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March 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

What's up, guys? I'm here. Let's go ...

josh (tallahassee)

heather, just out of curiosity, can you please compare your experiences at UM, and FSU. Staffs, players, vibe etc.. I know canes are excited about their staff, but did it seem like the nole staff is above all, same, even less? Thanks!

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

Two totally different things going on at those places, Josh. FSU is entrenched in Jimbo's way of doing things, and Miami is adapting to Golden and the schemes of those coordinators. I honestly got a good vibe from BOTH places, though. FSU players were confident they've got things in the right place, and Miami players were confident that they've got enough experience and talent for the senior class to finish with the hype it came in with.

Kerby (Arlington, VA)

When did the ACC change its name to FSU? I feel like you have already given the 'Noles the mantle for the league, but let's not forget the Hokies are four time (and defending) champs. Road to the championship still needs to come through Blacksburg.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Nope, nobody has been crowned anything yet, and Virginia Tech is still on the list of places I'll visit this spring, so the Hokies will get more love once I actually get to Blacksburg. That being said, from top to bottom, FSU seems like the most loaded team in the ACC this year.

Cole (Utah)

If North Carolina beats Marquette and face Ohio State in the sweet sixteen, what advantages/disadvantages do they have against Ohio State, and how will Sullinger do agains Henson and Zeller.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Every week. At least one.

Tyler Hulsey (Atlanta, GA)

Can Florida State replace their two hole son the offensive line successfully? Do they have the power and skill set in their youth?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

Those within the program say yes and I tend to agree. Jimbo likes the guys who are competing for the jobs up front, especially the JUCO transfer.

Ryan (Florida)

Who are your top 5 ACC RB's for the 2011 season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

Great question, and one I need to give a closer look to, but I would start with Montel Harris, David Wilson, Andre Ellington and Storm Johnson.

Gabe Hauari (Richmond, VA)

How is the QB competition at Virginia shaping up? Any clear leaders? Thanks!

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

We've got a teleconference with Mike London scheduled for tomorrow, so I expect to know more then. I'll post an update for you, but I think it's safe to assume it's still too early for any clear leaders.

rodney (denver,co)

As a fsu fan I have always wondered why wont florida and miami play each other every like fsu plays both of them every year. Are they scared to play each other or what?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

From what I understand -- at least under former Miami AD Kirby Hocutt -- the hangup has been on Florida's end.

Jose (VA)

Who's going to win the QB battle at UVA? Do Metheny and Rocco have an advantage because of their playing time last year? Do you think Watford has a chance of playing this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

I think that's where you've got to start, with the guys who actually saw the field last year.

Jeff (Milwaukee)

HD - Great stuff on the Noles. Did you eat anywhere good while in Tally?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

Thanks, and yes ... a place called Andrew's downtown. Was a great day to eat outside.

Joe (Omaha)

Who's a sleeper team in the ACC right now?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

There are several of them. Nobody is talking about Maryland much, but the Terps have a good team coming back. I also think North Carolina could surprise some people.

James (Planet Rock)

HD, are you heading down Clemson way to see what that new no huddle might look like?

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

Yep, but not until April.

Dave (NJ)

H-Bomb, has the excitement over Paul Johnson's unique offense worn off and it may not work in a major conference (with better athletes)?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

If it has, it shouldn't. The offense works. It wasn't their problem last year, at least not entirely. Their special teams were bad. The defense was in a transition year. And they need to be more efficient when they throw. But they don't have to throw more often to win the ACC.

HoraceTheDeuce (The 7-5-7)

HD, Is the Big East choke job in the NCAA Tourney more of an epic fail than the ACC's bowl record the previous 2 season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Previous TWO seasons? How about the past five? I don't think the ACC has had a winning bowl record since 2005, but I have to double check myself on that. And the BCS bowl record? Let's not even go there ... the ACC wins, sorry.

Baldwin (Boston)

BTW, BC is a great sleeper team.

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Ah, yes, the forever underrated Eagles. Agreed. They always find a way to be in the hunt in November.

