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May 10, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

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

Josh (Blacksburg)

HD, what makes you think Clemson "overshadows" BC? I for one think the Eagles are a better team, but I don't think the margin between them is great in either direction.

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

You're right, the margin between them isn't that great, but Clemson overshadows BC in the national perception because of the recruiting, the expectations, etc. Clemson is one of the closest programs the ACC has to an SEC-like atmosphere on game days, and that follows the Tigers off the field.

Ed (College Park)

Hi Heather,Was curious what your favorite Gary Williams memory was?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

I'll let this one hoops question slide only because how many other people received a call from GW when he was in Kuwait to get, well, I'll put it mildly -- yelled at. Seriously, though, we had our moments but I was sorry to hear he was done.

T.C. (Richmond, VA)

Hey HD, can you explain to me why any mid to upper level team from a BCS conference would ever schedule App St, JMU, Richmond, etc? Seems way more risk than reward to me.

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

You think? It's only a risk if your team isn't focused. Yes, the talent gap has gotten smaller because of the 85 scholarship limit, but if I'm a coach, I'm lining up the little guys to knock 'em down knowing how much pressure there is out there to get to a bowl game and win a NC.

Mike (Durham, NC)

As a rare Duke fan who regularly reads your blog where do you think Duke's chances of getting to a bowl really stand. I look at their schedule and I'm not sure I see six wins. They have to win at least 3 of 4 nonconference games and none of those inlcuding the season opener against Richmond are gimmies. Even FIU which used to be a joke on par with Duke, probably will be favored, I would think.

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

There are enough possible wins on the schedule, but Duke HAS to go 3-1 in the nonconference season for it to happen. Even then, like I've said before, Duke has to beat somebody it's not expected to, but that's where I think this year is different -- I think they can finally do that.

Alex (Fairfax)

HD -- you've said that Tech has the weakest non-conf schedule in the ACC, but i think arguably NC State or UVa has it worse. I mean...Indiana!? C'mon man....

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

NC State makes a very strong case, but at least they have a BCS opponent. And UVA's is slightly more challenging because they've got one FCS opponent, NC State has two.

Mike D (Lake Wales Fl)

Was moving Lamarcus Joyner to safety a good call?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

No doubt. That was one thing the Noles learned this spring -- that he can play the position at the collegiate level.

Jason (Atlanta)

Hey Heather - do you think the recent off-field problems Al Golden has been having are indicative of how he plans to run the program? Would these things have happened under Shannon?

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

No. There is no reason for Miami fans to worry about Al Golden's discipline. And yes, these things would have happened under Shannon. They were his recruits.

Phillip (a stadium near you)

Heather,u chose Boston College as a surprise team in the ACC.they always have a very good defense.what difference has Kevin Rogers made with the offense this spring?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

Well, Spaz isn't a very revealing coach, and don't expect the Eagles to suddenly look dramatically different. They're not changing to a spread offense or anything like that. I think where he'll have the biggest impact is in how he works with Chase Rettig.

Scott (roanoke,va)

The way Butch Davis is recruiting at UNC and with the Coastal dominance of VT, I can envision the rivalry between these two programs ramping up....come Nov. 17 we may just see a game between these two for all the Coastal marbles...what say you?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Absolutely, and I think that was one of the three games I mentioned in the spring wrap up video. That game is at Virginia Tech on a Thursday night, but it's not like the Hokies haven't lost to UNC before.

Jeff (Norfolk, VA)

Besides quarterback play, what is it going to take to see my Hoos in a bowl this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

Three things that come to mind: Turnover margin, penalties and rushing defense. If they can make significant strides in those three areas, it will be a different, better team.

Phil (Miami)

How do you project the canes to do in some of their big games this year - FSU, VA TECH, OSU, UNC, KSTATE

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

Let's just start with FSU -- if they even come close to the same pitiful performance they had last year agains the Noles, I'll be surprised. Obviously they've got a chance against the Buckeyes, what with that program imploding and everything, but I'm not so sure they're going to win on Labor Day. Miami is a good team, but they've got to make sure everyone is, as Dabo would say, "all in."

