Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC blogger 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)
Annnnnnnnd we're back! Glad to be here, everyone. It's good to be back in the swing of things. Let's get on to your questions.
jon (paducah )
with the addition of jay prosch in the backfield what chance do you think Auburn has of being in the top of the league in terms of rushing yards per game
Edward Aschoff (12:04 PM)
Well, while I think that Prosch is a big addition to the backfield, I'm not sure his arrival means Auburn will average more yards rushing. I think he'll certainly help out a lot in the blocking department, but he might help even more in the passing game because it will free up Lutz. I think you have to look at LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina before you look at Auburn for most rushing yards a game.
With the distractions going on at both Georgia and Arkansas, do you think this might help out the Gamecocks? So far, no real distractions going on in Columbia.
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
It certainly helps South Carolina's chances. All those distractions at Georgia forced me to pick the Gamecocks to win the East at SEC media days. I also wonder what Arkansas' team will look like by the time it heads to Columbia. South Carolina has a tough enough schedule that it can't worry about those two until it plays them, though.
Aggie Fishfinder (Republic of Texas)
The Aggie RB's look great as they start camp. With the uncertainty at QB in College Station, do you think that the Sumlin/Kingsbury offense will be greater than 50% rushing plays? Also, if he stays healthy, do you see C-Mike reaching 1200 yards?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
If Michael is 100 percent, like Sumlin says he is, I think you'll see him carry the rock as much as his body will let him. With young QBs Michael is going to have to do more than ever to help out this team. That line is good enough to make him a 1,000-yard rusher, so he just has to do the rest. I think you'll see this be a more run-friendly offense in its first year and as the QBs gain experience you'll see the offense open up more.
Tony 02 UK allumni (Jackson TN)
After reading into the UK quarterback battle in Lexington...Uk really has 4 QB's that could win the job. How rare is that.. Also the true freshman Mobley the all time leading rusher in TN may win the job at RB....Thoughts
Edward Aschoff (12:09 PM)
I still think this is a two-man race right now. Maxwell Smith is the leader, with Morgan Newton right behind him. If Newton can get back on track he'll challenge Newton every step of the way. But Patrick Towles is talented enough to swoop in. Joker Phillips won't hesitate to put him in during the season if the first two falter.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will any of the highly touted receivers on the Gator roster be able to step up this year and help out Florida's young quarterbacks?
Edward Aschoff (12:11 PM)
The coaches expect a lot more out of Quinton Dunbar and were very pleased with Latroy Pittman this spring. Andre Debose has a ton of talent, but he is so inconsistent during games. But can they turn the corner this fall? No one is quite sure yet. I think the most important passing weapon for those QBs is tight end Jordan Reed. He's going to help this team with the shorter passes and those are going to make the QBs much more comfortable early.
Given the number of athletes on the Tennessee offense do you think they could make a run in the east?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
I certainly do. And I've always thought that Tennessee had the offense to do that, it's the defense that worries me. Yes, a bunch of starters are back, but are the Vols running a 4-3 or a 3-4? Are they comfortable with four new defensive coaches? It's going to be a different story come game time. Also, the offense has to find a running game. Without it this team won't go very far.
Tony (North Carolina)
Pumped that you are bringing the chat back! Highlight of the week! Who do you think will be the biggest impact freshmen this year, and what team will be the most exciting to watch?
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
Appreciate it! I'm sure I'm missing someone because I'm thinking quickly here but I'll go with Dorial Green-Beckham and Shaq Roland. DGB could be like AJ Green or Julio Jones if he gets the offense down early. He has the skill to be very, very good in this league. Roland could be battling for a starting spot at a position in desperate need of help. He's a playmaker and the coaches expect a lot of him early.
AUTO UPDATE PLEASE.
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
Yeah, it's been on sooooooooo
Will (Baton Rouge)
What's the word on Miss. State? Are they gonna be as good as advertised, or is this gonn abe like last season. Decent team, but with no signature wins.
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
Hey, if the Bulldogs beat Auburn in Week 2 then they have a chance to go 7-0 before the Alabama game. That means beating Tennessee, but that game's at home. I like the defense a lot, even without Fletcher Cox. There are questions on offense, like is if Travis Russell really is ready for the limelight. And can that offense line stay healthy? Will those receivers come out of their shells this fall? There is talent on both sides, but it's time to put it all together.
