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Black and White

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

Maybe it is the revenge of the Football Gods. Perhaps they were so offended by the crassness displayed by Virginia Tech in selling its soul to Nike and allowing its football team to be attired in whatever garish creation the sports conglomerate could come up with that they decided a lesson was necessary. It worked.

Or perhaps the Weauxf Gods had become so very weary of Tech’s constant self-promotion, always blaring that the team was the greatest in the history of the organized sport and then never quite living up to its own advance billing that they determined to apply a dose of humility. Message received.

It can be determined that rock bottom has been reached. A team coached by Frank Beamer had never before lost to a I-AA one, even in his early years when he was tasked with the monumental challenge of cleaning up the Dooley mess. It cannot get any worse simply because there are no teams from the lower division left on the schedule. Tech is 0-1 against teams from the two top divisions of college football. It is likely too late to cancel this Saturday’s game against the Strawgraspers and schedule Emory and Henry. Tech might give the Wasps a game.

In two short weeks, Frank Beamer has gone from the confident guy who traveled around the state smiling, waving and thoroughly enjoying the accolades showered on him by adoring fans at the kick-off dinners to a frazzled and shell-shocked coach soaked not just by Saturday’s rain but by the cold water of reality thrown into his face. The disbelief written so plainly on that famous face as he struggled through his postgame interview with Mike Burnop was shared by the waterlogged fans who trudged from Lane Stadium a mere six days after the Boise disaster. Well, he is one of us. Like Frank’s stunned look , the blown Fourth Quarter lead has become this year’s face of the program.Those new etched lines signify that the second of the blown leads was to a I-AA team. After all of the MNC talk, the confidant assurances that this would finally be THE YEAR, Tech is now 0-2 and is fresh off the most embarrassing loss in school history. The annual August hype now seems pretty quaint. And silly.

The JMU game was this year’s so-called White Out, the second in this year’s ‘Play a game, sell a shirt’ campaign. Herma’s Readers certainly would have learned much imaginative language in the stands. There didn’t seem to be a lot of the white t-shirts visible in the stadium. Tech and Nike sure missed a bet by not offering white ponchos complete  with a swoosh  and perhaps adorned across the back with a drawing of jimmy grabbing the cash. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to discontinue the attempts at gouging every last nickel out of fans [‘You won’t want to be the only one not wearing this week’s new shirt.’ Wanna bet?] and concentrate on such novel football concepts as blocking and tackling. Tech seems woefully deficient at both.

Perhaps this isn’t the end of the world and the golden era of Tech football. Frank and Tech have started 0-2 before and ended the season hoisting the winner’s trophy at the Sugar Bowl. Theoretically, it is still possible to turn things around and win the ACC and spend a week being referred to in Miami as the team that lost to JMU but won the ACC. The league certainly seems that bad.

Every August, the conference coaches gather and claim that the ACC isn’t really as bad as it appears in football. Every September, enough losses have been amassed that attention turns to whether Duke or North Carolina can win the basketball championship. And so it goes. It’s not every BCS league that can conduct an ill-conceived and comical football expansion and end up being regarded as even more of a joke in football than it was before. Good job, Little Johnny.

So far this year, Tech’s very bad JMU loss was merely the most visible part of the iceberg. It took a mere two weeks for the latest cries of Canes’ Backness to be rendered, again, hilarious. The league’s freshest face, Jimbo Fisher, has punctuated all of the accolades heaped upon him by pointing fingers at every portion of the FSU program except himself following the egg laid at Oklahoma. The Best Offense Ever at Georgia Tech once again found OOC defenses not quite as porous as ACC ones. And, at Carolina, Butch ‘Who knew?’ Davis continues to claim no accountability whatsoever for anything that might have gone on, including what looks to be the very definition of the NCAA’s dreaded lack of institutional control. Certainly, paying John Blake a reward for bringing platoons of NCAA investigators into Blue Heaven sure looks like it.

Meanwhile, back in Blacksburg Tech’s highly-compensated coaches attempt to cope with all of their weauxfing having been rendered goofy in Game #1 and the worst loss ever in Game #2. It is quite the job facing them. After having run the uniform color spectrum from black to white in the first two games, they might finally wear this Saturday the true throw-backs, maroon. Some might remember them. It was what Tech wore when they fielded some pretty darn good teams. Unlike what this one has shown so far.


  1. John — September 13, 2010 #

    For only the second time ever, we left the game early (half time – the first was the awful home game with Miami some years back), and not just because of the rain, either.   To put it simply, I just don’t particularly care about VT football anymore.  In addition to all the good points made in the article, the main issue I have is just that it has ceased to be “fun.”  I remember the 99 season very well – the first year I was able to get season tickets and attend all the home games.  Tech was on the way to becoming a “respected program,” making its name on defense and special teams, armed with a freshman phenom QB, and backed by truly adoring fans.    Mind you, we weren’t there yet, and we knew it.  Fans, players, and coaches were hungry.
    Since that time, there have been many very good seasons, but we have gradually morphed into something that I don’t believe the ’99 community would even recognize.  Certainly, I don’t.  I would gladly trade the stadium expansion (with its concomitant “re-seating”), the ACC expansion, and all those “wunnerful 10-win seasons” for a taste of what was VT football.
    And, although he’s certainly not alone in being due the blame, he is the poster child for the new “Tech” athletics in my view, so let me just say:  “Stick it in, stick it in, stick it in – your ear, Weaver!”


