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 noon ET!
Chris Low (12:01 PM)
Counting down the days to preseason practice ...
BamaFan (Outraged Alabama)
How did Mark Ingram (and his Heisman) not get a Unanimous selection to the All SEC team? Why is this reaction "muted" relative to the Tebow "snub" of last year?
Chris Low (12:05 PM)
If you noticed, the SEC didn't note anything about unanimous selections as it pertained to the coaches' ballots this year. That wasn't coincidental, either, after all the uproar a year ago surrounding Spurrier not having Tebow first team. I guess you're talking about the media's picks this year. And, yes, I agree with you. Whoever didn't have Ingram on their first-team ballot probably ought to be banned from voting again ... or at least forced to spend a day on the turkey farm with Robbie Caldwell.
Kevin (Fort Lauderdale)
how would you rank the top 5 or 6 o-lines in the conference this year?
Chris Low (12:08 PM)
I actually did that last week and my top five was: 1. Florida, 2. Alabama, 3. Georgia, 4. Auburn, 5. Arkansas.
Jon (Little Rock, AR)
Chris, give me the team, other than UF and Bama, that has the best chance to win the SEC.
Chris Low (12:10 PM)
I'll give you one in each division: Arkansas in the West and Georgia in the East. Both teams have huge Septembers and actually face each other in Athens the third week of the season. Watch out for the winner of that game.
Will (Metairie, LA)
How well do you think DTs like Brockers, Nevis, and Levingston can clog up the middle to free up ends like Montgomery, Aghayere, Mingo, and Adams (JUCO transfer) to rush the QB?
Chris Low (12:12 PM)
I think the Tigers will be fine in the interior of their defensive line this season. Nevis, to me, is the second best tackle in the league behind Jerrell Powe. Finding some finishers on the outside is the key, which is where Montgomery and some of those other guys come in. LSU was tied for eighth last season in the SEC in sacks and needs to finish more plays back there this season.
If Masoli does some to Oxford, does that give them a chance to be a dark horse in the West this year?
Chris Low (12:15 PM)
My opinion is that there's more risk than reward for the Rebels in bringing Masoli aboard, but Houston Nutt has to make that call. Plus, even if Ole Miss does take him, he's going to have to beat out Nathan Stanley, who ended the spring as the starter. Either way, I could see chemistry problems.
Trevor G. (Knoxville)
We all know that Tennessee will be having a pretty rough season coming up and that the first half of the season could prove disastrous but i want to know who you think needs to show up the most for the Vols in the later stretch and who would benefit from a breakout season this season to help the Vols chances in the up coming years.
Chris Low (12:17 PM)
Primarly the younger guys, the players who will be the backbone of the team in 2011 and 2012. I would say freshmen like Corey Miller, Ja'Wuan James, Tyler Bray and Da'Rick Rogers and then sophomores like Montori Hughes, Janzen Jackson and Marlon Walls need to be leaders.
Gatorpike - C-Los (Miami)
Hey Chris, great job on SEC ! I just wanted to know, out of all the coaches and the players that you saw/talked to on SEC media week, did any of them give you a sense of confidence and ready to play football over any other coach/player combo? Thanks ! Go Gators!
Chris Low (12:19 PM)
Your Gators seem to be raring to go and are relishing the fact that everybody seems to be forgetting about them in the national picture. There was also a real air of confidence surrounding Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and his players. They aren't running away from the expectations. That's for sure.
Jon (Little Rock, AR)
Chris, now that Marcel Dareus could be out for Bama's visit to Fayetteville, how much do you think that improves the hogs' chances against the Tide?
Chris Low (12:21 PM)
Even before the issue with Dareus arose, I felt Arkansas had a chance to win that game, especially given how inexperienced Alabama is in the secondary. I wouldn't rule Dareus out of that game just yet, though. Let's see what Alabama and the NCAA find.
Chris, I noticed there was not mention last week of DE Chris Martin transferring from California to the Gators. I understand you were usy with media days last, week but what do you think of this pick up? Also although he will sit out a year because he had already enrolled in this Cal summer classes, does he still count towards Florida's ridiculous recruiting class?
Chris Low (12:27 PM)
Another great addition for the Gators, who are stockpiling those kind of guys on defense. He will have to sit out this season, but to throw him in there with talents like Powell, Floyd and Easley in 2011 almost seems unfair. I wouldn't look forward to blocking the Gators in 2011 and 2012.
shane (Louisville, KY)
how upset, if at all, are Vol fans about Randall Cobb getting out of state?
Chris Low (12:29 PM)
I would say "very." The Vols could use a playmaker like Cobb in the worst way, and he grew up about 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. Phillip Fulmer and his staff at the time didn't do a very good job of recruiting Cobb and got in on him too late.
Matt (Columbia, SC)
Hey Chris, you still seem to be giving georgia a better shot at challenging florida in the east than south carolina. Georgia seems to be dealing with a ton of issues while the buzz here on campus in columbia is that my gamecocks have the best depth and attitude this school as ever had. So what are the chances the gamecocks finish first or second in the east? Thanks Chris.
Chris Low (12:31 PM)
I don't think there's much of a gap between Georgia and South Carolina. It could go either way, and it's probably going to come down to that game in Columbia the second week of the season. But the reason I like Georgia a little better right now is that the Bulldogs are much better in the offensive line, have the best playmaker in the league in A.J. Green, and I'm not sure how it's going to play out at quarterback for South Carolina with the whole Garcia/Spurrier deal.
