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ACC Mailblog -- Part II

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Lotta questions, keep 'em coming, but feel free to ask them live on Monday at noon if you don't see your answers here. I'm scheduled for a chat. Until then ....

Jon G. from Hope Mills, N.C., writes: Heather, how is it that no one seems to be giving Virginia Tech much love lately? It seems like everyone is only saying they're going to win the Coastal because of the lack of competition. Last time I checked, VT had become the class of the ACC, either winning the championship or being in the championship 3 of the last 4 years. Not to mention how everyone seems to think Clemson will run over VT in Tampa Bay. Am I the only person that remembers the hype behind "Thunder and Lightning" last year before their embarrassing 12 total yards? I know the defense lost some great talent, but can anyone honestly remember the last time Bud Foster didn't put one of the best defenses in college football out there? C'mon! Show us some love.

Heather Dinich: Jon, first of all, the media voted your Hokies No. 1 in the Coastal Division, so I'd say that's showing some love, regardless of the reason behind it. And yes, one of those reasons is the rest of the division, but another very important one is the coaching staff. Here's the thing, though: When you lose your top four receivers, your top running back -- the list goes on. You've got to earn some love, too.


Danet, from Reno, writes: Hi Heather. I know Duke gets really no love or attention in these blogs, and for good reason...But I have a Blue Devil football question. With Thaddeus Lewis coming back and looking like one of the better QB's in the ACC (pathetic isn't it?), I ask you if you'd take over or under 3 wins for the Blue Devils this year. Keep in mind they have James Madison & Northwestern on the schedule.

Heather Dinich: Dante, I've said this before and I'll say it again -- This is an equal opportunity blog. Your Blue Devils will get coverage here. And yes, Thad Lewis is one of the better returning quarterbacks in the ACC. As for your win total, I've said they have the talent to win those first three. I just don't know if they have the confidence.


Todd in Raleigh, writes: Heather: I've enjoyed reading your blog! It's good to let people know the ACC is still an actual football conference, contrary to popular belief. Speaking of the conference, all I have heard about is how down it is. Even though I don't totally agree with that, what is keeping a team like NC State (or maybe a Maryland) from creeping up on everyone this season? Seems like the favorites (esp. VT) are favorites based on history. Won't the ACC be WIDE open this year?

Heather Dinich: Todd, thanks for reading. If the ACC weren't an actual football conference, I'd be looking for a job. People will say the conference is "down" until its 1-9 record in BCS bowl games isn't so lopsided. There is absolutely a chance a team like Maryland will throw somebody off, but I'm telling you -- I've talked to other coaches and assistants throughout the league, and even they admit Clemson is loaded. No excuses this year for the Tigers.


SavannahHOO writes: Why are you laughing because one reporter voted the Wahoos #1 in the Coastal? Your slam against Al Groh and the Wahoo's just shows your lack of in depth team reporting. Weren't they suppose to finish last last year? Looked what happen. They may lose to USC (I don't think so) but they will do alright in the conference. Typical from the VT network.

Heather Dinich: Um, you don't have to be an investigative reporter to know that Virginia lost its quarterback. Lost Chris Long. Lost Jeffrey Fitzgerald. Lost Branden Albert. Not to mention both starting tight ends, three defensive linemen, the place kicker and punter -- from a team that barely won five of its games last year. If Virginia couldn't win the ACC title (let alone beat Virginia Tech) will all of those guys, why on earth would you vote for them to win it without them?


Don in Washington, D.C. writes: I was pretty confident that the Wolfpack are fielding a team this year, but from your articles I can't find anything. Is it really that bad in Raleigh this year?

Heather Dinich: Eh, it could be worse. But Anthony Hill is certainly confident. And Russell Wilson is ready to be quarterback. But Tom O'Brien likes Mike Glennon, too. Not that I've talked to anyone in Raleigh to find out or anything ...


Tom, in Ambridge, Pa., writes: Can Nigel Bradham become an immediate impact player in the Florida State linebacking corps?

Heather Dinich: Yes, especially considering their situation there.


Scott, in Sacramento writes: What should I really be expecting from the Miami Hurricanes this year? Is there a chance they surpise people and go 7-1 in conference and 10-2 overall or is that just a year or two away.

Heather Dinich: Scott, Randy Shannon said he doesn't think this team will be that much better than last year, but it will be more competitive. They're much deeper. My guess is a mediocre bowl game, and eight wins might be pushing it.


Mike writes: Every year BC gets no RESPECT, but since they have been in the Acc they have dominated!!!

Heather Dinich: Sorry, Mike, I must've missed that ACC title. You do have a point, though -- BC is 10-5 against its Atlantic Division opponents, 6-4 against the Coastal. That's a 16-9 record spanning 2005-2007. Not bad.


Patrick, at the Little Rock AFB writes: Heather I am a huge college football fan and I honeslty eat, sleep and breathe it. My question for you is, how do I get in the profession of covering a conference like yourself? I am going ot be honest, I do not want to go to school for journalism or anything like that, but I do know football.

Heather Dinich: No J-school? Try coaching ... I'm sure some jobs will open up after the season.


Somebody in Jacksonville writes: you do a great job..who is the best coach you have ever been around ?

Heather Dinich: That's tough. I've covered Bob Knight, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden.