With a top ten ranking and one of the most difficult schedules in the
country, the 2009 Hokies are justifiably part of the preseason national
championship discussion. This brings back memories of the 1999 Hokies, who had
the talent and leadership to navigate the pitfalls of an entire season and make
the championship game. But there’s another reason the 2009 Hokies bring back
memories of 1999, at least for us: this offseason was the quietest in a decade.
As an online publication that covers VT sports and hosts busy message boards,
we’re particularly sensitive to the mood of the fans and sources of turmoil
around the program. When the fans are grumpy and mishaps surround the program,
the message boards are contentious and require more monitoring. During the
offseason, when there are no actual games and very few newsworthy items, any
cause for argument just festers, grows, and gets recycled endlessly. It’s
unpleasant watching Hokie fans fuss at each other, the coaches, or the players.
There are three main things that can cause turmoil in an offseason, where
turmoil is defined by us as fans being in an uproar over something: (1) a bowl
loss; (2) problems at the quarterback position — either a QB controversy or an
early departure; and (3) players getting in trouble with the law.
There is also the issue of Virginia Tech’s offense and its offensive
coordinator, but that issue is closely tied in with issue #1. Compare the
post-2006 offseason, following the collapse of the offense in the Chick-fil-A
Bowl loss, with this most recent offseason, following a good offensive game plan
and solid execution in an Orange Bowl win. Bryan Stinespring (and Sean Glennon)
got roasted in the spring/summer of 2007, but Stinespring hasn’t been hammered
as badly this offseason, and really hasn’t been much of a topic of conversation
The 2009 offseason (defined as the spring and summer following the 2008
season) was devoid of the three turmoil-causing events listed above, and was
remarkably calm. And when you start thinking about it, that’s the first time
that has happened in a decade, perhaps longer.
Here’s how the last...
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