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)
Howdie. Hope all is well.
Thom (Knoxville, TN)
Hey Chris,What player do you think will have a breakout physical performance at the combine? My guess is Julio Jones. Ever seen the photo of "the block" during the UT game in '09? Dude has major ups!
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
I agree. He's a freak athletically. That said, I don't know how well he'll run for the clock. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ingram run a faster 40 time. I also think A.J. Green will post a faster 40 time.
Hawgin the Spotlight (Little Rock, AR)
Still kinda under the radar among fans, considering his production last season...Do you see Knile Davis improving over this offseason/spring into next year, to being considered the SEC's best RB? I of course think he was last year anyways.
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
I felt like he was the best two RBs in the SEC last season along with Marcus Lattimore and has the numbers to back it up. So, yes, I can see Davis and Lattimore battling it out this coming season for those honors. Davis will only get better. He has speed and power.
Darrell P. (Little Rock AR)
According to the prognosticators, Ole Miss is staring at a potential 6-6 season. If that happens, do you believe Houston Nutt will remain as the coach at that school?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
I don't see Ole Miss making a move if he's .500, and it probably would have to be a total disaster again for Nutt to genuinely be in danger of losing his job. Last year was his only bad year. He won nine games in each of his first two years and won the Cotton Bowl both times. Prior to that, Ole Miss hadn't won nine games in back-to-back years in 40-plus years. That said, it wouldn't be good for the old job security to let Mississippi State beat them for a third straight year.
Keith (Gainesville , GA)
Chris, Low fan, but Big UGA fan. With UGA opening with Boise ranked and UGA not even close to being ranked. What will a UGA victory mean to both Schools? Would Boise fall harder than UGA would rise up? I know if the Dawgs can win, it would stir our coolaide, but would the rest of the nation join in with a "OH YEAH"? Or would UGA still be unranked going into the USC game?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
There's a chance Georgia could be ranked in the preseason poll. Even if the Bulldogs aren't, they will be close. So a win over Boise State in the opener would probably vault them to the No. 15-18 range. Depending on where Boise is ranked, I could see Boise dropping below Georgia if that happens. And for what it's worth, I think Georgia will win that game by double digits.
chris, from what little i seen of tyler wilson last year, he seems on pace to pick up where mallett left off, with our entire wr crew and rbs coming back and a much improved defense, do you see a 10 or 11 win season with a possible sec west title in 2012?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
Bruce, thanks for checking in from the Middle East. Bobby Petrino has a lot of high hopes for Wilson and said it was huge for him to come in and play well last year in that Auburn game, especially the way the team rallied around him. So, yes, I definitely think the Hogs have a chance to win 10 games again, although they have to play Alabama and LSU on the road.
ferg (gulf shores, alabama)
As we know the last couple of years Mississippi State cleaned up in recruitting in the Magnolia State. Until this year as Ole Miss took most of the top players in the state after a very poor season. In your opinion do you believe Dan Mullen's negative and arrogant actions and comments twoards Ole Miss and Huston Nutt have a role in the Rebels winning the big recruits in Mississippi?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
Nah, I think it had more to do with Mississippi State losing Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator, and I also think there were a few prospects in-state who might have been spooked by rumors out there that Mississippi State might get caught up in some NCAA trouble over the Cam Newton deal. And let's give Ole Miss some props, too, for getting out there and doing a better job in-state this year.
Jackson (Nashville, TN)
I see Tennessee's 2011 season being all about the offense having to put up tons of points every game to contend with the better teams in the SEC. Would you agree with that assessment and how good could Tennessee's offense be next season?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I also see next season as being one of those deals where Tennessee is going to have to outscore a lot of teams. The Vols have some real firepower on offense. They're just young. It's going to be basically all freshmen and sophomores. The key is running the ball better and hitting more big plays in the running game. That would really open up that passing game.
Mike (Ocean Springs, Ms)
Chris, is Presidents Day REALLY an ESPN holiday?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
It was this year!
Nice blog on the retirement of the Voice of the Bulldogs, Jack Cristil. I especially admire your mention of those SEC voices who are no longer with us. I still miss John Ferguson's distinctive style of calling an LSU football game and fondly recall his unique description of certain plays and players. With the amount of TV exposure afforded most SEC programs and today's technological era, the days of radio broadcasts are waning.
