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September 11, 12:01 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Hey everyone, I'm here. Let's get started.

Michael (Summerville, SC)

I know it's only Monday but I'm already anxious about the Heels/Hokies game. As a Heels fan, I feel this is our biggest game in years (ABC even picked it up!). What do you expect from this game? Can UNC contain Taylor?

Heather Dinich
  (2:01 PM)

I actually talked to UNC's defensive coordinator this afternoon, and he said the key will be making Tyrod Taylor throw the ball. They do that, they stand a good chance at winning. The Hokies didn't look too convincing last weekend, sorry.

Brian, Fairfax, VA

Heather, Do you think the winner of this week's VT vs UNC game will be the Coastal division champion?

Heather Dinich
  (2:02 PM)

I wouldn't count out Georgia Tech or Miami yet, that's for sure.

carlos (coral gables, FL)

Can someone please, please tell me why are FSU ranked? As far as I knew this team was predicted to do nothing this season giving them a very low preseason rank. They have beat two totally spare teams and are in the top 25, really?

Heather Dinich
  (2:02 PM)

Yeah, I can't explain that one, sorry. They're not in my Top 25 -- at least not yet.

Andy (Blacksburg, VA)

What do you think of the coaches decision to not play Ryan Williams yet? It was my understanding that the main reason he came to Tech was because he was promised playing time. It seems to me the wise decision at this point would be to start Evans at RB with Williams in a relief and change of pace role. I feel like Lewis is a good athlete and would probably fit into the offense well as a slot receiver (think Wes Welker)....thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (2:04 PM)

I've also heard about that promise, but they must have their reasons. Frank Beamer said they would make the redshirt decision this week. No doubt Evans looked like he put some distance between himself and the rest of the pack there this week, but Lewis is the starter.

Chad (Cascade, MD)

How big was maryland win on saturday?

Heather Dinich
  (2:05 PM)

Huge, but only if they can play like that again when it counts.

Troy (Ft Jackson)

Heather so where is the ACC this week. Last it was between us and the big east. I dont think we are on the bottem anymore.

Heather Dinich
  (2:06 PM)

Ha ... I've got a few questions in here about that. Yes, I think the ACC did look better this week, and everyone can thank Maryland and UNC for that.

Bartholomew (Baltimore, MD)

Did Maryland beat a quality team this weekend? Or is Cal just another over rated pac-10 team?

Heather Dinich
  (2:07 PM)

No, Cal is a solid football team, that was a legit win, but Cal's AD or the director of football operations might want to take a look a different flight next time they decide to schedule an East coast game. Geez.

Paul (Pittsburgh)

Is there now a QB controversy at OSU, Pryor looked much better than TB?

Heather Dinich
  (2:07 PM)

There should be.

Scott (Washington DC)

Heather, What do you think of the WFU-FSU game this weekend. Any surprises in the making?

Heather Dinich
  (2:08 PM)

Heading down to Tallahassee on Wednesday to find out. I was just listening to Mickey Andrews on his teleconference and he was talking about how much more athletic this Wake team is than in years past, and how they've got some Florida kids on their roster the Noles staff might have overlooked. Could be interesting.

Joey (Charleston, SC)

Heather, why are you covering the ACC? You belong at the top with the SEC. As a SC alum, the Clemson/SC game is always a big one. Who takes it this year, assuming Spurrier gets SOMETHING going on offense?

Heather Dinich
  (2:09 PM)

Haha why thank you, Joey, but Clemson has to beat SC State first, now? I tell you what, the SEC is a defensive league this year, and Spurrier is not alone in that fact.

Steve (Clifton, VA)

How much of an impact will the suspensions have on the Florida State vs Wake Forest game this week?

Heather Dinich
  (2:10 PM)

No doubt it won't make things easier, but the past two games have given the younger players a good foundation. I think the bigger impact than the guys who will be missing could be the return of Preston Parker.

Mark, RI

How can BC's junior DE Alex Albright redshirt this year if he played in two games already this season? i didn't think this was possible. does this mean he'll still have two years left to play?

Heather Dinich
  (2:12 PM)

I thought it was a medical rs, but I'd have to check.

Ryan (maimi fl)

You don't seem to be giving Miami any credit, how do you see their season ending up? I'm betting 10-2.