Garrett M. (Columbia)
Hey Mr. Aschoff, with the tough SEC West schedule for The Gamecocks and the easy SEC West schedule for the bulldogs, what has to happen to see USC make it to Atlanta this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
Sweep the East, stay healthy and beat Arkansas.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Which tandem of defensive ends will terrorize offenses the most in 2012? Mingo and Montgomery from LSU, or Clowney and Taylor from South Carolina?
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
Both should be great this fall. I'll give the edge to LSU's because both could be first-rounders next year and are incredibly explosive. I'm certainly not taking anything away from Clowney and Taylor, though. Also, I like LSU's interior more, so I think that will help those guys on the outside even more.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Ed, it seems like Mark Richt has drama every offseason with major contributors that result in suspensions and unnecessary distractions. Will this lack of discipline prevent the talented dogs from reaching their full potential of winning an SEC/National Title and eventually cost Richt his job?
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
It could. If the silliness doesn't stop then Georgia will be on the outside looking in when it comes to championships. I know Georgia has a very strict discipline policy, but what does it say about the players that they know this but still break the rules? Think about it ...
olemiss terrell is lexington steele (atlanta airport)
Hey ed can our ole miss rebels win at least 6 games & get to a bowl game? I'm counting 4 non conf. + 2 of the 4 sec teams vandy, aub, tex a
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
By four nonconference wins that means you're counting Texas. I don't see that one happening, not even in the Grove. While I think Ole Miss will pull off a win in conference play, maybe even two, I don't think this team is going bowling. Five wins is probably the best for the Rebs this year. Too many holes on this team.
Marcus Lattimore has stated numerous times, and most recently at the Gamecock Media Day that he is back at 100% and ready to go. No doubt in his mind. Is he on your top 5 Heisman List?
Edward Aschoff (12:24 PM)
Yes. Easiest question of the day.
Lane Kiffin (LA)
Ed, last time I checked USC was in Los Angeles. And we have no plans to be in Atlanta. A little further south is in our goal.
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
And I think you'll get there. But can you beat LSU?
Ryan (Baton Rouge)
Would any school in the country actually trade their coach for Les Miles? I know no school in the SEC would. He gets results from his powerful perch at LSU, but loses when it matters. Couldn't most coaches attain his level of success with the riches of LSU at their disposal?
Edward Aschoff (12:26 PM)
Les Miles has done pretty well for himself since he's been at LSU. Sure he's done some strange things, but he has a national championship and almost went on a historic run last year. People calling for his job or doubting his ability are silly. Just silly. I'm sure there are more than a handful of schools that would love to have Miles.
This is the first time since Spurrier took over the Gamecocks that I've heard him be so positive about how things are looking in practice. He even said this is the best he's seen the QBs and WRs look. Think we'll see more Fun 'n Gun this year? Ace Sanders is already a proven talent, and word is that Damiere Byrd has learned how to finally add catching to his blazing speed.
Edward Aschoff (12:27 PM)
We could. Guys still need to step up in games. The receivers were far from great last year. Roland will be a big lift and keep and eye on Jody Fuller. I covered him a couple of times when he was in high school. He can play
Why is everyone discounting Vanderbilt this season? All the predictions I've read put Vandy 6th in the SEC East. Aside from our wins last season, we were laying the wood on Arkansas before choking the game away, were one possession from winning in the Swamp for the first time in 10,000 years, and lost to UT in OT at their place. Not to mention the blocked punt against UGA that, if scooped, would have won the game.This Commodore team brings back all of its notable offensive weapons, an improved O-Line, and a defense that is potentially faster and more creative than last season. Yes, question marks remain, notably on defense. But there are question marks everywhere in the SEC. Vandy is going to make some noise in the SEC this year!
Edward Aschoff (12:29 PM)
Vandy turned things around in a year, but can the Commodores make it two in a row? It's gonna be tough. I like the new attitude and swagger Vandy has, but it has to sustain it. Also, that offensive line needs help. It was never healthy this spring and now a bunch of freshmen will have to go in and help out. If Vandy can't play well up front it's going to be a long year.
phillip (DC )
Ed,When will the SEC NC domination end? Be specific. And which non SEC team will do it? Further, which SEC team will go down in flames? Is your crystal ball up for this series of challenging and somewhat unfailr questions? Best, Phillip
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
Ha. USC could do it this year and next year watch out for Ohio State. Urban. Meyer. Could be fun ...
