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 (1:01 PM)
Hey all, welcome to today's chat. A lot of news around college football and the SEC. Let's get right to it.
Does Sumlin regret not looking for another job now?
Greg Ostendorf (1:03 PM)
I think he's happy at Texas A&M right now. He's recruited well, and even without Manziel next year, the Aggies should be solid as long as they find a defense. I don't think he'll stay forever -- eventually the right NFL job will come along -- but for now, he's happy.
Stew (North Carolina)
Who are candidates to replace Franklin?
Greg Ostendorf (1:05 PM)
A few names I've heard so far have been Vandy DC Bob Shoop, Stanford DC Derek Mason who garnered interest from Louisville and ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth. I would also keep an eye on Clemson OC Chad Morris and Alabama DC Kirby Smart.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Even though you Cover College Football, Who do you think will Play in Super Bowl XLVIII?
Greg Ostendorf (1:06 PM)
I'm actually a Colts guy, but I don't like their chances in New England this weekend. I still think it's going to be the Broncos and the Seahawks, but typically, it's never the top two teams. We'll see.
Do you sense a bit of a power shift going on in the state of Alabama?
Greg Ostendorf (1:07 PM)
No doubt. I don't think Auburn has taken over the state or anything, but just look at how it's changed in a year. It's amazing what Gus Malzahn and his staff have been able to do on the field and in recruiting. With that said, Alabama will be back next year. The SEC West will still go through Tuscaloosa.
Ed (Queens Village)
Who is to blame for Auburn collapse?
Greg Ostendorf (1:09 PM)
To me, it wasn't as much an Auburn collapse as it was Florida State making halftime adjustments and playing its game. The Seminoles were the better football team. It just took awhile for them to play like it. Credit Ellis Johnson and his defense. They had a great game plan and played their tails off.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Was the lack of Zach Whitely a big one for the Tide?
Greg Ostendorf (1:10 PM)
Whitley is a great player, but Alabama loaded up at linebacker last year and will load up again next year. I do think it was a huge pickup for UCLA.
Tampa Red (Statesboro)
While the SEC bandwagoning fans will hop on a bitter rival's coattails, I have noticed that Bama fans are the exception. They wouldn't have been caught dead rooting for Auburn on Monday against FSU. Are they just too good for the crumbs which are happily gobbled up by the other fan bases?
Greg Ostendorf (1:12 PM)
I have never understood "hopping on a bitter rival's coattails." I get the SEC pride and when an SEC team wins, it makes the whole conference look better. But if it's a bitter rival, you can't root for them. Michigan fans never root for Ohio State in anything and vice versa. It's the same way in the Iron Bowl rivalry.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
How big was the flip by Tabor for Florida?
Greg Ostendorf (1:13 PM)
It was a big get for Florida but an even bigger loss for Rich Rod and Arizona. Imagine Tabor and Vernon Hargreaves opposite each other one day. Good luck.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Was the Tide's lack of a dominant pass rusher on the outside since Upshaw and Hightower finally exposed this year, and punctuated in the Sugar Bowl, due to the lack of a DeMarcus Milliner, or other experienced top notch talent at corner?
Greg Ostendorf (1:15 PM)
After watching Alabama's last two games, that defense was vastly overrated. I think part of it was the lack of a pass rush and part of it was the slow development of the cornerbacks. The Tide will be better on defense next season.
If Nick Saban really did let Doug Nussmeier walk away so he could hire Lane Kiffin as OC, how does that affect Bama and how do the fans react?
Greg Ostendorf (1:18 PM)
It should be entertaining if it's Kiffin. I think Alabama wants to go more up-tempo, and the new OC will reflect that. I also think it needs to be somebody who can groom a quarterback because the staff still hasn't found one yet for next year.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Who replaces McCarron next season? Which of the plethora of QBs we have will end up transferring because they won't make the cut?
Greg Ostendorf (1:19 PM)
Speaking of the Alabama QB situation ... keep an eye on Florida State's Jacob Coker and if he ends up transferring to Alabama. He played at the same high school as McCarron and could play right away. If not him, I think it will be one of the youngsters (Luke Del Rio, Cooper Bateman or even David Cornwell) who gets the job.
Why does Muschamp still have a job?
Greg Ostendorf (1:21 PM)
After the loss to Georgia Southern, I'm a little surprised he does. But remember, Nick Saban lost to UL Monroe his first year at Alabama. I think Florida will bounce back next year, and if they don't, Muschamp will be looking for a new job.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
Will Pagan or Hubbard join Cyrus and Clinton-Dix in the drat?
Greg Ostendorf (1:22 PM)
I've heard Hubbard's name, but I can't see it after this season. We'll know more after today's press conference at 4:30 p.m. CT.
TANNER (HUNTSVILLE )
WHY DO YOU THINK ALABAMA WILL BEAT AUBURN NEXT YEAR? THEY DONT HAVE A QUARTERBACK
Greg Ostendorf (1:24 PM)
I'm not picking Alabama yet. We still have 10 months before the game. I just know the game is in Tuscaloosa which gives the Tide an advantage.
What do you think the chances of Saban hiring Kiffin as OC are?
Greg Ostendorf (1:25 PM)
If today's interview goes well, it could be pretty high. I was skeptical last night, but it seems like Kiffin is emerging as the guy.
