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, all. It's time for another Monday chat, so let's dive right in.
Ed, What do you think would be the likelihood of Florida leaving the SEC, if they were presented with an option to join a new league by FSU if it decided to create a new league instead of joining the Big 12 or staying in the ACC. My friend was telling me with the WAC being dead the time is ripe for a new conference to be formed and that FSU could be the driving force for it.
Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM)
No with a side of chance. Florida has no reason to leave the SEC and you can bet that Florida State would have no influence on the school. Remember AD Jeremy Foley doesn't like the idea of having FSU or Miami in the same conference as Florida because of recruiting. UF wouldn't follow FSU.
Greg /Atl, Ga. [via mobile]
Ed, I have seen Mel hypers 2013 mock draft. Please help me understand how it includes D. J. Flicker as 1st rounder but does not include the Barrett Jones who won the Outland Trophy last year and can play every position across the O line. Baffled!!! Please shed some light!
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
I was surprised at first too, but when you talks to NFL scouts they all like Fluker's upside more and think he'd be a better pro prospect than Jones. But the funny thing is that neither might have as much upside as Chance Warmack. Scouts seem more interested in him right now and if he has a good year I wouldn't be surprised if he was taken before either Jones or Fluker.
Hey Dash, you think this year's vandy-uga game is gonna be exciting enough for me to skip music midtown?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
It'll be pretty good for sure. There is some bad blood there (see James Franklin and Todd Grantham) and Vanderbilt will be hungry to get a signature win the SEC. It's tough turning down good music, until the SEC comes around.
Clay (Birmingham, AL)
Ed, things just went from bad to worse in Arky. Is it lack of discipline from the Petrino era or a lack of control from Smith?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
It's way to early to say that Smith doesn't have control. He acted quickly and correctly when he suspended those players. Now, going forward will be interesting. How long with the suspension last? how severe will it be? It's all going to depend on the legal side. This is just another poor decision made in Fayetteville that has put this football team in a bind. Marquel Wade is expected to be a big-time contributor this fall. Not having him will hurt the offense, in my opinion, because he's so versatile.
What do you think is the real reason Sims left Bama for UVA? Family or lack of play time? You think he'll make UVA a better squad?
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I think he saw the writing on the wall. This is AJ McCarron's team. Sims is a talented player, but he isn't up there with McCarron when it comes to being a more complete QB. He knew he wasn't going to beat out McCarron, so it was time to move on. The guy wants to play.
Dawgfan012 (atlanta ga)
Is Jim Delaney affraid of his beloved B1G 10 consistantly not being represented in a new championship scenerio or just an avid fan of the BCS automatic bid system and desperately trying to save it?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
I think he fears the SEC takeover just like the rest of college football. He knows that a system that doesn't require conference champions will give the SEC more chances to get two teams in. I understand where he's coming from, but his approach is way off. Belittling Alabama is a weak move. He knows how good that team was and most people know Alabama deserved to be in the title game.
Toby (Rolla, Missouri)
Do you think "The Battle of The Columbias" will end up being a good yearly game?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
Why not? It could be kind of a fun rivalry with the distance and the two cities having the same name. I'm all for it. The home team should present the visiting team with something for making such a long trip.
What do you make of the WR corps of Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rodgers, and Cordarelle Patterson with QB Tyler Bray? The potential is there for a lot of offense (Assuming no one gets hurt like Justin last season)
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
If they are all healthy and focused I think it could be very dangerous to stop. I think Hunter might be the most gifted receiver in the SEC. He's due to make a lot of noise this year. Rogers could be great if he could just keep his head on straight, and the coaches seem to really like Patterson. Bray should be better, but he has to stay healthy.
Do you think that it's detrimental to the development of QBs to not name one as a starter? Simply, do you think that Brissett or Driskel would be better off (in the long run) if one were named starter already?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
Absolutely not. Competition breeds development. It's easy for young quarterbacks to get complacent when they know they're THE GUY. If you really don't know, don't rush it. Yes, you need to have one guy that you can rely on more than the other for the long run, but heading into the season with two QBs isn't always a bad thing. I've talked to coach this spring that have all said it's always better to have two.
Which SEC teams have the best running back/O-line combos this next season?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
Right now I'd say Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Arkansas are at the top. Georgia's O-line is still a question and so is Auburn's.
What do you make of all the staff turn over in Knoxville? Given the Vols "front loaded" schedule, is Dooley out the door by November?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Regardless of all the talk about them being better moves for the team, you have to wonder what's going on. That's a lot of coaches leaving at once. And it's going to take time for players to get adjusted. They haven't played with these coaches yet. Practice and playing are two different things. I think if Tennessee struggles again like it did last year, Dooley's seat is going to get hotter and hotter. I don't see him being let go early unless the season just collapses on itself before the year is over.
SthrnChckx7.0 (Hastings Arms BnB)
Hi Dash! You look athletic in your videos. Did you play a sport in college?
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
Soccer, eating right and regular exercise keep you going! Do flag football and softball count?
