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 (12:00 PM)
Greetings, everyone! It's time to talk about the best conference in college football. Let's go!
Sean (Louisville, KY)
With the recent announcment of Auburn hiring Loeffler as the new OC, how do you see this affecting recruiting for this (2012) signing period?
Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM)
I think it will help the Tigers with those last-second offensive players. Having a coach in place always makes prospects feel better. His track record with quarterbacks should help ease some of those players' minds as well because his first job is to develop Auburn's passers, and I think he will.
chris (Atlanta, GA)
With the new coaching staff coming into shape and all of the starters returning for Tennessee (healthy) do you see them being a silent threat in the East?
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
I don't think a Tennessee run would be silent at all. Everyone knows about the talent in Knoxville, but it's all about putting it together and everyone buying in. Tennessee has some players in place to compete in the East this year, and other teams know it. The question is if this team is mentally ready.
Every year about this time, fans start talking either about spring football or who on their team will get drafted. My question is related to the latter. Who from the SEC do you see projected as a late rounder or undrafted FA that you believe can become a starter in the NFL? (I mean starter not star, too)
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
I think a guy like Jarius Wright or Chris Marve have a chance to be steals in the draft this year. I know that Wright's stock is rising, and that he could be a second-day pick, but even though he's undersized, he's a playmaker. I think he'll stay on a roster. I also think Marve is someone who will make a roster and have an impact wherever he goes. He has a ton of heart to go with all that talent.
Ed, right now who is your favorite QB in the SEC.
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
I don't have a favorite, but if I had to pick one to build a team around I'd have to go with Aaron Murray at Georgia. He has all the skill to be a star and he's a true leader. I think he, Tyler Wilson, Tyler Bray and AJ McCarron will battle to be the league's top QB next year.
Ed, Hope you had a great weekend. I wanted to check and see what you think of Vanderbilt's chances of making that next step (i.e. having SEC caliber recruits and emlinating "vandy" moments) and moving to 7-5 or 8-4 next year. How about EPL games on Fox now!
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
Big fan of that last sentence, my friend. I also think that for Vandy to take that next step it absolutely has to eliminate all those frustrating mistakes and has to have consistent play at the quarterback position. Jordan Rodgers was good for most of the time, but we saw him get rattled as well. You can't do that. The offense returns some real playmakers, but can the defense hold up with Chris Marve and Casey Hayward? Not sure yet, but I think James Franklin won't hesitate to play some of those stud recruits he has.
Devin (Tuscaloosa, AL)
How much of a drop off do you see for the Tide next year? And do you think Lacy could handle being the primary RB?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
I see more defensively than offensively. I think that McCarron will be much better in 2012 and if those young receivers can live up to the hype then I think the passing game will be better this season. It helps that most of that offensive line is back and that Eddie Lacy is a tough, tough runner. Is he Trent Richardson? Nope, but he's good enough to make an impact. There is a lot of young talent in Tuscaloosa, but I wonder if next year will mimic 2010 with Alabama. I think Saban will handle things differently, but the defense will have some growing pains.
Ed, with most of the big name recievers in the SEC leaving this year who do you think will be THE GUY in 2012 at the reciever position.
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
Watch out for Justin Hunter. Before his injury he was arguably the league's best deep-threat WR. I think he comes back much healthier and will be Tyler Bray's top target. Hunter is a true playmaker, so draft him in your fantasy leagues!
Dash - Saban had a popped collar after the NCG - when are you going to follow suit and pop a collar for your friends on the SEC blog?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
I just can't do that. I learned at a very young age that that look isn't for me. Now a bow tie ...
Art (Athens, GA)
The backfield in Athens is filling up quick. Is there such a thing as to much depth at RB that it causes problems in the locker room? (especially with all the youth)
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
Georgia doesn't need to worry about having too many bodies back there. The Dawgs needed a lot of legs in the backfield last season and until Isaiah Crowell can prove that he's healthy enough to play an entire game week after week, I think it's better for Georgia to have a crowded backfield. You never know who might have to step up.
