TUCSON AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Jeff Tedford of the California Golden Bears watches as his team misses a 33 yard field goal during the third quarter of the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 25 2010 in Tucson Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Golden Bears 10-9. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
I don't feel like using Beano this week, so let's roll with Ivan Maisel's questions here.
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No new questions received from the peanut gallery this week, by the way.
Terry (Oklahoma City, OK)
Fever, what game will you be attending this week? Also, what is your prediction on the OU/Texas Game?
I will be attending the New Jersey Nets vs. Maccabi Haifa at 7 PM this Saturday. Carmelo Anthony will not be in attendance, which makes me moderately sad, though I am excited to see Derrick Favors. As for OU/Texas, I'm pretty sure one would have to go with Oklahoma, right? I can't possibly see how anyone can back Texas with a straight face about their debacling against UCLA last week.
Cutter (Alexandria, VA)
ND vs. BC Can ND turn it around with this game?
I'm sure they can, given how BC struggled against Virginia Tech last weekend, but I don't see any reason to believe in the Notre Dame defense. And that's been their biggest problem for a while now.
Tom (Charlotte, NC)
What will it take for the ACC or Big East to lose their BCS AQ status? Do you think it will happen in the near future?
As far as I know there's a rather long and convoluted formula which involves a conference's highest ranked team as well as the implied rankings of all of the other members in the conference. But I also seem to remember that the ACC and Big East are codified into having automatic berths in the BCS until the next round of revisions, which isn't for some time. So it would probably depend on what your definition of near future is...and the Big East is certainly more likely to lose its berth than the ACC is.
Hi Fever, IF Nevada runs the table and beats Boise at home do they have a shot at a BCS game?
I'd say so - they'd be beating a (presumably top 10 at that point) team as well as a couple relatively big name teams in our Bears and BYU, so I think it would be hard to keep them out of the top 12 in the final rankings, which is as far as they need to go. I would be interested to see how the Pistol matches up against another BCS team as well as Boise State to determine if it's really that unstoppable with Kaepernick running the show...or if our defense was just extremely unprepared that night in Reno.
What do you think of the talks between TCU and the Big East?
Every note that I've read about these supposed talks stressed that no talks have actually taken place, and that they're more brainstorming on the part of the Big East regarding future expansion candidates. Still, such a marriage would make sense on a football level, but the other points that I've seen regarding the feasibility of integrating TCU into the conference for all sports wouldn't make sense because of the burden it would put on teams like St. John's and Marquette to play their regular season basketball or baseball games there. Meaning it probably won't happen.
It would definitely give the Big East a shot in the arm regarding their AQ status though.
Tom (Charlotte, NC)
Fever, in your opinion if both Ohio St. and Alabama end up with one loss would Boise State have a shot at the BCS Championship game? I have heard statements along the lines of, "no coach will ever vote Boise above #3). Is the system that broken?
I do think Boise State would have a shot at the national championship (and I would actually think they should be in the game if that were to happen), but as Maisel says, there are a lot of questions to be asked:
That question is impossible to answer. I don't mean that as an insult. I used to ask questions like that all the time. But there are too many variables. How dominant is Boise? Who did Alabama and Ohio State lose to? Which week? By how much? I could fire off a few more questions but you get my point.
Still, barring some extraordinary circumstances (i.e. Alabama losing by 1 right before the SEC championship game and then winning the SEC championship game by 40 or something) I would think that Boise deserves a shot at the title if both of them were to go down.
Also, strange but true story - in my NCAA 2011 dynasty, in the year 2013 I played against Fresno State in the national championship. And Rutgers was number 3 at the end of the regular season. Bizarre!
Orville (Lubbock, TX)
Will geographical contiguity go the way of the dinosaurs or will it survive conference expansion?
I think for the most part conference alignment has remained relatively contiguous - a few blips here and there aren't anything new to sports anyway, so I don't believe it's really that big a problem. I mean, Arizona was in the NFC East for the longest time, and Dallas is still in the NFC East.
Is Iowa's Adrian Clayborn the best d-lineman in the country?
Max (Bogota, Colombia)
Fever, Really enjoyed you columns thus far. I am a Sooner fan and I am sick of my fellow Sooner fans acting like this team has let us down. I don't think anyone really saw this as anything other than a rebuilfing year until Phil Steele predicted us to win it all. Don't you think they deserve tthe time to mature before we should expect to much. They are 4- o at that.
Great expectations are the norm at any football factory - and even at non-football factories like Cal.
Mike (NE Ohio)
Fever, is Michigan a real contender for the Big 10 title and possibly a BCS game, or is their defense going to send them crashing back to Earth during the Big 10 season?
