Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC reporter 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 everyone! It's another great day for an SEC chat!
Ethan (Starke, Fl)
How long until Muschamp's gone?
Edward Aschoff (12:05 PM)
I feel like this has been the question of the weekend since the Gators were blown out at home to Vanderbilt. First loss at home to Vandy since 1945. First loss to Vandy in 22 tries. Just bad all around for the Gators, but I don't see Muschamp leaving this season. Injuries and having to start with a pretty bare cupboard are all working in Muschamp's favor as far as staying. Yes, he has a worse record than Ron Zook had, but Zook was left with a lot more talent than Muschamp. Injuries have ravaged this team and NO ONE knows what would have happened if five starters hadn't suffered season-ending injuries. There's a reason Tyler Murphy was a third-string QB last year and a fourth-string QB a couple of years ago. Next year, Mushamp is really going to feel the heat if he doesn't make it to Atlanta. That's when I think you can legitimately talk about whether he stays or goes. Plus, who is out there for Florida to go and say "Man, this is a home run hire?"
Andrew Z (Columbia, MO)
Both Mizzou and auburn played low end teams the past two weeks, why did mizzou move to 9 from 8 and auburn jump in two weeks from 11 to 7? Whats your opinion on this? did they deserve the jump?
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
The computers like the Tigers. Both teams have had very impressive seasons, especially after last year, and the human voters respect that. I think both teams are good and both have a shot at winning the SEC. I even moved Missouri up in my power rankings because they have not missed a beat since losing to South Carolina. I expected a lull and I've been pretty impressed with them so far. Both have great offenses and Mizzou has a top-notch defense.
Ed, looked to me like Bama had a number of quieter named players make an impact in that game. Who, besides Yeldon, McCarron, and Mosley, would you say were the MVPs? I got Howard, Collins, and R Kelly (in no particular order).
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I really like the way Collins is playing. He made some big-play-stopping tackles early in Saturday's game and I think NFL scouts will drool over his talents. He can drop back and play in the box. Very impressive. I also like Kenyan Drake. I didn't think he'd be much of a factor in Alabama's offense, but, man, he has rushed for 556 yards (7.6 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. Explosive runner for real.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
What was up with Les Miles play calling vs. Alabama? There weren't any typical Miles-like plays run, like a fake FG or onside kick. Why wasn't Les his typical self?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
I don't think he needed to be crafty against Alabama in this one. What he needed was his players to hold onto the ball early. He needed his defense to clog holes. He needed to GIVE THE BALL TO JEREMY HILL. That's where LSU failed.
Nick (Macon, Ga)
Does Auburn have to come up with some sort of passing game to compete with Bama?
Edward Aschoff (12:12 PM)
yes. You can't be one-demensional against Alabama and expect to win. Plus, spread offenses have done a good job of frustrating Nick Saban in the pass. You have to be able to throw the ball or Alabama's front seven will eat you up. You have to be balanced, just look at the LSU game. LSU got away from the running game in the second half and Alabama had a field day.
Ed, thoughts on the Auburn/Ga matchup....you feel Auburn's idea to not throw but 12 passes the past 2 games, will haunt them when they are FORCED to pass against UGA. ANd can AU's D stop Gurley?
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
Look at Auburn's running game. The Tigers rushed for 444 yards against Tennessee and threw for like 35 yards. That will beat Georgia, but don't expect the Bulldogs to give up 400 rushing yards. Georgia's rush defense has actually played a lot better lately. The Bulldogs have allowed fewer than 150 rushing yards in four straight games. But the Dawgs haven't faced a rushing attack like Auburn's yet. The Tigers are averaging 320 rushing yards a game, which is first in the SEC and third nationally. I think Malzahn will have Nick Marshall more involved in the passing game against the Dawgs. He knows he has to because Georgia will aim to stop the run. Stopping Gurley will be tough. I don't know if Auburn is equipped to do that yet so the secondary has to come up big against Aaron Murray
What is your opinion on the Gamecocks? I think it would be better for them to win out, then not play Bama in the SEC Championship because I think according to the BCS rankings, we would have a better shot at going to a BCS Bowl without the SEC Championship loss....what do you think?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
Why would you root against winning the SEC East? Are you already giving up on your team losing to Alabama? Not cool. Steve Spurrier would much rather win the East then slip into the Sugar Bowl. Look at Florida last year. The SEC comes first, man.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Ed, I've been asking this question for several weeks and I haven't gotten an answer from you or Chris. Can we just go ahead and say the West will beat the East in Atlanta?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
I still think Alabama will win the West and the SEC, but I'm not going to say it's going to be easy. Missouri can spread Alabama's defense out and South Carolina's running game could grind away at Alabama's defensive front. Alabama is great, but it isn't last year's team or the 2011 team.
