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. Glad everybody could make it.
Josh (Birmingham, AL)
If UGA beats UF, runs the table and then beats the West champ in the SEC Championship, do you think that puts them into National Championship? Obviously it does if there are only a bunch of other 1-loss teams. But would a 1-loss UGA team with wins over UF and possibly #1 UA jump over an undefeated Oregon, Kansas State or Notre Dame?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
I asked my colleague and Georgia grad Mark Schlabach that very question yesterday, and he said he doesn't see it. He thinks the South Carolina loss and how bad it was would keep the Bulldogs out. I tend to agree with him. However, if Georgia beats a No. 2 Florida team and an unbeaten and No. 1 Alabama team in the SEC title game, I think the Dawgs would at least be in striking distance. The key would be having two of those other teams you mention to lose (Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame). If that were to happen, it could get very interesting in that scenario.
Travis (Bay City, TX)
Hopefully I can finally get a question answered. Who out of LSU, Mississippi State and South Carolina do the Razorbacks have the best chance of beating? I personally think LSU. I have not been impressed by the LSU offense and with the two teams playing for the Golden Boot in Fayetteville (finally!) the Hogs will play at a top level.
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Not only will I answer you, but I will take you second overall. I would say Mississippi State because the Hogs would be getting the Bulldogs after they had three games in three weeks against Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU. That's a killer grind, and you have to wonder where Mississippi State will be physically and mentally at that point.
Jabo (St Simons Island)
Chris, How is it possible that the Dawgs defense is this "soft" with 5 players on Mel Kipers pre season big board?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
I think Todd Grantham, Shawn Williams and Co. are wondering that same thing. For one, their chemistry hasn't been very good with so many players missing earlier in the year and then having to plug guys in as they go. But the truth is they just haven't played very well or up to their talent level. That was inexcusable last week, the way they came out and allowed Kentucky to run up and down the field. We'll find out a lot about that defense's pride Saturday in Jacksonville.
CLow, do you think it is more likely that Bama finishes the regular season undefeated, or more likely that they will lose one before the end?
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
I would lean toward unbeaten. I just think they're too good up front on offense and too sound on defense to lose to anybody they face in the regular season the rest of the way. If they lose in the regular season, it's probably going to take a team going plus-2 or plus-3 against them in the turnover battle. I'll point out, for what it's worth, that Mississippi State has been excellent this season when it comes to turnover margin.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How does C.J.Moseley compare to other top linebackers in the country such as Jarvis Jones and Manti Te'o?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
In terms of versatility, he's right up there with anybody. He's excellent in coverage, has gotten better at blitzing and is as sure a tackler as you're going to find. He's bulked up, too. The Tide coaches will tell you that Mosley has their catalyst on defense this season.
Brandon (Dawsonville Ga)
If UGA gets blown out saturday do you think CMR job would be on the line. A lot of people are getting mad that he can't beat a ranked team. He has the most talented team he has ever had if he can't get it done with this team I don't think he never will. Do you agree with that?
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
I understand that Georgia fans are frustrated and that Richt has not been able to win another SEC title since 2005. But if he goes 10-2 this season in the regular season, there's no way they're going to fire him.
If Rutgers was in the SEC, they'd be the _____ best team
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Eighth or ninth.
T-bone or rib eye?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
Afternoon Chris- My Gators are on a roll and I hope all this hype doesn't affect the young players heads and they stay hungry. Thay being said it looks like Sandy spinning around out there may have an effect on the game. Does a windy/rainy game give the nod to my Gators or the Dawgs?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
I don't think so. Florida is going to try and establish the run regardless, and if the weather is bad, it's probably going to come down to field position and who can make a play or two on special teams, and Florida's specials teams are second to none.
Is Jon Gruden coming to Tennessee?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I don't see it. Now, Gruden has told some people that he'd be interested in the Tennessee job. I absolutely believe that, and I also think he's getting the itch to get back into coaching. I think it's much more likely, though, that he goes to the NFL as opposed to college.
Adam (East Helena, MT)
Is JaDaveon Clowney the best DE in NCAA?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
He's the best I've seen, and he's playing on a foot that's not nearly 100 percent right now. You hear this a lot, but he really does look like an NFL player out there playing with college guys, and he's only a sophomore. Very good chance that he will be the No. 1 pick in the draft in two years.
How many NC does Saban have left in him? how many years do you think he sticks around?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
Funny you should ask. I spent some time with Saban last week and asked him some of those questions. I'll have a story up on ESPN.com later today.
Who will Arkansas hire?????
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
Two names I would keep an eye on are Charlie Strong and Gary Patterson.
