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 noon ET!
Edward Aschoff (12:03 PM)
Greetings! Hope everyone had a good weekend and is ready for a the last two weeks of the regular season. Where has the time gone?
joe (kansas city)
Whats the chances of AR and LSU being ranked higher than bama if the hogs pull off the upset in baton rouge giving the hogs the nod in the west?
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
It is going to be hard for Arkansas to pull in front of Alabama even if the Hogs beat LSU. Alabama would have to lose to Auburn and I don't see that happening right now. An Alabama loss seems like the only thing that would keep Arkansas alive in the SEC title hunt.
Tell me how I should feel about the Gamecocks. Spurrier has brought the level of talent to the level that I am not feeling great about being 8-2 with a gimmee next week (Citadel). The offense has been terrible, but usually we are trying just to be bowl eligible this time of year.
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
Spurrier has done great things during his time in Columbia. An 8-2 year is great for this program considering what it's been through. That said, an SEC championship was the goal and this team has had the talent to get back to Atlanta. Losing your starting quarterback and one of the best running backs in the country certainly doesn't help, but this offense hasn't really done much all year. It can move the ball at times, but finding the end zone has been extremely hard. The mistakes and miscues against Auburn have come back to haunt this team.
Florida is a mess. What exactly is the offensive gameplan? Muschamp and his staff look lost and out of solutions.
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
I wouldn't put all of the blame on Muschamp. This is first year and transition is never easy. I think more blame should be put on Charlie Weis. He has yet to construct a consistent game plan since Week 4. He has just not lived up to the hype this year. Yes, he's converting spread guys to a pro-style, but if you're that good, you have to find a way to get your receivers the ball and have plays in place to fit the talent you have. Florida doesn't have that at all.
Drew (Bainbridge, GA)
Mr. Edward, I know I am jumping ahead a little, but seeing the way UGA dominated Auburn this past weekend. Considering that our defense in playing some good football, and our offense if finally clicking, and also considering that LSU isn't an offensive juggernaut by any means. With a little luck and a few deep balls, and defensive stanglehold by both teams, can UGA pull out the biggest upset of the year? I think we can considering the circumstances.
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
I'm just not sure Georgia's offense can stop LSU's defense. That group has to be the fastest defense around. I don't think Georgia's offensive line could matchup with LSU's defensive line and more than just Malcolm Mitchell will have to step up at wide receiver against that talented secondary. Defensively, Georgia could stop the Tigers here and there, but that running game is fierce. Just don't see the upset.
Hayden Sowers (Oxford, MS)
Ed, who do you like for the coach at Ole Miss? Things have gotten pretty bad down here, and was wondering who you think is the best man for the job?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
There are a lot of names that will come up. Kevin Sumlin and Charlie Strong are hot young coaches who are doing well at their respective schools. Then you have coordinators like Kirby Smart and Gus Malzahn. Hey, Mike Leach is a name that will pop up as well. I think it's time for Ole Miss to go after someone who can recruit the state of Mississippi. The Rebels haven't done that well in a while. That is the key to this job because it's a good one. There is talent all around the area, but LSU and Alabama feast off of it.
Kirby Smart (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Have you ever seen a defense as good as this years Crimson Tide's defense?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
You've done a fine job there, coach. I can't remember the last time Alabama gave up more than 14 points. This might be the toughest defense in the country. It's not as fast as LSU's but it will knock you in the mouth harder.
Thoughts on A&M next year. Do you think the Aggies retain Sherman after this year, or, do you think they give him at least one year in the SEC? If he isn't productive, does he get canned and who do you think they would go after?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
I'm not as versed the Aggie program just yet, but from what I've seen the defense needs to improve mightily if it wants to compete in this league. The offensive linemen around these parts are bigger and tougher than what the Aggies are accustomed to.
George Davison (Little Rock)
When's the last time Tennessee has gone winless in SEC play? Has it ever happened cause there is a real possibility that happens this year. Do you really think they can beat Vandy this week and keep their bowl chances alive?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
Gosh, I'm not sure if the Vols ever have actually. They won just one game back in 1977. I don't think they will this year, but right now I like Vandy's chances. The Commodores have been the better looking team for most of the season and I think they will be Saturday. Tennessee will get its final shot at a conference win next week against Kentucky and I think the Vols take that one.
Ed, UGA has not had a problem stopping the running attack. You said LSU's running game is fierce and dont think we could stop it. Are you saying LSUs 3/4 RBs is better then McCaleb and Dyer? Cause UGA sure shut them down.
