SB Nation: Hokies 2019 Preview

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2019/5/23/18631308/virginia-te...

Billy C over at SB Nation did his state of the program for VT and basically gave a massive, "who the hell knows?"

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Comments

lol classic

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

Hard to disagree. I could see anything from 10-2 to 5-7.

Hilarious. To say this is the make or break year. It isn't. But 2020 is. You better be winning 9-10 games. 1st or 2nd is Coastal. Every. Year. 2019 isn't the measure. 2020 is.

I'm gonna have to disagree with you here. People were pissed last year even with all the extenuating circumstances. There are (currently) no extenuating circumstances to use as excuses anymore, and we have the easiest schedule in the P5. The pitchforks will be out if we win any less than 8-9 regular season games this year.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

As others have mentioned, the schedule is poor this year. So is 9-3 a good year, a bad year, or a meh? My point was that I just don't think you're going to get a good measure this year of the team based on record, and that 2020 will be more revealing

I'm not sure how you can say we don't have extenuating circumstances again this year. We have pretty much the same ones, albeit a little less severe. We once again have a team lacking in senior leadership, with 7 seniors, of whom, only 3 (Willis, Gaines and Floyd) have started more than 2 games in their careers. And we've once again seen a lot of turnover from players that were expected to be contributors this year (only to the transfer portal instead of the NFL draft this year).

That said, this team has more experience and depth than last years (all those freshman starters are now sophomores), but we still face very similar challenges to those we faced last year.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

And we've once again seen a lot of turnover from players that were expected to be contributors this year

Who are these "a lot of" players?

Outside of RB and DT, every single position has game experience. anything less than 9 wins with this schedule and Fuente's seat should absolutely be on fire.

Is it basketball season yet?

I can think of Walker, Mihota, & Hill from defense. A handful of O-Line that were in a bit of a rotation anyway. Peoples. But that's it. We're 11th in the nation in returning production.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

JJ, Kumah, Savoy, Cunningham, Kearney have all transferred out. Mook and Trevon were dismissed from the team. That looks like SEVEN guys who 'should' have been significant contributors that are no longer with the team. Eight, if you want to count Plantin, who I expected to provide depth at OL, although not start.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

Expected Contributors: Kumah, Mook, Hill, Cunningham?
Role Player: Savoy, JJ
Depth: Kearney, Plantin

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Kumah is the only one that would have contributed this year imo.

Recruit Prosim

We lost 6 NFL players along with an expected starting CB off of the defense and replaced them with inexperienced underclassmen. That is no longer the case. Experience and depth is much better across the board this year compared to last.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

I believe you're misinterpreting my comment. I never claimed the losses were as bad as last year's. I'm simply pointing out that the claim that we don't have any extenuating circumstances like last year is false. We have pretty much the same ones, just on a much more manageable scale.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

And if 2020 isn't, 2021 is.

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

No, this year is. This year is pivotal for VT Athletics. I'm a diehard Hokie and I've honestly questioned my faith in this program numerous times over the last year.

Do I think we are on track? No. Do I think Fuente can get us there eventually? Possibly, but not without some course corrections. Do I honestly think VT football carries the same weight as a name that it did 5-7 years ago? No. And there's plenty of blame to go around for this school not being more ahead of the curve.

I'm sitting back holding my breath this year and hoping Fuente is the coach we all thought he can be. If we can't capitalize on arguably the worst P5 schedule in the nation, then it's time to reconsider where we are and want to be as a program.

Word.

I can easily see a HOKIES AINT PLAYED NOBODY DAVID PAWWWWWWWL crowd developing if we do well this year

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Yea if we somehow go 11-1 we're going to get about as much respect as that 2015 UNC team when they did it. 9-3 is my bar even with the weak schedule.

15 Straight

If we go 11-1, we're going to the ACCCG. Don't need respect at that point. We can go out and take it.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Not necessarily. What if Clemson has a bad year? I don't think you get any respect beating anyone else on the atlantic side...

I don't care about Clemson's year. We can only win our games. Get to the ACCCG, handle our business, win an NY6. Anyone who says that's a bad year that people will disrespect is bonkers.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

My point was we would get no respect and consideration towards the playoffs unless we beat a one loss or better Clemson team in the ACCCG, which is what I thought stineydraw was referring to. Obviously an 11-1 season would be great and obviously we would go to a NY6 game if we beat the Atlantic champion regardless of who they are.

