Clemson is 51-2 the last 4 years reg season

And ACC Champ games. That is sick, they are on another level. One of those was a 1 point loss to Pitt. They are not just light years ahead of VT, they are ahead of FSU, Miami, and everyone else not named Alabama. Rare dominance and should inspire VT/Whit/CJF to look at every aspect of our program this off-season in terms of improvement.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


Good coaching. Great recruiting.

They're also only 1-2 vs Alabama with the cumulative deficit for them being 19 points in those 3 games.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

It's crazy impressive how Clemson went from a middle of the road ACC team to an annual title contender in about 7 years. I can't think of any other program that has improved that much, that quickly.

Some (mostly) uncontrollable difference between VT and Clemson:

  • Clemson's three largest alumni bases (Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville) are all within a 2.5 hour drive of the university. Of VT's three largest alumni bases (greater DC area, Charlotte, Richmond), only one is within a 2.5 hour drive, and the other two are 3+ hours. This means Alumni engagement is much easier at Clemson
  • Clemson has less sports team to share their athletic budget with (aka, football can take more money out of a similar sized pot).
  • Clemson is closer to major airports - It's easier/cheaper for recruits to visit, for players' families to visit, and for coaches to travel to/from the school

I think my larger question is, what's your point? If every team could easily follow Clemson's formula, I think they would. What aspects of Clemson's success do you think we could easily replicate?

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Clemson also does a much better job getting alumni involved from the moment they graduate. Its like they attach a sign up sheet for the booster club to the back of the diploma. They also get the student body involved with fundraising etc with the IPTAY (I pay ten a year) even though its now 40 a year so thay are used to contributing additional money before they graduate.

This is the plan aTm uses as well, except in my opinion they've had inept coaching until Jimbo. If good coaching on top of a Everest-sized mountain of money can't catapult you into contention then there is just something Dabo and Saban have that cannot ever be replicated

All of those things were true when VT had better players and coaching than Clemson and whopped them 4 out of 5 meetings.

Well actually they were all still the same as they are now, we didn't have closer airports in 2005.

Biggest difference is that recruiting has changed in the past 10-15 years and Clemson has capitalized on it, VT not as much yet.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Clemson had the money to capitalize on it. We didn't then and we don't know.

That's the difference. That's always been the difference, and will always be the difference. Their fans donate, ours don't.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

ok fine I am wrong you are right

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

We actually did have the money back then, and we didn't utilize it properly. I think Brockman posted both Clemson and our yearly donations for the last like 15-20 years and there was a time when we were bringing in a lot of money. Not sure what we did with it in hindsight.

I agree with you that donations are our primary issue though. It's an undeniable issue.

We build the SEZ and expanded the West Press Box, and people donated to help pay it off. But we treated that as a one time thing, and never put any effort into continuing that fundraising momentum.

I'm sure you'll see a similar push when Whit announces his plans for Cassell in the next couple years.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

We ran in the black during those years under Weaver.

Maybe 20/20 hindsight we should have just kept reinvesting a larger percent of that money into the program until we were a powerhouse.

I am not saying we didn't reinvest some of it, maybe we should have done more.


The on field dumpster fire that is Tennessee football out-recruits VT and is in huge debt. Maybe that IS the way to do it.

We actually did have the money back then, and we didn't utilize it properly. I think Brockman posted both Clemson and our yearly donations for the last like 15-20 years and there was a time when we were bringing in a lot of money. Not sure what we did with it in hindsight.

This is kind of tied into my point about Clemson having less sports, thus less expenses than us. If you can dig up these numbers, it would be a great share. I'm more curious around bottom line than top.

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That's not completely correct. Both programs generate comparable revenues, I am told. (I live in SC and have two kids at Clemson.) . I will say this, Clemson puts MUCH more money back into their football program than VT. VT diverts this cash to other programs, I guess. Dabo's coaching and recruiting budget makes VT looks like a junior college. And btw, Clemson is a small school comparatively ... only 16,000 under graduates.

I don't think I'll ever embrace that new VT logo

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
Rockin the Bakken.

