Friday mailblog

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Chris in Ocala, Fla., writes: How is it that your rank UNC above FSU? UNC has a good defense but at this moment, there are questions about who will play and who wont. They have no offense and Yates is not exactly a wonderful qb. FSU has a standout offense with no questions (which overcame that same tarheels defense I might add) and a defense that should definitely be improved. I just do not see how the Heels could possibly be higher in the power rankings.

HD: Fair points, Chris; all of them. But UNC is not in the midst of a coaching change and transitioning into a new defense. I think FSU will be the best team in the Atlantic Division and possibly have the best offense in the ACC, but until the defense goes out on the field and shows it's better, the Noles still have something to prove.

Sam in Springfield, Va., writes: Hi Heather! Which new starter in the Hokies defense do you think is going to shine or have the best season? Thanks

HD: Defensive end Steven Friday. He made plays in every scrimmage this past spring, and is one player defensive coordinator Bud Foster is expecting to be a leader. He was named the most improved defensive player this spring.

Jeremy Lambert in Winston-Salem, N.C., writes: Is it insane to think that a 6-6 or even a 7-5 record is possible for Virginia? Part of the reason Al Groh was under scrutiny for so long was that he was expected to win more games with the talent he had, and he was at least perceived to underperform. So, is it possible that the team isn't the problem, just the coach? I think Mike London could have won more games last year as coach of UVA than Al Groh did. Of course, that could be totally wrong.

HD: Nothing is insane in college football (See: App State vs. Michigan), but I do think six or seven wins is pushing it this year. And it's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes. They were trying to fit a scheme that didn't suit the personnel last year. I think London will put the players in position to succeed this year.

Bill in Boston writes: You are absurd. You really just refuse to give the hokies any kind of credit. They have their highest preseason ranking ever, and still Miami, who they embarrassed last year, is ahead of them in your rankings?

HD: Absurd. I can handle that one, Bill. Those preseason rankings have very little to do with who did what to whom on the field last year and much more to do with the issues these teams are facing now heading into the fall. Miami has fewer questions, especially on defense.

Zack in Fort Meade, Md., writes: Heather,As a Virginia Tech fan, I won't freak out that you ranked Tyrod Taylor as the fifth-best QB in the conference. Instead, I will admire how blessed and deep the ACC is this year behind center.

HD: Right you are, Zack.

Scott in Durham, N.C., writes: Will Monday commited to Duke early this year. Just recently he was rated as a four star and the number 3 kicker of the 2011 class. Do you think he might be Duke's starting punter or do you think he might have a chance to replace Will Synderwine for field goals? I think Synderwine is too good to be put on the bench.

HD: Duke will lose Kevin Jones at punter (he will be a four-year starter), so the job will be WIDE open. Snyderwine has entrenched himself as the Blue Devils' kicker, and will be tough to dethrone.