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November 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

Happy Monday, ACC fans. Big games this weekend, everyone has something on the line. Let's get to it ...

Ed (New Jersey)

Hey HD, great work as always. Does Andre Williams have a ticket to NY in his future?

Heather Dinich
  (1:00 PM)

Thanks ... he's got my vote as one of the top five in the country. I think he absolutely should be going. In fact, I think Boyd, Winston, Aaron Donald and Williams are ALL legitimate candidates, and all of them are on my list.

Ryan (Tallahassee)

If Winston ends up being charged, do you see voters putting Ohio State ahead of FSU in the final polls? I would hope not because we are a team that not defined by one player alone, but I can't help wondering if voters see us as that.

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

I don't think so. My take is that regardless of what happens with Winston, FSU deserves its spot. If Winston is charged? Well, then the program simply has to try and win without him, even if it is in the national championship game.

Andrew (Blacksburg)

What are the changes that UNC beats Duke?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

Andrea and I both like the Tar Heels in that one. Yeah, I'm the same person who picked Duke to beat Miami. But I don't think I'm going to pick them to beat UNC. I think the Hokies go to CLT.

Michael (NC)

Will Duke pull off history this weekend??

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

Duke has already made history, Michael.

Keith (Hickory, NC)

What is the true current state of Tar Heel football? Is this team ever going to contend for ACC championship or NC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

I think it can definitely contend for an ACC championship, and it will, but they've got to lure in the elite talent to take it to the next level -- which is also possible.

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

Would the Noles suspend Winston and forfeit a national title chance or go against school policy to let him play and let the courts decide while he is still playing...

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

If Winston is charged with a felony, he's off the team. No wiggle room there. The rest of the team can go on and play for a national title.

John (Charlotte)

With so many players seemingly falling off the Heisman radar, is there any chance that Tajh Boyd comes back into the discussion with a big game against SCAR this weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

Yeah, there should be. I put him back on my Heisman list a few weeks ago, but look at what happened this past week: Manziel, Mariota ... splat. Perfect time to give Boyd the credit, but he can't win it after that performance against FSU. A shame, but true.

Mike P (Greater KC Metro)

How badly goes FSU beat UF this weekend....

Heather Dinich
  (1:05 PM)

Ug-lee.

Sean (Dallas, TX)

This season, Duke has been getting off to slow starts but dominating in the 2nd half and especially the 4th quarter. Why do you think they are prone to the slow starts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

Great question, one no team has ever been able to answer as long as I've been asking them. The good news for Duke is how well the fourth-quarter D has played, but I don't think they can afford another slow start against the Heels' O.

John (Kentucky)

With Winston, the Noles are huge favorites to win their next two. If Winston is charged and suspended, could they lose to Florida or in the ACCG?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

FSU could beat Florida with me at quarterback right now, but that decision isn't likely to come until next week at the earliest, so expect Winston to start that game. As for the ACCCG? If they're playing VT's defense without Winston? Yeah, they could lose.

Bill (Vermont)

Heather as the season winds down - which coach(s) is most likely to be job hunting this January?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

It's my least favorite time of year, Bill, as there are too many rumors and speculation, but honestly, I think everyone in the ACC is safe -- including Mike London.

John (Kentucky)

What about Duke in the ACCCG with a third string QB?

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

Possibly. I definitely wouldn't count it out, but FSU would have to be outcoached, and outdisciplined, if that's even a word. Duke's D would need turnovers to create a short field against the D.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

If FSU gets denied a spot in the NCG due to a Winston suspension, could the ACC still get two BCS berths?

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

Well, FSU's spot in the NCG would only be because FSU lost without Winston. But yes, it most certainly could because you'd have the ACC winner in the Orange Bowl and Clemson could go Sugar.

Matt (Winston-Salem)

HD- Now that the new BCS rankings are out...how do rate Clemson alongside Mizzou/Auburn. I think Clemson is better than both.

