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September 21, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

Hey guys, I'm here, let's get started.

Dave (SFL)

Prediction: Loser of Miami-FSU on Oct 9th is the winner of Miami-FSU in ACC Title Game. Agree?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

That was my prediction this summer, but Clemson is looking like it might be the team to beat in the Atlantic now. We'll see. I'm not counting the Noles out yet.

ALAN (S CAR)

Is RANDY SHANNON on the hot seat if Miami does not live up to expectations this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

Randy just got a contract extension this past offseason, so I would think he's got until next season to compete for the NC, but no doubt the pressure will increase significantly if they're not contending for the ACC title in November this year.

Sean (Ft Lauderdale, FL)

Does the winner of NC State/Georgia Tech get back into the top 25?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

It depends on what everyone else does, but I'd say there's a good chance -- especially for the Pack at 4-0. I'd have them ranked.

Dan (Richmond, VA)

Heather, What is your 1 upset in the ACC this week?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

Maybe Florida International over the Terps. With three conference games and only one ranked team, there really aren't a lot of chances for true "upsets."

Donald (Virginia)

Who is looking better UVA or Va Tech this season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

So far I've been more impressed with the way UVA played at USC, but Frank Spaziani and David Cutcliffe both have said they think the Hokies are a NC-caliber team.

Andrew (Clemson, SC)

What's next for Kyle Parker and the Clemson Tigers? How do they move passed this heartbreaking loss?

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

Well, the first thing is to heal. KP got banged up in that game. The only way to move past it is to beat Miami on Oct. 2.

Matthew (Alexandria)

Heather, what do you think the reaction will be if BC beats Va Tech? I feel like it's a no win situation - either they beat a then 1-3 team and don't get credit, or they lose to team that lost to JMU. I think BC is a top 25 team, but no one is giving them any respect.

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

Look, I literally just got off the phone with Alex Albright right before this chat. The team is coming together, but he told me even they needed the first two weeks as tune-ups. Nobody knows if BC is a top 25 team after playing Weber State and Kent State.

Michael (Atlanta)

I admit I was a little worried with how Georgia Tech's first two games went, but Saturday they played a good game against a good North Carolina team missing starters or not, I think the defense will continue to get better. Do you see Georgia Tech as the team to beat in the coastal, especially the way Va tech has looked and we have Miami at home, which given the home schedule this year the fans will be hyped for that game and it should make a difference with the colder weather.

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

Georgia Tech is still the defending ACC champs and has won, what is it, six straight ACC games dating back to last year and not including the ACCCG. That being said, I still think Miami is the team to beat in the Coastal. The game you're talking about could decide the winner.

Brent Austin (Kentucky)

UNC had 2 weeks to prepare for GA Tech's spread option offense, but couldn't get it done at home. So why do people keep making the argument that if you have more than a week to prepare for Tech's offense you can beat them? It's a moot point!

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

Agreed.

Mike (Putting on my helmet)

Heather- Could you, me, and nine other strangers off the street score on Duke's and Wake Forest's defenses. I think we could take 'em!

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

Heather (lacing up): I can run.

Matt (Orlando)

Do people realize that Jimbo is only three games into his coaching career and this the first year of a new defensive coordinator. I think FSU is a top 25 team but will go through bumps and bruises. FSU will be "back" in two years I believe.

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

I have FSU ranked in my Top 25. At some point, you have to give credit to the fact it was on the road against a top 10 team. Sure, they have work to do and I'm not convinced FSU is "back," but it can still win the ACC.

Will (Augusta, GA)

Which team has the best defense in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

Tough call. Miami is playing well, but Virginia made a statement at USC and NC State's defense is allowing about 15 ppg.

Jake (Blacksburg)

If the Hokies manage to win out by some miracle, would they have any shot at being ranked again, or does losing to an FCS team put them completely out of the running?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

Not only does losing to an FCS team hurt their chances, but so does two losses. Look at our standings page and see how many undefeated teams are still out there.

Alllison (Chapel Hill, nc)

HD, does Butch Davis have something to prove this year if he wants to keep his job? Or do you even think his job is in jeopardy?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Yes, I do think his job is in jeopardy, no matter what AD Dick Baddour says. When you're representing a school with what was once a shiny academic reputation, this kind of investigation and black mark will cost somebody. Especially if the Tar Heels don't get to a bowl game.

