VT ranked 61 in pre-season SP+ Rankings

Source. The explanation below is partly Bill C's, partly my interpretation from years of reading his work and listening to his podcast(s).

For those who aren't college analytics nerds:

SP+ is a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. It is a predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football [meaning it does not consider things like turnovers, penalties, etc]. It is not a rΓ©sumΓ© ranking, and, along those same lines, these projections aren't intended to be a guess at what the AP Top 25 will look like at the end of the year.

Preseason projections are based on three factors.

  1. Returning production - how many players are returning, how many plays each one has been a part of, and how successful each play has been (Bill has often said that not all experience is good experience, so it's important to not reward teams/players for participating in unsuccessful plays).
  2. Recent recruiting - Bill says that this piece makes up about one-fifth of the projections formula.
  3. Recent history - I think this piece is particularly interesting. Per Bill:

    Using a sliver of information from previous seasons (two to four years ago) gives us a good measure of overall program health. It stands to reason that a team that has played well for one year is less likely to duplicate that effort than a team that has been good for years on end (and vice versa), right? This is a minor piece of the puzzle, but the projections are better with it than without.

Anyways, VT at 61....

Pry has his work cut out for him (not that we needed a fancy algorithm to tell us that)

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Under-promise. Over-deliver. Do better than 61 at the end of the year and we've done our part.

We'll circle back to this in December and see if people are happy finishing top 50.

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As much as I want this to be the case, I really just don't see many wins on the schedule this year.

This feels like one of those years where the past finally catches up with us right before things seriously improve in the future. If we are bowl eligible at the end of the year, it'll be a huge testament to the coaching job that Pry's staff is able to do.

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So, first of all, SP+ doesn't measure wins/losses (eg; Nebraska finished the season 38th in SP+ last year, despite a 3-9 record) It measures the 'predictable' elements of football. So win/losses are kind of irrelevant to this conversion.

But, if you want to talk about wins/losses, there's a couple ways you could look at this:

  • Looking at SP+, there are only 5 schools on our schedule ranked above VT (UNC, Pitt, Miami, NCst, UVA). So theoretically, SP+ believes we should go 7-5 (based on the metrics detailed in OP).
  • If you want to look purely at talent, VT has the 40th most talented roster in the country, per 247. There are 7 teams on our schedule (again, per 247) with a 'less talented' roster than us (ODU, BC, Wofford, WVU, Duke, Liberty, UVA)

So, while I won't get my hopes up, I do think that 6 wins is a reasonable goal 2022.

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It measures the 'predictable' elements of football.

Was Fuente behind this rating? ;^)

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

I know you meant this to be TIC, but in 2020 we were a top 25 offense per SP+.

EDIT: For what it's worth, I love the idea of designing your playcalling/decision making around 'expected outcomes,' but Fuente did not understand what that term meant. Increasing the expected outcome is NOT about avoiding risk; rather, it is about managing risk, and balancing it with reward.

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Which is what I'd expect from a rating system designed by Fuente. ;^)

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

I mean he didn't even avoid risk effectively either. He jumped headlong into going for 2 after a penalty against Notre Dame which arguably cost us the game, and probably gives him the best chance of keeping his job

That is one thing that is the most mind boggling to me about the Fuente era, his decision to go for two, or go for it on 4th almost always seemed wrong at the time and was almost always proven wrong. The ND game he went for it and failed, the he goes up 7 and doesn't go for it!!! Makes zero sense.

I think S&P makes for interesting but not necessarily meaningful discussion in terms of the upcoming season. Since this is effectively a new team, it might be more useful to look at the previous S&P of teams where Pry, Bowen, Glenn, Rudolph, and Holt had meaningful input and games when Wells and Brown were on the field

We're definitely somewhere between GA State and PSU

I'll grant you that SP+ (or any other algorithm) cannot adjust for coaching changes, but I would advise against looking at our coaches' previous performances when making near term predictions.

