Voice of the Fan: A Balanced (and somewhat emotional) Perspective on VT Football

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A Balanced (and somewhat emotional) Perspective on Virginia Tech Football
by “vt88hokie”

Editor’s Note: we sometimes publish submissions from TSL readers as “Voice of the Fan” articles. Note that “Voice of the Fan” submissions do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of TSL staff or TechSideline.com, nor is publishing a “Voice of the Fan” piece an endorsement of the views expressed.

As the second half clock ticked down Saturday in a mostly empty BB&T Stadium, my emotions felt different from other losses. I have witnessed many wins and losses over the years and the varying emotions that accompany the result. This one, to me, felt like the end of an era (note to reader: please read on regardless of where you stand on this issue, the conclusion may surprise you).

Frank Beamer came to Blacksburg when I was a student at Virginia Tech. During his tenure, I have attended every home game minus one, countless away games, numerous “special games” (Kickoff Classics, Conference Championships), and 16 Bowl games. Usually, I have attended Hokie football games with my wife and three children in tow. In a nutshell, Virginia Tech football has and will always be an integral part of our lives.

My sons grew up during the Beamerball era and we have so many great memories to relish, mostly from the bowl trips. We have some great photos with our sons and Coach Beamer or his star players like Kam Chancellor, Macho Harris, or Kevin Jones. Needless to say, I have an emotional attachment to Hokie football and to Coach Beamer.

There is no way to deny the fact that the current state of the program is in decline. In my opinion, several factors have led to this, among those (in no particular order):

  • Recruiting misses – our current roster, especially the upper classes, are not filled with the same caliber of players as in years past.
  • Attrition – the last couple of years we have seen a dramatic and unprecedented amount of players leaving the program, off-season and even in-season.
  • Schematic changes in college football – the college game has changed in many ways over the past few years. New punt formations have basically taken the blocked punt out of play. High-powered offenses have the edge over the defensive side of the ball. I think it is fair to say that the current college game does not match the coaching strengths of Coach Beamer.

I believe these negatives have been magnified by one really bad hire, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler. We have all wanted so bad to have a new and improved offense. However, Loeffler’s offense has been dismal and seems to mimic his personality. Their play is methodical (not in a good way), uninspired, and desperately lacks cohesiveness. I fully realize that the offense is very challenged on the offensive line, but to the close observer, Loeffler’s unit has many other issues and is quickly regressing.

About midway thru this season, I started to think that Loeffler’s play calling was totally dictated by pre-game scripting. In other words, the success or failure of prior play calls seems to have no factor on calls later in the game. Coach Loeffler has absolutely no feel on game day.   He seems to constantly outthink himself. His quote concerning Motley after the Wake Forest confirmed my belief. How bad is it? If you gave me a choice right now of Loeffler or Stinespring, I would take Stinespring in a second. At least his units played with some fire and intensity and cohesiveness.

End of an Era

When I stated in the beginning of the article that Saturday felt like the end of an era, you probably assumed I was talking about the end of the Beamer era, and in some ways I am.   If Coach Beamer puts anyone, and I mean anyone, in charge of the offense other than Loeffler, I think the next year or two can produce fairly good results and I trust that Whit and Frank, both smart and honorable men, will agree to a successful transition plan that will enable Coach Beamer to go out with class and dignity.   However, without a change to the offensive coordinator, all bets are off.

After much reflection, a more precise and accurate description is that we are witnessing the end of the golden era of Virginia Tech football. I trust that whenever the next head coach is hired to lead our football program, Whit Babcock will do us all proud and choose the right man to lead our program in the future. I also trust that Whit will make the right decision as to when this will occur. Whoever the next head coach is, he should be expected to lead us to winning seasons, to compete for the ACC Championship Game, to continue to dominate our in-state rival, and to continue the proud tradition of graduating players and winning with class.

However, what really aggravates and confounds me is the sentiment among many Hokie fans that all we need is a new head coach and like magic, we will automatically start winning 10 games a year again, going to major bowls, and be considered an elite program. This delusion is based on a popular revision of Coach Beamer’s tenure in Blacksburg. You all know the theory: all of the conference championships were won when the traditional powers were down, we never won any big games, what’s the big deal about winning 10 games a year, etc. etc. etc.

Let’s have a fair look at the facts. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have four outright conference championships. If you go all the way back to 1990, only FSU has more than two championships and Clemson has exactly two (UVA has zero in over 60 years in the ACC). Of course the Beamer detractors will say that FSU and Miami were down, but someone had to carry the mantle. It could have been Clemson, NC State, UNC, Georgia Tech or even Maryland. It wasn’t. It was Virginia Tech!

