-VT's strength has always been the athletes/speed it can recruit on the outside at QB, RB, WR, and in the secondary, not its beef in the middle of the field. That just isn't going to cut it against an elite SEC program most years.
-But Virginia Tech doesn't recruit the horses to be a serious contender.
-And I think the success of the SEC lies mainly in the size they recruit in their front 7s and along the O-line. Those schools I mentioned (USC, OKlahoma, Texas) are the only other schools that really come close in terms of the athletes and size they have on their front 7s
-I don't say that saying there isn't a possibility they put together a really good team one year, go undefeated and be competitive in a national
I would agree on all this above, let me deep dive on the points. Generally speaking one of my football “principles” is that you have to have a good offensive line to be competitive, period. Doesn’t matter what skill you have on the outside, if you’re getting whipped in the trenches. Same way on the flip side for a big nasty defensive line that sets the tone for your d against the other teams o. So more to the point, I totally agree that a big part of the success of the SEC teams is this ability. They’ve got the hogmollies, across the board, and usually more younguns in the pipeline to back ‘em up. So when you get to the fourth quarter, are you still pounding it down peoples throats or holding up in pass protection? This to me was no more evident the year Hawaii was supposed to be all world, played Georgia in the bowl game, and Georgia’s trenches on both sides Killed them. It was a complete joke, not b/c Hawaii didn’t have some receivers or O, but b/c they averaged probably 35+ pounds lighter that UGA. This has been somewhat of an Achilles heel to the Hokies up until the last two years, but still not where it ideally could be. We got behind in recruiting, but now are way caught up and almost have a legit 9-10 deep. You’ve seen that from our running success the last two years. But even still, when we’ve gone to play the LSU’s, Alabama’s and the old FSU/Miami’s (sec D before it was vogue), we hang for 3 quarters and play out a bit in the fourth. We were leading FSU in the National Championship game at the end of the fourth. But our D got tired b/c they were monsters in the trenches and we hit the wall (not withstanding Vick putting his stamp down). LSU blew our head off, but that was just a great team (NC’s). Alabama, same as FSU. VT has never had a problem running the rock, so that’s a non-issue, esp w/ the EvanWillims combo now. But our pass blocking has been horrendous at times (main reason Glennon struggled and TT had to take over to improvise at first), but again, I think has gotten to a neutral pont, and will strengthen as this unit and new depth gels. We recruit big enough olineman that I don’t honestly worry about this part for VT, at this point. W/ TT’s improvement I feel like the pass blocking is rounding a more permanent corner too.
However, the part where is gets away from VT is the point you made about Bud Foster’s scheme, player type to recruit and whatnot. Like we discussed before, we wants the lightening fast guys, we’ll get the muscle on ‘em once they get there. So instead of recruiting the SEC hawses like McClain and Cody, we recruit more tweeners on purpose. This is where I am literally torn in half, b/c of these two sides. I would appreciate your opinion, b/c I haven’t thought about this from this angle in a while. Trust me though, its an undercurrent issue in our quest to get one.
One side is its crazy to argue w/ the success Foster has had w/ his scheme. No other college D can claim to have had the high level of consistent success they’ve had the last 7+ years. A top ten D each, maybe last year was 11 or something, but that’s ridiculous. So its really hard to nitpick, when I feel lucky nobodies tries to make him a head coach yet. BUT, that scheme hasn’t traditionally gotten us over the top in the games I mentioned above. It kills the ACC, is hyper aggressive and fun to watch, but is also hard to tackle an Ingram by the fourth quarter. Our trench guys on the d line wear out by the fourth b/c they’re undersized compared to the SEC’esque olines. Our secondary prowess usually helps neutralize most passing games, but again, most SEC teams have someone to pound the rock. I hope our potentially highest scoring O ever will pick up the slack this year, from what I think has been too conservative a play calling to push for more points otherwise traditionally. Beamerball has been play great D and special teams.
So what do you do? I will say since I follow VT recruiting very closely, tech has gotten the best classes they’ve ever gotten the last 4 or so years. The talent it just now starting to bubble to the surface, and you’d be surprised how young a team VT is. We have recruited some bigger DE’s fwiw recently, guys already coming in around 240, but that still have the speed. Our starting MLB this year is 250 SEC sized and nasty. The DT spot is slowly improving too, but I’m not sure if that’s on purpose or what. Either way, we’ve not expanded our footprint, I just think our success and honesty helps. But our footprint is the main problem. We mainly recruit VA (and try to OWN it), NC, DC, MD, PA, SC, GA and cherry pick FL. Where are most SEC guys… FL, GA, SC, MI, AL, LA, TX, OK, deep south.
I don’t blame VT for not veering from whats been successful, but is it national championship successful? That’s the question. If its not, then should we expand? It’s not like our brand, coaches or success shouldn’t be able to expand, but I suppose we figure most of the kids in those states are gonna stay in those states or nearby. Why waste your resources if its frivolous? But you also can’t hit a homerun you never swing at it.
9 out of ten years, you’re probably right. College football has developed little to no parity in some ways. W/o a playoff system, it probably won’t improve either. The preseason rankings make it worse, as they usually bias traditional powerhouses b/c you don’t look as bad if you’re wrong. I do believe VT can do it, esp w/ the improved talent and recruiting. The thing is can the stars align like they need to, no injuries, good schedule, pulling a game or two out that maybe you shouldn’t, going undefeated, being battle tested…so so many variables. But that applies to all teams.
I would like to think before Beamer retires, he can put on in the case. We’ve gotta be one of the best teams not to have won one, like say Wisconsine and WVU. We’ve knocked on the door a decade ago, time to put the bar up there as see if you can get it. Swing the bat. I can tell you by the way we are not red shirting some kids, and playing our Adonis future qb Thomas at TE to max the talent, even if it risks him getting hurt as the number two qb. That’s not conservative Beamer, that’s I wanna fill the case and I think the next two three years are prime, esp this year w/ a senior QB. VT has never had a preseason top ten rank and a senior qb. That obviously means something for a conservative man like him to be this aggressive. What will be the X factor this season is that this should be the best and highest scoring offense, possibly in VT history.
At the end of the day, nine years everyone else is playing for third. That tenth year is still gonna be a good team like an USC, OSU, OU, etc., why not VT? The seriior qb, badass backfield and wr’s, deep good oline, and a bud D that will gel quickly, we’ll be in the talk heavily this year if we can beat those damn blue turf smurfs from BSU.