All of the money we get from that Amazon HQ plan must be used to pay off the $400,000 for that new logo

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Bama did similar after Saban arrived. Do you recall the Chik-Fil-A kick off classic where unranked Bama played #9 Clemson who was a TD fav (partly based on a top 10 recruiting class) and got their doors blow off?

It wasn't too many years until they were absolutely dominating CFB.

I can't think of any other program that has improved that much, that quickly.


2003- 4-9
2004 - 6-6
2005- 10-2
2006- 6-7
2007- 7-6 (Saban's first year)
2008- 12-2
2009- 14-0
2010- 10-3

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Correct, Saban's impact was faster and greater. Undefeated regular season in 2nd season, won a National title in this 3rd season, and titles in 5th and 6th seasons as well.

Clemson has deep pockets from long sustained alumni fundraising that allowed them to go all in on recruiting and coaching, which allowed them to build up fast in a weakened conference. Their resources go much deeper than ours. Their pockets were much deeper before they began this run. And the gap is only widening by the day.

Its a fools errand to think we'll catch them anytime soon. And it has nothing to do with coaching or really anything Whit can control other than how much money we can bring in. Which... that's on us.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I agree with you there. I -do- think that VT can improve their recruiting a ton. I know it's been beat to death, but for a program that has been as consistently good as ours the past 26 years and with our rabid fans, we can and should "recruit" better than we do. How? who knows, but it's not like other teams haven't figured it out. Miami doesn't have deep pockets, and has had probation, a million coaches, etc. VT doesn't touch them in recruiting.

Have you looked at a map? And weather forecast?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Just did.... State College... Very cold and still rural right now. Columbus. Ohio- freezing. Ann Arbor- snow. South Bend.. more snow.

Now look up all-time winningest football programs.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

So it's not the forecast that is holding back VT recruiting? Thought so.

It's not a single factor. It's many.
Here's an idea...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Interesting idea for an offseason post - how many wins does it take to 'bump up' a level in the college football hierarchy? Clemson, UF, Boise, VT, Oregon, and others have made some pretty big leaps at some point in the last 30 years. Would be interested to see how many wins are required, and at what speed, to make that jump.

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What DC mentioned above...anOSU 911, Michigan 947, ND 897, PSU 887 are 4 of the top 8 all time. Tenn was mentioned above in another tree as well...they are #10. Surprisingly, VT is #14, ahead of Clemson. But between 10 and 14 is nearly 100 wins. 838-744. That's a huge gap.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Those are 3 of the most iconic programs in the country. PennState is on the border but if you're using blue bloods as a measuring stick for where VT should be you're going to be disappointed.

That's why Clemson is the better comparison. They are not a blue blood, and probably never will be. If Clemson is Zuckerberg, then OSU, Bama, and Michigan are the Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts.

Clemson is enjoying a historical run right now, but they will regress and will never be held to the same standards as older, more prestigious programs.

If they keep making the Playoffs and the championship, they will continue to do well. Clemson and Bama are now 1A and 1B.

That's why I think they should expand the playoffs, it will give more teams, more opportunity at the money, and then hopefully more parody in the end result.


My favorite CFB parody

the world needs more Weird Al

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

VT is in the top 20 in wins all time. Nation's longest bowl streak, hall of fame coach, arguably a top 5 most consistent program the past 20 years, but Penn State's recruiting level is out of reach? Michigan's? Not buying it. the only thing missing is a national championship- something Michigan hasn't done in 22 years, Notre Dame in 30 years and Penn State in 32 years. None of the kids we are recruiting were alive for any of those.

OK, so we are a grand total of 1 spot behind Michigan and 2 behind Penn State on that list too. It's not out of reach to recruit like them.

Do you think having stadiums that are 40k people bigger than ours indicates a difference of resources and ability

Not going to lie, I think the biggest problem VT is facing is perception. I've tried to take off my O&M glasses and look at VT comparatively with the top CFB programs from the perspective of a top recruit. The fact is, I think we are just bland and stale. We suffered from years of absolutely awful offense, despite at least having some swagger from some great offensive players to bail out our scheme and coaching. We won a lot of games against ok competition, definitely a few big ones, but we perennially collapse on the big stage when the nation is watching. And this has unfortunately carried over to the new coaching staff. We're not looking at a few seasons in a vacuum, we're looking at 10+ years of this perception being built up that VT is just not big time. That's our biggest hurdle in recruiting, especially with in state recruits who have come to expect our offer. Perception of the program isn't going to improve until we get some cohesive identity and start winning some games we shouldn't.

