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)
Welcome to another Monday chat. Interesting weekend in the SEC, huh? Let's get on with the chatting!
MikeDaTiger (SEC Boards)
How about that Ole Miss win streak they have going on now. Do you like their chances a little bit better against Texas than when you first looked at their schedule before the season started?
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
First two-game winning streak since Oct. 2 of 2010. Seems like it was ages ago. I think this is a step in the right direction for a program that has been so bad for the last two years. Now, Texas is pretty good, certainly better than those first two teams. But I think Ole Miss will be pretty jacked up for this one. I think the game will be closer than expected before the season started. I still think Texas has a lot more talent overall, though.
Brian (st Louis) [via mobile]
Did mizzou earn any respect this weekend in the sec. The game was closer than the final score indicated.
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
I think so. The Tigers just ran out of gas. I wasn't surprised by that. I think it's better to have that happen now than during the heart of the season. Mizzou showed that it can compete in the SEC East. I was impressed, but adjustments have to be made and this team has to be able to run up the middle.
MikeDaTiger (SEC Boards)
Ed, all of last week we heard how the Tigers' defense would be tested this week against Washington's high-powered offense. Surely that's not the best offense we'll see this year, is it?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Well, LSU's defense is THAT good. I didn't think Washington would do anything against LSU's defense and I was right. LSU will be tested, but with the way that line plays, it's going to be hard to make many plays on this defense.
Red Devil (Washington, DC)
Florida fans expect to win... Tennessee fans want some assurance that they're on the path back to the elite. Who has more at stake, Muschamp or Dooley in Saturday's Knoxville showdown?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
I think it's Dooley. He's still on the "hot seat" and needs to beat Florida in order to cool things around him. The Vols have been fun to watch through two weeks, but haven't really beaten anyone. Florida won a tough game on the road with a young QB. But Muschamp is still feeling some pressure from fans. This is big for both coaches, but there's more on the line for Dooley than Muschamp at this point because of his record over two-plus years. And a loss could hurt that team mentally.
Any explanation on the Arkansas Game? And what about Tyler Wilson's health? Is if fair to send the kid back on the field against Bama who abused him last year?
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
The defense let ULM do whatever it wanted in the second half. And talk about a lack of discipline on that game-winning run. Just amazed at how bad Arkansas' defense was in the second half. Now, if Tyler Wilson is in does Arkansas lose? Probably not. But that offensive line crumbled around him and didn't play well the entire game. Knile Davis couldn't get going either. Now is where we'll really see what this team and John L. Smith are made of. If he's healthy, you have to play him against Alabama or it's going to get really, really ugly in Fayetteville.
Preston (San Antonio, TX)
Georgia defense did pretty well against Mizz despite lacking 4 starters... Just how good could this UGA defensive squad be by the end of the season? Jarvis Jones was relentless (and injured). Oh and while I'm asking questions... why can't UGA get any love from you ESPN guys?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
I was talking to a friend about his Dawgs and that defense with the starters back. It's going to be pretty darn good. Expect even more pressure on quarterbacks with Ogletree back. And the secondary should lose some of its issues once Rambo is back. Georgia is getting more love because it's playing better. Big with for the Dawgs.
Ed. How do you feel about Smith's move of not shaking hands with the ULM coach after the game?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
I didn't see that and I didn't know that. Poor move on his part if that's true. Losing sides have to show respect as well.
You can talk about Tyler going down for the loss, the blame HAS to go on Paul Petrino right???? A backup QB in the game and to protect the lead he decides to run the ball only 5 times in the 4th and overtime???
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
Questionable playcalling for sure there. But that offensive line wasn't giving much in the run department anyway. I think Wilson going down sucked all the life out of that team.
Ed, that was not just a simple concussion for Tyler was it. He didn't come back to the sideline and was kept overnight. What are chances he plays? Please answer. This is the story of the week.