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
Thanks. It was a different time back in the 1970s and 1980s when very few games were on TV and we all depended on the radio guys. I had all the AM stations memorized as a kid that I could get on some nights and be able to listen to the SEC broadcasts -- 870 in New Orleans, 750 in Atlanta, 990 in Knoxville, 1510 in Nashville and 840 in Louisville.
Heu Chris----How do you think Kragthorpe is going to shake up our offense, and do you think we beat Oregon in the opener???? Thanks
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Yes and yes. As for as shaking up the offense, I know he wants to get the ball to his best playmakers and create some balance. He's adamant, too, that the best QB is going to play, which means the battle this spring among Jefferson, Lee and Mettenberger should be a good one.
What is the deal with Jordan Rodgers at Vanderbilt? If he is even 1/100th as good as his big brother...
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
The Commodores can sure hope. I'm not ready to compare him to his brother, but he impressed some people on campus last year before he had to shut everything down and undergo shoulder surgery. He'll be a little limited this spring, but I think will be right in the middle of that QB race in the preseason.
Mike (Ocean Springs, Ms)
Who will be the starting QB for the Gators by the WLOCP with Georiga?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
You know, I was thinking about that very question as I took some time off on President's Day ...Nah, I think Brantley is going to be fine in Weis' system. It's certainly the kind of offense he envisions himself in, and he'll be more comfortable. Driskel is such a talent that he'll probably play some as a freshman. But something tells me that Brantley will come back strong this season.
Is the shot of Saban and Barry Sanders Jr. at the BB game really going to get Bama in trouble?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
It's the "bump" rule you're talking about, and that's usually a secondary violation depending on all the circumstances. So, no, I don't see it leading to big trouble for Alabama.
What are the odds Auburn opens the season with Frazier at qb over Trotter? Who should they start?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
Hard to imagine that with Frazier not going through spring practice. To me, a more likely scenario is Frazier playing his way into some snaps as the season goes on.
Jeff (South Carolina)
I know the SEC is defense dominated but your top 25 so far has only one offensive player. Can we expect some offensive guys in the list soon? Gives us a teaser, what's the breakdown between offense and defense in your list?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Oh yeah, there are going to be some offensive guys. Think about it. Who where the four or five guys I had in my weekly SEC Heisman watch most of the season? I'll also say this: There are going to be a few surprises, too, as in some of the great players in this league that didn't make the postseason list because they didn't necessarily have great years.
Josh (SEC Country)
Is it better to win or run a clean program?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
How about this: It's better to win and not get caught cheating ...But if you get caught, then it's always better to have run a clean program.OK, I'm being a little facetious.Honestly, what's the definition of "clean?" Just about everybody pushes the envelope or tries to get an edge.But if you're outright paying players, I can't see how that's ever fulfilling for anybody.
Isaac (Port Charlottle, FL)
Come on now Low! Two questions answered for Mike. Don't ignore me. Is it realistic to think my Gators could win the SEC Title? Weis could do for Brantley, what he did for Cassel. The Defense should be lights out I think!
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
All right, ease up there, coach. I'm here for you. Yes, I think it's realistic for anybody in the East to win the division next season with the exception of Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Tennessee would be a real long shot, too. But Florida is talented enough, and with a new system offensively, maybe the Gators find a few more playmakers. I think a two-loss team will win the East next season, so it's going to come down to tiebreakers probably. Florida has to play at South Carolina, but South Carolina plays at Georgia. Defensively, the Gators should be better and keeping Janoris Jenkins in school was big. But Powell, Floyd and some of those other young guys up front need to take a big step and help the Gators rush the passer better in 2011. We'll wait to answer any questions about an SEC title and stick to the East for the time being.
Will (Metairie, LA)
Slow news days for college football in February, can't wait for Spring practice to start. We are gonna be asking the same questions for months. So who is your favorite team? C'mon, pick one. Is it Tennessee? You always have the scoop on them, you live in Knoxville, it's ok if you are, I'm just wondering.
