Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at noon ET!
Edward Aschoff (12:01 PM)
Welcome, everyone. Football starts next week and I can hardly contain myself. Let's get to your questions.
Donnell (Baton Rouge)
Ed, if JJ is suspended for the Oregon game do you think this gives Zack Mettenberger the chance to go out and take the #1 QB job from him and who do you think wins if he is suspended for that game
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
It will be interesting to see what happens with this incident. For now, no players have been arrested or charged. The four players, including Jefferson, who were supposed to meet with police today won't yet. The meeting has been postponed. But if Jefferson is charged and is the one who allegedly kicked a man in the head, we might not see him for a while. Jefferson preached at SEC media days about how he had become more of a leader for this team and if it is true that he acted this way, a lot of trust has been thrown out the window. I think Mettenberger will get his chance if Jefferson can't go and if he looks good, then you have a good ol' quarterback controversy on your hands because everyone in Baton Rouge is excited to see what Mettenberger can do. He has some maturing to do, but he has the best skill set of the quarterbacks at LSU. And if Jefferson is suspended, I'd expect it will be for more than just the opener.
Edward, which SEC team would be most hurt by an injury to a key player? Which player? Would it be UGA with Aaron Murray or, say, the Gamecocks losing Lattimore?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
I'd have to go with Georgia. If Aaron Murray goes down, this team most likely won't be competing for the SEC East title. Hutson Mason has looked good, but he's not on Murray's level and Christian LeMay isn't ready. The Bulldogs have too much concern with offensive line and running back depth -- not to mention the Bulldogs still need to find another playmaker at receiver -- to be able to deal with a major injury to Murray. He is the league's best and taking him off Georgia makes them a questionable bowl team.
Brandon (Dawsonville GA)
Hey Edward what did you think about the new uniforms for the Dawgs. I like them, but it's not going to matter what they are wearing come the 4th quarter on Sep 3rd as long as my Dawgs are winning.
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
They look "interesting" but I'm not a fan of these kinds of uniforms. Do they really provide much of an advantage? Ask Florida about those white helmets or orange jerseys. Ask Georgia about the black helmets they wore against the Gators a couple years ago. Funky uniforms like these are just gimmicks in my eyes. If a team has to use uniforms to get fired up then that team has more problems that just color schemes.
John (Greenville, NC)
Any chance ECU could be a dark horse as the 14th team into the SEC?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
I have gotten a few emails about ECU. I didn't know there were so many ECU fans out there. The SEC would tap into that Carolina market, which would be nice. You'd add more TV sets, but I'm just not sure if ECU brings a lot to the SEC after that. I think there are more options ahead of the Pirates at this point and the SEC wants more than just extra bodies in front of TV sets when looking for new teams.
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
Having some lagging issues with my computer, so forgive me if some of my responses are slow.
Steven (Snuff City, AL)
How do you think Auburn will pan out for the season? I have never seen a team more disrespected as being defending SEC and National Champs. I mean sure they lost a lot of key players last year but a lot of those young players who had significant playing time last year are returning. Also I am glad Trotter gets the nod at quarterback. Would have been crazy to have thrown Frazier at the SEC "wolves" as a freshman unless he were a Cam Newton prototype. Hopefully they redshirt him and he can learn and still have 4 years of eligibility left unless something happens to the latter half. I see Auburn at no worst than a 10-2 to 9-3 team with a New Years Day Bowl appearance. WAR EAGLE!!!
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
You have a lot of confidence in a team that returns just six total starters and is breaking in a quarterback who has thrown nine career passes. I respect that. But you have to realize that the Tigers aren't getting the respect fans think they are deserved because there is a lot of talent that is gone and Cam Newton was a major part of Auburn's success. So was Nick Fairley and they are both gone, along with four starting offensive linemen. It won't be easy for the Tigers at all. Seven wins wouldn't be out of the question for this team. There is a lot of talent, but it is young and inexperienced.
How is the Arkansas O-line developing in camp? If it solidifies will that give them a shot against Alabama in week #4?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
It sounds like the offensive line improved throughout preseason camp. Bobby Petrino was encouraged by its play, which is good because there are some bodies to replace up front. And the line will be even more critical to this team with Knile Davis gone. Davis had the ability to shield some of the mistakes on a young line. I think Brey Cook, Alvin Bailey and center Travis Swanson will be the core of the line. Each has done well, but suring up those last two spots will be key.
Jimmy (Calera, Al.)
Is there any update on Duron Carter's status? It doesn't take that long to send some transcripts! Is there perhaps something else that's going on?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
It looks like Alabama is hoping that something will happen this week. This has to be a bummer for the Tide because Carter has the ability to be an instant impact in the passing game. He's a major deep threat, but he's very behind as far as running the offense.
Should Ole Miss fans be worried that Houston Nutt was in contact with Nevin Shapiro?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
He was pursued by Shaprio to be the head coach at Miami, but that never happened, obviously. I think Nutt should be pretty happy that he didn't take that job ...