Beyond our conference championships, yes, we have lost a lot of big games to big time programs over the years. I know. I was there. But I was also there when we beat Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas A&M, LSU (coached by none other than Nick Saban), and Ohio State. We also took on the very best that college football has to offer, including national championship teams from Alabama, LSU, and USC. We were also selected by the TV networks to play in numerous kickoff classics. We earned the right to play in four Sugar Bowls and four Orange Bowls. This incredible run of success is due to many outstanding players and coaches. The Michael Vick era was definitely the most exciting period of Hokie football, but it only accounted for one of our eight major bowl appearances. Bud Foster’s defense has been the identity and foundation of the program. The Beamer detractors will say that Frank is ultimately responsible for the poor results of the offense. Yet, they fail to give him any credit for the defense. You can’t have it both ways. The common denominator in this glorious run is Frank Beamer’s leadership.

Frank is far from perfect. He isn’t the greatest coach of all time. It was a mistake by all, including Frank Beamer, to put so much focus on a National Championship.   Below is a list of national champions in the modern era. How many Virginia Tech types do you see?

1990Colorado (AP)
Georgia Tech (UPI)
Orange: Beat Notre Dame 10-9
Citrus: Beat Nebraska 45-21
1991Orange: Beat Nebraska 22-0
Rose: Beat Michigan 34-14
Orange: Beat Nebraska 22-0
Rose: Beat Michigan 34-14
1992Alabama13-0-0Sugar: Beat Miami 34-13
1993Florida State12-1-0Orange: Beat Nebraska 18-16
1994Nebraska13-0-0Orange: Beat Miami, Fla. 24-17
1995Nebraska12-0-0Fiesta: Beat Florida 62-24
1996Florida12-1Sugar: Beat Florida St. 52-20
1997Michigan (AP)
Nebraska (Coaches)
Rose: Beat Wash. St. 21-16
Orange: Beat Tennessee 42-17
1998Tennessee13-0Fiesta: Beat Florida St. 23-16
1999Florida State12-0Sugar: Beat Va. Tech 46-29
2000Oklahoma13-0Orange: Beat Florida St. 13-2
2001Miami, Fla.12-0Rose: Beat Nebraska 37-14
2002Ohio State14-0Fiesta: Beat Miami, Fla. 31-24 (2 ot)
2003LSU (National Champs)
USC (#1 in AP Poll)
Sugar: Beat Oklahoma 21-14
Rose: Beat Michigan 28-14
2004USC13-0Orange: Beat Oklahoma 55-19
2005Texas13-0Rose: Beat USC 41-38
2006Florida13-1BCS Championship Game:
Beat Ohio State 41-14
2007LSU12-2BCS Championship Game:
Beat Ohio State 38-24
2008Florida13-1BCS Championship Game:
Beat Oklahoma 24-14
2009Alabama14-0BCS Championship Game:
Beat Texas 37-21
2010Auburn14-0BCS Championship Game:
Beat Oregon 22-19
2011Alabama12-1BCS Championship Game:
Beat LSU 21-0
2012Alabama13-1BCS Championship Game:
Beat Notre Dame 42-14
2013Florida State14-0BCS Championship Game:
Beat Auburn 34-31

National Champions will continue to come from a small number of programs: traditional SEC powers, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Texas, and Florida State. These programs either have a win at all cost mentality (FSU, Bama, Auburn), or massive resources (Ohio State, Texas, Florida, USC). Virginia Tech is not and will never be a football factory. Hopefully, we will continue to do things the right way. I want no part of the win-at-all cost FSU’s or the institutional cheating by the UNC’s, even if it meant a title or two.

I look forward to the future of Hokie football. I hope to once again attend the ACC Championship Game. I hope to take a trip to New Orleans or Miami to watch the Hokies play. I would be thrilled if we played in three or four major bowls during the next 10-15 years. However, to think that the next 20 years will be anything like the past 20 years is totally irrational. Those in my generation have been fortunate enough to live through this golden era, one that would not have been possible without Coach Beamer. We can disagree on the timing of Coach Beamer’s departure, but we should all agree that he deserves our humanity, our kindness, and our gratitude!

— “vt88hokie”


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72 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “Schematic changes in college football – the college game has changed in many ways over the past few years. New punt formations have basically taken the blocked punt out of play. High-powered offenses have the edge over the defensive side of the ball. I think it is fair to say that the current college game does not match the coaching strengths of Coach Beamer.”

