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 (1:04 PM)
Hello all. I want to start by passing along my prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims in this whole Penn State mess -- the kids. Football shouldn't be what anyone is thinking about as they try to sort through this terrible tragedy.
David (Washington DC)
Chris, Georgia alum living in the Nation's capital, here's the only question that matters... what are the keys to the UGA/Auburn game?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
Making Auburn pass-happy, even though Emory Blake and Trovon Reed will be back for Auburn. But the Dwags want to make the Tigers throw the ball and have to throw it on third down. The second thing is not having the kind of breakdowns on special teams Georgia did against Florida. Thirdly, I would say getting up early and making Auburn play from behind.
Darren (Shreveport, LA)
Hey Chris, I know i'm getting way ahead of myself, but if people think this year's LSU team is great...wait until next year. So much talent coming back and Mettenberger at QB. It's really exciting down here in Louisiana.
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
Darren, you're right. You are getting ahead of yourself. Let's see if the Tigers can finish off this season the right way first. Still a lot of football to be played.
Brad (Braxton, Mississippi)
pumpkin pie OR pecan pie? Which do you prefer?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
Brad (Braxton, Mississippi)
CLow, Arkansas has already had a great season so far. How much better would it be if they never lost Knile Davis?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Hard to say. I don't know how much different that Alabama game would have been even with Knile in the lineup. The Tide were on that day, and the Hogs weren't. I'll say this: Having Knile to feed the ball these last few games would be a nice luxury for Arkansas.
Ryan (Bryant Arkansas )
i have been wondering for some time now why they say arkansas is not on the level as Lsu and bama but yet in years past or like last yeare we have played Lsu just as tough if not tougher than Alabama, i mean last year Lsu beat bama, then we beat Lsu, then during preseason they say we are not on the same level as those two team what gives? i mean we have been those two teams when we had lesser talent
Chris Low (1:11 PM)
Probably because Arkansas hasn't beaten Alabama under Petrino and also because Alabama and LSU have won national championships in the last five years and Arkansas hasn't. The best way to change the perception is to win out, including beating LSU for a second straight season, and then take your chances in how the BCS standings shake out.
Morgan B. (Oxford, MS)
Hey Chris,I am an Ole Miss student (Hotty Toddy!) and I am curious to know what direction you think Archie Manning and Mike Glenn will go in with a new head coach. Do you think they will go for an experienced guy (Mike Leach, Rich Rodriguez) or a younger guy with a good reputation (Larry Fedora, Manny Diaz)? Who would you pick to lead the Rebels if it was your choice?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Well, having Archie heading up that thing should make all Ole Miss fans sleep well at night. Nobody loves that university more than Archie Manning, and I'd say he knows a thing or two about football. My take is that they have to have somebody who's a relentless recruiter and maybe somebody who's a little different, like a Leach or Paul Johnson running the option. Somebody who has his own niche. I could also see them going with a younger coach. Kirby Smart and Manny Diaz would both be prime candidates.
Marcus (The Hill)
What are the BCS bylaws for top 5 or top 4 teams? Do they get automatic bids no matter what? Do you see LSU, ARK, and BAMA all in the top 5 at the end of the season?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
No more than two teams from a conference are allowed to play in BCS bowls. If LSU and Alabama both win out, they will definitely be in the top 5. Arkansas could get in the top 5 by taking down a No. 1 LSU on Nov. 25. Then, it would really be interesting to see if all five were in the top 5. It would probably depend on whether Oklahoma State and Stanford lose. The top two teams in the final BCS standings go to the BCS National Championship Game. After that, the conference champs receive berths in the other BCS bowls along with two at-large teams.
Mike (Baton Rouge)
Maybe I'm not understanding this. To everyone saying that Bama is still better then LSU, do they not realize that the better team is the one who makes plays when you need them whether it's on offense, defense, special teams, coaching? Last time I checked, kickers and coaches were part of the team too! Am I missing something here?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
I wouldn't worry about it. The scoreboard from the other night isn't going to be altered. LSU went to Tuscaloosa and won. Case closed. The details don't matter, and I can assure that Nick Saban would be the first to tell you that the kicking game is absolutely part of the game. LSU made every play it needed to to win that game. Two great football teams slugged it out, and the better team that night won. I know a lot of people are saying, "Well, if they played four or five times, Alabama would win three or four." This isn't baseball. They don't play best-of-7 series.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who is the Best SEC Quarterback in College Football?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
If I were picking the best quarterback in the SEC right now, I'd go with Georgia's Aaron Murray. Arkansas' Tyler Wilson would be a close second.
