Chat with Chris Low
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Welcome from sunny California. The weather has been gorgeous. Let's hope we get that kind of game on Thursday.
Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)
Chris, I know you are the SEC blogger, but do you feel that BSU should finish above Florida for #2 in the final polls? They beat two top-10 teams this year that went to BCS bowls and were conference champions. With how good that the MWC has done in bowl games, BSU's victory over TCU looks even better. Any chance that BSU jumps Florida as the only other undefeated team in the country?
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
Right now, it would be a dead heat for me. If Alabama goes out and pounds Texas, I'd probably put Florida No. 2. If it's a close game, I'd have to think long and hard about putting Boise State No. 2. I do believe that Boise State will start next season ranked among the top three or four teams in the country.
What's your read on the UGA DC position? Kirby Smart hasn't denied interest in the job yet but to me he seems like a long shot. Is Todd Grantham, the Cowboy's DL coach, the leader in the clubhouse? Richt has kept everything so close to the vest that the situation seems hard to read.
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
My read is that if Georgia comes after Smart hard (with a lot of money and does it the right way) that he will listen. I believe Richt will make one more play for him. If it's not Smart, I think it will be Grantham, who's been on Richt's radar the whole time.
Other websites are posting Auburn's recruiting class at #4. I guess ESPN's isn't updated yet from the addition of QB Cameron Newton. What do you think of Chizik's recruiting? I for one am shocked and extremely pleased.
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Honestly, I'm not surprised because coach Chizik hired an excellent recruiting staff.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
I noticed that after Tennessee had gotten tromped by VA Tech, Lane Kiffin did shake hands with Frank Beamer but was abrupt and didn't say anything. Probably I'm reading too much in to it but that seemed to me to be a continuation of Kiffin's rudeness, offensive behavior, and in-your-face style which is bound to fail. Your take?
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
I would say that your take is pretty well dead on. I, too, thought coach Kiffin was a bit immature after that game. Between the lines and on the recruiting trail, I thought he did pretty well his first season. It's everything else that he needs to tighten up on.
John (Bedford, MA)
What is your analysis of the play between Penn State and LSU in the Cap One Bowl?
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
That Penn State made just enough plays to win on offense, that LSU is a train wreck on offense and that the only thing worse than LSU's offense was that mockery of a field.
Sara (Raleigh, NC)
Chirs -- Has anything you've heard or seen in CA changed your assessment of the game?
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
No, not really. It's pretty obvious that the Texas players are eating up being the underdog. I'm not sure that really matters once you're 5-10 minutes into the game.
Why did you not post a Sugar Bowl analysis?
Chris Low (2:14 PM)
My ESPN cohort, Brian Bennett, was there, and he did the analysis.
I'm surprised you'd give Boise credit for the win against TCU. That was the worst bowl game: neither team was prepared or ready to play. I'd drop BSU not raise them and do even worse to TCU.
Chris Low (2:16 PM)
Well, do you penalize Florida for Cincinnati being so bad in the Sugar Bowl? Listen, Boise State deserves some props. Whether they finish 2nd or 3rd in the final poll, Chris Petersen really has it going on there right now, and watch them next year, too. They're going to be just as good.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Mr. Low: What grade would you give the SEC for their bowl appearances thus far? Seems like the Big Ten caught up to them at least for this bowl season.
Chris Low (2:18 PM)
I'd say about a C right now. Florida was extremely impressive. Georgia played one of its better halves of the season in the second half. Other than that, it's been a pretty so-so run for the SEC in bowls. South Carolina and Tennessee were terrible. Auburn and Arkansas were both fortunate to win. Even Ole Miss had its struggles with all the turnovers, but I thought Tyrone Nix's defense was excellent in that game.
Mark (West Columbia SC)
How much longer will Spurrier remain in Columbia?
Chris Low (2:19 PM)
I wouldn't think much past next season, especially given how awful the Gamecocks were on offense in their bowl game. He's said 66 is about as long as he wants to go, and he turns 65 next spring.
Any news on anymore of the Gator juniors entering the draft other than Haden? Pouncey twins, Dunlap, Wright, Black
Chris Low (2:23 PM)
I think Hernandez and Dunlap are both definitely gone. Maurkice Pouncey is leaning that way, which means Mike may also come out. I've heard Black may even come out, too. Why? I'm not sure.
