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 (1:16 PM)
Better late than never. Had a few interviews, etc. that ran long. We'll do some bonus time on the chat today.
Mississippi State Desk Jockey (MSU)
Chris - Are you going to make it to Starkville this year? I think you should Come to the Arkansas game. It is always a good one in Starkville.
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Not sure yet. I'd like to. Big year for Dan Mullen and the program. When you look at the schedule, Bulldogs have a chance to be 6-1 or maybe even 7-0.
Boudreaux (Death valley)
Chris bama loses most their starters on d and their top receivers how delirious are those espn analyst who say lsu wont even make the sec champ
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
Everybody sees the season a little differently at this point. I like LSU, even with Mathieu gone, a little better. The combination of LSU's offensive and defensive lines, the Bama game being in Baton Rouge and an offense I think will be more balanced with Mettenberger playing QB is what sells me on LSU.
Dark horse in each division and key contributor for each of those teams?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
I'll go with Florida in the East. Gators need Gillislee to have a big year running the ball.In the West, I'll go with Mississippi State. I like the way the Bulldogs schedule breaks down the first two months of the season. They need Tyler Russell to have a big year at QB and they need to do a good job of protecting him.
Andre (Monticello, FL)
Chris, with Rodgers being dismissed from Tennessee do the Vols have anymore play makers that can fill that void at the receiver position.
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
Good thing they brought in top junior college receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. He's looked good so far, but you wonder how much of the offense he knows at this point. Senior Zach Rogers will have to play a bigger role, but with Rogers gone, it will be easier for teams to shadow Justin Hunter, who's very talented, but coming off a knee injury.
Chris, why so late?
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
Blame Da'Rick Rogers.
kylie (los angeles)
hey chris.... can't wait for CFB to start. who are your top 3 wide receivers in the SEC?
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
Funny you should ask. Da'Rick Rogers would have been in that group. But with him gone, I would say Cobi Hamilton, Justin Hunter and Emory Blake. Ryan Swope and is right there, too.
Buck Tucker (Alabama)
When will the SEC go to 9 conference games?
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
I now believe the SEC will go to nine games after talking with people in the SEC office. I never would have believed it before. My guess would be 2014 to coincide with the move to the playoff system.
Jackson (Waxahachie, TX)
Hey Chris - do you think preseason Polls should rank the quality of the team (best to worst) or do you teams should be ranked based on how they will perform with the set schedule?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
Great question. Everybody does it differently when doing their polls. My preseason poll is a reflection of how I think they teams will finish. Once the teams start playing, I work off that template, but make my picks based on how a team is playing, who that team has beaten and how many quality wins it has compiled.
lauren (bristol ct)
who will throw for more yards this year.... tyler wilson or aaron murray?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Wilson will throw for more yards, but Murray will account for more touchdowns.
jon (paducah, ky)
Chris, can you give me your predictions for week 1 of this college football season in the sec
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
You'll have to wait until next Thursday. Edward "The ATL Kid" is salivating at the thought of getting another shot at me this year. He was talking big last season after taking the lead midway through the season, but I took him down late ... and will again.
Which freshman does Georgia need to step up and make the most immediate impact?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
RB Todd Gurley would have to be right at the top along with John Theus at OT.
really chris, MSU as your darkhorse, come on man. With the quality of the teams in the SEC West and the fact that Mullen has never won a game against a west opp not name Ole Miss how can they be your darkhorse for the sec west
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
Ole Miss is my darkhorse to break its 14-game SEC losing streak, and I predict the Rebels will do it in their first three league games. How's that?
Chris, what do you think the chances are that Lattimore is actually 100%, as Spurrier says? Seems like the Ol' Ball Coach's mindgames at work again.
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
Really, nobody will know until we see him in a whole game and maybe a couple of games. I think the Gamecocks will be smarter at picking their spots with Lattimore. He had 107 carries in his first four games last season. I think they will use Kenny Miles more and maybe even Brandon Wilds more in spots and try to take some of the burden off of Lattimore. He'll be in there, though, when the game's on the line.
Aaron (Kansas City )
Chris, do you see Mizzou going to a bowl game this year? Where do you suppose they're going to finish? Can they really compete with the likes of Alabama and LSU?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Yes, I think Mizzou will make a bowl game. I have the Tigers battling with the Vols for the fourth spot in the East. Then again, if Mizzou upsets Georgia that second week, all bets are off. I worry about the Tigers' depth and experience, especially on the offensive line. They also need key guys on defense to stay healthy like Richardson, Gaines and Madison.
Blues (The SEC Blog)
Chris - what is the advantage of going to 9 games?
