Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 31, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Edward Aschoff

Edward Aschoff
  (12:05 PM)

Greetings everyone. SEC bowl week is officially here. Vandy is kicking things off now and more fun is coming soon. Let's get to the questions.

David (Houston)

SEC bowl season finally starts today. Did you also ask for nine SEC wins as a Christmas gift?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:06 PM)

I didn't ask for it, but I predicted it. Unless something changes between now and next week, I don't see Alabama losing to Notre Dame and I think the SEC deserves to be favored in all of its bowl games. Keep and eye on Georgia and Mississippi State, though ...

Kyle (Aggieland)

If Joekel leaves for the draft with Moore but Matthews stays, do you give the Aggies legitimate shot at the SEC West next season?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:08 PM)

It will certainly help. There's talk that Joekel is considering staying and if he does I think the offense will be tremendous yet again. But having at least one back will help Manziel keep his momentum going. Will he have the same season he just had? Probably not because teams will be better prepared for him. I think A&M will be in contention for the West yet again next year, but it will depend on what Alabama's offensive line and defense look like next year.

Cameron (San Diego)

What do you think of the Randy Shannon hire and the overall staff Bielema has put together?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:11 PM)

I like that hire and I've been very impressed with what he's done. Shannon is an excellent defensive mind and should help a linebacker unit that has really struggled in the last two years. I also think he'll be a great presence when it comes to recruiting in the South and the state of Florida. He said he was going to stretch more in to the South and this is a great way to do that. I also really like the hire of Jim Chaney. I think with his passing mind it will bring a lot of balance to Arkansas' offense.

tmbuktu, the legend (God's Country)

Malzahn's assistant coaching hires: great staff or greatest staff?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:13 PM)

Ha. I think he's done a great job assembling a solid staff on the Plains. I was especially impressed with him luring Rodney Gardner over from Georgia. What a big get for him. I also like Ellis Johnson coming in as the defensive coordinator. He's going to instill some toughness that this group never had in 2012. Big pickups

Melvin Smith (Memphis, TN)

Will Northwestern slow down the world famous ms state QB Tyler Russell to even keep the game close?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:15 PM)

I think the game will be close, regardless, but I also think that Tyler Russell has been too efficient this year to slow down in Tampa. Chad Bumphis has had a tremendous season and if he can keep that going it will really help Russell. Also, Northwestern ranks 101st nationally in pass defense, so that will really help Russell and his buddies.

Matt (In my girls arms.)

So you said early unless things change between now and next week that you think Bama will win. What could change to make it so that Bama loses? Also Roll Tide! GO SEC!

Edward Aschoff
  (12:16 PM)

Eddie Lacy and that offensive line decide to declare early for the NFL draft and sit out of the game in order to get ready for the combine. But really, I just want to see if there are any injuries between now and then. Or I might just decide to change my mind so that I can hear from all my beloved Bama readers :)

Blues (SEC Blog)

With McCarron and Mosely staying, how great are the odds of them getting with other draft eligible juniors (Milliner, Fluker especially) and saying "Let's all come back and go for history?"

Edward Aschoff
  (12:17 PM)

I don't see it. Those guys are first-round picks and they aren't turning down that kind of money, especially if they win another national championship.

Mike (Columbus)

Not sure if you have made a championship game score prediction yet (please send link if you have), but how many points do you expect Notre Dame to score against Alabama?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:18 PM)

Not revealing my official pick until next week ... I know ... I'm THAT guy

Ryan (The State with 3 con. NCs)

Ed, do you think the SEC will go undefeated this bowl season? If not, which team(s) do you think will drop the ball (literally)?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:19 PM)

I predicted the SEC would go 8-0 before the national championship and I'm strongly leading toward Bama. I say keep an eye on Mississippi State and Georgia. both are very vulnerable right now.

Ryan (Alabama)

I've saw where some ND fans think that Golson = Manziel and that is going to be the downfall of Alabama. Besides just Manziel's quarterbacking skills, wouldn't he also have the following: Alabama is not coming off the LSU game, his wr's are more talented , and his ol is more talented?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:20 PM)

I think those comparisons are way off base. I don't think he's as talented as Manziel. He's very inconsistent in my eyes and I've worried about that Notre Dame QB situation all year. Notre Dame has a good offensive line, but I don't think it's near as good as Texas A&M's. He could make some plays with his legs, but I don't think he's the passer Manziel is on the run.

Mike (Atl)

LSU has a ton coming back on offense, losing a ton on defense potentially. Over or under 10 wins next year for my Tigers?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:22 PM)

That's a tough one because LSU is going to lose a lot on defense, but a lot of young guys played this year and that will be very beneficial for this team. I think the offense will score a lot of points next year and the defense will reload here and there. Right now, as of today, this second, this moment in time, I'll say under ...

olemissreb terrell is lexington steele (atlanta airport)

top recruits laquan treadwell, robert nkemdiche & antonio connor will all commit on fri, any chance our Rebels land all 3?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:23 PM)

I really haven't kept up with much recruiting all year, but from what I've heard it sounds like Nkemdiche and Ole Miss are a very, very strong possibility. Honestly, I thought he was Ole Miss' to lose from the beginning. I never thought he'd stay with Clemson. Never. I'm surprised to see LSU up there. I always thought it would come down to Ole Miss and Alabama. I give the edge to Ole Miss

Knowles (ATL)

Are you going to Graveyard for NYE?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:24 PM)

Probably my favorite place to go in Atlanta. It all depends on how long I'm in the press box tonight in the Georgia Dome. Save me a seat and a dance out there tonight, buddy??

