There are always two sides to every story. If you listen to Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, he is very pleased with the results of his coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring. After all, the Hokies won the ACC in 2004, 2007, and 2008. How bad could the play calling really be with those results?
While the 2008 version of the Hokies was an inexperienced group, there was steady improvement throughout the year. This is one of the signs of a good coaching staff.
But the coaching has not been the issue. It's the play calling that is suspect.
Looking back at the three years Virginia Tech won the ACC, the offense ranked No. 65, No. 100, and No. 103 in the country. In its best ACC season, the offense was only ranked No. 3 in the league. In 2008, even Duke was ranked higher in overall offense than Virginia Tech, which came in 11th in the ACC.
It is understandable how one might consider Stinespring to be a good coach. There are many qualities that have to be taken into consideration: recruiting, player development, and, of course, for an offensive coordinator, play calling.
For a conservative offense, the Hokies seem to out-think themselves in important situations. In the 2007 Orange Bowl against Kansas, after a touchdown-scoring drive led by the rushing game, the offense then went back to a passing attack that had been previously unsuccessful.
It seems reminiscent of the dialog from the poison scene in The Princess Bride, where Vizzini says to the Man in Black:
"All I have to do is divine it from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me."
The play-calling skills have not proven to be there for Stinespring, and we can not go on with Vizzini calling all of the plays.