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
Smith said yesterday that the prognosis is "good." Now, what does that exactly mean? Who knows. Brandon Allen better be ready to play and get hit because Alabama is going to come right at him. If Wilson can play, he'll play. If he can't ... ouch
Garnet Gladiolas (Charleston, SC)
Should Gamecock nation be encouraged by the re - energized passing? Although it was against a less talented ECU team, I like the fact that we utilized 11 different receivers.
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
I think so. Spurrier has wanted to see this from his offense for a while now. I don't think there's much of a quarterback controversy, but I think Spurrier feels much better about the position because he has a solid backup now. The more this team can get those receivers going the better. That position still needs to step up.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Should Alabama be worried about their O-line after giving up so many sacks to the Hilltoppers? That wasn't exactly the performance I'd expect for such a grizzled bunch of big-uglies.
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
I don't think so. Against a better Michigan front the line played very well. This line is still the best one in the country. I expect to see it play even better from here on out.
Who is your starting running back for LSU?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
The back who touches the ball first. It doesn't really matter at this point. The Tigers have a stable of capable backs. This is how good they are: Michael Ford was the top rusher last year and he's now third on the list. Alfred Blue has been the best back through two games, but I expect this team to continue to throw all its backs out there as much as it can.
Is McCarron's stock continuing to rise through the first two games? His ability to do what is needed is showing even though he may not have the numbers of the other top QBs in the league?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
I think so. Scouts know how talented he is. It's all about being a better game manager, and he's done that for a while now. Let's see what happens when he plays better defenses. If he continues to play like this I think scouts will be even more impressed with him. He just can't revert to his old pressing ways.
Max (Dallas )
You have to admit that the "SEC " tag took a big hit this weekend . Thank God they have all the ESPin Robots trying to spin it and cover it up.Bama and LSU are the only two "great teams" there this year. Georgia will have to prove a full year before they should get anyones respect . Now have enough guts to post this !!!
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
Hey six straight national championships. I don't think this league cares who's in the big game as long as someone is in it. And when someone gets in it the SEC wins ... hasn't lost in the BCS title game yet (outside of LSU losing to Alabama). Georgia proved a lot about its toughness this weekend. I'd be careful challenging the SEC (see Charlie Murphy).
yatesdog is flexing his biceps (memphis)
Is Tyler Russell good or is Auburn that Bad?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Russell was about as composed as he's ever been out on the field Saturday. This was a big game and he didn't flinch. Very impressed with that. But Auburn's defense didn't look good at all. Missed tackles and made Russell look like a running quarterback at times. He's far from that. He also picked apart that secondary. Auburn needs a lot of work, but I think Russell has really improved.
Ed, how would you rank South Carolina's defense amongst the SEC and Nationally right now? I understand this past week maybe our pass defense didn't look elite, but East Carolina did pass the ball basically every play. Your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
It's tough to say. I haven't seen the pressure up front that I thought I'd see. Especially from Clowney. But overall it's still pretty solid. Secondary has issues, but looked a little better last week. It will get a major test against Missouri's passing game in two weeks. Then we'll talk.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
What's the word on Jalston Fowler's knee injury? It didn't look good when he went off the field, and he's a pretty important blocker for the Tide's run game
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
Still no official word, but it didn't look good when he was being taken off the field. If it is indeed serious that's a big blow to this offense. He's a great blocker and great short-yardage back. Replacing him will be hard.
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Whoa had some internet issues. Back online
You have been hyping up Knile Davis and also auburn all offseason.........do you still stand behind those comments about auburn being better than expected ?????
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
I'm more surprised about Davis not getting going faster. I thought he'd be rusty, but I also thought he'd get that explosion back faster. We really haven't seen that yet out of him. Obviously, it's not all on him. That offensive line has just not performed as well as I thought it would. Auburn's defense continues to struggle and the play up front on offense just hasn't been consistent. Backs are running sideways and Kiehl Frazier just hasn't looked comfortable. A lot has to be adjusted on the Plains. I thought they'd be a tougher team than this.
Did losing to Northwestern kill Vandy's chance at a bowl this season?
Edward Aschoff (12:40 PM)
I think it hurts the Commodores. This team swept nonconference play last year, but is already down a game. That means Vandy has to beat one of the big boys this year. I think it can happen, but this offense has to be much better. The explosive plays we thought we'd see just aren't there. No running game either. Doesn't work in the SEC.
