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 (1:03 PM)
Good afternoon. Hope everyone is well as we get ready for trick or treaters tonight.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
When was the last time neither team was ranked in the Cocktail Party?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
Not as far back as you'd think. Neither team was ranked in 2010. Florida came into that game 4-3 and Georgia was 4-4.
Ed (Queens Village)
Is Georgia/Florida have no juice with teams not ranked?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
It's not as big as normal, but the winner still has a chance in the East race. Missouri still has some tough games remaining.
Jason (Vancouver, WA)
How much crap do you get in SEC country for voting Oregon #1 over your very own Alabama? How do you justify it?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
Taking crap is part of covering college football in the SEC. Oregon, to me, has been the most impressive team to this point. The Ducks drilled Tennessee, which beat South Carolina and nearly beat Georgia. The Ducks also have 20-plus point wins over ranked teams UCLA and Washington. It's close among all three of the top 3 -- Alabama, Florida State and Oregon, but I'll go with Oregon to this point as the top team.
Is A&M's defense really turning a corner?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
I don't think you can say that until those last two games against LSU and Missouri, two really good offensive teams.
If Bama played A&M today, do you think the outcome would be similar to Sept game?
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
I still think Alabama would win, and while TAMU would certainly score some points, I don't see the Aggies scoring 40-plus on an Alabama defense that has gotten a lot better since that game.
How long before Arkansas is competitive again? Will it be too long for their fans to wait? Any chance they upset Auburn this weekend?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
I didn't pick the Hogs, but I do think they have a chance to pull the upset. They've had a week off. QB Brandon Allen is healthier, and Auburn is playing its fifth straight game. Year No. 3 is when I think it's fair to evaluate what kind of job Bielema is doing. It was a complete overhaul in terms of completely changing the system, etc. He has to stack a couple of good recruiting class on top of each other.
DawgFan (Madison, Ga)
I think there is a good chance UGA finishes 2-3 does Richt get a pass due to injuries or is it his time to go ???
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
I honestly get this question every year after Richt loses a game or games. No, I don't see Richt leaving after this season unless he decides to on his own. The injuries have crippled that team.
David Mathias (Irmo SC)
Is there any senerio where you see no undefeated teams at the end of this season? Do you really think UF pulls the upset this weekend? Who wins the east?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
I thought coming out of that Alabama-TAMU game that everybody in the SEC would have at least one loss, and that may still happen. But Bama has gotten so much better on defense that I'd say the odds are that the Tide wins out and. And, yes, just like I had a feeling last week that South Carolina would pull it out on the road, I have that same feeling that Florida will rise up and play its best game this weekend.
BenDair (out there)
"Missouri still has some tough games remaining" ... true, but don't they only have to beat TN and KY to win the SEC East?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
No, if they lose at Ole Miss and then to TAMU to close the regular season, that would give them three losses in the East. Even if they lose just one of those games and South Carolina wins out, and Mizzou and South Carolina finish in a two-way tie, the Gamecocks would get the tiebreaker based on head-to-head results.
Chris How healthy is Todd Gurley? I kind of have a feeling we might be rushing him back a little quick just because its Florida.
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
I'd say your feeling is correct, not so much that they're rushing him back, but that he's still not back to where he was. High ankle sprains are some of the toughest injuries to come back from in a season for a RB, who's cutting, starting and stopping, changing directions, etc.
Dave (A cold day in)
Has Mizzou recovered enough emotionally to beat Tennessee?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I think so, and I also think there's enough veteran leadership on that team that they know their goals are still right there in front of them in terms of playing for an SEC title. Tennessee's starting a true freshman QB on the road, and while he's a talented kid, that's always tough.
Does the east have more parity this year, or is it a combination of injuries & sub-par performances?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
I think it's a combination of the injuries and Missouri being much improved. Florida and Georgia have been decimated with the kind of injuries that would cripple any team. South Carolina has struggled in the back end of its defense with younger players.
terri (visalia ca)
Does Derrick Carr (Fresno State Bulldogs QB) have a chance for the Heisman>
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
No, not with Winston, Mariota and Manziel putting up the numbers they are, but that doesn't diminish the terrific season Carr has had.
Given how Auburn has played this season and made a great turn around from a year ago. what are your predictions looking out as far as the iron bowl is concerned this year?
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
Has a chance to be one of the best Iron Bowls in a while, especially if Auburn gets there with a chance to win the West. The Tigers are playing with a lot of confidence now and definitely have regained their edge under Malzahn.
Rob [via mobile]
Chris, how is the heisman race close at this point? Manziel, Mariota, and Winston (all great players having great seasons, don't get me wrong) are all pretty equal statistically yet Manziel is putting up those numbers against SEC defenses! Wouldn't Mariota and Winston look somewhat average if they played an SEC team every week?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Honestly, I don't think any of those three would ever look average. All three are great players. I wouldn't have a problem with any of the three winning the Heisman. Will be tough to pick this year.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
What do you make of the Malzahn-Bielma beef over game tape? Is Bielma just pouting, or is Malzahn trying to pull a fast one?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
I don't think anything was done purposely on Auburn or Malzahn's part. It's just more Bielema doing what he does, and that's saying whatever's on his mind. He doesn't have much of a filter.
CLow, if Miss. State loses last 5 games (honestly can't pick one they would win, not even Arky) does Mullen keep his job?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
There would be some serious heat on him, for sure, because that would mean a second straight loss to Ole Miss as well. But I would argue that Mullen has led Miss. State to three straight winning seasons before this year, which hasn't happened since Sherrill was there in 1997-2000. So it's hard for me to justify firing the guy after one bad season. What are the realistic expectations at Miss. State? Now, as soon as I ask that, I realize that Mullen's record against ranked teams has been poor, and that has to change. The other question: Who else is State going to be able to get that is definitely better than Mullen?
Oregon still wins without Mariota, Florida State will still be impressive without Winston, but TAMU in no way is even discussed without Manziel!TAMU is recruiting well, especially on defense, and Kenny Hill will be really good with some development, but Manziel carries TAMU right now. Even with losses/interceptions, he's a top Heisman candidate. Tough as nails too!
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Hard to argue. Manziel would still be my pick for the Heisman if I were voting today.
Michael (Kingwood, TX)
Chris, what is a key weakness that Alabama should be working on going forward?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
More consistency in the offensive line, although that has gotten better the last few games as players have become healthier. The same goes for the secondary and not giving up big plays. Losing Sunseri will hurt. He helped eliminate a lot of mistakes back there before they happened.
Does SC have a chance to finally making it to a BCS game?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
Will be hard. If they were to win out and go to the SEC championship game and lose, I don't see them making it with three losses. Now, if they win out and finish 10-2, they might have a better chance.
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
Sorry, but need to cut out a little early today for an interview. Everybody take care.