October 31, 2013

The List, Part II

Okay, obviously, you need to read Part I before you read the sequel.  So go do that, m'kay?

You're back?  Okay, great.  Below are some more names I'd like to submit for your consideration as potential replacements for Mike London as Virginia's head coach.

A few of the guys you suggested didn't make the cut.  Why?  I either didn't find them appetizing (example: Bob Diaco) or I didn't find them realistic (example: Mark Richt).

Anyway, here's the list.  It's pretty long, so find a comfortable seat and settle in.

Louisiana-Lafayette HC Mark Hudspeth
Huddy registered a blip on my radar when I went to work compiling the first List, but he didn't quite make the cut.  Well, that was a mistake.  He won pretty big in seven years at South Alabama, and is now taking Lafayette to heights never before experienced by that program.  In fact, that dramatic two-year transformation of the Ragin' Cajuns program is what should endear UVA fans to Hudspeth.  He has the exact big picture blueprint we need to elevate this program from the abyss, quickly and completely.  The problem is, he's a Deep South guy, already on many SEC athletic directors' speed dial.  Could Virginia swoop in and pry him away from that region before an SEC school snaps him up?

I dream of a day when our players have a reason to
dump Gatorade on their head coach.

Bowling Green HC Dave Clawson
Clawson spent three years as the head coach of the Richmond Spiders, laying the winning foundation for the team that Mike London took to the FCS national championship in 2008.  Clawson left U of R to become the offensive coordinator at Tennessee, and then to become the head coach at Bowling Green.  He's elevated the Eagles into a perennial bowl team in the MAC, and he runs a very flexible, versatile, opportunistic offensive system. Clawson describes his coaching style as one that utilizes the available talent to maximize success.  His philosophy focuses on getting individual playmakers more touches rather than sticking to a rigidly-defined system.  His offenses have displayed components of the Pro-Style, Spread, and Power Running attacks.  Also, here's a great piece from SI.com's Pete Thamel: Bowling Green's Dave Clawson and the Art of Program Building

London won with his recruits at Richmond.
Is it time for Clawson to return the favor?

Washington DC Justin Wilcox
I think this Q-n-A from the SB*Nation Cal site does this potential candidate justice better than I can.

I like that he's a cerebral guy, I like that he has the Boise State blueprint, but I dislike his roots in the Pacific Northwest.

Tulane HC Curtis Johnson
Good recruiter, good developer of talent.  He kicked ass as wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints, developing Marques Colston from a raw 7th round tight end into an all-pro wide receiver.  He also worked miracles with Lance Moore, and cultivated Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem into dangerous downfield threats.  In his first season at Tulane, the downtrodden Green Wave went 2-10.  But here in his second season, they are 6-2 and quickly making a name for themselves.  Johnson's star is on the rise, he actively WANTS to coach in college, and he brings intimate knowledge of Sean Payton's offensive system.  He's really, really green, but I think he's an interesting potential option.

ECU HC Ruffin McNeil
ECU is his alma mater, so I'm not sure he'd leave there to come to UVA (how sad is that?).  But if he would, he'd bring his acumen on the defensive side of the ball, and a willingness to go Air Raid after working under Mike Leach for a decade.  I think this one is probably a non-starter, but it's worthy of the list as I think it's at least an option that merits consideration.

Former Nevada HC Chris Ault
He's old (66) and retired to some cushy consultant job with the Kansas City Chiefs.  But as the architect of the Pistol Offense, he would bring some innovation to the mix here at UVA.  Plus, he's respected enough in the coaching community to be able to attract some good assistants... maybe even a young firebrand OC to be his heir apparent at Virginia.  Maybe we only get a few years out of him, but he could set this train back on its rails, while installing the Pistol and building a new and sorely-needed offensive identity for the Hoos.