    This part of the article is spot on. It reminds me of Rex Ryan and the NY Jets. This used to be a winning formula in the NFL: play great defense/focus almost exclusively on the defense side of the ball. On offense play the field position game, stubbornly run the football with the play action pass. Offense just needs to ” manage” the game (I don’t even know what that means anymore) and just don’t screw up, ie turnovers, try and have some sustained drives where you’re not going 3 and out- giving the defense time to rest. Even 7 or 8 years ago this could still be a winning formula in the NFL. The Jets were pretty successful with it going to AFC championships, the Ravens won a Super Bowl with the same formula 12 years ago or whenever it was with Trent Dilfer at QB. It simply doesn’t work these days. Not in the NFL. Not in college. Cowherd has been on a rant about Rex Ryan and the Jets….where quarterbacks go to die. Vick has never looked worse, Sanchez went downhill fast and was absolutely dismal-now he’s playing very good football for the Eagles under Chip Kelly, winning games, scoring points. Geno Smith never had a chance in that organization. Now there are teams in college football that can still play with a formula similar to Beamer and still be successful. But that’s a very small and exclusive group. Alabama can do it because their whole roster is 4 and 5 star players. That makes the difference and Virginia Tech will never be able to recruit like that. Hell even Alabama and Nick Saban went out and hired Lane Kiffin as OC because they needed to be more dynamic on offense-and it’s working quite well. I certainly haven’t been inspired by Loeffler, but with the mess he inherited, I don’t have any clue if he can be successful…. I know he’s a a pretty darn good recruiter, and top qbs actually have interest in coming here. On a side note I think Andrew Ford could turn out to be an excellent QB. Anyway the significance of the changes in the way the game is played can not be overstated. I certainly think its time for Beamer to go. I don’t have the answers as to exactly how that should or will turn out. But I do believe Whit has a plan and we’re in good hands as far as that is concerned. I have faith that the next head coach will be very successful and VT football has a bright future. The Golden Era of VT football may be over, as defined by the author. For me, I would phrase it differently-Golden Era of Frank Beamer is over. As for the program however…. who knows. I doubt we ever win 10+ games a year for 8 years straight or whatever it was, but we can still be a big factor on the college fb landscape if Whit and company bring in the right head coach.

  2. If Frank can land even one or two of these last few big name recruits, he stays, and what happens with Scott is Beamer’s decision. If he whiffs on these recruits then time for change.

  3. Bear Bryant, Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden. All of these great coaches finished with multiple down years, likely due to negative recruiting emphasizing the age of the head coach. Is Frank Beamer any different? Let’s see how the rest of the 2015 recruiting class shakes out. We have some top notch kids giving us serious consideration. Will we pull these kids into the program or will they head elsewhere?

  4. Well written, and overall fair. However it’s hard for me to accept that it’s primarily one key person, the OC, but I’m not an expert. I’m a data-driven person, and the trend lines are all down: seasons where we now struggle to break, not to reach 10 wins; recruiting classes missing highly sought-after targets; unusually high turnover of players; incredibly high injury rates; boring offenses over the last five years; and a long-standing inability to win the “big games.” I agree that Coach Beamer is a legend and always will be the key factor in raising VT from a mid-market program to a major heavyweight. I have traveled widely, and the slanted VT is nationally and internationally recognized. (For goodness sake, never again use those stupid new helmits that omit the classic VT logo.) That would not have happened without Coach Beamer. As stated, he has operated an honest and integrity-rich program, and it makes me proud.

    However … it’s clear that things, they are-a-changing. The game has transcended the Coach. I hope and expect that the new AD (I’m so pleased with both the Babcock and President Sands hiring) will handle this correctly, and it’s clear that it’s not an “if” but a “when” the change occurs. I”m willing to give the AD and Coach Beamer some slack, but major college athletics is a beast, and one has to feed the beast. Ask Mack Brown about that here in Austin. It will take much more than replacing the OC to right the ship. The key and correct decision already was made with the AD change. Now let’s let the process play out.


  5. I can’t say I agree. We all are thankful and appreciative of Beamer’s tenure at VT. I hope he can go out on his own terms. However, putting it all on CSL isn’t right. Do you remember the Rutgers bowl game? This O has been bad for 10 years except we had playmakers like Tyrod and David Wilson and Ryan Williams to mask the poor scheme and execution. Bud does a great job with the defense but why have we missed out on so many 5 star defensive lineman the past 3-4 years? I want the next head coach to be able to get that talent to come to VT. That is how we will compete for championships. I’m ok if Frank stays the next year or two because I think we will be better but I’ll be surprised if we close strongly in recruiting with Sweat and Settle. Thanks for writing the article but I believe you have to lay more of the blame for the current state of the program at CFB’s feet.

