Tuesday mailblog

Looks like last week's mailbag got something started between the Hokies n' the Hoos ...

Ben in Malmstrom AFB, MT writes: In response to the Hoakie's declaration of 2000 days with the Commonwealth Cup: Hoos have 16 NCAA Division 1 titles and counting. Hoakies have....one empty trophy case. Maybe Tech can lease us some trophy space?

HD: Cavman rides again ...

Nick in Washington, D.C. writes: Other than what's being said across the blog hype-machine, is there any reason to believe that Ras-I Dowling will actually be a corner to be reckoned with? Are we sure this isn't just a case of a decent player on a horrible D?

HD: First, I don't think Virginia's D was the problem last year. The passing defense was actually fourth in the ACC. Second, I'd put some stock into what our guys, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay say. They break down film of these guys. Kiper has Dowling at No. 21 in his latest Big Board, and here's what McShay had to say on Dowling:

Dowling has flown under the radar but should garner some national attention in 2010, even on a rebuilding Cavs squad. He displays an excellent combination of size, upper-body strength and athleticism. He's a better overall talent than Chris Cook, whom the Vikings selected with the 34th overall pick in this year's draft.

Van Galloway in Hartsville, S.C., writes: Good morning Heather...I have just one question. Everyone wants to talk about UNC having one of the best defense's in the country this year & the best of the ACC...Being the FSU fan that I am, isn't that pretty much the same UNC defense that allowed 395 passing yards by Christian Ponder?

HD: And three touchdowns and no interceptions. About that Heisman Trophy thing ...

Nate in Raleigh, N.C. writes: Hey Heather! I want to know how in the hell the ACC didn't place Russell Wilson on any of the All-ACC teams?? There aren't 4 QB's in the ACC better than him. Without him, State probably would've won 2 games last year! I am obviously biased, but Russell is, arguably, THE best QB in the ACC. Ponder is up there, and Tyrod is a close 3rd. Jacory threw like 400 interceptions last year, and the only reason he made it before Wilson is because everybody is riding Miami this year. Help me understand this HD! Thanks.

HD: You're right in that nobody in the ACC threw more TDs than Wilson (31) and nobody threw more INTs than Harris (17). But you could make the argument that Ponder accounted for more yardage per game in fewer games, Tyrod Taylor and Riley Skinner both had better pass efficiency ratings, and Thaddeus Lewis had more passing yardage. Not to mention the fact that all of those schools -- including Duke -- won more conference games last year. As for total package, I'm not sure Wilson was it last year.

Vincent in Miami, Fla., writes: Hey Heather, I've been watching College football live and they were talking about the best receiving core in college football and they left out Miami!? Don't you believe that Miami has some of the best receivers in the nation? I do. Whats with that?

HD: I must've missed that episode, Vincent, but I can tell you this: Before Miami's receiving corps is deemed one of the best in the nation, it must first prove it's one of the best in the ACC. There's no question it is deep and talented, and it's a big reason why Miami had one of the top passing offenses in the country last year. But when you break it down on an individual basis, the receivers at Miami (Ohio) made a bigger splash in the national stats last year. And Miami's passing game, as good as it was, was fifth-best in the ACC last fall. And no, not all of those INTs were Harris' fault.

Eric in Blacksburg, Va., writes: Is it fair to say that this is Steinsprings last stand at VT if the offense can't produce? I mean if our offense does not produce with Tyrod, Crash and Burn, and our returning stable of WR's will Beamer have any other choice but to axe his old friend?

HD: No, it's probably not fair, Eric. What would make this year different from any other in which Beamer has stood behind Stinespring?

Have a question for Friday's mailblog? Drop it in my mailbag ...