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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Games to watch? Meh.

No previews this weekend.

For one thing, I've been sick as a dog with a monster case of bronchitis that put me on my ass. Just didn't have time to put a preview together.

For another, I just don't care. It's a bye week. No VT football = no interest from me for college football in general. That's a shame, cause there are some great games this weekend. But really, if you want to watch a great game this weekend, just flip on the TV and surf for a bit. You're bound to find something.

As for me, I'm going to be out volunteering for the Alexi Giannoulias and Phil Hare campaigns. Both candidates are locked in tight races in a state that is usually fertile soil for my party. If you feel like doing something meaningful on a weekend with no Hokies I'd encourage you to go out and volunteer for the campaign of your choice.

As long as it's not Christine O'Donnell.

Monday, October 25, 2010

About what we expected.

Another Saturday in October. Another offensive explosion. Another creampuff rolled.

The Hokies had their way with Duke on Saturday like we all pretty much expected. Again, I refuse to read too much into this one game against the absolute bottom of the barrell in defenses. But once again the VT offense looked exactly how it should look against a bad defense. And the Hokie D finally looked exactly how it should look against a bad offense. Add in the huge punt return by Jayron Hosley to set up the Hokies' first touchdown of the day and we finally (FINALLY!!!) saw a complete game by Virginia Tech.

And now... we wait.

Bye weeks serve no purpose in my life. Without VT football to anchor it, my fall routine sort of falls apart for a couple of weeks. This Saturday I'll be listless and a little irritable. The following Monday I'll be all out of sorts with nothing to critique and overanalyze. By the time kickoff against Georgia Tech rolls around I'll be like a smack addict limping into a methadone clinic, whimpering for my fix. Yeah, it's that bad. I have a problem. I admit it.

But for now, I think it's as good a time as any to look back on the winding road that brought us to this point. Yes, the season is technically well past the halfway point with eight games in the books, but I never like to put on my nostalgia glasses in a game week.

The offense, for lack of a better word, has exploded after the foulest bedshitting any VT offense has ever been guilty of against our "friends" in Harrisonburg. And really, there's no excusing that. Ever. The score of the JMU game will remain atop the header of this website for as long as I'm an admin here, because it's the single biggest indictment on Stinespring that there is. But since that game, and especially over the last month, this offense has been the best we've seen in Blacksburg in a decade.

Let me put this into perspective. The last time Virginia Tech scored 40+ in four straight games was the start of the 2000 season, when Michael Vick was under center and someone not named Stinespring was calling the plays. And yes, two of those four games were against two of the worst defenses in all of college football. No argument there. But three of the four teams the 2000 MV1 team dropped 40+ on were Akron, a pre-Skip Holtz ECU, and a pre-Greg Schiano Rutgers. So I'm comparing apples to apples here.

Right now the Hokie offense is averaging 424.63 yards and 37 points per game, good for 33rd and 15th best in the nation respectively. If those numbers hold, they will blow away best numbers a Stinespring offense has posted. So has Stinespring turned the corner? Well, no, honestly. While there has been an overall improvement in inventive playcalling during conference play this season, best illustrated by the tackle-eligible Andre Smith TD pass against NC State that Bryan's son Daniel may or may not have had a hand in designing, for the most part what we are seeing out of the offense this season is what we were all expecting to see in the preseason - this offense is just too damn talented for Stinespring to hold down.

Let's be clear. Tyrod is this offense. He still leads the team in rushing eight games into the season. Part of that is because of the apparent schizophrenia in the coaching staff when it comes to assigning the number of carries our backs get, but the bigger part of it is that opposing defenses can't afford to waste a defender as a QB spy or Tyrod is going to make the opposing secondary pay.

Tyrod has achieved offensive nirvana this season, bringing an insane amount of balance to his game. As his number stand now he would flirt with 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing if he plays 14 games. Also if his numbers hold it would be the first time Virginia Tech has finished a season averaging over 200 passing yards per game since 1995. He is already the all time leading rusher among VT quarterbacks and needs 133 passing yards to break the all time Hokie passing record. In my mind there's no question. Tyrod's better than Don Strock. He's better than Druck. He's better than Mike Vick. He's the greatest quarterback we've ever had in Blacksburg. And he's got the offense rolling.

