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 (1:02 PM)
Hello all. Good to be here.
Do you think Nick Saban regrets not putting the ball in A.J. McCarron's hands in the 4th quarter against Auburn?
Chris Low (1:04 PM)
Yes, I think so. Coaches always want their best players with the ball in their hands when it counts.
Jason Satterfield (South Carolina)
Do you think auburn deserves the chance to play in the bcs title game?
Chris Low (1:07 PM)
If Auburn wins the SEC championship, it's hard to say with the Tigers' resume' at that point that they wouldn't deserve to play for the BCS title. That said, I don't see them jumping an unbeaten Ohio State. The voters in the human polls are not going to put a one-loss team ahead of an unbeaten team from another major conference.
Patrick (Mobile, Al)
Chris, its being reported in new outlets that the Saban to Texas deal is done....your thoughts?
Chris Low (1:09 PM)
Not buying it and still believe strongly that it's not going to happen. I have nobody close to that situation telling me that he's going to Texas. Nobody. Now, things can always change and you never say never. But right now, I don't see it happening.
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
i know coach Pinkel will down play it but how much of his mind is being occupied by the Washington Job over the Championship game and potential BCS or New years day bowl game
Chris Low (1:10 PM)
Gary came out today and said he wasn't going anywhere and that he's staying at Missouri. So that's a good thing. Washington was definitely interested and made a run, but Gary has made it clear that he's staying. He understands what a great opportunity this is for Mizzou.
Andre (Monticello, FL)
Call it Chris who win the SEC Bowl (Auburn or Mizzou)
Chris Low (1:12 PM)
I went with Mizzou for two basic reasons. One, I think Missouri is a little better on defense and has the defensive line to slow down that running game some. And two, I wonder how difficult it will be for Auburn to climb back from that emotional high of beating Alabama and playing its best game Saturday.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think the voters will place an undefeated FSU team in the BCS Title Game if Jameis Winston is ineligible?
Chris Low (1:13 PM)
Yes, Florida State would still be one of the top two teams if the Seminoles win the ACC title. And from what I understand to be the case, I expect Winston to be eligible.
Andre (Monticello, FL)
Chris, who is on the wish list for OC job at UF.
Chris Low (1:16 PM)
USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton is certainly somebody to watch. Muschamp has to think in the present with this hire and not so much down the road because the Gators will need to be significantly improved on offense next season for Muschamp to make it past a fourth season.
James (Columbia, SC)
Not sure if you got my question the first time so I'm resending it. If Duke pulls the upset against FSU, and Michigan State beats OSU, could we see a Bama vs. SEC Champion for the BCS National Championship?
Chris Low (1:18 PM)
Yes, that would be a possibility. I would assume Florida State would fall behind Alabama at that point, but it might be close. The other team to watch would be Oklahoma State if the Cowboys win the Big 12.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
I've been hearing former USC head coach Lane Kiffin for the UF OC job. You think Helton is higher on the wish list for Muschamp?
Chris Low (1:19 PM)
I'm told Kiffin isn't a candidate at Florida.
When you look at the polls you will see that the top 1-loss team is an SEC team. You will also see that the top 2-loss, 3-loss, & 4-loss teams are SEC teams. We also know that when there was an undefeated SEC team they were rated higher than other undefeated teamsThe SEC clearly (and deservedly) gets the benefit of the doubt but what I am now hearing from SEC fans is that is still not good enough. Do you really think is should take 2 losses by an SEC before an undefeated team from another conference can be ahead of them?
Chris Low (1:22 PM)
This won't be as much of an argument next year when we go to a four-team playoff. To me, it gets down to who you beat. The hard thing is that these teams from different conferences rarely play common opponents. The SEC is a tougher conference than the Big Ten. It's not even close. I realize that infuriates some in the Big Ten when I say that, but it's fact. Now, that said, I have a hard time seeing a one-loss team from any conference passing an unbeaten Ohio State team that wins the Big Ten title and would have won 25 straight games. We could argue all day about what should happen or who deserves to go. But the voters aren't going to leave an unbeaten team at home in favor of a one-loss team.
Ryan (Columbia, SC)
Chris, With JD & Shaw leaving the Gamecocks, what do you think the chances are that Spurrier might announce his retirement after the bowl game?
