The ACC's annual preseason football gabfest starts today in Greensboro, N.C., with — what else? — free food. After the collective gluttony, commissioner John Swofford, players, coaches and bowl reps will endure questions that range from insightful to insipid.
With any luck, the end product will resemble sausage. You'll like the flavor but wouldn't want to see it made — media mongrels in shorts and flops are not a pretty sight.
Here are some suggested questions for some of the principals scheduled to attend.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer: Word is you declined to have surgery on your injured arm because it would disrupt your offseason golf routine. Are you trying to show your team how to play hurt, or might you need to enroll in Golfaholics Anonymous?
North Carolina coach Butch Davis: With the NCAA probing some of your players' interactions with agents, do you agree with Alabama coach Nick Saban that some agents are nothing more than "pimps"?
Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling: Most NFL draft projections had you as a first- or second-round selection after last season. Why did you return to a team that many are picking to finish last in the Coastal Division?
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich: Welcome back, young man, and may the rare bone cancer that sidelined you last season be gone forever. Considering the treatments you endured and the time you missed, do you believe you can regain the form that made you the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year in 2008?
Virginia coach Mike London: Television crews have followed you darn near everywhere for the 15-part cable series on your program. Were there times you, your staff or family wanted to baseball-bat one of the cameras?
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney: Your incumbent quarterback, Kyle Parker, turned down a multi-million dollar contract with baseball's Colorado Rockies — they drafted him in the first round last month — to return this season. Would you have done the same?
North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien: In two seasons Russell Wilson has thrown 48 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions. Could he become a starting NFL quarterback if he gave up baseball?
Virginia Tech defensive tackle John Graves: You're one of just five returning defensive starters and the only one on the line. Is this the rare year Tech's offense has to carry the defense?
North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates: Ya'll return nine starters from the ACC's top-rated defense, but how can the conference's No. 11 offense improve and make Carolina a contender for its first league title since 1980? Note: That's the longest current championship drought for any Tar Heels program, and only N.C. State (1979) has gone longer without an ACC football banner.
Virginia quarterback Marc Verica: Two years ago as a starter you trailed only Wake Forest's Riley Skinner in completion rate, and that by a mere .1 percent. But you threw a league-high 16 interceptions. Bad throws? Bad routes? Bad reads? All of the above?
New Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher: How much autonomy does defensive coordinator Mark Stoops have as he attempts to repair a unit that last season ranked 108th nationally in yards allowed and was the Seminoles' worst since 1973?
Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor: An assistant coach informs that you never eat red meat. How does a college football player resist the occasional bacon double-cheeseburger, pepperoni pizza and training-table filet?
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen: With three losing seasons in the last five years, how would you evaluate your program for the new president and athletic director the university is poised to hire? With only two years remaining on your contract, is recruiting difficult?
Bowl Championship Series executive director Bill Hancock: What's a nice guy like you doing in a job like this? You might as well be doing PR for BP.
Beamer: What's it like to coach the only ACC program with a current winning streak longer than one?
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime. Sign up for text alerts by texting "BIG SPORTS" to 71593.