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Friday mailblog

Step into my office ...

Jonathan in Blacksburg, Va., writes: With the SEC launching its own network in 2014, and the ACC adding teams over the next couple seasons, what are the chances the ACC tries to launch its own network?

HD: Well, it's definitely interested and is currently exploring the option. ACC commissioner John Swofford talked a bit about that in this morning's Q&A. He made a great point in saying that the SEC pondered it for about three years, so it's not like it happens over night. The recent grant of rights announcement certainly gave more substance to the possibility.


Keith Walker in Grand Prairie, Texas writes: Hello Heather, What are the odds the once the all of the new schools come into the league the ACC goes to a nine game schedule? If the other conferences decide to go to nine, wouldn't it become difficult for ACC schools to schedule quality non-conference teams?

HD: Hey Keith, that's another topic Swofford discussed this morning, but the hangup with a nine-game league schedule lies within the built-in SEC rivalries. If I'm Dabo Swinney, I certainly wouldn't want the possibility of lining up against South Carolina, Notre Dame and one more nonconference opponent while trying to win a national title. With Notre Dame playing five games annually, it automatically increases the strength of schedule already.


Lisa in Panama City, Fla., writes: So proud of all my Noles as well as the rest of the ACC in the draft! One thing I haven't been able to find is anything on Greg Reid. Did he get signed anywhere as a free agent?

HD: Unfortunately for Reid, he had to get a second surgery for a torn ACL, according to the Orlando Sentinel.


Jon in Atlanta writes: The reason for the Yellow Jackets not having anyone drafted? Lack of talent of lack of coaching?

HD: I've got my reasons.


Rome in Pittsburgh writes: I know this might seem outlandish. Is it possible that Maryland could end up staying in the ACC? I'm looking at the 50 million buyout, not knowing if the Terps can afford to leave. Of course, we have to find out what happens in court.

HD: It does seem outlandish, Rome. It is outlandish. They're going to the Big Ten. Even if Maryland loses the lawsuit and has to pay the $52 million, the Big Ten will help write that check.


Scott Huggins in Greensboro, N.C., writes: Heather, I may have missed this tidbit in all the recent ACC announcements . . . Will football games against Notre Dame count toward the ACC standings, or will they be regarded as out-of-conference match-ups?

HD: Games against Notre Dame will NOT count towards ACC standings.


Justin Thompson in Ocala, Fla., writes: With the draft behind us, there's a lot to be excited about in Seminole country. With the Clemson game coming in mid October and Coach Fisher likely to name Winston starter, Jameis will likely have had a good amount of time to get his feet wet before the visit to Death Valley. That being said, if Winston continues to impress through fall practice, how likely is it that FSU gets moved back to the forefront and favorite in the Atlantic? Besides from Boyd and Watkins, I really do not see much returning for them to write home about. With so much of their offense last year predicated on Hopkins and Ellington, who are you looking to from Clemson to replace their production, and who on defense can become the playmaker I haven't seen in clemson since the late Gaines Adams?

HD: If Jameis Winston is as good as FSU fans want to believe he is, there's no reason Florida State can't leapfrog Clemson. Fortunately, the debate will be settled on the field. Might be the best game of the year in the ACC. While the quarterback question is a big one, it's not the only one. Jimbo Fisher has six new assistants and an entirely new defensive line. I've said this before and I'll say it again: If there aren't some bumps in the road for FSU this fall, Fisher is a magician.