Hokies up to 15th in AP poll

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LET'S GO!!!!!

Life is good.

HOKIES!!

I don't trust this ranking one bit. Glad to have it, but I don't have the confidence that should come with a 15 ranking.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Agreed, but it also has as much to do with who has lost the last two weeks

Well think about it, we were 19 and multiple teams (14 and 15 in particular) lost in front.

Watching the rest of the top 25 play, I think we definitely deserve where we are right now.

This was my initial reaction. I do a poll for Reddit and let me tell you, the whole field is topsy turvy right now. Miami was ranked at 1-1 with a 2 point win over App State and a loss to Bama while BC, and I hate to say it, UVA weren't ranked. This season has started in a strange way. Add to that the weird push for Cincinatti and Coastal Carolina, and there is just a lot of slingshotting in the poll.

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

Coaches poll also fwiw

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

I love it. However, I have little faith we are actually the 15th best team in the country

I thought the same as everyone else, but then looking at the scores from yesterday...we aren't not lol

We might not know how good we really are until week 5, and even then who knows with the way Notre Dame has looked

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

If you think about it, taKing VTs history of losing dumb games out of the equation, the scariest team on the schedule so far has to be Pitt

I agree. The WVU game is great for us to win but ultimately meaningless. Way more concerned about Pitt

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

The WVU game is great for us to win but ultimately meaningless.

This is a rivalry game. I don't care how old it is, they are still going to throw pee bags at our team and our fans Saturday. We better pop them in the mouth back to the G5.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

pee bags

pop them in the mouth

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

Hendon tried his best but it's hard for VT players to beat Pitt, even when they are on different teams!

the scariest, yes... I've been burned by expectations in the past and all I can hope for is 1-0 every week.

We sure as heck ain't gonna be able to gauge it off of our ACC competition this year.

I suspect by end of year, Clemson will be a solid top 5 team.

If we #goacc our way to the ACC champ game, that may be the only chance to know.

I like that for the first time in forever, I see teams that won, but really badly, get demoted.

Miami and Notre Dame both took hits.

The AP poll is trying to redeem itself finally?

No shit, it's about time this happens. I'm tired of teams barely squeaking by opponents they should have manhandled and then moving up the ranks.

I'm tired of teams barely squeaking by opponents they should have manhandled and then moving up the ranks

Checks halftime score from this past weekend against Middle TN State University...๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Note: Not sure why this warranted a downvote. Crazy how people downvote now if they disapprove of a comment. I don't think I said anything that went against CG's. Mods can correct me if I'm wrong. I wasn't even shooting for a snarky tone, as much as I was saying that ranked teams are allowed to sleepwalk through a portion of a game, but not teams that have lost to ODU and Liberty recently. I think we are overrated, but I hope that we continue to play well.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

That's indicative of sleepwalking through the first half. Tech covered even after the back up defense gave up a garbage time touchdown.

It's Time to go to Work

Congratulations to fuente to get them in this position. Whit must feel much better about his decision, as do I. I have certainly critized fuente and staff, therefore I should praise their success.

Don't have to make decisions on a half finished season though. This is the highest we have been ranked since we played ODU. So don't take it as permanent.

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

Poll inertia is a hell of a drug

Just watched the condensed version of the MTSU game and I unfortunately think we're in for a rude awakening next week. Would love to be wrong, but there were some glaring issues with our O line and blocking all around.

Can't really put my finger on it but the offense doesn't have a lot of intensity and toughness in blocking, reminds me of Duke the past few years tbh. Burmeister did not look super sharp either.

WVU doesn't beat themselves so we will have to go out and win the game on offense. Going to have to play a lot better than yesterday.

West Virginia is not a good team. People keep forgetting this and need to be reminded.

It's Time to go to Work

yeah, but I still think we could go 6-6 or 11-1 and it be a matter of 5 plays, and both are equally as likely.

So we're Schrodinger's team?

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

You can't really tell anything by week 1 and they were decent In '19 and '20. We don't really have the information to say that

First time I've heard 5-7 referred to as decent on this board

Gobble Till You Wobble

I mean its definitely not *bad* for a first year head coach in a strong Big 12 (Baylor Iowa State and OU all good)

I would agree that 5-7 isn't decent but at the same time last year was pretty much just a float the boat money season. IMO last year don't matter when looking at how teams performed in comparison.

6-0 won the playoffs.

WVU turned the ball over 4 times in their Maryland loss...so they def can make mistakes against team of their level

It's possible but they've in general been a pretty disciplined team since Brown's been there. Also I don't want to rely on that to get the win lol. Even we can scrape by WVU and ND playing like we did yesterday then we'll get killed by Pitt. We need to vastly improve on offense to have the kind of season we want

Absolutely agree with you on that!

