Banner week for Brownlow's offseason Twitter Mailbag
Posted May 18
I knew you all had it in you, but this week is the GOAT in terms of submissions for my Twitter Mailbag. It really runs the gamut. From rompers to child-rearing advice delivered with caustic sarcasm to actual sports, I am here for all of it. I love you guys.
And none of you more than the first question-asker, who humored me by pretending I could answer this question any better than he could...
At first when I got this, I thought to myself, "Felder is asking ME a football question? God bless him for throwing me a bone. I know he knows the answer to this." And then I actually started researching it. And....maybe he doesn't? Georgia Tech and NC State are really the only teams that have multiple running backs returning that I've even heard of before. A lot of schools are either going to be relying on talented freshmen to step up at that spot or hope a returning player takes a big leap.
We all already knew that quarterback play is going to take a step backwards in the ACC this year, and that's putting it mildly. Plenty of the names you know at wide receiver are gone, too. But I didn't know running back was this depleted.
Also while researching this, I realized that when I'm looking up ACC-wide stats and depth charts and the like, I always remember Syracuse last. But only for football, obviously. "I know there's a school alphabetically between Pitt and Virginia....OH YEAH SYRACUSE" *slaps forehead*
The most sure thing you've got is the Georgia Tech backfield, which in spite of losing Marcus Marshall returns multiple experienced (and successful) A-and-B backs. Dedrick Mills is one of just two ACC backs with at least 150 rush attempts and 5.1 yards per carry (besides Walton), and Qua Searcy averaged 5.9 per carry on 46 attempts (and scored the game-winning touchdown against Georgia) while Clinton Lynch broke through as a receiving threat out of the backfield (though he missed the spring with an injury). But that'll probably be a by-committee situation.
The same is likely true at NC State, where some combination of Dakwa Nicholas and Reggie Gallaspy (bolstered by Nyheim Hines and Jalen Samuels) will fill the void left by Matt Dayes. I don't know that any ONE back emerges out of that group, but I do think NC State's backfield will be all right.
In terms of attempts returning, Boston College's Jon Hilliman is second behind Walton with 184. He averaged a robust 2.9 per rush last year. We also have Dontae Strickland from Syracuse (162 attempts, 3.5 per) and Wake's Cade Carney (156 attempts, 3.8 per, which in Wake's offense is like 5.2 or something).
For me, it's comes down to two possible groups: first, vets with something to prove. Like Pitt's Qadree Ollison (who broke out as a freshman relieving James Conner but had a bad year in 2016) or Virginia Tech's Travon McMillian (who will be used A LOT more than last season). Or even Duke's Shaun Wilson, who has seen his yards per carry go down each season as he's gotten more work (duh) but remains a dynamic playmaker.
But Florida State and Clemson still have the best talent in the league, so I'm looking at two guys as THE most likely candidates - guys who played behind two of the best running backs in the league a year ago - Jacques Patrick (and FSU's bevy of talented incoming freshmen) and Tavien Feaster from Clemson.
Patrick averaged 5.7 per rush last year and 5.0 as a freshman, and though there will be plenty of talented youngsters around to push him, Jimbo Fisher will probably want to ride his experience. Feaster for Clemson ran the ball just 37 times last year but averaged 60 per carry - plenty was in garbage time against bad teams, but he was one of the best running backs in the country coming out of high school.
tl:dr: Ollison or Feaster would be my guesses.
Well, first thing's first. The item of clothing being referred to is JUST A ROMPER. NOT A BRO-ROMPER, NOT A MAN-ROMPER, NOT A ROMP-HIM. (Why is romphim even a thing? It's not a rompHER, you blithering idiots.)
We don't have to add cute gender suffixes to everything to make it more palatable to EITHER gender. "THIS MIGHT BE BODY WASH LIKE YOUR WIFE USES, BUT IT'S MAN BODY WASH! ARGH!" We get it. Or the way NFL jerseys sold to women have to be like pink and bedazzled. Please spare me.
