Pitt fans found their way into the mailbag this week. So did some Louisville fans. I need a bigger mailbag ...
Tony in Pittsburgh writes: Hello Heather,I was wondering if you knew when Pitt & Syracuse will be officially counted as part of the ACC blog? I have enjoyed your writing the lat couple months and look forward to reading it all the time. Thanks! Tony
HD: Thanks, Tony. Yep, we will have "Moving Days" next week in the ACC blog. I just spoke with Steve Pederson today for it, so stay tuned and keep checking back.
David Ashton in Pensacol, Fl writes: Do you think Pitt moving to the ACC will help them in recruiting for football?
HD: Well, let's see ... if you're a recruit, would you rather travel to inner-city Philly to play Temple, or to sunny South Florida, to face the Canes? There is plenty for Paul Chryst to sell, including a guaranteed spot in the Discover Orange Bowl as ACC champs.
Brian Meister in Louisville, KY, writes: Hey Heather, I'm a Louisville fan and I'm happy to be a part of the ACC in 2014. I think the ACC is the perfect for Louisville and our future was in limbo for a while until the ACC called and gave us the invite. Anyway, I'm a little nervous because the ACC winter meetings were last week and John Swofford has not come out and said anything regarding what they discussed, the ACC's goals, and how to keep the conference together. I hope Swofford agrees to the Big 12 scheduling allinance as that would give the ACC a boost. When can we expect to hear from Swofford?
HD: I gotchya covered. Scheduled to talk to him early next week.
Ryan in Pensacola writes: Heather, are you ready to jump back on the Nole train yet? FSU lost two huge recruiters and still landed the #9 class. This team is young, but as talented as anyone. With what you've seen on signing day is Clemson still your '13 fave in the ACC?
HD: Yep. Sorry, Noles. It's not a question of talent -- FSU reloaded with this class and Jimbo The Recruiter struck again. It was a remarkable effort, really, considering they lost six assistants. BUT ... again, I repeat, the two main reasons I'm going with Clemson instead of FSU in '13 is: 1. Tajh Boyd, and 2. Staff overhaul at FSU. Florida State's quarterback competition puts the Noles behind the Tigers right off the bat, and whereas FSU has to replace Mark Stoops, Clemson should be better in the second season under Brent Venables.
Ryan in Princeton, NJ, writes: It seems like every week in your chat you have a hand wringing FSU fan worrying about the state of the program after this years staff turnover. If you look, though, you realize that what happened this year was inevitable. FSU has won 31 games over the past 3 years. Only a few teams have done better. Every coach who left, save one, made an upward move. Either from a coordinator to head coach, or a position coach to coordinator. Coley heading to Miami is good for Miami recruiting, but it remains to be seen how well he can actually coordinate an offense and call plays (his one year at FIU did not go well). Plus Fisher loaded his staff up with a mixture of experience and recruiting skill. Add another top 10 recruiting class and Im confident that FSU is still on an upward trajectory. They might slip back a step in 2013, but only because of talent lost. This is still a top tier program and, along with Clemson, the class of the ACC.
HD: Well said. Couldn't agree more.
Jason M in Hagerstown, MD writes: Hey Heather, how is it that the NCAA can wrap up an investigation of its own illegal practices in less than 2 weeks but takes over 2 1/2 years to investigate Miami? I am sure Miami can appreciate the NCAA's desire to be done with an investigation of their own practices so they can move forward with their general business.
kylegtfan in Atlanta writes: Ok HD as a Ga Tech fan who still laughs at a "vacated" ACC championship I find it almost laughable how the NCAA seems to be on the path of completely letting Miami off the hook. Miami went from the talk of Death penalty for actions including accepting favors of prostitution to off the hook because of a technicality. Ga Tech lost it's championship for "covering up" a player receive $300 dollars in clothing. HD this smells like massive cover up and the way Miami has been strolling along the past few years improving its program under controversy it almost seems like they knew the NCAA was never going to issue a serious sanction. Question: Do you think the NCAA will allow Miami to play with no further sanction (other than the self imposed bans), and do you think Miami and the NCAA made a deal before the NCAA announced it's "mistake" in handling the investigation? How could the NCAA just let miami off the hook after how they have treated other teams so harshly?
HD: I would hardly call missing two bowls and an ACC championship game "off the hook." At least the Jackets got to play theirs and anyone who actually watched it saw Georgia Tech win, regardless of what the books now say. When the NCAA initially announced that it screwed up its investigation, I cautioned everyone not to get too carried away, thinking this was a hall pass for the Canes. I still don't think it is. Mark Emmert said there was plenty of other, untainted evidence. Hopefully we will find out sooner than later what the sanctions are. I'm tired of it.