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December 3, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

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

Joe (Charlottesville, VA)

Are you hearing anything on UVa, UNC, or GT leaving for the BIG 10?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

Let's get this out of the way first, shall we? No, nothing concrete, and certainly nothing from the ACC. Everything I've heard from ACC officials has reiterated the league's stability. With that being send, now that Maryland has found a way out, I have no choice but to lend credibility to these things and check them out. If and when something concrete emerges, you will see it in the blog, promise. Until then, I'm going to try not to speculate on speculation.

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

Let's get this out of the way first, shall we? No, nothing concrete, and certainly nothing from the ACC. Everything I've heard from ACC officials has reiterated the league's stability. With that being send, now that Maryland has found a way out, I have no choice but to lend credibility to these things and check them out. If and when something concrete emerges, you will see it in the blog, promise. Until then, I'm going to try not to speculate on speculation.

Chris (Atlanta, GA)

HD, maybe you should read AA's post on the ACC blog this morning, and quit bashing the ACC, GT in particular. Yes, GT is 6-7. Yes, GT had a mediocre season with some bad losses. But they turned their season around and made a good comeback in the second half. Yes, GT got to the title game due to self-imposed bans. But they were game in the ACC championship, their defense showed up in the second half, and I feel like GT at least proved they deserve to go to a bowl at 6-7 with their showing.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Lol Big Guns was at it this morning. She made a lot of good points. Check it out if you haven't already ACC fans.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Lol Big Guns was at it this morning. She made a lot of good points. Check it out if you haven't already ACC fans.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Lol Big Guns was at it this morning. She made a lot of good points. Check it out if you haven't already ACC fans.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Lol Big Guns was at it this morning. She made a lot of good points. Check it out if you haven't already ACC fans.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Lol Big Guns was at it this morning. She made a lot of good points. Check it out if you haven't already ACC fans.

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Lol Big Guns was at it this morning. She made a lot of good points. Check it out if you haven't already ACC fans.

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

My computer is giving me fits today, sorry if this seems slow.

Chris (Gainesville, Fl)

Will Fisher stay at FSU as Head Coach and will FSU make a needed conference change?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

My computer is giving me fits today, sorry if this seems slow.

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

My prediction is Jimbo Fisher will stay at FSU only until the right job in the SEC comes along. As for a conference change? My take on it is that Maryland's lawsuit is PARAMOUNT to whether or not other schools try to leave.

William Thomas (Buchanan, VA)

Hey Heather, how are you doing today? What happens if FSU loses the Orange Bowl to NIU? Does the ACC continue to get bashed on? I don't think FSU will lose but hey its college football and anything can happen.

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

I'm ok, William, thanks. If FSU loses to NIU, the ACC will hit rock bottom as far as public perception goes.

vtman09 (Baconleague)

Maybe this is karma for my previous comment a few weeks ago "Ravens >>>>>> Steelers". I've come back from the ledge after last night's loss. Well played Heather Ann, well played.

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

You know it.

Bryan (Atlanta)

Do you think Jimbo will hire an OC in the offseason? I think most Nole fans have had it with his play calling. EJ has played terrible lately too, which doesn't help.

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

I think he will give it more thought than he ever has in the past.

Larry (Albuquerque, NM)

Miami could be a power house on offense next season, but how does the defense get turned around, new DC? Also, best guess on pending NCAA sanctions.

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

My guess on the sanctions is that the worst is behind them as far as bowl bans, so the biggest hit will come in the form of scholarship losses. That's just my guess. As for the D, I think there's a lot of talent to work with and they'll be better. I don't think they'll have a new DC, but again, that's a prediction. I sure didn't think UVa would have one.

Jared (Virginia)

If Virginia Tech fans are upset with their football team, they should watch the basketball team. The basketball team plays hard every game and is well-coached.

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

There you go, a bright spot, Hokies. Shoutout to James Johnson.

Matthew (Boston, MA)

Heather, what are you thoughts on BC's head coaching search so far? I think it's very telling that a "national search" under Gene yielded a candidate in Spaz that literally no other school would have wanted to interview, yet alone hire. Meanwhile, Bates is drawing interest from some bigtime candidates (e.g, Diaco). Do you agree BC is running a much better search this time?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

Yes, it seems to be more broad-based and thorough. Will be interesting to see who Bates winds up with.

