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Caulton Tudor

Hokies' Beamer the lone constant in ACC Coastal

Posted July 22, 2013
Updated July 23, 2013

To sum it up in two words, I picked Virginia Tech’s football team to win the ACC Coastal Division because of Frank Beamer.

Among the other ACC Kickoff voters, my opinion about the Coastal didn’t wash.

Miami was a clear pick with 65 first-place votes – more than twice Virginia Tech’s 27 totals.

But the nature of ACC football these days is such that at least 10 of the 14 teams could finish 5-3, 4-4 or 3-5 in conference play, including the Hurricanes and Hokies.

It’s just that muddled – or as Beamer put it Monday “balanced.”

“Balance” – in this case – may be a big ACC problem but should work in Virginia Tech’s favor.

Other than overwhelming conference and Atlantic Division favorite Clemson and its Atlantic cohort Florida State, there’s no definitive power structure as the league begins its first season of 14-team play.

There’s not even an obvious third top-25 national preseason suspect.

“There are a lot of (ACC) teams right now thinking about how high their ceiling could be,” Miami coach Al Golden said.

Or low.

And that being the case, the most predictable landing place is somewhere in the middle, which is why my gut hunch is to pick the team with the most established coach. In the Coastal, that has to be Beamer.

True, he’s completely remodeled his offensive staff.

True again, the Hokies are coming off a bad season by their standards (7-6).

And true yet again again, they have to open the season with a near-certain loss against Alabama on Aug. 31 in the Atlanta Georgia Dome.

And finally, the Hokies will end with three road games (Boston College, Miami and Virginia) and only one (Maryland) in Blacksburg.

But when you rank the Coastal coaches, here is what I see:

1. Beamer: Solid, established and at age 66, thinking about his legacy. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the old pro’s going to make a late-life statement.

2. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech: Through five years, his ACC record is 26-14 and his option offense is getting tougher to stop_ not easier _ for ACC foes.

3. Larry Fedora, UNC: I’m not sure he’s a great coach or even a coach who wants to stay put, but Fedora has done a remarkable job with quarterback Bryn Renner.

4. David Cutcliffe, Duke: He’s excavated Blue Devil football, which seemed an impossible challenge upon his arrival in 2008. The Devils now are one of those teams completely capable of going 3-5 or 5-3, rather than a perpetual 0-8.

5. Golden: Seemingly a good guy in a seemingly bad job.

6. Paul Chryst, Pitt: Who knows? Went 6-7 in his first season with an easy win over Virginia Tech and an ugly loss to Youngstown State. He does have Brooks Bollinger to coach quarterbacks.

7. Mike London, Virginia: League coach of the year in 2011 but maybe he worst quarterback procurer in ACC history. Hopefully, the addition of Tom O’Brien will help stabilize the program.

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  • Hokies94 Jul 24, 8:39 p.m.

    My biggest gripe about Beamer was all about his coaches. I voiced this a bunch last season on here, and to some others from VT. Clemson and FSU blew the doors on recruiting since Dabo and Fisher came aboard. VT came into the ACC and won a bunch early. Weak coaches can win with talent. Three offensive coaches are gone. One is still on staff. Looking back with the talent that we have had, we should have won a heckeva lot more; and especially Bowl games.

  • Hokies94 Jul 23, 5:08 p.m.

    VT won 10 games per season for 8 straight seasons until last year. They led the Country during this time frame. Beamer isn't perfect, and he was loyal to his coaches that in turn hurt him and the program. He made a move after last season to get things back on track with hiring new coaches. He made the right move.

  • jmcdow2792 Jul 23, 12:59 p.m.

    Winning a conference division championship isn't going to help the ACC. We need some (at least 4 or 5) teams with gaudy records and solid performance against the other conferences, especially the SEC. Losses to the non-power conferencs need to stop. The conference needs to move up into it's rightful place.

  • olivechapel1000 Jul 23, 7:48 a.m.

    Often Amused at the VT Grads who think that they have something in their school. Too many issues to list, but need to move on with a new coach.

  • StunGunn Jul 23, 7:39 a.m.

    VT should be better than they were last year with the changes Beamer made in his staff. Logan Thomas had a bad season last year, but the change-up in coaches may help him.

  • Jewelry-EricLeak Jul 22, 10:02 p.m.

    It'll be interesting to see if the Virginia lineup each gain about 25 lbs with TOB and his PED program heading to Charlottesville.

  • Hokies94 Jul 22, 8:32 p.m.

    I'm still a proud graduate of VT with a solid degree in Ed. Adm. Class of 94. I was totally impressed with the recruitment of VT since we entered the ACC in 04. We won the ACC Championship four times in a few short years. However, we have slipped in coaching and recruitment. Beamer finally fired down on a few coaches. The rich alumni and the power brokers have been on Frank for over 10 years.

    I had classes with Steinspring in the doctoral program. Nice guy. Just didn't know how to use talent and learn more about how to run an offense. Mike O'Cain. He allowed himself to believe that the stuff that he ran back in his olden days could compete with the big guys. Thankfully three are gone, and the other has a much lessor role.

    If Logan Thomas can do the job, like he did as a Soph., we could surprise a few. I don't believe that Clemson is going to pass the ball like they once did. Miami has done the job down there. Our season will depend on our OL and Thomas. We'll see.

  • SportznutV2.0 Jul 22, 7:16 p.m.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2013-07-03/college-football-coaches-hot-seat-2013-mack-brown-kirk-ferentz-bo-pelini

    Funny how I find more articles on him on the hot seat than ones like Toodles - guess wral guys have to be homers

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

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    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

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