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 (1:02 PM)
Greetings to everybody. I'm ready if you are.
Do you see any of the incoming freshman having an impact at Alabama this year?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
Funny you should ask that, because we're doing 5 newcomers to watch next season in the SEC, and there is indeed an Alabama freshman on that list. But, yes, I think several guys could make impacts. Both kicker Cade Foster and punter Jay Williams could end up starting. I see both DeMarcus Milliner and John Fulton playing roles in the secondary along with JUCO newcomer DeQuan Menzie.
What can we expect from georgia this year? who will be the starting quarterback?>
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
I predict the Bulldogs will be better and more consistent than a year ago. The East should be pretty open. I'll go nine wins, counting the bowl game. Aaron Murray is the odds-on favorite to be the starter at QB.
Nick (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
What was the main reason why Florida parted ways with safety Demar Dorsey?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
I don't know about the main reason, but he was charged with a couple of serious crimes when he was younger. Plus, I think he started looking around some at different visits, which didn't sit well with the Gators.
Matt (St Pete)
The Gators just recruited one of the best defensive groups in recent memory after one defensive coordinator left and the new one (edwards) was about to leave. Is this due to Urban Meyer being the best in the biz so it doesnt matter who the D Coordinator is? I cannot see how this happens.
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
I think Meyer has elevated that program to a level where guys want to come no matter who the coordinator is, who the assistants are and what's going on around the program. Florida is the "in school" nationally right now.
David (Athens, Ga)
how do you think Grantham's 3-4 will fare at UGA this year?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
I wonder about having the right kind of defensive linemen or enough of those guys period when you look at everything they lost up front. But the strength of this class is in the defensive line. To be fair, the Bulldogs probably need at least one more class to recruit to the 3-4 before we make any real judgments.
How does John Brantley do this season?
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
I think he'll end up being one of the best two or three quarterbacks in the league. He's a polished passer and can make all the throws. Florida's receivers need to come on to help him, though. Andre Debose should be fun to watch.
Who do you like in the QB competition at Tennessee?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
Had the previous staff stayed, I would have said the freshman, Tyler Bray. But I think with this staff, it will be a little more open. Nick Stephens has far more experience. My bet is that he starts the first game but that Bray also plays some next season. Bray needs to get bigger and stronger.
Cody Rominger (Charlotte NC)
Can you predict some All Americans in the SEC next year?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
Mark Ingram is an easy choice at RB. I'd put Georgia WR A.J. Green up there, too. I think Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower will be an All-American if he's fully recovered from his knee injury. Arkansas' Ryan Mallett should be one of the best returning QBs in the country, and LSU's Patrick Peterson was one of the best CBs I saw last season and he's back. Florida's Mike Pouncey will be one of the top returning OL. Those are just a few.
What happend to UGA in recruiting? We lost some big names at the end and didn't do a good job replacing them. Is this a sign of things to come or was it just an off year?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
I think it was more the uncertainty of things this year with Coach Richt taking a while to get his defensive coordinator, etc. In the case of Da'Rick Rogers, it just sounds like he wanted to go play with his high school buddy. To me, this was more the exception for the Bulldogs than the rule.
What do you think the gators do with matt elam? With the abundance of dbs could they instead try him in the percy type role on offense?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
I'd try him first at safety, because I think he has everything it takes to be an All-America type safety. The Gators are going to need some help there, too, in the next year or so.
Chris (Knoxville, TN)
Barbara Dooley doesn't think that Tennessee can make it past 5 wins in 2010. Do the Vols have the personnel in place to prove her wrong?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
It's hard for me to go against Mrs. Dooley, but 6-6 sounds about right for the Vols next season as the over/under.
Which do you see improving more at Arkansas next season, Ryan Mallett's accuracy or the Arkansas defense?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
For the Hogs' sake, it better be their defense. Mallett will certainly get better his second time through the SEC and has a chance to be the kind of QB who can carry a team next season. But for the Hogs to make a run in the Western Division or make a run at nine or 10 wins, they need that defense to play at a much higher level.
elvis (atlanta, Georgia)
T or F the 3-4 at UGA will increase the chances of early playing time for the freshman. Guys like Garrison Smith and Mike Thornton might have an impact the 1st year.
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
Anybody who can help the Bulldogs up front next season or can get to the passer will get a chance to play -- including true freshmen.
Do you see an open battle for quarterback in Lexington this year with Hartline coming back from injury, or do you think Newton has the green light here on out?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
A lot of that will depend on how healthy Hartline is. Joker Phillips has to find a way to pump some life into that passing game -- period. Newton has some potential, but was just so limited this year when it came to throwing the football. He will be better next season. At this point, I would say it's Newton's job to lose unless Hartline comes back healthy and is appreciably better than Newton.
