Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

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

Heather Dinich
  (12:58 PM)

Whaddup, CFB fans. Let's get started.

Gene (SC)

Do you think that Manuel's performance against Clemson, 380 with 2 TDs or BC, which was coming off a loss, 430 and 4 TDs was a better performance?

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

I understand where you're coming from on that one, but considering how BC has struggled and how much national attention was on that Clemson game, I gotta go with Clemson.

Chris (Charleston, SC)

Who is more likely to finish the regular season undefeated, Clemson or FSU?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

Great question. I think Clemson could lose to NC State and/or South Carolina, but FSU could also lose to the Gators, especially if they are undefeated. Will Clemson pull a Clemson against NC State? FSU did. I think FSU has the better chance to go undefeated, though.

Proud Duke Alum (New York, NY)

Great win by my Devils yesterday, Heather! I know we have a tough schedule ahead of us, but do you see any way Duke plays on New Years Eve this year? I'm new to this whole "making bowl reservations" thing

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

Haha, there's the first Duke fan today. Anything is possible at this point. Depending on how the standings finally shake out, Duke really could win the division. It's time ACC fans accept that. Charlotte would be another great bowl spot for Duke. Makes a lot of sense.

Mike (Central Florida)

Does NCST going 9-3 get them ranked in the top 25? Because NCST going 9-3, Clemson going 11-1, and UF maybe going 12-1(SEC Champs with 1-loss to FSU) would make FSU's schedule seem alot better than it once did.

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

It depends on what everyone else is doing. Three-loss teams tend to sneak in there in November. And yeah, the more NC State wins, the better it obviously looks for FSU. This past weekend didn't look too great, but the Pack won.

Noleforever (Greesnboro, NC)

For faithful readers of the ACC blog, and for Seminole nation, please elaborate on what you meant by "For now, Will Muschamp owns the state" when referring to the state champs of Florida. Last time I checked, FSU held this title as Jimbo has yet to lose to an in-state rival. There's no way you can really dispute this, correct?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

Yeah, I saw you guys got all riled up over that, but look ... as of right this second, Florida is ranked ahead of Florida State. It's in the BCS fight. It has beaten two TOP 10 teams. FSU lost to NC State. If you're ranking those teams today, that's how you rank them: 1. Florida 2. FSU. 3. Miami.

Matthew (Boston, MA)

Heather, explain to me again why you thought Spaz deserved to come back this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

I forget ...

Mike (Central Florida)

Could we see WF upset ND?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

You might wanna just hope they survive against Clemson this week.

Mitch (NJ)

What's the status of NCAA investigation for Miami? How could it possibly take this long?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

It took like two years for the UNC case to get resolved. Sit tight, my friend.

Joshua (South Carolina)

More surprising year, to date: VT or Duke?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

Another one making me think. I'd go with Virginia Tech, and that's my personal take on it because I've had Duke in the bowl lineup this year since Day 1. I did NOT, however, see the Hokies imploding like this.

chief (work)

severely depressed over chris thompson. he was definately the mvp for this team. not going to be the same offense without him!!

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

Yeah, I was really sorry to see that. Such a shame. Truly a great guy and player.

Greg (Arlington/DC)

Do you think FSU has any chance to sneak back into the title picture? Assuming they run the table, knocking off rival Gators?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

The top one-loss team right now is LSU. Beyond that you've gotta factor in Oklahoma, USC, Georgia. Odds are slim, even if they run the table.

Andrew (Jacksonville florida)

I know and understand what you mean by Florida in the Bcs fight so you would rank them in that order but you can't own the state if you don't play the big 3 in the state. just saying.

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

I think it's fair to say that FSU and Florida are both ahead of where Miami is at right now as a program, don't you guys think?

DJ (Cuse)

The only good thing to come out of the Chris Thompson injury is that if it let Jimbo know there were actually other RB's on the roster.

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

I think Freeman reminded him on Saturday.

Flipp (Wild and Wonderful)

Has VT been left in the dust by top the tier porgrams in the ACC? Will they be able to rebound after this season and go back to there winning way or fall into 7-4 seasons??

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

I think it depends on whether or not Frank Beamer makes any staff changes, what Logan Thomas decides to do.

Stephen (Fort Worth)

HD, with Brad Bates starting today, there's no way Spaz last through the season right?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Saw Bates' Tweet it was his first day in the office or something like that. It would not surprise me in the least if he were fired before season's end.

Laura (Va)

WHO WINS???? Beamer's loyalty to his offensive staff, or the thousands and thousands of fans who want the entire staff fired??

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

The entire staff isn't going to get fired, Laura. If anyone were going to go, my guess would be three guys: WR coach, OL coach and OC.

