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 (1:02 PM)
Hello, sports fans. Good to be with everybody again this week.
What's the general focus on minimizing Johnny Scooby Doo as Rece Davis has now named the A&M QB?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
Where does Rece come up with all these names? I think you go back to what Florida did in the second half and what LSU did after that initial flurry and not try to get up the field and give him lanes and alleys to run and instead play solid up the middle and try to make him beat you throwing from the pocket.
Evan (Raleigh, NC)
How bad is the Tennessee Missouri going to be Saturday
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
One team can't score. The other team can't hold anybody under 35. Maybe they're the perfect medicine for each other.
Travis (Bay City, TX)
Bobby Petrino? Kentucky? Tennessee? Auburn? Do you think he will land one of those jobs if they are open? Would he even be on the short list to hire? His father said coaching in the SEC is his dream. Will is be fulfilled?......again
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
Don't see it happening at Kentucky, and he's certainly not going back to Arkansas. I also don't see it happening at Tennessee. Of the four, he may have the best chance at Auburn, although I'm far from predicting that he will land there. My belief is that he will have to take a lesser job first and then work his way back to a bigger job. Somebody will hire him, though. He's too good a football coach.
Bill (Carrollton, TX)
Last week I told you that your pick of MSU over A&M was a poor pick. CORRECTION -- it was a very poor pick.
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Yet another correction. It was a debacle of a pick.
ole miss terrell is lexington steele (atlanta airport)
Hey chris can u please shed sum light on robert nkemdiche's decommitment from clemson today & what that means for ole miss
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
I've always thought Ole Miss would be a huge factor in his huge commitment. Parents like to see their kids playing together, and you know his older brother, Denzel, is pushing hard for him to come to Ole Miss. Plus, the Rebels are on their way up and Denzel is a big part of that defense. I think it's a very good sign for the Rebels.
Who cares about A&M and last week!!!!!?? Answer relavent questions!
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
Who made you the chat police?
Ray (Pawleys Island)
What does SC need to do to finnally beat Akansas?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
For one, this isn't the same Arkansas team that has beaten up on the Gamecocks the last few years. The Hogs just aren't very good on defense and playing a lot of younger players. The No. 1 thing South Carolina has to do is not give Arkansas anything easy. Moreover, the Gamecocks need to get to Tyler Wilson and force him into some mistakes. Don't sleep on Dennis Johnson. He's very underrated and can do some damage against a South Carolina defense that took it on the chin two weeks ago against Tennessee.
Devin (Baton Rouge)
It's been said that the "Mad Hatter's tricks" would keep LSU in the game this past Saturday. Who would have ever thought that the "Mad Hatter's tricks" would keep the OPPONENT in the game?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Yep, I hated the fake field goal and hated the play-call on the fake even more. That said, the onsides kick was a good call, and LSU simply got a bad break with the ball bouncing funny and hitting the kicker.
why are the gators wr's so bad?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
A classic case of recruiting rankings not always being right, and it also underscores how important evals are during the recruiting period. Right now, they have some guys who can run, but they don't run good routes, don't know how to get open, don't know what defenses are trying to do to them and aren't playing with much confidence. I can assure you that receiver is a huge priority for the Florida staff this class and the next.
Diddy Kong (Starkville, MS)
MSST has just looked awful the past couple of weeks. Manziel torched them and Alabama made them look like boys. I love my team, and I have all the hope in the world that we can beat LSU Saturday. What are the realistic chances of MSST putting a complete game together?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
I think they may be getting LSU at a good time. That was such a bitter loss for the Tigers last week, and you wonder where they will be emotionally this week. My problem with Mississippi State is that the Bulldogs just aren't that good up front defensively and haven't been able to keep teams from running the ball. That's bad news against LSU because Jeremy Hill is a load, and Les Miles loves to pound away in the running game. I still think Mississippi State has a shot to win nine games, which would be a heck of a season.
Aaron (charlotte NC)
Can Gerorgia still make the bcs
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
The Dawgs will need some help. First thing that has to happen is that they need to win out and beat a No. 1 and unbeaten Alabama in the SEC championship game. If that happens, Georgia would need two of the other three unbeaten teams to lose, say Notre Dame to USC in a few weeks and Kansas State to TCU this week. If all that happens, I would think Georgia would be in good position to grab that No. 2 spot in the final BCS standings.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
I know I'm not the chat police, but you just have some bad, uninformed (I hope that's the reason) opinions at times. Bobby Petrino should never be let back into the SEC. If the guy is serious about taking good care of his family relations, then he should take a low profile, less time-consuming job, and you should be advocating for that. He should not be rewarded with a 2nd chance in the best conference out there when there are so many up-and-coming coaches with better character than him. I'm surprised you have not thought about any of this.
