Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 12, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

Tick tock, two weeks left ... let's go!

DaveNole (Coral Springs, FL)

Heather ? great job on all the hard work this season!Just wanted a clarification?even if FSU had beaten NC State, FSU would still be on the outside of the NCG looking in. An undefeated FSU would still need Oregon, K State, and ND to lose (maybe even Alabama a second time). The ACC supporting cast isn?t a good enough resume for a national contender to brag about. Won?t this get worse with the new additions from the Big East?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

You're right, odds are the computers would still have a problem with the Noles and their two FCS wins. It's waaaay too early to say that about expansion. This happens to be a down year for the Coastal, but imagine if VT had stayed ranked and FSU beat them 28-22 last week. Lots of factors.

Steve (Liberty Township, OH)

The GA Tech vs. UNC score looked like a Basketball score. Does anybody in the ACC play defense?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

Despite the loss, Hokies' D played pretty darn well last week.

Richie Price [via mobile]

Hey Heather, if FSU wins out, what is the chances that te Noles break the top 5? I know with the schedule being so weak in the early going and the weakness of the schedule so far, outside of Clemson and the road trip to VT, has hurt the ranking. But in all seriousness, FSU has won it's big games and fell asleep for the NC State game. Don't get me wrong I think that the SEC is the best conference, but if FSU played Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio State or Texas a&m, I think in athletes and play style on the big stage, FSU would win those contests. I mean c'mon! South Carolina got massacred and so did Georgia. And both of those teams haven't played an offense as good as Clemson. But enough of my thoughts, what do you think?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

Between the loss to an unranked NC State team and two wins over FCS opponents, FSU would need about nine teams to keep losing in order to have a chance.

Mike (Tallahassee, FL)

Who will have the tougher task of beating their SEC foe? FSU or Clemson?

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Based on what Florida did last week, I'd say Clemson.

noles0722 (fort leavenworth, KS)

How do the Seminoles really stack up against the rest on a neutral field? Obviously they stink away from home. But, all things being equal, where do we really rank?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

I guess you'll have that question answered in Charlotte, but I thought the trip to VT was a pretty good indicator of where FSU really stands as a team.

Robert VT (Blacksburg)

Hi HD! Do you think VT will have an up-hill battle to win 6 games for bowl qualification ? Also, it was great having you in Hokieland at the LANE Thursday night !

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

Always a great scene, Robert, thanks. Good crowd. Yeah, I do ... check out the blog at 3 for one big reason, and it's going to be reeeeally tough to beat UVA if they're playing for a bowl game too.

Mike (Tallahassee, FL)

Hi Heather, Do you feel like Clemson and Florida St. are getting the credit they deserve with two 2 loss teams in front of them in the rankings. I know that 2 weeks from now we will both get our shot at beating South Carolina and Florida and I fully expect both of us to win. I just think the SEC was a little overrated this year? Thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

I've got both Clemson and FSU ranked ahead of Florida and South Carolina in my top 25 if that answers your question.

Jordan (Durham)

I thought the Georgia Tech game was a should-win for Duke, but now it's turned into a must-win? Right now, is it still a can-win?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

Haha I was asking myself the same thing this weekend, Jordan. I'm not sure Duke's defense can put the brakes on that offense, given what we've seen against FSU and Clemson. Yeah, yeah, they had the bye week to prepare, but so did North Carolina! If that game was in Durham, I'd probably pick Duke. But it's not.

Allen (Greenville)

Your predictions on the South Carolina- Clemson game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

I think it's going to be a great, exciting close game that comes down to the fourth quarter. South Carolina's d-line has the advantage up front for most of the game, but Tajh Boyd & Co. make some key plays down the stretch to win.

yehonala04 (St. Augustine )

HD sorry about the Hoosiers. Who do YOU think will face FSU in the ACCCG ?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

Ha ... Hoosiers (and their fans) didn't show up. As for ACCCG, I'm sticking with FSU-Miami.

Cane1Sure (Accylum)

Duke Johnson has done everything this year...Rookie of the year in ACC, no doubts?

FB (ACCYLUM)

no way UVA beats VT, no matter how bad we are this year and how good UVA may have played last week. VT wins easily, book it!

FB (ACCYLUM)

in fact if UVA wins i'll return your missing sunglasses

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

Actually, they were my glasses. Thanks.

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

And yeah, Duke Johnson is ROY.

