Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 9, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

Happy Monday, ACC fans. Let's get to it ...

Nick (Boston)

Hi Heather, could u see BC winning at USC this weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

Two words for you, Nick: Upset watch. Coming soon to a blog near you ...

Bo (Atlanta)

Given what we know now, what is the biggest matchup in the Coastal? GT vs VT by default?

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

The Coastal Division is exactly the same as it was preseason: Anyone's game. To me, right now the two best teams look like Miami and Georgia Tech. Need to see more from the UNC D.

Frank (Washington, DC)

Heather, are you impressed by the job Steve Adazzio has done at BC? Do you give the Eagles a shot against USC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

He's been such a breath of fresh air to that program, and brought soooo much energy. Given everything I heard, and after talking to the players and coaches about Addazio this offseason, I'm not surprised he's got them playing blue-collar BC football. I AM surprised, though, at the ineptitude of Wake's offense.

DJ (DC)

What's your prediction for Maryland @ U-Conn this weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

UCONN lost to TOWSON. They look turrrible. CJ Brown is having a fantastic start. Terps should start out 4-0.

John (Kentucky)

SEC and ACC tied at 2-2 if my calculations are correct. Is the ACC finally catching up to their southern rivals? Has the ACC passsed the Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac 12?

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

Yes, you are right in your calculations. I think it's still too early to tell where the conference is in the overall hierarchy of CFB, but I think they're ahead of the Big Ten and Big 12 right now.

Eli (Houston)

If and when Mack brown resigns/retires/ gets fired, do you see Dabo Sweeny as a candidate for the job in Austin?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

Wow, that's a lot of "what-ifs." Heck, I think Lane Kiffin is in more trouble right now that Mack Brown. At least Mack Brown has done something at Texas. I don't see Dabo Swinney leaving Clemson right now. He's got a good thing going.

John (Kentucky)

Would Jimbo be in play at USC or Texas? What about Al Golden? Any other ACC coaches?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

If Golden wasn't interested in Penn State -- and hasn't left yet through all of this NCAA mess -- I don't see him going across the country. I know his family really likes it there. As for Jimbo? He seems more like an SEC coach. I don't know that he'd be interested or considered in either of those jobs, but I'm sure his agent would find a way to get him more money out of it regardless.

Ned (Boston)

Hi Heather, is BC defense really that good or Wake Forest offense that bad?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

BC made some great plays, no doubt, but man, Deacs... ouch. I don't know why they kept pitching it.

Erik (Boston)

Thoughts on Chad Morris leaving Clemson for Texas.

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

Guys, Mack Brown is still the head coach ...

Michael (South Dakota)

SEC defenses are overrated and ACCs are underrated..thoughts? Clemsons d line did better against Ga than USC. Clemson also looked like an SEC team against LSU in bowl game. Why doesn't anyone realize that when others face the SEC teams?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

I don't know about that, Michael. Florida's defense is pretty darn good. Clemson got a great effort from it's D, VT's D was outstanding against Bama, and FSU's D is in the process of reloading, but I don't think as a whole ACC defenses have had much to brag about lately. I think there's been a drop-off.

Colin (VA)

What record do you see Maryland ending the season with?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

I think they can be a seven- or eight-win team. I don't think they beat FSU, Clemson, at VT. Not sure they win at NC State, either, or at home vs. BC. A couple can go either way, a little too early to tell.

Jay Nolan (Boone, NC)

Hi Heather,I am really looking forward to seeing Jameis Winston play again...was Pittsburgh that bad? FSU's receivers were just wide open!! Im already excited to see my new Hurricane defense against the noles

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

See, that's the thing, I don't think Pitt is THAT bad. They're going to be right in the Coastal race with everyone else. I just think FSU's offensive playmakers are THAT good.

Drew (New York)

What is BC's best case scenario this year? Can they squeeze 8 wins out of this schedule?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

I think eight wins is pushing it for the Eagles. Love their effort, their physical style, their philosophy. They can surprise some teams with their discipline and solid coaching, but they're going to need some teams to make mistakes. I'm curious to see if they pounce on USC this weekend.

Carl (Atlanta)

Thursday night, at home, excited crowd -- Does NC St. have any chance against Clemson?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

Not if it plays like it did against Richmond ...

Steven (Boca)

Can Miami get to Tallahassee 7-0? Or do they trip up somewhere?

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

Yes, they can, but their biggest tests are obviously home vs. GT and at UNC on a Thursday night. If they can get it done, WOW, it would really inject life into that rivalry again.

Victoria (DC)

Stefon Diggs was the #12 player out of high school. Had one of the most stunning freshman years in the nation last year and is already on his way to Heisman level of play this year. Why is there so little talk of him on a national level? MD's irrelevance the last 2 years?

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

I disagree. I think he's gotten a lot of national love, has been listed on several darkhorse Heisman lists. He's been a bit overshadowed by Duke Johnson at Miami, though.