I don't think they finish higher than third in the Big 10 between Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio State - it would probably be too much to ask to expect them to finish higher than one of them given how terrible that defense is. Even as much as I love Rich Rod. Seriously, Massachusetts? Come on, man.
Johnny B (Earth)
Why do you think first year starter Cam Newton is getting NO heisman love after impressive wins/stats against Miss St, Clemson & S.Carolina...while first year starter Denard Robinson is atop the polls with wins over UConn, UMass
Mostly because his stats aren't as mindblowing as Denard Robinson. But once Robinson loses there might be more about him. I guess.
James (St. Paul, MN)
Fever, What chance do you give the 2 visting teams this weekend? Florida and Stanford. I know you are a Stanford Alum so you cannot be biased
I don't give Florida much of a chance given their early struggles on offense (sorry, beating Kentucky does not impress me), but I'd have to give the Furd a pretty good chance given how poor Oregon's defense was last week against Arizona State. So I'd given them a 40% chance and Florida a 15% chance.
Why do all the teams that beat ND either jump into the rankings (Mich/Mich St.) or jump into the top 10 (Stanford)? Don't you agree that those teams moved way higher then they probably should have?
That's actually a pretty good question - Maisel's answer is pretty solid though.
Michigan and Michigan State jumped because neither had high expectations, so the fact they won gave them credibility. By the time Stanford got to South Bend, it wsa pretty clear who Notre Dame. But the matter-of-fact way in which the Cardinal dominated the game is the reason that Stanford got credit. It was the rout, not the victory.
Seems like there is no-love for the Utes... also, seems like everyone has forgotten how good that Utah program is, especially with current obsession with BSU/TCU
I'd give Utah a pretty good chance of making it to a BCS game, maybe a 40% chance of beating TCU. But I mean, come on, they're still ranked in the top 15. Especially since that win over Pittsburgh no longer looks nearly as impressive as it did after the first weekend.
What can the NCAA do to prevent teams and players from faking injuries to stop the clock the way ASU did against Oregon?
Shoot them like a horse?
Let's assume for a moment Florida wins on Saturday...i know, but just for a second. They started the year at 3. Probably wouldn't get back that high (won't jump BSU or Oregon (assuming duck win.)) Would pollsters have a fun time explaining why a team with 5 wins 3 over good teams and one that would be the biggest win of the season actually dropped in the polls doing it...or would it just not get mentioned? Who would have a better 5-game resume. P.S. don't say "offensive struggles" 38 points per game, 'nuff said.
I can see Florida jumping back over Boise State in the future (not that I would necessarily agree with it) if they get back into their form of previous years, but I don't see them jumping Oregon on the basis of their resume since it's not like our Avian Overlords will have been playing patsies the whole time either.
Do you think that since ESPN now has a stake in the BCS we won't hear ESPN employees stating they want a playoff? I think most will agree that a playoff is needed and that the BCS is all about money
What annoys me more is the entire set of Baseball Tonight arguing that C.C. Sabathia deserves the Cy because he has more wins that Felix Hernandez, as if Felix is supposed to go out and command the Mariners offense to score more than two runs a game for him.
Jose (San Francisco)
IF, and i know the Pac-10 is very tough so it's a big IF... but IF USC were to beat Stanford, Oregon, Arizona, and the rest of their games... IF that were to happen, chances they would get AP votes for the AP NC at the end of the season?
I think they would, assuming no one else is undefeated too.
Ivan, rank in your opinion, the top 3 conferences?
I'm still not entirely clear on how strong the SEC is because of how highly some teams were ranked and the fact that few of them actually bothered traveling to different time zones to play decent teams, but I guess they have to be in there somewhere. I'd probably go with the Pac-10, the SEC, and the Big 10, given that the Big 12's trio of top teams hardly looked impressive this past weekend.
Steve (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Ivan, I have asked this question several times to several reporters and no one answers- Here goes again- Why does everyone in the media always say Kirk Ferentz is a "great coach"? It seems to me he is overrated. His teams are always pumped up to be something they're not, they always lose one or two when they shouldn't. Not saying he's a bad coach, but just not one of the greats that the media seems to want him to be. Your thoughts for this Hawk fan?
I'd extend this argument to include Jeff Fisher in Tennessee - if he's so good at his job, and was good enough to go from 0-5 to 8-8 a few years after putting Vince Young in the starting lineup, how come no one asked why they started 0-5 to begin with?
But I think the bigger issue is that people tend to judge coaches on the basis of how many of them reach the absolute pinnacle, and very few of them do. It's entirely possible to be a very good coach and not reach those kinds of heights because of the presence of a few dominant and insurmountable obstacles. Basically, it's possible to be a good coach and win a bunch of games without going to the BCS every year.
