The queue is already full! Before I start answering questions, let me say this to start. Both Heather and I picked Clemson to beat Florida State. You an see all our predictions from our 9 am post on the ACC blog earlier today. Now, let us begin!
At the beginning of the season I had little hope of the Noles beatin Clemson, but as the season has transpired the Noles look to be pretty even match between the two. I think the only real advantage the Tigers have is the home field advantage so why do you think the Noles by most odds makers have the Noles a 3 point pick.. Go Noles XXX--T-I-G-E-R-S---> Fear the Spear.... Thanks AA..
Great question, Eddie. I was surprised myself when I saw the spread. I think the reason FSU is favored is because the Noles looked unbeatable vs. Maryland in their last game, and Clemson struggled to beat BC. Most recently performances mean a lot in that view.
Hi Andrea, with a Gator background how can you cover ACC (JK). Can you see Va. Tech Hokies winning ACC championship game if they get there? strong defense but limited on Offense (ie not very explosive and would have to win ugly like Chargers vs Colts last monday)
Very funny, PJ. I do live in Florida so hopefully that means I know a little something about ACC football. I do not think VT would win the ACC championship over Clemson or Florida State. Just not enough offense to win, in my opinion.
How far will the loser of the FSU/Clemson game drop in the rankings with a close finish? I don't want FSU to drop too far before Miami gives them a beat down.
Oh Miami is going to dish out a beat down, eh? It probably depends on how close the game is, to be honest. Maybe Noles can stay Top 10 but hard to see them ahead of Miami and UCLA if those two stay unbeaten.
Andrea,Is this Saturday a Must win for Paul Johnson? How hot is his seat getting? If the Jackets make a change at the end of 2013? Do you think Ken Wisenhunt would be a Candidate and what are the chances he would be interested in coming back to Coach his Alma Mater?
Saturday is a huge must win for Paul Johnson. The remaining schedule is not really friendly, with Clemson and UGA still there. Plus GT does play two FCS teams this year so that means it has to win 7 games to get to a bowl. The GT AD says Johnson is not on the hot seat. I agree. They did just go to the ACC championship game, and beat USC in a bowl.
Match up your most excited to see in tonight's game? Mine is Canes WRs vs UNC secondary.
That is not even a good matchup, Miami easily wins that one!
Hi Andrea, In your opinion, would the winner of the Clemson/FSU game have any shot at a top 2 BCS ranking come Sunday? The winner, especially if it is Clemson, would have a better resume through Week 8 than both Alabama & Oregon and it's not even close IMO. Thanks!
Doubtful. As long as Bama-Oregon are 1-2 in the human polls, that is probably what the BCS standings will look like. Their SOS measures up well with Clemson or FSU. Clemson's would be better than FSU's, though, with the two top 5 wins.
Andrea, I have noticed that Miami is not getting any attention regardless of the current unbeaten status. There are like 10 headlines today in espn under NAFF and none mention UM vs UNC today. I agree that UNC is not 100% this year, but is not lack of talent (there will be 37 pro scouts on that game today). to add insult to this, ESPNU ran a whole program today on Pen State win over Michigan, profiling the school, players, etc. am I taking crazy pills or is ESPN ignoring UM?
Raul the game is on ESPN!!!!!!
As a life long noles fan I can't help but feel that once we win this weekend our remaining schedule just isn't enough to get us to the N.C. Game assuming fla doesn't start dominating there remaining opponents until the finale. Thoughts? Should I be hopeful?
Based on what I have read from Brad Edwards, it will be hard for an ACC team to overtake Bama and Oregon if all 3 remain unbeaten.
Bama will walk all over Clemson or Fsu
I think that is an exaggeration.
AA- Do you think UNC presents enough challenges through the air to finally get a read on how good Miami is against the pass?
I do, Matt. Two big tests for Miami with Ebron and Davis. BUT I will say this. UNC cannot solely rely on the pass. For UNC to take advantage of its skill players, it has to have some sort of balance and play its best game on the OL.
Maryland gets its dual threat QB back this week. How could anyone pick Wake Forest over them?
I am more concerned with the way the Maryland D has played the last few games, to be honest. Wake generally plays well at home (yes I know they lost to ULM) and has won 3 straight vs Maryland at home so I went with the upset pick.
There is a waiting list right now, Al.
Who do you have as the ACC coach of the year so far?
Al Golden was our midseason coach of the year.
How does the ACC as a whole stack up against the other power conferences in terms of QB's? You get the media attention around Boyd and Winston, but how do you feel guys like Morris, Thomas, and Brown stack up against the rest?
SEC stands out for its QB play, so does the Pac-12. Morris started the season shaky, Brown has been great, Thomas is getting better. It is hard for anybody to consider those 3 national elite players at this point.