Chris (Gainesville, Fl)

Based on the attendance and rock bottom price of tickets to the ACC championship game, is there any plans to move that game to a better site, perhaps back to Jacksonville, FL

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

No, and I don't think they should. Jacksonville was awful, Chris. How easily everyone forgets. It was worse than last Saturday. I think this year's ACCCG was an anomoly because of GT. I like CLT and I think it's the right place for the ACC.

Brad (Charlotte, NC)

What do you think about the NC State coaching hire? I am very excited but wonder what others think.

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

Thought it was a good, swift move. He's a winner, he has ties to Florida for recruiting, and he reminds Debbie Yow of James Franklin. I think he's the real deal, but of course he's still got to prove it.

Rett (Oregon)

@Chris, Best Record gets Home game is needed.

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

I understand the logic behind that, especially for the likes of a GT-Wake Forest ACCCG, but I also think a title game in a city like CLT helps the ACC create an identity for the league and its title game. Look, last year there was over 70k for that game, and I remember the VT-FSU game, even with bad weather, there was a great crowd. I'm telling you, I don't think this year was reason to panic.

Matt (Seattle)

WOW, not liking the matches for bowls, Will any ACC school be favored?

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

I can tell you right now I've got no reason to say the ACC will have a winning record this year. Why should I? I'll believe it when I see it (Lookin' at you, Clemson)

Craig (Mobile)

Responding to your mail bag question from Friday "why would FSU want to play lsu and Alabama every year". You know there was a stretch of almost 2 decades where playing Miami and Florida every year had the most nfl talent. How many championships would the Noles had if they played lsu and bama during the 90's instead of UF and UM? My point is these things go in cycles. Those sec teams are dominant now. It won't last. Plus FSU wants to make more money

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

I agree that things go in cycles, Craig, and I do realize these realignment moves are money driven, but from a competitive standpoint? Puh-lease. Beat NC State and then we'll talk.

Adam (New York)

There are rumors flying around about Al Golden Interviewing with Tennessee and Boston College being very interested. Do you think Golden will be at Miami come the Fall of 2013

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

The notion that Al Golden would leave South Florida for BC is laughable to me, and I don't think there is any truth to the Tennessee rumors. So yes, I think Golden is in it for the long haul.

Dan (Raleigh)

FSU vs Northern Illinois? What a slap in the face to the ACC. Isn't this one of those games where there is no 'win' scenario for the conference. Win big... you were supposed to... win small, the ACC stinks for allowing it to be close... Lose.... ugh, rather not think about it.

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

Not a slap in the face to the ACC -- just how the system works, but yes, I agree with you. It's really a no-win situation for the conference because of what you just said.

Wyatt (Johnson)

What are the chances the Canes win 10 games and play in the ACC title game next year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

I don't have the schedule in front of me to guess 10 wins or not, but I'll give you my 2013 ACCCG prediction: Clemson vs Miami.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

FSU is in a no win situation and it's all due to perception in the OB. FSU wins fans/media will say oh it's NIU, FSU was suppose to win, nice story etc..., they won't gain anything from this win. NIU wins it'll be the biggest story in college football bowl season and will set back FSU. Not to mention the attendance will be bad and media will mock the fans though they should realize NIU only averages 15k a game at their stadium. Ugh.

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

Sigh ... I'm trying to find an argument for you, but I can't, sorry.

ACC FAn (Savannah GA)

On the ticket sales for the ACCCG question re: moving it.... How many more tix would have been sold if Miami hadn't self imposed or even better UNC not been prohibited.... keep it in Charlotte

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Yep. Don't you think UNC fans would have shown up for that game? Heck, I ran by Miami fans on a run in the city Saturday morning and they weren't even playing! I agree.

Rett (Oregon)

Heather, It is about "possible" not specific years. CLT is a great town, but with only 3 or 4 fan bases (FSU, Clemson, VT, Louisville) that travel. It is really hard to create a good environment for that game.

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

Don't worry, guys, I already talked to AA about this on Saturday night and we are going to put it to a vote tomorrow.

