In case you missed it, the mobile office has moved to ... Oregon. But I'm still with you at heart. And in the mailbag ...
Hey, whaddaya know, there's a Georgia Tech fan in Portland!
James Meinke in Portland, Oregon writes: So, been thinking about it here lately, and as a devoted Yellow Jacket fan I have to ask if you think Georgia Tech has reached its ceiling with Paul Johnson and the Triple Option offense? The only thing I have to look forward to every season is a winning record and a shot at the ACC Championship. While I like the consistency and drama it brings every year of wondering who will play from the Coastal, Va Tech or Ga Tech, I want more. I believe it is time for a new head coach and new play style, perhaps Pro or Spread. And what will it take for us to get this so we can potentially compete with the bigger programs? Thanks for your time.
HD: I've said before that Georgia Tech can win and has won ACC titles (and finally a bowl game) with Johnson's offense. They key is to find a quarterback who can pass it well enough that they can resort to that when they're trailing. I always go back to the Orange Bowl I saw a few years ago against Iowa as the perfect example. Georgia Tech was good enough to get to the OB, but Iowa's defense was disciplined enough to stop them, and the Jackets had no answer in the passing game. They don't have to throw it 30 times a game, but they will have to be more efficient when they do to take it to another level, in my opinion.
Preston in Lewisburg, WV writes: Heather, with the way FSU's recruiting class looks right now, what are your thoughts on the future in Tallahassee and the impact it will have on the rest of the ACC?
HD: Right now the Noles have the No. 3 class in the country, Preston, and I expect much of the same. The Noles and Jimbo Fisher have proven me wrong. I thought they blew it last year. I thought last season was their best chance to get to the national title, what with every starter on the D-line leaving, six assistants leaving and the starting QB leaving. Instead, they're even better. Fisher has always been a great recruiter, but to me, this is really the first season that we've seen the results of that depth, to be able to reload from last year like they did. I don't see it changing anytime soon.
Doug Genaille in Woodbridge, Virginia writes: How is it that Virginia, a team that was 4-8 last year and is riding high at 2-7 this year is able to land two five-star recruits? What could you possibly tell those kids to get them to go there (unless it's that they'd get a good education)? If they want to stay relatively close to home, it would seem that there is another in-state school which would afford the opportunity to actually win while preparing to hopefully go pro (granted, maybe not win a lot until they get their offense straightened out, but with one of the best defenses in the country, the coaching has to be better, especially for the two five-stars who play defense).Doug (not a fan of Virginia)
HD: Well, um, yeah, getting a good education counts to some parents, Doug, and UVa can definitely sell that. It can also sell Mike London. He's one of the good guys who knows the state and its high school coaches as well as his own living room. UVa has a new indoor facility, it has a veteran staff, it can sell immediate playing time in a BCS conference. Clearly, the man can recruit. His biggest challenge now is not bringing in quality players, it's keeping them.
Ryan in Nashville, NC writes: We already know that Duke has made a bowl game, and if Carolina does. When was the last time both teams went to a bowl game in the same year?
HD: Had to have been 1994, because when Duke went last year, UNC was ineligible for the post season, and before that, Duke hadn't gone bowling since 1994.
Dion in Charlotte, NC writes: Is this the UNC team we expected to see all along, and what do you think they need to do the rest of the season to make it to a bowl game?
HD: Not necessarily, because I'd gather most of us thought Bryn Renner would stay healthy and just generally have a better season than he did. With that being said, this version of UNC seems to make the loss to ECU even more inexcusable. There are plenty of reasons to believe the Tar Heels can go bowling, though. I really like how they're using Marquise Williams and what he brings to the table in the run game, and the defense has been limiting the big plays. Larry Fedora and the staff and players deserve a lot of credit for the turnaround.