Chat with Heather Dinich
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's ACC blogger Heather Dinich stops by talk some college football.
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 Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:35 PM)
Heather will be here at 3 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Heather Dinich (3:00 PM)
Hey guys, I'm here, let's get started.
Nathan (Baton Rougr)
HD if the ACC is perfect in the bowl season, would this redeem the season?
Heather Dinich (3:01 PM)
That would be impressive, Nathan, and it would go a long way in boosting the ACC's reputation. That's where the conference can make a statement.
Kalen Dillingham (Berrien, GA)
OK, Florida State has signed Jimbo as the coach in waiting. Also told Bobby he can stay until he is reday to leave. But now they are in a pickle because they need him to retire or it's going to cost them alot of money. Why would they wait this long, and don't you think they should've done something about it by now?
Heather Dinich (3:02 PM)
That's easier said than done, Kalen. I understand what you're saying, and some would argue that the coach-in-waiting plan, along with the staff changes, were FSU's idea of doing something about it then.
As a concerned Hokie I have to ask: is there any possibility at all of Bud getting offered or accepting the job at UVA?
Heather Dinich (3:03 PM)
Anything is possible, but I doubt this would be the right fit for either Foster or UVA. I'd be surprised if Foster was Littlepage's top choice right now.
I've read several posts regarding the date for the VT/Boise St. game next year. It is NOT the opening game and is scheduled to be played on October 2nd at FedEx. I apologize if you have already posted this but I've seen several questions regarding it and figured I would give you the facts. I have a question, I don't expect the Hokies to play in a BCS bowl but shouldn't they be a lock for the Chic-Fil-A bowl?
Heather Dinich (3:05 PM)
Thanks, Anthony. And as far as your bowl prediction, nothing is a lock at this point. I spoke to one bowl rep on Sunday night, and he said nothing is certain right now. The ACCCG will have a trickle down effect on the selection process, but if I had to guess, that's where the Hokies would be.
Matty (Washington, DC)
Now that the regular season is over, BC unsurprisingsly exceed outside expectations while teams like NC State and FSU flopped (again). So my question is what will your excuse be when you pick BC to finish 4th next year?
Heather Dinich (3:07 PM)
In looking quickly ahead, I don't see how BC could be picked to finish fourth. Riley Skinner is graduating, NC State might lose Russell Wilson to baseball, FSU is in disarray ... they should be behind Clemson to start, but I'm not sure who else.
Heather, there is speculation that VT has an outside chance of sneaking into a BCS bowl game this year even with 3 losses. There were rumors of a possible Clemson vs. VT matchup in the Orange Bowl. What are your thoughts on this and what needs to happen for VT to get a BCS bid?
Heather Dinich (3:08 PM)
Personally, I would love to see Virginia Tech and Clemson play in the Orange Bowl. It would be a controversial pick, and the committee would take heat for it, but it would fill the seats and be a great game. It's not impossible.
Shawn (Charlotte, NC)
Hmmm, ACC's best lose to SEC's mediocre. Can we officially stop the ACC is as good as conversation?
Heather Dinich (3:09 PM)
I'm not sure anyone ever said the ACC was as good as the SEC, but the conference had a lot of good wins going for it. No doubt the ACC didn't show this weekend, though.
Heather, How does BYU, sitting at number 20 in the BCS last week jump up to 14 after beating Utah?
Heather Dinich (3:09 PM)
Teams tend to make big jumps when a significant amount of other teams lose.
SteveMoTerp (St CHarles MO)
Hi Heather;Do you think Debbie Yow will keep Coach Friedgen for one more year?
Heather Dinich (3:11 PM)
I honestly could see her going either way. She's in a lose-lose situation. But if Friedgen goes, I wouldn't be surprised to see Franklin go with him. It's not like he's the proven answer.
Matt (St Pete)
Heather - grab your crystal ball please. Bowden announcement tomorrow. FSU officials step to the podium and say what?
Heather Dinich (3:11 PM)
Thanks for everything you've done, but it's time to part ways.
Tony Callegari (Orlando)
which ACC team do you see as a NC contender over the next few years ? Miami , Virginia Tech or a different program ?