Heather Dinich
  (2:13 PM)

Bah, I've given those guys lots of credit since their Florida game. Talking to Randy this afternoon. I think they've got as good a chance as any to win the Coastal, but I also think 10 wins is pushing it. They're still a very young team.

Matt, raleigh

I can't believe I am even asking this but is it crazy to think Duke should be favored against UVA next week?

Heather Dinich
  (2:13 PM)

NO ... you are absolutely correct. Expect Duke to win that game.

Confused Hokie (Blacksburg)

Unless I was in another universe this weekend and not really in Lane Stadium I am pretty positive that VT beat GT 20-17. However, based on ANY of your posts after the game (besides when you have to mention the score) you would swear GT beat VT easily...Give us a break....

Heather Dinich
  (2:14 PM)

Look, the whole reason they are using Tyrod is because they have no playmakers! That's not a good sign! And had GT not fumbled and had those two 15-yard penalties ... I think Virginia Tech WILL be a good team. They're getting better. But that was just the first game they started figuring things out.

Joey, Blacksburg

Heather you said you talked to UNC's defensive coordinator about making Tyrod throw the ball this week. How in the world is he going to do that?? Tyrod will taked 2 seconds to look at his receivers and then take off anyway.

Heather Dinich
  (2:15 PM)

Ha ... If I knew I'd be UNC's d-coord., now wouldn't I?

Sean (Boston, MA)

How come it seems like everyone's so hard on the ACC? I know they haven't always shown up in bowls and have some ugly losses but the same can be said other conferences I see the ACC above the Big East, not sold on the Big Ten who I always think is overrated as Ohio State loves to prove, and take USC out of the Pac-10 and I don't see how that conference is any better if not worse.

Heather Dinich
  (2:16 PM)

Beamer pointed out the Pac-10 on his teleconference today when asked about the hits the league has taken. The Big Ten has become more interesting with Penn State and Wisconsin, and sorry, but I like Michigan State, too.

Bryan (Roanoke, VA)

He Heather,what's the magic number of wins that will keep Al Groh and son in Charlottesville?

Heather Dinich
  (2:17 PM)

Yikes. Let's just see if they can get their second one.

John (Dallas)

Heather, I honestly didn't think they had a chance vs Tenn, but now I feel somehow let down by what UCLA did vs BYU, how bad is it, or is it just kids in their first road game?

Heather Dinich
  (2:20 PM)

Well, considering they've averaged just around 20 rushing yards per game, I'd say there are some problems. But it wouldn't surprise me to see this just being an inconsistent team.

Sean (Chapel Hill, NC)

Hey Heather, what do you make of NC State this season? Losses to good teams with the chance of improvement or no hope at all?

Heather Dinich
  (2:21 PM)

Man, I'd love to see what Tom O'Brien could do with a healthy team and a good quarterback. Doesn't look like much hope for these guys right now, sorry. The offense is just nonexistent.

Scott (Fairfax, VA)

Objectivity be damned, you need to push the "Fire Al Groh" sentiment into the mainstream, Heather! Given the talent he has had during his tenure and the general ineptitude (best season was 9-4), it is one of the greatest travesties in NCAA Football that this man still has a job, much less how large his salary is!

Heather Dinich
  (2:21 PM)

Tell me how you really feel, Scott ...

Bryan (Annapolis, MD)

Did Chris Turner's solid play against another quality opponent finally cement his status as the start of this team this year and next, or do you see Fridge giving Steffy another shot when he returns?

Heather Dinich
  (2:22 PM)

Yeah, way to represent Naptown with a great question ... one would like to think that Turner solidified his job, problem is, he's also capable of playing like he did against MTS, and if he does, Ralph has every right to give Steffy another look.

Confused Hokie (Blacksburg)

"had GT not fumbled.." You were there weren't you? I'm sure VT's DTs busting through the line had a little something to do with that. It's not like Nesbitt said "Hmmm I think I'll fumble this play". And your right. VT's offense has no playmakers....at WR. Darren Evens looked mighty good out there, but I think you mentioned that as well.

