Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC blogger Edward Aschoff will stop by to talk some college football.
Aschoff joined ESPN.com in 2011 after spending four years covering the University of Florida for The Gainesville Sun. He grew up in Oxford, Miss., before attending UF, graduating with a B.S. in journalism.
Send your questions now and join Aschoff Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Edward Aschoff (4:27 PM)
Hey, guys! Sorry about the delay. I've been running around all and moving into my new digs in Atlanta. I'm sure you'll all understand. Lets' get this chat thing going!
who do you see winning the starting job at QB in tuscaloosa?
Edward Aschoff (4:29 PM)
From everything I've been told, this one has been very fun to watch at Alabama. I said during spring that I'd give the edge to AJ McCarron only because of the little playing time he's had. I'm still going to go with that, but only because of that reason. Phillip Sims hasn't backed down and this competition will only make both of them better. And we could see a two-QB system for the Tide this fall as well.
Ed - Possibility of a breakout season for Gator Andre Debose??
Edward Aschoff (4:31 PM)
Everyone who know anything about him and Florida has been waiting to see him do something exciting since he stepped on campus. Outside of his kickoff returning ability, he's been a dud on offense. I think that if he has the right attitude and can get healthy he'll be a key weapon for the Gators. The receivers are unproven, so if he's going to breakout, now is the time.
mac (newberry SC)
how much will the new cap on oversigning affect teams like usc, bama?
Edward Aschoff (4:32 PM)
I don't think it should have too much of an affect on the SEC. The coaches all agreed that those three extra scholarships are important because there are always going to be guys who just don't work out. I think this will enhance recruiting efforts because it's all about quality over quantity now. You'll see pickier coaches now and that's a good thing because you won't see teams stretching as much for prospects.
Jake (Dallas, Ga)
How you see Tennessee doing this year? I know i've heard from about like last year to suprising everyone this year...
Edward Aschoff (4:35 PM)
I still think the defense is a year away. The offense is going to score some points, but I'm not sure if the Vols have the defense to really compete this year. Now, there are questions around the East, so I'm not counting them out, but this team needs to grow more on the defensive side. I have them fourth in the East right now.
Edward Aschoff (4:37 PM)
I saw there was a question about South Carolina's schedule. Sorry didn't mean to delete it, but as far as what I think about it, October could be a little tricky for the Gamecocks. Three straight road games (Mississippi State, Tennessee and Arkansas) won't be easy. State is a scary team this year, Tennessee could be finding itself toward the end of the year and Arkansas will be competing for an SEC title. That's where the Gamecocks could get tripped up this season.
Hey Edward in your opinion what team or teams would be considered the most underrated heading into the next college football season?
Edward Aschoff (4:39 PM)
I think Florida is a team that's a bit underrated because no one really knows what to expect from the new coaching staff, but there is plenty of talent for the Gators to have a good year. Vanderbilt is another team that I think is getting overlooked. James Franklin has brought a new attitude to Nashville and the Commodores have the most returning starters of any team in the league. This team should certainly surpass its win total from last year.
Clint Lewis (Chattanooga, TN)
Who will get busted for recruiting violations next?
Edward Aschoff (4:40 PM)
The school silly enough to get caught.
Finch (RAF Mildenhall, UK)
What are your thoughts on Auburn landing R. Wilson and surprising a few folks this season. I understand they only return 3 on offense and 3 on defense, but this coaching staff has over-achieved before. I'm not calling for another NC, but possibly a 9 win season. What do you think?
Edward Aschoff (4:43 PM)
I think Wilson and Auburn would be a pretty good fit. Coach Gene Chizik said (without naming Wilson of course) that he would be up for taking a transfer QB and would even wait for him if he had to report late (cough cough Wilson cough). He would fit right into the offense and would help the younger quarterbacks mature at the same time. I think Auburn has the talent to be good again in a year. This will be a rebuilding year for the Tigers. October will be absolutely brutal for Auburn and I see 7-8 wins, but the future is very bright.
Hey Ed, what do you think Arkansas needs to do to be an elite program and contender year in and year out? In my eyes its recruiting, from viewing a couple recruits top schools, it seems LSU, Bama, Florida, and Auburn reign supreme. What are your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (4:45 PM)
You are right about recruiting. The Razorbacks need to compete for the elite defensive players in the southeast every year. They always have offensive players, but it's time to start dipping into Georgia and Florida to get some high-caliber defensive talent. I think that's the only area where the Hogs have been relatively inconsistent. Bobby Petrino seems to be covering that base well though and is starting to reel in some of those players the Hogs are used to losing.
Do you see Bray having a sophomore slump in Knoxville and, if so, any chance they will throw Sims out there?
Edward Aschoff (4:47 PM)
Derek Dooley really likes the progress Bray made this spring, but the key is that he keeps continuing to progress. He can't get complacent at all. He's got some maturing to do still, but he's starting to really gain the trust of this teammates and coaches. He'll have some good targets in Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers to throw to so that should make his job a little easier.
