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October 19, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:00 PM)

Hey guys, I'm here. Let's get this started ...

J.J. (New Jersey)

Who has the inside track to win the Coastal Division?

Heather Dinich
  (12:00 PM)

Right now it's Miami. If the season ended today, the Canes would head to Tampa.

Canes in Space (...Brooklyn)

Hi HD, love the blog. BUT what is with the tone of your "ACC in the BCS" post? You mention twice the ACC having to wait a year before we get a national title contender. That simply isn't true. UF was #10 in the BCS this same time last year. LSU has to play Bama. Iowa has to play OSU. USC has to go to Oregon. And Boise will get passed in the rankings even if they win out. How can Miami not have "a shot" at the title game? And where does the negativity come from?

Heather Dinich
  (12:02 PM)

First, please don't confuse negativity with objectivity. Trust me, I want to cover a national title game. I don't care which team in the ACC is playing in it. You're right, there's still a lot of football left, but the fact is Alabama and Florida are the top two teams in the country right now, and I don't see that changing in the second half of the season.

Dave (Germany)

BC?s Coach Spaz: Does he have a shot at being named the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year?

Heather Dinich
  (12:03 PM)

Dave, I'm surprised it took so long for anyone to ask this question, but yes, he's the name that pops into my head first, however Randy Shannon has certainly made a strong case, too.

james (greenville SC)

So the tigers finally have a convincing win. But how do you think miami's offense matches up with clemsons defense? And will cj have a play of 60yds or more against this miami defense?

Heather Dinich
  (12:04 PM)

James I think we'll find out a lot more about Clemson this weekend. I'm not convinced in the Tigers until they string together a few of those performances, but yes, I could see Spiller taking off against anyone.

Rob (Charleston, SC)

HD, what happens if GT, Miami, and VT all finish within 5 spots of each other? And is there still a chance to get two BCS games for the conference?

Heather Dinich
  (12:05 PM)

If they're all tied in the division, then it comes down to the top two teams in the BCS Standings, then the head-to-head will determine it. And there's still a chance, yes, but I doubt it.

Nicole (Austin, TX)

Heather, thanks for blogging about the tiebreaker rules - glad to see they do it better in the ACC than in the Big 12. :)

Heather Dinich
  (12:05 PM)

No problem, and you're right, it is smarter.

Nosey Nate (Hubbard, Ohio)

Heather--when is someone going to give BC's program some credit? Who thought they'd have 5 wins to this point--even with the turncoat Jagged's laissez-faire recruiting. Onward and upward Coach Spaz!

Heather Dinich
  (12:06 PM)

I'll admit I didn't think they'd have five wins right now, and that win over NC State was huge, but that Clemson loss will come back to haunt them.

Austin (North Carolina)

Why are you convinced the ACC doesn't have a player in the national title race? To me it looks like Miami and GT both still have a chance if things happen...

Heather Dinich
  (12:08 PM)

If those things happen, my first post from the national championship game will be A) How happy I am to be here and my second will be B) I was wrong, ACC fans.

Jeff (Destin)

Now that every team in the Atlantic division has at least two losses, does that still leave a small chance for FSU to come back?

Heather Dinich
  (12:09 PM)

Considering they've got three losses, I've counted the Noles out. FSU fans should be hoping for a bowl game at this point.

Robert (Atlanta)

Question: When would it go to the tiebreaker #8? Is it only if all three teams are tied exactly in the BCS, or if all three teams are within five places of each other, like they are this week (Miami 10, GT 12, VT 14)? Reading through the rules, it a little unclear... to me, it seems like a draw would choose the winner (and I just conducted my own with Georgia Tech winning ;-))

Heather Dinich
  (12:10 PM)

Honestly, don't worry about it. It's not going to happen. I spoke with an ACC official on that and he isn't even sure why they really have it in there.

Tommy (Pompton Lakes, NJ)

If there were playoffs, would Oklahoma get in the championship game and would it be easier. I also want to know how far they would get.

Heather Dinich
  (12:10 PM)

Would anyone want a three-loss team in the NC?

Brian (Alexandria)

Where did that jacket D come from? They really did a number on my Hokies...

Heather Dinich
  (12:11 PM)

I spoke with GT DC Dave Wommack after the game, and it was just about simplifying things. They had changed things, but this week went back to basics and it worked.

