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October 14, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Edward Aschoff

Edward Aschoff
  (12:03 PM)

What a wild SEC East. Is MIzzou for real? Will UGA bounce back? Does South Carolina finally have a respectable defense again? Where in the world has the offense gone in Gainesville?

Pendar (streets of compton)

With Michael Bennett hopefully coming back in a couple weeks (maybe before the Florida game) and Tray Matthews and Todd Gurley likely available next week....what are your thoughts on Georgia having a shot at the Sugar Bowl. We know a 2 loss NC aint going to happen. Prepare your answer carefully....i know where your cat lives.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:05 PM)

Creepy Pendar, creepy. Georgia would have to win out and probably would NOT want to play in the SEC championship game. Remember Florida last year? If UGA is going to make it to Bourbon Street, it has to win out and hope that Florida, Mizzou or South Carolina goes to Atlanta. Or it can win out, make it to the SEC championship game and beat the West team. I don't know if that second part can happen with the defense playing as poorly as it is and with the offense so banged up.

John (Florida)

What will it take for Conner Shaw to get recognition as an elite SEC QB?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:07 PM)

I think he has respect inside the conference for sure. I ranked him too low in my quarter-season rankings. He is made of titanium. The man is a true gamer. A lot of players could learn from him. He probably isn't an NFL quarterback, but he's the perfect college quarterback. He can make big plays and he can take hits. I love watching him play.

Chase (St. Louis, MO)

Any update on EJ Gaines? Might Mizzou be best served sitting him regardless this Saturday to avoid further risking his availability for South Carolina?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:08 PM)

Not so fast. Yes, Florida's offense looked pitiful Saturday, but you don't want to take your best defensive back out when you have the SEC's worst pass defense. It sounds like it's just a thigh bruise and he should be fine this weekend.

Chase (St. Louis, MO)

Florida is favored early at Mizzou, albeit by a very small margin. Do you think Florida matches up well with the Tigers?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:10 PM)

From talking with people there, it sounds like Florida's defense is very mad. Very frustrated. It got gashed by LSU's running game, but did pretty well against Mettenberger as a whole. There were some big plays here and there but that's 13 games in a row in which Florida has held SEC opponents to 20 or fewer points. But this defense is getting no help from the offense. I think with Maty Mauk playing, the Gators have a slight advantage right now, but he offense has to do something.

Zac (Florence)

Eddie Jackson looked to be entrenched as the other starting cornerback for Bama opposite belue. He did not receive many reps Saturday at Kentucky. Was he just beat out in practice or did he do something Saban didn't like? Does the secondary get sued up by the time LSU comes to T-Town?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:14 PM)

It sounds like he was beat out. Jarrick WIlliams has played pretty well and it looks like he owns the Star position right now. Bradley Sylve too. I know Saban would like to keep things steady but he's had to shuffle things up back there. I think he's pretty happy with what his secondary looks like right now.

Chase (St. Louis, MO)

Will Florida load the box and challenge Mauk to throw like Georgia did before the downfield play to DGB?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:15 PM)

The good news for Florida is that it still has a very good secondary. The Gators can use a lot of man in games because of how good they are in man coverage. I think you have to put pressure on Mauk early and rattle him if you are going to get him out of rhythm. It's going to be a tough for the Gators because of how many weapons Mizzou has on offense.

Scratches (B'more, MD)

Who's your favorite to win the East?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:16 PM)

Hahahahahahahahaha! No clue, man. The East is so ... just ... yeah. Florida just lost starting running back Matt Jones for the year, so that certainly isn't good for that offense. UGA is beat up. Mizzou is on fire, but Franklin is out. South Carolina?

Justin (Atl)

With Matt Jones out for the season now with his knee injury, does Kelvin Taylor finally get the look at starter considering he has 6.1 yards per carry as opposed to the other backs at 3.8 or does UF suffer another Free Gilly incident?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:16 PM)

He carried the ball a good bit against LSU while sharing reps with Mack Brown. He will have to be ready to do what Brown was doing before. What a rough year to be in the SEC East.

Jonathan (Spring Lake, NC (Military))

Jeremy Johnson played a good game against Western Carolina. How do you think he'd do against an SEC team and what would be the chances of him taking the reigns next year as starting QB?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:18 PM)

Are you already over Nick Marshall? Come on, that was against a cupcake. He looked good, but Malzahn has made it clear that Marshall is still the guy. I don't think we'll see too much of Johnson unless Marshall isn't healthy.

