Virginia Tech Football: Why Hokies Fans Shouldn't Doubt Frank Beamer

Bryan ManningFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2012

Virginia Tech Football: Why Hokies Fans Shouldn't Doubt Frank Beamer

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    When you've had eight seasons in a row of 10-plus wins and have taken your team to a bowl game for 18 straight seasons, you're doing a pretty good job.

    Frank Beamer will enter his 26th season as head coach of Virginia Tech in 2012. Since entering the ACC in 2004, Beamer's Hokies have won the conference four times and appeared in the championship game on two other occasions.

    However, postseason failures have followed the Hokies for several years now, leading many Virginia Tech fans to question Beamer.

    Is it fair to question Beamer?

    When you look at the results of Beamer's teams against top-five opponents, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    And who can forget Beamer's coaching gaffe in the 2012 Sugar Bowl? He called for a fake punt around midfield with under eight minutes to go with the Hokies clearly in control. Needless to say, that failed miserably.

    But Hokies' fan shouldn't doubt Beamer. Here are five reasons why. 

Past Success

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    Virginia Tech has dominated the ACC in its eight years in the league.

    Each year, regardless of who is starting at quarterback and no matter how many players were drafted to the NFL, the Hokies are successful.

    Why would that change in 2012?

    Beamer has a potential All-American at quarterback, and this could be the best defense Virginia Tech has had in several years.

    Past success generally is the best indicator. In this case, the Hokies will have a successful 2012 season.

While Improved, the ACC Still Lacks a Dominant Team

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    The ACC is much improved over the past two seasons versus five years ago.

    Florida State appears to be back, and Clemson is on the verge of building a powerhouse.

    Mike London has Virginia competitive and even winning some of the major recruiting battles in the "757" area of Virginia. The Hokies dominated that region for years.

    If the Hokies find a way to beat Clemson in 2012, something they found impossible in 2011, they should find themselves in the ACC championship game again.

    Replacing eight new starters on offense will be tough, but Beamer has always been successful in replacing departed stars.

    Regardless, the Hokies will represent the Coastal Division in the ACC title game. 

Tremendous Coaching Staff

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    Before you read this, no, Bryan Stinespring isn't an excellent offensive coordinator.

    But, overall, the Hokies have one of the better coaching staffs in the entire country.

    Stinespring, the longtime offensive coordinator, has long been a target of Virginia Tech fans for his unimaginative offense despite always having tremendous talent at the skill positions.

    Beamer did give quarterbacks' coach Mike O'Cain, a former head coach at N.C. State, the play-calling duties prior to the 2011 season with outstanding results.

    As for the defensive side of the ball, Bud Foster is the best defensive coordinator in college football. Foster has turned down numerous head coaching interviews as well as the opportunity to be a defensive coordinator at schools such as Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.

    Getting his son Shane to Blacksburg in 2011 was one of Beamer's best moves in years. Shane Beamer is one of the best young, up-and-coming assistant coaches in college football and an outstanding recruiter. There was no nepotism in this hire.

    Other coaches like Torrian Gray, Kevin Sherman and Charlie Wiles are respected by those throughout college football.  

Beamer Is a Hokie

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    In addition to being head coach at Virginia Tech for 26 seasons now, Beamer is a Virginia Tech graduate. He was a starter at cornerback in the late '60s. 

    Beamer grew up in Hillsville, Va., less than an hour away from Blacksburg.

    While it is understandable for Hokie fans to be frustrated with Beamer, his loyalty to Virginia Tech is unquestioned. 

    He built the program from the ground up and has made Virginia Tech relevant on the national level.

He Eventually Has to Win a Big Game

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    At some point, Beamer has to win a big game, right?

    While he has had some big wins at Virginia Tech, they haven't come lately.

    The Sugar Bowl loss to Michigan is the latest example of Beamer's big-game failures. The Hokies dominated the game on both sides of the ball, yet multiple special teams' mistakes doomed the Hokies.

    Guess who the special teams coach is? Yes, Frank Beamer.

    Beamer is 8-11 in bowl games, including 1-5 in BCS bowl games. Virginia Tech's win over Texas in the 1995-96 Sugar Bowl was before the BCS system was in place.

    The law of averages has to even out at some point, and the Hokies will win a game or two no one expects them to. 

    Will it be in 2012?