Chat with Heather Dinich
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kenneth (Marietta, GA)
I've sen a lot of bowl predictions with Clemson v. Auburn in the Chickfila Bowl; is everyone forgetting that they start the year there next year and already played this year? Highly doubt Clemson will be picked for the Chickfila Bowl.
Heather Dinich (1:01 PM)
Kenneth I agree that a repeat of that matchup isn't likely. Florida State could still wind up in Atlanta.
Hokie Burkkus (Falls Church, VA)
Alabama and Stanford have zero chance of improving their BCS ranking this week. My prediction is that if Oklahoma State wins this weekend, they will be in the NC. If the Hokies win big AND the Tigers win AND the Cowboys lose- I predict VT vs LSU for the NC. Your thoughts?
Heather Dinich (1:03 PM)
I don't see it. Based on how favored LSU is right now, even if they lose they're not going to fall lower than No. 2, and Alabama is in the best position of anyone right now. I would be surprised to see any other teams in the NC game at this point, especially the team ranked No. 5.
if clemson wins saturday. what are odds vt gets bcs at large?
Heather Dinich (1:05 PM)
It's still possible, but our BCS guru, Brad Edwards, thinks that Kansas State would get chosen ahead of the Hokies if that scenario came into play. I'm not quite convinced, but a two-loss VT team would have to at least be considered.
Alex (Cleveland, Ohio)
Is Edsall in trouble? The Terps clearly would not have been great this year but going from 9-4 to 2-10 is pretty awful right?
Heather Dinich (1:06 PM)
Um, yeah, it's pretty bad, but I just don't see Maryland being able to afford a change, not when they locked Edsall into such a lengthy, expensive contract and they're talking about getting rid of sports.
Heather, with all the recent talks about how the BCS picks the top 2 players to play for the national championship, Don't you think it is just fair to have a play-off for the top 10 teams? I think they all deserve a chance. Just because you are number 1 or 2, it doesn't necessarily mean you cannot lose to any of the other top 8 teams.
Heather Dinich (1:08 PM)
They all GET their chance during the regular season. That's what makes it so interesting. And no matter how many teams are involved in a playoff, somebody is always going to argue that at least one team was still left out. The same can be said for the plus-one model Beamer was talking about.
Do you think Luke Kuechly will forego his senior season and enter the draft early?
Heather Dinich (1:08 PM)
who do you think the ACC champs will play in the bowl game?
Heather Dinich (1:09 PM)
A team from the Big East that they will beat.
What ACC coaches may be on the hot seat next year?
Heather Dinich (1:10 PM)
I think Frank Spaziani at BC will have a short leash next year and needs to get to a bowl game. I also wonder if David Cutcliffe will start to feel some pressure from the administration there.
Danny "A" Walters (in my recliner)
Please play the what if game with me....If VT was 12-0 right now, would the hokies be the #2 team ahead of Bama? Or is the ACC not respected enough for that currently?
Heather Dinich (1:11 PM)
I don't think the Hokies SOS would be good enough for them to be No. 2. They only have one loss and it's only good enough for No. 5.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Has the collapsing Clemson of seasons past finally reared its ugly head? Amd will a loss against Tech in ACCCG further continue their demise and fall into the abyss?
Heather Dinich (1:13 PM)
Dark day out there in Richmond, Tony? Until Clemson plays with more consistency and finishes what it started, it will be stuck with that reputation, but I don't think a loss in the ACCCG means doom. I think there are plenty of reasons to be optomistic about the future.
HokieBurger, ACCylum USA (Blacksburg)
Do you feel like the MWC is truly a stronger conference than the ACC? I strongly disagree with the rankings that were released yesterday. Yes, we need to address some issues, but even with TCU and Boise I find it hard to believe that they are a stronger conference than the ACC.
Heather Dinich (1:15 PM)
The numbers are what they are, but when it comes to the eyeball test and I look at the teams and the standings? No. The ACC runs MUCH deeper than TCU and Boise State.
Do you think David Wilson will stay for another year? Should he?
Heather Dinich (1:15 PM)
Yes and yes. And I still think Ryan Williams should have stayed.
Sal Lizard (Under the pool table)
HD, If VT wins out the rest of the season and given the strength of their recruiting class, are the odds good they will be a preseason top 5 next year?
