Florida State and Virginia Tech share quite the history don't they? All Hokie fans can remember the 2000 Sugar Bowl, but these two conference foes also share more. They both have legendary coaches. Two men who not only represented their programs, but their respective states. As Beamer makes the turn towards the clubhouse, Virginia Tech would be foolish not to look at the Bobby Bowden "situation" and grab a free lesson. The best education is the one you don't have to pay for and Florida State has given a master class in moving on. They also have a degree in form of a national championship ring to prove it.
#5 Know When The Peak Is Over
After the 2003 season the 'Noles felt great after a 10-3 season, and an Orange Bowl appearance. After the 2011 campaign the Hokies felt great posting a 11-3 record, and a Sugar Bowl appearance. Since then the Hokies are a combined 22-17, while the Seminoles disappointed with a 24-14 mark over those next three years. Bowden would only reach 9 wins one more time in 2008 with a 9-4 record. With Beamer it seems the foreshadowing is there.
#4 Have an Escape Plan
It seems T.K. Wetherall knew the end was nigh by putting the coach-in-waiting moniker on Jimbo Fisher in 2007. Beamer thankfully hasn't done that yet, but there has to be a plan. I'm not a huge fan of the coach-in-waiting formula. Ask Will Muschamp how that fared in Texas, but there seems to be no exit strategy. Beamer continues to talk longterm. He seems genuinely excited to coach in Bristol two years from now. Problem is, I'm not sure how many Hokies will be excited to see him on the sidelines.
#3 Band-Aid Or Ease On Down The Road
Florida State firmly believed in the Band-Aid approach. Sure, they gave Bowden the courtesy of being "Football Ambassador", but no proud man would accept that job. A devastating loss to in-state rival Florida and the Band-Aid was ripped. The ease on down the road method involves the farewell tour, the ceremonies, and a devastating effect on recruiting. Bill Snyder at Kansas State tried this as well as Barry Alvarez in Wisconsin. Those guys retired gracefully and never were heard from again....oh wait, my mistake they are still calling the shots in their respective fiefdoms. Is that what Hokie fans want to see? An 80 year old Frank Beamer hobbling up and down the sidelines?
#2 What Actually Is the Goal Here?
Does Virginia Tech have the stones to actually be a national player? Does the leadership want that? The bottom line is do you want to be 8-4 over the next ten years (hopefully), or a national force. F.S.U. has certainly made its intentions clear this season by defending Jameis Winston under severe national pressure. This is nothing new for the 'Noles as Bowden routinely supported his players somewhat sketchy decision making. Peter Warrick and Sebastian Janikowski were not available for comment. Bottom line, it takes a serious financial and leadership commitment to compete with Alabama, Texas, Michigan, etc.. Whit Babcock needs to set the priorities as we reach this pivotal crossroads.
#1 What is The Other Option?
Everybody loves a backup quarterback, and everyone loves the next coach. F.S.U. saw something in Fisher, locked him up and the rest is history. Tech has Bud Foster, Shane Beamer, and a potential secret list of would be candidates. Foster has earned it, no question. His defenses built Beamer Ball in its heyday and is the constant candidate for head coaching vacancies across the country. Problem is, why hasn't he taken these jobs? Loyalty? Bad offensive mind? Or the reason some have speculated, that he and Beamer have a handshake agreement, that this is imminent? The signing of a new extension would point to the latter. Sooner rather than later Tech needs to address this elephant in the room. Why pay tuition when Florida State is handing you the playbook?