Chat with Greg Ostendorf
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com's SEC reporter Greg Ostendorf will stop by to talk some college football.
Ostendorf joined ESPN.com in 2012 covering the Southeast Conference and Alabama football for TideNation.
Send your questions now and join Ostendorf Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Greg Ostendorf (1:00 PM)
Hey all, welcome to the chat. Let's get started.
Will Texas AM & Ole Miss blow up the scoreboard Saturday?
Greg Ostendorf (1:01 PM)
In one word, yes. Both have shown the ability to score in bunches, and neither has been able to play much as of late. I expect a big game from Johnny Manziel as well as Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott. I like the Aggies but in a shootout.
Who are you favoring in the UGA/Mizzou match up this weekend
Greg Ostendorf (1:02 PM)
To me, this might be the most intriguing matchup of the weekend. Normally, I would take Georgia without even thinking about it, but with all of the injuries and with Missouri quarterback James Franklin playing well, it's not that easy. I still like the Dawgs in a close one, but I wouldn't be shocked if Mizzou won.
James Teasdale (Los Angeles)
Greg, considering that Bama's new OL is improving weekly and it's young D Backs are making great progress, who out there can compete with them on the field?
Greg Ostendorf (1:04 PM)
I still like LSU's chances when they visit Tuscaloosa in November. Like you said, the Tide's secondary is improving, but they're not equipped to stop Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. right now. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger could be in for a big day. The same goes for Georgia if the two meet in the SEC title game again this year.
JESSE (SAN ANTONIO)
GREG, DO YOU THINK THE GATORS HAVE ANY CHANCE OF WINNING IN DEATH VALLEY? THEY DO HAVE ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSES IN AMERICA
Greg Ostendorf (1:06 PM)
There's no question about that defense. The matchup between LSU's wide receivers and Florida's cornerbacks might be the best of the weekend. I still think LSU wins the game, but Florida will keep it close. If Murphy plays well, it could swing the other way.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What SEC College Football Team has the Worst Defense in 2013?
Greg Ostendorf (1:08 PM)
Let's stick with the SEC. It's a toss-up between Texas A&M and Vandy right now. The Aggies have been awful this season and just lost a starting defensive tackle, but the Commodores gave up 51 last weekend at home to Missouri.
I am a huge LSU fan . I was born in houma Louisiana and my question is, should LSU be ranked higher than they are now?
Greg Ostendorf (1:11 PM)
Should they be? Yes. But it really doesn't matter right now. They still control their destiny. If they can go in and knock off Alabama next month, that ranking will jump quite a bit.
Greg -- Right now Murray is probably my Heisman frontrunner... However, bad fortune is really piling up here... I don't think there is any way that Mizzou doesn't win on Saturday... What are you looking for in that game?
Greg Ostendorf (1:12 PM)
I think it will be a high-scoring game again. Neither defense has proven much. I really like James Franklin and the way he's playing this year for the Tigers, but I'm not going to bet against Murray, especially at home. I tried doing that in the LSU game, and it came back to bite me.
Aaron (St. Pete, FL)
Greg, I think Florida is rated low at No. 17. What would it take for them to break into the top 10 or even top 5 over the next month and a half?
Greg Ostendorf (1:14 PM)
A win over LSU would certainly help. The Gators' next three games are all against ranked teams (LSU, Missouri, Georgia). If they can somehow win all three, they will easily move into the top 10 if not the top five.
Tim (Falls Church, VA)
Do you think the Gamecocks have a chance to "right the ship", get focused, finish out games and get on a roll for the rest of the year?
Greg Ostendorf (1:17 PM)
I liked South Carolina a lot preseason, but they have seem to fallen off since the Georgia game. The Clowney situation is not helping. I still think they're a very good football team, and I love Mike Davis, but that defense has been subpar this year, even with Clowney. They have three straight road games, so they better play better sooner rather than later.
All I have been hearing about is how good Muzzo O is but the question I want answer is how good is their D?
Greg Ostendorf (1:19 PM)
The unit as a whole is average, but defensive lineman Michael Sam has been outstanding recently. Has has six sacks in the last two games alone. Keep an eye on him Saturday against Georgia.
Does Ole Miss have a chance against Texas AM? I don't see it unless Texas AM turns the ball over a lot.
Greg Ostendorf (1:21 PM)
Ole Miss is another team who needs to right the ship. They have fallen off some since the hot start. I don't think they can stop Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, but the game is at home. They should be able to put up points and hang with the Aggies into the second half.
Mack Brown (In a country club outside Austin)
Do I have a chance against OU, and to resurrect my career?
Greg Ostendorf (1:22 PM)
I don't see it. I thought you were gone after that Iowa State game.
Sean (Dunk City)
You don't think is getting too much credit for being 5-0? Their best win is against Vandy......
Greg Ostendorf (1:25 PM)
I assume you mean Missouri. They're undefeated and still ranked No. 25. I don't think they're getting too much credit. I know it was Vandy last weekend, but a road win in the SEC is always impressive. We'll know if they're legitimate after Saturday.
gary bennington (england )
Greg, if bama go unbeaten will they be classed as better than the team from last year? and was last year tougher than this years schedule?
Greg Ostendorf (1:28 PM)
Even if Alabama goes undefeated -- which is a big if -- I would still take last year's team over this year's team. That offensive line was maybe the best I've ever seen, and not to mention, the defense had a couple first-round picks on it.
Who wins between S.C. and ARK.?
