Chat with Chris Low
Low joined ESPN.com in 2007 after 10 years with The (Nashville) Tennessean covering the University of Tennessee and SEC. The Rock Hill, S.C., native lives with his wife in Knoxville and has three sons.
Send your questions now and join Low in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Friday!
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
The start of spring practice in the SEC is less than two weeks away, so let's chat.
Luke (Philadelphia, PA)
Chris, Who are the realistic candidates for the Alabama QB job, and who is the front runner?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Greg McElroy is the front-runner, but Star Jackson will also be a part of what Nick Saban said will be an open competition in the spring. Jackson redshirted last year and is a better runner than McElroy. Heralded true freshman A.J. McCarron will be on campus in the summer.
with moreno and stafford gone who must step up for UGA
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Richard Samuel and Caleb King at running back. Fifth-year senior Joe Cox is the favorite at quarterback, although two true freshmen are already on campus and will go through spring practice. Logan Gray could be the change-of-pace guy at quarterback. I think they will have a package for him.
Matt (Miami, FL)
Chris, simple question: who is going to play in the SECCG? and who is going to win?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
Putting me on the spot, huh? I'll go with a very early prediction of Florida beating Ole Miss. I like Ole Miss' schedule in the West better than Alabama's.
Morgan (Reading, PA)
Will the SEC be as good as the Big 12 last season this season?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Well, the SEC at the top wasn't too shabby last season and won head-to-head over Texas Tech and Oklahoma in bowl games. But, yes, the league as a whole was down because Auburn and Tennessee had such bad years and LSU was average at best.
Karl (Ballinger, Tx)
Chris, How do you think Tennessee will finish in the SEC East next season?
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
I've got the Vols finishing 7-5 overall and 3-5 in the SEC. The swing game is South Carolina at home. If the Vols can win that one, then I think eight wins is possible.
I have heard from ex-alabama players that after talking to coaches, McElroy will probably get the nod in the beginning of the season, and he is like JPW with a bit more of a deep threat. Jackson is the complete package and will start by the end of the year, what do you think
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
I agree. I think it's McElroy's show until something goes wrong. But Jackson is one of those guys who's so talented that it's going to be hard to keep him off the field.
Is there a better matchup than UGA vs. Ok state in the first week?
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
No and props to Georgia for playing such a tough schedule.
Chris, what do you expect from the Auburn Tigers in their first year under Chizik?
Chris Low (2:18 PM)
To me, so much of it depends on how they adapt to Malzahn's spread offense. Is Kodi Burns more comfortable? Does he play with more confidence? I think he will. Tony Franklin never believed in him last season. I think the defense will again be solid. The good thing is that the first part of the SEC schedule in 2009 is very manageable -- Miss. State, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. So Auburn at least gets to feel its way into the teeth of the schedule.
Terry (New Orleans)
Will Shepard overtake Jefferson as starting qb next season for LSU?
Chris Low (2:19 PM)
I think they both will play, although I think Jefferson will open the season as the starter. Everybody I've talked with at LSU, though, says that Shepard is an unbelievable athlete.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
All the Vandy faithful believe that Larry Smith will get the nod for the Dores, but will we continue to see a QB carousel much like we did in the bowl game, with Mack Adams and possibly Funk? Furthermore, how likely is Vandy to sustain or improve upon their success?
Chris Low (2:21 PM)
The Vanderbilt coaches like Smith's ability to throw the ball, and you saw a little bit of that in the bowl game. My guess is that both of those guys will end up playing. The Commodores return 18 starters, so I think it's realistic to think they could win six or seven games again. Bobby Johnson and his staff get as much out of their players as any staff in the SEC.
Schlabach already called Alabama getting beat by Virginia Tech. What's your pick?
Chris Low (2:25 PM)
Schlabach also had Georgia winning the national title last year. Of course, that was one of the few times he's been wrong.
Who do you think will be under the "hot" seat this year if their team isn't successful?
