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 (1:01 PM)
Hope everybody had a great Christmas! Let's talk some football.
Mike (Pittsburgh, PA)
Do you think there is more stress on College Coaches than NFL Coaches because of the constant pressure of recruiting?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
Yes, I think that is a big part of it, because recruiting essentially never ends. It's so unbelievably competitive now on the recruiting trail. That only adds to the pressure.
Good morning. I must say I was a little annoyed with your instand analysis of the Kentucky/Clemson game. You emphasized essentially that Kentucky didn't play as well as they normally do and that is why they didn't win However, I see it differently. I saw a Kentucky team lose to a better ACC team. Your thoughts?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Sorry you were annoyed. I was looking at the game from the Kentucky perspective and my ACC cohort, Heather Dinich, did the same from Clemson's perspective. The Tigers were definitely the better and more talented team and deserved to win. That said, Kentucky didn't play one of its better games.
Chris (Murfreesboro Tn)
Chris, Do you think Urban Meyer retracting and just taking a leave now is because he feared losing recruits and do you thinkgetting beat by Bama had anything to do with this??
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
I'm not going to attempt to try and read Meyer's mind. I do know that he's worried about his health and trying to weigh those concerns and doing what he thinks is best for him and his family against his passion for coaching. Guys like Urban Meyerd don't easily walk away from coaching.
David (Athens, GA)
Chris, what are the chances that if the Georgia defense plays well tonight, Rodney Garner will become the next DC?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
I don't see that happening. If Garner were Richt's guy, I would have thought Richt would have already promoted him.
When does the other shoe drop on the Urban Meyer story?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
I don't what the other shoe might be, but I agree that we haven't heard all there is to this story. Very strange, to say the least.
DALE (Richmond, TX)
Have Jonathon Crompton's hand issues fully healed or do you think will hinder him in the BOWL Game?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
He's better and will definitely play, but hand injuries for a quarterback are never ideal. We'll see how it affects his release.
Bob (New York, NY)
Rich Brooks has made Kentucky a perenial winning football team, Can Joker Phillips take Kentucky to the next step with Kentucky competing for SEC East title?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Brooks has done an excellent job, better than most people realize. For Phillips to take Kentucky to the next step, he's going to have to recruit even better than Brooks, in particular in the offensive and defensive lines. And I thought one of the best things Brooks did was upgrade the talent and depth at Kentucky.
Brett (King of Prussia, PA)
What are the biggest key match-ups in the PSU-LSU game for each side? Clearly our kick coverage needs to vastly improve or Trindon Holliday will tear us apart, but what other match-ups could swing this game one way or the other?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
To me, the biggest matchup is how LSU's offensive line handles Penn State's defensive front. The Tigers gave up an SEC-high 35 sacks this season, and some of that was quarterback Jordan Jefferson holding onto the ball too long at times. But if LSU can't run the ball a little bit against Penn State, I think the Tigers are in trouble.
Dan (Atlanta, GA)
What is the latest you have heard regarding UGA's search for a new defensive coordinator?
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
I still think Richt will make one more run at Kirby Smart after the BCS National Championship Game. From there, I think Todd Grantham of the Dallas Cowboys is a strong candidate as well. He's worked under both Frank Beamer and Nick Saban.
Brock (Helena, Al)
Chris, After a Kentucky loss last night how do you see the rest of the SEC faring in bowl games this season? My thoughts were about 8-2
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
8-2 would certainly be a solid record. I think the teams that have the toughest games are Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn.
What are your thoughts on the game tonight? Can Gerogia control this game and win or do you see an upset by Texas A&M?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
I like Georgia in this game because I think the Bulldogs will be able to run the ball and keep Texas A&M's offense off the field.
How will recruits react to the Urban Meyer story and will he be able to keep ths recruits and get a few more as well. I have heard that he could be assembling one of the greatest classes ever. So this insisted could really hurt him? If you were considering FL, would you still go there?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
This sure doesn't help Florida. I think it's better for them that he's saying he expects to come back at some point now and isn't walking away for good. But you know other schools will be hammering away at recruits and telling them that Meyer's not into it fully anymore and probably won't coach much longer. The Gators' rivals will definitely use this against them.
Is the health of D1 coaches going to become a bigger issue? JoePa and Bowden are anomalies, is this something that schools need to start weighing in on?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Coaches have always had stress to deal with. But now that the salaries are out of control, it's even more pronounced. The expectations are also out of control and everybody wants to win 10 games every year, go to a BCS bowl every couple of years and win conference championships. The math obviously doesn't add up.