Heather Dinich
  (2:24 PM)

Good point in that VT stripped the ball on one of those fumbles, and I think only one of the three was on an option play. And yes, I was there. I'm just saying that until Evans - or somebody - does it week in and week out like, say, Brandon Tate has, there are questions. Taylor is not going to get away with not throwing the ball this season.

jon (brooklyn)

what will it take for clemson fans to let go of the bama game?

Heather Dinich
  (2:26 PM)

I don't think that game will ever be forgotten, and I think everytime Clemson has a big game, it will be in the back of their heads this season. However, an ACC title and Orange Bowl win would do wonders to help erase it a bit. Obviously.

johnny g (tuscaloosa)

heather, im going bold, unc by over 10 against vt at home, should i bet the farm?

Heather Dinich
  (2:26 PM)

and the John Deere.

AJ (Clemson)

Did you see Clemson's O-line against a decent defensive line and defensive unit, have you regained faith in the team? I think they are gelling pretty fast, and two O-line starters were out.

Heather Dinich
  (2:27 PM)

Technically, no, I didn't see it, but Tommy talked about his oline yesterday and said he was pleased with the progress there. And I think NC State's defense is a fair measure.

Jeriah (Norman, Oklahoma)

What are the odds of OU jumping USC for the number one spot? OU plays a couple of ranked teams that are solid and It seems that USC has a weak schedule?

Heather Dinich
  (2:29 PM)

It wouldn't surprise me, really. They've really been beating up on people, but USC is going to get credit for being legit no matter who they play (See: Virginia).

Phil (Sarasota, FL)

Why does everyone think it is such a tragedy that FSU is in the top 25? Is it really that hard to believe that FSU you could be 24th best team in the country?

Heather Dinich
  (2:30 PM)

Um, after back-to-back 7-6 seasons and two wins against creampuffs, yes.

James (Blacksburg)

Let's skip ahead a week. I've promised my friend I would make my decision on whether or not I was going to drive to Lincoln, NE (yes, from Blacksburg) for the VT/Nebraska next week. Awesome Game Day atmosphere aside, Should I even bother with the drive?

Heather Dinich
  (2:31 PM)

I'd say yes. Covered a Penn State game out there once and loved the atmosphere. Also worth the plane ticket instead.

James, Rehoboth Beach

Miami or Texas A&M? Score prediction?

Heather Dinich
  (2:32 PM)

Not gonna do it 'til Thursday, sorry. Same goes for Wake/FSU.

Joel (Fayetteville, NC)

Heather, if Thad Lewis played for say Miami or Virginia Tech, could he be a Heisman Contender? I would go as far to say that he is the best QB in the ACC and should be on the Heisman list next year. Am I being unreasonable?

Heather Dinich
  (2:33 PM)

He has thrown the ball 206 times without an interception. I'm not sure if I'd throw out Heisman, but I do agree that he is one of the most underrated quarterbacks out there.

pm (NC)

With that logic Heather see Phil's question, why is Auburn #10?

Heather Dinich
  (2:34 PM)

Again, not in my Top 25. No passing game in Week 1. No running game in Week 2. And then a 3-2 win? If anything, they're ranked because of their defense.

TJ (Oceanport, NJ)

How ugly were the Hokies uni's this weekend? I bleed Maroon and Orange, but man... those were painful to look at.

Heather Dinich
  (2:36 PM)

No doubt ... sorry, but UNC's already got them beat in the uni department, too. I liked the new dark blues.

Randy (Miami FL)

Should I err...Coach Shannon let Robert Marve stay in the starting lineup and let him take his lumps...or continue swapping QB's during games?

Heather Dinich
  (2:37 PM)

You've got to have Jacory ready, it's not going to hurt to have him play. FSU is doing the same thing, kind of.

Brock (Anderson, SC)

People are saying the "cream" of the ACC crop is Wake, UNC, and Miami. Thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (2:38 PM)

Who are these people? When did Clemson become a bad football team? Miami is 1-1. The UNC/Va Tech game will reveal a lot this weekend, as will the Wake Forest/FSU game. Too early to tell who is really the best, but from what I've seen so far, Wake is the most complete team.

AJ (Clemson)

I believe that either Florida or UGA could have beaten Ohio State just as bad as USC did, because SEC teams have done that to Ohio State each of the last two years, what you think?

Heather Dinich
  (2:39 PM)

I think I was probably the only person in the world who had OSU ranked No. 6 in my top 25 last week and I'm OK with that.

