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 (1:04 PM)
Bonus SEC football tonight from Starkville. Good stuff!
Who's the best QB in the SEC?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
I had Aaron Murray solidly as that guy before the season, and he still may be. But Tennessee's Tyler Bray has made it an interesting argument. Bray gets his first real test Saturday at Florida. I'm also impressed with what Chris Relf has done at Mississippi State. The other guy I would mention is Arkansas' Tyler Wilson. I still think he's going to have a big year.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Is it possible for Troy to keep this game close entering halftime? Some media members around here are scared that they could; calm us down Chris!
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
Not based on what I've seen from the Hogs. They're just so explosive, although Troy athletically will be the best team Arkansas has faced. I think Arkansas wins by three or four touchdowns.
Could Commodore fans begin to dream of yet another bowl game with a win Saturday against Ole Miss? Maybe they could also dream of a win at South Carolina a la 2007?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
A win Saturday over Ole Miss puts Vanderbilt in position to be a 6-6 team and possibly get to a bowl this season. I think this is a game the Commodores have to win if they're going to have a chance at the postseason. They still have Army and Wake Forest and also get Kentucky at home. I said before the season that four wins would be an excellent start for James Franklin. Six wins would qualify him for SEC coach of the year honors.
Buzz Cutter (Oxford, MS)
UGA fan living in Ole Miss country. I think UGA's record speaks for itself the past two years. UGA needs a shake up which means a coaching change. I never read anything in the media but support for Coach Richt and that this will be the year he turns it around. Why does the media like Richt so much?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Honestly, I don't think whether the media likes or dislikes Richt will have much bearing on Georgia's decision. It's a bottom-line business, and if Richt doesn't turn it around and finish strongly, he's not going to make it. That said, Richt is a classy guy who treats people with respect and has won a lot more games than he's lost. He just hasn't won a whole lot of them here lately, which usually has a way of catching up with you in this league.
Kmoz (Austin, Tx)
Chris, I am a Tide fan all the way, living in Austin, go figure. Your take on Alabama vs. Arkansas next week?
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
I look for a great game, maybe even better than the one last year in Fayetteville. Arkansas is better on defense than they've been under Petrino and will really come after McCarron. Alabama better be able to run the ball, although I think the Hogs will have trouble protecting Tyler Wilson. Not ready to pick it yet, but you're going to see two outstanding teams on the field.
JJ (Cleveland, MS)
Is this a must win for Ole Miss vs Vandy to have a successful season?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
Yes, I don't see a scenario where Ole Miss gets to a bowl game if the Rebels lose this game.
Gamecock Nation (SC)
Melvin Ingram for Heisman??? He deserves more credit than he has gotten. He is the most underrated player in college football!
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
I don't know about the Heisman, but he's one versatile football player. To see a guy that big make a run like that last week was amazing. Spurrier said he could play running back. His teammates sayd he's always doing unbelievable things on the practice field.
I know the Gamecocks haven't played great, but they have found a way to win. Don't great teams find ways to win?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Yep, they sure do. But great teams also improve from week to week and don't keep making the same mistakes. That's what has Spurrier so upset, some of the shoddy play on defense, missed tackles and mental mistakes, not to mention a passing game that has been suspect. He knows as well as anybody that the Gamecocks need to play better if they're going to have a chance to win the SEC this season.
Chris,Can UK get it together in time to save the season? Obviously UL and JSU are must wins but of their SEC schedule, where do we stand the best chances to pick up some W's (base don what you've seen so far):UF@LSU@USCOle Miss@UGAMSU@ VandyUTYou can be honest/realistic here. I saw the first two games.
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
The Cats need to get healthy in their offensive line and Morgan Newton has to be more consistent throwing the ball. I really like freshman running back Josh Clemons and think he will help get the offense going. Give credit to Rick Minter and that defense, which wanted to be more of an attack defense and has forced six turnovers in two games. If the Cats win all four of their non-conference games (which they better), I would say that stretch of Miss. State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt late in the season becomes critical. Kentucky would have to win at least two of those games. The Mississippi State and Ole Miss games are at home, too.
Edward Aschoff blogged about how UGA can win the SEC East. How can anyone actually believe that this undisciplined mistake prone UGA squad will 4-0 against Florida, Tennesee, Auburn, and Miss State?
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
I don't think the Bulldogs would necessarily have to go unbeaten the rest of the way to win the East. They've only lost one SEC game. It's very possible that two losses will win the East. Remember that three did last season. Division tiebreakers will be key, which means Georgia can't afford another loss to an East team.
