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Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Tuesday Mailblog

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


Rankings? What rankings?

John T. in Atlanta writes: I don't follow your logic. "...it troubles me to keep [Boise State] ranked so high when Miami comes off a win over No. 8 Oklahoma and the Broncos beat ... UC Davis? ... I'm a strong believer in strength of schedule..." You must be expecting Miami and Cincinnati to lose while BSU wins out to have kept BSU ranked higher. Or something else? Just curious about your rankings that you admit give you trouble.

Heather Dinich: Following a woman's logic is impossible, John, so don't try. But I can't just drop Boise State entirely from the top 10 when I've had them ranked there since their win over Oregon. Odds are the more Miami, Virginia Tech and Cincinnati win, the more justifiable it will be to move those guys up while Boise keeps beating the UC Davis's of the world.


John in Raleigh, N.C. writes: Dear Heather,I live in the heart of ACC land. I feel that no ACC team should be ranked in the top 10. Of the big conferences they are in the cellar with the Big East. None of these teams can compete in the top 3 conferences: SEC, Big 12 and if you thing the Big 10 is a good conference that would be the 3rd ( i think that conference is way overrated). FSU should never have been ranked. GaTech is not that good and UNC just showed us how they should not have been ranked. That being said, Miami is a top 15 team that can beat the winner of the Big East conference. They are not BCS worthy even if they run the table in this conference. I do enjoy your coverage of the ACC.

HD: Thanks for the note, John, but do me a favor ... compile your own top 25 list. Go to the standings page and check out each of the top teams in each conference. It's not easy finding the best 25 teams. Should Stanford or South Carolina be in there ahead of somebody else? Maybe. But it's tough to find teams that have played as well as the three ACC teams that are currently ranked.


Chris in Atlanta writes: If you think Miami is a top ten team, do you think that Georgia Tech should maybe be ranked a bit higher than 22nd right now? I think everyone was surprised at the jump in rankings for both Miami and GT after their match up, but now that Miami has proven to be legit it seems like it would restore some credit to GT.

HD: Yeah, that's a fair point. The Jackets' only loss was to a ranked Miami team, not bad. And they've got an SEC win. Plus, like I said this summer, I really don't think there's that much separation in the ACC. They shouldn't be ahead of undefeated teams like Auburn, Kansas and Iowa though. For what it's worth, I've got Oklahoma at No. 25 this week.


Sam in Melbourne Beach, Fla. writes: So with everyone calling for Bobby Bowden's retirement, the real question is "would that solve FSU's issues on the field?" Giving up big plays on defense seems to be the real problem. The Nole's gave up two big plays to USF that put them in the hole against a very good defense, and then gave up some very big plays to a Boston College offense that had not yet committed to one starting quarterback. I love Bobby. He made Florida State football. He may be old, but does that mean he should be the scapegoat?

HD: Sigh. The short answer to a complicated question is this: No, not if it happened right this second. Look at how much of a difference it made at Clemson with the other Bowden. They're a young, mistake-prone team no matter who is coaching them right now.


Marshall in Burlington, N.C. writes: HD, please tell me why coach Cutt continues to play Boyette. He is a terrible runner, and think that has been made more obvious every year that he has been at Duke. Forget senior leadership, dont you think that Coach Cutt should play the players that are going to win him the game? Scott is a better runner by far, from the film and by the numbers. Coach recruited him, PLAY HIM. Don't you think that the team would be better without, he only hurts the Duke, he's isn't making anything better with his 1.7 YPC average, he gets to the LOS and starts falling down. Scott is a break out back, and could win ACC freshman of the year if coach gives him the chance to play.

HD: In my experience talking with coaches, one of the most difficult things for true freshmen to learn is the art of pass protection. It's a tough thing for a rookie to do, and obviously Duke likes to throw the ball a lot. Thaddeus Lewis has taken his fair share of hits so they want to protect him the best he can. Scott has shown improvement, no doubt. There's no substitute for experience, and with Boyette they know what they're getting.


Nate in Atlanta writes: Hey Heather,Can you post the tiebreaker thing you promised in the chat yesterday? No? pleeeeasssseeeeeeeee? Ok, cool. Thanks. Love,Nate

HD: You quit on me too early yesterday, Nate. I posted it in the afternoon. I'm warning you, though, it will make your head hurt.


Neal in NYC writes: Thanks for casting a Heisman vote for Ryan Williams! I'm assuming it was you ...

HD: Indeed it was ... And I apologize in advance to Hokies' fans for the "Dinich curse" about to take effect this Saturday. So far it's happened to FSU's o-line, Jacory Harris and Russell Wilson. My bad ...