Joe Fort Wayne, IN

I personally think the Big 10 is just as week as the ACC this year what do you think?????

Heather Dinich
  (2:40 PM)

No way.

Billy (Ada, OK)

Pick one QB: Tim Tebow or Sam Bradford?

Heather Dinich
  (2:40 PM)

Argh. Bradford.

Zach ( Fancy Gap, VA)

I'm a die hard Hokie, and speak for many when I ask, but why dont the Hokies throw the ball downfield more?? The O line looked good against one of the best dlines in America. Plus, with Tyrod's mobility, he can turn a busted play in to a beautiful play. Also, Tech's offense has no where to go but up. How do they fare the rest of the year?

Heather Dinich
  (2:41 PM)

Because they can't. The pass protection doesn't allow it right now. They tried against GT and couldn't. There are also times when downfield plays were called and Tyrod pulled down and ran. I do agree this offense will only get better.

Ryan (NJ)

Who do you believe is the most exciting player in the ACC ?

Heather Dinich
  (2:43 PM)

Oh man, that's tough. So far it might be Brandon Tate, but look out for Corey Surrency. Jacoby Ford could make a move, too.

Troy (Ft Jackson)

Heather where do you put Wisconsin in your top 25.

Heather Dinich
  (2:44 PM)

Sorry, had to look it up in my sent emails ... I had them at No. 8.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Who are your top 5 Heisman hopefuls, in no particular order.

Heather Dinich
  (2:45 PM)

Again in the email ... 1.Mark Sanchez 2.Chase Daniel 3.Tim Tebow 4.Sam Bradford 5.Knowshon Moreno

Josh New York

Do you really think Miami looks better than FSU? Because all I've been hearing is Miami this and Miami that after the Florida game. I mean they lost 26-3 and I watched the game, their defense looked good but their offense looked like Notre Dame last year. So please you gotta give FSU some props even if they played 2 1-AA schools

Heather Dinich
  (2:46 PM)

I think after two games FSU has more answers than Miami, which is looking to replace an injured James, and needs a receiver or two to separate himself as the go-to guy.

jack (GA)

Interesting you mention Surrency, he no doubt has emerged as a potential "superstar", but what about Preston Parker, do you think he will pick up where he left off last yr

Heather Dinich
  (2:47 PM)

Ooh, yeah, I forgot about him. Good call. We'll see, but definite big-play potential there.

Geoff (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

What is your favorite ACC venue to watch a game?

Heather Dinich
  (2:49 PM)

The three best are Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech. I was on the field last weekend for Enter Sandman, and that was very cool. How's that for a non-answer?

Mark (Charlottesville, VA)

You're taking the 'heels -10? Is it because those pine trees make Chapel Hill a tough place to play?

Heather Dinich
  (2:49 PM)

HA ... speaking of venues ...

JT (Minneapolis, MN)

BYU really put the hurt (59-0) on what was thought to be a decent UCLA team that came off a win against No. 18 Tennessee. Do you think it said more about BYU or UCLA?

Heather Dinich
  (2:52 PM)

BYU ... Four forced turnovers, a blocked field goal ...Those guys were trying to make a statement after that call at Washington and they did.

Kevin (NC)

Heather, you do a fantastic job with your coverage. Do you see the ACC with all this young talent becoming a major force on the National scene in the next 2 yrs?

Heather Dinich
  (2:53 PM)

Thanks, Kevin ... yes, I do see things changing for the league. I did a blog post last week about how many young players there are in this league and it's insane. Plus, they're right where they need to be -- on Florida State's and Miami's rosters.

Carrie, Washington DC

Does TN have a chance against FL and Tim Tebow's offense this week?

Heather Dinich
  (2:54 PM)

I would be surprsied, really. Did you see what BYU did to UCLA? How didn't Tennessee do that?

Nick (Eugene, Or)

How do you see the pac 10 playing out this year? Top three teams?

Heather Dinich
  (2:56 PM)

I think at this point you have to go with USC, Oregon and Cal (when they're on the West Coast, that is).

Heather Dinich
  (2:57 PM)

Alright guys, I've gotta get back to bloggin'. Thanks for the questions today. Check back at noon next Monday.