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 (4:00 PM)
Welcome back to our Monday chat! I'm here to temporarily relieve you of that case of the Mondays with some SEC chatter. Let's get things started. Fire away.
Mark W. (Greenville, SC)
With another interesting year of SEC East play only two months out, there's been plenty of talk in Las Vegas about Georgia and Tennesse having much better chances to end up in Atlanta in December. What is your take on the Dawgs and Vols? Do the Gamecocks stand there ground or buckle under bad leadership from Stephen Garcia?
Edward Aschoff (4:03 PM)
I think with the questions in the East, the Gamecocks don't exactly have it wrapped up. I will say that I think that Tennessee is still a year away from really competing in the East. The defense just has too many questions around it. Georgia might have the most talent in the East, but the offensive line is a mess and the running game might have to rely on a rookie. Also, the Dawgs have a reputation for underachieving. South Carolina will enter the season as the favorites, but I'm curious to see how the team reacts to the hype. Remember they beat No. 1 Alabama and then turned around and lost to South Carolina. The hype might get to them.
OldRebel (Florence, SC)
What's your analysis and prediction for the Ole Miss-BYU game?
Edward Aschoff (4:06 PM)
It should be a good one. Ole Miss isn't taking on a slouch to open the season. The Cougars weren't their usual selves last year, going 7-6, but there is some talent on that BYU team. Ole Miss is looking to rebound from a disastrous 2010 season. Who is going to the QB? How will that defense hold up? Who are the leaders? I think this is a good test for the Rebels to start the season because they aren't playing the traditional cupcake (then again, Jacksonville State was supposed to be a cupcake last season). Ole Miss needs a test like this to open the year, especially with all the questions. A victory would give the Rebels some much-needed momentum for the season.
Ed, Do you think Auburn really wanted Russel Wilson? his 5"11 I dont think he is really that great he wont play in the nfl so what is the point of him still playing football
Edward Aschoff (4:10 PM)
I don't see why the staff wouldn't want him. He's tremendously athletic, very experienced and would be a great fit in the offense. He's not going to run over guys like Cam Newton, but he might be a better passer technically. I know he would only have a little time to learn the offense, but the Tigers don't exactly have a star QB at the moment. Clint Moseley and Barrett Trotter struggled this spring, but both made some positive strides here and there. Incoming freshman Kiehl Frazier is going to have his development accelerated once he gets into preseason practice. If you bring Wilson in you have someone who could help the young quarterbacks learn and it would benefit them to get watch a veteran for another year, considering the little experience that bunch has. I think he would have been a welcome addition at Auburn and Gene Chizik hinted to that in Destin.
Kansas from Sunny Spain [via mobile]
Auburn have a chance to win the SEC west again?
Edward Aschoff (4:12 PM)
Like I've said before, there is a lot of young talent, but it's very young. And no one should be very upset if this is a setback year for the Tigers. They only return six starters total from last year. Gene Chizik has done a great job recruiting and that will pay off in the next couple of years. Heck, it could pay off next year. Every team goes through this, especially when you lose the talent Auburn had. I don't see them competing for the SEC title, but a strong finish to the season wouldn't surprise me.
Dylan (Ocoee, FL)
Is Florida still an attractive destination for recruits?
Edward Aschoff (4:13 PM)
Yes. It's the flagship university of the state and Will Muschamp has some great ties to the southeast. He started off this class very strong, but he hit a slow patch there. That's going to happen, especially with a first-year coach. I think a lot of prospects want to see what he and his team do this fall. Winning is the key.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Hi Edward, there are rumors circulation that Darrington Sentimore is leaving Alabama. Have you heard anything about this? If so, where would he transfer to?
Edward Aschoff (4:17 PM)
I know that Tidesports.com, Alabama's Rivals.com site, reported that he's thinking about leaving school. I'm not sure if anything has been confirmed with the school yet. I know Miami is a school that could be in the running.
The amount of attrition that teams are having this offseason seems higher than years past... any reason you can think of why this may be?
Edward Aschoff (4:20 PM)
I think it's a mixture of talent and coaches not wanting to get caught up in disciplinary issues. Some players are realizing that their actions are costing them in the college careers and coaches aren't looking to put up with that anymore. I think it's great to see. I also think some players are looking up the depth chart and aren't happy with their situations. It's natural and everyone wants to play and and start. It's the nature of the business, but some players are figuring out that they might not get that chance at the schools they are at. There is more great talent in this league every year and that's not going to stop. The SEC recruits like no other conference and players need to know that their jobs are never safe. Some are figuring that out.
Phil (Wellington Florida)
Is Alabama a real contender without a proven quarterback?
Edward Aschoff (4:22 PM)
Both players going for that spot are talented. They are inexperienced, but the players and the coaches feel very comfortable with each guy being in the pocket. That's a good sign for Alabama. The offensive line is stacked and experienced and Trent Richardson should take over that backfield nicely. Defensively, Alabama is going to be extremely tough for any team to score points on. I'm sure Nick Saban would like a little more experience at quarterback, but he's got to be happy with his options at this point.