SMU HC June Jones
Another oldie (60) but goodie, June Jones has been working and winning and biding his time, waiting patiently for a BCS conference opportunity... that has sadly never come.  Well, better late than never.  Picture the Run and Shoot in Charlottesville, and try to suppress a smile.  I dare you.  And before you say "Run and Shoot is a gimmick offense, it'd never work here," please remember THIS SEASON Hawaii put together, and please remember the Houston Oilers' success in the early 90s.  In 14 seasons as a college head coach, June Jones has posted losing seasons in just two of those seasons -- his first season at SMU and his second season at Hawaii.  The man runs a system that is highly entertaining, he has won everywhere he's coached, and has been waiting for an opportunity to coach a BCS conference program for the better part of two decades.  I think he'd run through walls to succeed here.

Texas HC Mack Brown
Will he get fired at Texas?  Maybe, maybe not.  But if he does, he's be the exact kind of proven program architect and battle-hardened CEO-type that Virginia needs to rebuild its flagging program.  This hire would feel a bit slimy, and I'm not sure UVA would be willing to make this move (or pay Brown's salary), but it's at least somewhat within the ballpark of realism, and it's interesting as hell to consider.

Towson HC Rob Ambrose
He might be the top [realistic] candidate at UConn, so I think we'd be stooping to conquer if we made this hire -- our job opportunity is better than his credentials should merit.  However, Ambrose played a big role in bringing the Huskies up from 1-AA to 1-A and into the Big East and eventually to a BCS bowl game.  Once he took the Towson job, it took him two years to completely turn around a moribund program.  A lot of people view him as the top coach at the FCS level right now.

Liberty HC Turner Gill
I'll admit, he's on here more for name recognition than for a rich history of recent success.  He sucked at Kansas, and is so far just so-so at Liberty.  But he won at Buffalo from 2006 to 2009, and it's impossible to win at Buffalo.  There's coaching ability in there somewhere.  But we can't really hire a dude that got shitcanned at Kansas, can we?

Soon-to-be-Fired Tampa Bay Buccaneers HC Greg Schiano
I don't buy him as a realistic candidate for UVA -- he's just too much of a dick.  And hiring overt assholes just isn't UVA's style after Al Groh and Dave Leitao crapped out and Jon Oliver has run our football program into the dirt.  But hey, he won at Rutgers, which to me seems next to impossible, and once upon a time he was a really hot name in the college coaching community.  Enough Virginia fans are bringing up his name that I think he's worth noting on this list.

USC Interim HC Ed Orgeron
Coach O has a reputation for scumbaggery, and he flamed out quickly in his only shot as a head coach -- 2005 thru 2007 at Ole Miss (he went a dismal 10-25, which is even worse than what Mike London is doing at Virginia right now).  Still... I have just a simple hunch, nothing but a gut feeling... that Orgeron is ready to succeed as a head coach.  It's not a fit at UVA, but I do think he's an intriguing potential option if we wanted to go a bit outside the box.

Middle Tennessee HC Rick Stockstill
You won't find a more "meh" option.  He's a fine coach, nothing special.  Seven seasons at MTSU, he posted a winning record in four of those... and that's a tough place at which to win.  He recently turned down offers from ECU and Memphis, so you know what level of coaching candidate he is.  UVA can - and should - do a bit better than this.  But if he's our next coach, I feel confident we'd at least be able to approach sustainable success on the 6- or 7-win plateau.  In other words, Stockstill is a relatively safe option.  High floor, low ceiling.

Navy HC Ken Niumatalolo
Triple option, anyone?  Pierce hates that offensive system and dismisses it as a "gimmick," but it is an offensive system.  In other words, it's better than whatever nihilistic mickeymouse bullshit pro-style crap we've been trying to run since Bill Musgrave left.  Meanwhile, Virginia did pretty well with the last coach she hired from the Naval Academy!  But in all honesty, I think Niumatalolo would be out of his depth in this job, and I don't see life as the second triple option team in the ACC being particularly viable or fun.  Moving along...

Wyoming HC Dave Christensen
He's not winning big at Wyoming, and got in trouble for verbally assaulting Troy Calhoun last year, but I won't dismiss the 19 years he spent working under Gary Pinkel.  Pinkel (and Christensen) run an awesome version of the no-huddle spread offense, exactly the kind of thing I want at UVA.  But yeah... no way we'd hire this dude.