There were a lot of issues with the offense yesterday and blocking was kinda far down the list for me.

I'm far more concerned with our incompetence in the short pass game. Better teams we can't push around up front are going to stack the box, sit in shell coverage, and watch the offense complete a third of their 8 yard out routes.

The complete lack of an intermediate passing scheme is a fireable offense for an offensive coordinator at a P5 school. Inexcusable to have talent at the WR position like Turner, Robinson, and Mitchel and only utilize them on screens and go routes.

I think our receiving Corp and TEs really struggle creating separation on intermediate routes. I was hoping it was something Lofton and Jones would bring to the table but they don't seem to be getting the reps.

Gobble Till You Wobble

At what point do you stop blaming the players and consider that maybe it doesn't look like they're creating separation on intermediate routes because they're not being coached well enough to make those plays?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Pro/con with this staff is they play to a qbs strengths. The problem is that completely avoiding the weakness leads to predictability. Corny gets the blame but the game plans go through the head whistle.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'd like to see the coaches help develop the players. Address those weaknesses and help the players turn them into strengths

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Not really placing blame. Just saying if you have receivers that struggle getting separation then generally you don't run a ton of intermediate man beaters.

Edit: intermediate man beaters meaning routes that rely upon the receiver getting himself open. Our man beaters seem to be more crossing or rub routes.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Is it justified to be dismayed with the lack of creativity? We have to find ways to get guys open and get them the ball. Screens and fades will get stale quickly. We need to have more than 4 routes that work.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Man Beaters?! Rub Routes?! Are we not doing phrasing any more?

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Corny being a bad OC and completely in over his head at this level isn't even a hot take any more, its just the damn truth.

The problem is that Fuente seems to have 'ride or die' hitched his head coaching wagon to this man staying his OC, so its very likely that the only way we ever get that man out of here is by firing Fuente, and the turmoil that will come with it.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

I'll have to agree with this take. WVU is just as pumped for this game as we are. We have to bring the intensity and quiet the crowd early. Get on the board, and let the defense work. Play field position, get efficient and score on offense when the defense sets us up.

Simply put, play like Beamer teams of the 2000s before Tyrod went off and could put points on the board at will.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Tech's defense looks legit, I think they belong in the top 25 and will end up there. The offense will succeed or fail primarily due to the QB play. 15 may be too high of a ranking , but VT can beat anyone in the ACC not named Klempson.

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

WVU is out of the gate as a 3 pt favorite against us. Just FYI...and I really hope our guys smack the tastes outta the cousins mouths!!

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

As a tech fan all I can say is "good". I think our ranking is inflated, so for Vegas to show up and say we aren't that good should make for some good bulletin board material and put this team in a place mentally where they think we're being disrespected.

Top 15 does seem a bit high, but you also need to factor in that 15-40 are a lot closer in talent/results than 10-15 years ago.

Talent has definitely concentrated to the top echelon of college football, which leaves weaker teams in the 15-25 range than there used to be.

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

I'll take it.

I'm the words of Stumpy from Out Cold: I don't want credit for it. But they keep trying to give it to me.

The most underrated comedy of my lifetime. Perfectly early-mid 2000s but still laugh loud funny.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Eurotrip would like a word

Eurotrip is Out Cold's idiot stoner cousin. You know the one that you are ok with seeing once every couple years. In between, small things about it give you a chuckle, making you want to revisit it. But, then once you're done revisiting, you're content to part ways again.

For Out Cold, it's like the cousin you never get to see. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. And when you do get to see the, you pick up like you never left off.

Super Troopers. That is all

Still watch and regularly quote all three.

Plus, Waiting...

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

Idiocracy? That movie was stupid funny.

But for my money, the movies that made me laugh more than any others were and will probably always be Happy Gilmore and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

Though I think the funniest thing I've ever experienced was that the snozberries taste like snozberries

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

THE PRESIDENT OF AMURICA

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

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Pretty good. Pretty damn good lads

MY BABY TAKES THE MORNING TRAIN

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

To paraphrase Out Cold (outtakes I believe, I've seen the movie so many times I can't remember what the actual line is): This negativity is cramping my Hardy Boys, it's no mystery.

Are we the 15th best team in the country? Maybe, I can't honestly say I'm comfortable naming 15 teams that are outright better than us. Notre Dame, Iowa State, Texas A&M, and a bunch of other teams in the top 25 have looked iffy to start the year. Assuming UNC is who we think they are (a top 25 team, not FSU 2018) then we're not all that different than Penn State, right?

