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)
Welcome to our Monday chat! Don't be so down SEC friends. There's still a chance that the SEC champ could still make it to the national title. Still a lot of football to play ...
Barry (Hamilton, AL)
How do you like Johnny Football's Heisman chances?
Edward Aschoff (12:03 PM)
If he's not a top 3 candidate something is seriously wrong. He has been the most exciting player in the SEC and is certainly one of the most exciting players in the country. He's a redshirt freshman and he made Alabama's defense look silly. Even more silly than Cam Newton did back in 2010. He is No. 2 on my list behind Collin Klein, but it's basically 1A and 1B at this point. I'd take Manziel over Klein if I had to start a team. If he keeps averaging nearly 350 yards of offense every week in the next two games he's headed to NYC. Has to
what is the situtaion with dooley? we have to fire him today!!! why wait, it will just give other schools and coachs time to talk before us. my vote is petrino
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
While I'm pretty sure Dooley's days are indeed numbered in Knoxville, Petrino just doesn't make sense to me. Why would any SEC school want to bring in his baggage and make him the face of their program? I get the wins. But have some integrity. There are plenty of other good candidates out there without the checkered past.
Why is florida regressing each wk while teams like tamu and lsu appear to be hitting their strides?
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
I think the offense has shown everything it has. And that offensive line has just worn down more and more since the South Carolina game. It doesn't help that Jeff Driskel has one real receiving target -- TE Jordan Reed. He isn't getting a lot of help and now the running game is getting smothered because defenses aren't afraid of the Gators when they throw. Who would be at this point?
Travis Patrick (Baton Rouge, La)
How can ESPN have power rankings that place Texas A&M ahead of LSU when we beat them in their place and the game was not as close as the score? How can A
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
LSU is the team that beat the team that beat THE TEAM. So, yes, I can see how you're confused. This was the toughest week for power rankings. But Texas A&M just took down the No. 1 team in the country and looked better in every part of the game. LSU's offense has played its best in the last two weeks, but Texas A
How can Alabama be higher ranked than GA and FL after losing to AM...especially since they lost at home and FL beat AM at AM.
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
If you took a poll of a large group of people, the majority would still say that Alabama is the best team in the SEC. It has its issues, but so does everyone else. Is Florida really as good as its record? What about Mississippi State? Just how things go, but if Florida and Alabama were on the same field I don't see the Gators doing much.
What has to happen for Vanderbilt to go bowling in Atlanta or Florida this year? Is there any chance?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
See I wanted to put Vandy in the Gator Bowl in our new predictions, but Chris and I talked about it, and it might be a tough sell for the Gator Bowl. They look at more than just record when they choose teams and there's worry that Vandy might not travel as well as Mississippi State. But if the Commodores win out and Mississippi State loses at least one, they could make it to Jacksonville to play. I think they'd need more teams to lose to make it to Atlanta.
A better ending for A&M: Going to a BCS Bowl, or destroying Texas in the Cotton Bowl?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
BCS bowl game. The Aggies are already looking down at Texas because they are in the SEC and if they were in a BCS bowl game just imagine what the Texas fans will say
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Manziel and his family want to officially trademark "Johnny Football". What are your thoughts on that? I think it's kinda cool, but isn't it getting kinda similar to pay-for-play or associating with an agent?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
I'm pretty sure he couldn't make money off of it until he's no longer at Texas A&M, but it's smart because someone else could and then his eligibility would be called into question. Manziel obviously wouldn't be a part of it, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Can't have someone using his likeness to make money.
Ed of all the sec teams i saw this weekend iwould have to agree that johnny manziel is a good quarterback do you see him winning the heisman?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
If he continues to show out and A&M wins out I think it's very possible. Honestly, who's been more exciting to watch - Manziel or Klein?
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Ed, I need you to do something for me today. I need you to put SEC fans in their place. I need you to remind them that as a fan of a team in the SEC, they are not EVER supposed to cheer for another SEC team. Everyone knows that the SEC conference is by far the best conference in the college footbal, no question about that. However, this feeling sad about Alabama losing because it might mean that an SEC school is not in the BCS Championship is a bunch of garbage. How, and Arkansas, LSU, or Florida fan, etc..., can you be sad about a team you hate losing? Fans in the SEC need to quit looking for consolation prizes when their team is knocked out of title contention by trying to cheer for the unbeaten to stay unbeaten. And if you want to know the truth of it, the fans are mad as well that the new kid in town (A&M) came in and took down the bully when many of the teams regularly get blown out by them. It looks so silly when you say that you have a ton of school pride, yet you cheer for your enemy because you somehow think the SEC needs to save face on a yearly basis, when no fan of the other conferences questions the power of the SEC anymore.
