Chat with Chris Low
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chris Low (1:01 PM)
Hope all is well with everybody as we creep toward the final third of the season. Where has it all gone?
Hi chris, do you think Fla should use trey burton more as QB like they did with Tebow?
Chris Low (1:03 PM)
They have used him at QB in spots, and he's played well in spots. But Burton isn't Tim Tebow and defenses aren't going to adjust like he's Tim Tebow. Still, if the Gators are committed to running the Tebow package, I think Burton is a better option. One thing is for sure: The Gators have to get more out of their running game -- period.
Nick (Atlanta, GA)
Hey Chris! In '04, all Auburn fans only wanted one thing: the chance to prove on the field that we were the best team in the nation. It's my understanding that Boise St wants the same thing. I say give it to them. I don't think they'll win the game (0-3 against SEC since joining the WAC), but they do deserve the chance to prove themselves. Thoughts?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
I'm on record as saying I'd love to see Boise State in the championship game. My two most desired matchups at this point would be Boise State vs. Alabama or Auburn vs. Oregon. Both would make for great drama.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Both LSU and Bama have off weeks. It has been reported that Bama coaches have been putting in scheme's for Auburn. Are they overlooking LSU?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
Teams typically work on more than one team during a bye week. I doubt Alabama, though, is looking past LSU. Think about how close that game has been the last several years. It will come down to the final few possessions again this season.
Zach (North Carolina)
Who will win the ACC conference football game tonight? The 16. Florida State Seminoles or The NC State Wolfpack?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Gotta go with the Seminoles, and I want to go on record and apologize to Florida State fans for leaving the Seminoles out of my Top 25 power rankings this week. Just an oversight on my part. I had them right around No. 14, just forgot to insert them in my final ballot.
Matt (Montgomery, Al)
Chris, Does an Alabama team with one loss that beats an Auburn team with one loss (speculating of course) carry Alabama just as far in the polls as if Auburn were undefeated and #1 in set polls? If no, shouldn't Alabama fans be huge Auburn fans until... oh, say November 21st?
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
I realize this is going to be hard for Alabama fans. But, yes, Alabama fans should absolutely cheer hard for Auburn to be unbeaten and No. 1 in the BCS when they meet in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 26. Winning a game against a No. 1 team in the BCS would carry a lot of weight with the voters. Remember what that win for Florida did in 2008 when the one-loss Gators beat No. 1 Alabama in the SEC championship game. The Tide could get the same kind of pop out of beating a No. 1 Auburn.
Chris, as Auburn fans what should we root for in the East, assuming we make it to the title game? A South Carolina rematch? Florida to win out and hopefully become ranked? A Georgia rematch? Total anarchy and a game against Vandy?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Basically, you want to face the highest ranked, hottest team at that point, so I would say the best scenario would be South Carolina. The Gamecocks have a chance to move into the Top 10 of the BCS or at least close if they win out. They were No. 20 this week. Of course, the flip side of that scenario is that it's always tough to beat a team twice in the same season. At the end of the day, I don't think it really matters who Auburn faces in the SEC championship game if the Tigers go into that game unbeaten. They're not going to slip out of the top two spots in the BCS standings if they keep winning. So looking at it from that perspective, Auburn probably wants to face the team it matches up with best.
Hearing a lot about Freshmen players at Florida not happy with the way they are being treated. 2 already left, 2 others looking to leave. What have you heard?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
Unfortunately, that's what happens sometimes when you sign so many five-star prospects who all think they're going to walk onto campus and be instant stars. The Gators have played a bunch of freshmen this season. I think they'll end up keeping most of their main guys.
What is the SEC's tiebreaker if UGA beats Florida, Florida beats South Carolina, Arkansas beats South Carolina, and then Auburn beats UGA? They will all have four conference losses and will have round robin beat eachother? I hope it is better than the Big 12 tiebreaker.
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
In that scenario, Georgia would win the tiebreaker and go to Atlanta. Here's how: Florida and Georgia would both have 4-1 division records, but South Carolina would have a 3-2 division record (with losses to Florida and Kentucky). The Gamecocks would be eliminated from the picture, making it a two-team tie. Georgia would then go based on its head-to-head victory over Florida.
Does any team have a tougher November than Alabama?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
I can't imagine one, and the Tide's September and first part of October slate wasn't easy. They faced three straight Top 20 teams, two of those on the road. If Alabama makes it back to the BCS National Championship Game, the Tide will have earned it.
Chris, how did you decide that Va Tech was a top 25 team? Do you think Top 25 Teams should lose games to FCS opponents?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
No, but I do my best to look at the entire body of work.
In your opinion should Urban Meyer have released Rainey from the program? Seems like his popularity rating is slowly dying...
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
Urban's popularity rating will be just fine once he starts winning big again, and he will. As for Rainey, I simply can't rationalize bringing any player back to a team that did what Rainey did -- send a woman a threatening text message telling her it was time to die (expletive). I'm on board with Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi on this one. Would Meyer be bringing Rainey back if he had sent that same text message to one of Meyer's daughters?
Clay (Berkely, SC)
Chris,How do you see the SEC East playing out?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
I think it comes down to the Florida-South Carolina game on Nov. 13. The winner goes to Atlanta.
