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)
Greetings. Back from New Orleans and ready to chat.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which College Football Players that Played in the BCS National Championship Game on January 9 at New Orleans will be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Most of them. How's that for a quick answer? For Alabama, I would say Richardson, Maze, Vlachos, Chapman, Hightower, Upshaw, Kirkpatrick, Barron and Menzie. For LSU, I would say Blackwell, Claiborne, Brockers, Taylor, Baker and Randle (if he comes out). Might have missed a couple, but those are the main guys.
Hi Chris, what's the deal with the whole Dwyer transfer to Ark ST? Now he has to sit out a year, and many thought he could possibly be a 1st round pick in next years draft. What's the inside scoop?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Michael Dyer had run into trouble off the field at Auburn, and it was probably going to linger into next season, so he's trying for a new start at Arkansas State.
How big of a drop off do you see Alabama taking next year? IMO I think it will be almost the same as the 2010 season. We can only hope Saban can keep the team from becoming complacent.
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
I don't expect a big drop-off at all. I would expect Alabama to start the season ranked in the top 5. If the Tide beat Michigan in that opener at Cowboys Stadium, it may well come down to Alabama-LSU once again. Of course, the game next season is in Baton Rouge. I think McCarron will take a big step at QB next season for the Tide. Eddie Lacy is ready to take over at RB, and Dee Hart should be a nice complement. The OL should be the strength of the team. Most of the secondary will be gone, as well as Hightower and Upshaw at LB, but Alabama has recruited very well and is always going to be a load on defense.
Chris- Can you explain how you have Arkansas at #5 in your SEC Power Rankings for next season? If Wilson comes back then our offense really won't miss a beat in my opinion. Also, if the Cotton Bowl was any indication then our defense should look just fine under Haynes next year. Your thoughts?
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas are all pretty close, to be honest. My idea of the early 2012 power rankings is basically a snapshot of how I think they will finish. What kills Arkansas more than anything is playing in the West. The other thing I considered was the fact that they Hogs are losing so many leaders on defense, and it was a defense that struggled this season at times. I like the Haynes hire. The big key is going to be Knile Davis. If he can stay healthy, the Hogs could easily surpass South Carolina and Georgia.
NHVOL (New Hampshire)
How close is Tennessee to filling the DC opening? Do you think Sal Sunseri body of work expose him as a "hidden gem" as far as being a DC in the SEC? Since Bama's defense is really Saban's with input from his defensive coaching staff, how much do you think Sal has shown that he can handle putting together sucessful schemes every week in the tough SEC?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
I think Dooley would like to have it done by the end of this week or first of next week. Sunseri would be an excellent hire and is very well thought of in coaching circles. Dooley is also talking to Buddy Green of Navy.
Which team has the best chance of taking the national championship away from the SEC
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
Fight on, you USC Trojans.
Jeremy (New Orleans)
What is your take on the debacle that happened in the Super Dome Monday Night? Miles and Co on offense mailed it in way before the end of the game.
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Yep, just an awful performance from the LSU offense with no adjustments, no imagination and stubbornness on Les Miles' part for not at least giving Jarrett Lee a shot. The Tigers just didn't look very well prepared on offense, which is hard to fathom when you have 35-plus days to get ready. A bad ending to a great season for the Tigers.
Joe (San Antonio)
I truly enjoyed the BCS game but I am so tired of hearing people say it was boring. What's your opinion?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
It was boring to everybody who wasn't an Alabama fan. By late in the first quarter, I never had a feeling that LSU could win that game. That's a credit to how dominant Alabama was on defense, but there's also something to be said for how weak LSU was on offense.
jeremy (new orleans)
Does a game like the one Monday night really have an effect on recruiting? If so, do you think it is immediate or gradual? There have to be a number of frustrated players on the team? And prospective recruits have to be watching the game. Wonder what these young men think when they see a total inabiltiy to call an offense my Miles and staff?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
Typically, prospects look a lot deeper than just one game. I think fans are more emotional about one game than recruits most of the time.
What is going on at Tennessee? it seems like all of there coaches are jumping ship. Is this the end for Dooley???
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
Let's see how the Vols do next season before we start calling moving vans to Dooley's home. He's had several coaches leave for different reasons. Losing defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon was a blow, but in some ways, the Vols maybe needed some new blood on their staff. I'm not ready to say Dooley is finished yet, but he needs to make some quality hires, get his team all back on the same page this offseason and beat some teams that count next season.
