Hitting the highlights from my chat earlier today:
Matt in Roswell, Ga., writes: Be honest with us, Chris. Really honest. I know it's hard to win SEC and BCS titles. I know it is. But if Mark Richt couldn't win either with this, the most talented UGA team he's ever had... will he ever? He always seems to have something missing, whether it's the yearly game where the Dawgs don't show-up, his refusal to fix special teams, his undue loyalty to poor coaches/players. Please, but honest: if Richt didn't win this year, will he ever?
Chris Low: I keep getting asked this, and my response is always the same: He was one tipped pass from playing for the national title this season. He's been to the SEC championship game each of the past two years. So he's obviously swimming in the right waters. To win championships, the breaks have to go your way. But you also have to get there, and Georgia has done that the past two years under Richt. The Dawgs should again be outstanding on offense next season. A lot of young guys will have to step up on defense, but they have talent on that side of the ball. And one more thing: If you get rid of Richt, who are you going to go get that you can say with certainty will fare better than he has?
Chase in Guthrie, Okla., writes: Do you think that the SEC would be in so many national championships if they did the playoff?
Chris Low: Yes, especially if there had been a four-team playoff the last seven years. Go back and look. In most cases, the SEC would have placed two teams in the playoff, and regardless of how many breaks the SEC has or hasn't gotten in getting to the game, the one thing nobody can debate is that the SEC team getting there has been at its best in the money game.
Nova in Music City writes: Which team do you see making the most improvement next year, and which team do you see having the biggest drop off?
Chris Low: Auburn would be my pick for the most improved team. I like the staff Malzahn has put together and believe the Tigers are far more talented than they played last season. As for the team that may experience the biggest drop-off, LSU may be hard-pressed to get to 10-plus wins when you look at all the players the Tigers are losing. Plus, LSU's schedule will be one of the toughest in the league. The Tigers play both Florida and Georgia out of the East.
Concerned Gamecock in Chicago writes: How does Clemson consistently have a higher ranked recruiting class that SC? Is this evidence of a flawed ranking system?
Chris Low: Recruiting rankings are nothing more than a gauge. When you think about it, what's really the difference in the 12th ranked class nationally and the 22nd ranked class? We're talking maybe two players, and you never know how those players are going to develop, adjust to college life, etc. The most successful coaches will always tell you that you have to have a good base of talent to win in this league, but it's always more important what you do with them once you get them on your campus than it is getting them to your campus.
David in Little Rock, Ark., writes: What do you see the conference schedule looking like in the next few years, assuming the SEC stays at 14 teams? The current system seems to give major advantages to a team like Alabama getting Tennessee and Kentucky and LSU getting Florida and Georgia.
Chris Low: I think there's a chance down the road that the SEC will go to nine conference games, particularly with the playoff coming. I also think it makes the most sense to play nine conference games. That way, teams aren't going as long without playing certain teams from the other division.