OK, here we go. Thanks for joining the chat today. Chris Low is en route to the beach, so I'm filling in today.
Mark, big fan...Your thoughts on the situation with Bama and their scheduling issue. Rumors of moving Ga. State to a Thursday Night...
Doesn't seem right that so many of Bama's SEC opponents have off-weeks before playing the Tide. Traditionally, an open date has been a pretty big advantage. Doesn't matter if Tide plays Panthers on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, etc. Georgia State is going to get rolled.
How do you think that the Arkansas Razorbacks will perform next season?
If the defense steps up, Arkansas can be one of the more improved teams in the country. You know what you're going to get with Mallett and the receivers. Have to stop the other team, though. I thought they were one of the more improved teams in the country last year, even though the record didn't necessarily show it, but they were very close to winning a few more games. Definitely headed in the right direction under Petrino
What is your take on LSU's QB situation. Is Les Miles just trying to push Jefferson or is Lee an actual threat to start?
Everyone I talked to in Baton Rouge says Lee out-played Jefferson the entire spring. Not sure what's going on with Jefferson. I thought they asked him to do too much last year, with all the various formations, "Wildcat," option, etc. Stick to one thing and ask him to do it well. LSU offense needs to find an identity.
Hey what do you think will happen of the 2010 Florida vs Alabama football rematch in T town?
Would have to go with the Tide at this point, but let's see how the early season plays out. I think Brantley is going to be fine, but both teams are replacing some studs on defense.
What is your early take on LSU-UNC at the GA Dome to start the season? UNC has a NFL talent-laden defense, but LSU's is pretty solid too with Kelvin Shepard and Pat Peterson. Low scoring slug fest?
Definitely a low-scoring slugfest. LSU needs to find some consistency on offense, and Tar Heels need to protect T.J. Yates and run the ball better. UNC defense is going to be very, very good.
Ok - Alabama is the clear favorite in the west but, if they were to stumble, how would you rate Auburn's chances of winning the SEC West?
Right now, I'd put Auburn fourth behind Bama, LSU and Arkansas. Probably about even with Hogs, but I want to see Cam Newton in action before making a real opinion on Tigers. They've recruited well and they're going to get better. But I'm not jumping on the bandwagon just yet.
Arkansas has a good qb, but their defense is almost sissy-like. Why the high ranking?
Offense, offense, offense. QB and wide receivers and RBs. Came close to beating Florida, Georgia and LSU last season. Defense was getting better.
How do you think Cam Newton will do leading Auburn this year?
I think he'll eventually be fine. I know Florida was optimistic about him when he was there, but let's see how he does against SEC competition. He is really, really tall and has a big frame. Throws the ball pretty well.
Florida has very little depth at quarterback beyond John Brantley. I am wondering where is all this talent that Meyer has supposedly stacked up. The only viable option after Brantley is Jordan Reed who is nowhere near gametime status. Should Florida fans be worried?
Gators fans should be worried if Brantley gets hurt. Georgia fans should be worried if Aaron Murray gets hurt. Same can be said for a few other SEC schools. Not a lot of QB depth in Gainesville.
Is there a conspiracy against the Tide? It seems that they were crushed by the NCAA for the Means (justifiably) only to watch USC go unscathed for years - that may change now. Now they get a schedule where everyone get's an extra week off before they play them. When will the madness stop? I still think the Tide will win it all, but may lose one along the way.
At least they're getting the sideline calls on interceptions, right?
Any chance UGA can win the SEC this year with Murray?
Defense would have to really be improved. I think as long as they get something out of Murray, they could win nine or 10 games. Experienced OL. Best WR in the SEC. Two great TEs. Best kicker and punter in the league. Big ? mark is defense. Can they get pressure on the QB? Vance Cuff gives them optimism in the secondary.
Kentucky's better than 11th in the SEC, right? Newton's a year older and more prepared at QB if Hartline doesn't keep the job, the receiving corps is better and the defense is young but talented. Do I have any hope of a fifth bowl game this year?
I think a bowl game is a definite possibility. I don't think the 'Cats slip much under Joker Phillips. Two big weapons on offense, and Randall Cobb is one of the most underrated players in the country.
What is the chance that BAMA can reapeat
I've got the Tide No. 1 going into the season. Lose some big guns on defense, but Hightower and Dareus are sitting there waiting to take over. Ingram and Richardson are as good as anyone, and Jones should be better since he's healthy this season.
What are the odds that the SEC knocks themselves out of the BCS championship by having a conference loss this year? Or win another with a one loss team?
I would think a one-loss team would still have a chance, like Florida did in 2008.
What is C-Low doing today that required a sub? I see he's on Finebaum in a couple hours.
Headed to the beach for a much-deserved vacation.
What's your pick for the biggest SEC game this season not involving Florida or Alabama?
Georgia at South Carolina Week 2 because it sets up momentum for winner early in the season, and LSU at Auburn on Oct. 23. Winner challenges Bama?
