With a solid coaching staff, and a seemingly renewed institutional commitment to winning, how long do you think it will take San Diego St. to finally get back to a bowl?
Chris, I actually have San Diego State making a bowl game this season. Ryan Lindley is solid, and I am hearing good things about Ronnie Hillman. I know Aztec fans are really excited to see him play this season. I've always thought Brady Hoke was a good coach.
Do you think Hawaii's best option is to go Independent in football and into another conference in other sports? Seems as though Hawaii will always be stuck in the WAC because of Geographic location. Also if they made a good enough pitch, do you think they could land in the Pac10 for their non-football sports? Many of the sports teams already are nationally known and already compete yearly with a lot of the Pac10 schools not to mention the sports that are in the MPSF as well.
Hawaii doesn't seem to have many options at this point because of its geography. If it goes independent, it will be interesting to see what type of TV deal it can get and where it will get the additional $$ it currently gets from BCS payouts. I don't think the Pac-10 is much of an option. Scheduling could also be a concern because Hawaii is difficult travel-wise.
what is your take on the situation with BYU?
I think BYU is thinking long and hard about its next move. It seemed the WAC deal was ready to go until Fresno State and Nevada decided to jump to the Mountain West. BYU's AD has had initial conversations with BCS chief Bill Hancock about how the BCS would handle an independent BYU but ther have been no formal discussions among the conference leaders. BYU has to consider the financial ramifications of this move, along with the depleted state of the WAC if it really wants to leave.
Is Utah St going to surprise some people in 2010 ?
I know a lot of people are very high on Utah State this season. I have concerns with Turbin out. The schedule is also very difficult with road games at Oklahoma, San Diego St., Nevada and Boise State. Not to mention BYU plus Fresno State at home. At this point, I think it will be hard to make a bowl game.
Welcome to ESPN Andrea! If TCU gets by Oregon State to start the year, do you see them running the table and making it back to the BCS??
Yes, I think TCU has an excellent shot at going undefeated again if it can beat Oregon St. The biggie will be at Utah on Nov. 6, though watch out for SMU.
Andrea, Utah seems to be flying under the radar a bit this preseason. That will all change once they beat Pitt in their home opener. How do you see Utah's season going?
First, I want to see how the defense plays with 8 new starters. Going against Dion Lewis in the opener vs. Pittsburgh is going to be a huge test for a rebuilt linebacking group. Tough game at Notre Dame late in the season, too. The one good thing going for Utah is playing TCU and BYU at home. If the defense holds its own, the Utes could make some noise. I also want to see how Jordan Wynn does in his first full year as a starter.
Both the A.D. and University President at Boise State recently (and separately) sent letters to the NCAA asking them to require schools sign home-and-home agreements with other schools. It sounds to me like it would be a good reason for the bigger schools to avoid scheduling Boise State even more - what are your thoughts on that?
I don't know that there is much the NCAA can do to compel schools to play home and home games. I appreciate the difficult spot Boise State is in. It wants to play the top non-AQ teams, but the top non-AQ teams don't want to go to Boise to play them (is it because they are scared they will lose?). Boise State really is in a tough position, and it probably is going to have to keep on working these deals where it gets big $$ payouts for a one-shot deal. The Pac-10 should get kudos for being one of the few conferences to schedule home-and-home with the Broncos.
Hello Andrea, my question is how does the Craig Thompson complete the turn-around on BYU? Does the MWC add Houston or as rumored, Utah State to make a 12 team conference? Or, does the MWC bend-over backwards to give BYU TV concessions for trying to kill the MWC and stay at 11 teams?
Great question. I think if BYU is going to stay, it is going to have to get TV concessions. Thompson has got to realize without BYU ther is no AQ bid, which is probably why there has been talks about joining up with C-USA for that play-in spot. Utah State is beholden to what BYU does. I think adding Houston would help make the conference stronger, but BYU may want Utah State as part of the deal.
How good will Washington be this year behind likely 1st overall pick Jake Locker and do they have a chance to knock off Nebraska Sept 18th?
I have Washington going to a bowl game this season. I think the Huskies will be good, and will have a shot at Nebraska -- though it is going to be tough going for Locker against that defense. What Washington has going for it is Nebraska does not have a high-powered offense. That could be a low-scoring game.
