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October 11, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach
  (1:01 PM)

Hope everybody had a good weekend. I saw a stunner in South Carolina. Crazy day. Great way to finish the first half of the season. Here we go...

Daniel (Cleveland)

Any chance BYU makes a bowl?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:03 PM)

Yeah, I looked at it earlier today. Can still get to 6-6. Mountain West not nearly as deep as it's been. Just beat Wyoming, Colorado State, New Mexico and UNLV and it gets them to 6-6. No room for error with games left against TCU and Utah, too.

Marcus (Denver)

Does Nebreska put a beating on Texas this week?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:03 PM)

Texas has a lot of pride and extra week to prepare. I don't think it's a beatdown like we saw against Kansas State, but I'd definitely favor the Cornhuskers at this point. Texas has to run the ball and stop the run, which it hasn't done to this point.

Joe (Cuse)

where do you think syracuse will finish in the big east?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:05 PM)

Middle of the pack, I'm guessing. Hard to figure out the Big East right now. I think West Virginia is the best team and know Pitt is biggest disappointment. Other than that, it's really hard to distinguish between the teams. Louisville is better. UConn and Rutgers are getting better. Cincinnati isn't dead. A lot of teams fighting for a precious few bowl spots

Jim (Johnstown Pa.)

Do you think Florida State is now the favorite to win the ACC?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:06 PM)

Yes, I thought it was Miami because 'Canes were playing FSU at home. I was wrong. FSU and Virginia Tech are the teams to beat in the ACC, with NC State and Georgia Tech coming on strong.

Bobby (Fredericksburg VA)

Mark, South Carolina's schedule sets up a likely showdown against Florida in November for the SEC east crown. Can South Carolina win out and go to the SEC Championship 11-1?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:07 PM)

I think the Gamecocks slip up once, either against Arkansas or Florida. And I don't think this weekend's trip to Kentucky is a sure thing, either. Gamecocks haven't handled success well in past. Have to stay focused against 'Cats, who aren't bad

Jon (Colorado Springs)

Hey Mark, I asked Bram this earlier and he said to ask you.... What limitations does Marvin Austin, EX-UNC Fottbal player who was just released by the team, have now that he is done in the NCAA. He does have 3 years removed from the High School so, can an NFL team sign him??

Mark Schlabach
  (1:08 PM)

I think he's done in college football. Would have to apply for reinstatement at any school if he wanted to transfer. I'm sure he just enters the NFL draft and makes a lot of money.

Mark (Kansas )

USC defense bad coaching or lack of talent?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:09 PM)

I can't believe it's bad coaching. Monte Kiffin was great in the NFL and at Tennessee last year. Trojans were giving up a ton of points last year and talent level seemed to really fall off.

John (Ann Arbor)

Does Denard still have hope for heisman, and more importantly, if Michigan can bounce back with a victory against Iowa this saturday, can they still be recognized as a contender for big ten championship?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:09 PM)

Yes and yes. He definitely takes a back seat to LaMichael James, Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor, Kellen Moore, etc., after throwing three picks vs. Sparty, but he's not out of it. I had him as the offensive MVP of the first half.

Matt Fredrick (Columbus, Oh)

Hey Mark I think people are being a little to harsh on Denard Robinson. Dari Nowkah has him down to 3rd on his heisman watch?? are you kidding me? Even though he had one bad game he has still been by far the most electric and fun to watch player this season. Where does he stand on your heisman watch?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:10 PM)

Well, I dropped him to fourth. He threw three picks in a critical game. His numbers are a little inflated because he's still in the game in the fourth quarter and running and throwing like crazy because Michigan's defense is so bad. Other guys moved ahead of him, in my opinion, because he made three mistakes that hurt his team.

Brian (Corvallis)

Hey Mark, Whats your take on the coaches poll stiffing Oregon State? They left Florida ranked after they lost 2 in a row to top 10 teams, we've only lost 2 top 5 teams.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:11 PM)

I wouldn't worry about it at this point in the season. It's where you're at in late-November. Mike Riley's teams always get better at the end. Thanks for breaking my 0-for-5 drought in upset special picks, though. Win over Arizona was much needed for home office.

Patrick (Louisiana)

Hey Mark. Do you believe that LSU is just lucky being 6-0 or are they that good?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:12 PM)

Both. I think they're very fortunate the Volunteers had 13 players on the field and lucky the ball bounced right into the kicker's hands at Florida. But they're also very, very talented on defense and getting better on offense. They have a great WR corps and just needed someone to get them the ball. I'm not sure if Les Miles would rank among the 20 best coaches in the country, but I'd love to play for him. He takes chances and puts his kids into position to win the games.