Greg Ostendorf (1:31 PM)
I want to play it safe and take South Carolina, but I like the upset this week. There have been too many distractions around the Gamecocks' program recently. They haven't played well lately, and I like Arkansas' freshman running back Alex Collins. It's a huge game for Bielama in his first year.
How many more receivers does Aaron Murray have to lose for him to top the Heisman lists?
Greg Ostendorf (1:33 PM)
I'm with you. What he's been able to do this season has been incredible. I'm not ready to put him ahead of Marcus Mariota or Johnny Manziel just yet, but he's in that group. If Georgia wins out, he's my pick.
Laura (BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY)
Im sitting in my seats in Bristol Motor Speedway waiting for my Hokies to take the field against the Vols.....when does the game start???
Greg Ostendorf (1:34 PM)
You might be there for while, three years to be exact, but it would be an awesome game to attend. I've heard night races at Bristol are quite a spectacle.
Dawgs on Dawgs on Dawgs (ATL)
Last week the hot upset pick was Maryland over FSU. Maryland was undefeated and they have a QB who is playing well after being banged up the previous year. Maryland was supposed to be able to offensively hang with FSU with Stefon Diggs.. FSU 63 - Maryland 0 Final. This story sounds a lot like what we are hearing about Mizzou this week from the media. I don't think the Dawgs will win 63-0, but do you think the media is overplaying this one at all?
Greg Ostendorf (1:36 PM)
The difference is Georgia has so many injuries. If it were a fully healthy UGA team playing at home against Missouri, I'd take the Dawgs by two touchdowns. But it's not. Missouri has played well, and I think they have a legitimate chance to win Saturday.
Greg.....a relevant question considering the possible injury to Nick Marshall. What is the plan for Jeremy Johnson regardless of the injury. Is JJ expected to start next year or sit 2 years behind Nick Marshall. Players of JJ's skill (or at least hype) don't like to sit for 2 years.....Thanks!
Greg Ostendorf (1:38 PM)
I think the staff would love to redshirt Jeremy Johnson this year. If Marshall can't play or goes down for an extended period of time, that could change, but I don't think they want to play him unless they have to. Marshall will likely be the starter this year and next, but then I can see Johnson taking over.
Aaron Murray (Athens, Ga)
I think I should do some more running. Thoughts?
Greg Ostendorf (1:39 PM)
Have you looked at what's happened to the rest of your team lately? I'd avoid contact at all costs.
Johnny Football (Texas)
Can I win in Baton Rouge, and go 11-1 for the season?
Greg Ostendorf (1:41 PM)
Everybody keeps talking about that Alabama-LSU game in November and they forget about Texas A&M. Do I think the Aggies beat LSU? No, but I've learned to bet against you (Johnny Football). As long as he's playing, anything can happen.
Ankit Sikka (Harrison)
Who will be the best NFL QB going forward ? Murray, Manziel, AJ or Mettenberger ???
Greg Ostendorf (1:44 PM)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think it's Mettenberger -- purely from an NFL standpoint. He might have the best arm of the group, and he's figured it out mentally this season. At the college level, I would still Murray or McCarron because they're proven winners, but Mettenberger might be the best pro prospect.
who is the top defensive player in the SEC
Greg Ostendorf (1:46 PM)
You can't really say Clowney since he's not playing. I think it's C.J. Mosley. He's the best linebacker in the SEC, and he's the leader of that Alabama defense. Kirby Smart said he's the best one he's ever coached.
Fans Outside the SEC (Everytown, USA)
The SEC certainly deserves credit for the unprecidented string of national championships, but in all frankness the SEC is down this year outside Bama. Georgia is being touted as #2, but this is the same Georgia that ranks 95th in points allowed, struggled at times vs. NoTexas and was almost beat by a Tenn team that was destroyed by Oregon. You had a nice run, but the party is over...
Greg Ostendorf (1:49 PM)
I wouldn't argue that the SEC is down this year, but if it's Alabama playing in the BCS championship game, I wouldn't bet against Saban when he has a month to prepare.
How does missouri's 3 head running game stack up against the georgia defense?
Greg Ostendorf (1:51 PM)
Georgia actually defended the run well against LSU a couple weeks ago. I think it will be James Franklin who has a big game, but having three capable backs is a luxury in college football. It keeps them fresh through four quarters.
SEC days are far from over, but that doesn't mean other teams from outside can't compete and win. Clemson showed that last year against LSU. But teams like Oregon, Ohio State, Louisville, FSU and Clemson couldn't survive an SEC schedule and remain top 5 teams. Agreed?
Greg Ostendorf (1:56 PM)
That's the argument every year, and I agree with you to a certain extend. But I'm not so sure this year. I think Clemson and Florida State could both hang in the SEC, and I wouldn't be shocked if Oregon won 10 games playing in the SEC.
What have you heard about Amari Cooper? There have been rumors that he has been hurt or slowed with a foot injury! The guy is a stud and its just alarming he hasn't got the ball more.
Greg Ostendorf (1:58 PM)
He's been dealing with a nagging foot injury all season, but there might be more to it than that. Clearly, he's not the same player he was a year ago. Alabama has other talented weapons, but they need him to return to form if they want to run the table.
Does the A&M defense stand any chance of being resuscitated this year. Esp. after losing Kirby Ennis?
Greg Ostendorf (2:00 PM)
Probably not. I'll be curious to see how they look Saturday against Ole Miss. They had a week to prepare which should help, but I'm skeptical. I'd guess A&M wins a lot of shootouts this year.
Greg Ostendorf (2:00 PM)
That's all the time I have. Thanks to everybody who joined. Chris Low should be back next week.