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 (1:01 PM)
Hello all. Good to be back with you.
Will Florida's young team and freshman QB be able to pull out a win this month, or will this just be valuable learning experience for next season?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
I think the Gators will find a way to win one. Their defense is still pretty stout, and Rainey and Demps aren't going to be shut down the way they were last week. I don't see them winning this week.
Phillip (a stadium near you)
Chris,the last four years between UGA and UT, the home team has won the game.do you expect this trend to end this Saturday?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
No, I think that trends ends this season. It will be a close game, and Tennessee has improved. But I think Georgia defensively will be able to make the Vols one-dimensional and sneak out of Neyland Stadium with its first win there since 2005.
Chris -- Best case for my Commodores this weekend (other than Bama forgetting to even show up)?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
Hope that nobody gets hurt and that maybe the defense can score again. This is a total mismatch -- Vandy's offense vs. Alabama's defense.
Justen Burns (Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan)
Do you think the Alabama defense can maintain its stranglehold on opposing offenses throughout the year, and is this defense better than 2009?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
This defense is great, but I'm not ready to go that far. That 2009 defense was better and more talented up front with Dareus and Cody, and then you had one of the best leaders and most complete mike linebackers you're ever going to find in Ro McClain. I'd still go with the 2009 defense at this point.
Raymond (Baton Rouge)
What do you think of the demise of LSU night games at home vs SEC opponents? Not a single one this year *sad*
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
It is sad. I've said over and over again that there's no atmosphere in college football better than Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night.
I'm think you've already given your opinion on UA's defense vs. LSU's defense but I have one question. And I'm not knocking LSU's D what so ever. They're awesomebut outside Tyrann Mathieu being the playmaker he is, how can LSU's D be considered against the quality Alabama's D has ACROSS THE BOARD?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
You're right about Mathieu. He may be the best defensive playmaker in the country when you look at how involved he is in creating turnovers. The way I would break down the two defenses is this way: LSU is better up front. Alabama is better at linebacker and it's wash in the secondary. Both have great speed, and I think LSU's depth up front is a little better. It really is a tough call.
Joe M. (Morgantown, WV)
With all of the speculation going on about the SEC adding a 14th member, will it be WVU or Missouri?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Sounds like Missouri, although with TCU close to joining the Big 12, you wonder if that would be a factor in Missouri staying.
Ronald (Little Rock)
We have enough Tigers, thankyouverymuch. The SEC West is no one's sloppy seconds. ESPN.com reports, "The University of Missouri hopes to join the Southeastern Conference but would have preferred an offer from the Big Ten that never came."
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
Yeah, I wondered the same thing when I read that, how that would go over in Birmingham in the league office. I do think there's a push among the league presidents to add Missouri because of its academic reputation and what that would do for the SEC.
Tyler (Tallahasse) [via mobile]
How do you think arkansas' front matches up against auburns?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
Arkansas has had its struggles in the offense line, especially with penalties last week. Auburn has gotten better in its defensive front, although the Tigers are still very young. One of the keys for Auburn will be how much pressure it can get on Arkansas with its front four. That was a problem for Auburn earlier this season.
Chris, what's up with you letting the new kid on the block show you up in the picks? Come on, man. Pick up the pace...
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Five or six games does not make a season. They hand out bowl bids in December, not early October. That will be my only comment on the matter.
Nick M (Atlanta, GA)
Do you think Grantham is starting to jusitfy the high salary UGA gave him when he joined as the DC two years ago? Is the defense he runs one that attracts high level recruits because of the pro-style preparation it provides the kids?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
Ever since the Boise State game, Georgia's defense has played much better, giving up very few touchdowns and fewer big plays. So, yes, I think Grantham has done a good job in his second year, and I think the players are more accustomed to his 3-4 defense the second time around. In scheme, the defense is almost identical to what Alabama runs and a lot of NFL teams, but Georgia has never had many problems attracting great players.
Chris, I'm a little embarrassed we all bought into the preseason hype so head over heels. Please tell me something nice about my Bulldogs.
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
Well, I did, too. I thought the Bulldogs would beat Auburn on the road and have a chance to beat LSU that Thursday at home. Now, I don't see much chance that they will have a winning SEC record. But have a little faith in coach Mullen. This league has a way of turning high hopes into big disappointment.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Will Tyler Wilson become a Heisman candidate if he does well this Saturday?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
He would need a few more big games on big stages to enter serious Heisman contention. Right now, I would say Alabama's Trent Richardson is the SEC front-runner in the Heisman race.
Corey (Greenville, SC)
Hi Chris, in your honest opinion, does an undefeated Clemson team jump the loser of the Alabama-LSU? If you look at Clemson's schedule even the first two "creampuffs" were Champions. Matter of fact every school Clemson has played thus far have been champions in some sort. How does this all work out IF there are no other factors (ok, wis, losing). Thanks!
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
A lot would depend on how close that Alabama-LSU game was and what Clemson does between now and then. If you're asking about the end of the season, I'd say an unbeaten Clemson team would be ranked higher than a one-loss Alabama or LSU team that doesn't win the SEC title, although it would be close. So much can (and will) happen between now and then.
