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)
Four all of the demand for a four team playoff, wouldn't this be a bad year for it? If the loser of the Bama-Georgia game kept it close, wouldn't there be a lot of people calling for the loser to stay in the top 4?
Chris Low (1:06 PM)
If there were a playoff this year and a selection committee chose the four teams, I think there's a chance that Florida would also be in the top four when you look at the fact that the Gators have beaten four top 13 teams. Would they bump out Georgia, even though the Bulldogs won ... I'm not sure. But I could see a foursome of Notre Dame, SEC championship game winner, Oregon and Florida.
why is the media is not giving UGA a realistic shot in the dome, i mean they are playing their best football of the year now
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
I certainly give the Dawgs a shot and think it will be a fourth quarter game. Should be the best matchup we've seen in the SEC championship game since the 2008 game between Alabama and Florida. I picked Alabama in a close one, but if Georgia can protect Murray and he continues to play the way he has the last month, the Dawgs will be hard to beat.
Will Ellis Johnson's phone be ringing for any DC jobs for 2013?
Chris Low (1:08 PM)
I would write it down that Johnson will be the defensive coordinator at either Arkansas, Auburn or Tennessee next season. He's an excellent football coach who just wasn't the right fit for that Southern Miss head job.
If the tide takes care of business this weekend and goes on to play for the BCSNC. Would it be fair to label them a modern era dynasty?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
I'd say that's fair considering that no team has won three outright national titles in a four-year span since Notre Dame in the 1940s.
Bishop (Baton Rouge)
Hey Chris. Be honest, when is the last time you saw a more jaw-dropping catch than the one Landry made last Friday?
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
By far the best catch I've seen this season. I think it compares to that Tyrone Prothro catch at Alabama several years ago.
Who are Tennessee's real candidates for their head oaching jobs.
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
Only Dave Hart knows for sure. I've never thought Jon Gruden would be Tennessee's next coach and still don't. That's not to say there haven't been conversations and interest on both sides, but I never believed the two sides could agree on everything Gruden wanted, particularly the money he would command. That said, the names I think are most realistic are Jimbo Fisher, Al Golden, Larry Fedora, Mike Gundy, Jim Mora, Jr., and Charlie Strong.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Why doesn't anyone want to admit to talking to SEC schools about coaching jobs?
Chris Low (1:14 PM)
Because nobody wants to be outed, where fans will turn against a coach if they think he's looking around, and no athletic director wants to be publicly turned down.
Daniel (South Carolina)
Why in college football do fans and voters not allow for just an off game? In the nfl nobody stresses a bad loss 6 weeks ago if you are playing great football now.
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
Not a bad point. The NFL has the playoffs, though. College football will get there in 2014, and I would think those teams who play a tough schedule and have quality wins, but also have one "off" game will be rewarded.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
You really think Gundy would leave his alma mater for Tennessee? WOW! I wouldn't have thought that.
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
No, not really, although I think he could be a target at Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee. Remember that he talked to Texas A&M about that job.
Bill (South Bend, IN)
Obviously a lot of Notre Dame fans are going to be watching Saturday. Outside of the obvious stars everyone knows about, who are some under the radar kind of players fans should be scouting?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
For Alabama, freshman receiver Amari Cooper is playing at a very high level now and healthier than he was earlier in the season. He's a game-changer and a guy who can generate big plays. For Georgia, it's their interior guys on defense, particularly nose guard John Jenkins. He's playing his best football right now and is a massive individual. Running at him is next to impossible.
Shellie (North Charleston)
Chris,When you gonna learn to not pick against USC in the Clemson game.? :-P
Chris Low (1:20 PM)
Shame on me. I was behind in the picks and took a bad gamble. I've already heard it from all my South Carolina buddies. I'm not sure Dabo Swinney will ever beat the Head Ball Coach again.
Bill (Gainesville Fl)
Who will be the Gators next WR coach?
Chris Low (1:21 PM)
One name I've heard is Darin Hinshaw, who was the receivers coach at Tennessee under Dooley and one of the Vols' best recruiters.
Jeff (Phoenix, AZ)
Will Florida definately be going to the Sugar Bowl regardless of who loses the SEC Championship game?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
If the Gators are in the top 3 of the final BCS standings, they are locked into a BCS bowl. I think it's virtually certain that they will move up to No. 3 and pass the loser of the SEC championship game, and that would send Florida to the Sugar Bowl.
If you are Saban, would you pull the redshirt off Chris Black this late?