Frank (New Jersey)
Chris - all signs are pointing to Georgia victory. But Richt usually turns to jello in this game and has lost to inferior Florida teams before. It cost him in '02, '04 and '05 to make some serious BCS noise. What makes this Saturday different?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
I think Georgia coming through the fire the way it has this season has made the Bulldogs a tougher, more resilient team. The other thing is that Florida simply hasn't been able to score, and if it comes down to a field goal, I like Blair Walsh for the Dogs.
Chris, there is no question in my mind that a one loss SEC team should get in to NC ahead of BSU, but do you believe a one loss Big Ten, Pac 10, or Big 12 team should get in ahead of Boise? I honestly (in a non-homer way) believe BSU would be favored against all non-SEC teams except maybe Oregon (who BSU beat the last two years)
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
I think Boise State will and should get in over any one-loss team out there, especially assuming that Oregon, Michigan State, etc. would be losing so late in the season. The only exception is Alabama. If Alabama can make it through this last stretch of games -- No. 12 LSU, No. 21 Mississippi State and No. 1 Auburn and then win the SEC championship game -- then the Tide would have done enough in my opinion to play their way into the BCS National Championship Game, especially when you consider that four of their first six games to open the season were also against ranked teams.
Chris, can Mississippi State bring their hype of beating Florida into the Egg Bowl and come out with a win again?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
At this point, I would certainly pick Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have played better football this season. But that's one of those rivalries you never know for sure about. And give Dan Mullen credit. He's spiced it up with the whole "school up north" talk.
Smart gone after this season? Unfortunately, I think so. And McElwain a year later. Tough to replace those guys.
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
If there's a head job that makes sense out there, then yes, probably. You're right. McElwain is going to get a shot, too, and deserves one. He's done an excellent job. That's what happens when you hire good people. Other teams come and scoop them up.
What would it take for Newton to lose the Heisman at this point? Would just losing be enough to knock him out? Or would he have to play really poorly?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
I would say two bad games, maybe one where he turns it over a bunch and the Tigers lose. But the impressive thing about him is that he hasn't put the ball on the ground this year as much as he runs.
Chris does a 2 loss Arkansas get a BCS bowl over 2 loss Bama? I don't think we would be high enough in the BCS to get the nod over Bama.
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Probably not, although if the Hogs keep winning and are impressive the rest of the way and climb back into the Top 10 of the BCS standings, they would have a chance, especially should Alabama lose late and/or lose decisvely somewhere along the way. I would think a 10-2 Arkansas team would be in great shape to play in the Capital One Bowl.
JB (Aiken, SC)
Do you see another year end implosion from SC this year or are they really on the cusp of something quite remarkable for a Gamecock team?
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
Let's hope not. Growing up in South Carolina, I've seen enough implosions. The Kentucky game was concerning because they just blew that game in the second half, and now you have Spurrier talking about play-calling being a community effort. He's the guy who needs to call the plays -- period. I still say it comes down to that Florida-South Carolina game on Nov. 13.
Jon (New Orleans)
Chris, What are LSU chances of still making a BCS bowl?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
Their chances get a lot better if LSU can knock off Alabama in two weeks. In fact, if the Tigers can win out, I'd say they're a lock for a BCS at-large berth at 11-1. That regular-season finale in Little Rock, though, won't be easy.
Adam (Shreveport, La)
Chris. respect to your work, brother. On the subject of Rainey, wouldn't you be begging for another chance if it was the only thing you'd done wrong? Didn't he just suffer from a concussion the game prior?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Fair point, and I think that's ultimately why Urban is giving him another chance. Rainey hasn't really been in trouble up until this point. Let's hope he makes the best of this second chance.
chris, my upset special ole miss over auburn. any thoughts?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
I can see it. Didn't have the guts to pick it, but it's always tough to go on the road that third week after two big wins in a row.
Razorback fan here, but that Cam Newton is LEGIT. Amazing. The way he runs reminds me of Vince Young. Newton is way more physical, but when you watch him run - you're like: "Man - he makes that looks so easy - why can nobody catch up to him or tackle him?" He's so smooth - a lot like Vince was.
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Cam is unlike any player I've ever seen in this league.
Chris, what do you think the likelihood of Cam Newton entering the draft after this season is? If he does go, how high would he be drafted?
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
I'd be worried if I were an Auburn fan. Remember, this is his fourth year out of high school, and I've already heard that NFL scouts love his sheer athletic ability combined with his strong arm.
Chris you keep saying USC@UF is going to be for the East, yet you picked UGA to beat UF in your picks... what gives???
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
What I should have said is that I think it will come down to that game and feel like right now that South Carolina will win that game.
Chris, do you base your opinion on the SEC-East coming down the the South Carolina-Florida game on the belief that South Carolina will lose to Arkansas? Because UT seems like a a likely win for the Gamecocks. If the Gamecocks beat UT and Arkansas, they'll clinch the division without worrying about Florida. Right?
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
If Florida loses to Georgia this weekend, South Carolina could clinch the East by beating Tennessee and Arkansas. In that scenario, the Florida game wouldn't matter. But you're right. I think that Arkansas game is going to be a tough one for the Gamecocks.
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
That's it for me today. Thanks for all the questions. It's always fun to try and figure out all the different scenarios this time of year. Hope everybody has a great week and looking forward to spending a little time in The Grove this weekend.