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
I tweeted about this last night and it got a bunch of SEC fans all bent out of shape. As a Rockies fan I hated seeing the San Francisco Giants win the World Series. I hated every moment of it. I don't care about divisional pride. But I think it's different when you look at college football. The SEC has more pride than the NL West or the NFC South. It's more of a family because there's more interaction and college sports has way more pageantry. SEC fans are crowing now about Alabama losing, but if it's Oregon and KState they won't be so happy to see that they don't have a voice in the national championship this year. Just sayin ... wait until January and see what fans say ...
Bobby Petrino (The Dog House)
Ed, listen buddy...don't be spewing about my past. I bet you have some skeletons in your closet. Expect me to be the next coach at Kentucky. Count on it. Me and Calipari BFF.
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
No chance and yes, I used to put my milk under the table at dinner so my cat could drink it because I hated the taste. Still hate the taste actually ...
James (Versailles, KY)
I really don't think that Kentucky will go out and hire Petrino to take over coaching duties in Lexington - too much baggage. Who are some other viable candidates for the UK job? Should Kentucky try to hire an up and coming head coach from a smaller school (Dykes, Hudspeth, Doeren) or should they go after a successful coordinator (Smart, Helfrich, Venables)? What does the next coach need to do to be successful at UK and turn the losing culture that surrounds the football team around?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
I think Dykes is the top name right now because of how well La Tech is doing and how well his offenses have done. I think kentucky wants to go after a good offensive-minded coach. David Cutcliffe at Duke has had success in the SEC at Tennessee and Ole Miss. Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky is having his name floated out there, but I think he might hold out for something else. Brent Pease is another name that comes to mind, but it probably isn't helping that Florida's offense is going in reverse right now. Kentucky has to find someone who can bring some excitement and can start really recruiting the southeast. Kentucky has missed a lot in recruiting lately.
kevin (st. louis)
Ed, do you think James Franklin is the greatest thing since sliced bread....or the greatest thing since the discovery of fire?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Ha. Assuming you are talking about Vandy's coach, I think he's the best thing Vandy has had in a very, very long time. That program isn't looked down on anymore. I love his fire and I love how he's changed the attitude there. Expect his name to be thrown out there for opening this year as well ...
I asked last week if you thought Vandy could win out. You said no. How about now?
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
Well, I said no because I had Ole Miss beating Vandy. Now? I think they can. Tennessee hasn't done anything to show me otherwise and Wake Forest has it's own set of problems.
Since nobody will take Petrino as head coach, what about giving him a job as a highly paid OC?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
See, I could see that first. He's still a distraction, but he isn't the face of a program. There's a big difference.
Dan (College Station) [via mobile]
I understand that A&M's upset might have ended the SEC's championship run buy why all the negative comments in the media? I believe even yourself made a comment along the lines "this is how they repay is?" I'm sure there is a level of sarcasm involved but I have to think these comments wouldn't have been made if say LSU had beat Bama instead...
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
No they wouldn't because A&M is the new kid. I was making a joke. I actually think it's pretty funny to see the team that I thought would need a couple of years to come in and just outplay the nation's top team. Kudos to Kevin Sumlin and that team. No one wants to play the Aggies right now.
Who has the harder ACC rivialry game to end the season, Florida or South Carolina?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
That's a tough one. While I think Clemson's offense is better than FSU's right now, Clemson defense isn't on FSU's level. I think South Carolina has a better chance of beating Clemson than Florida does Florida State. But it's only because of how bad Florida's offense is. If that offense were better I think the Gators could win in Tallahassee. Right now, I don't see it happening.
Johnny Football (Aggieland)
Do you want to interview me, or do you respect Sumlin's policy? Media training is important after all.
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
More than anything in the world, Ron
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
What's the recipe for containing Manziel? Is there even one out there?
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
Contain, contain, contain. But in order to do that you have to have very good corners. Florida and LSU did that well, Alabama didn't. But with that contain, you have to bring someone in to pressure him because he throws a decent ball. It's tough because he's so slippery. I'd just watch what the Gators and Tigers did in the second half against the Aggies over and over
How many times do YOU think James Franklin will show his boys the 'We always kick the bleep out of Vandy' clip?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
Enough to make players mad. He might not talk about it much, but he will do what he needs to provide a little extra motivation.
Curious Gamecock (Chicago)
Dash, is there a problem with SEC officiating? In the last 2 years of SEC play, a total of 2 holding calls have gone against Gamecock opponents. By contrast, it seems like DJ Swearinger gets flagged any time he breathes hard on a receiver. What gives? Why don't they call holding anymore?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
There are always questionable calls out there. I don't know about that holding stat, but I do think that these dangerous hit penalties and suspensions are very inconsistent. They have to figure out what's a penalty and what isn't. I see holding calls all the time around this league, too.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
What do you think of the Auburn-Alabama AMU game this weekend? Auburn has had trouble with almost everyone, so this could be an ugly game. Should Auburn be worried?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Auburn can't lose this game. The Tigers need to find something positive in this awful season. If they lose there's absolutely no way Gene Chizik stays. I think he's scratching and clawing for his job but a loss this weekend pretty much makes it a done deal.