Other than Florida who is a run first team has Bama faced anther spread team this year? If not do they match up well with that?
Chris Low (2:25 PM)
Auburn runs a version of the spread and leans heavily on the run (Ben State). Mississippi State runs a version of the spread with Dan Mullen and had the league's top rusher in yards per game (Anthony Dixon. Bama's defense is good enough and fast enough that they match up well with any offense.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
What SEC team is going to be annoited by the media to play in next years BcS Championship game?
Chris Low (2:27 PM)
Probably the team that anoints itself the winner of the SEC championship game. That's the way it's been going.
Chris, I see alot of comments like those of Emanuel and I think it's the FEAR from the AQ team fans and rightfully so, the Broncos are ready to challenge the BCS next year, don't you agree?
Chris Low (2:28 PM)
They will get a Top 5 vote from me, maybe a Top 3.
Tim (Memphis, TN)
What's the stadium going to look like on game night? More AL fans or TX fans from what you have observed?
Chris Low (2:29 PM)
I would think about half and half. I've seen a lot of Alabama fans, but I'm staying about an hour away from the Rose Bowl in Newport Beach, Calif.
Barrett (Memphis, TN)
Has Dexter McCluster's stock skyrocketed after this season or what? Will the success of Chris Johnson affect how soon he gets taken?
Chris Low (2:30 PM)
It absolutely has, and I've heard him compared to Johnson by more than one NFL scout. I would think there's definitely a place for McCluster and that speed somewhere in the NFL.
This is a totally irrelevant "what if," but what if Hightower doesn't go down earlier this year? Is there any way we don't win it all? Looking forward, do you think he's capable of stepping in to fill McClain's shoes when, not if, he declares?
Chris Low (2:32 PM)
Saban thought Hightower was the best high school LB in the country when he signed him. McClain is a special player and so knowledgeable about that defense, but Hightower might be physically even better and said Tuesday he was ahead of schedule in his rehab.
Even with all the likely departures from Florida, you still have to peg them as favorites in the east, right? Sure it's wide open on paper, but I can't really see anyone else making a run at them, especially with the way Meyer recruits.
Chris Low (2:33 PM)
Florida's still the favorite, but it's as wide open as the East has been since Meyer's first season (2005).
With a lack luster performance coming from Mallet and the hog offense, does it affect your opinion of Mallet's Draft prospects?
Chris Low (2:35 PM)
Mallett wasn't very good at all in the bowl game. I've always thought he should come back. As talented as he is, I just don't think he's ready for the NFL. Everything I hear says he's strongly considering it and would like to come out, although his family is advising him against. We'll see how that all shakes out.
Do you see Oklahoma competing for the National championship next year?
Chris Low (2:36 PM)
No, not the national title, but I do think the Sooners will be a Top 10 team again.
Robert (Cedar Rapids IA)
Does the Big Ten get 3 teams in the final top 10?
Chris Low (2:37 PM)
Ohio State and Iowa. Penn State might be iffy.
Could Les Miles be in the hot seat next year with another non BCS bowl and poor clock management?
Chris Low (2:39 PM)
Yes he could. The LSU fans are really down on Miles right now because some of these same things are continuing to happen. The defense was much better under Chavis this season, but he's got to get that offense fixed.
Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)
If we take for a given that the winner of the SEC Championship game goes to the NC game (which has been the case the last few years), does BSU play against them if they go undefeated again next year? With a single one point loss over three years, multiple victories over conference champions (Oregon, TCU and maybe either Va Tech or Oregon State), you'd have to think they'd be hard to deny right?
Chris Low (2:41 PM)
From where I sit -- yes. Boise has done everything it can do to prove that it deserves to be in the national title hunt.
Any word on Florida's DC position?
Chris Low (2:42 PM)
I think it will end up being Chuck Heater, who will be promoted from co-defensive coordinator to the top guy.
Tom (Austin, TX)
Long time Bama fan in the heart of Longhorn country. Chris, have you ever seen two NC teams more respectful of their opponent before the game? You can sure tell that Saban and Brown have both been to this rodeo before.
Chris Low (2:43 PM)
Almost too respectful. It's been sort of odd seeing everybody play so nice after Oklahoma and Florida went after each pre-game a year ago. I do believe that Saban and Brown have a deep respect for each other.
