Chat with Chris Low
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 in The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
Good to be back. So fire away.
Hey Chris how pumped are you for this chat...I almost feel like turning down the lights and ripping my shirt off to impress abunch of 17 year olds!!
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Coach O, what's your deal with ripping off your shirt?
David (Baton Rouge)
Which SEC team filled the most holes in the off season? Either through recruiting, coaching changes, or position changes
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I'll start with LSU. John Chavis is a great fit there as defensive coordinator. Russell Shepard comes in and will push Jordan Jefferson for that starting quarterback job. Competition is always good with young players, and I think Rueben Randle can be an immediate playmaker at receiver for the Tigers.
Chris, Who do you like as Alabama's next QB? Star Jackson? Roll Tide! PS: Tell your boy Kiffin to quit making a fool of himself.
Chris Low (2:08 PM)
I think Greg McElroy will be the opening-game starter, but that Jackson's talent will take over and he'll end up being the guy at some point. I'll do my best to pass your message on to Kiffin.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Chris, this is probably the SEC fan is so passionate, because you never take a day off. LOL Is the Ole' Ball coach getting really thinking of stepping away from So Carolina?
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
I think the Head Ball Coach is genuinely fired up about his recent recruiting classes and wants to see if a new staff, some new players and a new attitude can help the Gamecocks finish better. They've simply collapsed at the end the last two years. If there's not some progress next season, and they're sitting there with five or six losses again, then yes, I think he'll take a serious look at walking away.
Is it just me or is the Andre Smith slipping to mid/late-first thing going to provide a lucky team one of the greatest steals in a long time?
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
It's not just you. If he goes any lower than 10th, somebody is going to get a great football player at bargain value in the draft. He's the best left tackle I've seen in the SEC the last decade.
Rochester Ny Iowafan
Why doesn't just south carolina just pick a quarterback and stick with him?
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
I think they will this year. They don't have much choice. It's pretty much Stephen Garcia's show. Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher are gone.
What are your thoughts on trend of the 'cream of the crop' high school prep stars waiting until long after national signing day to make their commitments (i.e., Bryce Brown)?
Chris Low (2:15 PM)
I don't like it at all and neither do the coaches. I'd look for that to be addressed with some type of new legislation, putting maybe a two-week buffer in there and not allowing prospects to take visits after signing day.
Zack (Valdosta, GA)
Where do you see lsu finishing in the SEC West this year? With holes to fill on both lines i can see issues occuring, but LSU has arguably the most talented recieving core, running backs, and secondary (just need some good coaching) in the SEC.
Chris Low (2:16 PM)
I think the Tigers are right there at the top along with Alabama and Ole Miss. It's going to be a wild ride in the West this year, and I also think Arkansas will be much improved.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Andre Smith will struggle mightly against speedy DEs, watch it happen and remember. He's kinda fat and overrated.
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
Then you watched a different Andre Smith than I did the last few years.
Scott (St. Louis)
Hey Chris what's the latest on Brown and Oku? It seems that they both have the connection with the guy from Kansas. Will this ultimately backfire or will they actually end up in college somewhere?
Chris Low (2:22 PM)
Oku has been so evasive, and it seems to change every day. I'd watch Nebraska and think they're in it more than he says. Auburn, too, would be right up there. As for Brown, who knows? His advisor seems to have a big influence. I think that's a red flag for whoever signs him. I'm guessing it comes down to an LSU-Tennessee deal with Oregon being a darkhorse.
Who do you favor in the sec west next year? Is Ole Miss the team to beat in that divison?
Chris Low (2:23 PM)
Yes, Ole Miss is my early pick to win the West. I reserve the right to change that after seeing everybody in the spring. Why Ole Miss? Snead's experience at quarterback gives them a slight edge over Alabama.
what would you consider a successful first year for Coach Mullen?
Chris Low (2:26 PM)
Getting to 6-6 and being bowl eligible would be a very successful first season for Mullen and the new staff. That would be a two-game improvement over last year.
Hey Chris what do you think about Tyrik Rollison coming in and maybe getting the starting nod at Auburn?
Chris Low (2:27 PM)
That would be a stretch to start the season, but I think he's closer to what Malzahn is looking for in a quarterback than anybody else they have right now.
Ryan (Atlanta, GA)
Will next season be a rebuilding year for my Dawgs? Seems like they didn't address the OLine, with a new QB and RB could be trouble.
Chris Low (2:31 PM)
I don't know about rebuilding, although I can't see them challenging Florida for the East crown. I don't think anybody will. To me, what Georgia went through on its offensive line last year will help the Bulldogs in 2009. They built depth, versatility and Sturdivant will be back, Plus, Stacy Searels is one of the best offensive line coaches in the SEC. If Cox can get it done at quarterback, there's enough talent on offense for this team to win 10 games (counting a bowl win) again.
Tennessee over / under for wins next year?
Chris Low (2:32 PM)
I'll say 7. It helps that UCLA comes to Knoxville in 2009, but a home game with Miss. State is replaced by an away game at Ole Miss. That's not a good trade.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Who will be the most hated coach in the SEC; Petrino, Saban, Miles, Meyer, Kiffin, Richt, or Spurrier?
Chris Low (2:33 PM)
Kiffin is a runaway winner heading into the season.
John (Gainesville, Florida)
Who will give the Gators the biggest trouble in the East this year?
Chris Low (2:38 PM)
It's the West that has plagued the Gators. Their losses in each of their national championship years were to West teams - Auburn in 2006 and Ole Miss last year. The toughest game this year appears to be at LSU. All this said, I don't think anybody in the East will push Florida for the divisional title in 2009.
Rob (St Petersburg, FL)
Chris, What will it take for Urban Meyer to win a "Coach of the Year" award at UF?
Chris Low (2:40 PM)
My problem with a lot of coach of the year awards is that they are awarded often times before the entire season is played out. As for SEC coach of the year, that award is a joke anyway (the one voted on by the coaches), because there's always politics involved.
Andy: Jackson, MS
What game are you looking forward to the most this fall?
Chris Low (2:42 PM)
I would say Ole Miss-Alabama. I think that game will go a long way toward determining the West title, and the atmosphere that day in Oxford ought to be something to see.
David (Jesup, Georgia)
who do you see stepping up at running back at UGA after knowshon going pro?
Chris Low (2:42 PM)
Caleb King and Richard Samuel. They're not Knowshon Moreno, but both guys are terrific talents.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Tell the truth. Did you rub it in Tim Griffin's face when UF beat OU and OM beat TTech to once again prove the SEC is the best and all others are competing for 2nd place?
Chris Low (2:44 PM)
No, because Tim is too good a guy. But I do make him buy my lunch when we're at the same functions.
Florida has one of it's weakest schedules in years this year. If they lose 1 game, say at LSU, would they be effectively eliminated from BCS championship?
Chris Low (2:47 PM)
It's just so hard to say because you don't know what other teams around the country are going to do. For instance, is it another year like 2007 when LSU got in with two losses? I agree that the Gators won't have as much margin for error because their schedule isn't as tough as last year. But if they lose early and then come back impressively and win the SEC Championship Game, history has shown that they will end up as one of the top two teams in the final BCS standings.
MB (Vicksburg, MS)
How will Crowton use Russell Shepard in LSU's offense this season?
Chris Low (2:48 PM)
Not only will Crowton use him, but I think Crowton views Shepard as just the kind of player he wants playing quarterback in his system. Shepard still has to prove he can throw the ball effectively at this level, but he'll definitely play.
Will Auburn win an SEC game this year?
Chris Low (2:54 PM)
Not one, but at least two. Best bets are home against Mississippi State, away at Tennessee and home against Kentucky.
David (Gainesville, FL)
Who replaces Percy Harvin on the gators depth chart?
Chris Low (2:55 PM)
Top two candidates are Deonte Thompson and incoming freshman Andre Debose. I think the Gators may use Brandon James a little more on offense next season, too.
How come in all of your incoming impact player blogs, you virtually never mention Andre DeBose? He is likely to play early and often
Chris Low (2:56 PM)
Just mentioned him. He can be scary good in that offense.
Shouldn't florida play at least one decent team besides florida st..Alabama plays VTech and Penn state coming up, LSU just scheduled WVU and georgia plays Okie state..Will florida ever leave the state besides SEC play..The 5 Major powers will play anywhere IE Texas,Ohio State Oklahoma and USC have travelled around the country where as Florida hasn't left the South to play anybody!!!
Chris Low (2:58 PM)
In the Gators' defense, Florida State is pretty heavy duty foe to be playing every year even with some of the Seminoles' struggles of late. But when you already have the SEC schedule every year, why would you go play Florida State and say Oklahoma State in the same year? Last year, the Gators faced Miami and Florida State.
Paul (Albany, OR)
So wait. You can lose early (say September), win impressively the rest of the season, win your conference AND then you can still play for the National Championship? Tell that to USC fans. Right, that formula only works for schools east of the Rockies.
Chris Low (3:00 PM)
More precisely, for schools who play in the SEC. When a conference has won four of the last six BCS national championships, a one-loss team from that league is always going to get more respect in the polls.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
Where does Jamie Graham fit in next season for the Dores - RB, WR, somewhere else? He just quit the bball team to focus on the gridiron, hopefully it's for the best as he was a great defender
Chris Low (3:03 PM)
To me, Graham is one of the top two or three guys on that Vanderbilt offense. They have to find more playmakers, guys who can turn short gains into touchdowns, and he should be that much better with a year of experience under his belt. They'll play him at receiver, but will move him around to get his hands on the ball. He'll also return kicks.
Ok, But Chris name me the last time Florida even left the state to play a big game? I mean common USC plays arkansas and Ohio state who texas and USC and Oklahoma goes anywhere!
Chris Low (3:04 PM)
Fair point, but having a rival like Florida State they play every year out of conference then Miami occasionally makes that difficult to do.
Matt (Knoxville, TN)
Who do you think is under center here on Rocky Top come fall?
Chris Low (3:05 PM)
My best guess is Crompton to open the season.
Chris Low (3:05 PM)
The hour went by fast as it always does. Thanks for the questions and we'll do it again soon.
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