Adjusted Expectations

We're all aware that COVID-19 is messing everything up. This thread is not meant to delve into a discussion or debate about the virus, how it's being handled/reported by governments or media outlets, or how people should/shouldn't act. The reality we can all agree on is that stuff is getting cancelled as a direct result of the virus.

With that said, I'm curious how that changes our expectations heading into the 2020 football season. (I'm choosing to remain optimistic that football will still be played come September, though I am well aware that there is a possibility the COVID-19 fallout could delay, shorten, or even force the cancellation of the 2020 football. Let us pray it doesn't reach that point)

We do know that spring practices around the country will be truncated, if not altogether cancelled. It is my view that if there is any team in the nation which sorely needs spring practices to get better, it's the Hokies. Three months ago I was loudly pontificating that these coaches should get 10 wins out of these players against this upcoming schedule. Given that this spring is more or less shot we have to expect some ugly football games early in the season. Not just for the Hokies, but for all teams. Ugly also lends itself to a certain amount of unpredictability. I also think, with the nature of how college athletics is momentum driven, that winning some games (or losing them) could set the tone for how the rest of the season goes for many teams.

I'm willing to dial back my expectations because I do believe that these circumstances are absolutely extenuating. All this said, I think it is reasonable to expect 7 or 8 wins, given the circumstances, without pulling out the pitchforks. What does everyone else think?

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I was hoping for 6-6 and keeping the bowl streak alive, without spring and possibly summer practices I think that is a tall ask giving us breaking in a new D staff and loosing quite a bit to the portal and early draftees. Hopefully I am just being my overly pessimistic self...

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If we only win 7 or 8 games next year, I sure hope it's because 4 games got cancelled and we're 8-0.

But for real though, I think with a smaller amount of practice going into the season, I think it should help the teams with lots of starters coming back, like us. Disregarding where everyone is on the hate Fuente / love Fuente scale, I think we should reasonably expect to go 10-2 at least next year and be playing Clemson for the ACC title. Everything happening with the Coronavirus doesn't lower my expectations for the season at all.

"more starters coming back" vs "virtually entirely new defensive staff" might be a wash though? I hope not but it's definitely within the realm of reason unfortunately. Especially if Coach Ham switches things up a bit

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

Should it make any difference for expectations? Everyone should be facing the same issues, so I would think it should not really change expectations much for various teams. Some differences based on how well or poorly coaches and players handle it, but I would think that would be individual-based and not make overall expectations for a team higher or lower. Of course, what do I know?

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Some teams had already started spring practice. Some conferences have not cancelled spring sporting events yet, SEC. so we don't know yet if the impact will be equal across the board. Plus teams with large staffs will be able to rebound faster when things open back up again. Think about this, when recruiting dead period opens back up Tech's 11 coaches will have to focus on recruiting AND coaching and doing both in a compressed period. Staffs like Bama will have more staff members that can some some current coaching duties off their plate.

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All in All everyone will be on a level playing field in the ACC. Bama always had advantages over VT.

That's not true either. Some schools
Like BC actually got in a few spring practices. Also most of our peers have bigger staffs so again not level at all.

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So you are saying it isn't level at all to start with not because of the virus?

Yes but schools with those advantages are going to be even more pronounced. Add in some of our peers got in a few practices and this season is going to be interesting. Not to mention recruiting is going to be nuts. Honestly though what's going to be even weirder if people don't stop screwing around is the empty stadiums teams will be playing in at best.

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Well that's an entirely different can of worms all together. I was just saying that the Coronavirus isn't going to give any team an unfair advantage in ACC play.

If we can't beat BC because they got 3 practices in before fall football then we have bigger fish to fry.

Every team has the same number of on field coaches. I'm not seeing how a marketing admin or recruiting consultant can speed up things in terms of 2020 results after this is over.

Because off the field guys can still coach them in practice, meeting rooms, Weight room. All the places that spring and summer workouts matter.

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These cancelations affect all programs, but not equally because they will not have the same effect on all programs. I think every team's success absolutely depends on how programs handle the situation. I would love to be a fly on the wall inside Merriman these past couple of weeks and going forward.

Another point I'd like to make that I haven't seen brought up is that these cancelations certainly do not affect all players equally. I feel bad particularly for players competing for openings on the depth chart. Spring practice was going to be a great opportunity for Braxton Burmeister to have quality reps to show his potential and for the young receivers looking to fill the void from the departures of Hazelton Grimsely and Patterson.

I have no expectations, currently, for this season. If it gets played, I'll be happy. Hard to predict wins and losses right now with so many people impacted financially and what will likely be a school year like none in recent history.

I expect there won't be a season and if there is, revenue and attendance will be way down (not just for VT).

