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)
Good afternoon. Hope everyone had a nice weekend!
Scott (South Burlington, VT)
What chance do you give USM to go into Columbia and pull the upset?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
A very scary game for South Carolina, indeed. If the Gamecocks can't run the ball, then Southern Miss will really load up and come after the quarterbacks. Plus, it sounds like Spurrier is serious about playing true freshman Connor Shaw at least some in this game. Put it this way: If the Gamecocks look ahead at all to Georgia, they could be in real trouble.
How many yards will Jeff Demps run for in 2010?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Well, he had 745 yards on 99 carries last season (7.5 yards per carry). He'll get more touches this coming season. I'd say at least 40 to 50 more carries for the season. So if you do the math, I think he goes over 1,100 yards. The best thing about more touches for Demps is that it gives him more chances to break the big one, and with his speed, you know he's going to break more than a few.
Will (Metairie, LA)
With Craig Loston looking very impressive in the scrimmage, is it only a matter of time before he takes the other starting saftey job over Jai Eugene or Karnell Hatcher?
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
They like Loston a lot. One of the things they wanted to see from him this preseason was that he was tougher. He's improved in that area. The reality is that Chavis likes to play five DBs a lot of the time, so you're going to see all those guys playing some. The thing they like about Eugene is his speed. They wanted to get faster back there.
nick (atlanta, ga)
hello chris. what are the odds of Arkansas going 4-0 to start the season off? And if they do go 4-0 after the alabama game, how do you think there season would end. Can they go all the way after going 4-0. The momentum should be real high if they do......
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
I'm leaning toward 3-1. Of course, if the Hogs are 3-1 coming out of September, the best scenario for them would be to lose to Georgia and then beat Alabama. That way, they would own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Tide. It sounds like the defense has indeed improved. We all want to see it for ourselves in the games, but I like the Hogs' chances of being right in the middle of the West race this season.
Chris, your thoughts on Herbie picking AU to come out of the West to play Florida for the SEC Championship...
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
As I've said since the spring, I can see Arkansas, Auburn or LSU coming out of the West and unseating Alabama. All three teams are talented enough. LSU has the toughest schedule, which will hurt the Tigers' chances. But if this freshman class can indeed solve Auburn's depth issues and Cameron Newton gets it done at quarterback, perhaps the Iron Bowl will mean even more this season than it usually does.
Frank (New Jersey)
Mark Rict has an excellent overall record. And he's certainly had solid success at Georgia. He's also a good person of good standing and charachter and puts a lot of faith in his players. But that's not always the best formula for a coach. Meyer, Saban and Brown stress discipline and fundamentals, something that Richt teams have always lacked. They had success, but were never really sound fundamentally or for that matter, feared. What happens first, Richt alters his style to be less like his mentor Bowden or his departure from Georgia?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
I'm on record as saying Mark Richt is not on the hot seat, and I'm sticking with that. Now, if he goes 6-6 this season, he would definitely be under the gun to turn it around in 2011. That said, I see the Bulldogs rebounding this season, making a strong run at 10 wins or more and all the Richt/hot seat stuff will die down ... for a season. Let's face it. You're never too far from the hot seat in this league.
Tim (DC area)
Chris--read your blog daily. As a SEC fan (Gators), would "SEC fans be to full of themselves" to say that the conference has reached the "dynasty" level? With the best bowl record over the last several yrs & last 4 BCS nat'l championships, need SEC fans say more?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I did a video on this very subject today. I think the next step for the SEC to punctuate once and for all that the SEC rules college football is to beef up the balance in the league this year and place six teams in that final AP poll. I realize it's hard to do that when a conference beats up on each other the way the SEC does, but there's been too much separation the last few years between Alabama and Florida and everybody else.
Bill (Summerville, SC)
Who do you think, besides Thompson, will step up for Florida this year? Alli, Hammond?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
Carl Moore, Andre Debose and don't forget about Chris Rainey in the slot.