This roster is still well over half guys that Pry did not recruit. He likely be adjusting his scheme on both sides of the ball to fit the current roster. We're sticking a square peg in a round hole, and sanding off the edges little by little, day by day. It will take a few seasons for that peg to fit.

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Does the VT S&P include Wells' production at Marshall or does S&P count the QB production from last year as gone?

It only counts returning from that team's previous season/roster, so he doesn't count toward it.

So a slight push back on:

there are only 5 schools on our schedule ranked above VT (UNC, Pitt, Miami, NCst, UVA). So theoretically, SP+ believes we should go 7-5

That is assuming we are as likely to beat a team ranked 65th in S&P as we are to lose to a team ranked 4th in S&P. A true prediction would come from a sum of percentage odds of winning each game based on where our opponent is ranked in S&P

VT '17

Your push back is incorrect

That is assuming we are as likely to beat a team ranked 65th in S&P as we are to lose to a team ranked 4th in S&P. A true prediction would come from a sum of percentage odds of winning each game based on where our opponent is ranked in S&P

That's exactly what SP+ does - It takes the likelihood of plethora of possible outcomes, and boils them down to a projected winning margin (PROJ. SP+). PROJ. SP+ is our expected winning margin over the median team. For example, VT's projected to beat the median team by 3.9 points, and ODU is expected to lose to the median team 7.7 points. So VT should be favored to beat ODU by 11.6 points.

For what it's worth, in 2021, SP+ went 53.1% against the spread (source)

EDIT: You are correct. It would be accurate to say that we are favored (to a varying degree) against teams that are ranked below us, and that - because we are favored - we "should" beat those teams, and if we beat every team that we "should" beat, we will win 7 games. However, the method you describe would be a more accurate way of projecting our expected # of wins this year. I do not know how to take Bill's spread and convert into a % chance of winning, but I will tweet him and ask. Sometimes he replies.

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Sure, but this method:

there are only 5 schools on our schedule ranked above VT (UNC, Pitt, Miami, NCst, UVA). So theoretically, SP+ believes we should go 7-5

isn't how you calculate the anticipated W-L record for a team. Bill Connelly still ends up adding up the win percentages based on the projected spreads you mentioned to get the SP+ projected record.

So if VT has a 53% chance of beating a team based on projections, then that's 0.53 wins. A 7% chance of winning against a really strong opponent is 0.07 wins.

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

Ahh I misunderstood previous post. You are very much correct.

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Heading to work in a minute, but here's some quick math:

SP+ can be used easily to determine a simple point spread- if one team has 7 more SP+ points, they are favored to win by 7 points (with no home field advantage).

IMGUR link from r/cfb

Factor in home field advantage for each matchup (2.5 point advantage to the home team, neutral use none.

Use a chart like the cfb one on this page to determine winning percentages.

Add up all 12 winning & losing percentages to determine total number of expected wins & losses.

EDIT: Throwing this together in a spreadsheet (and giving Wofford an SP+ score of -10.0; just better than Duke), our projected W-L appears to be:

Wins-Losses
~6.6-5.4.

So last year I may not have even deemed it likely for us to beat teams with less talent than we had. I feel like we're going to actually be developing players and get more of an effort out of them than in the past few years. And hope we see some good evidence of a better S&C program.

We lost a lot of people from last year between transfers and guys going pro, so it's good to see we still have talent on the roster (and some good pick ups ourselves from the portal).

bar1990 - for talent on the roster, do you know if it looks at simple metrics like HS ratings (so how many guys at a certain star/numeric level) or if it considers things like, for example, Blumrick having been rated as a QB but us using him for something else (receiver I guess). So, more generally, since ratings may not apply as much (unless they were just rated as an athlete anyway) if players switch positions, is that taken into account. Granted, I don't know how much that has happened for us anyway, and if ratings for certain switches are closer than others (like moving around between CB and safety vs. switching from DLine to OLine) (assuming they do take that into account)..

