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Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer
The longest-tenured head coach in FBS in 2012 will be Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech, who took the reigns in Blacksburg in 1987.
Now, why choose to begin the slide on Virginia Tech with this tidbit? Aside from everyone wondering who holds this honor with Penn State University's Joe Paterno now gone, there are more than two decades of Hokies' football under Beamer can be used to support the argument that they will not reach the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
Beamer has been an outstanding regular season coach over the last 20 years. Virginia Tech has been ranked in the AP Top 25 at least once every season since 1993, and has gotten to a bowl game in each of those seasons. The Hokies have reached a BCS bowl game six times.
In bowl games, though, Beamer has not done as well as Virginia Tech fans expected in those seasons. Under Beamer, Virginia Tech has a .421 winning percentage in bowl games (8-11). In BCS bowls, its record is 1-5. The Hokies played for national championship once, when they lost the 2000 Orange Bowl to Florida State.
In 2011, Virginia Tech finished with the No. 21 ranking in the final AP poll. It dropped the 2012 Sugar Bowl to Michigan.
This season, the folks who put together the AP 2012 preseason Top 25 poll raised Virginia Tech five spots over where it finished last season.
This may have been a bad move.
According to Athlon Sports, “…the Hokies have to replace eight starters, including four offensive linemen, the school’s two all-time leading receivers and running back David Wilson, the ACC Player of the Year.”
Wilson was taken No. 32 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Wide receiver Danny Coale was a fifth-rounder. These were the Hokies’ leading rusher and receiver in 2011, respectively.
On offense, the constant is quarterback Logan Thomas. Thomas threw for 3,013 yards and ran for 469 more in 2011. Combined, Thomas scored 30 touchdowns, with 11 coming on the ground.
Can Thomas carry the load on offense for Virginia Tech? Perhaps more relevant for this slideshow: Can Thomas carry the Hokies offense into the national championship discussion in December?
Defensively, the Hokies look very strong. Eight starters return from a unit that ranked No. 7 nationally in scoring defense in 2011 (17.6 points allowed per game).
Florida State and Clemson University look to be threatening Virginia Tech in the ACC championship battle for 2012. The ACC was the weakest of the six BCS conferences in 2011, though, which does not help any teams in the conference get closer to the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
Beamer will likely have to lead his team to an undefeated season to reach the BCS title game, a season in which it is considered the third-best team in the ACC heading into 2012. I do not think Virginia Tech’s offense will give the defense enough help to vault into a BCS bowl game.