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October 7, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

Hey guys, I'm here, let's get started ...

Alex (Jax, FL)

Does FSU's blowout win over Maryland show that FSU is for real or that Maryland was overated?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

I think it's a combination of the two. We got answers from both teams. Clearly, the Terps weren't ready for what FSU had to hand out in Tally, and their undefeated record was in part a result of the inferior competition they had played. Look at what Baylor just did to WVU. FSU, on the other hand, made a statement that they indeed are to be taken seriously as a national title contender.

Justin (Lynchburg, VA)

HD, do you see Va Tech as being capable of topping Miami? Seems like that is a must-win to get to the ACC championship for both sides.

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

I do think the Hokies can win that game, but if they played right now I'd pick Miami. The Canes can run the ball. Virginia Tech is still struggling with that. To me that's the game that now will determine the Coastal winner ... but let's see what Pitt does this weekend.

B Mand (Sarasota, FL)

Most people would say that FSU has an advantage because they have a bye leading up to Clemson, but I think it could cause a sluggish start and that could be damning against Clemson. Your thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

I think it works in FSU's favor. Clemson could get caught looking ahead (but I don't think it will), and FSU has more time to prepare and watch the Tigers.

Bill Caporellie (Washington, DC)

Heather, do you think it's time GT look for a new coach yet? With road trips to BYU and Clemson, UGA still on the schedule, and 2 losses already on the books, I don't see GT having better than a 7-5 record. Maybe that's good enough at other schools, but GT has higher standards (or at least used to). What do you think? Will yet another loss to UGA be the final nail in the coffin? Or is GT going to pull another Paul Hewitt?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

I think Paul Johnson's lucrative contract makes it very difficult for that to happen, Bill, but you are right -- it could be a long season for the Jackets. This BYU trip is scary for them, and they still have Pitt and Clemson and UGA. They need to figure out what's going on at QB, but I don't think replacing CPJ is the answer right now.

Joel (Virginia)

Heather, do you expect the ACC to comment on the alleged targeting of CJ Brown? In your opinion, should there have been a penalty call and/or disqualification?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

It's something worth looking into, Joel, to see if Randy Edsall submitted that film to the ACC and if he heard anything back from the league office. Personally, I think it was a tough call. It looked worse in slo-mo than in the instant it actually happened.

Vernon Wildy Jr (Richmond, VA)

Will VT's lack of a running game catch up with them sooner or later?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

As I mentioned earlier, I think that could be a factor at Miami, but as long as Logan Thomas continues to manage the game like he did against UNC and not turn it over, they've still got a chance to win every game.

Mike C. (Tallahassee)

Now I know I am a homer obviously Heather, But I am a long time reader of yours and I distinctly remember you saying that the score of the Maryland vs. FSu game was going to be something like 31-17 or 34-21, something of this nature. How do you explain FSU not only putting 63 on maryland, but blanking them on the scoreboard? Is it safe to say yet that Jameis Winston is the best QB in ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

I cannot explain it, Mike. I honestly thought that was going to be a close, good, entertaining game. As I said on Twitter Saturday evening, I couldn't POSSIBLY be the only one who expected more out of an undefeated top 25 team?

Curt Graham (Memphis Tn)

Do you think Clemson is taking FSU lightly this year. It seems they think they have FSU's number when they won two years ago in Death Valley. What they fail to remember is FSU was without their Starting QB and had to play Clint Tricket. I think Winston is a difference maker. What is your take?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

If Clemson is taking FSU lightly, I'm dressing up as Dabo Swinney for Halloween. Are you kidding me? They've got a national title at stake. They're not taking Boston College lightly.

Rett (Oregon)

Bigger Disappointment at this point in the season, UNC? or UVA?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

I'd say UNC. Larry Fedora is the one who said this offense should be more productive than last year, not me. We knew UVa would hit some bumps with a new QB and so many staff changes.

Matt (Clemson)

It seems like everyone is forgetting that Jameis Winston has yet to play in an environment half as hostile at Death Valley will be at 8PM. Do you think the road atmosphere shakes him or does he power through it and shine?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

That is one of the biggest reasons I'm picking Clemson in that game, Matt. I think Winston plays extremely well in that environment, but Vic Beasley puts the pressure on and Winston makes a game-changing mistake.

??? (???)

What will it take for the ACC to move up in the conference rankings?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

A national title? Two top five teams?