Smith (757)

Clowney only had 1 tackle. And to my count Arkansas only ran it to the left side once. Granted they only ran 37 plays, so nobody had a huge impact. But it was good to see Clowney smiling on the sideline. He looked like he was having fun out there.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:18 PM)

It was. I think this season has been exhausting for him. Just not good. It's a soap opera everywhere he turns. I still don't think this really affects his draft status so there's that.

Eric (San Francisco)

If LSU beats Alabama and Texas A&M beats LSU where does that put the SEC West?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:21 PM)

In the nut house. I hope for the craziest last weekend of the season. Whatever will make it the most complicated, the better. But will that cancel the SEC out when it comes to the national championship? It could ...

Rob (Louisville, KY)

The Georgia offensive tackles had a pretty rough day protecting the edge against Mizzou's pass rush. What is going on with that line?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:23 PM)

It just didn't communicate well and was beat straight up. Give Mizzou's defensive line credit. It has played really well this year and Michael Sam has been a beast. Georgia did a good job against him, and the Tigers still managed to put pressure on Murray all day and got two sacks. I really like what this line looks like right now. I said it could be pretty good. You heard it hear first during the preseason!

Mike (Florida)

Do you believe that Florida's offensive woes start with the OL? Humphries was beaten badly on a lot of plays so was Halapio.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:23 PM)

Bad communication and a lack of talent all around. You have to call it what it is. Florida doesn't have any elite offensive talent.

Kevin (Killeen, TX)

Do you think it's time for the Razorbacks need to change QB and put in the freshmen Austin Allen.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:25 PM)

The Hogs have issues with pass protection too. But Brandon Allen has really struggled in the last two games. Granted, Florida and South Carolina did a good job defending the pass. But like Florida, Arkansas doesn't have any elite talent at WR or QB. That's hurting this team. the running game can only carry it so far. Allen has to step up, but so do receivers and that offensive line.

vern (birmingham)

If bama gets through the SEC, do you think we can hang with the Ducks? Regardless of what your answer is, I have been waiting for this game for a few years.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:28 PM)

I do because the defense is getting better and better. Yes, the opposing talent hasn't been great, but the little mistakes from early in the season haven't been there lately. Before Kentucky, Alabama's defense went 14 quarters without allowing a single offensive touchdown. It now ranks eighth nationally in total defense.

Roger (Midwest)

Ed, boy I know Georgia has been crippled by injuries, but guys at Florida keep dropping like flies. Which program has it worse right now??

Edward Aschoff
  (12:30 PM)

Florida lost its starting RB, QB and top overall player. I still say UGA because half the offense is gone. Florida's offense isn't playing well enough to say what would be different with those guys in.

Marilyn (San Antonio, TX)

Does Bo Wallace have some growing up to do? His trash talk got him in trouble with Alabama and Texas A&M, then after the game he immediately runs to the locker room without shaking hands...

Edward Aschoff
  (12:33 PM)

I still don't get what the big deal was with what he said. "Bo, compare your WRs to the Aggies.'" -- "Oh, I think mine are better blah blah blah." "Bo, can this offense score on Alabama?" -- "Oh, yeah we can score points on Alabama." --- OK, what was he supposed to say? People got so bent out of shape over those comments and blew them out of proportion, especially Alabama. Granted the Tide shut Ole Miss out, but were they really "disrespected" because of what Wallace said? ... I don't like players not shaking hands. I couldn't stand Lebron for doing it back in the day and I don't like players doing it now. Show some respect for your opponent.

RC (Atlanta)

Starting to look more and more like LSU is the most complete team in the SEC. The tiger defense is finally showing signs of coming around thats bad news for the rest of the sec!

Edward Aschoff
  (12:34 PM)

What about Missouri and Alabama? LSU still needs to play an offense. It certainly played better against the Gators, but that offense just melted on the Bayou.

Corey (Carrallton, GA)

I understand that Auburn hasn't played that many high quality teams, but do you give them a chance against Texas A&M this weekend?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:34 PM)

It's gonna be tough. The Tigers will certainly score on the Aggies, but I don't see that defense containing Johnny Manziel. No one has this season and I don't know why the Tigers and that growing defense would.

Ryan (Springfield, MO)

Is this the year a 1 loss SEC champ could be shut out of the BCS championship game?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:35 PM)

It could be. If Ohio State and Oregon run the table and there's a one-loss SEC team there, I don't see the SEC team making it. Also, look at Clemson and FSU. If one of them is undefeated and there's a one-loss SEC team, I think the SEC gets shutout. Alabama ... the pressure is on.

