Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at noon ET!
Edward Aschoff (12:00 PM)
Greetings everyone! Our Monday chat is back and things finally feel normal. Let's get started.
MikeDaTiger (Baton Rouge)
There have been a few people on the Arkansas/Bobby Petrino articles calling for Long's head stating that "he's the one who hired Bobby in the first place." My take is that Arkansas is in a much better position now than they were before and the coaching vacancy is a much more attractive job now. Long gave the guy a chance and it worked great up until now. What are your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM)
In my opinion, calling for Long's job is just silly. Yes, he hired Petrino, but he's not the reason Petrino did what he did. People should be calling for his job if he decided NOT to fire Petrino for his actions. Petrino embarrassed himself, the university, Long, his family and the fan base. Long showed integrity when he fired Petrino. It was a tough decision because Petrino did a lot for that school and program, but in the end, Long made the right decision when he put the university before winning.
dbt_Geaux_Tigers_1960 (The House of the Rising Sun)
E-Dash, what is your personal odds that LSU will win division for 6th time in 12 years? (I'm in homer mode right now)
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
I don't really look at odds, but I think LSU has a pretty good chance of winning. The Tigers return a lot on both sides of the ball and all indications are that the passing game will be much better with Zach Mettenberger in charge. Plus, Alabama's defense has a few new faces and Arkansas is looking for a head coach. I think LSU has even more of an advantage now.
Jess (Memphis Tenn)
Ed, top 5 SEC QB's in Spring games were Ark, SCaro, Ala, LSU, and Florida. Agree? Which starting QB struggled most in Spring game Murray?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
I wouldn't put Florida over Georgia or Tennessee (even though the Vols haven't played their spring game yet). That's still a work in progress in Gainesville and this offseason will be crucial for both. Murray struggled, but it was a spring game and he went against a pretty tough defense. Spring games are just glorified practices, so we really can't take a ton away from them.
I've been impressed with Ace Sanders this spring! Breakout year coming!
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
South Carolina will be counting on it. He might not be big, but he's strong and fast. Plus, he's elusive. He NEEDS to step up for the Gamecocks this year.
Ed, you are flying through the chat today! I love it! Watched A-Day in T-town this weekend. Is it going to be 2010 all over again for Bama? I seem to think so.
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
Again, spring games don't really tell the whole story. While I don't think Alabama will mimic last year's team, I also don't think the Tide will be 2010 either. The defense is more mature and Saban won't let that happen again. I think you see a little drop off, but not much.
Vinnie Sunseri (Tuscaloosa, AL)
What do you think, Ed? With my low recruiting profile and penchant for highlight reel plays and turnovers, will I be Bama's version of the Honey Badger this season?
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I love it when "celebrities" join the chat! I wouldn't go so far as to compare you to the Honey Badger, but you have the right attitude and ability to be a menace on the field. The question is if you can hold off Ha Ha. He's a freak of an athlete, so just watching that battle will be pretty exciting.
What is your prediction for Missouri's 1st year in the SEC assuming that Franklin is healthy at the start of the season? Is it possible to get 10 wins?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
After being around that team and coaching staff, you can tell that they are all confident over there. They think they can come in and compete immediately. I think they can, but I'm not sure if the lines are built to get through an entire season in the SEC just yet. I could see 8 or 9 wins, but I don't see an SEC East title.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How long do you think it will take the Arkansas program to recover from this scandal? Has Petrino set the program 3-5 years back from being a contender like it was prior to this incident?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
It really depend on the next coach. This team has to get past Petrino like yesterday. That's why this hire can't be on emotions. Can a past coach or a hire within win now? Yes. But can it win for years to come? Who knows? It's not fair to hire a coach to win for one season. You hire to win in the long run. If Long feels past assistants are ready to do that, so be it, but Long should think long and hard about this hire.
Mr. Ashcoff how do you expect the Georgia bulldogs to handle all the hype next season will they crumble again under pressure or will they finally turn it arounand live up to expectations? if they do turn it around i think Grantham is the person to think what about you
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
They sound like they are, but we haven't even hit the meat of the hype. Once the preseason mags come out and the polls are released we'll really know. Plus to start the year short staffed won't help the pressure they'll all face this fall.
Dave (Charleston, SC)
Ed, should the gamecock faithful be worried about SC's secondary? They made the offense look good in the spring game saturday. Everyone keeps talking about the talent back there, but do they live up to the hype?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
Spurrier wanted to focus more on passing. I think he wanted to put up good numbers. He wanted to give the people a show. Like I say, spring games say so little about a team. There is plenty of time for guys to improve before the season. I think South Carolina's secondary will be fine.