One way or another, I'm going to try to set my expectations low this year and look for improvements from the past few years and hopefully throughout the season as well. Not always getting behind then trying to catch up would be nice. I think we'll have a better mentality as well (it still frosts me that some players a few years ago wanted to lose so they wouldn't HAVE to go to a bowl game - and I think Pry would probably show those guys the door).

I am really excited to see what we can put on the field this year, which is a nice change of pace since I'd gotten pretty "meh" over football! (still watched, but hard to get excited about it).

bar1990 - for talent on the roster, do you know if it looks at simple metrics like HS ratings (so how many guys at a certain star/numeric level) or if it considers things like, for example, Blumrick having been rated as a QB but us using him for something else (receiver I guess). So, more generally, since ratings may not apply as much (unless they were just rated as an athlete anyway) if players switch positions, is that taken into account.

247 just measures their most recent recruiting rank - if it's a high school recruit who committed to VT, then it's their high school rank. If it's a transfer, then it's their transfer rank.

Bill C (as I understand from listening him talk about it) basically just measures (1) who is returning, (2) how many plays have each of those people been a part of, and (3) how successful were each of those plays. He does not measure a player's contribution to those plays. So if there's a handoff that resulted in a 70 yard touchdown, all 11 players are returning, there's no way to differentiate between the RB, the QB, the OL, blocking WRs, other WRs, etc. Bill C does acknowledge that his information on rosters could be incomplete or wrong.

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Ah, interesting. And makes sense about who gets credit for plays - nobody does it in a vacuum.

So to your first point, how meaningful is the measure? Nebraska sucked- bottom line.

Nebraska would have wiped the floor with VT last year. They played a much more difficult schedule and were constantly losing by one score (including vs Mich St, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa). They were far from suck if you watched them play at all, some minor play call and execution changes and they would have had a solid season.

(add if applicable) /s

Nebraska sucked- bottom line

Nebraska's record sucked. Doesn't mean the team sucked. Nebraska outscored opponents 335-272 in 2021, but somehow went 3-9. Every loss except one (9 point loss to OSU) was by a score or less.

how meaningful is the measure

Depends how you define 'meaningful'

  • Are you asking how accurate this tool is? Well, it picked correctly against the spread in ~53% of FBS games in 2021.
  • Are you asking how to interpret this ranking? SP+ measures the 5 things that are most correlated with winning games, and then ranks teams based on how often and how well they do those things.
  • Are you asking what the takeaway should be from this ranking? Nothing that any realistic fan didn't already know about this season - we don't have a lot returning talent, we don't have a ton of bluechip players, so this algorithm expects us to be the 61st best team in FBS at doing those 5 things that are most correlated with winning games.

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"You are what your record says you are" Bill Parcells, Hall of Fame NFL coach.

Process > Results. Every great coach today preaches this, none more than Saban. Results can be random (aka Nebraska going 3-9 despite playing decently), but the process is repeatable.

That's true In the Nfl, where the talent level across teams is relatively uniform, and coaches are looking for a 1% advantage to win.

It's not true in college, where there are 130 FBS teams with drastically different talent levels, different access to resources, etc.

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True. Let's see how Nebraska does this year. Im curious if Frost is turning the corner

Well I can guarantee they won't be as unlucky. There is now was they go 1-8 in conference with more points scored than allowed again.

They were not really that unlucky. They destroyed some bad teams (3 to be exact) and lost to every good team they played. That whole "points scored vs. points allowed" in conference seems like a really weird outlier, until you realize it was all a result of literally one game, when they murdered Northwestern 56-7. So they beat another 3-9 team by 49, and I'm supposed to think that they might actually be better than their record says based on that data point?

So maybe they regress to the mean, but their mean is still going to be losing to every good team they play...because they are not a good team.

fwiw point differential does scale with win expectations across sports, check out Pythagorean Expectation. sports analytics and future bettors alike have applied the concept to try and quantify how a team's performance may have deviated from their actual W-L

I didnt run the numbers and I don't think the huskers were a 9-3 team who went 3-9 due to luck, but they were probably a 5.5-6.5 win team based on performance on the wrong side of some variance. didn't suffer any blowouts to "good teams".

