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Last Update: Thursday 9:00 AM CDT

Q: Will Boise State beat Hawaii? - Pete - Boise, ID

A: Yes, Boise State will beat Hawaii. Boise State's schedule leading up to the roadtrip to the islands couldn't be easier with Utah State and Idaho. Boise State also knows how to win the big game, while Hawaii will struggle in these new situations. With the BCS on the line, Hawaii chokes in two weeks. - David, Staff

Q: If Hawaii goes undefeated, do they deserve a BCS bid? - Dan - San Jose, CA

A: Do they deserve it? No. Will they if they go undefeated? Yes. They will have to beaten Nevada, Boise State, and Washington, which is not easy. Even if they win those games, I do not think that they can hang with a current top 10 team. - Matt, Staff
A: Yes they would deserve it, and yes they would get a berth. Despite being very unimpressive so far this season, a sweep of perennial powers Fresno State and Boise State will pump up their ranking enough to get the job done. Even if they fall just short of the automatic berth ranking, some conference championship always ends in an upset and opens the door for a non-BCS team in the top 12. It will happen again, but I doubt Hawaii will be there undefeated to capitalize either way. - David, Staff

Q: Can Purdue or Illinois win the Big 10? - Ryan - Springfield, MO

A: I think we will know a lot more certainty in the Big Ten this week. After two weeks of what seems like crazy Big Ten play (Iowa and Penn State 0-2 is a minor shock), five teams remain undefeated in conference play. The expected trio of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State are there despite Michigan stumbling out of the gate. Illinois and Purdue get their chance this week as they host Wisconsin and Ohio State, respectively. If either of those underdogs win this weekend, it will send a signal that they are ready to compete for the league title. If both lose, I think we revert to the November three-week round robin between UM, UW, and OSU to determine the league winner. Short answer: Yes they can both win the league this year, but they have to defend the home turf against opponents like the Buckeyes and Badgers. - David, Staff

Q: Which is better? A dominant defense with a weak offense, or a offense that can score at will with a weak defense? - Barry - Memphis, TN

A: No doubt about this question, I'll take the dominating defense any day. If you look at national title matchups over the past few years, some stand out where a dominating defense befuddled an unstoppable offense (but never vice versa). Florida over Ohio State, USC over the years, Ohio State over Miami...they all fit the mold. Strong offense can take you a long way, but the lack of a defense always trips you up in the end (or in the case of Louisville and Michigan, very early). The reason is that offenses can have an off day, especially if some skill player goes down or a key lineman has a bad outing, or the weather gets nasty. Defenses are all about hitting people and hard, so the usual wear and tear of football does not affect defenses as fast usually. A dominating defense will keep even a modest offense in every game, while an outstanding offense has a lot of pressure to keep producing points every drive (unrealistic) if their defense is leaky. Just like in baseball where pitching wins championships, football titles go to dominating defense. - David, Staff

Q: How long does Mike Stoops have before he is fired? - Devin - Phoenix, AZ

A: Not long. With early season losses to BYU and New Mexico, it is easy to see that Arizona has made no progress since Stoops arrived 4 years ago. Arizona should not win more than 4 games this year, and a 4-win season should get Stoops sent out of Arizona. - Matt, Staff

Q: Is Cincinnati good enough to win the Big East? - Terry - Cleveland, OH

A: Why not? They have looked solid so far, especially after beating Oregon State 34-3. The team has performed better than anyone could have expected. I thought losing Mark Dantonio would cripple this team, but they have played top 25 football with no signs of slowing down. October 6th at Rutgers is the first tough test. If they can beat Rutgers, they can beat any Big East team. - Matt, Staff

Q: Who will win the SEC East? - Paul - Jackson, MS

A: Conventional thinking makes Florida the obvious favorite in the SEC East. The Gators are tremendoulsy explosive on the offensive end, and Tim Tebow has done a stellar job as a starter thus far. Urban Meyer has so many weapons in his offensive schemes that Florida can really put up big numbers against anyone. They do, however, have a tough conference schedule with matchups against Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina. The Gators will have to survive the gauntlet to come out on top. South Carolina has got to be the other favorite. While they certainly won't blow anyone out life Florida is capable of, the Gamecocks' defense has looked very solid early on. In their win over Georgia this weekend, South Carolina kept quarterback Matthew Stafford uncomfortable all day, forcing him into just 19/44 passing. - Joey, Staff