Ryan (The State with 3 con. NCs)

Will UF actually be able to pass the ball next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:25 PM)

Ha, I think so. I think the offensive line will actually be better and Joker Phillips will provide the receivers with a lot more instruction. He's a heck of an offensive coach. Driskel will be more comfortable and the Gators might have four running backs to give the ball too. If the line is better and the receivers grow up, Florida will have a much more balanced offense in 2013.

Blues (SEC Blog)

I know it has nothing to do with THIS game, but I am an old school Bama fan with many memories of getting screwed by Notre Dame. Am I right to be nervous about it?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:26 PM)

It's the national championship. You should always be nervous because anything can happen.

bonisback (KTown)

After all the reports from HS coaches about the negativity of Dooley, how long do you feel it will take Jones to rebuild all those bridges that Dooley tore down?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:28 PM)

I'm not sure how bad it was when it came to recruiting but you have to admit that he did a pretty good job when it came to getting athletes to Tennessee the last couple of years. Jones, like any coach, has a small window to work with so he'll have to make all of his time count. It won't be an overnight thing. It's going to take more than just the next month and change.

Rick (Razorback in Michigan)

Any New Year's Resolutions for you? Like maybe reporting on somebody other than Alabama in the SEC next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:30 PM)

I've been covering 14 teams since the spring. You might see more on Alabama lately because its in the national championship and the No. 2 team in the country ... so ... yeah. Also, I plan to work in more yoga in 2013. It'll help my soccer game

Mike (Columbus)

Thoughts regarding what South Carolina must do to beat Michigan? (Denard Robinson scares me in this one!)

Edward Aschoff
  (12:32 PM)

Contain running QBs! Which Jadeveon Clowney and company should be able to do. I think that if South Carolina's defense continues to play like it has for the majority of the season, the Gamecocks will be fine. Remember when the Wolverines played Alabama? Well, the Gamecocks defense is more aggressive up front and that could make for a long day for Michigan.

Harkle (KY)

I don't claim to be an expert but I think A. Murray would benefit staying another year at UGA. Do you agree?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:35 PM)

I think he would, but at the same time I wonder if he think that this was his last chance to win a title. He'll have a ton to work with on offense next year, but that defense is going to be gutted. Basically 11 starters will be gone and we all know how important it is for defenses to be organized and ready in this league. I don't think he'd go very high this year, and I think another year would help, but I think he'll seriously consider what the team will look like next year before he decides.

Brett (SC)

I know ND and Ala. are playing for the National Championship, but what other team would deserve a shot at the NC and against who?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:36 PM)

I'm sure I'll get the homer calls, but Florida had the best resume in college football. Beat LSU, A&M, South Carolina and FSU. Only loss was to East champion Georgia. If not for Pitt choking against ND, the Gators would be playing Alabama in the national championship.

Greg S. (Cookeville, TN)

What do you think about all the rumors about Saban leaving ?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:37 PM)

Not happening. He's made it clear that he's very, very happy in Tuscaloosa. I don't see him leaving for an NFL job.

tmbuktu, the legend (God's Country)

Edward, your ability to prognosticate is only outweighed by your handsome good looks. Therefore, I ask you this meager question. What is your way too early prediction on which bowl the Auburn Gus Bus goes to next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:39 PM)

You know the way to my heart, ha! I'm not sure I can say either way if Auburn will go to a bowl game, but I think this team will be much better next year. That offense will actually be able to move the ball and I think Ellis Johnson will inject some life into the defense. A bowl wouldn't surprise me. I look at next year's schedule and I see five wins right now ... but I also saw eight wins last year and that didn't work out at all

Harkle (KY)

Do you give The Ville any shot vs Florida? Florida might be going into game a little over confident and might be taking this game too lightly. Bridgewater is a beast!!

Edward Aschoff
  (12:41 PM)

Florida has been known to play down to its competition and Louisville isn't exactly an SEC team. That being said, I think more time to prepare and rest will really help the Gators. Louisville has a shot but I don't think the offense will be able to do much against Florida's defense. Forcing turnovers is the best way to beat Florida ... Look at Georgia.

Darren (Decatur, Georgia)

Edward, I know you are from Mississippi but I'm curious to know where it is you currently live? I guess I get confused because you and Chris are on the road a lot.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:41 PM)

Atlanta! It literally is where the players play. You can find me in the Old 4th Ward!

Harkle (KY)

I hope not but seems like some "experts" think Dawgs may not be too fired up for game tomorrow. Whats your take?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:43 PM)

I think the opposite. I don't think Georgia or Nebraska will be too fired up for this one. both expected to be in BCS bowl games and both fell short -- Georgia by 5 yards and Nebraska by 100 points. This one could get pretty sloppy early.

