Chat with Chris Low
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Chris Low (1:02 PM)
Practice opens this week around the league. Georgia kicks off today. It sounds like Ole Miss has itself a new QB.
Chris Low (1:02 PM)
There's plenty to talk about. I'll be here for the next 30 minutes.
Jon Howard (New York, NY)
Now that Ole Miss has arguably one of the top 3 QBs in the SEC what do you think his impact will have on the Rebels chances in the West?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
If he picks up their system right away, then Masoli gives Ole Miss a much needed playmaker at the QB position, both running and passing. I don't think the addition of Masoli is the difference in Ole Miss all of a sudden winning the West, but he could give them a chance to win 9+ games again for the third straight year.
Will Florida switch their offense because of the inexperience of John Brantley.
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
No, I think they'll switch their offense because Brantley's forte is throwing the football. They're going to tailor offensively around what he does best and he's not a guy who's going to run and scramble for yardage like Tebow, although I do think that package will remain a part of their offense with Trey Burton and Jordan Reed.
Bill (Washington, DC)
Chris, how many wins does Robbie Caldwell need this season to earn the permanent head coaching position at Vanderbilt?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
I would think 6+ would guarantee him getting a new contract, but if they show a significant improvement on offense.
Buzzmaster (1:09 PM)
Hey everyone, Chris got called away. He was waiting for some calls from a couple of players at Georgia and they just called! He'll be back Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET to resume his chat.
Chris Low (3:01 PM)
Sorry about having to break away yesterday. Good to go now. So fire away.
Some predictions have the Gators in the Outback bowl, others in the Sugar Bowl. Where do you see Florida playing when its all set and done?
Chris Low (3:03 PM)
I think the Gators will be in a BCS bowl again. At worst, I see them in the Capital One Bowl.
Shane (Viracon) [via mobile]
Hello Mr. Low. Is it true to say that if my 'Dawgs defense plays lights out that we have a legit shot at going undefeated? Go Dawgs sic em!!!!
Chris Low (3:06 PM)
I'm not ready to go that far, although I do think the Dogs can win the East if they play more consistently on defense and Aaron Murray is steady at quarterback. But undefeated? I don't see that one.
Clayton ((Hanahan, SC))
South Carolina's OL got a shot in the arm with the hiring of Shawn Elliott but how much can an offensive line improve in a single offseason?
Chris Low (3:08 PM)
A back like Marcus Lattimore can help an offensive line improve. That's one thing. And keeping everybody together healthy, gaining some continuity and some confidence early also helps. The Gamecocks are also going to mix it up with some of the zone read stuff Elliott did at Appalachian State.
Sweatervested1 (Planet Who)
Christopher, Who will be our starting CBs when the season starts? Roll Tide!!!
Chris Low (3:11 PM)
Dre Kirkpatrick for sure. They were hoping junior college newcomer DeQuan Menzie could be the other one, but he tore his Achilles. He's back and working out, although I don't know how realistic it would be for him to get all the way back and play. B.J. Scott was the other starter at cornerback coming out of the spring.
Chris, what are your 3 must see games this year in the SEC?
Chris Low (3:12 PM)
Alabama at ArkansasFlorida at AlabamaFlorida vs. Georgia
Is there any truth to the rumors that Texas A&M has basically just told the Big 12 to pay up or they'll leave for the greener pastures of the SEC? If so, what are the chances they actually end up in the SEC by 2013?
Chris Low (3:14 PM)
I hate to give odds right now, but I think the entire conference landscape will change within the next five years. The SEC would like to get its feet in the state of Texas, so I think Texas A&M will remain a strong possibility as the inevitable wheels of change turn over the next several years.
dean (new olreans)
Whats your view on Les Miles? There seems to be so many different views.
Chris Low (3:18 PM)
Not to oversimplify the situation, but I think he needs a big season, in particular he needs to win against some of the teams that count (Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn). There's no question that a lot of LSU fans are concerned, to varying degrees, about where the program is headed under Miles and whether he can get the Tigers back to a level where they're consistently competing for titles. He's accomplished enough, though, in my opinion that he deserves a realistic chance to prove that he can get the program back on track. That said, an 8-4 season or worse this year could make things dicey for Miles.
Will (Metairie, LA)
In spirt of the Agony of Defeat series going on, what is your top 5 games in the SEC since 2000?
Chris Low (3:25 PM)
Some of the ones I nominated for the project were Arkansas' loss to Tennessee in 1998, the Stoerner stumble game; Ole Miss' 17-14 loss to LSU in 2003 when Eli Manning slipped down; Tennessee's loss to LSU in the 2001 SEC championship game when the Vols were poised to play for another national title; Alabama's loss to Florida in the 2008 SEC championship game to end an unbeaten season; Florida's loss to Alabama in the 2009 SEC championship game to end a 22-game winning streak; Kentucky's loss to LSU in 2002 on the Bluegrass Miracle.
Chris, how do you like Boise v Bama in the NCG, and Boise winning 21-17
Chris Low (3:28 PM)
I'd sure like to see that game, would be great for college football. I'm not sure about Boise winning, although I've made my stance on Boise pretty clear. I think Petersen has elevated that program to a level where Boise would have a legitimate chance to beat just about anybody in a one-game deal. But if you put Boise in the SEC, I think the Broncos would be an 8-4/9-3 team most years because of the grind of the league.
In your opinion what is the fewest number of games that South Carolina could win this year?
