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 (1:02 PM)
Happy bowling to everyone, and I hope everybody had a great Christmas!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What SEC team is playing in a College Bowl Game on Thursday December 30?
Chris Low (1:03 PM)
Tennessee faces North Carolina tonight in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Do you think the Gamecocks will get Jadeveon Clowney? Think about it, Clowney and Devin Taylor, who is going to get double teamed?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
Yes, I do think the Gamecocks will get Clowney. I think his mother would like for him to stay in state, and mothers usually win. Plus, the Gamecocks have done a good job of recruiting him. Their recruiting coordinator, Shane Beamer, has done an excellent job every since taking over those duties, and Ellis Johnson has pretty much been automatic in recruiting the Rock Hill area.
JD (Madison, GA)
What Bowl game other than the NC are you most looking forward too?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
The Allstate Sugar Bowl is right up there, just a classic matchup between Arkansas' offense and Ohio State's defense. After that, I would say the Progressive Gator Bowl, to see how well Mississippi State's defense does against Denard Robinson.
Do you think the national championship game will be as high scoring as everyone expects it to be, or do you think the defenses will come out and play better than people expect it to be?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
No, I think both defenses are in for long, tough game. The two offenses are just too explosive and too balanced. However, I think the defense that can make a key stop or two in the second half will decide who wins this game, which bodes well for Auburn. The Tigers have been clutch all season defensively in the second half.
WarEagle (Mobile )
Have you heard any rumors that any Auburn players will be ineligible for the NC game....
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
The only thing I've heard is Gene Chizik saying there were still a few academic issues to work through. Just about every team has those issues going into the bowl game.
Can you put any stock in players saying they are coming back before their receptive bowl games, or even before the actual deadline to declare for that matter?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
No, very little. Take Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, for instance. I don't pretend to know what's going through their minds right now, but they're getting ready to play the biggest football game of their lives. Whatever they say right now about the NFL draft has no bearing. They'll have a few days to sort all that out after the game on Jan. 10. I do think both will end up turning pro. They both will be first-round picks.
seiler (Dallas, TX)
How does Blackmon compare with Dez Bryant? Will he be drafted higher?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
I think better when you start comparing size, overall athletic ability and his ability to separate and catch the ball in crowds. I would think Blackmon will go in the top 15 picks. A.J. Green will probably be the first receiver taken, but then it's going to be close race between Julio Jones and Blackmon.
Do you see Caleb King back at UGA next fall? His issues, while not major, are really getting old.
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
At this point, I'd say King's coaches and teammates are all tired of the act and are pretty indifferent as to whether he comes back or not. He's on the verge of being a huge bust unless he makes a dramatic turnaround next season.
Josh (Flushing, MI)
is will muschcamp goig to tinker with the florida offense?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
I wouldn't call it tinkering. He's going to bring in an offensive coordinator that runs more of a pro-style offense, which I think will only help the Gators in their recruitment of quarterbacks and receivers.
Todd McShay has Ryan Mallet as the fifth quarterback in this years draft class. If that's the case could we see Mallet back at Arkansas for his senior year
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
All analysts are a little different. For instance, Mel Kiper has Mallett as the No. 2 quarterback behind Andrew Luck. I'd be shocked if Mallett comes back. He's going to be a top-15 or top-20 pick. He already had the concussion this season. I just don't see him risking it and coming back for another year of college ball. The good thing for the Hogs is that Tyler Wilson stepped in there against Auburn this season and showed what he could do. He's going to be just fine in Petrino's system, and I think, will also be a top NFL prospect before he's finished at Arkansas.
Most likely to happen in 2011: LSU wins the west, or LSU stumbles and Les Miles is on the hot seat at the end of the year?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
When is Les not on the hot seat at some point? Heck, he was on the hot seat this season with some of the fans grumbling louder than ever, and the Tigers were 5-0. I think the talent is certainly there for LSU to win 10 or more games again next season and contend for the West crown. But Miles has to address the offense. Being 11th or worse in the SEC in total offense two years in a row is unacceptable when you consider the Tigers' talent.
Kevin (Knoxville, TN)
Is Tennessee's DC Justing Wilcox off to Texas after the Bowl Game?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
It looks that way, although nothing will be final until after the bowl game. He's certainly in play at Texas, and several in and around the Tennessee program think he will end up at Texas. I wouldn't say it's a done deal, though.