Rochester NY [via mobile]

dear Heather : i need your objective opinion. Do you see Notre Dame's offense capable of playing "catch up" if the Irish fall behind by 2 or more TD's against Alabama ? i am a loyal Notre Dame fan so i need a reality check while in the midst of a dream season. = DANNY BOY from Rochester

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

Ha, hmm, if Notre Dame is down by two or more TDs, I don't like their odds. I do, however, like Notre Dame's defense enough this year that I just might pick the Irish to win.

Da"U" (Sunny FL)

Heather.... Do we lose any of our Head Coaches (Golden, Fisher, Fedora, Cutcliffe and the "newbie" Strong) to "other opportunities" this year? I've heard many runors...

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

Yes, tis' the season for rumors, but as far as Golden and Cutliffe go, that's all they are. As for the others? I think the coaching carousel needs to stop before we say nobody is going anywhere.

Robert (Atlanta)

Lookin at you, Clemson? Sorry Clemson did not "pull a Clemson" for you this year and lose to a nobody. But also did not "pull a Clemson" and beat someone it was not suppose to. We wanted consistency and got it and now we dont want it?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

You're absolutely right, Clemson didn't "pull a Clemson" this year, and I wrote that they wouldn't. THat comment was in regards to beating a decent SEC team. After FOUR losses to South Carolina, why should I give the Tigers credit against LSU?

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Do you think EJ's good nature ( Great kid, great interviewer etc.. ) is masking his bad play. I feel like if he wasn't wooing some of the fan base and media, he'd get a lot more flack in the 2nd half of the season. And some of it was justified. He was atrocious against UF and below average against GT. I mean 21 points against that D is unacceptable.

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

Lol yeah I'll be the first to admit it's hard to criticize the guy. I met his mom, dad and grandmother last week. He's a good kid who comes from a great family. In general, I think these kids are criticized too much. It's easy to forget how young they are and how much pressure they're facing. But yes, he hasn't played well lately and I'm sure he'd say so.

Tiger Rag (Clemson)

Any significant underclassmen leave early this year? Boyd, Bernard, Thomas etc?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

I think Boyd comes back. I predict Gio leaves, Thomas stays. Just a few guesses.

Rett (Oregon)

Yeah, HD! We could use some objective analysis on the ND vs Bama game. I look at the tough time ND having 6 of the 12 wins by less than 10 points. With the many of those close games against teams no one mistakes for Top 25 talent.As compared with Bama that had 3 close games against teams in everyone's Top 15. What do you make of this?

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Yep, you're right, two overtime games and that close one against Pitt didn't do the Irish any favors in the style points column. However, I don't think the Irish are getting enough credit. Finding a way to win those close games is the mark of a great team. I don't buy into the notion that this is going to be easy for Bama.

Dylan (Desolate Cave, PA)

Keep the game in Charlotte. Its not their fault that GT fans are terrible.

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

Where are you Jackets? I don't know, can you blame them? Would you make the trip to see a 6-6 team?

Matt (Seattle)

ND v Bama will be like ND v Or State 42-3

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

No way! Irish D too good for that.

Rod (Atlanta, GA)

Does GT brass put up with CPJ's record because they don't think they could replace him with a better coach or does it come down to money? He's consistently recruited poorly, produces under achieving athletes and hasn't even won a bowl game much less beat Georgia. What gives?

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

His contract is bigger than the state of Texas?

Lance (Destin, FL)

I'm a big Georgia Tech fan but am sick of the mediocrity they've become. I'm especially tired of watching the Mickey Mouse offense Paul Johnson has installed. I wish Chan Gailey were still coaching.

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

I don't have any problem with that offense. Honest I don't. I don't mind watching it at all. They just need better athletes on both sides of the ball.

Demon (Deacon)

People are comparing the attendence to the SEC game... I predict if we pit 2 ACC teams ranked 2 and 3 in the country, it sells out.... now I wont predict that we'll ever get 2 teams ranked that high though

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

I was at the FSU-Clemson game this year. Two top 10 teams. GameDay crew. Yeah, it depends on the matchup. Problem is, FSU and Clemson in same division.

Redding (Thomasville, GA)

I'm not a GT fan but disagree with you on GT's offense. You think Bama could win a Nat'l title with that type of offense? i don't think any team can consistently win like that. GT is not built to come from behind if another teams get up on them late. That's the facts.

