This came across r/CFB today - Two years ago, FSU had just lost 31-23 to Louisville, dropping the Noles to 0-4 (8-16 over their last 24). At the time, FSU had the 20th most talented team, per 247's team talent composite. 20th in team talent composite is bad by FSU standards, but, in theory, any team with a top 20 talent composite should be much better than 0-4/8-16.
After this loss to Louisville, a reporter ask Norvell how he could possibly recruit new players given how poorly the program was recruiting (side note - this sentiment has been echoed frequently on TKP). Norvell calmly provided a measured response around his recruiting strategy, and how (my words, not his) the record didn't matter:
I know VT isn't FSU, but the parallels are there:
- An Offensive Line Rebuild
- Being two coaches removed from the guy who made the program, and the coach in between having a rocky relationship with the administration (Insert Pam from the office meme, this and this are basically the same thing).
- New Coach comes in and under achieves relative to the 'pure talent' on the roster
- 2 inexperienced coordinators: prior to the 2021 season, OC Kenny Dillingham and DC Adam Fuller had one total season of P5 experience between them - that was Dillingham's 2019 season at Auburn, in which he was not even allowed to call plays (Gus owned play calling).
I don't know if Pry can fix VT (trust me, I have my concerns). I don't know if Bowen/Marve can grow into half the coordinators that Dillingham/Fuller became. But, it does seem that, for every Mike-Elko-amazingly-blazing-fast-overachieving-rebuild, there's a slow, painful, blind-faith-trust-the-process, Mike-Norvell-esk rebuild.
I hope Pry can deliver on the latter, because he definitely isn't delivering on the former. Only time will tell. But he (we) need time.