Sometimes I get questions. Other times, my mailbag is there for you to vent ...
Christopher Cothran in Jupiter, FL writes: Heather, You need to tell these guys to stop talking about the Big XII - II and get them to focus on winning football games. If the ACC "Football" Schools, FSU, Clemson, VT, Miami, and GT start winning games, or at least being competitive, we will be a respected conference. I think that the ACC has a rich history, and a foundation that can be built upon. Thank you for the continued coverage of the ACC here at ESPN. CGCClemson Class of '00
HD: Couldn't agree more, CC. We wouldn't even be having these conversations if the ACC wasn't 2-13 in its BCS bowl and it was a factor in the national title race.
Mike in State College, PA writes: Heather, the series is called "Most Important Game," not "Most Difficult Game." Therefore, having time to prepare, being home or away, that stuff doesn't matter. It's the game that is most important to win in order to accomplish the team goals. Therefore, Virginia Tech's should be Georgia Tech. In order to win the Coastal, they are going to have to beat Georgia Tech. It is difficult to envision a scenario where VT loses to GT and still wins the Coastal. However, they could easily lose to FSU or Clemson, since they are out of division opponents, and still win the Coastal. Therefore, Virginia Tech's most important game is Georgia Tech. More realistically, their most important game is the ACC championship game. We all know they will be there. They always are.
HD: Don't you have a new coach to worry about up there in HV? Yes, I agree that the Georgia Tech game is going to be of the utmost importance to the Hokies, but in the ACC, you can usually get away with losing a game and still play for the ACC title. Heck, sometimes you can even lose THREE games and still get there. The deeper into the schedule, the more important and meaningful the games are, and for the Hokies, that game at Clemson will help determine their place in the standings, even though it's not a divisional game. If the season opener determined the winner, why play the rest of the schedule? It might turn out that way, but it's far too early in the season to crown anybody Coastal king.
McKinley in Atlanta, Georgia writes: Hey, Heather! I'm a huge Jackets fan, and I know our defense has been down for the past few years compared to when we had guys like Wimbush and Daryl Smith in there in the pre-Paul Johnson era. Do you think we'll be able to get the D back on track this year to allow us to take that next step?
HD: I think it all depends on how the guys up front fare, McKinley. They've got to replace two of three starters. I think Georgia Tech fans should EXPECT more from the defense in Al Groh's third season, as they've got seven starters back. The linebackers will miss Julian Burnett, who led the team in tackling last year, but they've still got several athletic guys who can make plays. The DBs should also be much better.