Greg (Arlington/DC)

Do you believe that the FSU-UF and Clemson-SC games are must wins for the ACC to gain any respect in National picture, or do you believe that even that would be to little to late

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

No, definitely not too little too late. If the ACC won BOTH of those games it would be huge. It would be even bigger if South Carolina picked up the pieces.

Jared (Accylum West Coast)

What would a Duke-Maryland ACCCG do to this conference? It's nice to see parity but I believe Wake winning the ACC in 06 was really a big downfall for this conference that we havent been able to recover from

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

It's not the ideal from a national perspective, but I'll tell you what, if Duke makes the ACCCG it really is a great story to tell.

Wesley (Greensboro, NC)

So proud of the Duke Blue Devils and Coach Cutcliffe for bringing the Victory Bell back to Durham. Do you think Cut can sustain success (consistent bowl team) over the long term?

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

It's not going to be easy because the rest of the division isn't always going to be as down as it is now. They HAVE to continue to recruit well, build depth to keep it going, but this is a huuuuge step in the right direction.

Wiser (Charleston, SC)

Not so much a question as a statement: The Tigers need to move to the Coastal Division and make the ACC Championship mean something. (The best two teams in the same division isn't helping our conference)

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

Either way, even if FSU-Clemson had to play for the ACCCG, they'd still be handing each other a loss, which hurts in the national picture.

Jason (philly)

some people will say that you cant place all the blame on the kicker but i think the game vs ncsu this weekend is the exception. if craddock doesnt miss the xp, we dont go for two next time, and then the game winning field breaks a tie instead of give them the lead from behind. what do you think?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

I think I can't BELIEVE Perry Hills went down. Don't blame it on the kicker. Maryland needs more offense.

Andrew (Jacksonville florida)

Hd in your opinion does Fsu look more like a top 15 team than a top tier program . What i mean is looking at Fsu playing and theslow starts and the lack of focus I just wonder how Fsu looks in other analyst eyes?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Well, that's the thing ... FSU had, what, 12 penalties and five fumbles, two that were lost? Against the better competition this year, FSU hasn't had the wow factor.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Just need some clarification. FSU just needs NCSU to lose once or twice to move ahead of them in the Atlantic? (Big assumption that FSU wins the rest of the ACC games).

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Once, right, as long as FSU wins out. Because then NC State would have two ACC losses.

Jon (Richmond, VA)

Who's your pick to win the clogged-up Coastal after this past weekend's results? Who has the best shot?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

I said on College Football Daily last week Miami would be in Charlotte. I'm sticking with the Canes.

Ben (Durham, NC)

Will Duke make the ACC champ game if they can win their last two? I'm assuming they'll drop their games to FSU and Clemson, but I wouldn't write off them beating GT or Miami.

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

That would be a three-loss team, with a loss to Virginia Tech ... depends on what the Hokies do.

Rich (Tallahassee, FL)

What's your thoughts on Georgia Tech? Granted they beat a very bad Boston College team but do they put the pieces back together or continue their descent?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

I think we learn a little bit more this week against BYU. I'm not convinced about anything after a win over BC, but it was still a good start. Wouldn't surprise me if they lost to Duke and/or UNC. Definitely UGA.

Bobby (Kennesaw, GA)

GT fan here. I just feel like the triple option attack has grown old in Atlanta and the ACC. Should CPJ consider a more traditional offense? It worked fine for Chan Gailey.

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

I don't see CPJ changing his style anytime soon.

Lee (Greenville) [via mobile]

What if Duke beat FSU, what will happen to the ACC.

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

I can't even fathom that right now to be honest with you. Wait, didn't I pick Duke to beat FLorida State last year? I think I did. It turned out to be the worst pick ever.

Bobby (Kennesaw, GA)

Will GT ever beat Georgia? It's been what 8 years? Not much of a rivalry if it's so lopsided right?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

Nah, CPJ beat 'em a few years back. I think Georgia is going to continue to have the upper hand, though, because of recruiting.

Kurt (Cut Bank, MT)

In addition to Spazziani, which coach in the ACC will lost their job this year?

booney (accylum )

who wins this weekend STATE or unc ?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

When in doubt go with the home team. I haven't made predictions yet, those come Thursday, but I honestly have no idea about this one this year.

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

When in doubt go with the home team. I haven't made predictions yet, those come Thursday, but I honestly have no idea about this one this year.

Mike (Raleigh)

Bigger issue: VT's offensive line play, or VT's offensive playcalling?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

o-line, no doubt.