Mike B (Saratoga NY)

HD are you excited? At this point in time you have 2 teams who might be National Championship contenders?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

This is an enjoyable season, yes. Gives me something new to write about.

Jessica (Greenville, SC)

What is your opinion on Shaffer's "foul words" for Dabo? Ridiculous if you ask me.

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Bah. I didn't get too wrapped up in it. Heat of the moment coaches' stuff. It happens. Made for good Vine feed, though.

Adam (New Hartford, NY)

Mark your calendar: the best chance for a Clemsoning is Nov 14 vs GT.

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

Had Georgia Tech done anything - anything at all - the past two weeks, I might agree with you.

Ron (Valdosta )

Has Logan Thomas really turned the corner since his terrible start to the season? Or, are UNC and GT just very weak acc teams this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

UNC's D can make me look like a good QB, Ron, but you have to give credit where it's due. Logan is TCB.

Michael (Blacksburg)

If the ACC has a winning record vs. the SEC and 2 BCS bowl teams including one being a national championship, will the ACC finally dethrone the SEC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

Works for me, even if it is fleeting.

Mike B (Saratoga NY)

Alot of people talk about Clemson "pulling a Clemson" or FSU losing that one game they should not. I believe this could be the year that neither happen, what do you think?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

I can't remember if I said it on Twitter or here last week, but I have resigned the phrase "pull a Clemson" for the rest of the season.

jeremy (tampa bay)

who do u think will win the battle in the trenches fsu o-line or clemson d-line

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

Clemson d-line. Again, Beasley. #beast

Greg (Philly)

If Pitt upsets the Hokies on Saturday, what do you think their chances are of winning the Coastal?

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

As good as anyone's. Really. They control their own destiny. That is a great matchup I'm really looking forward to -- VT secondary vs. Pitt WRs.

Steve (SC)

Off ACC for a minute...are you as surprised as everyone else with Clowney's lack of anything this year??

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Heck yeah. Talk about falling off the map ...

LifeLongNole (Tallahassee, Fl)

How about Thad Lewis getting a start in the NFL?

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

Love it. What a great representative of the ACC and Duke. Always enjoyed talking to him.

George (Ft Sill oklahoma)

I see Duke winning seven games, Navy win, NC State win, VA win and UNC win? Just wishful thinking but Duke is healthy and their D can't play much worse could it?

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

It's definitely possible. I don't know about NC State. I don't know what the heck happened to them at Wake Forest.

Brooks (New York)

Heather, if Clemson and FSU are both 11-1 at the end of the regular season, are both BCS bound? Who is your pick on October 19th?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

Andrea and I have continued to put FSU and Clemson in BCS bowls in our bowl projections. We think it will be hard to leave out a top 10 FSU team. I'm picking Clemson.

Gary (Fl)

People are making a big deal about the FSU-Clemsom matchup, and they should. However, Miami seems on track to bringing a 7-0 record into the FSU game. Shouldn't that game be getting quite a bit of attention also?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Yep, and I just emailed my editor about that today, actually. Very good chance the Canes are undefeated going into that one. The bigger question is will FSU be, too?

Mike B (Saratoga NY)

Who in the ACC does Syracuse beat this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Hmm. Maybe Wake or BC, both home games?

Ace (Boca Raton, FL )

How are Miami's chances at an unbeaten season looking? We saw in the GT game that they can overcome a 10 point deficit.

Heather Dinich
  (1:23 PM)

I'm not buying undefeated for the Canes just yet. Undefeated heading into FSU? Sure. Can they beat FSU? Sure. FSU and VT AND at Pitt? On a Friday night? In November? Brr. Gonna trip up somewhere.

Sean (Virginia)

What ails Virginia? Not just Saturday, but the past few years. There seems to be no consistency, identity, or productivity; does this fall back on Mike London? If so, shouldn't Virginia start looking for a new HC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

To me their biggest problem has been at the QB position. Inconsistency, turnover, multiple coordinators. You nailed it -- no identity. A lot of that is on Mike London, yeah.

Josh (Eastern Shore, MD)

HD - what is the best game this week in the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Pitt at VT

Eric (Cleveland, OH)

Heather, seems to a be mixed opinions on Mike London's future if trends continue in Charlottesville. He is a great man, good leader, but it's all about "W's": correct? I don't think he goes anywhere, nor should he (yet), but without his current contract, is the seat much warmer under the coach?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

I think you summed this up perfectly. Yes, he is doing everything right off the field, building the program the right way, recruiting well, and he is truly one of the good guys in the business. At the end of the day, though, he has to win. And he knows it. Seat warming quickly.

