Ken Conklin in Sellersburg, Ind., writes: This is in response to your article about the ACC needing to win bowls. The way you wrote your Miami/Louisville blurb, you would think Louisville was terrible and that Miami should have rolled over them. Yes, Miami looked terrible, but part of that was the powerful defensive play by Louisville. We can talk about the Canes and their woes, but let's give credit where it is due. I think Louisville will be a great football addition to the ACC even if no one really wants to talk about it. You are doing a great job Andrea! Love your work. Thanks for all you do!
Andrea Adelson: Thank you, Ken. There is no doubt Louisville deserves credit for what happened in the game. The Cards are the far superior team in every aspect, and I did pick them to win. I was harsh in my evaluation because of the way Miami played. They were totally outcoached and did not put forth the type of effort required to be competitive. It was almost as if they were going through the motions. To me, coming off a two-year bowl ban, it is unfathomable to see a team just not really want to be there. Bottom line: That should have been a much more competitive game than it turned out to be.
Mark in Melbourne, Fla., writes: And thank you, Andrea, for showing your Miami hatred. A loss by 30 points (VT) is more disappointing than a loss by 27. Maybe you should go work for SI. You'll fit right in there.
Adelson writes: Hate has nothing to do with my evaluation of the game. I was at the Russell Athletic Bowl in person and saw first-hand what went down. We can start quibbling about what loss was most disappointing, but nobody tabbed Virginia Tech-UCLA as one of the must-see games to watch among the non-BCS games. Miami-Louisville was a bigger marquee ACC matchup outside the big games. There is no doubt the Virginia Tech loss was completely embarrassing, but the Hokies did lose their starting quarterback in the game. Miami just was not in the game. Ever. At any point. And the Canes should have been, therefore, that counts as the most disappointing loss in my book.
Zach in Blacksburg, Va., writes: There was no reason for UCLA to call a long touchdown pass when already up 35-12, Jim Mora shows his colors by running up the score. I'd understand if they had driven down the field and run a ton of time off the clock, but the long ball was unnecessary. Also, Jordan Zumwalt also had three hits where he led with his head, including the play that knocked out Logan Thomas. Dirty players shouldn't get praise. Can we please eject dirty players in the future?
Adelson writes: What is frustrating as somebody who covers and watches a lot of football is the inconsistency with the new targeting rule implemented this year. To answer your question, we have seen plenty of players ejected for hits that were not nearly as vicious. Zumwalt was flagged for unnecessary roughness but in watching that play several times, it looks like he led with the crown of his helmet and should have been ejected for targeting.
Jeff in Springfield, Mo., writes: Congrats on beating Heather in the Picks! Will you at least be posting a pic or video of her bowing down to you? Ha! Happy New Year!
Adelson: HD get ready to kiss some feet! Happy New Year to you as well.
Bob Turlington in Baltimore writes: I disagree with you about Miami '01 as the greatest. I don't think FSU '13 is the greatest because they have not played Auburn yet. FSU is good but as the best? I don't know. I think Miami was good but they played in a weak conference and actually should have lost the game against Boston College. They won 16-7. The final play ended with BC going for the winning FG. Instead, Miami blocked it and ran it back for TD. They avoided an upset. What I do know is the greatest team I ever saw was the Nebraska '95 team with Tommy Frazier. Why? Nebraska averaged 53 points a game while only giving up 14 per game. In relation, they beat four top-10 teams including Florida with the Fun & Gun in the title game 62-24. In that game, they beat Florida on both sides of the ball. Nebraska's offense was good but their defense just swarmed over Florida, who was averaging over 50 points a game, too. Florida went on to win the National Title the next year. In short, Andrea, Miami was good but Nebraska was way better.
Adelson writes: You have a valid argument. In fact, many people I know side with that 1995 Nebraska team as the greatest ever based on the sheer domination every single week. I was a freshman at Florida the year of that championship game, and I will never forget watching with friends and thinking that was the greatest team I had ever seen play. Then I got a chance to actually cover the 2001 Miami team, and changed my mind based on the sheer talent level I saw in front of me. It went just beyond the starters, but all the guys next in line who could have started anywhere in the country. To me, these two are the best in college football history, ahead of 2004 USC.
Ryan in Virginia writes: Andrea, as a Cane fan, I think that '01 team is the best ever obviously. If these two teams played it might be close for a quarter maybe two but I don't think the FSU offense would be able to do much against that Canes defense, especially with Ed Reed in center field. FSU fans can say they dominated everybody this season (which they did) which those Canes did not. But like you, said the Canes played better competition.
Adelson: I think 2001 Miami would win, too. Of course, all our arguments here are moot if Florida State loses to Auburn. We'll see Monday!