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September 29, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach
  (2:00 PM)

Hello again everybody. Great night of baseball last night, just like your typical Saturday in college football, right? Hope everybody's had a good week.

Ted (Boise)

The new 12 game series between Boise State and BYU sounds like a great deal considering proximity, previous history, and how both programs are consistently in the national consciousness. However, word is that if BYU gets an AQ invite (see Big 12), that the deal is void. Comments?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:01 PM)

Not surprised there's that clause in the contract. If BYU went to the Big 12 and played a nine-game conference schedule, I'm not sure a game against Boise State would be very beneficial. But it would be a great series.

Don (Tx)

As a La Tech fan, is the wac in trouble next year after fresno, Hawaii, and Reno leave? What is La Tech chances joining conf USA?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:02 PM)

I'd say the WAC would be in trouble after losing three of its stronger teams, in addition to losing Boise State this year. I think Louisiana Tech would be a natural fit for Conference USA and would the league would certainly cut down the Bulldogs' travel expenses.

Jacob (Gainesville)

What do the Gators have to do to get it done against the Tide this weekend? Is there a decent chance of an upset in the Swamp?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:02 PM)

The Gators have to continue to do what they've done on offense -- get the ball in Jeff Demps' and Chris Rainey's hands. I'm not sure if UF has enough playmakers on the perimeter to beat Bama's secondary. The Gators also have to get some pressure on Bama QB AJ McCarron, force him into some big mistakes.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Mark, Boise received some heat this past offseason from the NCAA. If Georgia struggles, and Richt is let go, does Peterson finally give leaving Boise some thought and leave for a powerhouse SEC program like Georgia?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:04 PM)

I don't think Petersen is going to leave Boise State anytime soon. Now, if there was more realignment and Boise State was left in the cold, then maybe he moves. I think he sees what happened to Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins, etc., and really likes his situation at Boise State. There are also some family considerations that makes Boise State so inviting to him.

matt (portland)

Where do you see Washington in the next 5-10 years? They used to be a dominant program, then completely vomited on themsleves the last 5-10 years, and are now pulling themsleves off the mat. Have they missed their window and are now stuck in the middle of the pack forever? Or can they compete regularly for titles and "reload" every year as oppsed to rebuild?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:04 PM)

I think Sarkisian has Washington back on the right track. He's recruited well and has ties to California. With USC going on probation, I would think UW would be one of the schools that might benefit.

Kacey Robbins (Salt Lake City)

If the BigXII expands who do you expect to be added?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:05 PM)

I would think BYU would be a strong possibility. I know there has been some reluctance to add Texas schools, but I think the league has to take a strong look at TCU, Houston and SMU.

Donnell (Baton Rouge)

Mark, will there be a QB controversy at LSU and if there is will this disrupt the chemistry the team has build through the first four games, me personally, I think you stick with JL this year and have JJ redshirt until next year. Your opinion please.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:06 PM)

I'd definitely stick with Jarrett Lee. He's playing as well as any quarterback in the SEC. His stats are mind-blowing, but he's managing the game well, avoiding mistakes and making throws when he has to make them. I talked to Les Miles last week and he didn't rule out redshirting Jefferson this season and bringing him back next year. I wouldn't disrupt chemistry. It's good right now.

nick (ohio)

with the historic collapses in baseball, what team do you see having a similar collapse this season?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:07 PM)

Good question. I think South Carolina is living on borrowed time because of its quarterback and the schedule s going to get much tougher. How long can Michigan band-aid its deficiencies on defense? Same for Nebraska. Can Florida stay on course during a brutal October? Can Clemson play well away from home? Will Virginia Tech be as good when it starts playing real opponents?

Phillip (a stadium near you)

Mark, How much pressure you think is on Tom O'Brien after the bad showing State had last week at Cincinnati coupled with the decision to basically release Russell Wilson?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:08 PM)

I don't fault O'Brien for going with Glennon. I think the starting quarterback of a major conference team has to make a commitment to be there in the spring and offseason. But NC State has more than QB problems. The team just looks undisciplined and makes too many mistakes, which you don't expect to see from an O'Brien-coached team.

Matt (Decatur,Al)

Mark! Huge Alabama fan, with that said im not understanding why the NCAA is saying that Duron Carter has to redshirt and sit out this season because he hasnt lived on campus for a year! That wasnt the case for Ole Miss when they braught in Jeremiah Masoli out of Oregon! Your Thoughts? Oh! Who do you have winning this weekend in the swamps?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:09 PM)

Masoli took advantage of an NCAA rules that allows players who have already earned undergraduate degrees to transfer to another school for graduate school without penalty. I have Bama in a close game. I think Alabama finds a way to slow down Demps and Rainey and makes Brantley beat them.