Heather Dinich (3:12 PM)
That's the good news for the ACC -- I think several teams are capable of it, but Miami, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech appear to be the frontrunners. I think the Jackets could take a hit, though, if they have significant NFL departures.
Who will be the ACC Player of the Year? Spiller, R Williams, Nesbitt???
Heather Dinich (3:13 PM)
That will be announced Wednesday, but I think it would be hard not to pick Spiller or somebody from Georgia Tech, and despite his performance this past weekend, I think Spiller would still get the nod.
Heather---know this is an ACC blog but do you have a prediction on who will win the SEC Championship on Saturday?
Heather Dinich (3:14 PM)
I think I'm sticking with Bama in that one.
Marcus (Pensacola, fl)
So miami should get into a pretty good bowl game this yr, which bowl do you expect them to go to Heather?
Heather Dinich (3:15 PM)
I think they can go as high as the Gator, but I don't think they'll drop below Champs, which has the pick after the Gator.
KEVIN (COLLEGE PARK (GA))
Heather, good teams dont lose 2 in a row. Clemson and GT are trying to prove that Saturday. You chose Clemson as the upset but say GT is the better team in your Power Rankings. Its hard to beat the same team twice in a year, ill give you that, but the better team wont lose 2 in a row. Do you think Clemson is the better team?
Heather Dinich (3:16 PM)
Kevin, I'll be the first to admit I have no idea who is going to win that game. I like the upset pick because I like Clemson's defense better, and when in doubt, "defense wins championships," no? This is anyone's game. So far, Georgia Tech has been the better team. It's up to Clemson to prove otherwise. I just think they have the ability to do that.
Andy (Roanoke, VA)
Heather... now that Groh is out, who do you think is/are realistic candidates for UVA? I was on the fan site www.thesaber.com, and some are suggesting that Bud Foster get a shot. As a Hokie alum/fan, I cannot imagine that he would take that job (if he was offered). We all know he wants a BCS school... personally I don't think it would be a good fit anyway.
Heather Dinich (3:18 PM)
Andy, the good thing about UVA AD Craig Littlepage is that he'll go after the person first as a good fit. I don't know if Foster would even want that job. My top suggestions would be Al Golden and Mike London.
Cameron (Roanoke (VA))
This past weekend made the ACC take a major step back. But if things play out like the polls indicate (GT wins the ACCCG) and most of our bowl games are won. Whats the chances for 2 top ten teams and 3 top 15 teams for the final poll (GT,VT,Miami). Also would this give the ACC any respect or will people focus on the negative only??
Heather Dinich (3:19 PM)
I think it's too far for Miami to jump back into the top 10, but three top 15 teams is definitely possible. And yes, you have to respect three top 15 teams.
Ryan Williams only needs one touchdown to break the ACC touchdown record, 110 yards from breaking the school record, and 260 yards from breaking the ACC rushing record. Why don't you think he is going to win ACC poy and why is he not even being mentioned in the heisman race?
Heather Dinich (3:21 PM)
Well, I just think that voters tend to consider what's the freshest in their memories, and the fact that Williams could win the Rookie of the Year award opens the POY up for a guy like Spiller, who has helped his team to the title game, or Dwyer, or Nesbitt. As for the Heisman race, there are too many other good candidates out there still playing against better competition. Williams will be in the mix eventually.
Ron J. (Rock Hill, SC)
what are the chances that Virginia Tech and South Carolina could meet in the Chick Fil A bowl this year? My family are diehard Gamecocks and would love to rub it in their face and notch a win for the ACC against the SEC
Heather Dinich (3:22 PM)
I think that's a great possibility and a great matchup: Beamer Bowl. Bring it.
Seems like BC gets the shaft on bowl selection every year. Do they really travel that poorly?
Heather Dinich (3:23 PM)
If they didn't, they'd be going to better bowls. Sad but true.
How does your Heisman ballot look right now?
Heather Dinich (3:23 PM)
Colt McCoyToby GerhartTim TebowSuhSpiller
If GT wins the ACC Championship and their bowl, and VT wins their bowl game, why would both not be Top 10?
Heather Dinich (3:24 PM)
They might, I'm saying Miami wouldn't be able to make that jump. They're No. 17 now.