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
I'm pretty sure I said that LSU's running game is fierce and that's it. I did say that I don't see the upset and I really don't. Georgia has played well since starting 0-2 and is the best team in a bad Eastern Division. I'm not sure Georgia's line can stand LSU's defensive line and I think LSU has the backs to run on Georgia. The Dawgs could stop this running game, but I think LSU's offensive line wears down Georgia's DLine.
Trey (Little Rock)
How is OK ranked higher than Arkansas after they got beat at home by Texas Tech? Did the BCS get this right??
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Computers like the Sooners more. They are fourth and Arkansas is sixth. It's a tough call because I'm not sure who would win if they played each other right now. Arkansas looks its best right now, but OU is playing well too.
Keith (Union County, Florida)
Looking ahead, it looks as if Jacoby Brissett has a leg up on Jeff Driskel for the start at QB for the Gators next year....is it me or do I sense future greatness in Brissett?
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
I haven't seen anything great from either quarterback this year. It's probably safe to say that one won't stick around to see the other one's career end in Gainesville. I think Driskel is the better athlete and has the strongest arm, but he looks more nervous in the pocket. Brissett fits the offense better, but this spring will determine everything, I think.
One of the commentators yesterday said that if Arkansas beats LSU, that Arkansas should play for the National Championship. IF that was the case, who would you like to see Arkansas play?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
I still think Arkansas needs Alabama to lose to Auburn. The Tide could be ranked above Arkansas even after a win over LSU if the Tide wins out. It's going to be hard for the Hogs to make it to national championship, let alone the SEC championship.
Your gut feeling...is there a rematch in the NCG, and if so, will it be Bama or Oregon?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Oregon. I think the Ducks win out and get more computer love than Alabama.
Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree (Athens)
Dear Professor Aschoff,Ask Michael Dyer if he could run on us. Then ask him who is the better RB between him and Spencer Ware. I think we know the answer to that.
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
I only answered this question because A. You guys were great to talk to in Athens and B. You called me "professor." Auburn doesn't have the line LSU does, so I think you guys and your DLine might be a little warn out by the fourth quarter :)
Adam (Baton Rouge)
What do you make of Les Miles start of Jordan Jefferson over Jarrett Lee?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Should be interesting going forward. Jefferson is the better athlete and was the starter at the beginning of the year before he got in trouble. I'm curious to see if it messes up the offensive chemistry going forward ...
Joe Adams (Fayetteville AR)
What did you think of my punt return against Tennessee? Can you think of a better punt return ever? When will teams figure out they are better off when they don't punt to me???
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
So many celebrities in the house today! I feel honored. It was fun to watch for sure, but frankly, I didn't like it. I was going up against you in the fantasy challenge, so I would have been happier if you stepped out of bounds or muffed the kick. Sorry, Joe, but I have Jarius on my team.
Who is your Heisman top 3?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
Right now it is 1. Brandon Weeden 2. Trent Richardson 3. LaMichael James ... Pretty much wide open at this point.
Jarius Wright (Fayetteville, AR)
How about that catch?!?!
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
BOOM! My fantasy team appreciated it.
Do you think Derek Dooley will have the athletic dept. behind him after this season is done?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Tennessee will be under new management at AD, so I' curious to see how that relationship develops. Dooley certainly wasn't his guy, so the leash will be pretty short. you have to wonder if the players are actually behind him. He's calling them out and putting more blame on them than on himself. He'll have to get back control of this team this spring if he wants to get Tennessee out of this rut.
Brad (Ft. Smith AR)
so why is Tyler Wilson not getting any love in the Heisman race since he does lead most categories in the SEC right now and his only loss is to Alabama?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Wilson has played well this season, but he hasn't had that Heisman moment. The only thing I can really compare to a Heisman moment was his record game against Texas A&M, but the Aggies have no defense. He has 18 touchdowns, but even Aaron Murray has more (27) and guys like Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden, Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore have all passed for 30-plus scores this year.
Caitlin (Athens, GA)
Do you think UGA should of been ranked higher than 14 in this weeks standings? I understand that we have not really beat any huge teams but I felt like our preformance against Auburn was pretty complete.
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Georgia has improved every single week since losing to South Carolina. I think the jury is still out because of how bad the East is from top to bottom and Georgia's softer schedule. It's a down year in the East. It happens, but I think it has affected how voters perceive the Dawgs.