Q: Who is the best out of the 3: LSU, USC, or OU? - Raymond - Orlando, FL

A: LSU. They have a mature quarterback, a great offensive line, and playmakers at the skill positions. Their defense is one of the best ever. If they were not in the SEC, there would be no doubt in my mind that they would go undefeated. They might slip up once, but they would still be the best team. USC is 2nd, and has a chance to prove itself against a Nebraska team that looked average against Wake Forest. OU is just a little behind, but the Miami win was impressive. They also have the easiest road to an undefeated season. - Matt, Staff
A: LSU is the best team in the country right now, until USC or Oklahoma can prove otherwise with a strong performance. The Tigers have probably the fastest defense in the country, capable of making it a long game for any offensive coordinator in the country; I don't care how much firepower a team has offensively. LSU has also proven that they can score...a lot. Matt Flynn has done very well stepping in as the new quarterback, and why shouldn't he with the weapons he has? Early Doucet is one of the best receivers around, and the combination of Jacob Hester and Keiland Williams in the backfield is averaging over seven yards per carry and has scored five rushing touchdowns. To put it bluntly, LSU is averaging nearly 500 yards of offense per game and scoring close to 50 points in their first two games. USC and Oklahoma certainly have offenses that can match that kind of production, but they can't match LSU on the other side of the football. - Joey, Staff

Q: Can Washington upset Ohio State? - Leo - Seattle, WA

A: Ohio State looked sluggish offensively in week 2 against Akron. However, their defense held Akron to 71 total yards. Washington's freshman QB Jake Locker has looked good in his first two games, but has yet to really be tested. Boise State showed that it is not the special team it was in 2006, but that does not take away from the fact that Washington looks much improved from last year and that an upset of Ohio State is not impossible. The key for Washington is to stop stud Buckeye RB Chris Wells. He makes the offense go. - Matt, Staff
A: Definitely. Washington should pray for rain in Seattle on Saturday, as the Buckeyes really struggled in the first rainy half against a much weaker Akron team last week. If OSU keeps turning the ball over, the struggles will continue in their road openers on the West Coast and U-Dub could pull it off easily. If OSU takes care of the ball, I really cannot see Locker and company overcoming the OSU defense. Washington is good enough to pull off the upset in any event. - David, Staff

Q: Now that Michigan has suffered their first loss, I think the Big Ten is wide open this year because it's weaker than usual. Wisconsin is the favorite to win it, but don't count out Penn State or Ohio State. Iowa and Purdue aren't too far behind them, either. What are your thoughts? - Nash Ishpeming, MI

A: As a close follower of the Big Ten, I had thought it was wide open even before week 1. Michigan was certainly not going to run away with the title when Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State have as much talent as they do this season. Michigan's defense is in big trouble against teams that can run a 4-5 wide receiver passing attack, and the Wolverines are playing 3 good teams that can do that in conference alone (Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State). The six teams you listed are likely the best bets given that Purdue and Iowa should bounce back into the upper tier this season. If I had to rank the teams at this point, it would be Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota. - David, Staff

Q: What do you think about the new ban on text messaging recruits. Is this really a necessary rule? - Bob - Denver, CO

A: I'm not real familiar with what the old rule was (as far as how often recruits could be text messaged), but I do know that common sense has nothing to do with the NCAA's decisions. Very rarely do they go with the most logical choice, and they actually seem to take pride at the fact that people look upon them with such dislike. It gives them great pleasure to inconvenience anyone and everyone as often as possible. But to answer your question, I agree that coaches don't need to be contacting high school students non-stop. After all, they are students who are trying to get an education while also competing in their high school athletics, among other things. They don't need to spend several hours a day responding to text messages, answering phone calls, opening and reading mail, etc. The coaches need to back off just a bit, and so does the NCAA. - Jonathan, Editor
A: In the world of the NCAA where everything has to be super-micro-managed and nobody is allowed to gain an unfair advantage, it makes perfect sense to limit this kind of communication. If phone calls and visits are within the scope of NCAA regulation, then today's technological communications developments (email and tech, oops I mean text, messages) should also be regulated. I think it is absolutely fair. - David, Staff

Q: One of the most intense topics on college football message boards these days concerns the relative strength of the various conferences. How would you rate the BCS conferences right now? - Rod - Frisco, TX

