Chat with Chris Low
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC blogger Chris Low will stop by to talk some college football.
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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chris Low (1:00 PM)
No more drama in the SEC for a few weeks. The title game is set. Let's chat.
Phil (Tuscaloosa, Al)
How impressive is Javier Arenas this year? He is playing HUGE every game.
Chris Low (1:01 PM)
He is the perfect cornerback in Saban's system. He's tough, can blitz, isn't afraid to mix it up and is one of the surest tacklers in the league. He's playing lights out right now and is coming off a pretty painful rib injury several weeks ago.
Can Mullen do the impossible and lead Miss State to a bowl game
Chris Low (1:03 PM)
If he does, he would get my consideration for coach of the year honors in the SEC. That offense is dramatically better, and the Bulldogs have been really close this year (LSU, Houston, even Florida) to pulling off some huge wins. Maybe they still have one in them.
RAY GORDON REID ( BIRMINGHAM ALA 35203)
QUESTION TO CHRIS LOW AT 1.20 HI CHRIS HOW MANY SEC TEAMS INBOWL GAMES
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
I would say the SEC would fill all of its slots this year. That means two will go to the BCS (Alabama and Florida) and then eight more going to the other bowls the SEC has ties with. So that's 10 total.
Can you think of a scenario where the SEC does not have two teams in BCS Bowls (realistically, of course)?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
No, I can't. I guess if Alabama were to lose to Miss. State and Auburn, it could happen. But I don't think that's going to happen. I think in looking at the BCS standings at this point that Alabama and/or Florida could still lose in the regular season and then come back and beat the other in the SEC title game and still be in decent shape to play in the BCS title game. I think a one-loss SEC champion might get enough pop in the SEC title game to jump past an unbeaten Cincinnat, TCU or Boise State.
Sam (Homewood, AL)
Now with Bama and Florida playing in the SEC championship game, do you think the Tide's defense has improved from last year to stop Florida's offense weapons? Tim Tebow and Aaron Hernandez are a real danger to any defense, but can playmakers like Terrence Cody and Rolando McClain disrupt them and the rest of the Gators line up?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
I Alabama's good enough on defense to stop anybody in the country. The Tide played well enough to win last year on defense. Tim Tebow just made some unbelievable throws in the fourth quarter into really tight spots. The Gators won without Percy Harvin, too, who was hurt. I think this year's game will be even more of a defensive game, though, very similar to what we saw in the Alabama-LSU game last week.
Jim (Trumbull CT)
Hey Chris, If Florida wins the NC, do you see Meyer going to ND?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
That would be an emphatic no. Meyer's staying right where he is.
Do you honestly believe Tennessee is the 4th best team in the SEC? Better than Auburn who is 6-3 and beat UT?
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
Yes, right now I do. It's close, though. But Tennessee is playing better football right now with its win over South Carolina and taking Alabama to the last second in Tuscaloosa. It will all shake out.
Randy (Nashville, TN)
I can respect what Mullen has done at State, but Crompton alone should make Kiffin a shoe in for COY. Any idea which RBs make 1st team All SEC. 2 of them are going to get the shaft.
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Picking the first-team running backs this season is going to be impossible. Right now, I'd go with Mark Ingram and Anthony Dixon. But there are still some games left, so we'll see. Tate and Hardesty have also had great years.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Chris, besides the "powers," which SEC team do you see finishing out the strongest?
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
I think the winner of Saturday's Ole Miss-Tennessee game is a good candidate. Watch Arkansas, too.
Why have replay officials if the calls are never going to be overturned?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
A fair question. But here's the deal on that: If you're sitting in that replay booth and have any doubt or can't tell for sure or think the camera angle is cutting of a toe, foot, etc., you can't overturn a call that's made on the field. That's the way the system is set up. I agree there have been a couple of calls this year that appear to be conclusive on video that weren't overturned. But it gets back to what your definition of indisputable video evidence really is.
Lets say one of two or both of these scenarios occur.....Alabama loses @ Miss St on Saturday and/or Florida loses @ South Carolina, but then go on to win the SEC Championship.......Would that one loss team be in the BCS Championship?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
I think the best chance for a one-loss SEC champion to make the BCS National Championship Game is to win in the SEC title game against a previously unbeaten team. In other words, if Alabama loses one of these next couple of games, the Tide probably needs Florida to be unbeaten in the SEC title game to gain enough pop with the pollsters to move back high enough and get one of those top two spots in the final BCS standings. The same with Florida if the Gators should lose to South Carolina. They would then need to hope that Alabama is sitting there unbeaten in the SEC title game.
How do you think Cinci or Boise St would do if they were in the SEC?
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
In some years, I could see them having a 6-2 type of season in the league, and in others, I could see them going 4-4 ... or worse. That's the thing about the SEC. Every week is a grind. But in a one-game situation (very similar to what Utah did to Alabama last year), I could definitely see Cincinnati, Boise State or TCU beating one of the top SEC teams.
Casey (Santa Clarita, CA)
I think Florida's defense is alot better than Alabama's most of the oppostions points have come from the Gator offense. Your thoughts?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
I don't know about a lot better. Both defenses are outstanding. Looking at the common opponents they've played, it's pretty close. Arkansas moved the ball some on Florida, but didn't do anything much against Alabama. LSU didn't score a touchdown against Florida, but scored two against Alabama. I can see it both ways.
Chris - Come on, Ciny or Boise would be consistently in the top half of the SEC. Aside from Bama, Florida and LSU, the SEC is merely average year in and year out.
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
You must be watching a different conference than me. Plus, I said that Cincinnati and Boise State would have some years where they were 6-2, which would put them in the top half. Sometimes they might be closer to the middle, though, if they had to play an SEC schedule every year.