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
When did I ever say he should be or was coming back to the SEC. I was asked about him, and I said Auburn was the only one of the four looking for jobs that I saw any chance. I went on to say that I thought he would have to take a lesser job first before getting a shot at a bigger job. He's a very good coach who's got his share of baggage. I have no idea if we'll ever see him again in the SEC. At this point, I'd say the odds are against it, but I do think somebody out there will give him another chance and hire him.
Les Miles (Baton Rouge, LA)
Chris, Would you rather go see the Sugar Bowl, or eat a bowl of gravy?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
Actually, grass, Les.
am I just being too hard on the coaching staff in Athens or am I justified in the fact that I am still not sold on Richt and Company ever doing anything significant? I mean a loss is a loss but that game against SC just proved to me that the coaches didn't do their job
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
It's the great debate with Richt. He wins enough that you can't justify firing him, but he's got to win another championship at some point. He would tell you that. Getting to the SEC title game two years in a row is worth something despite all the whining about Georgia's schedule. Here's a great chance for Richt and the Bulldogs to break out of that big-game funk and take down Alabama in a few weeks, assuming they're both there, which, I think, is a safe assumption.
Greg (Jacksonville, FL)
Do you think LSU's "D" played that well last week against Alabama's "O"; or do you think they found the key to open Pandora's box? Will this key be passed on to A&M via film?
Chris Low (1:29 PM)
Without question, Alabama's secondary was exposed a little bit. The Tide didn't tackle well, and I've been saying all season that it would be interesting to see what somebody could do against them that could protect and throw the ball a little bit. It's the reason this weekend's game could be compelling. Texas A&M is very good up front in the offensive line and should be able to give Manziel some time.
Go and inform your colleague Mel Kiper than after the combine interviews and workouts, Barrett Jones won't be a 3rd round draft pick. James Carpenter went in the 1st round and Jones is better and more versatile than Carp was. He'll slide in late 1st round to very ealy second round in the draft,.
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
I'd say Mel's track record suggests that he knows his stuff. Listen, nobody is a bigger fan of Barrett Jones than me in terms of what he's accomplished, the way he carries himself and what he's meant to that university. I don't think he's a first-rounder, though, and am not sure he's a lock to go in the second round. Ultimately, I think somebody will take him in the second round, but he doesn't have great strength and power. He makes up for it with great technique, smarts and an incredible work ethic. You win with people like Barrett Jones.
Jeff (Warren, AR)
Chris, do you think that Mike Gundy is really looking into the Arkansas job?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
I think he will definitely be on Arkansas' list along with Gary Patterson and possibly Kirby Smart.
What do think about Tennessee in general? Offense, Defense, players, etc.
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
Offense has been very explosive, and the most impressive part of the team has been the offensive line. Special teams have just been OK, although Patterson has had his moments. Defense is an embarrassment, and it's obvious that Sunseri is in over his head as a defensive coordinator in the SEC. I do believe that Dooley has improved the roster and brought in some good players. It's certainly better than what he found it, but the pressure to get rid of him will be too great and I don't see him returning next season.
Mike (St Augustine, FL)
If the NCG was played today, who would Alabama have the best chance in beating? Oregon, or Kansasas St
Chris Low (1:37 PM)
I would say Kansas State. Oregon is good enough on offense and explosive enough to hit Alabama with some big plays. That said, I don't think Oregon would be able to stop Alabama.
Chat Police (ESPN.com)
Well, I am the chat police and you AR boys need to chill out. CLow...Aaron Murray said he didn't forget the "dirty hit" he took from Fairley in 2010. How could he possibly remember it? He got crushed! Is the key for an AU win to get to Murray more, or just stop the Gurshall attack? we don't do either well, so don't answer it that way... :)
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Getting to Murray would help and getting that same kind of defensive effort Auburn got against LSU would be a good way to start. I just don't see Auburn being able to score enough points to win this game. The Tigers will need to play turnover-free football, and it's a tall order to ask a freshman QB to do that against a defense as talented as Georgia's. I think the Dawgs probably have five or six players on this defense who will get drafted.
mobilematt (SW FL)
Chris I think the "bama secondary was exposed last week" is a bit of an overstatement. 3rd down defense was not good and Mett made some great throws. How many times did LSU convert on 3rd and 6-8? The defense was on the field all night and to hold LSU to 17 in those circumstances was the difference.