I'm plucking the next three names from the following piece:
Which NFL assistant would make best college coach?
Seattle Seahawks DC Dan Quinn
"He's a player's coach. He's a grinder, he's tough and he relates well to his guys. He knows how to utilize the strengths of his players, and he has the presence of a head coach."
Chicago Bears DC Mel Tucker
"He has a lot of experience in both pro and college football. He's been around some very good coaching staffs at both levels. He's young enough to have the energy you need to rebuild a college program, and he has enough experience to know what to do. Everyone I know that has worked with him has nothing but great things to say about him."
San Francisco 49ers OC Greg Roman
"He has the Stanford model, and he knows how to work quarterbacks. He is a very bright offensive mind, and he's done a great job developing (Colin) Kaepernick. He's a leader, he can recruit and he's an underrated play-caller."

And finally, here are a few other FCS guys that I think could be decent out-of-left-field options.  They've earned a shot at a lower-level FBS school, which... painfully... Virginia might now be considered.

North Dakota State HC Craig Bohl
He's kicking ass at NDSU, and has won the last two FCS championships.  Through sheer winning, he'll kick down the door to the FBS soon enough.

Sam Houston State HC Willie Fritz
He went 97-47 in 13 years at Central Missouri, and is now 31-9 at Sam Houston State.  He's another big-time winner who has to be knocking on the door of the FBS.

Eastern Washington HC Beau Baldwin
He's ugly as sin, and as a Pacific Northwest guy through and through, he's only ever coached in Washington.  Still, he's a pretty impressive dude with the reputation as a program-builder.

That's 21 names.  Add those to the 16 I originally put forward, and we have a robust 37-coach list of candidates.


October 28, 2013

Fun Debate...

...yesterday's "How to Feel" post triggered.

I'd like to tap into that spirit of conversation and ask for more comments on a few topics.

1) What about you?  Are YOU going to the Clemson game?  Why or why not?

2) Do you think there's still hope that Mike London can turn it around at UVA?

3) If you're in the "Fire London" camp, what would it take for him to win you back?

4) If you're in the "Keep London" camp, when does your patience and understanding end?

5) In a general sense of the word, what does it mean for Virginia Football to be successful?  How close or far away are we from being successful?

6) What can we - as fans - really do to communicate our dissatisfaction over the product on the field, beyond refusing to buy tickets and attend games?  To what end are you willing to go in order to communicate your own dissatisfaction?

7) Let's say we do in fact finish at 2-10, yet London is retained due to the size of of the buyout.  What does the 2014 season look like?

Go ahead, guys!  Fire up those comments and let 'em rip!  I'll cull out the more interesting thoughts for a full-length blog post.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!  And thanks as always for visiting the blog!

October 27, 2013

How to Feel

I need you to tell me how to feel. If we stumble into wins down the stretch it gives the athletic department reason to keep London, but I know we need to change things, but I don't want to root for us to lose. Help?

We received this beaut via the anonymous feedback form this past week, and I'd like to address it now.

How should you feel?  You should feel numb.  Apathy is the only answer, it's the only logical fan response to the product being put on the field.

That is unless, of course, you have some power to change things.  If you're a big money donor, demand a change.

When you're at the game, don't overthink things.  Just hope for a win, and root as hard as you can muster.  The kids deserve your support, I guess.  But when the inevitable loss comes home to roost, just shrug it off.  Because for the overall health and long-term success of Virginia Football, losses today might mean wins tomorrow... if these losses help expedite the changes that need to be made.

Personally, I am skipping the Clemson game.  I just can't bring myself to sink a whole day into getting my ass out there to lay witness to them destroying us by 50 points on our home field.  I hope my empty seat helps to send some sort of a message, but I'm not holding my breath.

At the end of the day, fans are customers.  Don't let them play you as a sucker by taking your money and giving you a substandard product.  The kids deserve your support, but the program and administration most certainly does not.

Virginia : College :: Cleveland : NFL

You are a Factory of Sadness.