I also think even if we had truck loads of cash, VT recruiting would have a lower ceiling that some of our peers. Not really location as the main factor, but I don't believe the VT administration will ever go all in on modern college football recruiting at the highest level and all that entails.

VT is in the top 20 in wins all time.

Cool, now do past 5 years.

Ouch. Kansas has as many wins in the five years as Liberty does in two...

Liberty 9-10-0 47.4% -6.0 +3.9
Kansas 9-51-0 15.0% -18.9 -0.8
Coastal Car 8-16-0 33.3% -8.4 -2.5

I have NO IDEA what Les Miles is thinking...and I'm pretty sure they don't water with Dos Equis in the midWest.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Kansas has more losses in football than basketball over the last 10 years.

Rip his freaking head off!

What a stat. This is my favorite comment on this thread.

Vols Fans are more delusional than LOLUVA

Hokie in Tennessee

but for a program that has been as consistently good as ours the past 26 years and with our rabid fans, we can and should "recruit" better than we do. How?

Have more money to overhaul our facilities to be overly flashy and fancy to absolutely 'wow' recruits when they are on campus for a visit. Also use that money for a vastly expanded recruiting budget that helps with how we're able to act and operate on the road. Clemson has a helicopter that Dabo is able to park on high school football fields when visiting a recruit. When he shows up somewhere, they make sure its an event, because they have the money to do that. We don't.

Its no surprise the teams with the most money recruit the best. Until we get that money, we won't recruit as well as you want.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I don't dispute the obvious fact that mo' money means something, but as someone who has a life to live outside of VT football, I'm sick of hearing the steady drumbeat about it. If VT football being the National Champion is your biggest issue in life, give 'em your first born. For me, a decently performing program, respectability and integrity and the occasional outstanding season will go a long way to making my life more enjoyable. I'll contribute how and when I choose, but I'll always be a Hokie, regardless of the money, and, like it or not, regardless of how well the Hokies perform. I consider myself a big Hokie fan, and that's my bottom line.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

as someone who has a life to live outside of VT football, I'm sick of hearing the steady drumbeat about it.

I fully agree with this. I tire of it as well.

But when people start asking why can't we be more like a Clemson, that tired refrain is the most accurate one.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

The Beamer Barn is what, 4 years old? The new locker room is maybe 8 years old? Lane Stadium gets "improvements/tweeks" every year. Fairly new "jumbotron". I have seen FSU's vegas style "dorms" that you can see from Doak Campbell, yes very nice- and I think VT is "addressing" that now. Fuente also has access- anytime he wants it- to a booster's Wheel's up account/jet. How do I know that? I am an associate of said booster. Buzz Williams uses it too. I'm guessing Fu -could- helicopter into a 757 high school game with one phone call. Where does it stop?


It all still absolutely 100% pales in comparison to what the likes of Alabama and Clemson have. They pour money into facilities to make them look modern for today, and update them every couple years to keep them looking fresh. Their training and lounge areas make ours look like a Motel 6, which is impressive because ours is pretty nice on their own. Their facilities make going to the NFL look like a downgrade.

That wow factor is why they're able to rake in top recruits annually. Adding wins on top of that wow factor only makes them more desirable.

We're like a cruise ship that was built in 2005 and hasn't been renovated since. Oh, don't get me wrong, still one hell of a destination and you'd be lucky to go, but it looks dated as hell when up against the ones that are coming out of the shipyards in 2018 and 2019.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I, just for shits and gigs, looked into WheelsUp here recently...never truly knew how poor I was until then.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Not sure I completely agree with that. I would say Clemson does re-invest more in its football program that VT does, no doubt about that. They had indoor practice and incredible perks for players (lounges, PC's iPads, fussball tables, pool tables, ping pong tables, indoor swimming. etc.) well before VT. I have two kids at Clemson and saw the video when they opened their indoor practice facility ... impressive.

Clemson also puts more money, and more staff, into recruiting. No doubt about that.

