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 (12:59 PM)
Greetings. Hope everyone had a nice weekend.
Ethan (Baton Rouge)
Which tandem do you think will be harder to replace for LSU this spring - Charles Scott and Keiland Williams, or Perry Riley and Harry Coleman?
Chris Low (1:01 PM)
I think LSU will be fine at both spots. I like the Tigers' young group of linebackers, and I also think Stevan Ridley will step up. If I had to choose, though, I'd say Scott and Williams, because the Tigers have to find a way to run the ball better in 2010.
ANTHONY (Russellville, Arkansas)
At the start of next season who and how many SEC teams will be in the top 25?
Chris Low (1:02 PM)
Alabama and Florida will both be Top 10 teams. Arkansas and LSU should both be Top 20 teams, and Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn will all three show up in some Top 25's.
Brandon (Dawsonville GA)
Chris what is your take on my Dawgs new DC and the other new D coaches after seeing them at the first spring practice. GO DAWGS!!!
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
I think it's obvious that Grantham has a clear vision of what he wants on defense. It may take the Dogs another recruiting class to recruit to the 3-4. Belin was a solid hire for Richt. He'd been a big part of Vanderbilt's success. In the end, it gets down to how it shakes out on the field. Grantham wants to be more aggressive and really go after the quarterback. One of the concerns is that the Dogs are pretty thin right now at cornerback. Boykin has to stay healthy.
Aaron (Gainesville, FL)
Which of the Gators 5-Star recruits do you expect to make the biggest impact? RoPo? D-Easley?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
Easley, Floyd and Powell, I think, will all play next season. The Gators will be looking for difference-makers in their defensive line.
Billy (Greenville, SC)
Has coach Spurrier's success at South Carolina hit its peak? Is this the best he could hope for in Columbia?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Can you wait and ask me that question after the 2010 season? I believe this will be his best chance at South Carolina to make a run for the East title. If the Gamecocks can solve some of their issues in the offensive line, they should have a legitimate chance.
Robert (Fayette-nam, AR)
Whats the advantage of starting spring practice early? Also why aren't more teams doing so...
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
The advantage is giving the players more time in the offseason/strength and conditioning program to get stronger, etc. Weather plays a big part, too. Kentucky, for instance, starts later because the weather is so shaky in Lexington for much of February and March.
Walter (Fort Worth, TX)
Did you see enough at Georgia to make you think Grantham is a good fit in the program--both on a personal level with the players and on a knowledge & skill level? If so, any thoughts on whether we'll see a quick turnaround for the defense or if it will take a while (a whole season or more) to start to gel?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
Similar to what I said earlier, I think it's only fair that Grantham should get at least one more recruiting class to recruit to that defense. He was only there for about a week and a half of this last recruiting period. Richt likes the chemistry with this defensive staff, and the players seem eager about going to a 3-4. It's the defense you're seeing more and more teams utilizing now. The two things that I will watch for early is whether the Dogs can cut down on giving up big plays and if they tackle better.
Brian (Richmond, Ky.)
Joker Phillips has already announced that he's opening the QB competition up to Newton, Hartline and Ryan Mossakowski, with two of the three having a shot at playing time. Since Moss redshirted last year, is Mike Hartline looking at a senior season of holding a clipboard for a sophomore and a redshirt freshman?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Not if he's the best guy. I think Joker will wipe the slate clean and whoever he thinks runs the offense the best, takes care of the ball best and makes the most plays in the spring and the first part of the preseason will be the guy. I know they're intrigued by Mossakowski if his shoulder is indeed all the way back.
Will (Metairie, LA)
Your thoughts on LSU WR Terrance Toliver's involvement in the bar fight over the weekend? What discipline do you think he might face?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
I don't think he's been in trouble before, so I would say it will be mostly internal discipline unless there's a lot more to the story. He is a senior, though, and you know that's not the kind of tone Les Miles wants his seniors setting for the team.
Michael (Baton Rouge)
Is Alabama your National Title front runner, or is another team on your radar to bring home the crystal ball?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Alabama is definitely my choice in the SEC, and history has shown that if you win the SEC title, you're going to get a shot at the national title.
Which RB's will be Tennessee's two deep at that postition? I think Tauren Poole is a guy that deserves a look back there.
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
And I think he's going to get a look, a genuine look. I'm not sure he did last year. Bryce Brown was Lane Kiffin's guy, and that was obvious. That's not a knock on Brown. He gets his chance this spring to show what he's got. Should be some really intense competition among all four guys -- Toney Williams, David Oku, Brown and Poole.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
how is Urban doing?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Says he will be back for the start of spring practice. There was no way he was going to be able to stay away for too long. He did go to Hawaii recently to get away.
Scott (Springdale, Ar)
Chris, last year during this time it seemed we were always reading about Kiff and Co practices, players, and whatever. This year, Coach Dooley seems to have the Vols flying under the rader so to speak. Is this what the coach wants? Or, are he and the Volunteers going about business quietly leading up to spring practice?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
Dooley is the total opposite of Kiffin. He doesn't seek the cameras and spotlight and has made an effort to stay in the shadows. More than anything, I think he's spent most of his time trying to change the inner workings there at Tennessee more to the way he wants to see it done, and that can be a tough process. Saban went through the same thing his first year at Alabama.
Do you think the whole "University of Auburn" Saban quote was a little over blown? I mean, all of our recruits say "The University of Auburn" when they announce. Or was the story not shown enough publicity?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
Overblown, in my opinion. I thought it was a bigger deal last year when he said they planned on keeping the Iron Bowl trophy for many years to come.
