Gobble gobble. As you have probably already noticed, the schedule is a little off this week because of Thanksgiving. I was in Charlotte, N.C., all day Tuesday for some TV responsibilities, so in lieu of the weekly chat, I've got an early mailbag for you. I know, I know, you guys missed me yesterday. It's not the same, yada yada ... you'll live.
Happy turkey day. Ask away ...
Matthew Vogel in Little Rock, Ark., writes: Does Virginia Tech have an outside chance for the National Title game? If so, who has to lose and when? Time is running out! Love your articles.
HD:Thanks, Matthew. Outside, yes, if you're talking about somewhere deep in the woods in the middle of nowhere. As of right now, according to the numbers, it looks like anyway you slice it, it's going to be an SEC rematch. Even Arkansas, sitting there at third, is going to have a difficult time getting into the title game -- and that's WITH a win on Friday night over LSU. Bama is in the best position of anyone right now.
Shane in Orlando writes: Why does the credibility of the ACC always seems to take hit after hit, the most recent, obviously, Clemson losing to N.C. State. It seems when something bad happens in the conference everybody's quick to exploit it. The No. 2 team loses as well but something like that doesnt hurt that paticular conference as it does the ACC. And as this year starts to come to close we see three ACC teams in the Top 25 and will only rise, granted if they win. guaranteeing those teams in better bowls. Can the ACC start rebuilding credibility if they have a good bowl record?
HD: First, a reminder to everyone that I do not edit your questions. As you can see, it would take far too long and I would never get to the next post. Now on to Shane's question. The credibility of the ACC is quick to slide because it hasn't built enough of it yet to overcome one loss. It's not like this was Clemson's first rodeo, Shane. The Tigers have lost big games before. So has Virginia Tech. Before the ACC can make a statement on the national stage against the big boys in the Orange Bowl or whatever nonconference game we're talking about, it first has to beat the teams it's supposed to beat in the ACC. Separation in the league will never occur if Clemson continues to lose to an unranked N.C. State team and Florida State loses to Virginia and the Hokies score three points against Clemson. So yeah, a good bowl record would help, but so would a little consistency and separation within the conference.
Kevin in Los Angeles writes: Hi Heather - love the coverage of the ACC, unfortunately we don't get a lot of love out here in LA - the Coliseum seems to block our view of the east coast. I wanted to respond to your comment on Bud Foster this week. As you say, he's got a huge contract, which means only an A-list program would likely be able to lure him from Blacksburg. Would an A-list program even want to pry away a guy in his mid-50's that traditionally hasn't expressed a lot of interest in other jobs? It seems like he's got the VT head coaching job locked down, whenever Frank Beamer decides to step aside (or move up to AD). Maybe it's wishful thinking as a Hokies fan, but it seems like if Bud was ever going to leave, he would have ten years ago.
HD: It depends on what you consider an A-list program, Kevin. What about North Carolina? Why wouldn't he be interested in that job? I don't think his age should be held against him. Instead, it's a bonus for his experience. It's not that Foster hasn't expressed interest in other jobs, but it has to be the RIGHT job. He doesn't want to coach at JMU or Richmond, for example. He wants to coach at an FBS school. And by no means do I think he has the head coaching job locked down. I have no idea what Shane Beamer's future holds, but the fact that he's on staff now raises the question of whether he would follow in his father's footsteps. There are still a lot of questions surrounding that, but they're irrelevant now because as far as I know, Beamer isn't going anywhere soon.
Eric in NY, NY writes: Argh FSU! My beloved Noles need to be a beast in the ACC if they're not going to compete for a national title. This year proves that they still need time and that the other rabble in the ACC don't (need to) fear them. The UVA loss was depressing and sobering. I'm also an ACC fan and want to see the conference get its due and get some legit credit as well. Since FSU has been out of the hunt for a few weeks, I've been pulling for Clemson and VT to stay in the top 10. ARGH Clemson pulls a Clemson! Guess it's GO VT!
HD: Ha, this one made me laugh, had to share. A true ACC fan.
David in Clemson, S.C., writes: Heather,In your most recent Upset Alert post, are you talking about Clemson winning that game since they're ranked lower than SCar? Thanks. I enjoy reading your work.
HD: Yep, Clemson wins, it's an upset.
Keith in Kernersville, N.C., writes: We need more David Amerson articles, I'm hearing this guy is freakish...The Wolfpack Faithful say any QB throwing his way is entering Amersonville or Amerson Island. The Darelle Revis of College football. Shutdown DB has a great shot at the Jim Thorpe award.
HD: Love it. Amerson should be an All-American this year. He's already a lock on my mental all-conference team. Hope that makes you feel better.
Andrew in Chilhowie, Virginia, writes: First off, thanks Heather for the great work that you do week in and week out covering ACC football. You may make some wrong picks against my Hokies, but I forgive you. My question is simple. Why isn't Virginia Tech getting more national championship buzz? Their only loss came against Clemson, a good team, unlike Iowa State, and the Hokies, when they beat Virginia, have a championship game to play, something that Oklahoma State and either LSU or Alabama (whoever loses the SEC West) cannot say.
HD: Thanks for forgiving me, Andrew. There are two big reasons the Hokies aren't getting more national title buzz: 1. The SEC West, and 2. Their strength of schedule, or lack thereof. It's that simple.
Shaun in N.C. writes: Hi Heather, in your video about the ACC vs SEC, did you forget Wake plays Vandy this week in what is becoming a newer rivalry game? I mean, I love the hatred of a CU-USC game, but would also love to hear your thoughts on the smallest ACC and SEC schools going at it. Happy Thanksgiving!
HD: No, I didn't forget, but the others are bigger in the national picture. I do like the Wake-Vandy matchup, though, and I think it will be a close game, particularly because Vandy is still playing for bowl eligibility. I just really like the way Tanner Price has been playing, and I think the defense will create some turnovers and the Deacs will get the win.