But when Dabo came on the scene, VT was beating Clemson fairly regularly. Clemson was above-average middle of the road, with no stellar recruiting. Tommy Bowden was there for nine years and did not do much. Very similar program to VT in fact. Good, lots of bowl games, not elite.

The reason Clemson is so good at recruiting is because of Dabo. He connects with players emotionally. He takes personal interest, and is truly dedicate to their well-being. No offense, but Fuente just does not have the persona. And because of Dabo, and his personal connection to players, he wins recruits. You see almost no players every flipping or de-committing AWAY from Clemson. These guys WANT to play for him and he garners loyalty.
Dabo routinely invites payers to his house for cookouts and summertime fun on Lake Hartwell.

Fuente is a good coach, but I do sense his connectivity with players is lacking. He runs it like a machine and a business. Dabo runs it like a family.

Dabo wins the recruiting because these kids like family more than business. And their parents do too.

Dabo routinely invites payers to his house for cookouts and summertime fun on Lake Hartwell

Fuente and position coaches have all done this. There is also if I recall a limit on how often a coach can do that.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Year Clemson VT
2000 33 37
2001 19 16
2002 29 42
2003 43* 27
2004 44 24
2005 15 20
2006 14 31
2007 16 26
2008 9 18
2009 36** 25
2010 27 28
2011 10*** 35
2012 20 21
2013 15 21
2014 16 28
2015 9 29
2016 11 42
2017 16 26
2018 9 24

* Dabo Hired
** Dabo First Full HC year
*** This was a 30 person class and would be 17th in avg player ranking.

All rankings are from 247
In 2002 UVA was 11th? WTF?

A couple things to point out, the first couple years Dabo was on staff were their worst. Then they had a nice run that ended with Tommy getting fired. Then Dabo regressed.

2005 Rob Spence and Vic Koenning were hired
2008 Rob Spence was fired
2011 Chad Morris
2012 Venables
2015 Jeff Scott became OC.

Why this might fuel the flames more, the recruiting appears to follow the OC and DC more than Dabo.

I don't think that fans the flames ... Dabo has hired some very good OC's and DC's and that is part of the equation. Also Clemson pays their guys more ... Venables is clearing $2.2 million and Scott is $850K at Clemson.

Recruiting is a feel good experience. One reason VT fell off in recruiting is Beamer's age and lack of connectivity. Note that recruiting has improved under Fu, even with Foster there unchanged. So the head coach plus assistants is a package deal. Dabo makes sure though his assistants do not go out there and do it alone. Dabo is the face of recruiting and the OC and DC are in the shadow.

One problem Alabama has had, btw, is in assistant coaches. While their recruiting has been fantastic, the recruits they have lost have expressed fear about lack of OC and DC continuity.

The avg class rank on the 2011 class is nice touch to downplay but that class included Sammy Watkins, Stephone Anthony, and Tony Steward who were all 5*'s from out of state. 4* NFL player Martavis Bryant, and some of their lower rated 3* recruits who were bringing the average down like BJ Goodson, Dashawn Williams, and Kevin Dodd were developed into CFP caliber and NFL players, so those were big eval and development wins.

Oh it was a great class, but it had 30 people, They didnt hit on half that class but the top end was great.

EDIT: by top end I mean talent not stars

hit on half that class

This is just a "gut feel" response, but I'd wager that most coaches would love to consistently, do this.

I really think getting into the Playoffs as many times as they have has made a huge distance. They basically get paid twice the amount of bowl money when they make it to the Championship. How much of that is divided out to the entire ACC, I'm not sure, but I am sure they pocket the majority of it.


If you want to compete at the Alabama / Clemson level, it really boils down to how much you spend on recruiting. Those two programs have shown themselves to be clear front runners when it comes to recruiting. It's no surprise that the majority of their money is spent on personnel outside of coaching dedicated to scouting and identifying the best talent and getting them to sign on the dotted line.

I would argue its more about the money spent on facilities than actual recruiting. They build Taj Mahal dorms with disneyland like amenities and then professional level training, practice, amd playing environment. Just look at the 680 million dollar project Alabama announced for their stadium and arena. Just a handful of schools have the financials for something like that

To me it's more like money spent on support staff being a big difference maker. Alabama has something like 70 staffers working for the football program, helping with prospect scouting, recruiting support, game film breakdowns, analyzing practice performance and everything in between. Clemson has something like 30 or 40 of that type of staffer.

