Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crossroads A-Comin'

"You're not wrong..."

Before getting to the crux of this post, let me comment on LB Purnell Sturdivant's comments yesterday about the offense. You can read them here, but basically he called the offense predictable, said he and other defensive teammates had opinions on the offense and that he understood why people were critical of Stiney.

"Pretty much every team we face this year knows what we're going to do" on offense, Sturdivant said. "I have a couple friends at Carolina, a couple friends at N.C. State, things like that, they're pretty much just calling out the plays that we're going to run on offense. Our offense is pretty much predictable. You know what you're going to see each and every week."

Asked whether he thought Stinespring should go, Sturdivant said: "That's a hard one." But he added that he didn't think the outside criticism was unfair.

"Yeah, I can definitely see where they're coming from," Sturdivant said of the critics. "Me and a lot of guys."

Geez. That's bad. To quote the dude, "you're not wrong, (Purnell), you're just an ass hole."

Yes, everything Sturdivant said was true. But as a defensive player you can't say that. We can't have a divided locker room where there's still an outside shot of winning the division. I get this sick feeling in my stomach that if GT loses to Miami and we get eliminated from the Coastal, we could see an absolute 2003-type implosion from this team.

Yet another reason to root for Georgia Tech.

Two Openings

I think the writing is on the wall for Bryan Stinespring. He'll be gone at the end of this season, which is why so many offensive players are sticking up for him at this point. The players have to know this is it for him.

But he won't be the only coordinator we'll have to replace at the end of the season.

The other news of yesterday was the head-coach-in-waiting deal for Will Muschamp at Texas and the increasing odds that Bud Foster will get the Clemson job.

With Muschamp out of the picture, Clemson has to be looking more at Bud, even though I still think they'll hire someone with previous HC experience. However, while I don't think Bud will get the Clemson, I think he'll get a job somewhere at the end of this season. His stock can't get any higher at this point and if he doesn't take a job now, the opportunity may never come.

Eventually Bud will realize he can't limit himself to a strong BCS school as the only way he'll leave Tech. If he wants a head coaching gig, he's going to have to go prove himself in a non-BCS conference. He'll leave after this year.

Hitting the Panic Button

I can only imagine the mass hysteria on the TSL board if/when Bud leaves Tech, especially if Stiney had previously been shown the door. Bud would likely take most of the defensive staff with him to Clemson, which would leave the Hokies will a lot of positions to fill.

It would be a crossroads for the program. Would Beamer try to hire someone he's familiar with or coached at Tech to take over the defense or would he go out and try to find an up-and-coming coach at a mid-major school. I'd hope he'd choose the second option.

The future of the program would depend on Beamer's selections for OC and DC. If he chooses wrong, he could deal this program a blow that he himself won't be able to fix. By the time the damage will have been done, I'd assume Beamer would be ready to retire.

Then it would be up to the next head coach to bring in a new staff and fix everything. And knowing Hokie fans, I know we hate change. We fear change (well, except when it comes to firing Stiney). You'd probably have a rift in the fanbase regardless of who got hired.

Or We Could Just Avoid Everything

But there's another option that avoids all of that chaos. I advocated it before the season started. It was mentioned on Hokie Hotline last night. It was mentioned again by TSL today.

Why not just give Bud a HC-in-waiting deal like Muschamp? It makes too much sense not to do it. It's the right move to make.

In the past, I've said that I haven't been sure about whether or not Bud will make a great head coach. I'm still not sure. But this is what's best for the program. With this season nearing a tailspin, we need stability.

Naming Bud the next HC would secure the near future of the Hokies. While Bud may not end up being a good head coach, he deserves his shot. And I'd rather his shot come with the Hokies than with someone else. I'd have a much easier time accepting a few down seasons with Bud as HC than with an outsider.

Make Bud VT's next head coach before another school does.


ebj said...

i personally am not a big fan of the HC in waiting. there needs to be one center to a team's universe. a hc in waiting can usurp that power and possibly make 2 centers.

i've heard from 2 sources with pretty good contacts ... 1 saying changes are coming and another saying probably not much changes. granted that was weeks ago. interested to see where it goes. i am actually thinking offensive changes are coming, but if the O blows up the next 2 games, Beamer will sit on his hands again.

if BF leaves, taking some of the D coaches with him, no way Frank cans the O. too much turnover, specially in the recruiting aspect.

very fluid.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I also wonder if we lose Foster would Beamer hold off on getting rid of Stiney. I know Foster's name pops up for gigs, but I don't see him taking a job that isn't Clemson. I just figure he could've left for a mid-major to build a program with.

And I Wonder said...

I can see the Head Coach in Waiting idea, but what if isn't a great head coach? Has the school hamstrung itself by appointing someone to that position that really isn't a great head coach? Some folks are great #2's, but not #1's.

MadJay said...

The HC-in-W makes sense as long as Beamer's on board with it, but I honestly don't think that he is. The reason it works at FSU is that basically Jimbo Fisher is acting like the head coach on gameday (Bowden gets out of the way on the sidelines and just listens in on the headset from time to time) and Bowden does the figurehead coach stuff during the week. On football related matters, most treat Jimbo Fisher like the head coach already (think of the Michael Corleone/Vito Corleone relationship in The Godfather when Vito was still alive but semi-retired)

It will work at Texas because they did it just to keep Will Muschamp and there is no expectation that he will be the head coach. Mack Brown will be there for another 5 years per his contract and Muschamp will very likely be gone before then. Yes this plan costs Texas $900K/year for some stability but there is no doubt who the head coach is - Mack Brown.

The dilemma for Weaver and the Hokies is that Beamer isn't ready to turn over the head coach duties to Foster and act like a figurehead. And Tech isn't going to pay Foster $900K/year to keep him there. Also unlike Muschamp, Foster's stock is peaking right now (he is about 10 years older than Muschamp) and this is one of his final shots to be a head coach at a big program.

The way I see it shaking out is that Clemson gets a "big" name and Foster fills in one of the dominoes that fall in the Tommy Bowden/Phil Fulmer musical chairs extravaganza this off-season.

The only possible unlikely scenario that could keep Foster at Tech in 09 is if Clemson does not offer Foster the gig, AND Beamer tells Foster not only that he's firing Stiney but who he's getting as a replacement AND Foster is excited about who the replacement is AND Foster gets a $100K minimum raise, then he MIGHT stay.

The reason he would possibly stay at that point is because '09 or '10 are the most realistic shots VT will have at the national title and that would keep Foster's stock high enough that he would be on the short list of any coaching vacancies at the end of those seasons.