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)
Hello. Hope everyone is well.
ih8stupidfanz (The SEC Boards)
Chris, Do you read our comments? Just curious. Right now who do you think will have a better year Mizzou or A&M?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
Sure, I read most of them -- the good, the bad and the ugly. I would go with Mizzou this season. Really balanced on offense and playing in the East should be a lot easier than playing in the West.
bill (taking over one board at a time)
chris - ed wouldn't answer this question honestly. will you? why do you hate arkansas?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
What makes you think that I hate Arkansas? In fact, I have a great relationship with all the people at Arkansas, from Jeff Long, to Bobby Petrino, to their staff in sports information and the players such as Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis and past guys like Jake Bequette. If I rank the Hogs lower than you think they should be or don't pick them in a certain game certainly doesn't mean that I hate them. The best environment I've been to for a game in the last two or three years was the Alabama-Arkansas game in Fayetteville in 2010. I look forward to coming back!
What is the deal with your top 25 players list? How could you leave D. Rogers from Tenn off the list while putting Jeffery from South Carolina on it?
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
It was a close call. Rogers caught nine TD passes and Jeffery caught eight TD passes. But in SEC games, Jeffery caught five TD passes and Rogers three. Plus, Jeffery made the play in the bowl game with the big TD catch to turn that game around and send South Carolina on its way to a win. Rogers had more overall catches and yards, I'll grant you, but Jeffery meant more to his team. Rogers brooded much of the year and was a divisive force at times. He was a complete no-show in the Kentucky game. In short, he had good numbers, but didn't have the overall impact that Jeffery did on his team. That said, when you do a list like this, there are always going to be players that are deserving who are left off, especially in the SEC.
AUTiger0325 (SEC Blog)
Does this year feel like 2010 to you? I mean everyone hyping Bama after they lost a bunch of people. Their schedule sets up for 3 very loseable games. What do you think?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Yes, it does have that feel in some respects, although I think Alabama's offense has a chance to be pretty explosive if McCarron takes the kind of step I think he will. There's talent on defense, just a lot of guys who've been waiting their turn behind future NFL players. I don't see the Tide losing more than two games in the regular season.
Tim (Maastricht, Netherlands)
With Michael Dyer gone from the ranks of Auburn's running back, how would you evaluate Auburn at this position? Where do they rank in the SEC ?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
Onterio McCalebb has certainly proven that he can be a big-play threat, but can he carry it 18 to 20 times a game. Tre Mason will definitely factor in, and I think Quan Bray will be heard from this season, too. Don't forget about fullback Jay Prosch, who's transferring in from Illinois. Prosch is a devastating blocker who would make any running game look better.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
If you had to bet money, who will be the starting QB in Gainesville Week 1, Driskel or Bissett?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I would say Brissett at this point, but it's going to be close.
Chris, it's been reported that Arie Kouandijo is out for spring, but no word was given about Cyrus. Any news on him? and if Barrett Jones is playing center all spring, who's playing LT?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
Talked to somebody at Alabama yesterday, and it sounds like Cyrus looks pretty good. I doubt the Tide will take a lot of chances with him in contact situations. They'll work Barrett Jones some at center with Vlachos gone. The goal is to get their best five on the field, and Cyrus Kouandjio, physically, has a chance to be special at left tackle, and Jones has proven that he can play anywhere up front and be a difference-maker. He's got to be the most versatile offensive lineman in the country. So I'd say there's a pretty good chance that Jones will end up at center if Cyrus steps in OK at left tackle.
Tyler (Athens, GA)
Chris I haven't heard anything about Danny Trevathan lately. Where do you see him going in the draft?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Probably somewhere in the middle rounds, maybe later. He's not the fastest guy and doesn't have all the measureables. But I bet he gets in a camp somewhere and makes the team. He's just a football player who's tough, instinctive and productive. You turn on the tape, and he's always making plays.
