Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's SEC blogger Edward Aschoff will stop by to talk some college football.
Aschoff joined ESPN.com in 2011 after spending four years covering the University of Florida for The Gainesville Sun. He grew up in Oxford, Miss., before attending UF, graduating with a B.S. in journalism.
Send your questions now and join Aschoff Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Edward Aschoff (4:14 PM)
Hey guys. Sorry for the tardiness, but fire away! Let's get this chat started!
Art (Athens, GA)
If Georgia beats Boise State handedly in their season opener, do you think that it would put to rest the argument for no loss non-BCS conference teams to go to the BCS Championship over a one loss SEC team?
Edward Aschoff (4:16 PM)
I still think the SEC remains the strongest conference in America. And what if Boise turns around and loses a game after blowing out Georgia? Then the argument is dead. The SEC will continue to be the strongest conference in America and will continue to get the nod with one loss. They sell the tickets.
Dylan (Ocoee, FL)
Realistically, when do you see the Gators competing for a National Championship again?
Edward Aschoff (4:18 PM)
On paper, Florida looks like it could be a year or two away from really competing for a national championship. I think that defense will be scary good in a year and the offense will eventually improve. Heck, it will definitely be better this fall. In 2012 the offense will have a new quarterback and that's always tricky in the SEC, but the supporting cast should be pretty solid. Now, we just need to see how good this coaching staff is.
keith (biloxi ms)
what is your favorite stadium to watch a football game in?sec spaeaking of course?along with the least liked?
Edward Aschoff (4:20 PM)
I haven't been to every SEC stadium, yet. The Swamp is amazing, but so is Death Valley. I've been to Bryant-Denny twice and both times I was absolutely blown away by the home atmosphere. I grew up in Oxford, so I have yet to find a better tailgating area than The Grove. Don't even argue it people. But I'd have to say the first three are the best stadiums I've been in.
Do you think that Auburn will suprise folks in 2011? Not to many defending champs get ignored this much, thus not too many defending champs come in with a chip already firmly placed on their shoulder. WAR EAGLE!
Edward Aschoff (4:22 PM)
Auburn is a team that I think will start slow and then pick up sped throughout the stadium. There is a lot of talent there, but it's just young and inexperienced. The quarterback situation isn't pretty, but the Tigers have the best running back duo in the country. The defense will struggle, but should start to find itself toward the end of the year. This team won't be competing for a national championship, but it will be fun to watch in the final few weeks.
hey ed, dont know if my question made it through before, but has bobby petrino had any job offers since coming to arkansas? i'd imagine not yet, but you never know.
Edward Aschoff (4:23 PM)
I would be shocked if programs haven't reached out to him. His name floated around after Urban Meyer resigned the first time and again when he resigned for good.
GameCockinMich. (Battle Creek MI.)
hey nice chatting with you ,My question is if South Carolina wins say the first 7 games an S. Garcia gets into to say some minor trouble do you think the Ole Ball Coach will sit him knowing they have a great chance at the SEC title?
Edward Aschoff (4:24 PM)
Coach Spurrier made it clear that he's one mistake away from being cut for good. I'd like to say that he will stand by his word, but things might be different if the SEC is on the line. I'm not saying he'd go back on what he said, but I think he might take some time to think about it.
R Lux (Orlando, FL)
Good stuff for the Razorbacks this year? A lot of positive things on air so far this year.
Edward Aschoff (4:26 PM)
If the defense is as good as the coaches think it will be, watch out. The Razorbacks should have the most high-powered offense in the league an maybe the country this fall. Tyler Wilson doesn't have the cannon of an arm that Ryan Mallett had, but he might have better composure. The Hogs return the best receiving corps in the country and have a very solid runner in Knile Davis. This team will be very dangerous if the defense can keep up with the offense.
why were you late?!
Edward Aschoff (4:27 PM)
Still getting moved in up here in the A. Takes it out of a 25-year-old ...
Bradley (Spartanburg, SC)
Seeing as how EA Sports has a bracket going on voting for best college football traditions, in your opinion, which college has the best tradition?
