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 (12:01 PM)
Greetings, on this fine Monday. Sorry about last week, but glad to be back to talk some SEC football. Let's get started
You ignored me last week, so I'll ask again. Moral victories aside, are you ready to admit that you were wrong about AU? With that QB and horrible defense, the Tigers will be lucky to make a bowl game.
Edward Aschoff (12:02 PM)
OK, so I might have been a little off about Auburn being a sleeper this season. But we finally saw some toughness out of that group against LSU, especially on defense. But the offense just continues to sputter out there. No real running game and Kiehl Frazier just doesn't look comfortable about there at all at QB. If that offense doesn't get any better it will be a struggle for Auburn to make a bowl game this year.
Is it safe to say its time to pump the brakes on some of these 'experts' ripping LSU? Lsus first road game last yr was a narrow escape vs a 6 win msu team and it was 9-6 midway thru 4th qtr in that game. And that lsu teamwent on to destroy everyone except bama. Its funny bc Usc escapes at a mediocre vandy. Uf escapes at a mediocre texas a and m. Lsu does the same at auburn. Yet now we r hearing how the east is back, the east will challenge the west, and lsu is in trouble. Surely u will use common sense and offer some words of wisdom to the overreactionary crowd.
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
Well, LSU certainly didn't look good when it came to throwing the ball Saturday. Execution and timing just wasn't there from Mettenberger. But I'm certainly not ready to say the season is over. This is still a very, very good football team and it has all the parts and pieces to challenge Alabama. Remember, this was a team that was picked to make another title run at the beginning of the year. Good teams always have these sort of games. Alabama had this game against Tennessee in 2009 and things worked out just fine ...
James J. Dillard (Crestline Park, AL)
I like to compare what Bama is doing right now to what Tiger Woods was doing in his prime. If they play bad, they'll beat 90% of the teams they play, if they play OK, they'll beat all of them, and if they bring their A-game, it's blowout city. What do you think?
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
Pretty much. This team really hasn't been challenged this year, but I keep wondering if it's because Bama is just THAT good. These SEC road games coming up will test the Tide, but I think it's all about the LSU game from here on out.
TimeGoat (Ole Missy)
Ed, tell me why my Black Bears aren't far and ahead the favorites to win the West next year? Use specifics please.
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Calm down. This team still has a ton of depth issues and the defense has a tendency to break here and there. They need to get through this season before we start making wild predictions about the uh Bears ...
Johnny Football has 12 TD's to his name with no turnovers in his first three games, and he didn't play the last two games in the second half with the exception of one drive in the 3rd quarter against SMU. Can Johnny continue to be electric against the Arkansas Defense, who may be a little bit quicker and stronger than the opponents in the past two games?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
I think he will. Arkansas has the worst defense in the SEC and Manziel and that offense are clicking right now. I don't care about the competition at this point. It's good to see players adjusting to a new staff so quickly. Now, things will be different once SEC play really gets going, but Manziel is the type of player that could do some real damage to Arkansas' defense. That unit just hasn't come to play this season.
Jarvis Jones (Athens G.A)
Dash, who is better? Me or the Clowney kid?
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
I love it when the celebrities stop by. I have to go with Mr. Jones. He's the best player in the SEC and probably the best defensive player in the country. I mean he was getting serious Heisman love after the Missouri game. Clowney is good, but he has to play for 60 minutes. He has a tendency to take plays off. Jones never takes plays off.
I feel like South Carolina is a dangerous team if Conner Shaw plays like he did last game every game and Latamore continues to get more carries, I think they can give Georgia and LSU trouble your thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
He probably won't duplicate what he did against Mizzou, but if he continues to throw the ball well and mix in some nice runs here and there, South Carolina will get a ton of balance on offense. It opens up things for Lattimore and makes the passing game that much stronger. People were down on this team after the Vandy game, but you have to remember that one game doesn't define a season. It's what you do after that game that does, and South Carolina is playing very well right now. I picked the Gamecocks to win the East and I still think they can.
Hunter (Oxford )
Ed first off Timegoat is someone making fun of one of the board guys and the Rebels. But for my question--how is auburn still predicited to go to a bowl game while Ole Miss is not? What is it going to take to get 3 more wins this season for my Rebels?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
Ah message boards. Cool ... I kid, but if you look at both schedules, it could be hard for both to win six games. I just wonder how that lack of depth will affect the Rebels going forward. Also, can that defense get things together? It gives up a lot of yards and teams in the SEC will feed off of that. Ole Miss also has four more road games, while Auburn has three.