Azbuzz (Phoenix, AZ)

How bad will GT beat the Hoo's in Hoosville? 20 points? 30 Points?

Heather Dinich
  (12:12 PM)

Virginia's defense is not bad, and it's Al Groh's forte. But I do think the Jackets are the better team and it will show.

Steven (Cincinnati)

Hi Heather! Who you got this weekend in Ann Arbor- PSU or UM??? I think UM can pull it off if they are firing on all cylinders- your thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (12:13 PM)

I picked the Nits in that one for my FCS Sports pick 'em this week even though PSU has really had problems with Michigan and it's on the road, right? I just don't think Michigan is there yet.

SS (VA)

A more existential question. Been a VT fan for 20 years now, and seen their rise from nothing. Recently, we've wanted a National Championship, and we fall so short because of a bad game. How are we supposed to pick ourselves up from such heartbreak year after year?

Heather Dinich
  (12:14 PM)

Well I just got off of Frank Beamer's teleconference before this chat and he said they've already put it behind them, but if I were a Hokie fan, I'd be super excited for next season. This team will be even better. And it's better to win three of the past five ACC titles than no title at all.

Nathan (Baton Rouge)

Hey HD so you are saying even if IOWA, LSU, USC/Oregon, and Cincinnatti all lose a game which is very likely that you still can't see the ACC getting two BCS teams in?

Heather Dinich
  (12:16 PM)

I'm not saying it's not possible, especially if Georgia Tech continues to move up, but teams you mentioned like Iowa and Cincy are undefeated.

Heather Dinich
  (12:18 PM)

Hang on there are ranking questions in here I'm pulling up my Top 25 quick to help answer them ...

Ryan (Tanpa)

Heather, Do you rank Miami the 3rd best 1 loss team? USC lost to a 4 loss Wahington and LSU maybe ahead of them but other than UF they havent played anybody (That includes UGA).

Heather Dinich
  (12:19 PM)

The only one-loss team I have above Miami is LSU. And I dropped Boise State below the Canes.

Mark ((Boston))

Better conference this year Big East or ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (12:20 PM)

I'm leaning towards the Big East. South Florida is still in my Top 25 despite their loss to Cincy, the Bearcats are ranked higher than any ACC team, and Pitt and West Virginia are both looking good. It seems like the Big East is deeper this year.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Big East is the better conference at the top. Overall ACC is better.

Heather Dinich
  (12:21 PM)

That's Chad's answer, folks.

Michael (VA)

IF UVA were to somehow win against GA Tech and compete the rest of the season, do you AL Groh's job is solidified for the next couple of years?

Heather Dinich
  (12:21 PM)

The next couple of years? That's pushing it. This year? Yes.

Chad (Las Vegas)

What do you think is the problem with the polls? I personally think it is that voters hate to admit they are wrong so they keep ranking teams higher than they are suppose to. They also put teams higher than they should because their team will/has played them.

Heather Dinich
  (12:23 PM)

Well, I think a lot of folks - myself included - don't like to deviate too much from what they did the previous week and it continues to build. I have a hard time ranking a team like USC high all year and then ranking them 20th all of a sudden. But that's the human element and it counts for two-thirds of it and there's nothing we can do about it.

Alex (Clemson, SC)

Do you think Clemson's use of blitz packages and solid D-line play will help them stop Jacory Harris at Miami this weekend. It worked for VT, and Steele has the defense pressuring like no other here in Clemson.

Heather Dinich
  (12:24 PM)

Clemson's defense is outstanding, and I fully expect the Tigers to pressure Jacory into some mistakes.

fearthebuzz (atlanta)

you keep saying if the season ended today, miami would go to tampa. since there is a 3 way tie (let's assume virginia loses a few), and they are all within 5 in the BCS standings, why wouldn't it go to a coin-toss?

Heather Dinich
  (12:24 PM)

Because Miami and Georgia Tech are the two teams ranked highest in today's BCS Standings, and because Miami beat GT head to head.

Nicole (Austin, TX)

Does it hurt Miami that they've already played all their games against ranked teams?

Heather Dinich
  (12:25 PM)

It certainly doesn't help them, nor will the ACC championhip game. I doubt the Atlantic Division opponent will even be ranked. Truth is, style points count, and Miami needs to win big.

