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Ask CGB - Week 5

Writing this on a Tuesday and I don't want to use Beano this week either, so I'm copping Pat Forde's questions here.

To submit questions to future CGB mailbags, please do one of these three things. 

1) If you're registered, leave us a question in the comments section of this post and we'll try to answer it here and include it in next week's mailbag.
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If you have a question for a specific person, make sure to delineate it! They can be addressed to any of the editors, even mods. On with the show!

Scootie (BAM City)


Did Ivan Maisel really go to the Furd? I guess that could explain why he's such a dork.

Yellow Fever

Yes, and yes.

sec119 (Section 119)


YF, who's the most overrated player in college football? what about at the coaching spot?

Yellow Fever

It's starting to look like the most overrated player just might be John Brantley, or it could be a case of Florida needing to change the system to fit his skills, since the Gators all but screamed he's not Tim Tebow...and then proceeded to run their offense as if he's Tim Tebow.

Most overrated coach would have to be Les Miles, wouldn't it? How else is it possible to explain the strangest clock mismanagement situation of the weekend (with Andy Reid and the Eagles' delay of game OFF A TIMEOUT being #1), and not have it seem like an anomaly? Other than that I feel like most coaches are more or less properly rated - I have to admit I'm somewhat befuddled at the love that Kirk Ferentz gets every now and then, but then, I also defended the guy last week, so God forbid I come off as wishy-washy.

Of course, certain parts of our fanbase will tell you the most overrated coach in college football is our own.

yorzepol (zeppelin)

How many games must the PAC-10 win against other BCS conferences to get some respect? Is the national media (i.e. ESPN) contractually obligated to fellate the SEC or are they really that deluded?

Yellow Fever

I feel like the Pac-10 is getting a reasonable amount of respect this year relative to its performances, and that there has been some backlash against other conferences for spitting the bit so far. There's been relatively measured praise of the SEC (witness the lambasting that Florida and LSU got over this past week, and a lot of hand-wringing over how Georgia lost to Colorado...THAT Colorado) aside from Alabama in recent weeks, and a good focus on the accomplishments of the Furd, Oregon, and Arizona. A lot of the national media was wary of USC this year, and as it turns out, justifiably so. So I don't think the Pac-10 is getting any less coverage than it deserves, really.

You can make the case that there are still too many SEC teams lingering in the top 20 (South Carolina and Auburn, perhaps) who haven't proved a great deal other than they can beat up on cupcakes and have one decent win to their credit so far, but these things will sort themselves out over time since it's not clear that there really are that many standout teams so far, and it's difficult to pinpoint who to put over them right now anyway.

LeonPowe (Not Cleveland)

YF, the Nets will be here in Beijing and Guangzhou in 2 weeks. I'll probably have the opportunity to talk to Lopez, Farmar, and Harris. Any messages you want me to convey?

Yellow Fever

The Nets had a special autograph signing after their open practice last week, and as I was standing in line waiting to have the team autograph my Nets hat, the thought occurred to me that it would be awesome if I got Farmar and Lopez to autograph a Cal hat of mine. Alas, they weren't signing anything but the posters they were handing out, so I didn't get them to sign that on this occasion anyway.

But that's what you should do. Get them to sign it and tell them you didn't have anything else handy. And then post it for us to enjoy. I'll have the same thing done the next chance I get.


Jake88 (Not the Northeast)

YF, why is your neighborhood of the country (i.e., NE) so bad at college football? Lack of talent, lack of attractive college programs, too cold, too educated....?

Yellow Fever

There are a few main reasons that I've seen; Penn State recruits the hell out of the Northeast, and basically has its pick of the litter in the area. Another is that Rutgers, for all its proximity to New York, didn't seriously even try to get good at college football until the late 80's, and obviously it took some time for them to even achieve respectability. So while there's always been plenty of high school talent in New Jersey (i.e. Myron Rolle, Brian Cushing, Dwyane Jarrett, Knowshon Moreno, etc.), there was never any reason for them to want to stick around in New Jersey. And I'm not sure that Schiano's the guy to put up a fence around the state either, which was one of his declared goals.