Mason (Colorado Springs)
How long will it be before Texas A&M and Mizzou are legitimate contenders for their respective SEC regional titles? What is the biggest change they each need to make before they're ready?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
I think Mizzou is a legit contender in the East right now, while Texas A&M probably needs a couple of seasons. The pieces are there for the Aggies to be good in the long run, especially when it comes to recruiting. That program is more attractive to Texas kids and southeastern kids with that SEC label. Mizzou has to be able to recruit the southeast, in my opinion. It'll be harder to steal some kids from Texas now.
Do you and Low still think either Davis or Lattimore win the SEC rushing title?? tell the truth.
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
Still a lot of football left. Lots of weeks to go my friend.
Safe to say Gurley is an upgrade from Crowell? Both on field and off?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
I know it's early, but it's hard to argue against it. He's very good between the tackles and has breakaway ability. He just has to stay grounded -- something Crowell couldn't do.
Ed you still have Bama in the NC there's no way they leave death valley with a w your thughts
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
We do for now. I think it comes down to that game again. Although, something tells me there won't be two SEC teams in the NC game this year. Personally, I still think LSU might have the edge come Nov. 3, but there's still a lot of football left.
If ULM shocks Auburn this week, are they in your Top 25?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
I'll do it. Why not?
Will (Baton Rouge)
What is with Mississippi State getting no love? I really think they have shown they are a Top 25 team. Also, what's your thoughts on Jalen Mills? I thought he looked like a great cover corner.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I almost put State in my top 25, but I didn't because Auburn just played that poorly, so I want to see how the Bulldogs react coming out of it. Still some questions up front on the offensive line. Though it played well against the Tigers. Mills is an athlete, man. He can play. You can still tell that he's young with the way he plays guys and the ball, but he looked better Saturday than he did in Week 1. That's a good sign.
Do you think the Arkansas drop out of the Top 25 was a bit harsh?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
Not really. That team didn't play well at all in the second half and actually looked overwhelmed on defense against a team that had never beaten a ranked team ... ever! Also, with Alabama up next I think pollsters were just preparing ...
Red Devil (Washington, DC)
TJ Yeldon and Manziel look like the two best true freshmen in the league this year. Who else is in your top 5?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
Dante Fowler Jr. at Florida has looked pretty good. Evan Boehm has played pretty well at LG for Missouri. Jalen Mills is pretty good too. Ole Miss' backs have been pretty good to. I'm sure I'm missing someone.
What are your predictions for the Tennessee and Florida game this Saturday?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
Not tricking me like that. You have to wait until the picks :)
drew (bainbridge, ga)
you're missing TODD GURLEY
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
Thank you. Todd Gurley. Yes. Top freshmen. See too many to process
Evan (Rocky Top)
NC State was a formidable opponent but not elite, and Georgia st...well yea. How good do you think the Volunteers actually are this year? Could they be ranked by years' end
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
Did you see NC State against UCONN? Certainly not elite. I still don't know how good UT is. This weekend will tell us a lot because Florida has the best defense the Vols have faced. I'm interested in seeing how the Vols' defense plays this weekend and how much Florida opens up on offense.
Mathew (Ringgold )
Do you think Mitchell for Georgiashould stay on defense or go back to offense? I think he is a stud at either position but I jut think if he would focus on one he would be elite.
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
His coaches think he's an NFL corner, but he's pretty good on offense. I mean really good, actually. It's tough because you could be hurting his future by playing him on offense, but with Sanders Commings coming back soon, Georgia will have its starting corners back. I might play him on offense and just see what happens next year.
Ed, Miss. State's defense is ranked tops in the nation in turnover efficiency, interceptions, and Banks and Slay are tied for 1st in the nation with the number of interceptions. How is Cordarrelle Patterson getting heisman love and Jon Banks not getting any?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Well, Banks is the top corner in the country to me. But Heisman talk revolves around offensive guys or multi-purpose guys like Tyrann Mathieu. Banks returns punts, but he'll have to start building a highlight reel in the return game and start generating more turnovers (fumbles) and big plays before he gets on Heisman radar.
