FBS Mission Statement:
Monday, June 29, 2009
For those who don't know...
Tony Ball was our wide receivers coach prior to Kevin Sherman. He's now the running backs coach at Georgia.
Kevin Rogers was our QB coach prior to Mike O'Cain. He was also the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse during Donovan McNabb's career and is now the QB coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
Rickey Bustle was the OC that Stinespring replaced. Bustle is currently head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Lorenzo "Whammy" Ward was the DBs coach prior to Torian Gray. He's currently with Arkansas in the same capacity.
And the results are pretty unsurprising here. In first place is the man everyone in Blacksburg wanted to replace Stinespring when he joined the staff, and finishing with a strong second is the man Stinespring replaced. I will say I'm a tad surprised Tony Ball didn't get more votes, what with the recent struggles and underperformance of our wide receivers, but perhaps the majority of Hokie Nation is giving Kevin Sherman the benefit of the doubt.
Thanks to all who voted, and please vote in this week's poll!
1. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Frank Beamer has been doing at Virginia Tech what Grobe is trying to do at Wake Forest for the last 15 years. That is the main reason why Beamer is at the top of this list while some other lists have Grobe ahead of him. He has the third most victories of any active coach in America, behind Bowden and Penn State's Joe Paterno. He still has complete control of the program, with the best years looking to be coming in the next 36 months. Some are calling for a national championship run this year, behind quarterback Tyrod Taylor, running back Darren Evans, and defensive end Jason Worilds. Whatever the case, you can be certain that the Hokies will win ten games, as they have done each of the last four seasons, and compete for an ACC Championship, something they have achieved each of the last two years.
Correction: We have competed for an ACC championship every year since we joined the league in '04. Unless, of course by "compete for" the author literally means to play in the ACC championship game, which we've only done three of the past four years. (The only four years that the ACC has had a championship game, it should probably be noted.)
Frank Beamer, you've got moxy!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
According to Rivals, this season VT has the:
#1 Defensive Lineman (Jason Worilds)
#4 Linebacker (Cody Grimm)
#3 Defensive Back (Kam Chancellor)
#5 Defensive Back (Stephan Virgil)
in the ACC, with John Graves picking up an Honorable Mention on the defensive line.
As a brief aside, I would just like to state for the record that in terms of raw talent and ability, Jason Worilds is the best defensive lineman we've seen at VT since Bruce Smith, and if Worilds had managed to avoid the shoulder injuries that have plagued him throughout his college career there is a very small, distantly remote, outside chance that Worilds might have conceivably come somewhat close to surpassing the legend. (You gotta be careful when making comparisons to the Great One.)
There's no shortage of talent on defense, to be sure. But really, even if we were fielding a high school jayvee roster, is there any doubt Bud Foster would turn in a top-10 defense?
Also wanted to pass along that Rivals says VT has the #2 specialist in the ACC in Brent Bowden, but that's not really news. Bowden's a hell of a punter. The question on special teams this year is, what kind of a kicking game are we going to have?
EDIT: Also just noticed this, but compare the numbers in this post and my previous post to Big Tony's breakdown of Rivals' top-25 lists for all of college football, and you'll notice that the two sets of rankings are incongruous. The ACC rankings, for example, put Cody Grimm at #4 at LB, but the NCAA-wide top-25 list puts him at #3. The biggest disparity is in the ranking of the DB's, with both Kam Chancellor and Stephan Virgil making the top-5 in the ACC rankings while both are omitted from the national top-25.
Not that positional rankings are by any means definitive, but you'd think that rankings coming out of the same organization would at least agree with themselves. Probably just a difference of opinion between the national correspondent and the ACC correspondent, but interesting nonetheless.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I grew up near Bristol, TN/VA, which is pretty much the unofficial dividing line between VT fans and University of Tennessee fans. My uncle is a rabid UT fan, and when I was 10 years old he took me down to Knoxville for the Vols' season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. Knoxville (which was a decidedly smaller community back then than it is these days) was essentially shut down, much as Blacksburg is on game days. But what sticks in my mind was the beer. Everywhere. Literally. There were people with pickup trucks loaded with half-barrels selling 32oz. beers for four bucks in the streets around Neyland Stadium. I remember passing four different guys who had passed out by the side of the road on our walk to the stadium. It was a Bacchanalia of pigskin debauchery. That became the blueprint in my mind of what college football was about.