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Yep, couldn't agree with you more. GT can't play from behind very well in that offense at all because they don't pass it enough. They need to pass it more to win more than an ACC title, but, as they have proven, it's good enough to win an ACC title with. I also think a better QB would help (Vad Lee the answer?) because if they only were more efficient, not threw it more, it would help.

AJDylan (Pakistan)

BC came into back to back title games highly ranked and nobody from Boston showed up.

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Yep, that's why BC always drew the short end for bowl games, too.

Blake (ACC country )

Why do you feel the ACC had so many high scoring conference games this year? I don't remember near this many in the last several years combined. Is it just me or are the offenses better or the defenses down, what is it?

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Defenses weren't very good, but there were also some experienced difference-makers at QB. But really, it was a down year for some defenses.

Victor E. Huskie (Dekalb, IL)

NIU is going to shock the world...Hey FSU fans, stop crying about this is a no-win situation, who cares. Your not in the title game, so this really doesn't matter, however for a team in the Mid-American Conference this is huge money wise and is a great recruiting tool. GO HUSKIES!

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

Helloooooo Huskie!

Matt (Seattle)

How much revenue is the ACC losing this year by not filling all it's bowl spots?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Have to ask somebody at the ACC for an exact number, but my guess is they lose however much those bowls usually pay out.

James (Tampa FL)

Clemson vs N Carolina in the ACC champ game next year (Miami not eligible)... both in the top 10

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Gio? or no Gio?

Jeff (Tallahassee)

Jimbo's been getting some heat around here, but I think we are going to see a big part of his value when people start talking about FSU reloading instead of who we have coming back. Next years roster doesn't look too shabby!

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

Jimbo has done a good job recruiting, and he got them over the hump by winning the title game. A 12-2 season with a BCS win would certainly be something to brag about. I would imagine, though, that FSU fans won't be able to shake the thought of what could have been.

James (Tampa FL)

Gio comes back....

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

Ok, well, then, maybe. I just don't think NCAA bans Miami for third straight postseason. It was only two for USC, right?

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Did people see the attendence at the PAC 12 and BIG 10 Conference games? Stanford had a home game yet no one was there and BIG Ten had a 5 loss Wisconsin team and there were plenty of empty seats. It's simple better matchups = better attendance.

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

No doubt.

Rett (Oregon)

VT has been known for the "stability" of their staff. Do you think it may be time for a shakeup? Would the Hokies benefit from some new blood in the coaching staff?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

Yes, and yes. I can't imagine things staying status quo after that season.

Frosty (Maine)

You said Paul Johnson has a huge contract. What if he goes another year with a poor record and yet again doesn't beat Georgia?

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

Then I think it's time to really take a look at a possible buyout. With a new athletic director coming in, that could be a realistic possibility. Georgia Tech, though, should be better next year. Much better. Most everyone returns, and with Vad Lee at QB, ... well, they still won't beat UGA.

Matt (Seattle)

Looked at ND schedule, still not impressed Mich State was over ranked when they played and OT against two others, really not seeing them hanging

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

Ok, Notre Dame has the NO. 1 SCORING defense in the country. Georgia almost beat Alabama. Alabama has lost. It's not invincible. Both teams are obviously well-coached. Why isn't ND being given more of a chance?

Hokie hoo (Blacksburg)

The pendulum swings back to the Coastal next year with Better Miami, UNC, VT and GT teams

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

I think that's a pretty good prediction.

Kevin (New Hope, Alabama)

Best RB in the ACC next with be (assuming Gio goes pro)...

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

Duke Johnson.

Drew (ATL)

Only guaranteed sellout game for ACC this bowl season will be Clemson vs LSU. Two 10-2 teams, elite offense vs elite defense.

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

Should be the best bowl for the ACC, best matchup. It's the one I'm looking forward to watching the most.

Geraldo (Nova Scotia)

I think GT offense is OK and fun when working well...but their senior QB throws an INT at all the wrong times (see Va Tech, FSU, Miami games, thats just this year)...I cant believe the defense though. Ga Tech has put a man on the moon, a man in the white house, several folks in space....but they cant stop anyone even on 3rd and 27

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

hahahaha

Greg (The ACC)

I know this has nothing to do with the ACC, but I'm curious Heather, who do you have winning the Heisman?

