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September 19, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Ivan Maisel

Ivan Maisel
  (12:07 PM)

Sorry I'm late. I have three different ESPN sign-ins and passwords and I have a hell of a time keeping them straight. I couldn't get access to the chat page. Here we go....

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Does the win versus USC on Saturday completely remove Shaw from the Harbaugh-Luck shadow and let people who may have doubted it know, that Stanford is hear to stay, and David Shaw is a damn good coach in hiw own right?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:08 PM)

I think Stanford's win Saturday evening was big for David Shaw for all the reasons you cite. I made that case in our Sunday final.

Matt (Mt. Dora, Florida)

How many SEC schools do you think will have different coaches next year? I expect Arkansas will not remove the 'Interim" tag from the current coach, Kentucky and Auburn seem to have coaches on the hot seat and patience may be wearing thin in Tennessee.

Ivan Maisel
  (12:09 PM)

I'd say Arkansas and Kentucky are the leaders there. But Matt, and I address this to me, too, it's only Week 4. Let's let the season play out a little bit more.

Bama Fan (Denver)

Ivan, do you think Wisconsin's early struggles have anything to do with the off the field issues prior to the season up there?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:10 PM)

No, I think they have everything to do with Bret Bielema having six new coaches on his staff, and the fact that Danny O'Brien was not the answer at quarterback. Everyone assumed that since Russell Wilson stepped in and made magic, that O'Brien could do the same. Same situation, different quarterbacks.

Fred (Tampa)

Why did the CFB Assn vote for the current OT tiebraker system? Sooo High Schoolish! Much rather have the old NFL sudden death rule. CFB rules takes ST right out of the equation. For those who bark and hiss and moan about sudden death, I have this response: If you team was that good, they wouldn't have let the game get to OT. Any chance CFB coaches might change the system?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:12 PM)

I agree, Fred. Coaches always discuss how special teams are one-third of the game, and then they eliminate punts from the overtime. I think they should let the football game be decided by football.

Stanford Steve (Bristol)

did you ever think a home game at Stanford could get that loud? I mean U$C actaully had a couple false strts because of noise

Ivan Maisel
  (12:15 PM)

The one and only Stanford Steve, star of stage, screen and the Scott Van Pelt Show! What was amazing about the noise is that the students are just now moving in on campus. Somehow, enough showed up to fill the Red Zone. The coaches were really concerned about that would happen. Loudest? I don't know. That's only the second game I've been to in the new stadium.

Ivan Maisel
  (12:15 PM)

The one and only Stanford Steve, star of stage, screen and the Scott Van Pelt Show! What was amazing about the noise is that the students are just now moving in on campus. Somehow, enough showed up to fill the Red Zone. The coaches were really concerned about that would happen. Loudest? I don't know. That's only the second game I've been to in the new stadium.

Fred (Walla Walla)

Over/under on total plays run between UO & UA?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:17 PM)

Yeah, no kidding. What's worse, the game starts at 7:30 p.m. PDT and 10:30 p.m. EDT. My poor editors in Bristol. Reminds me of when I covered the USC-Fresno State game in 2005. Reggie Bush gave one of the greatest individual performances I've ever seen. I left the Coliseum at 2 a.m. The security guard said, "I'll walk you to your car." I pointed at it, 100 yards away, and said, "That's all right." He shook his head no and said, "I'll walk you to your car."

Daniel (Pasadena)

Is UCLA for real and how excited should I be with the future of the team given how many freshman are playing a big role so far?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:18 PM)

You should be excited for the future. I'm just not sure you should be excited for the immediate future. I don't think there's any way of knowing. Can the freshman survive the wear and tear of a long season? I'll say this. If nothing else, USC showed its slip Saturday night. If UCLA, Arizona State or Arizona is for real, there's a chance to go places.

Jeff (Mooresville,N. C.)

I bet you can't take that Geno Smith is in lead for the H. and is such a first class athlete?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:19 PM)

Hate to disappoint you, Jeff. But I've had Geno first in my Heisman ranking for the last three weeks.

Rick (Charlotte)

Oregon is now #3 in the nation, but it seems like NCAA penalties have been hanging over their head since the end of last season. Any chance that the NCAA would announce a possible probation during the season and taking them out of the national championship for this season?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:20 PM)

There's a lot of ifs there, Rick. But if USC and UCF have taught us anything, it's that an appeal can put off a penalty for at least a season. So I expect that Oregon will be fine. And we don't even now if the NCAA will drop the hammer on them.

Lou (Gaithersburg, MD)

Ivan, Happy New Year. Can you predict Jim Delany's reaction if the Leaders division came down to the PSU-OSU game? (Yes, I realize PSU is 1-2, but let's face it, there are no world beaters there).

Ivan Maisel
  (12:22 PM)

First of all, the game is on Oct. 27, so the race won't be decided then. But I assume his reaction would be to go to wherever Wisconsin or Purdue is playing that day.

Donald (Eugene)

Would you rather be a PAC12 defensive coordinator or a SEC offensive coordinator?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:23 PM)

I wouldn't be a coach, period. I like seeing my family. But I get your point. I'd say a Pac-12 defensive guy. You're not under the microscope there the way you are in the SEC.