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
The feeling now is that a nine-game league schedule would help in the strength-of-schedule emphasis that will come into play in the national playoff, sort of like it is with the basketball selection committee. The coaches who have regular rivals outside the conference, like Florida-FSU, Kentucky-Louisville, Georgia-Georgia Tech, don't like the idea of a nine-game league schedule.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does LSU have the best defensive line in CFB? And potentially there best Front 4 ever?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
I don't know about "ever." But it's the best in the country. I think Montgomery, Mingo and Logan will all be first-round picks and top 45 or 50 selections at worst. They really like the way tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson are playing in camp, and Rasco and Edwards are solid backups at end. They're deep, talented and well-coached.
Clark Griswold (Wally World, Ca)
When I'm not out vacationing with my family I like to watch a little SEC football. Tell me what I can look forward to seeing out of the Auburn/Arkansas game? I think it will be closer than last season and will determine if Auburn gets to 8 wins this season plus a bowl win.
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
Clark, the park's closed. The moose should have told you that. ... As for the Auburn/Arkansas game, I think it gets down to how much has Auburn improved on defense and can they do a better job of defending the pass. The game's on the Plains, so that helps Auburn. To me, it's one of those games where Auburn will have to score 27 or 28 points to win.
Could Bama potentially have 4 first rounders this year in lineman alone? Barret, Chance, DJ, and Jesse?
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
Absolutely. Barrett probably has to play his way into the first round, but he's an exceptional college player and the fact that he's played all three positions will only help. Fluker could also go up or down. Warmack and Williams may be the surest picks of the four to go in the first round, although a lot could change this season. When Alabama and LSU play this season, you could see as many as eight or nine potential first-round picks in both the offensive and defensive lines.
Just read your excellent article on the Rogers dismissal. What happened after the Arkansas loss with Coach McKeefer?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
There had been an incident in the weight room earlier where Rogers had been insubordinate, and it carried over to the Arkansas game where there was nearly an altercation.
How good is Michigan and do you think they have a good chance of upsetting Bammer?
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Sure, if Robinson has a monster game and Alabama simply can't keep him in check. He's going to have to hit some passes, too, to soften up that defense. Michigan will be a tough test, but I just think Alabama is too good up front on offense and defense and will pull away in the fourth quarter.
How bout we answer a Mizzou question and stop worrying about these powerhouses in the West...the East is still good.
Chris Low (1:54 PM)
What's your question. I just answered a question about Mizzou a few back, but will be glad to answer another one. We're always nice to the new residents here on the SEC blog.
not to sound like Arky fans, but where's the love for AU? Top ten classes last 4 years and another on the way. Depth at DL. Lots of choices for RB, DB's with a year under their belts, best TE in the nation, top 5 DE in lemonier...a slew of O linemen that any team would love to have, and one of the best WR's in the nation....so let's hear the prediction for AU. According to most of your ESPN brethren we're always looking at 6-6 or worse...but yet we never do that. thoughts? and don't say it depends upon QB play...because it didn't for LSU, didn't for ALA and hasn't meant anything for Arky or UGA in the W column.
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
I don't think the Tigers will be 6-6 or worse. They had some real problems last season, but still carved out an 8-5 record, which was a credit to Chizik and the staff. I think they will be better on defense under VanGorder and have a chance to be very good up front defensively. My concern remains at quarterback and being able to throw the ball well enough to keep defenses from loading up against the run. I'll go with eight wins again. To me, 2013 is the year Auburn challenges for the West crown again.
Vandy the next Stanford of the east?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
We'll see. That's a stretch, although James Franklin has pumped some serious life into that program. The first step is getting to the point where the Commodores are at least going .500 in SEC games. If they could win four SEC games this season, that would be a heck of a job by Franklin and his staff. I really like his staff. All very smart guys and relate well to their players.
my apologies Chris didn't mean to be that guy I'm a new comer to the chat always over on the NFCE chat on Tuesdays its harder to answer questions with 14 teams instead of 4, also thank you for the lack of sarcastic response like Dan over on the other chat but I was just wondering what Missouri has to contend this season and how long it'll take them to get up to speed in the SEC
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Staying healthy will be huge for the Tigers this season. This league has a way of wearing on you, especially toward the back end of the season when you're minus a few key players. Can they run the ball? That's a big key, because putting Franklin in a lot of third-and-longs against SEC defenses is a bad deal. They have good speed on defense, which will be a plus. Getting a player the caliber of Green-Beckham the year you join the SEC is a good sign. The Tigers need to continue winning those kind of recruiting battles. That's going to be the key down the road.
