Godfrey on Billy Napier and Hokies

Pittsburgh's beatdown of Virginia Tech continues to push discontent with Justin Fuente in Blacksburg. A name that's making more and more sense for the Hokies is Louisiana's Billy Napier. If he's a possibility, expect VT to make a move.

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I've been disappointed enough this football season. Please quit getting my hopes up. I'm more in the "surprise me when there is good news" mindset now to brace for the rest of the season.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

It's not nice to play with my emotions like this, Mr. Godfrey

"Give me a fu¢king beer", Anonymous Genius

Napier makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways.

He's gotta be on the radar.

How?

Free Hugh

Ties to the South,
knows (and has connections in) both the ACC and SEC,
has worked for Dabo and Saban,
success at Louisiana as head coach,
offense-minded
could have stayed at Arizona State as OC if he'd wanted,
up-and-comer who will coach in the P5,
VT would be a step up from his current job.

What's not to like?

Didn't Dabo fire him?

Free Hugh

Didn't Saban immediately hire him afterwards?

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

As an analyst. Here's his career path:

Years Job
2003–2004 Clemson (GA)
2005 South Carolina State (QB)
2006–2008 Clemson (TE/RC)
2009–2010 Clemson (OC/QB)
2011 Alabama (Analyst)
2012 Colorado State (AHC/QB)
2013–2016 Alabama (WR)
2017 Arizona State (OC/QB)
2018–present Louisiana

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Are you just gonna neglect the national title Bama won in the 2011 season? Or the one in 2015?

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

Do you think they wouldn't have won without him? That's like saying if they win the title this year they couldn't have done it without Holman Wiggins. Straight nonsense

Go for it

But that's also dismissing that he was part of two national championships. Yes, they win because Satan (intentional), but the other coaches matter too. He also left and immediately came back, so clearly Nicky liked something about him.

He must know how to place the cash in the dufflebag juuuuust right

The Dude Abides

The more I have read about Napier and his mindset and coaching style, the more I think he would be a good fit in Blacksburg. While I love the curmudgeonly nature of a coach like the one at MS State (his soundbytes are always entertaining), Napier is probably more the personality of the overall Hokie Nation. Is it wishful thinking? Maybe - but with Fuente offically exiting now, it feels a bit more possible than it did before the Duke game.

'89 Hokie alum, former staff, former faculty. Living in Jawja - a rescue Dawg married to a Fauxkie. Navigating the curious spaces between the ACC and the SEC since 2009.

I don't know that much about Napier as a coach. Would he improve recruiting? Would he improve the offensive identity (not that it would take a lot)? I know he has time with Clemson and Alabama, but...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Everything he knows about program building he learned from Saban and Dabo. His culture focus is kind of a cosmic gumbo of the family thing and the Process.

cosmic gumbo of the family thing and the Process.

Sounds like something that could either be an amazing success, or a brilliant failure.

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I think cosmic gumbo sounds delicious.

cosmic gumbo of the family thing and the Process

This is definitely a line in a goofy Jimmy Buffett song.

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

I was thinking that Cosmic Gumbo and the Family thing was a Phish cover band

The Dude Abides

All good guesses. It's from Tim Robinson's sketch show on Netflix.

Cosmic Gumbo and the Phamily thing

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

Just learned that it's called "The Journey"

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New acronym: CFPG - Cosmic Family Process Gumbo

gtofever

Godfrey mentioned something about Napier and VT a few weeks ago that piqued my interest, but I refuse to get my hopes up.

yeah, I would be surprised to land napier after he seemingly has turned down multiple sec jobs.

maybe he views VT as a better situation for his career? less chaos than Tenn and Auburn for sure

maybe he views VT as a better situation for his career? less chaos than Tenn and Auburn for sure

I am starting to think this may be a viable option in his decision making. Do you want to join the rat race, insane pressure of the SEC? You take a job on one side and you play UGA and Florida every year, you join the other side and you play some combo of Bama, A&M, LSU, Auburn, every year, and oh yeah Ole Miss is one of the scariest teams in the country as long as Lane's there and might be a top 10 team. Also the "easy" games are against Mike Leach, which is the passing triple option basically, and Arkansas, who beat Texas earlier this year lol.

Maybe he is thinking he has a better chance of building a stable program/career at a place like VT. We can hope.

This is pretty much my thought on when someone talks about going to the SEC vs. us. Yes, bigger money, but all of these schools want to be competitive for conference championships and seem to have a pretty short window for a coach to prove he can be successful. Both Les Miles and Orgeron were let go from LSU within, what, 2 seasons of winning a National Championship. That's shit for job security. And younger coaches with kids may want stability (just a random thing that occurred to me - basically, there can be a lot more to why a coach would take a job than seeing the dollar signs the SEC schools flash in front of potential hires).

In my mind, not firing Fuente over the last few years helps us in a coaching search.

"Look you can come to VT and have at least 5 or 6 years to prove yourself, or you could go get beat up in the SEC by Bama/Georgia/LSU/Florida and be looking for a job in 2-3 years."

Correct. It's a selling point that you'll have enough time to implement your program, and some time to correct hiccups.

A potential coach will have to weigh that against SEC money and pressure.

Whit playing the long game by letting mediocrity be the norm.

The Dude Abides

I mentioned this in an older thread, but down here in SEC-land, SEC people see VT as an attractive post - you can now be the savior of a good enterprise that lost it's way. Not the inevitable rebound from one of the most beloved coaches in college football.

It took years for Bama to find Saban after the Bear Bryant years. Maybe it won't take us as long to find the next coach to fulfill Hokie potential. Anyone that watched our national championship run or the preseason matchup against Bama almost a decade later knows what *can* happen in Blacksburg.

And I'd put our fanbase against just about anyone. Even the Dawg I married has been consistently impressed at VT's ability to travel and support the team anywhere in the US.

'89 Hokie alum, former staff, former faculty. Living in Jawja - a rescue Dawg married to a Fauxkie. Navigating the curious spaces between the ACC and the SEC since 2009.

Being in the ACC would also give him a shot at Dabo.

Their parting at Clemson was reported to be less than friendly.

Clemson all of a sudden looking more vulnerable than any recent memory..you swoop into the ACC and swiftly dismantle them!!!

A man can dream

The way he worded this statement is interesting. "If he's a possibility, expect VT to make a move". It reads like two sides communicating thru the media. The wording implies that VT is saying "Hey Billy. If you like us, we will hire you. Do you like us? Let us know"

It's like a dance

It's like a dance, only one where the parties can contact each other directly instead of through some third party on Twitter.

So, for me, it seems likely to be a long shot. But it's got to start somewhere.

No way Whit is negotiating via the media, and it would be surprising if this is Whit's top candidate. Whit isn't likely to be thrilled about discussions about this in public, when Fuente is still his guy in the real world.

“Also, a microwave has never danced it's ass off to Jackie Wilson.” - AssPocketFullOWhiskey

Why is everyone obsessed with Napier?

Free Hugh

33-12 at Lousiana, with 7 of losses coming yr 1, followed by 11-3, 10-1, and currently 5-1 this season. Spent most of the last 15 years at Clemson (06-2010), and Alabama (2011, 2013-16), with P5 OC experience at both Clemson and ASU.

Those records are certainly impressive, but a majority of those wins come against the Sun Belt, no? And he's from the Georgia area, what ties can he have to the DMV area to improve our recruiting in that area. I don't see this as a good hire, it's too similar to the CJF hire in my opinion (not a 1 for 1, I know).

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

That 10-1 record last year started with beating Iowa State on the road, but yeah they are in the Fun Belt. The elevated G5 results do make it Fuente-ish, but turning the P5 experience at Clemson and Bama for 10 of the last 15 years into a program-building situation at Louisiana is why people believe he has the juice.

He's from Cookeville, Tennessee. Played at Furman.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

He recruited Tajh Boyd and Trevon Diggs

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

Tajh Boyd was when Clemson was a okay ACC team so he gets credit for that pull but Diggs was when Bama was an established machine. He walked in the HS with a Bama hat and offered and Diggs went running..........

I think the expectation (at least my expectation) is that he will approach recruiting with a strategy/methodology he has picked up from all these other big time programs, not necessarily that he will actually pull Bama-caliber recruits on a regular basis.

It's clear at this point that Fuente had zero idea what kind of effort/commitment is required to recruit at the major P5 level and didn't have anyone on his staff to provide that guidance either.

Is that approach that he'd expect to big dog other schools? (Not trying to be snarky - just not sure if that's usually how it works) Because I don't think he can use that approach. And what if our recruiting resources (actual recruiting staff and marketing folks and whoever else he'd need) are way below what he's used to in those programs - does he have to fix that before he'd be as effective as he could be? So then the question is what approach is he using at Louisiana, and can he ramp up from that. I'd like to see if it really works that guys who were on staff at Alabama or Clemson go to a lower tier P5 school and significantly improve recruiting over what it had been, and whether there was any correlation to whether they went directly from the blue blood schools or had other coaching stops along the way.

And if there was significantly improved recruiting, did it regress, maintain, or improve depending on that coach's win/loss record at the new school? Has anybody analyzed that? Everyone seems to think having coached and recruited at those schools will automatically translate to higher recruiting classes at Tech. I'd just like to see if there's evidence of that being true amongst other previous coaches, or if it's just an assumption that does NOT come to pass.

The point is that they've been around successful recruiting operations. They know the level of program commitment needed and what to ask for from the administration. And they have the bonafides for that administration to believe them and follow-through. An example would be Kirby Smart at Georgia. Georgia always recruited well but were not a top-3 recruiting program. Smart went there and said "this is what Saban has, if you want to win you have to pay for this kind of a recruiting operation". He knew exactly what to ask for and got it. Even with our lower level of resources the same principle applies: you need someone to come in, who has seen a successful organization to set one up. It's less about the individual salesman and more about the operation.

I keep seeing this rationale, and I agree, it makes sense. The only thing I'd say is, why does the head coach have to come in and do this? Why don't we hire someone off the recruiting staffs of Alabama (or other top recruiting program) that's just under the top level who wants a promotion? They come to Tech, get to head recruiting, build the staff up, and get the type of recruiting program we want, at least from a support staff perspective. Ideally, we would have done this a year or two ago so the new coach could take advantage of that rather than building it themselves, because that would be just one more thing they'd have to do (unless they just hire the type of person I described to do it for them, only the coach has to wait while it's getting built to take full advantage of it).