Terry T (Stafford, VA)
Would you support a rematch between LSU and Bama in the MNCG? If so, please explain your rationale for supporting a team that neither won their conference or division. And please don't say "Bama is undefeated in regulation play" :)
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
If Alabama rolls over Georgia Southern and Auburn in the next two weeks, I'll support it. But that's only if Oklahoma State loses. When I look at Alabama I don't see any other team but LSU beating the Tide. It's that simple. If these are the two best teams at the end of the year then they deserve to play each other. Their defenses alone push them well beyond any of the other teams. If both teams win out and Alabama wins in style and looks as dominant as it did before LSU, then I'd be in favor for it. Non-conference winners have made it to the title game before ...
Ed (Deep South)
Ed, C'mon admit it...you were tickled that Boise lost so all the nonsense about them stops?!
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
I plead the fifth on that one ... Which should say it all ...
Chris Low (Down the hall)
Eddie, why no love for the Dawgs? They are obviously going to hold LSU to negative yards, atleast 2 picks, and more that 3 sacks. The real questions is...will the Dawgs shut out LSU?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Chris, you're better than that. I know you are.
Ed,How can you say Georgia has a soft schedule. Take a close look at Bama, LSU and Arky's schedule by comparison and you will find that Georgia's schedule is very comparable - all three West teams have also beat up on bad SEC competition. The only difference is that UGA lost to Boise in non-conference play, and UGA still faces a tough Tech team to finish out the year. Go ahead, do the math and you'll see that Georgia's schedule is VERY comparable to Arky, LSU and Bama.
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
It's pretty simple. After playing Boise and South Carolina, Georgia has played all of the East teams, who have ALL struggled, and didn't play LSU, Alabama or Arkansas. Those are the three best teams in the conference. South Carolina went on the road and played Arkansas. Also if you take a closer look you'll see that LSU has played six ranked opponents this year and four of them came on the road. You're better than that.
Coy (Fayetteville, AR)
Why is everyone so against an Alabama vs LSU rematch when the possibility of an LSU vs Oregon rematch is probably more realistic?
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
I'd love to see the "outrage" over this rematch. I've been saying to watch out for the Ducks. They could make it back to the title game and I doubt we'd hear all the whining about that game like we are about Alabama-LSU.
Jason (South Carolina)
Carolina or Clemson Nov. 26?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
Right now, I have to go with Clemson. The offense is strong enough to make some plays on South Carolina and the defense has its issues, but not so much that it can't shut down South Carolina's offense. The Gamecocks just can't score and Clemson can.
Charlie Weiss (Gainesville)
Purely hypothetical question, but if the Dawgs beat undefeated LSU in the SEC championship, how high can they climb in the BCS Standings? For the sake of fun, let's assume there are no other undefeated teams at the time.
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Shouldn't you be worried about your own team and fixing your offense? Unless you see a lot of two-loss teams in the BCS, you won't find Georgia in the top two. The Dawgs needed Boise to win out in order to boost its BCS love. Beating LSU would be great, but it wouldn't push the Dawgs past LSU or Alabama in the standings.
Ed, do you not realize that part of your job as an SEC blogger is to always pick the SEC team, especially against an ACC team like Clemson?
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
Ha. I had to be honest. Clemson has an offense and I think that will be enough.
Most projections have UGA going to the Cotton Bowl and Arky to the Cap1. Shouldn't that be reversed?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
The Capital One gets first pick, so Arkansas would probably be a more attractive pick, if Georgia loses in the SEC title game. I still think South Carolina can make it to the Cotton Bowl if the Gamecocks win out.
Bryant (Los Angeles)
People keep saying if the Hogs beat LSU, they shouldn't jump Bama, because Bama beat them. But using that same logic, then LSU shouldn't fall beneath Bama, because the Tigers won that matchup. Bama also would not have a win on the road versus the number one team in the nation, as the Hogs would. So I suppose my question is, why is the media so hesitant to embrace the possibility of Arkansas being a legitimate title contender?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I never said the Hogs shouldn't I just don't think they will. I think the BCS would work out to where both Alabama and LSU are both ahead of the Hogs. The computers love Alabama and and LSU and I think that's what would hurt the Hogs in the end. Gotta go War Eagle in two weeks.
Ed, would it be possible that at the end of the season the SEC potitions that only two teams out of a confrence can go to a bcs game because seriously LSU Arkansas and Bama all deserve to go to a BCS bowl.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
Mike Slive has talked about that being on his to-do list for the offseason. I think this rule will eventually be changed.
