3-point stance: Dooley no lock to be fired

1. Almost six years ago, North Carolina State hired Tom O’Brien from Boston College. Two years ago, NC State hired athletic director Debbie Yow from Maryland. And on Tuesday, Clemson hired athletic director Dan Radakovich from Georgia Tech. That’s an unusual amount of in-league changes. But it may be the price that the ACC pays for collegiality that is unmatched by any other conference.

2. The ACC Coastal has four teams with two losses. Who has the easiest path to the championship game? Toss out North Carolina, which is ineligible. Duke loses a tiebreaker with Virginia Tech. The Hokies and Miami, who play Thursday night, can win out and win the division. Virginia Tech still has No. 9 Florida State ahead, but would win a tiebreaker with Miami and Duke by beating the ‘Canes Thursday night.

3. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is 0-5 in the SEC for the third time in three seasons, and speculation is rampant that Dooley will be fired. But I’m not so sure. The Tennessee athletic department has thin reserves. The cost of paying Dooley and his staff and hiring a new head coach and staff would be exorbitant. Also, athletic director Dave Hart may give Dooley another chance to win, if only for Hart to give himself more time to fix a myriad of administrative issues that he inherited. That would attract better coaching candidates.