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ACC mailblog: Hokies rising, O-line struggles & Larry Fedora's future

Jerod Evans and Virginia Tech could be looking at a 10-2 regular season if they can get past North Carolina next weekend. Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports

Cracking open the mailbag before a huge week of games in the ACC ...

Unlikely. This is one topic where getting the majority of schools to agree just isn’t going to happen. If realignment is going to happen in any true sense, however, I’d be in favor of a more drastic change by going to a one- or three-division format, keeping limited annual rivalry games and perhaps employing an unbalanced schedule to allow weaker teams to play more often and the best teams to go head-to-head more often.

Jela Duncan going down is a big loss for the Blue Devils. Virginia is allowing 4.16 yards per carry between the tackles, 55th among Power 5 squads. Duncan is Duke’s most physical runner and better in pass protection. I’d be surprised if either of the redshirting freshmen got work, with Joseph Ajeigbe likely to pick up the bulk of Duncan’s carries.

I’ve got to go with insulation given the obvious fire hazard, but I’d actually suggest some sort of whipped cream-polymer blend that both tastes great and protects from combustibles. Which might actually be what real Twinkies are stuffed with.

I picked them both to lose, so I guess relatively high. But here’s the real streak: Clemson and Florida State haven’t both lost on the same day since Nov. 24, 2012, when the Tigers fell to South Carolina and FSU lost to Florida. They haven’t lost on the same day in a conference game since Nov. 19, 2011 (Clemson to NC State, FSU to Virginia).

Yeah, I’m with you. These are two solid pass rushes and two questionable offensive lines. Louisville’s line has been aided greatly by Lamar Jackson, but Clemson will be the best defensive line it has faced. The push up the middle those big Tigers defensive tackles can get will make life interesting for Jackson. Meanwhile, Clemson’s line has not found a rhythm, but is better than its performance suggests. Coach Dabo Swinney says the linemen will keep rotating, but I have my doubts. The unit that performs better is likely to decide the winner of the game.

I’ve shaken my magic eight-ball a dozen times and it keeps coming up “Error: Does Not Compute.”

I picked NC State largely because I think the Wolfpack’s defensive line can control the line of scrimmage, and with quarterback Kendall Hinton out again, it might be tough for Wake Forest to run effectively. But I’ve been wrong on Wake and NC State already this year, so don’t go betting your mortgage on that.

In the past decade, only Iowa has lost more games by a field goal or less, and last week’s game against North Carolina was yet another example of Pitt fans having their hearts ripped out. It’s a cruel existence, and they have my sympathy. That said, Pat Narduzzi is going to win a lot of games there before it’s all said and done.

Larry Fedora might actually be a good fit at LSU given that program’s offensive woes, but this situation feels like it’s Tom Herman or bust, and Fedora just signed a long-term extension at UNC. I’d be surprised if Herman doesn’t get a “Godfather” offer from LSU.

The Tennessee game looks bad on paper, but watching it, Virginia Tech showed a ton of promise but continually shot itself in the foot. In the two weeks since, the Hokies have demolished a good Boston College defense and exorcised a major demon by beating ECU. I’m definitely buying Virginia Tech, and Jerod Evans may be the most under-appreciated QB in the country right now. I’m not quite ready to say the Hokies should be the Coastal favorite, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they finish 10-2 and win the division. The schedule sets up nicely if they can win at North Carolina next week.