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! We have a big one tonight. For all the ... roses I guess. I picked Auburn. I think that running game grinds it out in the end. Who ya got?
Alan Rubin (South Florida) [via mobile]
Ed, what is your opinion on the spectacle created by Dalvin Cook pretending he was going to UF?
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
I covered recruiting for a few years back in Gainesville and I've had to cover guys like that. Matt Elam and Nu'Keese Richardson come to mind. It's tiring and so overrated. I get it. It's your recruitment, do what you want, but I just think it's childish. Trolling is one of the worst things I couldn't stand about covering recruiting. If you want to flip, flip. Don't drag staffs and reporters along.
Do you think James Franklin wants out at Vandy or is he using all this interest as leverage for a raise and facilities upgrades?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
I don't think he wants out of Vandy, but I think that he'd be open to looking at bigger programs and maybe even the NFL. Face it, he's one of the hottest names out there and he'll be offered a job at a much bigger and more prominent football program. I wouldn't be shocked if the NFL came calling. He's been excellent at Vandy and deserves to move onto a bigger challenge.
Vick (Atlanta, Ga)
Hey Edward, do you think South Carolina makes Top 5? Some could argue that they are the SEC's second best team. Beating six bowl winners (two BCS winners) is a very huge accomplishment.
Edward Aschoff (12:07 PM)
They certainly could. Big bowl win and ended the season on a roll. I've like this team all year and I picked them to win the East at the beginning (thanks Tennessee!). Three straight 11-win seasons ... wow. Steve Spurrier has done an excellent job and I certainly think the Gamecocks could be in the top 5 when the season is over tonight.
Nick T. (Tulsa OK)
CHOKE TIDE CHOKE! The Sooners were told how bad they were going to be beaten alllll month, and now we saw last Thursday who was hungrier. Also, Bama was flat outcoached. Bama had a great rushing attack that they never truly commited to. Once they got in 3rd and 10+, the Ou pass rush could easily manipulate AJ into throwing picks.
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
Props to OU. Out-everythinged Alabama even without the superior team. Alabama just got pushed around, but I think this team was focused. I just think OU had more to prove and it did.
Tampa Red (Statesboro GA)
Is the SEC "dominance" taking a real hit during the bowl season with Georgia losing, Alabama getting beaten, and possibly Auburn losing tonight? I mean still the best conference, but the gap (or imagined gap) has to be narrowing. I didn't mention Florida losing to my Georgia Southern Eagles, but that didn't help things.
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
The SEC will finish with the best bowl win percentage ... Georgia was flat and beat straight up and Bama got beat by a good OU team. Other than that, the conference rolled. If Auburn wins tonight I don't think there can be anymore talk of this. If the Tigers lose I expect a ton of SEC trolling. Might as well, but to say the SEC is falling off after one season is silly to me.
Best SEC individual bowl performance?
Edward Aschoff (12:14 PM)
Johnny Manziel. He brought his team back from a 21-point deficit, took command of his shaken team, was a leader, hurdled a guy, threw for 382 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for 73 yards and another touchdown.
Nelson [via mobile]
If Franklin sticks around for enough time, then how good do you think Vandy can be? Does Stanford, Baylor, and Duke winning titles this year help raise expectations? If they can't do any better, then is that an indication of how good the SEC is compared to other conferences?
Edward Aschoff (12:16 PM)
If he continues to recruit like he has and can win battles against the traditional powers here and there, I think he could certainly contend for an SEC title. But I do think it's going to be tougher because of what we've seen in the SEC. Vandy isn't ready to beat an Alabama or an LSU, but it beat Florida, Georgia and Tennessee this year. I certainly think that Vandy can make it to Atlanta under Franklin, but getting to Stanford's level is going to be very, very tough in the SEC.
Brad (Stilson GA)
Do you think Aaron Murray could surprise a lot of people in the NFL with a better rookie year than all of the big names like Bridgewater, Manziel, etc?
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
I just don't think he'd go anywhere in which he'd be a starter. Will his knee be ready? Does he have everything he needs right now to be an NFL starter? I see Bridgewater as the most NFL-ready.
Troll (FSU Bandwagon)
I'm already trolling. I just can't help it.
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
As you should :)
Do you think Ermon Lane will follow Cook to FSU? After the year Florida had on offense, losing both of those players late in the recruiting cycle would be disastorous.
