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August 25, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Forde

  (3:42 PM)

Hey everyone, I just heard from Pat and he said his plane landed a bit late. So, he's going to bust it to get to his hotel and signed on for the chat, but he might be a few minutes late.

Pat Forde
  (4:05 PM)

I'm here! Sorry about the delay, let's get to it. You ready for some football? (Sorry for the cliche)

Tech Fan in MS (Long Beach, MS)

Do you see Virginia Tech getting past Boise St. on Labor Day and if so how do you like their chances for running the table?

Pat Forde
  (4:06 PM)

Tech Fan: Um, no. I have made a bid for World's Biggest Boise Backer this off-season, and I'm sticking with it. Got Boise #1. Think the Broncos will beat Virginia Tech -- and even after that, I think Tech's schedule is far from easy. That division of the ACC is really tough.

Bryan (Atlanta)

Pat, great column about Osborne and Nebraska's move today. It got me thinking, early on the Big 12 North was dominate. Is there a current Big 12 North team that might be able to challenge Oklahoma and Texas after Nebraska leaves?

Pat Forde
  (4:08 PM)

Bryan: Thanks for the kind words. To answer your question: No. Nobody in the Big 12 North is equipped to battle Texas and Oklahoma year-in and year-out. Missouri has really solidified its program but remains a significant cut below. Fortunately, the Big 12 will only be 10 teams and will get rid of the divisional format. Otherwise it would be laughably lopsided.

Will (Metairie, LA)

4D, what do you think will be the order of finish in the SEC West? Will everyone beat each other up and leave the winner with 2 L's?

Pat Forde
  (4:10 PM)

Will: I think it will be a really competitive division and there will be some losses -- but I'd be surprised if Alabama lost more than once. I'll go this way: 1. Alabama (7-1), 2. Arkansas, 3. Auburn, 4. LSU, 5. Miss State, 6. Ole Miss.

Dave (DC)

Pat, I've watched a lot of Boise State football and they are a very good team, however they seem to win with superior coaching. Have you considered the advantage of Beamer ball? Also, Tech has a SR QB, great runningbacks and the best defense that Boise State has seen, do you want to reconsider?

Pat Forde
  (4:12 PM)

Dave: Appreciate the offer, but no thanks. I agree that Boise State's greatest weapon is Chris Petersen's extraordinary coaching -- but it's not like they have no talent. I look at the NFL and see Ryan Clady (maybe best LT in football), Orlando Scandrick and first-round draft choice Kyle Wilson. And this year's team has talent, too. I also look at Virginia Tech and see seven new starters on defense. Comfortable with my Boise pick.

Jim (Ohio)

There are talks of OSU and Michigan being placed in separate division. I really don't see any benefits in doing so. what is your take on this idea?

Pat Forde
  (4:14 PM)

Jim: Don't like it. Don't understand it. Even if they play each other every year, having that game in mid-season would be a real affront to tremendous tradition. Big Ten is going to have difficulty splitting divisions no matter what, but that's a tough one to sell.

brian (albany)

hey pat...i was just wondering how you think notre dame will do this season with charlie weiss,jimmy claussen,and golden tate not there. i'm a big fighting irish fan so i was just wondering

Pat Forde
  (4:16 PM)

Brian: Major coaching upgrade to Brian Kelly. We'll see whether Crist comes through at QB. Love the skill talent on offense with Floyd and Rudolph and Allen, etc. Need secondary to step up and need both lines to play better than they have. I was there in June and watched the Irish condition, and I didn't see linemen who look like they do at Florida/Alabama/Texas. But I see ND winning enough games to finish the year in the Top 25.

Rett (Oregon)

Pat, as the "world's biggest Boise Backer", did you know that the projected starter for the Broncos at Right Tackle weighs in at 267lbs? What do you think his chances would be against Marcell Dareus (300+) defensive end from Alabama?

Pat Forde
  (4:18 PM)

Rett: I must not be looking at the right Boise schedule, because I don't see Alabama on there. Nor do I have any assurance that Marcell Darius is going to be eligible, or when.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Pat, what are your thoughts on weddings in the fall?

Pat Forde
  (4:19 PM)

Matt: Thoroughly un-American if they're on Saturdays. You have my permission to boycott, unless you are the groom. And if you are the groom, shame on you for agreeing to it. Turn in your man card.

Bill Brasky (Wisconsin)

Whats your Big 10 predictions? Gotta think the Badgers have a shot.

