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 (12:04 PM)
Greetings everyone! Pretty interesting weekend, huh?
Mitchell (Auburn) [via mobile]
I know what Gary Pinkel has done shouldn't be overlooked but can't you argue what Malzahn has done could be equally if not more impressive?
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
I think they are about equal. Pinkel beat Georgia and Florida in back to back weeks and blew out both of them. He also blew out Vandy. Malzahn has done a very good job and beat one of the best teams in the country. Maybe if the Tigers didn't start off so poorly against LSU, they'd be undefeated. I think both have done stellar jobs, but you gotta go with the man who is undefeated and could be playing for a national championship if he wins out.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
Is Drew's ejection in the UGA-Vandy game going to help undo the ejection penalty? Everyone knows that was an absolutely horrible call. Think the SEC will make any comments about it?
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
No shoving allowed!! I can't believe that was a targeting penalty. I just can't believe it at all. I was laughing in the press box at Mizzou when I actually saw it. Truly an embarrassment to the game. The rule has to be changed during the offseason. I like the idea of a yellow card warning and THEN an ejection for a second offense either later in the game or season.
Has the gator defense thrown in the towel and given up b/c of the lack of production from the offense?
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I know people will point that the defense giving up 500 yards to Mizzou and more than 340 rushing yards combined in back to back games, but late in the fourth quarter, this defense was still trying. It was still hitting hard. But I know defensive players are frustrated. The offense is in shambles and the defense has to stay on the field too long. It's like if the defense doesn't score Florida doesn't have a chance.
with the BCS rankings out now is the SEC still the number 1 conference, or has the ACC caught up a bit with 3 top ten teams?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
Caught up? No one will "catch up" until they win championships. Not just one. This whole "Oh, the SEC is losing its power because other conferences are playing well" makes no sense. It's like if the conference doesn't make it to the national championship this year that the last seven years won't matter. The ACC has Florida State as its only BCS title contender. I'm not convinced that Miami has "it" to win the ACC or make it to the title game. Clemson is out now. Alabama and Mizzou are the SEC's only hopes, but Bama is pretty darn good.
If Mizzou reaches Atlanta undefeated but comes up short in the SEC Championship game, do you think they would still get a BCS Bowl?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
I still think the Tigers would make it to the Sugar Bowl if that's their only loss. No way the Sugar Bowl passes on a team like that.
Chris, Texas [via mobile]
Do you see the aggie defense stopping anyone the rest of the year? Will Miles Garrett help? The tackling issues are hard to ignore.
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
I mean he'll help when he gets on campus, but he's of no help to this bad unit right now. This defense ranks 120th nationally and is the worst in the SEC. There is no pressure up front, poor tackling and big plays are killing this secondary. It must truly be a sight to see at practice when the offense goes up against that defense. Ouch
I don't see how Mizzou gets to the national championship without a lot of help, even if they win out. Please tell me I'm wrong.
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
Win out and Mizzou is going to the national championship. If Alabama is No. 1 in Atlanta and Mizzou wins there's no way the Tigers aren't in the national championship. No way.
In the pre-season, Clowney for Heisman was a popular topic. How about starting a campaign for Michael Sam!!! They guy is a recurring nightmare for O-Linemen so far this season.
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
He's been excellent all year and seeing him in person was great. He has a great motor, is tough and an athletic freak. But I'm done with defensive players and the Heisman. I've been hurt too many times before!
Josh (Franklin, TN)
What inpact do you see Sunseri's injury having on Alabama's Defence for the remainder of the season? Who do you see filling in for him?
Derek (Athens, GA)
At what point do you think Mark Richt stops speaking "coach talk" and owns the special teams errors? It seems as though our special teams unit continues to worsen while there are no real efforts to correct the course. I'm sure there's a lovely statistic somewhere that reflects how much it's affected our close games.
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
Looks like we are having some technical difficulties with posting questions right now ...
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
OK Josh: To your Sunseri question ... he's played well, but I'm not sure how good he is in coverage. He had been beaten a few times back there this season. He is a vet and he's a leader, but he doesn't have the speed or athleticism as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Landon Collins. Also, Jarrick Williams is playing pretty well right now too. I don't think Alabama will miss much of a beat, but losing a leader on the field like that does hurt.
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
Derek: I agree that the special teams is horrid. I ranked them the worst in the SEC before the season and they've made me look pretty good by looking so bad. Bad on coverage, bad in protection. Just not good all around. Bad snaps don't help either. Look at what happened this weekend. Look at North Texas. Look at Clemson. Look at Vandy two years ago!
