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 (12:03 PM)
Greetings loyal readers! Sorry we missed each other last week, but let's make up for it today.
Konathan Jowles (Atlanta)
Mr. Aschoff,If the stars align, do you realistically see a one-loss Auburn team (beating Bama & Mizzou/South Carolina) jumping Ohio State? I don't see it happening....
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Right now, I just don't see it. The two are separated by too much right now in the BCS standings. It would be a major win, of course, but I just think it would be too hard for the Tigers to jump an unbeaten Ohio State team at this point. Root for Michigan/Michigan State and Florida ... you know you want to.
Dan (Dallas, TX)
Does Auburn have a shot to win the Iron Bowl?
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
Certainly. It's a home game, this team is still looking for a little more respect and that running game has been amazing this season Auburn is averaging 320 rushing yards per game and has 37 rushing touchdowns. Alabama is allowing just 91 rushing yards a game. I think if the Tigers are going to have a shot they have to be able to throw. Alabama wants to play a one-demensional offense. Nick Marshall has to throw down field in order to win.
Mike (Sunny Scottsdale, Az)
Hey Ed, After the crushing defeat my beloved Vols suffered this past weekend, is there reason to be optimistic about next season? There has just been some baffling game planing and play calling, especially this past Saturday, after having two weeks to prepare. Really, you have the kicker throw a pass on 4th and 19, and than the next series, when the Vols really needed a score, you punt it to Vandy on 4th and 2 with under 5 minutes to play. I think everyone had to realize that Vandy would go for it on all their remaining 4th downs. Turns out they did and it put the Vols in a position where they couldn't do much about it. Coach Jones said that he thought they needed a TD to win, thats why he went for it on 4th and 19. Well, they still needed a TD, why not ask the O-line to man up one last time and run a QB keeper to pick up those 2 yards? I, like a lot of fans can handle losing, but I feel like they just kind of gave up there. Had they gonna for it at least they could have said they tried. Instead they relied on a defense that really hadn't stopped anyone all year...frustrating/END RANT
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
I know it's frustrating, especially considering where this once proud program was. But you have to be patient with a new regime. Tennessee isn't loaded with quality SEC talent right now, but Butch Jones is doing a very good job on the recruiting trail. Now, we know that five-stars mean nothing without development, so that's the key for this staff. We saw it at Auburn this year. Tennessee is capable of a solid rebound next year if young guys step up. I think the attitude difference is the biggest positive right now for the Vols.
Vernon (Richmond, VA)
How much hotter did Muschamp's seat get after UF's loss to Georgia Southern?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
It really can't get any hotter this season. Expect changes, but I'm not ready to say that Muschamp is out at Florida. Injuries have been an issue, but it's excusable to lose to Georgia Southern. This team was without 19 scholarship players. You're at home. Play with some pride. Show some heart. Is there a big enough coach to come in though and replace Muschamp right now? I don't know so I think that Jeremy Foley is in a tough spot. Maybe he really does believe in his heart that Muschamp can turn things around. But if he doesn't, then there's no point in keeping a coach who has a team that quit on Saturday. I like Will personally, but this is a very tough position for the program. It's at a crossroads
Stephen (Baton Rouge)
Does LSU need aTm to lose this week to get to the Cotton Bowl, or does the SEC/Chick-fil-a work out a deal to avoid having the same teams in those 2 bowls in back-to-back years?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
I still think the Tigers can play in the Sugar Bowl. If LSU beats Arkansas and Auburn and Mizzou both lose, who knows? The Tigers are always a big draw with what is basically a home game.
Aaron Murray goes down with a torn ACL. Feel terrible for him, what a competitor, sums up the Dawgs season perfectly. Although, Mason is going to be good, gives him much needed reps. UGA top 5 team next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
I think the Dawgs are a team that can play like a top-five team next year. But I'm cautious with new quarterbacks. I know Mason is talented and some think he's more talented than Murray, but it's a different animal when you're going through the SEC week in and week out.
Chris (Columbia, SC)
If Missouri loses and South Carolina does make it to Atlanta, realistically what chance do you give South Carolina of upsetting either Bama or Auburn and going to the Sugar Bowl?
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
The Gamecocks would have to put pressure on AJ McCarron and find ways to make plays in both the passing and rushing game against the Tide. Alabama's defense is far from perfect, but it feeds off mistakes. South Carolina couldn't have those. Obviously, you have to win the running game too and the Gamecocks have the advantage with Mike Davis. Still, it's a tall task for this team.
Thomas (Kansas City)
Please pick A&M over Mizzou this Saturday. Mizzou is running out of things to prove and it'd be nice if people continue to underrate them.
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
As of right now, why in the world would I pick them to lose?
Gus Malzahn (Auburn, AL)
I'm a shoo-in for coach of the year right?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
If you beat Alabama, it's over. It's all yours. But if you don't and Gary Pinkel makes it to Atlanta I think it's tougher. And if Pinkel beats Alabama, it's his. You've done a tremendous job taking over a team that won just three last year. I knew you guys would be better but not this good.
