Chat with Chris Low
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chris Low (1:01 PM)
Hello and good afternoon. I'm ready to go.
Chris (Huntsville, AL)
Do you believe in good losses? If so do you think Alabama's loss to South Carolina might be one of those good losses?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
It might be good in that it gets Alabama's attention on the things the Tide weren't doing well. I think the Alabama has a good chance to win out. But it's not good for them in the national title picture. It's going to be hard to win it this year with one loss.
Cory (HogTown, Florida)
Which SEC coach would you most want to see on Dancing with the Stars? And a separate question... If all the SEC coaches were in the contest, who do you think would win?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
Les Miles, no doubt, on both counts.
Don (Sugar Land)
your thoughts on the Ole Mess black bears?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
Welcome to the World of Political Correctness.
George (Georgetown SC)
I know I am getting ahead of myself, but which game do you see is being South Carolina's biggest challenge the rest of the year? Do you think they have a chance to win out?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
Honestly, given that program's history, I would say this weekend's game at Kentucky. That game against Arkansas at home on Nov. 6 the week before the Florida game is one that stands out, too.
Jim Hopkins (Memphis, TN)
Chris, you slurp on Mississippi State's running attack yet their best running games are Alcorn State, Memphis, and Houston. SEC play they have not done near as well. Aren't you getting a little carried away about their offense? Thanks
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
I'm not ready to crown them the offensive kings of the SEC, but they are averaging more than 200 yards rushing per game. Their line has played a lot better, and they're doing it without Dixon. You're right. We'll see what they do the rest of the way against SEC defenses, but a lot of teams in this league would like to have that rushing attack right now.
Joshua (San Antonio, TX)
Chris, watched your three keys for the Ark/AU game, got to say im surprised that you didnt have AU's secondary vs Mallet up there. your thoughts on this matchup?
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
One of the reasons I didn't is because Mallett is going to get his yards against just about everybody he plays. He had 357 against Alabama, but the Hogs still lost. To me, the more important thing for Auburn is keeping Arkansas from hitting them with big scoring plays and making the Hogs go the distance. Auburn's defense has been pretty good at not allowing a lot of big plays this season.
Would a one loss Alabama team be kept out of the title game by an undefeated TCU and Boise State?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
No, I don't think so. At one loss, Alabama would need two of the BCS unbeaten teams to lose, say Oregon and Ohio State, or Nebraska and Ohio State, or even Nebraska and Oregon. I think Alabama would pass an unbeaten Boise State in the final BCS standings, but not an unbeaten Oregon, Nebraska and Ohio State or even Oklahoma for that matter.
Hunter (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Chris, after a deflating loss to a good team on the road most teams either do one of two things. 1) They implode and team fights, argues and can't click together causing back to back losses and sometimes more after that or 2) they come out and demolish their next opponent to show the nation that they still have it and the last game just caught them off guard. What do you think the Tide will do with Old Miss this week? Implode or Dominate?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
The latter. Alabama is too talented and too well-coaching to implode. They miss Rolando McClain's leadership and everything he brought to that defense. That's pretty obvious. But I still think Alabama is the most talented team in the league and will come back with a vengeance this second half of the season.
Do you think Arkansas should explore direct snaps to Joe Adams or Jarius Wright as a way to improve the running game?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Not a bad idea. You might want to forward that suggestion to Bobby Petrino. I've felt since last year that Adams was one of the best receivers in the SEC after the catch.
Not saying it's going to happen but if Auburn lays a whopping on Ark. on saturday. How mediocre does that make Alabama look. I really dont see anybody they have played as a good/great team, besides SC.
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
I look at it differently. It would make Auburn look extremely strong. In Alabama's defense, the Tide had a three-game stretch against three Top 20 teams (two on the road) that would have been difficult for any team in the country to make it through unscathed.
If Arkansas beats Auburn this weekend where does that leave Arkansas, Auburn and South Carolina in the rankings?
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
I would think Arkansas would move solidly into the Top 10, based on a win over a Top 10 team on the road, probably around No. 8 or No. 9 and probably one spot behind Alabama. That's the way I would do my poll. If South Carolina plays well, I'd have the Gamecocks in front of both of them. The win over Bama carries more weight right now, but that could change as we get deeper into the season.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
bobby patrino was my neighbor, he yelled at me once, I dont like him
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Did you yell back? I hope you weren't wearing a Florida cap ... just joking.
Josh (Auburn, AL)
Auburn is in a similar situation as in 2004 when they started the season ranked at the bottom of the top 25 and were kept out of the BCS national championship game despite an undefeated season. I know its very early to start wondering, but what are the chances that this will happen again? If Auburn wins out, will they be the odd team out of the BCS NCG again? Will they be able to jump Boise and TCU?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
I'm already on record and will say it again with conviction: If any SEC team makes it through unbeaten, wins the SEC title and is sitting there at 13-0, I don't see any scenario where that team wouldn't be in the BCS National Championship Game. The SEC has been too strong recently and won too many national titles for an unbeaten team in this league not to get a chance. Just like in recent years, an unbeaten SEC team will continue moving up in the polls. That said, I don't think there will be an unbeaten SEC team at season's end this year.
John (Canton, GA)
If Georgia beats both Vandy and Kentucky handily, how do you think they will fare down in Jacksonville?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
I've been waiting on Georgia to do all season what the Bulldogs did last week. Now I realize that Tennessee is a bad team, but with A.J. Green back, I can see the Bulldogs going on a run and finishing this season with a winning record. Watching them both play this year, I think Florida and Georgia are pretty close. Should be a good game.