Edward Aschoff (4:28 PM)
That's such a tough one. I have so many that come to mind. Come back to me after the season and I'll have an answer for you. Seriously, don't forget!
Osmond (Lubbock, TX)
Jordan Jefferson has big shoes to fill at LSU. How do you think he will do?
Edward Aschoff (4:30 PM)
His own shoes? Because those were pretty small last season. I do think he'll be much improved this fall with the help of OC Steve Kragthorpe and with Zach Mettenberger right behind him. There's no way he'll put up the ugly numbers he did last season. Plus, he's got some nice weapons to toss the pigskin to.
What are your thoughts on the early cross country matchups of OU @ FSU, OH ST @ Miami and Alabama at Penn St?
Edward Aschoff (4:33 PM)
OUvFSU will be a great one to watch. OU is in the title hunt and FSU could very well be up there at the end of the season. Get yer popcorn ready! OSUvUM won't have the same excitement without The Vest. It should be a fun game for Braxton Miller to partake in. That Miami defense won't make things easy for him. BamavPSU is a great one as far as tradition goes. I don't think the Lions will put up too much of a fight, but it is in State College, so the Tide won't completely wipe the floor with them. Should be an entertaining one none the less. But where is the love for OregonvLSU???? Great one right there!!
Dylan (Ocoee, FL)
Which SEC school is the most attractive destination for high school recruits?
Edward Aschoff (4:34 PM)
The one that keeps on winning.
Bradley (Spartanburg, SC)
Will the SEC compete with the ACC this year? Auburn @ Clemson, FSU vs. Florida, Georgia vs GTech, Clemson vs South Carolina, and Wake Forest vs Vandy. What are your predictions?
Edward Aschoff (4:36 PM)
I love early terrible predictions on my behalf. For now, I'll go Clemson, FSU, Georgia, South Carolina and ... Vandy. I'm sure these will change by the end of this chat. Great matchups though. That FSU-UF one could be very interesting. The Seminoles could be playing for a national championship, but they have to go to Gainesville to keep that dream alive. Will Muschamp is going to make sure his team doesn't make it easy. That could be a great game to watch.
Did you pick the Mavs to win the finals?
Edward Aschoff (4:37 PM)
I picked the team that didn't have LeBron James on it. I picked correctly.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Hey Edward, with the rules passed regarding "oversigning" in the SEC, do you think the 25 man limit will put more pressue on prospective student-athletes to commit ealier due to fear of not having a spot made available to them? Could this also lead to less signing day surprises?
Edward Aschoff (4:39 PM)
I think it might cause coaches to pull more recruiting punches. There will still be oversigning. You need 25, but what if you only have room for 20? Guess what? You can go on ahead and sign 25. Coaches will find ways to get scholarships for those five they need in their new classes. I don't think the loopholes were completely destroyed by this rule change. It could scare some prospects into not playing so many recruiting games though. Whenever you have less numbers for a class, the "no room" thought really starts messing with kids.
GameCockinMich. (Battle Creek MI.)
Do you think Marcus Lattimore will be a top contender for the heisman this year?they say he's put on a few more pound's so he can do the Damage not take the Damage,your thoughts?thanks again Ed....
Edward Aschoff (4:41 PM)
I really like Lattimore as a player and everyone who knows him loves him as a person as well. He is the ultimate worker and should be used even more in the Gamecocks' offense. That also means other teams will be loading up the box to stop him. Everyone knows who he is this year and that means defenses will be gunning for him. But he expects that and he likes that. He should certainly get into the conversation this season and I'd be shocked if he wasn't in the preseason Heisman talk as well.
Josh (Perry, GA)
Is the kool-aid worth drinking about Georgia having a good season? Mark B's prediction with them finishing 10-2 and a SEC appearance has made me start sipping...
