Q: As his coaching career winds down, what do you think Frank can reasonably accomplish in the time he has left?
Tafkam Hokie: I don’t see that the goals of the program have changed regardless of Beamer’s age or any changes to the assistant coaches. The goal ever since we got into an Alliance/Coalition/BCS conference was to compete for the conference title first and foremost, then see where the chips fall with respect to competing for a national title.
The new coaches are a bit of an unknown, but I don’t see any reason we can’t compete for division titles for the foreseeable future. It would surprise me if Beamer doesn’t have at least 2-3 more Coastal titles in him before he retires. Maybe more.
The real question is how do we stack up to win ACC, Orange Bowl, or national titles?
I think an ACC title or two is certainly plausible. There is some room for error in a conference title hunt since you can frequently afford to lose a game or two and still win the division. Once you get into the conference title game, it is a one-game playoff where anything can happen. While I think Clemson and FSU have pulled slightly away from the rest of the conference, I don’t think either of those programs is better than us by enough to say we wouldn’t at least have a puncher’s chance in a one-game playoff.
Winning an Orange Bowl will be far more difficult. Under the new postseason format, the ACC Champion is far more likely to face a legit #2 team from the B1G, SEC, or BXII than an old Big East team or non-BCS overachiever. So winning an Orange Bowl is not something we will be able to stumble into (i.e. playing Cincinnati); it would have to be earned the hard way. Still, I think getting a favorable draw, say a team who just got knocked out of the championship game and whose heart isn’t in the Orange Bowl, could give us a plausible shot at winning an Orange Bowl before Beamer retires.
As for the national championship, my hopes are rapidly...
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