Who is the top QB/receiver/back trio in the league up to this point?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
Right now, it's hard to beat McCarron, Lacy and Cooper at Alabama. Very underrated is the trio of Russell, Perkins and Bumphis at Mississippi State. The other one I would mention would be Murray, Gurley and King at Georgia.
At what point is a 10 win season from Richt not enough for UGA? Seems like in the SEC that equates to settling for 2nd or 3rd best...
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
I don't think you can fire somebody in this league for winning 10 games and doing it fairly consistently. Now, what could happen if the climate gets nasty enough is that Richt and Georgia could settle and he elects to walk away. But I just don't see Georgia firing him after a 10-win season.
Hi Chris. What happens if: LSU wins a nail-biter in Baton Rouge. Bama wins out impressively. LSU wins out. Oregon wins the first vs USC, but loses the second. K-State and ND also lose. Could we get LSU-Bama again in the BCSCG?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
To me, LSU is in the best shape of the one-loss teams. Obviously, the Tigers have to beat Alabama next week. But if they win out from there and then take down an unbeaten Florida team in the SEC championship game, I like their chances of being in the national title game. As for Alabama losing, I don't know that the Tide would make it back this season with a loss to an LSU team that had already lost. Last year, LSU was unbeaten. Plus, what happens to a one-loss Florida team if the Gators lose a close game?
Hi Chris Low! Do you expect to see more passing from Pease/Driskel this week at Georgia? Do you think that Dan Mullen will challenge Alabama this weekend? Is Charlie Strong a real candidate for Arkansas after just getting to Louisville?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
1. I think the Gators will take their shots in the passing game, but want to come out and run. Getting Gillislee off early could open up some things for them in the passing game. 2. No, I think Alabama will win by two or three touchdowns. 3. Yes, I think Strong is and should be a candidate at Arkansas. He can recruit. He knows the SEC, and he's a guy who knows what it takes to play great defense in this league.
Clow, winning 10 games consistenly is not the issue. UGA hasn't beaten a team with a winning record this year, and the only one it has faced routed them. If you were stuck at ten wins a year at your beloved Tennessee would that really satisfy you? Ok, maybe thats a bad example...
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
Man, the frustration is ringing out loud and clear with the Georgia fans today. You better hope your football team isn't in the same state of mind this Saturday. And what does Tennessee have to do with whether 10 wins are enough at Georgia? Don't vent to me about it. Let Greg McGarity know that you want Richt out ... now.
Chris, the $1 billion question...does auburns deep pocket alumni pony up the $9 million guaranteed to Chizek and his coordinators if they are fired and fire them at the end of the season.
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
I think there's more of a chance that they will than won't. From everybody I talk to there, it's going to be extremely difficult for Chizik to survive this season.
Chris,How come Zac Stacy seems to get so little respect? Where do you put him in the hierarchy of SEC backs? I'd like to see what he could do behind a bigger line.
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
You're right, he deserves more, and I include myself in that group. He's got a chance to put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, and some of the great ones in this league recently haven't done that. Zac is a terrific football player, but he's an even better person. He's majoring in special education and works as a student teacher during the day and helps with special needs kids. Can't say enough about what a credit he's been to his family, to his football team and to Vanderbilt.
Mick (Portland, OR)
To date, the SEC teams have played 38 non conference games. They are 32-6 in these games. Of these however, only 4 games have been against currently ranked opponents and in those games SEC teams are 1-3. Those teams are Rutgers (15), Louisville (16), Michigan (22) and Texas (23). Not exactly passing the eye test here. So if I am right in saying this, the entire basis for ranking teams like Mississipi State, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, LSU, even Alabama, is based on perception. Because the only other ranked theams the SEC has played are themselves, and how do we really know how good these teams are? Why do SEC teams keeps getting a pass on high rankings when they have done nothing to prove they deserve it? They constantly avoid playing good teams out of conference, and living on the perception they are that good. But nothing in their non conference schedule this year proves it. When is the SEC going to actually start scheduling real teams out of conference, and doing home and home deals where they actually have to travel?
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
OK, I'll play this game. Who would you have ranked ahead of these SEC teams? LSU scored 41 points on Washington, which beat Stanford. Everybody was praising Oregon for beating Arizona State soundly. Well, Missouri -- which hasn't been competitive in the SEC this year -- beat Arizona State with its backup quarterback. I realize that people are getting tired of seeing the SEC win championships year after year, but it is what it is.
Sorry, Chris. Didn't mean to jab Tennessee like that. Saban's reign on the SEC just has all us peasants in a shaky state.
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
Now, that's pretty good and you can jab Tennessee all you want. Everybody's fair game in this league.
