Present and accounted for. Let's go to the questions.
Actually, before we go to the questions, one housekeeping item: I have a radio appearance at 2:45 with Van Pelt and Russillo. You all may talk among yourselves for the roughly 7 minutes that is ongoing then we'll pick it back up and go a little longer at the end.
What happens if we have more than Auburn, Oregon and Boise State undefeated?
Matt: That would already seem to be one too many unbeatens, but I think there's a very good chance we have a fourth in the MWC champion. And if that happens we will go through the usual arguing and hand-wringing but ultimately see an Auburn-Oregon championship game, I'd guess.
Why did Auburn drop to #2?
Matt: Because Oregon smoked a ranked team on the road by 21 points. Pretty convincing display, I thought, and apparently others agreed. Auburn will have its chance though when it plays Alabama -- if it remains unbeaten.
Is it actually possible that by the end of the year BSU could be ranked #2 in all 3 human polls and be left out of all 5 BCS bowls?
Eric: No, I don't foresee that. I guess the assumption is that TCU/Utah gets the one automatic BCS bid for a non-automatic conference team that finishes in the top 12 -- but there's no way Boise gets bypassed if it is 12-0 and ranked #2 in the national.
If Ohio State wins out do they have a shot at the NC game?
Crease: A shot, I suppose, but it seems a slim one. OSU would pick up SOS points by winning at Iowa, definitely, but Wisconsin already has done that AND beaten Ohio State in Columbus. So the Buckeyes seemingly would need the Badgers to lose another one. And need Oregon and Auburn to lose. And perhaps need Boise and TCU to lose. That's a lot of unlikely dominoes.
Are the Hokies back on track? The offense looks dynamic and the defense is catching up.
Steve: I've been saying all along that VT would wind up the best team in the ACC. Looks like a better bet than ever right now.
Utah seems to be coming in under the radar.. do you give them any chance this weekend? Do they hop Boise with a W?
Jake: I give Utah a chance, playing at home. But I haven't seen any weaknesses yet in TCU. Frogs have handled all comers with ease. I believe TCU will win -- but if Utah does win I still question whether it would be enough to jump Boise. I don't know. Not a computer expert.
How many people think you are a Sooner fans because they missed your Boomer Sooner reference?
Boose: Don't know, but I'm sure there are a few. Thus far none of them have announced themselves.
What do you think is haunting Boise more right now. Va Tech's loss to JMU or Baylor's success?
Brent: Still think the VT loss. So many people wrote off Boise right then and there -- because they wanted to all along.
Pat, Wisconsin beat OSU at Camp Randall, not in C-bus. Now for my question...is the tragedy at Notre Dame potentially going to cost Kelly his job?
Mike: You're right, my bad. Heck, I was there. I should know. As for ND and Kelly: I really don't know what's going to happen there. Investigations are underway and there is a lot of scrutiny on the way that practice was conducted. Notre Dame obviously would NOT want to part ways with a first-year coach after all the turnover and turmoil in that department over the past 15 years. But this has the makings of a very difficult situation. Loss of life is a much bigger deal than loss of games to Navy and Tulsa.
Regardless of SOS, rankings, or anything else...who is the best team in the nation?
Troy: None of us knows with any certainty, but I sent in this top five this week for my ESPN.com power rankings: 1. Oregon, 2. Boise, 3. TCU, 4. Auburn, 5. Alabama. I think the first four are very close.
What is your score prediction for the TCU/Utah game this weekend?
Brett: I'll take TCU 20-16.
Pat, what's the tie breaker for the log-jammed Big 10? Highest BCS ranking or longest time since a Rose Bowl appearence?
Blake: I was actually looking at the tiebreaker yesterday. First is head-to-head, which is good news for Wisconsin (wins over Ohio State and Iowa) but only if Michigan State loses another one (win over Wisconsin). If it goes beyond head-to-head it gets down to who is highest ranked in the BCS standings, I believe.
Forde, what's with the Boomer Sooner call at the end of the dash?
Jake: I made it the last words in the column because they were the last words of the guy who got the needle on death row last week.
Who are your heisman favorites and who do you think will be invited to New York???
Andrew: Right now the three heavy front-runners are Cam Newton, Kellen Moore and LaMichael James. I know there are others on the fringe -- including Robert Griffin, if your Waco locale has a rooting interest in that direction -- but those three seem well out in front. There is no set # of guys who get invited as finalists; could be any number depending on percentages of vote received.
Does the state of Tennessee have the worst collection of college football teams right now?
Nelson: It is pretty god-awful. But nowhere near as god-awful as New Mexico.
What is the best bowl destination in terms of all around experience for the fan?
Mike: Very good question, tough to answer. All the BCS bowls have their charms and pluses, and a few minuses. I'd probably say Arizona/Fiesta Bowl is best, but it's close.