I definitely get your point. I mentioned these names to show that he can recruit in our natural recruiting region as a critique on the notion that he can only recruit LA/AL/TX. Apart from program status, recruits largely choose a school based off of a relationship with the HC or an assistant so I'd imagine he could still bring in some top recruits to Tech because of his personality and connections.

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

A good recruiter doesn't have to have pre-existing relationships in an area to recruit it well. He creates those relationships. You don't have to be a local to sell stuff to the locals.

But you also have to know what you're getting into and have an understanding of regional politics... Classic Example: When Jimbo first got to TAMU, he started his tenure by introducing himself to 7v7 coaches. In Florida, this was the right strategy, but in Texas, high school coaches are the most influential group of people. The Texas High School Football Coaches Association was PISSED and some coaches guided recruits away from him.

Now, Jimbo figured out where he messed up, and was able to patch things up for his second class (jumped from 17 to 4), but this still shows the value of knowing regional culture/politics. Especially in a state like VA, that is currently a recruiting nomansland - having people on staff who know the region will be VERY beneficial.

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TL;DR:

  • Successful G5 Headcoach
  • Successful P5 Coordinator
  • Proven Recruiter

I do think it's worth reminding people that Dabo fired him, but Saban still raves about him.

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Dabo fired him after one bad season. The season before his offense set Clemson records IIRC. He also recruited Tajh Boyd.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

I am always weary of Saban praise. He always says great things about former assistants right before he beats them by 50.

Foreal. He's a decent candidate but he's winning in a bad conference with the league's best program. He could be very good but def not a bulletproof hire. Throw the bag at Fickell, Tomlin, Venables, Tucker etc before moving on to him

Haha we don't have a bag to throw and all those guys have better jobs already. Except Venables and he's a nut

This. And I don't get the fuss over Fickell - he markets their brand with a chip on his shoulder, even on GameDay. A team demanding respect with no strength of schedule.

Not saying he hasn't done good things there, but I personally don't want the leader at our helm on national TV working the fans into a frenzy of how "the media doesn't respect us" while simultaneously receiving a 3 hour on-air love letter from ESPN. The are one loss away from being dropped from any media conversation - look how little press Clemson gets now. Or the Hokies for that matter.

'89 Hokie alum, former staff, former faculty. Living in Jawja - a rescue Dawg married to a Fauxkie. Navigating the curious spaces between the ACC and the SEC since 2009.

No thanks on Fuente 2.0. Want big boy football open the checkbook and get a bigger coach. We don't have alumni cash flow like Clemson to take a chance with. They bought Dabo coordinators and put money into upgrading.

VTMidge

All the coaches came from somewhere.

To get an SEC-level coach on ACC-level money, you'll have to take a chance somewhere. You likely won't be convincing a successful SEC coach to take a pay cut. Plus, if it works, you want them to be younger than Mack Brown.

While its going to be apay cut, VT is going to have to up its payroll, we are at best 40th in HC pay. (some schools don't report)

We don't have an assistant coach in the top 100. The SEC has position coaches making more than our coordinator.

We are going to have to pay more just to get anyone. Much less some mythical bug name coach that I have no clue who you think that would be.

Good thing Sands increased the size of the university by 50%.

/s, but maybe not /s

And all those new alums will be saddled with debt for the next 20 years, so look for us to make a championship run when they finally have expendable income in 2042.

/s, but maybe not /s

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

I have to remind myself of this when I try and fix things at home.

So true and it's even more relevant as we get older.

Try getting someone to even come to your house today is a painful experience.

EXACTLY! Open the checkbook, and stop trying to find the next up and coming P5 head coach.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Big boys are making close to 5/6 million a their current jobs who do you think is leaving that?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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It cannot be stated enough that this guy has been around programs that have been built by the best. Beyond that, he's recruited the best. Wats more is that he knows how to build culture, something Fuente has failed miserably at doing.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Anyone with two brain cells could recruit for Alabama football over the past ten years though. I don't think it's a logical to say he'd come here and immediately bring in big-time recruits like he has at Clemson or Bama.

^THIS^ I don't get why fans don't get that recruiting at Bama is not recruiting at VTech. Or even a Penn St. Every 15yr old football player is dreaming of playing for Bama. Every gray moon you get a Fournette who wanted to be different but even he spurned Bama for.....LSU. His home state school, that's in the SEC and is a slightly lower blueblood. He didn't spurn Bama for Vandy.

Sure, but having Alabama on your resume gives you some recruiting points.

And you've certainly been in some top-quality recruits' houses. Let's just say you've been shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the business.

I have noticed that the folks who do a stint at Alabama seem to have some level of success during their next few years (halo effect), though sometimes they regress to the norm.

One thing people don't talk about a lot is the difference in resources. A small school, up and comer coach hasn't had to deal with large budgets, staffs, resources. That's the unknown. Frankly this was a concern of CMY (clearly he did, as the first thing he did was bring in ace recruiters va his buddies)...does he even know what to do with VT resources va Wofford? A benefit of hiring someone with a high profile background is they see how to utilize those resources...as well as what to ask for (Fu didn't know what he needed until he flirted with Baylor and saw theirs).

We put the K in Kwality

(wofford, not winthrop but easy mistake to make)

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

I'll drink...and edit. Hilarious

We put the K in Kwality

I don't think that is the expectation. We can average .88 by getting the players we should be competitive for in Va, NC, and the DMV. Let's do that, do a good job managing the roster and developing QB's and linemen, be fundamentally sound, and then see where that lands us.

Hard to believe Vic Beasley was a 2 star recruit.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Who do you suggest? Go look up any "big coach making a move" listicle, Napier is right there at the top. He could be the HC at Tennessee or Ole Miss already if he wanted.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Now THIS is the information I was looking for! Couldn't find it on 247 for the life of me. Call me slightly intrigued. I'm sure the allure of those big time schools helped.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I don't know why everyone is so dead set on comparing him to Fu. I don't remember Fu coming from Saban or Dabo. He didn't coach at any level in the P5 minus TCU's inaugural year in the Big 12. The only parallel is the both weren't P5 HCs and even a comparison as their time at HC:

Fuente - Memphis - 26-23
Napier - Louisiana - 33-12

Napier is a big name hire. We're not buying away an SEC coach (because we can't) so we're going to take a big name OC that has 0 stops at HC??? Cause that's probably the top of our 'Big name' budget.

(add if applicable) /s

Winning in the Sun Belt at the league's best program is in no way comparable to winning in a competitive American.

He is a good candidate but that comparison is apples to oranges

They're the best in the Fun Belt because of him not before he got there they were a 4-5 win team before Napier got there. Top to bottom its not the same strength but App and Coastal are as strong as the strongest American teams when Fu was coaching.

Edit: Just did a little more digging. Fun Belt West has been atrocious since he's gotten there. Here are the SOS averaged between the two. Fuente 2015 is the only year that had a positive SOS

Average SOS Memphis under Fuente: -3.02
Average SOS Louisiana under Napier: -3.125

(add if applicable) /s

Not so fast, while Fuente was at Memphis the American was a straight up good league. You had at least for one year: Herman Houston, Matt Rhule Temple, 10-11 win Navy, Bortles UCF, Bridgewater Louisville, decent Taggart USF, good ECU, Early Tuberville Cincy when they were good, decent Houston.

Most of those are better than App or Coastal ever have been some are just on another level. I straight up disagree with those SOS numbers, probably have to go game by game for an accurate counter argument but year to year there has to be some variation. The conferences are just not close.

I don't disagree with you but those are one off games that Fu didn't run into year after year. The American is a hard conference to judge and yes better than Fun Belt. Cinncy was there for a single year. Houston had 1 good year and credit Fu that game was close. USF was straight bad when Fu was there. Navy sure but they played 1 time in his tenure.

The best comparison I have is SOS. 2015 Memphis blows away anything that either team faced like that SOS is a significant outlier there compared to the other ones.

Its not a straight comparison but Memphis avoided a lot of those 1 year flash American teams which is probably why their SOS is comparable.

(add if applicable) /s

The W-L is a little misleading imo. Memphis was arguably THE worst football program in the fbs when he took over. Fuente turned them around from that to a 9/10 win ranked team that was beating SEC schools

Meanwhile Louisiana was already hovering around .500 when Napier took over. Still impressive but Fuente's turnaround of Memphis is nothing to scoff at and I would put on par with Napier's accomplishments

Look at the two schools W-L record prior to these coaches arrival (for reference):

Memphis:
2011 2-10
2010 1-11
2009 2-10

Louisiana
2017 5-7
2016 6-7
2015 4-8

So I really don't think Napier (on paper) is truly all that different from Fuente, at least strictly by results. That being said I really liked the Fuente hire at the time, and I think Napier would be an excellent hire too. He isn't Fuente, and it's presumptuous to think he'd go and make the same mistakes. His recruiting will translate better to the P5 than Fuente. And also it's naive and irrational to shut out an entire group of potential candidates just because it didn't work out dipping in that pool last time.

Very fair argument

(add if applicable) /s

Proven sustained success is much more important to me than taking over a team that had 2 or 3 more wins over the last couple of years. Fuente really only had one fantastic year with Memphis while Napier is going on 3. So I think they are different on paper.

Hokie Club member since 2017

The team did well after he left, so it was sustained. You can expect it would have been similar at least for a year or two had he stayed.

They're pretty similar on paper.

It wasn't 2 or 3 more wins. Fuente took Memphis from 1 or 2 wins to 9 and 10. That's a 7 or 8 win difference. You don't luck into that big a difference. Whatever he did there, he just couldn't recreate at the P5 level.

Agreed - Fuente took Memphis from one of the worst jobs in FBS, to one of the best jobs in the G5. This has to be one of the most impressive coaching feats of the last 10-20 years. But, like how running a startup takes a different skillset than running a corporation, running a G5 program with zero history of success takes a different skillset than running a P5 program that wants to return to being a darkhorse national title contender. Fuente wasn't able to develop that skillset in his time here.

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I think this is a good point.

Also, Fuente may have shown up at VT a bit overconfident, thinking he'd already done this. But he faced some unexpected challenges, and set him up for some unforced errors.

Barry Odom. Darrell Dickey. Two big differences between Memphis and VT. Fuente surrounded himself with competent coaches in Memphis. Whether that was luck or not, we'll never know. He failed to do that in Blacksburg and that is a big contributing factor to his demise.

If we assume that he got lucky at Memphis and let his head balloon thinking he was the genius then his utter confusion at his current predicament makes a lot of sense.

It will be fascinating to see where he ends up, in what capacity, and with whom. I'm definitely interested in following him for a few years just to see.

