Well done, ACC fans. You've shown your love for this conference well. The mailbag was filled with love letters to coaches, teams, stadiums and traditions. Not every school was represented (seriously, I swear to you, not one Carolina or Boston College fan), but the majority of them were. FSU and Virginia Tech sent in the most responses. Here were the best of the bunch:
Kevin in Hartsville, S.C., writes: Heather,In the spirit of V-Day, here's a little poem I've composed in honor of my Clemson Tigers: Eighty thousand loud and proud,Waiting for their Tigers to rub "The Rock." Then it's down "The Hill" onto the turf, While the opponent stares in shock. The Tiger Rag is blaring, It's enough to give you chills. Like so many have said before, "There's just something in those hills. "GO TIGERS!!!
Melissa in Bridgewater, Va., writes: What do I love about UVA? First, the University of Virginia is nestled in one of the most beautiful towns in the states (Charlottesville, Va). The grounds at UVA are absolutely picturesque with its gorgeous architecture and history and tailgating on the Lawn and/or Alumni Hall during football season is the best in the ACC.Our beautiful stadium and our fans are like no other in the ACC. We demonstrate our pride and our heritage in our dress, pregame activities, chants and even our swaying and singing the "Good Ole Song". I love our coach, Mike London and his staff. They have done so much for our University in the past year or so and we know that we will have many winning seasons with Coach London at the helm. I absolutely love to cheer for our guys in Orange and Blue. Go Hoos!
Jim in Winston-Salem, N.C., writes: Coach Grobe of Wake Forest. He is a great coach who takes less talent than almost every other program and makes Wake competitive with them. He is loyal to his coaches and his players. You never hear him berating any player. The worst you will hear is when he says a player is a knucklehead. He runs a clean program and holds his players to the high academic standards at Wake. The WF beat writer says Grobe is by far the easiest coach he has ever dealt with because he is a straight shooter and not afraid to acknowledge his own faults, if necessary in regard to coaching decisions made.
Phillip in Thomaston, Ga., writes: Hey Heather, I'm a big Georgia Tech fan, have had season tickets for six seasons now. But I wanted to show some love to Clemson. My wife and I attend at least one away game a year, and last year we went there. The Clemson fans were marvelous. They saw us in our Tech colors, and were actually nice to us. Several of them struck up conversations, quite a few thanked us for driving up. Even the cops directing traffic were polite. We didn't expect that; it was a great surprise. A great experience overall - well, except the final score :) We'll return the favor this year, and look forward to next year. Clemson, you're awesome!
Church in Raleigh, N.C., writes: What's up Heather? I love the progression of NC State's program. Tom O'Brien gives us the much needed discipline we lacked for a while. The team has really adjusted and responded to his coaching style. Im definitely not worried about recruiting, because TOB has a proven track record with under the radar talent. Love RW16 but I honestly think Glennon will be better. Cant wait for the season, and hopefully an ACC Championship, and an Orange Bowl victory!
J Fletcher in Richmond, Va., writes: Dear Lane Stadium,The way you sit on that plateau as the sun sets is mesmerizing. The smell of BBQ and Turkey Legs on Gameday is captivating. The way you hold 66,000 fans as they jump up and down to Enter Sandman is incredible. You hold our best memories. You've housed our greatest players. You aren't the biggest but you roar just as loud. You are perfect. you are the best place to be on a Thursday Night. No one in the ACC can contend with your greatness. No matter what month it is, when I drive by you I always get antsy for September when you open your gates. You are perfect. And nowhere else is better. We love you.Sincerely yours,The Hokies
Dave in College Park, Md., writes: Oh how I love the Terps...let me count the ways.....3 Things I love about the Terps on Valentines Day. 1. Unlike most other ACC school, they HAVE a National Championship in football. 2. Unlike any other ACC schools, Bear Bryant coached there. 3. The Terps have not had a punt blocked since Nov. 13, 1999 (Florida State), a stretch of 125 games, which is the longest active streak in the nation. GO TERPS!
Scott in Crewe, Va., writes: I love Florida State. From the stadium with a capacity of 82,300, to the field being named by one of the greatest coaches of all time. I love Renegade, Chief Osceola, and the flaming spear that sticks straight through the hearts of opposing teams. I love how on any given day, in any given season, no matter who they're playing, the 'noles are a threat. Jimbo Fisher is a future Hall of Famer, Joe Pa watch out, you heard it hear first. I love the ACC, no game is a given, no team is taken lightly. The competition is better than any other conference and the fans are fans forever. I love it.