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

Me too. I am baffled by that. I have Clemson No. 4 in my top 25, and I think the coaches do, too.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

If Clemson loses to SC, could they still nab an at large BCS bid?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

Yeah. With South Carolina being a top 10 team, it would hurt Clemson more in the eyes of the Clemson fans than it would in the BCS standings and postseason.

Michael (NC)

This year for Duke may be a shock as they were not expected to do this well. But next year if they can replace some line men with ease, the rest of the team will still be around. Duke I believe has the tools and coaches to be relevant for a while now!

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

Cutcliffe agrees. He said two weeks ago that this "isn't a flash in the pan."

Eugene (Tallahassee)

Is this the year the Yellowjackets finally get another win against Georgia?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

It's been a while, huh? I haven't decided yet who I'm picking in that game, but with all of Georgia's injuries, it's hard not to lean in GT's favor.

Brandon (Ohio)

If Winston gets charged will that be the end of his Heisman run? cause it's hard to say but right now Winston is the best CFB this year.

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

If he's charged with a felony, yes.

Mike (USVI)

What bowl do you project Miami to be in assuming everyone wins above them the next two weeks?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Pretty sure we had them in Chick-fil-A this week, but a lot of the order could come down to whether or not GT beats UGA.

Matt (DC)

How much of a buffoon did Edsall look like for the TO Saturday?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

My hashtag after that game? #Edsalled

Brandon (Ohio)

Who do you really think will play FSU in the ACC championship game?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Hokies. I think Duke loses and they win the tiebreaker, that's a big reason we had them at No. 4 in the power rankings today.

Tom (Dubois PA)

Pitt in an upset up here in frigid PA? I sure think so, Miami players won't be able to handle the weather.

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

Quite possible, though I thought Pitt would beat Syracuse and UNC. Shows what I know.

Greg (NC)

Dabo always seems to have trouble with SC. For some reason in this game, Clemson always seems to be out-coached. Is this Saturday going to be any different?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

I asked Dabo that question last night: Do you think this year will be different? He said yes.

Mike P (Greater Kc metro)

Heather how can you say that Clemson is better than Mizzou and Auburn when Auburns only loss was to LSU by 14 and Mizzou's only loss was to South Carolina by 3 in Ot. to me its right and Clemson is a good team that can blow you out but when they get blown out its not pretty

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

And Clemson's only loss was to the No. 2 team in the country! LSU is a three-loss team! South Carolina is a 2-loss team! I have the Noles at No. 1 in the country.

Vernon (Richmond, VA)

If Duke happens to win Saturday at Chapel Hill, where does VT fall in the bowl pecking order. I keep seeing the Sun Bowl but as well all know, nobody knows what the bowl people have in mind.

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Well, keep in mind that the loser of the ACCCG can also fall as low as the Sun Bowl, too. Not trying to dodge your question, but we'll know a lot more after this weekend. Not even the bowl reps know who they're taking yet.

Jon (LOLUVA)

Don't count out my Hoos. We r going to game plan our mobile QB to beat the Hokies like UMD did. If that fails, well we have a 2 QB rotation we r going to intall with a redshirt freshman. Thoughts on the upset?

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Poor Hoos. Like your spirit, though.

Tyler (757)

Heather, assuming your prediction of the Hokies going to charlotte is correct, why do you have them in a lesser bowl game than some other ACC teams (other than Clemson and FSU)? Ultimately, i think these bowls like to pick teams whose fan base travels well

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

Because I think that based on what we've seen this year, the folks at Chick-fil-A would rather a Miami-SEC matchup than VT or Duke. And I don't see Duke falling that low after this season, plus Hokies were there last year.

Pat (FL)

What is your prediction for the Terps bowl? Military?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

Yeah, as of right now. Make sense for Terps to play locally in Annapolis, and BC has probably jumped them a bit after this past weekend.

Chris (Boston)

Is Steve Addazio a shoo-in for ACC Coach of the Year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

He's a candidate, no doubt, but I'm going to give Cutcliffe my vote.