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

They were not really that unlucky.

There are statistical ways to track luck - in 2021, Nebraska was the 'unluckiest' team:

that whole "points scored vs. points allowed" in conference seems like a really weird outlier, until you realize it was all a result of literally one game, when they murdered Northwestern 56-7. So they beat another 3-9 team by 49, and I'm supposed to think that they might actually be better than their record says based on that data point?

Ignoring that game - they went 2-9 but still outscored their opponents.

Going back to the above conversation - there are a handful of things that usually translate to winning. Nebraska was (relatively) good at doing those things, and still managed to lose a ton.

Many people would say that this qualifies as being better than your record.

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If we finish top 50 I'll be ecstatic. Did you see the state of the roster after last year?

Honestly I feel optimistic. The coastal is just such a friendly schedule, and our OOC isn't too bad either. If we have a quarterback that can throw the ball and basic competency in tackling it will be an improvement over last year. My prediction is we get a lot of ugly wins over some very bad teams, and get rekt in the bowl game for a 7 or 8 win season or something like that.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

I disagree with your first premise. The only friendly coastal teams to VT the past 6 years are UVA and post paul johnson GT. We have lost multiple games to Duke, Pitt, Miami, UNC since 2015. As long as VT plays football, I'm not chalking up a win against Pitt- ever. And Miami has won 4 out of the last 5.. 7 of the last 10. That series used to be much more competitive. The previous regime destroyed literally every positive trend for VT football the past 40 years... bowls, winning seasons, UVA, beating Miami more times than not, etc.

i mean, yes, you're not wrong. But also, the previous staff isn't here anymore so I don't necessarily think we can just hang on to the trends they created in their absence. That would be kind of like expecting the trends Beamer created to continue on after he was gone. We're in uncharted territory now and I don't think we should bias this team one way or the other. Clean slate. The losses to all the coastal teams in the last 6 years mean nothing for the future because those coaches who lost those games aren't around any more.

Onward and upward

...you disagree that the coastal division is a weak division? I feel like you must not understand my premise, because you're writing this as if I'm claiming we're going to steamroll the division. When what I'm really saying is we're bad but our competition is also pretty much at our level.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Oh I agree 100% the coastal is weak. Also it has been a long time since VT dominated said weak costal. Both things are true.

agreed. And here's something else that can be true. This VT team, with better coaching, could do fairly* well in the Coastal in 2022 because it is so weak.

*fairly well, IMO is getting 3 to 5 wins against coastal foes.

Onward and upward

Okay... so we agree. I said ~7 wins, not "domination".

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Reading all the above, which is a good compilation of data, 6-7 wins (including the bowl game) sounds about right and would be a Pry good start.

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Honestly, one of the things I want to see the most is that we consistently fit properly against the run. I think that would be an area where we could show significant improvement, and likely lead to some positive overall results on the W-L column come early December. I think Pry, as a defensive coordinator by trade, could realistically provide an improvement in that regard. If we get toasted a bit on the back end by higher end teams I can live with that, as long as we aren't giving up the easy stuff on the ground.

Fitting the run properly is something you can do without needing elite talent. That doesn't mean you never get beat in the run game by teams with superior talent/scheme, but it's something that you can exert some control over with discipline at any level of the game.

Your post about the run game is about how I feel overall. My main wish is that we look like we know what we're doing. If we're physically outmatched, so be it. But let's play like we know what we're supposed to do.
Now, I would also like to be bowl eligible to get to go to a bowl game for my kid's senior year. And we must always beat UVA.

It seems like a realistic ranking. We are not a deep team, and every injury will exadurate our roster's deficiencies. Looking forward to watching current roster play tough, and hoping for good recruiting for subsequent years

every injury will exadurate our roster's deficiencies.

Assuming you meant either 'exaggerate' or 'exacerbate'? or is this just a word I don't know? (FWIW I agree with the post-just the influence of a mom who was an English and vocabulary Nazi made me curious?)

