Chat with Heather Dinich
Dinich covered ACC and Big Ten football for five seasons before joining ESPN.com in November 2007. She's an Indiana grad but somehow her favorite day of the week is Saturday.
Send your questions now and join Dinich in The Show at 4 p.m. ET on Monday!
Buzzmaster (1:34 PM)
Hey folks, lots going on in college football today, but Heather will still be here at 4 p.m. ET to take all your questions, including the one ones regarding the firing of Tommy Bowden at Clemson.
Heather Dinich (4:00 PM)
Hey everyone, here to answer your questions. Busy day at the office so far ...
Tim (Pittsburgh, PA)
Hey Heather, talking with some people on campus at Clemson, the spirits of the school sure have seemed to be uplifted after the firing of Bowden and Spence today. I know the fans will bring this enthusiasm to the game Saturday, but is less than a week with a new head coach enough to turn the spirits and morale of the team around?
Heather Dinich (4:01 PM)
This all depends on how the players respond. And from what they were saying, they were ready for a change. Spiller's comments were very revealing, and Bowden had obviously lost anyone who supported Harper.
Josh (Phenix City,AL)
After what appears to be a horrible season at Auburn, what are the odds Tuberville is considered as a canidate for the Clemson HC job?
Heather Dinich (4:02 PM)
Good question because yes, his job is on the line, too. There is a lot of speculation floating around at a time like this, and if y'all don't mind, I'd rather stick to the facts.
Alex, Columbia SC
With Devonte Hollman and Craig Loston already decommitting, where does that leave the rest of Clemson's commitments?
Heather Dinich (4:03 PM)
The good news for Clemson is that Dabo Swinney has earned a reputation as a heck of a recruiter. You never know, some of these kids could very well jump back on board, depending on how it all shakes out.
Satellite Jack (Ponca City)
Did Tommy Bowden force Cullen Harper to throw 4tds and 6ints so far this season? Dont you think him and his dad should be a little more worried about how pathetic he has played this season rather than talking about how glad they are that Bowden is gone? Thanks.
Heather Dinich (4:05 PM)
Look, Cullen was playing behind a patchwork offensive line. He is a proven quarterback and still one of the best in the ACC. I promise you Cullen thought twice about what he said after Bowden was fired.
Steve, Statesville, NC
Does UNC have your respect yet?
Heather Dinich (4:05 PM)
Yes, they're in my top 25 this week.
Have you been impressed with Riley Skinner thus far in the season?
Heather Dinich (4:06 PM)
For the most part, yes, but he has also made some uncharactaristic mistakes. He was able to bounce back from them, though, against Clemson, and like Jim Grobe says, you can count the number of bad games Riley has had on one hand.
Lukas, (Myrtle Beach, SC)
How do you think clemson will do the rest of the season now that Bowden is gone and who are the leading candidates for the head coaching job?
Heather Dinich (4:08 PM)
I think it's going to be a very long season for the Tigers, starting this weekend. I don't care who is coaching that game, Georgia Tech has the advantage up front. As for leading candidates, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Will Muschamp's name in the mix, but haven't gotten that far yet in the reporting.
Jason (Clemson, SC)
With the shake up in Clemson this week (Bowden and Spence out, Korn starting, etc.) how are you expecting the Clemson- Georgia Tech game to play out?
Heather Dinich (4:09 PM)
Yellow Jackets should win with their defense, but you never know how kids respond to a situation like this. You either get their best or their worst. I talked to GT's d-coord today and he's preparing for their best.
Brian, Indianapolis, IN
What's Cullen Harper's father's role in this, that you alluded to in your article?
Heather Dinich (4:10 PM)
Sorry, it was in the news story I linked to. Cullen's dad called it karma, basically saying Tommy got what he deserved for using Cullen as the scapegoat for the offensive problems.
Did Clemson act quickly in order to get a head start on coaches like Grobe, Bobby Johnson or Will Muschamp
Heather Dinich (4:11 PM)
No, from what I understand Bowden was told he needs to win the ACC title this year, and that was when he and the AD decided to part ways.
So has Cullen actually said anything about Bowden's firing?
Heather Dinich (4:13 PM)
Yes, I believe he is quoted in our news story on the front of the college football section. He said Bowden "deserved it."
Bobby (Charleston, SC)
With the new coaching change in Clemson, do you think Cullen Harper may again be the starter afterall?
Heather Dinich (4:14 PM)
If it were me, Harper would start. Why put a rookie out there against one of the best defensive lines in the country?
Stephen, goldsboro, NC
Any possibility clemson can lurer Bill Cower on Campus?
Heather Dinich (4:15 PM)
Ha ... and the wish list begins ...