Peter (Austin Tx)
Chris Low had Stanford had 19 in his ballot, behind Texas who lost to UCLA at home, behind Iowa, and South Carolina who are all carrying a loss. Do you ever get on your colleagues' case after such outrageous voting, particularly when it involves your alma mata. You know just a quick email questioning his logic
Someone should, because that's just dereliction of duty.
Adam (Gilbert, AZ)
With Texas looking so vulnerable against UCLA and Oklahoma not being overly impressive, what do you think Nebraska's chances are at running the table?
35%? Oklahoma looks frisky every now and then, and Nebraska was hardly dominant either. And Oklahoma State isn't looking too bad. Do they even play Oklahoma State this year? I guess they will if Oklahoma State wins the Big 12 South.
Caleb (Worthington, OH)
Jim Tressel's play calling seems pretty predictable. How do you think that the Buckeyes have been able to stay so competetive with the seemingly crippling monotony that is the Tressel playbook?
Good execution? USC won with Student Body Right for years. That's not exactly creative. Like Hydro says, it always comes back to execution. The fanciest playcalls in the world don't mean anything if the offensive line gets trampled, or the quarterback doesn't block on that reverse, or that tight end doesn't catch that fleaflicker despite being wide open.
Or, you know, if your kicker misses two field goals in a 10-9 game.
George (Columbus, OH)
With alot of big names banged up around college football, who would you say are your top 5 most likely to win the Heisman?
Probably Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, LaMichael James, and Denard Robinson. In that order. I just don't see Ingram winning it again unless he has an absolutely ridiculous season (which, to be fair, he has had so far), and despite Robinson being in pole position right now, Michigan probably loses a few too many games this year for him to win unless all hell breaks loose.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Which game are you most looking forward to this weekend? Quite a few good ranked vs ranked out there
Gotta be our Avian Overlords vs. the Farm, right?
Hal (Tampa, Fl)
Trying for the last time! Will the South Florida Bulls ever become a member of the SEC?
Hard to see that happening given how hard Florida has fought to keep Florida State and Miami out of the SEC. Well, I don't know if they've ever fought to keep Miami out but I have read that they're vehemently opposed to letting Florida State in.
You can sit down and have dinner with one college coach, who do you pick?
Tedford's a pretty charismatic guy, so I wouldn't hesitate to have dinner with him, but I've talked to him before.
I'm terrified to death of Harbaugh. And no, I wouldn't ask WHAT'S YOUR DEAL for reasons I've previously outlined.
Maybe Mike Leach. Sure, he's not employed, but he's entertaining as hell.
Do you think the media misses the days of the bad boy image of Miami? They got alot more coverage (good and bad) those days. Now that the program is clean, I never can find an article on ESPN abouyt them.
There's still a decent amount of coverage, but just not to the same level because they're not winning as much. So there's less national interest. The bad boy image provides something to write about too, but it's not the only thing - no one cares when a bad team is filled with unsavory characters.
Nate K (Orange Park, FL)
Ivan, who are your top 3 freshman players in the nation so far this season? Thanks
KEENAN ALLEN, KEENAN ALLEN, and Marcus Lattimore. I guess.
Jack (Oxford, OH)
Ivan, would you rather have a QB like Colin Kaepernick, or one like Kellen Moore running your team?
I'm a sucker for funky schemes, and he just killed our Bears dead, so I'm going with Kaepernick. Call it Stockholm Syndrome.
Jerry (Falls Church, VA)
Does Brantley get benched for Burton?
I think the more obvious parallel is Leak/Tebow. Or McNabb/Vick, just with, you know. Success.
i can never understand the broadcast schedules, it seems like the Oregon-stanford game is only available to half the country on ABC, while the USC/washington game is available everywhere on espn2. what gives? why not split the feeds so that the top-10 matchup is available to us in the south??
I seem to remember hearing that Oregon/Furd was moved to prime time for a national audience. Haven't checked a schedule to confirm, though.
Do you think the MWC will end up getting AQ status anytime soon, keeping in mind that they get Boise State, Nevada, and Fresno State next year, but lose Utah and BYU?
I don't see them getting AQ status without Utah and BYU - Boise State helps, but it's been years since Fresno State was relevant and this is the first time in 62 years Nevada has even been ranked.
Med Man (Sarasota, FL)
Virginia Tech's running game OR North Carolina's defense. Which has been more disspointing so far?
Hasn't the Hokies' running game gotten better in the past two games? I could be wrong, but I'd go with the North Carolina defense with the caveat that they've been playing at something less than full strength. To say the least.
Whoa! Not sure how to fix this formatting. So I'll just leave it as is. Hopefully it doesn't break CGB. See you next week.