Rob (Charleston, SC)

HD, can you explain the lack of adjustments that the Hokies made after half time? And is this Stinespring's last year? I realize the offense is playing much better the last few games, but it's hard to ignore how it's been during his tenure.

Heather Dinich
  (12:26 PM)

I think the lack of adjustments came on the defensive end, Rob.

Neal (Blacksburg)

If GT losses to Duke, wake or UVA VT goes to the ACCCG correct?

Heather Dinich
  (12:27 PM)

If Georgia Tech loses another game, and Virginia Tech wins out, then yes, Hokies are back in Tampa. I fixed that on my earlier post this morning, btw, sorry about that.

Dan (VA)

Stinespring needs to be FIRED. He is a HORRIBLE co-ordinator.

Heather Dinich
  (12:27 PM)

Nobody was saying that last week.

Ben (Atlanta)

Between GT, UM, and VT who do you think could stumble home and break the 3 way tie for the coastal?

Heather Dinich
  (12:29 PM)

Honestly, I think all three of those teams could still lose. Miami might lose this weekend. Depending on what Virginia does, that season finale in Charlottesville could be interesting. And Georgia Tech could trip up even at Duke if its defense goes back to its old form. Lots of potential upsets out there.

Caitlin (Atlanta)

After watching the first half, would you say that the only reason why GT didn't score a lot of points was due to errors, rather than VT's defense? Or maybe both?

Heather Dinich
  (12:29 PM)

Penalties. GT hurt itself with penalties in the first half, but it also was a little surprised by VT's defense.

Jeff (Charleston)

I just want to hear you say it, "C.J. Spiller Is The Man!" Even though his supporting staff only shows up every now and then, he performs every week.

Heather Dinich
  (12:30 PM)

C.J. Spiller IS the man. Ask any defensive coordinator out there and they'll tell you he's at the top of their list of concerns.

Chris Danter (Charleston, WV)

Hey Heather now looking at the standings who do you have playing each other now in the ACC championship game?

Heather Dinich
  (12:31 PM)

I get this question every week, and each week it pains me. I'll go with Miami and Clemson today.

brandon (ohio)

Is BC regreting firing there coach now for just interviewing for an NFL job?

Heather Dinich
  (12:32 PM)

Heck no. They should be throwing parties for Spaz.

M. (Bawston)

HD - who ya got BC/ND this coming weekend? And does a BC win add any rep. to the ACC, or will it just tear ND down some more?

Heather Dinich
  (12:33 PM)

I haven't made my picks yet, that comes Thursday morning, but I'd say it hurts ND more than it helps the ACC. That being said, every nonconference win helps.

Randy (FL)

Do you think Ryan Williams health problems made the difference for GT?

Heather Dinich
  (12:34 PM)

No. Ryan still had 100 yards and even though he was sick, he still looked good on that 66-yard burst. GT D did a good job on him. The difference was GT's offense in the second half and the defense overall.

Justin (Knoxville)

With Miami and Clemson playing this week, I'm guessing you won't be saying Miami / Clemson championship next week...

Heather Dinich
  (12:34 PM)

LOL - probably not.

Tann (Atlanta)

Heather, does Josh Nesbitt merit some Heisman chatter? Robert Smith seems to think so.....along with me!

Heather Dinich
  (12:36 PM)

Ah ... I don't know. The new name I was thinking of adding to my list this week is Ingram from Bama. I also like Suh at Nebraska. But Nesbitt has been probably the most improved player in the ACC this year, if not the most improved QB.

Tommy (ATL, GA)

As a GT fan I say that Nesbitt makes too many mistakes for any serious consideration this season, but he is a warrior.Next season?

Heather Dinich
  (12:36 PM)

PJ would probably agree with you. Lots of possibilities for next season.

Nathan ((NC))

Heather, do you personally enjoy watching Georgia Tech's style of offense - 63 rushes and 1 completed pass against VT? I had to switch the channel during a few of their drives.

Heather Dinich
  (12:37 PM)

I can't lie - I love it. If you switch the channel, you miss a 51-yard pass play to Bey Bey.

Mike (VA)

Does the beating that VT took on Saturday hurt Bud Foster's head coaching chances down the road?

Heather Dinich
  (12:38 PM)

No, definitely not. He's very well respected. One loss to a great team isn't going to change that.

Brad (Clemson)

When will CJ Spiller get ACC POY recognition. Ponder made the list for a 2-4 team so winning cannot be to big of a factor. Riley Skinner also had a rough week from that list.