Chris, Why do the SEC and PAC-10 avoid each other? They both play every other conference, except for each other..... Why? Why no USC, Florida match up?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
They're doing better at scheduling games against each other. LSU played Washington this year. Tennessee has faced UCLA each of the last two years and plays Oregon next year. But, yes, I would love to see more SEC-Pac-10 games in general. Arkansas played USC a few years back and got destroyed. So there have been a few games recently.
Who has the most to prove in the SEC this year?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
I'll go with Alabama in the West. The Crimson Tide will be the most talented team again and will have a chance to be the first team in 12 years in the SEC to repeat as league champion. In the East, I'll go with South Carolina. The Gamecocks have a lot of returning starters. If they're ever going to make a move, this might be it.
Jacob (New York )
Hi Chris. I have noticed you have stuck by your argument of Nick Saban being the best recruiter in the nation but in all fairness, ESPN shows that Alabama under him has not had a number 1 recruitng class. They have consistently has top 5 recruiter classes but so has Urban Meyer. Meyer has had five straight top 5 recruiting classes with Florida including two number one classes. The team also does not lack success either, so please back up your argument of saban being number 1
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
I say that for a couple of reasons. He's now had three straight classes that were ranked in the Top 3 nationally at Alabama and has had very few busts. See Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Julio Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, Barrett Jones, etc. All of those guys were starters and big-time players by the time they were sophomores. Also, look at what he did at LSU. He assembled an NFL pipeline of players there before going to Miami. He won one national title at LSU with players he recruited and recruited 85 percent of the players Miles won one with two years later. I'd say doing that at two different schools in the SEC speaks for itself, although I do believe that Meyer is also one of the best in the business when it comes to recruiting great players.
Meyer talked about this being a rebuilding year for UF, but with a new defensive coordinator, and several staff changes, will it only take one year, or will it be longer for the Gators to win the SEC and the NC again?
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
No, I think one year at the most. There is too much talent on that campus and Meyer is too good a coach for the Gators to go through two years where they aren't national contenders.
Will South Carolina's defense be just as strong next year or will it take a step back without thier leader Norwood?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
They will miss Norwood, but with Paulk returning at LB and Robertson at DL from injuries, I think the Gamecocks will be just as good on defense. Look for Cliff Matthews to take off next season and be that dominant defender that Norwood was. They will be older in the secondary, too, and more experienced, and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson consistently does as good a job as anybody. The Gamecocks have had Top 15 defenses nationally both years he's been there and haven't gotten much help from the offense.
Mike (Daytona Beach)
Where do you see Powell on Florida's D. Does he play linebacker or should he get into the line rotation immediately?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
I think he's a defensive end all the way, an ultra-quick pass-rusher in the Jermaine Cunningham mold.
Kalon (Florence, AL)
Low, is you job so strenuous that you can't type a single article all weekend? There is plenty of breaking news, and you can't take five minutes of your time to sit on the couch and type an article for us to chat about over the weekend?Thanks!!!
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
I'll pick up the pace. LOL
Do you expect coach Dooley to be able to compete with top recruits year in and year out at Tennessee?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
In a short period of time, he did a nice job this year of coming in and getting top-rated players like Rogers, Hunter and Stone.
Marcus (Pensacola, Fl)
what do you expect from Mississippi state in year 2 under coach mullen?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
The most realistic goal is a bowl game. The Bulldogs were close to seven wins last year if they get a few breaks. Replacing Dixon will be tough, but getting to six or seven wins and going to a bowl is a fair expectation.
Any chance Arkansas knocks off Alabama in Fayetville early next season?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Not ready to predict that upset just yet, but that should be one of the must-see games in the West next season.
Will LSU's offense be better next season? How good is Jordan Jefferson? Thank you!
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
I can't imagine it being much worse. I think Jefferson is better than what he showed last season. He had the ankle that plagued him. If healthy, you'll see a better QB next season. He still needs to get rid of the ball quicker, and his offensive line needs to help him. But in his second full season as a starter, I think he takes big strides.
Do you have any word on Kerry Murphy at Alabama, could he step in for Cody next year and bring more of a disruptive presence? I like Chapman but hope Murphy has developed since hoover
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Murphy will be in the rotation next season. He's got a big upside.
What do you expect from Auburn next year?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
If Newton is the kind of fit I think he will be in that offense and they can establish some more depth on offense, the Tigers could be the breakout team in the league next season. Lot of momentum in the program right now. They won eight this season. Can they get to nine or 10 next? We'll see.
Will (Macon ga)
Who do you predict to win the East next year?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
I'm still going with Florida, although I could see a situation where just about everybody in the East has two losses.
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. See you guys next week!