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November 25, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett
  (3:00 PM)

Hey, everybody. Before I pack it in for the Thanksgiving holiday, I've got an hour to chat with you about football. Let's make it a good one.

Mike (New Brunswick, NJ)

What do you think are the odds of Rutgers/Notre Dame talks starting back up?

Brian Bennett
  (3:00 PM)

I don't know why Notre Dame would want to play any more Big East teams. The Irish can't beat any of them

Cameron (Seneca, Pa)

Do you think Pitt's true frosh RB Dion Lewis is a Heisman candidate next year or two years from now, if he is at all?

Brian Bennett
  (3:01 PM)

If he keeps up this level of production, he'll be mentioned. Winning the Heisman takes so many things to go right, though. The team has to be really good, depends on what other candidates do, etc.

GoWVU (SoCal)

I'm aware of what part ND and the Gator Bowl spot plays in the Big East bowl-slotting process. Omitting all Gator considerations for the moment, do you foresee the Mountaineers playing anywhere other than Charlotte or Birmingham for the holidays?

Brian Bennett
  (3:02 PM)

I think WVU ends up in one of those three games. They have the biggest stadiums of the bowl slots, and the Mountaineers bring a lot of fans.

Andrew D (Morgantown)

Hey Brian. Excellent job with the blog. I was wondering which RB will have the bigger game Friday night. Devine or Lewis.

Brian Bennett
  (3:03 PM)

I have to say Lewis, based on what each has done of late. And we don't know how healthy Devine is

Scott (Ringoes, NJ)

Hi Brian and Happy Thanksgiving. Two quick questions. How do you like Timmy "Deuce" Brown's chances in the NFL? Also, what scenario would put Rutgers in the St. Pete Bowl? I am from that area and would love an excuse to head south and not to Toronto!

Brian Bennett
  (3:05 PM)

Brown is a very small guy, but he's explosively fast and has show he can handle a No. 1 role in college. I think he'll get a chance to be a slot guy in the NFL. Rutgers' bowl chances can go a lot of different ways right now. Best hope is to win the last two, including West Virginia. That would set the Knights up for a better destination.

Matt (Cincinnati)

Louisville should hire Mike Shannahan, what do you think?

Brian Bennett
  (3:05 PM)

Yes, and Freida Pinto should go out with me.

Rob (New Orleans)

Brian, if Cicinnati wins out, I'm not sure what else they could have done to have a shot at the BCS NC. Not to take anything away from Florida, Alabama, and Texas, but it the Big East Champion always going to play second fiddle to these conferences, at least for now?

Brian Bennett
  (3:07 PM)

It's a unique year in which there are so many undefeated teams. Remember that last year's BCS title game featured two 1-loss teams. In 2007, West Virginia would have played for the title with one loss. I think Cincinnati just is getting unlucky. Also, the SEC and Big 12 have banked a little more street cred than the Big East

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Brian: There are folks who'd like to see a Pitt/PSU pairing in a BCS bowl game. I say there wouldn't be enough widespread interest to see it happen (although I miss that game during Thanksgiving weekend). What do you think?

Brian Bennett
  (3:08 PM)

I don't think it's going to happen. I don't even think Penn State gets in over Iowa

Zack (Louisville)

Are there any rumors abounding about who the next UofL coach will be? Will it be a guy who is a relative unkown like Kragthorpe was, or a bigger name guy?

Brian Bennett
  (3:08 PM)

Lots of rumors, nothing substantiated to this point. I do think it will be an up-and-comer, which isn't the same as saying an unknown. That's been Jurich's pattern in almost all of his hires.

Cameron (Seneca, PA)

Better pro QB, Stull or Pike?

Brian Bennett
  (3:09 PM)

I like Bill Stull a lot, but I seriously doubt he's an NFL quarterback

GTL (Washington, WV)

Brian... there has been lots of fans talking down about Stewart and Mullens, and only a few giving support. What's your bloggers opinion about the WVU helm?

Brian Bennett
  (3:10 PM)

I think you need to back away from the ledge. I was looking at the two-deep this week, and the fact is there just aren't a lot of seniors who've played much before this year in key roles. This is a young team. Give it some time.