Anyway, it's whatever. Here's the thing with rompers - we should all wear what makes us feel comfortable! It never ceases to amuse me that the Twitter Taste Police, most of whom probably spend their time dressed in t-shirts, want to decide what's okay to wear for everyone else. Or eat. Or listen to. Y'all can get bent. Let everyone be themselves.
(Although you can't stop me from thinking about Fraulein Maria making curtain outfits for the Von Trapp family children every time I see a dude in a romper.)
Well, Richard, we just went over this. No romper ban at games. Let everyone be themselves! Besides, if we ban rompers, don't we have to ban overalls? Is a hot dog a sandwich? Think about it.
As for NCAA rules to experiment with, I really want to see men's college basketball move to quarters. Basically every other level of basketball does that now, and I think it makes the game flow much better. You could even reset team fouls, so we wouldn't have a constant parade to the foul line once a team gets into the bonus with 12 minutes to go in the half.
I think it will make the game be officiated better, too, while we're on the subject. Referees are human, and I think sometimes they start calling a game pretty tightly, get both teams into the bonus and realize, you know what? We need to chill with the fouls. Then they start letting things go that were fouls literally two minutes before. I think the quarters and the resetting of fouls would be better for everyone.
It's only a matter of time before they go to quarters anyway. It's worked great for the women's game so far. Why not try it? Games already last well beyond two hours.
We've already sort of dealt with that in this space, but I like Adam, and his kid is only a few months older than mine. Also like me, he's a Panthers fan.
In my household, my husband is a Buccaneers fan and I am a Panthers fan, and we're both fighting for his soul in the form of merchandise of our respective teams. I've already let him have the Cubs, because I never did and never will have a pro baseball team. I wish he'd let me have the Panthers, because I will let him have literally every other sport if that's what he wants.
We can't really control what our kids like though, right? All we can do is expose them to the things we like most about it and maybe our kids will want to share that with us. I didn't care about sharing naps on the couch with my dad while he watched five hours of golf. I never did get into his exasperation with the Braves as he flipped channels to get away from it but always landed back on TBS.
But I DID get into football later in life and bonded with him over that. I remember watching the Music City Miracle game with him. He was so happy because as a lifelong Dolphins fans, he loathes the Bills. I was happy because he was happy. I watched the Leon Lett game against the Dolphins with both he AND my grandfather. Oh how they laughed! And I did too, even though I felt sorry for Leon.
My parents always loved basketball and so did my friends, so that was the easiest sport for me to get into. I did grow up in North Carolina, after all. So getting him interested in the SPORTS you care about is probably Step 1. Then, indoctrinate him with the specific teams. I'm just waiting for Christian McCaffery baby gear to come out.
I could not possibly express to you how much I love this tweet. A for effort AND execution, Noah.
If you want to ignore my parenting advice, well, I don't blame you. My son is 10 months old and this is my first kid. I'm not some parenting expert.
But, I do remember that stage. It was annoying because he became alert enough that he wouldn't sleep wherever we took him, so being out for awhile was a chore. But he did sleep through the night. Until four months hit. And then he didn't. And it was bad.
So if I could think of the best advice you will DEFINITELY judge me for, it's that you are not a bad parent if you let your kid cry it out when they get to six months (which is when pediatricians generally say it's safe). We weren't sure we would ever do it because he was a great sleeper at first, and we knew it would eb hard. Then four months hit and we literally had a countdown going until we were allowed to start crying it out.
A few rough nights later after he turned six months, we now have a kid who sleeps 12 hours almost every night.
Even if you judge me for this advice, I will smugly lord that fact over you and all others whose children do NOT sleep through the night. And really, THAT'S as much a part of parenting as any secret judging. The smugness. (Which will become bad karma when he suddenly hits some 11-month sleep regression, but I digress.)