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Mailbag 6/9

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Rivals revisited and some interesting matchups.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

If you could pick 10 non-conference opponents to play a home and home with for the next 20 years not including dwagU, who would it be and why?

Alabama - They've consistently been one of the top teams in the country since Nick Saban became the head coach there. I'd be interested to see the chess match between the two head coaches. The past rivalry doesn't hurt either.

Auburn - Again with old rivals. I also really like Gus Malzahn as a head coach. He could potentially be the best coach in the game in a few years.

Tennessee - Nothing but old time rivalry right here.

Ole Miss - It's a trap! We had a home-and-home scheduled with them at one point. I'd like to see it come to fruition. But let's beat them this time.

South Carolina - I'd love to see the Old Ball Coach get angry if we beat them.

Notre Dame - They aren't a full ACC member so this still counts. Still not going to believe that Rudy wasn't offsides.

Oregon - This would just be a fun matchup to watch. Let's see who would have done better in the first round of the College Football Playoff this past year.

Ohio State - If we're going to play the rest of the teams from the Playoff, might as well play the champs.

Stanford - Academics, pure and simple.

Cumberland University - Do they have a football team anymore? Who cares. Let's play them again!

Last year there were nearly 3 early trap games where the Jackets had to rally. See any for this year?

Honestly, I'm gonna go with Duke. Yes, they did lose some talent from last year, but David Cutcliffe is a really good coach and will find the next man up. We head up to Durham week 4, fresh off of a game in South Bend. Tech will need a lot of focus not to disappoint after playing the Irish.

I'll also pencil in the next week as a potential trap game too. We'll be playing North Carolina. They're the last game before a three-game stretch of Clemson (on the road), Pitt and Florida State. Maybe it's me, but it seems pretty easy to overlook that game when those three follow it.

Will Jaylend Ratliffe ever see the field at Tech? If he does, will it be at quarterback or at another position such as A Back or Corner?

If he's medically cleared, he will play. I think that much is certain. From watching his film, I think that should he play he could be the best quarterback we've had under Johnson. So yes, I think he'd play there.

What are the size stats (current weight and height) for our current and incoming B-backs (Marcus Allen, Patrick Skov, Mikell Lands-Davis, CJ Leggett, Quaide Weimerskirch, Marcus Marshall, etc.)? It appears that most of the stats that I’ve seen have been rather outdated….

Those ones are probably the best you're going to get. The only one that I really know is Mikell Lands-Davis. I've heard he's in the 220-pound range. He's not technically on the roster yet, but I think his signing day infographic had him closer to 200 lbs.

I'd imagine that the upperclassmen are probably in the 220-230 range. Skov might be a little closer to 240. Marshall, if I remember correctly is still pretty light and has some growing to do.

How do you think Everett Golson will fit at FSU? Do you think that he will be an upgrade over Maguire? Or do you think he’ll continue the turnover machine both he AND FSU were last year?

Florida State doesn't run an easy offense to learn. They were actually talking on SportsCenter earlier this week about how even NFL scouts will talk about how complex the offense is.

That being said, I'm not totally convinced it's a given that Golson will even start for the Seminoles. It will definitely be a hard-fought battle. Golson is the more talented, but he needs to learn the playbook. And quick. If he can do that, they have a chance to be good this season. If not and he ends up starting, he has more turnovers than Winston did this past year.

What is your Over/Under on the number of games Deshaun Watson plays in/is healthy for this year?

8.5 and I'm really tempted to take the under. Clemson is going to rush him back from his ACL surgery -- which is normally supposed to take a year to recover from. But instead of being smart and redshirting him, they'll likely start him.

Add to that, Watson is pretty fragile. Prior to his ACL tear last season, he suffered some other minor injuries throughout the season.

What purpose do the bicep bands the guys wear serve? Compression, or keeping skin dry, or it looks cool, or … ?

From LiveStrong.com:

Athletes wear these bands for a simple reason: vanity. Football and basketball players think the bands make their muscles look bigger. Bicep bands, like wristbands and headbands, also catch and absorb sweat.

And you know what, that doesn't surprise me one bit.

Who will be our leading rusher in 2015?

I'll play it safe here and say Justin Thomas. There's too much inexperience everywhere else to definitively pick anyone else. If he plays his cards right, I could see Thomas crack 1,200 yards rushing.

Who will be our leading pass catcher?

Well since I think Ricky Jeune breaks out this season, it's a given that I'm going with him.

Who will score the most TDs?

This is a tough one. Thomas will definitely score the most passing touchdowns -- and probably most overall, if you include his rushing touchdowns -- but I don't think he'll lead the team in rushing touchdowns. No, that honor, I believe, will belong to incoming transfer Patrick Skov.

One thing that kept coming up when people were talking about the transfer, was that Skov was a short-yardage specialist. He'll likely be used in more situations than that at Tech, but I think he'll definitely be used quite often in the redzone. Because of that, he could pass Tim Byerly as the "Touchdown Vulture."

Which game this year will have the greatest, "I didn’t see that coming" outcome?

I'm going to go with Florida State. I get the feeling that it's going to be a close game all the way down to the wire, or it will be an absolute blow-out. Regardless, I don't think anyone will be expecting the ending. I guarantee nobody is expecting a blow-out. And then with the close game, nobody will expect the very ending of the game.

What’s the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

African or European?

Ireland? Who's in?

I wish I could, but I probably won't be able to. It's that whole "money" thing.

How are our NFL rookies doing?

I'll be doing a full report on all of our NFL rookies sometime within the next week probably sometime this weekend. Keep an eye out for it.

Do I have to buy one of the travel packages to get game tickets in Ireland?

I would assume not, but I also haven't heard anything about this. I would recommend calling someone in the Ticket Office. They can answer that question a whole lot better than I can.