Virginia Tech has what, 15? 20?

Facilities are certainly a part of it, but we are not as far off the mark on facilities as we are on staffing.

To me it's more like money spent on support staff being a big difference maker.

I agree with this. It's one thing to make one 8-9 figure purchase, and pay it off over a decade. It's another thing to pay 40 people competitive salaries each year.

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The main thing Alabama has going for it at the present moment is that the day you sign to play football there, you are immediately viewed as a future professional player by everyone outside the program. The only question is what round you are.

This makes for EASY recruiting IMO.

Is it basketball season yet?

Money is important, yes. So is winning. Our last best season was 2011. We had a nice run in Fuente's 1st year. We win, new fans, casual fans come back to the program, and donating comes back. Yes, we do have to invest some as well, but it will all come with winning.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Excellent topic.

If there is anything from Clemson's best practices that we can replicate, we need to be doing that. They are a good role model for us. The changes in the Hokie Club came from a review of the best practices of other programs, including Clemson's, so it seems that Whit and Fuente are already somewhat doing this.

Or a micro analysis. How did they get Clellin Ferrell - a richmond kid- to go there? Why didn't he want to stay home and play for one of the most highly regarded defensive coaches in the country? How did they come into Richmond and poach him from VT at a key position of need for us at the time?

I would think it starts with the type of defense we run. Clemson routinely produces NFL products in the front 7. The back 4 is where we excel and put people into the League.

Our front 7 is typically undersized, and we don't send as many people the NFL from the Dline and LB position that make it.


Little bit of a chicken and egg argument. We built our scheme around faster/smaller players as a result of not getting many of the guys who were big and fast, those are the blue-chip guys most every year. Our scheme is definitely odd in how we use DT's, but our scheme wouldn't have hindered an elite athlete like Clelin Ferrell at all. Clemson actually runs a very similar gap-fit defense, often trusting the safeties to make alley plays against the run. The major difference between our defense is that they don't cross key their DT's/line.

Also, specifically in Clelin Ferrell's case, you are very correct they had built a solid multi-year track record of putting DL in the NFL, AND possibly most importantly, they were able to offer the chance to compete for championships as well. Clemson was in a place where it was believable when they tried to sell that vision. When Clelin was coming out of high school it would have been tough for us to make that pitch and really believe it ourselves.

What does "cross key" mean?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Definition time "Cross Key."

DL keys the OL first step and slants that way.

LB keys the backs and slant that way.

When you cross key, the DL draws blockers and the linebackers fill in the hole. When you just key the OL at both levels, the backers and the DL all can be slanted by influence blocks away from the run. That happened often.

The downside to cross-keying- if you load up and run lead plays where the OL zones and the backs to an inside zone read (QB goes away from the blocking) you have one less LB to help on the running back.

This is a definition from French on a previous post.

A little more elaboration on this is that when the DL keys the first step of the OL (let's say the OL slants right), the DL is going to cross the face of that OL they keyed off of, attacking the direction of the OL is moving as well. This creates bubbles in the vacated space where the DL was previously before keying the OL and crossing his face. Ideally the linebackers are able to fill the holes. Against Miami in 2014, we saw over and over again what happens when the back cuts back to the vacated space away from the movement of the offensive line and the LB's either get caught in the wash or flow too far upfield with the play.


You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Plus Benedictine doesn't want to send kids to Tech anymore. Notice where all their kids are going now. Out of state.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Let's not forget the student part of the student-athlete. VT is seen as an engineering school, with high academic standards and difficult classes. Throw in football time commitments, and it's not for everyone. I get there are other majors available, but also remember what UNC did for their athletes. That's not happening at VT. So the kids decide to go to a school where the school portion isn't as tedious as others.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Clemson is an engineering school too, with the same academic standards as VT (or very close). Academics isn't the reason that they rose to power while VT has stagnated.

