Dear Tom O'Brien,
Run. Duck. Hide. Do whatever you have to do, but don't -- I repeat don't -- go to Chapel Hill alone.
You, TOB, have earned the crown of most hated coach in the ACC.
Earlier this week, in keeping with ESPN.com's theme of "coaches we love to hate," I sought your opinion on who the most hated coach is in the ACC. North Carolina fans did not disappoint. O'Brien wasn't the only coach ACC fans are hatin' on these days, though. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson got a lot of votes, along with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, Maryland coach Randy Edsall and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer.
Based on the mailbag responses, O'Brien wins, but let's put it to a vote for an official tally:
Here's a sampling of your hate mail. Thanks for playin':
John Witt in Richmond, VA writes: Most Hated Coach Butch Davis (even though he is gone). He was a lying, cheating, scumbag, snakeoil salesman. He recruited well because some could not see through the facade. They know now and some are stuck at UNC playing for nothing because of it.
stephanie in NC writes: Butch Davis - I'm a Tarheel grad and actually have pride in my university. That should say it all.
Russell in Asheville, NC writes: UNC fans hate Tom O'brien for owning them 5 years in a row.UNC fans hate Everette Withers for forever renaming their University "THE flagship".
Trenton Tovar in Nashville, TN writes: You'll probably get this one a lot. UNC fans hate Tom O'Brien. Pretty obvious why.
Matt Ethridge in Florence, SC writes: My most hated coach has to be Tom O'Brian at NC State. He continually recruits sub par athletes and has beaten my Tar Heels 5 times in a row. Hopefully Fedora will change this in a BIG way this year!
Zach in Arlington, VA writes: Poor old Tom O'Brien has to be one of the most hated on coaches in the ACC. He was key in BC's run towards excellence earlier in the decade and he's always making noise in November at NCSU, but year in year out everyone seems to question whether he's any good or not, or if he's on the hot seat. He's maybe a bit boring, but why does everyone keep talking smack about him, he's one of the better coaches in the ACC!
James in NY, NY writes: I hate Paul Johnson for bringing the triple option to GT and confounding Clemson's defense ever since...
Lamar G. in Athens, GA writes: Virginia Tech fans (and, for the record, Georgia fans) hate Paul Johnson. Why? We hate watching an offense that lends itself better to the black-and-white-TV era.
Jeff in California writes: Heather, Welcome Back! with regard to the most hated ACC Coach.This one is simple, Paul Johnson.Watching his offense slowly and methodically march up and down on your defense, especially late in a close game, is a nightmare and an anxiety ridden experience most fans in the ACC have experienced more than once.The guy is one of the best minds and the game, and is successful with an offense nobody thought, nor wanted to work at this level.During his short stint in the ACC, he has played spoiler enough times, to enough teams, to draw the sort of hatred that any successful coach will have to endure. Losing to Johnson is like watching a troupe of army ant march slowly march away with your picnic basket, and you are powerless to stop them.
Randy in State College, PA writes: All of them. The rationale being that none of them can consistently win out-of-conference, and thus they have all damaged the ACC brand. More specifically, I'll levy blame towards Frank Beamer for winning so many games in the ACC and losing so many big games OOC... -- A Tech Fan.
Walt in Columbia, MD writes: Edsal at Maryland should get some "thoughtful consideration" as the most hated coach in the ACC. How can you go 2-10 when Ralph Friedgen left a stable of studs who should have put in a 10-2 season? Instead, Edsal ran off some of the best players ever to play at Maryland, and then blamed the former coach, the current players, and the assistant coached (whom he selected) for all of his woes? He also blamed the fans for not showing up to watch his pathetic performance in coaching. He could easily go another 2-10 this year.
Mark in Gaithersburg, Maryland writes: As a Terp fan I used to hate Bobby Bowden and how FSU would always destroy us, but now as a Terp fan, I hate Randy Edsall, he's done more to hurt this team than any other coach in the ACC. We wouldn't have lost all 10 of those games last year if it wasn't for Edsall, he was our worst opponent.