Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Edward Aschoff (3:01 PM)
Greetings on a Friday! I know, it feels weird, but can you ever really talk too much about SEC football? Yeah, I didn't think so. SEC chatting and the Masters? Yes, please! Let's get to those questions.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Ed, more drama for Petrino, it seems to follow him wherever he goes. Do you think the adiministration gives him more than a slap on the wrist with all the talent, and expectations, Arkansas has for the coming season? The win at all cost atmoshpere of college athletics will prevail. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Edward Aschoff (3:06 PM)
It's really tough to say what will happen at this point. We don't know all of the facts yet, so obviously AD Jeff Long will have to go through all of that before he makes a decision, but it will be a tough one regardless. Petrino has done wonders for Arkansas since his arrival. He has turned this team into a very legit contender for not just the SEC West but the SEC in general. Now, this is a major speed bump. He had everything going for him and had this team where he wanted it, but now, the momentum has stalled. If Petrino broke his contract with improper behavior, it's going to be hard for Long not to seriously consider letting Petrino go. Right now, this is a difficult situation for all parties and until all of the facts come out, it's hard to say what will happen. All I know is that lying to your superiors is the worst way to approach things ...
Matthew (Baton Rouge)
What are yourr thoughts on the Morris-Wonderlic incident?
Edward Aschoff (3:09 PM)
I think that it's a travesty that his score was released. I think its a travesty when any of them are released because they are only for NFL teams to see. I will also say that the test means very, very little when it comes to playing football. These tests don't show how well a defensive player can break on a pass or how fast it takes him to get to a pass. I've seen Claiborne play plenty of times and he's extremely smart when it comes to playing on the field. He doesn't need some silly test for that. It won't and shouldn't hurt him in the draft.
Jessica (Fayetteville, AR)
Dash, I don't think this Petrino info is going to affect the team that much, what do you think?
Edward Aschoff (3:11 PM)
This will be interesting for the players. I want to see how they react to all of this because this is their head coach. The guy who runs things is having to sit back and watch from afar. It's all about focus from here on out for these players. We've seen teams deal with adversity before (look at LSU last season). Luckily, this is just spring practice, so the players aren't in a rush to get on the real playing field.
John (South Carolina)
Edward do you think that Landon Collins has a chance to get the a starting safety spot on Alabama's defense when he enrolls this summer.
Edward Aschoff (3:12 PM)
It's going to be tough with the guys who are currently going through spring. I don think that he'll get on the field in some form or fashion. Saban will use players he feels can make a difference and Collins has that sort of ability. Getting that defense down during the offseason will be key.
Abrell (Montgomery, AL)
Dash, my stat book tells me Alabama is going to be really good this year..What do you hear about Dickson and Hubbard being a force on that D?
Edward Aschoff (3:15 PM)
Well, Dixon is playing that "star" position, which Saban really respects, so you can tell how impressed he is with the JUCO transfer. Hubbard is vying for that Jack position and is trying to fill the shoes of Courtney Upshaw. That's going to tough, but the players and coaches have been very impressed with him so far. He's fast and physical, so he fits right in with Alabama's defense. Now, can he be the leader that Upshaw was?
We've seen this type of situation play out in another major college sport with another marquee coach: Louisville and Rick Pitino just a few years ago. And Louisville just reached the Final Four. How, if at all, is Petrino's situation different from that of Rick Pitino? And should Arkansas use that blue print for the handling of their situation?
Edward Aschoff (3:19 PM)
That's a pretty good question, actually. For Pitino, he was forthcoming with his information from the beginning and that certainly helped his AD when it came time to review everything. Petrino major blunder was not saying everything to those who needed to know from the start. He referred to Dorrell as a "lady" instead of who she really was. Not telling his bosses from the start that she was involved was a bad move by Petrino. I think Jeff Long will have look at that when he considers everything in this situation. Honesty is the best policy.
John (South Carolina)
What is the status of Duron Carter? Last I heard he was not eligible. What does Duron/Alabama need to do to get him on the field?
Edward Aschoff (3:20 PM)
It sounds like he still has somethings away from the field that he needs to work on before he can get on the playing field. He needs to hurry up and get things in order because time is running out and he's just going to get lost in the shuffle eventually.
GoldenGator (Charlotte, NC)
Dash- How do you feel about being an honorary coach at the Spring Game? And who do you expect to have a better day, Driskel or Brissett?
Edward Aschoff (3:23 PM)
I feel honored, really. It makes me realize just how respected my Playstation skills are. Honestly, it should be pretty fun to be on the sideline around everything. Obviously, it's just a glorified scrimmage, but it'll be cool to see how the coaches and players interact during a game-like atmosphere. I'll get to see more that I'm not able to in the press box. After talking with Muschamp and some others inside the program, no one seems to think that either has the advantage right now. Tomorrow? I'll go with Brissett because B comes before D.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
What player's development/improvement has surprised you the most so far this spring?
