FBS Mission Statement:

We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Program has Officially Peaked; What happens next, what can we as fans do about it and what can we expect to happen going forward?

Fello Hokies,
I lament to even have to write this, but I know a lot of you feel the same way I do after watching what you were just "forced" to watch and I want to make sure your thoughts are expressed publicly considering I have the ability to use this forum when many others do not. I know I heard these thoughts from a number of people as I watched the game tonight at a game watching party with many other Hokies around me. I want to first give you the good news for our beloved Hokies (yes, there is actually good news from this game tonight) although the good news will be somewhat tempered for some of you. The good news is that VT is still the favorite to win the ACC this season in my mind and nothing tonight has changed my opinion of that outcome. VT can and will dominate the ACC this yr and I think there is still very good odds that VT will indeed win our conference. We are the creme' de la creme' of the ACC. If you dispute that, I dare you to name a team that can consistently beat us? Even BC only beat us a few times because they had a future first round round draft pick in Matt Ryan.

The fact of the matter is that VT will continue to dominate the ACC in football at least for the near future, but outside of winning the ACC I regret to inform our more optimistic fans (myself included) that our program has indeed peaked and our maximum achievements will only be ACC Championships going forward. The ACC is also not a very consistently good conference and VT will never be taken seriously on a national scale because of that. If you are fine with that so be it. I know some people will be. I am not one of those people though. Especially when Frank Beamer has an empty trophy case in Blacksburg in the football Athletic Dept Offices reserved for a BCS National Championship trophy. I regret to inform all VT fans that that trophy case will never be filled the way our current football program is setup. It is an unfortunate fact and I really do not like being the bearer of bad news, but sometimes life makes it unavoidable.

What do I mean by our program has peaked? Well, let me explain what I mean by that before I go into depth any further. By peaked, I mean with VT's current coaching staff, and if it does indeed stay intact beyond this season, that VT has reached a maximum of production and achievement capability. In other words, VT has maxed out its offensive capability under Bryan Stinespring and its defensive capability under Bud Foster. The latter is not so bad as our defenses under Bud Foster routinely keep us in every game and give us a chance to win, force turnovers, force lots of pressure and sacks and generally cover for the offense's ineptitude. VT's defenses routinely turn in stellar efforts and tonight was no exception despite the fact that Alabama got so many yards. I think anyone would have a hard time arguing that our defense tonight did not at least give our team a shot to win the game by forcing a few turnovers and setting our offense up with good field position a number of times.

But, our offense was another story. Unfortunately, our offense could only manage a meager 155 total yards on what I thought was only an ok Alabama defense (not nearly as good as the hype that preceded it). The play calls were of course conservative, but execution was not great and again our OL was not the strength it was expected and hyped all offseason to be although I did see some glimpses of huge improvements along the OL but it struggled all night trying to pickup Alabama's exotic blitz packages. When Alabama did not blitz, our OL gave Tyrod plenty of time to throw and also opened up some nice holes in the running game. At least I see progress has been made by the coaching staff at improving that position. On the other hand, our WRs looked awful against only decent Alabama DBs. I am tired of being fed crap by our coaches about improvements at every offensive position (Stiney's Spin Zone?) when, in general, the results on the field game after game and year after year prove otherwise. It is put up or shut up time for a few of our offensive coaches, especially our OC Bryan Stinespring. At this point I am convinced Bryan Stinespring could not have a dynamic offense and success scoring touchdowns consistently with a plethora of VT's all time greats all playing for him on offense at the same time. This includes: Michael Vick, Kevin Jones, Lee Suggs, Duane Brown, etc. Hopefully, you, dear reader, get the point I am trying to make. My point is that there will always be excuses made for the offense and in particular Bryan Stinespring. His permanent favorable position within Frank Bamer's good graces demands that excuses can and will always be made for his ineptitudes. This will be the case for as long as the man has a job under Frank Beamer, OC or not. I know I wish I was lucky enough to find a boss who liked me this much, good or bad, and I am sure you feel the same way. But, the fact of the matter is that as an OC, Bryan Stinespring just doesn't have "it." What do I mean by "it?" Well, I mean the ability to adjust within a game to what the defense is doing to his offense and move the football against good to great defenses and defensive coordinators. Like what Bud Foster does on defense to opposing offenses. Unfortunately, Bryan Stinespring will never have such traits.

