Friday mailblog

Some of you weren't happy with the bowl-rewind posts this week. Not my fault the league went 2-6. You don't think I'm tired of writing that story? Onward to 2012, please ...

robert in amarillo,texas writes: i have a great feeling about my virginia cavaliers for 2012. we made a bowl game can we take the next big step?

HD: My biggest question regarding Virginia in 2012 is how the Hoos will replace so many talented veterans on defense, particularly on the defensive line and in the secondary. I'm not sure how many people realized the legitimate talent and experience Mike London inherited there. If he can rebuild on that side of the ball, I think they'll be a contender for the division again.

Joe in Phoenix, AZ writes: So with Steele gone from Clemson, who does Clemson go after as a DC?

HD: I don't know Swinney's list of candidates, but I think they should go after former PSU defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.

Benjamin in Santa Clara, CA writes: Hey HD, Just curious. What's your take on Boston College's hire of former OSU OC Jim Bollman as their new o-line coach? And between MD and BC, who do you think made the better hire at OC? Thanks for the blog, especially in these cold hard months without any college football.

HD: I haven't met with or spoken to Bollman yet, Benjamin, but there haven't been any rave reviews coming out of the Ohio State camp. As for the better hire at OC, we'll have to wait and see. The one thing I like about Mike Locksley for Maryland is his ability to recruit. I really think he'll give them a boost in that area. Doug Martin at BC is an unknown right now, and he's got a tough job. The offense and the turnover at the coordinator position there has been at the heart of their problems.

Kenneth Macklin in charlotte, nc writes: Heather Dinich, do you believe either Florida State, Clemson, or Virginia Tech have a chance to make it to the big dance and face what looks to be another sec opponent in the national championship in 2012?

HD: Hype-squasher here. Until the ACC starts winning its big nonconference games and stops losing to FCS teams, my answer is no.

Jim Perillo in Indianapolis, IN writes: Heather,I like all the Way to Early Preseason hype for my Noles. I do believe the Oklahoma game was more devistating to our team physically and mentally. Following that game with the Clemson game (thanks ACC schedulers) and the next thing you know we lose to Wake - no excuse for that one or at home against Virginia. With all that said - I think it is time we let them earn the ranking instead of giving it to them. A hungry team wanting it is better than a team reading clippings thinking they have arrived. What are your thoughts?

HD: I do think FSU, GT and Clemson in particular seem to be at their best when expectations are at the least. With that being said, those preseason polls are tough to do. At some point, you can't ignore what FSU has coming back. As far as the national hype goes, though, I think we should all believe it when we see it. Being expected to win the Atlantic Division is one thing. I think that's fair. National title contenders is pushing it, until proven otherwise.

Doug in Amherst MA writes: Heather, we all know the ACC has athletes but if you look at the first 42 underclassmen to declare for the draft, 13 of them (or close to 30%) are from the ACC! I'm sure the SEC has more but if the ACC could keep an extra 7 or 8 of those guys each year do you think it would have a great influence on the strength of the conference?

HD: Oh no question, especially if guys like Stephen Hill and, well, half of Miami's roster stuck around. Again, it's a personal decision, but to me, unless the financial benefits are that good and guaranteed, the guys should stay in school unless they're a first- or second-round pick.