So...that A&M-Texas Cotton bowl is becoming more and more likely. is Jerryworld just chomping at the bit for that game?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
LSU would be Texas A&M's biggest competition, but LSU could also wind up in a BCS bowl or the Capital One Bowl. The key game for Texas A
Billy (Starkville, MS)
Give me your honest opinion, Mississippi State's chance this weekend against Alabama?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Only way I see Mississippi State winning is if Alabama uncharacteristically turns the ball over and the Bulldogs get a couple of short fields or even a defensive touchdown. The good news is that Mississippi State has been one of the best in the nation this year in turnover margin, but Alabama is also right there at the top.
Matt (McLean, VA)
What needs to happen to get South Carolina to the SEC Championship Game? I realize they have to run the table on their own schedule, but if UGA beats FLA this weekend and both UGA and FLA lose another SEC game....what happens?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
South Carolina needs to win out, as you say, and then Florida needs to lose its next two to Georgia and Missouri. Georgia would then need to lose one of its last two to Ole Miss and Auburn. The Gamecocks would then win the tiebreaker.
RedBoar (Football City)
Is Arkansas's defense on the rise, or were last two games just that much weaker contenders this year that it made us look good?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
I think it's the latter, although the Hogs are starting to get some injured guys back in the secondary.
Tim (Seattle )
Oregon is going to pound the living pee water out of Bama in the Natty this year. There I said it! SEC GOES DOWN THIS YEAR! But I am sure you will tell me how the SEC winning the last 6 straight will have anything to do with this year right?
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
Got you marked down. We'll re-visit this chat on Jan. 8.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Which draft eligible underclassmen will leave the SEC after this season?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Among the guys who would be at the top of the list are Dee Milliner, Cordarrelle Patterson, Alec Ogletree, Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo, Eric Reid, Marcus Lattimore, Sharrif Floyd and Corey Lemonier. That's just a sampling.
Does Georgia have a prayer of stopping Gillislee with the defensive problems they have been having lately?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
They better stop him and at least make Driskel have to throw some on third-and-long, or it's going to be a long afternoon for the Dawgs in Jacksonville.
Mick (Portland, OR)
Very few people play the "would win because they were beat by another team that played them" game. Here is my point: SEC teams are loading their schedule to guarantee 6 wins and bowl eligibility, and are not truly deserving of having 5, 6 7 or even 8 teams in the top 25. Nobody knows if they are really good, or bad. My point is the SEC needs to start playing games against better non conference opponents. LSU Beat washington, at home, and Washington is not a good team. Oregon was up on them 35-7 at half and then put in backups. What i am clearly saying is across teh NCAA there needs to be less cannon fodder teams in major conference schedules. And the SEC appears top be the worst offender, teams are ranked too high without any real test, and by nature of those rankings, the SOS data is artificially high as well. I have nothing against the teams or the people in teh SEC, but its time to have a more balanced and realistic approach to ranking teams and determining who gets in bowls and playoffs, NC games.
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
Oregon's nonconference schedule this season = Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. Would you call that a murderer's row?
Coach Mushchamp (G-ville)
Chris--- what are you trying to me?? Trying to put the hex in me and jinx the Gator chances to win against the Dawgs. Got enough pressure here son. Can't fly under the radar anymore. Really feel my boys can pull it out and keep the winning streak going huh? Would have felt better if either your or Little Ed picked UGA!!
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Will, I picked against you a couple of weeks ago in the LSU game and promised myself then that I wasn't going to pick against you again as long as you kept winning.
Are you surprised that A&M is 5-2 on the season, losing by a total of 8 points to LSU and FL? Even as an Aggie, I didn't think we'd be so adaptive to the new conference as fast as we have.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
Yes, I'm a little surprised, although A&M still has a tough stretch remaining. But they were right there against Florida and right there against LSU. Manziel has been better than I thought he would be in his first year, and the Aggies are also very good in the offensive line. Sumlin and his staff have done a very good job and are recruiting their rear ends off, too.
Chris am i missing something like some type of stat or is it because AJ. Johnson for tennessee is a soph. that he isnt getting any award mentions, i know he is on a terrible defense but the kid can play 7 in the countrie in tackles and first in the SEC right? And is the only one scoring touchdowns for them now
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
He's probably getting a little bit of the shaft because of how poorly the Vols' entire defense has played. But, yes, he's been very productive for them.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Chris, I need help picking my Halloween costume for this weekend. I want to be the meanest, scariest thing that has ever existed. Should I be Jesse Williams, Adrian Hubbard, Jarvis Jones, or Jadeveon Clowney?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
None of the above ... Edward Aschoff!
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
On that note, I'm heading out. Don't tell The Kid next week in his chat that I gigged him. He fancies himself as a ladies' man. Hope everyone has a great week and I'll see you Alabama and Mississippi State fans in Tuscaloosa.