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 (1:03 PM)
Hope everyone is well. It doesn't seem the same without games to go to every weekend.
Mitch (Kathleen, GA)
What exactly is the rule on the SEC's 25 signing limit in regards to recruiting? Noticed a couple of schools are currently over that and was wondering how it's actually counted...
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
Good question and one I get almost every day. A school can only sign 25 players on Feb. 1 that count in that class. If there's room in the previous class (let's say only 23 signed in the 2011 class), then two of the players that enrolled early could count against the 2011 class, meaning it might look like a school was signing 27. It's called back-counting. Schools can also ask players to delay enrollment until the next semester, which is called grayshirting.
What are Tennessee's chances in signing Jacoby Briscoe and keeping Dalton Santos? Also why were there cancelled recruiting visits to Knoxville this weekend?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
My sense is that Tennessee will lose Santos to Texas, but I like the Vols' chances with Korren Kirven and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Hayden (West Columbia)
Chris, do you think that Shaq Roland can come into the SEC next year and really solidify himself as a legitimate receiver in a big time conference? i know alot of people have questions about his weight or height.
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
Judging by the tape I've seen and the people I've talked to in and around the program, I think Roland can definitely be a big-time receiver in the SEC. He's probably going to need a year to get bigger and stronger in the weight program, but he's a big-time talent.
Victor (Asheville, NC)
What are the chances the SEC goes to a 9-game conference schedule beginning in 2013 or later? Will this kill off interesting intersectional games? And would a requirement to have at least 7 wins to get to a bowl doom a 9-game sked?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
There's no discussion at all right now about a nine-game schedule. The coaches are vehemently against it, and SEC commissioner Mike Slive told me recently he doesn't see it happening.
Chris (Baton Rouge)
What became painfully obvious to LSU fans is that Les Miles is still Les Miles, and despite the great regular season, he has not gotten over being himself. I guess we should learn to be happy with at least one Les loss a year. Just frustrating to know LSU can get to the top, but its unattainable. Feel like a Bama fan claiming the 07 title it came so cheaply.
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
There's no such thing as a cheap title. You play the hand your dealt and the system that's put in front of you. LSU had a great season, winning at Alabama, going 9-1 against teams that finished with winning records, beating eight ranked teams and winning the SEC title. The Tigers simply laid an egg on offense in the title game, and I agree that Miles let his stubbornness get the best of him in that game. But he still made a lot of right decisions to get the Tigers to that point, and they're going to be there again next season. Count on it.
Seems like Nick Saban is the Rodney Dangerfield of NCAA football. All you hear about is Les Miles, Spurrier, Urban (I can walk on water), Brian Kelly and Chip Kelly. The guy has won 3 titles with 2 different teams and #1 recruiting class. Why do the other coaches get more coverage?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
Come on, Steve. Nick Saban (and his program) get a ton of coverage. Every time I look around, there's some kind of all-access piece being done on Saban and the Alabama program. Forbes named him the most powerful coach in sports. He's probably the most visible coach in college sports, period, right now ... and deserves to be.
Chris- ESPN doesn't have MS State's football recruiting class in it's top 30, however, Scout has State in their top 20. I think MS State has as great a recruiting class as there is that's flying under the radar. State also has the majority of the top players in MS committed. I'd like to hear your opinion of this class so far. Thanks
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Every recruiting service has a different approach for rating prospects and classes. In Mississippi State's case, the Bulldogs have some highly thought of junior college players signed/committed, and sometimes schools don't get as much credit in the rankings for junior college players. Not saying that's right or fair. It's just the way it is. What's more, I wouldn't get too caught up in recruiting rankings. They're so subjective. Look at Florida. The Gators were No. 3 nationally in recruiting in 2008. But four years later, in the 2011 season, they didn't beat a single team with a winning record. A lot can happen with an 18- and 19-year-old kid, and what matters most is what you do with players once they get onto your campus.