Daniel (Asheville, NC)
I have heard alot of grumbling this week that GT & Clemson don't deserve to be in the championship game, which is obviously ridiculous. Since, we already know that the winner goes to the Orange Bowl, where would the loser of the ACC championship game go?
Heather Dinich (3:25 PM)
It can't fall further than the Music City Bowl by rule, and it depends who loses. If it's Georgia Tech, they might go to the Gator. If it's Clemson, the Tigers could fall as low as Nashville.
Luke Keuchley (Chestnuthill MA)
Me or Ryan Williams?
Heather Dinich (3:26 PM)
I've been thinking about that today, and it depends on what happens at running back. If Ryan Williams sneaks into one of the RB spots - let's say it's Williams and Dwyer at RB, Spiller at ST, and Kuechly as Rookie of the Year ... I think that might be the best fit.
Joseph (Columbus, GA)
Will GT be looking for a new Defensive Coordinator this offseason?
Heather Dinich (3:28 PM)
Ahh, I don't know, I really don't. I like Wommack. I think he's one of the good guys in the business, but just when they seemed to be making some sort of improvement, they opened the door for Georgia.
HD, Which ACC team do you think will be hurt the most for next season by graduation/the draft?
Heather Dinich (3:29 PM)
This league is so young, I think a lot of teams will still be in good shape. Clemson will lose Spiller, that will hurt, Georgia Tech could take some hits to the NFL. Riley Skinner and Thad Lewis are huge losses, but I like Renfree at Duke. GT might be hurt the most bye early exits. We'll see.
Evan (Denton Tx)
Will Penn State ever get to number 1 again?
Heather Dinich (3:30 PM)
Sure, just keep scheduling Akron, Syracuse, and Temples of the world and beat Iowa and there you go.
2 Questions - Who benefits more from Saturday's wakeup calls - GT or Clemson? And how can VT over GT be justified in the AP Poll? I understand VT has a stronger schedule and is probably better on paper, but c'mon - one extra loss and even if you take away the bama game GT still has the head to head.
Heather Dinich (3:31 PM)
I think it will have a similar effect on both teams. The players talked today about they've started to move on at both schools. As for the VT jump of GT? Not in my poll.
Joshua (Tallahassee, FL)
Any possible names you have heard that FSU may bring in for the DC position?
Heather Dinich (3:32 PM)
Honestly, with what's going on with Bowden, it's been on the backburner for everyone. Let's find out who the head guy will be first.
VT over GT in the polls. Its not if you lose its when you lose
Heather Dinich (3:33 PM)
That has something to do with it, yes, but it's not like Virginia Tech played murder's row the past three or four weeks.
I've been reading that Miami is still in the mix for a BCS bowl. How is that possible when VT is ranked ahead of them?
Heather Dinich (3:34 PM)
In order for that to happen, Miami would have to be ranked among the top 14 in the BCS standings. It doesn't really have anything to do with where VT is ranked. Not gonna happen.
If Cincy beats Pitt, could we see a VT-WVU Gator bowl?
Heather Dinich (3:35 PM)
I could definitely see the Mountaineers in the Gator Bowl, but I think the folks in Atlanta would have a hard time passing up the Hokies.
A Lew (Miami)
It's not to early to make a call; Ohio State- Miami, September 11, 2010; Who do you like and why.
Heather Dinich (3:36 PM)
It's never too early, though I reserve the right to change my mind on Sept. 10. :) I like Miami in that game. I think Jacory has grown a lot this year and the Canes could be one of the top teams in the country.
VolHokie (Richmond, VA)
Heather, an unranked Clemson in the Orange Bowl?
Heather Dinich (3:37 PM)
I'd bet they'd sneak back into the rankings with a win in the title game. I think I had them at No. 25 in my power rankings today, and they're still in the AP poll.
Charlotte or San Francisco...Where is BC going?
Heather Dinich (3:37 PM)
San Fran. Not a bad consolation prize.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Which ACC teams do you see on the upswing and which ones are on a downslide?
Heather Dinich (3:38 PM)
Well, you'd think the only way to go was up at Maryland, FSU and Virginia, but they're a work in progress. GT is already up. I'd say VT, Miami and UNC have yet to hit their ceiling.
Tony Callegari (Orlando)
everyone is always clamoring for a playoff . how would the ACC fare and how do you feel about a playoff ?