Mike (Cocoa, Florida)

With OU, UF, UM, and Clemson on their schedule, does FSU have one of the nations toughest schedules?

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

I had them at No. 2 behind Clemson in the ACC, but that was just for nonconference schedules.

Earl (Mullins SC)

Do you think that with the more up-tempo Clemson offense that Andre Ellington will be one of the Elite rushers in the country? If he can stay healthy of course. He reminds me so much of CJ Spiller because he is a game breaker.

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

There's one guy I'm eager to see healthy this year. Yes, he could really make some headlines because of how much they plan to run the ball.

Sarah (Durham)

With NC State having Glennon, UNC having Renner, is there a chance that my devils will have the best QB in the triangle in Renfree???

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

Definitely a chance. He had a great spring. Cutcliffe has me convinced Renfree could be one of the best in the ACC this year.

Mike (Las Vegas, NV)

Where do you anticipate the four players leaving Miami to end up?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

I'm not sure, but I do know that Golden has an excellent track record of helping guys who want to leave find the next right program. I think it was 100 percent at Temple.

Ryan (SD)

Who's a team I'm gunna wanna watch down the ACC stretch?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

North Carolina.

Daniel (Chicago, IL)

Will the ACC have 2 BCS teams this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Nope. Hasn't happened since expansion, and I don't see that changing this year. Maybe next.

David (Raleigh)

Who has done the best coaching Job in the ACC the past 2 years that's still coaching their school

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Paul Johnson comes to mind quickly, but last season didn't cut it. Frank Beamer probably. David Cutcliffe another option.

Jonathan (Edenton, NC)

I believe Virginia is closing the gap on VT. I also find humor in someone from Blacksburg trying to separate BC from Clemson when VT could not separate themself from James Madison! Who will VT slip up with this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

I wrote that ECU is the most likely noncon trap game, but my gut feeling is that the Hokies will cruise through the noncon sked and then lose one or two to somebody like Miami and/or North Carolina.

Deante (Louisville)

HD, in your opinion, what is the best in-conference rivalry right now in the ACC? Miami/FSU has lost its luster. Clemson/FSU has been a good one recently. So has Clemson/GT. Not that I'm partial or anything. Go Tigers!

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Hmm. Clemson/GT has been very good, but I'm starting to really get into the NC State/UNC game. It seems like every year it's ... he won't lose AGAIN, will he? ...

Dan (DC)

HD - how could Paul Johnson even enter your mind, never mind "come to mind quickly" after last year's 6-7 debacle?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

Because in the three seasons he's been there, he's been named Coach of the Year twice, won the ACC title game once, the division twice, and proven everyone wrong that his offense can and does work at the BCS level.

Jamie (Austin)

Obviously they've got a chance against the Buckeyes, what with that program imploding and everything.Are you serious? They had a chance to be them with the A team in last year. If we do beat them all anyone will be able to talke about is the players that didn't play.

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

You don't have a chance when you turn it over four times. But yes, you're right, if Miami wins that game everyone will talk about how it was because Ohio State wasn't full strength. That's why Jacory Harris wants everyone to play. At least I would assume that's why he said that to me this spring.

Skip (DC)

Tech/Tech seems to be one of the best series of recent if not best "rivalry"

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

Yeah, good call ... the winner of that game has gone on to win the Coastal Division EVERY year since the conference split.

Jboogie (Work, VA)

Heather, please tell Jonathan from Edenton, that while Tech might not seperate themselves from JMU, we have seperated ourselves from our couches, come bowl season. Something UVA hasn't done in some time.

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

Lol ... Don't shoot the messenger, Jonathan.

Josh (Fredericksburg, VA)

If Paul Johnson has another 6-7 debacle, do people start saying he only won with Gailey's recruits?

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

Probably. Who did Ralph Friedgen's big wins come with? To this day people say Ron Vanderlinden's players.

Adam J (Greensboro)

Which freshman RB do you see having the biggest impact this year Heather? True Frosh or Redshirt...

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

Hmm. Mike Bellamy at Clemson might be the guy.