Chris Low (2:26 PM)
Nobody really. I picked Fulmer last year and caught a lot of heat from Tennessee fans. Well, guess what? This year, I'd say it could get dicey for Spurrier if he loses five or six games again. I don't think he'll get canned, but would rather walk away on his own accord.
Who do you see starting at tailback for the Gators in week 1? Will Rainey/Demps simply step in for Harvin as far as the way he was used?
Chris Low (2:28 PM)
I would think Demps, although Moody is going to get a long look this spring with Demps and Rainey both recovering from groin injuries.
Josh (Florence, AL)
So much has been made about Urban Meyer putting it to Lane Kiffin in Gainesville this year. Do you think that Meyer will run up the score? I think he will be capable....
Chris Low (2:29 PM)
Florida beat Tennessee by 39 points in the Swamp two years ago and Tebow was still in the game in the fourth quarter throwing the ball. So, yes, I think Urban might be inclined to tack on a few points this year.
Do you think UGA could be better next year than this past year and do you think it helps them being under the radar, as opposed to last year's lofty expectations?
Chris Low (2:31 PM)
Some of Mark Richt's best success at Georgia has come when the expectations aren't quite as high. I think it hinges on Joe Cox and how well he plays. The Bulldogs have guys around him who can make plays, and it's going to be something to see A.J. Green on one side and Marlon Brown on the other.
Craig (Pensacola, FL)
I see the running back committee at Alabama looking very strong. However, my concern is the offensive line. How do you think they will perform this year?
Chris Low (2:33 PM)
Big question mark. Smith and Caldwell were beasts and Davis was underrated. Mike Johnson is a guy who can move around, but the development of newcomers like Fluker and Carpenter will be key.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
Who will win this year's Julio Jones Award for Impact Freshman?
Chris Low (2:37 PM)
Can I pick five? I'll go with DeAngelo Benton at Auburn (assuming he's cleared), Bobbie Massie at Ole Miss, Russell Shepard at LSU, Stephon GIlmore at South Carolina and Marlon Brown at Georgia.
Askia (West Lafayette, IN)
Chris, I thought the biggest problem for Gerogia last year was a lack of a pass rush. Who should we be looking out for as spring practice comes around to help fill that void
Chris Low (2:39 PM)
They have to find a finisher at defensive end, no question. The problem is that most of those guys will be out or limited in the spring. The Georgia coaches like Justin Houston a lot.
Bob (Starkville MS)
How well do you think Dan Mullen will do his first year as a hc?
Chris Low (2:41 PM)
I thnk it will be a struggle early as everybody gets used to the new offense. Mullen's not going to be hard-headed. He'll fit his system to the talent, but he needs another recruiting class or two to recruit to what he wants to do offensively. But for the Bulldogs to have any chance of a winning season, they have to play much better in the offensive line this year.
Why do you like Ole Miss SEC schedule better than Bama's? Yeah, we have to travel to them this year but if we could win down on the bayou in that kind of atmosphere, we can win on the road anywhere.
Chris Low (2:44 PM)
Mainly because of what you say, Bama has to play at Ole Miss next season. Alao, the Rebels don't have any of what I would call killer SEC games on the road. Their nonconference schedule also is very easy, so there's not that Virginia Tech type of game like Alabama has that could potentially get them off to a slow start.
Mark (Austin, TX)
Chris, your really think Bama is going to beat LSU with a brand new QB and replacing several pieces of the Oline. Did you watch LSU in the Bowl game?
Chris Low (2:45 PM)
I think next year will be one of those seasons where Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss beat up on each other and it will come down to tiebreakers and who avoids Florida. Ole Miss and Alabama don't have to play Florida, and LSU does.
Steven (Atlanta GA)
Hey Chris pick an UPSET special game in the sec this coming season.
Chris Low (2:48 PM)
Arkansas over Georgia the third week of the season.
True or false: Andre Smith was the Tide's most indispensable/valuable player last year?