James Franklin's recruiting class has been in or on the cusp of the top 25 pretty much since they started ranking this year's class. Do you think he'll be able to hold on to that to-25 status come signing day, and if so, what does that mean for Vanderbilt's football program?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
I think the Commodores have a good shot to hold onto a top 25 class. But even if they don't, it's the best class on paper they've ever signed there. We won't know for sure until a couple of years from now, but Franklin and his staff are making waves with the caliber of player the Commodores have traditionally not been in play for, and that's a great sign
Chance (LaGrange, GA)
With signing day right around the corner, a whole new crop of players will get fans excited about the future of their favorite teams. What players who caused excitement LAST year, but who didn't see the field because of injury or redshirting, will be thrilling thousands of spectators THIS fall?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
Great question. Some of the ones that come to mind are Christian Westerman at Auburn, Dee Hart at Alabama, Josh Grady at Vanderbilt, Derrick Milton at Mississippi State, not to mention a guys like Knile Davis at Arkansas, Warren Norman at Vanderbilt and D.T. Shackelford at Ole Miss who didn't play last season because of injury.
abrellbama (Montgomery, Al)
Chris, what do you think are Alabama's chances of signing Landon Collins, seriously? I mean, is he really interested in Bama or was this just a way for him to get back at his Mother for some reason, all along?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
That one's going to get real interesting, sort of like the Kouandjio deal last year. When mom is pulling hard for one school, she's usually tough to beat. But everything I've heard says that the kid really wants to go to Alabama.
Will (College Station)
Excited about the move to this blog! What are some realistic expectations for A&M next season?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
We're excited about the Aggies coming aboard, and I look forward to visiting College Station sometime this spring or the preseason. As for this season, that second week of the season will be huge with Florida visiting out there. It will be interesting to see what the offense looks like under Sumlin this first season and whether or not the Aggies can do a better job of finishing games. Winning eight games, including a bowl game, would be a really nice debut in the SEC, in my mind.
sweatervested1 (gulf shores,al)
Christopher, are we going to get a chance to write Valentine's Day letters to our teams this year (like last?)
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Only private ones this year ...
Marcus (The Hill)
What team will have the best offense in 2012?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
It's hard to pick against Arkansas, especially if Knile Davis returns to form from his ankle injury.
Though the SEC remains the dominant conference, which ACC team do you think is the biggest threat to the SEC teams?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
The way Clemson and Florida State are recruiting would suggest they would be the biggest challengers, although Clemson has to figure out how to start beating South Carolina again. I would also put Virginia Tech up there.
Wade (Fayeteville, AR)
Chris, word on the hill is that the DGB Sweepstakes is down to ARK & MIZ. Only 22 mile difference between the 2 schools. Where do you think he will end up?
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
I hear confidence is high there at Arkansas that he'll be a Hog. And, yes, that would be huge for the Hogs to get one of the top players nationally and one who could step right in next season on an offense that's already going to have its share of firepower.
Keith (Union County)
Chris, Which Gator QB do you think is more suited for Brent Pease's offense or do you think he will count on a future recruit?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
Honestly, I don't think Pease knows yet until they get out there for spring practice. His offense won't be built for a rushing offense, and I think there will be more chances for receivers to make plays. I will say this: I think Pease's offense will be better suited for Driskel than Charlie Weis' offense was, so it should be a good battle between Brissett and Driskel this spring.
I know its not a SEC question but what is your take on the whole Joe Pa situation?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
Just saddened to see it all end like this. I wish he would have done more with regard to the Sandusky matter, and he should have done more. A lot of mixed feelings, honestly.
Your recent article concerning us SEC folks policing our own got a lot of flack from a lot of people disagreeing with your position. I don't always agree with your posts, but I think you nailed that one. Keep showin' them fangs.
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
As I said in my piece, it's always a few knuckleheads that screw it up for everybody else.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Chris, are you surprised that Barrett Trotter left school and has made himself eligible for the NFL draft? He might have been better off transferring to another program as a grad student(i.e Russell Wilson).
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
Yes, very surprised. I guess he figured that he wasn't going to factor into the Tigers' quarterback plans next season. I thought he played very well in the bowl game.