Jack (Tampa)

I was at the Florida St - NC State game last year and even though we lost that atmosphere was pretty intense. Were you at the game? I never hear NC State Mentioned as a place with a great, tough Atmosphere to play in was it just that game? cause it was fl st? i know that had something to do with ponders fumble

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Yes, I was at that game, and can still see that fumble like it was yesterday. I was so impressed with the NC State crowd. I'm not sure if it was just because it was the FSU game, but I've been to other games there before and don't remember it being quite THAT electric.

Ethan (Reading, PA (soon Tally!))

Is there anything besides the O-line that may stop the Noles from being an elite team this year? The spring game worried me a little bit but Rick Trickett always seems to get the best out of his guys.

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

I used to work at the Reading Eagle, Ethan, waaaay back in the day. But no, I don't see FSU having any other major area of concern, and Trickett is one of the best in the business. Despite the injuries this spring, I wouldn't be too concerned about FSU up front.

john (atlanta)

What do you think about the players transferring from UNC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

I don't think any of that news will affect the Tar Heels from being a contender in the Coastal.

Josh (Fredericksburg, VA)

Jack from Tampa - I was at the NC St - VT game this year, and the atmosphere was pretty good there too (wasn't quite as loud as Blacksburg, but I was impressed none the less)

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

That was another good game, too. All the more reason to remember why NC State should still be in the mix in the Atlantic this year.

Jim (Boston)

Now that BC has a solid backup RB with Andre Williams, Montel Harris will not have to carry the ball as many times. Do you think Montel will have the best season of his career?

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

I think he'll have a record-setting season, yes.

Judge KITTHJ (the insane asylum aka shenaniganistan)

Dear HD, do you think that Maryland or Boston College will have a better season? GO HOKIES

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

Boston College.

Heels Yeah 23 (The Asylum)

With UNC's ginormous line, do you see Ryan Houston getting over 1,000 yards (if he is able to stay healthy)? Also do you see Dwight Jones getting over 1,000 yards through the air?

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Butch Davis has said that he wants two or three guys carrying the ball. I'm not sure they have two or three guys right now. Houston has trimmed down and told me he's ready, so it's a definite possibility. Davis has said Houston is good enough to be the every down back. Yet I still feel like Jones will be the star of that team.

Curtis (Richmond, VA)

What impressed you most about Logan Thomas on your trip to VT this spring?

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Aside from the fact I had to look at the ceiling to talk to him? :) He was just very personable, humble, etc. You could tell he was ready to take over, but at the same time willing to earn the respect of his teammates.

Kyle S. (Fayetteville, NC)

Who do you see stepping up as UNC's #2 receiving target next year? could it be one of the TEs?

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Butch Davis probably wishes it's one of the tight ends, but that's one of the Heels' biggest questions to answer heading into fall.

Adam (NJ)

Will the ACC actually WIN a BCS game this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Good lord it's about time.

Curtis (VA)

Is Dabo Sweeney out if he has another sub par season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Depends on how "sub" it is. I would THINK he would be given SOME leeway based on the fact it's an entirely new offense under a first-year QB.

Earl (Mullins SC)

With the recievers Clemson brought in and the Rb tandem of Bellamy and Ellington in the backfield if Boyd can control the game wisely and distribute the ball do you think that Clemson can put up HUGE offensive numbers this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

Is 40 ppg HUGE? That's what Tulsa averaged under Chad Morris last year.

Daniel (Durham)

Will Duke finally beat Wake this year? And will we make 4 in a row vs UVA?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

Yes. Maybe.

bob (wilmington)

Was Herman Davidson in the mix for starting Linebacker at UNC? And if so, did he not get it and decide to transfer?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

No.

Maxwell (Orlando Fl)

what has a better possibility of happening... EJ Manuel is a HEISMAN Finalist or FSU winning a national title this season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

C. Me being wrong about one of my predictions.

Isaac K (Raleigh, NC)

Hi Heather, so quick question... since much of State's offense flourished due to Wilson's playmaking and buying time in the pocket, now that Glennon is there (and his lack of mobility), do you see State's offense suffering greatly? I mean, will their WRs have time to get open?

