Friday mailblog

It's not every day I strike a nerve with Duke fans ...

David in Raleigh, N.C., writes:Enjoyed your rankings of ACC facilities. However, your listing of Duke football facility investments is a little dated. It left out the new Pascal Field House with an air conditioned full length indoor football field. That's the one that Peyton Manning worked out in for months in secret to keep away from the media. It's nicer than GT's new one and a duplicate of the new one at Auburn. Also new are completely renovated and expanded practice fields and the new totally renovated Brooks field house. All this is since Cutcliffe came and all post dates the Yoh facility (which is nice and relatively new as you point out). The Pascal Field House is the one that freaked out Beamer and has him embroiled in his controversial plan to build one like it at VT.

HD: Thanks for reading, David. Of all of the feedback I expected from that list, the last fan base I thought I'd hear from is Duke. I thought I gave the Blue Devils a lot of credit and most probably would have expected Duke to be last. I know Duke has made significant upgrades, and I thought I gave it credit for that. But don't forget the stadium IS a major factor when considering facilities. Wallace Wade weighed the Devils down, my friend.

Brian in Pittsburgh, Pa., writes:Heather - Is Coach Spaz on the hot seat this season for BC? Is an 8 win season a reasonable expectation for this squad?

HD: Yes, he is. No, it isn't.

Nick in Memphis, Tenn., writes: How is Al Golden holding up at Miami? Do you think he'll stay there for the long haul, or will he pack up for greener pastures?

HD:If the NCAA investigation hasn't scared him off yet, it's not going to. Greener pastures than South Beach? C'mon, man. Golden has it made.

wayne in Rockingham, N.C., writes:When do you see a team from the ACC winning a National Championship in football?

HD: I think we can talk about it without laughing now. Florida State has a chance this year. Clemson has a chance next year. Virginia Tech always seems to play its way into the conversation.

Jason in Piedmont, S.C., writes:Hi Heather, with all of the talk about conference realignment and who should jump ship, and after reading your piece with Andrea about the health of the ACC and the Big (I don't know if you can still call them Big...) East, I was curious about your thoughts on John Swofford's performance and role. As a Clemson fan who reads the boards, it seems like he is more hated than the Gamecocks; and if you look at recent events, it would seem like the people who are calling for his resignation are justified. It seems like he is either out of touch with the reality of the landscape of college football, or he just doesn't care and is content to let ACC football fall off of the national stage. What are your thoughts on his performance?

HD:I'll be perfectly honest with you, Jason: I think Swofford has done a fine job and is a good negotiator on behalf o the ACC. It might be the fifth-best football conference in the land, but it's still one of the best and it's certainly not Swofford's fault Miami hasn't lived up to the hype and Florida State has fallen off. I think the move to add Pitt and Syracuse will benefit the ACC, and that Swofford will find a way to make the postseason more entertaining for fans with better matchups. My biggest criticism? He might be too nice.