Monday Mail is back! With Virginia Tech’s game vs. East Carolina being canceled, there’s no postgame content to worry about, so let’s get to some questions. The goal is to make this a weekly feature once again, so thank you for submitting your questions. Let’s dive in.
What is the root cause of FSU problem? Bad coaching, entitled kids, coaching change? How does WT turn it around?
— John Maurer (@JohnMaurer6) September 16, 2018
Who’d have thought that I’d be starting this Monday Mail with a critique of Florida State?
The Seminoles have played three games so far. In each of their three games, they’ve looked like an FCS team, which happens to be the only type of team they’ve beaten this season. They started with the embarrassing 24-3 defeat at home to Virginia Tech, which scuttled all hopes Florida State had of being an ACC Championship-level team this season.
Florida State then squared off with FCS Samford and trailed 23-21 entering the fourth quarter. The ‘Noles scored 15 points in the fourth to pull out the victory, but it was a particularly ugly win.
Instead of bouncing back with a big road win at Syracuse, Florida State fell flat on their face and lost 30-7 in the Carrier Dome.
The ‘Noles have a bevy of problems, but none may be as obvious as their poor offensive line play. Florida State has allowed 10 sacks already through just three games and the Seminoles’ talented running backs haven’t been able to establish a consistent presence.
Not only does Florida State’s offensive line look putrid, the team doesn’t look well coached. The ‘Noles have been flagged for 27 penalties so far and the team is making bonehead mistakes on the field. Here’s a good summation of the ‘Noles special teams struggles.
Florida State is not a good team. They’re a team full of talented players that together, do not comprise a successful football team. The Seminoles have all the talent in the world but so far, haven’t looked like they have very much talent at all. Maybe Willie Taggart is able to turn things around as the season progresses, but I doubt it. Taggart’s first season seems destined for failure, and the ‘Noles haven’t even played Miami, Clemson or Notre Dame yet.
Since FSU is so horrible so far this year, we haven’t really been tested. Being ranked #10 in the polls seems very generous. Do you think we’re really a top 10 team? Why or why not?
— JeannieBarton (@jeanniebarton88) September 16, 2018
What I want to know is how does this affect the perception of the Hokie’s win, even if it was on the road. Is it still a good win overall since it was at FSU or is it now just a win over a mediocre, fractured and underperforming team?
— ConmanArtist (@ConorFDoherty) September 15, 2018
Indeed, Virginia Tech’s win over Florida State looks less impressive each time the Seminoles take the field. Tech needed Florida State to be a good team this season, but that clearly isn’t the case.
Tech’s resume isn’t great. They beat an energetic yet bad team on the road to start the season and knocked off an FCS team at home. Virginia Tech had a chance to earn a win over East Carolina this past weekend, but the Pirates canceled the game.
I do not think Virginia Tech is a top-10 team. I think the Hokies are a solid team with enough holes to prevent them from being an elite-level group. Fortunately for the Hokies, they will get plenty of chances to build their resume and justify their top-10 ranking.
Tech’s next chance to pick up an impressive win will be on Sept. 29 at Duke. Despite losing quarterback Daniel Jones for a significant amount of time and a few other starters for the season, the fighting David Cutcliffe’s keep winning. Duke’s won all three of their games so far, including road wins at Northwestern and Baylor.
A three-game stretch in November will prove critical. Tech hosts Boston College and Miami in that stretch, with a difficult trip to Pittsburgh nestled in between. The Eagles haven’t played a great team just yet, but they did knock off Wake Forest on the road last week. Pitt got blasted by Penn State two weeks ago but defeated Georgia Tech last week. And despite Miami’s season-opening loss to LSU, they’ll prove to be a tough test.
If Virginia Tech runs the table in the ACC, which is possible but not likely, they’ll assuredly be around the top-10. If they knock off Notre Dame in a few weeks, then we’ll be looking at a legitimate playoff contender.
Will the ECU game be made up, what implications will it have for bowl games if not?
— cdulaney (@cdulaney74) September 16, 2018
how will losing a game off the sch affect the Hokies in the long run?,
— Jen D. (@tbajen) September 16, 2018
Losing the East Carolina game will have far-reaching affects, some positive and some negative.
The positive is that Virginia Tech virtually gets another bye week. It’s one less game that the players have to prepare (fully) for and actually play. That wear and tear that Tech avoided will pay dividends as the season progresses. Tech can take the second half of the week that they would have used for East Carolina and use it to prepare for Old Dominion and Duke.
The negatives are mostly financial. I haven’t seen an announcement made on whether or not Virginia Tech will issue refunds for the East Carolina game, but even if they don’t they’re still missing out on revenue from concessions, etc. If Tech issues full refunds for the game, they’ll miss out on about $2 million, which is a lot for a department that ran in the red last fiscal year.
There is a small chance this game is made up. It will not happen during the regular season, since Virginia Tech and East Carolina don’t have a common bye week. However, if Virginia Tech misses out on the ACC Championship Game, Virginia Tech could opt to host the Pirates that weekend, after the Virginia game. It’d be kind of weird, but it would be another game for the players and fans to experience.
Obviously, Virginia Tech is hoping that they’re booked for that weekend. Tech seems like a slight favorite to win the ACC Coastal at the moment, so we’ll just have to wait and see.