Your eyes to not deceive you. AA in the house with ACC mailbag contribution No. 1. That is right, the Adelson ACC mailbag is open for business so feel free to send your comments my way.
Let's take a look inside ...
Stephen in Miami writes: Andrea, Enjoy your insight and comments. I am nervous that John Swofford has not made any comments about anything in the last month. It would seem that something needs to be said concerning realignment, expansion, TV renegotiation, network, etc. What is going on and why has Swofford pulled this "in a cave" stance?
Andrea Adelson: Thanks for the note, Stephen. I do not think you have anything to be worried about, nor do I think Swofford has holed himself up in a cave over the past month. The winter meetings are wrapping up now in Fort Lauderdale, and there certainly were a few things on the agenda to discuss, including a potential alliance with the Big 12 and maybe even launching an ACC network. All these discussions are in the early stages, so it's not as if Swofford needs to rush to a microphone to start calming fears about the future. All the recent talk about whether the Big 12 may or may not expand? Well, that is talk that has been flying for nearly a year. The BCS commissioners meet next Thursday in Dallas, so perhaps we will hear from Swofford then. But for now, I think you can take a deep breath and relax.
Jason C in Carmichael, Calif., writes: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your piece on FSU and Clemson's losses to the NFL Draft was wonderful! You were neutral, laid out the facts of both programs, were neither overly gushy or horribly pessimistic about either program.
Adelson: Thanks, Jason. But I swear, there were some folks mad about one thing I wrote in that post. Take it away, Daniel.
Daniel in Tallahassee writes: Andrea, You said Menelik Watson's decision was a bit of a head scratcher. My roommate is a walk on on the team the last two years and from what I understand, Menelik is making the right decision. He's had nagging injuries this season and he's also an older college player. (24 or 25). He's also figured out that just on potential alone and a good combine he could become a first-round draft pick as he found his way on Mel Kiper's first-round mock draft. With all those circumstances, Menelik has a much better chance of getting a second NFL contract if he leaves now. Hope this helps!
Adelson: Right, Florida State fans thought I had gone mad for putting Watson in this category. Now, I could have probably put NC State cornerback David Amerson here, since he had a mediocre year and may have been able to redeem himself with one more season. But I listed Watson because he has only played a handful of football games in his life. Given all his measurables and his potential, if he had hung around for one more season, he may have been a top-10 pick. I did see he was on Kiper's first mock draft, but Watson is not listed on the big board or Todd McShay's top 32 players.
Jsantos22 in L.A. writes: Regarding your "Season of Changes..." article. I mean, who cares that the reason both Texas and Tennessee, experienced high coaching turnovers was specifically because they weren't winning enough games? The fact that they made a lot of coaching changes and went on to have lackluster seasons afterwards fits very neatly into the "big coaching changes this year = big losses next year" storyline you've already decided on, before even researching the article. Apparently, there's no room in this storyline for the fact that Texas and Tennessee were bad teams before the changes, or that Texas actually improved after the changes, while Tennessee stayed the same. You also neglected to mention that Wisconsin returned only 10 starters after the coaching changes and how that may have affected their season. Do your job as a journalist. Don't just write based on a preconceived narrative and then trim the facts so that they fit into this narrative.
Alan Hudsepth in Tifton, Ga., writes: Just an observation, when you gave examples of head coaches who lose assistant coaches and their struggles in the FSU blog, you gave a couple that weren't really relevant. The Wisconsin example of (Bret) Bielema replacing assistants this past season was a good example, but Texas losing multiple assistants after 2010? Texas went 5-7 in 2010, and has had much better records the past two years since they had to replace several of their coaches. And the Tennessee example wasn't all that good, either. Replacing assistant coaches there didn't really seem to make much of a difference either way. Tennessee was already on a downward spiral. I think a much better example would have been UF after 2009 when Urban Meyer had to replace some assistants, including OC Dan Mullen and DC Charlie Strong.
Adelson: Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the context. From my perspective, I am not sure that the reasons the assistants left the other programs I listed has any impact on the fact that Florida State now has to integrate six new coaches this season. The Noles program has had incredible stability for years and years, so seeing so many changes is certainly a storyline and not one that is "preconceived" to fit a narrative. I think it's pretty obvious the reason Noles assistants left was for better opportunities elsewhere, not because the team was bad like at Tennessee. I thought it was worth noting examples where this has happened. I also specifically stated in that post "Now, none of this is to imply that Florida State is going to have major struggles. But it is to say that replacing so many coaches is not always a seamless process." It's tough to argue that point.