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 (1:04 PM)
Greetings. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday!
What are the chances Arkansas does not go to the Sugar Bowl?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
The only way I see is if South Carolina upsets Auburn. In that case, South Carolina would go to the Sugar Bowl, Auburn likely to the Orange Bowl and Arkansas likely to the Capital One Bowl. But if Auburn wins Saturday, I think the Hogs are a lock to the Sugar Bowl.
Can S.C. stop Cam Newton's running and win the SEC championship?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
Honestly, it's been Newton's passing that has been so effective here lately. He has 11 touchdown passes and only one interception in his last four games and has only run for 100 yards in one of those games. The Gamecocks will play him differently this time and try to keep him from running, but he's shown he can beat teams throwing it, too.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Ok Chris, an inevitable topic.. What was your gut reaction to the Cam Newton news?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
Glad there has been some resolution before the SEC championship game and potentially the BCS National Championship Game. Also feel like the NCAA has opened up Pandora's Box with the ruling. What's to keep parents and uncles from shopping kids now if the kids don't know? At the end of the day, the NCAA obviously didn't have any hard evidence at this point that Auburn was involved or that Newton knew this was going on and wasn't going to sit down the best player in America a few days before the biggest game of the season without that hard evidence.
Low, if State loses Mullen, which seems to likely, who are some names that Strickland might look at to replace him? Has Malzahn proved himself yet, without a Cam Newton? And is Manny Diaz even ready for a Head Coaching job?
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
Diaz would be the guy I would go after, although I'm sure Mullen would try and take him with him to Miami given all his ties down in South Florida. And, yes, I would definitely call Malzahn. Doug Marrone at Syracuse is somebody else I would call.
Is this decision going to come back and bite the NCAA in the butt if more evidence is found against Cam Newton?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
We'll have to see how it all plays out, but the NCAA is sure going to have to close the loophole that now exists in its bylaws. Wonder what Dez Bryant thinks about all this?
Trey (Auburn Alabama)
At this point it's very obvious Auburn is a run first team, I'm curious to know what your opinion is on how Darvin Adams or Emory Blake would stack up in the SEC/nationally if they were on a more pass oriented team
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
Even without the big numbers, I still believe Adams is one of the best five to seven receivers in this league.
I know Vandy isnt the most attractive job out there but can they hire someone who can make an impact?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
If Vanderbilt is willing to make the commitment it's going to take to compete in the SEC, like improving the stadium, improving facilities, renovating and building amenities that attract great players and giving the coach a budget so he can hire quality assistants.
Chris (Atlanta, GA)
If Auburn can stop the run and can't stop the pass, and South Carolina has been winning lately with Lattimore, what is Spurrier's plan for this game?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Spurrier won't be hardheaded, but you can bet the Gamecocks will try and get Lattimore going early. I also look for them to use even more in the passing game, get him the ball on some quick flips and split him out. Auburn has been extremely vulnerable against the pass, and the Gamecocks will take their shots there. But you have to keep the football, put together drives and score every chance you get against Auburn, because the Tigers score points in bunches so well.
Steve Kirby (Rock Hill)
Hey Chris, been a long time, hope you are well! What is your take on the Cocks vs Auburn game this weekend? Take care!
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
Hello, Steve. Hope all is well in Rock Hill. My take on the game is that South Carolina will play well, play with the same confidence it has for the last several weeks and take this game into the fourth quarter. I just have a hard time picking against Auburn with the way the Tigers have come from behind time and time again in the second half and made every clutch defensive play down the stretch. It's as if it's meant to be this year for Auburn.
If both Auburn and Oregon win this weekend, I expect a 70 - 65 championship game.
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
Nah, I'm thinking more like 83-80. Seriously, anybody taking any bets that both teams would outscore Duke and Butler in the NCAA basketball championship game earlier this year?
?I am completely shocked at ESPN and their coverage of the ?ALLEGATIONS? surround Cam Newton. What ever happen to ?Innocent until Proven Guilty?? Instead ESPN seems to have taken the ?Guilty until proven Innocent? road. I?m also completely appalled by By Gene Wojciechowski?s representing ESPN in his latest SMEAR ATTACK on Cam Newton in this article; http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=5872192
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
Gene's column was his opinion on the matter. There have been opinions all over the map since the NCAA's ruling came out, both for and against.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Have you received an explanation as to why SEC Bylaw 14.01.3.2 was not enforced?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
The SEC's response is that it doesn't apply in this case because the rule says that a family member has to "agree ro receive" and at this point there is only evidence that Cecil Newton solicited money and no evidence that there was ever an agreement by either party to pay any money. That's what the SEC says on the matter. My take is that it sounds like semantics. But the only interpretation that matters in this case is that of SEC commissioner Mike Slive ... and he has spoken.
Regarding the Cam Newton situation - why are people failing to acknowledge when comparing this situation to others (i.e. Bush, Green, Bryant, etc) that unlike those, there has been absolutely no evidence of improper benefits actually being received?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
Agreed, which is why Newton is being allowed to play Saturday. The only evidence is that his dad was out there trying to shop him to Mississippi State.
Does Vandy have an ex player like Fitzgerald at Northwestern that would embrace and improve the program?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
I've heard that David Lee might be interested.
