I subscribe to a few premium recruiting sites. These are places for only die-hard Virginia fans; folks who are willing to pay real-life U.S. currency in order to follow UVA's football and basketball recruiting. I don't always agree or disagree with these herds of Virginia fans, but I do use them to take the pulse of the fanbase, as these are the people who are mostly immune to outright apathy as a coping mechanism.
In a poll posted today on one of those boards, one member posed the question: Should Mike London be fired?
After over 100 votes, here are the poll results:
-- 6% said yes, go ahead and fire him now.
-- 3% said watt 'til the end of the season, to see if he can right the ship a little bit in the last four games.
-- 35% said give him one more season, with 2013 serving as the "shit or get off the pot" campaign for the London regime.
-- 42% said give him two more seasons, and if we don't see marked improvement in the 28-34 games between now and the end of the 2014 season, fire him then.
-- 9% said give him three more years, through the 2015 season.
-- 5% said give him longer than three more years.
I imagine you read this blog because you want to know my opinion on topics like this. Well, here is my opinion...
We're 2-6 now, likely headed to 2-10. We won't be favored in any of our remaining games, and if we can't beat a bad Wake Forest team, I don't see us beating Miami or UNC. So it looks like London is going to deliver the worst season of UVA football since before George Welsh was at the helm.
No way around it, this is unacceptable.
No way to sugarcoat it, the excellence has been compromised.
I try to think about it like this: If I'm the CEO of Virginia Athletics, and am seeing what we've been seeing these last four weeks, and am seeing the team literally bottoming out on the field, and am seeing more and more empty bleachers... well, there's a bottom line to worry about. The bottom line is that Virginia Football's floor should be higher than 2-10, and that we cannot afford to wait around for the recruiting to fall into the same kind of crater it fell into in 2008 and 2009, as Al Groh entered lame duck status as our head coach.
I think Mike London is a great man, a great recruiter, a great ambassador for the football program and for the University, and a great salesman. I think he's in over his head as a head coach and top-level leader of a modern-era FBS football program that plays in a BCS conference. I also think he has failed to surround himself with a coaching staff that will allow him to succeed given his deficiencies.
In the poll, I was part of the 35% that voted for one more season. That's a more aggressive schedule than I've been preaching all along -- I beat the drum of five seasons, and I beat it hard. But this 2012 campaign is a "panic button" type of situation. I want to see significant changes on the coaching staff after this season, and I need to see marked improvement in 2013. If not, I will be firmly aboard the Fire London bandwagon.
We cannot afford to hit that same talent acquisition crater we fell into at the end of the Groh regime.
Maybe Mike London is the right coach for UVA, and he'll pull it out of the fire. But at this point, it's time to at least start questioning his competence as the head of our football program.
And believe me, this post has been incredibly depressing to write.