James (Dallas, TX)

What's your arguement for Cincy to get a NC bid with the somewhat weak opponents in the Big East conference?

Brian Bennett
  (3:11 PM)

The Big East is not any weaker than the Big 12 or much worse than the SEC once you get past LSU and Florida.

pookybear (Des Moines)

Who is Freida Pinto?

Brian Bennett
  (3:11 PM)

Try Google. You'll thank me

Doug (Tampa)

Happy Turkey day. Why do u think Miami wins here in Tampa at the Ray Jay? The Bulls play tuff in home games against ranked out of conference teams. Both played FSU with USF winning more convincingly than the canes. We lost 3 games 2 vs VERY good teams Pitt and Cincy and the typical meltdown at Rutgers. What gives?

Brian Bennett
  (3:12 PM)

It wouldn't surprise me to see USF win. Especially given the atmosphere. I just think Miami has so much speed on defense and that the Bulls have few options to attack it outside of B.J. Daniels making things happen. I think Miami is much better than FSU.

Dave (Cincinnati)

Brian, Happy Thanksgiving. Sort of Big East related... but do you think the Aggies have any shot tomorrow night against Texas? And if the Aggies do sneak a win, does Cincy move into #2 slot pending a 12-0 finish?

Brian Bennett
  (3:14 PM)

The Aggies have had some success against Texas in the recent past, though it's still a long shot. I'm not counting out Nebraska in the Big 12 title game either. The Cornhuskers have a hard time scoring, but their defense is awfully good. Cincinnati fans need to be rooting like crazy for A&M and Nebraska

Joe (New Hampshire)

Brian, have you seen a better game this year that has had more heavy baggage weighing on both teams than UConn vs ND? I was there and I still can't believe it. Should be an ESPN classic, Good Stuff.

Brian Bennett
  (3:15 PM)

I've seen a lot of great games this year, several of them involving Notre Dame. But that may have had more emotional impact on both sides than any of them. It was quite a postgame scene.

Joe (Pittsburgh)

Although Bill Stewart is 17-7 as a coach, dont you feel WVU fans will grow tired of these 8-4 seasons? Can Bill Stewart really coach a Big East Champion Caliber team?

Brian Bennett
  (3:16 PM)

Well, A) they're not 8-4 yet this year. B) it's his second year. If things aren't getting better in the next two years, then, yeah, there might be a problem. But it's way too soon to make that judgment.

Matt (Cincinnati)

Why would UC agree to play a home game vs. Va Tech in D.C.??? I would think the Big East Conference in general has to hate this decision.

Brian Bennett
  (3:17 PM)

Two words: Cash money. The Bearcats have to pay for facility upgrades and salary increases somehow. They'll probably get a couple extra mill to move that game. It's sad, but reality.

Dan (Berlin, CT)

Hey Brian, Love the blog, it is definitely a everyday read. Question about uconn since you don't get too many of them. If uconn runs the table this year in their final 3 games (including a bowl appearance) would they be a considerable favorite going into next year and possibly merit pre-season top 25 consideration? They have a lot of young talent that is coming back in most key positions....

Brian Bennett
  (3:18 PM)

I wouldn't put them as a considerable favorite. A lot of Big East teams will be returning many good players, including Pitt, WVU and USF. UConn brings so much back that they should merit some Top 25 consideration, but they may not have a big enough name to impress any voters.

James (DC)

If Kelly is named the coach at ND next week or the week after, what would happen if Cincy made a BCS bowl?

Brian Bennett
  (3:20 PM)

That's a whole lot of speculatin' there, James. I'll just say this: when Kelly got the Cincinnati job, he left some of his staff behind to coach in Central Michigan's bowl and he took some to coach Cincinnati's bowl. Different situations here, though.

Brandon (Utah)

Brian, When you had your discussion with Graham about Cincy and TCU, you made a coment about the MWC TV channels and that your cable company laughed at them. Were you aware that your Cable Company (Comcast) ownes the Mtn network? Or does it just show that you know nothing about TCU or the MWC?

