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 (1:03 PM)
Good to be back in the chat saddle and ready to go.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear ChrisWho could you see taking over as Ad at Tennessee?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Sounds like women's AD Joan Cronan will be appointed as interim AD until a new one is hired. The goal is by football season. Some of the names to watch include (alphabetically) Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart, Tennessee senior associate AD David Blackburn, Georgia associate AD Frank Crumley, FOX sports analyst Charles Davis, IMG executive Mark Dyer, former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, South Carolina AD Eric Hyman and Wake Forest AD Ron Wellman.
Who needs to step up in UGA's secondary for the team to have a realistic shot at winning the SEC East?
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
Anybody at that other safety spot opposite Bacarri Rambo. Jakar Hamilton was a JUCO newcomer a year ago who struggled with consistency. I expect senior cornerback Brandon Boykin to have a big season and really help solidify the Dogs' secondary. Keep an eye on those freshmen, too.
Brian (New Iberia, La)
Chris, I bleed LSU purple and gold. But how is it with so much (Jordan Jeffeson) to prove. How can our beloved tigers be #1 in preseaon poll?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
Well, you're stacked on defense with talented guys all over the place. Four starters return on the OL. RB Spencer Ware is a budding star, and I think receivers Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard will both light it up this season. A lot rides on Jefferson, who by all accounts improved this spring. He doesn't have to be all-world in the fall. But if he can make some plays in the passing game and not turn it over, I think the Tigers are one of four or five teams who definitely have a shot to win it all.
ryan (long boat key, fl)
do you see a problem with duron carter signing,(i saw his dad on espn days ago with a bama shirt on) second...do you think he will make an immediate impact? dont know much about him. thanks and love the chat!!!!roooollll tiiiiide!!!!!!
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
Yes, I think Carter will make an impact this season. He has great size (6-5) and also has the benefit of already having played at this level with Ohio State. A good get for the Tide and somebody who should boost their passing game.
We Ole Miss get to six wins this season and get to a bowl game? If not, will Houston Nutt survive?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
That BYU opener is huge. As I look at Ole Miss' schedule, I think the Rebels have to be at least 3-2 in those first five games to have a shot at being bowl eligible. If they beat BYU, 4-1 isn't out of the realm. So much of it hinges on how they come back defensively from a down year last season. Losing Shackelford for the season was a killer, but getting Lockett back helps make up for it. I see the Rebels finishing 6-6, and yes, I think Nutt will be back in 2012.
Chris, who do you think is the most hated team in College Football?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
All the usual suspects -- Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, Ohio State and (back in the day) Miami.
Chris (Johnson City, TN)
Why is Florida's roster being so disrespected this year? Pre-season ranking after pre-season ranking has them finishing 3rd in the East and with zero or one All-SEC player. I think the college football media is in for a VERY rude awakening come this fall.
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
You're right. Somebody will emerge from that 2010 signing class this season and be an All-SEC player, maybe more than one of those guys. Honestly, there's just not a lot known about Florida right now, as Muschamp has kept everything under wraps. We know the Gators have brought in a ton of highly rated players over the last two or three years. Demps and Rainey will both be huge on offense, and we'll find out out well Brantley fits into Charlie Weis' scheme. With Jenkins being dismissed, there are real concerns at cornerback. I could see the Gators winning the East, and I could also see them losing four or five games.
Hey Chris,With Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery and now Stephen Garcia back in the lineup....do you see the gamecocks as more than just a pre-season hype team? Alot of people are quick to reference the past with the gamecocks but this is a team that is 2 deep at every position and on paper really doesnt have a weakness. With Clowney coming Quarels do you see things in Gamecock Country truly turning the corner and putting South Carolina in a position to not only compete for the East for a while to come but also for SEC championships....the recruiting seems to be following suit and stating it may be SC's time.
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
In short, I think this Spurrier's best chance yet to win an SEC championship, especially if Garcia finally gets his act together and truly is a changed person, as the Head Ball Coach says he is. The defense should be outstanding, and I wouldn't trade Lattimore and Jeffery for any other RB-WR combo in the country. The Gamecocks are keeping the best players in the state at home (Clowney, Lattimore, Jeffery, Shell, Gilmore), and that's something they haven't always done.
Hey Chris! If Georgia wins their first 2 games what do you think the odds are of them winning the SEC championship?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
I won't go down the national championship path just yet, but I'd like their chances of being in Atlanta and playing for the SEC title if they win those first two.
Debby Head (Montgomery, Al)
Chris: This is Trinton Sturdivant's 3rd torn ACL. When is Coach Richt going to give him a medical scholarship? Enough is enough already.
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Sadly for Trinton, I think we're at that point now. He's been one of the hardest luck players I've seen in a long time.
Louis (Little Rock, AR)
Chris, how do you think the return of Dennis Johnson, and the seemingly positive strides Ronnie Wingo made in the offseason, will affect Knile Davis and the overall Razorback run game?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Bobby Petrino wasn't real happy with the running game coming out of the spring. He told me last week in Destin that a big part of that was the Hogs' improved defensive front. Still, Davis is going to need help, and I think it's important in today's SEC to have three guys you can count on at running back, so I see it as a positive that Johnson is back and Wingo keeps pushing to get better. Plus, all three of those guys are a little bit different, which is good.
How realistic is it for the Gators to be in the National Championship picture by Muschamp's 2nd or 3rd year coaching?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
The standard has been set high there with Meyer leading the Gators to national championships in his second and fourth seasons. So I'd say Muschamp had better at least have the Gators in that mix by his third year (certainly he needs to get to the SEC championship game by his third year), or he's going to have a hard time surviving. That said, I'd be very surprised if the Gators aren't playing for SEC championships sooner rather than later.