Taylor Drucker (Charleston, SC)

What do you think it will take for Clemson to reach 10 wins this year? Our defense should be strong enough for that to happen but what do you think the offense is gonna have to do to get us there?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

To me, Clemson's entire season is banking on that Auburn game. Obviously the offense has to get it together quickly under Tajh Boyd -- don't turn it over, sustain drives, get the running game going, etc. -- but they've also got to avoid another 2-3 start. A strong September start and I think Clemson will be rolling.

Osceola (The Asylum)

Are all those FSU players as short as the appear in your videos?? You appear as tall or taller than every one except Erik J --

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

Oh geez. Running backs are no match for me and my heels. Montel Harris would need a ladder.

corey (miami)

How much stock do you put in Golden's depth charts at the U? I am praying Jacory doesn't start.

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Now that the first one is done, and we're more into spring ball, I would take each one for exactly what it is. That doesn't mean it won't change, but I would take it at face value each time it's released.

Paul (Tampa)

How was your visit to Tally? Sems like Manuel already has taken a leader role and ran withn it? Are they concerned so many offensive line men abd Luc are out fro the Spring due to injuries? They seem confident but cautious.

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

No doubt this is Manuel's team already. He's a leader and a good one. No, they're not concerned about the players missing the spring for injuries. It's a chance to get some younger guys snaps. Fisher said the good news is they'll all be back.

Baldwin (Boston)

BC will have the best defense in the league and hopefully an emerging offense. Do you see an upset when FSU visits the Eagles for a hyped Thurs night game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

I think it depends on what's happened to Florida State to that point. If they've knocked off Oklahoma and Clemson, then no. If they've stumbled before, I'd think it be more likely they do it again. That being said, I've seen FSU lose at BC before. It wouldn't surprise me.

Mike (Toga, NY)

HD, after meeting with the NOLES, have you reprised your thoughts on the Oklahoma game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Honestly, sitting there listen to Jimbo Fisher talk -- and I think I Tweeted this -- you would think the Seminoles could win the national title today. He's comfortable, not too concerned about anything but the players getting wrapped up in the hype. Still, I'm sticking with my pick of the Sooners in a close game.

John (Jacksonville)

Without quite as many playmakers on the offensive side of the ball as compared to last year, but a much more favorable schedule, should the VT fans expect another 10 win season this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Yes, with that noncon schedule, there's no reason not to.

jordan (charleston, south carolina)

why is andre ellington barely being spoken about? He will be one of the premier players in the conference without a doubt. An elite talent.

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

Well, because he's been injured and hasn't had the chance to really make those headlines yet. I think he will as long as he stays healthy. What's up with the toes at Clemson, anyway? It seems like every year a running back has turf toe or something.

Brian (South Beach)

If it was your team, would you stick with Jacory and hope he finally gets it, or cut your losses and start fresh with Morris?

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

I would do exactly what Golden is doing and start fresh with the competition. Make them show me who is best. The biggest advantage Jacory has over Morris is his experience.

James (Aisle 24, Wal Mart Supercenter)

Given the fact that the Tiggers are installing a new offense this Spring but won't get to see what the majority of the freshmen can do until the summer, do you expect that Clemson's team will still be figuring itself out much like last year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

No doubt. This will look like an entirely new team come summer camp. I expect more growing pains then and for the learning curve to continue.

tigerfromthedirty (thedirty)

heather what is baldwin smoking bc will never have the best d in the league not as long as fsu vt and clem are in the acc

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

Have you SEEN BC's defense? It's been one of the most overrated and consistent groups in the country. I expect it to be the same. BC finished ahead of FSU and VT last year in scoring D. Clemson might have the best, though.

Greg (Bburg)

I heard Oglesby might switch back to RB to add some depth behind David.

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

I believe this is correct.

Brian (South Beach)

Was there anyone you asked to interview that wasn't made available at FSU?

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

The assistants. :)

'Fresh Start at the U' (Rehoboth Beach)

Any chance for a Canes upset of the Buckeyes?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

Have you seen the news? No doubt. But Miami apparently has its issues/suspensions, too. Expecting more from Golden on that at practice today.

