Chat with Ed 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 (12:02 PM)
Hello, all. It's a beautiful Monday afternoon here in Atlanta and Kid Cudi radio on Pandora is hitting the spot while I work. Now, let's get to some chatting about the SEC.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Does anything but LSU/Bama mattter for 2 weeks? This feels like a Super Bowl to me.
Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM)
Not even work matters, Chad. It's all Alabama-LSU all the time.
lily finley (athens, ga)
Why are so many discounting Carolina now that Lattimore is out? I believe he will be on the sidelines cheering his team on and that Caroina has a plethora of talent on the team without him. Yes it would be much easier with him but we are not just a one man team.
Edward Aschoff (12:03 PM)
If South Carolina had been able to get more out of that talent before he went down, I don't think so many people would be down on the Gamecocks. The problem is that there hasn't been a real receiving threat outside of Alshon Jeffery and you are now turning to a running back that was fifth-string at the beginning of the year. The talent is there on offense, but we haven't seen consistent production from it.
Joey (Little Rock)
Hey Ed, I know its real real early for this question. BUT, next season with Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson both in the backfield for the Razorbacks, how do you see the Razorbacks running game looking? We should have one of the best backfields in the SEC, maybe the best. The O-line should be a little stronger also.
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
If Davis decides to comeback, which I think he should, Arkansas' running game would be a whole lot better. Not having Davis is really hurting this running game. Johnson was very good against Ole Miss, but as a whole, this unit hasn't been consistent at all. Anytime Davis is in your lineup you are WAY better. Period.
mobilematt (SW FL)
Ed, I see that you are obviously picking LSU on 11/5 now. Where do you see that LSU has the edge when Bama is statistically better than LSU on both sides of the ball and play them in Tuscaloosa? As bad as the Tide looked in the first half, you seem to be ignoring the second half demolition of the Vols. 31-0 and not a single first down for the Vols.
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
I'm not sure where you are getting that at all. I wrote that Alabama would win the national championship last week and I wrote Saturday that we saw the old Alabama team in the second half. You are confusing me with Chris in this category. Nowhere have I said that LSU will win. That doesn't mean that I won't pick the Tigers next week, but nowhere have I written that LSU will win.
Marcus (The Hill)
Tell me how the BCS works bc I clearly dont understand. I thought that the BCS doesn't take in account of margin of victory, a wins a win and a loss is a loss. This weeks polls seemed a little off or was it just me?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
The human element always takes into consideration margin of victory, so that is still a factor somewhat. I know I do whenever I vote in something.
What does Vandy need to do for a W against Arky?
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
Force turnovers. Vandy certainly can do that and that secondary could give Tyler Wilson issues. The problem is that Arkansas has better athletes across the board, but if Vandy plays sound defense, the Commodores can stay in this one. I think the offense is much better when Jordan Rodgers at quarterback, but he can't turn it over like he has this season.
Mexdawg (Puerto Vallarta)
I'm heading up to Jax for the WORLD'S LARGEST OUTDOOR COCKTAIL PARTY this week.Do you think my Dawgs will win one for coach Richt?LET THE BIG DAWG EAT.
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
Florida has won 17 of the last 20 against Georgia and John Brantley could be back. If he is, the offense will be much better. Georgia has the better team right now, but this game just hasn't been good to the Dawgs. I'm leaning toward Georgia right now because there is no official word on Brantley. Plus, Florida is playing for everything this week. A loss and the year is basically over for the Gators.
Hey Ed. With the way Dennis Johnson has been running the ball lately, do you think he can break out like Knile Davis did last year around this time? Remember nobody, including the media really didn't know who Knile was last year in the beginning. And if Dennis does break out, what do the rest of the HOGS season look like? Last year the HOGS couldn't be stopped when that happen.
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
He has that big-play ability. And Bobby Petrino said his offense needs to get that running game going. He did a great job against Ole Miss, but let's see if it carries over against Vanderbilt. That's where Arkansas struggles running the ball. The Hogs just can't seem to get back-to-back games together in the running game.
dos east champion stan eny chance aganst west champion alabama in georgia dome atlanta
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
That would be a no.
Jon (Columbia, SC)
With the huge blow to Lattimore, whats the chances that South Carolina can ride their defense through their final 3 SEC road games to get to the Clemson game 10-1?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
It's possible, but it's going to be tough if the offense can't do anything against a team like Arkansas. The Hogs are fit for shootouts and South Carolina isn't. The Gamecocks will rely on their defense more than ever in two weeks.