Pat Forde
  (4:23 PM)

Bill: Wisconsin is definitely one of my sleeper teams this year nationwide. Love that offensive line and John Clay running behind it, and Tolzien was better than expected last season at QB. Good news is they get Ohio State in Camp Randall. Bad news is they have to go to Iowa City the next week. But -- and hear this, Big Ten fans -- I think the league will be very good this season. Think the top three -- Bucks, Badgers and Hawkeyes -- all are high-quality teams. Penn State not far behind. We'll see who else jumps up.

James (Utah)

Do questions about BYU get looked at? You know everybody, deep down inside, wants to know what's going to happen with them, right?

Pat Forde
  (4:24 PM)

James: It might be that kind of thinking that causes the rest of the Mountain West to fume about BYU's arrogance. Just a theory.

Lar (PA)

All teams have potential in August and fans unrealistic optimism ... so what are your (presumably) unbiased opinion on DeRuyter installing 3-4 defense at A&M with Von Miller and existing talent?

Pat Forde
  (4:25 PM)

Lar: Well, of course A&M will go 14-0. No brainer. Kidding. But DeRuyter did GREAT work at AFA. If he has any talent to work with (beyond Miller) then A

Nick (Atlanta)

Do you have any thoughts on QB Aaron Murray for UGA? Seems like a David Greene clone. Thoughts?

Pat Forde
  (4:27 PM)

Nick: If he's a David Greene clone, they'll win the East. We shall see.

jay (nashville, tn) [via mobile]

hey pat I am a life long vols fan....i know were not going to be too great this year but who do we have the best chance of defeating out of these top ten teams we play this year (fl, bama, oregon)

Pat Forde
  (4:28 PM)

Jay: Chances are slim to win any of them, I'd say. But best shot should be Oregon -- early in the season (Sept. 11), long trip for the Ducks and they are breaking in Costa at QB.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

FYI I got married on a Saturday in the Fall. Of course, PSU was on a BYE week so it was fine with the family.

Pat Forde
  (4:29 PM)

JB: Smart man.

Keven (New Jersey)

Do questions about Nebraska get looked at? You know everybody, deep down inside, wants to know what's going to happen with them, right? Ha Ha! Really...... What are your thoughts on their season? Will they beat the Longhorns?

Pat Forde
  (4:31 PM)

Keven: Well played. I almost feel like Nebraska is getting too my hype. The offense was awful last year, and the Huskers do lose Suh, and there have been some pretty big August injuries (LB, TE, OL). Think the Huskers are best in the Big 12 North, but still a rung below Texas and Oklahoma. Horns win Oct. 16.

Cole (Lincoln, NE)

Great article on Nebraska! I can't wait for football season! I'm a broadcasting major at UNL...can ya hook me up with a job?

Pat Forde
  (4:32 PM)

Cole: No. But keep working hard and you might hook yourself up one day.

Charles (Reeltown, AL)

Pat, why does ESPN hate Alabama and Nick Saban so much?

Pat Forde
  (4:33 PM)

Charles: Yes, you could tell from the one-hour training camp special how much we hate Alabama and Saban. Sorry we didn't conceal it more.

joe (cubicle hell)

Is this Rich Rod's last year in the Big House? Will Michigan be a .500 team this year?

Pat Forde
  (4:35 PM)

Joe: I'd say Rich Rod is very much on the clock. He'd better be above .500 to keep his job -- pretty far above .500, I'd say, given the NCAA issues. My guess is that it's three-and-out for Rod, but I know my friend and very smart colleague Bruce Feldman predicts a Top 25 finish for the Wolverines. So we'll see.

Dave (Utah)

Hey Pat - What's your take on the MWC/WAC/BYU situation. What should each party do?

Pat Forde
  (4:38 PM)

Dave: It's a mess. I don't understand the move to go independent -- don't think that will work well in the modern climate. I don't want to see the WAC destroyed, either. But at this point it appears to be on life support. I'd rather see BYU stay a member of MWC and both leagues coexist.

Greg (Atlanta)

When do you expect news to break on the UNC situation and what do you expect it to be?

Pat Forde
  (4:40 PM)

Greg: I'm sure the NCAA is expediting that case, given the eligibility questions surrounding several Tar Heels. But these are complicated issues. I'm going to guess we hear something the week of the opener. And I'm going to guess several players don't dress out against LSU. And some don't dress out all year. Again, that is just a guess. But UNC has so many questions that I'm not ranking it in the Top 25 at this point.

James (Utah)

Pat, another curiosity question: What is the ratio of questions asked by us to questions answered by you? Overwhelming?

