Week 8 mailbag answers, hot off the presses ...
@DavidHaleESPN Chance's for NCST to be able to recover to win 9 games?— yehonala04 (@yehonala04) October 21, 2015
NC State's remaining schedule: at Wake Forest, vs. Clemson, at Boston College, at Florida State, vs. Syracuse, vs. North Carolina. To get to nine wins, they'd need to go 5-1. But I'll assume you're including the bowl game, so let's say 4-2 with a little postseason luck. Are there four wins there? It probably comes down to the North Carolina game (though none look like sure things), and the Wolfpack did thump the Heels a year ago. This is an improved North Carolina team though, so I'd say, at best, the odds are 50/50.
@DavidHaleESPN IF UNC were to win out AND beat Clemson in the ACCCG, would they get into the CFP with the one loss to SC?— Alex Gilmore (@tarheelbrave88) October 21, 2015
The answer would entirely depend on context. Are there multiple two-loss conference champs? Did the rest of the Coastal teams (Pitt, Duke, Miami) play well beyond the loss to UNC? Is Clemson a top-four team in the ACC title game? Long story short, a lot of pieces would have to fall just right for UNC to get into that discussion because they have a bad loss on their résumé and likely won't have more than one really impressive win, even if they run the table.
@DavidHaleESPN @Mark_Schlabach has two vacancies opening at end of year for two teams #UVA & #Canes do you agree and if so who replaces them— Fg (@gferny) October 21, 2015
Actually, Schlabach has three vacancies, with Al Golden and Mike London getting the axe, and Frank Beamer stepping down.
Our Andrea Adelson talked to Miami AD Blake James last week, and he didn't exactly offer any ringing endorsements. London has been living on the edge for a few years. Everything I've heard suggests Beamer would like to coach one more season, but he's also been vocal that, if he thinks he can't make the program better, he'll step aside, and even making a bowl won't be cake for the Hokies this year.
So, if those jobs come open, who'd be a good fit? Our Travis Haney posited Rich Rodriguez to Virginia Tech as a possibility, and those rumors certainly have been prevalent for a while now. At Virginia, the Mack Brown rumors persist, but I'd look for an offensive-minded assistant at a Power 5 school to be near the top of their list.
Miami is perhaps the most intriguing. Golden could still get to 10 wins this year, and the Canes aren't out of the Coastal, so we shouldn't write his epitaph yet. If the Canes are in the market for a coach at year's end though, they'd need someone who could hold together a strong recruiting class and establish future inroads in South Florida. Experience as a head coach at a big job should be a prized, but don't expect Miami to break the bank. A little bit of swagger and personality is also a necessity. Miami needs to not only win games, but it has to start winning headlines again. Playing at Miami used to be cool, and playing against Miami used to be terrifying. They need a coach who can establish that culture again. There aren't many names out there that would fit that bill.
@DavidHaleESPN should The ACC realign so FSU and Clemson are on opposite sides of the division?— Phillip S (@theskiff13) October 21, 2015
This seems to me like chasing a title matchup that may never happen. The divisions were set up as they are largely with the hopes of having FSU and Miami playing routinely for championships, and that's never played out. Plus, as we've seen this year in the Big Ten, avoiding big in-season matchups might hurt playoff chances for teams. As it stands now, either FSU or Clemson is guaranteed two good games: one against the other, and one against a team that, for whatever it's worth, can claim a Coastal championship.
@DavidHaleESPN are we writing off Miami too soon from having a chance in the coastal?— Vrabel (@MV_41) October 21, 2015
As I mentioned earlier, there are still a lot of big games left for the Canes, but we'll learn a lot this week against Clemson. If Miami wins, that's the signature victory Golden has been looking for. But even then, they have to travel for Pitt, North Carolina and Duke. They have the toughest path to Charlotte for sure.
@DavidHaleESPN What are the chances Louisville can win the remaining ACC games?— Shawn Staniford (@sastan022) October 21, 2015
ESPN's FPI gives Louisville a 9.9 percent chance to win out, which actually ranks as the 13th-best odds by a Power 5 school. This week's game against Boston College and road trips to Pitt and Kentucky at year's end will be dangerous though.
@DavidHaleESPN. What does GT need to do to remotely have a chance to upset FSU?— Jon Montgomery (@jmonty0071) October 21, 2015
Stop Dalvin Cook. Georgia Tech hasn't been as bad as its record shows, and it has a chance to get some explosive plays against FSU's defense. But if it can't slow Cook down — and there's little reason to believe it can — it's will be in for a long day.
@DavidHaleESPN Halloween edition: who would win in a fight between the Blue Devils, Demon Deacons, and the Wolfpack? Please quote sources.— Raikus (@Raikus) October 21, 2015
The Wolfpack is the first out. They lack mystical powers and opposable thumbs. Now, if they were werewolves, it's another story, but you didn't specify that.
That leaves us with Blue Devils vs. Demon Deacons. Both offer a bit of confusion. How did the devils turn blue? Do they have similar powers to the more traditional red devil? And are these just deacons who are possessed by demons or actual demons who were ordained in some demonic church?
Alas, let's set aside those quandaries and ask the fundamental question: Who wins between a demon and a devil. Sources tell me… the devils, since as we learned in “The Exorcist,” a demon is really just a minion of the devil, and therefore inherently subservient. Though admittedly, the paradox of a demon deacon may well be enough to undermine all logic. In the end, I'd take Riley Dixon over all of them.