Edit: corrected spelling of names

Onward and upward

yeah, same, i personally like all of our coaches, and look forward to seeing what they do next. I am especially curious if Fuente, Vice, Cornelson stick together, or go their separate ways.

If Barry Odom and Darrell Dickey were such important football coaches, you'd think we know how to spell their names /s

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

perhaps if they had come to VT I'd know how to spell their names properly :p

I figured I had them spelled wrong but I was on mobile and it was late so I just rolled with it. Thanks for correcting it. I've edited my post to reflect the correct spellings.

Onward and upward

Just a note Barry Odom makes top 5 money and makes more than Cornelson, Hamilton, and Shibest combined.

I said this on a different thread a few weeks ago, but I think he had a very high opinion of VT when the job opened, and thought recruiting would be much easier. And probably even thought he could recruit nationally, and didn't just need to focus within a 6 hr range of Blacksburg. Hopefully in a few years he gives a candid interview at some point where he addresses what exactly went wrong here, and what he would've done differently.

Memphis grad and was there several years prior to JF and can attest. That program was beyond AWFUL. You couldn't pay people to go to those games back then. They barely filled a 1/8 of the Liberty Bowl unless ole miss or miss st showed up. Hell, the Annual Tenn St v. Jackson St game drew far better. The entire town was/probably still is largely Tenn fans with pockets of Ole Miss and Miss St sprinkled in.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#fireCornelson NOW

Q: would Memphis hire Fuente back if/when he's let go?

I'm sure they wouldn't mind, but the fan base also holds a peculiar love/hate relationship with former coaches (ie Calipari), but I highly doubt they would fire the guy there now just to get JF back. Plus JF probably feels he's above that job now. Although, the guy there now has guided them back over to the kiddie pool it seems. I don't follow Memphis FB that closely other than to check the scores...

I hope they do well and I enjoyed seeing them find some success under JF and Norvell. But, born, raised, and live in SWVA so VT is who I follow closely.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#fireCornelson NOW

I think the Napier profile is what we should be looking for, and do the due diligence to be confident it's not CJF 2.0. With our budget and our status as a mediocre program in a mediocre division of a mediocre conference any hire will be a risk. Either bigger name with P5 experience that is somewhat damaged goods, or a lesser known up and comer. I'd lean towards the latter.
Instead of CJF 2.0 I think Bryan Harsin 2.0. Not many had heard of him and the hire was much criticized, but looking very good early on.
Discipline, straight shooter, program builder, player developer, solid recruiter. That could be Napier and I take it in a heartbeat. Hoping that Whit is already working the back channels.

While I think Napier is a good fit per profile, he's far from an actual candidate. Meaning we don't know how available he is or if he's interested, or if Whit is interested in him. And I know many of you will hate this: even if the job is available.

As I recall, Whit is pretty close-hold on this kind of thing, and we likely won't know if a candidate is an actual candidate until several days after he's been hired.

All very true. I hope I'm wrong but I suspect Whit is still holding out hope that CJF stabilizes the team performance in the rest of the season. Hard to imagine. If Fu does go, I still like the Napier-like, up and comer profile. Maybe akin to a CMY 2.0 😊

Personally I see Clawson as more akin to Young

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

He gets my vote based on being a "Ragin Cajun", because that beats most of the other team names out there!

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Sorry for all the video links, but this is the type of stuff that has sold me on Napier over the past 2 years, and the vids explain it better than I could.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

After doing some research, I'm a little more down on Napier than I was previously. That said, (1) I could still get excited about it, and (2) what the hell do I know? Predicting the success of a hire is near impossible.

Anyways, every single blue chip recruit Napier ever landed, he's done so while at Bama or Clemson. It's easy to recruit bluechip talent to those schools. A lot harder to recruit that talent to VT. Granted - he's been at Bama or Clemson all but 5 years of his career (Colorado State in 2012, Arizona State in 2017, and ULL since 2018).

For shits and gigs, here's a comparison between him and Fuente using SP+. Note that I left out periods were either coach was a position coach, or not coaching at the FBS level.

Billy Napier:

Season Job Record Offensive SP+ Defensive SP+ Overall SP+
2009 OC @ Clemson 9-5 39 13 23
2010 OC @ Clemson 6-7 76 3 37
2017 OC @ Arizona State 7-6 35 99 68
2018 HC @ ULL 7-7 53 116 95
2019 HC @ ULL 11-3 15 66 32
2020 HC @ ULL 10-1 31 40 32
2021 HC @ ULL 5-1 67 81 74

Justin Fuente

Season Job Record Offensive SP+ Defensive SP+ Overall SP+
2009 OC @ TCU 12-1 15 11 5
2010 OC @ TCU 13-0 14 12 9
2011 OC @ TCU 11-2 16 47 21
2012 HC @ Memphis 4-8 111 71 96
2013 HC @ Memphis 3-9 107 50 77
2014 HC @ Memphis 10-3 79 32 55
2015 HC @ Memphis 9-4 35 82 47

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While Fuente's offensive SP+ numbers at Memphis don't look great, they were improving year over year and got up to 35, which looks like a good trend.

And to add a little context, in the 3 years prior to Fuente getting to Memphis, they were 2009: 2-10, 2010: 1-11, 2011: 2-10. The 3 years prior to Napier, ULL were 2015: 4-8, 2016: 6-7, 2017: 5-7. So it looks like Napier probably had more to start with than Fuente did as well.

Napier brings a lot of the same concerns that I feel like we should have had with Fuente: how will recruiting translate? (as mentioned, it's much easier to recruit to Alabama - I mean how often do kids choose other schools over them when offered? There's what, maybe 3 or so schools that might be close that you'd have to consider instead of them.) Will his offensive performance as HC translate to the P5? Fuente had great offensive SP+ numbers as an OC in a P5 conference, then went to Memphis as HC and now we see what his offenses are doing.

Fuente had great offensive SP+ numbers as an OC in a P5 conference,

For what it's worth, TCU wasn't in a power conference at the time. I think they were mountain west back then.

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Good point - forgot about that. Even given that, it kind of highlights my concern with Herman as well, apparently great offenses as an OC, but then becomes HC and hires someone else as OC. My guess is Herman would have done better at Texas if he'd kept OC duties. Same with recruiting, Herman recruited great at Texas, don't know how it would translate.

There are going to be questions about any coach that we hire. Unless you think we're hiring a P5 coach with a proven record of winning, offensive and defensive system success, and stellar recruiting at the P5 level for around $4mil/yr. I don't think that's realistic, though.

He was recruiting at Clemson back when we were the ACC big dog. Clemson in 09 & 10 is not Clemson now. Same goes for Dabo. He was part of building the machine. He also usually has the #1 class in the Sun Belt. There's more evidence that says he can recruit than evidence that says he can't.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Clemson has always been an easier place to recruit to. They got top 10-20 classes when they couldn't even win the Atlantic, and VT was winning a guaranteed 10 games/year.

EDIT: Proof

Season VT Record VT Class Ranking Clemson Record Clemson Class Ranking
2005 11-2 20 8-4 15
2006 10-3 31 8-5 14
2007 11-3 26 9-4 16
2008 10-4 18 7-6 15
2009 9-4 25 9-5 36
2010 11-3 28 6-7 27
2011 11-3 35 10-4 10
2012 7-6 21 11-2 22
2013 8-5 21 11-2 15
2014 7-6 28 10-3 16
2015 7-6 29 14-1 9
2016 10-4 42 14-1 11
2017 9-4 26 12-2 16
2018 6-7 24 15-0 7
2019 8-5 26 14-1 10
2020 5-6 76 10-2 3

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This is the type of thing that really gives me pause when we talk about the recruiting successes of candidates when they've been recruiting at places like Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson. How much is really their ability, how much was the school, and how much was having the HC people wanted to play for?

The ability to close is separate from the school, but there is more to recruiting than just the 11th hour pitch in a close recruitment coming down to ESD.

Being at a place like Alabama during the well oiled machine version of Saban's dynasty is giving you a great idea of how to manage recruiting from an organizational perspective. How often are analysts reaching out to key prospects? How is that process organized carefully so it's easy to make sure you're making contact points with the recruits in a trackable, consistent way? What techniques are they using to stay in the good graces of guys who may not be takes yet, but you want to stay in the mix for? What kind of travel schedules/tricks do they use to hit the most schools possible when you're trying to hit multiple spots in limited time? What does turning up the heat on a prospect look like in terms of getting the area recruiter/position coach involved together with synergy? You also have a pretty good idea of what things in the facilities (which will be worse than Alabama's almost anywhere) are getting the biggest/best reactions from players. Just lots of little things that will help.

Ultimately, the way to elevate recruiting at VT is going to take a combination of proof of concept (Are we winning some marquee games in exciting ways?), an upside project that we can sell effectively (are there obvious things to be optimistic about moving forward?), and having good closers when we get down to that top 3 and top 2 against other top recruiters, many of whom will be at "better" schools. It's both relatively simple, and easier said than done.

which reminds me...we still haven't replaced beau and leah, right? what is taking so long?!

and in addition to them, anyone know if we are planning on adding additional recruiting staff beyond their replacements? i sure hope we are.

I think you have to figure out what you're going to do with the head coach before making anymore decisions at the support staff level.

No matter what school you are at, you have to beat out someone for recruits. At Alabama, you have to beat out the likes of OSU, UGA, Clemson, etc to land the guys you want. It still takes relationships and recruiting chops to be able to land these even though you are at Bama. Like said above, you learn techniques that help build relationships and bonds that give you the advantage against your competition. Being able to beat out competition at the top could equate to beating out competition at the 20-30 range. We are consistently getting beat out by the likes of UNC, Tenn, Penn St, Maryland, so maybe having a guy that has seen how Bama beats out the other big boys could give us an advantage in our weight class.

Recruiting is nothing more than the decision of high schoolers choosing which universities they want to play at.

There are pre-determined pecking orders for the most sought after recruits. And there is a pecking order for the most sought after schools. These correlate closely.

Coaches are simply another perk of the universities. They're not permanent or guaranteed fixtures of the university.

No coach will "change the recruiting stars" of any university. Likewise, you'd have to chase off the kids in your school's range with a bat to drop the recruiting of your school on your own. (Randy Edsall sort of did this at Maryland, but the drop in recruiting classes wasn't that substantial; it was kids on the team transferring out and quitting football en masse that negatively effected Maryland more than anything. Adopting a gimmicky offense is the easiest way drop the recruiting at a school [slightly]- Georgia Tech's recruiting dropped when Paul Johnson brought the triple option, as did Rich Rod when he brought the spread offense to Michigan. Michigan's recruiting went right back to normal when Brady Hoke took over; Geoff Collins appears to be reaping similar "benefits" of being the guy who followed Paul Johnson.)