It seems like you have a problem with Arkansas...You put them down every time you talk about them....What can Arkansas do to get on your mizzu,LSu, Alabama band wagon
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
I thought we went over this already. Obviously, you're new to the blog and the chat or else you wouldn't bring this silliness here.
scott (west monroe, la)
in your opinion, what does jeff long do? hire an int. coach on staff or go out and hire from outside the current staff? I think that he should promote int., coach say Tim Horton and then come nov or dec, hire the big name that we should be able to get.
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
I can't say. I think he needs to go with the coach who he thinks will win in the long run. He can't go for a quick fix coach. Arkansas has the talent to win now, but he needs a coach who can win now and tomorrow.
Kiehl Frazier (Auburn, AL )
War Eagle Ed. I like your style. Did my SWAG during A-day make me the presumptive favorite to win the starting job on the Plains this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
Another special guest! It must be my birthday! I think you've improved tremendously since last year and I think you can owe a lot of that credit to Scot Loeffler. He knows how to coach quarterbacks. I don't think Clint Moseley is out of it at all, but you did make it very interesting after the spring game.
ian (columbia, sc)
thoughts on missouris new threads?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
I like them. I'm all for change and Missouri did it the right way.
Mettenberger looked great at LSUs spring game but the only thing that concerns me is opening up the passing game too much. Matt Flynn had some big turnover games in the 07 season that kept mediocre teams (Bama, Arkansas in particular) in the game and ultimately resulted in one loss. LSU wont get away from its bread and butter (their seemingly endless stable of rbs) will it? Granted Crowton and his bizarre playcalling were around in 07 but it still worries me.
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
LSU still has a stable of good running backs. There will be balance and that will be very good for LSU. those backs will help the offense even more this fall.
Jason Dunn (Enterprise, AL)
I think you are severely underestimating Bama's talent on defense. I know Bama lost some great players, but there is some serious talent still on the roster and more coming in the fall. 11-1 with a loss to LSU. What do you think?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
I don't think I am "severely underestimating" it at all. I have never said that Alabama's defense will be bad. I've said it won't be like 2011 or 2010. It won't be as good as 11, but better than 10. No disrespect at all. For someone to think that there won't be growing pains after losing all those studs is naive.
The Eagle (Auburn)
After a rebuilding year do we have a chance to knock off UGA? And will the East finally have a good year against the west or will the western domination continue?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
I think the East will be MUCH more competitive against the West this year. I actually think the East race will be more exciting because nearly everyone will be involved. Can Auburn beat Georgia at home? Yes. Will it happen? Not sure right now. UGA has the talent right now, but I think Auburn will have matured more by that time. It should be a good one.
Jack (Houston, TX)
How does Kevin Sumlin do in his first year in a top-tier football conference?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
While I think that Sumlin's best days are ahead of him in this conference, I think the Aggies will put a few fights this season. I don't see a West run or a BCS bowl game, but I do see a team that will grow throughout the season. I think there are going to be some rough spots here and there with the new offense, defense and coaching staff. It's going to be a complete transformation for this program and it's going to be tough.
Ed, I have sent you like 10 questions. Why won't you answer me? Is it because I am asking about Bama? Are my questions giving you an idea for an article or something?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
I rarely read names, man. Plus, I'm getting like 100 questions. It's tough being popular :)
Trevor O'Neil (Cleveland)
What dose Will Mushchamp have to do with the offence this year to be at least a competitve team this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Leave it alone. Let Brent Pease coach it. Florida needs its offensive line to improve. Without that there will be no passing game and no running game. Making sure that line is healthy and tougher is the main thing for this team. It started to look much better this spring and people there are excited about what it can do this fall.
Blues (The SEC Blog)
Dash - with the SEC moving the Arkansas/Alabama game up two weeks this year, who do you think that move favors? Arkansas because Alabama's defense will still be (relatively) inexperienced or Alabama because Arky's line won't have had a chance to gel yet and Bama will have already had a test facing Michigan?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
I think both of those will cancel each other out. Plus, early games really don't tell you everything about a team. I think being at home is the biggest advantage in this game.
Megan Mullen (Starkville)
Why haven't you mentioned anything about Dan Mullen having a new baby girl with me on friday?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Check the scrimmage updates! Come on people. Use those eyes!
