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 (12:02 PM)
Hello all. It's chat time. Put those NCAA brackets down for the next our and let's talk some SEC football.
PaRollTide (In a bubble bath)
Ed, I'm an idiot. I made a really dumb bet. I bet that AJ McCarron would be in the top 25 sec players. To save me a lot of trouble from having to pay off this bet can we please agree that AJ McCarron is player 25a of the top 25 SEC players list? PLEASE!!!
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
It was really tough leaving him off the list, but ask Chris about your monetary losses. Blame him! I kid. Really, it was tough because he ended the season so well, but it took him time to get there. Most of the players on our list were solid from start to finish. McCarron is a good player and I think he can get to elite status nationally with more playing time. No disrespect showed toward him for not having him on this list.
How much of an upgrade is Mettenberger over the train wreck that was Jordan Jefferson?? I feel that even if he is an average SEC QB that LSU will be amazing with the surrounding talent.
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
Obviously, we haven't seen much of Mettenberger, but from what we've been told and from what I've seen on film from his high school days, he's a much more fluid passer. He makes better decisions and he has a big arm. Those are all things Jefferson lacked. Mettenberger has to become a better leader and that will take some time because he's a new starter. I think it will be a major upgrade.
Tim (In a Galaxy far far away...)
Do you think Florida is ready for a comeback year this year? I am thinking it might take another year for young Muschamp to "mature" as a coach.p.s. WPS!
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
I think Florida takes a step in the right direction. The offense is still shrouded in mystery because there are no proven parts at any of the positions. Defensively, I think the Gators will be better, and they were pretty good in 2011. It' all about growing up and being more disciplined for this time. Toughness is key too because that team wasn't tough last year.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
How much does the defense of Arkansas need to improve to beat both LSU and Bama this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
It's not like Arkansas didn't have the talent last year. It just didn't have adequate depth and that showed when injuries occurred. Also, I think the defense needs to be tougher. There was a lot of bend in that defense last year and you can't have that in the SEC. Alabama and LSU don't bend much. Holes need to be filled, but I think this defense will be more aggressive under Paul Haynes.
Which freshman will have the biggest impact on their team this year in the East Division
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I've been riding the Shaq Roland bandwagon for a while. I think he has the potential to be a starter early for the Gamecocks. He's a big-play threat at wide receiver and the Gamecocks need help at wide out.
ManicTigah (The Bayou of LA)
How do you have time for a family with all the work you put in with this blog? What does Ed do with his limited spare time?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
Well, I'm not married, so I play soccer and softball here in Atlanta. Pretty active guy. Thanks for asking :)
How is LSU's defensive backfield shaping up? Can their defense (or anyone's) unseat Bama as the best in the country?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
Tharold Simon could have a big year, in my opinion. He didn't get a lot of attention last year because of the Honey Badger and Mo Claiborne. I think he has a chance to be a shutdown cornerback. I wonder if Craig Loston is ready to take over for Brandon Taylor. There's no question he has the ability, but he needs to push himself harder. Eric Reid and Mathieu are back so that's good. I think LSU's secondary will be fine.
Ed, I'm all about rivalries, but I don't think two or three rivalries should determine the whole league's approach to cross division games. I don't like the idea of only playing non-permanent cross division SEC opponents at home once every 12 years. I think if UGA/Auburn/Tennesse/Alabama want to keep their rivalries, they'll just have to play a 9th SEC game. 4 teams (and two games) shouldn't dictate what the other 10 teams have to do. What do you think?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
I love rivalries. I think it would be a shame if those games were gone. I'd be sad to see LSU-Florida gone. It could go the way of Auburn-UF, which was a pretty good rivalry for a while. I can't see Bama-UT going away or Auburn-UGA. I won't stand for it! But I think it would be really hard to keep people happy with the loss of those rivalries, but it's going to be hard to figure out scheduling. I like the idea of not playing home-and-homes. Just go through the list for your other cross-divisional game, but keep the rivalries.
Kingston (Paragould, AR)
What did you think of Arkansas recruiting class? I thought we came up kind of short.
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
Missed on a couple big names, but got some good depth at wide receiver and on defense. Getting LB Otha Peters to flip from Tennessee late was big, in my opinion. I liked it and it was pretty much a Bobby Petrino class.
Cahart (Columbus, GA)
Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about UGA and...well mainly UGA. Do we have a shot at bringing home the crystal this year or should I focus my hopes on something else for the next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
Well the off-the-field silliness needs to stop. Do these guys think they're invincible or something? The talent is surely there. Veteran QB, top-notch defense. OLine is young, but there is depth there this year. I think Georgia can make the run, but it has to be mentally fit. It wasn't in 2008 when the hype was flowing.
Tmbuktooo (A Barn Near You)
Dash, I really believe that Auburn will turn some heads this year, what do you think their biggest issues will be and why? I think we will help keep the Natty in the State of Alabama.
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
I like the talent that Auburn returns. Having to replace two coordinators will take some time to get through, but I like who was hired. It's going to come down to the QB position. Will it be Clint Moseley or Kiehl Frazier? Will Zeke Pike make some noise? The one that steps up has to be a leader. No quarterback was much of a leader for Auburn last year. That has to change if the Tigers want to take a step forward. Defensively, it's all about discipline. Talent is there, but have to play more sound defense this time.