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Listen, Alabama is still a load on defense, but I can tell you that one of the big concerns of that staff was how the secondary would hold up against a team that could throw it. I'll admit I never expected LSU to be that team, but Mettenberger got hot and Alabama didn't tackle well back there, had some bad angles and wasn't in great position sometimes to make plays.
Vince Dooley (Athens)
Firing Mark Richt would be the worst decision in the history of Georgia Football, C-Low tell these fans to shut their mouths and appreciate what Richt has built!
Chris Low (1:43 PM)
Don't see any way Georgia fires Richt. Now, he may decide he's had enough at some point and walk away. But if he's winning 10 games and going to SEC championship games, nobody's going to fire him, although I do understand the frustration of the Georgia fan base that the Dawgs haven't been better in some of the bigger games against ranked foes, etc.
Ant truth behind the rumors that Jimbo Fisher might be headed to Auburn? If they're trying to make a splash, why don't they go after someone like Chip Kelly?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
I don't think Jimbo would leave Florida State. But if I were Auburn or Tennessee, I would sure call him. I just don't see why you would leave the ACC where you have to win one game every year to get into the BCS and go bang your head against the wall every week in the SEC.
Chris--not to take cart before before the horse, but what are the odds UF can go into Doak Campbell and grab a win away from FSU? If they win, do you think they get the invite to the Sugar Bowl?
Chris Low (1:47 PM)
The Gators need to find some more offense to win that game. I just don't see them winning a 14-10 type of game in Tallahassee. If they can win, I think they're a strong candidate for the Sugar Bowl. They'd be 11-1 and ranked in the top 5 at that point. Their competition will be LSU because of all the fans the Tigers would take to the Superdome.
Hey chris whats up with all of the recent bannings on the blogs?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Honestly, first I've heard of it. That's not my domain. I love all you guys, even the chat police guys and the people who say mean things. If you can't take it, you shouldn't be in this business.
What is the Tesxas A&M defense like? Will Bama have any problems moving the ball?
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
A&M has improved on defense greatly, especially since that 59-57 win over La. Tech. Damontre Moore is right up there with Clowney, Mingo and Jarvis Jones as a defensive playmaker coming off the edge, and Sean Porter is also one of those guys at LB that you better know where he is at all times. They've played OK in the secondary, but that may be where they're most vulnerable. They really rush the passer well and will be a challenge for Alabama's offensive line.
Dan (Columbia, SC)
Do you think Marcus will come back anywhere as strong as he was before either injury? I think the kid will surprise everyone and come back stronger. Thoughts?
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
I sure hope so. He's been in my thoughts and prayers ever since that happened. From everybody I talk to, I don't know if it's realistic for him to be back in time for the start of next season. But I know he'll do everything humanly possible to come back and play football. Two bad knees are tough for a running back. But as I said earlier, Willis McGahee came back from a nasty knee injury and is still playing in the NFL.
Any chance Sam Montgomery comes back to the Tigers?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
I doubt it. He's going to be a solid first-round pick. You're going to see a bunch of juniors in the SEC come out, I believe -- Montgomery, Mingo, Damontre Moore, Dee Milliner, Alec Ogletree, Sharrif Floyd, Luke Joeckel, to name a few.
who has the lead to land the kentucky head coach?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Some of the names I'm hearing are Sonny Dykes, Butch Jones, Neal Brown, Mike MacIntyre, Dirk Koetter, Mark Hudspeth and Willie Taggart.
Jason (Henderson, TN)
Chris, I know you hear things....certainly alot more reliable than message boards. If Dooley is fired do you think Gruden is possible...and what other names do you hear for the Vols? Thanks
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
I never thought the Gruden thing would materialize, although he's told people he would have an interest, but I've since heard that it's just simply not going to happen for a number of reasons. Some of the other guys they will probably call are Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong, Gary Patterson, Mike Gundy, Al Golden and Kirby Smart.
Does Aaron Murray come back for senior year?
Chris Low (2:01 PM)
Yes, I think he will, and I think he will also break Danny Wuerffel's SEC career record for TD passes. Murray has 80, and the record is 114.
