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

Friday, January 11, 2013
Friday mailblog

By Heather Dinich

Let's move on to 2013, shall we? Step into my office ...

Norris in Anniston, Ala., writes: Hey HD, I wanted to looking at how Miami finished the season what do you think are raelastic expection for next year. Also with all the problems stopping the run last year should the D-line have been a bigger priorty in recruiting. I see GA Tech and UNC batteling with Miami for the Coastal.

HD: No question Miami's defense needs to improve, and it starts up front. The Canes were one of the worst in the country (No. 112) last year. Al Golden knows that, obviously, and the Canes have an ESPN150 DE in their current class, Al-Quadin Muhammad. Miami has a lot of work to do, but considering all of the talent that returns on offense -- and knowing how close Miami was to actually playing for the ACC title THIS year -- there's no reason to think the Canes can't win the division next year (unless you count the NCAA as Reason No. 1).

Danny in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Do you think it's odd that Chad Morris hasn't landed a HC job somewhere? As an FSU fan I keep praying I wake up to him going somewhere else.

HD: Lol, no, I don't think it's odd. He's got a ridiculously good contract at Clemson, the highest-paid assistant in the country. Of course he wants to be a HC, and he had several interviews this offseason, but it's got to be just the right fit in order for him to leave what he's got at Clemson.

Ryan in Fort Mill, S.C., writes: Heather, gotta love how next season UNC opens on the road at South Carolina, Virginia Tech opens in the Georgia Dome against Bama, Clemson opens the season at home against Georgia, and FSU opens the season at home against big bad Wofford. Why do I see another embarrassing start to the 2013 season for the ACC? Think at whatever ACC coaches conference they have, GT could give Clemson some notes on UGA, Clemson could give UNC some notes on USC, and they can all help Frank "I lay an egg in every big game I play in" Beamer so help for the betterment of the conference? Thanks, Ryan

HD: Ha, yeah, Ryan, you are right, there are some pretty big games lined up top start 2013, but to me those are great opportunities for the ACC. There's no way the ACC can improve its image and become stronger as a conference unless it continues to line up the big boys. That being said, the official schedule doesn't usually come out until February. We'll get into the nonconference schedule much more once everything is official.

Jay Saffell in Monterey Calif., writes: Hello Heather, in your "expert" opinion, what must the ACC as a whole do to earn the respect of the nation this coming season?

HD: Continue to build upon this year's bowl success. Clemson beating LSU, Georgia Tech beating USC and FSU winning a BCS bowl was a great start to turning things around. It will also help that UNC will be eligible to play in the postseason. We'll see what happens with Miami. Overall, the league should be stronger, but again, it comes back to winning the big nonconference games and producing a national title contender. It's possible the ACC can have that in 2013.

O Nation in SYR writes: Can you see any reason why the SU/PITT news isn't posting here as of now? None of the post/pre season news on the BE blog is relevant anymore. Help. Help. Help. Eyes tired from looking two places.

HD: Well, because those schools don't technically join the ACC until July 1. Once it is official, you can move, too. We'll likely make the official move in the blogosphere sometime around Signing Day or in the spring, but trust me, you'll know.

Jeff in Greenville NC writes: NCSU 13th ? You have totally lost your mind, there is no way state ends up 13th.

HD: I lost my mind a long time ago, Jeff, but AA I felt the Pack need to play their way up the rankings. They're in the midst of a huge transition with a new coaching staff, new quarterback, and have lots of questions to answer. With 14 teams in the league in 2013, it's going to be hard getting used to see teams at the bottom of that list, no matter who they are.