Jared (Columbia, SC)
Who do you think will be this years Melvin Ingram in the SEC. Drowned by the hype of others, but manages to be one of (if not) the best in the SEC at their position?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
I think Devin Taylor has a chance. Remember, he was supposed to be better than Ingram. Alec Ogletree is another guy to keep an eye on. If he wasn't injured last year he might have had a huge season.
Casey (Ft Stewart, GA)
Would you put Jarvis Jones as the best LB coming back this season? And where would you rank his counterpart Alec Olgetree? Could he be better than Jones?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
I definitely put Jones at the top when it comes to returning linebackers. I think Tree can be pretty good, too, but I won't put him over Jones. That guy is an animal.
A Southern Lady (NW Arkansas)
I love three things in my life 1. My husband, 2. Oatmeal in the morning, 3. Arkansas football. Will Petrino have the Hogs back in the BCS this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Take at least one from LSU and Alabama and get that defense in shape and you'll have a chance.
Dawgfan (poundtown usa)
We here at the SEC blog are a rare breed. Some banned more than other. Some good some bad. Some are so focused and consumed with ______ university that they cant take the blinders off for a second to listen to a good point. Where do you fit in when it comes to UF athletics? Are you a Homer? Come on....you're a homer : ]
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
If by UF you mean Colorado Rockies or Carolina Panthers, then, yes, I'm a homer. I'll cry about those two teams all the time.
Dorial Green Beckham (Missouri)
Hey Ed,Watch me pull a Lattimore in my second career game (1st SEC game) and own UGA. You think they'll even have any body to cover me at this rate?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
That's a lot of big talk for a freshman. I think you'll be pretty good, but you can't discount your teammates. There are some talented guys there who will have their chances to make plays, especially if defenses key in on you. I'm sure the Georgia fans won't be too happy with your comments ...
Will (Baton Rouge)
I know you mentioned Tharold Simon. Do you think he is that good? He seemed good, but he just never stuck out as a great corner. Also, who is behind Simon as far as corners go?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
I really do. He's fast, athletic and instinctive. He's a tough player and I think he'll be pretty good this season. Keep an eye on redshirt freshmen Jalen Collins, Micah Eugene and David Jenkins. They can all play multiple positions, so that will help LSU out as it figures out the depth in the secondary.
PaRollTide (Near a box of razors)
Ed, Everyone says I am a homer because i think AJ is better than Wilson or Murray. What do you think? Please side with me or I shall use these razors!
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
I'm not ready to put McCarron above Tyler Wilson or Aaron Murray. Wilson enters the season as the top returning quarterback and Murray is right behind him. Then, it's a little wide open. I really like what James Franklin can do because he can run and throw. McCarron really improved during the second half of the season and I expect big things from him. But right now, I'm going with Wilson and Murray over him. More experienced and more polished in certain areas.
Billy Hastings (Florida)
How do you feel about oversigning? I feel its about as evil as half the commenters on these message boards. And that's pretty evil!
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
It's tough. Teams have to account for attrition and when you hold a team to 25 it's tough to organize your roster. There are always going to be players who don't qualify, so that adds another complication. I don't agree with coaches snatching scholarships late or asking for grayshirts. If you say it up front, then that's fine, but doing it late just isn't fair to the kid at all. I'm not sure where I stand on it because I see the benefits to both sides.
Give me your prediction for south carolina's season Mr.Dash sir.
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Ugh. It's so early, but I do like South Carolina. I think the Gamecocks will be in the running for the SEC East all season. I wouldn't be shocked at all if the Gamecocks won the East. I like the defense that returns and if Lattimore is healthy, South Carolina's offense will be in good shape. They have to find a wide receiver, but I think QB Connor Shaw will help that passing game go regardless. I think 10 wins or more is very possible.
DBT (The Swamps of LA)
Ed, I'll be you 5 pounds of crawfish that LSU will win the SEC this year. I get LSU, you get the field.We can wait until the prices come down from $4 a pound if you want. You game?
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
But what if I like LSU ...
Ed, Thanks for taking the time to do these chats. I hate to say it but I think the stars are lining up for this to be the HBC's last in Columbia. He should become SC's all time winningest coach after this year. Marcus Lattimore could be his favorite player of all time (maybe tied with Wuerffel) and elite RBs with serious knee injuries don't come back for senior years.Odds the HBC is spending this time next year on the links vs the proving grouds?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
I think he still has a few more years left in him. He has really built that program up. He can't leave it now because there is still more to do. I don't think this is his last year at all.
Ed, have when was the last WR group in the SEC that was as talented as Darick Rogers, Justin Hunter, and Cordarelle Patterson? If Bray isn't the SEC's most prolific passer this year he may never reach his potential.
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
You have to like his options. If Hunter is healthy watch out. If Da'Rick Rogers has his head on straight watch out. If Patterons lives up to the hype watch out. Bray has some improving to do. He makes some bad decisions here and there, but he has one of the biggest arms in the SEC. I think he'll stay at the top of the passing list in the SEC for the entire year. He'll challenge Tyler Wilson for most yards next year.