  6. Been a Hokie since the mid 80s and believe in Coach Beamer in what he has said about 2015. We should stay the course and allow the current OF staff to turn the program around. One potential loosing season this year for the last two decades and some people want to run him out of turn and pin most of it on a new OC, you got to be kidding me!!!!! Who is out of whack???

  7. Thanks, 88 for taking a magnificent swing at it.

    My reaction:
    Our program woes cannot be placed at the feet of CSL.
    Our image trajectory is DOWN, and that won’t change until Frank leaves. This isn’t just one bad year; it is an unmistakable trend! Frank has done well by us, but at 68, he needs to hand the reins over to a dynamic new coach. Staying around is a selfish act. He is well past retirement age.
    Hiring Shane was a bad decision. Not because he isn’t a good recruiter (?) or RB coach (?),
    but because it places a strain on the relations between all coaches. Most publicly-owned businesses would not allow that.
    Whatever happens, try to retain Bud as DC. Most new coaches would probably welcome that.
    Do not try to make a head coach out of Bud. The requirements of the head coaching position are not the same as for a DC.

  8. I don’t get the sentiment that Babcock is the know all and end all…for one thing, I’d rather have a football guy as AD, not a baseball guy from JMU! There, I said it… who’s done more for Tech, Beamer or Babcock, and who knows more about football? Would like to see some debate about that.

  9. You accept failure rather easily. To think the next twenty years can’t be better than the last 20 says to me that you think like an old man.

    1. My sentiments exactly. “The end of a golden age?” Nonsense. We have the facilities, the recruiting base and the fan base to be a top 20 program consistently with a shot at the final four every few years. Unless we give up on it. The longer we wait to make a change, the longer it will take to rebuild.

    2. …and how EXACTLY, is an ‘Old Man” supposed to think? Oh, and what age exactly, makes one an ‘OLD MAN”? This is the kind of crap that makes this board more and more caustic, and less and less about decent discourse and disagreement.

      The guy has an opinion. It is obviously different than yours. That’s the THING about opinions. Would you appreciate if he said to you, “thinking we will automatically be better than ever proves you think like an irrational, self-entitled brat”? …Not a very nice sentiment either IMO!

      This is a VERY divisive time. I’d hope to see OPINIONS presented with a little class…like “88 did here, whether you agree with him or not!

    3. And you sir sound like an ignorant teenager who has not lived long enough to have any perspective on anything; or experienced enough things in life to get any perspective. Yet, you have all the answers. You will learn though….but the harder the head, the harder the road is ahead!

  10. Great article. I started loving VT football when Jimmy Sharp was HC, those were tough times. CFB is the greatest thing to ever happen to VT football. Inspite of all the outstanding things that CFB has done for the program he hasn’t been perfect. It’s my opinion that he has made some unfortunate coaching hires over the years. I think that if he had hired Kevin Rogers as OC and kept BS at TE/OL coach we would have won several MNCs (or at least played in several more NC games with Bud’s defenses). Then the catastrophic hire of Kurt Newsome caused damage that we haven’t recovered from yet. His legendary loyalty has cause problems at times. As much as I would love to hire and work with my son I think it causes huge problems among others that have to deal with the problem of nepotism. It’s never a good idea. I am forever thankful for what CFB has done for VT but his record against top opponents is nothing to be proud of. Our recruiting has been declining for many years (largely due to the offensive coaching staff, IMO). CFB was the first to give special teams the attention they deserve and he will be legendary for that reason. However, our special teams haven’t been special for years. This is the first year that I can remember in a long time that I felt true apathy regarding VT football. Sorry but true. Something’s not right in Blacksburg and I hope Whit can figure it out and soon. It’s time for some kind of change. Especially if we lose to the Hoos.

    1. My son works for his dad, albeit not in a highly visible position like the Beamers. It has not caused huge problems and has, in fact, been a great thing for the business. My son has the wisdom to keep his head down and work hard. To say that sons working for fathers is never a good idea is absurd.

  11. Not impressed with the “article” and I’m not sorry about it.
    Recruiting misses, attrition, and the fundamental changes in college football have been magnified at VT by the new OC? The guy who has been here two years carries the most responsibility? That’s a cop out. Those things have been magnified at VT by the HC not making changes to the staff until way past the time those changes needed to be made. This entire article places the entire blame on the OC, even saying that without a change to the OC, all bets are off for success in the next two years. So Frank, all of a sudden, under the current condition of the program, and at this stage of his career, is going to hire the right guy for offense. You say the common denominator for the glorious years is Frank Beamer, well the common denominator for the last two OCs and the sad state of our offense, is the same guy.

    1. Have to agree you, it’s a cop out to pin it all the SL. The OF blunders from the past will take more than 2 years to turn this OF around this year. People seem to forget how erratic BS playing calling when he was the OC.

