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 (12:03 PM)
Greeting everyone! Interesting weekend for the SEC, after it really didn't do much on its own. Let's get to the questions
If Alabama loses vs Auburn, then who goes to SEC title???
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
LSU. The Tide would be eliminated because it would have two divisional losses, which means Texas A&M and LSU (they both have to win this weekend) would go head-to-head with two losses. LSU beat the Aggies so they would be headed to Atlanta.
Hal (Hiram, Ga)
if Georgia beats Georgia Tech but loses to Alabama what are their chances of playing in a Bowl Championship Series game?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Very, very, very slim. The Bulldogs would need Florida, LSU and Texas A&M all to lose. A two-loss Georgia team wouldn't go over a one-loss Florida and a two-loss LSU or A
Aside from the wish-list candidates for the Vols job that are probably not going to materialize (e.g., Jon Gruden) who are actually the most realistic candidates and what should their priorities be in making their decision?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
I think Tennessee will have a good litter to pick from. The Sporting News reported that former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is a candidate. That would be very interesting. I think Gary Patterson at TCU will hear his named called in this whole thing. Would Tennessee reach out to Vandy coach James Franklin? I mean, Dave Hart knows he can win and recruit and if he could turn Vandy around like that, imagine what he could do at Tennessee. Just sayin ...
Please tell me it's going to be an A&M / Texas Cotton Bowl and that backroom politics won't derail it. How can this not happen??
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
It could happen if LSU or Florida ends up in a BCS bowl game. That would leave the Cotton bowl to take the Aggies. That would be quite the draw for sure and we'd get a chance to see this rivalry game again. If the Cotton Bowl can get it, I don't think it will pass on it.
Kyle (College Station)
Will Damontre Moore come back for his senior season?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
That' really hard to say/believe. With the season he's had and the way his stock has really skyrocketed I don't see him coming back. Draft guys tell me he's a top-10 pick right now and has show how versatile he can be with him moving from LB to DE. I find it hard to believe that he will be back, but crazier things have happened.
A concerned reader (Everywhere, USA)
Ed, you wrote an article yesterday entitled a??The SEC is back in the BCS title picture.a?ý I think you mislabeled your title because the way you wrote the article, it seems like it should read a??Alabama now has a path again.a?ý You wrote, a??With Kansas State and Oregon both going down on Saturday, Alabama is right back in the running for the BCS title gamea?ýa?ý and a??Alabama now has to beat an overmatched Auburn team at home this coming weekend and then get past Georgia in the SEC championship game. Georgia is now No. 3 in the BCS standings and is playing its best ball of the season.a?ý Can the same not be said about UGA? Why the obvious bias against UGA in your writing? I know you went to Florida, but this type of jaded view is devaluing your overall writinga?¦ In the words of Chris Berman, Come On Man!
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
I said Alabama is back where it was and has to win out to make it to Miami. That's a fact. I said if Georgia wins it's going to Miami. If Georgia were No. 2 I would have started the piece talking about the Bulldogs instead of Alabama. I'm not showing bias and I think Georgia can beat Alabama. It has the offense to do it for sure. You read too much into things, so come on man!
Tim (Razorback Depression Rehab Facility)
What do think about Knile Davis? He sure didn't pan out the way I think most of us Hog fans wanted him to this season. He is probably coming back for his redshirt senior year right?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
He hasn't been able to stay healthy all year and I just don't see why he would leave for the NFL at this point. He just hasn't been very productive at all this year and it would be hard to see him going very high at all. I think another year would really help him because he obviously isn't 100 percent.
Assuming Alabama takes care of Auburn this weekend, what would be the keys for an Alabama win or a Georgia win in the SEC title game?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
Alabama has to fix things in its secondary. Aaron Murray has the tools and the talent around him to score points on the Tide. Georgia can run the ball pretty well with those talented freshmen as well. If Alabama can't contain that offense, Georgia will win. Now, Murray has struggled in big games and you can't make mistakes against Alabama. That offense has had its issues lately, but when Nick Saban has the chance to rebound he and his team are very tough to stop. He'll make sure this team is very, very sound and prepared for the Dawgs. I think it'll be a great game.
My friends seem shocked that Vandy gave UT a beatdown this week. What does Vandy have to do to get recognition as a mid-tier SEC team now?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
I think Vandy is getting recognition and has since James Franklin arrived. He beat his rival and might get eight or nine wins this year. People really respect Vandy. Get nine wins and just wait ...