Hey chris you guys should post an article about chat questions that didn't make the cut. Good Idea?
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Good idea, and we're going to re-launch our mailbags heading into the season and we'll come back in and grab some of the chat questions. Thanks.
Chad (Low will dominate Ed again in the pick em)
Since you are not going to reveal your heand on some early picks because of Ed, how about revealing how bad you think you will beat him this year either by # of wins or % ?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I think I beat him by three games last season. I'd say at least five games this season. Even though Urban's now in the Big Ten, you know Ed's going to pick the Gators every week.
What's the hype over Shaw? I've seen his throws and they seem to be mostly lobs and ducks. Kids got good wheels though. Is he really that good?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
For one, Steve Spurrier really likes coaching the guy and feels like he's finally got a quarterback who's coachable. He's not a great pocket passer, but is very good in their zone read package and throws on the run well. The jury is still out on him, although he was outstanding in wins over Clemson and Nebraska at the end of last season. He is one tough customer and won't back down from anybody or anything.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
Prediction for SC-Vandy? 38-17 SC?
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
I had this very conversation with my oldest son last night. He covers the Gamecocks there in South Carolina, and we both think it will be a tough game with the defenses both holding their own. I think the Gamecocks win, but they won't put the game away until the fourth quarter.
There is a lot of optimism with Brandon Mitchell being our #2 receiver this year in the slot, and all indications from camp is that he will produce. How do you see the Arkansas passing attack working out?
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
I know that Bobby Petrino was high enough on Mitchell that he wanted to get him touches in a separate package at quarterback because Petrino felt like Mitchell was so good in space. That's always a good sign. Freshmen Mekale McKay has also been impressive and should make an impact.
chris this is chris auburn just named frazier starting qb thoughts?
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
Not surprised. Once Moseley started having shoulder problems, I felt like it was Frazier's to lose. He has to be a better passer and a more consistent passer, but he's clearly the best option when it comes to extending the play.
Lloyd Christmas (Aspen, Co)
Hey Chris, It's a cardigan. My buddy ole pal, Harry, thinks Florida is going to win the East. Please tell him this will not be true.
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
Ok, I will. I'm sticking with Georgia as the East champion.
your take on the rash of suspensions and off the field madness? Sign of the times or major issue for CFB?
Chris Low (2:14 PM)
My take is a lot of kids in college (athletes and non-athletes) smoke a lot of weed. That may not be the politically correct answer, but it's an honest answer.
Why did we get rid of David Cutcliffe again?
Chris Low (2:16 PM)
It wasn't a good move when it happened and it still isn't. Cutcliffe is a very good coach and an even better man. That said, I really like the way Freeze is recruiting. That's what it's going to take to get that program back to regular bowl appearances.
Chris, we hear the narrative from ESPN on how easy UGA's schedule is this year but never about what an easier schedule FSU, Oregon and Southern Cal have? Why is that? Does ESPN just like digging UGA or do they not believe in fair and accurate reporting?
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
Can't speak for everybody, but I bring up Georgia's schedule in reference to the other contenders in the East. I think that's a big advantage for the Bulldogs this season, but I also think they will again be outstanding on defense.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
I know Arkansas has plenty of talent on the roster, but is John L. Smith really the guy who can lead this team through a tumultous offseason and into serious contention for the SEC West title? He's not exactly a pillar of stability himself.
Chris Low (2:19 PM)
He's the guy the players wanted. They wanted to keep the staff intact and to bring in one of their own. I think the chemistry is good. The real test will come when they hit a patch of adversity or lose a game. They're talented enough to be a 10-win team again, but I don't know if they're good enough on defense to win 11 or 12.
Amber (Fort Smith)
Hi chris! Love your blog! Are you up for another hoghead bet this year?
Chris Low (2:19 PM)
Let's hear what the bet is and I will consider it.
Chris, why are a lot of your colleagues predicting there won't even be a SEC representative in the NC? Legit or are they just tired seeing the SEC year in and year out?
Chris Low (2:20 PM)
Let's face it. The odds are against the SEC. The streak is going to end sometime, although I think somebody from the SEC will be in the title game again this season.
Amber (Fort Smith)
If Arkansas beats Alabama, you do a video with a hoghead. If Alabama wins, my new avatar will be in a bikini. Bet?
Chris Low (2:24 PM)
That's a good one to end the chat on. Let me think on it. At least there's no danger of me showing up in a swim suit on my avatar.
Chris Low (2:25 PM)
Laughing heartily, I'm signing off for the day. Sorry about the late start, but we went about 25 minutes over. We'll catch up again next week. Take care.