Pat (Boston)

In terms of upsets do you consider the fact that Army WILL beat Duke this weekend and upset???

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

No, I don't think anyone beating Duke qualifies as an "upset" just yet, but don't forget the Blue Devils won that one on the road last year -- and Renfree was QB.

fbthebear (the blogs)

the winner of the GT-VT game always represents the coastal in the acc championship game, does that trend end this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Early prediction: Yes.

Shane (Georgia)

Heather, Georgia Tech and UGA both seem to be a little down right now. Who do you think wins this in-state rival at the end of the year (dont forget that A.J. will be back)?d

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

Tough to say since I haven't seen Georgia's offense with Green, but that's a tough road trip regardless. I'll stick with my summer pick and say the Jackets with that one.

leo (Melbourne florida)

At this point in the season who would you have in the ACC Championship game? I know there is still lots of football to play just a curious question to see what your thinking...

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

I'm thinking ... Miami and Clemson.

Trey (Raleigh)

Do you think Russell Wilson has a decent shot at national attention and possible consideration for the Heisman?

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

Only if NC State wins the ACCCG and is ranked, but in my opinion, he's one of the most underrated QBs in the country.

Hoo (charlottesville)

What is UVA's biggest issue to figure out before they can be taken seriously in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Honestly, I think it's simply recruiting, which London and his staff have already made significant strides in. The program needs to get the right players in the right spots and it will be fine.

Laura (Va)

How quickly people forget 1995....Va Tech lost it's first 2 games and went on to win 10 straight...including the Sugar Bowl over the 'Horns...

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

This is true, but (sorry, phone) ... the Hokies are banged up, and the schedule isn't getting any easier.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Were you disappointed in the Terps' performance? Didn't expect them to win but they could not have come out flatter than they did.

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

I don't get disappointed, Matt, but I was surprised. It wasn't just flat, it was bad.

Troy Barricklow (Lexington Park, MD)

What do you see as the "keys" to the game for Florida State vs Wake Forest?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

It's simple, Troy, if Wake's defense doesn't get better quickly, the Deacs are in trouble.

Lee (Cedartown GA)

Heather, If the majority of college football teams including (Alabama, Boise State, and Ohio State) become one loss teams and Miami continues to be a one loss team for the entire season what do you think the Canes changes would be for a national title game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Still not good because you know they won't pass Ohio State or Alabama in the rankings.

Corey (Chicago)

Heather, how about that "little giants" call by Mark Dantonio?

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Loved it. Loved the movie, too, but I'm a sucker.

Jay (Bloomington, IN)

Better watch? NC State/Ga Tech or Va Tech/BC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

I'll go with the Atlanta game, but only because I'm very curious about NC State. History, though, says BC/VT is the game to watch.

Henry (NC)

State champ of NC early prediction...who you got?

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Don't forget Virginia Tech is in the running for that this year with games against ECU, NC State, DUke, UNC ... am I missing anyone? Anyway, I'll go with the Pack.

Dion (Charlotte)

In terms of the national scale, how bad is the ACC is the eyes of the public.

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

I don't know, you guys tell me. I'd imagine pretty bad.

Chad (Blacksburg)

We also get wake at home hd

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

I knew I was missing somebody, thanks.

Chris (Athens, GA)

Hate to remind you Heather (love your work...usually) BUT WE RUN THIS STATE!

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

Thanks, Chris, but Arkansas might beg to differ?

Peter (Atlanta, GA)

What are Maryland's odds of getting to a bowl game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

Oh they're still in it, Peter, but Terps fans should be concerned with the depth at quarterback with everyone dinged up right now.

Shane (Savannnah)

If the best ACC team (in your own opionion) played the best team from every other magor conf. what do you think the ACC's record would be?ACC vs AlabamaACC vs Ohio StateACC vs TexasACC vs OregonACC vs W. VirginaACC vs Boise state

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

Well, with the exeception of a few, it's pretty much done that, no? Oh-fer.

