<
>

Tuesday Mailblog -- Game of the Weak?

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The two best games to watch this weekend are Florida State-Miami, and Georgia Tech-Duke, but some readers can't fathom the idea that the latter might actually be the better game.

Corey, in NYC, writes: Heather, I respect your opinion most of the time, but you have gone overboard. How can Duke GT be a better game than Miami FSU? Do you really think that Duke's O-Line will stand up to GT's front 4? FSU Miami is a much more evenly matched game that actually means something to the fans. Duke fans barely know they have a football team. Will you please put out a retraction and put the right game, FSU Miami, as the ACC game of the week? Best Regards, Corey

Heather Dinich: Corey, there will be an absurd amount of talent on the field at Dolphin Stadium, agreed. But Georgia Tech and Duke are both in the Coastal Division, both have 3-1 records, and both have coaches who can X and O against anyone. Plus, Duke has already played an option team (Navy) and won. Just because Duke's fans aren't the loudest doesn't mean they're not there, and as I recall, Florida State games haven't exactly been selling out lately. And Georgia Tech fans are excited about this game ... check out this guy ...


Stefan, in Atlanta, writes: Hey Heather. Good to see that your going to be heading to Bobby Dodd for Saturday. Die hard Tech fan here and I show my colors marching for my football team. When your there look for the band as we support our team like no other. Just a heads up, if you haven't come to GT, look for the running band during 3rd quarter and the Budweiser song at the end of 3rd. Will be running around the stadium with the running band so try to find us, we come up everywhere. Anyway, hope you enjoy your time Saturday. See you there. P.S. Good reporting.

Heather Dinich: Thank you, Stefan.


Kevin, in Blairs, Va., writes: Heather. Love the articles every week, or every day for that matter. I've been saying since July that GT is going to be a surprise team this year in the ACC, and in D1. I have been saying this since 1996, but one year i'll get it right What is your take on the Jackets? Where do you see them landing? Thanks. Kevin

Heather Dinich: Thanks for reading, Kevin. Well, you might be right this year. The ACC is too open to call it right now, but the Yellow Jackets have as good a shot as anybody. In the future, though, I see Paul Johnson elevating the program to the point he wins eight to 10 games a year and goes to better bowl games than his predecessor. But first he has to beat Duke! Hey, look, a Duke fan ...


Ari, writes: Clearly I'm a Duke Fan... but Duke got a point in the rankings... when was the last time Duke got a point. Its probably undeserved, but i figured i'd comment to you after seeing your "rankings thoughts"

Heather Dinich: Well, David Cutcliffe joked on Sunday he thought it was one of his friends, but added it was nice that somebody had that much respect for the program. I can't tell you when the last time they got a vote was, but I can tell you their last ranking was Dec. 5, 1994, according to the ACC media guide. They finished 8-4 that season, and it was also the last time they started off 1-0 in the ACC. Until now.


Josh, in Durham, writes: Heather, where's the love for Duke? Barely no mention of the Blue Devils in all of your post-Saturday analysis. Yes, the Cavs are awful but this is a Duke team that crushed UVA without playing a great game, is 3-1, with the only loss coming to NWern who is now 5-0. We also beat the same Navy team that WF just lost to. Isn't that worth at least a few lines?

Heather Dinich: It's worth a trip to Atlanta, baby! (That was my Dickie V voice).


Derek, in Blacksburg, writes: I made a bet before the season with my roommate (we're both VT grads) that UVA would win two or less games this season. He took the bet purely on the odds as I argued the schedule. In light of the Duke cakewalk, do you think UVA will win 0, 1, or 2+ more games?

Heather Dinich: Before this season started, I guessed Virginia would win two games. Those two have come and gone (Richmond and Duke). I don't see another W on their schedule.


Brendan, in Darnestown, MD, writes: Hokies go from 6 to 1 on your power rankings. Are they getting that much better or did you misjudge some teams?

Heather Dinich: Yes, they're getting better. They had 337 yards, their most productive offensive outing against an FBS school. Tyrod Taylor had throws of 24, 24 and 40 yards in the first half. Prior to Nebraska, he had just two completions longer than 20 yards. BUT, in addition to that, Clemson, Wake Forest and Miami -- all teams ahead of them the previous week, lost. Speaking of the Clemson game ...


Todd, in Greenville, S.C., writes: Isn't it time for a change at Clemson. This team is emotionally and mentally done. They will only be favored in the Virginia and Duke games the rest of the season. The time has come 10 years is enough.

Heather Dinich: First of all, there were a ton of notes like this in the mailbag. Even with his contract extension, I would venture to guess there's no more margin for error on the schedule. With that said, they're still 1-1 in the league and are just as much in the ACC title race as anyone else. Except maybe Virginia ...


Ben, in Guam, writes: Al Groh has become an embarassment for Virginia. I've been saying this since 2005, which was perhaps premature given last year's surprisingly good season. Even though he could at one time, he can no longer recruit. His best players end up in prison, kicked off the team, or let go for some reason or another. He can't seem to keep them on the team and he needs to take responsibility for that. The ridiculous reorganization of seats for season ticket holders last year as well as the ban on signs within the stadium has reached. As a lifelong fan and recipient of two degrees, I'm embarrassed.

Heather Dinich: Tell me how you really feel, Ben.