If Frank Beamer is satisfied with just winning ACC Championships, then he should keep Bryan Stinespring. Stinespring is a very good recruiter, a nice guy and the players who play for him like him as a person. Unfortunately, he will never be anything more than that. Stinespring has been given many yrs to improve as an OC, many excuses have been made for him over the yrs and still limited progress, if any, has been made on offense. Our program has peaked because Bryan Stinespring has been allowed by Frank Beamer to let it peak on offense. If Frank Beamer wants more than just ACC Championships, the solution to me is very simple. Bryan Stinespring should be fired or demoted as OC of VT and replaced by someone who has a better idea for when to call what play and can actually attack an opposing defense's weaknesses with his playcalling and get that defense back on its heels. Scoring touchdowns consistently and not settling time after time for field goals would be nice. I am also tired of the philosophy, as it was astutely expressed by a friend of mine that "punting is winning." A lot of "giveup" plays are called on offense by Stiney to setup the punt. Punting is definitely not winning on offense. Playcalls must be made to try and score touchdowns. Ask the record setting New England Patriots offense from a few yrs ago if "punting is winning?" It is important to try and get a first down on 3rd downs and also try and score touchdowns instead of field goals while not turning the ball over.

Stinespring has been given more than enough time to prove his mettle as an OC and he has been found to be void of the qualities desired for maximum levels of success. I hope Beamer can indeed be objective enough to see the truth before his eyes. With Stiney as our OC going forward, VT will NEVER will a national championship. The best it can hope for year in and year out is ACC Championships and even those down the line might be in jeopardy as the rest of the ACC quickly catches up and learns to adjust to and stop VT. I hate to say it, but we are vastly approaching a Jeff Bowden, (OC at FSU), type situation. Beamer is committed to someone who, objectively, others consider "awful."

What can be done about the situation? Well, unfortunately, not much unless me and others who are not big money boosters can figure out a way to raise a certain amount of money in order to buyout Stinespring from his contract and force Beamer, the football offices and the Athletic Dept's hand. This is the sad, sad truth. Aside from multiple and consistent Jason from Arlington type calls in to the Hokie Hotline ( I guarantee you that they screen their calls that Beamer answers on the air a heck of a lot more now), there is limited access to force Frank Beamer's hand in this matter. When you have built a football program almost from scratch like what Frank Beamer has done for a few decades now, you are given the benefit of the doubt by the older, richer and more influential alumni (I bet you can guess I am not one of those alumni types yet) who still think that Frank Beamer can do no wrong. While I do indeed love Frank Beamer and 99.9% of the time he does eventually get things right, he has indeed gotten things wrong keeping Bryan Stinespring around as OC. So, what can ordinary VT fans and alumni like you and me do about this and try and change Frank Beamer's mind about this? I have tried emails (Frank does not read them) and at this point I am definitely open to suggestions. The more the better in fact, because, within reason, I am willing to do whatever I can to make VT football the absolute best it can be.

I hope the VT football offices are indeed reading this blog and it will perhaps do some good and at least create some in house discussion about some of the things I brought up. But, something tells me they don't read websites like these or if they do, they read it for a laugh. I know I am tired of being thought of as a joke by our coaches and our athletic dept and so should all fans who donate in whatever amount big or small as any amount of donation shows you do indeed care about the outcome of the program. The only real way to make our voices heard is the power of the purse. If you disagree with the way our football program is being run, stop donating to VT football and our athletic dept and write letters specifically telling them why you stopped donating. Trust me, they will eventually get the message if enough people choose this route. Unfortauntely, this might be our only course of action if we want our voices heard. Your comments and input are important to me and I look forward to hearing feedback about this little piece I wrote after venting for the last few hrs ex post facto before I decided to culminate my emotions and write this blog. I'll admit I do feel a little bit better now about the loss and I can probably sleep soundly tonight, but the longer term problems of this football program will definitely keep me up at night in the future as I ponder what I can do to convince Frank Beamer to be rational and fire or demote Stiney from OC....

Oh and one more thing I forgot to include. Remember how in my blog last week, I posed the question to everyone "Can VT win in spite of Stiney?" The answer is now clear to me and it should also be clear to you all as well. In big games, against top tier non conference competition, VT cannot win in spite of Stiney! Our ACC dominance should still be safe in the near term because the ACC is not a great conference, as I used to believe. But, if Frank Beamer has his sights set on anything better than ACC Championships, he is going to have to make a coaching change or two on our offensive coaching staff...

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