Tuesday I talked about Virginia Tech's motivation and sometimes lack-there-of in bowl games, citing last year's performance on and off the field at the Orange Bowl as an example of the latter. Apparently last year's experience, which saw two players suspended for a quarter and another six sent home, has inspired Frank Beamer to run a tighter ship when the Hokies get to New Orleans for this year's Sugar Bowl.
Looks like Coach Beamer is cracking down on curfew in New Orleans: 12/28 (1am), 12/29-30 (midnight), 12/31 (12:30am), 1/1-2 (11pm).
How does that compare to past curfews?
Last year in Miami, Beamer set curfew for midnight, except for New Year's Eve when it was 1 a.m. That night, running back David Wilson and safety Antone Exum were found in the hotel, but not in their rooms at the 1 a.m. bed check, leading to a one-quarter suspension.
For the 2009 Orange Bowl against Cincinnati, curfew was midnight every night because the game was on Jan. 1. That was part of a few changes Beamer made after the previous year's loss to Kansas in the Orange Bowl.
The last time the Hokies went to New Orleans, Beamer set curfew for 2 a.m. the first two nights in town, 1 a.m. on nights three and four and 11 p.m. for the final three nights in the Big Easy. It would appear that Beamer has become stricter as the years have gone on, perhaps due to a history of discipline issues at bowl games.
Contrast that with Michigan head coach Brady Hoke's (Originally I typed Hokie. That's makes three times since this match-up was announced.) approach to curfew. Hoke is letting the Wolverines police themselves, relying on senior leadership to keep the players in line.
There are a few ways to look at the contrasting styles between Beamer and Hoke (Four.). I'm sure some hack will look at the age difference (Beamer is 65, Hoke is 53) and write that Frank is trying to keep the kids from having fun.
I think it's just an example of coaches knowing their teams. Beamer feels his guys need a tight ship on this trip and Hoke feels his guys can behave without big brother watching. They know what works best for their own teams.
Of course, another way to look at is the fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for the players to break.