Ed, with Arkansas obviously struggling, do you think, that the Bulldogs have a great shot at finishing the regular season 10-2? Obviously we have to hold serve at home against TN and A&M, but our defense has been pretty good. Thanks, Ed.
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
If the Bulldogs get to the Alabama game with seven wins then I think 10 wins is certainly a possibility. Now, November is tough. A&M and LSU start the month and then you have Arkansas and Ole Miss. Who knows what state the Razorbacks could be in and I don't know if Ole Miss will hold up, but you can't say those are gimmies. Hugh Freeze knows how important the Egg Bowl is and Arkansas could be fighting for a bowl berth at that point. I think nine wins will happen if the Bulldogs start 7-0.
Hey Dash, I didn't get a chance to check the film of Shaw from the game this week. I saw the stats, but stats can be deceiving. Was this more Connor developing or Missouri's D stinking?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
When you complete 20 straight passes that's impressive no matter what the defense is doing. He's a gamer
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
How important is the Auburn-Arkansas game for each team this weekend? Seems like the West's version of Florida-Tennessee, both coaches and teams need a win in the worst way.
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Well, it's next weekend, but it's very important because both of these teams are now wondering if they'll make a bowl game. Neither team has looked great this year and Auburn could easily be 0-4. Arkansas has to get some momentum back against the Aggies this weekend, but I don't know if that will happen at this point ...
Ed--Miss your Gainesville reports for the Sun! When the season begain, I thought 8-4 would be the best the Gators would accomplish w/one of the losses as LSU. After the lack of offense led by Mettenberger, do you think the Gators have at least a 50/50 shot to win at the Swamp? My thinking is the Gators need to control the clock with a balanced running game and smart throws by Drisklell w/the Defense applying constant pressure to rattle Mettenberger.
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Florida's offense still has its issues. I watched the Kentucky game and there were a lot of plays that were missed. That can't happen against LSU because that defense is just too good. The Gators have to establish a running game and that's gonna be very hard against that front, so expect to see a lot of Driskel rolling out. Defensively, Florida can hurt LSU if it gets pressure on Mettenberger. That line also can't let the running game pound it like it did last year. LSU's running game could be the difference in this one if Mettenberger plays like he did against Auburn.
Mason (Colorado Springs)
I'm TN fan who has had some skepticism about the season from the start, but I still see a few openings in GA's defense coming into week 5. What will TN need to do to exploit those opportunities? Certainly Rajion Neal and the TN running game needs to evolve, but I think they showed a lot of progress against Akron this past weekend [not that it was true test of our running abilities].
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Those openings will probably get filled by Rambo and Ogletree coming back this week. I can only assume they will be back after sitting out four games. And that will only make this defense stronger, especially against the run. That's a problem for the Vols. Neal has to be a stronger runner and that line has to get more push up front. Tyler Bray can't play like he did against Florida. He just can't. He has the weapons to test UGA's secondary, but he has to be poised. If not, it's going to be a long day for the Vols
Richard (Birmingham, AL)
McCarron playing with poise, triple headed monster at RB, explosive WR corp, best OL in CFB, dominant DL, athletic strong LB's, tall, fast and well coached DB's and S.... and FG kicker nailing 50 yarders!!! What's to stop 'Bama at this point?
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
Itself and an equally tough team. LSU might not have looked great, but you better believe that team will be jacked for Alabama. It has the talent up front on both sides to stop Alabama and if Mettenberger gets going that passing game can really test Bama's secondary. Other than that, I guess Godzilla could stop Bama ...
Cocky 92 (SC)
Other than Alabama or LSU, does a one loss East team stand a chance of being in the NC game based on the current national rankings?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
Only if that team ends up winning the SEC championship. I don't think a one-loss SEC team that doesn't win the SEC makes it to the national championship this year.
Alan (South Florida)
Ed, was Andre Debose suspended for the first half of the game as he was not playing? Do yousee him ever becoming part of the offense this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
I guess he was and I don't know if he'll ever really be a part of Florida's offense. He just doesn't work hard enough in practice. He's wildly inconsistent and the coaches don't like that. He has so much talent, but he just doesn't use it. It's hurting the Gators in the playmaking department.