Doug (Arlington, VA)
I lost track of the the Missouri Tigers situation. Are the actually going to join the SEC next season or is there release from the Big 12 still conditional on WVU entry? I know the SEC schedules have been release with Missouri on them, so I might have answered my own question.
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
Per the SEC, both Missouri and Texas A&M are set to officially join the conference on July 1.
Morgan (Atlanta )
Out of all the Jr. that enter into the draft, which of them do you think should have stayed in school to improve their draft status?
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
Honestly, I thought it was Orson Charles. While I think there's no question that he's the top tight end in the SEC, I thought he might need one more year to really improve his game. He had a very solid career with the Bulldogs, but I just wasn't sure that he was ready. Then again, there's a reason I'm not an NFL scout or coach. Maybe, I just want to see him play again, so I'm being selfish.
Hey Ed,Do any of the incoming Bama freshman receivers (Chris Black, Amari Cooper) have the talent to start right away like Julio Jones did back in 2008? I know they're not the same type of receiver, but is the talent and ability there?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
I think Black is a real player and could get on the field early and I also think that Eddie Williams could be a real deep threat at wide receiver. He's listed as an athlete, but I think he's going to play more on offense at the college level.
Alan (Knoxville, TN)
Will Missouri and Texas AM have a tremendous impact on the conference? Which one would you not want to play and why?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
I think immediately you'll see more from Missouri because the Tigers return way more on both sides of the ball. Texas A&M loses a lot and has to play in the West. I think Missouri starts well and then there's a little fall off, while Texas A
Sean (Mobile, Al)
Ed! What is your impression of the Pease hire at UF? And can he make an immediate impact on the young QB's? The defense looks to be great next year, but the offense obviously has a ways to go.
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
I think Pease was a very good hire for Florida. His system is more spread out than Weis' but it's also not as complicated. He will work a lot with Brissett and Driskel and I think he's going to take bot of their games to the next level. The problem that Pease has is that he doesn't have a great deal of proven talent on offense. In fact, there isn't any. I think you'll see a better offense because it will be easier for players to adjust to.
Patrick (Jacksonville, FL)
Mr. Aschoff,With the way UGA's schedule is set up, are they your favorite to win the East this year? If not, who do you think takes the division? Thanks.
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
Mr? You're making me blush. I think with that schedule there is no question that the Bulldogs will likely be favorites in the East, but they also have the talent to be considered favorites as well. If South Carolina had Georgia's schedule, the Gamecocks might be considered favorites in the East as well. I think those two teams will battle yet again for a spot in Atlanta.
AndrewGene (Central Arkansas)
What do you think of the new defensive hires for Arkansas? How do you think it will affect our defense next season? Will we be better or worse?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
I like them. I think that Haynes will make Arkansas' defense much more aggressive, just like what we saw against Kansas State ... Sorry, Arkansas just hit Collin Klein again. There is some inexperience lurking on Arkansas' defense, so making sure those players are comfortable in Haynes' system will be key. I think we'll see a different brand of Arkansas defense this fall.
Bronco Poonjab (Columbia, SC)
There is talk around Columbia about a surprise commit in this years class come signing day. Heard any rumors on your end?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
It's recruiting. There are always surprises. I don't know anything specific about it, but signing day shockers aren't, well, shocking.
Casey (Ft Stewart, Ga)
I asked Chris this question last week and I would like to hear your opinion and honest answer...I asked does UGA have the deepest and most proven wideouts coming back minus Orson Charles? With Mitchell and King as the primary deep threats, along with Brown and Conley showing that they can stretch the field as well and who better to have with the smoothest hands than Michael Bennett? Now thats 5 right there who proved that they can step up and had at least 20 or more catches this past season and 3 are only going to be Soph? Your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
I haven't thought about that yet, but it's hard to argue at this moment. Vandy has two receivers that might have something to say about that, and Tennessee has two studs as well, but when you talk about depth and bodies, Georgia might have the edge right now. Missouri also has a few guys coming back as well.