Donald (VA)

Is UVA cutting into VA Tech recruiting in the Tidewater area of VA?

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

There will definitely be more competition, but there is enough talent in that region and state for both schools.

Matt (State other than Florida)

Tanner Price and Sean Renfree are better statistical candidates than Christian Ponder or Jacory Harris. Will it take until November before the Florida hype machine turns off again this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

I really don't think anyone outside of ACC country is paying attention to any of the QBs to be honest with you.

Hurbert (Radford, VA)

A healthy David Wilson or healthy Ryan Williams?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

Right now, Ryan Williams. You can't substitute for his experience. Wilson will get there.

Dan (Asheville, NC)

Clemson has had tough teams in the past, but this group is looking pretty physical & not just upfront. What do you see in this Clemson team that may set them apart from other teams in the conference?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

You nailed it, Dan. There were some big hits in that game. But that was also a game in which "the old Clemson" probably would have folded.

Gerry (CA)

Is the ACC going to win a BCS bowl this season?Does an ACC team deserve to be in a BCS bowl this season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

Too early to tell, and it totally depends on the matchup. Yes, the ACC champ deserves a BCS bowl.

Ben (Carrollton)

GT plays UNC, NC State, Duke and Wake this season. Don't leave GT out as a contender for North Carolina State Champs.

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

Fair point, and they're already 1-0.

Jon (Atlanta, Ga)

I have not felt more worried about containing an offense than I do about Tech containing Russel Wilson and the Wolfpack. What are your thoughts on the game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

I'd imagine NC State's defensive coordinator is just as concerned about Nesbitt. The Pack is going to have to win the game by controlling the clock and keeping Nesbitt off the field.

Jennifer (Tiger Fan)

Heather, Why do you think Clemson can't ever finish off a big game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

Well, on Saturday it was because of a silly penalty (which was the right call, he double-clutched it), but the defense always seem to fold or get beat for a quarter or a drive.

Bobby (Richmond, VA)

Having seen UVA's 1...2... punch at RB (Perry Jones & Keith Payne) Do you think they are as talented and as deep at RB than any other ACC school?

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

They've been a pleasant surprise in Charlottesville, no doubt about that, and some other groups have gotten off to a disappointing start. I still think Miami is one of the deepest and most talented, though. And VT still has the edge in experience.

Phillip (CA)

Heather, who would you say has a worse reputation at this point: ACC or Big East?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

I'll go with the Big East, but at least it didn't lose to an FCS team. At least I don't think it did.

Jared (Tallahassee, FL)

Tanner Price and Sean Renfree may have better stats right now, but be honest, who would rather have, those 2 or Ponder and Harris. I think I'll take the latter!

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

This year, yes, but I'm telling you, those guys are going to be special QBs in the ACC.

isaiah (nc)

hd im a duke fan i just want to know how many years the alabama loss set back coach cut at duke?

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

No, no. It wasn't a setback. It was a reality check and a measure of how far the program still has to go.

sam (ga)

If the acc wins the rest of its nc games does the conferance get in respect or is the chances of that happening gone?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

The best chances are behind the ACC, but it could certainly make a strong push at redemption by winning the remaining noncon games and bowl games. A team like Miami could finish hot and everyone would be talking again.

Todd (MD)

Suppose Clemson beats the U in a couple of weekends...do you put Clemson as the best team in the conference?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

Yes, unless NC State is still undefeated.

Peter (Atlanta, GA)

What went wrong with the Hokies running game? I know one of the backs is banged up, but they were supposed to be as good as anybody running the ball and I feel like Tyrod has had to do more than his fair share?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

It all starts up front.

Dan (ma)

Heather,Getting blown out by the No. 1 team, at home, on ABC. Good or bad for recruiting?

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

Both. Recruits want to play teams like Bama, and they want to play on TV. You can't beat that exposure, but obviously it never helps to get blown out.

Matt (DC)

Will NC State try to run the ball against GT? I know Wilson is awesome, but our run defense isn't exactly a steel curtain.

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Sure, they've got Mustafa Greene, who I think was just named the ACC's Rookie of the Week. He should have some confidence after that game, and considering GT's run D continues to allow 100-yard rushers, it would make sense to try it.