David (NY)

HD, with several BCS teams firing coaches midseason, wouldn't be smart for BC to fire Spaz right now and get a head start on the search so that the new coach can try to switch commitments? It's clear to everyone else that Spaz is gone.

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

Yeah, at this point, I don't see the need to wait. It's that time of year. Spaz has to know it's coming. The program can start to move on anytime Bates decides he's ready.

Ben (Springfield, VA)

Heather, you have written repeatedly in the past few posts that VT is alive for the Coastal champ. How so with 4 losses? If GT or Miami beats Duke, that teams ends 5-3? If Duke wins both, they are 5-3.

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

If Miami self-imposes a bowl ban ...

Vince (Union, SC)

Will GT, FSU, and CLEM come through for the ACC on November 24th

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Georgia Tech won't. I say 2-1.

Fredo (Lake Tahoe)

Have you heard anything about the Canes self imposing a bowl ban?I suspect they are waiting until they actually become eligible..

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Right. They are expected to make the decision after that.

AV (Orlando)

If FSU and Clemson win their games against UF and USC, does that change the rankings completely? USC blowing out UGA (moves them lower) and UF beating USC. FSU beating UF who also beat Clemson who may beat USC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

It will obviously help the ACC, no doubt, move up, but not in the championship picture.

GTAlumEE08 (Atlanta, GA)

What made you change your thoughts on GT getting bowl eligible?

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

Well, they beat North Carolina. I didn't think they'd do that. Now I think they'll beat Duke to sneak in.

Bill (Miami)

Do you think Miami will impose Bowl ban this year if they do beat Duke and what is taking NCAA so long with this investigation

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

The NCAA is notorious for dragging its feet. This is par for the course. I have no idea which way they are leaning.

Disgruntled Hokie (NC)

If Frank Beamer is unwilling to make changes with his coaching staff this offseason, should VT begin the search for his eventual replacement?

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

No!! I can't believe you guys continue to ask this. Beamer has earned his tenure there. Wait to see what he does. I would be surprised if there weren't a few changes, but he should not be one of them.

vtman09 (baconleague)

Big game next week in Pittsburgh HD.Ravens >>>>>>>>> Steelers

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

Oh no you did-n't!

Tom (Denver)

Heather, you're a real expert on the ACC...if you had to pick one person to watch in the ACC who would it be?

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

Oh man, ONE person? Right now I would pick UNC RB Giovani Bernard. He's' a home run hitter, a do-everything. Gave him a Heisman vote this week.

Wade (San Diego)

The ACC's not going to get much credit in football until it stops being considered a basketball first conference. What can they do to change the perception that they care more about basketball?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

I disagree with that. I think the ACC has done a lot to show it cares just as much about football. The ACC is going to get credit in football when it starts putting together more impressive seasons like FSU and Clemson, without the loss to NCSU.

Disgruntled Hokie (NC)

At this point, is there any reason for there NOT to be wholesale offensive changes with Virginia Tech after the season ends? At best, we barely make a bowl. Embarrassing performance this season.

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Yes ... because the offensive line lost its best player and senior leader and had to replace four other starters. Nobody is giving that enough credit. They lost a top NFL draft pick in David Wilson. Huge! Staff changes? Yeah. Upside down? No.

Jordan (Durham)

If Virginia Tech goes 6-6, their fans are calling for their coach to be fired. If Duke goes 6-6, their fans are calling for the field to be named after their coach.

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Hahaha. Love it. So true.

Melissa (Hooville)

Heather, a few weeks ago, you and Andrea wrote to "bury" Virginia and placed them 12th in the Power Rankings. Why the change of heart now? BTW, Go Hoos!

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

Yep, yep, you're right. And we take full credit for the motivation. :) Change of heart because they came out of the bye week looking sharp, but even more so because they continued it in a close, gritty win over the Canes. Rocco looked great. Proved NCSU wasn't a one-hit wonder. They're still playing for something.

Ned (Savannah)

If FSU wins the ACC, are we stuck playing Louisville, or will there be other higher ranking options?

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Nah, it will more than likely come down to Big East champ.

Oakley (Greensboro, NC)

With the conference standings at stake and the ACC championship game in reach, do you think that the Wolfpack can beat Clemson this week to upset there chances?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

NC State can pull off the upset, yes, but the Pack isn't going to Charlotte unless it's to the Belk Bowl. FSU will clinch the division this weekend with a win at Maryland.