Dash - not sure you've noticed (and this is on all the bloggers chats - happens to Ubben, too), but when you use the ampersand when abbreviating TAMU's name, everything after the ampersand never shows up.
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Well that's weird. Thanks for the heads up.
You knew Loeffler? Do you expect Frazier or Moseley?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
I think Moseley fits what he wants to do more, but you can't discount Frazier at all. He has more athleticism, but I still need to see more of what he can do with his arm. I think Loeffler can work well with both and you should see improvement from both with when it comes to passing. Loeffler knows about fundamentals.
How big of an impact would landing Dorial Green -Beckham have on the Hog's already scary returning offense?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
He's a beast and would be great for any offense. I think he'd compete for a starting job no matter which school he ended up at. Arkansas' offense might make him even more dangerous ...
Morgan (Atlanta )
What Coach has the most to prove this season?
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
I think Derek Dooley has a lot to prove. He has some talent coming back and has a pretty nice schedule in 2012. All eyes will be on him, especially after that loss to Kentucky. I think that loss is why there has been so much talk about Dooley and his future with the Vols.
What's your reaction to hearing about Bama's star DT Josh Chapman playing the last 7 weeks on a torn ACL? That's heart.
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
I also wonder if it did long-term damage, too. You have to think that the doctors said he couldn't do anymore harm by playing, but man that just sounds so dangerous, especially for a big lineman.
After a weekend with all those big recruits at Florida. Any word on Florida turning or picking up any new recruits other than Cox?
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
It sounds like Florida made a lot of progress this weekend. But remember ... it's recruiting. Everyone can make a good impression, but it's all about the very last one.
Kendal (Mt. Washington, Ky)
It appears that Charlie Strong at Louisville is pretty much closing the door on Joker Philips at UK as far as recruiting goes. Just how bad do you think UK will be this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
Phillips has to get that offense going. It was terrible in 2011 and the problem is that no one really stepped up to show that he could be a true playmaker for this team. Those players return and have a lot to prove. If they can't get anything going again, it's going to be another long year for the Wildcats.
Wow, no discussion about my Tigers...After the way LSU ended the season, do you see Les Miles as having something to prove next season?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
I think his offense has to prove something. It's funny how much dirt has been dumped on LSU since its loss, but that offense was awful to watch. Now, Zach Mettenberger arrives and the hope is that the passing game will be much better. And it should. Miles had a great season until the very last game. Until we find out what really happened before and during that game, it's tough to say how we should approach Miles next season.
What (if any) drawbacks do you see with the expansion to 14 teams in the SEC?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
It will hurt East-West play in the league. It will take much longer for teams to play each other, so that's kind of a bummer.
In the SEC blog you seem to give Alabama a shot to landing DGB, saying he's in their top 3. Where are you getting that? The ONLY time he has mention AL is two mo's ago when he gave out his top 5. No visit planned, no mention of AL in over a moth
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
Man, the Arkansas fans really have come out in full force with this one. I talked to one of our recruiting analysts about him and each one of the top prospects still considering SEC schools and he told me that Green-Beckham is seriously considering Alabama and that Alabama is in his top three. But this is recruiting, and EVERYTHING ALWAYS CHANGES. Who knows what the kid is really feeling? Maybe he has told some people one thing and others something different. We will never know. It's so hard to take any recruit at his word with all the movement. Top threes, fives or 10s mean absolutely nothing because so much can change in such a short amount of time. One day of the year matters, but we overlook that so much.
Follow up question to player going out there for 7 weeks with a torn ACL...does a coach have a responsibility to the player to look out for his/her long-term health? Or is it just about giving that year's team the best opportunity to win?
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
You always have to think about the player's health first, but if the doctors said he could play and wouldn't suffer any long-term damage than I don't see the issue. I'm not sure if I would do it, but I've never been in that kind of situation.
