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)
Hope everyone is well, and it's good to be back. Anybody ready for a little football?
Darren (Shreveport, LA)
If LSU stays healthy and Jordan Jefferson throws 18-20 touchdowns with only5-6 interceptions, are they the SEC champions?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
I'd say Les Miles would take those numbers right now and not even blink (or eat any grass). The key will be what Jefferson does in the key games -- Oregon, Alabama and Arkansas. He has to make plays in those games in the passing game and not turn it over. Still, if he throws 20-plus touchdowns this season, I like LSU's chances of winning the West.
how long is it till tennessee is competing for national championships again?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Let's start with SEC championships since they haven't won one since 1998. My guess would be 2012 when I think Tennessee will be one of the favorites in the East.
John Michael (Athens, GA)
Do you think Isaiah Crowell Can live up to the pressure?
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
The Bulldogs sure need him to. It will be interesting to see what kind of shape he reported in. I've heard mixed reports. With Boise State and South Carolina on the schedule the first two weeks of the season, the Bulldogs need Crowell to be as advertised from the outset.
Chris- Can you give us a rough schedule of upcoming SEC football stuff leading up to the first games(i.e. media days, when practices resume, etc.) Thanks!
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
The second session of summer school is starting at most schools, which means most of the other freshmen are reporting. The SEC media days are just around the corner, July 20-22 in Hoover, Ala. Practice will start somewhere around the Aug. 5-8 date.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the best SEC Quarterback in 2011 in College Football?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Georgia's Aaron Murray. My sleeper is Arkansas' Tyler Wilson.
Whats up with all the 'roster management' at Bama?, simple coincidence or does Saban really run players off as it appears? What do you really think?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
I think Saban is like most coaches. He manages his roster in a way he feels like is best for his program. Has he run some players off in the past who were causing problems and/or not contributing? Absolutely. That happens to some degree everywhere. I also believe it's going to happen even more now that the SEC has cut the number of players a school can sign each year from 28 to 25.
Phillip (a stadium near you)
Chris,do you see the coaches stopping their players from twitting after the C. J. Johnson episode and other episodes of players posting statements and photos that do not reflect theirselves in a positive way?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
I would make players prove to me that they could maturely handle Twitter and represent themselves, their school and their family with class before I would allow it. It's a huge pain in the rear for coaches and administrators.
So I hear that UA's Trent Richardson was a victim of a hit and run, but that he is okay. Do you have more information on this?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
Apparently it happened around 1:30 this morning in Tuscaloosa, but police aren't releasing a lot of details at this point. The person who hit Richardson fled the scene, according to police. Sure hope Richardson is OK and wasn't injured.
Clark (Fayettenam, AR)
Do you see a 1 loss SEC competing in the NC game?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
Yes, I would think a one-loss SEC champion that loses in the first half of the season (a close loss) would finish among the top two teams in the final BCS standings.
Dean (Tallahassee, FL)
What SEC team would you most like to see schedule a tough non-conference opponent (a team that doesn't already do so)?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Even though Florida plays Florida State every year, I'd like to see the Gators occasionally play a nonconference game of note outside the state of Florida.
Michael B (Madison, AL)
Can alabama solve their QB situation without resorting to the dual-QB option? (Something that Saban has never done)
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
Actually, I think that's how they will solve it, play both of those players and let it sort itself out on the field. Saban believes he can win with both of those players.
Taylor (Southaven, MS)
How big of a chance does Brandon Bolden have to be the SEC's leading rusher this season? Also, do you think the BYU game will be a make-or-break game for Ole Miss?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
That might not be a bad call, because the Rebels are going to feed the ball to Bolden, who was already the most underrated player in the SEC in my mind. He's also excellent at catching the ball out of the backfield. I'd be very surprised if Bolden doesn't have 1,000 to 1,200 yards this season. As for the BYU game, I think it's a game that will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Rebels will be in a bowl game in 2011.
K-nocK ATL (Atlanta.)
is this coach richt last year? he minds seems to be on other things like helping needy kids latin america vs. saban who is thinking always about football.......Georgia should have someone as dedicated to the school as that.....mark just has different priorites.
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
I'm sorry, but I really don't buy that. Coach Richt is indeed a fine man who will gladly tell you that football doesn't define who he is. That said, he's 100 pecent committed to that program and getting the Dogs back to winning SEC championships. The program just hasn't been as good in some areas the last few years, but I don't think it has anything to do with his mission work or anything else regarding his faith.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think Spurrier will return to Atlanta for the second consecutive year? If so, will the outcome be different?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
The Gamecocks are my pick to win the East again. I'm still not sure they have what it takes at quarterback, though, to win the big game in Atlanta.
Ron ((Stuck in Ohio))
Just how dire of a situation is Georgia's O-Line in after this string of transfers/injuries this summer? Any chance of incoming freshmen seeing significant playing time?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
I wouldn't say dire, but they sure can't afford for somebody like Cordy Glenn to get hurt. Some of the younger guys are going to have to come through. Coach Friend definitely walked into a challenging situation. Sometimes, though, change is good. The Bulldogs have underachieved up front the last few years with really good talent. Maybe it will be the other way around in 2011.