Mark (North Carolina)

Do you think Clemson can convince Chad Morris to stay around for a couple more years? Or do you think he bolts this year? I mean, the guy is making more than most head coaches now.

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

If there is a HC job in the SEC that courts him (aka Kentucky), then I'd guess he'd go. Heck, he might even get a look at BC, but he wouldn't leave unless it was a HC job.

Marc (Tallahassee)

I've heard rumors that Jimbo Fisher may be a coach others look to hire after this season? Would he really leave Tallahassee? Seems like FSU is a destination job rather than a stepping stone...

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

Used to be. I've always gathered that Jimbo Fisher is an SEC guy stuck in the ACC. This is just my opinion, but I think if he could lift that program into the SEC he'd do it with one hand. If he can't, coaching there is probably the next best thing.

Alex (Miami)

Is EJ still in the running for the Hiesman?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

Long-shot at best. I think Tajh Boyd and Bernard are playing better.

Cane1Sure (Accylum)

Does Golden look to replace "D" as head Defensive Coach next year. The CANES D is disgraceful.

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

I would think that's got to be a really tough decision for him. He and D'nof were together at Temple. They've got history. I'm leary of pulling the trigger too quickly on that one.

Jason (philly)

Why do they have the two conference team limit for bcs bowls? Will they ever get rid of it?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

Do you want to see all six SEC teams ranked ahead of FSU and Clemson in BCS bowls instead?

lou lou (Tucker, Ga)

Who is the ACC POY and ACC DPOY

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

DPOY - pick an fSU DE, either werner or tank. Werner opens things up for Carradine. Those guys are unbelievable. I'd go with Werner at this point. As for overall POY, I'll go with Bernard this week.

Reynolds (NC)

Hey Heather, if Tajh Boyd puts up absurd numbers in his final two games, do you think he finally starts getting some Heisman love? I mean, statistically he's number 2 in the country in QB rating...

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

I gave him a vote this week in ESPN.com's Heisman watch. I don't think he should win it, but I think he and Gio are both deserving of the trip to NY.

dro28 cottondale fl [via mobile]

are the chances da canes play fsu in the acc championship still good if so can they win this time

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

I half-joked about that rematch this morning, but yeah, the Canes would have a fighting shot against FSU in the title game. They played the Noles pretty tough for most of the game. Yeah, I think they win the division.

mike (boston)

FSU WILL PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR VS LSU

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

Ohhhhhhhkayyyy.

skip (atlanta)

clemson is playing better than fsu right now. i bet clemson would win no matter where they play. do you agree?

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

I said that on Twitter last week and FSU fans flipped. But yeah, I'd pick the Tigers right now in a rematch.

Jake (Raleigh, NC)

With Alabama losing, any thoughts if FSU would have had a chance at the National Title game had my Wolfpack not thrown a monkey wrench into that plan?

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Oh yeah, an undefeated FSU team? In the mix, no doubt, but I still think the Noles would be in a situation very similar to Notre Dame, on the outside looking in. I say that because of the Noles' schedule.

Bobby (Greenville, NC)

who in the coastal can beat FSU in the title game

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Sounds like a good poll question for this week ...

Mike (CT)

heather...how valid is the "we are young" mantra coming out of Miami. Lots of teams are young. Why can't this Miami team win consistently.

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Give em' a break, Mike. They lost eight starters -- on OFFENSE. It's only Golden's second season.

Jamie (Clemson)

If a Coastal team defeats FSU in the ACC title game, how will this affect Clemson's bowl projection?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

That's a great question. I'll double check with Brad Edwards, but my immediate guess is that it doesn't -- as long as Clemson doesn't lose again. You would still have an ACC team in the Orange, and a one-loss CLemson team would still probably be the top option for the Sugar, unless Clemson dropped in the rankings because FSU lost.

Jim (Tallahassee)

Can Maryland's offense score on FSU's defense?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

Maybe in garbage time.

Old Hokie (Virginia)

The Hokies may have a couple embarrassing losses, but the team is not an embarrassment. For the most part, the kids have played hard! Agree?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

Oh no question!! They're just kids. They're trying, and they're sooooo disappointed.

Tyler (Seattle, WA)

Hey Heather, love your work. Give me your predictions for Miami's last 2 games and who in your mind ends up winning the Coastal? Thanks!