Victor (Asheville, NC)
If the SEC goes to a 9-game schedule, will we see permanent rivalries disappear? Will big intersectional non-conference games be a thing of the past?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I think you would, but I'm not sure the SEC is going to go that way. 2012 is a trial run, so we'll see waht happens after that.
With Vanderbilt returning more offense than defense this coming season. Can you finally see Vanderbilt being an offensively led team as opposed to always being known as a good defensive team?
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
I think so. With Rodgers, Matthews, Boyd, Stacy and Norman returning I think that Vandy will thrive on its offense. There are some major holes to fill on defense, so this offense better be ready for shootouts. The good thing for the Commodores is that they are better equipped for them.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
Ed, what do you think it the reason for all the asst coaching changes at SC? Is it success or are they not happy working for SOS? He has to be getting frustrated by losing so many assitants when he has the program going in the right direction
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
I don't think it has to do with working with Spurrier. Graham took a job at his alma mater and Smith is joining a PSU staff that has a coach in Ted Roof that he coached with previously. Plus, Ellis Johnson moved up from defensive coordinator to head coach. I think it has to do with different opportunities more than anything.
With so many slots left to fill for Auburn, do you ultimately see them with a top 5 class?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
It's possible, but I think it will be hard unless some of those other schools lose commitments. Auburn would have to climb 10 spots in a short amount of time. Unless Auburn grabs some great whites on signing day, I don't think it will happen. But that doesn't mean that the class won't be a good one.
Jake (Casper, WY)
who is the best team in SEC next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
It's very early, but I think the early favorite has to be LSU. All that defensive talent and an upgrade at QB will make this team a national championship contender right off the bat.
Do you think any of the media that cover Missouri or A&M have any idea just how big SEC Media Days are?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
It certainly is a circus.
BigOrangeNation (Rocky Top)
Thank god it is ED, the Rockies homer!!! Seriously how long before Hart pulls the trigger on Dooley? With all the lack of stability the excuses will continue to ring out, but 7-6 in my opinion opens up a new coaching search
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
Pretty big pickup for my Rockies this weekend too ... I think that Dooley has to show that he has Tennessee going in the right direction. I know Vols fans hate it when I bring it up, but that loss to Kentucky was a step back for this program. Making it to a bowl would have cooled all the hot seat talk. I think it's tough to say how many games he needs to win before his seat really gets hot, but he has to make it to the postseason next year.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
I'm confused who is Smith? As far as I know we lost Johnosn, Bulter, Graham, and Fitzgerald? I can understand Johnson wanting to be a head coach but why not pay a guy like coach Fitz enought to stay
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
Oops. Meant John Butler. For some reason I was thinking John Smith ...
Dustin Hutchison (knoxville, TN)
Do you think Dalton Santos decommits from Tennessee and signs with Texas?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
I'm not sure if it will come to that point, but now that Texas is involved, I think a lot of will change for him. He'll have to do a lot a thinking because Texas IS the school of that state. Should be interesting.
Steve (Indiana )
Whats the word on Dee hart from alabama hows his recovery going and is he abck on the feild yet?
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
Well, he returned to practice in November and dressed for the first LSU game. He was in a black non-contact jersey during national championship practice. I think he'll be fine for spring practice, but you still have to be careful after an injury like that. From what I've been told, he had looked good in practice.
How closely do you follow recruiting?
Edward Aschoff (1:05 PM)
Not as much as I used to. I was all over it back in my newspaper days. Now, I leave it to the real professionals. But I dabble here and there.
Hey Ed, just wanted to say that I've enjoyed having you join the SEC blog. Nice to have someone to keep C-Low in line. Oh, and Go Gamecocks!
Edward Aschoff (1:06 PM)
Thanks my man, and I appreciate you reading and coming over to the chat. I hope you all had fun. Great questions today, as usual. Talk to you guys next week. National signing day is almost here and spring practice will be here before you know it!