Basically, recruiting is largely predetermined, and while coaches are apart of the communication chain, they're actually not major factors in the game being played. That's a hard concept to recognize.

No coach "Closes" on a recruit in the way that a salesman closes on a sale. The recruit might commit on a visit, but that "sale" isn't final (not until signing day). Typically on visit or call, a recruit has months to change their mind and pick someplace else.

The top schools hold all the power; even still, recruits make all of the final decisions. This is 180 degrees backasswards from the NFL draft, so if that concept hasn't landed yet, following college football recruiting is all kinds of confusing.

Back to your original question, though- check out this video from the top recruiter in the nation in 2010.

.

lol "Got another dude!"

that's fantastic.

Onward and upward

Yeah if Urban Meyer took the Duke job, within 2 years they will improve by 75 spots in recruiting rankings.

So what you're saying is that if Urban Meyer was coaching at Duke since 2017, they would have the:

negative 28th (2017)
negative 12th (2018)
negative 26th (2019)
negative 18th (2020)
and
negative 33rd (2021) ranked recruiting classes?

Holy cow.

hy·per·bo·le
/hīˈpərbəlē/
Learn to pronounce
noun
exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
"he vowed revenge with oaths and hyperboles"

Glad you're looking stuff up!

Good on ya', DC

No coach will "change the recruiting stars" of any university.

Did the recruiting profile for VT basketball improve under Brent Williams and Mike Young?

Yes.

So the coach can definitely impact recruiting.

I'm too lazy to look up football examples, but I feel certain we could find an example where a coach improved the recruiting outlook at a school.

Edit: Oh, yeah, Mack Brown at UNC.

Yes, it's the exception, and not the rule, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. And in the long run, it's more like turning around an aircraft carrier than a jet boat. But a good coach can change the trajectory of a program. Cincinnati is looking pretty good these days.

I'm too lazy to look up football examples,

Edit: Oh, yeah, Mack Brown at UNC.

UNC's recruiting resurgence is just that- a resurgence. They've never really been out of the top 25-30 for more than a couple of years at a time, and have been able to post top 10 classes with some amount of regularity since at least 1980.

Mind you, a top ten class is a pretty big deal. Virginia Tech has made it to a National Championship and we've never broken the top 20.

The reason why is just as puzzling as their West Coast equivalent- UCLA. Rarely been able to do anything with it. But they are and have been attractive to recruits since before most of us were born.

If Cincinnati actually stays in the Power 5 this time, then yes, they'll be pulling in Power 5 recruiting classes.

Cincinnati is looking pretty good to pollsters, but not to recruits. Their last 5 classes are fantastic for a G5 school, though- they're ranked 63, 49, 66, 41 & 45. Their current class (2022) appears to be an astonishingly high 34th (19 current commits with an 85.86 average); definitely look for that to drop off by signing day.

Whether Luke Fickell, who happens to be their coach right now, sticks around is largely insignificant to the status of Cincinnati's recruiting.

UNC's recruiting resurgence is just that- a resurgence. They've never really been out of the top 25-30 for more than a couple of years at a time, and have been able to post top 10 classes with some amount of regularity since at least 1980.

I believe your criterion was "Top 15"

If the criterion is top 25 to 30, VT is dangerously close to meeting it, even under Fuente.

And Cinncinnati seems to be on the right track.

Most of this is nuance, though. The point is that coaches DO make a difference in recruiting for individual programs. And while you're right, there's a small club at the top, programs to move into and out of it. Beamer certainly improved VT's recruiting trajectory.

Don't conflate the two seperate things Cincinnati has going for them right now. They're winning on the football field (which can be attributed to Luke Fickell).

They're also joining a Power 5 conference. That involves moves being made well above Fickell's paygrade.

It can be easy to group all of these things together. Cincinnati has had a strong, financially viable football program. They managed to hire one of the top coaching prospects (Fickell) based on their clout within the G5. The hire is paying off and they're playing well.

They're using that same clout to pursue a second path to the Power 5 (The last one was risky and it didn't pay off- they jumped to the Big East just as the Big East tanked. They had one season of Power 5 football in 2013).

Virginia Tech made the jump to the Big East while the football team was reeling from sanctions and losing on the field (The Hokies posted marks of 2-9, 3-8, 6-4-1 and 6-5 in under Beamer in 1987-90).

In both cases, strong football programs outside of the Power conferences join power conferences. Should those gambles work and the move to the Power 5 remain successful, these are the primary reasons that the recruiting grades improve for both programs.

Don't get me wrong- Hokie football from 1987-2015 is referred to as "The Frank Beamer era" of Virginia Tech football. But not everything that happened during the Frank Beamer era is Frank Beamer's doing.

He was busy coaching the football team while our administration was pulling the strings to get us into the Big East.

(Not sure what criterion you're referring to- In this comment I'm pointing out how UNC has always been an attractive football program to recruits; and not so much with the pollsters).

You're working awfully hard to prove something that you're not proving. Yes, there are lots of things going on in football.

But like with most things, the harder you work, the luckier you get.

VT not only made it to the Big East, but moved to the top of it and then moved to the ACC. At the same time, Beamer made the football program better. Not only that, the guy before him, Bill Dooley, also forever impacted the program. He helped turn around football programs at both North Carolina AND VIrginia Tech. In the case of Virginia Tech, he ended up getting some sanctions levied, but he also managed to raise the trajectory of the program to newfound heights. He managed to recruit Bruce Smith (NFL #1 draft pick), and took VT to three bowl games, back when it was a little harder to do that. (Virginia Tech had only been to one bowl game in it's entire history before that.)

So if you're bringing that up to say the coach doesn't impact both the on-field results AND recruiting, you've lost me.

Yes, winning and recruiting are related. And a key factor in those two endeavors is the coach. Which is why programs pay a lot of money to the coach.

Other than the cord of free firewood, the sanctions involving Bruce Smith were based on excessive travel from boosters. Bruce was getting rides to VT games, because he wanted to go. Bill Dooley didn't choose that for Bruce, he simply facilitated getting him to the school where he wanted to play.

There's a bit of chicken vs egg argument on whether or not Bruce would have wanted to come here had we not been winning. I get that.

And Bill Dooley was, in fact, a successful coach. He didn't, however, do anything to raise the permanent recruiting profile for VT. He maintained more players on scholarship than he was permitted. He held dual roles as both the football coach and AD, and made absolutely sure nobody was checking his work (until the NCAA rang). And because we had more players on scholarship than the teams we played against, we were able to be successful.

I'm not knocking it- sometimes you have to cheat to win, and Bill Dooley was all about that.

But acting like Bill Dooley raised the recruiting profile for VT is kind of like saying that Enron raised the bar for energy companies- it was true until it suddenly wasn't.

This was just a creative way to get around the system in place that I'm trying to describe. Bill Dooley knew he was never going to out recruit the bigger schools we faced, so he gamed the system. Beamer had to fight the same system when he took over- he had to bank on redshirts and Prep players to generate experience where he lacked talent. He had to game the same system, but with the added catch that Frank had a boss, and that boss wasn't going to permit him to drift outside the rules this time.

Comparing VT football to Enron? Really? Sorry, but that's ridiculous hyperbole. There were some NCAA infractions, but in the big scheme of college football, I'd call it pretty minor.

Did Dooley change the recruiting profile of VT, as well as the trajectories of both football and basketball, or not?

He did, of course. He cut a few corners that Beamer could not, but more importantly, he established VT as a school that could be successful at football. It took Beamer a handful of years to get back there, but he did.

Yes, they bucked the system. But doesn't that prove my point, that a coach CAN make a difference?

Between the two of them, I'd argue that they forever changed the status of VT football.

Did Dooley change the recruiting profile of VT, as well as the trajectories of both football and basketball, or not?

A football coach affecting basketball recruiting?

Have we even been discussing a football coach, or an Athletic Director here?

After his tenure at North Carolina, Dooley served as the athletic director and head football coach at Virginia Tech.

Our discussion centers around the basic limitations (or lack thereof) for a head coach.

Our example happens to be a guy who ran the entire athletic department, too.

It occurs to me that Bill Dooley was probably a bad example to use for this.

Right, I'm sure if Saban, Meyer, Dabo, Franklin took the VT job, we would peak out at 25 in the rankings. lol

Seriously, I think there are things you can do.

I'm not a member of the "It is what it is" school of football program hierarchies.

If there's nothing to do to change your positioning, then why invest in football at all? Why do recruiting? Why invest in facilities? Why try to hire a great coach?

I think there are things you can do to improve your athletic programs, even if it takes a long time and isn't easy.

The reason we have heirarchies is there is literally no balancing force in college football. The NCAA actually makes college football less fair through ineffective and unequal enforcement of the few rules it does have.

The worst teams don't get the first draft picks. The closest thing to a salary cap is the scholarship limit. Which is a blessing to be sure- here's a screen cap from the 1961 SWC recruiting classes prior to the introduction of scholarship limits (Check out what an an average-sized haul once was for Texas and A&M. They had classes in the 70s some seasons):

There are 130 FBS teams competing against each other. The minimum requirements to compete are pretty paltry-

- Put 15,000 fans in the stands at least once every two years.
- Use at least 90% of your scholarship allotment.
- Other FBS teams are to make up at least 60% of your schedule.

Of these 130 teams, only the Power 5 conferences typically struggle with none of these. (Temple was booted from the Big East in 2004 due to poor attendance and facilities).

From there, the sky is the limit. And supporting your athletic program is one way of making their chances on the field improve.

College football attempts to provide parity in very little of all of this. The Clemson "IPTAY" model provides a fantastic way that we, the supporters, can improve the trajectory of our program. The main drawback is that it takes freakin' decades of support and dedication to see this come to fruition.

There are top football programs without an abundance of resources- App State and Boise State continuously outperform expectations. You can have a solid football program without being attractive to top recruits- it's just much harder to maintain success when you're not drawing silly levels of talent onto your roster every offseason.

Those schools live in harmony with their football programs; they're "efficient" (App State and Boise); others are constantly in a state of conflict (UVA and Rutgers, these programs are inefficient).

The other big thing programs can do to change their status is to vie for inclusion into better conference agreements.

None of this has much of anything to do with who the current head coach is. It has everything to do with where high school kids choose to play their college football.

