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October 15, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

I'm here, let's go ...

Deacon Fan (Winston Salem NC)

If UNC were to run the table (not at all out the question I think) and finish with the best record in the Coastal Division and a 10-2 record.... would that be a good thing or a bad thing for the ACC as a whole?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

I don't see how it could be good. Your best team is the ineligible one? So your "runner up" gets to go to the title game? Probably a three-loss team? Bleh.

jander75 (the ACCylum)

3rd string center. Can things really get any worse for my Hokies?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

Yep. They're playing at Clemson this week, Jander.

brian (tallahassee)

Has the ACC fallen to the point where even if an FSU or a Clemson had gone undefeated, or even end up with one loss that they would be viewed as a UTAH, Boise State or TCU of the past few years?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

No, I don't think so. The ACC was looking good when FSU was looking good.

Garrison (Columbia, SC)

The player of the year so far in the ACC has to be Mr. Do It All on UNC, Giovanni Bernard. He returns punts, catches the ball great coming out of the backfield and he has just been on a tear these past couple of weeks running the ball. Most importantly he is the MVP of that UNC football team. Simple stat- With Giovanni Bernard: 5-0 / Without Giovanni Bernard 0-2. Does he have your POY vote?

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

He's a legit candidate, no doubt, but I gave the nod to Nuk Hopkins at the midpoint.

Ed (New Jersey)

Hey HD, great work as always. Any thoughts on Brad Bates and if he will make the move on Spaz?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

Thanks, Ed. I'm not too familiar with him, to be honest with you, but I would be stunned if Spaz were head coach next year.

Richard (Blacksburg)

Which team shows up against Clemson, The first quarter of the Duke game and previous games or the team that played the last 3 quarters?

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

I think the Hokies get beaten fairly soundly. Why? Well, because Clemson won both games last year -- and Virginia Tech was a better team last year.

Scott (Maryland)

Can the Terps run the table, even with the November juggernaut schedule?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

No. I have my doubts they'll win this weekend. Their defense has been good enough to keep them in every game, but with Clemson and FSU still on the schedule? I don't see it.

Brett (Pensacola, FL)

Do you see any chance that FSU can crawl back to the top?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

To the top of what? The Atlantic Division standings?

Mike (Saratoga)

Do you think if Florida stays at the top of the polls and FSU beats them it will help in legitimizing the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

Any win over the SEC helps. But yeah, that would go a long way.

Ryan (Atlanta)

Assuming Clemson and Florida State win out, which is more likely: Clemson going to Chick-Fil-A bowl or BCS Bowl?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

It depends on what's going on in the rest of the country, but based on what we've seen so far and where everyone is in the standings, it looks like the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Marshall (Farmville)

Do you see Logan Thomas staying in Blacksburg for next season or going to the NFL?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

Those things are simply impossible to predict. My guess is he submits paperwork to see where he might go, and if he's high enough he leaves. Especially with the way this season has gone.

Rob (tally)

Say FSU and Ncst both run the table, with NCST winning the Atlantic Division. Can an 11-1 FSU team possibly be left out of a BCS bowl

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

Great question. First let me say I don't think that will happen, because I think NC State will lose at Clemson, and possibly at UNC. If that were the case, though, FSU would probably get some consideration if it were ranked high enough.

Rich_NCSU (ACCylum)

Does NC State get its first Atlantic Division road win under TOB?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

You would think so, right? The Pack had a bye week to prepare. They have the better quarterback. They should.

Jeff (Winston-Salem, NC)

How could Logan Thomas possibly leave to the NFL when he has shown that he is an average quarterback at best?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Are we REALLY going to have this conversation again? The guys in the NFL look just as much if not more at a player's ceiling, and for Logan Thomas that is still high. No way is he going to reach his potential with these guys around him and the oline in the kind of shape it's in.

Jboogie (Skipping Work, VA)

If Tech beats Clemson this Saturday, is it welcome back Hokies or Clemson pulling a Clemson?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Another interesting question. You guys are getting philosophical on me today. I'd like to give the credit to the Hokies, especially considering the way they started the season -- but it would be "pulling a Clemson" in my mind. Clemson has too many playmakers, home field advantage ... it should win.

Vince (Union, SC)

Do you think Clemson will win out beat SC and get into a big bowl game.

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

No. Even though South Carolina lost this past weekend, I still think the Gamecocks have the better D, especially up front, and that will be the difference.

Ryan (Atlanta)

Heather, how could a 1 loss FSU team get more consideration than a 1 loss Clemson team? Clemson lost to #4 FSU (covered spread), FSU lost to unranked NC State (and was like a 20 something point fav to win)

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

I get what you're saying, but it all goes back to the BCS standings. In order to even have a CHANCE at an at-large BCS bid, a team needs to be ranked in the Top 14.

