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 from sunny (and warm) South Florida.
Blues (The SEC Blog)
Happy New Years, Chris! Which was more stunning last night, Florida's performance or the fact that there were only 54,178 in attendance at the Sugar Bowl?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
Just put up something on that on the blog and linked Jon Solomon's story. Bowl attendance, period, is down. But, boy, was it glaring in the Superdome. It's hard to believe that Florida could win 11 games, get to No. 3 in the BCS and end the regular season with a resounding win over FSU and the fans not show any interest in going to a BCS bowl. Sometimes, that kind of thing carries over to the team, and that certainly appeared to be the case Wednesday night in the Big Easy.
Casey (Kandahar, Afghanistan)
First off, Happy New Year from the mountains in Afghanistan from the 3rd Infantry Division. Much love for you and Dash. My question is how surprised were you when UGA's Aaron Murray absolutely shredded the number one Pass Defense in the country with the top 3 WR's out? Also, are you convienced that UGA has the deepest WR core after this season? And lastly, 3800+ passing yards for Murray? He is getting better and better. Any chance that he can finally get over the hump and lead UGA to the SECCG and win?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Much love to you and all your colleagues for all you do for our country. We can never thank you enough for your service. I don't know that Nebraska had seen a lot of quality passing offenses this season, and clearly, Nebraska hit the wall on defense here late. That said, Murray played lights out, and so do his receivers. Mike Bobo deserves a lot of credit for the way that entire offense played this season. Murray is thinking about turning pro, and I think it could go either way. If he comes back, he will shatter every SEC passing record. And, yes, if he does return, I think the Bulldogs will be right there in the East race again.
Joe ( Augusta, Ga) [via mobile]
What you think about Clowney big time hit?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
One of the best I've ever seen, the timing and the way he just leveled him and then reaching down and grabbing the ball like it was a Nerf ball. He's one of the best and most talented defensive players I've ever seen at this point in his career.
MikeDaTiger2004 (SEC Boards)
Chris, Miles hinted at "adjustments being made." Do you think that he will put Studrawa back on just OLine duties and hire an OC from outside?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
I think Miles will look at changing up the play-calling duties. He has to do something. It's just not consistent enough right now on offense, and they have good talent. At times, they just over-power people offensively. But there have been too many times the last couple of years where they simply didn't deliver offensively in key situations.
AJ McChampion (Title Town)
Chris, happy new year! Please give us Bama fans some reassurances that our team won't end up like LSU, Miss State, and Florida this bowl season!!
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Very underwhelming performance by the SEC in the bowls to this point. Barrett Jones made a great point when I talked with him this morning. When you have a month break to get ready for a bowl, it changes the whole dynamic. It's not who's the best team, but who can manage that break and prepare during that time and be the best team when the game is played. Alabama has been through this several times. I think that will help. But if the Tide can't run the ball and stay in third-and-long and/or turn it over, Notre Dame will have a chance to win.
some folks are ragging on florida for "not looking like they cared" but i didn't see that... i saw a team that seemed more interested in talking than in playing... not so much not being into it (cause they were sure into their post-play antics) but not thinking that louisville could beat them. maybe a symptom of everyone always saying nobody can hang with the SEC??
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
Just a lot of dumb, undisciplined stuff, really everything that's been counter to what Muschamp has been about there. I do think Florida was overconfident and showed up thinking it would win simply because it was Florida.
MikeDaTiger2004 (Joining the search for Jeremy Hill)
Pop Quiz: You have the ball with a lead and less than 2 minutes left in a game. 2nd down and 2, what do you do?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
In hindsight, which is 20-20, I wouldn't have done what LSU did. You have to force Clemson to use its timeouts there. Also go back on the second-down pass and see how deep Mettenberger's rollout was. The receiver was open, but he rolled so deep that it made it a much longer, tougher throw.
Daniel (Columbia, SC)
Hey Chris, with South Carolina having two capable quarterbacks, who do you think SHOULD start next year and why? Also does Carolina have a serious shot a an SEC title next year and maybe even a National Title? They have a favorable schedule. Thanks Chris
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
You could make a case right now that South Carolina is the second best team in the SEC. Knowing Spurrier, he will open it up and let Shaw and Thompson decide it on the practice field. Spurrier loves having his QBs compete, which is only going to make them better. They can win with both. Right now, I would say Shaw is still the starter. He toughed it out this season through injuries, but will have to play well this spring and preseason to hold onto his job.
Chris, I know you will deflect this question but here goes nothing. Even though the Cotton Bowl is not on the ESPN family of networks, do you see it as a tragedy that is doesn't get more coverage during other bowl games on ESPN since the matchup is as intriguing as this?
Hey Chris; If Mark Richt is such a good coach; why is he not mentioned for NFL jobs like the Kelly's and Saban. I understand your scared to answer the tough questions.
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Yeah, real scared. A lot of coaches in college who've had success and are good coaches aren't mentioned for NFL jobs. Chris Petersen? Gary Patterson? Stoops? As I've said on here before, what makes anybody think that it's all of a sudden going to get a lot better for Georgia if you Richt out of there. He's been to the SEC championship game the last two years and the Dawgs were one play from beating Alabama this year. They also won 12 games, a pretty good year all the way around.
Razor Jamon (NYC)
As a fan, the staff Bielema has put together at Arkansas seems like a home run, addressing a lot of weaknesses. What's the verdict from an informed outsider?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Getting Jim Chaney and Sam Pittman on offense was a nice coup. Pittman has been a very good offensive line coach and a good recruiter, and Chaney's offense at Tennessee this season put up big numbers. It's also a good mix of coaches Bielema worked with at Arkansas sprinkled in with other quality coaches. Being able to get Randy Shannon on the defensive staff was also big.