Clint Lewis (Chattanooga, TN)
Will Tennessee beat Florida this season?
Edward Aschoff (4:48 PM)
It's possible. Both teams have some questions they need to answer. I think it will be hard for Will Muschamp to lose his first SEC game at home though. I think he'll have the Gators ready for a team that has a lot of questions on defense.
Clint Lewis (Chattanooga, TN)
Who will win the East and who will be the best SEC player?
Edward Aschoff (4:49 PM)
Well, this answer will probably change the time I'm done typing, but I'll go on ahead and embarrass myself now: South Carolina, Trent Richardson
Do you think the Dawgs will play in a big bowl this season? Thanks for your great work!!!
Edward Aschoff (4:51 PM)
I'm assuming you mean Mississippi State by your location ;) I think the Bulldogs could compete for another January bowl game. The Bulldogs know there are a lot of expectations for them and they like it. Dan Mullen said in Destin that it's extra motivation for his team. I'm not sure if this team can keep up with Arkansas, Alabama and LSU, but it will give them all a tough go this season and they will beat one of those three teams ... count on it. I think another January bowl is a good possibility for this team.
Edward, who do you think will be the Gators third starting linebacker along with Jenkins and Bostic?
Edward Aschoff (4:53 PM)
Well, Ronald Powell, Chris Marting and Larentee McCray will be in the Buck so they'll play some linebacker. Gideon Ajagbe was healthy this spring and is there. Dee Finley is also still a linebacker and might be one of the most athletic the Gators have. Don't forget about him. He's hungry to get back on the field.
Edward Aschoff (4:54 PM)
Sorry that should have read Chris Martin
Scott (Ponchatoula, LA)
What would it take for Zach Mettenberger to get the starting job in Baton Rouge?
Edward Aschoff (4:56 PM)
If Jordan Jefferson starts to falter and it costs the Tigers a game or two, I think Les Miles has to play Mettenberger. This team has the talent to make it to the national championship, and Miles knows it. He can't have an inconsistent QB at the helm this go-round.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
How do you see the carries being divided up between Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, and Dee Hart? Also, does Corey Grant have a chance to get into the mix?
Edward Aschoff (4:58 PM)
I think Lacy will get carries almost like Richardson did when he was behind Ingram. But to make sure that happens, he's got to show that his fumbling issues are gone. Richardson is the star of the show, but he knows he can't carry the ball every single down, so the coaches will rest him here and there. Expect Dee Hart to get some carries and line up in the slot as well. He's the most dynamic of the runners, but he's not a bruiser like Richardson or Lacy. Grant will battle Hart for carries at this point.
What kind of season do you see State having this year? Do you think Mullen will possibly leave for OSU next year?
Edward Aschoff (5:00 PM)
I haven't heard anything involving Mullen and OSU. Nothing. But hey if they offer him something it would be hard to turn down. At least I think it would be for almost any coach. I think State will be a team that competes for the West title, if the Bulldogs can keep up the intensity that Alabama, Arkansas and LSU will have throughout the season.
Ed nice to meet you man. With Trent Richardson and Marcus Lattimore getting so much attention, i wondered who you think the best RB is in the league that... no one's talking about
Edward Aschoff (5:02 PM)
Good meeting you as well man, even if it was through work. I think Knile Davis at Arkansas could be one of the top backs in the league because he's got great size and speed. He doesn't get a ton of attention because of all the throwing the Razorbacks do, but he's definitely a key part to the Hogs' offense. Brandon Bolden at Ole Miss is another guy who has been really impressive. He's a true bruiser and will be relied upon even more this fall with a young QB and unproven WRs in Oxford. Spencer Ware at LSU should also have a pretty big year for the Tigers. He's a beast of an athlete.
Bob (Minneapolis, MN)
Where do you see the incoming speedster from NJ, Damiere Byrd fitting into the Gamecock offense and/or special teams plans. He seems to be quite nimble and quick.
Edward Aschoff (5:04 PM)
I actually kept up with him a lot last year. He's pretty small, but he can really fly. He's got great wheels and has pretty good hands to go with them. He's got to show that he can be durable in the SEC first. If he packs on some nice weight, he'll be a fun guy to watch. I see him as a wildcat/slot guy for the Gamecocks.
Clint (Chattanooga, TN)
Since you've been in Atl, what team has the most fans in Atlanta?
Edward Aschoff (5:05 PM)
Lots of questions today Clint. Obviously Georgia fans are all over the city, but I've seen a lot of Gators and Auburn fans as well.
Jackson (Alabama )
If bama and south carolina meet in the sec championship who will win
Edward Aschoff (5:06 PM)
I'm going with Alabama because I'm picking the Tide to win the SEC. I also have them going to the national championship.
killa cam [via mobile]
Where do M.Dyers rank in sec rb's
Edward Aschoff (5:08 PM)
I think Lattimore and Richardson are at the top, with Knile Davis right behind them. I think Brandon Bolden is next and then Tauren Poole. Dyer comes in at fifth because he's only a sophomore. That could all change this season.
who will have the best special teams unit in the conference this year, and also who's going to return kicks for arkansas in 2011? will somebody step up and make an impact? thanks Ed! doing good brother!