Does Saban have a point that McCarron is the best quarterback in CFB? You see QB's with outrageous stats but McCarron methodically does what his team needs to win. How do you judge those two attributes when picking a Heisman winner?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
He's certainly the quarterback I'd love to have in a big game. He just doesn't make mistakes. He's beyond the realm of game manager in my eyes. I think he's easily the most talented QB Saban has had at the college level since Jemarcus Russell. He's now the all-time leading passer at Alabama. But is he the best player in the country? No. I still have Manziel and Winston over him. Winston is more gifted, but certainly doesn't have McCarron's resume. And Manziel is well ... yeah. But I have McCarron behind those two and Mike Evans, who is the best WR in the country and one of the best players, regardless of position.
From your article about LSU not circling Bama on the schedule, and the media coverage of Anthony Johnson's comments about physical play, were you surprised at how little he could do against Steen and the Bama OL?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
I was. He made some plays early, but was lost in the shuffle after the first half. I was really surprised at how LSU softened up front as the game went on. No, this isn't last year's defense or the one from two years ago, but Alabama broke its will.
For those of us SICK of Alabama..(that is everyone but Alabama)will they tick down next year with a new QB? Who else do they lose?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Ha. I think Alabama will hit a little snag next year without McCarron and a lot of defensive guys gone. Still, this will be a top team in the SEC. It might not be a national championship contender, but it'll be pretty darn good.
Granted winning the East would be on the top of the list for Steve, but a lopsided loss in Atlanta, i.e. Auburn and Cam Newton could really hurt the chances for another "1st" for Steve, another 11 win season and first ever BCS Bowl appearance.
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
I think people REALLY overvalue BCS bowls when compared to a chance at a conference title. What if South Carolina were to win in Atlanta??? Come on guys!
Here is what kills me Ed. Bama has created a monster that for some reason the media can't just enjoy. For instance, Bama help LSU to something like 280 total yards... the lowest of the season. Every other team would take that number in a heart beat. Yet, the media and talking heads want to point out how flawed the defense is for ONLY holding them to 280. What is Bama suppose to do, never give up a first down? What not say, wow what a performance!
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
You clearly haven't read my power rankings ...
Larry (Las vegas)
Ed - If TAMU wins out were do the finish in the rankings and do they get the Sugar Bowl (assuming Bama goes to the NCG)?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
I think so. I think if the Aggies win out, which is very possible, they are headed to NOLA. I think then the Cotton Bowl looks at Ole Miss, which could also win out.
Billy Wheeler (Nashville)
Would love to keep him, but I am a realist. What % odds to you give to Vandy head coach leaving for a major job next season? Does he have a dream job that he is waiting to open? Sadly, Dores just don't have the facilities, commitment or fan base to retain him long term.
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
I tend to agree here. James Franklin has said all the right things about staying at Vanderbilt and building that program even more, but let's be real: if a big fish comes calling, he has to listen. Imagine what he could do at a school where he could recruit head-to-head with the big dogs? Vandy won't be the last place James Franklin coaches at. Just won't be.
Ole miss in cotton bowl? If mizzou beats them id think mizzou would get it?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
If Ole Miss wins out that's what my gut tells me. If Mizzou wins out and loses to Alabama/Auburn, then maybe Mizzou sneaks in
How does A&M go to the Sugar if Bama goes to the NC? That would mean Auburn losses to bama, and they'd have identical records. Auburn beat A
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Think about it: The Aggies in the Cotton Bowl. Huge draw
Edward Aschoff (12:33 PM)
Sorry SUGAR not Cotton. Plus, the Aggies would be ahead of Auburn in the BCS standings
Dash, To make things even worse the Gators just lost Morrison for the season with a torn Meniscus, lol. Its almost laughable at this point. Gatornation really needs to pump the breaks and give Muschamp a half a pass at this point.
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
As David Spade said in "Tommy Boy" ... "It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Towns the fish, people are the barrel. POW ... fish in a barrel." That team now has six season-ending injuries
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Bigger obstacle to Johnny Manziel winning a second Heisman, his tumultuous offseason, or awful defense?
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
What would happen if mizzou did win out and beat bama/auburn. Where would you put them? Pretty good resume to me
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
See this is tough. If Mizzou wins out and beats No. 1, how do you keep the Tigers out of the national championship??? Well, if FSU, OSU and Baylor are all undefeated I think Mizzou will be on the outside looking in. Florida stinking isn't helping Mizzou. Just how it is. Imagine if we had a playoff ... I think If Mizzou wins out the Tigers are heading to the Sugar. I don't see OSU or FSU losing
Safe to say flordia out of a bowl game? First time this will happen in how long?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
First time since 1986.
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Gosh can I type??? 91. Ugh Mondays!