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Thanks. I think Canes win next two games based on my thinking Duke loses to GT. Now, if Duke somehow comes out of Atlanta with a win? I'll probably switch my pick to Blue Devils at home. I fully reserve the right to be fickle in November.

andrew (Jacksonville)

come on Heather, You would pick Clemson against Fsu if they play again. So we don't look pretty ewverytime out. Still dominate on Defense and Offense isn't as bad as the other night.

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Not sure FSU dominated on defense against VT, which outgained the Noles.

FB The Bear (Bacon League)

VT can beat FSU in the ACCCG, if the offense shows up, we've already seen that the defense can stop them.

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

Yeah, like i wrote this morning, of all the scenarios, that might actually be the most interesting game. Hokies would give 'em a run.

Steve (Liberty Township, OH)

How many conference games will the ACC next year. Do they all add one w/ Pitt and Syracuse in the league?

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

Eight. You'll see a lot of schools making scheduling announcements between now and February as they try to adjust to that. We've already seen a few.

Zach (Tigerville, SC)

as it stands Clemson is predicted to play alabama in the sugar bowl. What kind of chance do you give them against the tide?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

Hey, if the Aggies can do it ... Look, if we've learned anything last week, it's that EVERYONE is beatable. I'd still pick Bama, just sayin' ...

Rufus (Bowie, MD)

In the last few years, the ACC has had a lot of freshman quarterbacks show who seemed to be full of potential. How does Vad Lee compare?

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

I thought he really took control against UNC and earned the starting job for this week, but haven't heard anything yet on that front. I think it's too early to tell if he's the answer there at QB for them.

Matt (Seattle)

With VT unable to get a first down (clock management) or TD at the end against FSU, how come Stinespring still hasn't been fired?

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

You've gotta realize that the guys on VT's staff LIKE each other. Beamer isn't the kind of coach to do that to a guy mid-season.

Jaden (CO)

With all that Clemson has coming back and the great recruits on D ... any love for a national championship next year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

The question is who is all coming back? Who leaves early for the NFL? And last I heard, Clemson's top recruit just decommitted (D-R-A-M-A). We'll see. If all the pieces are in place, I say yes.

Cody (hooville)

Can UVA win its last 2?

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

Based on my bowl projections, no. I still give the benefit of the doubt to the Hokies. Haven't decided who to pick this week yet.

CJ (Upstate SC)

Say that the Sugar Bowl does feature Clemson vs. LSU, the second Tigers vs. Tigers ACC/SEC matchup of the season. Who wins it? Or still too early to tell?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Let me tell you this: I have been watching the ACC too long to go and say Clemson is going to beat the SEC champ in the Sugar Bowl. Big East champ? That's a different story. But the ACC needs to earn that confidence, I don't care who Clemson is lined up against -- including South Carolina this weekend.

Ryan (Clemson)

No ACC love in the Heisman race (Boyd, Manuel, etc...). What gives?

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

They're just not catching enough attention. They're playing in the shadows of Collin Klein and Manti Te'O, and the undefeateds.

Paul Johnson (Atlanta, GA)

Do I even need to worry about finding a D-coordinator if my offense puts up 68 points? Any suggestions for one?

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

Uh, yeah. Oregon you ain't. I hear Frank Spaziani might be looking for a job soon. Why not hire another former head coach from within the league?

Ruatiger (Atlanta)

Heather, if GT ends up 6-6 and somehow goes to the ACC championship game, and wins, will the Orange Bowl still be required to take them?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

Lol yeah.

Hokie in SC (Greenville, SC)

Heather, Va Tech quarterback Logan Thomas ? everyone says how good he is and that this season is not ?his fault?. I understand that no one person can wreck a season. But LT has the worst completion percentage and the highest number of picks in the ACC. Why is everyone so afraid to criticize tis performance?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Afraid? I think Logan has been one of the most criticized players in the ... country this year. Early on I defended him a ton, but he has made too many mistakes and poor decisions. He will benefit tremendously from playing another season before thinking about the NFL.

Stone Cold (Texas)

Do you think GT goes after a high profile DC in the off season? Or do they go small after seeing what happened with the Groh experiment?

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

My guess -- suggestion, rather -- is they go with somebody younger who is willing to go with the flow there. Not that Paul Johnson is a micromanager -- seriously, he's not -- but it's unlikely they're going to get a Venables-type in there.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Ok guys, my time is up here. Thanks so much for joining me this week. See you next Monday!