I mean outside of Bama and Georgia everyone kinda sucks this year, so why not stake our claim for being on the upper crust of the pile of crap below them, ya know

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Oregon looked great in Columbus on Saturday.

If we're "overrated", fine. It's good PR. Helps recruiting, helps the brand, brings more positive attention to the program...and honestly, these kids and coaches are working their balls off, external affirmation is OK.

If we're "overrated", fine. It's good PR.

As long as we do not lay a huge stink bomb on some nationally television game. Then the "overrated" is BAD public relations.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

WVU is currently favored by 2.5 points according to ESPN. I hope our boys take that personally.

want to upvote, but this is sitting nicely at 25

Way to go to the Hokies, they've worked hard and are 2-0. If they go 1-0 next 2 weeks they will only move up before playing a very beatable Notre Dame!

FIRST DOWN, HOKIES!

ND might be 2-2 when they come to town

And still be ranked top 15.

/s

Excuse me...it's ND...I believe you meant to say top 10.

According to my sources- if we go 1-0 every week, we'll finish the season undefeated.

Big if true

We are here because we have beaten a pretty good team. Told my son I think we're 17th - 20th best so far. Based on talent I think 12th-15th is possible by end of year.

So far we have an defense that is likely top-20 and may end up better than that (potentially top-10, and aided by a good schedule). Peoples has been a very welcome surprise and it was no certainty that Waller would get back to his 2019 form (actually he's even better).

As a few have already noted, the offense has some issues/opportunities. Not being able to throw all over MTSU's 2nd string corners really worries me. Got to have a young WR pop (please Payoute make it happen) because the upperclassmen are seasoned but not elite. Maybe put Mitchell out wide more ala Hodges. Also, continue to let Blackshear do his thing because he seems dynamic.

Also, like every year, in multiple spots we are not deep so the hope is that injuries stay far away. Other than the obvious (QB), an injury on the DL scares me.

I think we are likely 8-4 but a couple good breaks from (dare I say) 10-2. My floor for the year pre-season was 6-6, but I am comfortable changing that to 7-5.

As Hokies we should know that a good O is a ceiling raiser but a good D is a floor raiser. It was the secret sauce behind all those 10-win seasons. I know we had a good D in 2017 but it has felt like FOREVER and I'm happy to start to see signs of that lunch pail D.

VT has finished as high as 12-15 very few times in the past. And those teams were way more talented than the one we currently have.

Virginia Tech Top 15 Finishes in the AP Poll

1995 - #10
1996 - #13
1999 - #2
2000 - #6
2004 - #10
2005 - #7
2007 - #9
2008 - #15
2009 - #10
(in 2010 and 2016 we finished at #16).

TALENT

As far as the talent thing goes, those 95 and 96 teams classes were a far cry from the classes we pull in today (we were averaging 50th-60th ranked classes in the nation, still adjusting to the good life in a power conference).

By 1996 we were starting to recruit roughly about where we are today. The teams in the aughts weren't that much more talented when you go by recruiting classes. The major difference was that every couple of years we were landing an occassional 5-star; the classes themselves really don't look much different at all.

While the 2020 class was our lowest ranked class since 1995, it also happened to be our smallest class ever (by a LOT, we haven't had a class of <20 signees since 1995, either).

We've only managed to sign (7) 4-stars or higher three times- 2012, 2018 & 2019

Not so fun fact: The 2012 class happens to be the only recruiting class since 1989 in which we had nobody drafted into the NFL (Tre Edmunds is still around as an UDFA).

Less talented teams are always capable of having great seasons- they're simply less likely to repeat them.

At least on paper, this team talent-wise isn't that far off from those teams in the aughts.

this is great background info - thanks for doing the digging

if I'm getting this right, what you're saying is that recruiting wasn't the difference between those older teams and the current one - coaching is the difference?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I'd also ask another question. Are the recruiting rankings from Beamer years really fair to compare to today's rankings? We'll never know for sure, but I suspect some of our recruits back then would be ranked higher in today's system.

I tend to agree with your suspicion!

It seems like the 247 composite has not always been consistent in their player, and therefore team ratings. At some point I wondered what stacking all of the players, graded highest to lowest in the composite each season would look like:

Enough of these seasons were consistent enough in creating a curve that I was able to derive a reference curve from them. And then other seasons; not so much.

What seems to be happening is this- in 2010, 247 came into existence. The grading curve for that season lines up with the reference curve really well.

They then retroactively created a composite going back to 2003 (and then later, 2002). The reference curves line up really well those seasons, too.