Josh (Atlanta, GA)
Over/under 14 sacks for Jarvis Jones in 2012?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
Under. Teams will game plan for him more this season. Plus I think you'll see the line get in more on sacks this year. Tough to repeat what he did.
Forgive me if you've been asked this already, but do you agree with USC being above LSU in the preseason polls? yes, its the preseason, but still...
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
No, but I'm not surprised. I think LSU has a chance to repeat as SEC champs and go to the NC again. I think the defense will be just as good and the offense will be better with Mettenberger throwing the ball. But when you have all that talent and Matt Barkley I can see why USC is getting more love. Plus, LSU fell flat in the title game and people remember that.
Kirby (Birmingham, Ala)
Ed, think UGA's defense is a little overrated? I mean they did cough up @38 points a game vs. top 25 where we at the Tide held top 25 to under 8 points a game. Seems to me Dawgs coughed up 30+ against every top 25 team.
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Last year's? Maybe a little when you look at how it played against top teams. But I think this year you'll see more discipline and comfort on the field. This team is older and knows Grantham's scheme that much better. However, losing those players early will hurt against Mizzou and Vandy.
PaRollTide (Sthrns Cave)
Dash, do you hear the echo in this cave, it is saying Alabama will repeat and AJ will be the best QB in the SEC. Anyways, we might as well start previewing the Alabama/USC matchup for the Natty, who do you think wins?
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
Still waiting to see what that defense does. Road games at Arkansas and LSU, too. Not a given that this team will repeat.
MossyOaker (Atlanta, Georgia)
UGA offense took over 30 sacks in 2011 and didn't run block well either. That was with 3 NFL O-lineman. Lots of inexperience there in 2012, how much worse will it be, 40 sacks, last in rushing in conference?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
If Crowell plays like he did this spring, the running game will be better. Plus, Keith Marshall will add a nice change-of-pace back. The line is inexperienced for sure, so that could hold this offense back some. Georgia wants to run the ball more to open up the passing game with the line that it has. Also, look for more short passes from Murray. That will help when the line collapses.
Chris K (Lowell, Ar)
Hey Dash. With the last showing of the Arkansas defense, the Cotton bowl. Do you think by summer's end the defense could be under rated? Sure we won't be on par with LSU/Alabama but are they poised to break near the top of the SEC?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
You have to remember that some pretty good starters and vets are gone. Depth was a major issue last year and now a lot of those players are being counted on to start this fall. I think Paul Haynes brings a more aggressive style, but I haven't seen anything that tells me this will be an elite SEC defense. The unit was 8th or worse in the SEC in all defensive categories last year. I'm not saying Arkansas' defense will be awful this fall, but I also don't think it'll be underrated heading into the season.
Wilson (Montgomery, ALA)
Let's say it comes down to UGA, which I got because of weak schedule, and LSU, you like Mettenberger or Murray to win that matchup? I got LSU, I like Mettenberger's leadership and poise, won 11 out of 12 at Butler.
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
I like LSU's defense vs Murray more than I like UGA's defense vs Mettenberger. Murray told me this spring that his biggest problem is trying to completely take over big games and that he sometimes loses trust in his own players. We saw that last year against LSU. He sometimes gets too caught up in how big some games are. I need to see improvement there before I pick him to topple LSU's defense.
PRT (Harrisburg, PA)
Best SEC qb of the last ten years. Tebow 2007, Cam 2010, or AJ 2011. GO!
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
Man that is tough. Tebow was fun to watch in 2007, won a Heisman, but lost a few games. Cam went undefeated and won a Heisman and won a national championship. AJ progressed as the season went on and looked like a new QB in 2011. I'll go with Cam because of the unbeaten record, the Heisman and the title.
Josh (Atlanta, GA)
Who will finish the year as the better quarterback: Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger? I remember how heated this battle was, especially after Mettenberger looked great at the G-Day game a couple years back. I know Mettenberger has yet to take an SEC snap, but the question will always be asked since they came in to Athens together.
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
I think UGA will throw the ball more than LSU, so I'll go with Murray in yards and touchdowns. It's not a knock on Mettenberger, I just think that with all those running backs LSU will run the ball a lot. Not as much as it did last year, but it'll definitely be a run-first team.
Chad Alabama [via mobile]
How big of a game would this be if Ohio state could go to a bowl game and play Florida?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Not as big as it would be next year. Both teams should be significantly better next year ...
YoMurphy (Nashville, Tenn)
Hi Edward, I love the coaches on the Vols in 2012, solid everywhere. Love the QB & WR on offense, I say Dooley shocks this year and upsets 2 big teams, almost did in 2010, and finishes with 8-9 wins to shut up his critics. Agree?
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
I could see eight wins if everyone buys in and the defense settles in. But it's going to be tough. We still don't know if the Vols can run the ball and the offensive line has to be better.