Chuck (Cleveland)

What was with Michigan this past weekend? Is that the sign of things to come if school start preparing for Denard? Also what did you think of the OU Bobcat Mascot having the best tackle of the day on a Buckeye (even though it was Brutus)?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

I've been saying for two weeks now that I'm not convinced in Michigan, but Denard Robinson definitely deserves a ton of credit. But yeah, eventually defenses are going to slow him down. Especially Ohio State's.

Dan (Boston)

Forde just called out the Eagles in the Dash - said they're looking at their fewest Ws in years. What's your prediction - does Pat owe the Eagles an apology before the season is over?

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

Eh ... It's too early to tell. They haven't played anyone. But yeah, I'll go ahead and disagree with 4D, it's fun.

Devin (Harkers Island, NC)

NCSU has not played GT since Paul Johnson took over at GT. Do you think having John Tenuta will benefit NCSU preparing for GT?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

I think GT having Andy McCollum will be more beneficial because of the timing of the hire. He came right from NC State and is more familiar with their personnel.

Ben (Carrollton)

In regards to Todd's question above, if GT beats NC State and Wake in the next two weeks, they will be 3-0 in conference and 5-1 overall (with two of those wins coming on the road) and you would still have Clemson ranked ahead of GT?

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

Good catch, thanks. A loss to ranked Auburn on the road is still better than a loss at Kansas. But you'll make me think about it.

Nathan (SC)

more crucial for VaTech to win the next two weeks or go 3 for 3 in the UNC, GT, Miami stretch?

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

Hmm. Tough, and in the summer I'm sure I said the November stretch was the key stretch, but if VT loses the next two games, you're looking at a 1-4 record and November won't matter much, will it?

Daniel (Blacksburg, VA)

How much did the maryland loss hurt the ACC? WVU was ranked and that is one of the most intense places to play as you could tell early on in the game.

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

It's just lumped together with the other losses, but it's not that Maryland lost, it's how bad the offense looked in the first half.

Mark (Boston)

Does BC brand of smouth mashed football act as a competitive advantage when they play the more athletic/faster schools?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Yeah, and I think we saw that in the bowl game against USC, but if you ask the BC players and coaches, they'll tell you that their players are just as good and fast. I think that blue collar work ethic has a lot to do with it though.

Dan (Washington, DC)

After I've finally gotten to the point of accepting the fact that all of the ACC teams will likely be playing for basically just an ACC Championship and Orange Bowl birth, is there anything ACC fans can look forward to for next year as we go through another wild season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

Sure, start with coaching. I really believe the ACC has some of the best in Frank Beamer, Paul Johnson, David Cutcliffe, Jim Grobe, etc. There are also a lot of young talented players to keep an eye on like David Wilson and Sean Renfree.

Rod (Vienna, VA)

Is it me, or is the real issue at BC right now not Dave Schinske but their O-Line? They can't seem to either protect the QB or open holes for Montel Harris right.

Heather Dinich
  (1:55 PM)

The line still hasn't played to its potential, no, but the staff is still waiting for better game management from Shinskie, too. It's a group effort.

Mike (Florida)

Will FSU have a down year at QB next year when Ej Manuel takes over for Christian Ponder?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

First of all, I'm really surprised at how many comments are ripping Ponder in here. Second, I don't think FSU will struggle at all with Manuel. He was the Gator Bowl MVP.

Rod (Vienna, VA)

Should we expect to see Chase Rettig behind center sometime this season (especially with the big recruit coming next year)?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

I'd be surprised to be honest. I'll predict a redshirt season for him unless Shinskie turns into a disaster.

Rob (Savannah, GA)

The ACC year in and year out has one of the best draft classes in the country. The problem either has to be with the players or the coaches, right? So it's clearly not the players, so how can you say that the ACC has some of the best coaches?

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Staff stability counts for something, Rob, and of those coaches I mentioned one (CPJ) was a two-time ACC COY, and two others (Beamer and Grobe) have won ACC titles. There's been a lot of turnover in recent years, but the guys who are in now are good, Mike London included.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Alright guys, my time is up here. Thanks for joining me. See you in the blogosphere.