Chris Low (1:24 PM)
Everybody I talked to there in Columbia last weekend was adamant that Spurrier isn't retiring. I expect to see him back on the sidelines next season.
jackson (lunch break)
why would malzahn go to texas for less booster interference? and why is auburn considered a mediocre sec job? how does a story like that even gain traction without quoting an actual source, other than to raise malzahn's profile for contract renegotiation?
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
It's that time of year again when rumors run rampant. Who knows where they all start? If Texas were to come after Malzahn, you know he'd be tempted to go. What coach wouldn't? It's Texas. That's not a slight so much to Auburn, but more a validation that Texas is one of the top two or three jobs in all of college football. As for the Auburn job, I would say it's about the fifth or sixth best job in the SEC.
Mike ((Sulphur, LA))
Should I be concerned that LSU will get stuck in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta again?
Chris Low (1:26 PM)
Better chance LSU goes to the Cotton Bowl.
David (Ludowici, Ga)
Aaron Murray for Heisman.....yes, no/why not? Johnny Football did not win a championship and his off the field issues are questionable. You know what your getting with Murray
Chris Low (1:28 PM)
Not a bigger fan of Murray and what he stands for than me. He was a rock this season for the Bulldogs, but he's not going to be in serious Heisman contention. He and Manziel are both outstanding players, but coaches will tell you they fear going against Manziel a lot more than going against Murray.
What's up with Manziel? He's had 2 sub-par performances where he had serious accuracy issues and barely could get out of his own way when running. Has he mentally "checked out," or is he hiding an injury...seems to be grimacing often on the sideline?
Chris Low (1:30 PM)
He had a hand injury that bothered him those last few games and his shoulder also never healed. Moreover, he just didn't play as well.
Where is Vandy going to go bowling this year? I know they want to go somewhere outside TN, and I can't imagine the Music City bowl wants them AGAIN?
Chris Low (1:31 PM)
Right now, it looks like the Liberty Bowl may be the most likely destination.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Butch Jones received another big commit this week. How long before the Vols become contenders again in the East?
Chris Low (1:32 PM)
Year 3 will be the key season for Jones. That gives him another class to stack on top of this one. So by 2015, it's fair to expect the Vols to at least be a factor in the East. Next season, I think, will again be rough, which means getting to a bowl game could be a stretch.
Brian (Kansas City, MO)
Why all the coverage on the Auburn to NC game with OSU loss? don't we still need to play the SEC title game? Seems everyone wants to hand the win to Auburn prior to kickoff. Do you think this will motivate the mizzou locker room even more in this big game?
Chris Low (1:33 PM)
Yes, I do, and I think Mizzou has been a highly motivated team all season.
Missouri did not win a Big 8/12 title in the last 40 years but yet they are 60 minutes away from winning the SEC title in year two.So why should any CFB fan believe that OSU or FSU would finish 4th or 5th in the SEC like so many SEC fans like to claim?
Chris Low (1:34 PM)
Every year is different. I'm not one who thinks Ohio State or Florida State would finish fourth or fifth in the SEC every year. They might some years, and in others, the might win it or finish second. The SEC grind has a way of beating you down.
Chris, what does Georgia/Mark Richt need to do in order to take the next step next year?
Chris Low (1:35 PM)
Stay healthy, for one. The Bulldogs also need to play better on defense in big games. It's hard to have to score 35-plus to win big games. I do think Georgia will be better on defense next season. Youth and inexperience on that side of the ball killed the Bulldogs this year.
Do you think the SEC is moving to a 9 game schedule soon? Seems like the coaches don't want it, but the strength of schedule argument will over ride that. Plus, the ADs have to look at that fact that in conference games will be much better attended than a cupcake game, right?
Chris Low (1:36 PM)
I've thought all along that nine conference games are inevitable. I think we'll see that starting in 2016. It will be a fight, but Mike Slive wants it and TV wants it for more attractive games. My guess is that Slive and TV will win out.
After a 3 win year....do the Hogs rebound next year and get to a bowl? How long does the UofA give Bielema to rebuild?
Chris Low (1:38 PM)
You have to give him at least two more recruiting classes before you can fairly evaluate him. I thought the Hogs made some strides late in the year, and some of the younger players looked promising. Getting to a bowl game next year is a reasonable goal.
David (Ludowici, Ga)
Really, ask Les Miles who scared him more this year!!!
Chris Low (1:39 PM)
Good call. LSU has had Manziel's number, for sure. Again, both are excellent QBs.
Biggest surprise of the year? Biggest let down?