Chad in Miami writes: Five rings, longest NCAA home streak, a continuing and strong influence in the NFL, more controversy and glory to balance out the pain that is the present, the smoke. And all half an hour from the beach, what isn't there to love about The Canes?
Mike F in Gaithersburg, Md., writes: I love the ACC's football history. Many of the rivalries go back to the days of the old Southern Conference, and the ACC has stood the test of time, being together for almost 60 years. On a more personal note, I love the history of Maryland football, as we have a National Championship, 9 ACC Championships and multiple bowl wins, which is a history unmatched by most other ACC schools!I hope the ACC survives any form of conference realignment!
Padget in Charleston, S.C., writes: Thank God I was born a Clemson Tiger. A Clemson Tiger is all I've ever wanted to be. From the time I was born to the man standing before you that you now see. How I miss the those blue hills whenever I'm away. I know come fall though, that I will be back again to watch my Tigers play. As I look over Death Valley with it's sea of purple and orange that is so fair. There simply is no other place like it, nothing else can even compare. I have nothing but admiration for the rest of the ACC. but to my beloved Clemson, my heart belong to thee.
Ben B in Lake of the Woods, Va., writes: I love the Hokies' coaching staff. I know, everyone loves the Hokies' coaching staff, especially Coach Beamer. But just because it's obvious doesn't mean we should overlook it. Their consistency, loyalty, character, and integrity, not to mention football acumen, keeps the team near the top year after year. It also means something much more important: it means the young men who attend Virginia Tech and play football are getting the education they need, not only in the classroom, but in the school of life.
Saul in Lakeland, Fla., writes: I love Florida State Football. I love going up in the fall to visit my two sons, a junior and a freshman, catching a game and then taking them and their friends out to dinner. I love the gameday atmosphere of Doak Campbell stadium. We usually start the day 2 hours before kickoff watching the skull session with the marching chiefs at the baseball stadium. I love pregame with the marching chiefs and osceola and renegade. We stay until the end of the game and hear the marching chiefs sing the hymn to the garnet and the gold. I love the rivalry with miami and florida.
Corey in NYC writes: Gotta love beating Florida and Miami in the same year. The last time the Noles beat UF was my Freshman year with the Rix toss to PK Sam in the final seconds. This year was the first time I have ever seen the Noles beat the Gators live, and I loved it.
Benton in Blacksburg, Va., writes: Hey Heather, What's NOT to love about the Hokies? I'm sure some fans could name a thing or two, but the good outweighs the bad by a mile. Lane Stadium, Beamer, Foster, the Lunch Pail. I love the consistency of the program, the ten-win seasons. I love the staff stability, multiple coaches with 16+ years with the program. I love the blue collar work ethic of the players, developing lower star recruits like Rock Carmichael and Danny Coale into names that opponents are concerned with in their game plan. The fans, the players, the entire Hokie Nation, there's a lot too love.
Austin in Crawfordville, Fla., writes: HD,I love the ACC, more importantly I love FSU. I have been going to games at Doak Campbell since I was a little kid with my father. There is something magical about the place, I remember getting carried by Chief Osceola when I was a kid and I was hooked for life. I'm 19 years old but could tell you everything about FSU history. I follow FSU everyday, and don't know what I would do without FSU football being such a huge part of my life. I'll be a Nole for life and so will my kids.Go Noles!
Josh in Kennesaw, Ga., writes: Dear Paul Johnson, I just want to thank for you for breathing live into a fan-base that was mediocre at best. We needed a coach with a superiority complex, because as Ga Tech fans, we have an inferiority complex. Thank you for having some of the best one liners in press conferences I have ever heard from a coach. Thank you for telling it like it is and for always saying, "oh, I think we'll be competitive," at the preseason press conference. Thanks proving option-doubters wrong. Just please, beat U[sic]GA this year... If I have to listen to another year of barking, I might become as classless as that other school is.
ikick3s in Charlotte, N.C., writes: I love my Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The primary reason is that regardless of what they do on the field during their 4 years of playing eligibility, I know they will continue to represent themselves and Wake Forest in a positive light well beyond their graduation. The administration, the coaches, and the players do things the right way. It doesn't always bring a win on Saturday, but I feel great about the program in how it's carried.