Jessica (Virginia)

If Miami is not going to the ACC Championship do they self impose again - or are they done with that stuff?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

I would have to imagine they are done with it. Two self-imposed bans should cover it.

Tom (Centreville, VA)

...your thoughts on the Hokies running the table?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

I've seen it before (0-2 w JMU) ... at Miami toughest test left.

Wyatt Hubbard (Radford, VA)

Would a a possible undefeated showdown between Miami and Clemson be in the ACC title game be the best opportunity for the ACC to shine on the national stage?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

That would be an ideal scenario, yeah, but there are plenty of others ... including Oct. 19. That is going to be a monster game with two elite teams. ACC can't ask for much more.

Nick (Tulsa OK)

Im still not sold on FSU. But if they beat Clemson (and thats a big if) are they right there in the national champiomship mix?

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

I think they're in it now, Nick.

Mik (Florida)

Love having 3 teams in the top 15. So big for the ACC. Could the ACCs big 3 compete with the SECs big 3?

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

I think VT competed very well with Bama. Clemson beat UGA AND LSU. I say bring it.

Ken (SF, CA)

What was that about Maryland been a serious challenge to FSU? Nobody in the ACC other than Clemson and maybe Miami can remotely challenge FSU.

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

You mean like BC?

Den (Greenville)

All things considered, which game do you think gets more national attention on the 19th, FSU-Clemson or UCLA-Stanford?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

FSU-Clemson I think. Two higher-ranked teams.

Josh (Eastern Shore, MD)

How huge of a game would the Hurricanes and FSU be if both are undefeated when they played? Would we all be reminiscing about the early 90's?

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

And ranked ... you bet. It's been a while since that game had so much meaning.

John (Atlanta)

It's great to see Miami playing better this year, but many forget this team is still young. It's too bad that Morris is a sr, but with the exceptional recruiting classes under Golden, UM is just going to get better. Thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

Oh yeah. Golden will be the first to tell you that Miami is not back. They are still building. Not bad for a rebuilding phase, huh?

Notorious (Chestnut Hill)

Why has Addazio been able to do so much better with worse talent than Spazziani had?

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

Have you met the guy? He has a pulse. He's energetic. I'd play for him.

Josh (Tucson)

Do you think GT still can be bowl eligible despite the two back to back losses?

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

For sure. They only need three more wins, and the schedule is conducive to that. Don't know if I'm picking them to win this weekend yet, though.

Stuart (Brevard NC)

Heather - thanks for the chat. Top 3 weaknesses for both Clemson and FSU?

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

I'll give you one for each ... for Clemson I say it's missing Nuk Hopkins. Still waiting for Bryant to really step up. For FSU, I'd say simply a matter of Winston not having played on a stage yet like he will Oct. 19.

Doug (Miami)

Does the quality of the ACC merit 2 BCS bowl teams? Assuming it's some combination of Miami/FSU/Clemson?

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Sure it does. It's the No. 3 conference in the land right now.

Adam (Philadelphia)

Pitt still has the heart of their conference schedule to play. Is it realistic to think they could go (3-2) against VPI, GT, UNC, Syracuse, and Miami.

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Sure is. Don't underestimate that Pitt offense. That's a talented group. They've got to get better on D, though, for it to happen.

Scott (GA)

I've got a lower level seat to FSU-Clemson, what can I expect?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

New friends wanting your ticket? Ok, seriously, you can expect one of the best atmospheres in all of college football, the game of the year in the ACC, and two Heisman worthy QBs. Not bad, huh?

Greg (Suffolk, VA)

What do you think the best scenario is for Clemson to get into the National Championship Game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Oregon and Bama have to lose, and Clemson can't. That's just me.

Justin O (Atlanta, GA)

What do you think of Pollack's comments about women picking the playoff teams? Do you think you are qualified for the committee?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

When I was covering Penn State, Joe Paterno once told me that I never played, so what do I know about covering football. My response is usually, well, news reporters don't have to be in a burning building to cover that, do they? Paul Johnson never played, either. Everyone is entitled to his opinion and I respect Pollack's.

Ryan (SC) [via mobile]

Early BCS projections have Clemson at #2... If this is the case and Clemson wins out do you feel that Bama and Oregon still have to lose to have a shot?

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

Hey, if Clemson is No. 2 when the BCS standings come out, then I stand corrected. I have NO idea how to predict the computers and I'm not going to try. I'm just saying what I think the voters will probably think.