Jon (New York)

Any chance we get a split BCS/AP national champion this year?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:13 PM)

Way too early to say, but there will be plenty of debate at the end, I'm guessing.

Jeff (Chicago)

Is the BCS championship headed for another nightmare? Boise State and TCU aren't going to lose again, OSU and MSU don't play each other in the Big Ten, Oregon, Nebraska, LSU, etc. all have shots...

Mark Schlabach
  (1:13 PM)

Yes, I'm guessing it's going to be a mess. And it's going to be beautiful

Kevin (South Carolina)

Hey Mark, do you think Auburn's defensive scheme (stop the run and prevent big pass plays with the secondary) will work against Arkansas, or will they have to change it up to stop Mallet's passing threat?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:14 PM)

I think you have to get some pressure on Mallett. Kentucky's Mike Hartline had way too much time to make plays on Saturday. Mallett will carve you up with that receiver corps

JD (NOLA)

Mark, are you on Forde's Boise bus to heaven or Mark May's Boise elevator, going straight down down down....?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:14 PM)

Down, down, down. They'll be No. 1 in the BCS rankings on Monday, but they won't stay there for long. No schedule=no chance

Josh (Wyoming)

So do you also believe as another ESPN TV analyst did that Alabama has a "right to defend" its National Title and still be ranked in the top several spots?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:15 PM)

Don't believe it right now. But if Bama wins out and wins the title, it would be hard to leave them out and send TCU or Boise State. Bama's schedule would have been a lot more arduous than either one of those schools

Buster Bronco (Blue Turf)

Why do the computers like Boise State so much right now?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:15 PM)

Think it's the blue turf....

Patrick (Colorado)

Do you agree with recent AP polls? It is just hard to believe that LSU ranked as high as #9.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:16 PM)

Why? They keep on winning games. Was Arizona penalized for winning back-to-back close games? No. LSU hasn't been pretty, but it's still undefeated after six games.

Vinnie (ATL)

Camp Randall is crazy at night. Do you think Bucks can win there Sat with GameDay there? Big target on Bucks backs.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:17 PM)

I think Wisky has a chance. It's at night. It's at home. Tolzien has to throw the ball well to take pressure off RBs. Badgers need to force Pryor into one or two mistakes and they'll have a chance.

Ted (TCU, TX)

Mark - one more thing - TCU gets thrown into the "no schedule" argument along with Boise out of habit...however, the MWC has two teams in the top 10 and three in the top 25...more or equal to any other conference other than the SEC...if Oregon State stays in the Top 25 that would be wins against 4 top 25 teams for TCU should they stay undefeated. Shouldn't that be enough??

Mark Schlabach
  (1:19 PM)

Yes, agree that very top of Mountain West with TCU and Utah and Air Force is pretty strong. But rest of conference is pretty bad this year, too. BYU has looked awful. UNLV, San Diego State, Colorado State, New Mexico? Uggaaaaly.

Vince (Alabama )

Can the Bulldogs beat the Gators the year?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:19 PM)

Called it in July. Dogs are bad, but Gators aren't very good, either. Florida's offense isn't going to scare anybody, but Georgia's defense will have to be very much improved to win in Jacksonville.

Guyton (Oregon)

how is Mark Ingram still in the heisman talk with less than 400 yards on the ground and 6 TDs

Mark Schlabach
  (1:20 PM)

I'd say he's definitely out after the South Carolina game. Might want to put Lattimore in the Heisman discussion, though.

Tom (AA, Michigan)

rittenburg has illinois above michigan in his conf. pwr rankings. what is he smoking?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:21 PM)

Well, at least Illinois has a better defense than Michigan.

Finny (Columbia, SC)

Are Jeffrey and Lattimore the best WR-RB duo in the country. They have carried the Gamecocks so far.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:21 PM)

Both are very, very good. I'll be surprised if Garcia ever plays that well again, but he was very, very good against the Tide. Jeffrey is a top-five WR in the country.

Zack (Dayton, OH)

If Les Miles gives Lee the starting nod for the rest of the season, based on his performance so far do you think LSU can win the West, SEC, and go on to the National Championship?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:22 PM)

I think Auburn, Arkansas, Alabama or LSU could win the West. It's going to be a wild race.

Bolton (Nebraska)

Mark, what about Nebraska? How are they looking in the future?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:22 PM)

I picked them to win the Big 12 this summer -- and I had a lot of other stuff wrong. I was basing my prediction on defense. I had no idea Taylor Martinez was this good.