Chris, have you ever been to a game at Kyle Field? If not, how excited are you to experience the 12th man?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Never have, and I can't wait. Believe it or not (and I know I'm in the minority here), but I have been to see a basketball game at Texas A&M and not a football game. It was back when Bernard King was playing for the Aggies, and it was the night before Dennis Franchione made the move from Alabama to Texas A
Larry M (Athens)
So Chris what is your expectation of what will happen with the 2013 schedules? If they are sticking with a 8 game conference schedule, what happens to the two inter-divisional games? Keep a "rival" game every year and rotate one? Or rotate them both? Either way you are going to hear some people screaming. I can't imagine UGA not having an annual game with Auburn. Maybe have the "rival" team take one of the slots every two or three years?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
My understanding is that schools will play the other six teams in their division, play one out-of-division team every year (For instance, Auburn would play Georgia every year and Alabama would play Tennessee every year), and then rotate the other out-of-division game.
Do you see Bama's team looking like 2010's team? We are losing a ton of guys on defense and our offense (Trent Richardson). McCarron is getting a ton of hype after what he did in the Championship game (some of it is definitely deserving, but some of it is ESPN manufactured) but I just don't see him being an elite QB, as to be the focal point in our offense.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
For one, I don't see the 2012 Alabama team being as talented as that 2010 team, which underachieved by losing three games that year. I do think McCarron takes a huge step next season, and I think the Tide will ask him to do more. The good thing for him is that the offensive line will again be very strong, and Lacy is ready to take over as the every-down running back with help from Dee Hart. The problem in 2010 was a secondary that was inexperienced and made critical mistakes. That could be a problem again in 2012, but there's a lot of talented players just waiting for their turn all across that defense. If Alabama beats Michigan in that first game, the Tide will be right in the middle of the national title race again.
Kevin (Huntsville, Alabama)
HEy Chris I thought I heard that Tennessee was going to be hiring a SD chargers special teams coach for their special teams any more word on that?
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
Rich Bisaccia has decided to stay put with the Chargers. There was a hold-up with his contract there, and the Chargers didn't want to lose him.
D. Pilcher (Rock Hill SC)
Any Signing Day "Shockers" due for the SEC. go NW Trojans!
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
Landon Collins will be worth watching, and you do realize that Northwestern High School is nothing more than an extension of Rock Hill High School, right? Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat!
Heath (Warner Robins, GA)
Give me a predicition on Georgia's record next year.
Chris Low (2:16 PM)
I'll go with 10-2, although if Georgia can win at South Carolina, it's hard to see the Bulldogs losing more than one the rest of the way with that schedule.
Chris, in your opinion, how good are the chances that DGB is playing for the Hogs next year? I know all the Rival.com experts are picking Ark, however, BP just had to cancel his in home visit with DGB today because he "accidently" bumped into him last month. Could that affect his descision?
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
No, I think it's just Petrino making sure he doesn't so anything that would jeopardize Green-Beckham signing with the Hogs.
DrJake (Mobile, AL)
If Auburn goes 7 - 5 or worse, do you see Chizik surviving? I think we Auburn fans now know the national championship was because of Cam Newton, not because of the HC
Chris Low (2:19 PM)
Doesn't Chizik get any credit for coaching that team or recruiting Newton or helping to develop him? Newton didn't look like Superman at Florida. I'd say Chizik has earned the right to hang around for a few more years even if the Tigers go 7-5 in 2012.
James (San Diego, CA)
Have you heard updates on the CJ Mosley title game injury?
Chris Low (2:20 PM)
It was his hip, which may limit him some in the spring, but Alabama expects him to be good to go for the season.
J T (Birmingham)
Do you think there is any chance of the SEC championship game moving or being put on rotation from Atlanta to other cities ?
Chris Low (2:21 PM)
Not going to happen. The game has been too successful in Atlanta, and the atmosphere is as good as you'll find anywhere for a football game.
Chris Low (2:21 PM)
That's a wrap for me today. Thanks again for stopping by, and we'll wrap up signing day next week. Have a great rest of the week!