Keon (Greenville, SC)
I've been hearing a bunch of good things about Clowney during fall scrimmages including a sack-fumble-touchdown play by himself. Where do you see him contributing the most during the season given that he has to excellent defensive ends ahead of him on the depth chart?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Spurrier said a couple weeks ago that Clowney will play immediately, and I think he'll make an impact immediately. He carries himself like a veteran and he has a desire to learn as much as he can from his coaches and the vets. No one has said anything negative about Clowney as a player or person and I think he can really be a force this year along with the rest of that talented defensive line. He might be the third end at the moment, but he should get plenty of playing time if his development continues as rapidly as it has.
Do you think Ronnie Wingo, Jr or Dennis Johnson can emerge from the shadows like Knile did a year ago and give the same kind of production to the Arkansas offense?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
I think Johnson has a chance to really make an even bigger name for himself. He's extremely athletic and is a tough runner. He has great vision and knows how to find holes and gaps. He has home run speed, but I wonder how he will do with the brunt of the carries again. Wingo is a beast and Petrino thinks he can be a really talented downhill runner. Neither has the skill Davis did, but will be complement each other well.
They question on every Georgia fans' mind...How do you think the Bulldogs fair in the Chick-fil-a kickoff classic against Bosie? Will our defense, in the 2nd year of the 3-4, have what it takes to slow down Moore and their passing attack?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
Georgia is certainly hoping it does. But Boise has been here before. This ain't their first rodeo. They have beaten top teams before and Georgia has some offensive questions that it will have to sort out against a talented Boise defense. I think this game will be very exciting, especially with a more experienced Aaron Murray under center, but the Bulldogs need another weapon at receiver to step up and the running game will have to get going against the Broncos if they want to pull the -- wait for it -- upset ...
TN may be a little better on paper, but might not improve on their 6-6 mark due to having to play the Bama, LSU, Ark triumverate...plus a Cincy team that returns a ton of folks. Agree?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
I do. I really like UT's offense, but I'm not sure what will happen with the defense. There will be a lot of growing pains for that side of the ball. Seven or eight wins is possible, but I think this team will have to grow up a lot on defense first.
Brent (Greenfield, IN)
I know that Alabama has cut ties with Tuscaloosa suit store owner Tom Al-Betar but the pictures of Trent Richardson having dinner with him and the fact that Mr. Al-Betar was selling autographed 'Bama merchandise doesn't look on the up and up. Is this something that Alabama fans should be concerned about or is this old news since UA cut all ties with the booster?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
According to Alabama and the NCAA, things are fine concerning that incident. It was a very weird situation from the start and I'm sure Nick Saban wasn't too pleased with the extra time he had to spend talking to his players about interactions with those outside of the program. Unless more information comes from this incident, I don't see Alabama having to deal with it anymore.
Hi Ed, With a leader at QB in Aaron Murray and the lack of Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas on UGA's schedule, how likely do you think it is for UGA to win at least 9 games during the regular season? Likelihood for SEC East crown?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
I like Georgia to come in second in the SEC East, but there are still questions on the offensive line and at running back. The Bulldogs can't risk injury on the line and a lot will be put on Isaiah Crowell and Richard Samuel in the running game. One of them has to step up and be the guy. I think the defense will be fine, so this might come down to what the offense can do this fall.
Edward, for the sake of SEC pride, I really want LSU and UGA to win in week one. But it seems neither team is doing itself any favors at this point - LSU with discipline, and UGA with injuries on the practice field. What is your outlook for these two games at this point. THEY ARE ONLY TWELVE DAYS AWAY!!!!
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
I still like Boise to win in Atlanta. Just too many early questions for the Dawgs, right now. As for LSU, I had the Tigers winning, but if the recent off-field incident materializes more and we find out that Jordan Jefferson had a major hand in the alleged brawl, you might see Zach Mettenberger's career start even earlier. Will that mean the Tigers don't have a chance against Oregon? No, there is a ton of talent around Mettenberger and I think the defense will be able to keep up with Oregon's speed. I think I'd still lean toward the Tigers even without Jefferson. But we still don't know if any other players will be brought in for questioning, so there could be more hits.
I know everyone thinks there isn't a chance for this to happen, but if by some miracle AU wins 9-10 games, how scared should the rest of the SEC be in 2012?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Very. There is a lot of young talent on the Plains and if the Tigers shock the SEC, again, they should stay near the top with the guys they'll return next year. I like the last two recruiting class and I think both will have an impact on this team.
jason (ninety six(sc)
Just a couple question.1st is clowney the real deal. Coming out of practice I am hearing yes. Second kelcy quarles how is he doing have not heard much on him. Go cocks
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
I addressed Clowney earlier, and from all accounts he'll be a stud if he can keep developing and he doesn't let the hype get to him. As for Quarles, he'll play both defensive end and tackle this fall and the coaches aren't looking to redshirt him. They want him on the field and they think he'll get some good action this fall. That is a stacked line in Columbia.