Okay, will anyone give Vandy credit for beating UGA this weekend? Sure, there were two iffy calls and Georgia was injured, but so was Vandy and Georgia had a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter, meaning Robinette pulled them out of the game. Everyone had Vandy down and out, now it's looking like some legit "road upsets" against A&M (with Manziel hurt) and woeful Florida. Thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
Hey, I thought it was a good win. Down 13 and you score 17 straight to win. Pretty good. Yeah, yeah, Georgia is injured, but they had Vandy down AND the Commodores were without their starting QB. As for beating A&M and Florida ... not so sure. I definitely don't see A
Austin (Joplin mo)
Jesse Palmer gave Mizzou no respect on the BCS show last night. Saying if Mizzou were to win out, beat Auburn/Alabama that he would still put Florida St/Oregon ahead of Mizzou. When does Mizzou start getting the respect they deserve? He went on to say that Mizzou hasn't played a "real" team because Georgia/Florida had injuries. Mizzou starting QB, and best defensive back was out, as well as Murphy and Hansbourough who both went out in the Florida game. I just don't understand the lack of respect towards Mizzou. Another fact to throw in there is that we are beating our SEC opponents by a margin of 19pts. Please explain...
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
I said it's time to start respecting Mizzou and I don't see how the TIgers would be left out if they ran the table. You beat No. 1 Alabama and you're undefeated? Come on. But if Auburn beats Bama I don't know if it will be enough to pass Oregon. Mizzou needs to win out and root for all the teams it beat and Alabama. Auburn could ruin it all.
Rob (NYC) [via mobile]
Ed, Obviously UF isn't playing well. The OL is terrible and getting worse and the offensive design is not challenging any opposing defenses. Does muschamp have to make coaching changes at OC and OL in order to improve and get top caliber recruits excited?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
I don't know what he has to do internally, but I think everyone needs to realize that there isn't any elite talent on that offense. Maybe Kelvin Taylor can be, but he doesn't play enough. He has blocking issues. Demarcus Robinson was supposed to be a real threat but he's done very little. It starts up front and the offensive line has been very bad this season.
Is there any chance that LSU or Auburn can beat Alabama? If that happens, then will the SEC's chances at playing in the NC game be totally eliminated?
Chase (St. Louis, MO)
Has Connor Shaw officially been ruled out? Or just questionable at this point?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
It sounds like he's still questionable/doubtful for Saturday's game. But this kid has played through so much that it wouldn't surprise me at all if he played this weekend. Regardless, Dylan Thompson should get the majority of the reps this week. Expect A LOT of Mike Davis this weekend.
How can they put Auburn behind Texas A&M in the two polls that matter? It seems like a typical case where the unranked underdogs in the beginning of the season don't stand a chance of a fair ranking.
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Auburn beat the Aggies straight up. On the road. Manziel came back into the game. The Tigers have just one loss. Gotta give them credit. I had them higher in my poll too.
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
SSM: Oh yeah, there's certainly a chance. Both teams have the offenses to frustrate that defense. Now, can their defenses hold up? I don't know. But I will say this: if either wins I think the SEC's chances at the BCS title game are going to suffer. With everyone around the SEC winning, it's going to be hard for a one-loss SEC team to make it into the BCS title game. I just assume you'll see more unbeaten teams this year at this point. But hey, that's why they play the games.
Andy (Fulton, MO)
If Mauk continues to play as well as he did Saturday, could Mizzou have a quarterback controversy if Franklin comes back with a couple of games left?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
That's a tough one. Franklin got them to this point, but it's not like Mauk isn't talented enough to get the Tigers to Atlanta and beyond. How about this: Franklin misses the rest of the regular season but can play in the SEC title game and the Tigers are undefeated ... and Mauk is tearing it up. Hiiooooooo
Dan (Dallas, TX)
Do you think Auburn can beat Arky, TN, and UGA to get to the Iron Bowl at 10-1?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
I think Auburn beats Arkansas, but Tennessee and Georgia will be tough. Tennessee is a lot better than I thought it would be. Congrats to Butch Jones. Just imagine if he didn't start Peterman against Florida ... And I think that Georgia will have a lot of pride on the line against the Tigers. Some guys could be back on offense and defense too. I'll say 9-2 right now
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Should Tiger fans be worried about the old Zach Mettenberger rearing his ugly head last week? Or do you think he rebounds?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
That wasn't a good game for Mettenberger at all. He forced way too many bad passes. But give Ole Miss credit, that defense played really well. Still, he can't play like that going forward. Certainly not if LSU wants to end the season on a successful note. I think he rebounds against Furman and takes that into the bye before Alabama.