Edward Aschoff (3:25 PM)
That's a good question. I'm actually surprised at how well Keith Marshall has come along at Georgia. He is someone who was viewed as more of an outside guy and someone who would primarily be used in space. However, the coaches told me that he's been very good up the middle. He looks stronger and stronger and that's huge if he's going to accompany Isaiah Crowell in the backfield. Crowell will need his rest and it'll be big if Marshall can continue to pound the middle.
GoldenGator (Charlotte, NC)
Dash- How do you feel the demeanor of UF's roster has changed with another year of Muschamp, and probably more importantly there now being alomst as many upper as lower classmen...
Edward Aschoff (3:27 PM)
Coaches have said that this team is more mature. Things are coming easier for them. They "get" it. I think you'll see a much smarter team out there this fall. Remember, more than 70 percent of last year's team was made up of freshmen and sophomores. Florida was also 10th in the SEC in starts among returning players last year with 148.
Has anything been decided on how football will be scheduled in 2013?
Edward Aschoff (3:29 PM)
Not yet, but it looks like most of the traditional rivalries will remain, which is a good thing. The nine-game conference slate is still on the board, but I find it hard to believe that will happen. I doubt SEC coaches and presidents will want to play nine games against SEC opponents, then an SEC championship game before the bowl season.
Katie (Huntsville, AL)
Dash - Spurrier has again been lamenting the performance of his qbs this Spring - do you think it's just his natural strategy to create greater competition for Shaw to be pushed, is our D just that good, or is it a legit concern?
Edward Aschoff (3:30 PM)
Spurrier with negative comments about his QBs? No way! Seriously, it's what he does. He pushes as much as he can and I think this is just a chance for him to push some more. I think Connor Shaw ended the season well and if he can learn to pass first, Spurrier will be fine. He's always critical of practice, so I wouldn't worry.
bill ((the board i took over))
ed, do you think if petrino leaves we will be better like when he left the falcons?
Edward Aschoff (3:31 PM)
Hard to believe Arkansas will be better without him this season. He has done an awful lot for that program.
James (Spartanburg, SC)
How does Robert Nkemdiche compare to the highly touted DE Jadaveon Clowney from a couple of years ago? Will the recruiting battle be just as fierece?
Edward Aschoff (3:32 PM)
I've heard that he might be more athletic and more versatile ... and that's saying an awful lot. Recruiting is always fierce and everyone wants him.
abrellbama (Montgomery, Al)
Dash-Earlier today, a Video was posts about the NC contenders for each conference. Chris Low only talked about LSU. How could he leave out Alabama as a contender? What is your take on it?
Edward Aschoff (3:34 PM)
I think it was which team was most likely to be a national championship contender. Plus, it was only 30-40 seconds long. I have to agree. LSU has the most returning talent to make another championship run. I think LSU will be No. 1 or 2 to start the year and has a chance to go undefeated again. Alabama is at home, but Arkansas is on the road. I like the LSU pick. Plus the offense has to be better with Mettenberger, right?
Bold prediction: Bama will have two Heisman finalists this year! Your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (3:34 PM)
Extremely bold. Gotta disagree with you on that one.
Punch (Da SEC Blog)
Dash, please answer one for me...What do you think about Bama's WR group this year, any under the radar talent? Hoodies Up!!
Edward Aschoff (3:38 PM)
The good thing is that they are older. It sounds like Amari Cooper and Chris Black are doing well, which is good because they're true freshmen. DeAndrew White will be called upon a lot more this fall and so will Kenny Bell. There is some explosion there, especially with White and having AJ McCarron back and more mature will certainly help. I think that Eddie Williams will make an impact as well when he gets on campus this summer. The question is if Duron Carter, who might be the most physically gifted of all of Alabama's WRs will ever see the field. He has to get over his off-field issues.
Kevin (Huntsville, Alabama)
Ok Ed we need to settle this once and for all. You and Chris and everyone else over at ESPN need to remember this.Tennessee is not in the middle of a transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 they are simply adding the 3-4 scheme to the existing 4-3 this has been said multiple times by both Coach Dooley and Coach Sunseri. Please let everyone else know and help set the record straight
Edward Aschoff (3:39 PM)
You'll see a lot more 3-4. As in Tennessee would like to have more 3-4 than 4-3 this fall.
Dash, Kiper didn't have Alshon Jeffrey going in the first two rounds...is he nuts???
Edward Aschoff (3:41 PM)
Hard to believe after the year he had in 2010, right? I can see it though because he wasn't as dominant last year and he didn't showcase the speed people wanted to see this spring. Plus, Rueben Randle has really impressed since the season ended. Randle over Jeffery didn't seem possible, but it looks like it's going to happen. I still think a team will be very, very happy with him.
Ole Reb (Mississippi)
Please tell me we'll win at least one conference game this year.
Edward Aschoff (3:42 PM)
Yes. I can't spill the beans on which one it will be, but I see Ole Miss winning a conference game. It's going to be a major work in progress in Oxford, but the SEC drought will disappear in 2012!
