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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Beamer’

No. 15: Virginia Tech

Win 10 games once and they’ll expect you to do it again; win 10 games every year and they’ll forget that you exist. Virginia Tech has reached 19 straight bowl games, the third-longest active streak in college football. Has won at least eight games in each of the last 14 years and at least 10 games in each of the last eight years, the longest such streaks in college football. Has finished in the top 20 of The A.P. Poll in seven of the last eight years and 11 of the last 13. Has won at least 10 games in each of the last eight years, in nine of the last 10 years, 11 of the last 13 years, 12 of the last 16 years. Has the most wins in college football since 1995 with 168, two more than Florida, four more than Boise State, five more than Ohio State. Has been the most dominant program in the A.C.C. since joining the league in 2004. You think that this program is going to win less than 10 games, fail to win the Coastal and fail to challenge for a B.C.S. bowl just because they lost a few starters? Please. You don’t know Virginia Tech.

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    [Coach's Name] Field at [Trustee] Stadium

    True or false: Idaho’s Kibbie Dome is named after Lloyd Kibbie, a former head coach at the university who reeled off eight straight winning seasons before stepping aside in favor of his loyal assistant, Ted Bank, in 1935. Well, one part of that question is true – Bank was named Idaho’s head coach in 1935.

    No, the Kibbie Dome is not named after a former head coach, but rather a construction executive named William H. Kibbie, one of the project’s main contributors. This is how it goes for the wide majority of F.B.S. stadiums: The names on the outside typically honor trustees, school presidents, benefactors, veterans or, simply, the school itself.

    One more true or false: Of the 124 stadiums in the F.B.S., 26 honor a former coach in some fashion – either with his name gracing the stadium or with a field named in his memory. That’s true. Here they are:

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      Another Year, Another Hokie Defensive Back

      The year is 1998. In the fourth round of the year’s draft, Tampa Bay selects Virginia Tech center Todd Washington. Five picks later, also in the fourth round, Oakland takes offensive guard Gennaro DiNapoli, also of Virginia Tech. A pair of Hokies come off the board in the seventh round, both running backs, over back-to-back picks: Ken Oxendine — remember him? — and Marcus Parker. That was it for the Hokies: four players, all on offense, two linemen, two running backs. If you have a hard time keeping that draft class fresh in mind, you can always remember it as the last class in which at least one N.F.L. team didn’t draft a defensive back out of Virginia Tech.

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        Future Members of the Hall of Fame: Coaches

        So there are issues with the College Football Hall of Fame’s eligibility criteria for coaches, as discussed at length earlier today. Eliminating those whose career spanned less than 10 years is silly; excluding those with a career winning percentage less than 60 percent is ridiculous. But rules are rules: Howard Schnellenberger deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll continue to be ineligible until the National Football Foundation alters its criteria. For now, active or recently active coaches who deserve Hall of Fame consideration must meet the Foundation’s existing — and puzzling — stipulations for inclusion.

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          Thursday, Blacksburg, ‘Noles, Hokies

          There was never any question that the A.C.C. would schedule Florida State and Virginia Tech later in the regular season, not in September, even if the earlier date might give the losing team time to rebound from a conference loss. That’s one of two positives for pitting this pair in the early season, joining the fact that it would give the A.C.C. a national platform while the rest of the B.C.S. conference landscape putters through a largely uneventful non-conference slate. But the main drawback to having this game in September is too real for the A.C.C. to ignore: Florida State and Virginia Tech have national title aspirations, and having the two conference powers face off in November might give the winner the sort of boost needed to lift the A.C.C. into the national title hunt.

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            How to Beat Georgia Tech, Steps 1-4

            Georgia Tech’s approach to the option differs from the approach once espoused by Nebraska, back when the Cornhuskers were running roughshod over all comers under Tom Osborne. Way back when, Nebraska won games before kickoff: opponents shuddered at the idea of simply playing the game, and when it came time to buckle up and meet between the white lines, well, the game was over before it even began. The Yellow Jackets do things differently, not intimidating opponents in the hours and minutes leading up to kickoff but with paper cuts: little nicks and bruises, cut blocks and play-action, all designed to frustrate you to no end.

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              Good, Bad, Otherwise: You’re Fired

              Lane Kiffin has one. Of course. So does Dabo Swinney. And Paul Rhoads, strangely enough. Mike Riley has one! And you know Ron Zook is represented. Kirk Ferentz might have one, had Iowa not jumped in ahead of the curve. I’m talking about www.fire_____.com, the ubiquitous coach-unfriendly Web site typically purchased by an intrepid, capitalistic fan in the days following a coach’s hiring and either maintained or left to languish depending on the ensuing results. Careful research — spanning several minutes surfing the Internet — has yielded the following conclusion: bad coaches get them, good coaches get them, nice coaches get them and mean coaches get them. So there’s little rhyme or reason to the whole thing.

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                No. 8: Virginia Tech

                Step one: play good defense. Step two: don’t turn the ball over. Step three: run the ball effectively. Step four: dictate the tempo on special teams. Rinse, lather, repeat. It’s a simple formula — the Shredded Wheat of football philosophy — yet Virginia Tech is one of only a handful of programs that actually dedicates itself to the simple things, because it’s the simple things that win football games. And win, and win and win, to the tune of seven straight double-digit win seasons, three B.C.S. bowls since 2007 and annual national title contention. If it’s so simple, why can’t others do the same? There’s your big question, and I don’t have an answer. But coaches across the land, at all levels, would be wise to pop in a tape of Virginia Tech at work to see how it’s done. Few, if any, do the little things better.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.