Blasphemous Beamer

By Adam Caparell - October 25, 2007

You can probably chalk it up to him trying to show proper respect, along with trying to fire up his team and maybe pad the opponent's ego a little bit before a big game, but Frank Beamer's statement earlier in the week about Boston College borders on blasphemous - especially if you're a Miami fan.

Beamer said earlier this week that the No. 2 Eagles, who his No. 8 Hokies host tonight in Blacksburg, "might be the best team that's ever come" to Lane in the 21 seasons he's been the head coach at his alma mater.

Beamer, I think many would agree, was a little overzealous with that one.

For one, that's higher praise than Boston College deserves. The Eagles have struggled to decidedly beat the likes of Bowling Green, Army and UMass this season along with a relatively weak ACC slate. They've beaten one ranked opponent - then No. 15 Georgia Tech in Week 3 - who hasn't sniffed a poll since Week 4. And two, we'll give Beamer the benefit of the doubt in that he's been focused on the future, rather than the past.

So just to make sure Beamer hasn't forgotten the past, let's jog his memory a little and look back at two teams the Hokies have hosted who I think everyone can agree are better than BC, circa 2007.

Three times the Hokies have hosted the Nos. 1 or 2 team in the nation at Lane Stadium and they all happened to come against Miami. And the two times the Canes played in Blacksburg as the nation's No. 1 they featured phenomenal teams.

The first came in 1992 as the defending national champs blasted Virginia Tech by 20 with a roster that featured Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta, Michael Barrow, Jesse Armstead and current FIU head coach Mario Cristobal to name a few. In all, nine players were taken in the NFL Draft the following April from the team that went undefeated in the regular season for the second straight year, beating three Top 10 teams, only to lose in the national title game against Alabama.

And if you think that was a good team, take a look at who the Hokies hosted seven years ago.

The second time Miami trekked to Lane Stadium as the No. 1 team was in 2001 and - in some people's books - that Miami team is considered the greatest in college football history. The Hurricanes survived by far their closest scare that season, narrowly beating the Hokies by two in the regular season finale. Miami went on to play Nebraska in the Rose Bowl, promptly trounced the Cornhuskers (leading 34-0 at halftime), and claimed the school's fifth national title.

That team, led by first year coach Larry Coker, was utterly stacked. Eleven Hurricanes were selected in the NFL Draft after the season, five of them in the first round. All-world talents like Bryant McKinnie, Jeremy Shockey, Ed Reed, Clinton Portis, Najeh Davenport, Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee, William Joseph and Ken Dorsey dotted the roster. Seven Canes were named to at least one First Team All-American list and six were finalist for the plethora of national awards. McKinnie won the Outland Trophy that year and Dorsey took home the Maxwell Award.

The 2001 Hurricanes bashed their opponents by an average of 33.2 points per game and beat two ranked opponents back-to-back by the largest combined margin in history (117 points). They outscored their opponents by a combined 395 yards and led the nation in scoring defense, passing defense and turnover margin.

So there's today's history lesson.

Was the statement a motivational ploy on Beamer's part? Most likely. Was he intentionally slighting Miami? Almost assuredly not. Beamer wants his Hokies to embrace the underdog role tonight, even though they're 3 point favorites. Beating the Eagles would be a big win, but not as big as Beamer made it out to be earlier this week.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 12:28 PM on October 25, 2007
Comments (4)


Actually, the Hokies also hosted Southern California on Sat, Aug. 28, 2004 when they lost by 11 points (13-24). Also, it would have been nice if you would have mentioned that the third time Miami came to b'burg they were ranked # 2 and got stomped 31-7. At least give Va Tech their due.
--Go Hokies--

Comment about USC above is incorrect. VT has never hosted Southern California. The only time they played was on neutral turf at FedEx field in Maryland (home of the Redskins).

Or in 2005 when Miami and VT played in a #3 vs 5 game and Miami won 27-7. Give the Hurricanes their due!

BC is overrated, but should still win.

You guys really need to get over yourselves. I'm no VT fan by any means, but the Hokies have beaten Miami 8 of the last 12 times they've played, and their "greatest team of all time" was lucky to escape Lane Stadium with a win that year. Yes, Miami has taken some great teams to Blacksburg, but when VT is winning 2 out of every 3 contests it's understandable that they aren't intimidated or impressed by Miami.

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