Aaron (Florence, AL)
You can only have one true frosh RB to build a team C-Low, you taking Todd Gurley or T.J. Yeldon?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
Wow, what a tough question. We've probably seen a little more of Gurley, and he's bigger and perhaps more durable, yet plenty fast. But Yeldon can hurt you in so many ways. He can run inside, outside, catch the ball and is outstanding in the open field. I might go with Gurley (right now) if I could only have one. He seems like more of a 25-carry a game if you had to have that. But I'd love to have them both, and Yeldon may change my mind over the next year or so.
Do you think Mike Gundy would leave his Alma Mater for an SEC job? Oklahoma St will always be little brother to Oklahoma much like Michigan St. to Michigan which is why Saban left Michigan St. for LSU.
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
I think your first point answers your question. He's always going to be No. 2 in that state.
What was your take on Saban's uncharacteristic jubilation after the victory last week? Was it a personal game for him, or was it simply the manner in which they won?
Chris Low (2:06 PM)
He knew his team was outplayed in the second half and didn't play its best football. Yet, the Tide found a way to win. That's a mark of a championship team. You've got to win a few of those games along the way.
Larry A. Moncrief (Wadley, AL)
I think the divide has narrowed greatly between the East and West this year. Nobody is unbeatable.....Roll Tide! I fear Georgia moreso than Florida. Georgia appears to be peaking right now if they don't start having two different identities according to what Saturday it is. Florida has peaked and is in that roller coaster mode right now... ...
Chris Low (2:07 PM)
I would agree, and I also think Florida is just going to keep getting better under Muschamp. Georgia is always going to be a factor, and Spurrier has made South Carolina into a contender.
MikeDaTiger (SEC boards)
Chris, which Mettenberger shows up Saturday: Auburn Mettenberger or Alabama Mettenberger? I'm optimistic that he turned the corner and built up the confidence against the #1 defense in the nation that he much needed, even if it was a heartbreaking loss.
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
I don't know if he'll be as good as he was the other night. He was in a zone. But it has to give him confidence, and just as important, his receivers should be able to build off that game. They hadn't done much to help him this season.
How many more years do you see Spurrier going? The man is 67 and I can't see him sticking around like Bowden and Paterno.
Chris Low (2:10 PM)
My guess is at least next season and maybe one more.
Duncan (Warwick, NY)
I think the things that kept Georgia from being great last year are that the OL couldn't run block against the best defenses we played and the D wore down in those games. Have you seen anything this year that makes you thinks it could possibly turn out differently against Alabama?
Chris Low (2:12 PM)
Georgia isn't great up front offensively. I'll give you that. But if Murray doesn't turn it over and that defense plays the way it has the last two weeks, Georgia is capable of beating anybody in the league, including Alabama.
I have noticed most writers are predicting that the Florida Gators will not make a BCS bowl. If Georgia were to lose to Alabama and Florida wins out would they not hold the 2 nd best record in the SEC and be in line for a BCS bid?
Chris Low (2:14 PM)
Some people are saying that because Florida historically hasn't traveled well to non-BCS championship bowl games outside the state of Florida. However, if the Gators are 11-1 and beat FSU, I think the Sugar Bowl would be very interested in the Gators. They would be a top 5 team at that point. Don't forget about the lure of LSU to the Sugar Bowl. If there's a concern about selling tickets, the Sugar Bowl would be hard-pressed to turn down LSU.
April ((Conroe, TX))
What do you think, realistically, A&M's chances are this weekend against Alabama. I've heard differing opinions but I think my favorite has to be Lou Holtz saying he thinks the Aggies have a chance because he isn't too fond of A
Chris Low (2:15 PM)
Aggies have to be at least plus-2 in the turnover department to have a chance.
Doug (Silver Creek, GA)
UF ain't winning in Tallahassee with the offensive effort they have shown the last two games.
Chris Low (2:16 PM)
Hard to argue that, although I think you'll see the Gators open it up a little more that last game. They'll have to.
Chris, I think Saturday is a must win for MIZZOU to get to 6 wins (aren't gonna beat T A&M) Do you believe MIZZOU's anemic Offense can actually put up enough points to out score Tenn?
Chris Low (2:17 PM)
I've gone back and forth on this one. Anybody can put up points against Tennessee's defense. I picked the Vols winning 31-30 in a shootout. But if Missouri gets up early, I think the Tigers are good enough on defense to force Bray into some mistakes.
Chris Low (2:18 PM)
OK, that's about 15 bonus minutes. But time flies when you're having fun. See everybody next week. I'll be down on the Plains this weekend and looking forward to it. Have a great rest of the week.