In regards to the potential playoff structure, I know the SEC wants the best four teams to qualify (cause they will likely have two teams in the top 4 in the foreseeable future) , and the Big 10 wants conference champions ranked in the top 6 to automatically qualify (cause their champ likely won't rank in the top 4). Where do the other conferences stand on this issue? Does anyone have a justifiable argument against the best 4 teams playing in the playoff?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
The only argument is that conferences don't want the big boys to have two teams in there. But if you want the true best teams in the country to play for a national title then throw the conference champ talk away.
bill (takin over one board at a time)
dash, if john smith has a really bad year which i think he will, do you see a it possibill to hire petrino back
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
I can't see it. If that happened then Jeff Long would have a lot of explaining to do. What would have been the point of even getting rid of Petrino? That means 2012 was a complete waste of time. You should have just kept him. There are more quality options out there for Arkansas to choose from.
Hey Ed, How likely is it for South Carolina to have a undefeated season going into the SEC Championship game and if they win, what is the likelyhood of us winning the National Championship?
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
Any team that gets through the SEC undefeated has a chance to win the national championship. South Carolina has a tough rode, though. There's a stretch in the middle of the season where South Carolina plays Georgia then goes to LSU and Florida before coming home to play Arkansas and Tennessee. Tough. Plus, Clemson is at the end of the year and it's on the road.
tmbuk (Court Room)
Ed, With Arkansas' off field issues, could this year but a damper on the team and possibly put Auburn in contention for 3rd in the SEC West?
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
It all depends on how this team responds. You know things can get out of hand quickly with an interim coach is in charge. When bad things happen, a team can be lost because they just don't garner the same respect as a regular head coach. I'm not saying that will happen, but it's possible, no matter how much this team said it rally around Smith.
AthenianGreek (Athens, UGA)
So, since you da SEC Goo roo, let me ask ya, say UGA FINALLY beats South Carolina, FINALLY wins 2 in a row against Gators, gets past LSU or Alabama in the Championship, then wins the Bowl game. Could this dream really happen, or am I dreamin?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
It could happen. It won't be easy, but it could happen. UGA fans could finally go 12 months without complaining about Mark Richt or Mike Bobo ... maybe.
With lsu having to come to the Swamp this year, lsu having a qb whos never started a game and him having to play a very good Florida D. What are the chances of UF upsetting lsu?
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
For those reasons, you have to consider Florida, but you also have to remember that Florida has some offensive issues of its own and that LSU defense is pretty good. Well, very good. Could be a very interesting game.
Is USC overrated? I looked at the numbers on their defense from last year. Their D was not really great against the teams with decent to good offenses. Such as Arky, ECU, Georgia. That being said I think they have trouble with UGA and Mizzou and Clemson again. thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
I don't think so. Plus, I think this defense is very, very fast. The Gamecocks had some bend here and there, but won two of the three games you mentioned. South Carolina will have to play better on defense in those bigger games because you can play sloppy on defense just so much in this league.
Is tennessee overblown this year??? I just see how awful they were last year and I could see them having a horrible year. I don't see them beating Mizzou, USC, UGA or FLorida. Am I wrong? (that was only east schedule btw).
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
I don't think Tennessee has been overblown at all. Most of the talk has been about Derek Dooley reaming for next year. The consensus is that he offense has a lot of weapons, but OL and RB are concerns. The defense is older, but has a relatively new system to learn and a few new coaches teaching. Eight wins wouldn't surprise me, but less than that might make things uncomfortable in Knoxville.
brett (port orange, fl)
why do other conferences even bother playing?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Because there has to be something else to watch when SEC games aren't on :)
Since South Carolina won the fan poll on who will have the best Defense this year, why is it that you don't believe they will over LSU or Bama? You know Carolina is more loaded than those guys are on talent when it comes to Defense, and we all know defense always starts up front.
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
Yes, and up front LSU returns the best defensive line in the SEC. Two first-rounders in Montgomery and Mingo. The coaches expect Logan to have a huge year and Johnson really is a freak. South Carolina's line is good, but I think LSU gets the edge the edge there. South Carolina wins at linebacker, but LSU wins the secondary. Mathieu, Simon and Reid are all back. I'm going with LSU right now.
Everyone keeps talking about Marcus Lattimore's and Knile Davis return like they will return "to form". After watching Hightower play in 2010 after surgery in 2009. I can't imagine these two returning to "all world" in one season.
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
It'll be tough, for sure, but these are top medical staffs out there. They are going to make sure both players get the right rest and attention. They were both ahead of schedule this spring, so that's big. A lot of R.I.C.E will help.
Is it good for College Football that the SEC win's so many titles in a row?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
If the best teams in the country are winning the national championship, I don't see the harm in it. Are other sports bad when the best are winning?
Klein (West Palm Beach, Fla)
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
Well I've always been a fan of Oregon's unis from the LSU game. In the SEC I really, really like Missouri's new uniforms. I love how Georgia's red home uniforms look with those black socks and shoes. I like Vandy's all-black unis. Florida's blue tops with orange pants were cool when I was little.
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
Great chat today. Hope you all enjoyed it. Talk to you guys soon.