Chris Low (1:40 PM)
Biggest surprise is Missouri playing for the SEC title. I thought Mizzou would bounce back and get to a bowl, but didn't see the Tigers getting to Atlanta. Biggest letdown has to be Florida. Even with all the injuries, it would have been impossible to predict a 4-8 season, including a loss to Georgia Southern.
What is Texas A&M signature win and why are they ranked in the Top 25? Who is the highest ranked team that Bama beat this year? Do you really think the SEC schedules is tougher than what Arizona State, and Stanford played this year?
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
I wouldn't have TAMU ranked in the top 25 right now. The Aggies don't have a signature win. But to turn your argument against you, what do you think Arizona State's record would be had the Sun Devils played Florida's schedule this season or Georgia's schedule?
Okay...Mizzou wins...Ohio St Loses....then what? :)
Chris Low (1:42 PM)
Mizzou vs. Florida State for the national title.
Jake (Austin, TX)
Does Duke have any chance at all against Florida State?
Chris Low (1:46 PM)
Not unless Florida State turns it over three or four times and then just tightens up in the second half.
Ill try this one more time, What will it take for South Carolina to get into the Cotton Bowl over LSU or an SEC Champ. losing team?
Chris Low (1:48 PM)
If the Capital One decided to take the SEC championship game loser, then maybe the Outback and Cotton would decide to sort of switch teams since South Carolina went to the Outback last year. That way, South Carolina would go to the Cotton and LSU to the Outback.
Mark (South Carolina)
After this season, noting whos leaving all teams and who is returning, who is the favorite next season to win the East and the West?
Chris Low (1:49 PM)
Georgia would be my pick in the East and it would be a close call among Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the West.
Chris Levintow (Atlanta)
How do you think Mike Davis stacks up against other players such as TJ Yeldon or Todd Gurley
Chris Low (1:50 PM)
Gurley, in my opinion, is the best, most explosive and most feared RB in the SEC. Davis is in a group right behind him along with Yeldon, Mason and Hill. Davis had a great season, but didn't close as strongly as I thought he might.
jim trevethan (solon ohio)
yes the sec has been dominant for years now, but when will some oh the big teams play in some cold nasty november weather like in wisconsin. would love to see how they would react to wind chills in the teens. When will the SEC accept this ultimate challenge which they never will which will expose the SEC major weakness. Any thoughts on this CHris.
Chris Low (1:52 PM)
Well, LSU is coming up to play Wisconsin at Lambeau in a few years. I'm all for seeing the SEC play in some cold weather games. Think it would be fun, and maybe we'll see more of that with the advent of the playoff and strength of schedule dictating more of those matchups.
Chris Murry (Sparta,IL)
Where do you see Bama going bowling? Thanks, Chris
Chris Low (1:53 PM)
Orange Bowl, likely against Oregon or Baylor.
If this were the first year of the playoffs and you were the selection committee...is there a scenario where you would put 4 SEC teams in the playoffs?
Chris Low (1:55 PM)
No, my four this year (right now) would be Florida State, Ohio State, Auburn/Missouri winner and Alabama. If Ohio State were to lose, I might go with Michigan State or Oklahoma State
James Miller (Columbia)
How is good is Connor Shaw in respect to other players in the league. Such as Mccarron, Manziel, Mariota, Boyd, Murray. Do you consider him to be better than or as good as people in that tier?
Chris Low (1:56 PM)
Connor Shaw is the most underrated QB in the country -- period. He's had as good a year and meant as much to his team as any QB in the SEC this season.
Chris, my argument has been that the BCS criteria seems to change ever year. A couple years ago, Bama got in over OK State because Ok State had a worse loss, but they beat more ranked teams than Bama. Now the argument is that Auburn beat more ranked teams, but Ohio State hasn't lost any games so how can you punish them? I am definitely ready for next year.
Chris Low (1:58 PM)
You nailed it. Every year, it seems to change. Everybody looks at it from their own perspective and tries to make an argument for that year why they deserve to be in the game. Go back and listen to what Urban was saying in 2006 and 2008 when he was at Florida and the Gators had one loss. A playoff will solve some of these issues, but not all. My guess is that we'll go to an eight-team playoff soon enough. We can hope.
Chris Low (2:00 PM)
Thanks for the questions. We'll know late Saturday night who will be playing for it all. I'm predicting Florida State and Ohio State both win and will be meet in Pasadena, meaning the SEC's streak will be over. We'll see if I'm right. Take care.