Wednesday, October 3, 2012
ACC hot seat update
By Heather Dinich
After a month of play, it’s time to re-evaluate who’s seats are sizzlin’ in the ACC. Georgia Tech fans are not happy. Virginia Tech fans aren’t happy. And Boston College fans gave up on coach Frank Spaziani at least a year ago. Here’s a look at which coaches and/or coordinators throughout the league need to impress in October:
1. Boston College coach Frank Spaziani. His seat got hotter the minute athletic director Gene DeFilippo announced he would retire on Sept. 30, but BC’s 0-2 start and 1-3 overall record is much more of an immediate concern than the search for a new athletic director. One thing BC fans could typically count on was a stingy defense, and even that’s not a given anymore. BC is No. 74 in the country in scoring defense, allowing almost 30 points per game, and the rushing defense is allowing almost 200 yards per game.
2. Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring. If the Hokies’ offense doesn’t show some signs of life soon, Virginia Tech could be in trouble this season and a staff change wouldn’t be shocking. Frank Beamer has been loyal to a fault, but Stinespring isn’t the only one on staff who needs to do a better job. Receivers coach Kevin Sherman and offensive line coach Curt Newsome should shoulder some of the blame for this year’s struggles. Virginia Tech had to replace eight starters on offense, including four on the offensive line, and the Hokies are No. 61 in the country in scoring offense and No. 10 in the ACC in total offense.
3. Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh. The chants of “Groh must go” have followed him from Charlottesville to Atlanta. The Jackets lost two straight home games for the first time since 1998, and Groh is an easy scapegoat for the struggles. It’s not going to get any easier this weekend in Death Valley against a Clemson offense averaging 510 yards per game. One week after allowing Miami 609 yards of total offense, the Jackets allowed Middle Tennessee 510 total yards.
4. NC State coach Tom O’Brien. Heading into this season, O’Brien said this would be one of the deepest and most experienced teams he has ever had in Raleigh. With four starters returning on the offensive line, a veteran secondary and a talented quarterback, more was expected from NC State than it has showed so far. Athletic director Debbie Yow isn’t one to hesitate if she thinks a change needs to be made. O’Brien needs to find some answers quickly, but the No. 3 team in the country is coming to town this weekend in Florida State.