But October's over and the tough stretch starts next Thursday. Over the course of the next four games Tyrod will face defenses currently ranked 53rd, 46th, 17th, and 74th. All are considerable steps up from Wake and Duke, but outside of Miami none of them are setting the world on fire defensively.

Not to say that VT wins the next four in a walk. Personally I smell one and maybe two losses down the stretch through a combination of a young rebuilding year defense that seems to have just not quite completely clicked yet outside of the secondary and a good old fashioned Stinespring choke in a close game where playcalling matters most. Regardless, it needs to be said that this is an awesome collection of offensive talent that has been fun to watch.

We shouldn't shy away from praising this offense for fear that it somehow undermines our message or our purpose. Anyone who knows VT football can tell you that by and large this offense is succeeding in spite of Stiney rather than because of him.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Open Thread - Duke

Post thoughts and opinions here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Games to Watch - Week 8

Virginia Tech vs Duke
12:00 PM, ACC Network (Raycom)

Hey, look at this picture I found for the VT/Duke game this weekend. I bet you've never seen it before. Anywhere. Ever.

So let's cruise on out of October, shall we? I said in the preseason that October was going to be a bit of a cakewalk, and while that was before I realized that NC State was suddenly going to become moderately competent I still stand by my assertion. Now we round out the tenth month with a visit from a Thad-less Duke squad that is flooring it in reverse. The Blue Devils crawl into Lane Stadium sporting a defense almost as bad as Wake Forest's, ranked 110th against the rush, 75th against the pass, 101 in total D, and 112 in scoring D. And they lost to Wake Forest.

On offense the Devils are the exact opposite of Wake Forest, sporting essentially no running game (122 ypg) while boasting a top 25 passing attack. In other words, against Wake our young linebakers were exposed against the run. Against Duke our young secondary might be exposed against the pass. Overall, though, I think the Hokie corners and safeties, while equally young, are head and shoulders above the linebackers in talent level - with the obvious exception of future All American Bruce Taylor. And while Duke does post some passing numbers sophomore QB Sean Renfree is wildly inaccurate, touting a 5:7 TD to INT ratio. Look for Jayron Hosley to possibly tie or even break his season high three picks against the Dookies, especially if Tyrod and the offense get out to a quick start like last week.

Speaking of the offense, who the hell knows what we'll see this week. Against CMU we saw the reemergence of the tight end as a receiver. Against Wake we witnessed an amazing catch for a touchdown on a fade pass to our backup QB and an average of 11 yards per carry by the invisible back Josh Oglesby. Whatever we see against Duke, bet heavily on it being something we haven't seen so far, something that works to near perfection, and something we completely abandon in November during our most difficult conference games.

And did I mention Duke lost to Wake Forest?

PREDICTION: VT 50, Duke 24

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We are ranked #23

In the AP football poll. #23.

In the coaches poll. #25.

In the initial offering of the BcS. #25.

and in the preseason coaches poll for men's basketball...... #23.

And picked 2nd, only behind Duke, in the ACC.

Go Hokies. Go Seth. Go Malcolm.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I've Been Waiting All Season to See

'Nuff said.

We finally found the can opener.

So let's just be clear about this. VT could have laid a hundred on Wake Forest, but that would have made things a little awkward in the golf cart between Frank and Jim in the offseason. Tyrod Taylor was a fucking maestro, picking apart the Deac secondary at will for three touchdowns and a passer rating of 191.4. That's just stupid. Tyrod also added a rushing touchdown. Darren Evans added three more. And David Wilson averaged seven yards a touch.

This was what we all expected out of the gate, right? Weapons everywhere. Not enough plays from scrimmage to get everyone the ball. The absolute destruction of opposing defenses. We finally saw it, and it was beautiful.

