Needless to say, 2020 has been rough for everyone. Much like Florida State, I’ve sat a few hate articles out, mainly due to some health issues (I swear I wasn’t ducking Pitt), but I couldn’t let the Hokies get away.
The best thing going for Virginia Tech at the moment is the implosion of the Seminoles, because without the Noles finding new and increasingly hilarious levels of ineptitude on a weekly basis, someone might take a look at the train wreck in Blacksburg. Justin Fuente needs to send Mike Norvell an entire country ham for Christmas, because in terms of being chased by the college football bear, Norvell is the guy Fuente needs to outrun, and Mike is still trying to figure out the Velcro straps on his shoes.
Frank Beamer’s incredible run in the ACC from 2004-2011 seems like a distant memory. I thought adding Va Tech to the ACC was a home run, but it turns out adding Beamer to the ACC was the home run, and the Hokies happened to be the team he was coaching. Without Frank they’re a mediocre Big East school pretending to compete in football. They are Syracuse with better entrance music and a lunchbox.
It doesn’t seem possible that a Justin Fuente-led Hokie team gave Clemson all they wanted in the ACC Championship game 4 years ago. That team, led by the Edmunds bothers on defense and Jerod Evans and Cam Phillips on offense, seemed poised to put Tech back into the ACC mix after Frank ran out of gas towards the end of his run.
Then something happened...Fuente had to recruit his own players.
Things fell apart in Blacksburg the way things tend to fall apart; slowly at first, and then all at once. The cracked foundation of the program is no longer able to support weight of expectations. The fortress Frank built in the mountains of Virginia isn’t imploding, its sliding into a verdant Virginia valley and no one outside (or possibly inside of) Virginia cares. It’s a shame to see something built up over 29 years of hard work destroyed in 5 inept seasons, but here we are. A team that challenged a historically great Clemson team 4 short years ago in the ACC Championship Game is now losing home games to Liberty. Let this be a lesson to everyone, never hire a Memphis coach.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not upset that the Hokies have hit rock bottom. I love nothing more than watching other teams suffer. I’m just bummed Clemson doesn’t get to beat a good, or even decent, team this weekend. It’s more fun beating a team when they think they can win. Watching Miami fans convince themselves that “ThE U iS BaCk” all week leading up the game, only to have a piano dropped on their heads in the 1st half by the Tigers made my heart sing. Kicking a Virginia Tech fan base already curled up in the fetal position and begging for mercy is better than nothing, but it’s not the same as watching the life drain out of the eyes of the opposing coach after the 3rd Trevor Lawrence touchdown pass of the first quarter.
Such is the life of a Clemson fan.
This is the last regular season game of this weird ass season after the ACC decided to spare Florida State a 100 point home loss next week. You know Dabo was going to get both of his kids touchdowns and Nyles Pickney a touchdown pass against the Noles, and I’m sad we don’t get to see that, but beating one of the worst teams in Power 5 football isn’t worth the effort.
This team has one more chance to thoroughly embarrass a program. Barring a miracle, this is Trevor and Travis’s last regular season game, and I anticipate them ending their regular season ACC career with the annihilation of Virginia Tech. Nothing personal, Hokies. You’re the wrong team, at the wrong time, playing a pissed off college football juggernaut.
R.I.C.P. (rest in coaching peace) William Lawrence Muschamp
Folks, this Muschamp firing has me in my feelings. As a hater, I have to admit I loved Will. You’ll be hard pressed to find a coach that so perfectly embodied the university he represented. He was a shining beacon of hope for every mediocre middle aged guy who isn’t particularly good at his job. If Will Muschamp can become a millionaire on his meager talents, we’ve all got a shot. The fact that Clemson didn’t get one more chance to drag his team around the field while he vacillated between uncontrollable rage and profound despair hurts my soul. 2020 has taken so much from us, losing the chance to publicly humiliate South Carolina is a bitter pill to swallow, but Sweet Will heading to the SEC scrapyard known as “Alabama Analyst” (not breaking any news here, just predicting the inevitable) is a bridge too far.
Good night sweet prince. You were too good of a rival for this college football world. You’ll be missed in Clemson, South Carolina.
Fear not though good folks. Much like his coaching career in Columbia, Will will be handsomely compensated for doing nothing over the next few years. In the meantime, we get to watch the inevitable demo derby that is a U of SC coaching search. If there is any solace in losing Muschamp, it will come from Clemson pulling an Al Golden on Justin Fuente and beating the Hokies so completely that Fuente coaching another game in Blacksburg is untenable.
In my dream scenario, Va Tech swoops in on presumptive top U of SC coaching candidate Shane Beamer, Billy Napier decides against committing career suicide, and the Gamecocks are forced to turn to Jim McElwain, keeping their tradition of hiring cast off Florida coaches intact.
Ray, buddy, I’m begging you, we need some normalcy in our lives, and hiring McElwain would be a sign that the world is healing. Whoever you hire is going to fail miserably - it’s cooked into the job. Why not throw us a bone on your way out the door? I don’t ask for much, but we need this Ray. Don’t do it for me, do it for the millions of Clemson fans across the nation. Bring a little light into this dark year. Hire Jim McElwain and give him an outrageous buy out. He won more SEC East Championships in his 3 years at Florida than South Carolina has in it’s 29 years in the SEC. Florida hired Jim to clean up the mess Will left in Gainesville, and he won back-to-back SEC East titles. I’m convinced the same will happen in Columbia if you’re willing to give the man a chance. It makes too much sense.
I’ll see y’all for the Notre Dame game. In the meantime, be on the lookout for my STS basketball coverage.
* Note: This article didn’t go through the normal editorial process. If I added an extra comma, messed up a semi colon, or added an additional apostrophe somewhere in this article, please don’t think poorly of me. I’m more of a conceptual English major as opposed to someone with an actual command of grammar.