Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ACC [Print without images]

Friday, August 1, 2014
ACC mailblog

By Andrea Adelson

Keep your notes coming. Mailbag is always open!

Jon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, writes:  I thought you were decent until I read the recent article about whether ND was good for the ACC. In particular, talking about FSU's SOS this year (2014) with the big bad Oklahoma State and "improved" UF team... my goodness, that's a load. Your "improved" UF team is still fielding an awful offensive line, an inept quarterback, no wide receivers, a serviceable running backand a decent defense. Have you looked at the FSU team? I'm pretty sure we're going to steamroll Oklahoma State in Dallas and ND & UF at home. And ND is an awesome addition to the ACC, even if they beat FSU. This is college football and sports in general. If you were scared to lose, don't come to play. I'm sure you were just playing devil's advocate, but I expected more of you, even if you are a UF grad.

Andrea Adelson: When in doubt, blame the Gator. I hope you guys have figured out by now that I call 'em like I see 'em. Regardless of where I attended college, my job is to present different points of view. Florida State has a more challenging schedule this year than last. That doesn't mean I'm against Florida State. It means I think they have much bigger tests this year, tests that will challenge this team in ways it was not challenged a year ago. Oklahoma State is not Nevada; Notre Dame is not Idaho; and Florida will win more than four games this year. Will Florida State be favored in those three big nonconference games? Yes. Does Florida State deserve to start the season ranked No. 1? Yes. But that is not a guarantee the Noles will win all their games again. Part of the fun in the offseason, and in college football in general, is to speculate and hypothesize, to debate topics of interest. I think Notre Dame is a fascinating one from a football perspective. The Irish are a great addition in all other sports. But this quasi-scheduling agreement in football is no sure thing. The Irish could wreak havoc this season. Or they could slump and hurt strength of schedule. Or they could very well be the perfect addition. Nobody knows how it will play out.


Trevor in Miami writes: Just curious as to you being "more confident" in the quarterbacks at Pitt and Georgia Tech than Miami. Care to elaborate?

Adelson: Jake Heaps' addition is big for Miami from a depth and experience standpoint, but will he win the starting job until Ryan Williams returns? Nobody has the answer there. At least Pitt and Georgia Tech go into the season with a solid idea of what they will be getting out of the position. Chad Voytik played a good bowl game and has been in the Pitt system for two years now. I think he is in line for a great season. Justin Thomas played extensively a year ago for the Jackets, and those close to the program believe he is better suited to run the offense than Vad Lee. Tim Byerly provides a nice 1-2 punch there as well. Miami simply has no answers at quarterback right now. Kevin Olsen still has to prove he is the right man for the job (forget the fact he has never taken a snap in a college game). If he's not, Miami turns to a fifth-year senior in his third different program learning a new scheme essentially on the fly. Easy to see why I have concerns about Miami's quarterback.


Wayne in Tallahassee, Florida, writes: Will you remind these "Cane fans" they lost to Duke last year! I'm getting tired of this fan base claiming "Da U Da best." For a school that prides itself on academics, it sure does have a lot of illiterate fans/alumni! I know it may seem like a shot at Duke, but it isn't. Just a friendly reminder you can't say a school is garbage and call your school " the best" when said school beat you!

Adelson: I think you just reminded them yourself!


Jerry Ballard in Richmond, Virginia, writes: I do realize that UVa has not had much to be positive about in recent years... But is it wrong to think they will be a lot more successful, now that we have a legit QB playing this season? Fewer interceptions means better ball control, better field positioning, better time possession for our offense. Do you feel that UVa can turn the tide on our losing ways, now that we have a smart QB?

Adelson: Of the ACC teams that finished with losing records last season, I think Virginia will have the best win total increase this season. There is no doubt this team has been hurt because of its recent quarterback struggles. If Greyson Lambert plays well, Virginia is capable of being a bowl team. Having said that, the schedule is absolutely brutal. With a nonconference schedule like NC State's, Virginia absolutely would make a bowl. Instead, I think the Hoos will have a tough time getting to six.


Jay in Pittsburgh writes: Andrea, isn't No. 93 low for Tyler Boyd in the top 100? Don't you think he's a potential Heisman candidate this year?

Adelson: Yes, it is low. We had Boyd ranked in the top 15 of our ACC player countdown. Part of the issue there is I don't think he has a national name just yet, so perhaps folks outside this region who contributed to the Top 100 rankings undervalued what type of impact he makes in a game. As for the Heisman, I'd call Boyd a big-time dark horse at the outset.


Juan in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, writes: With what looks like a mas exodus of scholly players from UNC, whom would you now have as the Coastal favorite?

Adelson: Still got Duke there.


Greg in Washington, D.C., writes: Andrea, that no Wake Forest players (rightfully) made it onto your preseason list of ACC Top 25 players is a testament to the barren cupboard of talent left for Dave Clawson. Are there any incoming (or young and unproven) players we should keep an eye on for a future top-25 list? Or maybe even your end-of-2014 list?

Adelson: He is not young, but cornerback Kevin Johnson is somebody to keep an eye on for the final Top 25. Not many people know who he is, but he is in the next tier of ACC cornerbacks behind the elite players at Florida State and Virginia Tech.