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 (12:06 PM)
Hey, guys. Anyone up for some SEC talk? Any Texas A&M Aggies read to talk some trash to their new SEC brethren?
Clay (My desk @ work)
Speed kills and so does a good defense. UF has both. What does Florida need to do to upset Bama this Saturday?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
Find a passing game. Contain Trent Richardson. Make sure that offensive line eats its its Wheaties. This is going to be a very physical game and Florida is going to have to elevate every single aspect of its game. The running game has been great to watch, but Alabama is bigger than any team its faced, so some of those holes and breakdowns won't be there. The Gators haven't needed to pass, but they'll need to against Alabama. Doing it is much easier said than done.
Chad (Las Vegas)
is it safe to say the Jordan Jefferson suspension was a blessing in disguise for LSU? I don't like to see anything bad happen to anyone, especially before due process is given, but Lee is more of a game manager and that type of QB is what has won LSU 2 BCS Championships.
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
I think that Jarrett Lee's ability to manage games as well as he has is the blessing LSU needed. We don't know what this team would look like with Jefferson at the helm. Maybe the Tigers are better. Maybe they're the same. Maybe they have two losses. Who knows? But I'm sure this team isn't glad Jefferson isn't there. They are just happy that Lee has turned out to be exactly what they needed to win games.
Arnold (Chantilly, VA)
Is the SEC West home to the two best teams in the country? If so, how unfortunate is it that the loser of the LSU-Alabama game November 5th will not be able to play for the national title?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
LSU and Alabama are the best teams in the country. Period. And Nov. 5 is the quarterfinal for the national championship. Both teams should be undefeated at that point and it's a shame that the loser will probably end up in the first Sugar Bowl. I'm sorry, but Alabama and LSU have spoken and they are the cream of the SEC and the country at this point. We are all witnesses!
Do you think Muschamps knowledge of Kirby Smart's defense will have a factor in this weeks game?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
It will help, but he won't be out there making plays. His players have to be more prepared and the wide receivers have to come out of hiding.
David (Richmond, VA)
I know West Virginia doesn't have a huge TV market but they have a couple of the highest rated (number of TV's tuned in) games ever on ESPN so people outside of WV are interested. Culturally, they are perfect for the SEC and they would drop easily into the SEC East without messing up current divisions. Why not WVU as the 14th?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
It sounds like it would make sense, but I think the SEC is thinking big picture: academics, other sports, bigger TV markets. There are other teams out there that provide more of those intensives for the league. There has been a lot of talk about Missouri, and I think that is the best fit at this point for the 14th team. HUGE TV markets, good athletics and its an AAU member.
Don (Berkeley, CA)
LSU overtook Oklahoma in the AP Poll and is now ranked #1. Would you rate Bama ahead of the Sooners at this point as well?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
Yes I would and yes I did.
So Bama's D is for real, no question. But with the hyped win, can Saban's crew refocus for a hostile (night) battle down in the swamp this weekend? Or do you foresee a let down from the Tide?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
Nick Saban teams don't lose focus. I think the momentum from the weekend will carry over. If anything, Florida should be looking at the tape and thinking, "Man, this team is really good." You won't have to worry about Alabama losing focus.
Andy (Eau Claire, WI)
Does Russell Wilson have a shot at the Heisman this year? How difficult would it be for a Wisconsin player to win it?
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
This has nothing to do with the SEC, but I think Russell Wilson is awesome, so I'll say yes. If he keeps winning and keeps putting up video game-like numbers he has a chance.