If Miami wins every game until the meeting with my noles and everyone after except for the acccg again losing to my noles how impressive is that win(s) to the coaches and poles when choosing the final bcs rankings
So you are saying Miami would have two losses to FSU? I do not see an at-large berth in that case.
Assuming that you will be in Death Valley, have you ever been to a game that was considered as "big" as this game? What are you most looking forward to?
Heather gets the big game this weekend, but I have been to lots of big games before ... most looking forward to Jameis vs. Clemson defensive front. I know everybody is saying that, but there is a reason.
Everyone has been making a big deal of the crown noise in Death Valley and how it could potentially disrupt Jameis and the offense. But won't it effect Clemson's D just as much when they're trying to make calls to each other?
I think it is more of a distraction for the offense. Clemson is used to that type of noise. They already dealt with that type of noise vs UGA.
Hey Andrea! So I saw that Bovada listed the Canes as 25-1 shot of winning a sixth National Championship. Should I be booking my flight for Pasadena?
Only if you ask Bovada to reimburse you when you are watching Bama vs Oregon :)
I know it isn't ACC but this Friday UCF plays Louisville, Do you think UCF can pull out a win?
I do not see it, Sam. Louisville is too strong defensively, and at WR and QB.
Andrea,Everyone's talking about the QB matchup when Clemson hosts FSU, but whose secondary will be better?
Great question, Mike. FSU does have the better secondary going into the game, but I think Boyd/Watkins will find a way to make some plays.
Wait it is not 3 am why are you on here, Jake? OK anyway, yes if FSU wins, very likely the Noles and Canes will be unbeaten and ... the ACC COULD HAVE TWO TOP 10 matchups in one season! But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Not sure it plays against anyone, Nathan. I think it actually helps Clemson that it has had to play big games more recently than FSU. This makes four games vs top 10 opponents in the last 9. To me, that is an edge to the Tigers.
Oregon losses to Stanford. FSU will prove to be the best team when all is said and done.
I actually think Stanford beats Oregon, too. I had Stanford in my NC game before the season started! UTAH D'oh!
Yes, Russ, there is no doubt all the pressure is on Boyd in this game. He came back to win an ACC and national title, and he is expected to do whatever he can to win this game. Having said that, I think he is a more mature QB than he was vs. FSU last year. He does not force his throws the way he once did. He has pulled out wins vs. LSU and Georgia. I think he is ready for this moment.
I already answered this one, let me move on to the next one.
It's because you're a Gator, isn't it?
What, my smashing good looks?
I think there was a lot made about Bama when news broke. Why nothing on Miami? I have no idea and I think it is totally ridiculous we have not heard anything yet. I do not think the U is a national title contender this year.
What are the major adjustments in FSU's defense under Jeremy Pruitt this year, compared to Mark Stoops a year ago? Seems to me any departed seniors aren't a big factor since most played last year, much like Georgia.
Well the big difference is FSU is not nearly as strong up front and it has played a lot more 3-4. Not sure what you mean in the second part of your question but FSU does miss its veterans up front, I don't think there is any question there.
AA, do you think Jimbo and Chad Morris will even try to run the ball Saturday night, or will it be an air show?
Absolutely, Matt. They have to run the ball. I don't think either team is going to win by passing it alone. To me, this is one critical area for Clemson. The Tigers do not have an Andre Ellington type of back this year, and that could be an issue here in this game.
After the next 2 weeks of games they should win, Pitt closes with @GT, UNC, Notre Dame, @Syracuse and vs. Miami, do you think 8 wins is possible? That'd be a great 2nd year for Chryst.
Yes I do think 8 wins is possible. UNC is winnable, and so is Syracuse, maybe even ND the way that team has played and the way Pitt played 'em last year. Shoot the way GT has played that one is winnable, too.
Alabama loses to Lsu, Oregon loses to Stanford, noles win out Clemsons only loss is to Fsu. Any chance at all that we see noles vs Clemson in the N.C. Game?
What about undefeated Ohio State? Or UCLA?
Is their anything that Clemson, or FSU can do to jump Oregon in the Human polls, or are the human polls to stubborn and close minded to adjust their rankings?
I cannot speak for the humans who do those polls, but it seems the common opinion is that people want to see the "dream" Bama vs Oregon matchup.
Who wins, FSU offensive line or Vic Beasley?
How can you vote against Beasley at this point?
Miami's QB Morris has had a slow start so far but with a bunch of games left in the season do you think he can prove to scouts that he is worthy of being selected in the top 2 rounds?
He already is rated very highly among scouts, Sam. Mel Kiper has him No. 7 among QBs in his latest Top 10 by position.
Would you have picked FSU if the game was being played in Tallahasse this year? If no, why?
More than likely yes, I would have. That is how evenly matched I think they are, and how much home field will be a factor in this game.
you do u like red sox or tigers?
My bad! Meant that most "replacements" for departed seniors got playing experience last year.
