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 (1:03 PM)
Hope everyone is well. Anybody miss college football?
Do you see Florida bouncing back next year? How many games do you see them winning?
Chris Low (1:05 PM)
Yes, I do. Kurt Roper was a very good hire, and there's no doubt in my mind that he will be good for Jeff Driskel. Defense will again be salty. Don't think Gators will win the East. They certainly could because I don't see any top 10 teams in the East next year, but I do think Florida can improve from four wins to at least eight wins.
ACC! ACC! They won the big one so I guess the ACC is the best conference. Do you think Florida would have won the NFC East if they played in that league?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
ACC rules! Seriously, the best team and most talented team in the country won the title this year, although Auburn played a whale of a game.
how much does pruitt help uga? recruiting?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
He has extensive ties in the Mobile area, which should help. He's a good recruiter all the way around and a very good coach. He runs a 3-4, so the transition shouldn't be too great. To me, it was a home-run hire by Richt and they were able to get it done quickly as well to help with this class.
Could we be talking about Les Miles on the hot seat after next season?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
I'm sure some will have him on there going into the season because the Tigers "only" won 10 games this year. I can assure you that Les isn't going anywhere unless he wants to. That state is loaded with talent and the Tigers will continue to bring in great players. Defense will be much improved next year.
Can Kentucky compete in the SEC East soon? I know recruiting is going well but they are still behind South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and in some aspects Tennessee.
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
Coach Stoops needs two more classes (this one and one more) before he'll have a fair shot. Can the Wildcats compete? Yes, they had some years under Rich Brooks where they won eight games and have had some key wins (LSU, South Carolina, etc.). That said, I don't see them winning the East any time soon.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think Jeremy Hill was pushed out of Baton Rouge with pending arrival of Leonard Fournette and of the field issues? Kind of strange for him to change his so quickly, don't you think?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
No, Hill wasn't pushed out. They would have built their offense around him next season, and his legal issues were behind him provided he didn't get in trouble again. A running back only has so many carries in him, and I'd say somebody convinced Hill of that.
John (Red Stick)
What's the word on the Vanderbilt coaching search? Is there a short list?
Chris Low (1:17 PM)
Names I've heard are Brian Schottenheimer, Derek Mason, Pep Hamilton, Chad Morris, Scott Frost and Herb Hand.
Will (Baton Rouge)
What do you think of the Jeff Grimes hire? Seems like a bad move. Coach Stud's biggest knock was that he couldn't put guys in the NFL. Grimes doesn't have a track record of doing that either.
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
More important than putting guys in the NFL as offensive line coach is getting those guys to play well as a unit and cohesively. The proof will be in the pudding with Grimes. With Collins coming back, and some other promising young players, he has some talent to work with.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Do you really think Manziel is worth a #1 overall pick in the draft? I think he's going to be a bust in the NFL, and at best he'll be RG3 Jr. What's your take?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
I don't see him being No. 1 when it's all said and done. He'll go in the first round and is such a fierce competitor and playmaker that he'll find a way to do that in the NFL as well. Ultimately, we're going to find out if he's good enough to sit in the pocket and consistently make the kind of throws it takes to excel at that position in the NFL. I'll say this about Manziel. I wouldn't bet against him.
John (Red Stick)
Just saying, I think Derek Mason would be a huge deal for Vanderbilt. He knows how to get the most out of that type of athlete. He also seems like he has a energetic demeanor, like Franklin.
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
Of the names out there, Mason would be at the top of my list as well. Having been at Stanford, he's very familiar with the kind of athlete Vanderbilt would attract.
Does the Penn State job return to its once prominent stature once the bowl bans are lifted?
Chris Low (1:23 PM)
If it doesn't, especially with Penn State paying Franklin $4.5 million per year, he's not going to be there for very long.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Will Jeremy Pruitt bring the discipline and intensity on defense that was lacking under Grantham?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
That's the hope. Youth was the biggest thing this year with Georgia's defense and a ton of mistakes in the secondary. But I also think there's something to be said for playing hard all the time and with the kind of passion you have to play with on defense, and that seemed to be lacking from that bunch two years ago.
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Chris, Local radio here in KC is comparing DGB to Ricky Williams and that this second pot arrest is hurting him more than the first. I get the arguement that hes a college kid trying to live your life, but when you play D1 college football your life is football. If this behavior keeps up will the DGB to the NFL ship sail away or will teams overlook it and take a flier on him?
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
The disappointing thing with DGB is that this is his second drug-related offense. We don't know all the details yet, and it may be that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even so, after one drug issue, you'd hope he would be wise enough to steer clear of any trouble along those lines. He is super talented. At some point, he has to realize that he simply can't put himself in these situations.