Kevin (Miami, FL)

Why do you continue to say the Coastal is wide open? Miami is the only team to do anything against a good team this year. I feel they are the class of the Coastal until someone beats them.

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

I picked Miami to win the division, and I'm sticking with that pick, but Georgia Tech is a much better team that it was a year ago. Virginia Tech's defense might be the best in the ACC. I'm just not sold on separation in that division by any means.

Jeff (Tampa, FL)

Who has your vote as the top defender in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

Great question, and of course it's still waaay too early to answer that, but I think Vic Beasley at Clemson could make a run for it ... He had a great game against UGA.

John (Florida)

Does FSU go in to the Clemson game unbeaten?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

If it doesn't, something is very wrong.

Steve (Miami)

Heather, great win on Saturday, but our offense has me holding off on drinking the Kool Aid. Morris hasn't looked so good this year. Should I be worried?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

A wise Miami fan. I have been underwhelmed by what we've seen out of Morris, too. I'm surprised by that. That is one reason I think the GT game will be so interesting. They've got no problem putting points on the board.

Tim (North Carolina)

Can the Wolfpack hold it together until Brandon Mitchell returns?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

I haven't heard an exact date on his return, but judging by what we saw this past weekend? He can't get healthy fast enough.

Jon (Atlanta)

GT had a very early bye week. Does this hurt them going into a very difficult stretch of games?

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Paul Johnson said last week that he would've rather kept playing. I'm not sure the placement of the bye week hurts as much as the next four weeks will ...

Matt (Philly)

Isn't it amazing how much better Maryland's offense looks when they don't have a freshman linebacker playing QB?

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

LOL -- TERPS in the house today! Lots of 'em!

Paul (Chicago )

Besides Clemson, Miami and Florida, where could FSU slip up? Maryland? Idaho?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

Again, there is no reason Florida State should lose to an unranked opponent this year. Winston passed his first test, but he's still got a lot to learn. Odds are he won't truly be tested until one of the big three.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Which senior signal caller has been shakier early in the season, Renner or Morris?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

Morris.

Tre (Goose Creek, SC)

Is the ACC set now on divisions, or will there be some realignment in the near future?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

The ACC continues to say it is happy with the "competitive balance" in the current divisions. No movement in the near future.

Drew (New York)

If Alabama, Oregon, and Clemson (lets say with a win over Miami in the ACCCG) finish undefeated, who gets left out in the cold for the national championship?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

I have no idea. I saw Oregon live this past weekend at UVa and left thinking they were the best team in the country. I don't know how the computers will judge those teams, but I do know that Clemson and Oregon both look stronger than Bama offensively right now.

Mike (atlanta, ga)

Does the injury to the Duke QB doom their season? Can still make a bowl game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

I was talking to AA about this yesterday ... we both agree that until proven otherwise, they can get six wins. The noncon sked is favorable.

jeremy (south carolina)

Who has the better WR clemson or fsu?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

Well, after just one game my vote goes to FSU because they didn't have ONE drop. Sammy fumbled, and the Clemson WRs could have been better against UGA. Clemson, though, was obviously playing better competition.

Eria (Richmond, VA)

Could you please post a reminder on the blog next week for the chat? I almost completely forgot about it!

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

Yes, but also follow us on Twitter @ESPN_ACC for a reminder there, too.

Britt (MARYLAND)

Top 3 wide receiving corps in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

FSU, Clemson, Terps. Amidon is a top 25 player, though.

Laura (Va)

as a die-hard Hokie....i can tell you the best thing that can happen to Va Tech right now is to stay under the radar (unranked), feel dispected and forgotten as Clem Mia and Flor receive all the praise and keep working like the blue collar team they are....with that defense, there is not reason they can't run the table...all they need is some moderate offensive production...thoughts ?

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

I talked to Bud Foster last week, and he agreed that even when the offense struggles, the D can be good enough. But they simply cannot continue to turn it over like that. Doesn't matter how good the D is.

Mike (Florida)

Over/under 9 wins for Miami

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

Over. Yeah, I said that ...

DarNel (Santa Barbara)

Heather the only reason Duke Johnson overshadows Stefon Diggs is because of the name on the jersey. Diggs does more with less than Johnson. Will playing in the B1G next year provide Diggs more national exposure?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

Sorry, lost my internet connection there. Yes, it could, especially with a team like Ohio State coming to town. But he'll also be facing an overall tougher schedule. BTW I'm going to College Park tomorrow, but Diggs has class.

Kevin (Miami, FL)

Yes the Hurricanes offense has not been nearly as potent as last year but that is due to a change at OC and that fact has been seen in the passing game the most through two games. Fisch had a strong crossing route game to complement the deep throws, Coley is more WR screen oriented to set up the deep throws. So it will take a couple weeks of actual game action to work that out. But once Morris and the WR's get on the same page the Miami offense will be just fine. Fans should not overreact to two weeks of subpar offense thus far. Finally, Miami will not play a defense as good as Florida's the rest of the season.

