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 (1:03 PM)
Hello all. What's on your mind?
Chris, do you think Ja'Juan Story can be the go-to, impact receiver that Florida needs next year?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Well, the Gators could use a few impact receivers, guys who can get down the field and make plays this coming season. Not having those guys was a big part of their problem a year ago on offense. Story is a bigger receiver (6-3) who can really jump and go get the football. If he can pick up the offense, I definitely think the Gators will try to get him involved. But as we learned with Andre Debose, counting too much on a freshman receiver that first year is dicey.
Ed3 (Mobile, AL)
Is the impact of Russell Wilson's one year at Auburn worth current players feeling a bit unwanted? Do you win now or try to build for the future?
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
It didn't work real well at Ole Miss last year with Masoli, although I don't think Masoli himself was a problem. It's just tough bringing in a player for one year, as you state, and having it be the right fit with everybody. That said, it sure did fit with Newton last season. The bottom line: If a player comes in and helps a team win, chemistry isn't going to be an issue. Newton did a good job of coming in, not saying a whole lot and just going about his business of winning his teammates' confidence and trust by the way he performed on the practice field.
Will (Fort Worth, TX)
Chris I will be at the opening LSU vs Oregon game on Sept. 3 at Cowbou Stadium. My question is, do you believe there is a chance we could see multiple QB's play, and most importantly do you believe Zach Mettenberger will get any playing time? If he doesn't play against Oregon when mostly will we see him play?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Sure, Jefferson still has to prove he can effectively throw the ball in games despite what sounds like was some obvious improvement in that area this spring. That's a game the Tigers need to win if they want a shot at the national title. So if Jefferson isn't effective, I definitely think you would see Mettenberger. Either way, I think they will work Mettenberger in for some snaps as the season progresses.
First Russell Wilson and now Tate Forcier have been linked as potential Auburn QB transfers. Certainly there is a short-term gain in replacing Newton, but should Auburn be worried that bringing in another transfer might make it harder to recruit the top high school QB's?
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
To me, it's more of a statement that they're not real comfortable with what either Trotter or Moseley got done this spring. They feel good about Frazier for the future, but don't want to have to put too much on him this first season.
Is there a sec tight end that will be a star like dj williams was at arkansas?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
Don't see one just like D.J., who was a super player and just a super person as well. I really enjoyed getting to know D.J. and his family. Orson Charles at Georgia would be the closest. The Bulldogs want to get Charles more involved in the offense this season, but Charles also has to be more consistent.
Brian (Gainesville, Georgia)
How much better do you think Georgia will be in year two under Todd Grantham and what player on their defense will make the biggest impact?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
Usually, every defense is better that second year in a new system. Look at LSU last season in the second year under John Chavis. In the case of Georgia, the Bulldogs are going to be bigger and better up front, which should make a huge difference. Junior college nose guard John Jenkins has a chance to be one of the most important newcomers in the SEC. Kwame Geathers also improved significantly this spring. Two other players that will make a big difference are Jarvis Jones at strong side outside linebacker and Alec Ogletree at inside linebacker. Both will give Grantham more flexibility and are big-play defenders.
Robbie (Atlanta, Georgia)
Hi Chris,How likely is it that Tennessee coach Derek Dooley might be on the hot seat this year if he does not exceed 6 wins again his year? How does Tennessee compare to the other teams in the east this year? Who is our East "darkhorse"?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
I don't see any way Dooley would be on the hot season after just two seasons unless the Vols just completely tank and lose seven or eight games. I think Tennessee will be better, will do a better job of finishing games now that those freshmen have all played a season in the SEC, and I also see the Vols beating at least one team nobody sees them beating in 2011. They were close against LSU a year ago. To me, 2012 is the year for Tennessee, although I don't see the other teams in the East next season being heads and shoulders better than the Vols.
how close are the hogs to be an elite team in college football?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
I see Arkansas as a legit Top 10 team nationally this coming season, especially when you look at how the Hogs have upgraded their defense and all those playmakers coming back on offense. The hard part is doing that year after year in the SEC, but I also think Petrino's recruiting has gotten better each year.
Larry (Las Vegas)
Florida is fair game for recruiting by schools nationwide, but after Florida, what state in SEC territory provides recruits for schools outside the SEC?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
It used to be that others came into South Carolina (Florida State, North Carolina, Penn State, Notre Dame) and got great players, but the Gamecocks have done a much better job of keeping their top in-state talent at home the last three or four years under Spurrier.