Jim Halpert (Sranton, PA)
Does Bobby Petrino stay put at Arkansas for awhile? He isn't typically the type of guy that likes to stay in one place for an extended period of time......
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
I think Bobby is pretty settled in there at Arkansas and sees a chance to win big, especially given how well the Hogs finished this season. You never say never, though. Would he listen to, say, Michigan or even LSU? He's making close to $3 million per year and will probably get a bump this year. I really don't see him going anywhere.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
It's that time of the year for the news all teams dread, which juniors are going to leave early for the pros. Who's on your list and which team will suffer the most?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
My guess is that Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, A.J. Green, Justin Houston, Ryan Mallett, Randall Cobb, Patrick Peterson, Janoris Jenkins, Marcell Dareus, Mark Ingram and Julio Jones have all played their last SEC regular-season game.
Terry (Toney, Bama)
Can u explain why MIles is so stubborn about getting rid of crowton,considering the talent they have and how bad the offense has been the last few few years ?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
I know Crowton has said he expects to be back, but I'm not so sure Les Miles has made that decision yet.
Bryan (Loretto, TN)
From your standpoint, have you gotten the opinion that many of us would rather read about actual football than the Cam Newton recruitment story? Auburn and South Carolina both have accomplished amazing things this year and are being largely overlooked as we approach Saturday.
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
Unfortunately, that's what happens in matters likes this when the NCAA is investigating the best player in America on the No. 1 team. We'll have and have had plenty of coverage on the game going forward.
Jake (Charleston, SC)
So, according to the NCAA...if my 1 year old becomes a highly recruited athlete, I will be able to shop him to the highest bidder as long as "my kid doesn't know?"
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Until the NCAA changes its bylaws.
Do you see any punishments possibly coming down on MSU?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
No, just the disassociation of former player Kenny Rogers, who was the middle man for Cecil Newton.
Why is Gene Chizik all of a sudden such a great hire? Cam Newton fell in his lap. I'm still happy with Saban over the longer term. Your thoughts?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
Regardless of what you think about the Cam Newton situation, let's give Chizik some credit. Auburn had a losing record the year before he came. The Tigers were 8-5 last season and 12-0 this season. He's the one who hired the staff, guys like Malzahan and Ted Roof, and you have to admit that there's a toughness and resiliency about this team that didn't just appear out of thin air.
Cam Newton, wins Heisman by largest margin in history!! Is this all but confirmed, with the NCAA rulling?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Don't know about largest margin, but he's going to win it by a comfortable margin.
Jared (Atlanta, GA)
In regards to Florida's horrendous season: how much blame do you put on personnel losses, and how much rests on the shoulders of Urban Meyer?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
When you lose players like Tebow, Hernandez, Spikes, Cooper, Haden and Pouncey, it's always going to have some impact. But I put this one more on the coaches. The Gators have talent and lots of it. I mean, they have pretty much picked who they wanted the last few years during the recruiting process. But you have to fit that talent to your system, and there clearly wasn't a fit this season.
chris, you forgot to mention i have a 'non-compete' in my contract that prevent me to coach for any schools in SECw. So there are very few jobs out there that i would go for.
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
Thanks for noting that, coach.
Randy (East Texas)
Most likely bowl for LSU ?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Probably the Cotton Bowl. Sounds like the Capital One may go with Alabama if Auburn and Arkansas both go to the BCS.
Do you have a feel for great SEC teams next season? Who should the East and the West be watching out for in 2011(yes i know the season is still underway, but cant get enough football)
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
I think South Carolina will be very good again next season, probably the favorite in the East. Even without Mallett, Arkansas has a chance to be very good again, especially with Knile Davis' emergence.
Lawrence (La Crescenta, CA)
Does the 2010 Auburn Football Team remind you of the 2005 Texas Football Team? There are a lot of similarities.
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Yes, although I think that Texas team was a little better across the board defensively.
Alright, I'll concede that there is a toughness that wasn't present before he arrived. I'd still take Saban on the recruiting trail over anyone else in the country. He runs a pro-style D and O, which means top talent is still going to want to come play for him. And, like I said, 12-0 ain't exactly rocket science when you have Newton under center. Guys like him just don't come around very often.
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
You'll get no argument from me that guys like Newton don't come around very often. He's unlike any other player I've seen in college football, certainly at that position.
If Auburn and Oregon win this weekend, this will be the first SEC-Pac-10 Bowl in a while. Why don't we have more games against the PAC?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Oregon and LSU play next season.
Any insight on what LSU has to look forward to next year as far as Offense goes? Will Jefferson Start his Sr. year?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
To me, the first question is whether or not Crowton is back as offensive coordinator. I also think the Tigers will end up getting Zach Mettenberger, the former Georgia quarterback.
Simeon (Columbia, SC)
Most people think that Auburn is a shoe-in to win the title game. Don't you think that South Carolina has the best coach for this scenario since Spurrier has been here several times before and won 6? Doesn't that give South Carolina a legitimate chance to win this game?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Absolutely. The Head Ball Coach has a pretty good track record in big games, and I still think he's worth a touchdown, just having on the sideline.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
Hey, thanks for the questions. Tried to answer some about the Newton situation, but didn't want to turn it into a Cam Newton-fest. See everybody in Atlanta.