Here is my fix to the Non AQ conference shifts. Once BYU goes independent have the remaining 6 WAC schools join the MTN's 10 schools to get to a 16 team conference. This allows more money to come in, creates an added championship game, and keeps rivalries in-tact (i.e. boise state / idaho). Then to keep Karl Benson happy, just give him an upper management position along side Craig Thompson on the newly created Mtn 16 conference.
Andrea, your thoughts on Herbie picking AU to come out of the SEC West? His reasoning being the lack of experience for Bama in the secondary...pretty sure AU will be playing some new and young faces as well.
Philip, Shall I forward your suggestion to Craig Thompson? I am not sure a 16-team MWC would work. A 16-team WAC didn't work. I think the only conferences that could make the superconference format work are the AQ ones because of the $$.
Taylor, It's a bold pick, but I don't think it's an outlandish one. I have Auburn finishing second in the West to 'Bama. Auburn almost won that game last year. Cam Newton is good. But you are right, there are questions about Auburn's D. It's going to have to be better than last season.
Looking at Kentucky's schedule, do you think they have a chance to be the surprise team in the SEC this year? If not them, who?
I don't know that Kentucky will be able to pull many surprises, but there is a chance the Wildcats will be better than Tennessee. I am fearing the worst for the Vols this season. So many injuries, and so many good players to replace. Plus a new coaching staff.
People point to Boise's performance against oregon's rushing to say that they could stop VT. But VT is a different type of attack and doesn't run out of the spread as much. How will boise st contain this?
Mark, that is going to be the key to the game. I asked that very question and have an article coming out on it next week. Va Tech provides something Boise State does not see very often in the WAC -- 2 monster RBs AND a rushing QB. Boise State's defense doesn't get the credit it deserves, but for the Broncos to win, they are going to have to figure out how to stop them.
Andrea, do you think the WAC conference will survive the loss of its three top football programs to the MWC?
If it survives, it will be the weakest of all the conferences. I don't see how it can be viable with the teams it wants to add. I've heard Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Montana mentioned. It's hard to rebuild a league when you lose your top 3 teams and add in others who are trying to transition to I-A.
Andrea, for the writers/analysts that think Boise State will lose to VT - do they think the VT Offense is going to be too much for the Bronco D? Or do they think they Boise State offense wont be able to score on the Hokie defense? Thanks.
I think as we saw on the last question, people don't think Boise State will be able to stop that tremendous rushing game VT has.
So excited that CFB season is finally here! Last I heard Vegas had BYU as a 3 point fav over UW. Your thoughts? How hard is it to prepare a defense for two very difference QB's?
So that means it's even, since BYU would get 3 for being the home game. I think BYU has a chance, but if I was picking, I would take Washington because of the uncertainty at QB. Playing 2 quarterbacks, if BYU does do that, disrupts rhythm. If BYU doesn't, then they could be going with a freshman. I saw what a passing team like FSU did to BYU last season, and I think Locker could do the same again.
can the big twelve remain viable with only ten teams, or will they have to look at expansion down the line or risk disbanding?
It's viable for now as long as Texas and Oklahoma are still there.
Andrea weclome....Do you think an undefeated Boise State team can make to the BCS champioship game against a couple of one loss mega confrence champions...and with their schedule do they even deserve to?
I have a bunch of these questions in the queue so I will answer it for everyone here. At one point, I thought an undefeated Boise State would have the chance to play for a national championship this year. Now I am not so sure. Boise State has finished behind one-loss teams in the past. I don't know that the coaches would have much incentive to vote Boise State No. 1 or 2. As for the scheduling, Boise State has attempted to play tough non-conference teams, and it is vs. Va Tech and Oregon State this year. I don't really know what more Boise State can do to prove it deserves a spot in the national championship game. Yes, the WAC schedule is not as strong as the SEC or Big Ten. Nobody is arguing that. There is a reason Boise State wants to play those tough non-AQ games. But I will also remind you that Boise State has 6 games against bowl teams from 2009 on its schedule. It's not as if the Broncos are playing 1-10 teams every week.
