fell behind Virginia big early in the game, but came back. Fletcher is a very good runner.

Tym ((Mechanicsburg))

Do you think Notre Dame will make it to a BCS game?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:33 PM)

I was close to putting them into one this week, but I think the schedule is harder than it looked at the start. Washington, USC, U. Conn, Pitt, Stanford. They can probably lose only one more -- maybe two.

Alex (Austin)

Season ends today, who is getting the Heisman?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:34 PM)

Jahvid Best? He's done more than Tebow or McCoy.

Matt (FL)

Thoughts on my Noles now?? Didn't we lost to Miami on a last second drop?? Aren't we a catch away from being undefeated???

Mark Schlabach
  (2:35 PM)

Looked great against BYU. Probably too much stock in close win over Jax State, but come on -- it's Jax State! Ponder is very good and defense out-ran the Cougars. Need to see consistency from FSU now.

D.L. (Miami)

If Miami starts 4-0, which bowl do you see them in?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:38 PM)

Ask me after 12 games....They'd be 4-0 and would be 2-0 in the ACC. Good start.

Mike (Beverly, Ma)

Who do you think is the most dominant player in the NCAA? IMO, the most dominant player so far this year has to be Gerald McCoy. If you watch him play for one series you'll see how much he means to the best defense in college football. He has been beating double teams all year.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:40 PM)

He's the best DL in college football. He wreaks havoc every play. Can't take him with one blocker most of the time.

Jimmy (NJ)

You don't see Michigan as clearly the 3rd best (or better) team in the Big Ten right now? I think Michigan will have more wins than OSU going into the final game.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:41 PM)

Probably, but they've beaten two directional schools from Michigan and a Notre Dame team that was close to being 1-2. But they're much better than last year, that's for sure.

Joe (PA)

Where does Daryll Clark stand in the Heisman rankings?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:42 PM)

Outside the top five right now, in my opinion. We'll see how he does when the Nittany Lions start playing game. Oh, they've already played? Didn't notice. Just kidding. Welcome to the 2009 season, Penn State, glad you could join us. Clark is very good and numbers have been good so far. We'll see how he does against tougher competition. And Syracuse helped Penn State by beating Northwestern on Saturday, by the way.

Tom (Chicago)

That Notre Dame team could also be 3-0.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:43 PM)

Very true...We'll see how they do without Michael Floyd. Terrible injury.

Chris (Phoenix)

Mark, How can The Devils go down to Georgia and steal a W? The Devil D is greatly improved, but it's so tough to win between those hedges.....

Mark Schlabach
  (2:43 PM)

I honestly haven't seen enough of Arizona State to know. Beat up Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night. They played Georgia tough last year.

Paul (Madison, WI)

Just how bad is the Hokies' Rush Defense, Is it a matter of tackling? Scheme? Experience? Is there hope that Cooper and James won't run wild on Foster's Boys?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:44 PM)

Hokies are playing some young LBs, right? And they had to replace a couple of key guys on the DL. Bud will make them better eventually. Held Nebraska to five FGs. Not bad.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:45 PM)

Folks, sorry, but I have to run. Hope you have a great week. Talk to you next Monday.