Brian Bennett
  (3:21 PM)

Brandon, it was called a joke. I like to poke fun at how bad the Mountain West's TV deal is. CBS College Sports? Versus? The Mtn? Come on.

Brian Bennett
  (3:22 PM)

It's slow in here today. Must be the approaching holiday

Darryl (Cincinnati)

How could you leave UC out of the teams returning many good players - including Collaros?!!!

Brian Bennett
  (3:23 PM)

That's one guy, Darryl. Cincinnati has a bunch of seniors. But it will still be very good as long as Kelly is around. And I look forward to seeing Vidal Hazelton.

Ryan (Pittsburgh)

Brian, if you had to put on your Mel Kiper Jr. hair for a minute, who would you say in the entire Big East is the player likely to be drafted the highest?

Brian Bennett
  (3:24 PM)

I'm no expert in this particular field, but I would say three underclassmen, should they choose to come out: Jason Pierre-Paul, Anthony Davis and Greg Romeus. And possibly in that order. A lot depends on workouts, though. Always does.

Steve (Tampa)

Why wont the Big East force ND's hand and make them play in conference for Football like they do other sports? It would def help since they have the NBC Tv contract and give the conference More National exposure each week. (Even though ND would be like the Orange as far as standings go)

Brian Bennett
  (3:25 PM)

Oh, boy. I get this question all the time. How exactly would the Big East "force Notre Dame's hand?" The Irish are raking in money from NBC. They don't need the Big East.

Les Miles (Baton Rouge, LA)

I am thinking of hiring Charlie Weiss as my new offensice coordinator. Would that be a good move by me? Additionally, I am thinking of buying a watch that has a second hand. Good idea or bad? I have been really confused lately. Thanks.

Brian Bennett
  (3:25 PM)

Ha. I think we'll see Charlie calling plays for an NFL team very soon.

Zack (Louisville)

What is UofL's first game in the new expanded stadium?

Brian Bennett
  (3:26 PM)

Should be Kentucky next year unless something has changed.

AL (Brookfield Ct 06804)

Hi Brian, If Uconn wins final 2 games what Bowl do you see then going to??

Brian Bennett
  (3:26 PM)

I think they would go to the St. Pete Bowl. Which is not a bad place to be in December.

matt (detroit)

central michigan vs notre dame in the pizza pizza bowl? good match up?

Brian Bennett
  (3:27 PM)

Two good quarterbacks, plenty of offense. But Notre Dame fans have to be depressed about that destination.

Ryan (Pittsburgh)

I don't pay much attention to other team's tight ends, but what are the chances Pitt has both the first and second team tight ends on the All Big East roster? Think that's ever happened before?

Brian Bennett
  (3:28 PM)

I mention that in a post later today. I think that should be the case this year. They're clearly the best two in the league. I doubt it's ever happened, but I'd have to look that up

M-Head (Hazlet, NJ)

Has a Big East team had a worse/more embarrassing loss this season that Rutgers last week?

Brian Bennett
  (3:30 PM)

I would have had South Florida's 31-0 loss at Rutgers as the worst showing of the season. But then Rutgers went out and trumped it the next week. Brutally bad.

Mike (Storrs, CT)

After following this team for every year we've been an FBS school, I really feel that we turned the corner last weekend. We should be right up there with Pitt, WVU, USF, and Cincy as the favorites. We happen to have 3 of those teams at home next year. But please don't "Rutger" us and pick us to win the league. Thank you in advance.

Brian Bennett
  (3:31 PM)

Ha. Noted, Mike.

Tom (Dayton)

Cincinnati has a lot of seniors??? Who...Pike and Gilyard...the entire offense comes back next year with Collaros at QB. The defense only has a couple of seniors.

Brian Bennett
  (3:33 PM)

Tom, what depth chart are you looking at? Here are some starting seniors: Pike, Gilyard, Jurek, Linkenbach, Daniels, Stewart, Young, Jones, Webster, Revels, Mathews. That's half the defense by my count.

CH (Pittsburgh)

Brian, What do you think WVU will do with Coley White next year, keep him as backup QB behind Smith? If so, do you think he leaves WVU? He might not get to play much as QB, especially if Barry Brunetti comes in next year.