Do you think auburn has a chance at the SEC title and possible even the national title?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
Absolutely. Auburn has shown that knack for winning the close games this year. Alabama had it last year. If you're going to win a title of any kind, you have to be able to make winning plays in the second half and that has been Auburn's forte this season.
Chris, I have to say I've come to expect you picking against us by now (UGA, Bama, and now the tigers/war eagles/plainsmen), so I'm not really even sure why I am asking, but that being said, what do you expect the Piggies to do the rest of the year? I could see anywhere from 1st to 4th in the West, thoughts?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
Nothing personal, I promise. I'm 1-1. Right against Alabama and wrong against Georgia. Both were very close games, and I think this one will be, too. But even if the Hogs lose, they could still go on to have a nine or 10-win season. Right now, I'll go with 10-3, counting a bowl win.
SEC's most hated team...UGA? Maybe i'm biased but man it seems those other fans love to kick us when we're down. are we jerks or something?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
I'd say Alabama, Florida, LSU and Tennessee would all argue with you about being the most hated at some point over the last decade. Hey. it's the SEC. Everybody hates everybody.
Matt (Rochester, NY)
Chris.. whats your opinion of LSU scheduling McNeese State?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
About the same as Alabama scheduling Georgia State, South Carolina scheduling Furman and Florida scheduling Miami (Ohio). No way would I pay what they're asking for for those tickets to see those games.
I quote you earlier as saying, "Auburn has shown that knack for winning the close games this year" and that this ability could lead Auburn to a NC. What about my LSU Tigers? They've shown the same knack as Auburn in close games.
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Good call, although LSU was downright lucky against Tennessee. That second half against a depleted North Carolina team also sticks out. But, hey, I'm not hating on LSU. You're right. There's something to be said for finding ways to win, and the Tigers have done that. I love the way their defense is playing right now, and maybe they're good enough on defense to carry them all the way to the SEC championship game. But I just haven't seen enough in their passing game to make me think they can get there.
Daniel (Pasadena, CA)
A few years ago, when USC lost to a conference opponent(its been quite a while since the lost an OOC game btw), they were weak. When Alabama lost this past weekend, it just showed how strong and balanced the SEC is. Whats your take?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
Basically that the SEC is stronger and more balanced that it's been the last couple of years. Alabama and Florida had sort of separated themselves from everybody else. That gap has closed. Bama and Florida aren't quite as good (lost a lot of good players) and some of the other teams (Auburn and South Carolina) have gotten better.
What do you think it will take to get Florida's offense running - or is it more of a "Wait until next year" situation?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
I think it's more wait until next season, especially with Demps and Brantley being banged up physicaly. Debose should be a lot closer to helping them on every down. too. That said, they still need to find a RB they can lean on for those tough yards.
If you had to pick right now, pick your last two SEC bowl teams in this year?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
I still think two teams will play in BCS bowls, so that leaves eight more spots. I'm not sure the SEC will fill all 10 spots. But right now, I would say that Mississippi State and Kentucky would be the last two in.
Rob (Dallas, TX)
Chris,When will see the picture of you in a Hog-hat?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
I did a video wearing it while I was in Fayetteville and standing just off Dickson Street. Scroll back to the day of the Arkansas-Alabama game on the blog and you'll see it.
Will (Metairie, LA)
What are your thoughts on LSU's two QB system? I think Miles is using them effectively by keeping JJ the "starter" not to hurt his confidence, and depending on Lee in late game situations like the past two weeks.
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Until they lose, why shake it up? I just think that Lee's ability to throw the ball gives them the best chance to beat most of the teams left on their schedule.
I hear all these things about how good and explosive Arkansas' offense is but wheres the love for the defense? They've made key stops this year when needed and correct me if I'm wrong, are in the top 3 statistically in the SEC. If the offense could have put together 4 solid quarters we would be 4-0 and in the driver's seat for the NC. Your thoughts?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
If you were picking a defensive coordinator of the year at this point in the SEC, my top choice would be LSU's John Chavis, but No. 2 would be Arkansas' Willy Robinson. That Arkansas defense is vastly improved.
Chris (Boulder, CO)
Chris, I asked this same question to Heather Dinich on Tuesday and she seems to think the ACC is going to go 2-1 with wins over UGA and UF. How do you think the SEC will fair in its rivalry games with the ACC later this year? (Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Florida State)
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
She probably thought you meant basketball. I'll go 2-1 in favor of the SEC with Georgia and South Carolina winning. Florida may be catching FSU at a time when the Seminoles are really rolling. Plus, the game is in Tallahassee.
Is Cam Newton out of eligibility after this year? Do you think he will attract other QB's of the same talent to AU?? What does he do for our recruiting on offensive side??
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
No, Newton has another season. I think he will help attract other great quarterbacks. The Tigers already have a highly rated one committed, but I also think Gus Malzahn's offense attracts great offensive players -- period.
Nathan (Morganton, NC)
Do you feel Mississippi State continues to improve each year under Mullen? Will they contend for the SEC West within the next five years?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Honestly, if Mississippi State keeps improving, Mullen probably won't be there five years from now. Some other bigger program will come in and steal him away.
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
That's all for today. Appreciate all the questions and all your input via the mailbag. Looking forward to being on the Plains this weekend. Always a great environment. Be safe in your travels and I'll see you on the road. Have a great week, everybody!