The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: The Football Schedule, And The Basketball Roster

Virginia Tech, Brent Pry
Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry is one of many new coaches in the Coastal Division. (Jon Fleming)

1) Which new head coaches will elevate, maintain or regress their programs? Baseline is last five years, how about three head coaches for each category? – st_andrew

Chris Coleman: Talk about Coastal Chaos. There were four head coaching changes in the 7-team Coastal Division in the offseason. That’s nearly 25% of the total (13) head coaching changes throughout all of Power 5 football in this cycle.

Here they are…

Duke: Mike Elko
Miami: Mario Cristobal
UVA: Tony Elliott
VT: Brent Pry
Oklahoma: Brent Venables
TCU: Sonny Dykes
Texas Tech: Joey McGuire
Notre Dame: Marcus Freeman
Oregon: Dan Lanning
USC: Lincoln Riley
Washington: Kalen DeBoer
Florida: Billy Napier
LSU: Brian Kelly

All are question marks to a certain extent. Outside of Brent Pry at Virginia Tech of course, I’m most interested in seeing how Cristobal does at Miami. Every time Miami hires a new coach, people claim it’s the right fit and that the Canes finally got it right. Then a few years later they are in the market again. People are saying the same things about Cristobal, and…well, we’ll see.

One thing Cristobal has going for him is NIL. Miami boosters are really getting behind NIL, which should help the program on paper. However, I can also see Miami players fighting over NIL money, which in turn divides the locker room, with the result being a group of talented and somewhat wealthy players who went 7-5.

Speaking of NIL, its existence sort of makes this question difficult to answer. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day stated in a meeting with 100 members of the Columbus business community that it will take $13 million in NIL money to keep the Buckeye roster together. Day went on to state that top quarterbacks are worth about $1 million, while offensive tackles and edge rushers are valued at about $1 million. He’s the first head coach to put a price tag on it. He also had a great quote comparing NIL to driving the speed limit…

“If the speed limit’s 45 miles per hour, and you drive 45 miles per hour, a lot of people are going to pass you by,” Day said. “If you go too fast, you’re going to get pulled over.”

That’s a great line.

Some of these guys are going to have an advantage over their predecessors because of NIL. Some of these guys are going to be at a disadvantage over their predecessors because of NIL. We know that Mario Cristobal (in theory) will benefit from NIL, and certainly Lincoln Riley at USC will benefit as well. Is Dan Lanning a good hire for Oregon? Probably so, in a traditional sense, but it won’t turn out to be such a good hire if USC can buy up all the best talent on the West Coast. That could hurt Oregon recruiting quite a bit.

With all of that in mind, here are my three picks for each category…elevate, maintain, and regress. I’m going to exclude Brent Pry from consideration because I’m too close emotionally to Virginia Tech. Plus, I have no idea how NIL will affect the Hokies.

Elevate: Lincoln Riley (USC), Mario Cristobal (Miami), Kalen DeBoer (Washington)

Riley will probably have the money to buy anybody he wants, and he’s a good coach to boot. I could have just as easily put Cristobal in