After sorting through some angry Carolina mail, I found some questions ...
Chris in Myrtle Beach, S.C., writes:Heather!!! Please answer or address this question in your blog!!!! I'm beggingHow did GT Running Back Anthony Allen's statements about the NFL teams questioning Paul Johnson's offense affect GT's ability to recruit a high caliber running back? Allen basically said he was not drafted because the NFL teams felt his numbers were inflated by the offense he played in. In hindsight, it might have affected Dwyers draft status as well. Your thoughts?
HD: Considering they've only got two recruits so far in the 2012 class, it's a little too early to tell. If I'm a high school running back, though, I see Georgia Tech's offense as a chance to flourish. Who doesn't want to be a 1,000-yard rusher? As for the NFL's take on Paul Johnson's offense, sure, it's bound to affect some recruits. But it's certainly not the first time Johnson has had to go into a kid's living room and explain to recruits and their parents the misconceptions about his offense. Georgia Tech fans should be less concerned about Allen's statements and the NFL's take on Georgia Tech's offense and more concerned about the overall level of talent Johnson and his staff are bringing in.
Luke in Tennessee writes: HD, In the Chat on Tuesday you predicted that Clemson would fall to USC for the 3rd straight year. Doesnt that spell the end for Dabo? Aynthing short of an ACC title coupled with another loss to USC would certainly have the Tiger faitful in an uproar. Am I off track here?
HD: Luke I think the only way Dabo Swinney is done is if the Tigers suffer a second straight losing season. Other than that, I think he's safe and he SHOULD be safe because of the turnover on offense. There has to be some understanding by the administration and fans that a) this is a transition season for the offense and b) It was only two seasons ago that Swinney was playing in the ACC title game.
Brian in Baltimore writes: HD, you seem to be giving the Noles a lot of hype going into this year, and more so because Emanuel will be behind the helm. I feel like you are forgetting the Hokies 'let the dogs out' on FSU in the ACC title game last year, with Emanuel starting. While I know Tyrod is not there for the Hokies this year, we do have LT (who has received some serious hype). When are you and the other Pundits going to stop doubting the Hokies year in and out and realize they own the ACC?
HD: I think Logan Thomas is going to be a fantastic quarterback, and there's a good chance he's better than EJ Manuel. But here's the thing: I'm writing off of what I know right this very second, and Manuel has the edge in experience, particularly in big games. The fact that he's already played in the ACC title game should be a bonus on his résumé, not a reason to knock him.
Travis in Bowling Green, Ky., writes: How come none of FSU's running backs are getting much love? Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas are back. Freeman and Wilder Jr are going to get in the mix as well. Don't why people aren't talking them up? This running back core is going to have great depth and skill.
HD: Because so many people are focused on the quarterback. But you're right, it should be the best running backs group in the ACC.
Frank in Cincinnati writes: Do you really think within the next four years, when Al Golden has his players & his philosophy implemented into the psyche of the team. That he will have turned Miami into a National Title contender??
HD: I honestly think it's waaay too early to tell. Let's see how Golden does in his first season in the ACC against tougher competition than what he faced in the MAC, and how he fares in the Xs and Os against veterans like Frank Beamer and David Cutcliffe. When you talk about Miami and the next four years, the first thought that comes to mind is quarterbacks. Golden needs to bring in a star. Now.
A.J.A. in Raleigh, N.C., writes: What do you think the record of UNC will be? Renner is a mystery and I still wonder about Ryan Houston. I think we will have a pretty good good defence and great young recievers this year. Also, will UNC beat NC State? What do they need to be able to beat them?
HD: I think the Heels can have a nine-win season or better if -- IF -- the roster remains intact. Yes, I think UNC will beat NC State this season ... something about the law of averages?
Steve in Knoxville, Tenn., writes: Heather,Don't let my location fool you. I am born and raised in Baltimore, MD and obviously I am a diehard Terps fan. I have read a lot of your recent blogs about the upcoming year and have noticed one major thing consistent in all comments...you dont give any love to the TERPS!!!What's your deal? We have the reigning ACC ROY, we were one bad play away in the FSU game last year to play in the ACC Championship, but you dont mention anything about DOB for POY, dont mention anything for must see game with any MD game. I simply dont get how you overlook the Terps so much. I guess you can join the rest of the haters out there and doubt us. See you in the ACC Championship game and we will see what you write.
HD: Here's the thing, Steve: As long as I have been covering the ACC, Maryland has been average at best. You mention the one bad play away, but it wasn't just Florida State, it was Miami, too. Maryland can and will be a contender in the ACC, but until it begins to recruit on par with the likes of Florida State and Clemson, and until it can continue to win the key game against Boston College, its ceiling will be a borderline top-25 team. And as for Danny O'Brien, he's definitely a candidate for ACC's POY.