Rudy (Columbia, SC)
How big of an impact will Wesley Saunders have this year in a new quick strike Carolina offense?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
He's a guy Garcia should look to often because Saunders is a tough matchup for defenses. With Jeffery and Gurley (both 6-4) on the field at the same time, Garcia's going to have some big targets to throw to.
Drew (West Barnstable, MA)
If Auburn's starting 11 on D stay healthy next year, don't you think they can hang with anyone?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Staying healthy will certainly help. They still need to find some more depth at linebacker, find a finisher at end play better defense across the board. They gave up too many points last season and you just can't outscore people in this league every week. I do think they will be better on defense, though, the second year in this system.
Will (Metairie, LA)
Which team in the West is most suited to dethrone Bama?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
I'll go with Arkansas because I think the Hogs will be able to score against anybody next season. Plus, they play in Fayetteville.
Caleb (Cartersville, Ga)
Since zach mettenberger was arrested do you think aaron murray is an automatic lock for the starting qb job at uga? & who do you think will be the surprise player at uga this season? I know ealey
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Even before the arrest, I felt Murray was probably the front-runner for the job, thanks in large part to his versatility. As for surprise players, I think Tavarres King on offense will break out and have a big year, and watch Montez Robinson switching to outside linebacker.
Cal (Vienna Austria)
Chris, is Dreamland all that?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Yep and then some.
Michael (Birmingham, AL)
What do you see as the Tide's biggest flaw heading into spring camp?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
Just filling all the holes on defense, who's going to play where, etc. The talent is there. But who's going to win all those jobs in the secondary. Who's going to be the nickel guy? Who will play the jack? Is Jerrell Harris ready to step and be the player everybody thought when they signed him?
Who steps up on the Alabama defense this year. What freshman do you see stepping up for this years class.
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Milliner and Fulton
Chris, what's your opinion of how Mullen is doing with MState? Looking for big things from Tyler Russell, who's now - 6-5, 225
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Well, you bring up one of the most important keys for the Bulldogs. I think it's Russell's job to win, although they're still going to use Relf. Bumphis is a star in the making. There's a lot of young talent on defense. But replacing Dixon and all his production would be what worries me most about the Bulldogs.
Steve (Atlanta, GA)
A lot of Vols are looking into the future and writing off 2010 and 2011 as rebuilding years given the talent gaps left from the previous two coaches. Do you think this is a fair outlook?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
I don't think they're writing off 2010 and 2011, but I do think it will be 2012 before Tennessee has a chance to seriously contend for the SEC title.
brett (Denver, CO)
Chris, we all know about the pressure of coaching in the SEC, but are good coaches thinking twice about coaching in the SEC because of how dominant Alabama and Florida have been, and how much pressure SEC football jobs bring? We saw how it effected Urban Meyer both physically and mentally, does the pressure scare coaches away?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
I wouldn't say it scares coaches away. Petrino came to the SEC from the NFL, and you can bet they would have been lining up for the Florida job had Meyer not reconsidered. But, yes, the pressure of coaching in this league is immense. It's gotten to the point where it's almost impossible to enjoy the wins. That's because you can win a national title one year and then two years later, they're talking about you being in trouble if you fall off to eight or nine wins. See Les Miles at LSU. Even Mark Richt at Georgia with how consistent he's been is starting to see some of his support wane. There's no question that Saban and Meyer have raised the stakes in this league. The other factor is how much money head coaches are making. Half the head coaches in this league are making $2.5 million or more per year. There is no such thing as patience.
Memphis Rob (Memphis, TN)
Chris, never miss a chat! What do you think about teams loading up on junior prospects. I know Texas has like 15 and LSU's loading up as well. Do you see this as an advantage or is there any downside to the prematurity?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
No, I think recruiting starts earlier and earlier. If you believe in your evaluations, have done your homework on the kid and think he can play in your system, go ahead and pull the trigger. Of course, it doesn't count until he signs.
How good is AJ Green, compared to the rest of the elite recievers in the country. Do you think that he will be back for his senior year?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
If healthy, I would take A.J. Green before any other receiver in the country. He has size, speed, great body control and is one of the best I've seen at going up and getting the ball. And, no, I don't think he will be back for his senior season. Enjoy him this season. If he and Washaun Ealey both stay healthy, that should be quite a combo.
Andrew (Jacksonville, FL)
Who is your darkhorse in the league this season?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
I'll go with Arkansas in the West and South Carolina in the East. In the spirit of full disclosure, my darkhorse pick last year was Ole Miss. So beware!
How has john brantley looked so far in the spring? i've heard alot of good things about how good he MIGHT be, but nothin about how good he IS.
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
The Gators don't start spring ball until next week, but I can tell you he looked outstanding last spring and throws it a ton. The Gators will build what they do offensively around his ability to throw the ball.
Chris I am watching bama at the white house looks a little disorganized what do you think about saban running things for a while.
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
That's tempting to answer, but I'll defer and take a pass.
Will (Metairie, LA)
How much do you think Jordan Jefferson has developed at QB? Will LSU's offense still be painful to watch?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I think Jefferson will be more in tune with what LSU wants out of him this year and won't be as restrained. The people around him need to step up as well, and I think they will -- namely Russell Shepard.
David (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Does Chris Rainey's move away from pure running-back mean we should expect to see him receive more touches?
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
That's the plan, getting him the ball in space and letting him use his speed. I still feel like the Gators still need to find an every-down running back this year, Maybe it's Moody's time to shine.
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
That's a wrap for me. By this time next week, Alabama will also have started spring practice. See you then!