Chris: How much of the Hamilton resignation and current trouble at Tennessee can be laid at the doorstep of the unfortunate hire of Lane Kiffin?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
In a lot of ways, that was the beginning of the end for Hamilton, and then holding onto Pearl after he admittedly lied to the NCAA was the finishing blow.
Chris could you give us a quick rundown on what is going on right now? I mean are the teams allowed to practice, how often and for how long? What is a typical practice schedule for a college team?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Right now, most teams are going through voluntary workouts where the players organize 7-on-7 drills. They're also going through the offseason strength and conditioning program, which is overseen by the strength staff and consists of weight training, running and building speed.
Will (Washington, DC)
Chris, will you answer any of my questions? You never answer my questions. LOL. I will ask one more time. I believe Ole Miss has a good slew of QB's coming into this year. I may be a silly Ole Miss fan but I think we are seriously under rated this year. How do you like our chances if we not only beat BYU, but tear the house down in that game?
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
Will, I'm not dodging you, I promise. I talked with coach Nutt last week, and he's very pleased with the Brunetti/Mackey combo at quarterback and said Brunetti was probably a little ahead at this point. I don't think offense will be the problem. They also like their offensive line. It's defense where they have to get that edge back. They're hopeful JUCO newcomer Wes Pendleton can help at corner and that Kentrell Lockett is all the way back from his knee surgery. Get ready to see some new faces at linebacker. I like Ole Miss in that first game against BYU, but I still don't see the Rebels winning many more than six or seven games this year.
On paper do you feel that LSU is better than Alabama and a favorite to win the SEC west?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Teams are extremely close. LSU might be a little better in the defensive front. Alabama is better at linebacker. Both defensive backfields will be outstanding. LSU has more experience at QB, but Jefferson has to prove it in games. Richardson will be the most dynamic playmaker on the field. Ultimately, I think the game being played in Tuscaloosa will give Alabama the edge.
Chris, how do you like the "3-headed beast" of Relf, Ballard, and Perkins next year for my bulldogs' running game? Also, since we have, for the first time in years, a respectable receiving corps with considerable depth, how do think the offense overall will be this year? Is it a juggernaut in the making? Thanks, Chris. Keep up the good work.
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
One of the more underrated 3-headed beasts in college football. He's hurt and won't be able to start the season, but I can tell you that Dan Mullen also really likes RB Nick Griffin a lot, too. Mullen told me last week he was faster than any back they had and also adept at breaking tackles. They're still not where they need to be at receiver, but they have more of them. Bumphis needs to have a big year. If Relf improves from last year to this year as much as he did from 2009 to 2010, look out. This should be Mullen's best team.
Chris, I keep hearing how miss state has a good team, but not sure if they can keep up with the LSU's ALA's and ARK's. What would it take to close the gap? The offense seems full of weapons to me.
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
They just have to find a way to win the close games. They lost by a field goal to Auburn last year, lost in overtime to Arkansas and lost to LSU when they were stopped inches from the goal line two years ago. They simply have to break through and win one of those games, and then I think it will be on. They're right on that threshold.
Chris, why is everybody just counting Auburn out? They have had two back to back top 5 recruiting classes, and they won 8 games with Chris Todd. I see them winning around 9 games and beating a few teams that they aren;t supposed to beat
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
I don't know about nine wins, but I could see eight. I think a lot of it is that the West is going to be so loaded again. If Auburn were in the East, I could see them conceivably contending for the title this season, It's going to take a few games for some of the younger players to get their feet up under them, and the schedule is harder than it was a year ago. Lot of tough games away from home those first six weeks. My guess is Auburn gets better and better and is a really solid football team that last half of the season.
Danny (Madison, MS>)
Who do you think will be the starting QB @ Bama and do you possibly see a 2 QB system? From up close accounts the defense has looked great and has leadership which it direly lacked last season. What do you think?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
I was one of those saying McCarron going into the spring. But the more people I talk with in and around the program, it sounds like Sims could end up being the guy. I definitely think they're both going to play early and let it sort itself out on the field. By that Arkansas game the fourth week of the season, one of the two will probably have separated himself.
Chris, everyone knows Georgia is going to hurt alittle without A.J. and everyone is putting alot of pressure on Travarres King. What are the possiblilities of someone like Marlon Brown, Wooten, or maybe a true freshman stepping up and making a big impact. Also do you think Lemay will stay at QB or moved to WR like Hines did?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
To me, Orson Charles will play a huge role in revving up that passing game this season. The Bulldogs are going to use him a lot of different ways, move him around and try to get him the ball. Michael Bennett is somebody else to keep an eye on. I think Lemay is a quarterback.
mitchell ((kc, missouri))
who do u think has the best shot in the sec to win the national title
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
1. Alabama2. LSU3. Arkansas
_______ wins will get Miles fired. _______ wins will get Richt fired.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
I don't see any realistic scenario that Miles gets fired after this season. For one, he's coming off an 11-win season and has a massive buyout. As for Richt, anything less than eight wins would probably force Georgia to make a move, especially if he loses the key games (Florida, South Carolina, etc.)
Parker (Nashville, TN)
Any thoughts on what you think will happen tomorrow with Tennesse and the NCAA. Really hope Kiffin is the target in football...he should be.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
I think Tennessee's football program will get a period of probation, maybe just a year. I can also see them losing anywhere from two to four scholarships and having a few recruiting restrictions put into place, but I don't think the sanctions will be cripping. I do believe the NCAA will go after Kiffin and hit him with some penalties (anything from a suspension to being taken off the road recruiting) while he's there at USC. The NCAA has started going more after the people who commit the violations, which is part of the new NCAA. But the Vols certainly aren't going to go unscathed, nor should they.
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
That's a wrap for today. Catch up with everybody soon. Have a great week and stay out of the sun.