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

All good points ... and agree about the Gators' D.

Robert (Blacksburg, VA)

VT's offensive line is better than I thought it would be at this time of the year. The problem on offense seems to be with Logan and the receivers. Heather, your thoughts ?

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Yup. O-line making strides. Logan & Co. have to get better quickly.

Jonathan (Indiana)

Okay so miami beating FL was a big time win in bringing the program back..but what do you believe miami needs to do to really show the nation that they are rebuilding and will be a power house again?

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Simple: Keep it up. They can't beat Florida and lose to Georgia Tech and "be back."

Roger (OH)

Heather, that was quite a "Welcome to the ACC" for my Panthers from FSU last Monday. Obviously FSU is one of the top teams in the country, but was that blowout more a sign of how good Florida State is or how tough of a road it's going to be for Pitt in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

I think it was more of a statement for the Noles and Jameis Winston than an indictment on Pitt. Panthers aren't bad, but they clearly have work to do. So do a lot of teams in that division, though.

tom (louisville)

With UofL coming to the ACC next season but losing bridgewater do you think UofL will do well in their first season with having to deal with the stronger ACC teams...or is UofL looking as good as they are because its a weak conference? basically what im asking is is UofL going to look like miami did when they first joined the ACC just a slow decline in play?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

I think Louisville will do just fine next year. Don't forget that Clemson loses Tajh Boyd, too. Even without Bridgewater I think they'll be one of the best teams in the Atlantic.

Michael (Falls Church VA)

Are Boyd, Winston, and Brown the clear cut top 3 QBs in the ACC right now?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

Yes. That's fair.

Jim (Tallahassee)

We're heading up to the BC/FSU game in a couple of weeks. I'm a little concerned after watching BC beat Wake. Is it to early to get your thoughts on this game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

Boston College has some playmakers, yes, but that team is not deep at all. Addazio called the RB position "scary thin" this summer. They've got an open date to prepare for the Noles, but that is one of those games I mentioned they're going to have to count on FSU to make some mistakes, dumb penalties, undisciplined play, force a turnover. Otherwise, no question FSU should win.

Paul (Chicago )

If Miami keeps playing well, whats the bigger game for FSU, Clemson or Miami? The Clemson game is a default divisional championship game, but FSU could lose and still get to a BCS game. Whereas the Miami game has big recruiting implications involved.

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

I'm going to say the Clemson game. It's on the road, it's for the Atlantic Divison. Only if both FSU and Miami are undefeated heading into it does that one become the bigger game.

Mike (Jersey Shore)

What do you think will be the eventual outcome of the long lingering NCAA investigation of Miami? Might they be banned from another post-season game(s)? Gotta be unsettling to Canes nation...

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

I'm wondering if Miami fans are even worried about it after that win over Florida. It seems like Canes fans are walking on air today ... NCAA? Psh. Chomp.

Jon (Georgia)

I hear that GT has a QB that can pass.. Do you see Paul Johnson passing more? I would love to stop seeing teams load the box with 8 players against us.

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

He told me this summer they would pass more.

Chris (Durham)

Can Duke's new found run defense stand up to Georgia Tech's option coming off the bye? Is this a winnable game for the Blue Devils?

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

It can be, yes. At the very least, it should help them beat Navy on Oct. 12.

Kevin (Miami, FL)

Do you feel the NCAA is holding out on ruling on the Hurricanes because they know there will be no more sanctions and the only way to actually hurt the Hurricanes is to keep them waiting?

Heather Dinich
  (1:55 PM)

No ... Al Golden has done a great job of preparing his team through the waiting. Clearly.

Steve (Boston)

Is Amidon good enough to keep dominating games single-handedly? Or will teams be able to shut him (and therefore the BC passing attack) down? Also, is he an NFL talent?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

Well, it certainly helps to have Andre Williams running for over 200 yards. That's the key to opening things up in the passing game. Amidon had a great year last year, there's no reason he can't do it again. As for being an NFL talent? Not my department.

Brent (Charlotte)

Heather,Is it just me or should Logan Thomas be a tight end?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

I barely mentioned "tight end" during my interview this summer with Scot Loeffler and he quickly brushed it off, kind of a "psh, tight end? He's not a tight end. He's a quarterback."

george (Miami)

Hey Heather, do you think Miami's defense gives them a chance to beat FSU? They sure looked fast and took advantage of turnovers against UF.. P.S. This is assuming the offense gets on track like we know they can.

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

If Miami's D gave them a chance to beat Florida, then yeah, it can give them a chance in every game.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Ok guys, my time is up here. Lots of good questions from lots of schools today. AA will have her chat on Thursday, so come back then. See you in the blogosphere and on Twitter. HD