Andrea , Whys isnt Rutgers in the top 25 this season
First off, Rutgers lost its top four tackers from last season and has major questions at linebacker. Two of the top 3 WR from last season are gone. At this point, I don't think Rutgers has a Top 25 team, but that could change during the season. Big game vs. North Carolina on Sept. 25 at home could show how good Rutgers is going to be this season.
Texas has lost McCoy. Who do you think will be Texas's new star and where will they rank at the end of the season
Garrett Gilbert should do just fine at QB, we saw those glimpses in the second half against Alabama in the n.c. game. But who is going to stp up at running back? And who is his go-to guy with Shipley gone? I think Texas is a little overranked. I see the 'Horns finishing in the Top 15, maybe No. 10.
What u think about nebraska offense and qb sit they are in
It's clear from last season that Nebraska needs a spark for that offense. I don't know if Zac Lee is the answer. Taylor Martinez looked good in the fall, and I wouldn't be surprised if Lee starts the year but Martinez comes in to play eventually.
Andrea,A few minutes ago, a coworker and myself were debating whether or not historically successful programs have an advantage when it comes to preseason rankings and bowl seeding. Does it seem to you that many, or most, are eager to crown the Notre Dames and Michigans of the world only after showing a fraction of a hint of success? If you agree, would a playoff change this mindset??Thanks.
I know I go into a season judging each team on its merits and not on its name. I know there are those who believe a bias exists in favoritism among the power schools, but if Notre Dame or Michigan starts 4-0, don't they deserve to be ranked? As for a playoff, I think the most deserving teams would play based on whatever rankings are used. At least, that would be my hope!
wat do u think pitt will do in the season opener in utah?
I think Pittsburgh has a good chance to win because Utah is facing a good back with a revamped LB corps.
Do u think notre dame will make it to a bcs game this season?
Not this year.
Andrea: Is it really possible to see Navy in the BCS as an at large? I would think they would have to go undefeated, or no less than 11-1 for that to happen.
Navy would have to go undefeated, and it is going to be favored in every game but Notre Dame, in my opinion. Navy has beaten Notre Dame in the recent past, so I don't think anyone should overlook the Midshipmen.
How will the Ga Tech offense be this season? Will the ACC Defensive Coordinators come up with a stop for the option?
I have gotten several questions about Georgia Tech today, too, so here is my answer. I think that offense is difficult to stop, and Georgia Tech should have success again. Jonathan Dwyer is a huge loss, and so is Demaryius Thomas, but I really like Nesbitt. The defense returns 8 starters, too.
What do you think of WAC commissioner Karl Benson calling Fresno State and Nevada "selfish" when he himself was working a behind the scenes deal with BYU to hurt the Mountain West?
You can't blame Fresno State and Nevada for looking out for themselves. This isn't about what's best for your neighbor, it's about what's best for you. I know Karl Benson understands that. I am sure he was very frustrated at having this deal slip from his grasp.
Do you think San Jose State has a chance against Alabama? or is it "cupcake" scheduling by the Tide?
San Jose St has no chance, and yes cupcakes a plenty.
Ready to predict a score on Boise State-Virginia Tech?
I have gotten a few on this -- not ready yet, tune in next week and maybe I will have an answer :)
No one is giving BYU any love this year, rightly so they are an unexperienced and unproven team. Do you think they will surprise everyone and have a great season or will the inexperience and hard schedule knock them out of the big 3?
I still think BYU is a part of the Big 3, but I think it's going to be a tough year. I got knocked for not having BYU in my non-AQ power rankings, but I think the sked is hard, the defense is missing 6 starters, and too many questions at QB, RB and TE.
What do you see in the future for East Carolina after what looks to be a certain rebuilding year for the Pirates. Should fans be excited about the Ruffin Mcneill era?
I definitely see rebuilding all over this year. McNeill is a great offensive mind, so I think East Carolina will be OK. But this year could be a struggle.
Cincinnati is on the verge of the top 25 landing at #26 in both major preseason polls. What do you think will happen next week when they go to Fresno State? Can the Bulldogs pull off the upset?
I do think Fresno State has a chance to win. Ryan Colburn is good, and early reports are good on Robbie Rouse taking over for Ryan Mathews. Cincinnati isn't going to be as good as last season. This is going to be a great matchup.
That is all the time I have for today. Thanks so much for joining me, and submitting all your great questions. I will see you next time!