Will (Baton Rouge)
I really believe this will be an up year in the SEC. I believe that LSU, Bama, Georgia, and possibly South Carolina will have top 5 defenses and top 10 offenses(as far as points scored). Arkansas will have a top 5 offense and some of the teams that struggled last season due to youth and injuries (i.e. Miss. State, Auburn, and Tennessee) will be much better. This will be a tough year to go undefeated.
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
It's always a tough year to go undefeated in the SEC. I think the offenses across the board in the SEC will be better.
Spirit (The Plains)
Ed - can you get school officials to open the windows in the skyboxes this year? Thanks, my head appreciates it.
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Watch your head!
Does Florida have any chance at competing in the SECE this year? I know you like the defense but that same defense was bad to ordinary against good teams last year (LSU, Bama, UGA when it wasn't shooting itself in the foot) and inflated its numbers against bad offenses. Give me some reason for optimism please!! And don't say things will get better offensively just bc they can't possibly be as bad as last year. That's what we heard after 2010.
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
People at Florida say things are different. The attitudes are different and the players look hungry for something to happen. The defense should be a top-10 D again (even without Ronald Powell) and the offense will be better. I just can't see it regressing yet again. I don't see an East title, but this team will compete for it. Improvements will be made, but I'm not ready to say this team will beat both South Carolina and Georgia.
Saw your interview with T.J. Moe on the WR corp this spring. What's your feel for how the team and coaches are expecting DGB to impact that group this fall?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Spoiler for a blog coming to you soon, but they are pretty giddy about him. They think he can be an explosive playmaker and a decoy. Both should help this offense. I think he'll be that true deep threat/playmaker that this offense needs
Trevor O'Neil (Cleveland)
Do you agree if Marcus Latimore stays healthy that the cocks will be back in the atl come december? He holds the key for the cocks this year.
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
It will certainly help. I think a healthy Lattimore makes this team a definite contender in the East ... maybe more. Without him, a lot more will rest on Connor Shaw. I really like this South Carolina team but I'll like it even more if I know Lattimore is playing hard and often this fall. He's a Heisman candidate when he's healthy.
Hooligan (The SEC Blogs)
Am i alone in thinking Damiere Byrd could have a monster year? that guy is scary fast.
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
He has excellent speed, but I still think he needs to bulk up. After that, watch out.
Ed, you have won the award of Blogger of the Day for calling someone out on not reading your articles. Congratulations sir.Also, how about a shoutout to Shon Coleman for returning to practice after beating leukemia! Good luck to you Shon!!!
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
I wrote about him last week. That's just such an awesome story. The fact that he's healthy enough to be out there is great. He might never play again, but he's a true inspiration. I love hearing stories like that and wish him nothing but the best in life.
Blues (The SEC Blog)
Ed - I got Chris' thoughts Friday on this and now I want yours. Do you think this whole Petrino fiasco eventually costs Long his job? Does he go from being the "man that did the right thing" to "the man that fired the coach that put Arkansas back on the map?"
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
It better not. If he finds a coach who doesn't produce like Petrino it's tough position because if Long is let go because there aren't wins, everyone will go back to Petrino's firing. They shouldn't. He did the right thing and he shouldn't be punished for having some integrity.
Is Joe Morrow the next Calvin Johnson?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
I'm not ready to go that far, but the coaches love him down there. They think he'll be a top playmaker for them. He was a beast in practice last year and has really impressed this spring (ask Corey Broomfield about him). He'll enter the season with more hype than ever in his career, but people there are pretty confident that he'll deliver. He's the first real deep threat this team has had in a while.
I know Ole Miss doesn't have a chance to really compete this year, but do you honestly believe we are headed in the right direction? Where do we fall in the standings this year; do we at least break our SEC losing streak?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
This is going to be a tough year for Freeze. There's no getting around it. Ole Miss has a lot of issues on both sides of the ball. Is it headed in the right direction? People there think so. It's going to take time for this program to get back to being competitive. Recruiting and discipline will help. I still see this team being at the bottom of the SEC this fall, but I can confidently say that I think the SEC losing streak ends. I don't know when it will happen, but it will happen.
will Isaiah Crowell have a good enough year to compete for the heismen like he says, i mean th guy ran for 850 yards and hardly played the second half of the season
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
Heisman? Not sure right now. I want to see him hold up during the season. Ask me again in Week 9. Everyone has told me that he's a different person. Players, coaches and administrators are very pleased with how far he's come. Remember, the plan wasn't to really play him last year. It wasn't until Ealey and King were gone that Crowell HAD to play. He made mistakes last year and was soft at times. Players don't see that same guy this time.