OldReb (SEC Boards)
Chris - is taking a shot at you how to get a question answered? Ok...Hey Food Giant - are you going to cover the BBVA Compass Bowl?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
No and neither is whining. But I can take it. I will not be in Birmingham for the BBVA Compass Bowl, but we will have some coverage. I'm in Miami for the national championship game.
It seems that Vandy might be getting over the hump by consecutive good seasons and right now a top 25 recruiting class. I do not see them getting more than one win a year against the East's big 3 of USC, UGA, and FLA though. How do you see them doing next year and do you think they are ahead of UT now as far as the football program goes?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Sorry about the duplicate responses.
Cord Sandberg (Florida)
question on ms state... Was Tyler Russell just having a bad day or is he not that good? and is there a potential QB shakeup in starkville next season?
Hey chris do you see Kwamee Geathers leaving?
Blues (The SEC Blog)
First down call in the Outback Bowl - worst of all time?
Dan (NYC) [via mobile]
Is a big showing by Johnny football again OKlahoma key for another hesiman run, or will voters consider that last season?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
I apologize for all the problems today. My wireless keeps cutting off and on here in my room. Can't complain about the weather here, but I will the internet. Let's try it again.
AJ McChampion (Knocking on 15)
Johnny Football, Heisman. AJ McCarron, BCS MVP. Arron Murray, record setting SEC QB.The myth about the SEC not having good QB play is going to be put to the test next year right?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
I thought coming into this season that the QB play would be the best it has been for some time in the SEC, and it was obviously pretty good. If Murray stays, the threesome of Murray, Manziel and McCarron will rate up there with any QB threesome in any conference.
What does Notre Dame have to do to beat alabama? Everyone mentions Alabama has to be able to run the ball. What does ND have to do and how do you see this one playing out?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
The first thing is get Alabama in a lot of third-and-long situations where Notre Dame can load up and come after McCarron. Secondly, Notre Dame has to sustain some drives -- hit a few big plays- and not have a lot of three-and-outs early, and finally, force some turnovers. When Alabama has lost over the last few years, it's usually because the Tide have committed some key turnovers.
Blues (The SEC Blog)
Are you going to answer my question you posted on the first down call in the Outback Bowl?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
It rates up there among the worst I've seen. The troubling thing is that somebody in that crew didn't step up and correct the situation.
when will you guys be making your predictions?
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
This weekend, probably Saturday
MikeDaTiger2004 (SEC Boards)
Chris, what's the deal with all the LSU players getting in trouble for violation of team rules (read: drugs)? Do you think it's time for Miles to take a much harsher discipline stance? It's getting embarrassing for us fans!
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Hard not to think that's been a factor when you look at some of the issues they've had off the field. You also wonder a little bit about player leadership. The best teams typically police themselves.
Who is better, LSU D or ND D? I feel like LSU's D line is just as good or better
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
I would say LSU's defensive line is better, and while Minter had a great season, Teo is such a game-changer there in the middle. Overall, Notre Dame has probably been more consistent on defense, and keep in mind the Irish held a very explosive Oklahoma offense to 13 points.
I thought aside from Damian Swann and a few plays from Jarvis, the UGA D looked confused and back on their heels against an offense they shouldn't have had as much trouble with (and I think they were really lucky that Nebraska didn't just keep running Burkhead for the whole 2nd half). You think it was a problem with motivation or they just struggle against duel-threat QBs?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Other than the Florida game (and against a bad Auburn offense), I never thought Georgia played up to its talent level all season. Part of that was never getting the chemistry right early when so many players were out, and losing Abry Jones hurt. But they just seemed to lose their edge on defense this season, which is surprising because Grantham is a very good coach.
For some reason I feel like Bama will dominate this game. People say Alabama hasnt faced anyone like Notre Dame, I say Notre Dame hasnt face anyone like Alabama. Tell me you agree?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
See, I disagree. I do think Alabama will win, but Notre Dame has played a tough schedule. Have the Irish gone up against an offensive line like this one with two backs like Lacy and Yeldon, probably not. But there's a reason the Irish are so good in the red zone on defense. They don't give you anything easy and don't make mistakes, a lot like Alabama on defense.
Blues (The SEC Blog)
All these UGA fans that want to get rid of Richt and all the LSU fans that want to get rid of Miles....one question: WHO in the WORLD do they think they are going to get that is better?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Exactly. The thing a lot of fans never think about in those scenarios is that it absolutely can get worse when you change coaches. Tennessee knows a little something about that.
Stephen (Charlotte, NC)
Does Notre Dame have enough depth on the DL to withstand the Bama rushing attack through 4 quarters?
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
That's a very fair question. I don't know. Alabama decimated Georgia up front in the second half, and three or four of those players for Georgia will play in the NFL. If Alabama gets to the fourth quarter with a lead and can put it on that offensive line's shoulders, I think that's bad news for Notre Dame.
Tim (Total Domination)
Who does the long layoff benefit more? Bama or ND and does the fact that Bama has been there recently help them in preperation?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Coaches I've talked to always think the layoff helps the defenses and hurts the offenses, especially those offenses that rely so much on timing, etc. Go back to the game in 2010 when Auburn and Oregon both sputtered on offense. In this case, with both defenses being so good, I don't think there's a clear advantage.
Im concerned bama will get pass happy when they cannot run for 5 yards per carry, do you see this happening?
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
No, I think Saban will see to it that they're patient with the run. Sort of learned their lesson against Texas A&M, and yet, will still pick their spots to try and go deep to Cooper. To me, he is the X-factor, a guy who can hit the Irish with a quick touchdown or two
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Again, sorry about some of the technical glitches today. We'll look at the film and get those things corrected. We'll catch up next week. Safe travels to everybody.