Virginia Tech plays it smart with Foster

Enough with the speculation.

Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver has done what most Hokies fans probably would have with money out of their own pockets could they afford to -- make defensive coordinator Bud Foster an offer he can't refuse.

Weaver and Foster struck a deal that will likely keep Foster on Tech's sideline for the next five years, according to a report in the Virginia Pilot. This will help keep the team together and focused as it prepares for the Chick-fil-A Bowl without the defense wondering what its future might be without Foster, but it also puts pressure on Foster to maintain the success that he's had at Virginia Tech. This year, the Hokies finished 14th in the nation in total defense -- an accomplishment that's flown under the radar because Virginia Tech fans have become spoiled by Foster (sorry, but it's true).

Heading into this season, Virginia Tech had finished among the top seven nationally in total defense for five straight years. Some Hokies considered this year to be a "dropoff," despite being ranked No. 11 in the country in scoring defense and holding opponents to just 15.75 points per game. Foster will have to maintain similar success despite losing eight seniors from this year's two-deep depth chart.

Foster has become one of the most respected, well-paid coordinators in the country -- and he's earned it. He's making over $400,000, according to the USA Today report on coaches' salaries. And while this new deal won't change his current salary, he will receive a one-time annuity payment in five years if he's still with the Hokies.

That's a much better idea than a coach-in-waiting plan. This way, Foster and Virginia Tech are still free to make decisions that are in their own best interests. There haven't been any promises made, which means there aren't any that have to be broken.