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

And just for the record, I would never WANT to be on the selection committee. Are you kidding me? That is a lose-lose job.

Josh (Eastern Shore, MD)

HD - who are you picking in the VT-Pitt game or do we have to wait until Thursday to find out? :)

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

Thursday of course. Part of those predictions come from talking to players and coaches during the week and I haven't gotten that far yet.

flipp2hokie (wild and wonderful)

Did Grobe save his job by beating NCST last weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

Nah. He's earned some tenure there. What he did do was help keep his bowl hopes alive.

Ol Ball Coach (Columbia, SC)

Why ya making all this noise about Clemson and a national title? You know they're going to get a whoopin like they always do when they face the Gamecocks, and will be fortunate to make it to the Orange Bowl.

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

I dunno guys, what do you think? If Clemson is undefeated heading into Columbia ... do the Tigers REALLY lose a fifth straight time??

Kevin (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

You thing Alabama and Oregon have to lose? Is it both of them have to lose once, or is it one, or the other have to lose once. My question is do you think a one lose Oregon, or Alabama is still more worthy over an undefeated Clemson, or FSU team. By saying and you make it sound like you think a one loss team is still more worthy than an undefeated ACC team.

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

No, I'm saying one of them has to lose. I do not think a one-loss team deserves to get in ahead of an undefeated Clemson team that would have beaten UGA, FSU and SC. No way. Also, you're talking to somebody who has Oregon No. 1.

Turtle (Chucktown SC)

Does MD beat VA this weekend? Or do we close shop because of 1 loss?

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

If Maryland doesn't win, it's only because they folded. I don't see it happening. The Terps have been through too much to quit now. This is nothing compared to last season.

Scott (Georgia)

Oregon or Clemson?

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

Let's hope it's settled on the field? As of right now I'd pick Oregon.

Kevin (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

I look at the coaches poll and I can't understand the obsession with Ohio St. What would it take for Clemson, or FSU to jump Ohio St in the coaches poll?

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

That's a great question for the coaches ... especially considering they almost lost to Northwestern this past weekend and Braxton Miller was almost benched. If anything, my guess would be consistency. Dating back to last year, how many games have they won straight? That's insane.

Charles (Blacksburg )

UVA scores___points against VT if they played today.

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

3

Al (Dallas)

Do you think the NCAA cloud over Miami is still hurting Miami's recruiting of marquee WRS for thier 2014 class? Example, Ermon Lane!

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

You know opposing recruiters continue to use it against them, but I really don't think it's been much of a factor. Miami has the No. 4 class in the country right now.

Scott (Georgia)

Does the winner of the match-up on the 19th move into the Heisman driver's seat?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

It depends. What about Marcus Mariota?

jack clemson [via mobile]

If you had to pick a QB for your team would you pick Boyd Manziel or Marioti

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

Mariota. He's No. 1 on my Heisman watch right now, but oct. 19 could change my mind. So could the South Carolina game. If Boyd wins all three of those games, how is he not No. 1?

Larry (Canesapeake VA)

Whats your gut feeling on the ruling by the NCAA concerning the canes?

Heather Dinich
  (1:55 PM)

That's like trying to predict the BCS computers, Larry, but if they impose further postseason sanctions, I think it's downright wrong.

Greg (Roanoke)

What do you think Virginia Techs final record will be, and lossess against who?

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

I think they only lose once more -- to Miami.

Delvin (VA)

Watching Miami play this year has been a pleasure. Are they a "year" away from national title contenders or is this one of those magical Miami years?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

I wouldn't call it magical just yet, Delvin. And what do they look like at QB next year?

PT (Huntington W.V.)

Since you put an upset Alert on FSU this past Saturday against the terps, Would it be fitting to put Clemson on upset alert when my NOLES role into Death Valley in two weeks with a RS freshman qb?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

I haven't even done the upset alert for this week!

Kevin (Tampa)

What is your opinion of the triple option? GT is one of the few teams running it and other than the first year it caught everyone by surprise it seems to have fizzled.

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

I think they can win the ACC with it, but I don't think they can get much more out of it. They STILL miss Nesbitt.

Seniorce (Brooklyn)

What's up with the crowd at your alamater this weekend for the PSU game????

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Was there a crowd?

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Ok guys, my time here is up. Thanks for joining me this week. Be sure to come back and catch AA at 4 on Thursday.