Barkevious Chihuahua (South Hamptons)
Can Mississippi State enter a top 10 ranking if we were to topple LSU on the road finishing 11-1?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Mike The Bammer (Blues' Place)
Dash - would you tell my fellow Bama fans to take it easy? I remember in 2010 after Bama crushed Florida, Paul Finebaum writing that the only problem Bama would have the rest of the way would be staying awake. we all remember how THAT turned out.
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
Lotta games to play but right now Bama fans can say whatever they want. This is the best team in the country. But there are still a lotta games to play ...
Bennett (Athens, GA)
UGA vs USC-both teams 5-0. will CBS get the game or will Game Day be there?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
That's an ESPN game ... a night game. Not sure about GameDay though. That game is gonna be awesome ... well if UGA beats Tennessee and South Carolina gets by Kentucky
Hey Ed, why do you think Kenyan Drake is so low on the Depth chart. This kid has looked great in games, even better that Dee hart. he also seems to be a TD magnet. What do you think?
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Well, Yeldon and Lacy are pretty good and I think Dee Hart gives a little more because he can be used in the passing game. If Drake keeps playing the way he has, he might get past Hart. But remember, Saban says he doesn't believe in a depth chart, so there ya go ...
Where does Arkansas go from here? All I'm hoping for is that Tennessee and Auburn do well the rest of the year. Those coaching jobs are much more attractive if they are vacant than Arkansas.
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
Arkansas' locker room has to get under control. I can only imagine what it's like in there right now. This team just has to find some sort of defensive spark. Giving up 525 yards to Rutgers is rough, especially with that passing game not being so great heading into the game. Arkansas made it look like USC's passing game Saturday. Leaders have to step up and take control of this team.
Jabroney (Cleveland, OH)
Ed, any glaring deficiencies in the Alabama team so far?
Edward Aschoff (12:37 PM)
Those backups gave up a touchdown. Wind sprints! -- But I'm still interested to see what that secondary does against a decent passing team.
Is Knile Davis still a top 5 RB in this conference? He just doesn't look the same anymore. He doesn't even look to be the best Back on his team.
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
he has really struggled coming back this year. I don't know what it is. The explosion isn't there and he hasn't been able to get the tough yards. I don't know if his ankle just isn't 100 percent or if he's hesitant. Currently, he isn't a top-5 RB but things can always change if he can find some sort of spark in his game.
Aggie fishfinder (Texas)
Can Damontre Moore keep it up and have a chance at the SEC season sack title?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
He's pretty good, huh? He'll be facing some bigger guys soon, so we'll see if he slows down. So far, he's just been an animal out there. I love watching him play. I can't wait to see him face Alabama and LSU. Should be great.
phil (witness protection)
Do you think the Tenn. Mizzou game will be a shootout?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
It depends on if Mizzou's offense comes to play that week. It didn't make the trip to Columbia, that's for sure. I just wonder what changes will be made on offense. Something has to be tweaked, right? Also, size has been an issue for the Tigers. That's pretty obvious now. I said it heading into the season and people called me crazy. Who's crazy now? Not this guy!
David (Columbia SC)
Why do you think the fans at AU are calling for chiz seat and is it really hot or is it just hype?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
Hype. I know he hasn't done all that well without Cam, but he lost so much more than just Cam from that team. These last two teams have been very young. Now, there have been some questionable calls out there on the field, but Chizik isn't the one blowing defensive assignments or running east and west. I think he'll be fine after this year, but this team has to show steady improvement or his seat will get hotter.
Why does everyone say UT can beat UGA because Bray has been good? Sure he has, but why does no one bring up how good UGA's offense has been and how bad UT's defense has been? Bray will have to sling it because I see another 40+ point game from the Dawgs. Do you think this is a shootout?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
It could be, but only if Bray comes to play. He can get lazy out there and he presses in crunch time. Just look at the Florida game. Bray has so much talent, but he can hurt his team with some of the decisions he makes. I think a better running game will help him a lot.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
How much of Auburn's defensive problems fall on Chizik? They obviously showed improvement this past weekend, but he's just the head coach, he's also a defensive coach. Isn't a lot of that on him?
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
Oh I think he has to take some of the blame. Of course. He has to harp on the little things and make adjustments. The execution on the field has been the issue this year. Guys just haven't made the next step out there.