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

Surprisingly it is in the "urban dictionary". https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=exaduration

exaduration
The stupid persons way of exaggeration most often used by people who are poorly educated or just plain dumb.
Girl 1: oh my gosh i totally just chipped a nail!

Girl 2: oh no that is like totally terrible you should go wash your hands before that gets too many germs in it!

Girl 1: you are totally making an exaduration out of this girl.

Sounds like a term we should have been using in the Fuente era, not now.

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Lots of chatter about 7-5 in this thread -- I think I'm a little more bearish on the transition to a new scheme. I've said all over that this roster isn't great even regardless of how easy our schedule is, and that I'll be pleasantly surprised if we manage bowl eligibility. I just want to feel again

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

The Maryland game gives you an idea. The 12th best B1G team destroyed us in all phases. Yes we got some portal help at QB, but what other significant improvements have we made to the roster since that beat down? This is going to be a long season, IMO.

So ideally having an actual coaching staff in place will be a big plus. And I wouldn't undersell the impact of having an actual QB who can like actually throw or something sometimes.

The roster is in rough rough shape, no disagreements there. The true freshman class incoming (recruiting class of 22) has some players who could be instant contributors but more out of necessity bc the players they're competing against are either not great or already left the program.

But I'd be more surprised with 7 wins than I would be with 4.

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

Yes I think we will be better as the season goes on than we looked against MD, sure. I also think we have huge holes- including nobody that has shown they can get open at WR- which I think will have a domino effect in a big way. You can't win games today running the ball 50 times unless you have superior talent at RB and OL. On defense, no proven pass rusher, small interior, entirely new scheme, weakness on the back end. Long year

I can't use Maryland as any kind of benchmark. That team last year just flat out quit on each other. That game was probably one of the most disgusted times I have ever felt about a VT football team. There was just so much quit in that team and why I was happy when Pry said he was going to have to have a lot of uncomfortable talks with guys this spring. There were some that definitely did not deserve to wear that uniform without a major attitude and culture adjustment.

I think this is unfair to the same team that came together at the end of the season and put a whooping on the Hoos in a year when our rival was sure they had our number. They toughed it out for the end of that season and got us a big win (and probably a job for Price). No question that bowl game was ugly, but I also can't fault them too hard in a year with so many opt-outs, a depleted roster, a depleted coaching staff, and uncertain futures.

They did pull it together for the LOLUVA game but for as hard as they worked to get that game, they quit just as hard on that bowl game. You can probably count on two hands the number of players that actually played like bowl game mattered. The bowl game was an early audition to the new coach and too many guys failed there. And Pry knew it and basically said it when he said there was going to be a lot of attrition this first off season. There were quite of few that needed to be shown the door.

I agree we can't use MD as a benchmark, but for other reasons.

Remember BB3 wanted to play in that game. Tech (Pry?) said no. That left us with Blumrick at QB.
Then the game plan was basically slam Blumrick into the line as many times as we could. (That still makes no sense since Blackshear did play in that game)

I don't think I would label it as "quit", but I don't think the team was too optimistic about winning either.

Pry couldn't have told BB3 no because he wasn't actively coaching the bowl game. It might have been Price or one of the previous staff. And it isn't really common for players actively in the transfer portal to play in games. Not many coaches permit it.

not sure it was Pry's call on Burmeister playing while in the portal. skeleton coaching staff with rough rough roster, not sure what motivation we would expect to see

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

My finger in the wind breakdown of the schedule:

>70% Chance of win:
ODU, Liberty, Wofford, Duke, GT

~40-60% chance of win:
UVA, BC, UNC, Pitt, WVU

<30% Chance of Win:
Miami, NCSU

This schedule is so weak, and it helps massively that we don't play any Clemsons or Bamas. That is, I don't see any auto-losses on this schedule. I also anticipate that we could choke against some of the bottom tier teams, and that will hurt our pride, but there's a lot of cupcakes there for the eating. Even if we go 3-2 in the bottom tier there's enough 50/50 games to get to .5.