(And seriously, the Rutgers offense this year is an abomination. I was talking to my WVU alum friend yesterday and lamented how the only time Rutgers has had a representative offense was when they had a sixth round pick at QB in Mike Teel, a first round pick at WR in Kenny Britt, a seventh round pick at the other WR spot in Tiquan Underwood, second round picks at RB and FB in Ray Rice and Brian Leonard, and a sixth round pick at TE in Clark Harris. Was it Schiano coaching up all these players to NFL status, or was it that they managed to form a good offense on the basis of their talents alone despite Schiano's incompetence? Unfortunately, I'm starting to believe it's the latter.)

It's also been a problem of bad coaching too - Greg Robinson has proven since he lost the head coaching gig at Syracuse that he has no business running a defense in college or the NFL, and he drove Syracuse into the dumps, you've just seen my general feelings on Schiano, and that's really kinda it.

Connecticut is actually somewhat decent, so I'm not throwing them in here. I could go on and on about my theories on how and why the Big East is so awful, but that wasn't the question, I suppose.

And the too educated thing really only applies to the Ivies, which suck for their own special reasons. Like not giving out academic scholarships to athletes and not participating in bowl games. Admirable in a sense, but those kinds of things clearly aren't going to lead to football powerhouses.

Rishi (In Miami, trick)

YF, Has there ever been a more miserable stretch for Bay Area sports? Are things looking up or down?

Yellow Fever

Well, the Giants did just make the playoffs, so I don't think it's down all the way around - certainly not as bad as it was in Philadelphia during parts of the 90's. Clearly the Raiders are still somewhere in the wilderness (and would it kill Tom Cable to stick with Jason Campbell for more than a game? Bruce Gradkowski's the Raiders' answer to Shaun Hill or Trent Edwards) and the Niners have disappointed this year, but I wouldn't call the Niners out of the NFC West race just yet.

Wait, the Seahawks did just reunite Marshawn with Mebane, Morrah, and Forsett. And Pete Carroll. There's no stopping that unholy alliance. 

But the A's just need some decent offense, which shouldn't be terribly hard to add if they really do make a push for Carl Crawford, and the Warriors can only go up from here after managing to escape the yoke of Chris Cohan. If they ever start to pretend like they care about defense and remember that they actually do have a decent center in Andris Biedrins, they might surprise. Probably won't make the playoffs, but things are definitely looking up from here.

Evan (Tacoma WA)

Can't we just give D-Rob the Heisman now?

Yellow Fever

It's not every day you have a guy who threatens to throw for 2500 yards and run for 2000. Which he is more than on pace for. But on pace just means he's been the best so far. I seem to remember Kirk Herbstreit saying that Jahvid had the best resume of any player in the country in the Heisman race last year...and then Oregon happened.

josh (slc)

What happens if boise and utah are both undefeated at the end of the season?

Yellow Fever

I can't see Utah jumping Boise, so I'd imagine Boise gets the guaranteed BCS spot and Utah would have a pretty good chance at another because their fans travel well. I think.

wotongoducks (Rip City, OR)

Hi Pat, which Top 5 team would you say is the most likely to lose a game?

Yellow Fever

It would have to be either Oregon or Ohio State, right? TCU and Boise State have the easiest schedules according to the most rehashed arguments in college football, and Alabama already rolled over their biggest threats this year. Oregon certainly doesn't have an easy schedule, but from all appearances so far it looks like their biggest threat (the Furd) is already in their rearview mirror too. Meanwhile Ohio State still has to deal with Denard Robinson, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Given how mortal the Buckeyes offense looked when Pryor was dinged up, it's certainly plausible they could lose to any of the halfway decent teams in the Big Ten.

Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)

Hey Fever. Thanks for chatting as always. Completely unbiased BSU fan here. (COMPLETELY unbiased! :-)~~ What are the chances that Va Tech continues to rebound from their BSU loss and goes on to win the ACC? (Similar to how Oregon rebounded from the slap down that BSU gave THEM last year to win the Pac-10?)