Sean (Dallas, TX)

Can we send MD off into the ACC sunset with a trip to El Paso?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

LOL I think any future trips that far will be to the likes of Columbus and Lincoln.

JP (DC)

Headed to Charlottesville for a game for the first time ever this weekend. What should I check out while I'm there (besides the game, of course!)?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

Well, there are plenty of historic things to see, none of which I ever have the time to check out. It is a beautiful campus, though. My lone suggestion is Bodo's Bagels.

Sean (Dallas, TX)

Taking into account salaries, job security, fan base, admin support, who has the best coaching gig in the ACC right now?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

Has to be either Jimbo or Dabo, which is why I don't know why either one of them would ever leave.

David (New York City)

Hey Heather. Must say I'm actually glad to see you and AA are picking UNC this week against my Blue Devils. We started this season getting no love from anybody in the ACC, and ending the regular season proving the doubters wrong once and for all only seems appropriate!

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Ha, I guess it would be fitting, huh? Just for the record, though, I did NOT have Duke last in the Coastal on my preseason ballot. Virginia earned that spot. I was still wrong. Very wrong. Had them sixth. Who knew??

Brandon (Ohio)

If somehow Alabama loses in the next two weeks and it is a FSU vs OSU BCS title game who do you think is gonna win?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

I would still pick Florida State.

Marshall (Aust, TX)

Paul Johnson has lost 4 of 5 to UGA (4 straight). 4 of 5 bowl games. lost to VT/Miami each of the past 3 years. And has been less impressive each year as he transitioned from Chan Gailey's talent to his own. If he loses to UGA AGAIN, this time without Aaron Murray in the lineup, at HOME... does he have a chance at keeping his job?

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

Oh yeah. Paul Johnson has one of the best contracts in the ACC. That game is not going to make-or-break his career.

Trey (Huntsville)

Heather, you mentioned above that Clemson's loss beats out both Auburn's and Mizzou's. Would you not agree that if you are the #5 team in the country at the time the game was played, no team should dismantle you the way FSU did regardless of rank?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

Clemson played lousy that day, no doubt about it, but here's the thing ... FSU was also THAT good. Tajh Boyd had a terrible day. It was certainly the worst game of the year, but my jaw dropped at Florida State. That's why I have them No. 1 in the country.

David (Chestnut Hill)

Do we have any confirmation whether or not Randy is enjoying his dream job?

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

Lemme call a timeout, and I'll ask him :)

Seminole (Pleasant Peninsula)

How safe if FSU's #2 BCS spot? It seems Ohio State gained some ground this week, and I'm kind of worried about the prospect of Clemson losing to SCar, then OSU beating a surging Michigan St team while FSU plays a basketball school in the ACC Championship. It seems like our strentgh of schedule is looking worse while the Buckeyes' is looking better.

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

I think it's very safe. The biggest threat right now is a complete hypothetical: No Winston in the ACCCG.

tony (bear) j.u (kennedy ny)

do you think Clemson couldve won on any other day

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

If they played 10 times, Clemson would win 5. (Where have I heard that before ...)

Sean (Dallas, TX)

Take off our journalism hat for a second and admit it, everyone's rooting for Duke am I right? Y'all love a good story

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Ha ... it honestly doesn't matter to me either way, but you are right, Duke is a fantastic story.

Kevin Lange (Boyne Falls, MI)

Manziel is statistically better this season than last.. Considering every circumstance--Winston gone, Manziel's problem with interceptions--does Johnny Football deserve to win the Heisman this year? And if not, who will? (flawless McCarron flying WAY under radar)

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

No, not after this past week. It was dreadful. That game was to Manziel what FSU was to Boyd.

Bill (Vermont)

Because it hasn't been asked. Does Clemson "Clemson" themselves this weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

That would only qualify if it was South Carolina State, not a top 10 SEC team.