Fast forward eight years to my first semester at VT, and imagine my surprise when I discovered that our games were...dry? We were in the Big East back then, of course, but the no alcohol policy has continued into the ACC era, and looks to be firmly entrenched in the conference.
If you've been to a game at Lane Stadium, as I'm certain most of our readers have, then you already know that after the game the stands look like a hotel wet bar exploded, with more empty liquor singles than Delta goes through in a month. So really, the ACC policy, as currently enforced, isn't so much a no-alcohol policy as it is a "no alcohol sold" policy. And because of that, I think the ACC and its member universities are missing out on some serious potential revenue.
Well, I'm not sure if it's the revenue argument, necessarily, but it seems like the majority of FBSers agree with my belief that the ACC should consider adding liquid bread to the concession stand menus in the ACC. By a greater than 2:1 margin, our readers say kickoff time should also be Miller time.
You have to control consumption, obviously, but there are plenty of ways to do that. The most basic is cut beer sales after the third quarter. If you really wanna be strict, cut them after halftime. Or if you want to eliminate the possibility of binge drinking while sales are on, implement a limit on the number of beers any one individual may buy. And, of course, toss anyone from the stands who gets belligerent.
You could even get regional with it. Let Samuel Adams build a little place at Alumni Stadium. Starr Hill could be featured at Wahoo games. I, of course, would love to see Bull & Bones carve out a little corner of Lane Stadium and bless us all with Lunch Pail Ale.
Thanks to all who voted, and please vote in the new poll.
Welcome to BigTony’s Crazy-Long Post of the Off-Season! It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to the blog, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to do a rundown of the top players (and coaches!) in the ACC. We’re seeing more and more of the big sites offering up their Top (Insert Number Here) lists, and I think we here at the FBS should get in on the action!
While ESPN’s Heather Dinich is in the midst of ticking down her top 30, I was more interested in what Rivals.com has put together. They recently compiled a series of Top 25 lists for each general position in college football. I was curious how VT stacked up against the rest of the ACC, so I just cut all of the non-ACC players out of each list. Here’s what I found:
13 - Russell Wilson, NC State
20 - Tyrod Taylor, VT
24 - Riley Skinner, Wake Forest
Nothing surprising here. Taylor has the potential to be an elite player, and it’s nice to see Rivals recognizing it, but the fact remains that he has a fair amount to prove as far as his passing game goes, logging 7 INT’s to just 2 TD’s last season. Look for our now-veteran WR corps to aid in his growth and improvement this season.
2 - Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
11 - CJ Spiller, Clemson
15 - Darren Evans, VT
16 - Da’Rel Scott, Maryland
This honestly impressed the hell out me. I know that Evans is talented, but to be ranked in the top 15 as a Freshman is outstanding! The only other frosh RB on Rivals’ list is Alabama’s Mark Ingram, and he just barely made it in at #24. While I am extremely excited to see what Ryan Williams brings to the team this season, I am more excited to see how Evans will improve this season.
22 - Jacoby Ford, Clemson
One of the few categories without any Hokies, but with good reason. I do think we boast some of the future best in the ACC, but Jarrett Boykin, Dyrell Roberts and Danny Coale have yet to make a statistical splash in the league. Keep in mind that speedster Brandon Dillard will be returning, too.
14 - Greg Boone, VT
19 - Ben Wooster, Wake Forest
Happy as hell to see Boone listed here. He’s solid as a rock, and for the second straight year, I will consider him to be my favorite Hokie. Hopefully former starter Sam Wheeler will finally be back to 100%, and able to add something to Boone’s solidity.
4 - Rodney Hudson, Florida State
13 - Thomas Austin, Clemson
16 - Sergio Render, VT
18 - Matt Tennant, Boston College
Love Sergio! I used to work with him, so I know what kind of a guy he is. He’s a fantastic talent and I can’t wait to see how our line can build off the success of last season’s Orange Bowl win.
5 - Jason Worilds, VT
17 - Willie Young, NC State
Not surprised here in the least. Worilds was damn good with a bum shoulder last season. He’ll only be better this year. Look for Cordarrow “Taco” Thompson to make an impact this season, too.
2 - Mark Herzlich, Boston College
15 - Nate Irving, NC State
19 - Cody Grimm, VT
21 - Alex Wujciak, Maryland
24 - Quan Sturdivant, UNC
25 - Sean Spence, Miami
I’m a little surprised to see Cody this high up because I think Cam Martin brings more to the table. There is no replacing experience under Bud Foster, no matter how good the talent. Fall practice will hopefully show us Martin back in the top spot, and Grimm stepping back into his supporting role.