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I tend to agree. There are no auto losses. Also, sadly, no auto wins. This team could go 0-12 or 12-0 against this schedule. There's just no telling. I think most likely is somewhere between 4 and 7 wins. Our roster isn't great. Our coaching is a big unknown (hopefully it's better, but we just don't know yet). The only good thing is that our schedule isn't the SEC east. The ACC Coastal is arguably the easiest division in P5 football. There may even be a couple G5 divisions that are tougher. So these coaches are coming into a pretty tough situation but there is certainly a silver lining. They're not being asked to line up a bunch of scrubs against the SEC every weekend. It will take time, and resources, for this staff to build back a respectable team in Blacksburg. But their path to 6 wins isn't nearly as tough as it could be. The Coastal is weak (granted, we're part of that problem).

Onward and upward

>70% Chance of win:
ODU, Liberty, Wofford, Duke, GT

~40-60% chance of win:
UVA, BC, UNC, Pitt, WVU

Outside of Wofford, who we haven't played, we've had better teams over the past 5 years that have lost to each one of these listed programs. And, lets be honest, with the situation that Fuente left, we are one of the cupcakes this year, and its going to take a heck of an effort from Pry & Co to get us out of that status before the 2024 season.

That Maryland bowl game was a good benchmark of where we are, and we got absolutely pantsed by a team on the bad side of mediocre. I don't know how anyone can think any differently. We might have a schedule we think should be easy, but if you lined up everyone on our schedule we might be the 3rd or 4th worst team on it. Expecting any kind of positive results this year is only setting yourself up for disappointment.

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I completely disagree that Maryland was a benchmark. Everyone and their mother sat out that game, we had an interim coach, and a team that didn't really want to be there. Even assuming the starters going into the new season are the same (and especially at quarterback, they're not) having actual time spent practicing together and a full coaching staff is no small thing.

The talent level isn't magically going to get better, but at the level we play at, getting basic fundamentals right and playing together as a team is a huge difference maker.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Those that sat out are also not on the team anymore either. It's a very good benchmark, we will likely see improvment in the pass game (because anything is better than zero) but that's about it. 3 OL starters, 2 DL starters, and 2 in the defensive backfield, 3 skill position players, etc.

Pry said himself they've stopped practice to reimplement fundamentals and that is a terrible omen. Keep your hat down and beers up this season because bowl eligibility is the high water mark

Well, yes circumstances around the team will be better than that one-off bowl game with an interim head coach and a bunch of guys sitting out. However- the WRs, DBs, DE's you saw out there getting dominated by maryland? That's who is running out of the tunnel this year. Not a lot of talent coming back, IIWII

To put it bluntly I see judging those WRS, DBs, DEs etc off that Maryland game as barely different than judging an NFL team by their preseason record. Oh yeah sure same players in the most literal sense. But really? You've been watching this sport long enough to know there's more to it than unleashing a bunch of athletes and telling them to go get the ball. Those "circumstances" we're referring to aren't some trivial thing.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

this is a bit chicken-little-ish

we're not good. But I don't think we're in quite as dire a situation as you're painting.

Onward and upward

Honestly surprised we're not lower, considering SP+ gives greater weight to passing game returning production, and we have close to zero of that returning, paired with our abysmal recruiting classes being filtered into the numbers, 61st seems pretty generous. Six wins is an attainable goal but it'll be a fight to get there.

But what the hell, let's get optimistic for a bit. Grant Wells has shown some legit promise, if he surprises (and pass catchers emerge as at least competent now that they are out from under the shadow of Fuente's schematic limitations) players on both sides of the ball that have underwhelmed in the past could suddenly look a lot more exciting. In Bitter's state of the program recently a rival coach even said he thought our talent was fine but that the culture seemed broken. If the team rallies around a new coach and solid QB play (like we saw in 2019 once Hooker got his shot) it wouldn't be shocking to see this team suddenly look a lot better than what we've seen.

I'm simultaneously optimistic and completely devoid of expectations.