Matt (Athens, GA)
I've been thinking....is the SEC good or is it becoming a lot like the Pac-10 from 5 years ago where there was one good team and bunch of other mediocre teams? I mean, it seems as if Alabama and LSU are in a league of their own.
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
I think that the SEC has three really good teams and then it's kind of everyone else. Obviously, Alabama and LSU are at the top. Arkansas is a further down and then you have Georgia and South Carolina. The rest have a lot of issues. This certainly isn't the strongest SEC top to bottom, but having LSU and Alabama running the country right now still helps the conference this year. I think next year you will see way more balance throughout.
Brandon Gartman (Prattville, AL)
After the LSU BAMA game, how far would either team drop after a loss? Should Boise or Stanford be above them?
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
The loser will certainly fall and if Boise and Stanford win, the loser will probably fall below them. But I doubt it will be very far if the loser barely loses. A 21-20 game might not be too bad for the loser.
Michael (Under a Rock)
What's happening Nov 5?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
The world collapses on itself after the game and sports are over as we know it.
James (College Station)
Had the Aggies been in the SEC this year, where do you see them at half way through the season? It seems the entire SEC is in a down year accept LSU, Bama, and ark.
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
That defense would keep Kentucky in a game until the end. I think the Aggies have an offense to move the ball in the SEC, but that defense needs major work. I think you'd see Texas A&M sitting under Arkansas right now in the conference.
Ed, assuming Nutt is gone at the end of the year. Any chance Ole Miss trys to bring Tuberville back? He has won there before and knows the culture at Ole Miss.
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
Yeah, that wasn't the prettiest separation back in the day, so I'm gonna go with a no. You'd have a better chance of getting David Cutcliffe back.
What do you think about Justin Worley possibly starting for Tennessee next week?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
I think Derek Dooley has to now. Get him ready for the future so that you don't have this same situation next year if Bray goes down again. His redshirt is pretty much gone, now so it doesn't hurt to continue to play him from here on out.
Ed, who has the advantage at QB on Nov. 5? LSU's 2 senior QB's or Bama's 1st year Sophomore starter. The stat that jumps out to me is LSU's 16 TD's / 1 Int vs. 10/5 for Bama. JJ for LSU also gives the Tigers an added dimension to their running game and an experienced backup should any team's starter go down.
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
That's actually tough right now. LSU's QBs have been so efficient and just don't make a lot of mistakes. Plus, Jordan Jefferson can run and that's always tough for defenses. AJ McCarron is a better passer overall, but his decision making can be questionable at times. The McCarron we saw in the first half of the Tennessee game will lose at LSU, but the second-half McCarron could win. When he's on, he's very good. Right now, I'd probably go with LSU.
Ed, I don't get these polls. Everyone knows LSU/Bama are the best two teams and they play each other. Say Bama wins at home in a very good game by a close margin. LSU will drop and someone else who beats a much less opponent will move ahead of them. They don't have to play either one of these teams so they benefit. The best two teams are still the best two teams. One has to lose to the other. Polls need to quit going strickly by records!
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
If it's a close game on Nov. 5 I wouldn't be opposed to both teams still being 1 and 2 :)
Mike A. (Paris, TX)
This does seem like a down year overal for the talent level of QB's in the SEC. Who do you have as the top 5 QB's (in order) in the SEC and do any of them rank in the top 10 in the country?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Hmm right now I'd say 1. Wilson 2. Murray 3. Lee/Jefferson 4. McCarron 5. Healthy John Brantley. Wilson is probably a top 10 QB right now and Murray has that kind of ability.
Brian (New Orleans)
LSU/Bama prediction if it were played today?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
bill chill (Atlanta)
would you rank uga defense 3rd in the sec behind ala and lsu?
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
I'd put South Carolina's third because of the transformation and I think the Gamecocks have more talent. Plus, you cant get around the fact that South Carolina has forced a league-high 24 turnovers this year.
Derek Dooley just released the depth chart saying freshman quarterback Justin Worley will start over Matt Simms for the South Carolina game. What are your thoughts on this?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
Good move. It doesn't help to get the frosh some snaps in a big game. Now, he gets a week to prepare and doesn't have to worry about being throw to the wolves. Good move.
Is Brantley going to return for the UGa/UF game? If he does, do the Gators win?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
Florida is hoping so and the optimism is growing. If he's in that offense is much, much better. But he hasn't practiced since the week before Alabama (and he was even limited then after getting hurt against Kentucky), so who knows how effective he will be ...