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
You expect me to admit to a group of SEC fans -- all of whom have accused me at some point of being a homer for this team or that team or accused me of being biased against this team or that team -- that I even have a favorite team? When you've been in the business as long as I have, you don't have favorite teams. I know some people don't buy that. You might have coaches and players you really like and hit it off with at certain schools. You might have players you really enjoy watching play. You might have stadiums and campuses you like visiting, but it's been a long time since I've watched a college game rooting for anybody. I obviously like to see the SEC teams do well since that's the conference I cover, but I grew up in South Carolina and went to my first college games in Williams-Brice Stadium to see the Gamecocks. Ron Bass was the QB then. I attended college at Tennessee and naturally saw a lot of Vols' games while in school and just after getting out of school. But my favorite team now is the Bearden Cubs, which is my 11-year-old son's youth baseball team.
Harvey Updyke (Dadeville, AL)
Do you see Bama having a better defense than their national championship of 2009?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
First of all, Harvey, you should be ashamed of yourself. And, no, I don't see this Alabama defense being better than the 2009 national championship defense. That defense had a slew of players playing in the NFL right now. However, I do think Alabama will be extremely good on defense next season, one of the top two defenses in the league along with LSU.
thoughts on the tennessee violations and any idea on how they will effect the program?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
From a football persective, I don't see Tennessee getting any severe penalties. There may be a few things, recruiting restrictions and perhaps a scholarship or two taken away, but nothing that would rise to the level of major sanctions. I know Derek Dooley feels that the worst is behind them in football now that the notice of allegations has arrived. It's obviously a much different story in basketball.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
Chris: In regard to the NCAA being more interested in Lane Kiffin than Tennesse, what is the NCAA authority over a coach who has moved? Are they able to pursue and sanction a coach after he has moved away from the program at which violations occurred? Thanks.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
In the past, they have not done much of that, but there's a movement at the NCAA now, though, to go after the coaches who commit penalties even though they have moved on. The NCAA, for instance, could bar Kiffin from recruiting off campus for a period of time and levy other recruiting restrictions against him and the USC program. Keep in mind that USC received a notice of allegations, too, regarding Kiffin's time at Tennessee.
I do not know if my question went through or was ignored, so here it is again; what in your opinion will be the end result with Hamiliton and his job security?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Right now, it's hard to say. He has very influential boosters in his corner. We'll see how bad the basketball thing gets and then should have a better feel.
chris, would you rather treat players like numbers and ratings, or human beings?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Hey Chris, speaking of defenses, dont you think Arkansas' could be pretty dominating this year. I think they ent from being ranked in the 80's two years ago to somewhere in the 30's last year. Do you see the trend continuing?
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
I don't know about dominating, but the were in the top 35 nationally last season. They have just about everybody back, and I can tell you that Bobby Petrino thinks they will be better next season on defense than they were this past season.
Thoughts on Georgia's D next year? The Dawgs will need a solid D to win the East. They get Jarvis Jones and Richard Samuel off of redshirts at LB and big John Jenkins at NT (which allows the NT last year to slide to DE. In addition, the entire secondary is back.
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
Those are three key additions, especially getting the 340-pound Jenkins in the middle. You've got to have a big, physical nose guard in a 3-4 defense, and Georgia didn't have that last year. Now, they can shift Tyson to an end and play Abry Jones at the other end and automatically they get a lot bigger across the front. Jarvis Jones is probably the closest thing they have to Justin Houston, which means he'll probably start out at outside linebacker. They need Samuel to step up inside. Gotta play better and tackle better in the secondary, too.
LCK (SEC Baller)
Big Georgia fan here. It looks like IF (maybe a big if?) Georgia gets past Boise St. and South Carolina it may only have a real chance at getting tripped up by Florida or a down Auburn. Is this UGA's year?
Chris Low (2:14 PM)
It needs to be for Mark Richt's sake. But I do think the Dawgs will rebound and have a solid season.
Culton (Chattanooga, TN)
how do you see Auburn stacking up in the west this season after losing a TON of talent?
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
Boy you are right. They lost a lot of good football players and leaders, too, like Josh Bynes, Craig Stevens, Zac Etheridge and Ryan Pugh. That 2010 signing class really needs to come through next season, guys like Lemonier, Whitaker, Christian, Reed and Dyer. I don't see Auburn contending for the West title next season, but I bet the Tigers are a team that gets better and nobody wants to face at the end of the season.
Chris Low (2:18 PM)
Lot of fun today. Always good to lighten up things a bit. We'll do it again next week. Have a great rest of the week!