Chris Low (3:31 PM)
I'll go with six. Spurrier has won at least six every year he's been there. Of course, he's also lost at least five every year he's been there.
Do the wide receivers of Arkansas not get as much hype due to the system they play in, the fact that they are all abover average but not great, or something else? I could see how someone could argue that since they are all talented but not superstars, they make it easy for each other to not be burdened by double teams like Julio Jones or A.J. Green, but these receivers at Arkansas are nonetheless talented, correct?
Chris Low (3:34 PM)
Yep, talented enough that I had Arkansas' receivers ranked No. 1 in the SEC going into this season. When you throw tight end D.J. Williams into the mix, I think it's easily Arkansas and then everybody when you start talking about the top collection of pass-catchers in this league. They're all a little different, too, which makes the group even stronger. Petrino thinks sophomore Cobi Hamilton could end up being the best of the bunch.
Do you think this is the year that Georgia beats Florida in Jacksonville? With Georgia having a dominating offensive line, the best receiver in college football, two good RBs, and a terrific special teams unit, why is a Tebow-less Florida expected to runaway with the SEC East title?
Chris Low (3:37 PM)
I can't speak for everyone else, but I don't think the Gators will run away with anything. I see it coming down to Oct. 30 in Jacksonville in what should be a very compelling race. Both have first-year starters at quarterback, new defensive coordinators, some new faces on defense, etc. I'm picking the Gators, but could see it going either way.
Which offensive freshman (or redshirt freshman) are you most anticipating seeing live?
Chris Low (3:40 PM)
Can I pick a couple ... or maybe even five? In no particular order, I'd say South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, Auburn receiver Trovon Reed, Florida receiver Andre Debose, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and Tennessee receiver Da'Rick Rogers.
Chris Low's #1 Fan (Auburn, AL)
Chris, what does Auburn have to do to hold on to Gus Malzahn after this season? Can they continue their forward progress withouth him?
Chris Low (3:42 PM)
By the way, I'm your No. 1 fan, too. The sobering reality for Auburn is that Malzahn is going to get a head coaching shot somewhere. He had some nibbles last year, but nothing that would pry him away from Auburn after only one season. If the Tigers have a big year this season and the offense really takes off, somebody's going to come after him. I would trust Gene Chizik to replace him with somebody good. Chizik is the one who went out and got Malzahn in the first place and has assembled an excellent staff. Looks like he hires well.
John (Jackson, MS)
How do you see the SEC western division shaking up, 1-6, now that Masoli is at Ole Miss?
Chris Low (3:45 PM)
If Masoli picks up where he left off last season and picks up the Rebels' system pretty quickly, I could see Ole Miss breaking into that top three in the West. I still believe nine wins in the regular season would be the ceiling for Ole Miss. As soon as I say that, I think about that front seven on defense and how imposing it should be. Let's leave it at this: The addition of Masoli makes what was already a strong division that much stronger.
George (Georgetown SC)
I've heard good things about Garcia's progress over the summer, What are you hearing? and If he has a good year what are the chances SC gets to Atlanta?
Chris Low (3:48 PM)
I've heard he's worked hard as well. The real judge will be the Head Ball Coach, of course. I just keep thinking that Garcia is going to come out and have a really good season. Maybe it's all been a ploy by Spurrier to lull everybody to sleep. It would take an All-SEC season by Garcia to get the Gamecocks to Atlanta, but I don't see it happening. The offensive line is what should concern South Carolina fans the most.
I see 4 wins for the Vols this fall. A new QB and OL in the SEC spells losses against Oregon, FL, SC, Bama, LSU, MISS, UGA & KY. What say you Chris?
Chris Low (3:52 PM)
I'm going with six -- UT-Martin, UAB, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and one nobody expects the Vols to win, maybe Oregon or Ole Miss. In reality, they're probably going to lose one nobody expects them to as well, perhaps to Vanderbilt or Kentucky. So I guess I'm on the fence between five and six wins.
who do you think will have more impact at wide receiver for Florida this year, Deonte Thompson or Andre Debose?
Chris Low (3:54 PM)
I'll go with Debose because I think he'll be able to do more things, maybe provide that same kind of dimension Percy Harvin gave them. I'm not saying he will be as good as Harvin, just that he will fill that role.
Trooper Taylor (Auburn, AL)
Chris, what are the Tigers chances at a SEC Championship/National Championship in '11?
Chris Low (3:55 PM)
If Cameron Newton comes through, I think an SEC title would be very realistic for Auburn in 2011 with the way the Tigers are recruiting. Hey, Trooper, where can I get one of those towels you're always waving around?
I heard Auburn coaches promised now-committed CJ Uzomah that he would be QBing the Wildcat at Auburn. Is it just me, or did they tell that to Trovon Reed, too?
Chris Low (3:57 PM)
Imagine that, coaches telling prospects what they want to hear during the recruiting process.
Best special teams unit in the SEC?
Chris Low (4:02 PM)
Urban Meyer's track record says he's always going to have terrific special teams, and Florida will be good again in 2010. But No. 1 in my list this season is Georgia with the Drew Butler/Blair Walsh kicking combo and Brandon Boykin returning kickoffs.
What happens first: Dooley wins the East or Lane Kiffin is fired at SC?
Chris Low (4:04 PM)
Kiffin gets fired.
Chris Low (4:06 PM)
That's a wrap. Once again, I'm sorry about having to end it so abruptly on Monday. We'll do it again next week. If you haven't noticed, football is here!