Brian Bennett
  (3:34 PM)

It's an interesting question. Smith is going to be the starter. Perhaps they'll try White somewhere else, at receiver. It will be up to him whether he's happy enough with that role.

Scott (Ringoes,NJ)

In the BE Bowl pecking order after BCS,Gator/Sun and Meineke, is it Papa Johns, International and then St. Pete...or is there not really a pecking order after the Meineke?

Brian Bennett
  (3:34 PM)

There's no real pecking order after Charlotte. The three bowls get together and figure out the best mix.

Matthew (Syracuse,NY)

If you noticed Cincinatti lost quite a few seniors last year(10 defensive starters)

Brian Bennett
  (3:35 PM)

Absolutely. Wasn't saying the Bearcats wouldn't be good. I was just saying they're an older team than some of the others I mentioned. To say they don't lose significant seniors is erroneous, though.

Troy (Montrose, CA)

Any chance for a USC vs. Notre Dame rematch in a bowl game?

Brian Bennett
  (3:36 PM)

I can't see where it would happen. Notre Dame is probably going to the Gator at 7-5 and searching for scraps at 6-6.

Nick (Cincy)

I'm a Cincy fan who's on the edge of his seat (as usual) about Kelly going. I feel like in general most coaches are cut from the same mold and would move on. I also feel like there are some reasons that a coach that's not quite your typical coach. As much as I'd love for Kelly to profess his undying allegiance to UC, I think the only way for him to get the upgrades he wants is to still have one hand on the door. Finally, my question, which is the one thing hanging on my mind about the whole situation: I keep hearing analysts (including you) saying that Kelly will go if Notre Dame comes calling. The only substance I've ever heard relates to his Irish Catholic background. Is there anything more than that right now?

Brian Bennett
  (3:37 PM)

It's no real secret that Kelly has an affinity for Notre Dame, and he just seems like a guy who would want to challenge himself at a place like that. No one knows for sure what's in his heart. But Notre Dame just has so much more to offer in resources/money that it's hard to see how he would say no.

Justin (Boise)

Was reading back through things when you said we would see Charlie Weiss calling plays in the NFL soon was that a typo did you mean UFL? GOOOOOOOOoo TUSKERS!

Brian Bennett
  (3:39 PM)

Weis could probably have a job tomorrow in the NFL if that's the direction he wanted to go. Say what you want about him, but the man is an excellent offensive playcaller.

Kael (Pittsburgh)

Brian, Love the blog... what is the chance of Pitt getting an at-large bowl selection if it beats WVU and loses to Cincy?

Brian Bennett
  (3:39 PM)

Zero percent.

Marc (Charlotte)

Favorite Thanksgiving Food?

Brian Bennett
  (3:40 PM)

My grandma's stuffing. I'm drooling just thinking about eating it tomorrow.

Conner (Louisville, Ky)

It seems to me that the Notre Dame job has become something of a pressure cooker. I think Kelly might be less inclined to take the job on the grounds that if he fails at Cincy (moot point, he's succeeded beyond their wildest dreams), he's got plenty of room to move laterally to other programs in the country. Whereas if he goes to ND and fails, then it will be such a public failure that his (head) coaching career would likely end. Does that factor into it in your opinion?

Brian Bennett
  (3:41 PM)

I think most winning coaches believe in themselves and don't consider failure. Kelly has enough of an ego to think he could the job done there. And I think he would.

Mark (Loveland OH)

I'll grant that Pitt has the best tight ends in the BE. How do the Cincy TE's stack up? Ben Guidugli and Kazeem Alli are very solid, I think. And young Adrien Robinson looks destined to play on Sundays in the future.

Brian Bennett
  (3:42 PM)

They're all very good. They just don't get used as much.

M-Head (Hazlet)

Not a Big East question, but....wouldn't Boise and TCU be the best non-NC bowl (assuming they are both undefeated)? It could be hyped to no end and there would be a ton of interest. The BCS wouldn't like that game though, would they?

Brian Bennett
  (3:43 PM)

I don't think you'll see those two play each other. Remember we had that matchup in the Poinsettia last year. I hope Boise gets in, though.