Corey Childs (Columbus, GA)
Have you ever seen a season with this many upsets in the SEC? Could this be the first year in many years that the SEC does not reach the National Title?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
It certainly could be. How about that? The final year of the BCS and the SEC is actually beating itself up and might beat itself out of the BCS title game. Crazy
Are you totally ruling out SC as far as having a chance to beat Mizzou this weekend and maybe the east?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
No, not at all. This team could very well go into the other Columbia and beat the Tigers. Then, Mizzou still has to play the Aggies. Mizzou will essentially win the East if it wins Saturday because then it will have a three-game lead over Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Ole Miss is still on the schedule too.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who is your First Team All SEC QB?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
It's still Johnny Manziel. He has 2,775 total yards of offense and 24 touchdowns. He also showed guts coming back in with that shoulder injury. He's No. 1 on my list.
How warm is muschumps seat getting? Guy is an above avg coordinator but is well below avg as a head coach.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
Florida AD Jeremy Foley gave him a vote of confidence this weekend and you have to look at all the injuries. He still has a top-notch defense, but nothing elite on offense. I do think that a loss to UGA and a six or seven win season will mean that he has to make it to Atlanta next year or he'll really feel the heat.
Graham (Tampa FL)
If Carolina wins the rest of their SEC games, Mizzou loses to A&M and UGA beats UF, who goes to SEC title game for the East?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Well then you have a three-way tie. You have to look at BCS standings first. The highest team there goes to the SEC championship unless the next team is within two spots of the first team AND owns the head-to-head matchup. It's such an ordeal and would only be perfect for how this season has gone.
Why aren't more people calling for Muschamp's head? He doesn't have any elite talent on offense? I'm pretty sure the offense is riddled with 3 and 4 star recruits. Who's fault is it that they haven't developed? I'm pretty sure it's Muschamp's style of play that is limiting our offense (and Pease's playcalling) more than anything. You play to the strength of the talent you have, not what you wish it to be. He's a bad coach, and his style doesn't win games anymore. Please bring in a new coach so that we don't waste Will Grier's talent on Muschamp's ego.
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Here's the thing: if the offensive line can't block and the running backs can't make explosive rushing plays and you have an OK backup QB as your starter and you don't have an elite receiver ... what are you supposed to do? I agree that the play calling is beyond stale, but this team has a lot of injuries and missed in recruiting early with Muschamp. The cupboard was bare on offense when he took over and it's been tough to recruit elite guys.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
C'mon Ed, you know the vote of confidence is synonymous with the kiss of death?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Ha. Well played!
2 castoffs from the Big 12 have already made a bigger splash in the SEC than they ever did in the Big 12.....how about it Ed? (And this is only year 2, please don't tell me how this is totally a different Mizzou team...ain't buying it.)
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
Props to both. Sumlin did wonders with a brand new offense and a freak at quarterback last year. Still has a great offense but a terrible defense. Mizzou was banged up last year and returned just about everyone this year. Maybe this is what it would have looked like last year if everyone was healthy. But you have to respect the way these teams prepared in the offseason. Sumlin gave his strength staff extra time last spring because he wanted players to be bigger and stronger for SEC play. He said that ... Pinkel cut two-a-days this year in order to have fresher legs and cut down on injuries so that his team could get through a more physical year. I assume you're saying that Mizzou and the Aggies actually being good means the SEC is overrated. That's a terrible argument. Why not just give them credit for having talent and good coaching?
Mike (Baton Rouge)
Ed, any chances that Les Miles could be on the hot seat if he does not take the Tigers to a BCS bowl game anytime soon? It has been a long while (2007) since LSU has actually won a BCS bowl game. What does he need to do better to join the elite (Bama) and compete at that level?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
I don't see it. This team was supposed to struggle this year. He was in the national championship two years ago. He's recruiting at a high level. I just don't see it. He also beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa two years ago and almost beat them again last year.
Scratches (B'more, MD)
Kid, what's for lunch? (This has now become your official trademark for ending chats)
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Grilled chicken strips, andouille sausage and peppers with rice and salsa. Side of grapes and water to drink.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
OK guys, great chat. I'm out so have a good day and a good rest of the week!