Phil (Dallas, GA)

FSU's injuries are stacking up. Do you think we have enough depth to keep it rolling or is this going to create a problem in the near future i.e. Florida Gators game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

I think there is enough depth to overcome them. What they've done on the d-line has been amazing.

Stephanie (New Orleans)

Heather,When will my beloved Noles put it together and win a national title? I'm almost 32...I'd like to think I'd see this before I die!

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Yeah, and I used to say the Pirates would win a World Series before then, too ...

Kurt (Cut Bank, MT)

you didn't answer my question that was posted!!!

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

Sorry, I need some coffee today. Other coaches who will get fired? I don't see any other HCs getting fired in the ACC this year, which is a good thing. Too much of that these days.

John Spivey (Augusta, GA)

What are your thoughts in the Clem-VT game?? From a tigers perspective, it felt like a Clemson game from the past where we fans are let down by a lack luster performance. That being said, Clemson had a bad game and still won by three touchdowns. Defense really stepped up while the offense was sub-par. IMHO, dabo has really changed the atmosphere in Clemson. But there is still potential for those let-down games in the future (this Thursday)

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

Well, I thought Virginia Tech's defense deserves some credit for that game. They played well. Also probably watched film of the second half of the FSU game. And don't forget one of those TDs was a pick 6. Teams can't play lights out every weekend. I thought that game might be close. VT came out swinging.

nick (Asheville NC)

Boyd is 11-0 @ death Valley.. Do you really think NCST has even a chance there... I give them zero percentage.

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

Oh heck yeah NC State has a chance there. That's what NC State does -- plays like it did against Maryland and then BAM. Beats an FSU.

Fred (Atlanta)

As a Hokie fan I am disappointed to say the least. I see it as 70% coaching and 30% execution to blame. How about you?

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

Truth is it's hard to answer that precise without breaking down the game film, but they go hand in hand if you ask me.

32 is the new 29 (NOLA)

Is Frank Beamer's seat getting hot?

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

It shouldn't be. No way.

Suzanne (SC)

HD... nick in Asheville was pointing out that NC State is AT Clemson. They beat FSU in Raleigh. Big difference there. Plus, they used all their upset juju on FSU. Clemson is going to roll.

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Yeah, ok, gotchya, in the Valley, but I STILL think they can do it. They should be confident from doing it a year ago.

Kendall (Sumter, SC)

HD, You went 5-1 last week! Congrats! Want to go to Las Vegas?

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Lol yeah I think that's 9-1 over the past two weeks. Just call me LSU. I mean FSU. :)

Ryan (Atlantic Beach FL)

HD, have you ever thought about doing a story on the officiating in the ACC? AFter seeing the cheap shot the UNC player gave to the Duke player and the debacle in the FSU-UM game....the ACC refs have become a laughing stock in the NCAA.

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

I know ACC fans are livid at some calls this week, and I saw two I thought were bad at Clemson, but I honestly don't think it's fair to judge the whole day without talking to the head coordinator of officials. I will try to get him on the phone this week for you guys.

Joshua (St Louis)

Okay, Duke is going to a bowl game!! We've been waiting almost 2 decades for this, BUT, we've waited longer for Duke to WIN a bowl game. Will they WIN a bowl game this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Oh man, greedy! Impossible to predict without knowing the matchup. But if they wind up in CHarlotte and get a home crowd? I'd say good chance.

corben (marietta ga)

will alabama stay undefeted

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

Unless they're lining up against the Steelers next weekend.

Tiger (Chuck Town)

If you think Clemson is going to pull a Clemson I would focus on the road games. We play @Wake on Thursday and then @Duke. Those two games scare me a lot more than Maryland and NCST at home.

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

SMH. I love how CLEMSON fans point this out to me.

Sean (Atlanta)

Would it be better for the ACC to have NCState win out and go to the Orange Bowl and then FSU get an automatic at-large bid? Isn't that the best hope for two BCS teams this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

Yeah that's a definite possibility because with NC State in the Orange Bowl, if FSU wins out it should still be a top-14 BCS team, which would make it eligible. I just don't think NC State will win out.

nick (Asheville NC)

Do you realize that NCST is 1-13 with O'brien against Atlantic opponents with a single one against tough Mayrland team this weekend and that is it. No way they will beat Clemson @ Clemson. The key is the symbol @. Look at the difference in SC between home and away and I honestly believe Clemson would have taken FSU @ Clemson.

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Yep, you're right, they've been terrible on the road against AD opponents under O'Brien. I'm just saying NC State can do it. Period. It's not a gimme for Clemson by any means. Would I pick NC State today? No. Upset watch? You better believe it.

