And now for something completely different - we had tossed around the idea of doing a conventional mailbag that you might see on other websites, but came to the conclusion that answering misinformed, badly worded, grammatically incorrect, and misspelled queries from the average denizen of ESPN.com would be far more amusing. To that end, I decided to answer questions from this recent ESPN.com chat with Beano Cook as if they were posed to me, rather than him. And rather than do what the guys over at Fire Joe Morgan do in criticizing the responses of the ESPN.com representative, well, I’m going to lay off Beano. He’s old. He clearly doesn’t know what he’s saying anymore.
Delta (Richmond, VA): Hey Fever! Any word on who Michigan replaces ND with in 2011?
Yellow Fever: I feel like someone at this point needs to point out that the Big Ten actually has eleven teams, and they play eight conference games. What the hell? But kudos to Michigan for having played Notre Dame all this time. There’s nothing quite like playing a paper tiger that has no defense and always chokes in big games to boost your own reputation when you beat them soundly every year. Now back to your question - I have no idea. But the Wolverines have a trend of playing a directional Michigan school every year for their nonconference schedule. Eastern Michigan in 2010, Western Michigan in 2009 and 2011; don’t quote me on this, but I have a feeling we could be in for a real barnburner with Central Michigan after that. Go Wolverines.
Zak (Lawrence,KS): I heard Lee Corso mention something about adding another team to the Big Ten and he said they should take Mizzou but i think they should take Notre Dame yeah I know they been Independent for years but im sure alot of other peolple would like to see them in conference play espicially in the Big Ten and if they did take Mizzou who would replace them in the Big 12 North.
Yellow Fever: Let me ask you something, Zak. Are you in a rush? Typing with one hand? How’s Kansas? But here’s a larger point. What would such a conference be called? I mean, there’s already a Big 12. Hell, there’s already a Big 12 North, so you can’t even call it that. The Bigger 12? The Big North? The Big 11, just to continue to throw everyone off? This blows my mind just thinking about it. And honestly, I’d like to see Notre Dame remain independent. Sure it means they go to a BCS bowl every year that they don’t deserve to be in, but it’s like seeing the Yankees get completely outclassed in the playoffs every year. Who doesn’t enjoy that?
Danny (Kansas City): I am sick of hearing about the same four stories when i turn on the T.V. the media has exhausted the Vick, NBA ref story, Packman, and Barry bonds it is rather annoying
Yellow Fever: Turn off the TV and go tip some cows. That is what you guys do for fun in Kansas City, right?
Scott (MI): Yellow way to rip on the Big 10 in your first question. You want to talk about a cake walk "non-conference" schedule…have you looked at your beloved Notre Dame’s? Come on Army, Navy, and Air Force…u gotta be kidding me!!
Yellow Fever: Scott, I’m not sure you realize this; in fact, I’m almost certain you don’t. If Notre Dame is an independent, by definition all of their games are non-conference. Because if you’re not in a conference, none of your games can be conference games. Amazing how that works!
Chris ( Eglin AFB, FL ): Since Nick Saban came back to the SEC and everyone is talking bout that. What do you think Kentucky’s record will be this yr. They returned alot of players from last yrs team.
Yellow Fever: Chris, if you’re going to try and ask a question prefaced with something, try and do a better job of making sure the preface is somehow related. As for Kentucky, who cares? They’re the Washington State of the SEC. Or the Arizona? Arizona State? I have no idea.
JT (Pittsburgh): Who is today’s best college football writer?
Yellow Fever: I read everybody, but it’s much more fun to single out who the worst is. And of those who write regularly in a prominent position on a mainstream website, I’m going to go with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline. That qualifier was so that I don’t have to actually go look up the names of the scrubs who pass for writers on the Sporting News. As for the best, it’s a tough call between Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel. The two of them should be mandatory reading for anyone with an interest in college football, along with Ivan Maisel. Pat Forde I can live without.
ben (dc): Fever, Lets Rutgers was in the SEC, any chance they would even finish the year bowl eligable?
Yellow Fever: Is English a core requirement at SEC schools?
Chris (Kalamazoo, Michigan): Wait one sec…Michigan and ND love their rivalry. And how can you say Big Ten teams only want to play easy nonconference games? Texas vs OSU; ND vs Michigan, MSU, Penn State, Purdue. I think your are thinking of the SEC.
Yellow Fever: This is actually a fair point, given that most Big Ten schools do have one tough, marquee nonconference game. So I’d like to revise my previous answer and say while I still think Michigan will end up playing a Michigan directional school that year, I could see the Wolverines playing Miami, Florida State, or Virginia Tech to take ND’s "slot", so to speak. And as much as I’d like them to schedule our Bears, there are a number of reasons that seems unlikely to happen. For one, the Big Ten always matches up with the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl every year, so it seems unlikely that they would be eager to schedule a Pac-10 power in the event that the two could possibly meet again in the Rose Bowl. An ACC game could be interesting, and besides - Miami versus Michigan just sounds cool. And by then, the Hurricanes will probably be in one of the up phases of the cycles that always seem to define the U.