  2. Jay — September 13, 2010 #

    If only traditional uniforms could solve our problem. Surely they wont help a defense which lacks the depth or physicality to stop any running attack late in the game. For the 1st time in years I don’t see a player on the D-Line who will play on Sunday. A repeat of 1995 seems terribly unlikely. Indeed, can we go 6-4 in our last 10 to continue the bowl streak?


  3. Steve — September 13, 2010 #

    Still going to attend every game, home and away. Hope I get to see some wins. Still a chance to turn it around. The floor might cave in if we don’t beat ECU this week however, as I’m not sure the leadership amongst the players is vocal or present.


  4. Greg — September 13, 2010 #

    I believe this disaster is nothing more than Frank’s riding the crest of a big wave finally crashing upon the shore of irrelevence and big Jim’s obsession for $$$$$$$$$$.  As mentioned above, our coaches used to be hungry.  Now they are fat and happy.  They used to have something to prove, now they feel they’ve proved it and it seems cashing in on all those endorsements and contracts is worth more.  It all started, in my mind with Frank’s discontinuance of two-a-days in summer practice.  Why on earth, I have no idea.  Those brutal workouts build stamina, strength and a desire to get out and kill somebody.  But, old Frank stopped them – an early sign of Frankie going soft?  Then there’s the year in and year out whiffs on recruiting.  Sooner or later losing those top calibre defensive line, linebacker and secondary recruits will begin to show.  This is the year it finally happened.  Even Bud with his vaunted coaching ability cannot, apparently work his magic on this bunch.  Then there is “give me the money” Weaver.  Any AD with an ounce of sense would have foreseen what VT was up against this year, especially with the young, inexperienced and totally untested defense.  But good old Jim moves a very important game from mid October to the first week of the year, knowing full well that the defense may not be up to the task.  Judging by their performance this past Saturday, this defense needs all the JMU’s , directional Michigans and Strawgraspers it can get before playing the big boys.  Then, there’s only a 5 day rest between game 1 and game 2, further stressing the young defense.  On top of that, if game 1 is unsuccessful, then the emotional let down would have to be handled by that totally untested, young defense in a very short week.  Guess what!!!  The entire scenario lined up on the negative, just as could be predicted.  I certainly hope old Jim is happy with his extra $1M for moving the game.  I suspect what it cost this program in respect and future income is going to be a lot more than $1M.

    What does it really matter if VT wins out the rest of the year?  We freaking lost to JMU!!!  Think about it for just a minute.  Where has Michigan been since losing to Appy state?  Nowhwere until Saturday’s win against the domers.  It has taken them a full 3 years to even return to some semblence of respect.  The no 13 team in the land losing to JMU would be akin to VMI losing to Radford High School for crying out loud.  I don’t really think the heavy drinkers of O&M Kool Aid have any idea the severity of this loss, what it really means and what is probably going on internally right now within the program.  Oh, that’s right, Frank doesn’t have to worry.  He’s nearly untouchable at this stage of his career.  His call in phone calls are screened on Monday nights.  He is insulated from the real world with his “I win 10 games every year and go to a bowl game every year” mentality has replaced reality.  Well Frank, time to wake up, take a deep breath and smell the stench that is the rotting corpse of your once-proud football program.  Your long run of bowl games and 10-win seasons is in deep distress.  It may be already too late to salvage much of anything from the carnage this year, but you’d better darned sight make some massive changes in the off season.


    Atlee Reply:

    While I agree Weaver will squeeze the last ounce of blood out of a turnip, please don’t put all of the BSU game change on Weaver.  One thing is for sure in the athletic department.  Nothing connected to the football program happens without the complete agreement of Beamer.

    There is no way in Hades Weaver would have/could have moved that October game with BSU to a Labor Day night leaving only 4 full days available to the team to heal, prepare, and practice if Beamer did not give his blessings to it.


  5. Atlee — September 13, 2010 #

    At this point in the season, I’m just hoping for good tailgating weather.  That’s what I’m now looking forward to the most.  In fact, if tailgating were suddenly banned, I’d just stay home.

    I’m not sure but that the football coaching staff may have finally screwed the pooch. 

    Beamer still hasn’t lost his stubborn streak, nor given up on his core philosophy of defense and ST’s will win games, and the offense just don’t lose games.

    He also used to be pretty good at “managing expectations”.  Apparently he has forgotten how to do that.  Instead of talking about the seriousl lack of experience on D, and the missing left tackle and left guard, he was full out talking about and pretty much agreeing with any talking head that VT was a dark horse candidate for the BCS Championship Game.

    What we heard was how this team had the fastest overall team speed ever.  {Although the slowest members of the team must reside on the kick off coverage team}  How the defense was fast enough to help cover some of the holes left by graduation.

    When you build the fan bases expectations beyond all reality, it really comes back to bite you in the arse when the team begins 0-2, including a lost to a D1AA team.


  6. Not-a-Hoo — September 14, 2010 #

    Sometimes you’re the windshield.  Sometimes you’re the bug.  We’ve had a lot more windshield moments than we have bug moments since 1993.  And they’ll come again. 


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