David Mathias (Irmo SC)
Ed did you know LSU has 3 loses? What did you mean when you said LSU is in line for the sugar bowl they would never take a LSU with three loses over a 2 or 3 SEC East loser. What do you think about the A$m vs Mizzou now?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Why wouldn't the Sugar Bowl take LSU? All the Tigers have to be is ranked in the top 14 of the BCS standings. LSU would be playing a home game. Talk about revenue for the game and the city of New Orleans. You have to think of the big picture here.
Konathan Jowles (ATL)
you think that really was Malzahn? Wow.
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Come on ... You're better than that :)
Which currently winless SEC team do you think rebounds the most next year? Kentucky or Arkansas?
Edward Aschoff (12:23 PM)
That's a good question. I think the fact that Kentucky is in the East helps the Wildcats more. Every team in that division will have a lot of questions going into the season, and Kentucky could have a very good recruiting class coming in. Arkansas has to ramp up its recruiting game so that Bielema can get his style of players. Right now, I'd go with Kentucky.
David (Austin, TX)
If Mizzou takes the East and loses to bama in a close game. Do you think Mizzou will play a BCS Bowl would select them as their alternates such as Orange bowl or Sugar bowl?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Still think Auburn and LSU would be in the mix there
As much as I'm happy for Mizzou to be in the SEC, I miss our rivalry with Kansas. Any chance Johnny Football adopts a Jayhawk outfit for the weekend?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Please make this happen! Johnny Jayhawk!
Steven Wright (Ohio)
I love how two Big 12 has beens are relevant in the almighty sec. Play the NC game in the north for 10 years and see how may NC's y'all got.
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
But if no one else has played a national championship in the north why would the SEC? Also there are no BCS bowl games up north. Also the SEC has played in all four BCS title sites so your comment lacks a lot of substance there.
Does Missouri and Texas A&M (two middle-of-the-road Big 12 teams) coming into the SEC and immediately being title contenders speak to the SEC being somewhat overrated as a conference, the boost being in the SEC gives you in recruiting, or something else?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
Why can't these two teams just be good and have good coaching staffs? Why is it that a new coach in Kevin Sumlin with a new system and the country's best player can't just come in and be successful? Why can't Gary Pinkel have a healthy team and be able to win? Why is it that the SEC has to be overrated now? Do the seven straight national championships mean nothing now? Makes no sense to me.
Drew (Atlanta, GA)
So James Franklin will be overlooked for coach of the year again?
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
He's been fantastic yet again, but he could win nine games again. Auburn and Mizzou combined for eight last year ...
Aaron Murray will never play another game in college. What will his legacy be?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
It should be as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the SEC. It should be one that says he got better every year and showed the utmost selflessness and publicly laughed when his house was egged by "UGA fans." I still don't think he's fully received the respect he deserves from his own fans or college football. Kid was a stud for the Bulldogs and a great individual. Gonna miss him.
Tom A. Hawk (St. Augustine)
As a Seminole fan, I am disappointed to see the Gators in this position. I wanted them to be ranked to give the Noles some respect. Do you think FSU will actually give BAMA a good game in the national championship?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
If FSU is fully equipped and healthy it can. It has the passing game that can make some plays and take some shots on Alabama's defense, while that defense has what it takes to put pressure on AJ McCarron and contest that running game. I think it'd be a helluva game.
David (Austin, TX)
What does it say about coach Pinkel's ability to coach in the SEC where everyone but them is in the top 20, and he is taking kids that other SEC schools really didn't want?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
Development, man. He and his staff did a great job and he fit guys to his system. No square peg, round hole nonsense. And guys believed. This team's confidence is completely different than it was a year ago. Being healthy certainly helps that.
Gary Pinkel (CoMo)
Come on Ed, what do I have to do to get some love and respect from you? Hope you do the right thing and pick us this Saturday, as our defense plans to pound Johnny "Jayhawk" Football!
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
I don't know what else I have to do. I picked you over Malzahn a few weeks back when we talked coach of the year and I praised you guys Saturday and today.
Andre (Monticello, FL)
Ed, with this dreadful football season in Gainesville how do you think it will impact recruiting. They have some good verbal recruits and also since the AD is sticking with Muschamp for now do you suspect any change in the coaching staff. For too much talent to be below mediocre.
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
Don't think these losses won't hurt in some way. It sounds like WR Ermon Lane is still on board and I do think that most players feel they can go in and make an immediate impact. But I think keeping running back Dalvin Cook is essential. It's clear that he's wavering a bit. Not good for Florida. He could really boost that running game. Muschamp just has to keep beating it into their heads that they can legitimately come in and make a difference. Florida is still Florida, but this class has to hold up
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
What's the latest on TJ Yeldon?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
Well, he missed Saturday's game, but resting that ankle should help him this weekend. You know how ankles are. They can linger, but Yeldon being in a boot is good news.
I saw your comment earlier but would like to see you expound on the answer. If Auburn where to win out, They may not jump Ohio State but the resume would be much greater.Auburn would have played 4 teams in the top ten and beaten 3. They would also have a total of 6 teams raked when played.Ohio State will have 3 total raked teams played. Undefeated though. Isn't there room for this argument this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:42 PM)
Certainly is a good argument and I'm not gonna lie ... i wouldn't be shocked if it happened. But the Tigers have to get more computer love. That might happen with a win over No. 1 Alabama. Would it be enough? I just don't think so right now.