Edward Aschoff (4:43 PM)
The Bulldogs have the best QB in the league in Aaron Murray and have a pretty athletic and scary defense. I think the key to this team is finding a running back and keeping that offensive line healthy. Also, mentally, this team -- and the coaching staff -- has to step up this fall. Every year Georgia has the talent, but the drive seems to get lost as the season goes on. The Bulldogs don't have to play Alabama, LSU or Arkansas this season and South Carolina and Mississippi State at home. I can see why you are sipping ...
playoffs in 2013?
Edward Aschoff (4:44 PM)
In a perfect world, but sadly, I doubt it. Keep fighting the good fight!
Dylan (Ocoee, FL)
Tennessee has been in a slump for some time now, just as Alabama was before Saban got there. With the rise of the Gamecocks in the East, is Florida in for one of these slumps as well?
Edward Aschoff (4:46 PM)
It's hard to say right now. Urban Meyer did so much for that program and now he's gone. He left Will Muschamp with a ton of talent, but no one is sure about the mental makeup of this team. The defense will be good for years to come with the talent there and the recruits Muschamp has gotten verbals from thus far. I think we'll have a better idea of the future of Florida once we see what the offense looks like this fall.
A couple quick ones.. Why all the love for Trent, Marcus, and Knile with no mention of Mike Dyer? The kid was quite possibly the most impressive SEC game runner behind Cam Newton.And being that you are 25 (my age).. do you find it tough to fight your guy bias at this point? God knows I would.. War Eagle
Edward Aschoff (4:49 PM)
Dyer had a great freshman season. All he did was rush for 1,093 yards and was the MVP of the title game. I just see more from the other two backs. Trent Richardson is not only physical, but he runs like a track star. He could be the most complete back in the SEC. The same goes for Knile Davis. While he's not has tough a runners as Richardson, he's probably more athletic. And Lattimore is just an absolute beast. He doesn't have the speed of the other two, but he's very, very strong and can take quite the beating throughout a season. Dyer was superb as a freshman, but I want to see what he can do when Cam Newton is taking a lot of the attention away from him.
will the alabama madness ever stop?
Edward Aschoff (4:52 PM)
Eventually. Sports are cyclical. But I don't think it will be anytime soon. This program is killing it in recruiting and is poised to be the best team in the country this fall. Nick Saban has made it a goal to make sure he is a relentless defensive recruiter and that's the key to championships. Unless Saban leaves or burns out, I don't see Alabama leaving the limelight anytime soon.
Art (Athens, GA)
I have never been to a bowl game or non-conference game in which the S-E-C chant has not started. Is there any other sport at any level that displays this amount of loyalty and passion to, not only one team, but an entire conference.
Edward Aschoff (4:55 PM)
Outside of international soccer, no. I guess the MLS tries, but that's a different subject for a different day. This conference has the most passion and the best fan base in America. Period. Football is almost as important as tradition in the south and fans wear their emotions on their sleeves when it comes to their teams. Until the SEC hits a major BCS slump, the fan base can be as arrogant as it wants. I have no problem with it. The thing that has always amazed me is how fans of one school will root for other schools in the conference during bowl games. Ole Miss fans will root for Arkansas in a bowl and Florida fans will root for South Carolina in a bowl. It's a love-hate relationship down here.
Billy Joe (Florence, AL)
How bout them VOLS?? Do you think Tyler Bray will have sophomore slump this year or will he continue to progress and develop into an elite SEC QB? Thanks and Go Vols!!
Edward Aschoff (4:57 PM)
I have been going back and forth on this one. I think Bray is one of the budding stars in this league, but I could see him hitting the wall this season. It happens, especially to quarterbacks. A lot will be asked of him because I think Tennessee's defense is still a year away from really being about to compete in this league. The offense will score some points, but it will have to bail the defense out at times this fall. That pressure could start to weigh on him this season.
are you trying to take chris low's job?
Edward Aschoff (4:57 PM)
Impossible. He's a legend.
dawfan (dawgtown ga)
Can Boise St's defense stop Isaiah Crowell's and Caleb King's onslaught?
Edward Aschoff (4:59 PM)
I'm not sure you can consider that an onslaught. Crowell will be a true freshman and King has yet to prove anything. I think the better matchup to look at is UGA's defense against Boise State. The Broncos always show up for big games and this one will be huge. UGA won't be relying on its running game at the beginning of the season.