Matt (Boston, MA)
If Dooley drops the next three, is he out?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
No, I don't see any scenario where Dooley would be out after this season. It's only his second year. The evaluation of Dooley and where the program is will come after his third season. Now, if he were to lose to Vanderbilt or Kentucky (and certainly both), then the heat would be turned up considerably and he would need a big season in 2012 to survive. But he's not going anywhere after this season, and really, the last thing the Tennessee program needs is more transition.
Billy the Kid (Louisville, Ky)
Why is Danny Trevathan not a semifinalist for the Butkus Award?
Chris Low (1:27 PM)
Because somebody missed the boat. I'm on record as saying that was a huge oversight. Trevathan is an outstanding player and having a terrific season. He's well on his way to leading the SEC in tackles for a second straight season. Unfortunately for him, he's probably a victim of Kentucky not having a very good season this year.
joshua george (luxembourg, luxembourg)
Chris,If Arkansas wins out what is the chances they will get a chance at the national championship?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
If the Hogs win out and then get the West tiebreaker and go on to win in the SEC championship game, they're going to need either Stanford or Oklahoma State to lose -- and maybe both. At that point, Oregon probably jumps back into the equation if the Ducks beat Stanford and maybe Oklahoma if the Sooners beat Oklahoma State. Boise is still there, too. So I'd give Arkansas about a 50 percent chance of winding up in the national title game if the Hogs win out and are sitting there at 12-1 and SEC champs.
I saw the write up on Wing and thought it was a really good piece. I was wondering if you knew whether we could expect him to be on the next list for the Ray Guy award that will be release tomorrow. Oh, and I forgive you for picking against my Tigers against the Bammers as well. Don't do it again, though!
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
If he's not on that list, then why have one, right? And you're right. I wavered there at the end, but didn't have the guts to pull the trigger and pick the Tigers on the road. Shame on me.
I watched a replay of the LSU/Bama game. LSU was 2 for 2 on scoring opportunites and Bama was 2 for 6 in regulation. LSU was only able to get within field goal range twice whereas Bama was consistently moving the ball. They only punted twice and was moving the ball when they threw the two interceptions. Bama lost but clearly they seemed to be the better team. You were there Chris, do I need to clean my crimson glasses or do I have a legitimate point?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
Alabama moved the ball with more success, but LSU was clearly better in special teams and made more key defensive plays. Both of the Tigers' interceptions were huge, and I also don't think you can discount the Tigers' speed on defense and how many times they closed holes or got to the corner and kept plays from going for big gains that would have against any other defense. Both are excellent football teams. LSU was a more efficient team, made more key plays and won the kicking game. Ask any coach, and he will tell you that all three are critical if you're going to go on the road and win big games.
Jim Fisher (Denver)
i know it's a long shot ok. What if Georgia wins out and then upsets LSU in the SEC championship. Does a 2 loss Georgia Play for the BCS title? Who would?
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
No way, not with the loss to Boise State earlier this season. But if Georgia were to win the SEC championship game, that would effectively knock the SEC out of the national title picture unless everybody else lost. And I can tell you that Boise State would be jumping for joy if Georgia does win the SEC title.
Nate (Little Rock)
Chris,I have studied the senario of the three way tie and understand the "within 5 BCS ranking" clause. Do you see any way the hogs getting into the NCG since Alabama will likely be right up near the top?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Sure, if Alabama isn't overly impressive down the stretch, maybe drops a spot in the polls and then Arkansas is very impressive, including winning at LSU. At that point, it's going to be close. LSU will probably get the most love in the computers of the three, which means the Tigers could be a spot ahead of Alabama.
Joshua Wendt (NJ)
Who do you think will win the SEC
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Gotta go with LSU.