What are the chances of an all SEC BCS NCG this year? I know that it would be a long shot with Florida beating Florida State and Notre Dame losing to USC, but honestly do you think it could happen? Would you want it to happen?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
Notre Dame and Florida. If ND loses to USC and Florida wins on Saturday, chances are that the Gators will be propelled into the national championship because it doesn't look like Oregon will catch the Gators in the polls. Florida would have wins over four top-10 teams. And if Georgia beats Alabama that could help the Gators even more. The country might implode if it's an all-SEC national championship ... especially if Florida is in with that offense ...
Optimistic Gamecock (Chicago)
Ed, I think even the most optimistic Gamecock fans have to admit this season has been a bit of a letdown psychologically. 2 straight years of watching the Championship after shellacking the Dawgs stings a lot. Since the biggest goals for this year are gone, what can Gamecock fans look forward to in 2013? Any chance they can finally make it back to Atlanta?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
I still think this team will be pretty talented next year, but it has to hurt to see the Gamecocks fall a little. I picked them to win the SEC East but I didn't think Florida would be 10-1 and I thought Georgia would have two losses at this point. It's still been a good year and the Gamecocks could win 11 games in back-to-back years. Last year was the first year South Carolina even won 11 games. But it's a good thing to have these kind of expectations.
Ole Miss Fan (Oxford, MS)
Can Ole Miss take down Mississippi State to reach a bowl game? We have to get the fourth quarter/last minute winning figured out!
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Yeah, Ole Miss has to play better in the fourth quarter and the second half in general. That just shows you how much depth has been an issue. Ole Miss should have beaten Vanderbilt and had a chance against LSU. But I think Hugh Freeze will have this team very, very fired up for Saturday. His message might be this could be your last game of the season, give it everything. But there's no question that Mississippi State has all the momentum and regained some of its swagger with that win over Arkansas.
If in fact the SEC tries to expand to 16, who do you see them going after? FSU and Clemson?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
No. Mike Slive has already said that he won't expand into states that already have SEC schools. And Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn wouldn't be happy with Florida State. South Carolina doesn't want Clemson, and with the way Clemson has recruited, I'm sure Florida, Georgia and Alabama don't want the Tigers either. Plus, you have to consider a lot more than just football. A LOT
Joe (Columbus, GA) [via mobile]
Ed, quick question about the Heisman race. I understand Manziel should be at the top but if Georgia wins the next two and Aaron Murray plays like he has since the Florida game shouldn't he at least get an invite?
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
I think it's going to be tough. Murray has been very good, but that Florida game really, really hurt him. Now you could say the same about JF, but he has been a better overall player all year. I think if he has two MONSTER games, he might get some attention here and there but I don't see him making it to NYC. It's too late in the process.
MikeDaTiger (SEC Boards)
Ed, I have to disagree with you on calling Les Miles press conference a "meltdown." I know coaches are supposed to play nice with the media, but to me, it's almost as if someone had insulted his own child. Les loves his players like family (maybe almost wanting to give them a kiss on the mouth) and he said what was needed to defend his players! Don't you think recruits will notice that when deciding on who to play for?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
I was having fun with it. I love what he did. I laughed the whole time. He provides great entertainment for me so I was all for it. It was a funny little meltdown.
OK how's this, Oklahoma and Kansas State to the SEC to round it all out with 16 teams? With Oklahoma and Kansas State they would at least have rivalries with Texas A&M and Missouri already set in place.
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Not happening ever. Can't take OU without OSU and the SEC has no need to expand into Kansas. Plus, why would the SEC expand right now? It has 14 teams. I think the SEC would only grow larger if it knew it could get some quality programs before the next wave of expansion happens. You have to remember that it isn't all about football. A lot more is taken into consideration.
Does A.J. McCarron get an invite to NYC?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
No. Johnny Football killed that campaign in Tuscaloosa.
What was Bray doing with the stare down after the touchdown this weekend?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
He was trying to intimidate and show up Vandy. It certainly didn't work ...
Ty (Atlanta, GA)
Ed, Heather Dinich wrote an brief article that was shocked that UGA and UF moved up to 3 and 4 in the BCS while FSU and Clemson remained the same. She also mentioned LSU and Texas A&M being ahead of them as well. She like most people across the rest of the country believe there is an SEC bias. When will people realize that when their conference wins 6 championships in a row and has as many 10+ win teams year in and year out as the SEC they will get the same respect not bias.
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Honestly, I can't believe how far back FSU is. The computers hate the Noles. That NC State loss was huge. i'm surprised FSU is that far down, but could FSU beat the Aggies? Could the Noles beat LSU? I don't know but I'd like to think that both of those SEC schools would be favored against the Noles.