Scott (columbia) [via mobile]

Mid season 1st team all-sec team. Go

Edward Aschoff
  (12:37 PM)

I don't have time for an entire team but the obvious ones: Manziel, Collins/Hill, Jordan Matthews, Evans, Beckham Jr., Jake Matthews, Chris Smith, Michael Sam, C.J. Mosely, Hargreaves, Gaines.

Mark (Gainesville)

Can you explain to us who UF has beaten that voters are keeping them ranked? They lost to a terrible Miami team, then failed to score a touchdown against LSU....wow.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:37 PM)

Well, Miami and LSU are ranked in the top 10 now soooooo

JMD (South GA)

The SEC is where it's at. There is not one conference in the country that can drive you bat crazy trying to figure out who will win. That's how great these teams are. 8 in the top 25? Remind me again who said that the "SEC Reign" is over?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:38 PM)

It was Chris Low!!!

Gigged Gator (South florida)

This is Muschamp's third year, and he has yet to win a big game of note. Lost to Georgia last year, embarrassed by Louisville in a BCS Bowl Game, lost to the Hurricanes in So. Fl. and now LSU. It may be time to look for a head coach - not a glorified defensive coordinator. Someone who a resume - like Charlie Strong - who was dismissed at being the head coach at Florida.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:40 PM)

Is Muschamp the one who couldn't block or run? Did he throw bad passes? Listen, Muschamp deserves some blame, but he's had a banged up team and no elite players on offense. This offense has to have a top-flight receiver to have a chance. It doesn't. You can't be one-dimensional in the SEC. right now, the Gators are. He has the SEC's best defense, but has a bad offense. I think his seat will get hotter if he loses to UGA, but I don't see him leaving Gainesville anytime soon.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:40 PM)

Also, Muschamp won 11 games last year. You could argue that Florida's staff adjusted better than any other in the country. That was pretty impressive with such a bad offense.

Scratches (B'more, MD)

Is Gary Pinkel the mid-season SEC Coach of the Year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:42 PM)

He has to be. The Tigers are already bowl eligible after winning just five games last year. They blew Vandy out and ran Georgia out of its own building. Pinkel said something was different in Columbia, and it's clear that this team believes in itself more.

Jason (TX)

If (and when) Mack Brown leaves Texas, do you think Muschamp goes for it?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:42 PM)

No. I don't see it. I don't think Muschamp would be very interested either.

Scott (Georgia)

So was Florida's offense the last 2 weeks just a result of playing against less competition or was LSU's defense really that good. Not that UF offense was lighting it up those 2 weeks but it sure looked alot better than it did Saturday.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:43 PM)

I think it's a little bit of both. The offense was clicking for sure, but the defensive talent it faced wasn't good. LSU brought tons of pressure because it didn't respect the passing game. Plus, Florida's offense caved under pressure. Not a good combination.

Nick (San Antonio)

Over/under on how many ankles Johhny breaks for the rest of the season: 40

Edward Aschoff
  (12:44 PM)

Over. That guy is amazing to watch live. He makes everything look so easy. He glides past defenders. He puts jukes on people like nobody's business. It's so much fun to watch. I feel for defenders.

Mike (Baton Rouge)

So much for Bob Stoops' argument that the Big12 has all the depth, huh? This is the SEC we've been used to seeing. No teams look safe. Mizzou looks dangerous but probably won't be able to finish with less than one (and possibly two) losses. The depth in the conference this year might finally end its historic title run.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:44 PM)

I agree. With the defenses giving up so much, no team is safe. This has been a very weird/exciting start to the season.

Marilyn (San Antonio, TX)

I'm seeing a lot of targetting calls get overturned that are very similar to ones that resulted in ejections earlier in the season. While I know no two fouls are alike, is this the refs getting a better understanding of the rule, or possibly them hesitating to eject players after some early mistakes?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:46 PM)

The ones I saw in the Ole Miss game were awkward. The Elston one looked like targeting, but it was overturned. The second one was a terrible call. The flags still stood and the Aggies scored on the very next play both times. I get the rule. I get the safety, but the ejection/flag is really flawed.

Jon (Atlanta / GA)

Is Bama the only team in the SEC this still plays defense? A lot of high scoring games lately.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:46 PM)

Florida ranks third nationally and hasn't allowed an SEC team to score 20 or more teams in 13 straight games.