How do the Bama QB's match up against LSU QB's this year? LSU QB's have more experience, but what else?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
I can tell you the Alabama staff is very comfortable with both McCarron and Sims. The catch is that neither one of them has played, and there's no substitute for experience in the SEC. Jefferson clearly has the edge in experience, but hasn't shown in games that he can be a consistent passer. Lee also has a lot of experience, and Mettenberger is an obvious talent. Based on numbers and experience, I would give LSU a slight edge. But you know as well as I do that none of this really matters until we get into that fourth or fifth week of the season and have something tangible to go on.
Chris (Greenwood, SC)
How many games do you think South Carolina has a good chance to win?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
I'd would say nine for sure, and if everything falls right, maybe 10. I'm talking regular season, too. Remember that South Carolina has only won 10 games once in school history (1984).
Neil Polen (Jackson MS)
What do you think MS State's best chances are for finishing in the SEC W this year?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
I don't quite have Mississippi State in that same tier as Alabama, LSU and Arkansas (in that order) in the West, but the Bulldogs aren't far behind, either. They have everybody coming back on offense that made a play for them last season, and I really like the Cox-Boyd tandem in the middle of that defensive line. They really need to win that second week at Auburn and then LSU comes to Starkville on a Thursday night that next week. That's the key stretch for the Dogs. If they can get through that, don't count them out of the West race.
Tim (Oakland, TN)
I don't think expansion is over, if the SEC did expand who is the most likely? Texas A&M, OK, Clemson, and FSU would be my choices but I also know that some of the states require rivals being in the same conference (TX/TX A
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
I still think Texas A&M would be right there at the top. The SEC would love to get some inroads in the state of Texas. Of course, Texas would be the top choice, although I don't know how realistic that is. I'd keep an eye on Oklahoma as well and possibly Virginia Tech. If you're going to expand, bring in new territories and a whole new group of fans.
How strong do you feel about LSU chances of winning the SEC and probably the national Championship?
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
I think most of it rides on Jefferson. If he's improved as much as everybody in and around the team is saying he has from his spring peformance, I absolutely think LSU has the kind of defense it takes to win a national title.
Greg (Salt Lake City)
Chris, how do you anticipate the Ole' Miss-BYU opener going? Who would you favor right now?
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Probably BYU with some of the personnel losses Ole Miss has suffered on defense and the fact that the Rebels will be trotting out a new starter at quarterback, but it's always difficult to come that far and win a football game. It sounds like BYU may be a legit Top 25 team, too.
I saw the Real Sports story where the Auburn players admitted to taking money and now the Ohio State story where it seems they're all on the take. Blakely is going to Auburn and if some of the players are getting paid, I'm sure he is as well. Is the NCAA going to investigate these ex-players accusations? Why is the NCAA not breathing down Auburn's neck?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
The NCAA has been breathing down Auburn's neck for much of the last year on a number of different subjects. One thing to consider is that the NCAA never does anything real fast. The other thing is that maybe there's not a lot out there of substance, because as much as the NCAA has looked, you'd think they would have found something by now. We'll see how it all plays out.
Arnold (Chantilly, VA)
Who will be the playmakers for Tennessee this season?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers should make for a dangerous receiver combo. Rogers, I think, will be one of the most improved players in the SEC.
Do you think Jeff Driskell will have to adjust to the pro style when his time comes or do you think muschamp will either be fired anyways/switch to the spread for Driskell?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
Charlie Weis is smart enough that he will the things that Driskel does best, but you're not going to see the Gators switch back to the spread.
Erik (Las Vegas)
Chris, with all of the passion, even hatred at times, surrounding the Alabama-Auburn rivalry, do you feel the recent storms in Alabama will bring the two sides closer or after some time, will the rivalry will be back to pre-storm intensities?
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
I think you've already seen some of that with the way everybody in that state, as well as around the SEC, has stepped up to help the tornado victims. But when it comes time to play football again, that intensity is never going to wane.
Walker Long (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Do you think Trent Richardson has a good chance of winning the Heisman this year? Who do you think is going to be in the SEC championship game this year?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
Yes, I think he's probably one of the top candidates in the SEC going into the season along with Marcus Lattimore. And my pick to win the title in 2011 is Alabama.
Who will be the best reciever on the Arkansas offence.
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
That's like saying which beach in Hawaii is the nicest. They're all outstanding. Greg Childs is probably the best of the bunch (if he's all the way back to 100 percent), but they all complement each other so well. You gotta love how Jarius Wright came on last season.
How long do you think Steve Spurrier will continue to coach?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
As long as Lattimore is still there.
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
Hey, gotta run a little early this week. Promise I'll make it up with some bonus chat time when we do it again. Take care!