Okay. Deep breath.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Open Thread - Wake Forest

Post thoughts and opinions here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Games to Watch - Week 7

Virginia Tech vs Wake Forest
3:30 PM, ESPNU

The Demon Deacons stumble into Lane Stadium on a four game losing steak, during which they have been outscored by their opponents a combined 151-71. The only teams the Deacs have managed to put away in their 2010 campaign is winless 1AA Presbyterian and Duke in a shootout that saw more than 100 points scored. Wake's porous defense - ranked 85th against the pass, 101 against the rush, 102 in total defense, and 106 in scoring defense - is just what the Hokies need to continue their critical October tuneup heading into the heart of conference play.

On offense the Deacs are one-dimensional to the extreme, ranked 104th in passing offense and 105th in passing efficiency while sporting the nation's 28th ranked rushing attack. (Stack the box, much?) Despite their offensive woes Wake Forest has managed to put some points on the board, averaging just shy of 30 points per game. And it should probably be noted that their last two games, against Georgia Tech and Navy, have been decided by a combined 5 points. Both of those were home games, though. Away from... where the hell does Wake Forest play? BB&T Field? Are you serious? They named a college stadium after a bank? OMFG that's lame.

Anyway, away from home the Deacs have been decimated this season, falling to Standford 68-24 and getting shut out 31-0 at Doak Campbell by a resurgent FSU. I look for the score to be similar this Saturday as, honestly, Wake Forest is probably worse than Central Michigan.

The thing I'm looking forward to most about this game might be QB coach Mike O'Cain's assertion to Kyle Tucker that backup QB Logan Thomas will get into games that are not yet decided. That pretty much flies in the face of Beamer and Stinespring's conservative approach, but is absolutely critical if Thomas is going to have any clue what the hell he's doing next season.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 42, Wake Forest 14

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bud Foster likes the spread option. Bryan Stinespring begs Beamer to never retire.

This one raised my eyebrow a little bit, I'll admit.

I don't listen to Tech Talk Live. For one thing, there are no local affiliates that carry it in Illinois and I'm usually not by my computer at that time on a Monday. For another, I chalk TTL up to barely more than VT athletics department propaganda after the whole Jason in Arlington fiasco a few years back did away with the live call-in portion of the program.

But I do frequent TechSideline.com, as any good Hokie should, and I do sometimes peruse their recap of TTL if only to stay current on this week's remix of coachspeak from Stiney and CFB. But this was telling:

If Foster was a head coach, what kind of an offense would he like to run? He likes the option game, he likes what Oregon is doing. They spread you out and run the option. They do a lot of things that are a real pain to defend. To win championships you have to run the football, and you can do that a number of different ways.

The spread option is about the furthest thing from the offensive scheme VT runs as you can possibly get, with the exception of the Air Raid of ECU. Here's a few thoughts on why this might be a great idea for VT.

1.) The spread option utilizes the speed and mobility of a Michael Vick/Bryan Randall/Tyrod Taylor rather than relying on it to compensate for broken plays in a pro style offense.

2.) A zone blocking scheme can be effective in a spread option offense, whereas its effectiveness in a traditional power running game is highly dubious and leads to people calling the offensive line coach a "leach" and accusing him of highway robbery.

3.) Imagine, if you will, a Bud Foster led VT squad with a spread option attack a la Oregon and a Torrian Gray coached defense. But don't imagine it too vividly or for too long, otherwise you will involuntarily compare it in your head to what you see on the field this week against Wake Forest. If that's the case, we hope your television is still under warranty.

Chuck Norris Wears Greg Nosal Pajamas

UPDATE TWO: So, yeah, it's official, spreadshirt axed the design due to "copyright infringement." (Thanks, spreadshirt, for the 2:45 AM e-mail.) We're not sure if they're claiming the words "Chuck Norris" are copyrighted, or if they're just lumping the name of an NCAA football player under "copyright infringement" because they don't really have a category for it. Anyway, here lies the Greg Nosal t-shirt idea. As has been pointed out in the comments, maybe this wasn't the most constructive use of our time, but my God, has anything more badass happened at Lane Stadium in recent memory? Hats off to you, Greg. And regardless of what a bunch of tshirt company lawyers say, we all know what Chuck's sporting at bedtime.