Jacob (New Orleans)
LSU gets all the spoils because they won, yes. Alabama doesn't because they lost, yes. I understand that, and I understand the media writing to an audience who wants to read something exciting or spicy. However, Alabama didn't do badly and people's expectations of them haven't fallen. Someone had to lose that game and Alabama couldn't've gotten much closer and still lost. Would everyone be so negative toward LSU, too, if they had lost? It's a tough world out there.
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Again, both are very good teams. It's a game that could have gone either way, which was exactly what I expected coming in with defenses as strong as both are. I don't see that either team has lost much luster.
Coach (Columbus, MS)
What do you see as a realistic top 5 list for Ole Miss HC candidates?
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Kirby Smart, Gus Malzahn, Charlie Strong, Manny Diaz, Hugh Freeze, Mike Leach and Kevin Sumlin. All seven will get some consideration.
Ian (Virginia Beach)
Chris, do you think South Carolina's inability to get the ball to Alshon Jeffery has caused his draft stock to drop?
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
That's some of it. He's also had a hard time getting open at times, but I still think he'll be a solid first-round pick and a very good pro.
Auburn is 13.5 pt underdogs heading into Athens. Does that seem about high to you?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
Yes, and coming out of the bye week with Emory Blake and Trovon Reed both back, I expect Auburn to play well and for this to be a fourth-quarter game.
Jacob (New Orleans)
How many UA players to the First Round? I say 5 (why is Barrett Jones not on either's Board?).
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
Richardson, Upshaw, Barron and maybe Kirkpatrick and Hightower. A lot of people don't see Barrett as a first-round pick right now, but it doesn't matter because he's not coming out early. When it's all said and done, though, Jones will be one of those guys who plays 12 years or more in the NFL.
So what are your thoughts on the SEC's newest member?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Third set of Tigers to join the party, and they better strap it on pretty good. The grind is what gets you in the SEC.
Joe (Columbia, SC)
Chris, in your opinion, is Arkansas that good or are the injuries starting to catch up with the Gamecocks? Thoughts about our game with Fla this Saturday?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
For some reason, South Carolina just seems to have a hard time matching up with Arkansas. It's been a similar story the past few years, but injuries are definitely taking their toll. Not having Allen last week hurt, and the OL hasn't been the same since losing Kyle Nunn at left tackle. That and losing Marcus Lattimore. If the Gamecocks can get to 10-2 this year, even if they don't go to Atlanta, that would be a very good season considering everything that's happened to them.
Lily (Athens, GA)
How can a hometown boy from great Rock Hill be so down on the Gamecocks? What are your thoughts for the game this weekend?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
I'm not down on them at all. Just said getting to 10-2 this year would be a very good season whether they get to the SEC championship game or not. How many teams out there could lose their top player, a guy who was a Heisman candidate, and still have a shot at 10 wins? Granted, the Gamecocks got a break when they didn't have to play Alabama or LSU this year but they've been grinding all season.
Gene (Washington, DC)
As a Bama fan it takes a bit to get over a game we lost when I feel we were the better team. I can't help but wonder if it effects the plaayers as well. Thoughts?
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
Take it out on Mississippi State, Georgia Southern and Auburn these next two weeks and then cheer your rear end off for Oregon this weekend against Stanford and Oklahoma on Dec. 3 against Oklahoma State.
Luis (Tampa, FL)
Which running backs do you think deserve the Doak Walker award?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
James at Oregon is outstanding, and I also like David Wilson at Virginia Tech, but Trent Richardson is a cut above everybody else this season in terms of speed, power, gaining yards after contact and just being so dependable.
Camran (New Orleans, LA.)
After Bama lost to LSU, I predicted they would drop to 5th in the BCS standings, and that was being generous. Now that we see they only dropped one spot, and with OSU having to face OU at the end of the year... do you see a possible rematch in the Championship game if both teams win out, and would you be in favor of it?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
If both win the rest of their games, and Alabama is the second best team, I have no problem with it at all. For that to happen, Stanford and Oklahoma State are going to have to lose. Alabama will not, nor should not, go ahead of an unbeaten Stanford or Oklahoma State.