Heather Dinich (1:17 PM)
I have to look at what everyone else has coming back, but if they finish a top five team, I'd say the odds are pretty good. Of course, they're going to have some work to do on the offensive line.
Josh (Alexandria, VA)
Isn't the BCS bowl sort of a lose-lose for the ACC. As a Hokie fan, if we win and go into the bowl game, we play what might be a 7-5 Louisville team. Lose, we're humiliated. Win, well, it's the Big Least; you should win and you didn't accomplish much. We can only control what's put in front of us, but isn't it a bit of a tough cookie to swallow?
Heather Dinich (1:19 PM)
You are exactly right, Josh, and it's the same scenario as a few years ago when VT played and beat Cincy in the Orange Bowl. In retrospect, who's still talking about that one?
Bleeding-Garnet-Gold-Orange-Purple (The ACCylum)
Even though they have elected not to participate--Miami makes 9 teams bowl eligible in the ACC--doesn't that make them better than the $EC who don't even have enough to fulfill all of their bowl obligations??
Heather Dinich (1:21 PM)
The SEC also has nine bowl eligible teams. And two of them could be playing for the NC. I'm gonna go ahead and say the SEC wins that one.
Not Paying Attention in Biology (Blacksburg)
David Wilson wins the Heisman next year?
Heather Dinich (1:22 PM)
He should definitely be in the conversation, but guess what? Logan Thomas could play his way into the conversation, too.
Whats with the lack of FSU and VT defenders from the ACC first team defense. FSU is #6 in the nation in total D. At least admit that Bjorn Werner deserved it.
Heather Dinich (1:23 PM)
I haven't compiled my all-conference team yet, but there was a point a few weeks ago when I almost had Werner on the superlative watch. It's a tough call because I don't think one player really stood out on either defense as consistently as a guy like Andre Branch did at Clemson. It was more of a group effort.
Do you think NCSU overachieved, underachieved, or finished about right based on the Russel Wilson deal and the injuries on defense?
Heather Dinich (1:25 PM)
I think they still underachieved. I know the injuries were a factor early in the season, but the loss to Boston College? The entire game against Cincy? And they need to beat Wake Forest.
If Tech wins Saturday, can we begin to talk DYNASTY? They basically own the ACC in football.
Heather Dinich (1:26 PM)
Interesting question. What do you guys think? How many titles does it take to make a dynasty?
Mark Sanpeth (Queens, NY)
What will it take for the ACC to make the next step into the echelon of the Big State Conferences (SEC, B1G, & Pac-12)? Are we are where we are because of the small private schools that make up a significant portion of the conference...Wake Forest, Duke,
Heather Dinich (1:28 PM)
No, Wake and Duke don't explain it. The SEC has Vandy. The Big Ten is stuck with my alma mater, IU. The ACC is where it is because the BEST teams don't beat the elite teams often enough.
What about EJ#3? Heisman potential?
Heather Dinich (1:28 PM)
Not with the way FSU's offense has looked in recent weeks.
T.C. (Richmond, VA)
Hey HD, I cannot imagine 5-3 ACC seasons won't be tolerated long in Tallahassee. What do the Noles need to do to get some better production from the o-line?
Heather Dinich (1:29 PM)
I think those guys were doomed from the start. I mean think about it, they were injured all spring and summer and never got a cohesiveness during the season. I think that had a lot to do with it.
Greg (North Carolina)
Referring to VT, I'd go with dominance over dynasty. If they win on Saturday, that only makes 4 ACC titles. If they hit 10 in 15 years, I'll give 'em dynasty.
Heather Dinich (1:31 PM)
Sounds like a reasonable take, but I think it would be five ACC titles.
HD, I don't know what kind of "titles" you're referring to, but VT has zero national championships. Dynasty in the ACC? Maybe. Not much more, though.
Heather Dinich (1:32 PM)
Well, right, in the ACC. It's a whole other story to be talking national level, and VT isn't close to a dynasty there.
A Dynasty shoulf include a national championship or 2, dontcha think? ACC dominators? Yes. Dynasty? No.
Heather Dinich (1:32 PM)
Seems to be the consensus in here.