Yellow Fever

It wouldn't surprise me (maybe a 35% shot?), but then again, I'm not sure that would carry a great deal of weight given how the rest of the conference looks and the fact that they'd still have that loss to James Madison on their resume.

Claire (NC)

What happens if 4 teams end up undefeated this year? Mass chaos, riots, and a change in format?

Yellow Fever

Given how many teams finished undefeated last year and the fact that there was no change in format, I'm going to say that no change in format is forthcoming regardless of what happens this year.

Andy (Kansas City)

What chance to you give K State of pulling the upset thursday night against Nebraska? Should be a crazy atmosphere in the Little Apple.

Yellow Fever

I'd give them a surprisingly good chance - there's been a laundry list of upsets by home underdogs on Thursday night games (i.e. South Carolina over Ole Miss, Oregon State over USC, Rutgers over Louisville) due to the short turnaround time and travel for the favored road team that ended up losing, so Nebraska losing at the Wildcats would fit right into that pattern. That's without going into the specifics of the matchup, and looking closer at the game, Nebraska looked poor last week (to say the least) and Kansas State does have a stud RB in Daniel Thomas. I give them a 25% chance of the upset.

JL (Marshall, VA)

Fever: Even if VA Tech goes unbeaten from here on out, though, can they be ranked after a loss to an FCS team?

Yellow Fever

Technically, yes. And I'm pretty sure Michigan rebounded from their loss to Appalachian State to become ranked later that year - especially after they beat Florida in their bowl game. So it's not the kiss of death for an entire season...but it certainly doesn't help.

Troy (Portland)

I know you're driving the Boise bus, but you have to be realistic about how the voters and computers will view them. You have Oregon ranked #2 behind them, so do you think it will be Alabama-Oregon for the NC?

Yellow Fever

I do, actually. I think that would be an outstanding game to watch. Even if our buddies at ATQ would become insufferable. I can just see IT'S SPELLED J-S-H-U-N-A-T-I-O-N-A-L-C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N-S now.

Jake (Ann Arbor, MI)

Fever. Big game for the Spartans at the so called, "little house on the prairie" Saturday. Who you got? If Rich Rod loses, does he lose his job?

Yellow Fever

Maybe if he loses another five games after that.

Derek Dooley (Neyland Stadium)

After that painful loss in Baton Rouge, does my team recover and beat Georgia and that ugly bulldog? Also, can you give me a break on the 13 men, it was chaos in that stadium.

Yellow Fever

As bad as Tennessee has looked, Georgia has looked worse. So I'd pick the Vols here. And the 13 men thing was pretty god damn ridiculous. I can't even put into words how horrible the end of that game was managed. It's like Andy Reid was coaching against himself.

John (Atlanta)

Should rankings take into consideration how skilled the coaches are? For instance I am an LSU fan but with Miles' coaching ineptness i feel like we might be over rated.

Yellow Fever

I think so, to the extent that you can see how a coach's skill directly impacts his team on the field. And yes, in the case of LSU, Miles' incompetence certainly doesn't do his team any favors, and they should be viewed with a skeptical eye because of his skills. But that shows up on the field too, so it's not like you need to downgrade the team even more for it.

Alex (Omaha)

Chances both MSU and OSU go undefeated and cause the world to collapse in on itself?

Yellow Fever

I wouldn't put them at very high since I'd expect Denard Robinson to beat one or both of them by himself. Seriously.

BB (Carolina)

How do you see Bama/SC playing out?

Yellow Fever

It's hard to see Alabama losing to anyone anytime soon just because of how dominant they've been for so long, so I can't see them losing until it actually happens.

Joe (WV)

No disrespect to D. Robinson, but how much of the hype is simply because he plays at Michigan? Don't remember Pat White ever leading on the Heisman watch list. Is he really that much better?

Yellow Fever

Given that he's putting up numbers better than Pat White or even Vince Young, I don't think it's unwarranted. You could make the case that maybe guys like KAEPERNICK and Dan LeFevour should have gotten more hype and the reason they didn't was because they didn't go to a BCS school, but I don't think Denard's getting any extra credit for being at Michigan either.