MikeDaTiger (South endzone of Death Valley)
Ed, what are your thoughts on Death Valley expanding to 100k capacity? Toughest place to play in the nation?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
As a fan of awesome college atmospheres I'm thrilled. There's nothing like Death Valley at night when the Tiger band gets going with those three famous notes. As an opposing player I'm not so thrilled. Didn't LSU have enough of an advantage in there already??
Dooley's Pants have got to go (Top of a tall building)
No Da'rick Rogers on the top 25 list! You gotta be kidding me!!! I'm freaking out here!
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Had a good year, no doubt, but he caused that team a lot of headaches off the field. We took that into consideration and mentioned that in our original post. When his head is on straight he's a great player, but we penalized him for that.
DJ Tiger (Kansas City)
Do you think Missouri has a chance to win or compete in the East this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
Yes. I think with the talent returning on offense and some nice pieces on defense, the Tigers will give the East some trouble. Will they win it? Not so sure. I'm not sure if this team, or Texas A&M, is ready for a full season in the SEC. It's gonna be a tough transition for both teams, but I think Missouri will be solid this fall.
How do you see tennessee's season shaping up next year. PS. How could you leave Tyler Bray off QB list.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
I didn't leave him off, just didn't have him in the top 2 :) I think if Tennessee's younger players buy in and mature on the field, you'll see need improvements from this team. There are a lot of new coaches on that staff, so trust will be big this year. I think Tennessee has the pieces to turn the corner, but it's going to come down to the players' mindsets. This team wasn't very strong mentally last year, and injuries didn't help that at all. A healthy, focused Tennessee team will compete in the SEC East this fall.
Timmy Tin Can (White House playing Golf)
Most underated SEC team?
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
Whoa. Tough. I thought South Carolina was underrated at the end of last season, but going into next year I think I'll go with Auburn. This team has a lot of young pieces coming back from last year and everyone is pretty much counting the Tigers out. I'm not saying Auburn will win the West, but it will put up a fight and it will frustrate teams next year.
What is the deal with Duron Carter? Do you see him making any impact this fall since he will miss some Spring time with a suspension?
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
I don't know but if he wants to make any sort of impact he has to get on the field and he has to start practicing. If he doesn't return this spring, he'll be even further behind. He has the potential to be really good for the Tide, but he's not giving himself the chance to show it.
If Georgia would have had Tennessee's schedule last year would Mark Richt be in trouble and Dooley be the one coming off of a bowl game? Tennessee played LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, and a fully healthy Florida while Georgia played none of the West Monsters and played Florida only after Alabama and LSU beat the life out of them.
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
Who knows? Do the injuries still occur? You can't blame everything on the schedule. It would have been an easier road, yes, but who knows what would have happened to players with a different schedule? Tennessee had a chance to go to a bowl team and it lost it by losing to Kentucky for the first time in 26 years.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Is Chizik on the hot seat if he has a losing seasong next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
No. He won it all in 2010 and then won a bowl game with a very young team.
TheStinger (Atlanta, Ga)
Hi there Edward, I got GTech beating UGA this year, UGA is in trouble at DB and OLine. Thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
In enemy territory I see. I think the offensive line is younger, but not necessarily in trouble. Having depth there is going to be huge for that line. The secondary does have questions. Depth is a problem there and that's not good. I think if Georgia beats Missouri and gets Commings back, the secondary will be fine, but injuries could take a toll back there.
Tim (Athens, Georgia)
A Murray is our QB. He throqws a lot of td's, but struggles in big gasmes, any idea why?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I think he tries to do too much. He has great mechanics and technique, but tries to win on every single play sometimes in big games and that doesn't work. He has to work on his composure is pressure situations in big games.
jackie sherrill (starkville)
I really think MSU dogs are the most underrated team. We have a lot of stuff going for us. What do you think about our 2012 team? and do you think Auburn will win in starkville?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
Mississippi State has some nice defensive parts returning and I think JUCO guys like Denico Autry will have big impacts this fall. The Bulldogs aren't gone by any means. Last year should have been better and I don't think you'll find anyone around that program who disagrees. If Tyler Russell gets comfy and the WRs step up, Mississippi State will challenge the bigger boys in the West.
Dash-You just said you took off field issues into consideration...Did you do the same for Tyrann?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
He had one silly incident off the field that resulted in a suspension. Rogers had his struggles throughout and was then firmly in Derek Dooley's doghouse at the end of the season.
Scott (San Antonio)
Where would you peg A&M in the West this year? Although we haven't settled on a QB and will have a new coaching staff - which conference game lends itself to us upsetting one of the top teams in the SEC? Thanks!
Edward Aschoff (1:05 PM)
The good thing is that the offensive line should be a strength. That's a must in this league. Linebackers who can play defensive end is good and will help rebuild that line, but the QB spot scares me. Unproven doesn't even begin to describe Texas A&M's QB position. With some key guys gone, I put A
Edward Aschoff (1:05 PM)
OK, I have to run guys. Great chat as always. Talk to you later.