Jackson (Tx)

With franklin out do you see mizzou winning 10 games? With a&m a loss and South Carolina to play..if Missouri beats flordia are they for real and east favorites?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:48 PM)

If Mizzou wins this weekend without Franklin, the Tigers have to be the favorite in the East. South Carolina has to play at Mizzou. If Franklin is out for an extended period of time, that could be bad news for the Tigers. Also, the Aggies end the season with the Tigers so keep an eye on that.

Sherman (Missouri)

I've been surprised at the tepid reaction to Maty Mauk, given his red-shirt status, his spring performance and H.S. stats? Is he being unfairly dismissed as a replacement for James Franklin? Everybody's gotta start somewhere, right?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:49 PM)

True, but his first real test is against the SEC's best defense. The good news is that it's a home game for Mauk. Against any other defense I'd say don't worry, but Florida's has played very well this season.

lilygrace (Athens)

South Carolina played so well last weekend. How do you see them doing the rest of the season. Take a look into your crystal ball please.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:51 PM)

That defense has to come to play from here on out. Mizzou will be a tough out and Clemson is still there. I don't see this team winning out, but I do think the SEC is still very much in sight.

csc (ala)

If you had to take one team to the NCG from the SEC, who would match up with Oregon best?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:51 PM)

Alabama. I want to see that defense play someone like Oregon. I think the offense could hold its own, but I want to see the Tide defense play a team as explosive as Oregon. It held up against the Aggies, but could it against Oregon?

Gigged Gator (South Florida)

Muschamp deserve some blame? No he deserves all the blame. He's the coach. As for the Gators being banged-up - at that level of competition - all teams are banged-up. As for not having a top-flight wide receiver - that's the players fault? I don't think so. The Gators missed-out on a top-notch coach. Charlie Strong - who had two national championships under his belt - was never considered for the head-coaching job - and he's a GATOR GRAD. Muschamp was a coach-in-waiting at UT Austin and never accomplished anything. I'm a Gator grad and Muschamp is Ron Zook revisited.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:54 PM)

Charlie Strong played safety at Central Arkansas ... sooooo ... yeah

Doug (GA)

Call me crazy, but I still like Georgia's chance to represent the East for the 3rd time running. Mizzou breaks in a new QB against UF, A&M and SC (whose defense apparently woke up). UF loses at LSU and loses their best RB. We're getting Gurley back this week. UGA wins out and we're back in Atlanta...

Edward Aschoff
  (12:55 PM)

Very true. Listen, the East race hasn't been decided. If Mizzou and Florida win out, they are in. South Carolina needs UGA to lose one and UGA needs Mizzou to lose two. It's not close to being over.

Mike (Baton Rouge)

The conference loses Murray, Mettenberger, McCarron, Shaw, Franklin, and likely Manziel at the end of the year. Will you be sad to see the return of the low scoring slug-fests? Also, what does this mean for teams like A&M and Mizzou that traditionally don't field elite defenses each year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:56 PM)

It means that they better invest in some guys in the front seven! I think you'll see those defenses playing at their usual high level next year because of all the drop off at quarterback. But even if they stayed I think you'd see defensive improvement. Most of these defenses are pretty young right now.

Jon (Atlanta / GA)

If you had to name one QB as the best in the SEC, who would it be?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:56 PM)

Johnny Manziel ... not even close

Tim (AZ)

Why talk about anything else but Clemson/FSU this week? That is the only football that matters until next Sunday. Who wins?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:57 PM)

Who and who? Just kidding. Should be fun. Which one will Clemson?

Nelson (DE)

Why do you think A&M has gone 6-0 in conference games on the road, but only 2-3 at home since joining the SEC?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:59 PM)

I have no clue. It's so weird, right? Manziel just loves the pressure, I think. He had to play two really good defenses in Florida and LSU last year and just got out-paced by Alabama this year. I don't think the Aggies will lose any more home games this year though.

Josh (IL)

Ed, If Alabama wins out and makes it to another National Championship game, and they had a choice to either play Oregon or Ohio State, which one of these teams do you think would give Alabama the most difficult challenge and why?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:00 PM)

Oregon. That type of offense could really trip the Tide up. Look at what the Aggies did with a similar offense.

Roger (Midwest)

Ed, What's for lunch today??

Edward Aschoff
  (1:01 PM)

Best question to end each chat with: grilled chicken/andouille sausage with rice and salsa. Fresh fruit and water. Talk to you guys next week!