Heather Dinich (3:40 PM)
I think Georgia Tech would fare well because so many teams would be caught off guard by the offense. Overall, though, I'm a fan of the chaos this current system creates. Can't lie. Every game means something every weekend. I know, I know ...
Will Maryland keep Ralph Friedgen? and Should they?
Heather Dinich (3:42 PM)
The problem is that Ralph was locked into a 10-year contract, at least I think that was the deal. Then they were locked into the coach in waiting plan. It's a tough situation they've got to deal with. They're stuck in a costly position, but if it weren't for the contract, he wouldn't have lasted this long.
What was Paul Johnson thinking with 4 consecutive passing plays with almost 2 mins left on the clock? I understand the 1st and 4th down passes, but 2nd and 3rd? Did he suddenly think that his running game couldn't do it anymore? Also, considering how close the game was and that it did come down to one drive, if Nesbitt had not missed that series in the 2nd, would GT have won?
Heather Dinich (3:44 PM)
Yeah I was a bit baffled by those passes at the end of game, too. If Georgia Tech had done a lot of things the Jackets might have won. Definitely can't pin it on one series or one dropped pass.
Is Virginia really that desireable a coaching destination nowadays? They're routinely dominated on and off the field by Virginia Tech and they really haven't been that relevant of a program since the George Welsh years. Not only that, but it seems like the Academic side and the Athletic side are always at odds with each other. Doesn't seem like this is a spot where a coach has the chance to excel. Agree?
Heather Dinich (3:45 PM)
Oh no, I don't think there's any reason why a coach can't win at Virginia. It's not like it hasn't been done before. The campus is beautiful, it's a great place to live, and it's in the heart of some great recruiting and has good facilities. That being said, it's been an average program that is likely to attract an up-and-coming coach, not a ready-made superstar.
You can question the playcalling on the final drive of the game for GT, but the fact remains that GT WR's had a step on UGA's corners on two of those throws. Nesbitt just couldn't get the ball to them. Paul Johnson is an aggressive playcaller, always has been.
Heather Dinich (3:46 PM)
But if Nesbitt couldn't get the ball to them, why keep doing it when you're the No. 2 rushing offense in the country? I don't know. PJ makes the money to make those calls and a lot of it. I'm sure he knows what he's doing.
vthokielover8 (the boards)
With VT's dismal record against the SEC, how do you think they would fare if chosen in the Chick-Fil-A bowl? Lets assume the analysts are correct and we'd be looking at Georgia
Heather Dinich (3:48 PM)
I think Virginia Tech is a better team now than when it played Alabama, and there is no shame in that loss whatsoever. I think the Hokies would fare better against Georgia than GT did, but I also think there's a chance they could be playing South Carolina.
After the Clemson Carolina fiasco of 09' how do you see Clemson's defense matching up to GT's triple option this weekend in the ACCCG?
Heather Dinich (3:50 PM)
PJ keeps raving about Clemson's d-line, says they're probably the best in the ACC and underrated. I think he's right, but GT also played better against the D late in the second half of the regular season.
What is considered the best bowl game out of the Chick - Fil - A bowl, Gator Bowl, or the Champs Sports Bowl? Also, I saw that you put the canes in the Champs Sports Bowl, do they have any shot at making the Chick-fil-a bowl?
Heather Dinich (3:51 PM)
You typed it the way it is in order of selection, and in turn, prestige. I think the Chick-fil-A Bowl is too far up the ladder for the Canes at this point.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
Isn't it a bit sad that the best non-BCS ACC team goes to the Chik-Fil-A bowl to face what generally amounts to the #6 team in the SEC? As much as the Peach/Chik Bowl is a great game, can't the ACC line up an opponent a bit higher in the pecking order somehow?
Heather Dinich (3:52 PM)
Careful what you wish for. It's not like the ACC was too successful this past weekend against "what generally amounts to the #6 team in the SEC."
With all the pre-season bashing Miami took from around the country, don't you think they deserve a lot of credit for what they accomplished this year? I certainly am very proud of the entire team, especially Jacory who is only 19 years old.
Heather Dinich (3:53 PM)
Yes, Claudia, I do. I don't think the Canes have gotten enough credit. It could have been a disasterous season, but to finish with possibly 10 wins? Hardly a disappointment for RS's third year.