Would you rather have Ingram on your team, or CJ Spiller?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
Great question. I'll cop out and say I'd rather have Ingram on first down, in short yardage situations and down near the goal line and would rather have Spiller on third down, in two-minute situations and in any situation where I needed a quick strike. They're both unbelievable players, but have different styles.
Saam (Los Angeles, CA)
Does a scholarship athlete have to pay for his own way during his redshirt year or is it covered by the scholarship? I heard that the scholarship is only good for 4 years.
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
No, an athlete is covered if he or she redshirts. You have five years to play four when you're on scholarship.
Which games do you see UGA winning in their remaining schedule, and why?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
I think the Dogs win this weekend at home against Auburn, mostly because I don't think either team will be able to stop the other and A.J. Green will be the difference for Georgia. I think the Dogs will also win against Kentucky,lose to Georgia Tech and finish up 7-5.
Your call on the LSU/Bama interception call. Bad Call? I think so. Everyone says even if LSU got it they wouldn't win. Hard to say. They only needed 7 points to get ahead. It only takes one play (like the one from Julio) to accomplish it. It's sad to see games come down to this.
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
I thought it was an interception when I saw it live and it also "appeared" to be one when watching the replay. It would have given the Tigers a chance to come back and win, but I'm not sure what the chances are that Jarrett Lee leads them down the field for a touchdown. LSU only had 9 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter. Like you, though, I hate to see so many questionable calls in all these games.
Did LSU deserve to be moved up a spot in the BCS after a loss? What do you make of Oregon being ranked below USC and Ohio State ranked above USC?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
Welcome to the wonderful world of the BCS.
James (Fort Worth)
say a freak accident occurs and Texas and cinci lose leaving TCU a shot at the NC..If TCU were to play Florida or Alabama, how do you think their offenses would do against TCUs defense?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Not very well. I've seen TCU play defense, and they're the real deal. That game might be something like 13-10.
Will (Washington DC)
I just dont know who is going to show up for my Rebels on Saturday against Tennessee. I think you need to cut them some slack Chris. If we win out and then win the bowl game we will be 10-3. Isnt that still positive? When was the last time we had a 9 win season backed up with a 10 win season?
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
The complexion of this season can change dramatically for the Rebels if they win out and get to nine or 10 wins. But they've been a disappointment so far and haven't beaten anybody that counts. The defense has played well most of the season. It's the offense that has been hard to figure.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Chris, I enjoy your blog. Are there any SEC coordinators in prime position for a head coaching job next year?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
I would hope that somebody would finally give Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong a shot. Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix is somebody I'd look at as well as Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain. I think down the road that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is going to get a shot somewhere. Somebody may come after Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, too.
Carl (Mobile, AL)
Chris, some Bama fans including myself think that Trent Richardson is actually ahead of Ingram talent wise...do you agree at all?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
I've heard that as well from some Alabama fans. I like Richardson a lot. He has huge upside. But who would you take right now? Ingram is the best runner after contact in the country.
Do you think Lane Kiffin will turn Tennessee into a powerhouse team, like they were in the 90's?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
I think Kiffin is on his way to getting Tennessee back to elite status in the SEC. I think we'll know by his third season in Knoxville. I don't think, however, that you'll ever see Tennessee get all the way back to that level the Vols were at in the 1990s when they were 45-5 from 1995-98, won two SEC titles and a national title.
ben (fayetteville arkansas)
hey Chris what do you think about Arkansas winning out? Also what do you think about Ryan Mallett and the Hog's next year SEC champ's?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
Here's a better question: Does Mallett win first-team All-SEC honors at quarterback over Tim Tebow, who ends up at the Heisman ceremony Mallett's numbers are better. I do think the Hogs will challenge in the West next year.
Hey Chris--Any shot UGA lures Kirby Smart to come to Athens as DC??? Assuming, they let Willie Martinez go.
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
I don't think Smart has any interest in moving right now. He's content right where he is.
Of the three new coaches this year who would you say has had the best season?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
That's a tough one. All three have done a good job. I'll wait and answer that after the bowl season.
Two questions. As a fellow Knoxviller, what is your favorite local place to grab dinner? What do you think has been the key to Jonathan Crompton's comeback as a relevant SEC QB?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Lakeside Tavern and I'd say the faith and confidence that Lane Kiffin showed in Crompton during the early part of the season has really paid off. The Vols have also been smart in what they've asked Crompton to do. Here's the other thing: He players around Crompton have played much better the last month, too.
Ive seen some rumors about Phillip Fulmer coaching Memphis next year. What do you think about this?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
I don't think Fulmer has any interest in the Memphis job. That's one of the toughest jobs in America.
Who is your SEC coach of the year so far?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
I would go with Saban at this point. Losing all the key players the Tide did last year, not a lot of people expected Alabama to be sitting here unbeaten and No. 2 in the BCS at this point.
Saam (Los Angeles, CA)
What about players who stayed for 6 years like Jeff Byers and Josh Pinkard of USC? Did they have to pay for their 6th year?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
If the NCAA grants them a sixth year of eligibility, they're able to stay on scholarship.
David (Athens, GA)
Chris, a win on Saturday is bigger for Auburn or Georgia?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
I would say Georgia. If the Bulldogs lose that one at home, I think it really gets ugly (uglier) in Athens.
Mark (South Carolina)
Is it time for the Ole ball coach to go?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
I'm not ready to see him go, and I hope the South Carolina fans will be patient. There's a lot of young talent in the program. I would like to see him call all of the plays, though.
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Once again, it was a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see who can stay unbeaten and if there are still four or five teams unbeaten when it comes time for those final BCS standings. Have a great week.