With NC State becoming bowl eligible and likely going to the Belk Bowl, does that leave Wake Forest in the Independence Bowl?
Heather Dinich (1:33 PM)
Yeah, I think Shreveport is the vacation destination for the Deacs.
Jordan Schweitzer (Lincoln, Nebraska)
I don't understand why everybody wants to see a LSU and Alabama rematch. LSU has already proven that they can beat Alabama why should they have to proven this again. In my opinion, I think if Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma by a 20 point win, they should be in the BCS. It would be so weird if Alabama does beat LSU, they are the national champions but they didn't win their division. I don't think that this should happen. What do you think about this topic?
Heather Dinich (1:34 PM)
I think this year is different as far as having a national champ that didn't win the division. Now, of course, that's assuming LSU loses to Georgia and I don't think that will happen, but there is no rule that says you have to win your conference to win the national title. LSU's resume speaks for itself already.
Hokie in SC (Greenwood)
No disrespect intended HD, but can you address the inaccuracy of your prediction that the Hokies weren't going to make it through the 3 game gauntlet of November without stumbling at least once? Pretty please!
Heather Dinich (1:35 PM)
Shoot, somebody remembered ... wait for it, wait for it ... I. was. wrong.
Heather Dinich (1:35 PM)
Greg (Washington, DC)
Heather, Regarding your comments on ACC Coach of the Year, don't you think that Wake Forest's horrendous effort against Vanderbilt pretty eliminated Jim Grobe from consideration for the award? Whether it's his fault or not, a "Coach of the Year" should at least have his players ready to give maximum effort every game. Thanks.
Heather Dinich (1:36 PM)
Yeah, I do think that loss really hurt his chances of it. The Deacs didn't show up for that one, and they also played really poorly against North Carolina. Still, I don't think many were expecting the Deacs to be playing Clemson for the Atlantic Division title.
Mike London is officially ACC Coach of the Year! Now that I've wiped Saturday from my memory and and am looking to the future, do you see Virginia being able to hit the 10 win mark next season?
Heather Dinich (1:38 PM)
You are right, will get this on the blog as soon as the chat is over:http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112911aah.htmlThat's impossible to answer before the schedule comes out, Jon, and they're going to lose some talented veterans on defense. I think you have to consider them a contender for the division again, but I'm not sold on 10 wins right now.
If Dabo loses the last two games, finishes 9-5 after starting 8-0, do you think he will get canned?
Heather Dinich (1:39 PM)
Heck no, not after playing in the ACCCG.
Do you think a LSU/Bama rematch is good for college football? Under the current format, I think a prerequisite to play for the national title should be conference championship.
Heather Dinich (1:41 PM)
Would VT fans still feel that way if the Hokies beat ranked Alabama, West Virginia, Florida State, Miami, and Georgia Tech and went undefeated in the season and then lost the ACCCG?
Tiger_Bates (Auburn with a Lake)
Clemson has a lot of young OL talent either currently redshirted or slated to come in in the next class. With that said, is graduating 3 or 4 OL starters necessarily a bad thing for the Tigers?
Heather Dinich (1:42 PM)
Yes, it's always a bad thing. Most coaches will tell you that position group has the biggest learning curve of any. Plus, cohesiveness is important.
T.C. (Richmond, VA)
why is everyone freaking out about LSU/Bama? We wanted the two best teams, right? It should not be too big of a surprise that they both come out of the best division of the best conference.
Heather Dinich (1:43 PM)
I think they are the two best teams, but I'm "freaking out" because I don't want to watch four missed field goals and 10 pass attempts in the national championship.
Dr. Rhodes (Columbus, OH)
Heather, will you be attending the ACC championship game in person? I know you've stated VT won't be caught off guard this time, but can you handicap this one for us?
Heather Dinich (1:44 PM)
I will be there, leaving Friday a.m.! Can't wait. I will make a pick early in the week, but I expect both teams to continue to play the way they have in recent weeks.
chadbrochill_69 (the ACCylum)
HD, if Mike London cannot beat the Hokies for say, the next 5 years, will that get him fired?
