With no Johnny Manziel or two-time defending national champion, the ACC’s preseason football clambake Sunday and Monday is unlikely to match the SEC’s for headlines. But here are some questions that I hope are asked.
North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner: The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock raved about your potential at the Manning Passing Academy this month, but how come you didn’t make sure Johnny Football got out of bed?
ACC commissioner John Swofford: Clemson cornerback Darius Robinson was among the six active players added as plaintiffs in the O’Bannon-NCAA lawsuit Thursday. If the judge certifies current and former athletes as a class, might television rights fees factor into damages? Where do you think this case is headed, and might the economic model of college sports be radically altered?
Swofford, Part II: Have you nominated people to serve on the selection committee for college football’s new playoff, and if so, care to share the names?
Swofford, Part III: You mentioned to Dave Glenn on Raleigh radio earlier this summer that the ACC has discussed the pros and cons of staging the football championship game at campus sites like the Pac-12 does. Does that remain an option, and with this the last year of Charlotte’s contract, how soon do you anticipate announcing future title-game venues?
Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell: Last season you faced Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, North Carolina’s Bryn Renner, Florida State’s EJ Manuel, Miami’s Stephen Morris and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas. Whom did you consider the best of those quarterbacks, and why?
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas: You’ve spoken generally of new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler’s teaching ability. How exactly has he expanded your game?
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney: Tajh Boyd was 36-for-50 against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, accounted for three touchdowns and 368 yards, and got knocked sideways about a dozen times. Given the stakes and quality of opponent, as good a quarterback performance as you’ve seen since …
Boyd: You quarterbacked the highest-scoring offense in Clemson history last season. What improvements can you make in your third year with Chad Morris as coordinator?
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer: Precedent indicated that you might reinstate tailback Michael Holmes after his felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. But the university’s Student Conduct System intervened and dismissed him from school. Are you disappointed and have you recommended him to other programs?
Beamer, Part II: Even after they moved from assistant coaching to administrative roles, Billy Hite and Jim Cavanaugh retained offices in the football complex. Now they’ve been moved to the basketball arena. Why, and will they still be on the sidelines for home games?
Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu: How disconcerting was last year’s in-season firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh, and are you more comfortable as an end in Ted Roof’s 4-3 than you were as an outside linebacker in Groh’s 3-4?
Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe: With eight starters back on each side of the ball, this appears to be an older, more experienced team, like your 2006 group that won the ACC. But does the talent on this roster approach 2006?
Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald: Last season y’all lost to Youngstown by two touchdowns, crushed Virginia Tech and took Notre Dame to overtime. Please explain.
Miami coach Al Golden: At last season’s Kickoff, could you have imagined returning here a year later still not knowing how the NCAA Infractions Committee would rule in the Nevin Shapiro case?
Syracuse coach Scott Shafer: Jerome Smith is the top returning rusher in the conference. For those of us who haven’t seen him play, what makes him so effective?
Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig: Last season you threw nine touchdown passes and three interceptions in the first four games, eight interceptions and two touchdown passes in the final four games. What was the primary difference?
Boston College coach Steve Addazio: Kevin Rogers was your associate head coach at Temple last season, and given his awkward departure from BC in 2011, it’s understandable why you didn’t bring him with you to Chestnut Hill. Now that Rogers is William and Mary’s offensive coordinator, can you give W&M fans a hint of what to expect from him?
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher: FSU went 8-4 starting a redshirt freshman at quarterback in 2001 (Chris Rix) and 8-5 with a redshirt frehman in 2005 (Drew Weatherford). What are the keys to avoiding a similar record with Jameis Winston this season?
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren: With a new coaching staff and only five returning starters on each side, but with eight home games, what are reasonable expectations for your first season?
Talk to y’all from Greensboro. Comrade Wood and I leave just after dawn Sunday, and the chauffeur is stocking the limo presently.
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