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 has all of their Christmas shopping finished. I've yet to start. Anyway, let's talk some SEC football.
Johnny M. (New Castle, IN)
Is it for sure that Alshon Jeffery is going to go pro? I haven't heard an official announcement as of yet, but I am sure he is going. Just no official word yet that I know of, thoughts?
Chris Low (1:03 PM)
Nothing official, but everybody I talk with at South Carolina thinks he will turn pro. He's rated among the top 15 or 20 NFL prospects, which means he probably should come out early.
Bill Tackett (Springfield, OR)
Mr. Low,What effect will Missouri and Texas A&M will have on the SEC when they become part of the SEC .
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
In short, they will make an already deep league that much deeper. I think it will impact those teams right around the .500 mark. Instead of finishing 6-6 and going to a bowl game, you might see more teams finishing 5-7 and missing out on a bowl.
What direction do you see Florida's program going after losing another big name coach yet again?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
It might end up being a win-win for Weis and Florida. Offensively, I think you'll see a more physical, old-school approach by the Gators next season.
Do you think that Ellis Johnson is going to stay at USC or go to Southern Miss?
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
My sense is that he'll stay at South Carolina. He's got a lot invested there. It's home, and he's got a good thing going there. Now, if he's determined to be a head coach, he may take a shot at the Southern Miss gig.
Any more rumblings about Dan Mullen going to Happy Valley?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
It's sort of died down, and I think what happened is that Mullen didn't want to go through the interview process and instead just negotiate.
Mike (Baton Rouge)
Chris, What is your take on the 2012 version of the LSU Tigers? Even better next year?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
Well, 13 of the Tigers' top 22 on defense are sophomores or younger. And with Mettenberger stepping in at quarterback next season, I don't know if LSU will be better, but I'd say the Tigers will start the season ranked in the top 3.
Will USC lose recruiting because of the violations?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
The Gamecocks have self-imposed six scholarship cuts and reduced recruiting visits as well. The NCAA could possibly add to that after the Committee on Infractions hearing in February.
I think USC has a great shot at beating Nebraska. QB, Defense, and a winning attitude. Is South Carolina going to win?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I like the way South Carolina ended the season. Connor Shaw looks more comfortable, and everybody around him appears more comfortable. I like the way South Carolina matches up in the defensive line, too, but what scares me is the way the Gamecocks have played in bowls the last few years. They just haven't been very good in bowl games.
I was please to see the football guru god's are not always right. Preseason LSU had only 1 player "MO" as a second team all-sec. I was confused as to how a top 5 team had just 1 player......Man what a season makes Chris!! Also thanks for spending time with us this year. Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
I'm guilty, too, and didn't have nearly enough LSU players in our top 25 list in the preseason. I think Claiborne was the only one, and clearly, Mathieu, Montgomery, Blackwell, Randle and maybe even a few more should have been on there. I knew LSU had a deep roster of very good players, but the truth is they have a deep roster of outstanding players. The best news for LSU fans is that they're going to be dynamite again next season, too.
Morgan (Atlanta )
How will Isaiah Crowell do next year with the five star RB playing behind him?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
Who knows? Maybe competition will be the best thing for Crowell, and it could be that Marshall comes in and takes Crowell's job. We'll find out what Crowell is made of over this next offseason. He has a chance to be a great player if he'll commit to doing so. Sometimes, it just takes players a little extra time to mature.
"A winning attitude"? What exactly does that mean? Nonsense!
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
You got me. As it pertains to what?
How yau'll gonna rank the Outback bowl better than the Capital one bowl? ur from SC..show some love! whole year u been loving UGA way more than USC..dont forget we beat them two years in a row...and are ranked much higner in the BCS...which is the only ranking that matters, right???
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
I'll blame the "ATL Kid" for that one. He ranked the bowls. I would would probably have the Capital One No. 3 on the list (for SEC teams) behind the BCS title game and Cotton Bowl. Both games should be good ones. I haven't loved on Georgia as much as I thought they had the best pathway to the East title, which turns out I was right.