David (Boise)

Hey Pat, Who do you think has been more impressive so far TCU or Boise State

Yellow Fever

Definitely has to be Boise State. TCU's most significant vicotry so far was against Oregon State, and Boise even went out and beat that exact same team by a bigger margin that the Horned Frogs did.

TLee (Seattle)

Kornheiser had a good quote on PTI yesterday: "Alabama can win every game by 1 point, but until someone beats them, they will remain #1 ranked" Agree?

Yellow Fever

I don't think I'd go that far - if they did that for a few weeks in a row I'd be tempted to put Oregon or Ohio State or someone else in the top spot.

Brendan, Plantation, FL [via mobile]

This is the first time in both Florida State and Miami are ranked going into their game in over 3 years. I think Miami's D tips the scales in their favor. FSU defense is hasn't played a decent offense outside of Norman. What say you about this game?

Yellow Fever

I just hope Jacory Harris stops throwing picks long enough to throw a few more bombs to Leonard Hankerson. Otherwise I think Miami will win (whatever happened to the Christian Ponder for Heisman campaign, by the way?), but it won't exactly carry much national significance.

Corey (Louisiana)

If you were the AD at LSU would Miles be out with 3 losses this season?!! The clock mangement gaffes seem endless!

Yellow Fever

Well, Larry Coker was fired with a 60-15 record at Miami with a national title on his resume, so I don't think it's impossible. But given how ill-prepared Miles' teams seem to be, I don't think it's out of the question either. I probably wouldn't do it, but that's because I fully realize that I'm a reactionary sort who doesn't necessarily like to act before it's evident that there's a crisis. But that's just me.

I do think there's a legitimate case to be made for firing him, though.

Peter Thompson (Austin Tx)

Can Texas be back in the national title discussion by next season, or are the problems too large?

Yellow Fever

As far as I can tell their only significant problem is the lack of a credible running game, which is something that can definitely be fixed by bringing in the nation's top running back recruit. Which I'm pretty sure they're doing. So I think they can end up in the national title discussion next year, sure.

Zack (Dallas, TX)

I'm an Oklahoma homer wondering why so many of your colleagues have Nebraska ranked ahead of OU in the latest poll? Granted, OU has not looked overly great in any of their victories beside FSU, they have beaten 3 ranked foes. Meanwhile, Nebraska has looked a little better beating up a whole bunch of nothing and struggled against a decent FCS team.

Yellow Fever

I think the argument there would have to be that the Cornhuskers have looked impressive, and I think had the Cornhuskers over the Sooners for that reason. Maybe I should rethink that in light of how weak Nebraska's schedule on the whole has been...actually, I think I had Oklahoma over Nebraska this week after their win over Texas. Nevermind.

Mike (NE Ohio)

Pat, as an Ohio State fan, what should I be most worried about?

Yellow Fever

I think I'd be worried about what would happen if Pryor went down again. They did not look good at all against Illinois when he wasn't in the game.

Lucas (Torts class at NYU law)

I admire your opinion enough to be blatantly ignoring this lecture, but how on earth you could you place Oregon ahead of Ohio State? Is this not exactly the same as last year when Oregon put up huge numbers in the pac 10 but then a season low point total against the buckeye d? The pac 10 doesn't play defense and a 2-5 bowl record showed that quite clearly.

Yellow Fever

Because Oregon's been killing people this year and Ohio State struggled to put away Illinois?

Jake (Eugene, OR)

Who carries more weight for their team, Ingram or Robinson?

Yellow Fever

Does anyone matter more to their team than Robinson does? And given the love shown to Ingram's backup, how could you even think this is a legitimate question?

Matt (Denver, CO)

Pat - Has Hawkins finally turned the corner and figured out he needs to run the ball well to win? I know Georgia isn't very good so its a bit early to get excited. Do you give CU any chance against Mizzou? Does CU vs MU cause you any internal conflict with you being a Colorado native and Missouri Alum?