Evan (Clemson, SC)
There's a rumor around campus that Bill Cowher has been down here today. Is there any truth in that? Is there a chance that Cowher will consider Clemson? I know he lives in Raleigh to be with his family, but his daughter is graduating from high school this year so wouldn't it make sense that this is the year that he might start coaching agagin?
Heather Dinich (4:16 PM)
Good lord. I'd be surprised. We went through this talk with NC State. If the Pack couldn't get him (and Herb Sendek wore a Steelers jersey to his press conference), I'd be surprised if Clemson got him.
Ryan (Baltimore MD)
Boston College or VT and why(dont need a prediction so much as your thoughts)?
Heather Dinich (4:17 PM)
This is going to be a great game, mainly because of the matchup between the Hokies' running game and BC's front seven. The Eagles will need the Chris Crane that showed up at NC State if they're going to have a chance, though.
Is there a chance FSU could lay an egg at NC State this week?
Heather Dinich (4:19 PM)
Absolutely, just about everyone has done it once this season. The 'Noles look like a very good football team, though, and as I've said before, they're going to be their own biggest obstacle with the penalties and turnovers and whatnot.
do you see michigan getting any better within the next 2 years with thier class that they have so far and do you see thier class getting any better for this year
Heather Dinich (4:21 PM)
Absolutely ... they have no choice. Once Rich Rod gets the right personnell in there, he'll be fine. I'm sure even he didn't realize it would be this difficult, though. Which is why I don't understand why he wouldn't adapt his offense to the players he DOES have.
Wade (Kernersville, NC)
There's been a persistent rumor, likely started by Wake fans, that the conference has a rule preventing coaches who haven't been fired to move directly from one ACC team to another. Obviously, Tom O'Brian got around this... something to do with expansion. Are you aware of such a rule, and if not could you ask league officials about it?
Heather Dinich (4:22 PM)
There is some sort of a rule, but because I'm on the chat I can't check it quickly enough for you. I can tell you that both of those schools AGREED to O'Brien's switch, though, which is the key.
How about Michigan State? Can they win against OSU this upcoming weekend and vie for the big ten with Penn State? They have looked very impressive, disciplined, and confident since the opening game loss at Cal.
Heather Dinich (4:24 PM)
I really like that Michigan State team, and thought they even looked good in the loss to Cal. I like their chances, because now that teams are keying in on Ringer, other players - namely their quarterback - are realizing they're free to make plays.
Steven (Columbia, SC)
Do you think it hurts your program more to fire the coach in the middle of the season rather than wait until the entire season plays out?
Heather Dinich (4:25 PM)
Oh absolutely it hurts mid-season. Look at what happened with Tony Franklin at Auburn and he wasn't even HC. John Bunting is another example. It's just chaos and players and coaches split into different camps. Ugh.
do you think vt oc brian stinespring sould be fired? it just seems like the same old things in blacksburg its time for a new direction
Heather Dinich (4:26 PM)
No, I really don't. I think that whole staff has done a great job with what it has had to work with this season. Considering the switch at quarterback, the lack of a passing game, I'd say Hokie fans should be happy they're atop the Coastal right now.
Mike (College Park, MD)
Which Terps team shows up this weekend against Wake? Ready to make a prediction yet?
Heather Dinich (4:26 PM)
It would not surprise me in the least to see Maryland beat Wake and lose to NC State.
sammy h (az)
what are the chances unc runs the table from here?
Heather Dinich (4:28 PM)
I think they got a lot slimmer after losing Tate.
David (Greenville, SC)
What do you see Clemson for the remaining season? How many games do you predict Clemson will with Dabo Swinney? Is he good enough to be permanent?
Heather Dinich (4:31 PM)
Well, they've got to get past Georgia Tech first, and that is going to be a very difficult, emotional game. Then, back to back road trips against BC and FSU. Two teams that could also beat them. This all depends on how the players respond, and how the staff uses the playmakers it has, and who the quarterback is. If they've got Cullen, they get Spiller back ... who knows, but Swinney hasn't been a head coach yet. He's good enough for Nick Saban to want on staff, though.
John, (Charleston, SC)
Do you think it was a bit rash for Clemson to get rid of both Tommy Bowden and Rob Spence on the same day?
Heather Dinich (4:33 PM)
Yes, because now the play-calling is in question. Not that everyone was excited about what Spence was doing.
Adam: Pompano Beach, Florida
How is it that Wake, who lost to a service academy is still ranked yet BC, who lost to a pretty good GTech squad is unranked? Bias?
Heather Dinich (4:34 PM)
No, but who did BC beat? Wake has better wins on its schedule.
Heather Dinich (4:35 PM)
Sorry, guys, but like I said, busy day at the office. Hit me up on the mailbag and I'll get to more of your ACC questions in the blog. Gotta run!