Now that the regular season is over and the Hokies have finished 6-6 and qualified for a 20th straight bowl appearance, Virginia Tech fans are wondering, some even hoping, if more coaching staff changes are in the near future, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
For years, head coach Frank Beamer has pointed to his team’s streak of eight consecutive 10-win seasons, three ACC championships, and four BCS bowl appearances as evidence that the offense is doing just fine.
This year, that streak came to an end. Additionally, Tech’s streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons is also on the line. Win the bowl game and the Hokies will finish 7-6; lose and they finish 6-7, the first losing record for the program since 1992 when the Hokies went 2-8-1 and Beamer nearly lost his job.
Much of the blame from fans is pointed at embattled offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, who took over as OC in 2002. In 11 seasons, Stinespring’s offenses have finished no better than 35th in total offense (2011). On average, Tech has ranked 65th during those 11 seasons.
Before Stinespring took over, the Hokies finished a bit better. The NCAA.com website only has team stats dating back to 1999:
This season was particularly tough for the Hokies’ offense considering they lost the ACC’s leading rusher in David Wilson as well the top two receivers in the history of the program - Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale - to the NFL. Tech also lost four starting offensive linemen.
This season, the Hokies aren’t the only big name team to struggle offensively. Below are the teams that rank below Virginia Tech in total offense this season:
79. Boise St.
88. South Carolina
90. Michigan State
LSU, Florida, South Carolina, and Auburn all play in the SEC and face much tough defenses week in and week out, so it’s not surprising to see them where they are. Not to mention that Florida, LSU and South Carolina are ranked in the top 10; the Gators are No. 4, LSU is No. 7, and South Carolina is No. 10 in the current BCS rankings.
Need more proof that offensive rankings can be misleading? Stanford is ranked No. 8 in the BCS standings, Boise State is ranked No. 20, and Wisconsin is playing for the Big 10 championship game.
Of the nine teams above who are ranked below the Hokies, five are ranked and another is playing in its conference championship game. Total offensive rankings, are you can see, are clearly not the defining statistic for a college football program’s success.
In contrast, here are some teams ranked ahead of the Hokies:
1. Louisiana Tech
28. Georgia Tech
While the opponents and conference in which you play play a big part of offensive rankings, stats can be a bit misleading. What is your team’s average starting field position? How stout is your defense?
That being said, the Hokies have been in a prolonged offensive slump for about 11 years and perhaps it’s time for a change.
With head coaches getting fired at underperforming teams across the country, the up-and-coming coordinators are going to be hired first. If the Hokies are looking to make a change, they’d better get started.