Do you think Miami will ever have a run like it did in the 80's and early 90's with 5 titles? Or now that everyone recruits "the State of Miami" it can never happen again??
That is a great question, Darren. We have seen dominant teams in this era, so it is quite possible. I do not think we will have an answer until we see Miami win No. 6, quite honestly.
Paul Johnson won more games with Chan's guys than his own. Isn't that an indictment of his regime? I really think recruits are interested in playing a pro-style offense rather than his antiquated scheme.
Indictment is a strong word, Chris. I know his scheme is not something that sends hearts a-flutter, but that is what he does, that is how he coaches. I mean he was on the hot seat last year from the fanbase and then they almost beat FSU in the title game.
With a good defense, an abysmal run game, and average passing game, do you see VT stumbling in any games other than at Miami?
The rest of the schedule is weak, Stephen, but if I am picking one game for a potential stumble outside Miami, it is at BC. Eagles gave this team a run for their $$ last year, and BC is way better this year. That game also is right before Miami, too.
Don't sleep on the Hokies Andrea!!
Oh man, I was just asleep.
The only way NC beat Miami tonight is?????
Effective run game, shut down the Miami big plays and CONVERT to points when Miami turns the ball over.
do you really think Clemson's D can rattle Winston he really seems able to handle anything thats thrown at him
I think they have the best shot yet to do so. He does seem to have a lot of poise and confidence, and those are two features I have been impressed with in his young career. But he has not seen a D as good as this one just yet.
This is more of a Big 10 question I guess, but with Maryland's speed at QB/WR, does that put them at an advantage over the slow, plodding, run between the tackles, Big 10?
I don't think the Big Ten is as slow as you think, Matt. A lot of those schools are recruiting heavily into Florida and the South now. I wouldn't call Ohio State "plodding."
Stephen it's not a guarantee that VT will lose to Miami...
No guarantees in the ACC, ever!
Will the conditions affect tonight's game? I heard rain...who does that give the advantage to?
Well we saw what happened to UNC in that rainstorm in Atlanta. They fell apart. I usually do not think the elements give either team an advantage because they both have to play in them. But when you can run the ball it helps. So if I have to give the edge to one team in rain, it would be Miami.
Considering that the SEC literally runs passed the Big 10 teams on January 1, I would consider them slow. But yes, Ohio State is not plodding, but 12 other teams will be very slow.
I was at the Outback Bowl last year and South Carolina did not run past Michigan. (OK, Maybe Ace Sanders did a few times). If Clowney was not on that team, Michigan would have won I think.
Is Stephen Morris an elite college QB or is the jury still out? To me he misses too many open receivers.
If you look at his numbers vs. those who are considered elite, he is not there yet. I agree, he needs to work on his accuracy.
Even though you picked Clemson, you were tempted to pick FSU because...
Better depth at WR and RB, FSU DBs win the matchup with Clemson WRs
How would a VT team do if we had Oregon's offensive coordinator and Bud Foster's defense with a couple of top 10 recruiting classes?
That would be the ultimate dream team, right?!
How ready are you to see Vic Beasley sack Jameis Winston in front of 81,000 screaming fans in Death Valley?
I am just ready for a good game, Mitchell, no matter what happens.
Winston sees a better defense everyday in practice!
Well that is technically not true since he has to go vs. the scout team D.
AA, some people talk about 2013 as a "one-shot deal" for Clemson because of some player and possible coaching turnover. I think that's wishful thinking, Dabo has built a program...what do you think?
There will be those who see next year as a rebuilding year with Boyd gone, maybe Watkins and Chad Morris gone, too. But yes, Dabo has consistently signed Top 15 recruiting classes so Clemson should be in position to compete for ACC titles every year, and national championship titles as well.
What do you think of the Virginia Tech Hokies vs. the Tennessee Volunteers College Football Game on Saturday September 10,2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway?
I LOVE IT! Hope I get to be there!
How confident are you Virginia Tech won't be the ACC Champ? Would you be willing to shave your head if they are the ACC Champions this year?
I am pretty confident, but I will not shave my head, Tim. I would be willing to do something else, anybody have other thoughts?
In the Miami vs VT matchup, do you think it is a bigger disadvantage that Miami has to play FSU the week before or the fact that VT has an away game at BC then has to fly down to Miami?
I think it all depends on how each game turns out, Stephen. If I was a coach, I would rather spread out my games vs. Top 25 teams than have them in consecutive weeks, but that is just me.
Chances Brenner looks great and UNC pulls the upset? NOBODY is giving them a chance...
A few weeks ago, I was going to pick UNC to win this game. So yes, I think the Tar Heels have a shot. They did it back in 2004.
Will Stanford be able to recover from their loss?
I think so. It is a long season, and they still can beat UCLA and Oregon this year ...