Roger (Columbia, South Carolina)
Garcia seems to be the only big game QB in the SEC, beat Bama & Gators last year. Agree?
What do you think the Hogs chances are of winning the Alabama game, and if they do so, finishing the season undefeated?
Edward Aschoff (4:25 PM)
Sounds funny rolling off your tongue, right? But the truth is that you're right. No other quarterback is as proven as him and while he's had an up-and-down career, he's the most experienced quarterback in the league and had two huge victories last year. Jordan Jefferson did help beat Alabama, but Garcia sent his team to the SEC championship game. The next step is for Garcia to keep that going, especially with all the off-the-field foolishness he's been involved with. He can't be a distraction this year.
Phillip (A stadium near you)
Edward,it's Monday and you are back.Why has Chris Martin decided to transfer from Florida?
Edward Aschoff (4:27 PM)
It was a decision that was pretty mutual between the coaching staff and Martin, from what I've been told. He's had his off-field issues and some don't think he meshed that well with the new coaching staff. He was very close to Urban Meyer and was praised for his play in practice last year. Now, he's starting over with his third coaching staff (remember he transferred from Cal last summer) and I just don't think he was very happy. He couldn't have been with some of his decisions off the field. Muschamp isn't taking chances with players that aren't 100 percent committed.
What do you think the Hogs chances are of winning the Alabama game, and if they do so, finishing the season undefeated?
Edward Aschoff (4:30 PM)
Arkansas' offense will score some points. How many? Who knows? But this team has the talent to beat Alabama and it starts with the offense. But can Tyler Wilson handle the pressure of facing that Alabama defense in Tuscaloosa? He looked fine against Auburn last year, but this is a new year. I think the key will be Arkansas' defense. Bobby Petrino thinks this is the best defensive team he's had at Arkansas and if it can live up to expectations, the Razorbacks will be in this game until the end. I think you have to give Arkansas the advantage on offense with the passing game and Knile Davis at running back, but Alabama wins on defense right now. Can't wait for this game. Also, going defeated is going to be tough for any team and Arkansas must play at Bama and LSU this fall.
Dave (Atlanta GA)
Ed, how many wins for Richt this year---6, 8 or 10 & why?
Edward Aschoff (4:33 PM)
As of now, I think 9-10 isn't out of the question. Remember, Georgia doesn't play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU this season. South Carolina and Mississippi State are both at home, but don't overlook playing at Tennessee or playing in Jacksonville against Florida. Oh and of course the Dawgs open the season against Boise State. The talent is there, but the offensive line has huge question marks and the running game might have to rely on incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell. It's never good to put a rookie in that situation, but Crowell might have the talent to handle it.
Thanks Edward, What're the chances Holloman misses time? If he doesn't miss any, how much longer can Spurrier let the players slide before the NCAA takes action? I know the majority are minor infractions, but they add up.
Edward Aschoff (4:36 PM)
No, thank you Jacob. I'm sure Spurrier will wait to see what happens legally with Holloman before he makes a decision. If the ruling isn't in Holloman's favor, I think Spurrier has to suspend him for part of the season. There have been some questionable decisions made by Spurrier when it comes to discipline, so I think he will have to make some sort of statement with Holloman, even if he is one of South Carolina's best players. We'll have to wait to see the fallout first.
Ed, every writer I follow says Tennessee will win a game they shouldn't win and lose one game they shouldn't lose. Take your best shot at those two games.
Edward Aschoff (4:38 PM)
I totally agree, but I'd say that about every team, really. It's college football and it's the SEC. There is too much talent to go around for something silly not to happen. Hey, Tennessee could walk into Gainesville and take that game right off the bat. Florida is under a new staff and has it's own problems entering the season. But Tennessee could also lose to Cincinnati in the second week of the season. That's a game the Vols shouldn't lose, but could. Also look at the Oct. 29 game against South Carolina at home. Tennessee might be finding itself by then and could pull off a nice upset of the Gamecocks.
Brandon (Dawsonvile GA)
what do you think the NCAA will do to Jarvis Jones? Does he miss any games this year. Go Dawgs!!!!
Edward Aschoff (4:42 PM)
Not sure right now, but he might just have to pay the money back that he received for his flights to and from LA. He could be suspended for the first part of the season, like A.J. Green, but I'm not sure if anything major will happen to him. We have to wait to see what the NCAA finds.
Jason (Springdale, AR)
is your aka special ed??
Edward Aschoff (4:43 PM)
It was at Boys State and it helped me run for Secretary of State because of that show Crank Yankers.
Josh F. (Noblesville, IN)
As a Bama fan I have to ask. What game do you see as Bama's biggest chance of losing? I know LSU and Arkansas are always tough, but we do have them both at home, and we have the revenge factor against LSU. So do you think one of them will do it, or do you see someone else having a better shot.