Evan (Marshall, AR)
Will Arkansas' offensive attack be improved, declined, or just as effective with Paul Petrino as the new OC?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
First of all, Paul Petrino might have the offensive coordinator's title, but I think we all know who's calling the plays and running the offensive show at Arkansas -- Bobby Petrino. That said, the Petrino brothers worked well together the last time and they will again.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Chris, Brock Huard seems to think that the SEC is in trouble and that the PAC12 will be the most dominant conference in the years to come based on the coaching hires that have been made this year. Perhaps some of you guys there at ESPN should stage an intervention with him. Getting him to admit that he obviously knows nothing about football is the first step to recovery.
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
Nah, Brock knows his football. He's just a little misguided about the SEC. I think he's wishing more than he's predicting. That happens when one conference dominates the national title scene the way the SEC has and will continue to do so.
Brandon (Jacksonville FL)
Do you think McElwain is selling himself short by going to CSU? Do you not think that another year at Alabama, or even waiting until January if Bama happens to beat LSU, he may have scored a higher-profile job?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
Jim's from that part of the country, and you've got to start somewhere as a head coach. He was ready for a change and ready to take his shot at a head coaching gig.
Do you think if UT finds a solid running back and stay healthy can possiblely win the east?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
The Vols definitely need to find a running back (and a running game). While I think they will be better next season and more experienced, I still have a hard time seeing them going from 5-7 and losing to Kentucky to winning the East. A realistic goal next season is getting to eight wins.
Hey Chris i know you have been hearing about Micheal Dyer getting suspended and i am a Auburn fan so with Mike out of the Chick-Fiela Bowl for Auburn who do you think will win?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
I still have Auburn. Onterio McCalebb and Tre Mason are both more than capable, and the receivers should finally be healthy. The big questions is on defense: Can the Tigers rally on that side of the ball with Gene Chizik calling the shots?
So does Nebraska not having a winning attitude? What a silly, silly comment from a Gamecock. Typical.
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
OK, now I got you.
Chris, huge Mizzou fan here...Help me out...What is the best gameday experience in the SEC East? I'm talking food, excitement, game atmosphere, nightlife, etc...Unfamiliar at this point and need to know what to expect on the road next season!!
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
I would probably go with Georgia and Tennessee right there at the top. Athens, Ga., is a great town to hang out in before and after the game, and there's a lot of good tailgating. The setting at Tennessee is what's so neat with Neyland Stadium sitting on the banks of the Tennessee River and the Vol Navy rolling in. I also think South Carolina's atmosphere is one of the more underrated game-day experiences. Lots of great tailgating, and Columbia is a bigger city. When the Gators are good, the Swamp is the rowdiest place in the East. It's just so hot that first month of the season, but definitely a sight to see when it's full and rocking.
With Southern Miss taking a long look at Kirby Smart It looks as if all 4 coordinators from the Iron Bowl will be gone. Does the less than marquee brand names of Southern Mississippi, Colorado State and Arkansas State mean these dudes wanted out of town ASAP ?Do Nick Saban and Gene Whats-his-face have reputataions of being hard to work for ?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
I don't think you're going to see Smart leaving for the Southern Miss job. Just about all of your best and most successful head coaches are demanding, and at times, hard to work for. Also, when guys have a chance to get out on their own and be a head coach, they jump at opportunities because they don't want to miss their chance to strike.
Ark State? Seriously?? Is that a sign that Malzahn's star is fading or was he just that desperate to get off the Plains? I'm not buying all the "nothing to see here" nonsense coming out of Auburn.
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
Gus was genuinely ready for a change. Arkansas is home for him, and coordinators are always wary of staying at a place and getting stuck.