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

Last week I had Te'o. Couldn't ignore what he did in fourth quarter against USC. This week I flipped back to Johnny Football, but on my run this morning I was going back and forth again, wondering if that was the right call. Boyd is in my top five.

Heels1Fan (Bethesda MD)

Gio has 2 yrs eligibilty left... he returns to make a run at the Heisman

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

The ACC should hope he does. You know who UNC will miss even more, though? Jonathan Cooper. He's the one making those blocks. MAN is he good.

Deon (NC) [via mobile]

HD, I'm a big miami fan i think al golden is the right coach and the offense is great but im not to sold on the d coordinator should a change be made because that same old excuse about being young is a joke the offense is young a they are pretty good.

Heather Dinich
  (1:50 PM)

Yeah, you have a good point, I just wonder if Golden is willing to make that change considering their history together.

Chris (Atlanta, GA)

GT's offense isn't the issue. And I love it because it is fun to watch. For those calling for Chan Gailey, does no one remember the 3rd and 10 QB draw with Reggie Ball EVERY SINGLE SERIES?!? The offense is not GT's issue. They need to recruit better defensive players and quit having such a passive defensive setup.

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

Haha, I remember those days, Chris, and I remember GT fans screaming about it! Yes, you are right, it comes down to players, but I do agree that GT is not going to win a national title unless it improves its passing game.

Shane Fridley (CVS)

With Stephen Morris passing for just over 3,300 yards this season, and with an even deadlier offense next season can he get to 4,000 yards and finally get the recognition he deserves?

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

Yes. Next year could be huge for him. I think he really had a great season, but next year he could really make a splash nationally.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Is it just me but if Te'o is getting serious considering to win the Heisman, it's a down year for QB play in college football at good programs.

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

No! He is a great leader and great player for an undefeated team. He has made game-changing plays all season. Count me among those who still think the Heisman should go to the best PLAYER in CFB, not the best QB.

Kreg (Freeport, TN)

I predict Jimbo Fisher takes the Tennessee job if offered to him. Just sayin. If I were him I'd rather coach in the SEC with a team he can probably win with in a year or two.

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Wouldn't surprise me in the least if he did, but you don't think he could win at FSU?? C'mon.

steve (atlanta)

there were entire games where reggie ball and chan gailey did not get the ball into the hands of Calvin Johnson...HELLLLOOOO?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Ahhh, memories ...

Bill Dozer (Charlottsville )

Just the other day Michael Rocco was on the news talking about how excited he was to lead the Cavaliers in the off season and get them ready for next season, why do you think he had the sudden change of heart to transfer? Totally shocked me

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

Couldn't have been sudden, not after the way the quarterbacks were used that season. Rocco has had to say the company line as long as he wore the jersey.

Panther Man (Pittsburgh)

Top 5 Qb's returning in the ACC next year are?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Way to get a head start on things, Pitt. I have to look and see who actually IS coming back before going there, but I'd start with Tajh Boyd and Stephen Morris.

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Way to get a head start on things, Pitt. I have to look and see who actually IS coming back before going there, but I'd start with Tajh Boyd and Stephen Morris.

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Way to get a head start on things, Pitt. I have to look and see who actually IS coming back before going there, but I'd start with Tajh Boyd and Stephen Morris.

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Way to get a head start on things, Pitt. I have to look and see who actually IS coming back before going there, but I'd start with Tajh Boyd and Stephen Morris.

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Way to get a head start on things, Pitt. I have to look and see who actually IS coming back before going there, but I'd start with Tajh Boyd and Stephen Morris.

Clemson rules (Charleston)

2013 Clemson takes Atlantic..FSU, NCS, BC breaking in new coaches.... New ACC team learning the ropes, lame duck team in MD and the little train that could in WF... couldn't

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Lol see how easy it is to predict the ACC? Man, yeah, how about Maryland having to play in the ACC next year? Every team is gonna be gunnin' for 'em.

Rett (Oregon)

Is Louisville going to slip into Maryland's spot in the Atlantic? Or are they considering a more significant change in the divisions?

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Yeah, that's the plan for now, Louisville in Atlantic.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

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