Despite Chick Fil A Bowl loss, future is bright for Mike London and Virginia.

Some bowl losses are easier to swallow than others. For Virginia fans I think this is one of those times. A 43-24 loss to Auburn in the Chick Fil A Bowl is not how you want to end the season, but Virginia fans have a lot to feel good about.

They also know exactly where the next steps in Mike London’s rebuilding project need to be, and that’s improving the talent base. Let’s face it Virginia over achieved this year. The Cavaliers were coming off a 4-8 2010 season with only 1 ACC victory. There weren’t many people predicting an 8 win season. A bowl game of any sort was the goal.

In 2011 Virginia went into the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to win the ACC Coastal Division, but was defeated soundly by Virginia Tech to end those dreams. That said  this season they had notable wins at Miami, at Florida State and over Georgia Tech. Mike London in just a couple of seasons has changed the culture in Charlottesville. This was a dead program with no direction and London infused a new attitude in this team.

As we’ve mentioned Virginia has to work to improve their talent level, and as we all know that’s done through recruiting. In 2011 London put together a top 25 class. 2012 is shaping up to be another strong top 25 (maybe better) class.

When you look down the road the next few years in the ACC, you know Virginia Tech will always be solid. Clemson and Florida State recruit at such a high level that they should both be one of the better ACC teams.

Can Virginia eventually join those three and challenge the Hokies in the ACC Coastal? UNC and Miami are waiting on NCAA investigations. Georgia Tech can’t get out of its own way. The door is open for Cavaliers and Mike London.

It should be interesting to see if Virginia can continue that momentum. I think they can, and I believe they may be the Coastal team that pushes Virginia Tech 2 or 3 years from now. The future is a bright one for the Cavaliers.

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