I have no idea what pass schemed up by Tyler Bowen thrown by Grant Wells, coached by Shawn Quinn, to Jadan Blue, coached by Fontel Mines, behind a largely VT-veteran O-line, coached by Joe Rudolph, will look like in year 1. I have no idea what a Brent Pry (first year head coach) defensive scheme with Chris Marve (first year DC) calling plays will look like in year 1.

It's a fool's errand to predict how this season will go. I'm just here for the ride and for however many high highs this nuanced first year staff can bring. We could go 2-10 but keep games close all year with some pleasant surprises/breakout players, and I'd feel better about 2022 and more optimistic about 2023 than if we go 7-6 with close wins and blowout losses.

Totally agreed. I'm resigned to the short term, really excited for the long term, which makes more excited about the short term.

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Same. Expectations are lowered to what I consider reasonable levels, which means I'll be able to relax and enjoy the football a little more. I'm sure there will be moments where that shifts and I'm just as invested/devastated as usual, but hopefully those moments are in the moment, within games, rather than about the state/direction of the program. The lingering apathy throughout the week, months, years of the latter is what takes the fun out of it.

i just wanna feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel

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

Relax with the expectations, my friends. It's only the first year one.

If you play it, they will win.

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TBH I'm shocked it's that high πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

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Thanks Frank!

I think this team could actually perform better than expected this year, provided we get some luck on the health front. Pry will be a shot in the arm, and hopefully will not lose us 1-2 games per year due to in-game coaching mistakes like Fuente did every year. The schedule is the easiest in 3 decades.

However, NEXT year is where it could be brutal. We're down to former walk ons at OT, no experience at TE. We lose a ton on defense, DE, DT, LB, S, DB. And then we're looking to the last-in-p5 2020 class, which has only 8 players left on the roster, to fill the gaps.

I think 4-8 is a distinct possibility for 2024 absent a ton of transfers. It is going to be that bad.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

The schedule is the easiest in 3 decades

I feel like we've been saying this about every season for the last 4 or 5 years. Every season is the easiest schedule we've seen in decades. At some point, that just isn't true. We have to recognize that we just have a really easy schedule every year - mostly due to the fact we play in the weakest division in P5 and also partly due to the fact our OOC opponents are mostly pretty uninspiring (ODU, ECU, LU, FCS, etc.)

The ACC is a great place for a coach to cut his teeth right now. Just about every team in the league is pretty vulnerable at the moment. But we're still a P5 league and any amount of success in conference will be seen as a greater achievement than it probably really is which will boost recruiting, perception, etc. for whichever team that is.

Logic would tell you that a good coach would do really well in the ACC in short order. The hope is that Pry is that good coach who will make VT look dominant in the ACC within a few years. And it's certainly an attainable reality given the current level of competition. Now, it is important to note, dominating the ACC does not equate to being a top 15 team or program. I'm not saying that Pry is going to have us competing for a national title in a few years. But I think it's certainly possible we could quickly become a force in the ACC just by simply getting marginally better than we have been. Unfortunately, the same could be said of Miami. And probably UNC and UVA. Or Pitt. Because, just like the rest of the ACC (Coastal in particular), VT is also down, making everyone else's path to relative success much easier.

Being in the ACC Coastal is a blessing and a curse. Get the right coach in here and we could be dominating circa 2004-2010. On the flip side, if another team gets the right coach VT could be on the struggle bus for the next decade or so, sitting in the back seat while team X dominates the league with a slightly-better-than-mediocre team

Onward and upward

Yes schedule strength is directly to proportional to how good your team actually is. Liberty will be a tough out for this team.

"Bill has often said that not all experience is good experience..."

Basically what H.O.F. 7-time-Champ' Coach Meril Gainer taught us all back in the 50's & 60's.

If they sucked last year-- you actually do want to face the very same kids coming back.

i.e., they prolly ain't super-good physically; and they have already mentally figured out how to L.

πŸ’―
b.street

God Bless!

So, You are saying there's a chance.

This is going to be great for the ACC.