Osceola (The Asylum)

You talked to EJ (extensively I assume) he is such a shy, reserved, nice, polite kid -- does he have the agressiveness to be THE BIG DOG IN CHARGE on the field? Is that part of his personality?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

Actually, yes. That was a topic of discussion down there. He's got a different switch when he's on the field. Says he's kind of like Jimbo in that regard. Jimbo agreed.

Kenneth (OH)

When will the NCAA come down on UNC? This has been taking so long!

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Too long.

You know who this is >-->-->----------> ((Argentina))

HD, I'm curious as to why you refuse to answer my questions?And is Chris Thompson not gonna be in your top 5 RB's, are you kidding me?

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

I have no friends, let alone any in Argentina, but I believe I only named four in case a comment like this came in. :)

Baldwin (Chestnut Hill)

tigerfromthedirty is INSANE. BC is without a doubt the best D.

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

I love spring football trash talk.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Have you had much interaction with Coach Edsall yet? (your heels are no match for him) Is Davin Meggett big enough to be a workhorse like Jordan Todman was for him at Uconn?

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

A little, and you're right. The guy could still level just about anyone. I'm heading back there this week to talk to the Terps more, and I think not only Meggett, but D.J. Adams is also reason for Maryland fans to be excited about that running game.

Greg (Winston-Salem)

do you think the passing game will play a bigger role in Wake's offense this year with Price developing and the new WR/Passing game coach?

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

Good question. I'm not sure because Wake has been so fickle with what it's done offensively lately. I actually spoke to their OC today and he told me that they changed schemes three times last year, so who knows what they'll settle on. Wake post coming after the chat for ya.

Rich (Maryland)

HD - How many high school stadiums have you been in that are bigger than the Terp's stadium? Do you think they're ready to invest in the progra to make it more competitive?

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

No. Money is an issue at Maryland, but I asked the coaches if they saw ANY reason the Terps couldn't be a consistent top 25 team -- money, fan support, facilities, etc. -- and they said no. So, I guess there aren't any excuses in CP.

Paul Harris (Kansas City, Kansas)

Do you think Virginia Tech football will do good with Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams, and Darren Evans gone? How will Beamer handle it?

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

If there's one thing the Hokies are good at, it's reloading. This staff knows how to develop talent. I expect them to repeat as Coastal champs until proven otherwise.

Andrew (Charlotte)

What's the over under on how many rabbits D. Wilson will catch in practice? backflips he'll do in a row? track & field medals he'll win?

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

Four. 10. Not as many as me.

Rugby Player (Raleigh)

N.C. State will soon be the team to talk about. Everyone underestimates them but I have faith...

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

As you should. Talked to Mike Glennon yesterday. He said not only are they looking to maintain last year's success, but improve on it. This team is as deep and healthy as it has been under TOB. NC State post coming for ya later.

Downey (Bburg, VA)

HD, have you ever read our comments on your blog? And, honestly, have you ever posted on your own blog as someone else? Don't be shy, just answer this one.

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

Me? Shy? I have to record videos of myself talking to you guys every week in my home office. C'mon, man. Yes, I sometimes read the comments, and sometimes I post, but if I do, most of the regulars know it's me. I'm accadmin.

Tyler (Roanoke Va)

hey HD just wonderin what ure expectations this year on UVA i kno alot of people are saying only 4-5 wins but i think UVA can get 6-7 maybe 8 wins this year against W&M, Sourthern Miss, Indiana, Idaho, with winnable games with GT, Miami, and Duke, what are your thoughts on this prediction?

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Another manageable nonconference schedule, and there's plenty of experience returning on defense for the Hoos to surprise some people. I don't think they'll lose to Duke again, but I wouldn't get too confident about a win over Miami. I'm thinking six wins is good to aim for in London's second season, and that would be impressive with a new QB.

Sam (Roswell, Ga)

Which is stronger this year, Coastal, or Atlantic?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

I'm going with Atlantic. There's more turnover at QB in the Coastal.

Bryan (SOCAL)

If Clemson makes it with a win past Auburn and FSU, do you think that they could run the table on the rest of the games?

