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January 5, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:00 PM)

I'm here, and I'm swamped today with news. Bowden stripped of 14 wins, NC State's Baker leaving, and Mike London makes another hire. Oh, and there's an Orange Bowl tonight. Let's get to it.

Ryan (Knoxville, TN)

If GT is leading in the 4th quarter, do you think that even Stanzi would be able to bring back Iowa? It seems like GT excels at maintaining a lead while eating up the clock.

Heather Dinich
  (12:02 PM)

It depends on if Iowa can get Georgia Tech on the field. Look at what happened to Clemson. The Jackets ate up the clock on their final possession as you said. Only Georgia Tech's D can answer that question, though.

Rich (Miami)

Later, can you give a breakdown of the game's attendance and relative showing by each team's fans? Might be a little hard to tell with both teams colors having gold in them though :-) Looks like Iowa travelled fairly better so far though.

Heather Dinich
  (12:03 PM)

Yeah, I'll blog on that when I get to the game, but I can tell you that Iowa sold about 15,000 tickets while GT sold between 10,000-11,000. I don't know where the GT fans are hiding out here, but around my hotel, Iowa fans are everywhere.

Alex (Miami, FL)

Hey HD, hope you had fun in Jacksonville, I sure did. Now your in the MIA (its normally not this cold). Anyways, the NCAA just denied FSU's appeal, you think they will bother appealing again or since Bobby retired there going to save the money on attorney fees?

Heather Dinich
  (12:05 PM)

I would be surprised if they appealed again. Bowden has conceded to the fact he's not going to get the 400 wins he wanted, and he's pretty much done with FSU now. I would imagine everyone wants this to finally be over with, but I haven't heard any final word on it.

Adam (Douglas, GA)

Your first post was the first I'd heard about the Bobby news. Sucks. Well, like Bobby said, he has 22 wins from South GA College he's never counted.

Heather Dinich
  (12:06 PM)

Yeah, he had everyone laughing about that in his post game presser. Check our football front page on ESPN.com for the Bowden newser. I'll post it later in the blog.

Hokiestats (Michigan)

What do you think of the 2010 match up between two top 10 teams ? Hokies and #2 Boise State? Can the Hokies finally beat a top 5 team?

Heather Dinich
  (12:09 PM)

Based on what I saw from that game last night, lots of penalties, nothing too impressive, poor on third downs, turnovers, etc. ... I'd give the edge to the Hokies today.

Alex (Atlanta, GA)

Hey HD, I love how the attention has shifted straight from the Fiesta Bowl straight to the National Championship (No Orange Bowl love!). I was just wondering if you think that the ACC could start off next season with 2 preseason top 10 teams? (Maybe GT and VT?)

Heather Dinich
  (12:10 PM)

Heck yeah, especially if GT wins tonight. VT I think is a sure bet, but we have to see what the Jackets do, and how some juniors' decisions will affect voters' opinions.

Drew (Alpharetta GA)

Over or Under: 3 turnovers are committed in tonight's game?

Heather Dinich
  (12:11 PM)

I'm going to guess under. I think Iowa will establish its running game, which will keep Stanzi out of those long passing situations, and GT has really cut down on its turnovers this year.

Ryan (Knoxville, TN)

Looking forward to next year, do you think that UNC will have a reasonable chance of beating LSU now that so many of their defensive players have decided to return? How big would beating LSU be for the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (12:13 PM)

Yes, definitely, but we all know that UNC's D wasn't the problem. And honestly, I don't think it was all T.J. Yates, either, though there were certainly times he could've played better. And anytime the ACC can get a win over a ranked SEC team, it's big.

rodney (atlanta)

simple question>>>>who will win and what will be the score?

Heather Dinich
  (12:14 PM)

That is the most difficult question there could be in here, Rodney. Honestly, this is such a tough game to call. I picked Georgia Tech because somehow, someway, the Jackets have found a way to score more points regardless of how their defense plays.

Ryan (Tallahassee, FL)

How is Florida State's future looking?

Heather Dinich
  (12:16 PM)

Bright, very bright. Jimbo Fisher is making good hires, bringing in exceptional talent, and I don't think he's taken five minutes to relax.

Ryan (Tallahassee, FL)

Darin Eliot has been hired to coach Florida State's DEs Heather.

Heather Dinich
  (12:17 PM)

See? He's at it again.

Chris (Arlington Va)

Hey HD,What is your take on VT's D next year. Don't they lose a bout 4 or 5 starters? What do there back ups look like(if you know)?

Heather Dinich
  (12:18 PM)

I want to say they lose six starters, but I'm sure there's a Hokie on here who would confirm or deny that. We all know Bud Foster reloads on defense each year, but that's a lot of talent to replace. I think it could take a few games for that group to adjust, but that Bud will still get the respect in the preseason rankings.