Edward Aschoff (5:12 PM)
Hard to say right now who has the best but Arkansas and Alabama have some really good special teams units. Both teams return their starters from last year. Florida has Andre Debose, who was named the top returner in the country last year and Caleb Strugis is back to kick field goals, but the Gators are breaking in a freshman punter. For Arkansas, Joe Adams, who almost 16 yards per punt return should be fine for another year as the punt returner and Dennis Johnson should be back to return kicks again.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Edward, will Auburn be bowl eligible?
Edward Aschoff (5:13 PM)
I think so. There is enough talent to get 7 or 8 victories this season and there could be a surprise here and there by the Tigers.
Hey Ed is it completely crazy for me to think that Aaron Murray has a legit shot at being a heisman contender this season?
Edward Aschoff (5:14 PM)
It's not. Sophomores are regular Heisman candidates in this day and age. I think he's the top quarterback in the conference, but he needs to find another weapon outside of Tavarres King and Orson Charles. If he does, he could put up some monster numbers. Oh, and he needs wins. The Bulldogs have the talent to win the East, but they have to get over that underachievement bug that's in Athens.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Ed, Do you think Tyler Wilson might be getting over-hyped considering he has only played in one game of significance? It kind of reminds me of Brantley from Florida this time last year.
Edward Aschoff (5:16 PM)
Yes, but that's natural. When you come in with hype, you have to be prepared to here the chatter that you're the guy. He should put up good numbers with the talent that returns on offense. The question is if he's mentally ready and if the offensive line will be up to it. That will be a position to watch carefully with it being so inexperienced.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
After the SEC and the Big 12, who do you think are the most likely conferences to have a team in the championship game this year?
Edward Aschoff (5:17 PM)
How about Nebraska in the Big Ten? The Huskers picked the best time to make the switch. They should be in the thick of it toward the end of the season. Oregon is also a team that could return to the title game. A lot of that offense returns.
Will PSU give bama fits this year or will the the tide handle them pretty easily?
Edward Aschoff (5:19 PM)
It's at State College, so don't expect the Lions to roll over. I expect Alabama to win, but I don't see it being a major blowout.
i dont think USC will handle all the preseason hype very well, i'm just not buying into that they will win the east...who's in better shape to take the top spot from them UGA or UF?
Edward Aschoff (5:21 PM)
You aren't alone. A lot of people are iffy on the Gamecocks. I think Georgia is because this is seems like the last straw for Mark Richt. and I think his players will play for him. They have to find a running game and create some depth on the offensive line. The talent is there, but is the will? Florida will compete, but it has a tough schedule. At LSU, Auburn and South Carolina won't be fun. Oh, and the Gators still have to play Georgia ...
Arkansas never gets a whole lot of 4 and 5 star recruits but here lately and also in the past we've done pretty well for ourselves. how over-rated is that system? has good coaching got us by?
Edward Aschoff (5:22 PM)
Recruiting rankings shouldn't come out until after that class has graduated. I think Arkansas has the talent now to be a threat, but it still has to be more consistent in the southeast, especially Georgia and Florida. Petrino knows what to do with talent and he's been a fine addition to the SEC. Arkansas will start to improve its recruiting efforts sooner rather than later.
Alabama seems to set up to be a run heavy team this year. What SEC team sets up the best to be able to stop or at least slow down that running attack?
Edward Aschoff (5:23 PM)
LSU has young linebackers and a young defensive line, but with that athleticism, the Tigers should pose quite the problem for the Tide. That game will be an absolute game of wills. The Bama offense vs the LSU defense?? Come on!
Who will win: Oregon or LSU? Also, regardless who wins, is there a chance Oregon and LSU can face each other again in the NC?
Edward Aschoff (5:25 PM)
I will go with LSU now. And yes they could meet again, but only if they win out. National championship rematch would be fun but it's in New Orleans, so I'd probably go with LSU again.
Finch (RAF Mildenhall, UK)
Name your SEC dream coaching staff: HC, OC, DC.
Edward Aschoff (5:26 PM)
HC: GodzillaOC: GameraDC: BatmanYou said dream coaching staff, right?
Stever Spurrier (The Cockpit)
Hey Ed, So we have the QB situation together. Great Defense and good playmakers on the offense.. Where do you see us struggling and why can't we beat bama in the SEC championship.
Edward Aschoff (5:28 PM)
Do you have the QB situation together? I'd wait on that one because you've been down this road before ... The Gamecocks could very well beat Alabama in the SEC title game. I feel like both of those teams are the most well-rounded, but I want to see how Stephen Garcia reacts to the season this year. Who knows if he's mentally ready to play through all that scrutiny ...
Edward Aschoff (5:29 PM)
Thanks for the questions guys! Sorry I was tardy, but we had a good time anyway. Oh and I know you were all wondering, but I am getting settled in nicely in A-town. See you all next week!