Edward, now that the Aggies are officially in what is a realistic deadline to get a 14th team in time for next year? Also, when can we expect an annoucement about what the schedule will look like next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
I'm going to predict that a 14th team will be named before next year's season starts. I just don't think Mike Slive likes the idea of having 13 teams in his league. He wants balance and order. Schedules will probably come out in the spring.
jason (ninety six (sc))
First off let me remind people we are 4-0 2-0 sec. That being said there is alot of room for improvement on the offense especially at quaterback. But my question is this. Is it the play calling that bad or does the blame rest on garcia?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
I've seen Garcia play before and I've seen him struggle. That is nothing new at all. However, I haven't seen him look that bad. Three of his four interceptions were thrown right to the defenders. He doesn't have much command in the pocket at all and he throws off of his back foot way too much. Steve Spurrier was literally speechless about Garcia. He just stopped talking about Garcia all together. I think a lot of the blame rests on his shoulders at this point.
The Gators looked very impressive against Kentucky Saturday night, and yes I know it was only Kentucky, but what do you think their record will be at the end of October? Who do you see them beating and/or losing to?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
I think the Gators drop their next two to Alabama and LSU. Auburn's defense will help Florida's offense and Florida has won 17 of the last 20 against Georgia. I say Florida comes out of October with a 6-2 record. But that's today. If they get blown out in the next two weeks ... things will change.
Nick (Baton Rouge)
LSU is averaging 350 yards and 39 points per game against what is generally considered the toughest schedule to date. I know some of those points are on D/ST but why does everyone keep saying that our offense is terrible? Just because the Defense is flashy doesn't mean pounding out the ball isn't working.
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
I don't think the offense is terrible at all. It just isn't exciting or flashy. Does that matter? Ummm definitely not. Alabama's offense isn't that exciting either, but it does have a game-changer in Trent Richardson. LSU's offense is moving up and down the field in methodical fashion because that's the way it's supposed to be. Nothing wrong with that. I don't think the Tigers care what the offense looks like at this point and neither should anyone else.
Would Jordan Jefferson's return to the LSU team hurt them?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
If he returned as a starter, I think it would. This team has great chemistry with Jarrett Lee and you never mess with a good thing.
Josh (Mobile, AL)
Edward, do you think we should give the starting job to Connor Shaw, and a long leash with it? Right now, I think Garcia gives us the best chance to lose.
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
If Connor Shaw hasn't beat out Garcia by now, I don't see the point in putting him in. He only threw the ball twice Saturday and looked bad at the beginning of the season. Honestly, it looks like Garcia is the best option. That has to be hard to stomach at times, but it's the truth. Garcia gives you the best chance to win. Sorry, Marcus Lattimore gives you the best chance to win.
Did you have a problem with LSU jumping Oklahoma in the AP poll and why do you think the coaches do not want LSU or Bama to jump Oklahoma in the Coaches poll when they have only beaten an OVERRATED FSU team.
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
Most think Oklahoma should be No. 1 until it loses. It's still undefeated so, I understand why some coaches want the Sooners No. 1. Nothing wrong with that, but I think on a neutral field, Alabama and LSU beat the Sooners ... soundly.
Donnell (Baton rouge)
Ed, how good is Tyrann Mathieu and do you see anybody beating LSU before the big game against BAMA.
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
Mathieu is a freak. I'm not ready to say he's better than Patrick Peterson, but he's getting closer to that conversation. He can fly and play physical. I actually think he's more physical than Peterson. He's one of the best cover corners out there and has a real nose for the ball. I don't see LSU losing before the Alabama game.
Patrick Throckmorton (Winchester,virginia)
Do you think Trey Burton will ever be QB at florida again or will he stay at FB ?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
Nope. He might throw the ball on a trick play, but he won't compete for quarterback again.
Nick (Baton Rouge)
Edward, I love what you and Chris are doing on the blog, it's great reading. For the LSU receiving corps, do you think Russel Shepard is going to fully take back the spot that Odell Beckham has carved for himself over the first 4 weeks of the season? Or will they continue to utilize both?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
I thank you for your kind comments. I think LSU will utilize both. Until Shepard proves that he can be the go-to-guy player in this offense, there's no need to cut into Beckham's catches. He's done fine.