Dawgman Inc (Virginia)
In your opinion, what are the 3 keys to the SEC title game?
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
1. Alabama stop the pass2. Georgia stop the run3. Don't turn it over
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Who steals Kirby Smart from the Crimson Tide at the end of this season?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
I think he'll be on a lot of teams' short lists. If he's going to leave, the time is now because his stock is still high and he'll have his options in the SEC. But would he want to coach against Saban? I don't know. I think he'll have plenty of chances to coach away from Tuscaloosa in the next few weeks.
Does Vandy have any chance of leapfrogging Mississippi State for the Gator Bowl if the Dores beat Wake Forest and MSU loses to Ole Miss this weekend?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
You would think the Commodores would have a chance. I think a six-game winning streak is attractive and so is the chance of having James Franklin in a bowl game. But the Gator Bowl knows Mississippi State will travel very, very well. Will Vandy? With those fans show up in Florida? You'd think so, but I think the Gator Bowl wants to be absolutely sure.
Jon Gruden (Not Knoxville)
Patterson has had two touchdowns called back for taunting this season. He's incredibly talented but makes stupid mistakes. Is he a first round draft pick?
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
No. I don't think he is. He has all of the talent but I was told that Justin Hunter figures to be a better pro prospect. I'm still not even sure if Patterson leaves UT. I'm leaning toward yes, but I'm not as convinced anymore.
Hey Ed, What are the chances that my Dawgs manage to keep Todd Grantham around, or will someone take him as a HC?
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
You know I think he's someone who would be interested in being a head coach. I think he wants the chance. He has a fiery attitude but his players love him. His past anger issues might be a turnoff, but I think he'll get some attention, especially with how well that defense has played in the last two years.
Ed, do you think that the Johnny Heismanziel will get his rightful trophy? I'm getting tired of all this nonsense claiming that T'eo is getting. Yes, he's helped the Irish to their current BCS standings, but I don't think he's had anymore impact then Jarvis Jones or Damonsta Moore. I know I sound biased, but come on, he has better stats then Tebow & Cam when they won.
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
I think both have been great. Te'o might be the best defender out there (yeah, I said it!), but I just don't think the Aggies are where the are without Manziel. Plus, he's done so much and has been the country's most exciting team. It 's close but I think Manziel is in the driver's seat. Also, the freshman knock is a tired argument. People need to get over that, like yesterday
Call me crazy, but I think Uga would rather play Alabama than an LSU in the SEC title game. Unlike 'bama Lsu could actually generate a pass rush with just 4 down lineman and we all know Aaron Murray struggles in big games.
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
Not crazy. Alabama's secondary has really struggled lately. LSU's secondary wasn't great against Ole Miss,but it doesn't have the holes Alabama's does. I think you'll see improvement, but I'm sure if Georgia had its pick, it would choose Alabama. Weird to say that ...
allan (austin texas)
Would Texas consider moving to the SEC? Would Virginia Tech be a viable option also for expansion?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
I remember people talking about Texas and the SEC, but I don't see it. I think Texas is happy where it is and I think the Big 12 will eventually expand again. Now, Virginia Tech wouldn't surprise me, but would it want Virginia to come too? Would the SEC be interested in that?
More ridiculous? The media members who thought lsu would be mediocre once sabans recruits were gone (been gone a while now) or the media members who have wanted to run richt out of athens for 3+ yrs?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I think you are confused with media members and Georgia fans. You should have heard the stories Georgia PLAYERS told me about their own fans after they started 0-2 last year and after they lost to South Carolina this year. Might want to look at the group you guys hang with first when it comes to all of the Richt bashing. Also, I don't remember people saying LSU would be mediocre but it's hard to be when you have all that talent right there.
Zach Zaleski (Nashville TN)
Do you think James Franklin has a chance to win SEC coach of the year? #anchordown
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
He'll be in the running, but I think it's Kevin Sumlin's to lose. Hugh Freeze will be in the running as well if Ole Miss wins this weekend and so will Will Muschamp.
Not Mathew (UAB)
Do you think Aaron Murray can step up and beat Bama? I don't think he has what it takes.
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
We know he's talented enough, but does he have the right mindset? He really struggled against ranked teams and has beaten just one top-10 team in his career. He fell apart in the second half last year against LSU, but Alabama's defense has some issues in its secondary that I think he can exploit. He'll have more time to throw this year than he did last year in Atlanta.