Kyril (Pittsburgh)

Awesome Blog...O.K. What would be the best (realistic) bowl line-up for the Big East be?

Brian Bennett
  (3:44 PM)

I'm not sure what you mean. What would be the best bowls or best lineup of teams in bowls this year? Clarify, please.

Conner (Louisville, Ky)

Does Louisville have a single NFL-talent player on their roster at the moment?

Brian Bennett
  (3:45 PM)

Hmm. Well, I remain a big Scott Long fan. Victor Anderson, when healthy is a big-time talent. At least one of their linebackers, maybe Dempsey, will get a look. And Johnny Patrick is coming along at corner. But overall the talent level is low. No first-day NFL guys that I see.

Mark (Hershey)

*** FRIEDA PINTO IS HOT! ***True/False: Dion Lewis ends up having a better collegiate career than McCoy? Dorsett?

Brian Bennett
  (3:47 PM)

Indeed. Lewis will have better numbers than McCoy because he'll stay three years. Heck, he's already had a better freshman season. Dorsett is a little bit tougher.

Matt (boston)

Any chance Big east champ meets loser of SEC championship in BCS?

Brian Bennett
  (3:48 PM)

I think there's an excellent chance of that, especially if Cincinnati is 12-0.

George (Raleigh,nc)

You seem to give Rutgers no love for next year...with Savage returning and a multitude of aspiring wideouts. This year the thought seem to be that Rutgers could survive with an untested 5th year senior QB, a rookie QB, and the only experienced wide receiver being Tim Brown. Isn't next year looking much brighter?

Brian Bennett
  (3:49 PM)

I should have included Rutgers in that list, yes. Next year had better be brighter.

Jeff (Pittsburgh)

As a pitt fan traveling to Morgantown......Any suggestions?

Brian Bennett
  (3:49 PM)

Wear Kevlar. Just kidding.

Jared (Boise)

If Pitt handles WVU well do they beat cinci in a close game? or does cinci pull off the 12-0?

Brian Bennett
  (3:50 PM)

The WVU game doesn't matter. Biggest thing I want to see this week is how Pike plays for Cincinnati

Phil (Chicago)

Why does everyone always ask why does the Big East doesn't ask Notre Dame to join in football or take a hike. Do these people realize the money ND brings in for the other sports? The Big East gets just as much if not more out of the relationship than Notre Dame.

Brian Bennett
  (3:51 PM)

Thanks for the voice of reason. Notre Dame has been very good for the league overall, though most fans don't want to hear it.

Jeff (Pittsburgh)

Can pitt have a repeat performance of this year with Tino Sunseri under center?

Brian Bennett
  (3:52 PM)

He won't be as experienced as Stull was. But Cignetti has designed a good system that helps quarterbacks succeed, and Sunseri has talent. I wouldn't necessarily count out Bostick just yet, either.

Dave (Des Moines)

Yo B.B. - Do you believe the BCS will in fact consider the Hawks win over the Nittany Lions, along w/ a tougher schedule and stronger wins as opposed to the rumor that names JOE PA and PENN STATE alone would award them a better bowl bid then Iowa?

Brian Bennett
  (3:53 PM)

They should, but we saw this same thing with Kansas and Missouri a couple of years ago. I still think Iowa gets in, because they'll bring a bunch of fans, too. Who wouldn't want to leave Iowa in January?

Zack (Louisville)

Which games will you be at this week Mr. Bennet?

Brian Bennett
  (3:54 PM)

I'll be watching them all from home. Then gearing up for Dec. 5 at Heinz Field

Justin (Morgantown, WV)

As a mockery to Dave Wannstedt, I'm wearing an outrageous fake mustache to the game. How do you feel about this Brian

Brian Bennett
  (3:54 PM)

I'm all for fake mustaches.

Tami (WV)

First team BE vs the Browns- who ya got?

Brian Bennett
  (3:55 PM)

Ha. Browns by five touchdowns. There's no comparing college and pro players.

Zack (Louisville)

Thanksgiving, great holiday or greatest? Football all day, lots of good food, and family. Anything better?

Brian Bennett
  (3:57 PM)

It's the greatest.And on that note, I'm out of here. Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday.