Chat with Chris Low
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chris Low (1:01 PM)
Good afternoon. Hope everybody is well.
the_SEC_rules... (new orleans, la)
hey c-low, which conference poses a challenge to SEC dominance this year, if any?
Chris Low (1:03 PM)
The Pac-10 would be right up there, and then the Big Ten.
Jordan (Cairo, Illinois)
Who do you think will win Ketnucky's starting QB job? And what kind of impact do you see Randall Cobb having? Thanks
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
A lot will depend on how healthy Hartline is. Morgan Newton probably has the most upside and he has some experience from last season. They really like Mossakowsi's feel for the game as well. I'd say Newton is probably the favorite. If they Cats can get some consistent play at quarterback, Cobb has a chance to take off and be one of the best playmakers in the SEC because he can do so many things.
the_SEC_rules... (new orleans, la)
ok c-low, give it to me straight, how do my bayou bengals look going forward into the upcoming season?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
The first four or five games should provide plenty of answers when you consider the Tigers open with North Carolina and also have West Virginia on the schedule. I think they'll be very good again on defense, and it probably gets down to how improved they are in the offensive line. Shepard will be a much bigger part of their offense, and I also think Jefferson will be more consistent at quarterback.
Eric (Auburn, AL)
Do you think Auburn has a realistic chance to win the SEC West next year?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
I still think the Tigers might be a year away. A lot will ride on how ready Cameron Newton is to step in and play and how much they can improve in the defensive line. Losing Coleman will hurt.
Sidney Crosby (Vancouver)
Sorry chris having a hardtime posting a question with my shiny gold medal around my neck! But maybe you can answer my question on How you see the Tigers putting it together on Offense this year without lafell and a new o-line
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
Sidney, you're lucky it wasn't a best 2-of-3, because the U.S. wins that third game. The Tigers will move guys around in the offensive line this spring to get their best combination. I'd look for Barksdale at LT. They've got to be able to run the ball better this season. If not, it could look a lot like 2009. Wear that gold medal proudly. What a great game.
Bill (Washington, DC)
Chris,Do you see any hope for my Commodores in 2010? Would another 2 win season (or possibly worse!) put Bobby Johnson on the hot seat in Nashville?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
No way is Bobby Johnson on the hot seat. He's improve that program in every way and continues to bring in better talent. He's shaken things up in his offensive staff to try and get more production. I like the young backs in their program. They need one or two of those freshman receivers to come through. I don't see seven wins, but I think the Commodores are a lot closer to seven than they are to two wins in 2010. Johnson is as solid as they come. Hang in there with him.
what are the chances of bray starting qb for the first game for the vols this year
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
I think Stephens will be the Vols' first-game starter. Of course, it's a big spring for him. If he can improve on his accuracy, he has the edge in that race. But with Bray on campus and going through the spring (and getting a jump in the strength and conditioning program), he should be a factor in the fall.
Brandon (Auburn, AL)
What's your take on the Clemson/Auburn match up early in the season? Auburn with a close win because of home-field advantage?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Yes, I like Auburn in that one. Clemson lost a lot of firepower offensively with Spiller departing.
I know you've been accused of being a "homer" of just about all SEC teams at one time or another, but I think it's time you confess your undying love of both Urban Meyer and Nick Saban. Good grief, your partiality to them is ridiculous.
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
OK, I confess. You got me.
Ben Tate had a pretty impressive showing at the combine. And a pretty important showing this past season overall. Any reason he still isn't getting the publicity that backs like Hardesty and McCluster are getting when SEC RBs comes up?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
Well, Tate isn't backing down on his comments that he was the best back in that state last season, and his performance at the Combine speaks volumes. He's faster than he's given credit for and one of the most durable runners out there. The reality is that there were a lot of good running backs in the SEC last season.
Ryan (Newport Beach)
What do you think about Admiral Ackbar standing out at The Grove or controlling the sidelines at Vaught-Hemingway next fall?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
That's a debate that I will stay away from.
Who becomes bama's third back this year?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
They redshirted Eddie Lacy last season, and he was a big-time recruit coming in. Terry Grant is also still around and would be playing at a lot of other schools. Maybe he's their speed guy/situational back next season. It's safe to say that Alabama will have the most talented backfield stable in the country in 2010. There's loaded and then there's what Alabama will trot out there next year at running back.
Memphis Rob (Memphis, TN)
Sup, Chris! Always enjoy your chats. You think Terrence Cody will go in the 1st rd?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
There's so many different viewpoints out there on Terrence. He's a natural at nose in the 3-4, and it just takes one team to like him. A lot of the NFL people are worried about his conditioning, but he's such a force there in the middle. I would say late first round or early second.
Beau (New Orleans)
Hey Chris,Kelvin Sheppard went under the radar in 09 despite having a monster season. Do you think the departure of the big LB names in the SEC (spikes, mclain, curran, norwood) will help him get more of the spotlight next year? If he raises his game he absolutely has to be in consideration of national awards as well as ALL SEC and [hopefully] ALL AMERICAN honors. Thanks
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Good call. Sheppard was very underrated despite putting up big numbers. He has a great chance to be All-SEC and maybe even an All-American if he takes that next step, which I think he will in his second season in John Chavis' defense.
Jerry (Little Rock, AR)
Chris, Do you see any chance that my hogs make a run at the SEC West? What would be a realistic record for BP in his third year?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
I think a reasonable goal is 10 wins overall, counting the bowl game. The schedule gets a little easier. The offense should be the most explosive in the SEC, and Petrino thinks the Hogs will be better in the defensive line and in the secondary with Madison back. The Hogs need to find some depth at linebacker. That's a huge game the third week of the season at Georgia for Arkansas, because the Hogs get Alabama at home that next week.
Quick. Gun to your head. your National championship pick for next season??
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Wow, this early? How about Alabama vs. Ohio State. And if nobody makes it out of the SEC this season, let's go with Ohio State vs. Texas.
JT (Covington - GA)
who is going to be a the qb @ UGA day one? Can this be another 10 win season or better?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
My early pick is Aaron Murray. He can do a little bit of everything and gives Mike Bobo some flexibility in calling plays. I'm not ready to predict 10 wins just yet. Let's see how the defense comes around under new coordinator Todd Grantham.
Bob (Big Easy)
Chris, most LSU fans down here on the bayou think Miles has to beat either Alabama or Florida to keep his job. Bottom line, do you think he's back next year, and what's it going to take? Honestly, a lot of us cajuns want to see him go.....Thanks Chris!
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
In fairness, a lot of the LSU fans were signing his praises a little more than two years ago when he was holding up the national championship trophy. It's not just LSU, either. In this league, it changes so fast, and there's no such thing as patience -- anywhere. That said, I do believe Miles needs to make a run at the West title this year, which includes winning against one of the two teams you mention. If he wins nine or more games again, I just don't see the LSU brass pulling the trigger, nor should they. But if the Tigers lose all their "big" games again and end up with four or five losses, then, yes, I think he's in trouble.
Chris - Love the work and alway waiting for the next chat. What type of impact do you think Andre Dubose will have at UF this year? Also, do you think Meyer will put the hands of Moody more, now that they are going out of the eye?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
We heard so many good things about Debose last year and then he got hurt. I think he would have been a factor in 2009 and definitely see him being a big part of the Gators' offense in 2010. But keep in mind that it will be his first tour through the SEC. As for Moody, Florida needs a big year out of him, because there's not much there in the way of a proven running threat with Tebow gone. It will be interesting to see how much they're under center next season with two backs. This is certainly Moody's chance to shine.
Hi Chris - what is the chance Jordan Rodgers ends up starting for Vandy next year? Thanks.
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
I asked somebody at Vanderbilt that question within the last week, and the answer I got was to check back after the spring. He's going to be given every chance to win the job this spring. But the coaches there haven't given up on Larry Smith and feel like he has everything they're looking for in a QB. The best news is that both of those guys will be pushing each other.
the_SEC_rules... (new orleans, la)
wow, ohio state vs. texas for the national championship, does the outlcome look that bad for the SEC this year, c-low?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
That's the matchup I threw out there if the SEC were to be shut out this year.
brett (denver, co)
Chris, altough the Alabama defense carried them last season, do you think thier offense can carry them this season? Obviously, the defense can't possibly put the same numbers up although they should be very competitive
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
It's obvious that Alabama lost a lot of great players on defense, but there was a lot of talented players behind those guys that just hadn't been in a position to play leading roles. The secondary was depleted, but I trust Saban to put a solid secondary on the field. It helps that guys like Milliner and Fulton are already in school. But, yes, the offense should be able to put up enough points to outscore a lot of teams this year.
Am I crazy for thinking the Vols might miss Dan Williams even more than Eric Berry?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
No, did you see that Williams ran a 5.1 40 at the combine? He was the rock of that defensive line and made everybody better. Vols will probably have two defensive players go in the first round. That's odd, because their coach last year talked all season about how they didn't have any talent.
Drew (West Barnstable)
Hey Chris, and Knowshon Moreno- esque freshman impact players this upcoming year in the SEC?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
Watch Ronnie Wingo Jr. at Arkansas. He's poised for a big season, a 230-pound back who can fly. Chad Bumphis at Mississippi State is another one to watch, and Washaun Ealey at Georgia might have been the best back (outside Dexter McCluster) in the league in the month of November last year. Moody at Florida is another one who could take off in his senior season.
Brett union sc [via mobile]
What is south Carolina's chances in the second this season?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Great opportunity for the Gamecocks. They have 19 starters back, and everybody else in the East lost a lot of good players. Talking about it and doing it are two different things. The latter has been a problem for the Gamecocks for much of the last 100 years. But I do believe this is Steve Spurrier's best chance to win the East and get to Atlanta since he took that job in 2005.
What's the deal here Chris? Do you not have an opinion on the Razorbacks chances to win ten games this next season?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
I said earlier in the chat that 10 wins was a realistic goal for the Hogs in 2010, and I think that game at Georgia the third week of the season is the key game.
Andrew (Titletown, AL)
Hey Chris, love your work!......I wanted to know who you think has the best shot at knocking off the crimson tide??
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Alabama plays at Arkansas on Sept. 25 and then comes home to face Florida the next week. If the Tide's going to lose, I think it's one of those games. My third choice would be at LSU on Nov. 6.
Brett (Ocean Springs ms)
What are the chances of Mark Ingram leaving after this season?If he does will Trent as good or even better than Ingram?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I'd say they're pretty good if he has another 1,000-yard plus season and stays healthy. Richardson is more explosive than Ingram and has a chance to be special, no doubt. Let's see how this season plays out before I go any further than that.
Brandon (Auburn, AL)
Does RFr. DE Nosa Eguae and Fr. DT Jeffrey Whittaker make an immediate impact for Auburn this year?
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
The Auburn staff had high hopes for Eguae last year before he got hurt. I think Whitaker and Lemonier both are freshmen who could help in the defensive line right away. Nick Fairley is a big piece of the puzzle, too. The Tigers need him to step up and be an every-down presence as well. And can Carter fill Coleman's role as finisher at end?
Heisman Candidates in the SEC this season?
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Mark Ingram and Ryan Mallett are the top two.
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
Lot of good stuff today. Thanks a bunch. You can tell spring practice is here. We'll do it again next week at the same time. Have a great week!