Erik Reece (Ga.)
Alabama will win! The question is will this be largest margin of victory ever in a National Championship game?
Chris Low (2:46 PM)
No, not unless Alabama wins by 37 points. USC beat Oklahoma 55-19 to win the 2004 BCS national championship game.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Even with 1 loss you see the SEC Champ getting in over an undefeated Boise, undefeated TCU/Utah, 1 loss Ohio St, 1 loss Pac 10 Champ, etc...?
Chris Low (2:48 PM)
Depends on the situation. Who was the loss to? When did it occur? How did the one-loss SEC team play down the stretch and who did they beat down the stretch?
Tim (Huntsville, AL)
As a 92 Bama Grad I see a lot of similarities between the 92 defense and this year?s defense...what do you think?
Chris Low (2:50 PM)
The main similarity is that they both are/were outstanding. I can still see Copeland and Curry coming off the edge in that Sugar Bowl. That 1992 defense is considered one of the best in school history. If Alabama wins this game and shuts down Texas, I'd think this defense would have to be right up there.
GG Allin (Manchester, NH)
Les Miles on the hot seat???? You're insane.
Chris Low (2:51 PM)
Only if he has another so-so season next year.
How many players will follow Matt Elam and decomitt from Florida? What will the effects be and how many will committ to my Noles?
Chris Low (2:52 PM)
I hear Elam is thinking about Florida again. That one will be a battle until the very end.
who is your preseason top five? Why does texas view themselves an "underdog"? I don't think a 4 point spread is an underdog in the sense of "David"...I am an Alabama fan and the SECCG was an anamoly, Bama didn't play like that in one game all year long...I still think we win, I just don't understand the media's "David vs. Goliath". Texas' game against Nebreska was like Bama's, an anamoly. That was their worst game all year.
Chris Low (2:54 PM)
My preseason top 5 for next year would be 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Boise State 4. Oregon 5. Texas
Donwick (Blacksburg, VA)
VT beat Tennessee big in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. I think VT was much a better team compared to the one playing against Alabama in September. Do you think VT would stand a chance against Alabama or Florida should VT play them instead of Tennessee?
Chris Low (2:55 PM)
I would have Virginia Tech No. 6 or No. 7 in the country next year preseason. Tech was right there with Alabama this season until the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter.
Scott (Fayetteville, AR)
tell me about Steve Caldwell...Hogs just hired to be our Dline coach
Chris Low (2:57 PM)
Very good recruiter, an underrated recruiter when he was at Tennessee. He has strong ties in that state and helped to develop some very good defensive ends at Tennessee - Shaun Ellis, Robert Ayers, Will Overstreet, Parys Harelson
Nice job avoiding the Stoops question
Chris Low (2:59 PM)
Not avoiding it. My take is that type of stuff is overrated. Nobody's as anal about finding edges as Saban. But honestly, Stoops hasn't done that well agaisnt Texas recently.
Where do you have Nebraska in your preseason rankings?
Chris Low (3:00 PM)
Around 8 to 10.
elvis (atlanta, Georgia)
What team in the SECE has the least question marks 2010? Yes, this is a loaded question from a UGA fan
Chris Low (3:01 PM)
I'll play along ... Georgia? Of course, the big question is who's going to be QB. Losing Curran will also hurt if he turns pro.
It baffles me that most (including you) are so quick to annoint 'Bama as the best team this year due to their impressive performance against Florida. Do you not remember the struggles against Tennessee and Auburn - both 7-5 teams??? They played one impressive game all year - and just b/c it's the last one, everyone wants to forgive and forget the lackluster performances from before.
Chris Low (3:03 PM)
OK, who is the best team then? We all know it comes down to one game, and we're going to find out Thursday who is the best team. But to say Bama played one impressive game all year is just not right. What about Virginia Tech? What about Ole Miss? What about LSU? And the fact that they beat Florida the way they did should count for something. Again, we'll find out Thursday who's right and who's wrong.
Chris Low (3:05 PM)
As always, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to what should be a terrific game. Both schools have a lot to be proud of. The players on both teams have been classy all week, and these are two coaches going up against each other that are locks for the Hall of Fame. Enjoy!