What is your updated prediction for the SEC West Standings?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
I still have LSU and Alabama has my top two with Arkansas right there in the ballpark. Auburn has to be No. 4. The Tigers just keep winning. Now, all this changes, you realize, if Mississippi State upsets LSU tonight. And you also have the big Alabama-Arkansas showdown next week. It's going to be a wild ride in the West.
Based on the preseason expectations and how the first two weeks have played out, what SEC teams do you feel may be a little overrated and which ones seem to be underrated?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Overrated would be Mississippi State because the defense has been shaky, but that could change in a hurry tonight. South Carolina's defense has also been disappointing, even though the Gamecocks are 2-0. Tennessee is a little better than I thought the Vols might be, although the real test comes Saturday in the Swamp. Gotta give props to Auburn and Vandy. I wasn't sure either would be 2-0 at this point.
Chris, what is your take on the Bama o-line so far? I didn't like what I saw against Kent State, then they seemed to finally gel a little against Penn State, and obviously they should be able to push N Texas all over the field. But when the going gets tough, do you see this unit as solid for the Tide?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
I felt like it might have to evolve a little bit for Alabama this season up front with Barrett Jones moving to left tackle. He's a terrific player, but that's a big adjustment moving from guard to left tackle for anybody. When it's all said and done, and when Kouandjio is ready, I think their best combination will be Kouandjio at left tackle and Jones back at guard. We're going to find out a lot about Alabama's offensive line against Arkansas because the Hogs are deep, athletic and big up front on defense.
hckilgore (Chattanooga, Tn)
what does Tn have to do to get a solid running game?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
Good question. This offensive line has pass blocked very well, but still hasn't been real, real impressive in the run game. The Vols need more big plays from the backs, too. They hope Marlin Lane can continue to give them that, but he's banged up and may not be 100 percent this week at the Swamp. Poole is a tough runner and fights for everything he gets, but not a dynamic breakaway threat.
synnjinn (jacksonville, fl)
What do you expect to see from the gator D now that Floyd is back? Do you think his addition to the D-line can add enough pressure to take Bray out of his comfort zone?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Of all those freshman defensive linemen Florida brought in last year, I was most impressed with Floyd. He's a beast out there at end and is raring to get back out there after sitting out the last two weeks. I think the Vols will have a hard time blocking him as well as all the different pressure the Gators will bring on Saturday.
Any chance our O-line DOESN'T get totally exposed against Bama next week?
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
I don't know about totally exposed, but that's the area I would worry about most if I'm an Arkansas fan.
Jason (Springdale, AR)
What are your thoughts on Knile Davis returning later this season?ARE YOU THE "SEC MAN"???
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
When I last talked with Knile, he said there was an outside chance, maybe sometime in November. But he also emphasized that he wouldn't rush it and wouldn't take any chances, especially given his history of injuries.
Desmon White (Alabama)
What's the status of Duron Carter for Alabama? We really need him.
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
The Tide could definitely use him next week against Arkansas. The longer this thing goes, the more you wonder if it's going to get cleared up this season.
Jon (Baton Rouge)
Could you please explain to me why your SEC blog hyped Ego Ferguson all off-season? He was never even in the two deep but was constantly getting love from you. I love all my Tigers but I just never got it.. Inside joke or something?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
The coaches and his teammates were high on him, and I wouldn't kick him to the curb after the first two games of his college career. It also tells you how good and how deep the Tigers are up front. I still think he's going to be a good player.
Justin D (Atl Ga)
I feel that UF has serious talent at the RB position, having Rainey, Demps, Brown, and Gillislee. I think the run game has the biggest impact on Saturdays game. That being said, which do you think has the bigger impact..Bray and Hunter in the pass or UF's run game?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Chris Rainey. I think a big play or big plays from Rainey will help Florida pull away in this game.
Ryan (San Francisco)
Chris, based on what you've seen so far, what are your picks for SEC Players of the Year on Offense, Defense, and Special Teams?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
Offense -- Marcus LattimoreDefense -- Tyrann MathieuSpecial teams -- Joe Adams
What is the gentleman's bet on picking games between you and Ed?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
The loser has to go with a mohawk haircut. There's a rumor out there that Edward once had one in college.