UPDATE: At some point this afternoon, this design was suddenly and mysteriously deleted from our spreadshirt account. We're still trying to get to the bottom of exactly why, but we're guessing that actually using Chuck Norris by name might have been a little much for the spreadshirt legal department to handle. We're trying to get to the bottom of it, and hopefully we'll have a reworked (and legally acceptable) design back up again shortly. -- the FBS staff

We have it on good authority that, following the removal of the tip Greg Nosal's pinky finger, and its subsequent re-attachment, Chuck Norris is now sporting Greg Nosal bedwear.

Click here to get yours.

(Just like every tshirt we sell, FBS gets no commission from sales of this shirt. Just wanted to make it clear we're not trying to cash in on Greg's badassity.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CMU Review: Third Down in the Dumps

So how can you bitch about 38 offensive points? Tyrod Taylor and the offense put points on the board today, and in general imposed their will on a soundly overmatched Central Michigan team. And holy hell did it feel good to watch. Tyrod Taylor weaving through defenders for a 72 yard touchdown run was a work of art. Seeing a tight end catch TD passes in back to back games was a sight for sore eyes. And David Wilson finally broke a long one, something we've all been waiting for. The Hokies were 4-4 in the red zone with 3 TDs. There was a LOT of good things happening on offense today. Our playmakers are starting to make the plays we've known all along they were capable of. Finally.

But there was one monstrous blemish on what otherwise was a good day offensively.


That is pure, simple, unadulterated bullshit. Against a middle of the road (and that might be generous) MAC team, Virginia Tech could not convert a third down. Part of the problem was that when CMU did manage to force a third down, VT on average needed 9.1 yards to convert. But while three of VT's eight third down plays needed 14 or more yards to convert, they weren't all 3rd and a mile. The Hokies faced three third downs needing 4 or fewer yards to convert. The results: an incomplete pass and a rush for -1 yards by Tyrod Taylor, and a rush for -2 yards for David Wilson.

That brings up another point. VT has handed the ball off to a running back seven times now when needing a single yard to convert a third down. The Hokies have successfully converted two of those third downs. Two. They managed to get 1 yard out of Darren Evans, David Wilson, and RMFW twice. They failed five times. But the coaches assured us the offensive line woes were finally over with this season.

Curt Newsome, you are a leach on this program. Whatever recruits you've brought in have been more than counterbalanced by the failures of your bullshit zone blocking scheme. Your paycheck is tantamount to highway robbery of the Virginia Tech athletics department. Go back to JMU and let Stiney take take over coaching the offensive line. I, an administrator of Fire Bryan Stinespring, am telling you that Bryan Stinespring is a better coach than you.

I digress.

Virginia Tech is 35% on third down conversions, which is truly abysmal. The Hokies offense fails to get the yards it needs 65% of the time when it matters most. And I personally lay not a stitch of the blame on the offensive players, because they are not being put in a position to be successful by the playcalling on third down - or by the playcalling on first and second down leading up to it. There's a reason why the Hokies are scoring quickly and usually off of big plays rather than sustained drives, and it's because the NFL-caliber talent is carrying the offense and compensating for Stiney's batshit-crazy offensive scheme.

That being said, it was a hell of a win. Now let's go win this shithole of a conference.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Open Thread - Central Michigan

Post thoughts and opinions here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Games to Watch - Week 6

Virginia Tech vs Central Michigan
12:00 Noon, ESPNU

There's a lot going on in Central Michigan's logo. It's got four different typeface effects going on. There's boldface, italics, underline and shadow. Then there's the little lines coming off the C that symbolize motion. That letter C is really booking it, man. It's a pretty bold impression you're left with looking at their logo.

Why am I spending time talking about Central Michigan's logo? Because their football team sucks.

Virginia Tech is coming off of the biggest comeback (in terms of deficit) in the Frank Beamer era at Virginia Tech. Central Michigan, on the other hand, just got pantsed by the Fighting Lettermans of Ball State. And Ball State lost to Liberty. Oh, but wait, we can't joke about losing to 1AA teams anymore. Thanks, Stinehole.