Paul (Thomasville, GA)
Coach Richt looks like his hot seat is gone. Do you agree? He's such a good guy and a good coach who doesn't get enough credit. I think Georgia is lucky to have him.
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
I agree. Coach Richt exudes class in everything he does.
Do you think an undefeated Boise State would go the the BCS championship over Alabama?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
No, I don't. If Alabama wins out and does so rather impressively, I think the Tide will be ahead of Boise State in the final BCS standings. The only possible scenario that could change that is if Georgia were to upset an unbeaten LSU in the SEC championship game. Then it's going to be hard to keep Boise out of the national title game because Boise beat Georgia back in September by two touchdowns in Georgia's own back yard.
Andrew (South Carolina)
What bowl game do you see Tennessee ending up in ?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Probably the Music City Bowl again or the Liberty.
Wes (East Central GA)
Chris-- In all honesty, what do you think about UGA's team. The argument is that they are unproven due to their weak schedule. However, the counter argument is that Georgia's defense could match up with anyone in the country but their offense is only progressing due to schedule. Your thoughts?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this Georgia team is how mentally tough the Bulldogs have been this season. And I agree about their defense. Todd Grantham has done an excellent job with those guys, and they're healthy now on that side of the ball. Aaron Murray is playing his best ball at QB. It looks like a team to me that's ready to take off and this season on a very strong note.
Emory (Bainbridge, GA)
What's a tougher job. Ole Miss or Miss State? Just curious.
Chris Low (2:05 PM)
Both are among the three toughest jobs in the SEC along with Vanderbilt.
Marcus (The Hill)
Thanks Chris for answering my last question. Have you heard the Clint Stoerner will be a honorary captain this weekend? brings back painful memories!
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
Yes, that's awesome for Clint. I can still see the hurt in his face after that 1998 game and then the ecstacy the next year when he threw the winning touchdown to Anthony Lucas.
How do you think Andrew Luck would do against an LSU or Alabama defense in the BCS National Championship or Sugar Bowl?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
As well as he usually does if he had time. I just don't think he would have time against either defense and would be trying to throw from his back on a lot of downs.
Andre (Monticello, FL)
This has been a dreadful season in Gainesville. Chris will Coach Muschamp and Charlie Weiss be able to right the ship and turn this program around or will this take some time. They have the talent down there and a load of talent coming in for next season.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Yes, I think Muschamp is going to be fine there. Give him time to get his players in there. He wants to play a certain way -- physical and a lot like Alabama and LSU play -- and needs to get those kind of players in there. They feel good about the running backs they have coming in next year, bigger guys who are protypical SEC backs, and I think that will help.
Seems no one realizes Auburn lost to LSU, Arkansas, and Clemson on the road (all top 9 teams). Who has UGA beat that is impressive. I'll wait....
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
Good point. Chizik and his staff have done a very good job with a ton of young players this season.
This should tell you how far South Carolina has come under Spurrier. We very likely will be 10-2 or 9-3 this year. And, for most fans, it's a disappointment. 10 years ago we would've had a parade for an 8-4 team. Spurrier really has put USC on the map.
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
And keep in mind that South Carolina has won 10 or more games only one time in school history.
Marcus (Freeport, FL)
What's a tougher job in terms of recruiting and expectations...Ole Miss or Miss State? Just curious.
Chris Low (2:13 PM)
I would say Ole Miss. Expectations in Oxford seem to be perennially higher.
Nick (Kaneohe HI)
Thank you for your contributions to the rabid fanbases of the SEC Chris. Regarding Arkansas Defensive Coordinator Willy Robinson, does he keep his job at the end of the season? His teams have gotten better each year and the talent is on another level compared to our past but is that enough for a team that is trending in the right direction. His defensive scheme has not changed all season, the hogs have not blitzed LB's until last weeks game all year. Who could you see as possibilities if it did happen?
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
Before we run anybody out at Arkansas, let's first wait and see if the Hogs win the West. I mean, if they win out and beat LSU and then go to the SEC championship game, why would you make any changes?
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
OK, went a little longer this week and could go another hour, but gotta scoot. We'll do it again next week. Have a great week!