I'm positive you won't answer this Chris but i will try anyway. You said Alabama was FOURTH in RB stables, not feature back but STABLE meaning all the RB's combined behind SOCAR and ARKY. Please explain this. Outside of Knile Davis and Lattimore, those two don't have a stable and they proved it last year......GO
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Just off the top of my head, I would say that's about right -- maybe third or fourth. LSU would be my top choice in terms of overall running backs. Arkansas would be second. Davis, if he's healthy, is one of the best in the country. Also, go back and look at what Dennis Johnson did last year. Ronnie Wingo is a mighty talented third option. Lattimore, like Davis, is one of the best out there, but Wilds was one of the best freshmen in the league last season. Again, I think Alabama would be right there at either third or fourth. Lacy is very good. Fowler is more of a power back, and Hart sounds like he's the real deal, but hasn't played yet.
Chris, With all the coaching changes on Dereck Dooleys staff this offseasondo you see it possible for a eight win season? And if not is his time on the hill over with ?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
The Vols have more depth and experience and should be explosive in the passing game. Their schedule is also easier than it was last year, so I would predict that they win seven games next season in the regular season and possibly eight if they get a few breaks and stay healthy.
Come on man answer the bloody question,who is better in the east UGa or USC?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Very comparable teams. Both should be very good on defense. But Georgia has a much easier schedule, so I would pick the Bulldogs to win the East.
Dooleyspantsgottago (SEC Message Boards)
Chris - when are you going to finally admit that you have had it in for Tennessee for the last several years?
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
In my world, I've had it in for just about every team in the league at some point. It just goes with the territory.
Concerned Tennessee Fan (Tennessee)
I heard a rumor that UT is suing ESPN over your lack of positive articles about the Vols. Is there any truth to this at all? Seems silly, to me.
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
Yep, I have a team of attorneys handling the case for me, and I'm talking high-priced attorneys.
Gamecock92 (Florence SC)
Do you feel the SEC offenses are returning to a more "grind it out" rather than high powered high scoring formats? If so, is this a product of what SEC defenses will allow teams to do? Which teams in the SEC have the personnel to put 40-50 up against good SEC defenses?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
Actually, I think the crop of quarterbacks in the league will be as good as we've seen in a while. Even so, the level of defense in this league is such that you're simply not going to see a lot of 41-38 shootout games.
ANTHONY (COLUMBUS, GA)
THOUGHTS ON CROWELL FOR NEXT SEASON?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
I think he will mature from his freshman to sophomore season. He also needs to get mentally tougher, and he should. His teammates have gone to bat for him, and that's a good sign. If these things happen, he has all the physical tools to be a 1,200-yard rusher. He's a better runner between the tackles than he's given credit for and has great moves. I just want to see him be more of a gamer in the fourth quarter.
Chris, if Arkansas has a bad year, do you see Petrino on the hot seat?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
Come on, serious? They've won 21 games over the last two years.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Chris, can you finally give me your opinion on how Milliner and Fulton will do in the Bama secondary replacing Menzie and Kirkpatrick? Do they have the potential to be a better duo? Thanks
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
It's hard to say better when you look at the way Alabama shut down people back there last season. But Milliner will make a big jump, in my opinion, and the jury is still out on Fulton. I'd watch both of those junior college newcomers. I can promise you that Saban didn't sign them to ease them into that rotation.
Along with Bill's question, who do you think will be your top 5 players in the SEC next year at the end of the season?
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
I'll qualify this by saying ... if they're healthy ... I'd have Marcus Lattimore and Knile Davis in that group along with Tyrann Mathieu, Barrett Jones and Jarvis Jones -- in no order. Tyler Wilson and Aaron Murray would both be knocking on the door along with Sam Montgomery and Bacarri Rambo. Now, that's just an early stab at it. I may think differently once we get to preseason practice and I do by preseason Top 25 list.
Not Bill (Alabama)
Besides the obvious (Bama/LSU), which 3 games are you looking forward to next year?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
The Florida at Texas A&M game the second week of the season stands out. Seeing LSU come to Fayetteville to play Arkansas is another one along with Georgia at South Carolina, which was a great game last season and will play a little later in the season in 2012.