Yellow Fever

I'm going to pull a Beano and say I don't know enough about each team in order to render a judgment. I mean, I thought I knew that Colorado sucked because even our Bears managed to throttle them, and then they went out and beat Georgia. And I thought I knew Georgia was good because they're in THE SEC!!!!!!!!!!!, but by the transitive property we would have murderized Georgia, stolen their wife, and had dirty filthy sex with their cousin. (Who is also their wife.) Which would make Nevada the number one team in the country.


Kevin (Austin)

Thoughts on Charlie Strong?

Yellow Fever

Louisville's doing better with him coaching than they did under Steve Kragthorpe, but it's still going to take a long time for me to care about the next time they play Rutgers.

Mike W (Chicago)

Tell me something positive about my IU Hoosiers. They kept in the game vs Michigan, have a top 10 QB in the nation and play OSU this week. Any chance on an upset or am I dreaming?

Yellow Fever

17% chance? Their offense did look good against Michigan, but then, I mean, so did UMass.  UMass.

John (CA)

Pat, which program has the most upside, UVA, GT or ILL?

Yellow Fever

Based on recent history, it would have to be Georgia Tech, wouldn't it? I mean, they're the only program of the three to have been consistently relevant in the past few years, and they have a national championship from way back when (1990?) too. So clearly the ceiling there seems to be higher.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Sagarin Strength of Schedule Rankings:Boise: 38th, Oregon: 57th, Ohio State: 99th - 99th!I'm sure you knew that, but perhaps you can share it with your colleagues who keep moving BSU down in their polls. Thanks.

Yellow Fever

That's really an argument for whom they've played so far, and not who they will be playing - obviously those rankings are going to change as we get further into the year. I don't think anyone in their right mind would argue that Oregon or Ohio State have played a more difficult schedule to date.

ben (alabama)

hey man how are you? first off les miles has had a ton of talent over the years he just is not a good coach needs to be fired but to my question do you think that auburn can actually survive the season undefeated in the iron bowl and if they won it and sec champ would they be in champ game? in your opinion?

Yellow Fever

From Forde's answer it seems that Auburn is going to be playing at Alabama this year, so yeah, if they can beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa and go undefeated, they'll probably be in the national championship game. Hopefully against the Ducks.

Mo (Oregon)

Do you think voters are too enameled with a 0 in the loss column?

Yellow Fever

And here I thought Oregon's academics were pretty good.

Jeff (Dallas)

IF OU goes undefeated, do they play in the NC game?

Yellow Fever

These things are always tricky to say because it's not like them going undefeated would happen in a vacuum. I think they'd get preference over any team below them, but I don't see them jumping undefeated Ohio State or Oregon either. Or maybe even Boise State.

Jessica Liao (Los Angeles, CA)

Do you think Urban Meyer should dump the "Brantley Project" and go with the "Burton Experiment?"

Yellow Fever

Andy Reid did it!

Andy Reid and DeSean Jackson Chest Bump (via PhilaFlyers48)

joe (lakeland,fl)

should miles start playing jarrett lee insead of jefferson

Yellow Fever

The natural instinct here would be to think that Jefferson's been so bad, Lee can't possibly be any worse. But then you realize, if Lee were really better, he'd be playing already. Obviously, at least some people believe he's worse.

Then again, even if he is worse, he can't be that much worse. So I don't think they'd have much to lose by giving him a shot.

Mike (Akron)

Hey Pat, how much does the loss of Moeller affect the bucks. And have you seen a kid with worse luck? I really liked how he was playing.

Yellow Fever

I have no idea who you're talking about.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Do you think that Evan Royster is going to regret his decision to come back to PSU for one more season?

Yellow Fever

There's something to be said for finishing your degree and college life (as Matt Leinart would tell you), but clearly the team isn't playing as well as he would have liked. But this really shouldn't have been a surprise either - it's not like people weren't aware that it was possible the team would be starting a true freshman at QB.

Derek (San Francisco)

Did you see the PSU - Iowa game? Do you think Iowa's D is playing at its best or is the best yet to come for that squad?

Yellow Fever

Didn't see it, but it would be hard to make the argument that Penn State's offensive futility was due to the strength of the Iowa defense either. I mean, they were in serious danger of losing to Temple.