By the old theory of JMU > Liberty > Ball State > Central Michigan, we just have to hope we fall somewhere above Central Michigan with the likes of Liberty and Ball State.

Anyway, CMU comes in averaging under 300 yards a game and giving up almost 400. Virginia Tech is coming off its second best performance of the year in terms of points scored (41) and total yards (440), and its best rushing performance (317 yards) since the Marshall game last year. A directional Michigan school provides a nice opportunity to tune up before the ACC run continues next week against Wake Forest.

Look for the first half to be closer than we'd like but still not close, and then look for the Hokies to open up a can on the Chippewas. Hopefully Logan Thomas can get some desperately needed playing time in the second half, and maybe even throw a pass. The biggest intrigue in this game is whether or not it will be the first non-sellout at Lane Stadium in over ten years. Apparently CMU returned a ton of tickets from its allotment at the last minute.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 38, CMU 20

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The T-Shirts are FINALLY here!

Because you asked for 'em, here they are. The first two official FBS t-shirts. (Yeah, we were hawking a shirt last season, but that was a third-party deal we were promoting for someone else.)

We have two designs to start with, though I'm sure we'll come up with new ideas as we go along.

This is the basic FBS t-shirt. Nothing fancy or artistic here. A single shirt will set you back $12.90 plus shipping.

And this is the "No BS" shirt, using the offical logo from the FBS Twitter feed. There's no text on this one at all except the "BS" in the logo, so expect to get some questions about what your shirt means. This bad boy goes for $14.40 plus shipping.

So here's the details. We're partnering with spreadshirt.com to produce these. Unlike other shirt companies we've looked at in the past, spreadshirt is a business partnership rather than a simple suplier, which means you will be buying the shirt from spreadshirt, paying spreadshirt, and receiving the shipment from spreadshirt.

This is beneficial for us for two reasons. First, it frees us up from the logistics of processing and shipping orders. Running this blog already cuts into family and personal time as it is. Second, since spreadshirt does all the work, they get all the profit minus the designer's commission. And in this case, our commission is exactly what we want it to be: zero.

FBS doesn't make one red cent off these shirts. One thing that always made us pause in getting into the t-shirt business was the fact that it was a business, and that's not something we're interested in. We're not in this to make money. Never have been, never will be. Spreadshirt gives us the opportunity to get our message out there on a shirt but completely avoids the monetary side of things on our end.

So here's how it works. Click here to visit the official FBS spreadshirt storefront. Select the size of whichever design you want, chose your shipping option, enter your payment information, receive your shirt in the mail, and wear it with pride to bars, tailgates, games, wherever. Please keep in mind, we've got nothing to do with your order. You are a customer of spreadshirt, not FBS. Contact them with any questions.

Wear 'em with pride. And don't let anybody tell you you're less of a Hokie for doing it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Notable Quotables

There were a lot of interesting quotes that came out of the Virginia Tech coaching staff after the comeback win at NC State. And no, I'm not talking about this one from Bryan Stinespring:

I actually brought my son Daniel. Somebody said a ninth-grader could do a better job in the red zone than you. So I brought Daniel down here and, heck, they were right. Wow. I go, ‘What do you think?’ He called it out. Boom, touchdown.
Okay, look, Stiney was joking around. He was being self-depricating. We get that. We never said Stiney lacked a sense of humor. He's a funny guy when he's not submarining our offensive talent. And Satuday's performance in Raleigh was the second best output in terms of yards and points this season against one of the better defenses VT has faced. So Stiney's allowed to cut up a little.

I'm actually talking about the serious, no bullshit quotes. And there were some that made me go cross eyed. Like this one, again from Stinespring, and in all seriousness this time, regarding the go-ahead touchdown pass from Tyrod to Boykin:

"In hindsight you kind of want [Boykin] to get down at the one so we can run three and get out of there, but this time you just score when you can."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

3rd and 1

During the NC State game, FBS reader Mark posted this on the open thread:

I may be wrong, but I think we have been stuffed on every 3rd and 1 this year. I remember a QB sneak on 3rd and inches that converted.
So I crunched the numbers. The situation isn't quite as grim as Mark suggests, but it sure as hell ain't good.