Stephanie (Hell, MI)

True or False: Michigan State ------> Rose Bowl???

Mark Schlabach
  (1:23 PM)

I have them there right now, but obviously a lot can happen over the next six weeks. Don't have to play Ohio State, which certainly helps.

David (L.A)

As a USC fan I hated the hire of Kiffin along with a lot of the fanbase how long will we be stuck with him?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:23 PM)

A while. Won't make a change with pending NCAA sanctions. Won't be able to go attract a big-name coach for a couple of years. Would owe him too much money. But Pat Haden didn't hire him, either.

Rob (Nashville)

Florida has dropped the last 2 and their offense is looking terrible. Should the Gators be worried this week with Dan Mullen returning to the Swamp with a somewhat talented Miss. State team?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:24 PM)

With the way Florida's offense has looked, and with Brantley being banged up, the Gators should worry about every game they play.

Coop (Natchitoches, La)

Better team: Auburn or LSU

Mark Schlabach
  (1:24 PM)

About even. LSU better on defense; Auburn better on offense. I would say Auburn has better coaching, but I'm not betting against the Mad Hatter at this point. He's crazy good.

Jacob (Alabama)

Is Cam Newton in the Heisman talk after Mark Ingram and Dernard Robinson had bad days while Cam had a great day

Mark Schlabach
  (1:25 PM)

Yes, I had him in my top five this week. He's basically doing what Denard Robinson did -- and Newton has done it against better competition, too.

Eric (Oregon)

Who has the best shot at beating the ducks this in the regular season?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:25 PM)

Oregon State? The Civil War is always good.

Marcus (Miami)

How hot did Randy Shannon's seat just get?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:25 PM)

Not hot. Just signed him to four-year contract extension.

Christian (Hurley, MS)

Do you believe Bama will still make it to Atlanta? I hope South Carolina runs the table too to set up a rematch.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:26 PM)

Yes, I'm still picking Bama to get to Atlanta and win SEC title. Tide were bound to lose at some point.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Mark, they have circled the waggons down in Austin s there is not a lot of info on changes beeing made to the Longhorn football team. I know the coaching staff has had a lott of pressure to get D.J. Monroe 9yds per carry avg more involved in the offense. Do you excpect to see more of the spread/option read to create space for monroe and kick start the Texas offense?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:26 PM)

Have to figure out a way to run the ball more effectively. And need to get some of those young WRs more involved in the passing game, too. That would make defenses back off the line a little more.

Jake (Orem, UT)

When will poll voters finally realize Utah is as good, if not better than Boise State and TCU this year?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:27 PM)

After Utes play TCU?

Jimmy The Geek (Birmingham)

Ask Tommy Tuberville how much a four-year extension is worth sometime.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:27 PM)

Good point. Not sure Miami has the money to spend like Auburn did at that point, though.

Jack (The Island)

Do you think most of America will be rooting for Nevada to beat Boise in late November?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:27 PM)

I don't know. Boise State has a lot of fans rooting for the underdogs.

John (West Palm Beach)

Mark - ND has a real chance to get to 6-3. Do you think they run the table and get it to 9-3? You can see glimpses of greatness on offense and their D is much improved.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:28 PM)

They're better than they were last year. USC and Navy games don't look as hard as they once did, either.

Josh (Colorado)

If Taylor Martinez stays this good. What are his chances in the Heisman race?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:29 PM)

He's sitting at No. 6 on my list right now. Huge game last week. I'd like to see him do a little more in passing game, but they kid is unbelievably fast.

Coop (Natchitoches, La)

How much time does Gary Crowton have as LSU's OC if they drop 2 or their last 4 conference games in the same dismal fashion they almost lost 3 of their first 5 games?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:30 PM)

Man, LSU fans are always read to fire someone. Your football team is 6-0. Enjoy it.

Billy (Cougar, WA)

After 6 weeks who do you think is the best team?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:30 PM)

Probably Oregon right now. We'll see what happens with Thomas.

Chris Columbus (India?)

Who is your favorite explorer?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:30 PM)

Dora

M Edwards (Spartanburg, SC)

Mark,How was the atmosphere at the "Billy Brice" It seemed to be unreal.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:30 PM)

Crazy place. Was hanging out in the Cockabooses. Great scene.

John (Kentucky)

Chances Boise, TCU, or Utah play for the national title?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:31 PM)

Getting better and better every week that one of them (or both?) might get a shot.

Jason (Ann Arbor)

Hey Mark who's you top 5 in the Heisman race right now?