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

No. I think they'll beat Auburn or South Carolina. Not both. And I've already said I think they'll beat Auburn.

Marcello (McLean, VA)

Any more news on the progression of Logan Thomas? If his accuracy improves this spring and summer, how do you see him performing as a starter?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

Nope, and probably won't have much more on him until the Hokies are really into spring ball. If he makes strides this offseason, there's no telling what he can do. Once his skills match his physical abilities, look out.

John (Blacksburg, va)

With the Lockout potential for this season in the NFL, should players who declared early for the draft be given the opportunity to return back to school? They would be able to play for one more season and hopefully receive their degree. i.e. Ryan Williams and Darren Evans

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

They can always come back to school, but I don't think they should be given a free pass to play. They knew this was a possiblity and it's a risk they were willing to take.

Steve K (Arlington, VA)

London and the Cavs are scrimmaging/practicing in both Hampton and Alexandria this year ... have any other teams in the ACC (or other conferences for that matter) travelled like this for spring practice?

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

Miami fans will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Canes went or are going somewhere else for a scrimmage.

John (Charlotte, NC)

Hey Heather, why do you think it is that no matter how well Clemson recruits, it can never seem to get to that upper tier of the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

I asked Dabo about the talent there and he said in the past it hasn't been as good as everyone thought it was. Regardless, some of it obviously has to do with coaching, otherwise he wouldn't have made a change at OC, and TDP wouldn't have made a change at HC.

Gary (FL)

is there ANY hope for Duke to beat Stanford this year? ANY hope at all?

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

So you're saying there's a chance? ...

Sam Mitchel (Blacksburg, Virginia)

Do you see the Hokies going to the National Championship anytime soon or at least staying in the Top 10 for a whole season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Shane Beamer will definitely help in recruiting, as will all of the staff changes Beamer made this offseason, but that will take a while to materialize. They've got a schedule this year that's conducive to a top-10 finish, but with a new QB, I think they need some time to get back to that level.

Nurse Ratched (The Insane Asylum)

They (Canes) are going to Boca Raton (Palm Beach County) for one of their scrimmages

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

I knew it was something like that, thanks.

James (Tallahassee)

Which one of FSU's early enrollee's will have an immediate impact?

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

I asked Jimbo that (didn't you watch the video?!) and he said it's too early to tell, but with the way he's been gushing over the JUCOs, that would be my guess.

canedude (ny)

sorry joined very late - just read this!! Who are your top 5 ACC RB's for the 2011 season?Heather Dinich (1:05 PM)Great question, and one I need to give a closer look to, but I would start with Montel Harris, David Wilson, Andre Ellington and Storm Johnson.What about Miller???? How is storm johnson ahead of him?

Heather Dinich
  (1:55 PM)

Ask Golden. That's who's No. 1 on the depth chart right now.

Justin (VT) (Alexandria)

Hey Heather, before you sign off. How do you see the dynamics of Stiney working with O'Cain calling the plays? Do you expect any differences in the offensive structure?

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

I really don't. I've gotten to know the guys on the staff fairly well, and I believe them when they say they can make this work, that there are no hard feelings, etc. Unusual? Yes, but it makes sense if you think about the relationship O'Cain has with Logan Thomas.

James (Event Horizon)

As per John in Charlotte's question : COACHING (they do have good talent). Clemson has in recent years had close losses to Nebraska, TCU and Auburn and those teams have excelled while Clemson remains mediocre. Do you believe in a team 'being due' for a breakout?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

I do. And unfortunately for Clemson, FSU is "due" too.

James (Maryland)

Any hope for the terps in their season opener with Miami?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Of course, especially if Miami has players suspended, but moreso because of the way Maryland lost that game last year. They'll have home field advantage in a night game and want to redeem themselves from that loss last year.

The U is never coming back (The Asylum)

Do you really think Duke has a shot at a bowl game?

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

No, I post things like that just to get the rest of the Coastal Division fans riled up. YES, I really think that. It's Cutcliffe's fourth season. He's a good coach and he's got a great passing game to work with. They have questions, lots of them, yes, but it's time.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

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