Forde, I'm absolutely on the bus with you. But I'm starting to think that bus ride will end up no where near the championship game. That saddens me to no end...
Mike: Still plenty of football left, and I have to figure there's at least one jarring plot twist left for teams near the top. So let's see how it plays out. Bus.
As improbable as it sounds.. fill in the blank... Hawaii will win if __________.
Jake: Bryant Moniz plays brilliantly, Boise turns the ball over and Hawaii makes some big plays in special teams. And yes, it is improbable, especially on the mainland. But I will be there for it...
Pat, love the column and your chats...People keep looking at the South Carolina-Florida clash on Nov 13 in the Swamp as the decider. My question to you is, doesn't Arkansas look like Carolina's worst nightmare right now with the way the Gamecocks have defended the pass lately?
Dave: Thank you. By my read of the situation, South Carolina can lose to Arkansas and still control its own destiny. At 4-3, if the Gamecocks beat Florida they win the East.
Pat, accurate call with the MU loss, but not a nice one...Anyways, with Taylor Martinez injured, does NU have a chance to drop one so MU can get into the Champ Game?
Joe: I was the bad guy picking against the alma, but that one looked pretty obvious in the run-up. Mizzou fans have to root really hard for Paul Rhoads to pull a second consecutive shocker of the Cornhuskers this week, or pray for a Texas A&M miracle in a few weeks. Neither overly likely.
Pat-do you expect anything major to come out of the Big East President/AD meeting today? Possibly inviting TCU and others to join? Thanks!
Ethan: Good question. I know there are some people in the league who are really pushing for expansion to protect the football interests -- which, let's face it, are what drives the bus. (Non-Boise Bus in this circumstance.) They want to get to 10 or 12 football-playing members so that the league has a footbal future and could survive any potential poaching from others. That could create an absolute basketball mess -- 20 teams? -- but that might be a fact of life if the Big East wants to survive long-term.
Hi Pat, did you get a chance to read Jeff MacGregor's article about Notre Dame yesterday?
Justin: I did. Jeff is a really eloquent writer. Thought he made some very good points.
what do you think about the bama@lsu game this weekend do u think bama will play good and win?
Chris: I do think Alabama will win, but it's usually a struggle for the Tide in Baton Rouge. It certainly was last visit, when Bama won in overtime with a much better team than LSU's. (I was there.) We'll see what Geaux Chapeaux has in store.
Nov. 26th is shaping up to be the most exciting day of football this regular season. Agree?
Yahtzee: In a word, yes. Auburn-Alabama, Oregon-Arizona, Boise-Nevada. All on a Friday. Spectacular.
Mid-majority season 7 has started, which means college basketball is just around the corner! Just thought you should know.
Rob: Well aware, thanks. Excited for hoops to get underway.
do you think Alabama is a better team this year than lsu?
Chris: Um, yes.
If Terrelle Pryor doesn't win a national championship in college, was his career a disappointment? Isn't that too high of a standard for one player?
Carson: Yes, that's probably too high a standard. Peyton Manning didn't win one, or get terribly close. (There was always that Florida roadblock going on.) But if Pryor were to go pro right now, I think a lot of people would view his college career as unfulfilled promise. And I think that would be fair.
Will Dana Altman's team average as many points this season as Chip Kelly's?
Donald: That's a great question. Because Altman has, like, seven players. BasketDucks aren't going to be very good -- though you'd hope they could get to 55 ppg and outdo the FootDucks.
Will Gary Pinkel ever win a championship? He won the north a couple times, big whoop. Is his peak a one loss team?
Tom: It might be his peak. And if it is, that's not a bad peak. As a Mizzou alum he can stay as long as he wants given what he's done the past five years.
In 2 of Andy Dalton's 3 away games his passer ratings were 97.7 and 107.4. Are these signs of weakness when he enters the most hostile environment he's probably ever played in on saturday?
Will: It should be a test for Dalton, no doubt. We'll see how he handles it. But he played in front of 80,000-plus at Clemson last year, so I'm not sure this will be his most hostile environment -- even with the sky-high stakes.
Another nugget you probably know (though perhaps others don't): only 1 team in college football is ranked in the top 5 in total offense, total defense, scoring offense and scoring defense. Bus.
Rob: Bus, indeed. I did know that. Quite a stat.
Pat --Army/Air Force this week -- any thoughts?
Dave: Air Force.
I think that a career that includes two BCS bowls, winning the MVP of one, beating the arch rival twice, 50 TD's and 3 losses as a starter is an unfulfilled promise, then the promise was very unrealistic and not one he made himself.
Stephanie: Fair points, although he's lost at least five games, I know that.
OK, I'm hanging the Do Not Disturb sign on this chat for a few minutes to do ESPN Radio with Van Pelt and Russillo. Be back shortly, sorry for the delay!
I'm back. Now, where were we?
Illini are 5-3 and probably headed for a bowl. Should I be happy or upset that the Zooker saves his job?