Hey Greg, thanks for answering! One more with regards to a Bama QB...does AJ McCarron have a realistic chance of succeeding in the NFL, and where do you see his draft stock?
Greg Ostendorf (1:28 PM)
No problem. I'm torn on AJ and his future in the NFL. He's a great leader, has all the intangibles you want, but I don't see him as a great quarterback at the next level. I think he gets drafted in the second or third round, and one day, he'll get a chance to start.
Corey (Marietta, GA)
Do you see Muschamp surviving the year? If yes, due more to a return of the super suffocating D or emergence of passable offense?
Greg Ostendorf (1:30 PM)
Yes and a little of both. The defense will be good again, but on offense, I liked the hire of Duke OC Kurt Roper. As bad as Jeff Driskel looked at times, he was better than the alternative. I do think Muschamp will have to get at least 8 wins to keep his job.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Are the Vols bowl eligible in 2014?
Greg Ostendorf (1:32 PM)
Without looking at their schedule, I'd say no. I think they're still a year away, and if I'm not mistaken, they lost a lot up front. However, they surprised me this year so I wouldn't put it past them.
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
Do you the Ermon Lane joins former Florida commit Dalvin Cook in Tallahassee?
Greg Ostendorf (1:33 PM)
I wouldn't be shocked. The two schools are trending in opposite directions and Cook and Lane are close friends.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
How awesome will Derrick Henry be next season? After seeing his explosiveness in the Sugar Bowl, I don't know why he wasn't playing all season.
Greg Ostendorf (1:36 PM)
Let's slow down for a minute. Henry was facing an above-average Oklahoma defense. He's an exciting player and one that will be really good, but Alabama's not going to forget about T.J. Yeldon. I still like Kenyan Drake too if he figures it out between the ears. All three should factor in next season.
And with regards to Mississippi State, do they have a chance for a breakout offensive season next year with Dak Prescott throwing to Jameon Lewis?
Greg Ostendorf (1:37 PM)
Without a doubt. I think Mississippi State is a team to watch. I really like Prescott, and Lewis was phenomenal in the bowl game. I'm not saying they're going to win the West, but they might upset an Alabama or an Auburn next year.
I'm thinking LSU will be more run oriented next year since they'll be breaking in a new QB and receivers. That ought to bode well for Fournette. Thoughts on what Cameron will do for the offense? And what if Jeremy Hill stays?
Greg Ostendorf (1:40 PM)
I think you're right about a more run-oriented offense. Not only did they lose their QB, but they lost their top two WRs. Expect a heavy dose of Jeremy Hill (returning for now) and Fournette.
After Michigan's poor offense last year, bringing in Nussmeier is a breath of fresh, positive, air. He has a great track record. What is Saban looking for that Nussmeier didn't bring to the field? Thanks
Greg Ostendorf (1:42 PM)
There were times when Alabama got away from the run and threw it too much. But more than anything, I think Saban wants to find an OC who can run a more up-tempo style offense that fits their personnel. Evidently, Nussmeier couldn't do that.
Tim (Atlanta, GA)
What do you think of the chances for Vandy's continued improvement in the East with a new head coach likely to take over?
Greg Ostendorf (1:43 PM)
It won't be easy. The good thing for Vandy is that Franklin assembled a lot of good, young talent while he was there. The next coach will have a lot more to work with than Franklin did when he took over.
Austin McNeal (Omaha )
in your opinion who will the Texans pick in the Draft
Greg Ostendorf (1:44 PM)
I'm not in love with any of the quarterbacks this year. I can see them trading down and grabbing a DB. If they keep it, I'd go with an OT. Texas A&M's Jake Matthews is the obvious choice, but Auburn's Greg Robinson is making a lot of noise right now.
How do you feel about the South Carolina team next year.
Greg Ostendorf (1:46 PM)
No Clowney. No Shaw. I think they'll be solid again, but I don't see them getting over the hump.
Mark (Miami, FL)
A number of traditional SEC powers will be starting new quarterbacks next season. Which school do you think will receive the most production from their first year signal caller?
Greg Ostendorf (1:48 PM)
Georgia's Hutson Mason and Missouri's Maty Mauk have a leg up because they gained valuable experience this year. I also like whoever takes over at Texas A&M because of Kevin Sumlin and that offense.
Philip Driggers (Charleston, SC)
What are names of the head coaches that are leaving the SEC and where are they headed too? Also, do you know who is replacing them?
Greg Ostendorf (1:49 PM)
The only SEC coach to go so far is James Franklin who has reportedly accepted the same position at Penn State. I don't see any other coaches leaving.
Hudson Thomas (Athens)
How do you feel about Georgia's rebound after this years bad season. What about Florida?
Greg Ostendorf (1:51 PM)
Both teams should bounce back. There are obvious question marks, but if they can stay healthy, they'll both be competing in the SEC East again.
Billy (St Louis)
What kind of chance do you give Mizzou making it back to Atlanta next season?
Greg Ostendorf (1:53 PM)
Slim. The TIgers lose James Franklin, Henry Josey, L'Damian Washington, Michael Sam and Kony Ealy among others. That's going to be tough to come back from.
Greg Ostendorf (1:54 PM)
I'm going to have to cut today's chat short with Tre Mason's announcement coming up in about five minutes. Thanks for the questions, and I look forward to doing it again.