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. Hope it's been a good week so far.
Bizarro Chris Low ((Not Knoxville, Not Tennessee))
What has to happen for Auburn to pull the upset on Saturday?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
Make LSU play from behind would be right up there. LSU hasn't trailed in a game since the Oregon opener. So make the Tigers come from behind, maybe even force them to beat you throwing the football. I also think Steven Clarke can play a big role in this game by keeping LSU pinned deep. But for Auburn to win, the Tigers are going to have to hit some plays down the field in the passing game, which they haven't done lately.
Do you think that Alabama's win against Arkansas and PSU are just as appealing as LSU's wins over Oregon and WVU
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
They are comparable, but LSU's win over Oregon is the difference. Plus, both of those wins by LSU came away from home.
C-Low, enjoy all the media work! Now on the business as usual, Your opinion please, I am a UGA homer, no lies about that. Honestly though, do you think the suspension given to Geathers should be the same as the center from Vandy, Seems to me Geathers was more reacting than fighting, and on top you can see the center thumbs up to the sidelines after the foul was called on Geathers. I understand why Williams received the suspension. I Know what the rules are, but make the crime fit the punishment, do you think (in your opinion) that the suspension for Vandy's center and Geathers should be the same and why or why not??
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
I'll start by saying a player should never under any circumstances be diving at another player's knees from behind or the side. You're talking about ending a career and potentially costing somebody a lot of money. So, yes, I felt Stewart should have been suspended for an entire game. Geathers threw a punch, which every player knows is a no-no and will always draw a suspension of some kind. So I think a half is about right for Geathers in this case.
Who do you see winning the Fla-Ga Game and Why? What are Brantley chances of being heathly eough to play?
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
Without Brantley, I'm picking Georgia. If Brantley can play, I'm still not sure. Brantley is not practicing this week and hasn't really been running any. The plan is to get him on the practice field next Monday, see how well he can move, protect himself, etc. If he can do those things, then I think he'll play. He was really throwing the ball well before he got injured.
Big Al (San Antonio)
Will Houston Nutt make it till the end of season? The Rebs will have to "show-up" every game and BEAT STATE if he has a chance of staying. Who will be the next coach?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
It's going to be hard for Nutt to make it. Even if he beats Mississippi State, that might not be enough. The thing about Ole Miss is that the athletic director, Pete Boone, is under fire as well. If Nutt doesn't make it, is Boone going to be the one to make the next hire?
Paul-edmond [via mobile]
Chris, could you be a bigger homer for the sec?! This is getting ridiculous!
Chris Low (1:15 PM)
Well, I do oversee the SEC blog, but I call it like I see it when the league needs elbowing. If you're referring to my contention that Alabama and LSU are the two best teams in the country this year and should play for the title, all I can say is that the truth hurts sometimes.
Brian (New Orleans)
PLEASE tell me TM7, Spencer Ware, and Tharold Simon will be back for and didnt blow the Bama game for LSU
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
At this point, I've heard nothing from anybody at LSU that would lead me to believe that this suspension will go past the Auburn game.
It's my birthday this weekend, so I expect you to answer a question even though my Gamecocks aren't playing.Can the Gamecocks take 2 of the next 3 games?(Tenn, Arky, UF)
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
Happy birthday, Joey. I just had one myself, although when you get my age, you no longer "celebrate" birthdays. Yes, I think South Carolina can win two of the next three, but I don't see the Gamecocks winning all three. They've matched up very poorly with Arkansas the last few years. Tennessee will still be without Bray, so that's one they should win. But Florida should have Brantley back when the Gators come to Columbia on Nov. 12. That's the game, in my mind, that will determine the East crown.
Since last week was Matt Simms first start this season, do you think that he was nervous and/or apprehensive about the game? Now that he has a start under his belt do you think he will perform better this week?
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
He was probably more rusty than anything. So, yes, I think he will play better and just be more equipped to play. The bad news is that he's going against an Alabama defense that has been a brick wall this season. There's a chance Simms may play better, but that it's not reflected in the stats.
Gamecock Nation (SC)
Winanyway! Battle! These were the baseball battle cries that led to Championships. This is what the football team and fans will use to lead us on. South Carolina has had so much adversity this year. Everybody has wanted them to lose, to fall down, to get hurt. But now is when we prove them wrong. The haters eat crow NOW!
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
This is football season. And you know what they say about haters.
Chris,I'm going to exercise immense patience by not asking a question about the Bama-LSU showdown...so here is goes...Will the recent LSU suspensions cost them a victory against Auburn this weekend? And do you think LSU would have implemented these same suspensions if a failed drug test would have taken place two weeks from now? (ok, I guess I asked an indirect question about The Showdown)...