Heather Dinich
  (12:39 PM)

Skinner had a tough day at the office, no doubt. Consider that the Clemson D and the Dinich curse. I think Spiller should get some consideration and he doesn't get enough credit, but I also think he needs to have a few more big games as a running back, not just a return threat.

GeorgePBurdell (Atlanta)

Hi, Heather, love the blog. Which stadium so far, that you have visited, has been the loudest this season?

Heather Dinich
  (12:40 PM)

Ah, my fantom friend. I'll be honest with you, and this surprised me, but there was a point on Saturday in the second half where Bobby Dodd was awesome. I even posted it was lounder than Lane.

Jim Wood (Gainesville, Georgia)

Hey heather, Bud Foster has two losses to two great teams, not one!

Heather Dinich
  (12:40 PM)

Good catch, Jim, nobody is going to fault him for Bama.

Dan (VA)

Perhaps if Beamer and Foster were less worried about shooting TV commercials, and endorsing their restaurants, and more worried about getting their team prepared, they may have fared better Saturday.

Heather Dinich
  (12:41 PM)

Man, and Hokies fans think I'm harsh?

Pat (Boston)

What do you think of BC's chances of winning the Atlantic? They have the easiest schedule going out, UVA, UNC, MD. Clemson still has Miami and an FSU team that will be desperate for a win. Wake still has Miami and GT...

Heather Dinich
  (12:43 PM)

Pat the Eagles' toughest games are behind them, and that NC State win will go a long way. I think it's a good possibility, better than good, actuallym, but I want to see if Clemson can keep it up.

Dan (Miami)

If Jacory Harris continues leading Miami to victories, is he going to be atop the Heisman talks for next year?

Heather Dinich
  (12:44 PM)

I think he definitely could be, yes.

Randy (FL)

Do you think Clemson would be better if they had hired Foster?

Heather Dinich
  (12:45 PM)

No. I think Dabo inherited the same problems Rob Spence had, but he's done a better job of making sure the Tigers didn't quit than Bowden did. And he made an awesome hire in Kevin Steele. I'm sure Bud would have come across the same problems.

Zach (MD)

No questions about the Terps, or just handling the questions the way we handle footballs?

Heather Dinich
  (12:46 PM)

Haha, you're the first Maryland mention I've seen come though here, buddy, but they're coming in fast.

Wade (Boston)

Explain how VT losing makes the ACC a horrible conference? I still think people outside of the conference would hate to play VT, Miami, and GT. See the Big 12's big boys, against the ACC's big boys...

Heather Dinich
  (12:48 PM)

I definitely don't think it makes the ACC "horrible" nor did I ever say that, but even the ACC commish will tell you the league needs a NC contender. As for the Big 12, Miami beat Oklahoma, VT beat Nebraska ... but it's Texas that's the difference.

Cory (Wisconsin)

Heather, Been a Miami fan for years. Even up here, where i can't watch many games. There last game was titled "Canes held off the nights". I saw it as "Canes dominated". Is this my biased opinion or am I right?

Heather Dinich
  (12:49 PM)

Dominated is what BC did to NC State. Miami won with its backups.

Nick (Worcester, MA)

Heard any buzz around BC freshman linebacker Luke Kuechly? He's got a nose for the ball and has been all over the field every game. If this kid learns a thing or two from playing aside Mclaughlin and with Herzlich in his ear, he'll be dangerous.

Heather Dinich
  (12:50 PM)

Nick, Luke has been playing awesome for a true freshman, and there hasn't been enough buzz about him. I fully expect him to develop into one of those big time BC linebackers.

Bowls N'yafas (D.C.)

Jacory...too cocky or cold as ice?

Heather Dinich
  (12:51 PM)

Definitely not too cocky. I've talked to him several times and don't get that vibe at all. I'd call him cool under pressure. Unfazed. Ask anyone on that campus or locker room, he's as down to earth as it gets. He's a goofball, actually.

Paul (Chicago)

Can we expect 40 passes from the Duke offense going forward? T. Lewis is obviously our best player.

Heather Dinich
  (12:53 PM)

He is, and the running game hasn't helped him out too much. I know they focused on it during the bye week, though, and would like to see some more balance.

Jeff (Destin)

How are you so talented? You posted the lunchtime links and you are chatting. Skill.