Should State fans be worried since spread offenses have been giving us trouble all year and Ole Miss runs a spread?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
That defense has a lot more holes in it than I thought it would. The defensive line isn't getting any sore of consistent push up front and it's putting way too much on the back end. Spread or pro, it hasn't matter in the last three weeks. Ole Miss' offense has the tools to beat Mississippi State's defense, for sure. But will it have the energy?
Does Alabama gets a rematch with Texas A&M? just like last year with LSU?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
Only if everyone loses ...
What did you think of the "bob" play that Coach Polian called to pull Alabama offsides? Call of the game? Are you surprised the Bama LB fell for it?
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
That was a great call. After the game he was chatting with some of us and he said that would only happen against Alabama 1 in a million times. Great call. Think about that: a very disciplined team loses the game on a very undisciplined play. Wow.
mark richt for president (Atlanta)
Ed, what chance do you give UGA versus Alabama? After seeing their DB's play the last couple of weeks, I think Murray and WR's can have a field day, which now opens up the running game.
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
Last week I didn't think Georgia had much of a chance. But after watching the Aggies get a handful of big plays against the Tide through the air, I think Georgia has a good chance against Alabama. If Aaron Murray doesn't play like the Murray we've seen in big games, I think he and his receivers could make some big plays against this secondary. And like you said it opens things up for Gurley and Marshall. I think that's going to be a great game.
At this point in the season would it be better to say its a Down year for SEC D's or an up year for the SEC O's. I mean who's the truly Elite Defense this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
I know Alabama is second in total defense right now, but after watching this unit the last two weeks I think I'd rather have Florida, LSU or South Carolina'd defense right now. Better lines and Florida and South Carolina have better front sevens all together. Florida probably has the best secondary of the group. I'd say Florida and LSU certainly have elite defenses. And since the Florida game, Georgia's defense has been at an elite level. Bama's defense is still great, but it has a lot of work to do in the secondary and on that defensive line.
I think the whole SEC out of the title game is really premature. ND has to go to SC and the Trojans have dominated the Irish and look to be a bad matchup for their DBs this year. Oregon has 3 tough games left, Stanford, OreSt, and likely USC again. K-St still has a trip to Waco and resurgent tu with a (maybe) dinged QB. I'd not be surprised if all 3 drop a game, which might lead to a Fla-Ga/Bama winner BCS title game, eh?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
I'm not saying it's over but it's going to be tough. You're right, all of those other teams still have tough roads ahead. And if all three lose and Florida, Bama/Georgia win out we are going to have another SEC national championship. My goodness ...
CapstoneCrazy (USC Trojan Fan club)
Two of your colleagues have BAMA going to the Cotton and Outback bowls. That is for the 4th and 5th best SEC team. What do you think of those predictions?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
I still think Alabama wins the SEC championship at this point. So I have them in the Sugar, but I can see why some think Georgia's offense will beat Bama's defense. It hasn't looked great the last two weeks and Georgia's offense has looked very good.
Ed, Georgia has a great offense and great defense. they have shown that they can play great D in big games like Florida this year and LSU last year, but Georgia has had a problem on offense in big games why do you think this is so seeing that they have loads of talent and they know that they can execute?
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
But look at the UF game this year and LSU last year. And South Carolina really. That line saw a lot of pressure come its way from the opposing defensive lines. Alabama's defensive line doesn't disrupt like the others. I think that will help UGA's offense inside the Dome.
Why did bama not back itself up to punch the ball in from 6 yards out in 4 downs to win and seal the deal? That o line plus Jesse package was supposed to be our strength.
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
Why did Alabama get away from the running game in the second half? Fourteen rush attempts? Really? With that group of backs? That last sequence was very strange. I have no idea what Alabama's coaches were thinking near the goal line. You have two backs ready to run it in. I know Lacy was banged up but he's still powerful enough to put the Tide in better position than what they got.
Why was A&M in the Fiesta bowl? They beat Bama, but Bama has a better overall season, even if A
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
If Bama wins the SEC championship game and isn't going to the national championship it's automatically going to the Sugar Bowl. Aggies would get in as an at-large in the BCS
When can we start talking about recruiting? Franklin's got a top 15 class right now and if they keep winning I could see them picking up a few more talented kids.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
If he finishes 8-4 in the regular season, you better believe he will. Win a bowl game and watch out. He's been tremendous on the recruiting front, especially in the state of Georgia.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
What's the deal with Eddie Lacey? Is he at 100%? He took a pretty good lick (questionably helmet-to-helmet contact) and looked like he might have gotten a concussion, but returned to the game. It looked like there was no confidence in Yeldon to hold on to the ball or Lacey to get positive yards, and that's why Alabama passed it on 4th and G instead of running it.
