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September 20, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach
  (1:04 PM)

OK, I hope everybody had a great weekend. Saw a couple of great games on Saturday, better than last week's duds. Here we go....

Eric C (Atlanta)

What are your thoughts on Ryan Mallett after saturday's big win at a hostile UGA?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:05 PM)

Obviously, his clock management in the two-minute drill was very good at the end of both halves. He's as good as advertised and has some great WRs around him. Getting a big road win like that really answers his critics, too.

DJ (Cuse)

After watching Air Force and Utah St play the Sooners close and watching my beloved Noles look like a Div 2 program are we that far away from ever being relevant again?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:06 PM)

No, I thought FSU did a nice job of bouncing back against BYU. That was a tough road game for so early in the season. Defense was obviously overmatched. There was no question OU was jacked up after looking bad against Utah State. And Air Force has a pretty good team. Seems Stoops has some issues keeping his team focused every week.

Matt (Omaha, NE)

Husker's looked pretty good against an obviously over-matched opponent in Washington, but still they dominated as they should against an over-matched opponent. My questions are:-What are the biggest questions remaining for the huskers?-What is the ceiling for this team?Thanks!

Mark Schlabach
  (1:07 PM)

I picked Nebraska to win the Big 12 at the start of the season and I'm sticking with it. I think they have the most balance of the Big 12's top three teams. As long as Martinez doesn't make big mistakes in big games, I think the Huskers will have a chance to win the league.

Sanders Colson (Atlanta)

Auburn won one they probably should have lost to Clemson. How do think they will do against S Carolina?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:08 PM)

I think is should be a really good game. Clemson had some success running the ball, so I'd expect to see a heavy dose of Marcus Lattimore. Clemson did a nice job shutting down AU's offense in the first half, too. That's happened twice in the last two games, but give AU credit for coming back. Newton threw the ball well at the end.

jason (baton rouge)

what are the chances that nd wins more than 6 games this year?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:10 PM)

The Irish are going to have to beat somebody good to do it. Let's say they beat Western Michigan and Tulsa and Navy (no gimme), that gives them four wins. Have to win two games against teams like BC, Pitt, Stanford, USC, etc. Not impossible -- but not easy, either.

cody (san jose,CA)

do you think Stanford can win the PAC-10?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:11 PM)

I've been as impressed with the Cardinal as any team in the country so far (besides maybe Bama). Very physical football team. Great QB. I said this yesterday: When fans talk about wanting their coach to be tougher, they really want him to be like Jim Harbaugh. That dude has confidence oozing out of his pores.

Chris (San Diego)

What happens if TCU and Boise State are the only two undefeated teams left at the end of the season?

Jim (The real Motown )

Mark, Whats your take on Marshall barking cadence all game against WVU? I think its pretty obvious that was a factor. That said, with the way WVU rebounded, do you give them a shot in Baton Rouge?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:12 PM)

They play each other in the Poinsettia Bowl? I'm kidding. I'm assuming they meet in the BCS championship game, right?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:12 PM)

They play each other in the Poinsettia Bowl? I'm kidding. I'm assuming they meet in the BCS championship game, right?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:12 PM)

They play each other in the Poinsettia Bowl? I'm kidding. I'm assuming they meet in the BCS championship game, right?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:13 PM)

Nice bounce-back win by WVU after the close victory over Marshall. Geno Smith is playing really well. LSU can't score many points with Jefferson at QB, so 'Eers might have a chance. LSU's defense has played pretty well. Peterson is very, very good.

Jared (work)

How is the WAC looking now after all this talk about being so weak. Nevada has looked more impressive then Boise so far in my opinion

Mark Schlabach
  (1:14 PM)

Nevada's win over Cal did a lot for the league's credibility. Fresno State picked up a nice win over Cincinnati, too. Utah State has played much better. I don't think Boise State's trip to Reno in November can be overlooked. Might be their toughest game left.

Bobby (Washington, D.C.)

How do you rank the performance of the Texas defense in Lubbock over the weekend? Seems like holding Texas Tech to 144 yards has to rank as one of the better defensive performances in recent memory. Any way Texas could get their defenders to play offense?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:14 PM)

Very impressive. Much better than the UT offense. I think Muschamp probably knew a lot about Tuberville's offense from their days at Auburn.