TL;DR- hire a new coach when you want to see improvement on the field. A new football coach does not change a program's recruiting fortunes.

Yes, life's not fair, particularly in college football. But you have not convinced me that football coaches don't affect both the on-field and recruiting results of their team. The connection that you're not making is that hiring a coach is part of what you do with your resources. These concepts are all related.

Coaches influence the teams success, both on the field an in recruiting. If you have more resources, you can get a better coach, better facilities, better support.

The teams with the most money (the traditional football powers) have a lot better chance of recruiting the best coaches, and giving them the resources and facilities they need to get the results they expect. And if that doesn't happen, they part ways. The teams with the most resources can also better afford to make mistakes go away.

brockman -- i am v curious if you have any sort of take on Oregon's evolution through the years

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

There are some neat anecdotes with regards to personalized Comic Books- under Chip Kelly they were sending these out to recruits, they became hella popular and eventually the NCAA stepped in and made a rule against it. Aside from the comic books, Oregon (under Chip Kelly) also paid a guy named Willie Lyles 10,000s of dollars to get commitments from LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk.

Well before this, Oregon and Oregon State both recruited like Pac-10 doormats. At some point in the mid 90's, Oregon's recruiting suddenly took off and never looked back. During the entire period of 1980-2000, Oregon State outperformed Oregon exactly one time in the Pac 10 standings- when they won the conference in 2000. So Oregon was outperforming their rival the entire time, they only started noticeably out recruiting them in the late 90s.

I don't know the specifics of when Phil Knight started seriously bankrolling the university, but Rich Brooks coached his 18th and final season in 1994 (where he picked up a job with the St Louis Rams), and Mike Bellotti took over and had a good run from 1995-2008.

Edit: Phil Knight started donated to UO athletics following the 1995 football season.

This recent article claims that his financial support is right around a billion dollars. (I had read somewhere that in 2003 he was already pushing 200 million dollars).

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

Those small charts are so hot right now (you might have to right click and open in new window)

I don't think Franklin would help VTs recruiting. He recruited worse at Vandy his first two years than the previous 2 years. His 3rd year was slightly better for Vandy, but not game changing better. He also doesn't have their best class in the last decade either.

At PSU, he did worse his first year than Bill O'Brian did the previous two with the scandal. He has raised PSU'S recruiting from the scandal years but most years he struggles to match Michigan which there is no reason he shouldn't.

PSU has a ton of history, large fan base, big stadium, lots of traditions that have been in place for generations and is the best football school in the north east. They should be recruiting like crazy.

Franklin has huge connections closer to VT than Vandy and PSU. He would own Virginia as VT's coach. He would compete much better with Dre Bly and Mack than we do now. Fuente has never beaten him head to head for a recruit for example.

I have no problem with the statement that Franklin would clearly beat Fuente in recruiting. I do have a problem saying that Franklin would have us consistently recruiting in the top-15.

I pretty much believe that each school as a ceiling for recruiting that will be enforced by structural inequalities, regardless of coach. This doesn't mean that a school can't outperform its ceiling in 1 or 2 years, but over time, the mean will center around a given point.

I believe that a coach can easily tank the school below their ceiling. I believe a competent/good recruiter can achieve the ceiling regularly. I do not believe that a coach alone can permanently alter the school's recruiting ceiling. If Urban went to Duke, they would likely recruit really well for 2-3 years, and then start to regress back to the Duke mean (which might be higher than it is now, but definitely not top-15). If Urban stayed at Duke for 15 years, their average would not approach the average he had at Florida or OSU, unless something structural changed (significant donation increase, population reorganization, crazy metor obliterates the Deep South, etc.)

So, I guess all I am trying to say is that if we hire a guy who is a "great recruiter" and that is his only qualification, we should be prepared for disappointment.

Would you like Prys with that?

I don't doubt that programs have a recruiting ceiling, but you'll never find it out if you don't have a coach/staff who can optimize recruiting.

And sure, recruiting is just one aspect of the job. A good coach also gets on-field results. Which, by the way, help with recruiting.

Coaches have finite time and a disparate set of skills. If we only need an average recruiter (We definitely don't have an average recruiter as an HC now) to get to a top 25 class every year, and that comes with an excellent cultural or X's and O's skillset, that might be a better investment than a coach who's skills are all on the recruiting side. That is what I'm trying to say. We can't just imagine the unicorn coach and apply him here to claim that he can get us to recruit at a never-before achieved level AND handle the media AND run a clean program AND have excellent tactical and game management skills. Better to be clear-eyed about what is available and try to match strengths with highest opportunities for success.

Would you like Prys with that?

I disagree with your hard stance that a good coach can't be a good recruiter.

I think someone who is good at one of those will also be good at the other.

A good head coach is probably persuasive in both roles.

I guess I consider someone who is good at all of the above to be a great coach, and not a good one. And I really only think there are ~10 great coaches in the game at any time. I think there are more between-good-and-great coaches and I think that is where we are likely to hire. Those are the guys I'm talking about.

Would you like Prys with that?

not sure if Dylan Rivers got processed by PSU in the 2017 class, but he did flip from PSU to VT around a week before signing day while both Franklin and Fuente were the respective head coaches

https://247sports.com/Player/Dylan-Rivers-77281/TimelineEvents/

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

Dylan Rivers but in general he hasn't

I'm sorry but Penn state is closer to VT than Michigan as a program. My unbiased Mt Rushmore of college football is Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama in no particular order

Free Hugh

I am pretty sure this has your personal bias written all over it. 😀

Yes and those 4 are in the top 5 of winning percentage for D1, Boise is the other.

The next 5 are OU, Texas, USC, PSU, and Nebraska.

Most wins is basically the same list but Tennessee replaces Boise. PSU is 8th in wins and has 149 more wins and 82 fewer losses than VT.

PSU is 13 wins from matching ND, and 25/26 wins away from OSU/Bama.

PSU is way closer to the top than we are to PSU.

EDIT: fewer

They all have 2-3x the number of championships that penn state does. They are college football royalty. Penn state is not. They're towards the top of everyone else

Free Hugh

It's hard to argue Michigan if you are going for championships as most of theirs were before the AP poll. If all time championships matters then USC has more claim to a mount Rushmore than Michigan. Pittsburgh also has more than Michigan, but doesn't have much else to compare. OU has all 7 championships in the AP era so they have more claim too.

In the AP poll era Michigan has 2 ncaa recognized championships, PSU has 2 (and an undefeated season without a championship). Michigan State has 4 in that time. So Michigan is bested by little brother.

I would consider my mt Rushmore as needing wins and championships, like an xy plot of the two.

All time win leader with many championships (albeit many are older) and part of the biggest rivalry in the sport, has to be on Mount Rushmore

Free Hugh

ND-USC is arguably as big a rivalry as Michigan-OSU

Notre Dame hasn't won a major bowl game in 28 years. Nope.

There may be a range of expected outcomes, especially for the top teams, but there's definitely room to move within that range based on the ability and effort of the staff. And you're crazy if you think the coach doesn't matter. Hell, VT and LOLUVA were both out-recruiting 'bama in the early 2000s, during the DuBose/Franchione/Shula era.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Hell, VT and LOLUVA were both out-recruiting 'bama in the early 2000s, during the DuBose/Franchione/Shula era.

1. Alabama was restricted in scholarships those years due to sanctions. The 247 class score is largely dependent on class size. Unfortunately that's really the only "out-recruiting" of Alabama that either UVA or Virginia Tech has ever done.

2. The data in the pre-2010 247 composite can be sketchy. Ohio State pulled in several 60th - 70th ranked classes sandwiched in between their 2003 and 2007 national championship runs. If you check their classes on Rivals, they recruited as you'd expect (top 10-20 classes all the way through). If you look at their 247 classes, most of those classes are missing data and most of their players are are unranked. Kentucky is another big example of this- they appear to recruit as low as any G5 program for several of these years, and that's not actually true (again, double check against Rivals when you're looking at team scores before 2010).

Nobody is claiming that we will have top 5 or top 10 recruiting classes year in year out. But, going by your predetermined argument, VT should hover around #25, which we haven't the past few years. That is a direct result of Fuente.

A good coach can raise the recruiting of a school like a bad one can lower it. You're never going to send Georgia outside the top 25 or BC into the top 10 unless you do something drastic.

VT has never had a recruiting staff. I believe we should consistently be in the 15-25 range. Even if you think it should be 20-30, Fuente is underperforming and getting someone in who can recruit would put us back into our expected range. Having someone who clearly can't get even expected talent to Bburg is detrimental to the program.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

I don't think anyone is claiming Fuente's recruiting is acceptable. Whether you think VT should be a development program or hyperfocused on talent acquisition, the reality is that Fuente has done neither (despite talking about doing both at different times of his career here), but I digress...

I believe we should consistently be in the 15-25 range.

I personally don't think we can do this (mostly due to our geography). I think at best we land classes between 20-25, with one class just inside the top 20 every 4-5 years. I'd rather find a coach who is super creative in at least one phase of the game.

The question is, do you go for a coach who can get the most out of his players, even if he can't recruit the best players, or do you go for a coach who raise the talent level in the program, but may not be able to squeeze all of the juice out of each player.

But maybe I'm wrong 🤷‍♂️

Twitter me

College football is a talent acquisition business before anything else, without talent you can't win, which is more the case now than it has ever been before. I think we are 15-25 based on our geography & recognizable/attractive brand (20-25 is too small a range).

VA usually has about 10 blue-chip players and some more high 3-stars. We haven't been able to get any of them for the most part even though high school coaches seem to want VT to recruit them. We are also close enough to the DC area and Baltimore to be attractive. We're even closer to most places in NC which has similar or better numbers of blue-chips to VA. You don't need to pull all of those, just a couple, and you're in the top 25. A couple more and its top 20. We've never had a recruiter who's good enough to try.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

...except his 09-10 recruits knocked us off our perch and started building a dynasty that didn't look back (until this year).

We put the K in Kwality

He was part of building the machine

Napier helped create the monster that took the ACC. He recruited VA guys to Clemson before it was cool. Maybe those relationships or at least some respect still exists.

Clemson has a better recruiting history than us, but they've also been an ACC football program for decades longer & they get a lot of guys out of Georgia. We need to recruit VA/DC/MD/NC all places that Napier has recruited in the past.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Sorry...I was agreeing with you/reinforcing your point. Don't think I said it well.

We put the K in Kwality

It was the "except" I misinterpreted haha. The second paragraph is directed @bar

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

So, at the end of the day, it comes back to what do you believe VT's recruiting ceiling is. If you think that the right coach can bring in top 10-15 classes to VT, then Napier might be your guy.