Dr. Pastides (Columbia SC)
I've said it before and was blindsided by my fellow presidents. How long until my prediction of a 9 game conf. schedule comes true?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
Gonna be tough. Do you think Mike Slive wants to see a team play 10 SEC games in one season? I don't think so. Makes it even harder to get to the national championship.
Brian (Richmond, VA)
Ed-Whos your SEC sleeper this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
Auburn. Young guys who played a lot last year. Coordinators changing things for the better.
How many games do you see Tennessee winning next year, and how many of the losses will they be competitive in?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
This team and Florida. These are the two I just can't wrap my head around. They could either fall apart or really compete for a championship. Both have issues, both have made improvements. I think it's going to be tough for everyone to be on the same page when you add so many new coaches, so that has to be taken care of. Both lines have to improve and Tyler Bray needs to be more of a leader. He'll be able to throw it, but can Marlin Lane be a top rusher or at least one who can make the running game watchable this year? That Florida game is huge for both programs. It's probably bigger for Tennessee. A loss could hurt the attitude of this team. Eight wins wouldn't surprise me, but if something goes wrong early, five or six wouldn't either.
Who are the top 3 WR's in the SEC. No one just stands out to me right now.
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Ugh. Tough right now but I'll go Cobi Hamilton, Odell Beckham and Justin Hunter. Da'Rick Rogers should be on this list, but I just never know what he's going to do.
Alan (Baton Rouge)
Ed, Please tell me you do not honestly believe LSU's passing game will be better? If Mettenberger is so good, that means that Les Miles just gave up in the MNC game on purpose. This is Les Miles team, he will run, and not let a QB upstage him. As an LSU fan, I am saying Bama wins the division. Miles has gone Dinardo on LSU
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
I don't need a long-winded answer for this one. Did you see Jordan Jefferson last year? He moved past Jarrett Lee, who played better. Mettenberger has to be an upgrade. He just has to be.
Tville (Thomasville, GA)
Ed seriously Auburn is your sleeper? I love you and am possibly your #1 fan now. But be serious I'm a huge Auburn Homer and would have picked Mizzou as a sleeper. I think AU is a couple of years away.
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
Feel free to join the official fan club. I have a couple of friends who run it and they'd be more than happy to bring you in. Auburn isn't getting a lot of love, but I like what the young cats can do ... Yeah, I said it
Brock B. (AUBURN)
No love for Emory Blake in the WR list?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Another good one, but someone had to be left off. It was only three.
Do you think the suspensions for Georgia will cause them to slip up any of the first four games if you do which game will it be?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
It could, especially the Missouri game. Missouri's offense should be pretty excited about seeing a depleted defense early. The Tigers have the weapons to make plays on this Georgia secondary. The good thing is that the Bulldogs' defensive line should cause Missouri problems all day, so maybe the secondary won't be relied upon as much.
sthrnchx (mshoggy's basement)
Ed ,I could coach the Hogs and win at least 10 games. How many do you think the Hogs win?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I could probably do the same with that offense. It depends on the coach. If someone familiar with the program comes in, I wouldn't be shocked if Arkansas won 10 again. If it's an outsider and there is some resistance, I could see this team struggling to get to 10. But I believe that this team wants to prove that it wasn't just about the coach. There is talent there to compete for an SEC title. I still think Arkansas is the third best team in the West, so 9-10 wins is still what I expect.
Scott (Brunswick, GA)
Do you see Vanderbilt upsetting South Carolina in the opening SEC game?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
Not right now. Vandy's going to be tough again, but I think this South Carolina team is on a real mission. It wants to get back to Atlanta and it wants to win. Unless something happens between now and then, I see the Gamecocks winning in this one.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Ed: Is there any school or conference that is making serious inroads into recruiting from SEC country? Urban Meyer at Ohio State has SEC ties as does Bo Pelini at Nebraska. Also, Arkansas is undergoing scandal. Does any of this lead to better recruiting for other schools from SEC territory? Thanks.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Teams are always trying to get into SEC recruiting territory. Will recent events help that? Yes. Will it mean that SEC teams take a hit? No. Never. Southeastern talent stays home more often than not and I don't see that changing. Now, I think that you'll see more success from Big Ten schools or USC, but you won't see SEC teams squirming around because of it.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Lots of questions today. My fingers hurt ... and that's a good thing. Thanks guys. Talk to you all next time.