Do you think that Clemson's struggles in the NC State and BC game were signs that they have weaknesses, or that Clemson was not focusing on the game at hand?
I do think there are some concerns about the offensive inconsistencies in those games, yes. I mean they had four fumbles last week and had problems scoring in the red zone. But then you look at the Syracuse game and everything worked exactly the way they wanted.
What has Mariota done to put him so far in the lead for the heisman? I disagree! I think whoever comes out on top this weekend between Boyd and Winston is far more deserving!
I think he has been extremely impressive with everything he has done this year, Rob. But Boyd/Winston have a HUGE opportunity on the national stage this week. Still plenty of statements to be made. Manziel did not emerge as the front-runner until his game vs. Bama late. ...
There's been a lot of hype leading up to the FSU-Clemson matchup? Does the conference take a hit if the game is a dud?
That is a good question, Jeff. I think the ACC needs to play well. If it is a blowout in either direction, I don't think the conference takes a hit. I think people sit back and look at the winner and say boy they are FOR REAL. Could really boost national championship credentials there.
Receiving core, advantage Noles or Tigers? Does Clemson have any receivers other than Sammy Watkins?
FSU has the deeper group of receivers, no doubt. Behind Watkins, Clemson has a slew of guys but no real consistent No. 2 option. Adam Humphries and Martavis Bryant would be the next few guys behind Watkins.
Now that Miami is moving up in the rankings any chance we can get some national media pressure on the NCAA to finally release sanctions??? They are 3 weeks overdue already!!!
By my count they are TWO MONTHS overdue. And let me tell you, the NCAA does not listen to us media folk. They do not listen to anybody, quite frankly.
If FSU runs the ball effectively, do they win?
They have to do more than that to win, Ben. They could run the ball effectively but have five turnovers and lose. But yes, running the ball will be a huge help for the Noles to win.
You could wear a VT jersey and hold some sort of sign up saying how wrong you were. But go ahead and take any bet, because FSU is winning the ACC this year. But if VT doesn't win the ACC you need to get Tim to put something on the line. That's only fair.
If Limpson doesn't stop the run, they'll get run out of their own stadium.
Well they didn't stop the run vs. Syracuse and UGA and still won ...
Have you ever been to the Bristol Motor Speedway?
Undefeated FSU plays @ Da Swamp Sat after thanksgiving, are you going? Who will you pull for Alma mater or the ACC team you cover and a trip to Pasadena?
I have no idea who will be at the game, and there is no cheering in the press box, Gianni! And no trip to Pasadena is guaranteed if FSU wins. They still have the ACC title game ...
Forget the V Tech game. If FSU wins on Saturday will you don an FSU shirt during one of next week's online interviews?
I don't have an FSU shirt, Jason, nor do I have any college shirt around here.
Miami is CLEARLY the Best team in the ACC...
I don't think that's clear to most.
What are you looking for Miami to improve on most the next couple of weeks if they are going to beat FSU?
1. Holding on to the football 2. Limiting the penalties. 3. More consistency in the passing game.
Running game, advantage Clemson or FSU?
Do you mean the matchup or the actual running backs?
Do you think that the hokies should go the JC route to bring in a couple linemen next year?
They need to do something to fix that offensive line, Kent.
AA, over/under 2 Vic BeaSTley sacks this weekend?
I say 2 right on the nose.
AA, do you have a mid-season pick for 3rd in the Atlantic? Or just going with ACC "Wheel of Destiny"?
Right now we have Maryland as third in the Atlantic. That is something, right? A team blown out 63-0 is third.
I keep hearing about Clemson not being able to stop the run...but wasn't BC's running back leading the nation in rushing until playing Clemson last week?
Yes, he was held to just 70 yards.
Is there a RB in the ACC better than Duke Johnson?
Andre Williams is pretty good.
Does the ACC manage to get 2 teams into the BCS this year?
Would this be deemed a sod game for FSU?
Yes, coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed this week it would be a sod game.
It seemed like UVA was finally headed back to relevance a couple of years ago. Recruiting well, etc. What the heck happened?
Bottom line: No quarterback, Mike. And they have tried out a whole bunch. They just are empty there.
What wrong with GT this year? They are falling apart!!
I just don't think Vad Lee has played as well as anybody expected. I know he is a first-year starter but he played a ton last year. His turnovers really made a huge difference in their big losses this year.
You don't mention defense which is surprising. Throw the statistical rankings out of it, has Miami's defense faced a real test this year?
Define "real." I think playing GT is always a test. I know Florida is not the best offensively, but playing a Top 10 team is always a test. I have been impressed with the play of the front 7. So you can add No. 4 secondary improvement. I think the jury is still out on the DBs.
OK guys that is all the time I have for today. We will reconvene next week and discuss how smart/stupid I am about FSU v Clemson. Enjoy the games!