HOWEVER, if you believe that VT must - to some degree - be a development program in order to be successful, then Napier probably isn't the ideal choice.

I tend to be in the second camp - I believe that VT's recruiting ceiling is top 20-25 classes, but the right coach can make top 25 classes into a (perennial) top 10-15 team. I'm pretty confident that Napier can deliver on a top 20-25 class. I'm not convinced he can take a top 25 roster and make it a top 10-15 team.

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The best way for VT to raise it's recruiting profile is to do what Oregon and Clemson did... win a bunch of games, and more importantly win the right games. Beat Notre Dame at 8pm on ABC. Win those opening season marquee games, win NY6 bowls. That is the path for VT to recruit better than 20-25. Win and do it in prime time and not pounding the ball on the ground 60 times. That along with the proper support, coach etc. can raise the profile.

I mean, in isolation that seems reasonable, but to get a top 10-15 class consistently, you need to be better than 1 of these teams every year:

  • Bama
  • Clemson
  • Florida
  • LSU
  • Texas
  • Ohio State
  • Michigan
  • Texas A&M
  • Oregon
  • UNC
  • Miami
  • Oklahoma
  • Georgia
  • Notre Dame
  • USC

(If you take offense at UNC in there, swap in Penn State or Auburn. Its the same point)

These are some big name programs, and I left a few out. I don't think we can consistently out-recruit one of these teams with the right coach. I just don't see it, regardless of coach. I would rather go in with the expectation of falling right after these guys with a top 20 class, and being a well-coached team that punches above their rankings through development, execution and tactical excellence. So I definitely want someone who can recruit to the 20-25 ranked class level (this 40-50 stuff that Fu is bringing in is unacceptable), but I don't want to compromise on other skills in the pursuit of top 10-15 classes, because I don't think we have a way to consistently get there.

Would you like Prys with that?

Thanks for including UNC on that list, as it seems more attainable.

If you add names for the next 10 spots, it seems even more doable, at least over the long run.

Oh, I definitely agree that a top 20 class is attainable at Tech with a reasonably competent coaching staff. Its the consistent top 15 classes that I don't think are reasonable. Tech is 100% a top-25 program in the country, and should recruit like it. It is hard to argue that Tech is a top-15 program in the country, and likely will struggle to recruit like it. That's my take on this, anyway.

Would you like Prys with that?

Beamer improved VTs recruiting to get them in the top 25 range, and I am hoping for a coach who can improve that by 5-10 spots. If not consistently, at least occasionally.

Yes, it may be a dream but it's our dream, and we should strive for it. Nobody said it would be easy.

If it is impossible, we should definitely not strive for it at the expense of other things. This is my point, that if your criteria for coaching success is to hire someone who can get us to a top 15 class on a consistent basis, I believe that we will never have that.

So, I think that striving for that will cut into our ability to accomplish something else important (development, tactics, etc.) Its important to be clear-eyed about the limitations and strengths of the program.

All of this is my opinion though, and easily could be wrong.

Would you like Prys with that?

I'm not saying to strive for it at the expense of everything else. I don't think that's really the choice.

Development of a football program is a long term goal. But I think most of us would be happy right now with a consistent top 25 program, maybe with an occasional boost above that, and we just aren't there right now.

That is the choice, though. At some point, striving for better recruiting does remove resources (time, money, etc.) from other tasks. If we don't maximize our ROI and instead focus heavily on recruiting if the ROI isn't there, we don't come out ahead of the other programs.

Would you like Prys with that?

This fallacy has been around for a while now. People used to trot it out as the reason Frank Beamer couldn't recruit better. It's sleight of hand that ignores the following:

  1. During any given year, any (often several) of these schools can/will have a bad year and their rankings constantly fluctuate. VT just needs to sign a few more top targets every year to win more games and build recruiting momentum. Just cracking the top 20 would be enough to start winning some of those marquee matchups and getting VT back on the highlight reels... making it an exciting brand that people are interested in watching. Remember when we had athletes that would make highlight reel plays on Thursday night that ESPN was still talking about during their weekend roundup on Saturday night?
  2. Even if the top 15 class grouping remained static every year (which it doesn't), VT could still improve by shrinking the gap that currently exists in average recruit ranking. They wouldn't have to "displace" anyone.
  3. Success breeds success. If VT improves in recruiting and on the field every year, reputation will improve, funding will increase, and results will follow. It just takes the right people not sticking their heads in the sand (or banging someone else's wife on the recruiting budget's dime) and the ability to see VT as more than just some provincial "aw-shucks" backwater that "had a nice run in the early aughts but is now back where they belong."

I disagree with #3. Tennessee and Miami have always out-recruited us, regardless of how good/bad they are. USC, Texas, and FSU are out recruiting us despite being in complete turmoil. Meanwhile, schools like OKst, Kentucky, Iowa, etc are unable to break the glass ceiling, despite having multiple years of improvement/success.

At the micro-level, recruiting rankings fluctuate. But at the macro-level, very few teams experience significant long-lasting movement in any direction. And when teams do, it's typically caused by something far from the field such as new donors (Phil Knight/Oregon), changing conferences (TAMU to SEC), population changes (talent level falling across the P12), etc.

I would love to see VT regularly recruiting inside the top 20. I just don't see it.

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But at the macro-level, very few teams experience significant long-lasting movement in any direction. And when teams do, it's typically caused by something far from the field such as [...] changing conferences

Yet another bit of evidence that it was a catastrophically bad decision not to move to the $EC, assuming the rumors were true and that opportunity was there.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

#1 is only true is you have a coaching staff that can utilize those players effectively (efficiently?).

I find myself much less interested in the overall recruiting ranking and much more interested in our success within our basic footprint; and staying well stocked/developed at the positions that matter most in winning and losing at the college level, i.e., QB and linemen. That means we have to out-recruit UVA, UNC, WVU, Maryland, and NCSU. Frank did it; Fu hasn't; and the next guy needs to. Whether that means we're 12th or 25th doesn't really matter to me. I don't expect us to get the next 5 star QB out of Atlanta; just be good at identifying and developing talent (e.g., Billy Hite and RBs) and get the players we should be able to get.

If you believe that winning must come first, and recruits will follow, then I would pursue a coach more innovative than than Napier.

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Would you be happy with the recruiting record of this team (going back a couple of decades)?

Won >80% of all of their games,
Won 67% of their games against top ten teams,
Undefeated against the top 5,
and spent nearly 10% of this time ranked in the top ten.

Same team now; this is the rank of their last 5 recruiting classes:
64th (2017)
57th (2018)
54th (2019)
65th (2020)
67th (2021)

Boise State recruits right behind Duke (64th vs 61st in the team talent composite).

There's some pretty big differences between Boise State and either Clemson or Oregon. All of them are good at football. Only two of those schools recruit well. (Boise State is 3-0 against Oregon.)

I think the challenge is that I think we could potentially be a place where we can get classes in that range. But that is going to be based on the new head coach really being able to sell a vision. And that's going to be hard to find unless you see a G5 or FCS school getting recruiting classes between 25-40 (so pretty high above where you'd expect good recruits to want to go play). Then you want to see that the Coaching staff can actually coach them and develop them, so punching way above their weight. The challenge is that type of coach probably becomes really obvious - like when you see a UCF go 13-0 (example). It's the Holy Grail of HC candidates. And all of a sudden that name goes to the top of all the P5 schools who want to get better, so everyone other than like Alabama, anOSU, and Clemson. You basically have to act before others, and possibly/probably fight off the SEC teams.

I feel like that's the type of candidate we all really want, but probably can't get because there are so few of them, so then we have to figure out what the right mix and level of HC candidate - decent recruiter who can develop players, with good, creative schemes. The risk with this type of candidate is they are likely coming from a G5 school and the risk is how well recruiting transfers to us.

Basically we need to look at the candidates and be as realistic as possible about whether the things we see with candidates (recruiting, wins, offensive strength, etc) will translate to our program. Fuente LOOKED good - he built up a dismal Memphis program. We don't want to fool ourselves into thinking things will transfer and wind up not. From that perspective, it feels like the lowest risk, and potentially high reward candidate is Clawson - he's already P5 and is performing way above where his recruiting classes would put him. So the one risk with him, it seems, is how high is his recruiting ceiling and is it high enough to get us where we hope to go. In addition he's relatively local, so already has recruiting relationships in our geographic area. If we were to look for a similar candidate from another conference, will they have to build new recruiting relationships the to reach the potential of our perceived expectation for their recruiting capabilities.

Just wanted to say also, I apologize for all my long posts, but I feel like it takes a lot of evaluation and analysis in picking a new coach, and feel like we are in many cases over-simplifying things. Like the short posts with a link ot Billy Napier's top recruits - ignores that all of those (at least all of the 4 and 5 star players we'd get excited about seeing were recruited at Alabama and Clemson. Or a short post showing wins at a program. That assumes those wins can just be re-created at Tech. And I think that simplified look at Fuente taking a program from 1-2 wins a year before he got to Memphis to a 9-10 win a season program and assuming he'd automatically be able to do that here really bit us in the ass - big time. I don't want to oversimplify things and get bit in the ass again. That's why I looked at the risks I'm applying to candidates now and applied them to Fuente and realized there were a lot of them. And that's why I'm doing long posts with as much analysis and potential risks on each candidate. Hope you guys take the time to read what I write. Like many people just think Herman is a great candidate based on really good recruiting classes and doing REASONABLY well at Texas without looking at potential risks.

Fuente was never the OC at TCU.. he was co-OC.

So does he like us or like us like us?

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"

I lived in Lafayette for about 5 years. A couple of my friends down there have been saying to me that it's a possibility. They're alumni and season ticket holders for UL but not sure of any other connections they have to information.

If God himself was selected to be the next Hokie coach I believe this group would nit pick the selection to eternity.

yeah, no doubt! Even when he's winning 10 games a year folks will be critical. IIWII

Onward and upward

If God himself was only winning 10 games a year, I think we might have a case that He was under-performing.

Wait, what?

Yep. That was the joke 🙃

Onward and upward

I mean if we've learned anything from the 2016 Fu hire its that we literally know nothing. He was touted as the best hire, won ACC COY, 99% of TKP was happy or talked into being happy with the hire when Bud was announced as DC.

Coaching searches are a mystery grab bag.

(add if applicable) /s

I mean, look at his track record. He worked 6 days making the Earth and then took a day off. College Football is a 24/7 job. You can't build a program with someone who slacks like that.