Casey (College Station)

At this point in the season, is the Aggie defense better then the offense? Or should I close my eyes and pretend the third quarter last game never ever happened?

john (madison)

notre dame plays army this year too, missed that one. should be 5 wins for sure (if they get by navy)

Mark Schlabach
  (1:18 PM)

Boy, that was one of the more shocking scores of the day. Johnson throws four interceptions? Tim DeRuyter has done a nice job with the 3-4 defense. We'll see how good the A&M D really is when they play Okie State on Sept. 30. That might be one of the more entertaining shootouts of the year.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:19 PM)

Sorry, I have the questions mixed up a little bit. I thought I included Army, so, yes, that would be five wins and needing one more. I'm guessing 7-5 would be realistic

Jason (jason2120@hotmail.com)

Mark, I have been to both the UGA home games and I'm in shock. I knew with #11 at QB we would have some challenges, but didn't know it would be this bad on O and D. your thoughts?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:20 PM)

Poor OL play has surprised me, but they scored 24 points on Saturday without AJ Green, Caleb King and Shaun Chapas. I've been very impressed with how Aaron Murray has played. Playing better than John Brantley or Garrett Gilbert at this point, which I didn't expect him to do. D has too many breakdowns. Part of the problem in switching to a 3-4. Relies on a lot of communication in the secondary and they've had some breakdowns. I think they'll be OK when they get Green back. He makes other WRs better and loosens up the D's commitment to the run.

Bryan Roof (Tucson, Arizona)

What do you think about the Arizona Wildcats? Think they are going to make it to there first Rose Bowl this year?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:21 PM)

Nice win over Iowa. Foles is very good. The 'Cats play at Stanford and Oregon, right? I'd put them third in the Pac-10 for that reason.

John (Work)

Everybody is talking about Boise, Nevada, Fresno and Utah State in the WAC but what about Idaho? They have played the Huskers closer than anyone has to this point.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:22 PM)

Agreed. Idaho is playing well. Nice win over UNLV.

Brett (Atlanta)

I think your comment about LSU not being able to score "many" points with Jefferson at QB is a little knee jerk. They scored 30 against NC (and clearly, and almost tragically, shut it down after the big early lead), 27 against Vandy (and certainly didn't need to score anymore), and put up 29 against MSU (who Auburn could only score 17 against). Lets at least wait until they have to score points and can't before concluding they can't score.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:23 PM)

They can't continue to settle for five FGs, though. Once they get in the meat of SEC schedule, they have to actually cross the goal line. He threw for fewer than 100 yards in each of the last two games. Surely, you'll agree that they need more than that out of the passing game, right?

jason (baton rouge)

is socal this badly coached or have the opposing teams been better than people anticipated?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:25 PM)

Ask South Dakota if Minnesota is any good. Ask Colorado if Hawaii is any good. I don't think it's all Kiffin's fault, honestly. USC seemed to lose it swagger and some of its talent last year.

David (Boise )

Mark do you think Oregon State will give Boise State a run for their money like they did against TCU? If I remember TCU was a 15.5 favorite and luckily only one by 9

Mark Schlabach
  (1:26 PM)

I think Oregon State will have a chance with the Rodgers brothers, as long as the QB plays well. Tough playing the Broncos at home. It's going to be a huge game in Boise. I'll be there, and I'm looking forward to seeing the Broncos.

Big T (State College, PA)

I am sitting in Study Hall right now and debating on chatting with you or doing homework What do you think I should do?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:26 PM)

If you're a football player, do your homework. If you're a regular student, chat away.

harathon (Mississippi)

Do you think Kentucky has a chance this weekend? I think they have the offensive firepower to catch the Gators overlooking them this week.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:27 PM)

The 'Cats have lost 23 games in a row to UF, but I think they might have a chance. UK has done a great job of taking care of the football, which UF's other opponents haven't done. UF has a long way to go on offense. If UK can contain Demps and not turn the ball over, I think the 'Cats have a fighting chance.

Adam T (Tampa, FL)

Mark, with the Gators struggles on offense, do you think they can get things sorted out in time for the rest of there conference schedule?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:28 PM)

I think Brantley is going to OK at QB (I must admit I thought he'd be better), but I don't see any playmakers at WR, which is a pretty big shock.

