Mailblog: The Tobacco Road edition

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- I'm still here. Waiting for Al Groh's 11 a.m. teleconference before scooting out to Wake Forest. While I'm waiting, I'm reading ...

Mike, from Raleigh, writes: You can't get the ACC motivated by saying the Big Ten is doing better than they are, you've got to say that Duke is raising more money than UNC, or State is Raising more than Duke. They'll get upset with that, and do anything to beat each other.

Heather Dinich: Ha ha, OK, then, fight among yourselves.

Kendall, from Murrells Inlet, S.C., writes: Does Tom O'Brien have enough weapons for NC State to contend for the ACC title?

Heather Dinich: First, please go to Drunken Jack's for me. I missed it this year. Second, O'Brien is getting there. With five starters back on offense and four on defense, plus shuffling of the offensive line and no clear-cut starter at quarterback yet, I'd say there are too many questions for the Pack to be a legit contender for the title this year.

Steve, from Kileeen, Texas, writes: My question is why is everyone sleeping on the canes who are probably the most talented team in the acc next to noles? And what is this talk about the tar heels winning the acc?

Heather Dinich: Steve, the baby Canes will get more respect once we see their quarterback -- whomever that might be -- throw the football in a college game. I haven't heard anyone say Miami isn't talented, just too young to make its comeback this season. As for the Tar Heels winning the ACC? I'd say they're headed in the right direction, but to win the whole thing is a little premature.

Somebody named Braska writes: Hi, Heather I'm a die hard NC State alum and fan. Why don't you give us any love? Did we break your heart? Did a NC State guy break your heart or something? Come to our practice and say something nice for a change.

Heather Dinich: I'll be in Raleigh on Saturday for media day. Meanwhile, trying to get Ted Larsen or John Bedics on the phone to check in on their new roles with the O-line.

Jeff from Charlotte writes: When are you heading to Raleigh to check out the pack? I like your blog and will keep an eye out for updates

Heather Dinich: Saturday! I promise.

Chris, in Myrtle Beach, writes: After your visit to Clemson, How confident do you think the coaches are in the offensive line? I figure they are not going to give them much praise as a way to motivate them and incourage competition. But did you get a since that it wont be as big of a deal as the media is making it?

Heather Dinich: As Tommy Bowden said this past spring, they're "not recruiting zeros." I actually asked Tommy Bowden if the media was making too big of a deal out of it -- simply because they had to replace four starters there last season and turned out OK -- and he was quick to remind me that the guys coming in last year as replacements were fifth-year seniors. I still say James Davis and C.J. Spiller are good enough to compensate for early mistakes there.

Mark, in Sydney, Australia, writes: Hi Heather, I read with interest your articles and the sometimes negative feedback you get from doing a tough job like yours. To be impartial as a journalist you are going to tread on toes . I'm an almost 40 year old Miami Hurricane fanatic and unfortunately we don't get to see the best game on ther planet - college football down here too often - maybe half a dozen times a year. Can Miami get back to their stellar days of the 80's in your opinion and hopefully challenge for a championship (National or ACC) in 2009 and beyond. As spring approaches for us Aussies - I'm sweating on it. P.S. Robert Marve will deliver - Kirby and Kyle are gone and the future looks much brighter. Sorry for the long email but I need to know.

Heather Dinich: Sigh. I wish I thought the turnaround was right around the corner for you, but I just think this team is too young and this summer has been filled with nagging injuries for these guys. (Eric Moncur is still out). I don't doubt that Miami will again be a national contender -- Randy Shannon is bringing in an abundance of talent for that to happen. But now he needs to develop it and those guys need experience.