Chris: Bama's defense was fantastic. LSU's offense was miserable. This seems to happen with a long layoff when one team plays great in the bowl game and the other lays an egg. Are you for a 4 or 8 team playoff?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Former Auburn coach Pat Dye said the same thing following last year's game. The long layoff seems to help the defenses and hurt the offenses, although Alabama looked pretty sharp with its precision passing game. I think the Plus-one format makes sense and would have loved to have seen an Alabama-Oklahoma State game. And for the record, I think Alabama would have beaten Oklahoma State worse than the Tide beat the Tigers.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
In the past few years, we've seen a lot of early departures to the NFL by players from SEC teams. Will that happen again this year?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
Yes, it's always going to happen when a league has the talent the SEC does. Three years is all a team is typically going to get out of its best players, and that's just the way it is anymore.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
Chris: You'll probably get this question 100 times in different formats, but given the way LSU played, it looked to me as if several teams could have beaten them on the night of the NC game. Do you agree?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Yes, the way LSU played on offense Monday, I would have given a lot of teams a chance. That said, Alabama would have made a lot of teams look bad on offense Monday with how suffocating the Tide were on defense. It's a shame LSU didn't put up more of a fight on offense because I thought the defense hung in there pretty well.
Joe (San Antonio)
In the coaching world are Bobby Herbert's words agreed with?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
I thought his question was right on and needed to be asked. It's the way he went about asking it that was unprofessional. He sounded like a mad parent.
Joe (San Antonio)
Who would you say is better fit right now to compete in the SEC A&M or Mizzou?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
Texas A&M long term, although I think Missouri will be better next season.
On a scale of 1-10 how foolish did Alabama make the Honey Badger look?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
The Honey Badger is an outstanding player. But in both of his games against Alabama this season, he didn't bring his 'A' game.
If awards were given out after all bowl games are completed, do you think Miles has any chance of winning the Coaches Award?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
That would be a definitive no, although there's no denying the Tigers' body of work. Nobody can defend how putrid LSU was on offense in that game. But the fact that LSU won at Alabama during the regular season and then had to play Alabama again in the national title game is a tough break any way you look at it. If anybody has a right to be mad at the system, it's LSU.
Who was the toughest team the SEC faced in bowl competition?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
Alabama. Nah, I'd say Michigan State or Kansas State.
With McCarron showing his true ability, and being young, do you think Sims considers transferring from Bama?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
Ultimately, I think it's going to be hard for Sims to stick around and watch.
Joe (San Antonio)
I saw OK St in the Alamo Bowl last year, do you think that the Bama defense would have had the speed to stay up with them?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Yes. I think Alabama has the speed to stay with anybody on defense. In my mind, that game would have been something like: Alabama 38, Oklahoma State 17.
After 2012, do you see the SEC going to 9 conference games per season? If so, then how do you think cross-division matchups will be handled? Any possibility there won't be a requirement to play every team within the division?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
No, there is support anywhere in the SEC to go to nine conference games.
What is probably going to happen with the BCS system
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Matt, sorry I didn't get to your question quicker. I will endeavor to do better as we go forward. In short, there are more people willing to discuss a Plus-one format (two semifinals and a title game), and I think we may see that when the current contract is up, which is 2014.
What do you think about the old Ohio State Coach (Cooper) blasting the SEC for being the most penalized league and saying Alabama, LSU should be investigated?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Sounds about like a coach who was 2-100 or whatever he was against the SEC. I love it how somebody who coached at Ohio State is pointing the finger at the SEC. What's that saying about people who live in glass houses?
Chris, Do you think Kirby Smart will be the next head coach at Alabama after Saban retires?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
No, because I think Saban is going to coach for at least five to seven more years, and I think Smart will get a good head coaching job before that. If it all times up just right, maybe Smart could go somewhere else and then come back to Alabama. The Tide would be lucky to have Smart after Saban is gone. Smart is the total package as a coach and recruiter and relates very well to people.
Who wins if they play a 3rd and deciding game? Bama or LSU?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
I'll go with Alabama, especially if that game's at a neutral site. I thought Alabama was probably the better team the first time. LSU simply made more plays, and Alabama missed four field goals. Even before the game last Monday, I just never had any confidence that Jefferson could be effective enough throwing the football for the Tigers to beat the Tide, and I said so before the game.
