Your Best 11 Mailbag: Clemson, New Schemes and Jadeveon Clowney

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterAugust 2, 2013

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 24:  Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks reaches out for Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It is Thursday, and that can only mean one thing, it's mailbag time! We've got some great questions, so let's go ahead and get right to them.

I'll take Clowney in this battle. Anything that Tara Reid and Ian Ziering can defeat with a chainsaw and a broken marriage that's been rekindled is not stronger than Jadeveon Clowney. I'm really looking forward to watching the kid play this year.

Not just because he is so exceptional, but because I am extremely interested to see what teams do to him. I expect Tennessee to try to block him one-on-one, but other teams are going to have to give help, and I want to see how the junior handles being chipped, double-teamed and cut.

Um, none?

I really just like good football. My favorite is a pro-styled system against a team with a stout defense. If your team has that, I will probably root for it. Real classic style, you know what I mean?

Personally, I'm a fan of everyone. Every kid on every roster works hard, and for me, that's the real joy of college football. So I don't really have a favorite, but more importantly, I don't root against anyone. I like to be right with my picks, but my only true rooting interest is in no one getting hurt and people playing good football.

As for favorites, we come to Clemson, the media favorite to win the ACC.

I think that it should be the favorite on the strength of Tajh Boyd, the ACC's best returning quarterback. Roderick McDowell has a chance to be the best running back you've never heard of going into this season, and, of course, Sammy Watkins will do Sammy things. 

The question mark, and the reason people do not believe in them as much as I do, is the defense. I am happy to see Tony Steward back and expect the linebacker play to get much better with his return. I also think that, in Year 2,  defenses take a tremendous leap. Instead of a gang of DBs with no clue, the Tigers have guys who understand pattern matching and zone concepts. That goes a long way toward making plays and getting off the field on 3rd-and-medium.

Florida State has a shot to win the Atlantic, but it boils down to the defense transitioning smoothly and, more importantly, Jameis Winston being the quarterback we all hope he can be. With that unknown at quarterback, Clemson should be the favorite, but that does not mean Florida State does not have just as good a shot at winning the division.

As for the rest, I think Maryland finishes third. Then some combination of Boston College, N.C. State, Syracuse and Wake Forest, with not many games separating third from seventh. But that is no surprise in the ACC, a league that sees close to .500 conference records from almost everyone. 

I hate the policy. I hate that people support that policy. I hate that any kid adheres to that policy out of fear of losing his spot.

Hate it.

I am very player-sided in this. Explore your options, and then instead of being forced into a decision, you make one because you truly want to be at the school. See what else is out there. Sample everything you can. Take all of your visits, then decide where you want to be.

When I got this question, the answer was hot wings. However, since I had to push this to the next day, the answer has since changed because I already had hot wings for dinner. But that is alright because it's FOOD TRUCK FRIDAY!

Down in the South End area of Charlotte, every Friday a gang of food trucks pull up in the lot behind Common Market and serve food. You get your beer from Common Market, bring it out into the lot behind the store and eat delicious food-truck cuisine.

So I know I'll be eating food off a gourmet food truck. I just am not sure which one yet.

I think the next "hot" thing will be going back to power. We talked about it last week, and as more teams go to the small, tempo-based offenses, defenses are following suit. This move leaves them vulnerable to the power run game, and I think teams will capitalize on that.

When your base defensive package is a 4-2-5, with undersized defensive ends and tackles to chase down plays, a team that can lean on you for 60 minutes and push you around becomes a problem. Western Kentucky proved the point in the Sun Belt. Kansas State did the same in the Big 12.

Going forward, I expect a few more teams to power up as teams focus so much of their game plans and recruiting on stopping the spread.


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