My point is we can't control what people think about our program. Literally all we can do is go out, beat the team in front of us, and get after it in practice the next day.

I know people want to waltz in and pick up a natty, but the only thing we control is us. When I figure out a way to manipulate other programs, I'll let you know.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Actually just let Whit know and make sure he doesn't tell anybody else. Competitive advantage.

And that crowd would be correct. But I would still rather be 10-2 against nobody than 6-7 against nobody.

Well, yeah.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

I'm trying to temper my expectations, but everything seems to be pointing to an improved record for the coming season. That's why I feel any regression or even stagnation would suggest a major problem.

7-8 wins with the 2019 schedule, and there is a major problem.

If we go 8-4 and those 4 losses look like the Pitt/Georgia Tech games from this past year, then i'm right there with you. If we go 8-4 and those losses are battles (especially Miami and Notre Dame) then i think you need to take a hard look at the on field product before claiming there are major problems.

15 Straight

Agreed.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
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“When life deals you lemons, pick ‘em up and chuck ‘em at Gritty.”

Winning beats losing
Losing beats getting stomped
Getting stomped still beats not playing

If you can't win, be competitive or entertaining

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

Brutal but truthful, hopefully we can lure Dabo away from Clemson mid season... :)

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Wat

doubtful. he doesnt want to coach professional athletes like we have here at VT.

twitter @smithey_daniel
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Click here to destroy wall.

"Fuente's tenure is on the verge of falling apart. It's also on the verge of breaking through. There really aren't many programs that are more interesting than Virginia Tech in 2019."
Interesting. Yes, that was what we were aiming for. So glad we could entertain.

Doing better and better.

I'll say this- If Fuente loses to ODU this year, he better be playing in a NY6 bowl or listing his house on the market. A loss to ODU and 3-4th place finish in the coastal will seal his fate, IMO. Ticket sales are down, first losing season in years, recruiting is OK- about the same as always. The big money folks don't like loses to ODU- at all.

As opposed to us plebs who love losses to ODU

The big money folks don't like loses to ODU- at all.

I think the small money folks don't like loses to ODU as well.

the small money folks do not also sit on the board and can essentially push very hard for coaches to be replaced. that's the difference.

So you're saying that the people who donate a lot of money to the football team don't like it when the football team loses to a C-USA team? Big if true.

Yes, and my point is when you do that twice in a row, you get fired.

Unless you're TimeCop.

Oh, right, we're a school that likes winning at football.

Click here to destroy wall.

TL;DR

@ BC
ODU
Furman
Duke
@ Miami
Rhode Island
UNC
@ ND
Wake
@ GT
Pitt
@ UVA

Realistically, anything less than 9-3 and things don't look good for VT in the future based on just how weak this schedule is. If we are at all fighting for a bowl bid, that means we have at least 2 bad losses on the resume, which is just flat out unacceptable anymore.

12-0 to 10-2 - Team is finally coming around, things are going in the right direction. Beating all the teams we should beat plus one or two likely unexpected upsets? Yeah, start up the hype machine.
9-3 - Likely lose to @ Miami, @ ND, and Pitt, or we offset a weak loss with a stronger win. No real shame in that, something to build off of. But you'd hope to see improvement in 2020.
8-4 - Spinning tires in the mud. Likely those three losses plus a weak one. Start to worry that things might just not get better. Coaching seat is warm going into next year.
7-5 - What the hell. The expected losses plus two bad ones. Maybe things just aren't working out here. Seat is hot to the touch going into next year
6-6 - Just bad. Too much talent with a schedule this bad to have this record. 50/50 chance we even retain Fuente into next year.
5-7 to 0-12 - With this schedule? We have a new head coach in 2020.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

With that said

any scenario that includes a loss to ODU, Furman or Rhode Island immediately puts this season in the "maybe its time to move on" when it comes to this coaching staff. Wake, a UNC with a new coaching staff, and Duke without Daniel Jones could all be legitimately bad enough that they qualify for this list as well. These are probably the must win games where there aren't many if any excuses to lose. And BC, GT, and UVa all have enough question marks where any loss there would be tough to swallow.

Hence, the list I put together up top.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

I agree with a lot of what you said. Especially points about a low tier loss. I understand "oh it's a game, anything can happen." But at some point, you need a coaching staff that puts the cupcakes away. I'm willing to overlook last year if it really was an aberration and not a trend.