What are your thoughts on SEC expansion? I am against it, but if we have to, maybe: FSU & GT in the West and Clemson
I'd be surprised if SEC expands, but FSU and Georgia Tech and Clemson would seem like logical choices.
Does UT's record of most games won against a FBS school (Kentucky) come to an end this year?
Very well could come to an end. I think the Vols are really going to struggle. It's going to take Derek Dooley a year or two to restock the roster after all the attrition.
I can certainly understand a league like the Big-10(11) or Pac-10 adding up to the minimum 12th team needed for a league CFB champs game. Beyond that, isn't bigger just bigger for bigger's sake, and certainly not better?
It doesn't always work out like you anticipate. The ACC expected Miami and FSU to be playing for ACC title and BCS bowls every year. Hasn't happened yet.
So what do u think about expanding the SEC to 16 teams. Picking up Florida State, Clemson, Texas and GT. Divide them up to 4 Different conferences SEC north: SC, Clemson, Tenn. Vanderbilt. SEC South: Florida, FS, Arkansas, Georgia. SEC East: Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama. Finally SEC West: LSU, OLEMISS, Texas, Miss. ST. And the championship game be in final four style format. Lets say LSU out of the West vs Florida Out of the SouthBama out of the East Vs. SC out of the NorthAnd then a SEC championship game to Cap it off.You think there could ever be a possibility of this format coming into play in the SEC?
You're not going to see four-team divisions.
How do you see the new 3-4 defense working for UGA, and can A.J. Green compete for a Heisman?
I think the 3-4 will be more aggressive, but Dogs still need more pass rushers and interior tackles. I think the scheme can potentially mask some of their deficiencies up front, but secondary is going to have to be good.
Saw the impromptu comments by UConn's Randy Edsall, thanks to the link on ESPN's Big East Blog: give ND a long-overdue ultimatum to join in CFB, which they'll reject. In turn, league boots ND in hoops (a sport for which they MUST be in somebody?s league...), ND joins Big Ten, who in turn stays with a pat hand at "only" twelve members, thus preserving the Big East, Big XII and ACC more or less intact, thus to avoid a nationwide melt-down in CFB. It's brilliant, simple, and might even work! Everybody wins (even the BEast): cuts off the diseased foot (= ND) to save the rest of the body. You like (too)?
I don't think N.D. is going to be strong-armed into joining a league.
Do you think that the SEC will expand and who might be included?
I'd be surprised, but I guess it depends on what happens with other leagues. SEC seems to be more healthy -- competitively and financially -- than any other league.
Any chance Houston Nutt surprises everyone and Ole Miss has another eight or nine win season?
I think Rebs take a step back this season, but Nutt's teams tend to do well when not much is expected of them. We'll see what happens in Oxford.
Bama lost a lot of key players on defense, namely Rolando. Who do you think will take charge and be the "mini-Saban" on the field?
Guy by the name of Dont'a Hightower. I hear he's pretty good (maybe better than McClain).
who will be better down the stretch for the tigers at rb: onterio or michael
McCalebb really seemed to hit a wall late last season with some nagging injuries. I think they'll both get a lot of touches, but if Dyer is as good as advertised, he might end up being the guy.
So by ranking Boise 2nd behind Bama, do you really think that Boise is that good, or do you think they are just the beneficiary of an easy schedule that could land them undefeated at the end of the year? If you think they are that good, what record would you have them with if they played Bama or TOSU's schedule? Because it seems to me, if you don't have them undefeated or with just 1 loss, then they do not deserve to be ranked 2nd.
Boise has 21 of 22 starters coming back. Kellen Moore is a legit Heisman Trophy candidate. They beat a very good TCU team in the Fiesta Bowl. I think Boise is legit. If they beat Virginia Tech and Oregon State and run the table in the WAC and other non-league games, they probably deserve a shot. No one game Utah a shot two years ago, remember?
Why is there NO bowl games featuring a Pac-10 vs. SEC match-up?
Geographical differences, I guess. The ACC-Pac-10 matchup in San Francisco didn't seem to work. Too far for the ACC team to travel.
Ok, So what is going on in TN? They keep losing players like crazy. Is it just the change in Coaching regime or is it something to do with Dooley? As much as I can't stand to see TN win i really do hope dooley is successful! Do you think he can be there? Thanks!!!
I think Dooley will be fine. New sheriff in town. Establishing ground rules early. Laying down the law.
I have heard that kentucky is interested in joining the big east? is there any truth to this? thanks
Haven't heard it and don't believe it. Why leave the SEC, where you dominate in hoops (the sport that really matters in the Bluegrass) and join the Big East, where there are five or six legit programs?
Will there be a playoff in our lifetime?
I would have said no way two years ago, now I'm starting to wonder if it will happen. Bigger conferences and fewer conferences makes it easier.
About the Bama scheduling situation. As an Auburn fan why doesn't Auburn change LA Monroe or Chattanooga to break up the season better? We still have depth issues and in my opinion pure exhaustion is what made us lose games against Georgia and Alabama last year.
It's called lack of depth....Recruiting fixes the problem and if Chizik keeps recruiting well, the Tigers will have depth.