Matt (Houston)

Last I looked the Steelers were 3-3. I think Bama could take 'em. But not the TEXANS!

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

lol

Missing 29 (Nola)

Which washed up ex-coach do you think GT will hire next for DC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

Spaz? Sorry, too easy.

Boo (Halloweentown)

NC State winning out the best thing? HA! Clemson and FSU winning out is the best thing. Clemson will sneak into the BCS talk in November with only 1 loss. Name program, looking for redemption from the game-that-shall-never-be-spoken-of-again, beating SEC rivals to get there? Please.

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

Yes, to have the ACC's two ranked teams stay ranked and in BCS bowls would be the best thing for the ACC, but I believe the other poster was referring about the best way to get two BCS bids. It might actually be easier if NC State plays in the Orange Bowl because FSU is already top 14 as opposed to Clemson.

jason (Asheville)

HD, YOU dont think its fair with speaking with the head of officials? That is a ludacris statement. He's going to say,"we'll review it. There were a couple of mistakes that we will look into." And then nothing will happen! Worst officials in the nation! Including NFL replacements.

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

No no, they've got actual NUMBERS - how many were right, how many were wrong, if any officials were reprimanded. They've got data on EVERY call, as well as if coaches complained. Whether or not he'll actually tell that to me is another matter, but it's worth asking.

Den (Greenville)

HD - Saw your videos from before and after the Clemson VaTech game; long day! Give us a rundown on the overall Clemson experience you were in the middle of last Saturday (even though a nooner).

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

It is a long day, but I love it. It was a perfect fall Saturday in South Carolina. Weather was great, crowd was great. No complaints. They should play more night games. I'm not in charge of that, sorry.

Kendall (Sumter, SC)

Which ACC head coaches do you think will be on the short list for openings at other schools? Looks like the SEC will have at least three openings.

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

I clicked to answer this and then realized you said head coaches. I don't know, but the one coach I think is on the fast track is Clemson OC Chad Morris. I know he's got a great contract, but ...

Totally "29" (Nawlins)

Clemson being in the BCS is not good for the ACC. Happened last year. 70 points later, they did more than enough damage to ruin the ACC's image.

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

I'm guessing ACC fans (and maybe even some VT fans) would rather that than the Hokies again.

Sean (Dallas)

Is the rest of the national media buying into Duke's success this year? Seems like they haven't. AP votes for Duke were at 0 this week, 16 in Coaches poll

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

Who do I need to talk to? :)

Dave (Columbus)

Will many people consider Ohio State the Big Ten champs if they go undefeated?

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

Not in the books, obviously, but I think the polls are a reflection of the credit they're getting and will continue to get.

Jeremy (Indiana)

Which Bloomington watering hole is the best? There is only one correct answer!

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

I don't know I was always in class. :) (Nicks!)

Chris (Rough Raleigh)

How embarrassing is it for UNC this past weekend losing to their Rival Duke? Do you think it will affect them in this weekend's game against NC State?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

I talked to Jonathan Cooper a bit and he seemed pretty level-headed about it. I don't think the Heels will have any trouble getting ready for the Pack.

Jason (Canada)

You are an awful blogger.

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

Good thing it's Halloween and not's Valentine's Day.

Tiger (Clemson, SC)

There's something in these hills, HD. Glad you had a great time in God's country! Now to get you to stop putting us on upset alert every week... ;)

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

Lol no way man you've got NC State coming up!

Fitz (Ma)

Hey Heather! Think "Johnny Football" bounces back big this wk vs Auburn? thx

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

I think you and I could bounce back against Auburn right now, Fitz.

Mike (DC)

How long before Tennessee calls coach Cut?

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

Didn't they do that like two years ago? Cutcliffe is committed to Duke. I would be surprised if he left, really.

Ryan (Clemson)

Could Clemson possibly face South Carolina again in the Chick Fil A bowl? I noticed on the SEC blog page they had South Carolina picked to play in Atlanta as well.

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

I don't see why not. It's been my experience that bowls want games that will sell seats, but they do try to stay away from rematches.

Bob (Atlanta)

According to the USA Today and Athlon Sports, the 'Canes have the most players repping them in the NFL. If you take away some of the obvious future HOFers (i.e. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, etc...) most of these players have come from the Randy Shannon era. If this is the case, how can UM have been so pitiful for the past 7 years?

Jeb (DC)

If UVA loses every game left will London be on the hotseat

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Sorry the last answer didn't go through ... I said there was a reason there was a coaching change.

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

As for London ... I don't see it. Not this year. I would expect some staff changes, though.

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Ok guys, my time is up here. Thanks for the questions, see you again next week.hd