Ryan (New Orleans)
How bad is this situation in Baton Rouge? I have faith in Miles that he will punish severely and not let LSU become the brunt of any jokes.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I don't think Miles has much of a choice. If these allegations are true, he needs to come down hard on his players. If close to 20 players jumped a couple of guys, that is just disgusting. That's not manly at all. That's being the bully. Miles should show he won't tolerate such embarrassing behavior. Again, if this is all true ...
Chad (Las Vegas)
Do you think the bomb dropping in Miami last week had anything to do with the SEC not inviting aTm or any other school? The SEC could have gotten word of this on that Sunday and pulled the plug on any expansion.
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
Miami was not a school the SEC would be interested in. Allegations or not. The 'Canes aren't in the SEC's future plans.
VolzFan (Oxford, MS)
If you had to choose a "sleeper" team in the SEC, which team would that be? Also, if you had to choose a team that would be a disappointment or letdown to fans, who would that be and why?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Sleeper: Ole Miss -- The Rebels have a lot to do on defense and will start an inexperienced QB, but that offensive line is great. Plus, the running game should still be strong. No one is really thinking about Ole Miss right now.Disappointment: LSU/MSU: If Things get bad in Baton Rouge involving that brawl, LSU might be in a world of hurt this fall. State has been a popular dark horse team and big things are expected from the offense. The Bulldogs are talented, but won't sneak up on anyone this fall.
Geathers seems to be kicking tail at the NT postion on UGAs defense.. I was looking forward to seeing Big John Jenkins starting but looks like it won't happen. Who do you think the "man" is going to be at NT for UGA??
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Everyone was expecting Jenkins to be the next Nick Fairley, but Geathers isn't going down without a fight. Apparently, Jenkins hasn't been in the best shape and has dealt with injuries. Geathers has the advantage right now, but I still believe Jenkins will play some this fall. Will he have the impact everyone expected? Only he can determine that by getting his body right. For now, Geathers is the man in the middle.
Just like you, I can't wait for the season to start! Is there any reason I've heard nothing about Jenoris Jenkins (Florida) in the supplemental draft? I thought he was projected by Mel Kiper as the #1 CB in the 2012 draft. Did he not qualify?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Janoris Jenkins transferred to Division II North Alabama. He still has one more year of college football left ...
Edward, I have been able to catch a few of the Gamecocks practices and the defense has been pretty dominant over the offense, albeit the O without Lattimore or Jeffrey. How good can the Defense be (West Divison good?)?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I really like the Gamecocks' defense. That front line could be the best in the country and I think the secondary will be much improved. They've heard the criticism and they are pumped to prove people wrong. Add DeVonte Holloman to the Spur and Shaq Wilson back in the middle and I think this defense will be much better than last year's.
The 2011 BCS National Champ will be....
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
Derek (Charleston SC)
What are the Gamecocks chances of landing in the National Title Game?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
They need to make sure Stephen Garcia stays together. Conner Shaw is good, but they need consistent quarterback play throughout the season and don't need to make changes at the halfway point. Also, utilizing those other wide receivers not named Alshon Jeffery will be huge for the offense. A lot of defenses will be keying in on Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore. Add a much improved defense and this team could challenge the West champ for a shot in the title game.
Justin Holland (Atlanta, GA)
What two positions/areas must a SEC team have a strengths in order to be successful in the SEC?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Offensive line and defensive line. The SEC is won in the trenches and anytime you talk with players and coaches outside of the SEC, the thing they say separates this conference from the others is the strength up front, especially on the defensive line. In order to stop that defensive line, you need a strong offensive line. The big uglies are a major part of what makes the SEC the nation's best conference.
Miss St is getting a lot of talk this year...we play them after LSU..is that our "trap" game?
Edward Aschoff (1:05 PM)
That isn't a trap game. That's a tough game on the road in the SEC. Alabama won't overlook State.
Paul (Blacksburg, VA)
Do you think Virginia Tech will be invited to the SEC? It is the best fit for all parties. If you add A&M, it makes a perfect balance, as they are our quasi-sister school. We could also win the SEC east right away. Your thoughts...
Edward Aschoff (1:08 PM)
I know what Virginia Tech said about not being interested in the SEC, but if the SEC is open about expansion, I personally think Va. Tech will have to think about a potential move. Va. Tech would add the DC market and part of the Northeast, which would be attractive to the SEC. Plus, you bring in a talented football team and a pretty good athletic department. You can't tell me Va. Tech wouldn't want to recruit in the Southeast. But would Va. Tech want to stick with Virginia? I don't think the SEC would be very interested in bringing Virginia in, but it's possible because outside of football, Virginia has some quality sports programs. Va. Tech is a team to watch if/when the SEC begins to rev up expansion talk again.
Edward Aschoff (1:10 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions. It will be interesting to see what happens with LSU this week and next. We'll also be on Duron Carter watch at Alabama. The season is almost here. Hope you're all ready!