Runningman (Washington State)
I have three questions. With A&M competition thus far can they can easily go 5-1 for their first six, and I wonder if they can now pull the upset against LSU since the Tigers showed a little vulnerability. When is Sumlin going to let Christine Michael out the cage?
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
Everyone is just piling on LSU! Careful. I do think this team can be 5-1, but I don't know how well that offense will play against LSU. It was shut down by Florida in the second half and I think LSU's defense is better. If Manziel can't beat LSU with some passes I don't know how well he'll run. Those ends have a ton of speed ... Michael hasn't been that impressive so far. I don't know why, but you have to think he'll be used more in SEC play.
Is how pitiful the Razorbacks have been this year proof that Bobby Petrino is one of the top 5 coaches in CFB?Even with his baggage, I can't see how a top program that has fallen on hard times could pass on him.
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
That baggage doesn't make him all that attractive. I don't think any SEC school will go after him as a head coach or coordinator because of that baggage. That school better be ready for a pretty big PR hit if it does. There's no question that he's a great coach. He gives you seven points just standing on the sideline. He'll get picked up, but I don't if a BIG program will scoop him up right now. Just think the baggage is a big red flag.
Who is the best RB in the SEC right now?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
I'd probably still start a team around Marcus Lattimore, but it's hard to say anyone is playing better than Todd Gurley right now. He's big, fast and strong. he just pushes guys around.
Matt (Columbia, SC)
Should Florida really be put into a 'trio' with South Carolina and Georgia? They are largely untested imo, having squeaked by A&M and Tenn. Is Florida for real or an overrated #11?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Don't downplay what Florida has done in the second half of games. No game can be won in the first half. Florida hasn't given up any points in the fourth quarter this year. That's impressive and Alabama can't even say that! This team gets better each week and I think it has to be in the trio. The offense still has some issues, but Driskel has done a great job managing that group. When those three teams play each other it'll be really fun to watch.
Sure any team will take a PR hit for hiring Petrino, but don't you think that will go away after 10 or 11 wins?
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
Winning is the only thing I guess. Well, that and $$ ...
I've heard Jeff Driskel be referred to as the best QB in the SEC,what about McCarron,is he not playing by far the best at the QB position in this league?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
I wouldn't go that far. Aaron Murray is playing pretty well too. McCarron has been as efficient as anyone and Manziel has put up some pretty good numbers. Bray is slinging the ball around too. Driskel is good and he's getting better but he isn't the best in the SEC.
E.A. Im a VOLS fan...How long do you think is fair to give a coach to prove himself? I realize the shape of the UT football program is largely do to an impatient, unrealistic fan base. Is Dooley the right guy for us?
Edward Aschoff (12:56 PM)
If this team can't win eight games I don't know if Dooley keeps his job. It's been a tough three years for him. He was working with nothing when he got there but made a bowl game. Last year killed him with the fans and losing to Florida like he did certainly didn't help. Eight has to be the magic number for Dooley.
John (Gainesville, FL)
I understand that Chad Bumphis at MSU is one of the best athletes in the SEC, but why don't we here more about him with the new pass orientated offense in starkville?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
I've been wondering about that for three years now. He has so much talent but you just don't see him use it enough. He could be so good but he has a lot of lackluster outings. I know the coaches get frustrated by it. As a fan of football it frustrates me because I want to see good players play well.
Casey (Kandahar, Afghanistan)
I see you keep ignoring my question and I've asked 5 times....Is UGA the most dangerous Offensive team in the league? And do you agree that they have the best WR core as well?
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
Not ignoring. Just trying to keep up with the 200-plus questions I'm getting. I think Georgia has the most balanced offense in the SEC and Aaron Murray is playing like a real Heisman candidate right now. I guess that's a fair statement right now. If Tennessee could run the ball consistently, the Vols would push Georgia for the best offense. They both probably have the top receiving groups in the SEC. Vandy has good depth there too and I like what Alabama has. Mississippi State might be the deepest at receiver and has a lot experience at the top.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Where do you rank Millner among the nations' elite corners?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
I'd rank him pretty high. He might be second to only Johnthan Banks at Mississippi State. I love the way Milliner plays. He can cover just about anyone and has that ball hawk gene. Nick Saban has always been very high on him. Now I know why
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Well, that's my time guys. Great chat as usual. Catch you all next time.