    2. You are absolutely right in the fact that the common denominator is FB. He has done great things for Virginia Tech. Unfortunately he has always wanted a very conservative offense and plays not to lose the game instead of trying to go out and win games on offense. He has always wanted the offense to play defensively and not make mistakes and allows Bud to play defense offensively and force turnovers. That is why there has been number of offensive coordinators.

      I am a huge fan of Frank Beamer, I just hate to see him tear down what he has worked so hard to build.

  12. Great, so MAYBE playing for an ACC Championship is now the program goal. How sad we are that you don’t even think an NC should be our goal. With ANY decent offense paired with our D we could have played for at least three in the last 14 years. With a playoff getting in is even easier. Beamer’s inability to realize that POINT win games is why we don’t have an NC yet and why we lost on the big stage so many times.

  13. CSL is dealing with years of terrible recruiting, the best players are all freshmen. Bad OL and average QB can’t get results. I’m not sure he is the correct guy, but not like he was dealt a good hand.

    1. And we all know, except for the guy who wrote this article, who dealt him that hand. Lefty deserves credit for taking on one hell of a challenge. Hitched his wagon to a coach in the twilight of his career with a dismal offensive record for the previous 10 years. And according to this writer, the OC is the big problem.

  14. It confounds me how we find permanency and absoluteness in all of this. Two years ago Auburn stunk. Florida State was so-so. Five years ago Baylor was awful and Texas was a powerhouse. College programs go through cycles. Where was Mississippi State before this year? How bad was Marshall just a couple of years ago? Several years ago it was said that Notre Dame would never compete again for a championship, until they were strong earlier in the year that many people had them in the final four, only to be lousy again weeks later. Same is true for team after team after team. Many sports commentators attribute the Ohio State win to the fact that they had to play with a new quarterback, who wasn’t very good, until weeks later when he became great. We get no credit for the win, even though that full and healthy team of Hokies may have beaten anyone that night. Who knows what happens next year. Let’s just stick with it as hard as it is. It’s what makes the game great, after all.

    1. And all made coaching changes to change the direction their individual programs were going. I’m A 89 grad and have been going to games since mid 70s watching and yes Beamer has/did a lot for this program but we are now back to no better than we were in the late 80s, I guess the circle of life. We play in the worst of the top conferences and we are basically the worst of that conference and last Saturday was the evidence (youth has no excuse for that result). It’s time for a change the last 3 years are not acceptable for where we should be as a program. I’m not asking for NCs but I am asking to be competive and at a top 20 level.

  15. Very well written commentary. My only comment that I’ll add, that I think most fans (both for and against beamer leaving) is that Football is business. Recruits are the investment that we hope turn a profit with a 5 year NPV.

    The risk we are running as a program is going from a trip A rating to a B- rating in the bond market… who’s going to want to invest in us (recruits).

    Whit gets that, and most legacy fans do not… this isn’t about respect for Beamer, or beating UVA, or giving the ol’ gipper a shot.. it’s about the honest to god future of Virginia Tech Football. We are a business, and we are losing margin… there isn’t an easy answer, and one that surely will be second guessed.

    From what i can remember about NPV & finance, there isn’t a variable for respect or tenure, there is though for wins, losses, and recruiting rankings.

  16. I am a 1990 VT grad and have experienced much of what 88 Hokie has per VT college. I had to live thru the gosh awful days of probation during the post Dooley years, and fully appreciate what a relatively clean program Coach Beamer has run along with the tremendous success that has been achieved. I also appreciate his morals, ethics and humbleness that I have no doubt is sincere and true. The one thing that keeps nagging at me though is that he is getting extremely well paid (last count I think it was $3M plus endorsements and benefits) for what has been very mediocre results over the past several years. I don’t want this to come across all about the money, but the product on the field, the fan apathy(most of my friends and myself are just completely numb or are starting not to care- which is a scary place to be in any situation/relationship) and the fact that the game does seem to be passing Coach Beamer by seems to point to a time for change. I am thankful this I in the hands of AD Babcock and not Mr. Weaver and will disagree with 88 hokie in one area…I once predicted to my friends nearly 30 years ago that VT is a sleeping giant….great fanbase, very good facilities and access to close by top talent. It just takes the right person to put it together. Coach Beamer had a great run, it is now time for someone with a bit more spark and hunger to make a go of it.