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
The longer FSU has to recruit him, the worse it could get for Florida. If Florida loses both guys that would be a major, major hit to this class. Florida just doesn't have the same kind of talent on offense right now. We've seen recruiting losses like this before for the Gators in the last couple of years ...
huntsville alabama [via mobile]
Does auburn have a fitting chance against florida st
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Why wouldn't they? They run the ball better than anyone else and the defensive line is getting better. I think that the only way for this team to win is to put a lot of pressure on Winston and for the running game to get going early. FSU is going to come at that running game and try to stop it early, but if the defensive line can make some plays, the Tigers can grind it out with that running game.
Hey Ed, who does Florida replace Ronald Powell with as a Buck and Marcus Roberson as Cornerback?
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
Powell didn't play the Buck last year. He was at OLB. Ball would likely be the guy who takes his spot. Fowler would stay at the Buck. At corner, maybe Cody Riggs moves back down. You have Poole and Harris. It's a tough move, but having Hargreaves there will still make this a solid defensive backfield.
Raymond (Gainesville, Florida)
Also didn't Morrison played that roll as some buck when Ronald Powell was injured last year?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
He needs to move back outside. He just didn't fit in the middle for the Gators at all this season.
Why is it that Connor Shaw doesn't get national media attention (I know you give him his props). Best TD to Int ratio in the country, undefeated at home, part of three 11 win seasons, and just tough as nails. Makes us Carolina fans irrate that he doesn't get the props he deserves and has earned.
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
I think it's because he just doesn't put up sexy numbers. He doesn't throw like Murray or Mettenberger and he doesn't run like Manziel. He'll make an NFL roster. Is he an NFL starter? Probably not because he's limited as a true NFL passer, but he'll make a team better with his leadership and competitiveness. Plus, he's made of titanium. There just isn't a tougher player out there.
Tim (Metter GA)
I see a bunch of other schools throwing millions at coaches to bring a NC to their schools. Yet here we sit with Richt who isn't a stiff or anything, but isn't going to win the whole thing. That 1980 National Championship trophy is a relic of a past civilization. Are we just expected to make bold moves once Richt retires?
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Florida and Tennessee are the only SEC East teams to win a national championship during the BCS era. Before this year, the Bulldogs made it to back-to-back SEC championships. No, he didn't win a title, but getting there is something everyone else in the East would love to say. I think he's done a heck of a job at Georgia and it will be tough to replace him eventually. I think that is a great job and a big name would jump at the chance to coach in Athens.
Why doesn't anyone discuss the problems that Auburn will have with the FSU offense? I know that FSU won't stop the Auburn ground game but I think they will force more punts than the Auburn defense. Your thoughts...
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
I have. I don't think Auburn can stop FSU's passing game unless it gets pressure up front. Dee Ford, Carl Lawson, those guys are key. You have to make Winston uncomfortable, or it's going to be a long night for the Tigers.
Would a team like St. Louis who owns two first round picks (including Washington's #2 overall) be smart to draft Manziel and his wide receiver Evans? Having that built-in familiarity should be a huge benefit to having a smooth successful transition to the NFL.
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
I don't know how much that actually factors in at the pro level. I don't think you can just say they'll still have great chemistry on the same team again. Schemes are different, so is coaching and personnel.
Will (Baton Rouge)
Jennings was really discouraging in the bowl game. It looks like we're in for another few years of Jarrett Lee-Jordan Jefferson starting next season. It's hard to believe that both Rettig and Rivers wouldn't have thrown for more than 82 yards. And they didn't even try to use Jennings legs. Thoughts?
Edward Aschoff (12:35 PM)
He looked like he could throw the ball in the handful of plays he got in the fourth quarter against Arkansas. I'm sure the game plan was to be very conservative with him. Give him more time with Cam Cameron and I think he'll be fine. He's a great athlete and should get some good teaching during the spring and offseason. I wouldn't go crazy just yet about Jennings' play. Long way to go before the 2014 season starts.
Jordan (South Florida)
How will South Carolina fair next year after losing key players like Shaw, Clowney, and Ellington?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
I think the Gamecocks will lose a lot of production and leadership. Shaw, to me, is the biggest loss. Is Dylan Thompson ready to be "the man?" Who will be the No. 1 receiver now? Can Shaq Roland be the guy? How will that affect Mike Davis' play? The defensive line is losing three starters ... ouch. Both ends (Clowney and Sutton) and Quarles in the middle. That's really going to hurt this defense that has to get better at linebacker and loses Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree at at corner. Those guys were starters in the defensive backfield. More rebuilding in Columbia.
