Sending you into a long weekend with some wisdom ... or just a few answers to your questions:
Dan in Tampa writes: Well Al Golden has finally filled his staff. What would you grade it?
HD: That's like putting stars by a recruit's name before he takes a collegiate snap. I don't know, a C? Average? I think the hire of Jedd Fisch was a curious one. He's moved around a lot in the NFL, but I'm not really sure how much of an impact he really had with each team. He's young. He didn't have a very good season at Minnesota. To me, that's the hire they needed to get the most out of. We'll see if they do.
T-Man in Waycross, Ga., writes: WITH RANDY SHANNON GONE, DO U THINK AL GOLDEN HAS WAT IT TAKES TO BRING MIAMI BACK TO THE WAY THEY USE TO BE AS A FEARFUL, SCARY, AND RESPECTIVE TEAM WHEN EVA THEY STEP INTO ANYONE'S STADIUM?
HD: Guys, please don't shout in the mailbag. It's a quiet place. Think, Duke library. I don't doubt Al Golden's ability to fire that team up and inject some emotion into the program that has been sorely lacking. He is a true motivator. He's an excellent speaker and has a good plan. I think he'll win some games at Miami. Will he make them a national title contender? I just don't know the answer to that. If he can recruit and get through the ACC, then yes, but right now, he's got to worry about winning the Coastal Division, and that's wide open. His problem right now? Jimbo Fisher. The Noles are way ahead of the game and own the state.
Jeff in Lynchburg, Va., writes: Heather....being a Terps fan, I notice you say very little positive things about Maryland. All new hires was not very good, all wins you say neg. things. I like reading your comments, but wow not everything the Terps do is below everyone else in the ACC.......I'm just Say'n!!! Terps34
HD: I'm sorry if it seems that way. I like Randy Edsall, and I wrote that he's a good hire. He's a very well-respected coach, and I think he's good enough to make Maryland a top 25 team -- even if it is No. 25. Danny O'Brien has a lot of potential and can be a special quarterback. A lot of the pieces are in place for the Terps to contend for the ACC title, and it will be a huge help that the defense will stay the same under Don Brown. My only reservation in giving them more credit is that last year's schedule really lacked that marquee win.
Eric in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: what do you think about robert smith having fsu ranked number 2 in his top 5 for 2011
HD: I really like Robert and enjoy talking ACC with him, but I have to respectfully disagree with him on this one. (Sorry, man.) I think it's a little high. I think Florida State has enough talent returning on its roster to be a Top 10 team this preseason and finish the same way, but I think the most realistic spot for them right now is No. 10 or No. 11. Don't forget, they haven't even won the ACC yet.
Justin in Tampa, Fla., writes: Hey do you have an idea of when the ACC football schedule will be released for 2011?
HD: Hey, usually in February.
Brett in Blacksburg, Va., writes: Heather, Why is it that Bud Foster seems to always be talked about in the off-season when head coaching vacancies come up, but never gets offered a head coaching job? Clemson a few years ago, Pitt this year, all seemed like great fits for him. Is he too straight forward when being interviewed? I heard that Stinespring would be a better HC due to him being a great recruiter?
HD: I've never sat in on one of Bud Foster's interviews, so I don't know his approach. It might be as simple as he's not what those particular schools were looking for at that time. I don't think, though, that it should be percieved as a knock on his accomplishments or his ability to be a head coach someday.
Ryan in Tallahassee writes: Don't think just answer! FSU's record next year will be:
HD: Me? Think? 12-2