Friday mailblog

Not too much longer until we actually have wins and losses to talk about ...

Paul in Atlanta writes: Heather, Will you please pick Virginia Tech to beat Georgia Tech in blowout on labor day? It would really help out a lot. Thanks. Go Jackets.

HD: The season hasn't even started yet and already you're asking for the HD kiss of death on the Hokies. I can tell you right now I'm leaning toward Virginia Tech in that pick, but the only thing I know for sure at this point is I'm not going to predict a blowout on either side. Georgia Tech will get its points, but I don't think Virginia Tech's defense is going to get run over in that game. I expect it to be close.

Scott in kill devil hills, NC writes: Clemson this year reminds me of a team a few years ago with a preseason ranking of 9th that got crushed by Alabama to open the season. That team like this one had stars at the skill positions returning and it was all for not due to a sub-par offensive line. After giving up over 60 points to West Va to end the season one has to question the defense. This team was crushed by NC State and let a 7-6 UNC team score 38 points. How are they ranked 14th?

HD: You're exactly right about those teams being similar in that regard, and it's a comparison Clemson would like to try and avoid. The skill players won't reach their full potential if the Tigers can't get it done up front, and depth is a legitimate concern. They're still a top-25 team, though, based largely on the fact they've got a 1,000-yard receiver, 3,000-yard passer and 1,000 yard rusher all returning. That certainly counts for something. Oh, and they're the defending ACC champs.

Cam in Raleigh NC writes: What do you think is NC States best case scenario, and record? Do they have a shot at beating FSU and Clemson?

HD: First of all, I think they have a good shot at a 4-0 start. If that's the case, they could really be on a roll and be undefeated heading into the Florida State game and a home win against the Noles is a definite possibility. I think they beat one of the two -- Clemson or FSU -- but not both. Best-case scenario is 10 wins. Speaking of FSU ...

Alex Holzbach in Tallahassee, FL writes: Do you think that Greg Reid's dismissal from Florida State will be a big hit? Obviously it's not preferred for 'Noles fans, but will it really be that bad in the big picture?

HD: I think FSU has enough talent on the rest of the roster that it will be fine. The biggest hit will be in the return game, but I think the Noles will find somebody capable of replacing him in the secondary.

Brian in Alexandria, VA writes: HD, With expansion coming next year will you get a partner in crime or continue covering the ACC as a solo act?

HD: Meet Andrea Adelson, my new partner in crime. She will be helping out this year.

Michael in Charlotte, NC writes: HD, there has been a lot talk about replacing Wake's offensive line. Considering the graduated unit's track record (QB protection & running game), is it really that much of a loss? True, it's a big question mark going into the season, but I'm more excited about what this new group can do than I am worried about who isn't here anymore.

HD: You're right, it could be addition by subtraction, and I know Jim Grobe has been particularly excited about Frank Souza. It's the inexperience that's the concern.