John (Kentucky)

You've said you want to cover a national championship game. You basically said that VT has a better chance of beating FSU than Duke does. So you want Duke to win this week. Did I follow correctly?

Heather Dinich
  (1:33 PM)

Let me guess, you're a lawyer, right?

Mitchell (Roebuck, SC)

What is up with all of the Clemson haters today? I feel like we have been playing our best football all year lately and have a really good shot at beating South Carolina.

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

I agree. Clemson has fallen off the radar since that FSU game. I'm leaning towards picking the Tigers this weekend, and to me they look like a BCS bowl-bound team. Not a bad consolation prize if you ask me.

Luke (Charlotte)

HD is Dabo around next year if he loses to SC again?

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

I say yes. Done far too much good there for that to happen.

Chris (Orlando)

If Winston is NOT charged, do you still see him with a chance at the Heisman or will voters be worried to vote for him due to the whole controversy?

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

I can't speak for other voters, but if he's NOT charged, I don't think it would be fair to hold allegations against him. I would still have him No. 1.

Josh (ATL)

Andre Williams for Heisman!!! 2000 yards and the way he is running it may be 2500+ by the end of the bowl season. He deserves at least a trip to NYC.

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

Agreed. Check the blog tomorrow for more on him.

Josh (ATL)

With the Clemson win over UGA, the Miami win over UF, the guarantee FSU over UF, the possible Clemson over USC, maybe Tech over UGA, and a potential FSU vs. SEC matchup in the National Championship. Wouldn't you say that this was the year that the ACC got the best of the SEC.

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Yep. Wrote about that this a.m. And if it IS FSU-Bama in the NCG, I am leaning towards FSU right now.

Eric (Chicago)

Heather, why do you think Duke will lose to UNC? I think Duke is overall better (we're talking football here not basketball). We've seen them in a hole against Wake (yes, I know it's Wake) but there is resiliency there. WE should all be rooting for Dookies football right now.

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

Well, I think Duke is a gritty, well-coached team that has finally figure out HOW to win the close games, but I've also actually WATCHED them this year, and they're not spectacular. The offense has struggled at times - last week seemed to be the first in a while that Anthony Boone was really passing well. I just think UNC's offense, with it being Ebron's farewell, I think the Heels are on a roll and remember last year.

Charles (Blacksburg, VA)

Heather,I asked this question almost two months ago..."UVA scores ___ points against VT if they played today"You said 3Are you sticking by your prediction?

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

Geez you guys don't forget a thing. Nah, I'll give 'em more. I'm thinking like 24-14 or something. I think our predictions come out early this week because of Thanksgiving, so I will figure it out soon, promise.

JP (DC)

Do you think Florida State will end Will Muschamp's tenure at Florida?

Heather Dinich
  (1:40 PM)

You mean Georgia Southern didn't?

Eric (Chicago)

What are the chances some top SEC or Pac-12 school comes calling for Cutcliffe? I mean he has to listen and he wouldn't say no, would he?

Heather Dinich
  (1:41 PM)

The chances are great, they already have. Tennessee did a year or two ago. Cutcliffe has already danced that dance and said he's happy where he is, wants to build something special. I believe him. He's already had his taste of the SEC.

Justin (Tallahassee)

Is there any way that Ohio State can pass FSU? With the Gators' loss to an FCS school since 1946 and Duke on the schedule I know FSU isn't going to get anymore favor.

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

To me, only if FSU loses.

chris (miami)

as a miami fan im very worried about pitt the hoos where moving the ball at will against the miami D besides the turnovers how do the canes win? still think coach D needs to go

Heather Dinich
  (1:43 PM)

Well, I think they can do what every other team has done and sack QB Tom Savage six or seven times.

Chris (Mass.)

Do you see my eagles beating Syracuse this weekend, getting a little payback for 2004?

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

Yes. I definitely think BC is the better team, hence the spot in the power rankings for Cuse this week. We don't think they're bowling.