Curious why you put the blame on the kids for the recruiting spectacle. They didn't create it, the Rivals, 247's, ESPN's (as well as the parents and coaches) of the world are the ones that play the game and chase the kids around. What 17 or 18 year old wouldn't love the fame? Personally, I'm tired of it but it's not going to change any time soon.
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Everyone is to blame for it. No one is perfect but the trolling gets very old. I don't care who you are doing it to. If I ever have a kid good enough to go through the recruiting process I hope he commits to one school and one school only ... after all of his official visits. No games in this household!
Will Vandy be anchored down in the final top 25 of the season?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Nine wins again? They certainly are in my poll ... which has no cred ha
Is the Vols recruiting class still ranking high? Jones is doing a good job 1 year in IMO. Also, I'd think the longer the game remains close tonight, the better chance Auburn has. They simply will just keep running it, even if a couple scores behind. I think it's inevitable they get there's when it comes to yards/points.
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
Still ranked third and has 33 commits. Pretty strong class for Jones, who is just cleaning up. Good sign in Knoxville. And I agree, a grinding running game has the advantage in a close game.
John (Alexandria, LA)
Manziel may have had the best individual bowl performance. But one that can't be overlooked is Jeremy Hill. He rushed for 216 yards on 28 carries against a defense that was supposed to have one of the best front 7 in the country. He also did it without any passing threat which allowed Iowa to stack the box. If Mettenberger plays, Hill probably eclipses 300 yards rushing.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
He was great. I'm going to miss him (yes, I think he leaves after his third year removed from his high school graduating class). That last touchdown run was great. He just pushes people over and runs them over and he can run by them and cut by them. But I think if Mettenberger is in the game, he runs for less. The Tigers would have thrown waaaaaay more with Mettenberger in. Don't see him making it to the 300-yard mark.
Will (Baton Rouge)
Connor Shaw is a Man-Child who eats nails for breakfast.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
And chugs cement for a midday snack.
I just want to read something about Mizzou... thoughts on this year; Cotton Bowl; Recruiting; Next years outlook... SOMETHING! Lol
Edward Aschoff (12:49 PM)
Patience my friend. Gotta get through this national championship first :)
With Murray and Shaw leaving UGA and SC and with Driskell returning with a more up tempo OC in Roper coming in from Duke, does Mushchamp have a realistic shot to win the SEC East next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:52 PM)
I think Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all have a chance. The East will be wide open with so much uncertainty. Georgia returns just about everyone on defense, but is that a good thing? Can South Carolina replace those starters on defense? Can Florida find an offense? Will Tennessee have more push this fall? Will Vandy be able to take the next step? Gonna be really fun.
Most embarressing moment for the SEC this year? I vote for the Gator players blocking each other during the GA Southern loss.
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
That one still cracks me up. Pretty bad right there.
Early predictions on SEC East/West champs and overall SEC champs next year?
Edward Aschoff (12:54 PM)
It's tough because I think the SEC is going to be wide open on both sides. Auburn should come back as the favorite, so I'll go Tigers in the West. Alabama loses a lot of leadership and breaks in a new QB. LSU has to reload again. I'm going Georgia just because of all the experience coming back. Still tough though. Good thing this is VERY early.
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
Going back to the question about the East: I also think Missouri will be in the running with Mauk taking over. However, this team is losing its two best defenders in Sam and Ealy, and a lot of talent on offense. Again, wide open East.
GnCharlotte (Charlotte, NC)
I think this year especially proves there needs to be an 8 team playoff system in college football. Mich St. Standford, Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio St., Auburn, and Florida St. could u imagine just look at Mich St and Oklahoma both underdogs winning would make for very fun exciting and just great football
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
I think we will see an eight-game playoff before too long. I just think the four-team playoff is going to cause more controversy and frustration. I like it more than the BCS, but I think an eight-team playoff is the way to go and the way of the future. This year would be a great for the an eight-team playoff. You're right about that.
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
OK, that's my time. It's gonna be a fun one tonight out in Pasadena! We all say goodbye to the BCS as well. Talk to you all next time.