Through the first five games of this season, VT has faced 3rd and 1 a total of nine times. All nine plays have been rushes. (Duh.) VT has converted five times.

A 56% success rate when needing one yard.

But wait, it's even worse than it sounds. Three plays on 3rd and 1 have been QB sneaks by Tyrod. All three have been successful. Therefore, when handing the ball off to one our three future NFL running backs when needing a single yard to make a first down, the play has FAILED 67% OF THE TIME!!!

If I were Darren Evans I'd probably go apeshit on the sideline, too.

Put Him On The Staff

Kyle Tucker's NC State post game article and interviews, click here.

Look halfway down, at the Stinespring interview portion.

Bryan admits that his 9th grade son called some of the red zone plays?

ON ALL THE TALK BEFORE THE GAME ABOUT TECH'S RED-ZONE ISSUES AND TENDENCY TO RUN ... THEN 3 TDS IN 3 RED-ZONE TRIES TODAY, TWO OF THEM PASSING: "You know, I wasn't even thinking about that until you guys said something to me Tuesday. We put in a whole new offense in the red zone. I actually brought my son Daniel. Somebody said a ninth-grader could do a better job in the red zone than you. So I brought Daniel down here and, heck, they were right. Wow. I go, 'What do you think?' He called it out. Boom, touchdown. He's out there still celebrating."

Well, to be clear, we here at FBS never said a ninth-grader could do a better job than Bryan. We said that a drunk monkey swinging in the rafters of Cassell Coliseum could shit down onto the basketball floor, covered with random plays spread out from our playbook, and we run whichever play gets the most shit splattered on it - could do a better job than Bryan.

A ninth-grader is a clear upgrade from the monkey situation, but we'll take it.

Now, 9th graders and monkeys aside - it was very much appreciated to see adjustments, changes away from our boring status quo. It sucks that it took a loss to a 1-AA school, and someone to do the research to find how exactly horribly predictable we've been in the red zone - but 2-0 in the ACC and 41-30 road wins are still sweet.

*Please note that no one affiliated with FBS researched Bryan's son's name or his age or grade level, and that no one associated with FBS brought young Daniel into the conversation. Bryan did.
*Please also note that the above is in no way comparing Daniel to a drunk monkey. Young Daniel is above both the monkey and his father in the food chain of offensive coordinatorship.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Open Thread - NC State

Post thoughts and opinions here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Different Kind of Coachspeak

There's the kind of coachspeak we're all very accustomed to hearing from CFB and Stiney, the old "one block away," "we've got to execute" mantra that's been slowly circling the offensive coaching staff for...oh...nine years now. That's the kind of coachspeak we all know and, um, well, loathe, really.

And then, I suppose, there's literal "coach speak," as in when a player candidly discusses the subject of his coach with a third party.

Take this quote from frosh safety and future one man wrecking crew Antone Exum:

“I think [Bud Foster is] probably the best defensive coach in the country, so I have a lot of respect for him in that aspect already. But that is really impressive that he knows how to use his personnel, tweak the defense a little bit, just to try to get the best players on the field. And then it’s also good because he tweaked it so that now I don’t have as big a responsibility as I would’ve at free safety – which would’ve been more of a challenge – but I still am doing some free safety stuff. It’s kind of getting me ready for what I might see next year or down the road. So that’s very impressive that he’s doing stuff like that. I don’t think anything like this has ever been done with his defense.”

That quote is dripping with respect bordering on adoration and an implicit trust that what your coach is doing has a definite purpose, and that he is making decisions based on only on what will put the best system in place on the field this season, but what will help his players develop into the best players they can possibly be during their careers. And this isn't just Tone's outlook. The defense trusts Bud because he has earned their trust, and because of that their level of play is elevated.

Contrast the feel of that quote with this one from Darren Evans:

“I guess that’s just our identity, to run the ball. They might expect it, but ... I’m not sure why it’s like that or what Coach Stinespring sees when he sees the defense or whatever. I’m not sure. I just don’t know.”

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