Keith (NC)

If UNC beats Duke Sat what is the best bowl scenario they would be looking at?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

We've got them in Belk, it makes sense to have them there based on location, but if everyone finishes 5-3, the bowls will have their picks.

David (New York City)

Even with the season Famous Jameis has been having, Andre Williams has to be a shoe-in for ACC POY right?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

Check the blog tomorrow for that topic. Hale and I go head-to-head on it.

William Thomas (Salem)

Will Clemson's season be a complete and utter disappointment if they do not beat South Carolina this weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:47 PM)

No, not "complete and utter." It will depend on what they do in the bowl game, who they are matched up against.

Robert Shipley (Mineral, Virginia)

Do you teshink UVA will keep Mike London as the head football coach, and if there is a change who might some of the candidates?

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

I do. The administration has voiced nothing but support for him, and he did completely overhaul his staff and has a great recruiting class in the works. It's not like they'd go out and hire a big-name coach. To me, a perfect candidate as I mentioned before would be Navy's coach, but right now I think London is their guy.

Barry (SECVille)

Will a dismantling of Clemson by SC cause any shuffle to the top three BCS teams?

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

I don't think so, but I also think it's going to be a close. I would be surprised if it's a lopsided game.

Tommie (ALA)

Do you rate Stephen Morris a disappointment this year? I think his play was average, but more importantly, I thought his leadership was iffy at best (laughing on the sidelines during the VT game was not cool)Thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

I agree with you that is play was average, and below expectations, especially considering how he ended 2012. He was injured for much of the season, though, and I'm not going to question his leadership. I'm not around him every day or in that locker room. What I know of Stephen Morris is that he's a great kid, but he has struggled this year on the field.

Justin (Tallahassee)

Remember 2 years ago when you projected Duke to beat FSU? You going to shock us all and do it again?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Man you guys do NOT forget a thing!!! Yes, I do remember that! Guess I was 2 yrs too early, huh? :) No, I'm not going to do it again. Not this year, anyway ...

Devon (NC)

I really like what Fedora is doing in Chapel Hill. He seems to be a great recruiter as well. Is he one that will build something special then move for the next open SEC job? Really getting tired of the heartbreaks.

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

I think it's too early to go there. They started out 1-5, and that loss to ECU at home was inexcusable. While it was a great job and a great comeback by those guys, I think they've got to do more before the SEC comes calling.

Chris (Mass.)

How much will having Andre as a Heisman candidate help in making BC a more attractive bowl candidate, regardless of ending the regular season with 7 or 8 wins?

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

Not enough. BC fans have a poor reputation for travelling, and that counts. I don't think Andre's status will help that too much.

Carlos (Seattle)

If we had a 4 team playoff this year. Can you also see a Clemson - FSU rematch for the title?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

No, because based on my top 25, that would mean FSU played Ohio State and Alabama played Clemson, right? And so I'd have FSU over Ohio State and Alabama over Clemson. Which would put us right back where we are today. FSU vs. Bama.

Tommie (Boston)

Boston College is surprisingly good. Did you expect them to improve this much as the season has progressed?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

Heck no. Did anyone?

Steve (Tampa)

Do you think Golden will be on USC or TX (or any other big name job) list? I hope not, the guy is a class act. I still remember him at GT last year hugging his kid on the field after the gruesome injury.

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

I remember that, too. He might be considered, but I don't think he'd be at the top of the list. I don't see him going anywhere.

Jack (Durham)

Best and worst bowl scenarios for Duke?

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

Well, the best is obviously the Orange Bowl right now. The worst would be the Sun Bowl or Belk Bowl I'd guess.

Kerry (Abbeville)

If Clemson wins this week the teams jumping won't matter in the BCS, your thoughts.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Yeah, I don't think a Clemson win this week would change the big picture, but it should ensure a BCS bowl bid.

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

Ok, guys, my time here is up. Thanks so much for joining me this week, and really, have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! See you next week. HD