3 - Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech
14 - Chris Chancellor, Clemson
16 - Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
18 - Patrick Robinson, Florida State
This is by far the most surprising list to me. Stephan Virgil belongs on this list. Hell, even Kam Chancellor should be scraping the bottom of the top 25. VT’s defensive backfield is the most consistently outstanding position on our defense, producing NFL draft picks in each of the last 11 seasons. I fully expect this year to be no exception.
7 - CJ Spiller, Clemson
14 - Matt Bosher, Miami
25 - Travis Benjamin, Miami
It’s tough for me to argue for a specialist like Brent Bowden. While I feel like he is a damn good kicker, I felt the same way about Nic Schmitt, and he went nowhere after VT. (I’m not sure where he is nowadays. Please update us if you know!)
So what if we took all of the above players, and assuming all positions are equal, compiled a top 28 list (since numbers divisible by 5 are lame)? How would that look?
- Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
- Mark Herzlich, Boston College (I can’t bring myself to exclude him)
- Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech
- Rodney Hudson, Florida State
- Jason Worilds, VT
- CJ Spiller, Clemson
- Russell Wilson, NC State
- Thomas Austin, Clemson
- Greg Boone, VT
- Chris Chancellor, Clemson
- Matt Bosher, Miami
- Darren Evans, VT
- Nate Irving, NC State
- Da’Rel Scott, Maryland
- Sergio Render, VT
- Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
- Willie Young, NC State
- Matt Tennant, Boston College
- Patrick Robinson, Florida State
- Ben Wooster, Wake Forest
- Cody Grimm, VT
- Tyrod Taylor, VT
- Alex Wujciak, Maryland
- Jacoby Ford, Clemson
- Riley Skinner, Wake Forest
- Quan Sturdivant, UNC
- Sean Spence, Miami
- Travis Benjamin, Miami
Six spots out of the top 28 ain’t bad!
So all this player ranking is all well and good, but with a name like “The Fire Bryan Stinespring Blog”, we’d me remiss if we didn’t take a look at the top 25 coaches lists! So here they are, in all of their redacted glory:
13 - Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
22 - Steve Lobotzke, Wake Forest
24 - Gregg Brandon, Virginia
Wait... no Stiney?!
*pause for laughter*
Fisher and Lobotzke deserve those spots, but Brandon seems like an odd pick to me. We’ll have to see what UVa does this season...
2 - Bud Foster, VT
12 - Kevin Steele, Clemson
15 - Mickey Andrews, Florida State
23 - Dave Wommack, Georgia Tech
I’m fairly sure Bud Foster has not seen a sub-top-10 ranking for himself or his half of the team in a few years. He’s a fantastic Coach, and deserving of the #1 spot, in my mind.
7 - Frank Beamer, VT
10 - Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
13 - Paul Johnson, GT
22 - Butch Davis, UNC
We love you Frank. If it weren’t for your peculiar taste in offensive coordinators, you’d probably be a few spots higher on the list by now, but #7 fits. Note, though, that Bobby Bowden is absent from the list. Both of his coordinators made their respective lists, but he is suspiciously excluded from the HC list. Sounds like Rivals is suggesting he’s over-stayed his welcome?
So that completes it. I hope you all took notes. We’ll have a quiz on this in September.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This is perhaps for the best, especially if Bret Favre winds up in town. Still, Glennon's NFL prospects look quite uncertain.
Personally I think it's a safe bet that Glennon will spend some time in the CFL before ever playing a live snap for the National Football League. If Bryan Randall, who was twice the quarterback Sean Glennon ever was, is currently fighting for a spot on the two-deep in Winnipeg, Glennon's pro-football career might be over before it ever started.
Good luck to Sean, and here's hoping he beats the odds.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
According to rivals, in 2009 VT has the:
#2 Quarterback (Tyrod Taylor)
#2 Running Back (Darren Evans)
#4 Wide Receiver (Jarrett Boykin)
#2 Tight End (Greg Boone)
#3 Offensive Lineman (Sergio Render)
...in the ACC.
Can you say "loaded"? This list also doesn't take into consideration what first year players like Ryan Williams and Logan Thomas might contribute to the offense. There's a double-upshot to this. First, our offense should be wicked hardcore awesome this season. If it's not, then Bryan Stinespring has nothing to hide behind as an excuse.(EDIT: Was going to provide a direct link to each position's top-five list, which is available from VT's Yahoo! Sports page, but apparently Rivals has them blocked against linking from third-party sites, so I've provided the name of the Hokie who earned the ranking as well.)