Patrick (Mobile, AL)
Who are your top 3 for the Heisman....Pretty sure Johnny dropped out, as did Mariotta....and with Jameis in so much legal trouble, do the voters go with someone else?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
1. Manziel 2. Andre Williams 3. Winston
vic (no cal)
This season could have of the most intriguing Heisman winners ever. Can the committee give it to Winston, given his off-the-field issues? Could you see the award going to someone like McCarron (Alabama) as a "lifetime achievement award" if the Tide stay undefeated?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I think it's tough because of Winston's legal issues and Manziel's bad game at LSU. I still think Manziel is the best player in the country so it's tough for me not to look at that and say "OK, yeah he played poorly in this game, but in 10 others he was great. Oh well, next!" I think we do that too much with this award. McCarron just hasn't put up the numbers. Sure, he wins but does he deserve the Heisman because of that? Manziel has 1,200 more passing yards and nine more passing touchdowns. McCarron has been incredible for three years, but if you ask me who the best player in the country is I say Manziel. Also, why no love for Andre Williams at Boston College???? All he's done is rush for 2,073 yards and 16 touchdowns!!
UGA's defense in the fourth quarter against Auburn has probably given Saban the blue print for stopping the Tigers' offense other than batting a desperation pass in the air. Does Auburn have enough on defense to keep this game interesting? Their defense was also exposed by UGA in that fourth quarter.
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
The Tigers can't surrender 400 yards and expect to win. Alabama's defense is much better than it was at the beginning of the year against the Aggies. Auburn has to be tougher up front against a team like Alabama. Can't give up 200 rushing yards like Auburn has done four times this year and expect to win.
Casey (Fort Stewart, GA)
Seems like Todd Gurley is back to his normal self and now he is becoming the all around player catching passes out the backfield. I know this season is done with but is he a front runner for next years Doak/Heisman talk? He is down right un-human when 100%...
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
When he's healthy, he's the best running back in the country. He's averaging 6.3 yards per carry this season and is great in the passing game out of the backfield. He'll have no problem gaining preseason accolades next year.
Ken (Fort Lauderdale)
Why is it that reporters that cover certain conferences have no loyalty to those conferences? Why should I as a reader of that reporter's work, care what he thinks if he is just talk?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Because being a reporter is about being objective and not cheering. You don't cheer for the teams you cover, whether you are covering an entire conference or an individual team. You throw your opinion in there when needed, but you don't root for the teams you cover.
David Mathias (Irmo SC)
What happens if uf beats FSU and OSU loses to Michigan and SC not only goes to SEC CG but wins it ? Who ends up in the big show then?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
My goodness. You've destroyed the BCS in one post! I don't think SC would be in the big game because it has three losses. You'd probably see the Big 12 champ get some love. Auburn/Mizzou are back in it. Stanford? I don't know man. My head just exploded.
Manziel #1 for the Heisman? That's not a SEC homer speaking is it?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
Not at all. Like I said earlier: he's the best player in the country. He's had one bad game this year. Yes, it was at the end of the season, but look at this man's stats. He's been incredible again and has had to make a ton of plays because of a terrible defense. Are we picking the best player in the country?
Sumlin and Manziel both go to Texans...what!!
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
You're a bold, bold man!
So if So Car beats Clemson and wins SEC Champ all they can hope for is Capital One Bowl because LSU is the bigger draw??????
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
Yes ... No they would automatically go to the Sugar with win in the SEC title game. Come on. Bowl tie-ins, man!
Mason is the quarterback-no-longer-in-waiting, but is he the quarterback next year for the Dawgs? Will Ramsey (or Bauta) give him a battle for #1?
Edward Aschoff (12:59 PM)
Unless either of those other guys just blows Mason out of the water, this is now Mason's team for the next year.
scar vs clemson. talk.
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
Jadeveon Clowney vs Tajh Boyd. Love it. Plus, it's a home game for the Gamecocks who are looking for a BCS berth. I'm interested to see South Carolina's defense vs Clemson's offense. I feel like South Carolina has improved on defense, but Clemson is still quietly averaging 516 yards per game. It's going to be a very, very fun one in Columbia this weekend.
David Mathias (Irmo SC )
Even if your head exploded SC only has two loses Ed!
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
Oh did I type three? My bad! Monday morning fingers and brain taking over there!
Samuel (St Louis)
lets put lunch off for another 1/2 hour and keep talking some SEC football!!!
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
I'd love to, but I'm a growing boy. I have a killer gym workout coming up this afternoon and a soccer game tonight. I need fuel!!
Who do you have as the winner of the Iron Bowl?
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
HA! No predictions today. You know me.
Bluespiano42 (old sec blog)
What's for lunch?
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
Turkey burger, flaxseed chips and some salsa. Ate all my fruit last night after I got back from Oxford :( grocery run later. Another great chat guys! Talk to you all soon!