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

First, they have to find which wide receivers are going to step up and replace the guys who left. And then hope they get open. Glennon will be fine. It's kind of like Logan Thomas at VT -- he's not gonna scramble like Tyrod did, but he's taller and will have better vision and can make some throws Tyrod couldn't.

Earl (Mullins SC)

Do you think Chris Low will run and hide when the ACC beats the SEC in heads up games this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Ha! I think Dabo Swinney will be the one who needs to run and hide if he doesn't beat South Carolina this year.

Travis (SWGA)

FSU hasn't had a go to TE for some time now. Do you think Nick O'leary will be ready to start this season, and how much of an impact will he have as a true freshman?

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

I'm not sure how much of an immediate impact he'll have, but I can tell you that when I talked to Jimbo on signing day, O'Leary was one of the players he seemed particularly excited about.

AsylumLeader (Shenaniganistan)

HDWhen do we get to see your Top 30 ACC Players for 2011 list?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

I'm sure we'll roll those out some time in the summer. Lots of unproven players to pick from this year, so it could be based more on potential this time around than past production. We'll see.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will my Heels be able to convert a strong draft showing into a Top 5 recruiting class? It has to help Butch's sales pitch.

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

I'm not sure it will be top five -- that's for ESPN Recruiting to decide -- but there's no question that many draft picks has to help recruiting.

Blake F (Chapel Hill, NC)

Now that J. McAdoo has been dismissed from UNC does that leave Sylvester Williams to take his spot along the D-line? Who will fill that starting position?

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

McAdoo wasn't going to be a starter, but his departure does hurt the depth there. Still, UNC has Paige-Moss at right end, Jordan Nix and Tydreke Powell at tackle. Williams was pushing Nix for the starting job this spring.

Thomas (Cary)

players that are in the draft after getting banned from the ncaa can't help recruiting

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

In looking at UNC's recruiting so far, it certainly hasn't seemed to hurt it.

Sam's Easted Avernger (Roswell)

If FSU manages to take care of OU at home, and they WILL beat Clemson, do you still doubt their ability to win a NC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

If FSU beats Oklahoma at home, I will concede in the blog that the Noles are officially national title contenders. Promise.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

What is the deal with Brandon Willis? Will the NCAA make him sit out a year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

I have not heard if the NCAA approved the waiver UNC submitted. If it does, he's eligible for 2011 and will have four years left.

David (Raleigh)

Then when they lose to NC State at home they won't be :)

Heather Dinich
  (1:55 PM)

And the Wolfpack has spoken ...

Adam B (Cary, NC)

Hey heather, kind of an oddball question here, do you think there's any chance of Connor Vernon leading the ACC in receiving? He is arguably my favorite player! go Devils!

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

Yes. Check this out. http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/24409/the-accs-1000-yard-receivers-in-2011

Tyler (CT)

How successful do you think the BC offense will be next year and in the future now that Kevin Rogers is making the calls?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

I don't think Gary Tranquil was the problem, Tyler. I think the lack of a dependable quarterback was. Is Kevin Rogers an upgrade? Yes. But so is Rettig. Together, I think BC's offense will be better.

AsylumLeader (Shenaniganistan)

The Best Offense in the ACC belongs to?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Florida State.

William (Alabama)

Will Clemson be a contender this season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Yes, but only if they adjust to the offense as quickly as they're expected to snap the ball.

Earl (Mullins SC)

Do you think that in 2013-14 the ACC will be back to the Powerhouse it once was?

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

I don't think Florida State or Miami or anyone else for that matter is going to dominate anyone like they used to, but I do think the ACC is only going to get better in the next few years as these QBs get older, and yes, I do think the league has several potential national title contenders.

Brandon Jenkins (Shenaniganistan)

The best defense in the ACC belongs to?

Heather Dinich
  (2:03 PM)

That one is more difficult. It's a defensive league. FSU, Clemson, UNC, VT ...

David (Raleigh)

Thats a tough one, a lot of great D's in the ACC

Heather Dinich
  (2:03 PM)

That's what I'm talkin' bout.

Heather Dinich
  (2:03 PM)

Hey you guys distracted me right past 2 p.m. I'm out. Thanks for joining me today, good stuff. See you in the blogosphere.hd