I think I could stomach both ND and Miami losses. From a stats point, they make sense. I'd hate them as a fan but that's different. Past that, from an S&P standpoint, a UVA loss would be our next best loss, in preseason terms. As a fan, again, I hate it. But from a cold logic standpoint, that is the most expected loss from the preseason stand point.

Anything more than a 2 loss ACC campaign is a failure in my eyes. Is that shooting for the stars? Maybe. I think Fuente has his guys now. Will he have "his" seniors next year? Sure, but there is enough there that we should begin to see production change with the pieces he has brought in to his system.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

9-3 with losses to ODU, Furman, and Rhode Island

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)..

still has us playing for an ACC title, so it could be worse, i guess

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

Click here to destroy wall.

Exactly... Losses to ODU, Furman, Rhode Island are not acceptable in year 4...simply not acceptable under any circumstances. Losses to Wake, GT, UNC and Duke show me Fuente and Co. are simply an average at best ACC staff- and that is what we will get until we get a new coach- average in the ACC. Losses at BC and Miami should not be "auto" losses in year 4 of the Fuente era, either. since joining the ACC, Beamer beat those two teams more often than not- so why accept auto losses now? Losses to ND and Pitt are expected sadly... and that leaves UVA- whom we have beaten recently with worse teams. Coach Fu needs a big year in the W/L column.. all there is to it.

Beamer losses to
BC: 5
Miami: 6
Beamer wins
BC: 7
Miami: 8

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

right, so beamer beat those two teams "more often than not" and we shouldn't view them as auto losses.

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

Also 2-3 of those BC losses were to ranked BC teams with long-time NFL starting QB Matt Ryan. To compare those nationally relevant BC teams to the garbage BC teams of the previous few years (with horrendous QB play) is insulting to BC. Also, the Miami teams Beamer faced from 2000-2004 were substantially better than the Miami of recent years as well. Some of those early Miami 2000 teams are arguably the most talented teams of all time.

Ignoring the context surrounding these teams 15 years apart is absurd, and they shouldn't even be compared.

Unfortunately we were too busy losing to West Virginia and Pitt teams we had no business losing to during those years instead.

15 Straight

Right so I'm agreeing that Beamer best those two teams more often than not. Did I say he was wrong?
What his statement does ignore is the losses to a lot of teams Beamer shouldn't have lost to. The whole "Tech shouldn't lose to (blank), it's an indictment of Fuente" is tiresome as a whole even when specific examples like BC and Miami are true.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

idk man you argue a lot of weirdly specific things around here so i just assumed you were somehow trying to prove dcwilson wrong with those numbers

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

Yep and when I disagree I'm up front about it because I'm not worried if it's popular or not.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

So Beamer did in fact beat them "more often than not".

Edit: Gobble Gobble Chumps beat me to it. Also, "more often than not" anagrams to "none to fart on them".

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

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

Thanks for proving my point, appreciate it

What if the losses are b.c the defense can't stop anyone again, is it still Fuente's head that rolls, or no?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I think you'd see a "Longtime VT DC Foster to Retire After Season" scroll by on the bottom of ESPN

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

Pete Fiutek over at CFN has us at only 8 wins. Yeeesh!

He does end by saying we have the possibility of playing for the ACC title if we exceed expectations.

https://collegefootballnews.com/2019/05/virginia-tech-football-preview-p...

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

Predicting only 8 wins with this schedule, IMO, shows lack of trust in this coaching staff. Let's hope the media is wrong. Because if they're right Whit might be faced with a difficult decision at the end of November. I hope Fuente is the right guy but I haven't yet been convinced. This year will be critical for him. And we should have enough talent and experience on offense this year for him to show that he is, in fact, the offense guru he was billed as when he was hired. If we don't win 9 or 10 games or come extremely close with very competitive losses then I don't see how it will ever get any better

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

Pretty good preview but, as Andy Bitter tweeted, I don't agree with his assessment that Fuente's tenure has been disappointing as a whole. He did better than expected in year one and worse than expected in year three. Year four is certainly a defining year for him - and i'm confident he will define his tenure thus far as a good one after this season.

Connelly was somewhat optimistic about a pretty good offensive season this year, but he didn't account for a couple things that I think give reason for more optimism than he seems to have.