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
What are your thoughts on CJ Mosely? With the way he was calling plays and telling the rest of the team what to do, he really looked like the captain of the defense vs. LSU, much like Rolando McClain did a few years ago. How early do you think Mosely will go in the draft?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
He is the quarterback of Alabama's defense. He might be the best defensive player in the country. Remember he was splitting time last year and still lead Alabama in tackles and had more than 100. He's just so instinctive. He knows how to find the ball and he is an excellent student of the game. He knows what the play is more often than not. I'd love to get inside that brain of his during a game. It's crazy how he's always around the ball. I think he's a first-rounder for sure.
Andrew Z. (Columbia, MO)
How do you think James Franklin will play against Ole miss? He can control the missouri offense well, but vacations over will he be rusty, how will this affect the first half? Ole Miss did have a great win against LSU and a close game with aTm!
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
I think a healthy James Franklin who has rested an extra week is a big advantage for the Tigers. Ole Miss' defense has played well since that loss to the Aggies, but Franklin is back to being his old self and is a vet. He won't be shaken by a trip to Oxford. Not at all. But I do wonder what happens if/when he takes another hit to that shoulder. Ole Miss will be itching to play in a game like this. If the Rebels win it they are one their way to a nine-win season. You better believe that's motivation. I don't think he'll be rusty. he's going to get a lot of practice reps and he's had a ton of reps during his career.
WOW Scratches 3 Stephan 0 favoritism Mr. Aschoff?
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
I never read names. Just questions
What are your thoughts about Georgia"s team next year? Mason will be the starter along with Gurley,Marshall and that defense will be a year older. Thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
I like it. Gurley, Marshall and most of those receivers will be back. Mason should be fine, but the offensive line will plug a couple new guys in. The defense basically returns everyone. I think Georgia will be a top-5 team to start the year.
Leading candidate for SEC COY? Malzhan and Pinkel are obvious and well-deserved choices but shouldn't Saban get another one one of these years?
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
Saban should. This has probably been his toughest job since his first year at Bama. Not as talented overall as years past AND the pressure is on more than ever. One loss and this team is done. I still have to go with Malzahn and Pinkel. Right now, I'd say Malzahn because this team is waaaaaay better than I expected. I never saw just one loss for either team at this point. Beat Georgia this weekend I'm all Malzahn ... unless Mizzou wins the East.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Which team will have a more difficult time replacing their senior signal caller? Missouri, Georgia, or Alabama?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
Alabama. McCarron is a true winner and one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country. Plus, he's had ALL the reps
Will (Fort Worth)
If TAMU wins out and FSU drops a game they shouldn't, would Johnny be the frontrunner for the Heisman?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Shoot, I still have Manziel as my frontrunner. Most exciting player in the country yet again. Crazy stats and he wins despite how bad that defense is
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
Jones has recruited well in 2014, but does need to find a QB in this class for Tennessee to become relevant in the next couple of years? The Vols look shaky at that position.
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
I actually like the prospect of Joshua Dobbs as the future at this position. He's been thrown into the fire early. I think he'll be fine going forward with all these game reps under his belt. His future could be bright, plus there's good depth there as far as bodies right now.
Why no talk of SEC bottom-feeders, Ed? How long until Arkansas is competitive again? I think 5-6 years. What say you?
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
That's a pretty long time and Bielema won't last if it takes that long. I think he has to recruit better. He has to get his style of players in or the Hogs are sunk. They don't have the horses on offense or defense right now to compete. Collins is the perfect runner for his offense, but he needs a quality quarterback and receivers. Collins can't shoulder the load for three more years. The defense needs help too. Too many holes at linebacker and in the secondary. And that defensive line will be gone soon ...
Tom (Rome, GA)
More NFL QB potential: Manziel or McCarron?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
This is tough for me because obviously Manziel is the way better athlete, but McCarron is the prototypical NFL QB. I think Manziel will get drafted earlier, but with McCarron's size and pro-style ability I think he has a longer, more successful career. But i'd love to see Manziel succeed. I love the way he plays.
LSUX (Baton Rouge)
Mississippi State has Alabama at home this week, is @ Arkansas next week and host Ole Miss on Thanksgiving night. Yes or no...Mississippi State wins 2 of their last 3 and makes a bowl.
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
If I had to pick today, I'd say no. I don't see Alabama at all and Ole Miss is clicking too much and is the better team on both sides. Arkansas certainly is winnable. Right now I'd say 1-2 finish.
John (Eugene, OR)
Have you seen the Ducks' new uniforms for this weekend? They are sick, dude.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
Do they make the Ducks a tougher team? That's what Oregon needs ... Maybe Phil Knight was scouting that out while draped in Bama gear in Tuscaloosa Saturday ;)
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Hey Ed, what's for lunch?
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
I have some leftover turkey sausage that I'm going to throw in a skillet with some peppers, brown rice and salsa. Apple on the side and some water.
Edward Aschoff (1:06 PM)
Great chat today! I want to send a special pat on the back/hug to Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. He played with a very heavy heart this weekend after losing his mother to cancer. I lost my mother at a young age as well, so hats off to him for even thinking about playing Saturday. Talk about strength.