Tim (The edge of a cliff, MO)
Does Mizzou have a pray this weekend in College Station?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
Man, it's hard to tell. The defense has been good, but Syracuse went up and down the field against the Tigers Saturday night. I was shocked by that. Although, not having Sheldon Richardson in there was a big deal. But if James Franklin doesn't play, I don't see the Tigers winning. Even if he's in I think it's going to be very tough. The Aggies are just too good and haven't gotten tired yet. They are cruising and Mizzou is limping. Not good
Noor (Tampa, FL)
Chances that Derek Dooley joins Florida as WR coach, next year or this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
That would be quite the downgrade for him don't you think?
You thoughts on Les Miles' "rant"? Personally, and this is from an Aggie...I LOVED IT!!!! For all the naysayers concerning the Mad Hatter, bottom line is, he doesn't have any baggage...his players love him and play for him...and...HE WINS GAMES!!!
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
I loved it even if it was a little strange. I love watching those kinds of rants. You like coaches showing some real personality. Hats off to The Hat
Zane (Athens GA)
Murray was lights out 1st half in 2011 in SEC Champ game, if he comes out like that, Bama in trouble? Georgia has unifinished business, AJ's 1st SEC Champshp--nerves a factor for AJ?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
AJ played in and won a national championship last year. He won't be nervous about the Georgia Dome. If Murray plays like that in both halves, Alabama is in trouble. But receivers can't drop passes like last year ...
Morrison (Jenkins Texas)
Mark Richt has been undervalued by ESPN for years, admit it, you were WRONG. yOU PICKED fLORIDA.
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
I picked Florida because I thought the Gators would win, not because I doubted Richt. I've gone at Georgia fans for undervaluing Richt and calling for his job. If you're blind to it you are being naive. Richt has deserved way more respect and support than what he's received from Georgia "fans"
Ray (Pawleys Island)
I will try this again. I know it is too late for a change with the playoff coming soon, but don't you think that it is unfair for the SEC to have so many teams in the top 10-12 but only get 2 in BCS games with teams not ranked as high get in just because somebody has to play not because they are the better team
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
I think its unfair for any conference that is in that situation. Best teams should play in the best bowls. But I don't make the rules ... I just complain about them.
Casey (Kandahar, Afghanistan)
Is Alec Ogletree playing like an All-American now to you? It's almost like you can pencil in 10+ tackles every game. He is playing lights out and I think he could be a 1st rounder if he comes out.
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
If he comes out he'll be a first-rounder. He's been excellent during the second half of the season. He had a lot of stats in his first game back but he even told me that he was out of position a lot and made a lot of mistakes. He was around the ball so much because of his speed and ability to find the ball so quickly. Some scouts think he'll be better in the NFL than Jarvis Jones, who gets all the attention.
Jon (Louisville) [via mobile]
Give us quick odds on where you think James Franklin is coaching next year. With his personality and mindset ("build a tradition, don't rent one"), do you really think he's in it for the long haul?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
Honestly, it's hard to say. I think he can win at Vandy, but can he ever be a true SEC contender there? Can he consistently get to nine wins? I don't think so. He can only do so much with the talent he has and I Just don't see that top, top guys consistently going to Vanderbilt. If a bigger job comes calling, it'll be tough for him not to look at it if he really wants to advance his career. Not taking a shot at Vanderbilt, but it is what it is.
Remember, the BCS computers will no longer be used in a 4 team playoff. A committee will decide who plays in the semifinals.
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
Yes, but even a committee would have a hard time not siding with the SEC at this point ...
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Are we gonna see a drop off in the SEC's performance next season? There's gonna be a lot of new coaches struggling to get their feet, so that might hurt the conference a little next season, couldn't it?
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
But they will all be at schools that struggled this year, so it won't matter. I don't think you'll see a drop off. The good teams will continue to be good next year.
Kobie (BHam, Alabama)
Which backfield you like, Alabama or UGA?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
I'll have to go with Georgia right now. Todd Gurley has been more consistent than Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon and Keith Marshall has been outstanding as well. I'd take Georgia's duo over Alabama's right now.
You keep saying bama has holes in the secondary. Any thoughts on the holes not being as bad as just hard to stop the duel threat of a running and throwing QB? Mettenberger threw well because no one was expecting it. They planned for a ground attack and got a different game.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Holes are holes and Alabama's secondary has them. People around the program have said it all year and have been waiting to see what would happen against passing teams ...
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
OK, that's my time. Have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful weekend of football. You may officially start humming Christmas songs this Friday. Anytime before is just wrong. Talk to you all next week.