If Texas A&M were in the SEC this year, would they be a favorite to win it or where would you rank them?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Right now, I'd probably have Texas A&M fourth behind LSU, Alabama and Arkansas. We get to see Arkansas and A
Glenn F (New Orleans)
It looks like it could be another 2-loss team winning the West this year since none of the teams look particularly dominating on both sides of the football. What do you think?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
I don't know about that. I still think the West winner will have no more than one loss. The East winner, I think, will have two.
Jacob (Breaux Bridge, LA)
How much do you expect to see Z. Mett at QB for LSU in tonight's game at Miss. St? I know Lee has far more experience and I agree he should be starting QB, but I don't think it would hurt to give Mett a shot, especially with how well he's playing lately.
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
If LSU isn't moving the ball and Lee isn't making anything happen in the passing game, I'd sure give Mettenberger a look. Miles has been slow to pull the trigger at times on his quarterback. But I don't think you can mess around tonight if you're the Tigers and Mississippi State is loading the box and daring you to throw. Lee is plenty capable, but this is a big test for him.
What is the status of Devrin Young? Any chance he gets to field some punts/kicks? How do you project him to play in the swamp?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Young has practiced this week and gives the Vols their best chance back there, but it's hard to imagine Dooley throwing him out there in the Swamp to field his first punt.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
Are you ever going to answer one of my questiosn I ask them every week, and I don't think they are stupid questions except for this one
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
Man, I'm sorry, and I love Pawley's Island, too. Go there every summer. Ask it again, and I will answer it. There's no such thing as a stupid question.
Jake (Ringgold, GA)
T. Bray vs. Fla secondary: who do you think wins the matchup?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
I expect Bray to have a big game, and Tennessee's bigger receivers match up well against Florida's smaller corners. The Vols will make some plays in the passing game, but not enough to win the game. I see the Gators pulling away in the second half thanks to a big play from Rainey and better overall special teams.
Greg (Columbia, SC)
Chris, any reason why the Gamecocks shouldn't be 6-0 heading into Starkville?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
No, unless their tackling gets worse.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
I have heard allot about Navy's offense but not much about their defense do you think this is the week SC gets the passing game going? I think Alshon should go over 100 yds this week
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
The best thing Navy's defense has going for it is an offense that plays keepaway from the other team. But, yes, I definitely see the Head Ball Coach trying to get that passing game going. He brought it up himself earlier this week that the Gamecocks were 107th nationally in passing offense. Jeffery has made plays when they've gone to him and had defenders beaten in that first game. The throws weren't quite there. Garcia has to be more consistent throwing the ball. He was awful in the fist half last week. If he's not sharp Saturday in the first half, I'd look for Spurrier to give Connor Shaw another chance. Still, when you have No. 21 in your backfield, you always have a chance. What a great football player!
Mike ((Castle Rock, CO))
Joe Adams as Special Teams player of the year so far??..Tre Mason of Auburn is ranked 2nd in the nation in return average..his touchdown return of a kickoff rallied the Tigers to a win..why not him?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Good call, and I'm glad you mentioned Mason. When you start talking about the best true freshmen in the league so far, Mason's right up there with Jadeveon Clowney, Isaiah Crowell, Josh Clemons, Anthony Johnson and Curt Maggitt.
there's smoldering about FSU being #14 after Tx A&M; if the SEC could have their pick - what 3 teams would they target?
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
In an ideal world, the SEC would love to have Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Virginia Tech would make a lot of sense, too.
Any chance Coach Muschamp benches Brantley in favor of Jeff Driskel if he plays as poorly in the new system as he did in the old one?
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Sure, this is a big game for Brantley. He hasn't had to do a whole lot the first two weeks.
SC needed 2 defensive scores AND a fake punt for a touchdown to beat a UGA team that got pretty well handled by BSU... and you see no reason why they could lose a game to a team they shouldn't (like they always do) or to the rabbit foot at seems to be Auburn football??
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
No, I definitely think South Carolina is going to lose at least two games based on what I've seen the first two weeks. Spurrier said it himself. They have a lot of coaching to do unless they want to fall back into being average.
Greg (Skyline, AL)
what do you think of Auburn's chances against clemson.
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
I picked the SEC's Tigers, but I went back and forth on it. I just wonder about Auburn going on the road and what happens if the Tigers get behind with all those young players. But until they lose, I'm not picking against them again.
Gordon (new orleans)
Better D so far this young season..Ala or LSU?
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
I'll go LSU based on the Oregon game. Ask me again after tonight's Mississippi State game.
Chris Low (2:14 PM)
Thanks to everybody for stopping by. Looking forward to watching the Tigers and Bulldogs tonight. Should be a good one. Be safe and have a great week!