How big a door does the coaching situation at Florida open for the rest of the East and which team benefits the most?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
I wouldn't say it's wide open, but it's certainly cracked, especially when you look at all the quality players the Gators are going to lose after this season, including juniors. I think Florida State (in the ACC) along with Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina stand to benefit the most.
Did Jeremy Foley get on the phone with Stoops? If so, did that prompt Meyer to withdraw the resignation?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
I wouldn't go that far. Foley (along with the president) was the one trying to get Meyer to agree to take a leave of absence. But I'd also say that Stoops got the word in some form or fashion that he was going to get a call.
Have you ever covered an SEC story as bizarre as the Meyer saga? I can't remember their ever being a similar situation, its just so weird.
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
I can't think of anything that compares. Even the press conference on Sunday was strange in that Meyer wouldn't answer certain things. To me, the unanswered question that was most alarming was whether or not he'd been advised by doctors to stop coaching.
When putting everything together, did we just witness a very public mid-life crisis from Urban Meyer?
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
That may be a very fair way of putting it. Again, he's got his family tugging at him, his competitive juices, his health concerns, his loyalty to his players and the Florida program and the best way to juggle it all. When you're having severe chest pains on a regular basis, that would make anybody evaluate his or her future. The thing I keep coming back to, though, is what changed in those 12-16 hours after Meyer announced his resignation.
Don (Jefferson City, Missouri)
Do you think we will see an unusual amount of juniors bolt for the NFL draft this year?
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
Yes I do. I think it could be an all-time high.
Chris---I am a long time Gator and proud of Coach Meyer's success but that press conference was a train wreck. Meyer looked absolutely lost. What was the point of even having Tebow or Stamper up there? Why did he not just say "I have health issues that are going to be dealt with and during this period I will take an absence." Coach K at Duke did this and the program in the end remained stable.
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Honestly, I think he's still trying to come to grips with everything. I agree that it was one of the stranger press conferences I've ever witnessed. I've said it repeatedly and I'll say it again: I just hope he does the right thing for him and his family. If he needs to get away for a year, so be it. But don't come back too soon and find yourself in this same position (maybe even worse) this time next year.
As a Bama fan living in Pac-10 country, I get to hear a lot of talk about the PAC-10 being better than the SEC this year (which I of course disagree with). My quick question to you - which conference do you expect to have the better bowl record this year?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
Well, at this point, they're a combined 1-3. USC has the only win. I'd probably say the Pac-10 will have a little better record this year. Looking at the bowl matchups, the SEC has some tough ones coming up.
Don't you think you are getting a little old for this job?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
Probably. Everything is a young man's game these days!
Chris (Orlando (via Memphis))
What do you think of Addazio as the interim? I realize with Strong in Louisville he was the only logical choice but that dude isn't exactly beloved by Gator fans...
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Where else would they go? Maybe McCarney or Heater? The reason Florida fans are down on Addazio is because the Gators weren't nearly as explosive on offense this season. I just don't see what the other options are on an interim basis.
Chip (Geneva, AL)
Should Clemson, who played for the ACC championship, be happy about beating a middle of the road SEC team by only 8 points???
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Given the ACC's recent track record in bowl games, they ought to be thrilled about beating anybody in a bowl game.
AJ (Nashville Tn)
Do think the pressure Kiffin put on Meyer had anything to do with his going off the deep end?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
No. What pressure did Kiffin put on Meyer? The Gators were 12-0 this season before losing to Alabama and had won 22 straight games. They have one of the top-rated recruiting classes in the country. I agree that Tennessee played Florida tough this season in the Swamp, but just because Kiffin has directed verbal jabs at Meyer and accused him of cheating (erroneously, I might add) doesn't mean Kiffin has put any pressure on him. The best way to put pressure on him is to start beating him, and Meyer has never lost to Tennessee.
Mallory Edwards (Spartanburg,SC)
Is next year finally going to be gamecock fans the "wait until next year" year?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
The first thing the Gamecocks need to do is take care of business in their bowl game so they have a little momentum going into the offseason. But, yes, I think it's set up for South Carolina to make a move in the East next year. The young talent in the program is very good, and Garcia should be a year better. I think it comes down to how much they can improve in the offensive line.
J.R. (Little Rock)
With a strong performance in the Liberty Bowl, and if Ryan Mallet is to come back for a second year, and with a potential 18 or 19 starters coming back, do you see the Hogs as a potential top 15-20 team next season?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Yes I do, maybe a top 15 team. Still have to get better on defense. And holding onto Mallett sure isn't a done deal. He's been looking long and hard at all the pros and cons of turning pro. I hope he comes back for his sake and the Hogs' sake.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
It's been a crazy week with all the Meyer stuff and I appreciate the questions. I'll be checking in on the blog later today after the Georgia game. Take care.