Just when you thought the transfer portal couldn’t be a bigger joke, the reaction of Virginia Tech football fans to the flipping of Darian Varner from there to Wisconsin was particularly amusing.
There were a lot of reactions on the Virginia Tech Hokie message board to the news and most of them ranged from “what does signing day mean anymore” to “bleep that guy” to “what does loyalty mean in college football?” Some even speculated he was released “because of his medicals” (he was not).
The dictionary says the definition of irony is a “state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.” Close enough in that Virginia Tech fans expressed outrage over Wisconsin doing to them the same thing they did to Temple.
Not an admission of the irony on the order of something like this:
“Oh no. It’s OK he left Temple. It’s just not OK he left us.“
To me, it’s just the best illustration of why the transfer portal is so unfair.
It’s rich that Virginia Tech fans are so upset with Varner now but don’t realize that Temple invested the most to advance his career.
Virginia Tech wasn’t the aggrieved party here. It was Temple. The Owls took a chance recruiting and developing Varner. He had his best year under the tutelage of one of the best defensive line coaches in America, Antoine Smith. Varner even hurt his foot at Temple and Temple paid for the successful surgery.
Temple has had more defensive linemen (three) drafted in the first round over the last 15 years than either Wisconsin or Virginia Tech.
There is no guarantee that Varner’s career would have been served better at either Virginia Tech or Wisconsin.
In fact, if you look at the last Temple portal transfer to Virginia Tech, Jadan Blue, there’s plenty of evidence he would have regressed there. Blue’s best year at Temple was 2019 where he caught 95 balls for 1,067 yards and four touchdowns. His best and only year at VT was 12-128-1. In fact, his worst full year at Temple was the COVID one of 2020 where he went 41-385-5.
So if your worst year is better than one place than your best year is at the new place, why transfer?
Blue found out the hard way.
Varner might thrive but no Temple player who hit the portal and transferred had a better year there (wherever there was) than here. There was one exception, Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie but that’s of more than 50 transfers, a two-percent success ration. That means 98 percent of the Temple players who remained made the right decision.
That’s the logic behind it but, when it comes to transfer portal and logic, that goes out the window.
Particularly when fans of one school are up in arms over losing someone they essentially stole from another school.
Friday: The General Plan
Monday: The Specific Plan