Ali (NYC)

Did you ever think since your football reporting days that one day you will see the winningest college football team of the decade, the winningest coach (in terms of percentage) and winningest Qb would all belong to a small place also known as Boise State??

Mark Schlabach
  (2:11 PM)

No. Petersen is a great coach. Moore is definitely a great QB. If Bob Stoops and Landry Jones were facing Toledo and Tulsa and Nevada every week, I'm sure their record would be similar. I'm taking nothing away from Boise State -- great program and great coach -- but you have to take competition into account when talking about records like that.

Alan (WV)

So you are saying that the Big 12 would pass on WVU and L'ville and take SMU and Houston over them. TCU I could buy but not the other two.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:11 PM)

No, I think the Big East schools are still in play, but I'd take a look at the Texas schools because that's where your fan base is. Keep the leagues regional. It causes the other sports too many headaches in terms of travel and expenses and recruiting.

Dave (Michigan)

Some pinhead on SI.com claims the B1G has lost its relevance. My feeling is implied, but what is yours (as a non-B1G homer)? Thanks.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:12 PM)

I think anytime you have Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska in your league, you're going to be relevant. Is the league great? Not this year. A couple of really good teams and a lot of mediocre or worse ones.

Scott (Portland, OR)

Against WVU, Brent and Herbie compared Tyrann Mathieu to Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. At 5'9" and 175 lbs, are those comparisons laughable or with merit?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:13 PM)

I think the comparison is legit when you're talking about big-play abilities. The guy is always around the ball and makes things happen. Obviously, the comparison can't be made in terms of size. But Bama's DBs are as physical as Reed and Polamalu.

Stephanie (Columbia, SC)

I know the pollsters have it in for South Carolina because close wins aren't "sexy." If the Gamecocks win the first ten games and lose to #11 Clemson, do you think the voters have their "A HA" moment and drop them 20 spots in the polls?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:14 PM)

I don't think the pollsters have it in for South Carolina. I think they're very fortunate to be ranked as high as they are. You have one great player (Lattimore) and a good defense. Your passing game is pathetic (Spurrier's description) and you're wasting one of the best WRs in the country (Jeffrey).

Mark (Utah)

Hey Mark to you believe that Jake Heaps is really the answer for BYU and do you believe his struggles this year is why the offensive cant do anything? or was BYU hype way above who they really are?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:15 PM)

Can't put my finger on it. Heaps is very talented and played very well at the end of last season. He's still young. Mendenhall revamped his offense and it hasn't been great so far. Too many turnovers, obviously.

Adam (Tallahassee)

Whats in Georgia's cards?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:16 PM)

I think UGA wins a close one over Miss. State and wins out going into Florida week. Crowell is running the ball very well and the O-line has played better. Turnovers will be the difference. When UGA doesn't turn it over, it's a pretty good team. When it turns it over, it can lose to anybody.

Jim (Jacksonville FL)

Who is the 14th team in the SEC going to be? I am not sure why Mizzou keeps coming up, they don't really seem like a good fit to me.

Mark Schlabach
  (2:17 PM)

I think Missouri is on the radar because of TV markets (St. Louis and Kansas City) and it would give the SEC another team in the West, close to Arkansas and Texas A&M. I'm not sure if you move Auburn to the East or what. I just can't see the SEC staying at 13 teams. If Missouri stays in Big 12, I'm not sure where Slive goes. West Virginia? Or does he go after FSU or Maryland? We'll see.

Rett (Oregon)

What do you think is better for College Football, Teams playing schedules like LSU? or Teams playing schedules like Va Tech and Boise?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:17 PM)

As a college football fan, I like teams playing schedules like LSU's. Otherwise, the first three or four weeks of the season would be pretty boring. At least play 1 big nonconference game.

Sam (South Flordia )

Mark with OU dropping from #1 with practicly same schedule strength as LSU do you believe the SEC is over rated or is it just that good?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:20 PM)

I don't think the schedules are the same. LSU beat Oregon on neutral field and won at Mississippi State and West Virginia on the road. OU won at FSU and played Tulsa and Missouri at home. That's not the same. And, no, the SEC isn't overrated. LSU and Bama are top-3 teams, followed by about four of five top-25 teams.

Rusty (ATL)

What is Baylor's ceiling if RG3 stays healthy?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:20 PM)

9-3? I wonder how good Baylor's defense is. Gave up a bunch of points to Rice. But RG3 will keep the Bears in any game.