FEKS: I think you can be happy and enjoy this season ... and regret in years to come. Just not convinced the Zooker can win there (or anywhere) on a consistent basis.
when will notre dame be back? sooner than later with Brian Kelly?
Steve: Coming into this year I would have said sooner. Now I'm less certain. But I still believe Kelly will get it up and going if he keeps his job after this Sullivan tragedy.
Pat, who plays in and wins the Big 12 Championship game???
Jim: Looks like Oklahoma-Nebraska to me, a Big Eight nostalgia fest on the Cornhuskers' way out the door to the Big Ten.
Pat, Love your Forde Yard Dash, but... If basketball was football you're right, Bulter wouldn't have gotten in, and for good reason. If we had a 16 team or even 8 team FBS playoff, great, let Boise and TCU in. But we don't. We only get one game. And yes, Boise or TCU can play with anyone for one game. But that's the danger here. Do you really want to award a NC based on basically one game? Should it be about the team that proved the most over the year? And shouldn't you have to play a number of really tough games to prove the most? Please defend your Bus Mr. Forde.
Will: For good reason Butler would not have gotten into a playoff? Wow. Guess it's not important to see the best teams play or be given a shot at a title. I've heard the one-game argument so often that it's become a cliche. Somebody line up and beat Boise, please.
why kellen moore over ryan mallett for heisman? statistically mallett is better and he has a more promising future. also, i dont see what all the hype is about with Luck and Locker. both have not wow'd everybody like kiper and mcshay predicted.
Jerry: Kellen Moore is far more deserving than Mallett in my mind. Statistically Moore is much better in terms of efficiency, and that's the #1 indicator to me for a quarterback. Plus his team's record. I am not a Locker fan at all but am impressed by Luck.
Will Michigan bounce back and defeat a solid Illinois team in the Big House?
Colin: I would have said yes a week ago, much less sure now. I figured Michigan with a week off would handle Penn State, but its defense is so bad. Tossup game to me right now.
Pat, why does Brad Stevens have a better take on Boise State's situation than the majority of college football coaches, or even the majority of writers that cover college football? Or even Will from Auburn?
Ryan: Brad Stevens is a smart man who brings the perspective of someone who has walked six miles in Boise's moccasins with him. (That's the distance from Butler's campus to Lucas Oil Stadium, fyi.)
Pat, I don't think you can compare Bball and football like that for one reason: Teams are more and more willing to play bigger out of conference games because of the RPI factor and that while you certainly don't ever want to lose, a loss to a good team isn't going to kill you in basketball...
Dave: It is not an exact comparison, certainly. But the important point is this: basketball gives everyone a chance to prove it on the court. Football robs the competitors and fans of that.
Since 2006, Boise has beaten #10 Virginia Tech on the road (yes, Wash D.C. is the road), #24 Oregeon State, then #16 Oregon (who finished #9), #4 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, then #17 Oregon on the road (who finished #10), then #21 Oregon State on the road(2006), then #7 OU in the Fiesta Bowl, An 8-5 Utah team, and is 14-1 against Hawaii, Fresno, & Nevada. In that span, they are 61-4, with losses to a TCU team that finished in the top 10 and a Hawaii team that had an undefeated regular season. I think it is safe to say they have won more than 1 game.
Dan Hawkins is on record saying that Boise couldn't make it game after game in a tough league. He knows more about it than almost anyone. What do you have to say about that?
Matt: I like Dan. But that program has grown exponentially since he was there. And it also suits his purposes to say that, since he's in a BCS conference.
Best two loss team?
Dustin: Off the top of my head I'll say Iowa. Probably forgetting someone, though.
put Kellen Moore in the SEC and face those defenses. it would be a whole different story.
Jerry: OK. Like that Arkansas defense that gave up 65 to Auburn? Or the Ole Miss defense that gave up 49 to Jacksonville State? Or the Auburn D that has given up a ton of points? Maybe Kentucky's D? Or Vandy's? Not sure how poor old Kellen would survive.
Does Paterno get 400 this Saturday?
Eric: I believe so. Should be quite a scene in Happy Valley.
What is your gut feeling on who plays in the SEC Championship game?
Chuck: I will go with Alabama and South Carolina. But I could be dead wrong.
Lots of debating going on about nonAQs these days. Two things:1) This debating among fans and writers is part of what makes college football exciting like it is.2) If we had a better system that eliminated this debating, we'd fight about something else.So what is it? You just want a new topic to fight about?
Jacob: There will always be something to debate, and I'd much rather debate which teams are on the 8-team playoff bubble and then have a legit playoff for a legit champion. Just my preference.
Who's your favorite RB to watch this season?
Ted: Gotta go with LaMichael James. Unbelievable shifty and elusive.
OK folks, time's up for me. Thanks for hanging through the radio interlude, and for all the questions. Talk to you all next week.