Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC reporter 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 (12:06 PM)
Hey guys! Sorry for the delay. I know we are in a down period of college football, but we can still talk plenty of SEC football!
Nick (Houston, TX)
Hey Ed...What do you make of the exodus of players from Florida?
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
i know it seems like a lot (seven in only a couple of days is), but when I talked to people over there, it sounds like no one is panicking. Losing two quarterbacks stings from a depth standpoint, but Jeff Driskel should be back this spring and Will Grier will be on campus. I wouldn't be shocked if UF went after another QB. As for the linemen, only Silberman was making any sort of impact. I don't think Florida coaches are too concerned with these guys leaving, but they have to make up for it in recruiting.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
How surprised were you that AJ McCarron got 2nd in the Heisman?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
Very, actually. Hats off to him. He has had a great career at Alabama. I didn't have him on my list, but I can see why people were very high on him this year. He was one of the most efficient passers in the SEC, broke the career passing mark at Alabama and threw 26 touchdowns to five interceptions. He's a winner and I'd take him any day to lead a game-winning drive.
Rick M. (Gainesville, FL.)
Ed, with the departure of Tyler Murphy, and 6 other offensive players from the University of Florida, what is going on at UF? It seems to be more than just the normal attrition. #1 TE Kent Taylor is among the departures, and Murphy is the only real viable back up to Driskel. Just wondering what your take is.
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
Taylor caught two passes in two years and couldn't get off the practice squad this year. People around there make it sound like he just wasn't invested. Murphy, that's an odd one, but it sounds like he was ready to prove that he could be a legit D-1 QB. It hurts the Gators with depth, but Grier comes in this spring, which will help and Mornhingweg is still there. I think you are getting the impression that Florida is changing the offense up. Expect more tempo and more quarterback runs.
raygordon reid ( memphis tn 38103)
question to ED ASHCHOFF AT 12.30 pm how many sec teams win bowl games
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
I'm pretty sure the SEC hasn't had a losing record or been tied in bowl play since 2010 and before that it was 2005. With 10 teams in bowls I'm leaning to six or seven. I don't want to tip my hand because I'm sure Chris is reading ...
With Bama, UGA, USC, LSU, most likely A&M and Mizzo all losing their starting QB's, who is in a better spot to step up right away and reload and not have to rebuild?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
That's a good question. We all know that putting expectations on new quarterbacks doesn't always work out ... I do think that Georgia has the upper hand because a lot of talent comes back on both sides and Hutson Mason has taken some quality reps this year with Aaron Murray hurt. I think the Bulldogs have the best chance of bouncing back with a new QB.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
Who do you think will replace Mack Brown? Any chance it's someone from the SEC like Mark Richt or Kirby Smart?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
I don't see either one of them heading to Texas, especially not Richt. I think he ends his career in Athens. If anyone from the SEC is going to head to Austin, I think it's Vandy coach James Franklin. Now, this isn't to say he is, but he's an up-and-comer, has made Vandy relevant and could win nine games in back-to-back years. Three straight bowl trips for the Dores. I think he has great upside as a coach and just imagine what he could do if he were recruiting in Texas. I think Texas would be silly not to talk to him.
How do you think SC will do post Connor Shaw?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
They'll struggle to fill his role as a leader and I don't know if there will be a tougher guy at quarterback in the league next year. It's a shame that he didn't get any votes for All-SEC. There isn't a grittier player out there. I'm sorry. It's going to be tough to replace him at South Carolina. Dylan Thompson will be back and I'm sure we'll see a lot of Connor Mitch, but I don't know if either have the intangibles of Shaw.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think one of LSU's defensive tackles will leave Baton Rouge early?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
I think you'll see Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson look into the NFL. Both are great athletes and I think Ferguson is a very underrated player. He outplayed a lot of guys this year, including Johnson. They both have the athleticism to turn a lot of NFL heads so it will be tough for them not to check out their draft grades. I'd be shocked if one or both didn't leave.
With all the coaching rumors going around recently, I have not heard Charlie Strong's name. Is he locked in at Louisville?
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
Massive buyout and he loves it there. I think you'll hear it here and there, but right now he's at Louisville.
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
How many defensive players does Florida lose early to the draft?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
Dominique Easley and Loucheiz Purifory already declared and I would expect Ronald Powell to test the NFL waters. Marcus Roberson hasn't made a decision yet, but I could see him staying or going. He was a top-20 pick before the season and he still could be, but he was injured this year. Cody Riggs should stay after getting a medical redshirt.
Jack (North Carolina)
Why do you feel Shaw doesn't get any love from people outside of SC? Do you think he will get an opportunity to play pro ball?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
He doesn't put up flashy numbers and the Gamecocks weren't in the championship limelight. But he threw 21 touchdowns to one interception. He played through a shoulder injury and a knee injury. He carried his team to a win at Mizzou after being down 17-0 in the fourth quarter. I'd take him on my team any day. I think if he isn't drafted late, he'll make a camp. He doesn't have the strongest arm, but he's a leader and he makes plays.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who are the Top 5 QBs returning to the SEC nest season?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
RIght off the top of my head (assuming Manziel leaves): Nick Marshall, Maty Mauk Bo Wallace, Hutson Mason, Jeff Driskel
Dan (Dallas, TX)
How about the 2013 Auburn Tigers? Worst to First in the SEC. Have you ever in your life seen a turnaround so dramatic?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
Never, but I pulled a similar run fantasy football this year. However, I lost in the championship ... beware Auburn. I will say that I said I saw the Tigers winning eight games this year. You guys read it! You are all witnesses!