Ryan (Virginia)

What facet of ND's game will give Alabama fits and vice versa?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:48 PM)

Notre Dame has to beat Alabama's offensive line. That ND DL is very talented, especially with Nix and Tuitt, but can it hold up for 60 minutes? I think that if Golson can make some plays with his feet he'll be able to catch Alabama's defense off guard. Manziel made Alabama's defense look silly, and while Golson isn't Manziel by any stretch, he can run when needed.

Darren (Decatur, Georgia)

Read an article about Alabama's student base not using all of it's home game ticket allotment. As a Tide fan and current college student whose only reason for not attending BAMA is out-of-state tuition, this really makes me angry. I feel like there's some complacency settling in there as far as the student fanbase goes. Needless to say, I would attend every single game (win or lose) if I were there.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:49 PM)

Not seeing students at games anywhere is always unacceptable. When I covered Florida I blasted students for late arrivals and it didn't really change this year with the Gators going 11-1. I don't get it, but maybe there's something else going on during games ...

Edrich Louw (Grumpy in Cape Town, RSA)

Mr. Aschoff, if Alabama is the Manchester United of the SEC, then wouldn't you agree Vandy is the Everton - doing the most with the least?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:51 PM)

That's excellent. I couldn't agree more, actually. To think that Vandy is in its second straight bowl game and has a chance to win nine games this year really is unheard of. I love the soccer reference as well. You know your stuff my good man!

Ryan (Atlanta)

Why would USC waste a reshirt year on Shon Carson for the Outback bowl? If a player does not play the entire year, and a few plays in the bowl game, can they still have a medical redshirt?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:52 PM)

I don't think so. I'm also not totally sure South Carolina will actually do it. Mike Davis and Kenny Miles should be enough for that offense against Michigan.

Parker (Hendersonville, TN)

I really like what I have seen and heard so far from Butch Jones and staff. What is your impression? And Happy New Year!

Edward Aschoff
  (12:54 PM)

Happy New Year to you as well! Talk is great. It fires people up, but I want to see how this team looks during the spring and what it looks like in fall camp. I want to see what the attitude is like for a group of players working with another new coaching staff. He's said all of the right things, but like all the new hires, I"m totally in wait-and-see mode.

John (Arkansas)

With the hire of Randy Shannon as LBs coach yesterday what grade would you give Coach B on his assistants?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:55 PM)

I don't think I'd put a grade on it, but like I said earlier, I really like the Shannon and Chaney hires. Gives you some clout in the South when it comes to recruiting and both are solid coaches for their positions. I really like what Bielema has done with his staff

JEFF (Kansas City )

Do you think Mizzou needs to slow down the tempo on offense, by huddling up everytime and trying to take some time off of the clock?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:57 PM)

It worked before this year. Injuries really hurt this team but I don't think you have to slow the tempo down. You need to get more discipline and make sure your team is healthy. This team just wasn't physical enough this year. It wasn't big enough up front and it wasn't tough enough mentally or physically. For all that talk from the summer, this team just didn't live up to its billing on offense.

Paul (Charleston, SC)

Thanks for coming aboard to the SEC blog this year!!! Enjoyed yur blogs!!! What is your top three contenders in the East and West for next year...Never too early to ask is it?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:58 PM)

Thanks for reading and putting up with me. Right now I'd go: East - Florida, South Carolina, Georgia. West - Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU

Darren (Decatur, Georgia)

Ok last question Edward. The SEC was strong as usual this year but looking ahead to next season and assuming the ranked teams continue that, what team or teams do you see adding to the conference's total number of ranked teams?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:59 PM)

I think Vandy and Ole Miss will be strong next year. I think both will have a chance to win crack the top 25 at some point. Actually, if Vandy wins today, I think the Commodores will be a top 25 team to start the season.

bonisback (KTown)

Come on Dash it is New Years Eve and thought a little levity was in order, answer my Bray question, lol

Edward Aschoff
  (1:00 PM)

I'm all for humor, but you gotta keep it clean my friend :)

Jon (Knoxville)

No question...just wanted to say Happy New Year and that I always look forward to the live chats with you and Chris. AND most importantly to me.....looking forward to a New Year being a Vol fan and hoping for much better things....like wins!

Edward Aschoff
  (1:00 PM)

Happy New Year and good luck. Patience is the key right now for fans, players, administrators and coaches.

Ryan (The State with 3 con. NCs)

Who is your dark horse pick for either division in the SEC next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:01 PM)

These are fun: East - Vandy, West - Ole Miss. Let that settle for a bit ...

Mike (Columbus)

Do you have any insight on Miss State's mindset coming into the bowl game since losing four of their last five games?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:02 PM)

This program has never won 9 games twice in a four-year span. A win tomorrow and the Bulldogs will finally be able to say that they've done that. This team expected more this year and came up short. It's motivated to regroup and get that ninth win.

Edward Aschoff
  (1:03 PM)

Great final chat of 2012! Happy New Year everyone and have fun during bowl season. Don't forget to eat your black-eyed peas!