Justin Samples (Huntsville, AL)

How hot is the hot seat in Athens for the Ga Coaches. I would like to see Mark Richt Still there but Bobo needs to go or at least stop calling plays. What is it that Ga needs to do to get out of this disaster?

Yellow Fever

I'm a little puzzled at how and why Georgia got so bad this season - A.J. Green isn't that important, is he? And if he is, why did they still lose to Colorado? Honestly, I don't really care enough to research how they got so bad or when it will get better, I'm just enjoying it.

Jacob (Mumbai)

The tides of the Arabian Sea are also crimson. In case you were wondering.

Yellow Fever

I wasn't.

Jason (Mongomery AL)

Pat is there any possible way you could see Florida coming back like the 06 season and winning every game even agains the Tide? Since they did role up more yards than the Tide.

Yellow Fever

I'm guessing they still have a good shot at winning their division, but like I said earlier, I'll have a hard time picturing Alabama losing until they actually do.

Joe (Jonesboro)

Who's the better coach...Chris Peterson-Boise, Nick Saban-Bama?

Yellow Fever

I think you'd have to go with Nick Saban on the basis of his resume - which isn't to say that Petersen hasn't been as impressive as he could be given the situation that he's in, but he just hasn't done it.

Pradeep (Chicago)

Pat, not a Miles supporter by any means. But some of the vitriol (from the press and fans) have seriously crossed the line. I think the national media had its day with the story, but now it needs to layoff of Miles.

Yellow Fever

Like Rishi (or was it Fire Starkey) said a while back, the fact is that most kids these days have a better grasp of clock management than a lot of coaches because of our experience playing Madden. So even with all of the chaos on a football field and everything that happens during a game that we don't experience playing a video game...I still think it's fair to expect a coach to know how to conserve timeouts and substitute in a timely manner.

RJ (Portland)

Petersen better than Chip KELLY??

Yellow Fever

Hm. Tha'ts a tough call. But I do think I'd go with Petersen. 

Patrica (LA)

Pat, How far are we from a 4 to 8 team playoff?

Yellow Fever

I'd say at least 15 years.

ryan (nashville)

how do you see the rest of the season playing out for the vols?

Yellow Fever

The same way I see everything in the SEC - from far away.

(Yeah, I know I used that joke in one of the first few Ask YF's from long ago.)

Speaking of seeing things from far away, my brother and I are going to Game 4 of the Yankees/Twins series this Sunday (if there is one), standing room only. 39 dollars a pop. For standing room only. I love New York!

Cayce (Pensacola, FL)

So wait...are you saying that Petersen IS better than Saban???

Yellow Fever

You're a moron.

Casey (Salt Lake City)

Coach Petersen is a great coach, but there is an argument Coach Whittingham. No way Petersen is "by far" a better coach than Whittingham.

Yellow Fever

Let's leave this to Forde:

Casey: Chris Petersen's record as a head coach is 53-4. Kyle Whittingham -- who is a very good coach -- is 51-17. I'll stick with "by far."

Colin (Louisville)

Best 1 loss team in the country in your opinion?

Yellow Fever

As much as it hurts to say, I think I'd go with the Furd.

Dan (Tampa)

I dont want to knock what Robinson has done but isnt there some issue with the defenses Michigan has faced? Everyone keeps talking about how he's on track for 2k/2k but he hasnt faced the stout defenses the big ten has to offer. Can he really keep those numbers against teams that dont give up 400 yds a game?

Yellow Fever

That's a valid point, but I don't think it's a new one either. I think it's possible that he can - there hasn't been anyone as productive as he has been in history, so there's no precedent that you can point to say and say that he can't do it either.

Vince (NY)

Remaining October game you are most looking forward to?

Yellow Fever

Cal at USC. Duh. Or maybe Heat at Nets on Halloween. Actually, I might scalp my ticket to that. I think scalping that one ticket alone would cover 35% of the cost of my entire season ticket package.

Chris (Troutdale OR)

What's the most over rated team as we head into week 6?

Yellow Fever

Continuing with the major topic of discussion this week, I think it's pretty clearly LSU.