Let's not get carried away here. They have a College of Engineering, does not mean they are an Engineering school. That label lies with VT and GT as far as the ACC goes.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

That label lies with VT and GT as far as the ACC goes.

Or, just GT, as far as GT fans go.

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Yeah, in 2015 they graduated less than 1000 people in engineering.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Virginia Tech 2015-2016: 1,784 BS engineering degrees awarded, on total enrollment of 27,193 (6.56%)
Clemson 2015-2016: 869 BS engineering degrees awarded, on total enrollment of 19,402 (4.48%)
Georgia Tech 2015-2016: 1,985 BS engineering degrees awarded, on total enrollment of 15,142 (13.1%)

In terms of percentage of students who graduate with a BS in engineering, VT is much closer to Clemson than to GT. If VT is an "engineering school" so is Clemson.

Its more the reputation that graduates have in the profession than enrollment. University of Phoenix has a huge enrollment, but graduates aren't regarded in the same manner as Harvard.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Clearly, I normed for enrollment, so this isn't about the size of enrollments.

Using your criteria of "reputation", Duke would be more of an engineering school than VT.

I'm all for being proud of a school where I earned a degree. I don't understand this LOLUVA level of getting your panties bunched up over academics. VT, Clemson, Duke and NCSU all have good engineering schools.

I taught calculus to engineering students when I was at VT and I have a son who I tutored through calculus and physics at GT. I can say with a great deal of certainty, the expectations on an engineering student at GT are significantly higher than at VT.

Edit: I'll also add that both VT and Clemson have an abundance of majors that aren't as rigorous as engineering. As such, the number or percent of engineering degrees conferred has nothing to do with recruiting (GT on the other hand, basically requires all students to take 2 semesters of the same calculus that engineers take as well as 2 semesters of chem, physics or biology that that STEM majors take).

Sorry I don't have your experience to comment on things. Just my engineering degree from VT. But tell ya what, go ask a kid from Florida who runs a 4.3 40 which school is "harder", VT or Clemson...that's my point. Perception.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Is your comparison strictly related to calculus? How many years separate the two?

I'm asking out of curiosity. I don't personally put much stock in the quality of an undergrad degree. Generally, schools with more demand are more selective with the incoming talent which should translate, generally, to higher quality graduates. Just my two cents.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Well, 18 years separated the two (my sons were born when I was a grad student at VT). Though I will add that I also helped his twin brother, who earned a degree in Engineering at Auburn, with calculus and physics. Auburn and my VT experience (as well as my experience in those same courses at San Diego State) were virtually identical.

As an example of the difference: GT takes the Soph level Linear Algebra and adds all of the content, to Calc 3 (with the same volume of content as if you'd taken both courses). In doing so, it means their engineering majors can (have to) take an additional course, in major.

I'm all for VT pride and GT can go screw themselves, but I'm not going to argue that we're a better engineering school overall than GT. That's just plain foolishness. They are consistently one of the top 3 public engineering schools in the country. When I was looking at ME schools way back in 2002, GT was ranked 6th overall nationally (private and state schools) and Tech was tied way back at 17th. That said, you can make your degree at Tech as difficult (valuable?) as one at GT, but that comes down to you. If you're going to do the bare minimum to get through either program, GT is your better degree.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Fwiw, I was never comparing our Engineering School to GT's. Basically because the discussion was about Clemson...and us wanting to emulate their football success. I do NOT want to be GT in football in any way shape or form.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

That is interesting. Linear algebra was a freshman class for me. Doesn't seem like it would be very relatable to combine with calculus, but I see the benefit of saving the credit hours. I thought our VT math department was very strong, but maybe only because it was easy to compare to the trash physics department. With your experience, what are your thoughts on more and more students coming in with AP credits instead of taking the campus math courses?

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Dabo flipped an ohio state commit last year (Dec 2017), by telling him to think about how much longer Urban Meyer would be coaching. That was before all the crap that came up with him. If he was negative recruiting against Meyer, in his 50's, just imagine the negative recruiting he was doing against Beamer.



Or a micro analysis. How did they get Clellin Ferrell - a richmond kid- to go there?

Those were the waning years of Frank Beamer. Look at the W-L record for 2013 and 2014 for Clemson and VT. One of those programs ended those seasons in the top 20 and was on the upswing during those years, and one, not so much. I don't think you can really blame recruiting on that one.

