Good afternoon. Let's chat.
Realistically, what is the best record Vandy fans can hope for. I realize that we haven't played the best teams on our schedule, but can we hope for big things this year?
I said a week ago the over/under for wins this season for Vanderbilt was eight, and I'm sticking with that. To me, the Miss. State, Duke, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake games are all winnable. If the Dores go 3-2 in that stretch, that's eight wins. They also get Florida in Nashville.
Who wins OU vs. Texas, why?
Oklahoma. Sooners are better across the board with more offensive weapons.
Do you think that David Cutcliff made Fulmer look like a good coach.
I think Cutcliffe would make anybody look like a better coach. Fulmer's numbers with Cutcliffe and without him are pretty telling.
Chris, Where will Kentucky end up after the dust is settled in the SEC after seeing them take the #2 ranked team Alabama to the wire in Tuscaloosa
If Hartline continues to imrpove and they get Cobb back healthy, the Wildcats' defense is good enough for this team to win eight or nine games. The key game is this weekend against South Carolina. Kentucky has to hold serve at home in that one.
What will the Big 12 have to do to make you believe they are the best conference THIS SEASON, not last season or the 5 previous? Also, why does a team like Auburn remain #20 while Ga. Tech (who beat Miss State 38-7) stays out of the top 25? SEC bias?
The Big 12's top three or four teams are right there with the SEC. Big 12 plays better offense and the SEC better defense. As for your last question, I'd say it's more SEC respect than SEC bias.
Is Terrance Cody the most valuable JUCO transfer in the nation?
He might be the most valuable newcomer ... period. He's a one-man defensive line who makes everybody around him more productive.
Do you see Georgia loosing any more games the rest of the way?
Yes, I think the Bulldogs will finish 10-2, which still might be good enough for them to play for the SEC title. I'm thinking everyone in the East might have two losses by season's end.
Can Auburn turn it around or is the rest of the season doomed to failure?
The Tigers are still good enough on defense to be nine-win team. I think they have to go back to being a power-running football team and get away from the spread. They don't have the personnel to run that offense right now.
As a gator fan living in Tigerland, I hate to say this, but do you think the flaws in Florida's offensive line and Tebow as an accurate passer come to a head this weekend? Florida does not look like a top 10 team.
The last thing Florida wants to do right now is get behind and have to throw the football. That's not Tebow's forte. Something tells me, though, that Florida plays its best game of the season this weekend and wins.
I think you need to give Dave Clawson some time here as coordinator. He's a good coach and has won everywhere he's been and that he will become a better play caller against these SEC teams.
Agreed. You can't judge any coach on just one year or part of one year. In his defense. he doesn't have a quarterback to run what he wants to run on offense. But I also think he's going through the growing pains of going against SEC defenses for the first time.
how long will it take Bobby Petrino to turn Arkansas into a national contender?
At least two more recruiting classes. Remember, Mallett will be eligible next season, but the Hogs have to re-stock that defense in a hurry.
Do you think Phil Fulmer will be coaching the Tennessee Volunteers next season?
I think 6-6 or worse and Fulmer won't be back. It will get interesting at 7-5. Much of that will depend on what kind of 7-5 it is, are there signs that the program will be better, is Fulmer willing to make changes on his staff, etc. Even then, I'm not sure he's safe.
What are Clemson's chances of winning the ACC?
I still think Clemson has as much talent as anybody in the ACC. The Tigers are just so inconsistent, and every time they have a chance to make a statement, they fall on their faces. That said, I've got to see it to believe it -- them winning the ACC.
Is Bobby Johnson the favorite for coach of the year in the SEC
He's my favorite right now for national coach of the year honors. Who's done a better job when you consider the restrictions on bringing in players at Vanderbilt and the fact that he's coaching in the SEC?
Do you think the return of Brannan Southerland this week will help take some of the pressure off the Dawgs offensive line and help the running game?
Absolutely. I think Brannan's return will help the whole team. He's one of the best leaders on that team and has the kind of attitude that wears off on everybody else. He's valuable in pass protection, lead blocking and on the goal line.
What can the Gamecock nation expect for the rest of the season? Can Smelley keep the fireworks going and steal a win in Lexington this weekend? Don't worry about missing the Ole Miss-SC pick last week I still trust your opinion.
Bad miss for me. At least, I get some props for picking Vandy to beat Auburn. Still, a really good win for South Carolina. I remember thinking after the Georgia win that if the Gamecocks could win one of these road games, they had a chance to get to eight wins. If they sweep them both -- with their defense -- I think they can be that team that really gets hot down the stretch and just keeps building confidence. I'm thinking 8-4 right now.
Should be Georgia loss in my last post.
Chris, Do you think Croom is gone if the Dogs win 4 or less
No, nor do I think he should be gone. He's not going to let that team get away from him. He's done such a good job of rebuilding what was an impossible situation when he got there. Now, I do believe he has to take a long, hard look at what they're doing offensively, be it system, coaching, etc.
Is Alabama really the best team in the SEC?