Brandon Mitchell has been the backup to Tyler Wilson for two years. Why wasn't he the one to come in game?
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
He's moved to receiver and I think the coaches have more faith in Brandon Allen's arm. Plus, Mitchell brings more to the receiving game for this team. Remember, three NFL receivers are gone.
Fowler torn PCL & meniscus and strained MCL......Fowler reported it himself ED and he is out for the year more than likely
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
I haven't seen that.
Have you been surprised with the modest numbers from DBG at Missouri thus far? He had a lot of hype but I haven't heard much about him through the first 2 games.
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I thought he'd be used more, but you can see defense keying in on him when he's in (well, through two games). I think he just has to grow into this offense. Also, there are some stud receivers out there for Mizzou. I hear he's doing quite well in scrimmages and practice though ...
Jeff (asheville, nc)
How would you compare Georgia's stable of running backs to LSU?
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
Not close. LSU is deeper, stronger and more athletic. LSU is averaging 279 yards on the ground a game.
Matt (Pcola, FL)
Ed, really enjoy the chat, do you think Saban has been sandbagging any in the first two games? You always hear about coaches not showing their entire hand the first few games. What are your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
I think he showed some in the first game. Certainly. I mean Alabama crushed Michigan in every aspect of the game. That's the type of team I expect to see out of the Tide. Against Western Kentucky? Hardly. Yeah there were errors and it wasn't a "great" showing, but did Alabama have to play great? No. Still won 35-0
Sheldon Richardson early lead for foot in mouth award this season, wouldn't you agree?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
Probably shouldn't have said what he did. But hey he's confident. Just expect him to hear about it all year now.
Ed, I have seen everybody blaming John L, Paul Petrino, Jeff Long, Etc.....I think Paul Haynes should be the biggest to blame, allowing over 800 yards in two games. I understand we have depth issues but it looked like the starters didn't know what was going on. Do you think he should be number one on the blame list?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Players play. Coaches coach. Haynes should have had this team better prepared, but he's not out there missing assignments or tackles. He's not the one who got sucked to one side to let Browning run in for that game-winning touchdown. That defense has a lot of work it has to do.
If Tennessee beats Florida this weekend do you think they have a good chance of winning the East?
Edward Aschoff (1:05 PM)
Yes. Florida's defense has had a little more bend in it than I expected, but that second half against Texas A&M was solid. That's something that unit can build off of. Tennessee has the offensive weapons to hurt each defense in this league (I'm looking at you South Carolina).
I felt like I was seeing a young Upshaw in Xzavier Dickson this weekend. Is he ready to fill that role?
Edward Aschoff (1:07 PM)
He's pretty talented. He has good get-off and delivers a pretty good hit. He and Hubbard should be fun to watch this year.
Will (Montgomery, Alabama)
If Arkansas beats 'Bama, how much of their rank would you personally award back to them?
Edward Aschoff (1:08 PM)
Well, I left Arkansas in the top 25 of my power rankings. So, a win would put them back in the teens. But right now, I just don't see it happening. Alabama is just too good and Arkansas might not have its starting quarterback and has a lot to fix on defense. Tevin Mitchel might be out as well.
No trickery this time. ;) Let's speak metaphorically. If Florida wins against Tennessee and against Kentucky. They have LSU coming into the Swamp 4-0 and I will assume LSU is 4-0 also. If Tennessee wins against Florida and Akron and they are 4-0 when they play Georgia who will likely be 4-0. Now - the question is, which game do you think will have the biggest hype and why?
Edward Aschoff (1:10 PM)
UF-LSU. Both will be ranked higher. Plus, there will be talk about if Florida is ready to REALLY compete in the SEC again. I guess that will come with UT as well, but LSU is on a different page than anyone in the East.
Edward Aschoff (1:11 PM)
OK guys I'm out. Sorry about the lag in the middle, but I went over 10 minutes for you. Good chat as always. Let's do it again soon