Heather Dinich over in her weekly column at ESPN.com came out with answers to some of her most asked questions regarding the ACC. Now, I haven't been the kindest person to HD in the past, based purely on some of her perceived negative perceptions of BC (probably based purely on my BC persecution complex).
This week's column doesn't even deal with the Eagles as she seems to bash the entire ACC. I have to say, I don't really agree with many of her points. Take it away HD:
"'Two BCS bowl teams.' It hasn't happened as long as the ACC has been divided into divisions, and I don't see that streak being broken this year."
Seems like a fair assumption, but once you look at the schedule of Virginia Tech and Florida State, the odds of there being two ACC reps isn't all that bad. The Hokies have a pretty easy schedule, and face literally no one in their out of conference games. FSU, on the other hand, has to play Florida and Oklahoma, but what if one of these two things happened:
A) Virginia Tech wins all of their games but loses to FSU in the ACC Championship Game
B) Florida State beats Oklahoma and Florida, but loses to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game.
You have to imagine that in either of those cases, two ACC teams would make the tournament, and might, just might sneak into a National Title Game. Now I'm not saying it's going to happen, but I think there is a possibility it might.
"Florida State and Miami are back. C'mon, man". They've got to earn that, and Miami hasn't even won the Coastal Division. If Miami beats Ohio State, you know the talk will be that they did it against an undermanned Buckeyes team.
I agree with HD, I don't believe in Miami. They aren't going anywhere. Nothing that team did last year persuaded me that they are back to the way they were when they were winning National Champions. Repeat after me: Jacory Harris is not going to lead any team to anything more than a 7-5 record. Miami has a tough schedule -- games against tOSU, Florida State and at Maryland -- and Harris makes far too many mistakes to rely on in big games. But no faith in FSU? True, the game against Oklahoma will be a tough one, but this is a team that beat a very good Sakerlina team last year. HD, you are sounding like a true ACC hater in your column.
"'The ACC will have a winning record against its BCS opponents.' The ACC has a good chance of earning a winning record against the SEC this year, but overall I remain in doubt about whether or not the ACC can improve upon last year's 9-14 record against BCS opponents."
Did she look at the schedules? Let's quickly whip up some of those games:
- Boston College (Northwestern, Notre Dame) -- Most likely 1-1, but 2-0 isn't completely out of the picture.
- Florida State (Oklahoma, Florida) -- 1-1
- Duke (Stanford) -- 0-1
- N.C. State (Rutgers) -- 1-0
- Georgia Tech (Georgia, Kansas) -- 1-1
- Miami (Kansas State, Ohio State, South Florida) -- 2-1
- Wake Forest (Syracuse, Vanderbilt) -- 1-1
- Maryland (West Virginia) -- 0-1
- Virginia (Indiana) -- 1-0
- North Carolina (Rutgers, Louisville) -- 2-0
- Clemson (Auburn, Sakerlina) -- 0-2
Just whipping up some projections that looks like 10-9 to me. Looks like .500 is very possible. And please, don't rip me relentlessly in the comments for my projections. I looked at the teams quickly.
"Virginia Tech will lose its hold on the Coastal Division. Until proven otherwise, the Hokies are the team to beat."
Hard to argue with that one, score that one to HD.
It just shocks me that someone like Dinich who covers the ACC could be so jaded about the conference she covers. Personally, and again I could be biased, I feel like the ACC will be coming into their own this year. Many of the lesser teams (Duke, Virginia) are improving each year, and the top tier teams (Virginia Tech, Florida State) are getting even better. Her post basically says that the ACC will remain stagnant this year, and honestly I don't agree with her. Maybe it has been years of watching the ACC fall on their face in big games, but Dinich seems bitter about the teams she covers. Have a little faith in them, HD, because the last thing an ACC fan wants to read is an ACC writer who hates the conference she writes about.