I went back and forth on that earlier when doing by SEC power rankings this week. I still have my doubts that they will be the strongest team at the end. But right now, they've done more than anybody else (beating two Top 10 teams away from home) and they're really good in the lines of scrimmage. We're going to find out.
Why is maryland is inconsistent?
Geez, I don't know. But the Terps are easily the hardest team to figure right now. They look like a borderline Top 25 team one week and then a borderline Bottom 10 team the next.
is vandy a product of a weak sec east conference or are they just that good
I'm hesitant to call the East weak at this point. Clearly, Tennessee isn't much of a factor. But Kentucky's defense is as good as it's ever been, and Florida and Georgia are both Top 10-caliber teams with South Carolina looking like it's getting better. I think it's time to give Vanderbilt some credit for being a solid team.
Does it matter who is Tennessee'e QB on Saturday? What are the pro's and con's of both?
I don't think it really matters about the pros and cons at this point. Fulmer has made it clear that Nick Stephens is the guy. He'd have to get hurt or just be totally ineffective for the Vols to turn back to Crompton.
Do you see BAMA ending the season with a good enough record to compete for the SEC title?
Sure. I think there's a pretty good chance that Bama will be unbeaten when it heads to LSU on Nov. 8.
What chance does Boise state have at making a BCS bowl, especially since BYU and Utah are also in the running.
I think Boise will be in a BCS bowl if they continue to take care of business. Man, I love that blue field.
Emmanuel Cook is a stud! I don't think he gets enough recognition within the SEC or nationally.
I agree. He's one of the most underrated players in the SEC and a terrific tackler.
We all know early season rankings don't really mean much. While bama has done a good job, they havent really "beaten 2 top 10 teams away from home". Clemson probably shouldn't even be ranked, and UGA doesn't look like a top 10 team right now.
You're right, early season rankings don't mean a whole lot. But you're playing these teams at the time they're ranked. I mean, do you say that Southern California didn't look like the No. 1 team when it lost to Oregon State, so that win doesn't really mean as much for the Beavers? It will all wash out in the end.
Whats the best possible record you see Texas Tech finishing with ? And how do you see us finishing against Texas and Oklahoma ?
I'm going with 10-2, losing at Kansas and at Oklahoma, but winning against Texas.
Speaking of being underrated, how does Kentucky lose by 3 to the No. 2 team in the country and receive fewer votes in the polls than last week?
I actually moved the Wildcats up in my SEC power rankings this week.
Chris, I will say that early season rankings do have a lot of leeway involved but one can't argue that Alabama has played and won the toughest schedule in College football thus far. Two SEC games on the road and a neutral site clash, no other team has come close to that.
No arguments from me, which is why I don't have a problem with the Tide being ranked where they are right now. Are they truly the second best team? That's all going to play out.
Was Arkansas ever a national power? I don't think so. So how long until Petrino takes another job?
Um, you might want to go back and look at the Frank Broyles era. The Hogs won a few games of note in the 1960s and 1970s.
With a lot of young talent being a part of South Carolina's win in Oxford this weekend, does USC challenge for the east any time soon?
They better, or I don't think the Head Ball Coach has enough patience to hang around a lot longer. I know my South Carolina brothers and sisters get on me for saying this, but I just don't see the Gamecocks winning an SEC title anytime soon. They may get close, may make some noise and may win some big games. But winning the title? I just don't see it.
Bobby Johnson, SC native, Clemson alumn... Has a hellva coaching staff... Do you see Clemson hiring ole Bobby?
I see a lot of teams wanting to hire Bobby. As you point out, he has South Carolina ties and went to high school in Columbia and was an assistant on the Clemson staff at one point. Vanderbilt is committed to keeping him, and vice chancellor David Williams told me last week they would do whatever they needed to make sure they kept him. I'd say Bobby is in a pretty good position.
How do you think Florida's offense will do against the strong LSU defense?
Gators have to find a way get Tebow in some third-and-3's and third-and-4's where he's so dangerous. Those are run-pass downs, and he's the best around in those situations. If the Gators are in third-and-long or a bunch of passing situations against that LSU defense, it's going to be a long day for Florida.
Coach Saban says he plays his best players. Do you think that John Parker Wilson is the best the Bama has? Who do you think will take his spot next season?
Yes, up until the Kentucky game. I thought Wilson had been one of the steadiest quarterbacks in the league. Again, Kentucky's defense is pretty good, and I think that will be obvious to everybody as this season plays out.
Have you found that with Jarett Lee, Charles Scott and all the other weapons LSU's offense is outplaying its defense so far this year?
Lee's development has been a huge plus for LSU. I always knew the Tigers had playmakers on offense, but Scott has been even better than I thought. They've got an offensive coordinator down on the Bayou (Gary Crowton) who knows what he's doing, too.
Chris, with Ole Miss' loss to South Carolina, how bad does that hurt the Rebels' bowl chances?
That was a costly loss for the Rebels, losing at home after such a big win. I still think they can get to seven wins, but they're going to have to upset somebody else ... Alabama, Auburn or LSU.
Who is the most underrated player in the country?
Close between Graham Harrell and Charles Scott.
Thanks for the question. As always, enjoyed it and will catch up with you next week.