Ben (Fayetteville, AR)

Why is everyone so high on Boise? Do they still deserve credit for beating a Virginia Tech team that is 1-2 and will end up with atleast 2 more losses? And an Oregon St team who will lose atleast 2 more games. All the more reason for Gameday to come to Fayetteville and see real football between 2 heisman hopefuls and 2 top 10's.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:29 PM)

Boise State has a very good team. Its schedule leaves a lot to be desired, but they have a good team. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Hokies win the ACC. Too good of a team. Too much pride. Let the Broncos beat them twice, really.

Marc (Charlotte)

Should I be encouraged or discouraged by the play of the Tar Heels so far?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:29 PM)

Encouraged by their fight and playing hard while being so short-handed. Terrified of the off-field developments. Might be ugly when the dust settles.

SC (Atlanta)

Upset special of the week: Temple over Penn Sate

Mark Schlabach
  (1:29 PM)

Nice call. Al Golden auditioning for the job?

SO STRONG (DA VILLE)

WILL DA CARDS GET A BOWL GAEM DIS YEAR

Mark Schlabach
  (1:30 PM)

Not sure about a bowl game, but Charlie Strong has them playing hard.

Brett (Atlanta)

At some point Jefferson will definitely need to do more in the passing game. My point was that, as of yet, that time hasn't arrived. Can he do it? I don't know, but he does have exceptional skill around him with Tolliver, Randall, and Shepard. Again, wait until he needs to do it and can't before definitively concluding LSU can't score with Jefferson.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:30 PM)

Just made that observation of watching for two years, that's all. He hasn't gotten better, really taken some steps back, to be honest.

Jason (Florida)

41% of the Gators team that took the field this past Saturday in Knoxville were RS Freshmen or True Freshmen....its not surprising the Gators are going to struggle a little through some growing pains. Any other team in the top 10 this raw?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:31 PM)

Texas lost quite a few important players. But Gators are very young, no question. Lack of talent at WR still leaves me perplexed.

Ryan (SLC)

Mark, you only have Boise St. going to a BCS game this year. Does this mean you think Utah and TCU are both going to have at least 1 loss?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:31 PM)

I think they both lose once, and BCS bowls will take BCS conference teams over them. Again, they're bowl projections.

Adam (East Lansing)

What do you think of Dantonio's overtime call v ND?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:32 PM)

Great call. Took lots of guts. Praying he has a full recovery. Good coach and very intense guy. Glad to hear he's doing better. Not many coaches make that call with game on the line.

Justin (Fort Wayne, IN )

Mark, What are the chances Shoelace continues on this pace through the Big Ten? He actually looks faster than anyone I have ever seen play QB...and they said the big bad big ten defenses will kill him...but they have to catch him no? Thanks

Mark Schlabach
  (1:33 PM)

Need a RB to line up next to him like Steve Slaton. He looks pretty fresh right now, but I wonder if the workload will take its toll in the Big Ten schedule.

Zaid (Dallas)

Marky Mark,Does anyone have a better defense than the Horns?? I mean, rushing only 4 and getting pressure on the QB, with an NFL secondary, ...does it get much better than that??

Mark Schlabach
  (1:33 PM)

Pretty well coached, too. Bama and Texas reload on defense as well as anyone. I'm beginning to think this Bama team is better than the last one.

Josh (Laramie, WY)

After watching Wyoming play back to back games against Texas and Boise... I came away thinking that Boise looks a whole lot better than Texas did against a common opponent only one week separated. Wyoming came into both games without significant injuries, and an extra week of practice to play BSU at the War. Still, BSU absolutely dismantled them... far more than what Texas was able to do in Austin. Are voters/writers looking at these games seriously?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:34 PM)

Boise is definitely ahead of Texas when it comes to offense. The Longhorns are still finding their way, but they'll get better before season's end.

Doug ((San Angelo, Tx))

If you had to take one running back...who would it be?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:35 PM)

LaMichael James looks pretty good right now

Clay (Charlotte)

Are you at least a little impressed by the Gators young defense making plays? Gotta find a little hope.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:35 PM)

Yes, DBs are very, very good.

Ryan (Miami)

What's your take on jacory's tweeting situation and do you think he'll help Miami return to actually winning some big games for the rest of the season?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:36 PM)

I can understand why Randy Shannon has banned his players from Tweeting. It's one of the reasons UNC is in so much trouble.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:37 PM)

Folks, I gotta run. Great chat. Talk to you again next week. Enjoy the games.