Monday chat wrap

August, 15, 2011
8/15/11
2:00
PM ET
Our chat was full of expansion and Knile Davis talk today. Here is the chat wrap.

And here's a sneak peak of what you missed if you weren't able to make it today:
matt (texas): What is the deal with LSUs Russell Shepherd? Will he play in the Oregon game? Thanks

Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM): Word out of LSU's camp is that everyone expects him to play. Les Miles said at LSU's media day that he doesn't think Shepard will have to sit out and Shepard said the situation is out of his hands. We'll have to see what happens in the coming weeks as the NCAA continues to look into the matter. As of now, the Tigers feel he'll be in the lineup against the Ducks.

David (Jacksonville, FL): Do you see RBs Mike Gillislee or Mack Brown contributing more in Charlie Weis' offense?

Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM): Well, that fumble on national TV by Brown last week didn't really help him. Urban Meyer was really excited about Mack Brown, but he never learned the offense last season, so he didn't play. Now, he could be that big back that the Gators have searched for. He needs to get the offense down and needs to keep the ball in his hands. As for Gillislee, he contributed a lot last season when he wasn't injured or forgotten on the depth chart. He's strong and fast and I think he could have a big role in this offense because he'll be a change-of-pace back for Florida. I'd say because he has more experience that he'll contribute more than Brown this season.

Alex (mobile al): Over and over, I've heard people writing off the Alabama/Penn State game as an obvious blowout. I know Alabama has the better recruits, but I also know Penn State is no Kent State. What does Alabama need to do to avoid the monumental upset in Happy Valley?

Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM): Just play its game. It's that simple. Alabama does have better players and coaches. The Tide is faster and stronger. Alabama shouldn't lose this game, but that doesn't mean this will be a blowout in my eyes. Beaver Stadium isn't easy to play in if you are the road team. I talked to Dont'a Hightower about it and he said he expects it to be a tough early game for Alabama because of the fans and the environment. But if Alabama sticks to its script and doesn't come in overconfident it should be fine.

Joe (South Carolina): If Texas A&M would join, who would be the next team?

Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM): It was only a matter of time before this question was asked. As of now, all we are hearing is speculation. Missouri, Va Tech, Florida State, Clemson, N.C. State and Oklahoma are all schools that have been thrown out there. But there is word that the SEC presidents would not want to see expansion dip into states that already house SEC teams, so that means Clemson and FSU would be out. Missouri's name is coming up more and more, but would Mike Slive want a school that the Big Ten didn't even want? You would tap into the St. Louis TV market, but getting something the Big Ten didn't want just doesn't sound right for the nation's best conference. Va. Tech would be a nice addition. You can tap into the DC market, but would it leave Virgina? This will heat up even more in the coming days, but one this is for sure, Slive isn't going after just one more team. He wants an even number in the SEC ...

Dave (Big Orange Country): Ed, good day to you sir! a lot of optimism coming out of knoxville and VOLS fall camp. Offense should be good. A lot of fresh faces on D seem to be further along than expected. Am i being too overly optimistic in thinking we get to 8 wins and a bowl?

Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM): No, good day to you sir. You aren't being overly optimistic, but you are being optimistic. I've said time and time again that I like the offense. Tyler Bray is going to be able to throw the ball with Justin Hunger and Da'Rick Rogers. And the Vols can run with Tauren Poole in the backfield. The offense should be fine, but the defense will have a lot of growing pains this season. Linebacker and defensive tackle are looking for a couple extra bodies and we still don't know how well Janzen Jackson will play after missing all of spring practice and summer workouts. I still think this defense is a year away and it doesn't help that the Vols have to play at Florida, Alabama and Arkansas. That could be rough.
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