Do you think AJ Green will stick around after this season or will he bolt for the NFL? I just really believe 2011 will be the year UGA has a real shot to compete for a NC. Without Green though that changes completely. Thanks!
He's projected as a top-five pick, so I think it would be hard to pass up the money. He's a pretty humble kid, so he might stick around, but I'd be surprised if he's there for his senior season.
How are my Gamecocks gonna do this year? Can they compete for the EAST?
If Garcia plays better, the Gamecocks have a chance to be better. Very good on defense. Offensive line has to be better. If Lattimore is the real deal, he'll take pressure off Garcia.
Most polls have UF and UGA ranked above SC in the east. Is SC's "best shot" in years to head to the SEC championship game a real chance or just a chance to fail better?
We've been hearing about SC's "best shot" for the last four years. This might be the year, finally, but Garcia has to be consistent.
Everyone has Bama #1 and deservedly so. But they lost a ton on defense much like UF's NC team from 06'. If they can just plug new personnel in then whats to say UF can't do the same and be just as scary as Bama.
Florida is replacing Tebow and Hernandez and still doesn't have a proven every-down back. Hightower and Darius are going to plug holes on defense. Everything coming back on offense for Bama, except a couple of lineman. Florida isn't going to fall off the map, but they have bigger pieces to replace, in my opinion.
i think the two powerhouse in the sec are florida and alabama. Yet, i would give the edge to alabama in the match up on oct 2. But, if they meet again for the sec championship, i will have to give the edge to florida by then. I believe florida will get their act together by then and urban will be prepared the second time around. just my thoughts. i see florida improving this year and next. your thoughts?
Lots of great talent, but the Gators are going to be very young. Brantley is going to be fine. UF is going to be a tough out in 2011 and 2012. Not sure if they're the team to beat this year, though.
Which freshman RB will have the greatest impact next year - Dyer at AU or Lattimore at SC?
I think both freshmen will have significant impacts. Lattimore might be asked to do more at South Carolina.
Who are your favorite heisman contenders in the SEC going into the season? And with a favorable schedule, could the hogs make a BCS run?
Mallett and Mark Ingram would be top two choices. Hogs can make a run at an SEC West title with a better defense.
There hasn't been much talk about Alabama's offensive line during the Spring. They weren't dominant with pass protection during the A-Day Game, but they were also missing their starting center. How do you think D.J. Fluker will mature into the right tackle position?
He's big with really long arms and good feet. Not worried about Bama's OL. Played remarkably well last year after replacing two All-Americans.
I'm with you on that Mark, but even though Saban is a defensive guru and a secondary coach at heart. That secondary better show drastic improvements over the course of the next 5 months or all of Florida's weapons in the passing game could outshine their running game.
Two good coaches coaching up the Bama secondary. Have to replace three really good players back there, but Tide has recruited well. Plus, Bama gets pressure on the QB better than almost anyone.
Do you foresee Muschamp bolting for one of the big SEC jobs that could open in the near future which he has ties to (UGA, LSU) or waiting it out in Austin for Mack to retire?
He's about to inherit the best job in the country in terms of recruiting base, financial resources, tradition, etc. I don't see him going anywhere.
What are the chances Les Miles is around next year? Another non-BCS type year may sen him packing.. True or False?
I think there's some pressure on him, but I think it would take a disaster for him to be fired. Could he leave for Michigan if Rich Rod leaves or gets fired? Possibly.
Same question about Pat Peterson leaving after this season? Would he come back knowing LSU is set up well for 2011 to make a serious run at conference title.
Again, a guy that is a projected top-five to top-10 pick. A lot of $$$ to pass up.
From what you have seen of John Brantley, do you think he could possibly a top QB in the nation?
He has the arm and size and smarts. Different QB than Tebow. UF has to find a running game to protect him and the young WRs have to step up.
I am assuming that the blame for UT's lack of talent is attributable to Kiffin, but is this because of turning-tail, or bad recruitling before that? How much blame lies at Fulmer's feet? Thanks,
I think it was a couple of years of poor recruiting, so I don't think you can blame Kiffin entirely. Fulmer didn't recruit very well at the end, truth be told.
What coach in the SEC do you think is in the most trouble if they have a rough yr? Miles, Richt, or someone else?
I don't think Richt is going to be fired anytime soon. Miles is catching heat, but are you going to fire a guy who won a national championship for only winning eight or nine games? Doubtful.
What is the one game Bama can afford to lose and still make it to the National Championship game?
Lose to Florida during regular season and then come back and beat the Gators in the SEC title game?
Do you think UK will take a step back? They should have better overall talent this year than last, but I'm worried Joker may be a significant step down from Rich Brooks as the head man.
I think Joker is going to be fine. Paid his dues and learned under Rich Brooks.
Caught a squirrel today with my bare hands. What does this mean for Auburn?
You can recover onside kicks? Might make the hands team.
OK, folks, I'm outta here. Enjoy the offseason. It lasts about another week in the SEC. Thanks for stopping by.