Chris Low (2:49 PM)
I'd say the Sugar Bowl sort of proved that, but they also struggled against Tulane when he was out.
WHAT U THINK ABOUT DAVID NELSON FROM FLORIDA DOES HE STEP UP AND BECOME A GO TO GUY
Chris Low (2:51 PM)
He was big in the SEC Championship Game and FedEx BCS National Championship Game with a couple of touchdown catches. The Gators need him to keep coming. He's a big target (6-5) and has all kinds of ability.
Chad (Las Vegas)
SEC OPOY is taken in Tebow so who is the DPOY?
Chris Low (2:52 PM)
Eric Berry (in the SEC)
steve (atl GA)
David Nelson doesn't need to be a go to guy, and doesn't posses the skills to standout at Florida. To much talent around him.
Chris Low (2:53 PM)
The coaches at Florida don't feel that way.
DO U THINK ANDRE DEBOSE IS THE NEXT PERCY HARVIN
Chris Low (2:54 PM)
Debose is another guy they can't wait to get on campus. The Gators just seem to breed these explosive playmakers.
Hey Chris, quick question, do you think Bryce Brown will end up at Tenn. (Please say yes.)
Chris Low (2:57 PM)
It depends on what his "advisor" is telling him.
Chris Low (2:58 PM)
I guess Tennessee has as good a chance as any now that it appears Miami may be out.
Caligator82, San Diego
The Gators 09 schedule is the easiest one in years, will that hurt them for a shot at it all?
Chris Low (2:59 PM)
Nope, because they're going to start No. 1. As long as they don't lose, they'll stay at the top. As a one-loss team, they might run into trouble.
Does Trent Richardson steal the job from Ingram sometime this year at Bama, I know Saban uses dual backs, but one will get the bulk of the carries
Chris Low (3:01 PM)
I see an Ingram/Richardson rotation. Upchuch will also be a factor if he gets healthy. Saban loves to pound people with two and three backs.
Dave (tahlequah oklahoma)
How many wins for the Razorbacks this season?
Chris Low (3:01 PM)
Razorbacks are my team to break through in 2009. I'm going with eight wins for Bobby Petrino and crew
Chris, if Stephen Garcia comes around, what are your thoughts on the chances of South Carolina shaking things up in the SEC East this season?
Chris Low (3:03 PM)
They have to play better in the offensive line, which is why Spurrier brough in a new coach (Wolford). At best, I still don't see them being a big factor in the East next season. Getting to eight or nine wins and finally beating Clemson would be a good season for the Gamecocks.
Chad (Las Vegas)
IF Arkansas wins 8 games this year where will Bobby Petrino be coaching next year?
Chris Low (3:04 PM)
At Arkansas unless he wants to fork over a bunch of money. But good one.
Chris since you live in knoxville and are close by to the program. What is the word on the qb situation? I don't think it can be any worse than last year.
Chris Low (3:05 PM)
I hear they will give Crompton every chance to prove that he can get it done in this new system, but I wouldn't count out Coleman.
Chris (ATl GA)
WHAT TEAM IN THE SEC HAS THE BEST SHOT OF BEATING THE GATORS THIS SEASON?
Chris Low (3:06 PM)
LSU on Oct. 10 at Tiger Stadium.
Thomas (Walterboro, SC)
Do you know what school Kwame Geathers sind with today?
Chris Low (3:07 PM)
Eric Berry (Knoxville, TN)
Hey Chris -- give a shout out to fellow Internet-Writer, Brent Hubbs -- Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year.
Chris Low (3:07 PM)
Brent Hubbs rocks!
Jerry (atl GA)
Chris how much potential does true freshman quarterback Aaron Murray of Georgia have? I've heard some reports say the sky is the limit, but I would like to hear your input
Chris Low (3:09 PM)
Extremely athletic with a big arm and a fierce competitior. Not real big, but the kind of guy who always keeps you in a play. Georgia fans will like watching him play.
Chris Low (3:10 PM)
Thanks for the questions. We'll do it again soon.