The W-L thing as usual is overstated. In 2011 Clemson was coming off a 6 win season while we had a 11 win season and they beat us head to head on Stephone Anthony and pulled a top 10 class with 3 5 stars.

Ferrell was recruited during the Beamer era. I don't know anyone who would say that Beamer didn't care for and take care of his athletes.

I doubt that's a reason Ferrell chose Clemson instead of VT

There's a difference between taking care of your athletes, and having a special relationship with them. Clemson has managed to convince recruits that Dabo takes a special interest in each player as an individual, and doesn't just care about them, but is genuinely interested in each of them as a person. I have no idea how true this is in reality, but if it actually is true, that's next level. Beamer cared about his players, but from what I've heard, there were plenty of kids he just called 'pal' or by their number. If Dabo really manages to get to really know every single player on his team, and really invest in their interests, I can't blame kids for wanting to go there.

My Clemson friends have told me the religious aspect is also another reason - the recruits Dabo targets tend to come from very religious families, and for them, that's a huge draw to the program.

I don't know anything about Ferrell's recruitment, but my guess is he connected with recruiters at a deeper level at Clemson.

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Beamer cared about his players, but from what I've heard, there were plenty of kids he just called 'pal' or by their number.

100% accurate. The players that weren't playing on Saturdays were called Pal or Palzy.


If the stories I've heard are correct, 'Palzy' is reserved for someone who struggles with direction, or makes a costly mistake.

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One issue -- Dabo has the freedom and a very open checkbook to hire whomever he desires. And it was that way from day one before he started winning. All his OC's and DC's are the highest paid in the country (Venables makes $2.2 million as DC ... ) and he has 85 staff looking at vetting players and recruiting.

It really just comes down to a commitment by the school financially. Clemson has chosen to put far less money into other sports such as basketball. But when it comes to football, Clemson spends what ever it takes.

Drew Brees and his shoulder is to blame. Hang with me here:

Chargers draft Philllip Rivers to replace a questionable Drew Brews. Drew has a shoulder injury and nobody knows if he will fully recover. Drew was Nick Saban's guy in Miami but isnt allowed to take him. Without a good qb...he bolts for the Bama job.

Without Saban Bama would have bounced around several typical bad SEC coaches and after Dabo revives the Tigers in Clemson would have bolted for Bama. Clemson would still be Clemsoning today.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Well they have the second highest payroll in college ball, would you expect anything else?


Bud makes what? 900K
Corn, 400K?

What this list doesn't account for is that each of these schools have a support staff of around 50-70 members. At VT, I think I read that we top out around 20.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I don't think giving Corny 1.2 million is the answer

No, but the point is that Alabama can afford a $1.2 million coordinator

Exactly ... VT diverts football funds elsewhere ... Clemson does not. So please do not give me this song and dance that Blacksburg is at a geographical disadvantage. That is bull. Clemson was not on the map at all when Dabo became coach. He put it on the map. I live 20 minutes from the Clemson campus, and I know. I have gone to Texas Roadhouse and had coaches and Dabo sit next to me. My son is a waiter at a Mexican restaurant and every Wednesday serves a burrito to Trevor Lawrence. Trevor is a regular there.

Tommy Bowden, Dabo's predecessor, also had tremendous freedom and a very high budget. And he did not do it.

It is commitment. Clemson is committed to football, above all else, plain and simple. Dabo has the checkbook, and to his credit, has been able to make it work.

While this appears to be accurate, I should clarify that my original statement was an attempt to throw baseless accusations at both school about the amount of money they pay their players, not their coaches.

Cool graphic though, thanks for the follow up HokieBro757

We used to "rock" them... get it?

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

Clemson disrupted college football by being on the for front of offense. They hired a great coordinator out of Texas and adopted part of the speed from Oregon and matches that with Deep South recruiting.

Great offense gets people looking at you. They kept building on the offensive success and then matched their offense with a great d coordinator.

The entire time recruiting improved because the offense was that good, but it helped the entire recruiting efforts.