Dude, Dash.. give me some love! If Petrino is suspended for the first X number of games this season, what is the magic number that takes the hogs out of contention?
Edward Aschoff (3:43 PM)
Two SEC losses in the West will probably be enough to send a team packing in the fall.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Does the winner of next year's Cocktail Party play in the SEC championship for sure?
Edward Aschoff (3:44 PM)
Not sure about that, but it will be a HUGE game in determining the East. I think Georgia and South Carolina will be in it until the end, and Florida has a chance to make a run. That game might not decide the East for both teams, but like last year, it will guarantee one team's fate.
Cahart (Athens, GA)
Dash, please answer this even though you are a UF homer...Do you think Mizzou will cause issues for UGA due to the suspensions, I hear Franklin is a good QB? I don't want to see UGA make the SEC look bad by losing to a Big12 team.
Edward Aschoff (3:48 PM)
Finally, a UF homer jab! It has really been a while since I've seen that. I guess it's because I'm in Gainesville for the weekend. I think Mizzou can cause Georgia problems, but it's not like the Bulldogs won't have anyone back there. Corey Moore and Damian Swann have really impressed and Malcolm Mitchell could be a heck of a corner. Plus, Shawn Williams is still back there. Mizzou will have to combat Georgia's size up front and speed on the edge if it wants to throw down field. This game shouldn't just be given to the Tigers because of the suspensions. Georgia has plenty of weapons to cause problems and Mizzou is still looking for a reliable deep threat at WR.
Will Lattimore be a contender for the Heisman Trophy this year? With a field so deep, Miles, Carson, Wilds and now Davis.. is it possible that this could finally be Lattimore's real chance?
Edward Aschoff (3:50 PM)
If he's healthy, he certainly can be. He's strong, fast and very strong. Did I mention he's strong? If he can play 12 games or more he'll have a chance for sure. Having those other guys will only help him keep his energy.
Blues (SEC Blog)
Not to start a war or anything, but who are your favorite posters on the SEC boards?
Edward Aschoff (3:51 PM)
The ones who comment about my good looks :)
Jared (Columbia SC)
With Ward running a more aggressive defense for SC how much of a difference do you think it will make for opposing QBs having to worry about blitzes and the D-Line.
Edward Aschoff (3:53 PM)
With the talent South Carolina has, I think offenses and QBs will have to worry. There is a lot of talent all around for the Gamecocks. Quarles, Taylor and Clowney up front will be trouble for any offensive line. The linebackers have some questions, but return a lot of playing time for last year. South Carolina's defense will give teams headaches in and out of blitz.
John (South Bend)
Dash: Would like to see more SEC opponents on ND's schedule, but Tennessee was the only team that would leave SEC territory, and that didn't work out well for them. Do you believe the SEC will ever stop ducking ND for the FCS? What are they scared of, we are barely over .500 in the last six seasons.
Edward Aschoff (3:54 PM)
I want to see it. I want to see Bama-USC. Georgia-Texas. Florida-Oregon. South Carolina-Oaklahoma. Someone just make all of these happen like yesterday!
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Which of the defensive lineman for UGA could potentially end up First Team All-SEC?
Edward Aschoff (3:56 PM)
John Jenkins will get a lot of attention but Kwame Geathers will really push him. He could just push him right onto that list. It wouldn't surprise me at all. I think Jenkins could be a beast for the Dawgs.
Ok Ed, one last Question... Connor Shaw... he played so well in the last 3 games... he Improved like no QB ive seen at Carolina since Tanneyhill.... do you see him passing a 2k season with a 1k rushing total
Edward Aschoff (3:57 PM)
With Lattimore, it'll be tough from him to rush for more than 1,000 yards. Without him? Still not sure because he wants to be a pass-first QB from here on out. He's getting better through the air, so that will eat into his rushing.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Does Jesse Williams dominate for Coach Saban next season? The line play for below standard for Bama last year?
Edward Aschoff (3:59 PM)
He has the attitude and the talent too. Was last year's below standard? I don't think so. Teams rushed for 2.4 yards per carry against Alabama. That's pretty good and was second best nationally.
Dash- tell it like it is. No dancing around talking about schedules. Who is the better team? USC or uga?
Edward Aschoff (4:00 PM)
At full health ... I have to go with Georgia right now. Better at QB, WR, DB and LB.
What are Eddie Lacy's chances at winning a Heisman this year? Do you think he'll have the breakout year that Ingram and Richardson did before him when they took over?
Edward Aschoff (4:01 PM)
I don't think he'll be a Heisman finalist or anything, but I think he'll have a pretty productive year. He's a tough runner and is deceptive speed. He isn't Ingram or Richardson, but he'll do just fine for the Tide.
Edward Aschoff (4:01 PM)
OK guys, great end-of-the-week chat. Enjoy the Masters and talk to you all soon.