A: I'd have to put the SEC first. They are host to the defending national champion, one of the 2007 nationl front-runners, and as many as ten teams are capable of going bowling this fall. Next, maybe as a surprise, I'll put the Pac-10. USC is USC, while California is not very far behind the Trojans this season, as they showed last Saturday night. UCLA and Oregon both have quality squads this fall, as do the likes of Oregon State, Arizona State, and possibly Washington and/or Washington State. Third is the Big XII, featuring the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska as BCS possibilities. Throw in Missouri, as well as Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and even Kansas State and Oklahoma State after losses last week, and it's solid through the first eight teams or so. Next is the Big East, which doesn't have the depth of those above but does have a trio of teams (Louisville, West Virginia, Rutgers) with BCS potential and a solid up-and-comer (South Florida). If Pittsburgh and Syracuse could hold their end of the bargain, this conference could be rated higher. Next I'll throw in the ACC, simply because of its depth, and last is the Big Ten, which took a hit this past weekend when their favorite lost to a D-IAA team. - Jonathan, Editor
A: This is the true everlasting debate in college football, outlasting the BCS by a few decades. This is also very hard to determine given the limited meetings between BCS conference teams outside of bowl season. Still, based on the past couple of years and the start to 2007, my ranking would be as follows: (1) SEC, (2) Big East, (3) Pac-10, (4) Big 10, (5) Big XII, (6) ACC. SEC is a clear cut number 1 right now, then the next three are pretty close but you have to give the edge to the Big East based on recent bowl and out-of-conference success, and the bottom two are basically tied at the bottom. - David, Staff

Q: Cal had an impressive win against Tennessee last weekend. Do you think they have a shot at beating USC and winning the Pac-10 this year? - Rod - Frisco, TX

A: Absolutely. The Bears have such huge playmakers all over the place, and they are so explosive on offense and special teams that they have the potential to beat anyone in the country. If they can survive road trips to Oregon, UCLA, and Arizona State, they've got USC at home in mid-November, and that could be not only for the Pac-10 title but also a trip to the BCS championship game. - Jonathan, Editor
A: Cal definitely has a shot of beating USC this season. The Bears will need to refine their defense a little bit to slow the Trojan attack as USC is much better than Tennessee, but the game is very winnable. The country will know a lot more about Oregon this weekend when the Ducks play against a hungry Michigan team. I believe none of those teams can be counted out of serious Pac-10 contention at this point. Look for Arizona State and Washington to be very competitve as well, but on a second tier. - David, Staff

Q: Why does Lloyd Carr still have a job at Michigan? - James - Memphis, TN

A: While Carr maybe should have been fired 2 years ago, there was really no reason to fire him after last season. Michigan was one break at Columbus away from an outright Big Ten title and a BCS Championship game berth last season. Even losing another Rose Bowl was not enough to erase just how close the Wolverines were last year. Add in the tragic loss of the great Coach Bo Schembechler last season, and it was just not the right time to cut Carr. It is relatively inexplicable why Carr has turned into the UM version of John Cooper, not winning bowl games or OSU games in the past 6 years. These things take time, and programs like Michigan do not quickly chop heads for a couple bad seasons. Despite all of this, Michigan needs to win the conference title this season after being hammered in three straight games the past 2 seasons. If that does not happen, Carr will probably step down or be fired after this season. Michigan needs a new coach to bring the winning tradition back to the Big Blue, but don't expect it to happen mid-season. Remember, things are not as bad as they were at Michigan State last year, and those circumstances are the only ones where it is appropriate to fire a coach mid-season. - David, Staff

Q: How do you see Southern Miss stacking up against Boise State on 9-27? - Eric - Boise, ID

A: We will not know for sure until both teams have been tested. Both teams played Division 1-AA teams in week 1. A 56-7 win over Weber State tells me nothing about Boise State. This week, Boise State plays at Washington, while Southern Miss plays at Tennessee. These two games will give everyone a better idea of how good these two mid-major powers really are. However, Southern Miss has a team that has a chance to win 9 or 10 games and should be able to stick with Boise State on paper. - Matt, Staff

Q: Who will be the first major college football coach fired this season? - Chuck - Des Moines, IA

A: Check out our Preview Rewind and Preview '07 Hot Seat Coaches articles to see what we had to say about this just prior to the start of the season. - Jonathan, Editor

Q: Who do you guys see emerging as top-notch freshmen this year? - Ben - Iowa City, IA

A: Check out our Top Impact Newcomers article from our Preview '07 series. - Jonathan, Editor
A: My vote is split between two redshirt freshmen. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray had one of the best first career starts of all time. He scored 5 rushing touchdowns on 17 carries against North Texas. He is the next Reggie Bush of college football. My other pick is speedy quarterback Jake Locker of Washington. Locker threw for 142 yards, completing 14 of 19 passes. The real damage by the youngster is done on the ground. Against Syracuse, he ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 10 rushes. He can make himself a household name with games against ranked Boise State and Ohio State coming up in the next two weeks. - Matt, Staff

