As a lifelong Virginia Tech football fan, I've never been so anxious for an offseason to get here. A year with a young team and coaching troubles, but nine wins and an ACC title—interesting, yes, but there are 10 things a Virginia Tech football fan would like for Christmas, or at least soon after.
10. Affordable Orange Bowl Tickets
Frank Beamer came out and posted a video on hokiesports.com trying to get Virginia Tech students, fans, and alumni to buy Orange Bowl tickets because sales were down from last year. Tickets cost $125 before shipping and handling fees, which then raises the price close to $160.
I went down last year, and after tickets, costs, and transportation, you're looking at a very expensive trip. At least make the tickets cheaper for students. I mean, we do pay a lot of money to attend the school.
9. Bowl win anyone?
The last time Virginia Tech won a bowl game was Jan. 2, 2006, which was during the 2005 season. It was a win over Louisville in the Gator Bowl, led by infamous quarterback Marcus Vick. Virginia Tech hasn't missed a bowl game since 1993 but are 6-9 overall in that span, including a national championship loss. Bowls really don't mean much, but it would be embarrassing to lose another BCS Bowl.
8. Another Macho Harris
Victor "Macho" Harris was the leader of the defense this past season and a huge part of it for the last three years. Since he arrived at Virginia Tech in 2005, he's been making noise, whether it was blocking punts on special teams or intercepting passes in the secondary.
Macho was named a first team All-American by the Sporting News and will be sorely missed next year. Maybe Stephan Virgil or Cris Hill, who comes from the same high school (Highland Springs), can pick up where he left off next year.
7. Recruit better "people"
In the last few years, Virginia Tech has had a lot of players commit to the school and then be unable to come because of off the field issues or grades. If you're an athlete and can't get into a university because of your grades, that's pathetic. A lot of the players we have at Virginia Tech enjoy getting suspended as well.
Going back to the recruiting, and including the suspended players, around half aren't at Virginia Tech or actively involved with the football program. Prime examples are Marcus Vick and Branden Ore. If we recruit better "people," we may see a better football team.
6. Five-Star Tyrod instead of Three-Star
Tyrod Taylor has looked better in his last two games against Virginia and Boston College, but before that he looked awful. Taylor played well his freshman year, considering he was a true freshman, but really struggled after Beamer decided redshirting the sophomore wasn't a good idea.
Beamer has said there is a "hitch" in his throwing motion that they will work on in the spring, but so far Taylor has not lived up to the hype. The potential is there, but we need to start seeing it.
5. Legit National Championship Hopes
Virginia Tech is ranked in the top 20 of the country every year but always seems to finish right around their preseason ranking. Virginia Tech is one of the only major football programs in the nation without a national championship title, and fans are getting restless. The Orange Bowl is nice, but juice isn't the same as bubbly.
No title was expected this season, but within the next two years there's a chance Tech can compete for a national title. However, they have to get over their typical midseason slump.
4. More Credit
Virginia Tech was one of the youngest teams in the country this year, lost a number of players to the NFL, won the ACC Championship, and still the team isn't getting love from the media. Yes, Georgia Tech is a good football team, and yes, Jim Grobe is a good football coach—but we beat Georgia Tech, and Beamer did a better coaching job than Grobe this season.
Taking nothing away from Grobe, but Frank Beamer did the best coaching job of any coach in college football this season. He played a tougher schedule than Wake Forest and came out with a better record. Injuries, suspensions, and a quarterback situation would ruin many teams' seasons, but Frank Beamer was able to overcome all of that and win a second straight ACC Championship title.
3. Lock up Bud Foster
The fact that Bud Foster isn't a head coach somewhere blows my mind. He's a huge part of Virginia Tech's success this year, and without his hard-nosed, smashmouth defensive schemes, you don't have Virginia Tech football.
For years, Virginia Tech football has been remembered because of two things: Michael Vick and defense. The one constant there is Bud Foster, and without him coaching up the defense, Virginia Tech football isn't where it is today.
Jim Weaver, the Athletic Director, said earlier this season he was looking into what Texas did with Will Muschamp. Well, what he's waiting for? Foster needs to be the head coach in waiting before Al Groh gets fired at Virginia.
2. Offensive Identity
Before the last two weeks, the Virginia Tech offense has had no identity. The offense is one of the worst in the country, and the poor offense is what led to a number of losses this season. Some weeks we run the ball, and other weeks we abandon it. We need a new offensive philosophy, which leads to number one on a Hokie's Christmas list.
1. Close the Bryan Stinespring Chapter
It wasn't all that fun, I definitely hated watching it, and it's something I would soon like to forget about. Stinespring needs to go. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but he's a horrible offensive coordinator. It might sound a bit cliché at this point, but Virginia Tech has to move on. If not, the team will have at least another three losses next season.
Tech consistently has a top 20 defense, usually top five, but for the last two years the offense has been one of the worst in the country. It's time for a change, and Beamer needs to branch out from the coaching staff and bring in someone with an entirely different philosophy.
If someone is hired from the Virginia Tech coaching staff, the same problems are likely to occur. Cut the tie and start putting together a respectable offense.