Chris, enjoy your objectivity, even though i'm currently like the rest of the country and experiencing SEC fatigue. Paul Finebaum stated that it was a "joke" for the Big 12 to get to be involved in the playoff system without a championship game. The Big 12 plays a 9 game round-robin schedule, while the SEC, with 14 teams, plays an 8 team schedule, with a good dose of Savannah States in November. I mean, 14 teams and 8 conference games...it's hard to really consider Florida and Alabama in the same conference when they play what...every 6 years? Not trying to take away from the accomplishments of the SEC; 7 championships in a row is impressive, but folks at ESPN like Finebaum need to get real. Thanks for your opinion.
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
It's hard to compare because everybody plays different schedules, which will be especially difficult for the selection committee. I do believe the SEC will go to a nine-game conference schedule by 2016, which will help.
Mark (Washington, DC)
Do you think Dan Mullen is at a point where he missed his chance to move to an upper tier program, i.e. Texas or Penn State?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
Not necessarily, because I think Mississippi State has a chance to be very good next year, especially if Dak Prescott continues to develop the way I think he will. In a lot of ways, Mullen has probably been a victim of his own success. He's had four straight winning seasons, and while his record vs. ranked teams is poor, he's brought consistency to the program and won three of the last four against rival Ole Miss. The next challenge is beating more ranked teams, and he knows that. I'll say this. Their schedule this year was brutal, but the Bulldogs were in four of the six games they lost to ranked teams.
Chad R (Greer)
Chris ? in my opinion South Carolina does not get any respect in what it has done and no one believes they will keep this going? I think it?s great that both SC & Clemson are winning but everyone seems to give Clemson the power to sustain and not SC. This also goes for Georgia, Florida and other traditional powers that everyone seams to favor. Do you see any reason from the inside of the SC program that the success would not continue?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
I agree with you in some ways that the Gamecocks haven't received the respect they deserve for what they've accomplished under Spurrier -- three straight top 10 finishes in the polls and three straight 11-win seasons. Keeping up that pace in the SEC probably isn't realistic, although I do think Spurrier has come in and changed the culture there forever. It will be a bear of a job for the guy who follows Spurrier because of the expectations there now.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
What's with Alabama hiring so many coaches that are great recruiters like Kiffin and Bo Davis? That isn't an area they really can improve on since Saban has been taking his pick of the litter since he got to Tuscaloosa.
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Kiffin is also good with QBs and a good play-caller as well.
Jeff H (Huntsville, AL)
What do you think of Alabama hiring Lane Kiffin as OC. Good decision by Nick Saban?
Chris Low (1:41 PM)
Yes, because Kiffin can just coach and recruit and won't have to deal with the media or do any other face-of-the-program things.
Jimbo (Hot Springs)
What on earth makes you say Kiffin is good with QBs? I don't recall any QB excelling under his tutelage.
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
Jonathan Crompton at Tennessee. He was awful until Kiffin got a hold of him that 2009 season.
Chris, geoff collins from miss st seems to be a hot name at FSU. would he jump at a chance to take over a top 3 defense or stay and try to build something at miss st?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
It would be hard for him to turn FSU down.
Chris....you can't go by one year with Crompton and that make Kiffin good with QB's. Look at the mess at USC....he certainly didn't do anything with their QB's this year. What a mess it was....still can't believe he hired him. Trouble follows him everywhere.
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
Hard to argue about trouble following him. But Saban is the kind of coach who will keep him under his thumb, I would think.
Ray (Pawleys Island)
Do you think SC will be more of a passing team next year with Thompson at QB? It seems like when he has played before SC puts up way more yards through the air
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
To some degree, although I bet they ride Mike Davis next season as much as they can. Their offensive line should also be really good.
With the Aggies losing some key players, to put it mldly, but pulling in a strong 2015 class, when do you think they have a legitimate chance to win the West Division?
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
Probably 2015. Defense has to get a lot better, but they're getting some key recruits on that side of the ball.
Allan (Austin TX)
Do you think that Ed Orgeron would be a good fit at Georgia to fill one of the coaching spots that they lost on yesterday?
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
Don't see Orgeron landing at Georgia.
Mike D (Nashville)
Franklin was about 4 spectacular Jordan Matthews catches from being 7-6 instead of 9-4 the last two years. Is he the coach at PSU today if he was 14-12 instead of 18-8 the last two years?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Maybe not, but the margin between winning and losing, especially in the SEC, is always razor thin. Look at all the huge plays Auburn made this year. Does that make the job Malzahn did any less impressive?
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Gotta run. Thanks for stopping by.