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The Gobbler Country Summer Series and a Revisit of CFB Merger Madness

Gobbler Country opens its summer doors, puts up the umbrella and pours a libation out for a quiet Blacksburg Summer. We look at the Hokie Football program with four deep dives into various issues with the program and intersperse them with a revisit of the churn going on in college football. Take the poll, we have a long summer and lots to talk about. GO HOKIES!!!

Changes happen over time. Lots of changes are going on in college football and Virginia Tech
John Schneider - SB Nation

It’s “Summer” in Blacksburg

It’s nearly the end of the first week of June, and it has grown peacefully quiet on the Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus. The Drill Field is empty with the exception of a few of us townies out for an evening stroll or giving personal tours to visiting family and friends. It was a relatively quiet year in the 2022-2023 semester. We did have some real excitement with the Women’s Basketball program. We had a blast covering the ladies as they made their way into the Final Four and received our first official NCAA Tournament credentials.

Covering baseball was fun, especially making new acquaintances in the press box over at Atlantic Union Bank Park. The season didn’t turn out as grand as the 2022 campaign, but most of the team was young, the schedule hammered by weather conditions, doubleheaders, and inexperience. The team did grab 30 wins and establish some special Freshmen and Sophomore players who we shall see again in the 2024 campaign.

All of that has faded as the dormitories have emptied, and the dining halls closed. The graduates are all gone - cleaning companies and contractors are busy clearing out apartments in town. Blacksburg residents breathe a sigh of relief and prepare for Summer activities like the “Summer Solstice” festival coming in two weeks, and the big “Stepping Out” fun that closes the quiet time the weekend before the kids come back. Of course, we all look forward to the big Independence Day party in the Municipal Park and the fireworks display over the old high school grounds. It isn’t completely quiet, here, but it is definitely a small town again.

There Will Be Two Series of Articles This Time

That gives us a break, and a chance to visit more in-depth coverage for things relevant to the Hokie sports scene. In the past we’ve covered the nature of program life in the Twilight, and last summer we covered the massive changes going on in college football conference alignments. Well, we are going to revisit last summer’s research and educated guess work because that trend hasn’t stopped. The “Magnificent Seven” isn’t a great western based on a great Japanese film “The Seven Samauri”. We’ll concentrate a couple of looks at the floating changes to the “Power Five” and how the upper tiers of NCAA football (and this is almost completely about the king of college sports, football) seem to be sorting out as the 2025/2026 media contracts hit.

That’s not the only thing in Virginia Tech’s horizon of changes, though. Before we revisit the league level changes, we need to concentrate on the Virginia Tech Hokies football program. It has been in transition for the past three seasons, and the churn is still happening. We will take a look inward and spend some time looking at the behind-the-scenes changes that are occurring to the program.

The Hokies Continue Transitioning

The first article will go over the 2023 gear grinding and adjustments in the coaching staff, a review of the Transfer Portal pickups, and then a final look at the picture before it starts August practices.

The second article will concentrate on the most glaring weaknesses of the team from 2022 that need to be addressed before more than three Ws are going to be notched in a season. The quarterback room is still in turmoil, the running backs are still big unknowns, plus both offensive and defensive lines are still looking for starting quality depth.

In the third article we’ll cover the worrisome nature of the reality of 3-Star football. And might touch a bit on the Twilight series from two summers ago as Tech’s coaching staff works to try to break the cycle of only having modest levels of talent in a league where that level just won’t get you to any sort of championship chances.

Finally, the fourth article will begin the transition to the roster reviews and season preview. This year, the ACC has thrown a grenade into its woodpile, eliminated its divisions, and scrambled its schedule. There will be no true champion since there will be no divisions and no one can play every team in the conference. That’ll be an interesting discussion, that’s for sure.

And How Does the CFB Re-alignment Relate to the Hokies?

Interspersed in those four Hokie specific articles, we’ll talk about the changes happening in college football, again. Especially as those changes affect the related internal adjustments that we’ll be talking about. So, there might be as many as four of those visits, or as few as three. The standing issue there is how much activity we see going on in the realignment moves at the Athletic Department level.

So, let’s wrap this intro up with a return to the polls. We didn’t do much in the way of polling over the last semester. It tends to liven up the summer series articles, and give you a quick opportunity to comment, though we’d really like you to sign up and join us for at-length comments.

We Ask You!

Now, we leave y’all with the last word as the series launches and I start hammering away at that first two Tech related articles and the first revisit of the realignment.


What issue concerns you the most about the 2023 season?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    The offense. We didn’t have one in 2022. It’s not looking hopeful for 2024, either. There is no identified offensive style and no starting QB. We aren’t winning without those issues being solved.
    (38 votes)
  • 11%
    The depth and talent level on the offensive and defensive lines. The starters sound good, but depth is still not there. It’s just not proven to be enough to cover 12 games with starting quality players.
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    The coaching staff just looks like it’s not settled and not ready for primetime. Lots of nice things are being said. There are some good coaches, here. But there are some who we’re not so sure about. Not a good feeling to start as season with.
    (7 votes)
  • 42%
    Hey! Negative Nancy, we have a different schedule and Coach Pry is getting things in order. Be patient, it takes time to rebuild a program, and this one was crippled. Have some faith! The Hokies will be back.
    (42 votes)
98 votes total Vote Now

We’ll pick this discussion up with a review of the Virginia Tech football coaching and player personnel situation, and the gear grinding going on at the top of the program.