Monday, June 15, 2009
I picked 2,000 yards (instead of a higher, more impressive mark) for a couple of reasons. First, Tyrod has only managed to get about halfway there to this point. Second, even if our receivers improve exponentially this season, as some predict they will, our offensive scheme simply does not lend itself to Big XII-esque passing numbers. We're a run first offense, and with Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, and Tyrod Taylor in the backfield, why not run first? We might conceivably not see another 3,000 yard passer at VT in the Beamer era.
Hope springs eternal in Hokie Nation, apparently, with 60% of respondents thinking T-Mobile can double-up his previous best and break the bimillenial mark.
I will say this: if Tyrod can manage to fling it for a couple thousand yards and a dozen or so touchdowns without a reduction in output from what should be the best backfield in the ACC then our offense might actually be fun to watch this season.
Thanks to all who voted. We're sort of switching gears with this week's poll question, so please don't forget to vote!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Am I good or what?
There's no shortage of excitement about Ryan Williams, but Darren Evans is a known (and very valuable) commodity. We're not certain how Williams will hold up throughout the longer college season, and we've already seen that Evans is a workhorse who gets better as the season rolls along.
Is it safe to say here, fellow FBSers, that we expect Evans to have more total yardage but expect Williams to have the better average yards per carry? That's the way I'm feeling at the moment, at least.
And with the singular vote for "someone else," it's good to see that Josh Oglesby is participating in our weekly polls.
Thanks to all who voted. Check out the new poll question and vote!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
First and most importantly, VT picked up a hugenormous commit from the #9 weakside defensive end in the country (according to Rivals), Zach McCray. This is a big deal, bringing in a top-ten-at-his-position prospect at one of our biggest needs positions. McCray's stat-line reads like he was genetically engineered to play defensive end for the Hokies, and he picked VT over offers from pretty much every other BCS program. Slight exaggeration there (very slight, actually), but the point is the guy wants to be a Hokie, which I think is safe to say is the first thing Bud Foster (hallowed be Thy name) looks for in a player. An interesting bit of trivia concerning McCray, he came out of the same high school as Logan Thomas, which begs the question, what the hell are they putting in the water in Lynchburg?
Speaking of recruiting, VT had its first summer camp June 6 which means a prime recruiting period in Blacksburg is officially underway. Most of you probably recall that last year's summer camps brought a huge commitment from David Wilson and officially began the courtship that eventually brought Logan Thomas to Blacksburg. We'll keep an eye on the offers and commitments that come out of the camps.
Game times have been set for two more non-conference games. Marshall at VT will kick at 1:30 with ESPN360 coverage. A week later the Nebraska game is slated for a 3:30 kickoff, with regional coverage by ABC and national coverage on ESPN 2. Not to slam the Deuce, but is there really this little excitement about our game with the Huskers? I guess a lot of people just aren't buying into the Flying Pelini Brothers. Oh well, at least it's not on the Ocho.
Finally, Virginia Tech Athletics Director Jim Weaver has been announced as the winner of the 2009 John L. Toner Award, presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding performance by an AD (obviously in regards to college football). Make of that what you will, but I'm sure there will be a few grumblings. It seems that Bryan Stinespring and Jim Weaver are 1 and 1a respectively on a lot of FBSers' shit lists.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I was surprised to see some love for Don Strock. VT has been nationally prominent in college football for only about a decade and a half now, and it's nice to see a pre-'95 Sugar Bowl QB get some love. It tells me the FBS fanbase has some deep Hokie roots, which is nice.
I was also surprised to see a lack of love for Jim Druckenmiller. Not that I think he's the best name on the list, but he did bring VT its first win in a Bowl Alliance bowl (anyone remember the B.A.?) and that sort of milestone tends to build a legacy. I thought Druck would get some votes here for the same reason people still talk about Eric Crouch in Lincoln.
I was also glad to see Bryan Randall get a handful of votes. It was fun to watch Randall develop into the unquestioned team leader he became for the 2004 season. After starting 2-2 that year it would have been easy for the season to fall apart, especially with VT's history of fast starts prior to that year. Randall had a big hand in keeping things together and winning the ACC our first year, when we had been picked to finish firmly in the middle of the pack.
And to the one person who voted for "none of the above," seriously, who the hell else is there?
Thanks to all who voted and please vote in the new poll!