Clark Hilton (Tuscaloosa)
I've seen twice now the 45-10 lsu victory over auburn called the worst against auburn in 15 years. 2007 iron bowl?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Well, it sure wasn't pretty ...
Charles (Troy, AL)
How many trick plays do you think will be ran in the WLOCP? For Georgia what do you think will be a bigger factor; the loss of Williams and Geathers for a half, return of Tree and Mitchell or Bobo's predictability?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Not having Geathers early will hurt because Florida is going to try and get things going with the ground game. I doubt we'll see many trick plays and if Bobo is predictable then what is Charlie Weis?
Jody A Greene (Fernandina Beach, Florida)
Considering the Florida Gators have now gone to Pro-Style offense, how big does the UGA/UF game have on recuiting now that the schools will presumably be recruiting the same type atheletes?
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
This game is always big when it comes to recruiting. It doesn't matter what schemes either team is running. They are always recruiting the same guys. Now, a big-time running back might have more interest in this game than the past because of the similar running styles in the pro-style, but this game is big no matter what.
Josh L. (Minnesota)
Do you think that Lsu's offense has reached its full potential yet? I feel like Les Miles has some special plays he has been holding for Alabama. Also, why does no one talk about their offense? They have been averaging 38 points a game.
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
I always talk about how efficient LSU's offense has been this season. I've given it love. I don't think Les Miles needs trick plays. When you get pretty, you get desperate and you start to regress. This offense shows its cards and still moves the ball. I expect nothing less from the Mad Hatter.
Ed, my crystal ball tells me Okie State will lose to Oklahoma and Stanford will win out and play LSU/Bama for the Natty. What do you predict? How do you think Stanford fairs against either Bama or LSU? Have you even Stanford play?
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
I have seen Stanford play, thank you very much. I actually had a friend from high school play linebacker there. What I see is the best quarterback in the country, discipline and a punch-you-in-the mouth attitude. Stanford certainly doesn't have the speed to keep up with an Alabama or an LSU and I don't think it has the bodies up front. If you can't compete with the big uglies in the SEC, you're sunk. And in big games these big boys stand out. Just look at Auburn last year and LSU this year against Oregon. Stanford still has to get by Oregon and win the Pac-12 championship before it can think about facing an SEC team.
Nick (Lafayette, LA.)
I don't believe Ark. Can beat LSU. However, I have given up trying to pick the winner of that game. How do you see it panning out?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
I don't see it either. I think LSU's defensive line would push around Arkansas. I don't think it would be as bad as Alabama's but I just don't see the Hogs being able to match LSU's line. Wilson will get his chance to make plays, but I think he'd feel more pressure than he did against the Crimson Tide. But crazy things happen in this game. It's a rivalry game, so you know the Hogs will come to play and a lot could be on the line in this game.
jackson (seattle, wa)
With the upset losses in the top ten this week, what % do you put on a full sec national championship? If that happens, do you see any of the coaches around the country, that have traditionally been against a playoff, changing their song?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
I hope they'd change their tune about a playoff. I'd love to see a playoff. I just don't understand how people can sit there and say that college football should be the only sport that doesn't have a legit playoff. How this ever got started in the first place is beyond me. I'm holding out hope for it, but I feel like it won't happen. I'll go 30 percent up from 15 last week.
Are the defensive issues with the Razorbacks more associated with the personnel or the coaching? In my opinion, I think Willy has to go at the end of the season. Such high expectations for the defense and we are getting pushed around like a high school team out there. Thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
I am surprised by how Arkansas' defense has been pushed around at times this year. And it's not has fearless out there as I expected it to be. Obviously, injuries have hurt it, but it just isn't as intimidating or as fast as I thought. There is still time to get it together, but it better be there against LSU.
Robert (Fayetteville, AR)
What are your thoughts on a possible one-loss Arkansas team and their chances of getting into the NC? (obviously given some help to get into the SEC Championship)
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
Gotta win out in style and hope that Alabama loses two games. I'm not sure that even if LSU beats Bama and then loses to Arkansas that the Hogs will jump Bama at the end of the year in the BCS by enough to get into the SEC championship game.