Robert (Atlanta)

With Lattimore and wasting Jefferies do you think SC has the SEC East wrapped up before Florida visits Columbia?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:21 PM)

No. Three straight road games at Miss. State, Tennessee and Arkansas. If Garcia turns it over, USC could lose any of the three.

Rett (Oregon)

I have heard two different opinions about joining the SEC. Why would you go there when you can cruise in ACC/BigXII? And playing LSU, Florida, Bama, etc makes the program "big time", how can you refuse? Which do you think it the predominate attitude of ADs and Presidents?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:22 PM)

I think ADs and university presidents would probably like it because of the financial resources the SEC offers, but I don't think most coaches would prefer it. It's easier for an FSU to reach a BCS game in the ACC than the SEC.

Chad (I-State)

Hey Mark, besides taking care of the ball and low # of turnovers, what else does Iowa State need to do Sat to beat Texas?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:23 PM)

Stop the running game and force some turnovers. Steele Jantz needs to take care of the ball. ISU is going to run into a motivated UT team, that's for sure.

Mark (Jacksonville Beach)

Will Mark Richt, as the legendary Larry Munson would say, "save himself" or will the Dawgs have a new coach next year?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:24 PM)

I still think Richt is going to be OK. I think he can get to 9-3. If he loses to, say, Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech, then he has problems. But I think Georgia is getting better and has a good, young nucleus.

Shane aka return of the mack (Pittsburgh)

Will ohio state beat michigan?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:24 PM)

Too far away. I'd go with the Wolverines right now, though.

randy (wv)

Mark, if Bama beats Florida in the Swamp this weekend, wouldn't their wins at Penn ST, Arkansas and at Florida be as good or better than LSU"S wins Oregon, Miss St and WVU?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:25 PM)

In my opinion, at WVU and Oregon on neutral field outweighs at Florida. Beating Penn State doesn't mean much this year, but Arkansas at home in a rout is impressive. I'd still go with LSU.

Robert (Atlanta)

With expansion- How competitive in the down SEC East would FSU, Clemson or VA Tech be?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:26 PM)

Any of those three teams would be competitive in the SEC East right now. And those three schools are as close to SEC schools as I've seen. Fit the culture.

Mike (Clemson)

Mark, I don't understand that saying at all. Year in and year out the SEC gets teams to go undefeated in conference play and out of conference play, while the rest sink down to 7 or 8 win seasons. To me a tough conference is one where the championship game is made up of 2 or 3 loss teams who can't consistently get to the top cause the conference beats up on itself. Why do they say the SEC beats up on itself when it consistently produces no loss teams?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:27 PM)

South Carolina went 5-3 and won the SEC East last year. Bama and Florida had great teams the previous couple of seasons and both won national championships. Auburn almost lost two or three games last season, but won them and won a national title.

Brett (Manhattan)

Do you like Kansas State chances in a upset this weekend?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:28 PM)

The Wildcats are playing great defense. I think it's an upset possibility. They have to get some pressure on RG3. I'll promise you this: he'll finally have more incompletions than touchdowns after this weekend.

Brian (NYC)

Doesn't how far Oregon fell (10-11 spots) after losing to LSU, coupled with the fact LSU didn't jump to #1 after that win provide the risks of tough out-of-conference scheduling far outweigh the rewards?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:29 PM)

In many ways, yes. Look at FSU. Played Oklahoma in a nonconference game, got beat up in the game and then lost at Clemson. Georgia loses to Boise State and everybody is ready to fire the coach. If you play Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, FCS schools, etc., everything is great the first month of the season.

Donald (Eugene)

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being slap on the wrist, 10 the Death Penalty), how severe will Oregon be punished for the Lyles affair?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:30 PM)

No idea. Hard to read NCAA these days.

Engineer Mike (Switzerland)

It seems that home viewers have a better shot at getting instant replays calls correct than the officials. We've got giant HD TVs, with slow motion of nearly every angle almost immediately. After the Toledo fiasco, how about we create an internet-based voting system (with auto bias filters) and let the fans decide these things?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

Great idea, but fans would be looking through their school colors-colored glasses. How about we let the Swiss decide? They're always neutral.

Brian (NYC)

What would you consider the biggest upset: FLA over BAMA, Clemson over VT or Nebraska over Wisconsin?

Mark Schlabach
  (2:31 PM)

At this point, I'd have to say Nebraska over Wisconsin. First Big Ten game. Very difficult road game. Wisconsin is playing lights out, while Nebraska has been a little so-so. Bama would be highest-ranked team to lose, but plenty of ranked teams have gone down in the Swamp (although not as much lately).

Mark Schlabach
  (2:32 PM)

Folks, I gotta run to do some video. Have a great weekend. Hope your team wins.