Heather Dinich
  (12:53 PM)

Thanks for noticing.

Wade (Boston)

Oh no Heather... You never said that... Other people out there want to disrespect the ACC as a whole, and I don't think people should. You are right... They aren't Florida, Bama, or Texas, but they shouldn't be considered the 5th or 6th conference out there either.

Heather Dinich
  (12:54 PM)

No, no, and generally, I think the ACC is regarded this year as the third or fourth best conference because of the Coastal Division, but it depends on how folks see the Big East this year. I think it's the time to finally give those guys some respect.

Ryan (WV)

Heather, been to both Boddy Dodd and Lane Stadium. The difference in noise is that Bobby Dodd bumps rap music and techno to increase their noise levels. Doesn't compare to Lane Stadium, where you never heard music during the game.

Heather Dinich
  (12:56 PM)

This is true, that rap music was blaring, but I'm telling you, I forget what play it was, I believe the defense was on the field, but there was one moment on Saturday where I couldn't believe I was at BD. Trust me, I've been there enough to know it's not the norm.

Greg (Boston)

Just looked it up...Kuechly is 11th in the country in total tackles and 6th in solo. More buzz is needed, indeed

Heather Dinich
  (12:56 PM)

Good call, Greg, thanks for the note. I'll try and get him some space in the blogosphere soon.

Jake (LA)

I'm sorry, but who is inlast place in the Coastal Division? I forgot...it isn't Duke...

Heather Dinich
  (12:57 PM)

It's North Carolina, can you believe that? Is Duke the best team on Tobacco Road? Hmm, sounds like a blog post to me ...

Kevin (Atlanta)

How about that Purdue upset Big 10 girl? Which upset was bigger? Gatech's or Purdue's?

Heather Dinich
  (12:58 PM)

Considering Purdue was 1-5 going into that game, I'd say the Buckeyes going down was the bigger shocker.

Marc (Charlotte)

Huge Thursday night game and it gets no mention in the chat? I assume you aren't attending then.

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

No, I'm not, but nobody's brought it up, either. Considering both teams will be playing for their first ACC win, I'd say it, um, lost some luster?

sean (Blacksburg)

WIll you still have ryan williams on your heisman ballot?

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

I don't know. I'm doing it after the chat.

Rob (Charleston, SC)

HD, the better question would have been on which trip to Lane was it the loudest? Noticed you've been down there more than a couple times this year.

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

Yeah, I have - was there for Nebraska, Miami and BC. I don't know how loud it was, but I was most impressed with that Miami crowd in the rain. Wow. Those are fans.

Tyrie (Atlanta)

Ever hit the Varsity before a GT game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

No, just the treadmill.

ramblin in ga ((GA))

Do you think CPJ's success will merit him some real consideration from the so called "big name" programs or are their ADs to scared to give him a call with that "high school offense" (JK).

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

Definitely, and that's why he was rewarded with a contract extension after his first season, I believe.

Lawrence (La Crescenta, CA)

Who would win between Florida and Miami?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

Considering Florida almost lost to Arkansas, and Miami played them close last year, I wouldn't put it past the Canes to beat the Gators this year.

Twan (Tallahassee)

Heather do you think that the ACC should shift some teams around to make the balance of power a little more respectable in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

I think it will balance itself out eventually. It's just a down year for the AD. If anything changes, it won't be until 2015 anyway. I think that's the earliest they can do anything.

Speed (Md)

Do yoiu think Maryland's coach Ralph Fridgeion needs to be fired?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

I think that Maryland's hands are tied financially, and that Ralph has been given too much leeway the past five seasons because of it.

Marc (Charlotte)

Doesn't mean anything? UNC still has a chance to be a spoiler in the ACC. Win this game and all of a sudden the games versus Miami and Va Tech become interesting in the race for the ACC Title.

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

I believe I said "lost some luster" not doesn't mean anything. But yes, UNC can be a spoiler now, but we have yet to see anything from them indicating they will, and Georgia Southern doesn't count.

Brody (Miami)

What would be your ideal (plausible) matchup in the ACCCG?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

Miami and anyone besides Boston College.

Brody (Miami)

Miami played Arkansas last year? Strange, I don't remember that.

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

No, Florida. They played Florida closer than everyone expected last year.

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

Shoot, I went overtime. It's Clow's turn. Sorry guys. I'm out.