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
I think LSU is deep enough and good enough without Ware, Mathieu and Simon to win against Auburn. It helps that some of their best depth is at running back and in the secondary. Honestly, I'm surprised to see a drug test take down any players at this point in the season, which is what has been reported. You rarely see key players being suspended in the middle of the season for failed drug tests. Usually, it's before the season or right after the season.
With Tyrann Mathieu being accused of failing a drug test, can we expect him to fall on the Heisman list? I know some people will argue the controversy around Cam Newton didn't affect him winning, but this whole situation feels different. There is proof that Tyrann did something while a 13 month investigation could find nothing on Cam.
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
Mathieu was a real long shot anyway to win the Heisman, but this certainly won't help his cause.
Derek Jones (Tampa)
Chris - question about the Hogs RB situation. We still haven't seen CBP use Dennis Johnson very much in a game. Are you hearing anything about why? I hear rumors that DJ doesn't give his all in practice and that doesn't sit well with the coaches. Any truth to that?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
I haven't heard that. One thing to remember is that Johnson had a hamstring injury that plagued him for two or three weeks. He's healthier now, and I think you'll see more of him the rest of the way. He gave the Hogs a lift by the way he ran the ball in that Texas A&M game.
With all your SEC coverage experience, can you remember a time two teams in the SEC had such dominate defenses as does Bama and LSU?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
No, not in the same season. The SEC always has defenses ranked up near the top of the national leaders. But I can't remember two this dominant in the same season. I still use that 1992 Alabama defense as the standard in this league, at least since the last expansion.
Dru (Denver, CO)
Chris, thanks for all the hard work you put in keeping us up with the happenings in the SEC. I may be totally off on this but does anyone actually believe Les Miles will suspend Ware and Mathieu for more than the Auburn game? In the past drug violations have been multiple game suspensions, but I just don't see it happening here. What do you think?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
A lot of that depends on each school's drug testing policy. Every school's policy is a little different, and the NCAA mandates only that you have a policy and doesn't dictate what's in it. Now, if you fail a test at an NCAA championship even, you're subject to punishment by the NCAA. Most drug testing policies that I've seen don't go to multi-game suspensions unless an athlete has failed more than one test.
Lucas (Tax class at NYU law school)
The SEC is down this year. It's obviously strong at the top, but the depth is lacking compared to previous years. The Mississippi schools are terrible and UGA, UF, and USC have all disappointed. This is a two-team league, maybe three teams at best.
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
To prove what I said earlier about calling it like I see it, I agree with you ... this season. There's a chance that six teams in the SEC could finish .500 or worse. Alabama and LSU are best two teams in the country. I feel like Arkansas is a legitimate top 10 team, and South Carolina still has a chance for a big season. Georgia, too, can salvage a nice season.
Jared (Desert Waste Land)
Hey Chris, where is the respect from "the Kid"...parenting nowadays! Anyways, I just wanted your take on what the 'Bama defensive line needs to do to elevate their play to the best in the SEC. Right now they are just so dominant, I don't know why they wouldn't be the best. Thanks for your time!
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
"The Kid" has a rude awakening coming. That's all I'll say about that. As for the Tide defensive line, Saban told me back in the preseason that they wouldn't be as dominant up front as in past seasons. They're good and plenty effective, but when I think about their defensive line, I also include Upshaw and Hightower at the two ends on passing downs, and both of those guys are certain NFL players. Alabama doesn't have a lot of sacks, but that's deceiving. They're getting good pressure on the quarterback.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
Chris what are the chances of Spurrier rallying the team togehter after all the injuries and the garcia deal and winning the rest of their games? I know it will be tough but I think there is a good chance especially with the way Eliis has the Defense playing
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Man, I wish were down at Pawleys Island right now. I'd get 18 holes in at Caledonia and then hit Gulfstream Cafe tonight. You're right about Ellis Johnson and the defense. They're playing at a championship-caliber level right now. To me, South Carolina's a team that will have to grind it out the rest of the way. I could see the Gamecocks winning all but one more the rest of the way, but winning the rest of them may be a little too much to ask, especially without Lattimore.
McCoy (Columbus, MS)
When will Les Miles have to start answering questions on his ability or lack there of, to keep his team focused on making the right desicions? This has been a problem with him going all the way back to Ryan Perilloux.
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
So far, this LSU team has been able to deflect the distractions and play well. We'll see how the Tigers deal with this latest one.
Which current SEC assistant coach do you think will be the next to land a Head Coach position?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
A tie between Gus Malzahn and Kirby Smart. A close second would be Jim McElwain at Alabama.
Is fake weed anything like real weed?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
My understanding is that synthetic marijuana has been banned in this country. Don't know much about it other than that.
your opinion about the "Thumbs" up to the vandy sideline from Stewart. Stay classy Vandy...
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
There's blame to go around in that whole deal.