Everyone keeps asking and remarking how bad Connor Shaw is since Spurrier is only now going to start him. I think he is much better than the stats from first quarter of the ECU game indicate. The offense at that point just wasn't clicking with him. From what I've seen, I think Shaw can make smart decisions and can manage the game well. How do you think he'll do against Kentucky, and do you think he'll be able to keep the starting position for the rest of the season?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
It's hard to say with Spurrier, who's renowned for juggling quarterbacks. I do think Spurrier is committed to letting Shaw go the whole way this week against Kentucky and see how he does, but the Gamecocks should be able to win that game even if Shaw plays poorly. The real test will come next week on the road against Mississippi State. If the Gamecocks are sputtering in the first half, how inclined will Spurrier be to go back to Garcia? Everybody on South Carolina's staff told me that Shaw outplayed Garcia in the preseason, so I think it's only fair to give him a few games now and see how he does -- and not just a quarter or two.
Tim (Alexandria, LA)
Since the announcement of Steve Kragthorpe's parkinsons disease, not much has been talked about the role he has played up to this point. I know Coach Stud is the game offensive coordinator but does Kragthorpe have any influence in the game plan?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
Glad you asked about Steve, who's a classy guy in every way. He has a big hand every week in the game plan and has been instrumental in Jarrett Lee being so steady. So much of what you see on Saturday in the way of an offensive game plan is put together during the week with several members of the staff having input. It's just on coach Stud now to make the calls on Saturday. They've worked well together, and even though the stats aren't great, you've got to remember that a lot of times an offense plays to its defense when that defense is as strong as the one LSU has this season.
John (New Jersey)
If you're Les Miles, how do you handle the Jarrett Lee-Jordan Jefferson situation?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Jarrett Lee would remain my quarterback, and I'd look for situations in the game to play Jefferson. No way would I think about starting Jefferson at this point. Now, if the Tigers are struggling to get anything going offensively and Lee isn't hitting anything in the passing game, that's when I'd go to Jefferson -- much the same way the Tigers did it last season, only in reverse now with Lee starting.
Alan (South Florida) [via mobile]
Chris, it looks like after my question last week Andre Debose finally broke out. How come they UF doesn't do direct snaps and reverses to him like did with Harvin?
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
I think Debose is more of sraight-line speed guy and not as good cutting and making moves in the open field like Harvin. Still, he obviously has great speed with the way he ran right past Dre Kirkpatrick, and I'd look for the Gators to keep working to get him more involved.
JwgreDeux (Birmingham )
How about some love for Michael Dyer
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Here's giving it. This league is full of running backs that are truly a load to tackle. Trent Richardson comes to mind and so does Marcus Lattimore. I put Dyer in that same category, and he probably runs lower to the ground than all of them.
Do you think Aaron Murray is in a sophmore slump, or did he simply not give MSU defenders enough credit?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
No, I still have a lot of faith in Murray. He just made a couple of bad decisions. This is a big one on Saturday. Murray and Tyler Bray are both big-time talents who need signature wins.
Do you think if tennessee wins againt georgia that they'll have a good chacne of an upset win over LSU or ALABAMA?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
I have Georgia winning, but it's a game that could go either way. The game I think Tennessee has the best chance of winning this month is South Carolina at home on Oct. 29.
Chris, it seems like everyone is writing off the gators due to a terrible game last week. I have to say that i am very uncertain with driskel at quarterback. The biggest question coming into the season was Brantley, but he seemed to make some great thows while he was in on saturday. Do you believe that if brantley can play, that the team can rebound and pull out a trip to Atlanta?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Sure, although I'm afraid Brantley could be out another week or two. High ankle sprains are tough to come back from. You're right, though. Brantley threw it as well as he ever has early in that Alabama game. The East champion is going to have two losses. You can write that down. But if Florida loses to LSU this weekend, the Gators can't lose any more. It could very well come down to that South Carolina game again this season.
How do you think UGA's pass rush will do without CW?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
They need better push up the middle from Geathers, Jenkins and Co., and Jarvis Jones needs one of his best games. Bray isn't afraid to stand in the pocket, but Georgia's front three has played a lot better the last few weeks and you can bet that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is going to try and dial up some pressure from different areas.
Chris, 5 weeks in, who have you been more impressed with, LSU or Bama?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
How's this for answering your question: I've been more impressed with what LSU has accomplished to this point, beating three Top 25 teams away from home, but I think Alabama has been more dominant to this point in all phases of the game. Now, before I hear it from LSU fans, all that matters is who's more dominant and who's better on Nov. 5. Both teams are loaded with talent. If they played six times, they might split.
I am putting out an APB on Alshon Jeffrey, Kentucky's offense, Tennessee's running game, and Mississippi States's Chris Relf. Speaking of which, how long does Dan Mullen stick with Relf this season?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
Good stuff. We need you to write a weekly column for the SEC blog. I'm surprised you haven't already seen more of the other guys at quarterback for Mississippi State, although in Relf's defense, the offensive line has been a mess with all the injuries and juggling.