You think GT could have won with a "healthy" Nesbitt, or was that a non-issue? Also, could the play that injured Nesbitt be considered "dirty" by UGA player(s)?
Heather Dinich (3:54 PM)
Non-issue, and I didn't think it was a dirty play. I think he just landed awkwardly on the tackle.
Do you know how many tickets have been sold for the ACC Championship? Close to a sellout maybe?
Heather Dinich (3:54 PM)
Haven't checked on that yet, thanks for reminding me. HAS to be better than last year.
hey HD i know florida state lost to florida but if it was miami vs florida how much different of a game would that be?
Heather Dinich (3:55 PM)
Well, just look at last year. Miami hung with the Gators a lot longer than I think most folks expected. It wasn't a disaster by any means.
Mike (Miami, FL)
What do you think of the job that Randy has done here in Miami over his first 3 years? Also what about Whipple? How long do you think he is around, or is this just a stop for him to a bigger job either in College Football or the NFL?
Heather Dinich (3:56 PM)
I think Randy has done a terrific job considering the mess he inherited. As for Whipple, it wouldn't surprise me if he took a head coaching job somewhere. Boy would that stink for Miami.
Will (Metairie, LA)
What are your thoughts on next year's Chick-Fil-A opening game LSU vs UNC? As an LSU fan, I am excited to play UNC. The Heels have beaten us in CWS in '07, NCAA Basketball tourney in '08. We would love to have another opprotunity in our best sport.
Heather Dinich (3:58 PM)
Well, for some reason it doesn't seem to have the same luster that the VT/Bama, and Clemson/Bama matchups had, and I think that's because there were such high expectations for both programs heading into that, obviously. I think that will be a great game, and with everyone healthy, UNC might break your heart in sport No. 3.
If Bowden announces his retirement tomorrow would FSU have a chance at a higher profile bowl game such as the Champs?
Heather Dinich (3:58 PM)
Nah, that won't help their bowl cause.
Which Offense will be more explosive next year. GT's triple option or Virginia Tech with Tyrod, R Williams, Darren Evans, and a stable of Junior WRs.
Heather Dinich (3:59 PM)
Hmm. Depends on who's back at GT, and depends on how Billy Hite divvies up the carries. Ryan Williams can be a Heisman contender if he's not sharing the load. I'll go with VT early on that answer.
Butch Davis to Notre Dame? Really? That's possible?
Heather Dinich (4:01 PM)
I have not heard his name in the mix, but I've been preoccupied with Florida State news today, can't lie. So far I've only heard Stoops, Patterson, Kelly and Harbaugh for that gig.
Tom (Halifax, VA)
As a Hokie fan, I feel like we're losing a lot on defense every year. With Worilds probably leaving for the draft and lots of seniors in the back 7, do you see another step down or another reload?
Heather Dinich (4:03 PM)
You Hokies make me laugh sometimes. A "step down" in defense under Bud Foster is apparently the No. 13 defense in the country in total defense. No. 6 in pass efficiency defense. If there IS a dropoff, I think you guys will be just fine with the No. 15 defense in the country. :)
Stevo (Virginia )
That Tiger Woods stuff got in my way of the College Football stuff, how about you HD?
Heather Dinich (4:03 PM)
Yeah, it was a little distracting. Drama.
I don't think Worilds will leave because he hasn't had the season he did last year.
Heather Dinich (4:04 PM)
I don't think he did, either. Cody Grimm was a superstar, though, and he's the name I think of this year when I think of VT's defense.
Matt (Staunton, VA)
Chicago Tribune is reporting that Butch is a candidate
Heather Dinich (4:05 PM)
Ok, thanks, I hadn't seen that yet.
Butch Davis to ND, Charlie Weis to UVa, Al Groh to UNC... Hey, a man can dream, right?
Heather Dinich (4:06 PM)
I don't even know what to say ...
Do you think Cody has a shot at the NFL?
Heather Dinich (4:06 PM)
Yeah, I really do, and I hope he does well in the future. He's a great story and has come a long way. Somebody will give him a shot.
Heather Dinich (4:07 PM)
I just realized I'm over my time here, guys. Gotta run. Thanks for catching up with me at the new time today.