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well everyone else is facing the same issue with Cancelled Spring practices and schools being shutdown so I would say we should still be prepared with summer practices. In general, the beginning of the College Football season maybe a bit ugly in terms of the quality of play but teams will still be playing in a competitive environment and every team will still want to win their respective conference championships.

VT should definitely be going for 10 wins. It's Fuente's 5th year, its his guys now across the roster, he's made decisions to replace some coaches and put his stamp on the program. Results matter.

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Except not every team is facing the same issues. The SEC is still having spring practices for football.

I'm already without NASCAR, MLB, and perhaps NHL and NBA playoff. If there is no football...just Old Yeller me right now and get it over with.

I like to think that the boys are out in a biodome somewhere running 7-man skeletons and really nailing down some route running and timing. But yeah...no spring practices is a gut punch. I had previously said that 10 wins and a trip to the ACCCG needed to be mandatory with the returners...8-9 wins seems more likely now.

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Softening up the new mods for something soon? Hmmm....?

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Offense looks good. We're keeping our top QB from last year, with two experienced backups. The OL has been playing for what seems like two years now, and we can finally release the Hoff-hammer. Mitchell is expected to takeover at TE having gained tons of snaps last year. Turner and Robinson are back at WR with Smith and Simmons having seen snaps. King is returning at RB.

The front 4 is still a solid two deep with Crawford, Hewitt, Pollard, and Kendricks on the inside, and Belmar, DeBose, Garbutt, and Griffin on the outside. Ashby, Dax, and Tisdale return at LB. Farley and Connor return on the outside, Deablo returns at Safety.

9 wins minimum is still what I think this team can do.

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Simmons played 1 snap

played one snap or had one catch?

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

1 snap IIRC - and nobody on here was talking about special teams in this context, so please don't go there.

i hadn't planned on going there. just that he's recorded as having one catch in 2019 so i thought it was worth clarifying. recording catches on 100% of his snaps is pretty effective though ๐Ÿ˜‰

edit: hokiesports shows he played in five games, but it doesn't specifically parse special teams from offense

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

Hokie sports doesn't break it down by number of snaps, and they also dont break down participation on offensive snaps vs. special teams. In either event, a guy with one catch is not a key reason to be excited about returning experience. Simmons has been a non factor thus far.

Simmons was one of twenty returning players listed by name. plus the QB and OL position groups in their entirety. I agree he hasn't been a factor in our offense, but the post didn't exactly single him out as a key reason for excitement.

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

We are not the only team missing time, practices, etc. In fact EVERY team is. My expectations are the same- beat shitty ACC teams like Pitt, GT, BC and Duke please, stop making 1 million excuses about lack of depth and injuries, run the ball effectively without Jerry Kill telling you how to do it- with the 15 running backs you have now, don't have DBs running into each other against Liberty. Contain North Alabama's "big, NFL type receivers", and it would be cool to beat UVA too, but that is not a given anymore.

We are not the only team missing time, practices, etc. In fact EVERY team is.

The SEC is still holding spring practice.

Really? wow, did not know that. good thing we don't play any SEC teams- especially Kentucky.

Quarantined DC is something.

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Pardon me for not wanting to watch us get our teeth kicked in by Kentucky again

Lose on a last minute touchdown = Teeth kicked in

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LOL, they would have scored on that last possesion - 8 minutes and change BTW- if the field was 300 yards long. We weren't stopping their one good offensive player

They would have had 15 seconds for the last 215 yards so i'm not sure thats factually accurate but sure...

Duke was getting our teeth kicked in. By your logic we kicked in Furman and ODU's teeth.

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Actually we did stop them. He fumbled and we recovered. Refs missed it.

And after that fumble, we couldn't stop him, and for kicks a 95% running QB threw a wobbly pass for the win- needing a touchdown, not an FG. We weren't stopping him.

??? .....and after should of been game over

Assuming there is a season, I expect the preseason practice schedule to be adjusted to compensate. Which leaves me to question, is team practice more valuable in Spring or Fall?

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I would imagine fall, as there are members of the team that will not be available in the spring. It also allows younger athletes to get a summer in the weight room and condition (assuming this is still possible). I also think it's beneficial to practice immediately prior to the period of play, but I have nothing to back that up.

I think this is an interesting topic as well, across all of college football. I'm wondering if missing spring practices will give older/experienced teams an advantage over younger but more 'talented' teams. The last few seasons have been pretty chalky; I'm hoping/wondering if this could lead to a lot more upsets.

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Doesn't VT qualify as an older/experienced team? That should be an edge with all the returning starters, no?

Yea I think VT would qualify as an older/experienced team.

My comment was meant in general, across the sport. In the last 5+ years, we've seen young talent be more effective than ever before. I'm wondering if a lack of spring practice would dampen that impact.

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We had an older experienced WR room, until all of the older experienced guys left.

Hell if the season doesn't happen means that we didn't lose a game this season ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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