Doug (Arlington, VA)
Which game do you think will have the biggest impact on the Eastern Division Title Race?Miss St v. UGA, Auburn v SC, Alabama v. UF
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Miss. State-UGA. If Florida and South Carolina lose, they will each have just one SEC loss. If Georgia losses, the Bulldogs will have two SEC losses and will be put them further down in the standings. Georgia can afford another conference loss at this point.
LSU is great at stopping the run, but they do struggle at times stopping the pass. Do you think a team like Arkansas or Tennessee can surprise LSU?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
If Tennessee can find another playmaker to help Da'Rick Rogers, it's possible, but I think that LSU's defensive line would be too much anyway. That could be the case for Arkansas as well. However, those three new starters will have grown a lot by the end of the season. But this LSU defense will be smarter and older by that time too. Nothing really surprises me in the SEC, but I don't know what offense can really beat the Tigers. Right now, I think if Arkansas plays like it should, it has the best chance with those receiving weapons.
Is there any truth to the Rumor that Marcus Lattimore has a Stephen-Garcia size backpack being fitted? To make carrying him more comfortable?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
I can neither confirm nor deny that I saw such backpack inside the South Carolina facilities over the weekend ...
The Miss St - Georgia game is an important one for the SEC East race, but how do you think each team will fare in this game?
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
Georgia needs to run the football. Mississippi State has struggled against the run and Isaiah Crowell is starting to get hot. We are still waiting for consistent receiving threats to step up for Georgia and MSU has a really talented defensive backfield. I think it comes down to running the football. Vick Ballard and Chris Relf have struggled in the last two weeks. Georgia actually has some nice momentum heading into this one, so I give Georgia the advantage right now.
Tennessee slides into the UGA game with an off week and then Buffalo at home this week. I see this as a good thing, as the team will be well-rested and ready to go and beat the Dawgs! Then, the LSU game at Neyland will be VERY interesting I think. Your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
Tennessee has to find a running game and another playmaker at wide receiver. The UGA game is winnable, but LSU is on another level ...
Bama is talented for sure, but there is not a single player on their defense who can stay with Rainey or Demps in man coverage. Do you think we'll see 'Bama back off in coverage like Florida's prior opponents, or will they be more aggressive?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
If I'm Alabama, I make Florida throw the ball. Be very aggressive because the Gators rarely go down field and when they do, not much happens. Alabama has tons of speed.
Will Houston Nutt survive the season?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
Things have to get much better in Oxford. I think things are getting more uncomfortable for him because this team just can't get anything done on offense. The defense is better, but the offense is stagnant. Fans aren't happy and Pete Boone called out the football team's passion. Another 4-8 or worse record certainly won't help Nutt.
At this point, now that they've got a couple of wins, what does UGA have to do the rest of the way for Mark Richt to keep his job?
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
Be in the SEC race until the very end. I still don't think this team has to win the East for him to be safe. This program has to be on the right track at the end of the year. Beating Florida will help. Beating Tennessee will help. This team is getting better and the rest of the schedule isn't all that daunting.
Dash - Any chance Auburn can rally the troops this weekend against South Carolina like we did against Miss St.? And even if they do, what are your chances/keys for them pulling an upset?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
As bad as South Carolina's offense was against Vanderbilt, Auburn's defense still has to have a big game because it's been that bad this season. Being more aggressive will help. The more pressure you put on Garcia, the more likely he'll become your best friend. But shutting down Marcus Lattimore won't be easy at all. This team struggles stopping the run and Lattimore is the best in the nation at it. Offensively, the mistakes from last week have to disappear. South Carolina's defense finally played well over the weekend, so watch out.