How come Auburn's freshman class "solves depth issues". While Bama's new starters are "of concern"?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
It's a concern on both counts. Auburn will be counting on first-year guys to provide depth, and Alabama will be counting on first-year guys to step into the rotation in the defensive backfield. The good news for both teams is that most of these first-year guys who're going to be playing this season are big-time talents and highly recruited.
MarkM (New York)
Chris,What's your guess about whether Marcell Dareus at Bama will be suspended for any games because of the agent's party he attended?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Just going on past precedent, I would say he's likely to miss a game or games. Obviously, the key would be: How many games?
Chris, with Tyler Bray performing terribly in the scrimmage do you see Matt Simms being the only qb to play this year, or will Bray have his chance as well?
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
I wouldn't say Bray has performed terribly. He's made several ill-advised throws, which a lot of true freshmen do. The Vols' coaches like his upside, and I think he will play some this season. But Simms is clearly the starter right now and has done what Derek Dooley has asked -- to manage the offense and protect the football.
Do you think WVU's chances of winning at Baton Rouge, ultimately depend on whether or not the game is at night or day? LSU's track record on Miles during the day is a lot different than at night
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
I don't care who's coaching LSU. I'd always much prefer to play at Tiger Stadium in the day as opposed to the night. I can't think of a more imposing venue anywhere for a visiting team than Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
Chris how do you think ole miss will do this seaon and will jermiah masoli start
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
At this point, I think Houston Nutt will start Nathan Stanley, but that Jeremiah Masoli will also play. I can see those two sharing the snaps until somebody separates himself. I would imagine that would be Masoli. If the Rebels can start out 5-0, which they should, then I can see them winning eight games again in the regular season.
Does Tennessee being scared of UNC have more to do with their current 4 game losing streak to the ACC (all by double digits, BTW) or AD Mike Hamilton needing Dooley to have early success to save his own job?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
I only count three in a row, but maybe I'm missing one -- Virginia Tech, Clemson and Maryland (all in the Chick-fil-A Bowl). The Vols lost to Miami in 2002 and beat the Hurricanes in 2003, but that was before they were in the ACC. Still, your point is well taken. It's been a while since Tennessee has beaten an ACC team ... in football. The reason Hamilton pulled the plug on the North Carolina series was to try and help out Derek Dooley at a time when the Vols are clearly down. I'm not sure why Hamilton ever scheduled North Carolina in the first place. Continue with the pattern of playing Oregon, UCLA, Nebraska, etc. every year, but I'm not sure there's enough reward for Tennessee to schedule the Tar Heels. But, then, maybe ACC teams feel like there's not enough reward in playing Tennessee with the way the ACC has been beating up on the Vols lately.
James (Richmond, KY)
General Joker Phillips's main focus for "Operation Win" this year is to lead the SEC in rushing. If the Cats are able to do this, and have consistent QB play, any chance they see an 8-9 win season in his first tour of duty?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Nah, I'm thinking more in the way of six or seven wins. Lot of key losses for the Wildcats on defense that will be tough to overcome this season.
John Allen (Destin, FL)
Give me 3 unknown players from the SEC that will be household names come December. Please don't include any of the 5 star recruits that are already hyped. Thanks.
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
OK, good question. I'll go with Ole Miss linebacker D.T. Shackelford, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Florida cornerback Jeremy Brown, Tennessee running back Tauren Poole and Kentucky receiver Chris Matthews.
crowley1331 (savannah. ga)
Chris, what teams could you see ranked in final poll. And what do you think they will be ranked?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Alabama and Florida in the Top 10.Georgia and Arkansas in the Top 20.Auburn in the Top 25.
Jamie Hinson ((Great Falls, SC))
Why are so many people hyped up on georgia? They have an inexperienced QB and they just don't seem that they are that much improved from last year. Also, I think that South Carolina could possible win up to 10 games. Could this happen?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
We'll find out soon enough about the whole Georgia vs. South Carolina debate. They face off the second week of the season in Columbia, as I'm sure you're aware. The loser of that game, in my opinion, can forget about winning 10 games this year, which makes it so important. The winner has a chance to give Florida a run in the East.
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Hey, gotta run. Thanks for the questions. Have a great week and we'll do it again next week.