David (Mentone, AL)
With so many players leaving UF I worry that new recruits may stay away. I would rather go somewhere that the players are happy not leaving. Driskel has proven he can run and can't throw. If we lose Will Grier we are in trouble. Doesn't any of this make the school look at Muschamp like a liability?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Trust me, Will Grier isn't going anywhere. And if the staff isn't worried about these guys leaving, recruits aren't.
Once a Gator ALways a Gator (Circling the Swamp )
With D Cook shutting down his recruitment till he announces at Under armor game , what is your gut telling you on where he is going? what are the odds he changes from UF ?thanks Ed and Happy Holidays to you and yours
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
From the people I've talked to about him, I would lean toward FSU, but it honestly sounds like no one knows. He might not even really know. It would be a big loss for Florida, though. He's a guy Muschamp desperately needs on campus this fall.
How is Dak Prescott not included in your top returning QBs list?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
You know, right when I sent that I thought about Dak. I'd like to put him at the No. 5 spot. He really played well in spurts. He struggled here and there and he doesn't have the upside as a passer that Driskel has but he willed his team at times.
Some have said the SEC lost ground as the best conference in America this year. If FSU beats Auburn and with the massive loss of good senior QB's, do you see the SEC sliding back anymore next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
I think the SEC will be tougher next year because of so many questions. And that's not a bad thing. I think the SEC will still be fine in the playoff because the champion is going to make it in every year. I would be shocked if the SEC champ has less than two losses next year. I think you're going to see a very exciting year in the SEC. Doesn't mean it's going backward at all.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
I'm a little concerned about how Alabama will perform in the Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma. Sure, the Tide is decent favorite and we've done well in our past 4 bowl games (Notre Dame, LSU, Michigan State, & Texas), but it's our last Sugar Bowl that worries me: Utah. Tell me I'm worrying too much and there's no way that performance vs. Utah will happen again.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
AJ McCarron and C.J. Mosley. They won't let that happen. They've come to far to let the Sugar Bowl ruin them. Alabama can make a statement for itself and the SEC. I don't think you'll see the Tide come out and play sluggish at all.
Jon (Seattle, WA)
Just want to say that there is at least one Badger fan that appreciates how good Connor Shaw is. How do you see the Capital One Bowl matchup being played out? I'm surprised Vegas is as high on the Badgers as they are. I absolutely think Wisconsin can win, just thought South Carolina would be a decent favorite.
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
Good to hear. I think it'll be interesting to see how South Carolina's defense handles Wisconsin's punishing ground game. I saw this team in person in November and they love to punish you up front. South Carolina has a top-notch defensive line, but the aggressive play up front could hurt them when it comes to stopping the run. I think Shaw's ability to throw and run will certainly help the Gamecocks, while Mike Davis will plug away. I'm really excited about this game.
Andrew Z. (Columbia, MO)
How do you think Mizzou will do in the match up against Oklahoma State. Should be close and a great game, what do you think the turn out will be?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Another game I'm excited about. I think that Mizzou's defense is out to prove something. Those guys got embarrassed by Auburn, running game. Now the Cowboys won't run as much, but they have a very good passing game and the Tigers ranked 13th in the SEC in passing defense. I think Michael Sam has to wake up. He really wasn't consistent at the end of the year and couldn't get as much pressure on QBs because of double-teams. But Kony Ealy might be a better player. Really I think he is becausae he's more disruptive and creates so many plays for people. Getting some pressure on that backfield are key.
Mike P (Greater KC)
If Aaron Murray was healthy and led the bulldogs to a share of the east title, would he have been a heisman candidate over Mccarron or along side of him.
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
I absolutely think so. Before his season-ending ACL injury, Murray threw for 3,075 yards and 26 touchdowns. You want to talk about lifetime achievement? Murray owns the SEC record for touchdowns and passing yards. He's still overlooked for what he did and he's under appreciated. It was sad to see him out the way he did, but if he plays in Atlanta, he sits in New York with AJ.
You and Chris Low switched places with two guys from other conferences, but we never saw how that went. What gives? It would be interesting to see how they liked the SEC and how y'all thought we compared to theirs.
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
Funny you say that ... I think you'll find out something about that soon.
Matthew Stille (Augusta, GA)
What do you think of Georgia's chances with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall healthy next season?
Edward Aschoff (1:06 PM)
Still the best rushing duo in the SEC. If Auburn RB Tre Mason stays for his senior year, the he and his buddies will give the UGA bunch a run for their money. But I still love what Gurley and Marshall can do. Gurley is the SEC's best back when he's healthy and Marshall proved that he can run inside and out. When these guys are healthy ... watch out.
Edward Aschoff (1:07 PM)
OK guys, I'm out. I hope you all have a great holiday season. And get ready for those bowl games! It's the most wonderful time of the year!