Ed--not a lot of discussion (or concern) about the role McCarron will play. Keep in mind this is his first year leading the offense. If the Gator-D makes Bama one dimensional, how does he handle the pressure? Last week, McCarron got away with bascially two flip passes to Richarsdon that become pick sixes with UF's speed and size on defense. The Gators unlike last year are feasting on turnovers and converting to points. Granted Bama has their set of receivers but nowhere near the talent of Julio Jones
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
I wonder how those young corners will do. Tyler Bray threw well on them and Morgan Newton looked good at times. McCarron has struggled at times like a first-year QB should, but big players step up in big games. The key is stopping Trent Richardson. That defensive line is good, but this is the first real test of the season for it.
I just read that Georgia's defense is ranked 2nd in the SEC in pass defense and 3rd in total defense. This is against a number 10 South Carolina team and 4th ranked Boise State team. Do you agree with me that no one is giving UGA's defense credit? 28 points versus USC wasn't on the defense.
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
It's getting better, that's for sure. Georgia is still in the race in the East. Don't count the Dawgs out. But the defense just skunked Coastal Carolina and faced a struggling Ole Miss offense. Lets see what the group does against tougher offensive opponents.
Jadeveon Clowney (Columbia, SC)
I'm living up to the hype! How impressed are you so far?
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
You've made some plays here and there. You're OK. You aren't Julius Peppers good, yet, but you're making your presence known. I'm impressed, but you could do better :)
Hey! Why didn't SC run Lattimore that much? They tried to pass all the time!
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Vanderbilt stuffed him for most of the game. Outside of his 22-yard run, he didn't really do much between the tackles. Spurrier said the offense needed to move the ball and Lattimore wasn't getting it done.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What do you think of Texas A& M joining the SEC in 2012?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
I'm glad it's over. What a soap opera. I think the sooner the better, too. I'm excited to see College Station and the Aggie transitions. I wonder who will be Texas A&M's first SEC rival. I guess it will have to be Arkansas.
Ace (Columbia, SC)
When does the misery end? I'm glad we are 4-0 and #10, but the offense is horrible and they didn't run Lattimore that much. What QB are we going to play? Garcia or Shaw? or Thompson?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Garcia is your best option at this point. But you're right. Lattimore can't keep carrying the load that he is ...
Florida looks like the best of the East right now. Do you think they still get to Atlanta with loses to Alabama and LSU?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
I think the Gators can. The East is pretty average at this point, and I think the winner from the East will have two losses. Three might be too many though.
Chad (Las Vegas)
at the beginning of the season everyone was saying how brutal LSU's schedule is. Now that their through the sept gauntlet doesn't it set up real nice for them? They get teams like Florida the week after playing a tough sec game and that should help. They do have to go to Alabama but both teams have a bye the week before.
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
Gotta get past Alabama first. That game looks like it will determine who wins the West. Win that and you're almost home free.
Talk about BAMA's inability to throw downfield
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
The passing game hasn't been great, true, but like LSU, the Tide doesn't need it. Alabama has been perfectly fine without a superior passing game. Game management is the most important thing for this team. I doubt Saban is worried about not having 300 yards of passing each game.
Seriously, LSU has played one big game - Oregon. Then they beat a Mt. West team. BIG DEAL. OU deserves the No. 1 spot. How in the world do have LSU and AL over them?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
If LSU or Alabama played OU at a neutral site, you honestly think OU would win? OU could move the ball against those defenses? OU could consistently stop Trent Richardson/Eddie Lacy or Michael Ford/Spencer Ware? You think OU can throw on those secondaries enough to win? You think OU can match both teams' speed and physicality, especially up front? You think the Sooners can do all of this right now?
John (Lebanon, TN)
"NCAA FB with Ed AschoffOur SEC blogger has the conference's entire football scene covered. You have a question, ask it. He'll answer." What does it take to have a question answered on here? I have never had a question answered by Ed or Chris on here.
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
I'm a huge Simpsons fan. I'm collecting the entire series. I only have the first six seasons of the 22 that are for sale. Do I need to spell anything else out for you?
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
Another great chat, guys. See you all next week.
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