Alli Gator (Florida)
I'm already tired of Will Muschamp's whining and crying on the sidelines. Regardless if he wins or not, don't you think his tantrums are over the top? I'm afraid he's going to blow a gasket.
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
He's apologized for his language. Anybody that knows Muschamp will tell you that he's just a fiery, intense guy who never turns that off. That's just the way he is, and I think he'll channel it better as he gets more experienced in the job.
Mathew (Ringgold )
Why are you letting the rookie beat ya?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
He has a greater want to achieve victory at this point.
TN Crowe (Nashville, TN)
Will Tyler Bray play again this season and if so when is the earliest he could come back? Thanks! Keep the faith Big Orange Nation!
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
I think it's a long shot that he comes back during the regular season. There's a chance he could be back for one or both of those last two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. But a more likely return date may be the bowl game if the Vols make one.
Jacob (New Orleans)
I think the reported # of rushing yards Alabama gained last week might be incorrect. I get 395, including AJ's -9 rushing yards. But if you take that out it's 404. This means that the 4 running backs who touched the ball in the game together averaged 100 yards. 4 running backs each averaging 100 yards in one game. It seems to me worth noting.
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
I will check on the final stats. But what that tells me is that Alabama is ridiculously deep at running back and is playing lights out right now in the offensive line. There's no better weapon in football than being able to consistently run the ball.
Assuming Vandy beats both Army and Kentucky, they'll still need 1 more win to get bowl eligible. Who do you see as their most likely candidate for that win?
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
Hey, I said back in the preseason that this team had a chance to get to six wins, and some people laughed. I think they beat Army this Saturday, also beat Kentucky and then beat either Tennessee or Wake Forest -- and maybe both. The key is staying healthy. The Commodores are usually so beat up at the end of the season and just don't have the depth other teams do. Maybe they can avoid that trend this season.
C Low- How good are Richardson's chances towards the heisman right now?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
He's one of the top three, in my mind. And if he rolls it up big against LSU (more than 100 yards and a couple of TDs) and Alabama wins, then I think he may be the front-runner.
Chris, Do you think Arkansas has a chance in beating LSU since they are so similar to Bama and they throttled us. If so, what will they have to do to come away with a win? I believe our team is growing better with every game, plus we have been battling injury all season. I think its possible.
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Arkansas should be as healthy as it's been the rest of the way. Bequette is back, which is a huge deal. The Hogs, I think, will go into that LSU game with just the loss to Alabama. Winning in Baton Rouge will be a chore, but Petrino has won two of the last three against Miles and LSU, and the Hogs should be able to spread out that LSU defense with all their receivers. It should be a great game and may be a play-in game for an at-large BCS bowl berth. Then again, if LSU beats Alabama in a few weeks, it could have even more important implications.
JL (Warrenton, Virginia)
Chris: I understand your concern about players going low but the restrictions on tackling are already pretty severe. Going low is the only way to stop some of these guys. Missed tackles are a serious drag on the game as it is.
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
I was talking about going for a guy's knees when he doesn't have the ball, a lineman, etc.
Lucas (NYU law tax class)
You can prove your objectivity by admitting the SEC is down this year. Strong at the top, but after LSU, 'Bama, and maybe Ark the league lacks depth. The East is a wasteland of injuries and underachievers and the Mississippi schools are terrible. Might not show until bowl season, especially if the B1G only sends one team to the BCS
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
I said that earlier in the chat and pointed out that as many as six teams could finish .500 or worse this season.
Steve Spurrier has said in the past that South Carolina would be his last coaching stop...any feel for how much longer he wants to keep coaching before he retires?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
One or two more years. I think he's pretty close. He's 66 and has told me in the past that 66 was about as long as he wanted to go.
Matthew (Baton Rouge)
Chris, we're all talking about how the weed was "synthetic." Care to weigh in?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Sorry, not a weed expert. Ask "The Kid." LOL
Rich (Leland, LA)
Outside of Richardson who would you say is the best SEC RB that's currently healthy?
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
mobilematt (SW FL)
Who is better Chris, Bama or LSU. No sitting on fence. We want the truth and we can handle the truth.
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
From what I've seen to this point, Alabama looks a little more dominant across the board, but LSU has accomplished more when you look at who the Tigers have beaten and where they've beaten them.
mark ( nh)
Hey Chris..is Dan Mullen on the hot seat? I know put a charge back in Miss St but seems to be unable to get over the hump and knock off some of the upper echlon teams in their Division..how soon before State fans get restless and want more or are they happy with slow/steady progress he has made?
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
No way, not after one season when he helped to revive the program and raise the expecations to where they are right now. Mississippi State isn't the easiest place to win at. Mullen has done a good job despite the team's disappointing first half of the season.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
As always, thanks for stopping by. I'll see everybody in Baton Rouge this weekend. Should be very interesting. Have a great week!