And again somewhere around the mid-2010s, the grades start locking into the reference curves again, and have been since.

So really, the seasons in between have some kind of sagging error. My guess is that the difference, or void in the in-between seasons is from the "recruits ranked" and the "FBS signees".

So I think that in some seasons, they included all of the players they ranked, regardless of signing in their algorithm. And in other seasons, they simply included the FBS signees and excluded everybody else (kids that played a different sport, signed at an FCS or lower school, couldn't make grades and either went JUCO or didn't play football after high school).

I have lined up as a future project re-aligning these curves and see where everything falls into place once a consistent methodology is used. Simply rank the FBS signees, in order, along their place in the curve (which is what they've been doing consistently since the mid-2010's).

I can't say how much this changes the average player grade or recruiting scores.

BUT... the rank shouldn't change much (a 24th rated class in 2005 is still likely to fall right around the 24th rated class today as well).

TL;DR: I wouldn't try and make the case that Fuente's recent classes objectively were BETTER than Beamer's. I don't believe that's true. But yes, comparing recent 247 average player and class ratings to old ones is not really accurate; the relative team ranks is likely our most accurate bet for comparison.

My comment is certainly making the point that recruiting, (or "talent") likely isn't as big of a difference between those teams.

However, I'm also not certain that simply grouping all of the other factors that go into a team's success under the category of "coaching" is necessarily true:

- As a very general rule, recruiting successes tend to correlate with outcomes across the college football landscape. However, there are frankly some giant program-wide exceptions to this rule. Boise State has been outperforming their relative recruiting for decades (recruiting hampered by G5 ceiling, tends to be not only ranked in the polls but success is backed up by metrics as well). UCLA and Miami have almost always under performed over this same time frame (excellent recruiting, lackluster results).

In each case, the recruiting classes remain impressive, while several different coaches come and go. So would you chalk the Boise success, or the UCLA/Miami lack of success to simply "coaching"?

- Can we explain the sudden fall-off in Nebraska's success as a program (and to a lesser extent, Colorado's and West Virginia's) under either the "coaching" or "recruiting" categories"? Or simply stare in amazement that the glaring redirection of these program's trajectory seems to be pinpointed around the move to a less-geographically suitable conference where the team suddenly has no archrivals?

- Specific to VT: Beamer utilized a roster management philosophy that emphasized experience; redshirts, Prep players, etc... Fuente has almost a revolving door policy with transfers and junior college players.

I've explained in the past that this may not even be due to the preference of the two coaching staffs; rather a difference in availability (In short, the Virginia Prep school pipeline abruptly dried up around 2013, likely lending to the vastly different preferences in "roster management" philosophies from the old regime to the new).

Does this fall under a difference in "coaching"?
..............

I'm certain that there is a difference in "coaching" between the two staffs. But I'm also not comfortable stating that "recruiting" and "coaching" are the only two factors or resources at play.

This is fascinating! Thank you for the in-depth reply. I am curious how you define "coaching". I think it is tempting for folks to try breaking these problems down into two categories ("recruiting" and "coaching") even if they really are more complex than that. For me, coaching is more than just the Xs and Os - it's also the philosophy and vision of the head coach - what culture is he trying to build and how is he trying to build it. That, I think, falls under the category of "coaching" and also has an impact on the direction of a program. I would be curious to know if those philosophies and cultural tendencies come down from the Athletic Directors (after all, they are the ones hiring the football coaches) to some degree. I have no idea who the ADs are at UCLA, Boise State, Miami or Nebraska or if they have been entrenched in their roles through the various coaching changes you mentioned. If so, that may be an indicator that the coaches who carried on the same program-wide tendencies did so because they shared a philosophy or cultural identity with previous coaches (due to being hired by the same person).

Now going to your point on roster management is interesting as well. Does that fall under the category of "recruiting" or "coaching"? Is it a bit of both or its own category altogether? I think the advent of the Transfer Portal has had a huge impact as well. Would Beamer have had the same success in this era that he had in the 90s and 00s? Would Fuente have done better in the 90s and 00s than he has now? Is it just generally more difficult to build a roster these days? Why has the talent from the Virginia Prep school pipeline suddenly dried up? These are all rhetorical questions but I think you've done a nice job of highlighting that the issues various programs face aren't necessarily binary. There are a lot of moving parts and simplifying the issues perhaps blinds us to what is actually ailing us.