Inorite? and he probably watches the Masters too!

#selfdunk

Onward and upward

This article sold me. If he wants to come to VT he has the ability to win the conference and implement a plan (if we're willing to continue to open the purse strings for staff) that could see us head to the top. Might lose him down the road to a SEC team, but not a guy jumping for the sake of jumping based on that article. If we move on from Fuente, then this guy sounds like someone that will build the program.

Whit can also sell Napier that he is willing to give the HC time to build AND that he's committed to providing enough resources to do so (have to hope that staff expansion will continue). Seems like those are the two big things Napier is looking for. The more I read about him, the more I like. We'll see what happens

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Lets be honest, we gave Fuente 6 years in a era when lots of places can coaches after 2.

Lest we forget there are some schools that can their coach less than two years after winning a national championship even though one of those years was a COVID year.

Bad example - Ed O was off the rails. Inviting his girlfriends to practices and letting their kids participate in drills. Title IX issues. This breakup is more of a civilized divorce than LSU dumping him.

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Also, he allegedly hit on the pregnant wife of an LSU official which really strained his relationship with the administration.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them. Go Virginia Tech." -Lee

dang hadn't heard about any of that. i guess Ed O got too big for his britches

Dozens of coach O stories that put that story to shame - mainly a caricature recruiting coordinator that loses the look the other way benefit of the doubt once the winning slows down.

Why do we think we would have the resources/infrastructure (or the ability to get it) that Auburn and USCe don't have?

The article seems to make a great sales pitch for him, but I am not sure he has any interest in us.

It's not just resources/infrastructure, it's path to success and freedom to do what he wants. Path to success is hard at both schools, particularly SCar. Auburn would give him no freedom, part of why their coaching search last year was a mess.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

That article give some great insight into Napier's methods. But, what concerns me is the gist of the article that he's seemingly SEC or stay put. Also, it notes he's very likely to not do anything until his own season is complete which leaves us and anybody else interested in him in a waiting contest, which will likely be after their bowl game and sometime in late December. Are we willing to do that only to be not chosen?
Doesn't sound like Napier's demands of 'his way' of doing things sound bad, but they will all need to be met for him to be in play. Whit better have a brinks truck and checked off demands ready to roll if he's willing to wait it out. This is going to be a 'fun' one to watch...

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#fireCornelson NOW

The inference I get from this he's either waiting for Saban to retire or he wants LSU/Florida. Not much else interest him. Maybe if LSU passes him over and UF doesn't open up, he'll consider other options. But for guy that "wants to be in the SEC" according to a source, he sure turned down a lot of SEC schools. Like I said in the coaching brainstorming thread, he's clearly waiting on something specific

This is where my thinking is at as well. If he doesn't get the LSU job and Auburn wasn't up to snuff, the only other jobs of that caliber are UGA, Bama, and Florida. The first two won't be open for a very long timeand I wouldn't count on Mullen having multiple down years. Eventually you have to prove yourself at the P5 level.

People keep talking about Napier holding out for LSU or Bama but I still think there's almost zero chance either of them would ever hire a coach straight from G5 like that. They're both part of the very small, elite group of schools that can probably pretty much choose any coach in the country that isn't already at another elite school. They're never gonna go for somebody as unproven as Napier unless it's like they're 10th option. He'll need to go somewhere in between first if he wants that and we could easily be that for him.

The ESPN article linked above mentions LSU and VT as potential next destinations for him. Both articles listed make it sound like he's waiting to find a school that he can get into and totally revamp everything from the ground up (recruiting, conditioning, nutrition, ... obviously football).

LSU might not be that school. They seem to have a lot already put together. VT has never really had a full on revamp of all of it, and with Napier's experience both at Clemson and Alabama I think he would be a good one to hire and hand the reins to. A horse can dream.

Yea I'm also sold. I keep flip flopping like crazy, but ultimately, there's no way you could call this a bad hire.

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I'm having an issue with some of the discussion above. I'm all for vetting a candidate, but the questioning of his time at Clemson & Alabama is stupid. I'm seeing people saying he recruited off of the back of those programs so we don't know if he's a good recruiter (even though the evidence says otherwise). However, if he hadn't coached at a big-time program, y'all would be saying he's not a fit at VT because he's never dealt with big-time P5 dynamics.

Pick one.

Y'all gotta realize that all the coaches we're looking at have flaws. Otherwise they wouldn't be candidates. Flawless coaches are already settled at bigger or similar programs, and likely none of them are looking to make a lateral or downward move. Franklin, Saban, Ferentz, Lane, Cristobal aren't coming here. Mullen might be a free agent at the end of the season, but he would've been fired, which would apparently make him undesirable for some of you.

So, do you want a guy who's unproven at bigger P5 levels? I thought that was one of the issues we had with Fuente? Or do you want someone who has shown they can go toe-to-toe with the biggest and the baddest? As @Chris very eloquently put it above, and I'll paraphrase, experience at the best programs in the land gives you a blueprint on how to reach success and beat out your competitors. Bama and those like it are not guaranteed to win, you have to do everything right, because there's very little room for error when you're facing other top teams.

Napier has been there in the room where it happens. He's shown he can be a successful HC. There are not a lot of other candidates with both those qualifications. Arguing about whether being at Bama/Clemson is a detriment or benefit is ridiculous. It's clearly a benefit, and one I'd like to have in Blacksburg.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

I'm having an issue with some of the discussion above. I'm all for vetting a candidate, but the questioning of his time at Clemson & Alabama is stupid. I'm seeing people saying he recruited off of the back of those programs so we don't know if he's a good recruiter (even though the evidence says otherwise). However, if he hadn't coached at a big-time program, y'all would be saying he's not a fit at VT because he's never dealt with big-time P5

As someone driving this conversation, let me provide an example: Steve Addazio. Addazio was the lead recruiter for about 2 bluechips/year as an assistant at Florida, and had experience coaching under one of the best coaches in the history of the sport. In 6 years at BC, he landed one 4-star player.

Did Addazio forget how to recruit? Unlikely - he just moved to a school that was less attractive for recruits. Was able to succeed there despite not recruiting well? No, because Steve Addazio sucks at developing talent. Now, I recognize that VT is a much better program than BC, but we could find ourselves in a similar pickle.

THAT SAID, (1) Napier would be a huge upgrade over Fu, (2) Napier has potential to be the next great coach, (3) you're totally right no hire (available to us) is perfect. Good post, leg.

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Counterpoint:

Boston College football sucks. It just sucks less than it used to.

Nobody was going to make that sow's ear into a silk purse.

Eh, Jeff jagodzinski did. Jeff Hafley might again too.

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This is a really good read and makes me feel a lot better about Napier as a candidate! And, even though they mention LSU as an option, the fact that they got rid of both Orgeron and Les Miles within 2 years of a national championship says something about job security there. Tie that the expectations of the SEC, particularly those two firings at LSU, and how it describes Napier getting fired from Clemson, I could see him passing on SEC schools. I'd have to think Tech would be an interesting choice. We have a history of winning - we kept Beamer for decades, so if he wanted to stay somewhere and build something, we're a pretty good place to do it. We have been investing in the football program - staff and facilities. While people have questioned Sands' commitment to football, he just put a lot of football incentives into Whit's new contract. And the path to a national championship is pretty clear - win, beat Clemson (which someone pointed out could be its own reward, but he doesn't seem that petty or vindictive from the article). He has lofty goals at Louisiana, so he'd probably have lofty goals at Tech as well (doesn't sound like getting to the ACCCG would be the extent of his yearly goals, sounds like he's too competitive to want to stop there).

Maybe Napier would bring Arch Manning in with him (Hey, a guy can dream). Arch has a sister playing volleyball for lolUVA.

gtofever

he noticed how they did their best not to get bogged down in minutiae.

I'm triggered

Sure yall dont want to hire Butch Jones? 🤔

yes

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

Bro butch jones is 1-6 at arkansas state

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Yeah, but he would make us champions just like Tennessee....Champions of Life!

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Arkansas State looked good last night against Napiers team...

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I have a theory that teams in these situations struggle when the coach starts getting interviews for bigger jobs. There's just no way to do that process and prepare for a game at the same time. Just like when Memphis went on a losing streak at the exact same time we were getting ready to hire Fuente.

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They almost beat Lafayette last night that was point. Napier is not infallible and that game as the heavy favorite is a red flag

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He's won like 27 of 31 and is undefeated in conference, but yeah one close game that he was able to pull out is a red flag...

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

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Just shows that they aren't necessarily that good. We'll see how they finish the year...

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Almost losing as a heavy favorite is a red flag? Bama lost to an unranked Texas A&M, is Saban off your wish list too?

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.

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Yeah totally comparable

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I'd take every game as a close game if it means VT gets the record Napier has at Lousiana.

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.

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Your philosophy is still a terrible way to judge whether a coach is good or not.

Over emphasizing one game vs historical trends/data

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

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You're reading too much into it. A bad result is a bad result doesn't mean the coach is bad. Nowhere did I insinuate that. But did insinuate that maybe people on this thread should stop sucking him off so much

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Yo WTF?! Good catch yak. Get that shit outta here. Paging mods, can we get a ruling or something?

VB born, class of '14

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I put it on Joe's radar as he holds the ban hammer etc.

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

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Done and done. Thanks everyone for bringing it to our attention.

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Racist trash is not allowed here. Fuck off. Do not come back. Banhammer requested.

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Thanks to you and others for bringing to our attention.

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

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Joe/ mods you may want to clean up the troll's signature block too.

Godfrey on this morning's SZD patreon show (paywall): "if Napier doesn't get an offer from LSU, I really think he's going to be Virginia Tech's next head coach"

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I think I'll copy michael scott and setup a happy and sad box to prepare for the announcement. Both boxes will include lots of alcohol.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Heads up, the embedded gif was actually a video that had sound so I replaced it with a link for those TKPing from an office.

Thanks sorry I thought I had grabbed a gif I'll see if I can find the right one!

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Giphy is a pain in the ass.

If you feel the leather in your hand let it rip.

All the image sites are now even Imgur has made it harder to use. Dont know why they do it but even Giphy has made it tricky to use. I like that site for the search engine and to use a gif now use it open in a new tab by itself and copy that address. Embeds are glitchy and a mess

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I've noticed that they seem to be harder than they used to be.

Sometimes the one I want isn't available, at least with respect to my technical abilities...

