Is Frank Beamer Still the Best Coach in the ACC?

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Frank Beamer of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats to win the FedEx Orange Bowl at Dolphin Stadium on January 1, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2010 season is fast approaching, and college football fans can't wait for their teams to take the field. Virginia Tech has high expectations for 2010, and signed Frank Beamer to a contract extension through the 2016 season last weekend.

Beamer has been a head coach for 29 years, and he's entering his 24th season at Virginia Tech. Beamer has won 229 games overall, and 187 in Blacksburg. The only weakness on his coaching resume is there's no national title.

That being said, Beamer came to Virginia Tech in 1987, when the program was in shambles. It took him six years to turn the program around for the better, and the Hokies haven't missed a bowl season since 1993.

Now, in 2010, the Hokies may have their best shot at a national title since the Michael Vick era, but do they have the best coach in the ACC? 

I don't think anyone could argue against the fact that Beamer is by far the best coach in the conference.

Jimbo Fisher, Randy Shannon, and Paul Johnson are all coaches on the rise, but they don't have nearly the resume or track record that Beamer does. 

Ralph Friedgen and Frank Beamer used to coach together, but Friedgen is on the hot seat at Maryland and hasn't had nearly the success Beamer has had.

The only other coach in the ACC that you could make an argument for is Butch Davis.

Davis didn't become a head coach in college football until 1995, when he took over at Miami. He had to deal with recruiting violations from the coach prior, Dennis Erickson, and the Hurricanes weren't allowed to participate in postseason play in his first season as head coach.

What hurt the program more was the fact that Miami lost 31 scholarships over the next few year's in Davis' tenure because of the violations. However, Davis recruited some of the best college football players, and current NFL players to Miami while he was there.  Clinton Portis, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Jeremy Shockey, and Andre Johnson were among the many great players he recruited to a program in turmoil.

Davis and Miami likely could have competed for the national title in his last season as head coach at Miami in 2000, but Florida State was chosen over the Hurricanes, even though Miami had beaten the Seminoles earlier in the year.

After the 2000 season, Davis left for the NFL to coach the Cleveland Browns. If he had stayed at Miami, he likely could have won multiple national titles, considering the players he had on his roster.

Davis returned to college football to take over the much maligned North Carolina program, and, much like Beamer did at Virginia Tech, Davis has turned the Tar Heels into a contender.

However, recent speculation has been swarming the North Carolina program, and it's still unclear what's going to happen to the Tar Heels for the 2010 season.

Either way, Davis has done a great job of turning around the football program in Chapel Hill and making them a rising, legitimate power in the ACC.

Davis is 71-38 as a head coach in college football, and Beamer is 229-115-4.  Beamer has an 8-9 bowl record, compared to Davis, whose teams are 4-2 in bowl games.

Beamer and Davis coached against each other in the Big East as well, and Virginia Tech won three conference titles in the Big East while Davis was at Miami. Beamer has also won three ACC titles since the Hokies entered the conference in 2004. 

Beamer has won 12 coach of the year awards in his career, and Davis has only been a head coach in college football for 10 years, having never earned that honor.

There is no current head coach in the ACC with a national title victory, but no coach has nearly the resume, experience, rewards, or respect that Beamer has. That being said, if Davis can overcome this current scandal and continue having success at UNC, he will be the best coach in the ACC, after Beamer hangs it up.

For now, and until he retires, Beamer remains the best coach in the ACC. Now it's up to him, his coaching staff, and his players to add to his legacy as one of the greatest college football coaches in the history of the sport by winning a national title.