Rich (Miami)

GT rushes for 300 yards?

Heather Dinich
  (12:19 PM)

They're averaging 307.2 per game, the second-highest average in school history and highest since 1975. I say Iowa holds them under that average, even if just slightly.

Bob (Stamford, CT)

Do you feel that BC is the favorite to win the Atlantic next year? BC misses GT, Miami and UNC next season and returns Harris, Shinskie, Herzlich, Kuechly among others.

Heather Dinich
  (12:21 PM)

Why not? BC was in it until late November THIS year. But FSU has a better quarterback. We'll see how much respect BC gets from outsiders this year. They certainly have earned it.

Marc (Charlotte)

With all the Juniors coming back, does next year's best defense reside in Chapel Hill?

Heather Dinich
  (12:23 PM)

Yes. Nobody made more game-changing plays on defense than UNC did this year. Clemson's defense faltered down the stretch. Miami couldn't stop Wisconsin. Georgia Tech has been inconsistent. VT loses half its group. BC could be pretty good, though.

Dave (Norfolk VA)

sorry to see recruiting coach Chip West leave ODU for UVa, London does seem to have an organized plan, your thoughts

Heather Dinich
  (12:25 PM)

I agree that London is being very methodical about his hires. He told me he's in no hurry, he wants to get the right guys. They've got recruiting in the area covered, that's for sure. Only time will tell, though. I do like London's idea of getting back to basics on the field.

Jim (Newark)

Will teams finally be able to discover how to stop GT's triple option next year?

Heather Dinich
  (12:26 PM)

Like Paul Johnson says ... he's been doing this for over 20 years and nobody has figured it out.

Derek (Orlando, FL)

Unless I missed it I haven't heard anything about FSU hiring an Offensive Coordinator is Jimbo taking that role as well or will he hire someone to oversee everything but play calling.

Heather Dinich
  (12:28 PM)

I'm pretty sure Jimbo has said he's going to hire an offensive coordinator, but he will still call the plays.

Luke (Asheville)

Assuming only Morgan and Dwyer leave and GT wins tonight, where is GT ranked next year?

Heather Dinich
  (12:30 PM)

Only? Only?! Ahh, I would think a lot of voters would be reserved in their placing of GT without those two guys. Personally, I'd probably have them at 9 or 10, but I haven't looked at everyone else yet.

Jake (Chicago)

The Duke bowl drought ends in 2010 or 2011?

Heather Dinich
  (12:31 PM)

That's a tough one. The more I think about it, the more this year was the year to do it because of Thad Lewis and some key guys on defense. Sean Renfree can get them to a bowl, but I'm not sure if he can do it in the first year while missing spring ball. I'll say 2011, but I don't have their sked in front of me, either.

Justin (Arizona)

Do you have any info on R.Stanzi ? Is he close to 100%?

Heather Dinich
  (12:32 PM)

I asked Ferentz about Stanzi yesterday, he told me that Ricky has been a little sore after workouts, but that he's fine and "doesn't anticipate any problems."

Marc (Charlotte)

So Heather, what do you write about for the next 6 months or so after Ga Tech finishes up their season?

Heather Dinich
  (12:34 PM)

Haha you'd be surprised. This is year two of the blogs, and we kept 'em going year round. Between signing day, spring football, gearing up for summer camp ... this sport doesn't end.

Herky Hawkeye (Iowa City, IA)

How would you rank the Big Ten vs the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (12:35 PM)

Well, I think they're 1-1 against each other this year with an ACC win over Indiana (nothing to shout about), and Miami's loss to Wisconsin. Where the Big Ten has the edge is in BCS bowls. I'd put the ACC behind the Big Ten, despite last year's bowl records, but tonight's game is a good 3-3 tiebreaker.

Rich (Miami)

Or how about this, what if all the GT Juniors pull a "UNC" and all return? Then with a win tonight, what kind of ranking are we looking at? :-)

Heather Dinich
  (12:37 PM)

Ha, nice optimism. I'd have them at No. 5 probably.

Heather Dinich
  (12:37 PM)

Like I said, though, I haven't looked at the other teams.

Alex (Coral Gables)

Although the Canes looked miserable in our bowl game there is no doubt at the talent on the team....with everyone being a year older and our juniors coming back next season.....any chance at a top 15 preseason rank?

Heather Dinich
  (12:38 PM)

I do think Miami has a chance to work its way to that point, but I think they might start the season a little lower because of that bowl performance.

Heather Dinich
  (12:39 PM)

Alright guys, I'm sorry but I have to cut out early today. I need to get something done on that FSU/Bowden's wins decision. Feel free to drop some questions in the mailbag, though, and I'll post some of them on Friday. Enjoy the game tonight.