For both pictures and gifs you can always if in chrome right click, open image in new tab, then copy and paste that address into the insert image url box. Giphy and imgur used to have the shortcuts listed but dont anymore.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

What about Firefox or Safari?

I'd assume firefox is similar dunno about safari. As long as the address to the image isnt https:// or something like that itll work.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Safari screwed everything up a few years ago. You'll need to use something else without doing some serious workaround.

Firefox has the open in a new tab option on a right click.

On Giphy, if you click on the gif and have a share button to the right. Click on share and it will give you a copy gif link button that will copy it to your clipboard. Then just ctrl+v into the url box.

On tenor, you have to scroll to the bottom and find the share url box and click the box and it should copy to your clipboard. Then just ctrl+v into the url box. Double check that the .gif is on the end of the url in the url box or it won't display. idk why tenor doesn't copy the .gif but this is what I have found.

I don't just imgur on a regular basis for my gifs so not sure what their process is like but I would assume it is something similar to those 2 above.

I think you may have just fixed the problem I was having with tenor gifs.

That seems to indicate that he thinks the VT job is a good one.

*prays LSU keeps shooting for big name hires*

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

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✋: sure

🤚: could this be any more vague

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

I think Godfrey's implying we're interested in Napier and want to lock him in before Coach O is officially done at LSU. But that's just my best guess based on what he's said earlier this season.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Listening to Whit's presser, Napier certainly checks boxes.

But, I am wondering if he's aiming higher, like Franklin or Fickell. Maybe even Pry or O'Brien are going to get serious looks. He just sounds so confident this morning. Like a weight lifted off his shoulder.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

i think he may also be hinting about other jobs coming open...mostly florida. miami also being likely. we already know LSU is open, and he could've already spoken with or interviewed with them.

There's the domino effect... If USC hires James Franklin, or LSU hires Mel Tucker, then you're going to see another program that can pay $6M/year open up.

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yeah, the coaching carousel is gonna be nuts this year, with more firings coming (florida? miami? arizona st?) and then all the assistant coaches moving, and more openings once hirings occur. will be fascinating to see where everyone ends up.

If you listened to the SZD episode behind the paywall, you'll hear that LSU is starting to circle back to Napier 🤔

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It seems like our biggest threat is definitely LSU viewing Napier as their safety net option if they fail to land the "splash" hire that Woodward will have as the top priorities.

Haven't listened to it yet! But definitely makes sense. Let's hope Whit and Napier are both ready to commit. Hopefully LSU sticks around going for a big name a little longer.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

It won't matter how long LSU sticks around. If we hire Napier and LSU decides they want him, we'll lose him, although hopefully with compensation.

Edit I misread

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

Agreed. This is where Whit could really earn some salt. Make that early opt-out clause so enormous that LSU would be paying us for years on end to get him out of Blacksburg.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#fireCornelson NOW

Something around $10m has a nice ring to it

This could be another Manny Diaz Temple and Miami situation

$10m?! Forget that. I'm talking in the $30-50m range, or even more. Yea $10m would offset what we just paid, but the point is to make a blue blood like LSU be the silent "investor" for the future of our football program if they wanted to poach a newly hired CBN from us a week after we would have hired him.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#fireCornelson NOW

What are you willing to give for that level of buyout? You can't get something for nothing in a negotiation and that is going to cost a lot of something.

Great question. Miami only paid Temple $4m for Diaz. The enormous clause would only be for a short period of time, say expiring at the start of the 2022-23 season, long enough to deter a blue blood from poaching him or pay big to do it. Then reduced to a industry equivalent levels over the years of the contract. If we were to hire CBN, we would feel like he is our guy. So the likelihood of us firing him without cause and having us pay the huge payday is minimal.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#fireCornelson NOW

Beyond his buyout, I think you tie it to funding commitments for staff, facilities, etc. Napier is being extremely selective about where he's going next because he wants to build his version of The Process. So put in writing all the things that you're going to provide him in order to do that, and explain that you need a similar level of commitment from him to see it through, starting with a promise not to bolt if a bigger name comes along.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

I don't know that there is enough value there for Napier to agree to pay $30mil to leave for greener pastures ala Diaz.

That's likely table stakes just get the conversation to stage 2.

Is this a Fuente to TCU hint? Whit seemed genuine in his description that Fuente decided to leave after being told he wouldn't definitely be coach next year

I didn't interpret it that way at all.

Twitter me

Well LSU might go with him. TCU is certainly interested and depending on which TCU message board insider is correct, might have an offer ready to go for him.

Since Napier is coming to VA this week for a game vs Liberty, could we have fired Fuente this week to clear the way to ask permission for an interview while Napier is in VA this week?

Considering that coaches typically travel with the team to/from games... I highly doubt Napier is going to be able to sneak away from Williams Stadium long enough to have an interview.

He doesn't have to sneak though. They will arrive in Lynchburg the day before. Theoretically, if permission was granted for an interview, people from VT could meet him somewhere in Lynchburg that night for a couple of hours. Or even stay behind after the game and VT pays for a flight back for him.

I don't understand all this talk about "permission". College coaches don't need "permission" to do anything. The biggest limiting factor is not being a distraction to your team by having them find out you're talking to other schools behind their back, and even if they're staying in a hotel the night before it would be a tall order to sneak out without arousing suspicion.

If he is truly at the top of the list, there's a very high chance Whit has already spoken with him multiple times, and will almost certainly travel to Louisiana himself to perform the first face-to-face interview. There's no need to sneak around to get it done when he's on a fairly tight schedule with a job to do.

...a very high chance Whit has already spoken with him multiple times...

I don't know about talking with him directly, as that can be a significant distraction for a coach, and the AD knows it. But I'll bet the mortgage that Whit has spoken with his agent multiple times, and things are being worked out through that channel.

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

UL football message board

Posted this in another board, but probably more appropriate here.

The Cajuns think that VT is the program Napier will most likely go to.

Here is an ESPN article from August on Napier. Interesting to see some of his methods and connections to Saban. We get mentioned as a possible landing spot.

After reading that, it makes me want Napier over every other candidate. This guy, given the appropriate resources, can be the next Saban. I'd love to see him create a Clemson-style dynasty in the ACC Coastal.

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

Everyone worked hard, of course, but he noticed how they did their best not to get bogged down in minutiae

I LOL'd

Onward and upward

I think your signature is now OBE. Maybe your new one should be 🖊 🐐

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

That is a hell of an article that I hope every one on this board reads.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

$50 to the football fund. Let's hope the small donors like myself can add up to alot of $$$

For those holding out hope for Napier or even something else who has already been named by sports media... I specifically remember when Beamer announced his retirement a sports journalist tweeting something (within a day or two of Beamer's announcement) along the lines of "one name to look out for is Memphis head coach Fuente...the VT job is the perfect fit for Fuente". I can't find the tweet at the moment. I've seen on TKP and elsewhere regarding Babcock's hires that if there is smoke about a potential hire its less likely to happen. Admittedly, we were convinced Ryan Odom was the next mens bball coach, and the bball hire before that Buzz came out of nowhere. Babcock will probably do everything he can to halt any leaks but just keep this in mind.

There is a TON of smoke about Clawson. But I think that may be more of a smoke screen. He's a really good coach but I don't think he fits what we need as a program. If Whit kicked the tires at all on Fickell, I don't see why he wouldn't at least make him say no first.

If your an AD in a power conference and don't kick the tires on Fickell (especially when he is at your prior school), id somewhat question your judgement

If Fickell isn't interested, we will probably never know that Whit kicked the tires.

Meant to say if he kicked the tires on Fickell last year, which was heavily rumored. If that was his first pick then, I don't see why he wouldn't absolutely force him to turn the job down before moving on.

Pictured: VT dancing with Luke Fickell

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

Fickell would be an absolute home run for VT. He is such a better coach than Justin Fuente, it's not funny. Comparing a ferarri to a ford. If Whit pulls that off its the hire of the decade.

It's funny, I regularly go to an Ohio State bar to watch games and those guys don't have quite as high opinion of Fickel as most of us do....remember he was the interim coach for OSU after Tressel resigned and had around a .500 record. Now, I'm sure he's a much better coach now than he was then, but don't tell that to a Buckeye fan. I actually needled them about it before Ryan Day was hired by suggesting Fickel instead, and the looks I got were priceless.

Fickell as the next coach would go a long ways toward energizing the fan base.

To be the man you gotta beat the man!

Whit said it yesterday in his presser - every rumor has a reason behind it (or something to that effect). The coaching carousel is a game of 3D chess with a ton of players (some unwillingly).

Buzz didn't quite come out of nowhere. It was definitely shocking he took the job. But I do remember some buzz (no pun intended) about it a week to two weeks out before the hire. I, like I assume many others, dismissed it because we were all like "dream candidate but why the heck would Buzz come to us?". You're right about the Fuente hire though. There was a pretty consistent rumor about him being linked to the job throughout the process. It just got drowned out because fans wanted other targets. The only hire Whit has made that really "came out of nowhere" was Mike Young. Lots of fans and insiders and some media were talking about Kevin Willard, Ryan Odom, etc. Some insiders had no clue as in they hadn't heard anything definitive like they had in the past. Then about a day or two before the hire you started hearing a little more about CMY. So other that CMY, there isn't a ton of evidence about Whit playing things super close to the vest. There's typically been stuff out there at least within a couple of weeks before the hire is made.

One thing to ponder.

Someone is going to get caught holding the bag with all of this movement. One school that fired their coach is going to end up in a worse spot because there aren't enough good coaches to go around this year.

Who will that school be?

As an aside, I don't believe it will be VT. In fact, I don't think a move would have been made if Whit wasn't 100% sure that VT wasn't going to be that school at the end of this.

This is my school
This is home

And we probably won't know which school that is for a while, last year it looked like Michigan State and so far that has worked out well for them (with the caveat that Fuente looked great in year 1 too)

VT '17

In a way, I actually think not being the top job available this time around might actually help us. Allows us to figure out the best fit without having to worry about it being the biggest home run of the cycle. Often times, unless its an absolute slam dunk hire of a proven guy, those hires tend to miss more often than they hit.

This is my school
This is home

I don't think we ever have to worry about being the top job available, unless someone comes in and raises the bar even higher than Beamer did.

MSU better hope it works out they are about to announce a new contract at 8 million a year for Tucker.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I am hoping that if we make a move on a Fickell, we at least lock up a Temple style buyout clause. Temple got "paid" for Diaz to leave to Miami.

We already were holding the bag. It was full of Cornfu.

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

Dude the first reply to that tweet LMAO

Profile pic looks familiar...

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