Laura (Va)

LAST COMMENT ABOUT LT - Logan Thomas would be crazy to stay one more year. Regardless of what he does this year, NFL offensive coaches will take his raw talent and freakish size / strength and mold him within their system. It's not often someone of his size/strength comes along.

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

That's been my point the past eight weeks! Exactly.

Mike (Saratoga)

Do you think Jimbo learned a lesson on attacking from the NC State game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

I think it's ridiculous that fans think the could possibly have so much influence over a coach's playcalling. Jimbo called a good game against BC, yeah, but BC's defense is turrible. He's got to be able to do it when he's trailing in the fourth quarter.

Simon (Stuart,FL)

If complete BCS chaos breaks out (2007 like chaos), there would have to be a possibility of FSU getting back in the Title hunt, right? Or am i just a delusional FSU fan?

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

No, you're not delusional. I remember 2007. Anything can happen. That's why I always write, "FSU LIKELY lost its shot at the national title." Refuse to pronounce that dead just yet.

Sal Lizard (Mashed Potatoes Day)

Who would you start at tailback....Michael Holmes or JC Coleman?

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

After Saturday? Coleman. He is supposed to call me at 1:30 today, so if you notice the answers get a bit slower, that's why, sorry.

JP (Connecticut)

Where is Sammy Watkins? Is the Clemson team big enough for Nuk and Sammy?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

Of course it is, but you've got to reward the guy who has been on the field and getting it done the most, and right now, that's Hopkins. I don't think Sammy is any less of a player, it's just a different year for him.

James (NYC)

Considering the fact that the ACC recruits mainly in the SEC's backyard, with the powerhouse that that conference is on the field and on the recruiting trail; is it fair that the ACC is considered terrible? Or should we say they are doing pretty well considering?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

No, no, the ACC has beaten the SEC on plenty of recruits. FSU and Clemson are going after those guys every day. The conference as a whole, though, needs to improve on that front. It all goes back to recruiting, and where the SEC wins is up front.

Ross (School)

How do you think the 5 games with Notre Dame are going to affect the conference tv and recruiting wise?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

The ACC can't go wrong with those five games in either area. Recruits want a chance to play against the best. Only thing is, the ACC can't keep striking out against the Irish like this.

Chad (Pensacola)

What does Miami have to do to keep it close Saturday. After watching our defense the last few weeks, I would almost be happy with a close game. We allow about 8 yards a carry and give about a 10 yard cussion on the WR's... FSU should be able to put up video-game type numbers this week.

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

You said it, Chad. Playing defense is a start.

LAG (Athens, GA)

If Georgia Tech doesn't see any turnaround this season, do you think the AD gives a serious consideration to eating the buyout and serving CPJ his walking papers?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

Eating a $10 million buyout? No, I don't see it, not this year.

Dominic (VA)

All Purpose Yards: Stefon Diggs-1013, Duke Johnson-1057. APY per play: Diggs-18, Johnson-9. All this while Johnson doubles Diggs touches per game with 108-56 respectively. Not to mention Diggs is way more valuable to his team and more electric. Does Diggs now have the lead for Rookie of the Year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

He should. I gave him my vote in today's midseason report.

Mitch (NJ)

Little buyer's remorse on Cuse and Pitt? Cuse is a long ways away - don't think Marrone is the answer there. Pitt has some decent some young talent and we'll see about Chryst.

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Yeah, but it's the bigger picture. I think too many people are getting wrapped up in the little picture and not looking at the entire thing with hoops, and everything it can bring. I sincerely doubt John Swofford would have made the move if it wouldn't benefit the ACC.

Ant (Los Angeles, CA)

How does Clemson's team stack up next year offensively and defensively. How much better will the defense be and whats there shot on the national level

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

I've talked to Dabo Swinney about this before, and while he never shied away from the possibility of a national title this year, I got the vibe from him that HE thought they'd be even better next year.

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

Navy always gets my vote whenever I hear this question. I like the rivalry with Maryland, think it should be renewed, and with Notre Dame? Would make perfect sense to me.

Chris (New York)

Is BC the worst team in D1?

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

Nope. There are still a few winless teams out there.

David (Boston)

Is there any argument Spaz shouldn't be fired midseason?

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

I just don't see how that would make things any better, David. Then you have an interim, then maybe you have to go through the whole process again in the offseason. This isn't something that's going to be fixed midseason. BC has to recruit all over again.

Vince (Union, SC)

Which Coaches are on the hot seat in the ACC.....

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Aside from the obvious (Spaz), I'd say those who need to be most concerned are some of the offensive guys at Virginia Tech, like the WR and OL coach, and OC.

Robert VT (Blacksburg, VA)

Heather, the only way I see the Hokies win at Clemson is for Clemson not to show up, because as much as I love the Hokies, I don't what VT team will show up down there !

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Robert one thing I have learned is to never count out Frank Beamer. Unless, of course, it's against a Top 5 team. In the Orange Bowl.

