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Mailbag 1/6

How would you power-rank the ACC teams coming out of bowl season?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 ACC Championship Game - Louisville vs Florida State Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Apologies this is a little late!

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Favorite GT Sports memory from 2023?

Jack: Volleyball beating #3 Louisville at home. When Bianca Bertolino hit her fourth ace of the first set to close it out, O’Keefe may have never been louder in its long history. Truly one of the most unexpected things I’ve seen on campus (I arrived Fall 2017). It’s up there with WBB beating UConn. You know in theory games like that can happen, but then to actually see it happen in real life is special.

Jake: I’ve heard O’Keefe louder (Notre Dame, 2019) for sure, but that Louisville game was a great memory. Florida State was a nice five-setter, too. Despite being the president of the “hey, other sports do cool stuff!” brigade, I think I have to go with the homecoming football field-storming win, which is about as mainstream as it gets. I love homecoming, and the come-from-behind ranked win over a very familiar foe felt cathartic in a way few games ever have, especially considering the recent history of the football team.

Ben: My favorite GT sports memory is honestly going toe-to-toe with UGA. I know Tech lost, but it’s the closest that Tech has played them in a long time, and I was honestly excited about future match-ups. For me, it really demonstrated the work that Brent Key has done in a short period of time.

orientalnc: Is Amaree Abram in Stoudamire’s doghouse? Or, is it the opposite? He seems to have a personalized seat on the bench right now and his talent would indicate that would not be case unless there’s something amiss.

Jake: No idea, at least nothing official.

jabsterjacket: How would you power-rank the ACC teams coming out of bowl season? What would be the way-too-early power rankings for the entire conference for next season?

Jake: I think those are two different (though of course related) questions. I think the roster and coaching changes that are yet to come make next year nigh impossible to project, but I’ll make a pass at a post-bowl “end of 2023” ranking and include the incoming three teams:

Florida State, Clemson, NC State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Boston College, SMU, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, California, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Stanford

Okay, that was harder than I thought. No idea if it is “right.” Curious to hear others’ thoughts.

Ben: I didn’t watch a lot of the bowls, so I’m just going to make a couple changes to Jake’s. I don’t know that I’d rank Clemson so high. I’d probably bump SMU up over BC and maybe Tech.

Partywaggin: For our non-rev guys: With volleyball over, is Caitlin Clark pretty much the only thing happening in women’s sports right now? Other than the occasional friendly with the USWNT?

Jack: Don’t forget LSU basketball! Angel Reece and Hailey Van Lith are about as dominant a duo in women’s basketball as we’ve seen. They still got some kinks to work out, but that’s the closest to a superteam that we’ve had in the transfer era in WBB. Mikayla Shiffrin continues to extend her record number World Cup wins (93) in skiing. Our women’s tennis team just got ranked #20 in the preseason ITA rankings. The Australian Open starts soon too, and we’re going to get Naomi Osaka back after she gave birth last year. Coco Gauff should make a deep run in the tournament, and there’s plenty of other Americans that will be in contention. This time of year is pretty light in terms of women’s sports, that’s for sure, but there’s plenty to look out for!

Jake: Spring is the peak time for women’s sports! Volleyball gets essentially the lone spotlight in the fall, but in the spring there are storylines to watch in the form of Tech’s most consistent women’s team (tennis), a team seemingly in a make-or-break season (softball), and a team about to enter the teeth of the conference schedule in the most intense league in the sport (basketball). That’s about 100 games/matches, give-or-take a few, to tune into, with a sprinkling of track and swimming events in the mix, as well. Dare I say it, but an ideal spring Saturday or Sunday, especially when considering the men’s editions of those teams could be at home, too, involves a 3-5 event marathon across the whole sports portfolio.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Pro Playoffs, are we #TeamLions/Jahmyr(Megatron) or #TeamChiefs/Buttkicker or #TeamCowboys/Juanyeh?

Jack: Lions all the way. Love Harrison and Juanyeh for sure, but only one team here truly needs to see their team in the playoffs, and it’s Detroit. I’m more than happy to hitch my wagon to them assuming Seattle doesn’t make the playoffs.

Jake: I am my father’s son, go Cowboys.

Ben: People still watch the NFL?

GTSMURF: Nine Alabama players have entered the portal this week. Do we get any of them, in particular the ones who play on defense?

Jake: A quick survey of people in my house says we have no idea.

Ben: Not a clue, as I don’t know much about any of them. But looking through the list, I see IOL Seth McLaughlin is a Buford alum, and we just hired the former HC at Buford (from before McLaughlin was there), so that could be a potential connection. We’ve already added Keylan Rutledge, so I don’t know that it’s definitely a need, but I won’t turn away more offensive linemen.