Charlie (Nashville, TN)
Is this Brandon Mitchell at WR experiment an attempt to make him a legitimate weapon? Or do you think they're just trying to bolster depth and use him as a fourth or fifth option?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
Could be both. I think he's athletic enough to play there and that has to be attractive to the coaches. You put him out there with Wilson and it might confuse defenses. The coaches will find room for him if they think he can play.
Tyler Russell (Starkville, MS)
Who is this Travis Russell you speak of... will he takeover my position?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
Did I really type Travis Russell??? My mistake. You know I actually went to school with a guy named Travis Russell. Weird ...
drew (bainbridge, ga)
ed, do you think kolton huston has been treated fairly for his suspension? he hasn't tested above the level for a PED in a couple a years. Do you think he needs to get a lawyer because the NCAA is effecting his life and future. This is a serious issue for him more than UGA. I know that rules are rules but there are always circumstances...
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
It's a tough situation for him. It really is. But I don't think the NCAA can really do much. If you let him play, then maybe you see players think they can try and experiment with PEDs and use the same story as Houston. I'm not saying that Houston's story is made up or anything, but I think it could open up Pandora's Box for PEDs. Anyone could say that they can't get a drug out of his system. The NCAA just can't let this one slide. It's unfortunate, but I think it's all the NCAA can really do at this point. He just has to wait and see.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Is Derek Dooley done without 8 wins/ or 7 wins and a bowl victory? Also, how do you like Cordarelle Patterson for SEC Offensive Newcomer of the Year?
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
No bowl could spell the end for Dooley. A bowl loss? Depends on how bad it is and what the record is. Eight wins will probably get him back in Knoxville for another year. Patterson should help but he has two pretty legit WRs right in front of him. He'll have to do a lot to separate himself.
Hey Edward, I'm a Michigan fan from up here in Big Ten country. What's the general feeling around Alabama's program about the season opener against the Wolverines? I've seen Saban's comments about how Michigan is a good team and the usual dry, unsenational comments you would expect, but you've been around the coaches and players far more intimately. Does Alabama feel confident they are going to be able to contain Denard Robinson and Co., or are they worried about replacing so many starters so early in the season? Interested to hear an SEC perspective.
Edward Aschoff (12:38 PM)
I think with the star power the defense has to replace, Alabama doesn't have time to be overconfident heading into this one. I know that the defense is still very, very talented, but you can't just ignore the players that are gone. There are going to be some growing pains here and there and I think Michigan will try to do a few things to confuse Bama's D. Plus, this is a big, national game. Alabama won't overlook or undermine Michigan.
Drew (Little Rock)
Hogs are getting less love than Gamecocks. Am I missing something here?
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
Head coach is gone. Defense has questions. Potential playmaker at receiver (Wade) is gone. LSU and Alabama are on the schedule.
Ed, who are your top three TE in the SEC
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
1. Chris Gragg 2. Philip Lutzenkirchen 3. Jordan Reed
Henry Josey (Columbia, Mo)
I'm about 70-80% right now and I think I could still come back this season and make an impact just like last season. Do you agree?
Edward Aschoff (12:41 PM)
Welcome to the chat! Celebs usually pop in every once in a while. No big deal. I think you'll have to sit an wait. That knee injury was devastating and no one there, outside of "you," is very confident about seeing you back this fall. Not worth it if you aren't 100 percent. Another injury could be even worse.
Jared P (MS)
Ed, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Jonathan Banks is a better corner than "the Honey Badger" who got all the hype last year but disappeared in the championship game. Banks doesn't get as much attention because "it's Miss. State" As far as versatility I might give the edge to Tyrann~ What do you think?
Edward Aschoff (12:43 PM)
Better cover corner? Yes. No question. Better defensive playmaker? No. I think Mathieu has some of the best vision out there and plays with this rare tenacity that makes him so special to watch. No he gets beat sometimes, but I think he's a better all-around player than a lot of people out there.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Will Tyler Bray and Da"Rick Rogers finally mature and become leaders for Coach Dooley and the Vols? I heard so positive things out Knoxville, but have my doubts after Bray's vandalism incident, and his track record.
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
You have to have doubts about both of them. Both have great moments and then regress. Bray more on the field with his leadership. Bray told me that he's working harder than ever on his leadership, but he certainly took a step back with his beer bottle incident. Still have to question both at this point.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Who will be the next superstar at LB for Nick Saban, Mosley or DePriest? Will Fulton see time at CB this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:44 PM)
I like Adrian Hubbard. I think he's going to be a very good pass rusher and has the speed to make plays all over the field.