Willie (Portland, OR): I know it’s been a while, but what are your thoughts on Les Miles comments about the Pac-10 being an easy conference?
Yellow Fever: He might have a point, but really, he can go to hell.
Eric, Bel Air, MD: WVU vs USC Natonal Championship-yes or no?
Yellow Fever: No. Cal/LSU. Book it. Call it the Day of Les Miles’ Reckoning.
Phil (New York): Fever, How do you feel about Joe Paterno’s punishment of the entire team for the actions of a few players. Personally I feel it’s sending a good message while building team unity? Others may see it as a cop out and a way to deflect criticism away from the players who committed the crimes?
Yellow Fever: Phil, why do you have question marks where periods should be? And a period where a question mark should be?
Mikey (Philly): Fever, who do you see as a sleeper national title contender?
Yellow Fever: Rutgers. Really. If they beat Louisville and West Virginia - which they almost did last season by beating Lousiville and taking the Mountaineers to triple OT - and go undefeated, what would stop them from getting a berth in the national championship game? Yes, Brian Leonard is gone, but Ray Rice is back (and I have a signed jersey of his), Mike Teel almost certainly has to improve, and their outstanding offensive line remains mostly intact. Their defense could use some work, but they should improve with experience as well.
Brad (Gadsden,Alabama): Fever, How do you see Nick Saban’s first year at Alabama going this year?
Yellow Fever: The same way I see anything that happens in Alabama. From far away.
Matt (Philadelphia): Fever, assuming McFadden and McCoy return, are you going to try to get ABC to move the 2008 Arkansas-Texas game to the last week of the season again?
Yellow Fever: That’s just superstition.
Jack ( Ann Arbor ) : You didn’t finish answereing Delta’s question…Who replaces Notre Dame on Michigans schedule
Yellow Fever: Jack, why don’t you get your panties straightened out and realize that when your AD decides, he’ll be the first to announce it?
ben (Omaha, NE): how do you think nebraska will do this year fever
Yellow Fever: I think they’ll lose to USC, possibly contend in the Big 12 North, maybe even win their division, get crushed in the Big 12 title game, and then lose a close bowl game. Sound familiar?
Nick (Charlotte): Fever: Wake Forest predicted 4th in their division by ACC writers? Huh?
Yellow Fever: The sooner you realize that Wake Forest had a once in a lifetime season last year, the sooner I can stop answering questions about them.
Craig (Norwich, CT): Who is the next college coach to make the leap to the NFL?
Yellow Fever: Dennis Erickson of Arizona State. This is a guy who only had to coach the Idaho Vandals for one year before taking over a powerful offense in a major conference. If he can steer the Sun Devils in the right direction this year, the only logical next step in his upward career path is to make the jump to the NFL and - wait, you’re saying he’s done this before? Really?
dylan (chicago): Whats the future for Jimmy C. at Notre Dame.
Yellow Fever: Here’s a list of true freshmen quarterbacks who were successful as starters:
Tom (Baltimore, MD): Any chance MSU has a surprise season and makes a bowl game this year under Dantonio?
Yellow Fever: There’s always a chance. For instance, Temple could shock the world and become national champions this year. As for a realistic chance, that’s going to require more research into a second tier program that I don’t care about.
Scott (MI): Why don’t you travel with the Gameday crew each week? We’d love to see ya there…
Yellow Fever: Because I’m not employed by ESPN.
Chris (Indianapolis, IN): Will the IU football program be able to rebound from the loss of Coach Hep??
Yellow Fever: No offense intended here, but it’s not like the program was any great shakes to begin with. They’ll probably do all right, but I don’t think anyone expected them to do a whole lot anyway.
Dylan (Texas): Why does everybody praise USC for going udefeated with a push over schedule?The NCAA doesn’t want them to be challenged…put tem up against LSU in Death Valley, then you got yourself a ball game
Yellow Fever: I had to go to Dallas for a week of training. It was then that I realized the best part of being in Texas was getting to leave.
Mike (New Jersey): What trade will the yankees make at the deadline
Yellow Fever: Why are you here?
Sam (Dallas, tx): Michigan is the winningest team in college football, why don’t they get more respect?
Yellow Fever: Why don’t you have anything better to do than wonder why people don’t respect your alma mater?
Patrick (N’awlins): Love ya fever…can you comment on the surprise today that Alley Broussard suddenly left the team?
Yellow Fever: Sure. He was a player. At LSU. And now he’s not.
Yellow Fever: Be sure to come back next week when I lampoon someone else’s chat, or not, depending on how the response to this one goes. I look forward to answering more questions from south of the Mason-Dixon line that would horrify your English teacher.