Henry (Sumter SC)
If South Carolina were to win the SEC do you think Spurrier would retire next year?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
I can't think of a much better way to go out. I know that's what continues to drive him -- winning an SEC title at South Carolina.
Hi Chris, Michael said he wasn't looking for an SEC east winner projection, rather he wanted to know who has the better team, USC or UGA. Who do you think looks better on paper?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
That was my point. I think both teams are very comparable, especially on defense. The difference is that Georgia's schedule is easier.
Nathan (Galveston, TX)
What can fans realistically expect from Arkansas this season? Do we have the ability to knock off Bama and LSU in Fayetteville this season?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
I don't know about winning both, but I can definitely see them splitting those two games. The defense has to get better, but that's why Paul Haynes is in Fayetteville now.
Brian (Baton Rouge)
Breakout player for LSU this year. Jarvis Landry. True or false?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Landry would be my choice. He was a beast on special teams last year with some of those hits. The coaches there tell me he also runs good routes for a younger guy. I also think Tharold Simon will go from being a pretty good player to an All-SEC player at cornerback. And maybe Tahj Jones at linebacker.
Chris, I would really love you to answer 1 of my ?, see my and my man Pachy met each other on these blogs. We were wondering if I send you an invite to our wedding would you come?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Send me one, and maybe we can arrange your wedding around a football game that I'll be covering there. Can we have the rehearsal dinner at Herman's?
CWE (Jax FL)
you left a few off the list of AU RB's, don't forget Corey Grant and Mike Blakely...so as far as the "stable" of RB's, perhaps you should include Running Back U?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
Good call. Forgot completely about Blakely. They also need to play better in the offensive line. But some of the younger guys like Westerman and Dismukes should be better.
Michael Lowe (Phoenix AZ)
Hiya Chris,I so much appreciate you and the work you do. I would like to know why so much attention is being paid to LSU and BAMA. I think we all know that they are great but what about the others. The SEC has 14 teams not 2 and it seems to me that most of the attention is given to just a couple teams. This creates problems with even recruiting. Heck keep saying cheeseburger all Ill want is a cheeseburger. All we hear about is LSU LSU LSU or BAMA BAMA BAMA. If you dont believe me take a look at the past two weeks articles.
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
LSU was the first SEC team to open spring practice. Alabama is also opening spring ball this Friday. Missouri did on Tuesday, and we've had a few things on the Tigers and will have more in the coming days. As teams open spring practice, you'll see more stuff on all of them, and we also hope to get to most of the campuses this spring.
Jeremy (Sherer, AL)
Can't believe you won't answer who has the most delusional fans - at the moment - in the SEC. I'd answer Arkansas, considering what they lost, and how antagonistic they seem towards anyone who doubts them (considering they've never won a thing).
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
First of all, you don't really expect me to answer that, do you? I will say this. SEC football fans, by nature, are delusional. Just about everybody in the league expects their team to win at least nine or 10 games every year, and if you do the math, that's not possible. Then again, that kind of passion is what makes this league so much fun to cover. I love going out to the different campuses and meeting the fans.
what do you expect out of the Coordinator positions at Auburn this year...Much Improvement or slow growth. I am nervous about the OC side, but I need to keep an open mind as Chizik was a suspect hire.
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
Loeffler has a very good reputation and has worked with some outstanding QBs. I suspect you'll see more of a pro-style offense and the Tigers throwing more from the pocket. I wouldn't get too down on Chizik yet. This is the year that highly rated 2010 signing class should come to the forefront. Let's see how they do and how much guys like Lemonier, Wright, Chris Davis, Trovon Reed, etc. grow.
Chris Low (2:15 PM)
You guys were restless today. That's OK, makes for a better chat. I still love everybody in the SEC (even the Hogs and the Vols) and look forward to doing this again next week. Take care and have a great week!