Andre (Atlanta, GA)
What's the word out of Death Valley on the highly regarded DT Anthony Johnson? Heard a lot about him two years ago. Is he ready to become a factor in the SEC?
Edward Aschoff (12:46 PM)
Chavis loves him. Thinks he can be a real "freak." I think he makes a big impact up front this year. LSU has the best defensive line in the question. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
JT (Boston, MA)
Vanderbilt will beat South Carolina game 1, and they will defy the odds and get 9 wins. Am i crazy to say this? Jordan Rodgers could be stellar, the receivers are all returning, the running backs will be outstanding, and while they lost a few big players on defense I think with the intensity and confidence of this program people will step up. Do you agree that Vandy is still being overlooked?
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
Nine wins? Whoa. I like the confidence though. I don't think Vandy is being overlooked at all. Certainly not by SEC teams. And that's going to work against the Commodores this year. They won't sneak up on anyone.
Mickey [via mobile]
Coming out of spring Auburn's linebacker coach Tommy Thigpen said that Dee Ford is the best looking college DE he has seen since Julius Peppers. Have you heard much about his development? If he is that good could be scary with Lemonier on the other side.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
He had a monster spring and could be in line for a starting job. That makes three quality defensive ends for the Tigers and some vets in the middle. If Ford stays healthy he could have a big year and he'll help out Lemonier a lot on the other side.
Chris (South Carolina)
Everyone's asking questions about South Carolina's offense. What's your take on their D?
Edward Aschoff (12:50 PM)
I really like the front seven. Watch out for Kelcy Quarles. The secondary has questions with two new, young starters, but D.J. Swearinger is one of the best/underrated safeties in the league. Getting Akeem Auguste back is big, even if he didn't play last year. Still a solid group on D.
A J McCarron (T-town)
Who will step up and be my Julio Jones this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
Man, another celeb? I'm flattered, really. Well, that's a pretty big name you're throwing out there. I don't think you have a receiver on that roster who really mimics Jones, but you have some quality young guys. Chris Black and Amari Cooper should be fun to watch and have the ability to make plays down the field. DeAndrew White has a deep threat as well. You have a few weapons to work with.
Am I crazy for thinking the Aggies will win at least 7 games this year, including the Mississippis and Florida?
Edward Aschoff (12:55 PM)
Not crazy. That's a tough game for Florida. Young offense on the road with two QBs in that atmosphere? Gonna be tough. If you start off 4-0 then you just need three more! I'll lean toward Razorbacks in that game, but you still have Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Missouri. The problem is that those first three are all on the road. Oh and Sam Houston State. It's possible but you'll have to show some real metal on the road.
JC (chesapeake, va)
Do you thing Ralph Cindrich's statements about Coach Saban possess any credibility or was it just malice?
Edward Aschoff (12:57 PM)
He didn't say much. He never gave anyone anything. Just went on a radio show and said "I have a lot on Coach Saban!" Well, what do you have? Anyone can go on a radio show and say that.
I had high expectations for the Gators reciever Ja' Juan Story coming out of high-school, but after redshirting his freshman year I haven't heard anything on him. What are his chances for playing time this year?
Edward Aschoff (12:58 PM)
He's a major athlete, but he isn't a very polished receiver. He has to improve his route running and understanding of the offense. He's a big body and I know the coaches would like to use him more, but he has some work to do.
Do you think John L Smith has what it takes as a Head Coach to keep the Hogs on a high-performing edge? Will his style be as productive as Petrino's was?
Edward Aschoff (1:01 PM)
I honestly don't know because I don't know how much input he'll have on offense. He said he's going to stay out of the coordinators' way, so I'm not sure if this offense will be "his style" or not. His job is quality control. Keep this team together and fire it up for games. There's a lot of talent, but it needs to be pushed from time to time and I think he'll do that. Now, if something goes wrong during the season, I want to see how this team reacts to him. Will he command the same sort of respect as Petrino? Will he motivate like Petrino? No one knows yet.
So Ed, go anywhere fun during the summer? Most underrated player in the SEC?
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
LA and San Francisco were great! Top 3: 1. EJ Gaines 2. Trey Wilson 3. Larentee McCray
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
Well, that was a great way to get back into the chatting swing of things. Can't wait to do it again next time. See you all then!