Virginia Tech fans can breathe a little easier after a 29-21 triple-overtime win over Marshall. A home loss to an average program could have had most of the fanbase calling for head coach Frank Beamer's job. In fact, even though the Hokies won, some are still going to question whether or not he should remain the head coach after this season.
Should Beamer be on the hot seat?
Critics have every right to bash Beamer and doubt that he no longer has the ability to lead the Hokies to the big bowl games. However, if you're able to remove last season from your brain, he's had eight straight seasons of at least 10 wins. Yes, in today's social media world, it's tough to remember what happened yesterday, let alone two years ago, but remember that Beamer put Virginia Tech on the map.
Before he came along, Virginia Tech was an independent program still trying to get its feet wet. Winning 10 games in a season was unheard of, and bowl appearances were rare. Under Beamer, the Hokies have qualified for a bowl every year since 1993 and should have little problem continuing that streak this season.
Like former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, Beamer has earned the right to step down on his terms. Regardless of how difficult the season may be, it's tough to fire the person who pretty much built the program himself. This isn't Notre Dame, where replacing a coach is easy due to the history. It'd be like kicking Oprah off television because she ran out of interesting guests to interview. It's still Oprah!
Yes, being interesting and winning games are completely different, as college football coaches are judged simply on winning games. But if you're one who wants Beamer gone, the real question should be, who's going to replace him?
Dan Wolken of USA Today said it best:
Besides replacing a legend, many big names are going to be hesitant to take the job due to the many obstacles standing in the way. Virginia Tech has a hard time recruiting elite talent on a consistent basis. The program is much of an afterthought with Florida State and Miami back on the rise. And there hasn't been any big-time success before Beamer took over. Virginia Tech could easily fall off the map once Beamer is no longer roaming the sidelines.
It's clear he'll still impact the program, as he signed a contract in 2011 that would allow him to serve as a special assistant to the athletic director for eight years after retiring as coach. But calling the shots on a team and helping it from behind the scenes are a little different. Just ask Michael Jordan.
Two mediocre seasons shouldn't erase a decade of consistent success. Yes, the down seasons can get ugly, but the unknown future should be scarier for Virginia Tech fans.
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