LOVE the hogs!! But shouldn't we be more concerned about beating the MS Bulldogs this Saturday then worry about LSU?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
That's the attitude! One. Game. At. A. Time. It has tripped up better teams before ...
John (Baton Rouge)
What happens in this scenario? LSU wins final two games, but loses to UGA in SECCG. Does the SEC get a team in the national title game? And if yes, which team?
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
That would be an interesting one. First, the world would explode, so you have that. But once we piece the world back together, you could actually see Alabama sneak in. OR you have Bama 1 and LSU 2. Not sure if that would really happen, but who knows. The Boise loss might hurt LSU if UGA wins in Atlanta. The BCS is hoping this doesn't happen, but it would be fun to see some drama.
Alshon Jeffery (Columbia)
Ed, am I the most talented decoy you've ever seen or what? What happened this year? I was supposed to set records!
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
The passing game has been a mess. Connor Shaw is just not a pocket passer and the receivers around you just haven't stepped up. You need help. Having Lattimore back there helped you so much last year because teams knew they had to account for him. Now, they are accounting for you because no one else will make plays.
Do you like this idea that is starting to develop in seeing an LSU / Oregon rematch? I know we are jumping ahead of a few important games. But I don't like it. If all falls the right way, why would Oregon get another shot after losing by 13 and Bama would be on the outside thinking about how they would have won it if they could kick a field goal.
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
It could happen. I like it because it would be a chance to see those sweet Oregon unis. If Oregon wins out, I think it's possible that we could see this rematch.
Not saying, he gets the Grim Reaper's blade, but if Vandy embarasses Tennesse in Knoxville, Dooley is going to feel Grim's hot breath.
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
I think that things will be very uncomfortable for him and his team if they lose to Vandy this weekend. But the Commodores are the better team. A loss would mean that Tennessee won't be going bowling this year and I think Dooley will have one more year to prove that he is turning things around. He stepped into such a bad situation that you knew he'd need time. But this is a new AD, who didn't hire him ...
Don't be fooled by the 13 point win LSU had over Oregon earlier this year. LSU got 14 points from special team turnovers AND Oregon is playing unbelievable right now. Would you be worried (Alabama or LSU) to play Oregon? I'd rather play Okie Pokie State then Oregon.
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
It still comes down to line play and Oregon can't match either. Oregon is fast, very fast, but LSU and Alabama's defenses are fast enough to make Oregon look slow. That's an issue because I don't think Oregon's defense has the strength to stop either running game.
Josh (Tulsa, OK)
So, what happens if this occurs...OU beats OSUArkansas beats LSUandBama gets upset?Would that put Arkansas vs someone in title game?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
It's possible. Winning the SEC title game is the key. Gotta do that or Arkansas is left out.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
People are talking LSU-Bama rematch after the losses of Stanford and Boise this weekend. However, isn't this just wishfull thinking given the rule of thumb has been no conference championship, no BCS birth?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
It's happened before (twice I believe), why can't it happen again?
GBK (Lincoln Park)
Ed, if there is a rematch of any sort, isn't it saying that the regular season means nothing? And what if there's a split in games, why is one win better than another?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I keep hearing that and I keep saying the same thing: It happens in every other sport. YES, college football has silly bowls and no playoff, but you have to think that rematches are certainly possible in this day and age. Punishing Alabama because it is in the same division as LSU is ridiculous. The regular season ISN'T a playoff and I'm tired of people saying that it is. It isn't.
Nebraska in '01 got in without even playing in their CCCG and Oklahoma lost their CCCG in '03 and played in the BCS CCG. However, both teams lost in their respective BCS game
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
I knew the teams, but couldn't remember years. So, we can forever stop with they "You have to win your conference" excuses.
Ok so the media's argument is that Oregon has improved since LSU beat them. But, by the same logic, isn't it worth noting that LSU has likely improved since that first game as well. LSU lost its starting QB a few weeks before the game. Also, Russell Shepard was ineligible as well. Oregon LSU part 2 is just another SEC vs non SEC mismatch. Bama LSU is much more compelling.
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
I'm with you on that one. I think LSU is a much better team now than it was then. No argument from me on that one. I'd love to see it, but I also wouldn't mind seeing Oregon-LSU. At the end of the day, all of these teams still have to win out. If you don't win, you ain't in, so always remember to Take. It. One. Game. At. A. Time.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Good stuff, guys. I think we can all agree that we'll have an LSU-Bama-Oregon-Arkansas national championship this year. Should be fun. Catch you guys next week.