Ed,Alabama and LSU are obviously a step ahead of everyone else in the SEC. However, when I hear this talk about "Arkansas should have man handled Ole Miss," and "it leads to questions about this team," I just have to laugh. In almost every year besides this one, the most dominant team who wins the national championship has slipped up and lost or come extremely close. Florida vs. Ole Miss in 2008, 'Bama vs Tenn. in 09, Auburn in about three games last year. Should Arky have dominated? Yes. Did they find a way to win? Yes. I think the story should be about their resiliency, not how they should have played. There was a time not to long ago when a former coach of ours would have found a way to lose that game.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I think it's more about the slow starts in general. Arkansas has done that a couple of times this season and it cost the Hogs against Alabama. The second half push was impressive, but Arkansas should have beaten Ole Miss by much more, especially with that crippled secondary. I just don't think the Hogs were focused and Ole Miss still had a chance at the end.
Ed, what do you think USC's chances are to beat Clemson this year? They are 8-0, but included in that was a near loss to Wofford and Maryland. Clemson's offense looks good, but they haven't faced a real defense yet. With as strong as USC's defense has looked, do you think the Gamecocks can pull the upset at home?
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
If South Carolina can find a couple more playmakers on offense to help out Alshon Jeffery, the Gamecocks will be tough for Clemson to stop because of that defense. I give the defensive edge to South Carolina, obviously, I think there are some holes on Clemson's defense. Gotta stop Sammy Watkins too ...
Brice (Columbia sc)
What do you think about the tenn sc game in Knoxville this weekend? Whose going to pull it out?
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
South Carolina has the edge, but this has the makings of being extremely ugly to watch.
Hogs move up in the human polls, but drop in BCS. Do you think that's fair? I was of the opinion a road win in the SEC West, though ugly, was still a valuable win. And comparing losses; On the road to 'Bama, vs. At home to an unranked T. Tech? How does an ugly road win hurt a team so much?
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
All I will say about the computers is that Oklahoma State is ranked first ...
Rick (San Diego)
Ed, obviously Kellen Moore is a good QB, and LaMichael James is a good running back but at this point I question whether they should seriously be considered for the Heisman considering who they play. I don't think anyone would argue the Boise St plays inferior competition compared to the SEC and if Kellen played in the SEC what would his stats be then. Again LaMichael plays in the Pac 12 and right now holds the highest per game rushing average but if you look what he did against LSU and Auburn you could seriously make the argument that if he played in the SEC he would not have over 100 yards per game average. My point being if you look at some of these front runners for the Heisman that don't play in the SEC they should not be considered ahead of SEC players simply because putting up those stats in inferior conferences doesn't mean you are the best player in the country and more to my point if you want to be the best player in the country come play in the best conference in the country and then we will see how good you really are!!! I think that is a very valid point, what are your thoughts regarding those points?
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
James did nothing against LSU. Trent Richardson has averaged 134.8 rushing yards a game against SEC teams. Moore is a great quarterback, but I agree that against consistently better talent his numbers would be lower and honestly he hasn't been overly impressive in the stats department this year.
Frank (New Jersey)
Georgia has this nice littlle five game run against teams that are worth little to nothing....what makes anyone think Richt and his team doesn't turn to jello as they do every year when they play the Gators?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
They very well could. Jacksonville hasn't been nice to Mark Richt. He's only won twice there with Georgia. Mental edge could go to Florida.
Ed, was Saturday a good outing by the rebels or a bad outing for the razorbacks or both.
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Both. Ole Miss might have played its best game of the season and still lost. Arkansas stumbled out of the gate, but played very well in the third quarter.
Bubba T (Columbia SC)
Does South Carolina finish the season strong or do they allow their misfortunes to takeover?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I could see both scenarios for this team. It's doesn't have a history of being very clutch at all and now would be the best time to cue up that clutch gene. At the same time I think the defense is good enough to carry it through the rest of the season. I'm not sure how this team is feeling right now.
Joe (High up in the cool Rocky Mountains)
Why does a comeback in the second half for Alabama at home over Tennessee mean more than a another comeback for Arkansas on the road against Mississippi.
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
Alabama was much more dominant in the second half against Tennessee. Anyone could see that. Tennessee didn't get a first down and Alabama didn't let up. Ole Miss still had a chance to win at the end of the game. Both teams should have blown out their opponents and Alabama did after stronger second half.
mobilematt (SW FL)
Ed, you just picked LSU to play in NC game. How is that not picking LSU to win the game as the path to NC clearly goes through Tuscaloosa?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Actually, Chris was in charge of the bowl projections this week. He wanted to go in that direction and since I'm owning him in the picks this year, I allowed him to put LSU in the national championship game. We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks ...
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
Good stuff, people. Talk to everyone next week. I wonder what all the questions could be about next Monday ...