Ryan (Pensacola, FL)
Is this SC best chance to make it NC with the players they have?
Edward Aschoff (5:01 PM)
The defense could lose a lot after this upcoming season, but I still think the offense will be pretty fun to watch. Lattimore is guaranteed at least two more seasons and Connor Shaw should do well when he takes over. I do think this team is the best Spurrier has had and could be in the hunt for multiple titles this year. This will be the best chance Spurrier has had and might be for a couple of years.
Dylan (Ocoee, FL)
Can I get some love for Jelani Jenkins?
Edward Aschoff (5:03 PM)
He has the potential to be the Gators best linebacker outside of Ronald Powell. He's a smart kid and has a ton of athleticism. He needs to step up as more of a leader this fall, but should fit in well in the 3-4 this fall. He'll be able to make a lot of plays in the middle of the field for Florida and seemed to mature a lot this spring.
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if UGA ends up firing Richt, due to recent vacancies at other major schools, it doesn't seem as though UGA will have a deep pool of quality candidates to pick from - at least not with HC experience. Your thoughts on who UGA might look to, realistically?
Edward Aschoff (5:04 PM)
UGA is a top-tier job in college football. Great recruiting area to pick from and it's in the nation's best conference. Oh and there is a boatload of talent on that roster. Some one would jump at that job. What about Florida's Will Muschamp? He could go back to the school that actually gave him a chance to play! (I kid Gators fans.)
John (Clemson, SC)
Ed,Offense and defensive players of the year in 2011 will be??????
Edward Aschoff (5:07 PM)
Hmmm. I like this one. For now, I'll go with Trent Richardson as offensive player of the year, with Aaron Murray right behind him. On defense I'll go with Dont'a Hightower, with Stephon Gilmore is second.
Bryan (Loretto, TN)
It seems like offseason news is quite often bad news. How hard is it for reporters to publish negative stories about college programs? How much grief do you get from readers when you do so?
Edward Aschoff (5:09 PM)
Positive or negative, we have to report the news. We have to be objective and write about whatever we consider to be news. It's not really considered fun to write about the negative issues. In a perfect world we'd be writing glowing features every day, but that's not our job (well, not everyone). Grief comes with the job. We'll get it no matter what we are writing about. You have to be thick-skinned in this profession.
Why did ESPN/ABC schedule LSU/Oregon at the exact same time as UGA/Boise? How are SEC fans supposed to watch both?
Edward Aschoff (5:11 PM)
That's a tough one. Most TVs have picture in picture right? Or you could set up two TVs. You can watch one on TV and the other one on ESPN3. DVR one, turn your cellphone off, cover up the bottom line and watch the other one later. Tough regardless.
he ed, on vaca...why didnt you got voted as one of the most influential in the recent cbs listing? come on man....
Edward Aschoff (5:12 PM)
Not sure what you mean, but I'm sure it was rigged if I wasn't on it. It was for a good thing, right?
Many are already assuming McCarron has the Bama QB job wrapped up. I still believe Sims will win out. What's your take on this?
Edward Aschoff (5:14 PM)
This one is far from over. I've been told that it really could go either way. The coaches like both guys that much. I still think the Tide starts the season off using both before picking one. Maybe the Penn State game will be the biggest measuring stick for the youngsters. I picked McCarron to win, but that was only because of experience. This one will come down to the very end of Saban's tryout.
Tripp (Charleston SC)
Do you have the Gamecocks picked to win the East this season ??
Edward Aschoff (5:15 PM)
For now, I do, but I think Georgia could make a run. Georgia has a more favorable schedule, but South Carolina is the better overall team. My question is if the Gamecocks can overcome the hype going into this season and live up to the expectations. They've been none to underachieve in the past (see last year's Kentucky game).
Edward Aschoff (5:17 PM)
Thanks for all the questions! Let me know if any of you are up for lifting heavy boxes and putting them in storage for me. Gotta love moving. See you all next chat!