Does Mark Richt have to at least get to the sec championship to keep his job?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
I wouldn't go that far. I'll say this: I don't think he will survive another season like this one or the one in 2009. But if he wins nine or 10 games, and certainly if the Bulldogs were to contend for the East crown and then end up in a BCS bowl like Arkansas did this year or an upper-tier bowl, I don't see Georgia firing him in that scenario. But he's probably getting to that point where he's going to need to at least get to Atlanta and play for the title to regain some of his footing there in Athens. Is that point next year or the year after? I'm not sure. But there needs to be some obvious sign of improvement in the program next season, or he's going to be in real trouble.
Rob (Charlotte, NC)
What impact do you think a healthy Alabama offensive line will have on the outcome of the Outback Bowl?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
A big impact. This will be first time that Alabama has had its starting unit intact up front since the middle of the season. Right tackle D.J. Fluker missed four starts with a groin injury, and I feel like it really took its toll on the Tide to be without right guard Barrett Jones in that Auburn game. Everybody's back now, and it's a big reason I look for Alabama to run the ball better in the bowl game.
Jason (Hampton, Va)
Which Gamecocks do you think will show up against the 'Noles in the Chick fil a Bowl? The ones that stomped Florida or the ones that got drilled by Arkansas?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
I'd say somewhere in the middle. Losing offensive guard Garrett Chisolm for this game won't help. The Gamecocks crossed so many barriers this season in getting to the SEC championship game, but I've seen them play some real stinkers in bowl games. Maybe they will cross that barrier as well this year.
So if we had said that A.J. Green didn't know what the rules were he wouldn't have been suspended until next year? Good to know for the future.
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
The NCAA's inconsistency in some of these rulings is a joke. That said, I think the five-game suspension for what the Ohio State players did is a little severe. But what's laughable about the whole thing is that they would be allowed to play in the bowl game before starting the suspension. You're right. I'd say we hear a bunch of "Well, I wasn't aware of that particular rule" from here on out.
Isn't the outback bowl Florida vs Penn State... Not sure how a healthy Alabama offensive line will have an impact!?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
He asked about the impact of a healthy Alabama offensive line, and yes, incorrectly said Outback Bowl instead of Capital One Bowl. I wasn't going to be make a big deal out of it since his question was a good one. But now that you have ...
one of the most intriguing matchups in the NC game to me is the Oregon D's ability to create turnovers and the Auburn O's stingyness in giving up the ball. cliff harris may get beat, but he could also take one to the house - how do you see the oregon secondary performing overall?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
Yep, good call. Oregon is second nationally with 35 forced turnovers, and Auburn only lost 15 turnovers all season. As much as Cam Newton handles the ball, he put the ball on the ground very few times and only threw six interceptions in 246 attempts. Turnovers will be key on both sides. I would say Auburn needs to force a few of its own, too, to help slow down that Oregon offense.
Chris, The distinction between the "I know, or didn't know excuse"..seems to be whether or not anything of value has actually exchanged hands.....Is that your understanding?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
That's my understanding. The NCAA has come out and said that Cam Newton's not knowing his father was shopping him to Mississippi State wouldn't have made any difference had any money exchanged hands. Had that happened -- and even if Cam didn't know -- he would be ineligible right now. But there's no evidence that Cam or anybody in his family ever received any money.
I'm disappointed, but not surprised, by the lack of national coverage Arkansas is getting. The scandal at OSU didn't help, as now all Sugar Bowl stories are focused on that. Does it seem to you that Arkansas is the "afterthought" team in this year's BCS games and can that work to its favor?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Maybe that will end up helping the Hogs, something they can use for motivation. I can tell you this: They were playing like a Top 5 team when the regular season ended. We'll see if they can get that back in the bowl game.
With the constant changes in coaching in the SEC... which head coach outside the SEC would you love to see become a coach in this conference? Bonus points - which school would he be the best fit for?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
All I can tell you is that Chris Petersen would be one of the first calls I would make if I were an athletic director looking for a coach, and I'd say he would be a good fit at any of the SEC schools.
Barry (Darien, GA)
What do you think the SEC's bowl record will be this year?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I'll go 7-3.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
Thanks for stopping by. Look forward to some actual bowl games involving SEC teams starting later today. Good luck to everybody in the postseason!