    1. Well said, Captain. I think people are saying that the “Beamer must go” crowd somehow is unappreciative of what he accomplished. That is not the case. I know I am personally amazed at what Beamer has done at VT. But change happens no matter what you may want. I don’t want this to turn into a Bobby Bowden type situation where there is so much venom from the fans that Frank is just run out. But at the same time, I don’t want another 3 or 4 years of this. There is no fire from this current bunch of Hokies. I don’t remember which player said it, but a few weeks ago one of them said that they feel more comfortable playing on the road?!?!? I pin that squarely on Frank. He is not mentally preparing this team the right way. Playing in Lane should be the best feeling in the world. If these players are feeling that way, then the head man is not instilling the right amount of admiration or respect for the Hokie Nation. It is time for a new and hungry leader.

  17. vt88Hokie – Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I enjoyed reading it. I’m sure we’ll have our share of cheerful seasons ahead of us. Go Hokies!

  18. Good, thought provoking article. I agree with most of what you said and a good counterpoint to a lot of the down on Beamer sentiment. I’m not convinced Loeffler is a bad OC based on what he has had to work with and while I agree w/ the questions and issues you raise, I am not smart enough football-wise to judge.

    The question about what we expect from a new coach is a good one. I think a lot of us assume, me included, that we can find a new coach who will reinvigorate our recruiting and it will look more like Clemson’s? Is that really true? Who knows?

  19. For the first 1/2 of your post pointing out the OC:
    I wonder what your feeling of BS was when he was the OC. Did you think he was effective? Did you think a change was needed?
    Do you look back at that time and blame the challenges that BS had on the OL coach, Newsome?

    Now whether or not SL was the right hire, I don’t know but I know who made that hire. I know who hired Newsome, I know who hired/promoted BS. I can say that I’m not sure that CFB has done well at hiring offensive coaches. And I’m not confident that he will do well in the future.
    Honestly, any hiring of an OC by CFB at this point will be costly to the extreme. As described previously, the coach has a yr or two left. What OC will be willing to come for a short term opportunity? Does our roster support a OC that may be enticed to come because maybe the talent is there but the play calling and philosophy are missing? I don’t think our roster says that.
    I am of the mindset that 10 win seasons aren’t a birthright. But I think we can all say during that run we were a strong program. Not as talented in some areas but strong. My pain point is could there have been some changes made that could have cemented our position as a strong program that in some years was boarding on elite?
    To me Natl Titles for the most part have to do with preseason rankings. Sure those power conferences will more than likely be afforded a higher # of ranked teams thus making it easier for them. Just my feel on that. For the most part we may not ever go undefeated and this is almost a criteria for the ACC.

  20. It’s time to fish or cut bait…time to turn up the wick, Frank! Or have you been feeding us crap all these years? (Please excuse my French)

  21. Pretty defeated attitude there. Sorry its the end of the era for you, but to say there cannot be success or no expectation of it would insinuate that all the work gone into the upgrades and facilities was for nothing. The national champions thing is true, but also with the new playoff format the lesser known team has a shot. Lightning in a bottle rarely strikes twice, but with the changes in requirements for scholarships and lack of truly transcendent players(Jameis Winston) I see it hard for any program to dominate like FSU or VT did in a league.

    We have just as good a shot as anyone with new blood. Eras end and they are sentimental, but having an attitude of indifference is not how you want to go into a new era. If you have all this faith in the administration than have faith knowing that they will hire a guy that will usher in a new group of memories.

    Move forward and be excited about it.

    1. I agree with this sentiment, and one only has to look at TCU, Baylor & Oregon to see that the traditional heavyweights aren’t guaranteed the to spots. I feel soon we will see an 8 team playoff, no reason we can’t be there every 4-5 years.

    2. Agreed. GT is on that list and we played for a NC ourselves! We have tons of talent in this state but our O keeps us from staying near the top and everyone knows it.

  22. Disagree about Loeffler and I will point to the Miami game 3rd quarter as the example. However trending between halves, I very much see what you mean.

    I cannot disagree enough about the prior Offensive Coordinator and current Tight Ends coach.

    I do share your sentiment about Coach Beamer and his legacy. Coach Beamer should go out on his own terms, however I do sincerely wish he was not opposed to Coach in Waiting deal for Coach Bud Foster.

    Right now many fans have choices to make. If we rationalize the here and now of Major College Football who better than to lead Virginia Tech than Coach Bud Foster, who still get major heart/grind/drive from his players. This would allow Beamer to go out on all but one of his terms which would be Coach in Waiting.

    In the Long Term perspective Virginia Tech will be the ideal stop for a head coach if Coach Beamer is allowed to retire when he wants to. By the University and Fans supporting Coach Beamer this would signal to the next Virginia Tech coach VT is a lifetime stop not just a passing moment to move to better.

    Then there is the theory of Hiring an outside coach to overhaul the entire program.