Edward Aschoff (4:45 PM)
Arkansas at home won't be easy. It will be a great test for that defense because Arkansas will score a lot of points this season. But don't forget about the game AFTER LSU. A week after the Tigers come to town, Alabama has to travel to Starkville to play Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are a dark horse favorite in this league, so that game should be rocking. I'd keep my eye on that one if the Bulldogs are as good as advertised this fall.
Kevin (Myrlte Beach)
How good is Connor Shaw if S. Garcia can't hold it together?
Edward Aschoff (4:47 PM)
After talking with Spurrier down in Destin, he seemed content with the job that Shaw did this spring. He's got a lot of upside and did well without Garcia around this spring. Spurrier is pretty honest about his quarterbacks and he felt good about Shaw. Now he's not that experienced, so that would be an issue, but I think there is enough talent around him to keep him sane. If Garcia went down, it might take Shaw some time to adjust, but I think South Carolina would be fine.
Do u think the Gators will be competing for National Championships again within the next 2-3 years?
Edward Aschoff (4:50 PM)
Ask me this question after this season, but I think Florida has the talent to get back to the top of the SEC. The offense has the most questions heading into the fall, but the defense should be very, very good next year. That front seven might be the best in the country if the talent develops this fall. And the secondary should be fine after taking a few hits this fall. If Jeff Driskel or Jacoby Brissett or Tyler Murphy turns out to be a solid quarterback, Florida should get back to competing for the SEC soon.
Vlad (Asheville, NC)
Is James Franklin's early recruiting success at Vandy for real? I know it's a long way to February, but he seems like a salesman on a roll right now.
Edward Aschoff (4:52 PM)
He's done a great job. I talked to him in Destin and I can tell why kids are so excited about him. I think he's still got to win a few more games this fall. If he can get to five or six wins, people will be look at Vandy a little bit more. It's always going to be tough for the staff at Vanderbilt to compete with the big guys in the SEC because of the academic standards. It's the sad truth, but I think Franklin will start to find some really talented athletes that want to play on his team.
Joe Vickers (Fayetteville, AR)
Ed, I am wondering why Bobby Petrino and the Arkansas staff has not produced a better recruiting class than they have so far during Petrino's reign..?? When, as a Hog fan, can I expect us to reap the benefits of being a top 10 team in the country when it comes to recruiting?? I am not saying their recruiting classes have been bad up to this point, but just hasnt been anywhere near a top tier SEC recruiting class.. Your thoughts???
Edward Aschoff (4:54 PM)
Hey, if Petrino is winning, who cares about rankings? Florida had the top class last year and the arrogance of that class really hurt the Gators. Stars and rankings can only go so far. I wouldn't worry about it. The Hogs have done a good job with recruiting since Petrino arrived and he's getting guys that work in his system. I think the next step for him is recruiting more big-time guys on defense. That is where you should look for improvement.
OldRebel (Florence, SC)
OK, Ed...you gave your analysis. Now...who do you think is going to win the Ole Miss-BYU game?
Edward Aschoff (4:54 PM)
I'm going to go with Ole Miss. Season-opener and the Rebels are looking to make a statement.
cinco2seis (Atlanta, GA)
Ed, I know a lot of people were high on RW going to Auburn, but he wouldn't have been able to learn and perfect the offense the way Gus would have needed him to do so in a matter of weeks. Trotter's got the tools to be great in the Malzahn offense, he was an Elite 11 QB when he was recruited and has had three years to learn the offense. Being surrounded by playmakers is a given, if anything Auburn only needs to worry about OL and 2ndary, agree or disagree?
Edward Aschoff (4:57 PM)
Ah, my new Twitter buddy! I still stand by my thoughts that Auburn would have benefited from having Wilson. He's got the talent and experience to not only help the Tigers through this rebuilding year but he would have helped those younger quarterbacks develop more. I think Auburn will eventually be fine at QB, but it will take a little time with Trotter, Moseley and Frazier. They just don't have the experience, but Gus Malzahn is great at developing QBs. I could do well in his offense and I'm more of a running back.
Florida hit a slow patch with recruiting? They received three verbals last week.
Edward Aschoff (4:58 PM)
The staff was hurting during part of the spring. Probably should have specified that. Plus, they lost out on a couple of prospects that people though Florida would land.
Ed,What player on alabama do you think will have a break through year?
Edward Aschoff (5:00 PM)
CB DeQuan Menzie. He might not have gotten a ton of pub last year, but Nick Saban thinks he might be the most talented defender in his defensive backfield. I think he's primed to have a big year for the Tide. Athletic guy who is going to get all over the field.
Edward Aschoff (5:01 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions, guys. Fun as always. Don't forget the SEC has taken over the College World Series, so check it out the first game of the finals tonight!