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
Absolutely, if I thought it would make a difference in winning a championship. If this was just a BCS bowl game we were talking about, probably not. The key is that Black wants to do it. As long as the player is onboard, I wouldn't hesitate.
Samir (Beaumont, TX)
What do you think the chances are that Johnny Football will win the Heisman next weekend?
Chris Low (1:25 PM)
I know one person who has a vote who plans to vote for him. Draw your own conclusions who that may be. His numbers speak for themselves, and he's done it in the best defensive league in college football. The other thing is: Look at the impact he's made on that team in his first season in the league and the Aggies' first season in the league. It will come down to Manziel and Teo, I believe.
Justin (Fayetteville, AR)
Along with all of Razorback Nation, I am on the edge of my seat waiting to get an answer on our new FB coach. What are your top candidates? You mention Mike Gundy, I think that would be great, but not realistic.
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
Yes, probably a long shot. Art Briles is a guy I would watch as well as Kirby Smart. Another long shot might be Bo Pelini.
How well are the Gators doing at recruiting? Do you think that Will Muschamp will have a BCS champion type of team next season?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
Gators are cleaning up in recruiting, and one of the goals was to bring in some explosive playmakers on offense. Look at how close the Gators were to playing for the national championship this season with a very pedestrian offense. That program will continue to evolve under Muschamp, and yes, I think he's building a national championship-caliber program.
James (Versailles, KY)
Can you break down the Mark Stoops hire for UK - how would you grade this hire for KY? What do you see this doing for recruiting? Will any of the FSU assistants follow him to KY (Coley as OC and Elliot as DC)?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
Very solid hire for the Wildcats. You win with defense in this league, and Stoops has been around some good defenses and worked with some good defensive minds. I think you'll see him bring an offensive coordinator to Kentucky that wants to run a fast-break type of offense. I think a few of the FSU assistants may come with him, and Stoops should be a big hit on the recruiting trail.
Hooligan (the SEC Blogs)
USC-Clemson rematch at the Chick-fil-a bowl...why would'nt they want this, especially since both teams are close to Atlanta, hate each other, and have never met in a bowl?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
Not going to happen. South Carolina will wind up in the Outback or Gator bowls.
Does Muschamp win Coach Of the Year?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
I go back and forth among Muschamp, Freeze, Franklin and Sumlin. I don't remember a year when it was this tight among four guys. I have to decide by next week who I'm going to vote for.
So Bama loses they go to the Cotton? And a UGA loss sends them to the Cap1?
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Yes, I think Alabama goes to the Cotton if it loses because I think the Capital One is going to take Texas A&M regardless of who wins the SEC championship game. If Georgia loses, I think the Dawgs go to either the Outback or Chick-fil-A.
Robert (Knoxville TN)
Do you find it odd that neither UT nor Jon Gruden have said that they are working on a deal? Gruden was clearly uncomfortable and changed the subject quickly on the Mike & Mike show. Do you not feel that if a deal wasn't being worked on either UT or Gruden himself would say so?
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
My take is that Gruden and Tennessee boosters (and maybe even a famous ex-Tennessee player) have had several conversations in the past about the job, but that Gruden isn't interested in being a part of the interview process. It's either him and Tennessee gives him what he wants financially, or he's moving on. I've never believed that it would materialize.
JP (Wilmington, NC)
How can Saban not be the coach of the year? Look at all the starters who left? #1 in the polls (BCS) for longer than any other time in Bama history. Look how long K-State lasted at #1. It's a hard thing to do.
Chris Low (1:44 PM)
Saban's the best coach in college football, but others in the SEC have done better jobs this season. Alabama started the season ranked No. 2.
Do you think that Joeckel and Matthews will both leave? If so what round do you think they will go in?
Chris Low (1:45 PM)
Joeckel could be a top 5 or top 10 pick, so I have a hard time seeing him come back. Matthews could be a first-round pick, but it's not a lock. So of the two, I think there's a better chance that Matthews comes back. They're the best tackle tandem in college football for sure.
atl olemiss terrell aka lexington steele (atlanta airport)
NONow that everyone knows tha hugh freeze can coach, when we pull in a top 10 recruiting class that will include robert nkemdiche, antonio connor, & laqaun treadwell (who are all espn 150s) will we be in the sec title talks in 2-3 yrs?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
Recruiting is the name of the game, no doubt, and Freeze and his staff are getting it done both coaching and recruiting. What I would say is that Freeze is on his way to building a consistent winner. But keep in mind that in the Western Division, you can have a very good football team and be 8-4 or even 7-5. Let's see if the Rebels can get to nine or 10 wins first before talking about SEC championships.