Pat Forde
  (4:40 PM)

James: I have 316 questions so far. Not sure how many I've answered. But that means there are a lot of questions I don't get to -- fair warning to everyone.

Stephanie (Denver)

Pat, would people accept the Kentucky Derby being moved to the middle of the summer, as long as they run it every year? Who cares about tradition.

Pat Forde
  (4:41 PM)

Stephanie: Thank you! Great point. Are you listening, Jim Delany?

Brian ((Fayetteville, AR))

Arkansas is hoping for a big season this year. How many wins is a reasonable expectation?

Pat Forde
  (4:43 PM)

Brian: I'd say 8-9 wins in reasonable. The schedule is not easy -- every road game is loseable, although the one in Starkville should be a W and possibly at South Carolina as well. Huge stretch, obviously, with Georgia-Alabama-A&M-Auburn in a row pretty early. That defense had better be vastly improved.

The Donald (Eugene)

4D, since you are in love with Boise State... tell me how they do it? They beat my Ducks 2 years straight and we had pretty good teams? The Ducks were definitely up for at least game 2? Great coaching, but their players seemed on par with Pac-10, speed and strength??? The broncos are like a bad dream, that's why everyone hates them.

Pat Forde
  (4:45 PM)

Donald: The coaching is excellent, and the Boise staff has done a phenomenal job finding overlooked gems in recruiting. Plus, winning breeds winning -- they all believe up there. They all expect to win. Petersen is a brilliant game planner and play caller. My only concern this year is replacing a really good defensive coordinator.

John (Chicago)

With an all new coaching staff (and president, and AD) at USC, how much will they change this year? They went 8-4 last year in the regular season, and lost three key players, but had an outstanding recruiting class, and aren't hurt by scholarship sanctions yet. With another year of experience under the players belts, but a whole lot of change elsewhere, how do you think USC fares in their 13 games this season?Also, does Oregon State shine this year? USC is looking at a bit of a fall from grace, and Oregon has a huge question mark at QB with the loss of Masoli, but OSU has one of the toughest out of conference schedules in the nation, playing Boise State and TCU. How does their record this year compare to the 8 wins they achieved last year?

Pat Forde
  (4:48 PM)

John: I don't think USC is appreciably better this year than it was last year. Carroll to Kiffin is a significant step down -- although he does have a very good staff. I don't see enough playmakers on offense, and there are holes on the o-line. Defensively the secondary is a total rebuild. The Pac-10 should be pretty balanced this year, so I can see 3-4 losses for the Trojans.

Tony S. (KY)

Pat which QB will end up being a better NFL'er Mallet, Locker, or Luck?

Pat Forde
  (4:49 PM)

Tony: Good question. I know the scouts love Locker, but he's got to prove to me he's more than just an athlete -- and that he's a winner. His record in college is 9-20. I kind of like Luck out of that group, but let's see what he does with defenses geared more to stop him without Toby Gerhart.

Braiden (alabama)

I just read where Trent R. would most likely be the kick returner this year for Bama, do you think this is a wise decision seeing that he will probably be such a big part of the offense this year?

Pat Forde
  (4:51 PM)

Braiden: I'd do anything possible to get Trent Richardson on the field, including kickoff returns, because that guy is a stud. If Mark Ingram is the best back in America -- and he is -- then Richardson is in the top 10 and maybe the top five.

Mike south bend IN [via mobile]

Hey Pat how many wins will notre dame get this year

Pat Forde
  (4:52 PM)

Mike: I'm going to say 9-3. I am a total Brian Kelly believer.

Kyle (Auburn)

How good do you think Cam Newton will be? Any chance he can lead us to 10 wins?

Pat Forde
  (4:54 PM)

Kyle: Auburn got an awful lot out of Chris Todd last year, and Newton seemingly has much more going for him physically. The question is whether he's ready to handle SEC defenses. I give him a solid chance to have a very successful season. Auburn's schedule is set up pretty well, but I don't know that I see 10 wins.

Roy (Columbia, MO)

Hey, Pat, how does your alma mater end up this year?

Pat Forde
  (4:56 PM)

Roy: I think Missouri is set up for a good season. Very tough stretch of games in the middle, but I can foresee a 5-0 start. If the Tigers split the next four (at A&M, Oklahoma, at Nebraska, at Texas Tech), looks like a 10-win season to me. Perhaps 9-3 more realistic.

Pat Forde
  (4:57 PM)

OK folks, thanks for all the questions. I'll be back next week to discuss the first DASH. Tune in then ... every morning, we're one day closer to football.