Rothe from the Top Rope: Gah Tech - A Lesson in Patience
Let's lower the temperature
Another week. Another blown lead. Another one point loss.
At this point, I'm not going to talk about the stats of either team, because it doesn't really matter. The Virginia Tech Hokies are now 2-7, which means they will miss a bowl game for the first time since 1992 (this doesn't count 2020 where the team decided not to play in one).
The bad records keep piling up for Brent Pry and his staff as the 2022 season churns on. And because of that, let's hit the pause button for a second.
Hokie Twitter was ablaze (what's new?) after the Hokies collapsed yet again, this time at the hands of Georgia Tech. People were calling for Pry to fired, for Athletic Director Whit Babcock to be fired, and for basically anyone in the program to be put out on the street.
The Sons of Saturday group chat was just as chaotic, with some people, who will remain nameless, saying similar things. My thought was this: if you were expecting Tech to be a winning team this year then I'm not sure how much you know about Virginia Tech football.
It's year 0. If you recall, Whit Babcock infamously called Justin Fuente's 5th year his first because he hadn't been given a fair shake (lmao).
Now, I did not expect the team to be this bad in Pry's initial season. I predicted a 6-6 record prior to the season starting. And the issues have been talked about ad nauseam. The penalties fluctuate week to week, the lethargic offense which can only catch fire every three quarters or so, the defensive letdowns, the clock management, the player personnel decisions, the severe lack of talent left behind by Fuente, and much more. Everyone knows there are problems.
My biggest point from this entire season, no matter how it ends, is well... not much. This is year 0 with Pry. If we are seeing similar mistakes next year that's when you begin to worry. He might be the guy and he might not be. But I'm not ready to write him off after 9 games.
Now I understand that in this era of college football there is no patience from anyone, but Virginia Tech isn't the type of school that can just throw $10M a year at Lane Kiffin and $5M at multiple five-stars in NIL money to come to Blacksburg. It will take effort to build a program back to sustained success.
Also, just a reminder of some super successful coaches who started relatively poorly compared to where they are now:
Virginia Tech - Frank Beamer: First season 2-9
Alabama - Nick Saban: First season 7-6 (later 2-6 after vacating wins)
Iowa - Kirk Ferentz: First season 1-10
Lane Kiffin - Ole Miss: First season 5-5
Georgia - Kirby Smart: First season 8-5
USC - Pete Carroll: First season 6-6
Penn State - James Franklin: First season 7-6
This is all just to say be patient. If Pry is the guy we will see and if not we will see that as well. If we learned anything from Fuente, it's that we cannot judge a coach off his first year.