Friday, August 30, 2013
By Andrea Adelson
Come one, come all for another edition of the ACC mailblog.
Dan Albergotti in Conway, S.C., writes: In reference to the following comment from your article: "Next year will be seen as a rebuilding year. So it is win now or wait a few more years for the Tigers." I can only ask: Have you taken a look at the depth chart? Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins might not be on the roster next year, but the team will be LOADED with returning veteran players from a consistent series of top-20 and top-15 recruiting classes.
Tajh Boyd and the Tigers can serve notice on the college football world in the opener.
Andrea Adelson: No question Clemson has put together some excellent recruiting classes and should be a consistent Top 25 team from here on out. But with Boyd and potentially Watkins gone -- maybe even Chad Morris? -- I can all but guarantee outsiders will see 2014 as a rebuilding year. Florida State is loaded with talent but lost EJ Manuel and tons of NFL talent. And what are people saying about the Noles this year? Look at the rankings. They won the ACC but are below Clemson.
Beau McElreath in Sanford, N.C., writes: Clemson won 10 games and an ACC title in 2011 and won 11 games with a win over LSU last year. If that's "Clemsoning" I'll take it, any day.
Jeff Murto in Placerville, Calif., writes: This type of deceptive headline and misrepresenting reporting are one of the reasons I stopped paying for my "insider access." If a team can play for, own, or challenge for a share of the division title for three of the last four years, is it fair to paint them in a negative light? Certainly one or two other teams have lost to Alabama since Saban's first game as head coach. "Clemsoning," if you really want to go there, seems to me to be beating the teams you're supposed to and being competitive in every other game while not being caught in scandal and annually finishing at or near the top in graduation rates and student success. Now there is your story.
Adelson: Wasn't Clemson supposed to beat West Virginia? NC State? If you read the entire story, then you saw that I did not dwell on the negative. In fact, I praised the changes coach Dabo Swinney has brought to the team, and I also pointed out that the program appears to be turning a corner. Clemson's history is part of the program. You just can't ignore it, not when the stakes are so high this year.
Doug M in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., writes: Where is the media outcry against the NCAA for its purposeful and blatant delay in issuing its ruling against Miami? If the NCAA suddenly comes out with its ruling right before the Florida game, it will be a sign that the NCAA has not changed and is an institution that needs to be banished. There is no justification for this delay other than to continue to penalize Miami.
Adelson: There has been plenty, Doug. At this point, everybody is absolutely beside themselves that the NCAA still has not ruled. If you go back and look at some of the commentary Wednesday over the Johnny Manziel saga then you will see folks bashing the NCAA for letting Miami continue to twist in the wind with no end in sight. Hemming and hawing every day is not going to bring a quicker resolution, though. I think at this point everybody believes something must be done about the way the NCAA operates.
Ryan asks: Which teams, according to their schedules, do you believe will get off to the hottest start in the ACC?
Adelson: These teams have the best shot to start 4-0: Florida State, Clemson and Maryland.
Dion in Charlotte writes: Why is UNC not being considered a legetimate threat to win the Coastal this year? I think this year has a chance to be just as open as last year. Is the bulk of the doubt about the defense? Which I could clearly understand, but it can't get worse than last year. I hope. Thanks.
Adelson: Both Heather and I think UNC is a contender. Our power rankings have the Heels No. 4 in the league to start, right behind Miami. There is no doubt the Coastal is completely wide open, so neither of us would be surprised to see UNC in the ACC title game.
William in Tallahassee, Fla., writes: Clemson, Clemson, Clemson. That's all I hear. And you know what: It's fine. Let them have the glory, the spotlight. But let me say some things about the Noles this year: 18 of 22 returning starters are either juniors or seniors. Our two-deep O-line averages more than 310 pounds. ... When we go with our big set, Jacobbi (McDaniel) as the the fullback, we are more than 2,000 pounds. That's like trying to flip a small car, except it's coming at you. Two junior running backs, one that is 6-4, 230 (just as big as most LBs) and runs a 4.49 (can you imagine trying to bring that guy down?!) and another that is 5-8 203 that doesn't seem to want to go down. Need I go on? Rashad Greene: Nuff said. Kelvin Benjamin: much improved, actually uses his body to his advantage now. And Jameis Winston. The Rookie. The leader. Mr. Smiles. ... I'm done with the offense. Our starting DTs average close to 300 lbs. Our DEs, albeit a little green, have the talent to do some work. Our linebackers, HA, leading tackler returns, and Telvin Smith is going to turn a lot of heads this year. Not to mention Terrance Smith is a stud. Our secondary consists of an All-ACC safety-turned-corner, a solid safety in Terrence Brooks ... Let Clemson have their fun in the sun. Meanwhile, we will break in our new QB over the first five games and come into Clemson in Week 6 ready to quiet the haters. Am I drinking the Seminole Kool-Aid? Meh, I sip it to take my vitamins in the morning. I'm just laying out the facts. That is all. Go Noles!
Adelson: Is "William" a pen name for Jimbo Fisher?
Kevin in Fairfax writes: Penn State's weakness is the front seven? Did you even think about that statement before writing it? Penn State returns the top end and tackle in the Big Ten. They also the nation's top line coach in Larry Johnson Sr. and he has consistently reloaded the line every year since he has been there, and there is plenty of talent on hand. Linebacker U also returns one of the top two inside linebackers in the Big Ten, the top outside linebacker in Mike Hull and new starter Nyeem Wartman could be better than both. Hull frequently outplayed Mauti and Hodges in limited time last year and they were hands down the top linebackers in the country.
Adelson: From the ESPN.com Penn State season preview: "The defensive front seven is short on depth and bigger on inexperience. Wartman, a redshirt freshman, will take over for a Butkus semifinalist at linebacker. The starting DT opposite Jones -- projected to be Kyle Baublitz -- compiled just three stops last season and weighs in at just 281 pounds. A single injury at either spot would be devastating for the Nittany Lions."