3-point stance: Canes' win is telling

October, 18, 2013
10/18/13
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1. Keep an eye on No. 10 Miami. Any team that loses its top rusher (Duke Johnson) and top receiver (Phillip Dorsett) to injury, commits four turnovers, and comes back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit on the road to beat North Carolina, 27-23, has the makeup that every coach wants. And keep an eye on the Tar Heels, 1-5 with losses to three ranked teams (No. 11 South Carolina and No. 19 Virginia Tech are the others). If North Carolina stops making mental errors -- noticeably a turnover and consecutive penalties that killed fourth quarter drives -- the Tar Heels will bounce back.

2. Tennessee and Virginia Tech have played neutral-site games (Tennessee in 2012; Virginia Tech in 2009 and this year) and see the appeal in them. A team doesn't have to play a return game on the road, and as Tennessee senior associate athletic director Jon Gilbert explained, "Most neutral sites are in prime recruiting areas -- Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas." That doesn't cover the site of the 2016 Vols-Hokies game: the NASCAR track in Bristol, Tenn. But the appeal there is its proximity to both campuses, and the one-off chance to play before the biggest college football crowd ever.

3. There has been speculation about West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck replacing DeLoss Dodds in the same job in Austin. Here's what I like about Luck. When Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Statesman asked Luck about it on the CFP teleconference Wednesday, he politely declined to comment. And you know what we can draw from that? Nothing. That's the point. Why more people don't say, "No comment," I'll never know. It's better than dissembling, better than blathering, and certainly better than lying.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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