    When it comes to these emotional decisions people are asked to make, the deciding factor needs to be the budget. The bottom line is VT has enough Finance and Accounting professionals to make this decision and if you ask me it should have been made this week! The bottom line is not weighing any opinion, just what will save the revenue all of Virginia Tech has worked so hard to gain and that ensures the legacy of Coach Beamer will continue.

    In this case Coach Beamer has set the precedence by not accepting jobs with North Carolina, Green Bay Packers, and Alabama to name a few. However this precedence is matched by Bud Foster not accepting jobs with FSU, UGA, Georgia, Texas A&M, and you freaking name the top dog school. So when everything is equal on precedence the real fallout and complete downfall in VT Football (finances/integrity/and you name it) is the hiring of an Outside New Coach. Good bye!

  23. Thank you for your thoughts. I also have witnessed the Beamer era from start to finish and understand your point of view. We will all determine individually when we have had enough of the current situation. Personally this game was the proverbial straw that broke me, though I have been on the fence for a long time.
    Will I stop following VT football, of course not any time soon, I still have HOPE.
    Will I be disappointed if CFB retires at the end of this season, yes, but not on nearly as many levels as I would have two years ago.
    Would I be upset if Whit forced CFB out at the end of the season, yes, unless he has a fantastic plan in place and new hire waiting in the wings

    What VT has accomplished under Frank Beamer is unprecedented when you look at where we started (I attended those games in the early-mid 80s.) However, CFB is not bigger than VT football. There is still HOPE that we can retain that level of competition once again. But unless changes are made that HOPE will dwindle a little each game, each perplexed look from CFB, each recruiting miss, until the one thing that makes VT great, the fans and their passion, would rather stay home and mow the yard than face another disappointing game.

    I realize the chances of finding another coach that can accomplish half of what CFB achieved at VT are less than good. However, the new coach does not need to work miracles, CFB has already done that. What VT needs now is someone to bring VT football into a new era. They need to understand the new landscape and relate to today’s college student. We need someone to blend the tradition of VT football with the new world of college football (an win the tight games)

    I asked this question after Chris’ article, Who is on Whit’s short list? I do not believe Whit as the leverage to push Frank out unless he has a great replacement lined up and gets “Frank’s blessings.” I think that Bud Foster would satisfy Frank, but the informed opinion of the TSL staff does not believe this is likely. Since the writing is on the wall, who is on the short list for the next HC at VT?

  24. Nice article, thanks. I appreciate the perspective and maybe even agree it’s all on Loeffler, but I still think there’s a good chance something’s wrong at HC level. Impossible to know from the outside looking in. I don’t need mass changes to stay engaged, but I have to have something. Otherwise I’m pulling back on support, tickets, attendance, etc. I’m like you I’d take Stiney too, I was never convinced it was him. But everyone agrees it took way to long to address the OL situation ie Newsome. Who do you put that on, Stiney or FB? If I knew the answer to that one I’d know better what’s called for now. But my hunch is FB was behind that and if he was, the right path is clear.

  25. I appreciate the time you took to write that, well done! I think CSL needs one more year with talent to prove his system. If I were CFB I would stand up and offer an explanation of why we were so bad and tell the truth and offer a plan as to how he was going to be better next year. If I’m a golfer I expect all my clubs to be in top working condition. If during a round of golf, if you remove some of the clubs or change them or damage them in some way then I will not have the same results I would expect, right? So how can we expect CSL to perform as OC without all the right tools? We know we have no depth, we know we have missed key recruits. He needs one more year. That’s the way I see it. I’m a Hokie.

  26. Excellent analysis and commentary. I agree that other than the OSU game, Loffler has not had a very good year. Partly due to unforeseen injuries, lack of talent in the offensive line and inexperience. Taken this into account, I still don’t understand the repeated mental mistakes (illegal procedures, false starts, wrong line calls, etc.). That is coaching and refusal to simplify, back to basics.
    However, we are basically in a catch22 situation. Do you trust Coach Beamer to make the correct choice in a new OC? His track record in defensive coaches is unsurpassed. Not the same on offense. Secondly, what quality OC is going to come to VT knowing it’s a 2 year position at best and Frank’s philosophy of run / ball control.
    Whit is sure going to earn his money in the next couple of months…..

  27. Great article, especially the part that disavows “win at all costs”. That’s a slippery slope that I fear we might find ourselves on with the next hire.

    I hear what you are saying about Loeffler, but I hesitate to judge until he has a decent O-line with which to work.

  28. The wins over Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas A&M and LSU came when those programs were “down.” When you consider his record against ranked opponents (I won’t even give your that stat) it stinks. As they say “all that glitters isn’t gold!” We’ve had an honorable, good guy heading up the program for 28 years but the majority of his wins have been against teams that aren’t considered to be the “big boys” of college football. I still believe change has to come from the top to the bottom to turn this thing around. The only exception I would take to total change is to find a way to keep coach Foster.

    1. Texas was not down (they qualified for the Sugar Bowl), LSU was definitely not down at the time, they were big-time. Again, a balanced views says that we won a ton of games, regardless of the excuses you want to make.

      1. Yes, we all remember those 10 games won in a number of seasons; however, please check out the competition. Remember the cries from the fans about our “soft schedules?” I stand by my comments and facts. Do the research and you will find out what I have said is the truth.

    2. WADR you miss the most important point of the article and sound like a Hoo in doing so.
      Look at the programs you listed as being “down” when VT beat them and then refer back to one of the article’s most powerful points.
      Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, aTM and LSU has resources far beyond those of VT’s wildest dreams.
      How did those universities with all of their resources have “down years” (if you believe that crap).
      FOr the last 20 + years VT has been in the big boys of college football- the last 4 not so much.
      Do not discount what has been accomplished in the Beamer years in such a naive manner. Statistics and common sense will prove you wrong!!

      1. I stand by my comments. In your world we have been with the “big boys” but the reality of it is just the opposite. Go back through the Beamer years and recap the wins/losses and see how many “big” games Tech won. Do the research!

        1. Miami 1995,96,98,99,03,04,09 were ALL big wins.
          Bama in 1998 their fans were talking about them being on the way back after missing a bowl in previous yrs., LSU had just won the Sugar Bowl, Nebraska 09 won the Gator Bowl and was a controversial call from winning B12 and keeping Texas out of title game, Cincy in Orange Bowl was coached by Brian Kelly and went undefeated the next reg season.

          @Texas A&M was first OOC home loss by A&M in decades

          There’s your research

        1. FWIW, hokiesports.com says “vs. Ranked Teams 45-50 (.474) Games: 95”

          I believe this was at the beginning of the season, so add in the OSU and Duke wins, so hovering a hair below .500

  29. Well said. Although I graduated in ’71 I didn’t get heavy duty in VT football until ’93. The fact that this was the beginning of a golden era was happenstance. I used VT football as an escape from some harsh realities of that time in my life. The realities improved, but by then I was hooked – and still am. I think Frank Beamer built something special at VT. Maroon and Orange runs in his blood. He is a Hokie through and through. He is a gentleman in a position that attracts more a**holes than it should. It is a matter of pride for me that I actually saw him play quarterback for Hillsville High School while I was a student at Christiansburg High School. I say let the man retire with the dignity and honor he has rightly earned.

  30. We owe Frank Beamer EVERYTHING with regard to VT Football. He believed in us when we didn’t deserve to be as a program. We stuck with him during his early years when the record didn’t necessarily indicate we should have, but we were repaid for that loyalty many times over … moments in time…games and seasons and championships. And…sometimes…a joint disappoint in a loss or a season … but ALWAYS while sticking with “the one who brung us”. Now it is that time again! Oh the things we would have missed if we had given up on Frank those many years ago. Oh the many things coming that we might miss without him. God bless him. And all we Hokies need to stop moping around because we are down…start focusing on beating UVA (what deep down matters more than that?) and get out there and Go Hokies!!

    1. Great article!
      Totally agree about Loeffler. He was and remains a bad hire with little if any feel for the game. He needs to go.

  31. I do respect Frank Beamer – more than I can easily convey with words.

    I suspect Frank can choose when he decides to retire. When he chooses to do that is the question. You and I know it is going to happen sooner than we realize.

    I hope that he can honestly address whether he can fix the program’s slide. Over the last 4 years the football program has been declining, and, like you, Wake was a low moment for me. I wonder if he has “it” in him to put four years back into the program to rebuild it. Frank should know the amount of effort required to rebuild the program. He should also know whether he can do it at 68.

  32. Enjoyed your comments and I say right on. I go back 20 + yrs past you as a hokie even further as a 12 yr old watching my first VPI/VMI game. Chose to go to Tech over Naval Acad. Frank Beamer( with help from ESPN and the Big East) put Tech on the national football map. He’s the
    kind of decent man I want to coach here. I believe he will retire within the next 2 yrs(2016) I hope we are not setting here wishing for his return. I do doubt our ability to replace the current OC because of Beamers short time left. Again you made good logical points


    1. Coach Beamer is to VT what Coach Bear Bryant was to Alabama. Both brought respect and dignity to each program. And a winning tradition!

  33. Awesome, intelligent, realistic, objective and sooooo true (including re: can expectations. Oh yeah – truly loyal, an awesome character trait.

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