I guess it is kind of like having a car and any time anything goes wrong saying "it's either the engine or the transmission" even though there are other components that could be hampering the car's performance. You might have a bent tie-rod, a flat tire, leaking brake-lines, busted vacuum tube, faulty O2 sensor, or any number of other things that replacing either the engine or transmission wouldn't actually address.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

There's some substantial overlap in the college and NFL fan bases. I think it's easy for the casual fans to assume the two leagues operate the same, and they don't.

The NFL is a sanitized, organized and intuitive system. The teams are governed under salary caps, the draft rewards failure, and everything is designed to create parity.

The college game has no design; it's like a chaotic experiment in the study of ethics and loopholes. There are "rules", but ineffective and inconsistent enforcement, (like scholarship "limits"- they're more like guidelines). There's no draft process, so the better programs get the most talent.

Fanatics can affect NFL teams through boycotts; not always well thought out or warranted, but subject to popular opinion. Most teams can pull it together and compete for the playoffs; and it's not too hard to see why the Browns and Redskins specifically haven't.

College programs are all over the place. They could be well oiled institutions. Or held hostage by a few major donors. While donors, boards, and ADs all may have the best intentions in mind, I would hypothesize that they are not equal when it comes to reason, judgement, and advocating for the squeaky wheel influence of the fanatics.

I think donors are uniquely powerful in this sport, and I don't know that coaches or even ADs are always running the show.

Edit: some wording

I would say the fanbase panic button has more to do with program trajectory for schools like Nebraska and Tennessee, cycling through coaches and avoiding the actual building of a program.

Coaching may not fit in a perfect round hole. Even Fuente has changed his philosophy over the last few seasons. We're more ball control on offense instead of high flying offense of JRod days. Even Beamer changed coaching styles a few times in his tenure. Foster changed his defense to combat the spread.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

The fact that the VT/ND actually COULD be a top 10 game due to both teams winning out until the game and other teams losing ahead of them, is laughable to me. Don't get me wrong, I would welcome it (especially since I am going to the game), but there is no way VT (and ND) is a top 15 team (let alone top 10).

I hope the offense and defense continues to grow/improve, but color me suspect.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

What teams are definitely top 15 then? I think most everyone in CFB this year is flawed apart from Bama. Given our current record and SoS, it seems reasonable that we have performed top 15 in the country so far. Whether we finish there is another matter, but at this stage of the season we definitely deserve a top 15 ranking based on our results.

Get Angry, Bud!

IMHO I think we are only in top 15 because we beat a UNC team on Friday night, on national prime tv (with no other games going on) that was over ranked based on their QB coming back. Our other win again MTSU I wouldn't file under "we definitely deserve a top 15 ranking based on our results." That 1st half was frustrating to watch.

To answer your first question, I don't know who are the best 15 teams right now because it's only been 2 (3 for some) weeks worth of games, and most of them have been against cupcake teams. (Tangent: I am all for no rankings until 3-4 weeks of games to help eliminate bias, specifically blue bloods/SEC)... But I agree outside of Bama, all teams have their flaws, just IMO from what we've seen already, I think the 15th ranking is somewhat generous. Don't get me wrong, I'll take it, as it's good pub for the school, but color me pessimistic.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

The fact is that a lot of other teams that were in the top 20 have proven through the results of their games that they are not in fact that good.

VT to this point is not one of those teams. Nothing suspect about it. I appreciate your opinion on it and there are legitimate concerns with the team, but somebody has to be ranked there. The team that has a top ten win and no losses is as good a choice as any. And of course I don't think UNC is actually a top ten team. But you know who did? The same people now putting VT at 15, and they hate to look like they don't know what they are doing. So that's going to be a good win unless they just completely fall off a cliff.

I agree somebody has to be ranked or moved up when team lose ahead of you, just the nature of the ranking system. Look, I understand this isn't the first time it has happened to teams (VT or others) where they kept winning (against inferior teams) and moving up in the rankings, but later got "upset" and/or lost to a team that was much better/more talented. Maybe I don't wear orange and maroon glasses as much as others, and that's fine. I'm not trying to rain on anybody's party, just giving my $0.02... I guess I just have been to (as mentioned above, going to ND game) too many big games (based off rankings of both teams) where VT got embarassed on national tv based off their ranking. I'd love to be wrong, but I am getting 2017 vibes for this ND game.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

No way ND undefeated the next 2 weeks.

Who knows... don't see them losing to Purdue, but I can see them losing next two to Wiscy and Cinci

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Win, survive, advance. The rest takes care of itself. We may not be the 15th best team, but we haven't proven not to be yet like some other teams have.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Who cares. Just win the next one!

The cognitive dissonance in this thread is actually really interesting. Hopefully the boys go and knock it out of the park this weekend and make our minds a bit more at ease.

Go Hokies!