Andrew (Jonesboro, AR)
Talk about the coach in the SEC you don't believe will be here next year
Chris Low (12:34 PM)
I'd say the guy who most needs a big season to quiet the critics and restore the fans' confidence in him is LSU's Les Miles. I'm not saying he's going to lose his job if the Tigers go 8-4, but it would make things dicey for him. And anything less than an 8-4 season would really put him in trouble.
Beau (New Orleans)
Patrick Peterson was arguably the best CB in the SEC last year, even the nation. Mark Barron wasn't even the best CB on his TEAM last year. Why were more media members giving Barron their first team nod than Peterson??
Chris Low (12:36 PM)
I can't speak for most media members. I can speak only for this media member, and Peterson is the best defensive back in the SEC - period. I also think he's the best cornerback in the country and will prove it this season. A.J. Green says Peterson is the best corner he's ever faced.
Why do you rate UF defensive line middle of the pack today? Don't you think Floyd/Easley/Powell are going to make a big impact this year?
Chris Low (12:38 PM)
I do think they will, although it's probably unfair to expect them to be stars as freshmen. Now this time next year, you'll probably see the Gators near the top. I've got them fifth, and there's not much difference between the third, fourth and fifth-ranked defensive lines.
Brandon (Atlanta, GA)
Chris do you really think we (Auburn Tigers) have a chance winning at Alabama this season? Why/why not?
Chris Low (12:41 PM)
Sure, the Tigers had Alabama down two touchdowns a year ago with the Tide playing for their national championship lives. I realize that game was at Auburn, but the Tigers will again have an extra week to prepare and should be deeper this year, meaning they won't be as worn down late in the season. A lot rides on Cam Newton and how well he plays this season. It helps that Auburn has four veteran offensive linemen returning.
Andrew (Tampa, FL)
Chris, we all know how talented Alabama is...yet no one is bringing up the fact they play 6 teams that come off bye weeks. Barely scraping by some games last year and w/ the West being more competitive this year AND Alabama facing a stretch @Arkansas, Florida, @SoCar...can they really survive to win the West? Even then surely a repeat National Title is out of reach...
Chris Low (12:45 PM)
They're my favorite to win the West again, although I think they will have at least one loss this season. The West is a lot like the East used to be back in the 1990s, probably even deeper. Ultimtely, though, I think the Tide will be too strong on offense for anybody to unseat them, and even though they lost a lot of good players on defense, they're still talented on 'D' and will get better and better as this season goes on.
I think that Georgia may finally have a play-making secondary. Rambo, Hamilton, and Ogletree used in rotation at the safety positions and Boykin, Cuff, and Smith as the corners. How do you think the secondary stacks up?
Chris Low (12:46 PM)
Yep, they really like what Hamilton brought to the mix this spring. I can tell you that one of Todd Grantham's goals is to create more turnovers, and he thinks they have the hitters/playmakers back there to do that. The one concern is that they're probably one cornerback short back there.
Zach (Manatee, Fl)
Hey Chris, What do you make of Saban's comments about agents as "Pimps". Agree or Disagree? I liked that Meyer set the record straight it wasn't him. lol
Chris Low (12:51 PM)
When Saban is peeved about something or feels like his program and/or players are being wronged, he's not adverse to telling you exactly the way he feels. Honestly, I think it's one of the reasons he's such a good recruiter.
Josh (Tanglewood, Georgia)
Chris, I thought it was funny to hear UT fans jump all over your back about "Bar Knoxville-gate", even though you reported facts responsibly and fairly. But where is the story now? Why hasn't Da'Rick been punished? Have there been anymore arrests? How about the cop with head injuries?
Chris Low (12:55 PM)
The Knoxville police are still investigating, and at this point, there may not be any more arrests. There are several different accounts of what happened, who started it, etc., and I'm not sure if the cop ever saw who hit him. As for Rogers, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and is being punished internally. The whole thing was embarrassing for Tennessee's program, in particular that the players didn't use better judgment and even put themselves in that position. But from a legal standpoint, I'm not sure anything else is going to happen.
Is this the year Justin Houston lives up to his potential? Really like him as an OLB in the 3-4.
Chris Low (12:57 PM)
So does first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Grantham thanks Houston is best suited to play OLB in a 3-4.
Paul (Asheville, North Carolina)
If Aaron Murray has a better year than John Brantley, how far can Georgia go?
Chris Low (12:58 PM)
To the SEC championship game. In fact, if Murray is just steady, I think Georgia has a chance to be a 10-win team and challenge the Gators in the East.
Chris, to answer a few previous questions about the odd voting at Media Days, I understand they allowed a lot more people to vote this year, and most of the new voters were somewhat random bloggers. And most of them were based in Alabama. Might explain some of the "irregularities", like Julio Jones being named 2nd team return specialist, despite the fact he returned all of 8 kicks last season.
Chris Low (1:00 PM)
I would say you're dead on. It also explains how somebody apparently broke into the registration room and swiped all the Alabama media guides.
COME ON CHRIS!!! That last post was funny!
Chris Low (1:00 PM)
Yes it was.
lester (murphy nc)
Chris, Coach Dooley was supposed to meet with BB today, any word from that yet
Chris Low (1:02 PM)
Dooley told me at the SEC media days that he expects Brown to ask for his release. I guess the door isn't completely shut, but Dooley would create some problems for himself with his team if he brings Brown back at this point when he hasn't done anything with the team for five months.
Do my gamecocks have any guaranteed losses this year? Or do you expect us to challenge and compete in every game?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
I've got the Gamecocks winning nine games this year, which includes a win in the bowl game. Nothing to sneeze at when you consider they've only won more than eight games two times in school history.
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
That's a wrap for today. Thanks for the questions, and as always, nothing beats talking a little college football.