Patrick (Louisiana)

As of right now, who do you see challenging Denard for the Heisman?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:32 PM)

Here's my ballot right now: 1. Kellen Moore, Boise State2. LaMichael James, Oregon3. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State4. Cam Newton, Auburn5. Denard Robinson, Michigan

Billy (Cougar, WA)

Do you think this will be last year of the BCS?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:33 PM)

No, there's this little thing called a long-term contract. University presidents aren't going to allow a playoff to happen anytime soon.

M Edwards (Spartanburg, SC)

How would you rank spurrier's gamecalling in Saturday's game?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:33 PM)

A+ Head Ball Coach still has it.

Red raider (Lubbock tx)

Hey Mark What do you think about this weeks game with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.??

Mark Schlabach
  (1:33 PM)

Shootout. Hopefully, the Red Raiders stay away from onside kicks.

david (Florida)

Mark, if you had to chose between florida's Addazio and LSU's Crowton as offensive coordinator, who would it be?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:34 PM)

No comment

Ashtyn (Jefferson City, MO)

I just don't understand the hype about Lattimore. He's 47th in rushing and of the players in the top 50 he's 49th in ypc. Looks pretty mediocre to me. Can you explain it to me?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:34 PM)

He's the real deal. Three touchdowns vs. Bama and nearly 100 yards. He's an 18-year-old kid who runs like a grown man.

Jacob (Wisconsin)

Which will be Notre Dame's toughest remaining game, at home vs. Utah or @ USC?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:35 PM)

Utah. Have you watched USC's defense lately?

Richie (Gilbert)

Everybody is saying "the SEC has fallen" , "SEC is showing weakness" and all that crap. Um yea, Alabama lost, but to another SEC team. If anything I think this just underscores how good the SEC is. No week is easy and (barring Vandy) every team is good

Mark Schlabach
  (1:35 PM)

SEC isn't as good because Florida, Georgia and Tennessee aren't as good. But four teams in SEC West are very good and South Carolina is good. Still the best conference in the country, IMO

Ryan (Philly)

Other than Denard Robinson, how could anyone justify ranking any other player ahead of Cam Newton in the Heisman race. I kind of think that alot of these people haven't seen him play.

Mark Schlabach
  (1:36 PM)

Yeah, but LaMichael James, Terrelle Pryor, Kellen Moore and Taylor Martinez are pretty good, too.

Jeremy (GA)

Mark, What are the chances Richt is still in Athens next year? We just had our 11th player arrested since the spring and other than Saturday we haven't done anything on the field. And that was a much worst TN team than I expected to see. And if he's gone what's the reason? Win Loss record or arrest record? Thanks!!

Mark Schlabach
  (1:36 PM)

I think off-field problems would get Richt before on-field record. I still say he's back in Athens next year.

Chris (DC)

Mark, with Boise State's success, there's been more and more talk from FCS teams thinking about moving up to the FBS (see: Montana's AD's letter that got published on the internet, and, the Big Least's potential invite to Villanova). These teams all seem to think that they're the next Boise State, I think someone (possibly with a nationally published column on ESPN.com) should remind them of the success of Western Kentucky...

Mark Schlabach
  (1:37 PM)

Good call. How long did it take Boise State to get here?

Dave (SLC)

Would Tennessee have a better record if Kyle Whittingham had moved there last spring?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:38 PM)

No, Dooley is getting more out of UT than I thought he would. Competitive vs. Florida and nearly beat LSU. No talent in Knoxville right now.

Patrick (Louisiana)

Do you think Les Miles out-coached Urban Meyer Saturday night?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:38 PM)

He did on the fake field goal. Florida had a CB rushing from the edge to block it.

Billy (Cougar, WA)

RIP USC?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:38 PM)

Done -- for a while, too.

M Edwards (Spartanburg, SC)

Will the Chickens in your mind make it to ATL

Mark Schlabach
  (1:39 PM)

Yes. Florida is going to lose a couple of more before it's over.

Chris (Athens)

Two quickest fan bases to want to fire their coaches...LSU and UGA? Fans are crazy stupid nowadays. Dooley had a losing record in 1979! what happened in 1980 again?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:39 PM)

Agreed. And look what happened after Tennessee fired Fulmer.

Will (Baton Rouge)

how would you block Drake Nevis?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:40 PM)

With two players

Max (ocala fl)

any chance FSU runs the table and finds it self number 2 in BCS at the end?

Mark Schlabach
  (1:40 PM)

I'd be surprised, but they're definitely good enough to win the ACC. Defense is so much improved

Mark Schlabach
  (1:40 PM)

OK, folks I'm gone. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be back again next week. Enjoy this week's games.