Mitch (Montgomery, AL)
List the three most talented RBs in the SEC. They're loaded and some might produce better than others, but based on talent alone who are the best?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
This always gets me in trouble when I do this because they're are so many good running backs in this league. But my top three are: 1. Trent Richardson 2. Marcus Lattimore 3. Knile Davis.
Any reason to think the East and West will be more competitively balanced this year?
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Nope, I think the West will again be much stronger, and I also think the East champion will have at least two losses again. The Gamecocks won it with three a year ago. One thing to remember going into the season is that the loser of the Georgia-South Carolina game that second week of the season has never made it to the SEC championship game.
Chris B (Lafayette,Louisiana)
Hey Chris!! Wrote you the last few times and not had a response from you so trying again. How do you see LSU's receiving corps doing this season and do Freshman Landry or Beckam jr come in and see minutes????
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Sorry about my tardy response. I can tell you that Russell Shepard absolutely thinks this will be his year to break out, and I tend to agree with him. He should be more natural at receiever now that he's played it for two years. Rueben Randle has to show he can be the go-to guy, but I think he's ready. And I can tell you that the LSU coaches can't wait to get the ball in Landry's hands. He will definitely get a chance this season. The Tigers still need a few others to come on. If Deangelo Peterson is more consistent catching the ball, he could really provide a boost at tight end with some of the matchup problems he creates.
David (Jacksonville, FL)
Does it seem that Florida is being over looked too much?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Probably so because so much about the Gators is a mystery this season with the new coach, new coordinators, new systems, etc. But we know they have talent, and if Charlie Weis can get some consistent production out of John Brantley, I think the Gators will be right there in November playing for the East title.
Dylan (Ocoee, FL)
Jaye Howard...best DT in the SEC?
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
That was our pick on the SEC blog heading into the season. Obviously, that could change. Nick Fairley came out of nowhere last year. Who would you pick?
Hey Chris, Nate here in afghanistan I am curious to what you think alabama's defense will look like this coming season?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
A lot like they did in 2009 when they won the national title, although I don't see a leader/caretaker of that defense cut from the same mold as Rolando McClain and the defensive line isn't as imposing. That 2009 group had Cody and Dareus. Wow! Still, I think the linebackers as a whole will be better and more talented this year and the secondary should be one of the best in the SEC. The Tide needs JUCO transfer Jesse Williams to come on at nose. Most importantly, thanks for your service to this country.
Chris, why is everybody getting banned? I asked a question about how people were feeling this morning, and next thing I know I can post anything. This comment board has become lame. Help us out!
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your user name and I'll see what I can find out. Thanks
What do you make of this "Vandy Coup" that is being reported?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
That James Franklin and his staff are kicking fanny and taking names on the recruiting trail. I'm telling you, this guy can recruit and has an air about him that prospects love.
Chris, your case for Mark Richt is weak, at best. Tell me he's not on the hottest seat in America.
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
I don't know about America, but he has the hottest seat in the SEC.
Rick (Little Rock)
Which SEC schools have the best facilities to show off to recruits?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
I would put LSU and Alabama at the top with Florida being in that conversation. Really, though, all the facilities in this league are outstanding and getting better. Arkansas is getting ready to spend $34 million to upgrade. Georgia just upgraded its facilities and Auburn is doing the same. Tennessee has really done a nice job renovating Neyland Stadium as well.
Mike P ((Goldsboro, NC))
Most people are saying UT will "win one they're not supposed to." Which game do you think and why?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
I'll go with Georgia. The Vols have had the Bulldogs' number lately in Knoxville and seem to match up well with them. I could see that game being a shootout.
Art (Athens, GA)
What team do you think will be the most exciting to watch this year?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Arkansas, although it's always a treat to watch the Lattimore-Jeffery tandem at South Carolina.
Any word on what UGA has decided to do about Jarvis Jones? Is he going to be suspended pending investigation, or are they in a "wait and see" mode right now? Thanks!
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Still collecting information. My guess is he will have to pay back some of that money and could miss a game or two, which stinks for the Bulldogs with Boise State and South Carolina on the schedule those first two weeks.
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Chris, I'm traveling from Utah to Oxford for BYU's matchup with Ole' Miss. Any tips for a good place to eat while I'm there?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
If you like catfish and hush puppies, you have to check out Taylor Grocery. Great stuff!
John (Cola, SC)
Chris referring back to your comment on this (The Gamecocks are my pick to win the East again. I'm still not sure they have what it takes at quarterback, though, to win the big game in Atlanta.) No one in the SEC West has a proven QB and Garcia is more proven than anyone else in the league, so what else makes you think that SC can't win that game if it's LSU or Bama?
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
I'm not saying they can't win, I just have my doubts about that whole quarterback situation and the way it's going to play out. Plus, I think Alabama and LSU will both be better on defense than South Carolina.
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
That's it for today. Everybody have a great week and we'll do this again next week. Remember to get me your nominations and memories of those players in the SEC who were great college players, but not necessarily great NFL players. Take care!