This plus their rise coincided with a power vacuum in ACC. We were on the way to end of Beamer's career, FSU hadn't regained its traction after Bowden, Miami was and is perpetually always bak, not bak. UNC was in full cheat mode. Someone had to fill the void and it was Clemson. New offense, improved recruiting, better defense, and a power vacuum led to ACC championships, that led them to the big dance giving them national relevance as a true contender that got more accelerated by playoffs.

Someone's always gotta be at the top, stars aligned and they took it.

Huh? I mean it's the ACC, it was a 1 team league until VT joined. Some bad recruiting years from vt and then retirement from Beamer and Bowden/Fisher leaving have it back to what the ACC has been for a long time, a 1 team league.

doesn't matter if it's a one team league. That team wasn't Clemson before and it is now. And the ACC is a P5 program in SEC country. They rose to power and recruits took notice. It was great timing as the rest of the ACC was sliding downhill.

You could probably argue that Bama did the same thing but starting with defense. Created an absolutely stifling defense first, made it fun to watch, and then added an offense later.

But recency bias has many of us (myself included) pining for an exciting offense in Blacksburg. We want to follow Clemson and the simple version of the formula is play good offense and figure out the rest on the go.

So it's no surprise that a lot of us (myself included) are super frustrated that after three years with a supposedly offensive minded coach our offense doesn't look very good or exciting to watch. Nor does it really convincingly look as though it's even trending in that direction. We want a top 10 scoring offense that is exciting to play in and fun to watch. But we seem destined for a ho-hum offense which can be effective at times but isn't any more exciting than the next one and doesn't really promise to do much better than top 30 or 40.

Fuente is not a bad coach. He shouldn't be fired. Yet. But fans are getting restless because it looks like it'll take a bloody miracle to get an offense that's even close to resembling what we want to have in Blacksburg.

Sure, there have been "flashes" but it's hardly encouraging to look at the last three years in full and think (believe?) that we're trending towards that top flight offense we want.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Bama didn't disrupt anything. Bama beat people through recruiting the best players and having enough depth where no one could really stop them. The tried and true method of winning football. They played NFL style offense and defense.

To be a disruptor you have to do something outside the norm and tried and true methods. Clemson isn't a true disruptor, but they took the best of each offensive trends that were disrupting NCAA football around the league and molded them into one offensive philosophy and added in that deep south recruiting.

The combo is what got them over the hump and got them to be a true disrupter and yearly contender.


More interrupter than disrupter, but Oregon/Chip Kelly really influenced so much of where CFB is right now

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Add RichRod to the list too

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I think last night we saw the limitations and potential issues with a RPO offense. I'm just not sold on it. Even though it was Alabama, it had alot less firepower than what Clemson drew up to score points. And everyone knows the reputation of the Alabama D.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: “Guys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

You know Clemson runs an RPO offense right? They have been running it longer and way better then Bama has. It's still fairly new to Bama. Clemson is just more efficient and had better players.


The issue for Bama was the redzone. They moved the ball at will between the 20's and more consistently even than Clemson did, but Clemson's defense clamped down in the RZ (Bama had three trips to the redzone that resulted in zero points). Bama's defense also had more miscues to launch big plays. Clemson was more efficient with the ball and made the most of their RZ opportunties.

I think the RPO offense has flaws like any other offense, but I'm not sure that Alabama's RZ issues were RPO offense based, I think they were more Clemson's defense based. Alabama was good in the RZ for season.

So what you're saying is that the 2018-2019 Bama team was the 2015 Carolina Panthers, right down to the sulking QB after a couple early turnovers?

Does that make Lawrence the Benjamin Button version of Peyton Manning?

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

Does that make Lawrence the Benjamin Button version of Peyton Manning?

Now this is a question that needs answering. He did grow up a Tennessee fan I've heard.

Now this is a question that needs answering

Where is the FifthFuller when we need him the most?

...they are ahead of FSU, Miami, and everyone else not named Alabama.

Wait, they're not ahead of Alabama? ;^)

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Thought the interesting graphic from the end of the game was that the three top winning coaches for Clemson of all time (Frank Howard 295 wins, Dabo Swinney 131 wins, and Danny Ford 129 wins)were ALL alumni of ..................Alabama! Irony at it's finest!

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"