Shaun (TN)

What are your impressions on Bama for the first three weeks? Was the competition up to par or overrated? Be careful, Saban is listening.

Ivan Maisel
  (12:25 PM)

The fact that Alabama did the same thing to Michigan, WKU and Arkansas is an indication that this will be a historic season in Tuscaloosa. But as I said earlier, it's only Week 4.

Tread (Columbus)

Where has Beano been this year, will he be back for chats?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:26 PM)

Beano is feeling a little lousy. He will be back soon. He loves that so many people have asked where he is and how he's doing.

Todd Bushway (Buffalo, NY)

Ivan: One thing that seems to get overlooked when ranking or evaluating teams is the impact of coaching staff changes. Wisconsin lost a big chunk of their staff to Pitt this year and I can't help but think that has a lot to do with their struggles this season. Do you agree? What other program(s) have had big staff changes that are either helping or hurting their performance? Go Irish.

Ivan Maisel
  (12:28 PM)

What's interesting to me, Todd, is not that Bielema lost a coordinator or a couple of key guys. He lost six coaches on a nine-man staff. I don't recall that happening on a successful staff. Maybe it did. Saban lost his offensive coordinator and his linebacker coach over the winter. Hasn't slowed Bama down.

Allen (Eagle - Land)

Who will BC hire as there nest head coach?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:30 PM)

Doesn't look good for Spaz, does it? There's no way of knowing what BC will do when BC doesn't even have an AD yet. The school supposedly will hire an AD by midseason. Who knows? By then, the Eagles will have turned things around. As I keep saying, it's Week 4.

Dan (B'ham)

Here's a future question for you: since the BCS and conference bowl alignment so favor the big conferences, it really means recruiting great talent belongs almost solely to the big schools in big conferences. How do you think the playoff system, which favors a winner from any conference, affects future recruiting? I have a feeling most writers agree that great coaching starts with great recruiting, which starts with being in a big-name conference (at least right now).

Ivan Maisel
  (12:32 PM)

I don't know, Dan. Kids get their heads turned by uniforms, by football facilities, and occasionally even by something academic. No, not really on the last one; I just wanted to see if you were awake. Seriously, your argument that a playoff will level the field for the have-nots may carry water once on of them actually gets into the Final Four -- or whatever we call it.

Marty (Fort Lauderdale)

I know it's only week 4, but how are your travel plans looking for Nov 3? LSU/Bama or Oregon/USC?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:33 PM)

The latter game lost some luster Saturday. But Schlabach, Geno and I try to make sure we all see as many of the top teams as possible. I don't know who will have seen which teams by then.

Bill (South Bend, IN)

Any thoughts on ND?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:34 PM)

I'm impressed, although I didn't see any of the game Saturday (I was covering USC-Stanford). That Stanford game iooms a lot larger. And winning at Oklahoma will be very, very difficult. I think. Ask me again after the K-State game this week.

Brad (Salem)

With strength of schedule being a major component of the playoff selection, what can be done to prevent teams from backing out of previously contracted games; like K-State and Georgia did to Oregon?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:35 PM)

Not a thing. Contracts have escape clauses, and Georgia escaped through them. I assume schools will be less likely to use them once the playoff kicks in. But I'm not entirely confident of that. I wish fans would simply stop going to those rent-a-victim games. That would send a message to the schools that schedule them.

Jim (Mobile, AL)

Which team has the best chance of upsetting Alabama before Nov 3? of spoiling the matchup of undefeateds?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:37 PM)

Would the Tide overlook Mississippi State at home the week before the LSU game? You know, the most impressive thing about Saban to me is his team's ability to be ready to play to its best no matter the opponent. That doesn't explain the collapse against Auburn in 2010. But in general....

Cappy (Boston)

Ivan-Any chance Paul Rhoads could be coaxed away from ISU? I think he'd be a tremendous get for the Razorbacks.

Ivan Maisel
  (12:38 PM)

He's a very good coach. My memory is that he's from the Iowa State area. I wonder if he would leave the minute a bigger job comes along. I don't know.

Chris (Tampa)

Who do you have in the Clemson vs. FSU game on Saturday night? Will the FSU defense be able to contain all the Clemson play makers?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:40 PM)

I have been really impressed with Florida State, and just because I picked Wake plus 28 1/2 on the podcast last week and got utterly humiliated. I like the Noles' depth and talent.

Tom (Chicago)

Ivan, how are we supposed to take the coach's poll and the BCS seriously these next two years when coaches have admitted it's flawed and Wisconsin continues to be ranked while Northwestern is unranked?

Ivan Maisel
  (12:41 PM)

The coaches poll is embarrassing to USA Today and to the BCS formula. Politics dictate that the BCS use it. And it's only for another season and a half.

Ivan Maisel
  (12:42 PM)

Thanks, everyone. Talk to you next week. A reminder: check out the ESPNU College Podcast, hosted by yours truly, every weekday, give or take a Jewish holiday.