Joe (San Antonio)
Will Saban get another statue?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Nah, one's enough. The Bear only has one.
Any idea what is happening in the 1:00 Alabama press conference?
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
Saban will wrap up the season, and underclassmen will announce their decisions. Trent Richardson and Dont'a Hightower are expected to turn pro. I also think that's the way Dre Kirkpatrick is leaning, but it sounds like Robert Lester will be back.
Do you think an SEC team keeps the NC dominance alive and wins the 2012-13 title?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
Yes, I do. LSU and Alabama will both be right there, and Georgia has the schedule and returning talent to make a run. South Carolina and Arkansas would be long shots.
Ryan (Charlotte, NC)
Chris: How do you see South Carolina's D performing next season?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Very well. Clowney will go from being a very good situational rusher to one of the best defensive ends in the league. Auguste will be back at corner, so that helps offset the loss to Gilmore. But it's going to start up front, and with Quarles coming into his own, the Gamecocks should again be one of the better defensive lines in the SEC.
Did you hear that when Bama played LSU in Basketball that Bama fans cheered when LSU crossed halfcourt the first time.
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
I'm sorry, but that's funny!
chris (Alexandria, La.)
We are hearing that a lot of players are leaving lsu because of les mes. Also some people or decommiting. Is this true
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
Man, Miles has gone from THE Man to a liability in a hurry. I don't buy any of it. It was one bad game on the heels of a terrific season.
Aaron (Lost in Nebraska)
Can the Vols win 8 games next year?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
For Dooley's sake, they better.
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on the score if OSU and Bama were to play that day. LSU's offense looked horrific, which made Bama's defense look that good. OSU would have scored at least 5 times. It would have been alot closer than 38-17. I would say more along the lines of 38-35, but OSU having the edge.
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
We all have our opinions, and that's what makes talking sports so much fun. But if you really think anybody was going to score 38 points on THAT Alabama defense, then it's probably a debate that we should agree to just let die. I do wish we could have seen the game.
Why don't you have any friends Chris?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Depends on what you call friends. I have lots of true friends.
Jerad (New York)
Why is it that South Carolina always seems to get higher rankings and more hype than Arkansas every single preseason despite losing to the Hogs 3 years in a row?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
That's a fair question, because Arkansas has owned South Carolina. I think a lot of it is that Arkansas plays in the West and is 1-5 the last three years against the West heavyweights (Alabama and LSU), and people look at the Hogs with two losses when the season starts. I'm not saying that's the way it should be, but I do think there's something to it.
Is it Mettenberger's team next season? They seem to have a ton of talented QBs on that roster upcoming. You see Jerrard Randall making any kind of impact as a more mobile QB?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
No, I think it's Mettenberger all the way next season for LSU.
What was the diagnosis on CJ Mosley from Monday? Was it his hip?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Yep, a dislocated hip.
How many times do the SEC's elite defenses have to hold so many different "high powered offenses" to a fraction of their season averages before (non-SEC) people recognize that statistical success outside of the SEC doesn't equate on the field? SEC defenses are at a different level.
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I've said it over and over, and I'll say it again: Those were two NFL defenses on the field on Monday. We won't see that kind of defensive talent on the same field for a long time.
CLow, is there...umm...anything...to look forward to on UF next year?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Sure, a defense that was underrated this year because of all the struggles on offense that returns just about everybody and should be even better next year. That Texas A&M trip the second week looms large. The Gators need to win that. They also need to find an identity on offense under Pease, find an SEC running back that can pound and develop some playmakers. I think the team you see Muschamp put on the field next season will more closely resemble his personality -- tough, physical and blue-collar.
lily (Athens, GA)
Please answer what your thoughts are on SC next year. Your opinion is important to the Gamecock Nation.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Well, they get an entire offseason to gear the offense to Connor Shaw, which should help. Getting Marcus Lattimore back will only help Shaw. The defensive line should again be a strength, especially if Clowney really commits himself this offseason. The schedule will be difficult. The Gamecocks pick up LSU and also get Arkansas at home. I think it comes down to Georgia and South Carolina again for the East title. I can tell you that the Head Ball Coach is loving life right now.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Thanks for the questions and thanks for stopping by. We'll do it again next week.