Tom (Clemson Sc)

# 19 seriously? why did Clemson fall so far back in the BCS standings i was thinking 15th at worse

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Guys let me get this out of the way: Don't ask me to explain the computers. Please. I have enough time doing my own Top 25 every week let alone trying to explain the BCS computers.

Adam (St. Louis)

Hey HD, thanks for the chatz!Frank Beamer's loyalty to certain assistants is bordering on disloyalty to Hokie Nation. Agree or Disagree, and why?

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

Yeah, I agree he's been loyal to a fault, but if this keeps up this season, I predict he makes more changes this offseason than he probably ever has.

Kendall (Sumter, SC)

HD, Is it just me or does it appear that a lot of folks in the chat are more concerned about individual honors than wins? I think if we worry about the wins the personal accolades will take care of themselves.

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

Yeah, there are a lot of POY questions, Kendall, but I think that's fair at the midpoint. The bigger story to me, though, is that we're not even talking about David Amerson or Sammy Watkins, or heck, even any quarterbacks.

Allen (Eagle-Land)

So BC will finish 1-11 right?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

Very, very good possibility.

Ike (PA)

Navy over Rutgers?!? You just said its the bigger picture that matters to Swofford. What else would Navy bring to the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

Academics.

Daniel (Somewhere)

Can UVA finally stop their skid against a team who has just as many problems as they do?

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

I don't think so, Daniel. I expect those six suspended players to be back, and with WR Michael Campanaro back in the lineup, they are a completely different team.

brian (my neck of the woods ga)

Clemson's Offense vs South Carolinas defense whose better

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Can't wait to find out, but right now I say South Carolina D. I think they'll get pressure on Boyd and force him into some mistakes. Second half of FSU game, that kind of thing.

Joe (GA)

Did you like the B. Venables hire as the Clemson D-Coord? Seems like the talent level would suggests better results new scheme or not.

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

I think it's too early to tell, to be honest with you. We all knew he had a lot of work to do there. Still a work in progress. And yeah, they've got talent, but don't forget how much they lost, too.

Mike (Saratoga)

Who do you think will beat NC State? The only team on their schedule that would be difficult is Clemson?

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

I wouldn't look past a road trip to rival UNC, Mike.

Sal Lizard (Danny's house)

I'm not worried about the Hokies..It was always hard to win the Big East but easy to take the ACC. I say VT still takes it even though we were 0-2 against Big East teams this year. Your thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

My prediction is that UNC leads the division standings but the Hokies get to CLT thanks to the NCAA. Hey, it's not often CFB fans are thanking the NCAA.

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

My vote goes to the Noles.

Brandon (Danville, VA)

Why do you think Virginia Tech has such a hard time beating non-conference BCS conference schools. VT is 9-16 in bowl games and has not beaten a non-conference BCS conference school since 2009. They seem to do well in the ACC but can't win out of conference.

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

The most plausible explanation is recruiting Brandon. I think back to the Stanford game. Stanford was simply a better team that year, hands down. How is VT going to beat Alabama without an offensive line that can hang up front?

Mike (Saratoga NY)

Do you think Giovanni Bernard can keep up his pace? He is playing outstanding at least when he is playing!

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

Yeah, I do. He is special, but not to be lost in all the hype about him is how special his offensive line is. Those guys haven't gotten nearly enough credit this year.

Kendall (Sumter, SC)

HD, You're giving SCAR's D WAY too much credit. Clemson has more playmakers on offense than LSU. And the game's at college footballs original Death Valley. SCAR has struggled on the road adn there's nowhere in college football louder than Clemson. This game is another win by the ACC over the SEC.

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

You might be right. Clemson's offense is better than it was a year ago, but correct me if I'm wrong -- the Tigers only scored 13 points last year with many of the same players.

Ryan (Christiansburg, VA)

I am one of many Hokie fans who find themselves perenially frustrated with the offensive playcalling, but the team usually seems to find a way to win in spite of the playbook. If the breakout performance against Duke somehow sparks the team for the rest of the year, would it once again stifle the unrest and keep us waiting even longer for a new offensive coordinator?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

I think it depends on how the offense looks, Ryan. Part of the reason the playcalling has been so vanilla is because of the inexperience on the roster this year. The other thing, which is more an internal view, is are the players getting BETTER. Are they developing week to week? If that's not happening, that's a problem.

corey (BC)

Can BC get any lower in these past year and a half so far, can it get any worse from here?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

They can only go up, Corey, but it's going to be a process and BC fans will need even more patience.

Justin (Rock Hill, SC)

I am a clemson fan but I don't see things throught the orange glasses like most of the fellow fans it appears. We have playmakers but unless the offensive line can give Boyd time to find said playmakers we will not win the South Carolina game in my opinion.

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Yeah to me that will be the big key in that game. Funny how Clemson fans are far more concerned about that game than this weekend.

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Ok guys, my time is up here. Thanks for joining me this week. See you in Death Valley.