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
If Lacy was healthy enough to come back in then he should have gotten the ball inside the 5. Has to.
Jafre-Paul (Key West)
If All teams win out LSU, UF, Bama/UGA, A and M, USC who gets left out of the BCS Bowl? And should the NCAA get rid of the 2 team limit on BCS Bowls?
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
Yes, the BCS should but there's no point now with the playoff coming in 2014. I think if they all win out it's Bama and Florida in the BCS bowl games. I don't think the Fiesta Bowl would pass on 11-1 Florida, even with how bad that offense has looked. But if the Gators lose and everyone else wins I just think the Fiesta Bowl wouldn't pass on a chance to get Texas A&M to play a Big 12 team and it wouldn't pass on Johnny Football. Everyone in the country will want to watch him play. I don't know if everyone would be as interested in watch LSU.
Whos your top 5 SEC offenses now?
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
1. A&M2. Georgia3. Tennessee 4. Alabama5. LSU
Nkemdiche to Bama or Ole Miss? I'm praying for Bama, personally...
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
I don't follow recruiting as much anymore but with his brother being at Ole Miss, I think the Rebels have a great chance of landing him. No one really thought his commitment to Clemson was going to last, right?
Why is it so difficult to be successful at UK?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
It's hard to recruit there. Plain and simple. You don't pick and choose, you evaluate and recruit. ANd if you miss you are set back for a while, just like the Wildcats are now. There isn't a ton of tradition there and basketball is king. You play in a state that requires you to go else where to find top-end talent. It's not like Florida, Georgia, Alabama and LSU where you can drive down the street and find 5-stars.
The real Dawgs (Playing Favoritesville)
That's 6 Ed. Don't be a homer...
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Six what? Homer what?
Hey ed why dont you have conference pride? Don't you want the SEC to continue their Streak of dominance?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
I cover the conference. I don't "root" for it. I root for good games, good food and good quotes. If I happen to go to a great bowl location that's just icing on the cake.
Vandy has the ability to be a great SEC football power. Best school in the conference. Certainly the best city. Do you think Franklin sticks?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
Yeah, I wouldn't go that far. It all comes back to recruiting and you have to remember that there isn't a lot of tradition there and it's sharing the spotlight with the Titans. You don't really get the same college experience as you do in Athens or Gainesville. And you have to remember that academics play a huge part in recruiting there. You just don't get the same athletes to Vandy as you get to the real powers because of the academic standards. Sad reality, but it's the truth. Plus, you don't get to pick and choose in Tennessee like you do in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana when it comes to recruiting.
Kevin Sumlin a lock for COY or does Franklin have a shot?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
I think Sumlin leads the pack right now. Two weeks ago I said Freeze, but he'll have to get one more win. I mean he's done a heck of a job with all the issues Ole Miss had before. Sumlin had talent but no one thought the Aggies would do what they have. I mean this team looks like Sumlin has been there for years. He's No. 1 right now. I think Franklin is up there as well. Has to be with the job he's done in back-to-back years.
Don't listen to him Ed (Midtown)
"The real Dawgs" is my co-worker, and a huge Dawgs fan. Apparently he doesn't like the fact that you have taken so many questions from Bulldogs in Starkville. I'd say he is just mad that UGA is not getting much publicity.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
He obviously didn't read the blog this morning where I said UGA is playing its best right now. Or when I answered questions today and said that UGA had a real shot at beating Alabama. Also, if he thinks I'm a Mississippi State homer the people in Starkville are laughing at him because I'm from Oxford. Tell him he's better than that.
Srivatsan (Chennai, India)
Aschoff,Remind me to call you at the end of the season about this:AM will lose to Mizzou @home (Mizzou has AM's number) and then to Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
Edward Aschoff (1:05 PM)
Ain't happenin, but feel free to email me anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org). Missouri doesn't have the offense to keep up with Texas A&M and the Aggies don't have the defense Tennessee has.
Bama let up on the running largely because of negative plays, especially from Nealy. I think people are not quite getting that the A&M really got the win in the trenches. On the other hand, though, Bama did do a great job of protecting McCarron, but they had trouble running the ball.
Edward Aschoff (1:06 PM)
I still think you have to run the ball more than Bama did. The Tide got away from its bread and butter and put the game in McCarron's hands too much. That team is a running football team first and it didn't show it in the second half. Kiss of death for that offense.
Edward Aschoff (1:07 PM)
OK guys, I'm out. It's time to get some food. How does chicken and rice with mixed veggies and some fresh fruit sound to you guys? Can't wait. Great chat as usual. Talk to you all next week!