First, he mentioned our offensive production lost from graduation and transfer (Peoples, Jackson, and Kumah leading the way in that) and cites 60% returning production. I see that as a misleading number. Yes, Jackson, Peoples and Kumah produced last year but do not most of us get the sense that their production can be easily replaced. Willis has already shown he can produce at the same level or better than Jackson. There is extreme optimism for our receiving corps and I think Kumah knew he was on the verge of being surpassed. And for Peoples, King is coming in with lots of promise and McClease showed himself to be quite servicable late in the year. So I would consider the 60% returning production to be quite easily replaced.

Second, he didn't even mention James Mitchell. Maybe its just offseason optimism running wild, but the coaches and players seem to believe he will be a monster for us and will affect our offense dramatically. Connelly didn't even mention him, perhaps for good reason since he hasn't had any tangible production yet, but I believe the hype to an extent and feel it is a reasonable take to be more optimistic about our offense in general because of it.

Bill Connelly's returning production algorithm is more than just the percentage of raw base stats returning (tackles, receiving yards, passing yards, etc.) It's weighted based on importance of each stat and the importance of different returning position groups that have proven to be more important to carrying previous success into a future season based on his backlog of data. For example, returning defensive production from your secondary is weighted higher than than returning production from your LB's.

edit: Also when looking at these season previews you need to keep perspective on a few things:

1) Bill C is the inventor of the S&P analytic system, his previews of these teams will always be based primarily off of how his models have tracked and monitored each team. He ties the previous season's analytics into his returning production model to make some predictive inferences about what we can reasonably expect from each team next season.

2) Bill C is doing one of these for every FBS team. So while he does watch a lot of football, he isn't going to know about the spring practice champions from every single team (James Mitchell) and make subjective judgements based on the fanbase hype machines.

3) If he is saying that Fuente's tenure so far has been a disappointment, he is saying that with a more objective focus on what the S&P trends and analytics are telling him. He is a largely unbiased 3rd party in regards to the majority of teams. He might well love Fuente and really think he can turn it around, but for the sake of these articles he is going to stay loyal to his S&P system (and he should, it's an important part of his career and part of what differentiates him from your team's local beat writer or a former player pundit who fires off "feel" takes flippantly).

Point 2 is a huge positive in my opinion. It takes out the human factor of "OH MY GOD CARTOONS PLURAL IS GOING TO CHANGE PROGRAM HISTORY" and focuses on what the team has concretely done and will return. It's a interesting statistical approach to forecasting.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

That's good insight. And I certainly wasn't trying to discredit his system as unhelpful or wrong, I just wanted to offer a counter perspective that does take into account things like the James Mitchell hype and the feeling that some of the lost guys are pretty replaceable. But there is a place for completely objective judgments, and he does a good job of presenting that side of it.

And considering that until 2018, the Hokies hadn't ranked worse than 31st in 15 years, you figure the odds are on Foster's side, as long as there weren't other issues mixed in with the attrition.

And this is why Bud gets a pass. Last year had to be the youngest and most raw defense Foster has put on the field in his tenure as DC. Also most of his defenses have improved as the year goes on, so even though they may finish the year with a Def S&P+ around the low 20s the week to week score is usually in the top 15 by the end of the season.

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

And this is why Bud gets a pass.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Cool post, bro.

It's pretty barebones sorry. Someone had popped it in the recruit thread I think but didn't want to start a thread so I chucked it up before slipping into my nightly coma.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Here's a question:

We go 7-5 (3 last minute losses and two that weren't close)
Offense S&P ends ranked 21st.
Defense S&P ends ranked 55th.

Who goes?

My liver

15 Straight

Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner.

Up above somebody listed it correctly. Longtime assistant coach Foster retires. It would also buy Fuente another year.

If we are 7-5 with the 21st offensive and the 55th defense and our schedule something very odd went on. NC State went 9-4 being 29th and 54th in 2018. Oregon was 9-4 at 30th and 50th.

That is a lot of improvement on offense and defense from 2018. I would give a lot of people the benefit of a fluky year if we were that well rated and were 7-5.

We have to be very careful about setting these early expectations against an assumed weak schedule. Things change. Teams that were thought to be rebuilding can surge and teams that are thought to be surging can underachieve or be hit with injuries and off the field problems. My point is, if we continue to state that Fuente must get 9 or 10 wins just to prove we are on the right track, that line of thinking has a way of carrying through regardless of actual conditions of the season. I think we are a 9 win team this year, but lets let it play out before stating whether the season is or isn't a failure.

"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

We can set expectations early. We just need to be rational and revise if we receive new information.

Now, if you think what I said above is possible, I have an obese unicorn I want to sell you the just happens to look like a rhino.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.