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What Does Success Look Like In 2021 For Hokie Football?

A wise man once told me — actually, he tells me this all the time — that the only way you can accomplish your goals in an efficient manner is to have a plan.

In making that plan, you’ve got to outline what success looks like. What outcome could be considered a success?

That’s the spot I’m in right now with Virginia Tech football. What does success look like for this program this season?

Is it a specific win number? Is it passing the eye test? Is it competing for the Coastal title? What does competing for the Coastal even look like?

For starters, success probably includes eight-plus wins. For a program that has been flirting with .500 for three straight seasons — and falling short of that number twice — reaching the eight-win plateau seems like a reasonable goal for a team with as many questions as the Hokies.

Tech will have plenty of chances to win games. Even their toughest matchups — Friday vs. North Carolina, Oct. 9 vs. Notre Dame and Nov. 20 vs. Miami are winnable, even if unlikely.

But as we all know, all eight-win seasons are not created equal. This is where the eye test comes in. How does Virginia Tech play in their losses? Who are those losses against? Getting run off the field is way worse than losing a one-score game.

What about those wins? A one-score victory over Middle Tennessee State or Richmond isn’t going to cut it and we all know that. Tech has played down to their competition consistently in recent years and sometimes, they’ve actually lost those games.

I don’t think Virginia Tech has a team that can compete for the Coastal this season, given how talented Miami and North Carolina are. However, beating Virginia at the end of the season would be a nice consolation prize.

What success looks like for other fans may not be what it looks like for me. But as far as I’m concerned, these are the benchmarks for success this season — eight-plus wins, not getting ran off the field in losses, soundly defeating lesser opponents and retaining the Commonwealth Cup.

Should Justin Fuente and his Hokies accomplish these tasks, I think it would be hard to argue that the 2021 season wasn’t a net positive.

On the flip side of that, should Virginia Tech fail to meet these expectations laid before them, Fuente may find himself out of a job. And if he does, it’ll be up to Whit Babcock to make up for his less the successful hiring decision he made in 2016.

Hopefully he’s already planned for either scenario.

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Friday, 17 September 2021
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