Madison is way better for night games than Tiger Stadium
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
Jeremy, we've got to get you to Tiger Stadium for a night game. By the way, if the Badgers get to the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans against LSU, can you imagine the partying that's going to take place that week? I'm not even sure Bourbon Street is ready for that.
Any word on Duron Carter? How about CJ Mosley's injury?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
When Mosley got hurt against Arkansas, I was told he was out for two to three weeks, so I wouldn't expect to see him back this week. Carter won't play this season. Alabama is hopeful of getting everything cleared up so that he's eligible for next season.
I think the SEC should look into adding the Universtiy of Hawaii. what do you think?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
I would be on board with that.
I understand that LSU's has an athletic defense, but comparing them to Alabama seems unjustified. With all the yards/ points LSU has given up, why are these two defenses viewed as 1-1A?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Fair enough, but look at two of the offenses LSU has faced. Oregon is as good as it gets, and West Virginia is another team that puts up huge offensive numbers. Both of those games were played away from home, too.
Arkansas is going to Atlanta.
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Well, then you need LSU to beat Alabama and the Hogs to beat LSU to end the season, and then it would come down to who's ranked higher in the BCS standings.
Can alabama or lsu lose to anyone besides each other?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
Looking at the two schedules the rest of the way, I'd say there's a greater chance that LSU would lose to somebody other than Alabama than the other way around. LSU has Florida this weekend, still has to play at Tennessee, and that game was close last year, and then the Tigers also still have to play Arkansas.
seriously, your going to take the Hawaii question over mine????
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Give me yours again.
Dallas (Fayetteville, AR)
Will Jake Bequette play and if so be a factor in the ARK/AUB game Saturday
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
Petrino said Bequette has been practicing and looks ready to go. The Hogs have really missed his leadership and production.
Jacob (New Orleans)
What happened to all of the media talk about LSU's demise once Saban's players were gone? This LSU roster is as stocked with young talent as any in recent memory.
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
Good call. Miles is one of the best recruiting head coaches out there. I pointed out in my "What to Watch in the SEC" piece earlier today that 13 of the 22 players on LSU's defensive two-deep are sophomores or younger.
Matthew (Baton Rouge)
Do you ever read our comments?
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
Sure, although I can't read all of them. Usually, I just try to read the nice ones ... just kidding. Why, you have a comment for me?
I have a legit question about football in the SEC and you take the question "Do you ever read our comments?" Com'Om Man!!! what is your over/under for the TENN v UGA game as far as over all score, interceptions and sacks for each team???
Chris Low (2:14 PM)
Easy there, brother. I'm picking Georgia 31-24. One intercepton each for both Murray and Bray with the Bulldogs getting four sacks and the Vols two.
Michael (Washington, DC)
Did you get my question about USC (Championship hopes if garcia played like last year and whether we're still SEC East favs if connor shaw can manage the game)? Also, shout out to my fellow Rock Hillian (Go Trojans!)
Chris Low (2:15 PM)
Go Bearcats! I've got to see Shaw play and how this offense plays around him before I'm willing to say the Gamecocks are still the favorite in the East. If Georgia wins at Tennessee this weekend, I think the Dawgs are probably in the best shape.
Kate (New Orleans)
Take a question from a female please! Is Les Miles underrated as a head coach? People said he only won the title in 07 bc of the Saban effect yet he coached those players for 3 of their 4 years at LSU. He's 24-5 the past 3 seasons with subpar QB play. I think the fact that he's garnering NFL interest now shows he's been underrated for a while.
Chris Low (2:18 PM)
I said it on my podcast Wednesday and I'll continue to say it, and that is that Miles does a terrific job. He's a great recruiter as a head coach. His players play hard for him. They genuinely like playing for him, and he's quick to make adjustments on his staff when he feels it's necessary. Yes, he's a bit goofy at times and says strange things (and we can't forget that clock snafus), but he's extremely underrated. Hey, and the fact that he eats grass makes it even better!
Why are people putting more stock in the LSU - Florida game, than they are the to 15 matchup between Arkansas and Auburn? Everybody knows LSU is going to destroy Florida, so why even bother discussing it?
Chris Low (2:24 PM)
Here you go, Dustin. And for what it's worth, I have a very good relationship with coach Petrino. Also, I'm not so sure that LSU destroys Florida. The Gators will have a better offensive plan with Driskel now that they've had a week to prepare with him as the starter.
Dyer has been quoted that if he doesn't go for over 200 yds rushing against Arkansas he will be disapointed. What kind of mood will he be in after the game Saturday night?
Chris Low (2:26 PM)
Not the best of moods, because I don't see him going over 200 yards. 150 maybe. But not 200.
How would Wisconsin match up against LSU or Bama?
Chris Low (2:27 PM)
Very well, especially with a quarterback who can extend plays and is verstaile. The Badgers also have a physical running game, and to beat either Bama or LSU, you have to commit to the run and be able to run it a little bit.
Chris Low (2:28 PM)
OK, that's nearly an hour and a half of chat time. Hey, only the best for the SEC. If I didn't get to your question this time, I promise I'll try my best next week.