Do you think that the Gators are better off without Charlie Weis?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
I'll put it this way: I think Charlie is happier running his own ship, and I don't think Will Muschamp fought feverishly to keep Weis in Gainesville.
I am an SEC fan in the midst of ACC fans. Several of my ACC friends have told me they won't watch the NC game. I think it will be a great game and they just are sour the SEC is so dominant. Do you think it will be a high or low watched game?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
I would say the ratings will be very high. A lot of people who are saying they won't watch are just tired of seeing the SEC win all the time.
Charlotte (New Orleans)
You are kidding me....No LSU on list of place for Mizzou fan to geaux? Are you serious? Food? Party? Stadium?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
He said in the East. LSU, as I've stated numerous times, is my favorite place to go anywhere in the country to watch college football.
MouthoftheSouth (Columbia, SC)
Hi Chris,Spurrier's AD is really committed to their coach, why isn't UGA's committed to theirs just as long? Richt's pedigree is 20 top 10 finishes in 24 years, tough to beat.
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
The Richt situation will be worth watching. Either Georgia officials are going to make solid commitment to him, or they're not. There is no in between. I don't think initial raise offer was all that great, and I'd also think that Richt would want any extra years added to his contract to be guaranteed.
Jim (Trumbull CT)
Hey Chirs,With so many good jobs open, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Southern Miss, Arizona State...what happened to Auburn's Malzahn? Did his wife cost him that much?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
The honest truth is that I do think that video hurt him with the North Carolina job, which is too bad. She's nothing like she came across in that interview.
I have no problem with the LSU/Bama rematch in the title game but don't you think it's weird that LSU had to theoretically play their way in to the title game while Bama could just sit at home eating Doritos while watching the the SEC title game, secure in their knowledge that they were likely going to the BCS championship? Just seems weird. We need a better system.
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
You're exactly right. I'm the same as you. I genuinely believe that LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in college football. But it's also warped that LSU would have to beat a team for a second time that it already beat on the road to win the national title. LSU's body of work is far more impressive than Alabama's, but this is the system we have right now. It needs to be changed, no doubt. Here's a thought for everybody to ponder: If Alabama defeats LSU in a close game, I think there's a chance that we'd see Alabama as the BCS national champion and LSU as the AP national champion.
matt (benton, ar)
what do you think of the Paul Haynes hire by Arkansas. Do you think it was a good choice or do you think they should have went with someone else. And what are your thoughts on Paul Haynes
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
I think it was a very good hire. Haynes has an excellent background. He's a good recruiter, and he's worked under top-flight coaches. Petrino and Haynes go back a ways, too, so Petrino knows exactly what and who he's getting.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Chris, in your honest opinion, if the Kristi Malzahn video had not ever been revealed, is Gus the head coach at Arkansas State right now?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
No, I think he'd be the coach at North Carolina right now.
Wade (San Diego)
The biggest problem with the BCS is the human bias. How do we get rid of that?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Once again, I agree. I don't think coaches should be voting in a poll that factors in to who plays in the title game. They have too much invested and are understandably going to be biased. Some of those votes in the Harris poll were head-scratchers, too.
Nick (Macon Ga)
Do you think Muschamp might be more fit as an assistant coach rather than a HC considering his high level of emotions
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
He'll learn to tone it down some as he goes along, but Muschamp's intensity is a big part of what makes him the coach that he is.
With the new additions to the SEC, when do you think we'll see a 2012 schedule released ?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
I think it's coming next week.
Joey (Charleston, SC)
I agree that if Bama wins, they should get the BCS title and LSU should get the AP. Their records would be 1-1 against each other, so co-champs should be the result. But the weird thing about that scenario is the National Champ would not be the SEC Champ for the first time in 6 years.
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
And, one way or the other, the SEC's perfect record in the BCS National Championship Game is going to come to an end. But the streak lives.
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
Thanks everybody for stopping by. We'll plan to do it again next week. Hope everybody gets to spend a lot of quality time with their family during this special time of the year.