Friday night Virginia Cavalier football hit rock bottom. A humiliating 56-14 loss was handed to Virginia by Boise State, but it didn’t have to be that way. Head coach Mike London deserves plenty of blame for winning only 12 games in the last 3 1/2 seasons, but his school did him no favors.
Since 2012, the Cavaliers have scheduled games with Penn State, TCU, Oregon, BYU, UCLA, BYU again, UCLA, Notre Dame, and Boise State. They went 2-7 in these games. Notre Dame can forgiven as part of the ACC Notre Dame scheduling agreement, but the others? Next year a game at Oregon is there too.
For a team that nearly went to a bowl last year, the over scheduling has been at best a risk, and and worst just plain dumb. These are losses that have handcuffed Virginia from trying to build a winning culture. Winning breeds winning. Ambitious scheduling when you’re not prepared for it, can destroy a teams confidence.
Of course all the losses look bad for the ACC as well. They still count in those OOC losses for the conference, and when most if not all save Notre Dame should have been avoided.
Lopsided and embarrassing results like Friday night’s result are a black eye on the conference and obviously Virginia. As we’ve said several times on the blog. Rebuilding a program starts with winning games. Duke is the best example of that in the ACC. As they rebuilt their program, they played few OOC power 5 teams in the non conference schedule. Stanford was there in 2012. A weak Kansas team was there in 2014, and certainly playing Northwestern this year was not over-scheduling even though Duke lost. NC State is also going this route. They haven’t played a Power 5 opponent since Tennessee since 2012.
They also won 8 games last year, and have started this year 3-0. That’s smart scheduling. Future Duke and NC State schedules have teams like Baylor, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Northwestern, which makes sense now that those two programs are on more solid footing. Why Virginia felt the need to go the direction has backfired completely. It played a large role in likely dooming Mike London’s tenure at Virginia, and continues to hurt the ACC perception wise.
If Virginia want’s to go back to being a competitive football team, drop the ridiculous OOC scheduling and start picking up wins. What they are doing in no way helps the football program.