Heather Dinich (1:46 PM)
Lol .. Dabo already has three strikes against South Carolina, and I expect him back next year. I know rivalry games are important, but if you're in the hunt to win an ACC title you should be safe.
heather the fridge got canned after being acc coach of year
Heather Dinich (1:46 PM)
Yeah, and Maryland fans are still trying to figure that one out ...
Nathan (Kingsport, TN)
We are ALL still trying to figure that one out...
Heather Dinich (1:47 PM)
Heather, who do think will be coaching the Tar Heels assuming the new AD doesn't keep Everett Withers? It doesn't look as if the awaiting sanctions kept Urban Meyer from not going to OSU, so I am going to assume the same would happen for the Heels.
Heather Dinich (1:49 PM)
I'm not sure, James, but I think it will be more of an under-the-radar, rising star kind of hire, like a Kevin Sumlin at Houston.
Heather, how come you're not out there sticking up for your conference/ You should be belting out rant after rant about VT getting jumped by Stanford in the BCS. Stanford's opponents ended the year at 70-75 and they only played 2 ranked teams, while VT's opponents finished the year at 79-63 and the will have played 3 ranked opponets. And I don't what to hear about last year because we know the BCS only looks at this year.
Heather Dinich (1:52 PM)
Mark, I can't rant and rave about it when I put Stanford ahead of VT in my top 25 for ESPN.com this week. Stanford's only loss was to an Oregon team that lost to LSU and USC. Stanford's SOS is better than VT's, and the Hokies' lone loss came to a Clemson team that has lost three of its last four. I think it makes sense, but I can't explain the computers having VT at No. 10.
LSU/Bama will not be a 9-6 game if played again. Sometimes games turn out that way no matter who plays. They both lead the SEC in scoreing so what makes you think there will be another low scoring game?
Heather Dinich (1:53 PM)
Have you SEEN their defenses?
Is the seat heating up for CPJ? good teams want to be great and win championships. how much longer without acc crown would you think the triple option has?
Heather Dinich (1:54 PM)
I really don't think so. He is a great coach with a good relationship with AD Dan Radakovich. Plus, he has a ridiculous contract that would be tough to get out of if I remember correctly.
Benjamin (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
HD, given that Logan Thomas has put up nothing short of Heisman-contending (dare I say Heisman-winning) numbers since the Clemson game, is it really such a slam dunk that LSU or Bama could knock off the Hokies right now?
Heather Dinich (1:54 PM)
Heather, do you think UVA can continue to own Miami the next few years? (gf is a miami grad and reads the blog. would be hilarious if she read this)
Heather Dinich (1:55 PM)
You better be nice to her! But yes, I think it's a possibility. The Canes have some work to do and probably some sanctions to deal with. London is ahead of the game.
FB (The ACCylum)
Just wanted you to know that you won Blogger of the year in the ACCylum this year, Congrats!
Heather Dinich (1:56 PM)
HA ... and you are my favorite FB.
HD, what do you think about the Hokies' defense next season? They're returning at least 9 starters including the entire front 7. Eddie Whitley graduates and Hosley might go in the draft, but we get back the injured starters along with the young guys who took their spot providing experienced depth. Bud Foster can't possibly leave that for an HC gig, can he?
Heather Dinich (1:57 PM)
Could be one of the best in the ACC. SO many young guys got key reps this year, they really built the depth there. I haven't heard any rumblings about Bud this year, but it's still early.
Heather,What bowl do you project Clemson to be playing in?
Heather Dinich (1:59 PM)
I've still got them in Chick-fil-A, but if they take Auburn I'd move that to Florida State.
Hugh G (Rexyun, VA)
Will the ACC have a winning record in bowl games this year? Say yes.
Heather Dinich (2:00 PM)
I'll wait until the matchups are released to go there, but I think it's a good possibility, especially if two of them are against Big East teams.
Big Ed (Twin cities)
HD - Do you see any bowl match ups that will help the ACC gain some much needed respect and cred?
Heather Dinich (2:02 PM)
Yeah, the Chick-fil-A bowl should be a good matchup against the SEC, and FSU's win over South Carolina was good for the league there last year. Also a matchup against Notre Dame is good.
Heather Dinich (2:03 PM)
Ok guys, my time is up. You know, I could probably answer a few more questions each week if I didn't have to spend so much time scanning your "names" ... see you in Charlotte.- IMA BLOGGER
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