Virginia Tech Football: Coach Beamer's Holiday Wish List
It's the holiday season and the time for gift-giving, gluttony and hopes for a prosperous new year.
For Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, this holiday season represents more than just receiving shiny new toys underneath the Christmas tree.
Instead, Beamer would like the holiday season to bless his football team with many things. From some good fortune in next week's bowl game to continued prosperity on the recruiting trail.
Will Santa deem Beamer naughty or nice and grant him each of his wishes for this Christmas? Here are the top five items on Beamer's wish list this holiday season.
A Sun Bowl Victory
After competing for BCS bowls annually for over a decade, the Hokies find themselves playing in a rather nondescript bowl for the second year in a row. No, the Sun Bowl isn't the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl; it has a long and fairly rich history.
But Virginia Tech fans want and expect so much more each year.
At least the Hokies have a quality opponent this year in No. 17 UCLA.
If the Hokies (8-4) can pull off the win against a very good Bruins squad, this season will end on a positive note. Last season's win over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl didn't exactly inspire much confidence among Tech fans.
A Healthy Football Team
The Hokies have been a battered and bruised football team for much of the 2013 season. It all started out in January when star cornerback Antone Exum tore his ACL in a pickup basketball game.
Then, just before the season started, the Hokies lost projected starters J.C. Coleman, Ryan Malleck and Mark Shuman with injuries. Coleman returned but hasn't been as explosive as he was in 2012.
Just as Exum returned, All-American corner Kyle Fuller injured his groin, and freshman Brandon Facyson suffered a concussion in practice. It left the Hokies short-handed in the upset loss to Duke.
VT will be without leading rusher Trey Edmunds against the Bruins next week. Beamer just hopes to get through the holidays with no more injuries.
To Make Lane Stadium a Feared Venue Once Again
Remember the time that Lane Stadium was one of the most feared venues in all of college football?
It seems like forever ago, as the Hokies have lost at least one home game for three straight years. In 2013, VT lost to both Duke and Maryland in the friendly confines of Lane Stadium.
Yes, folks, Duke and Maryland.
The Hokies won't play in Lane again until next fall, but Beamer hopes Tech fans make Blacksburg an uncomfortable atmosphere for opposing teams in 2014 and beyond.
Finish Strong in Recruiting
Both players are 4-star recruits, according to 247Sports.com (subscription required).
There is still work to be done, however. Currently, the Hokies' 2014 class features 26 solid commitments. Three players will enroll in January, and there is still time for some of those verbals to back out and sign with another school.
It will be important for the Hokies to keep this class intact and close hard on 4-star defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi from Virginia Beach.
This could be one of the deepest and most talented classes in Virginia Tech history if they get everyone signed and add Nnadi.
With a new president and athletic director in place next year, Virginia Tech's administration will look completely different than it did at the beginning of 2013.
What does this mean for Beamer?
No one knows at the moment, and a new athletic director will not be in office until early-2014. So the legendary Beamer will have new bosses for the first time in over a decade.
Just last week, we wrote about Beamer and how he is aware of staying around too long. It was the first time Beamer has really talked publicly about retiring.
Beamer would surely like some assurances from his new bosses about where he stands and what their vision is for the football program in the foreseeable future. Beamer built the Virginia Tech program and should leave his post when he desires, within reason.
Will the new administration give Beamer a vote of confidence moving forward? Or will they try and put their own stamp on the program?