Q: Do you think TCU has a chance to upset Texas this week? - Ron - Frisco, TX

A: If Texas shows up for Saturday's game with TCU and plays at the same level as their game versus Arkansas State, TCU will walk out of Austin with a win. That being said, the Longhorns have too much talent to have a repeat performance of their opener, in a game that looked as if Texas was going through the motions. For TCU to have a shot at the upset, their quarterback Andy Dalton will need to have a huge game in the hostile environment of Memorial Stadium. Dalton was solid in the opener, but the majority of the Frogs scoring opportunities were set up by the defense, as TCU was only 3 out of 15 on 3rd down conversions against an average Baylor defense. Give the edge to Texas in this one at home, but TCU is now a legitimate national program that can play with the big boys of college football. - Gregg, Staff
A: TCU can definitely upset Texas. I speak more about this in my article this week, but Texas looked awful against a much lesser opponent in Arkansas State. TCU has a stifling defense, and I'm not sold on the Longhorn offense putting up many points against the Horned Frogs. In a defensive battle TCU has the edge even, and I would not consider this much of an upset in all honesty. - David, Staff
A: I not only think TCU has a chance to upset Texas, I think they will. TCU has a shutdown defense and a potent rushing attack. Texas looked sluggish and confused against Arkansas State, while TCU shut out Baylor 27-0. Texas won 21-13, but had to deal with a late onside kick that should have been recovered and given to Arkansas State, but the refs blew the review. Texas was outgained by ASU, threw 2 interceptions and had 90 penalty yards. TCU went into Oklahoma in 2005 and upset the top-10 ranked Sooners, and I think they pull off a similar upset. - Matt, Staff

Q: If App. State was a D-1 school, would you rank them in your top 25? - Ron - Frisco, TX

A: No way would I rank Appalachian State if they were Division I-A tomorrow. Marshall University proves that while a highly successful I-AA team can be moderately successful in I-A, it takes many years to become a Top 25 team in the higher division. What the Mountaineers have done the past two seasons is clearly impressive, but on the whole they would likely be in my top 40-50, not my top 25. - David, Staff
A: Sure, Appalachian State's upset was one for the ages. However, they would not deserve a top 25 vote in the latest poll. Do not get me wrong, they looked great against Michigan. They did not just get lucky, they outplayed Michigan. Still, how good is Michigan? Maybe Michigan is like the 2005 Tennessee Volunteer team that was ranked top 5 in the preseason polls and finished 5-6. You cannot judge any one team just because of an opening game win or loss. If the polls were not released until the 1st week of October, and Appalachian State was undefeated and just as impressive as they were this past weekend, then I would gladly give them my vote. - Matt, Staff

Q: LSU seemed sluggish against MSU and pulled it together, but are they really that good or is MSU that bad? - BBSooner - Jacksonville, FL

A: Mississippi State is not a good football team, and hasn't been for years. LSU knew what it had to do to win the game, and they took care of business. MSU did not help their own cause by throwing six interceptions. That said, I still believe LSU will be a product of a favorable schedule that features most of their toughest games at home. I believe there are at least a half-dozen teams better than the Tigers this year. - Jonathan, Editor
A: LSU is really that good and will prove it against VT this week. Mississippi State is really that bad and will be proving it every week this season. - David, Staff

Q: Do you think the top teams will stumble this year? I dont believe USC is a clear cut number 1 and will lose one or two, the same as LSU. We could see a West Virginia - Oklahoma national championship. What do you think? - Jake - Cleveland, OH

A: I personally think there will be no undefeateds in the BCS conferences this season, as I think USC will lose a couple in Pac-10 play and LSU cannot come out of the SEC unscathed. No other team stands out like those two to me right now, but I think the same applies to all the other teams in my top 10. They are all good, but I foresee each slipping up. The BCS should have its work cut out for it again this season. - David, Staff

Q: If Lloyd Carr retires after this season, who do you think will succeed him? - Ron - Frisco, TX

A: If Lloyd Carr "retires" at the end of season, it will be because Michigan brass push him out of the picture after he lost his magic touch against OSU with the hiring of Jim Tressel. Michigan should follow their two primary rivals in hiring someone completely new for a fresh perspective and focus on conservative strong defense. The dream hire would be to steal Urban Meyer away from Florida (who has serious street cred against Mr. Tressel), but that's beyond unrealistic. More realistic steals would be Les Miles of LSU, Jeff Tedford of Cal, Bill Cowher formerly of the Steelers, and Coach Peterson of Boise State. Out of all those, the best fit seems to be Tedford. - David, Staff
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