Which bowl will Vandy be receiving an invitation from this weekend?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
Music City, Chick-fil-A or Gator. It all depends on who wins Saturday and who the Outback Bowl takes.
Chris, you already said a couple of weeks ago that if Freeze gets his team to a bowl, that he would get your vote for coach of the year, so what gives now?
Chris Low (1:51 PM)
I still haven't decided completely. Look at what Vandy has done since then and Vandy won there in Oxford, and the same goes for Sumlin winning at Alabama and Muschamp winning at FSU and beating four top 13 teams. I would saw that Freeze and Franklin have done the most with less. I still have a few days to decide.
Do you think that Auburn is really considering Petrino? Is there any chance that my Gators can steal a few of Auburn commits?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
I think it's a mixed bag. Some of the power folks there want him and some don't. Ultimately, I doubt the president will let that happen.
Fedora and Tennessee - realistic?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
Yes, I think Fedora would listen, especially if he thinks some of the NCAA stuff at North Carolina will be worse than originally thought.
Is Kirby Smart really in a position to take just about any job that he wants, or will top programs still insist upon head coaching experience?
Chris Low (1:57 PM)
Smart has been pretty selective to this point. I think he has a shot to get one of the three SEC still open. And if Fisher were to leave Florida State, I could see Smart in play there.
South Carolina seems to have hits its stride finally in the Spurrier era. The schedule sets up nicely next year for another 10 win season. Do you see the Gamecocks having continued success for multiple years or will they fall back to the pack? Just out of curiosity, what is your guess on how long the HBC will stay there.
Chris Low (1:59 PM)
As long as Spurrier is there, the Gamecocks will win at a high level. He really has it going now, and players see that success and want to come in and play with other great players. I asked somebody this week how much longer the Head Ball Coach would coach, and I think another two or three years is realistic.
Fedora would be a great fit at TN. His Tar Heels gave up 68 to Ga Tech!!!!
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
That's too good not to post.
Larry (Las Vegas)
Chris, what is up with your fellow sports bloggers/talking heads from other parts of the country trying to downplay Johnny Football the last week or so. Case in point heather Dinnach just said on the Thursday Gameday chat that she was not impressed and would have him third and that his numbers were not that great (really). Others all week seem to be really pushing Teo who in my opinion isn't even the best LB in the country. What gives?
Chris Low (2:02 PM)
Everybody has his or her own opinion. The Heisman means different things to different voters. Always has and always will. I would say the fact that Manziel is a redshirt freshman will hurt him in the eyes of some voters. It probably shouldn't, but will. To me, it's about who has been the best player in the country and made the biggest impact, and in my mind, that player is Manziel.
Matt (East Tennessee)
what atr the chance we see dave hart contact john chevious and how do u feel about that scenario unfolding
Chris Low (2:03 PM)
Chavis is one of the best defensive coordinators in the business, but I don't see Tennessee going down that road in terms of hiring him as a head coach.
Chuck (Mt. Pleasant)
Was Les Miles made an offer by Arkansas or not?
Chris Low (2:04 PM)
It's all semantics. No athletic director ever offers the job to somebody who doesn't accept it, and when a coach stays at his current gig when there was interest from another school, there was never a formal offer on the table. It's just the way the game works.
Why sin't more being made of Bama's "soft" SEC schedule? All we hear is that Georgia avoided the top 3 teams in the West during the regular season, but Bama avoided the top 3 teams in the East themselves (UGA, UF, SC). The schedules are remarkably similar, when you look at it, but no one seems to bring it up. Guess it would ruin the narrative of Georgia "backing in" to the game.
Chris Low (2:09 PM)
The great thing is that it's not going to matter come 4 p.m. on Saturday. They will play it off on the field, and nothing that's happened earlier this season will matter. The winner gets a shot at the national title. The truth is that you could be critical of both teams' schedules. Georgia has only played two Top 25 teams and didn't face LSU or Alabama in the regular season. Alabama didn't have to play any of the best teams from the East -- Florida, Georgia or South Carolina. You play the schedule that's in front of you and go from there.
Chris Low (2:11 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. This time next week, we'll know which SEC team will get a shot at extending the SEC's national championship streak to seven straight years. Safe travels and I look forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta this weekend.