October 25, 2013

Friday Morning Pu Pu Platter

I love a good pu pu platter.  You've got your fucking egg rolls on there.
Spare ribs.  Fucking chicken wings.  Beef teriyaki.  Various meat skewers.
Fucking fried wontons and crab rangoon.  Skrimps.  And that tiny little hibachi.

My good friend Becca was at the hoops scrimmage yesterday afternoon.  A few takeaways (not all of them good):
  • Top three players of the scrimmage: Brog, Darion Atkins, and Evan Nolte.
  • Akil Mitchell looks like a man. Fully built, fully stacked.
  • Anthony Gill has skill, but he seems a little bit weak down in the post.
  • Nolte has put things together and plays really smooth, with a great shooting stroke.
  • Atkins might be a forgotten man by fans, but he'll be a huge factor for the team this season.
  • Nolte and Mike Tobey are both a lot bigger.
  • Devon Hall and London Perrantes both look really green, as you'd expect true freshmen point guards to look.
  • As such, expect Malcolm Brogdon to start at the point.
  • Teven Jones seems improved, and should see plenty of PT, especially when we go small with Brog at the 2.
  • Justin Anderson is explosive, but still seems a bit raw from a skills standpoint.
  • Given his size and skill level, there might be real concern that Mike Tobey could leave early for the NBA. (Spencer Hawes is a pretty good comparison, and he left Washington early.)

Anyway, in five minutes of discussion this morning, we were able to re-slice the 200 minute pie for this season.  Here are our rough expectations for how the playing time will be distributed:

Malcolm Brogdon -- 28 mpg (not all at the point)
Joe Harris -- 30 mpg (can take more breaks with Nolte more prepared to play)
Justin Anderson -- 25 mpg
Akil Mitchell -- 28 mpg
Mike Tobey -- 20 mpg (might only be able to handle 15-18, but he'll play as much as his endurance will allow)

Darion Atkins -- 18 mpg (don't sleep on Darion)
Evan Nolte -- 15 mpg (ready to step up this season)
Anthony Gill -- 12 mpg
Teven Jones -- 12 mpg
Devon Hall / London Perrantes -- splitting 12 mpg (expect to see them minimized as the season moves along)

Meanwhile, a popular NC State site uses various maths to deduct that...


I remain terrified that this team will not be able to handle the weight of expectations.  But the squad is freaking loaded and we have a world class coaching staff, so I won't be bashful with those expectations.  Can't wait to see the JPJ rocking this winter.  I bet our fanbase does a lot to repair the damage football season has done to its reputation.

Ugh.  Speaking of (*groan*) football...

I don't have much to say today, other than if we end up going with a defensive-minded head coach to replace Mike London (like maybe Tim DeRuyter, Pat Narduzzi, or D.J. Durkin), I would like to submit a name for consideration for our Offensive Coordinator position: Rhett Lashlee.

There are three offensive architects that I admire more than anyone in college football right now: Art Briles, Mike Leach, and Gus Malzahn.  I linked articles pertaining to Briles and Leach this week and two weeks ago.  Go check those out if you'd like to dive into some fun Xs and Os.

Meanwhile, here's a bunch of good articles about Malzahn. Weekend reading for the wannabe-knowledgeable Hoofan.

If you're not on the bandwagon that a bold new offensive identity for Virginia Football is the absolute key to awakening this sleeping giant... then you are not on the same page as me.  If you think the Stanford model of power football is the way to go... then you're just not paying attention.

I couldn't be more jealous of Baylor, Washington State, and Auburn right now.  And I couldn't be more desperate to see UVA bring in an offensive system like one of those in order to have us start pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps.

Meanwhile, I'll be in Scott Stadium tomorrow to watch us beat our heads against a wall trying to run this popgun pro-style bullshit that we employ.  But I'll close my eyes and envision a no-huddle hurry-up misdirection razzle-dazzle Air Raid offense, and I'll feel inspired to wait for a fun future for Virginia Football that may never come.  Offensive creativity is the magic elixir.  We as fans just have to be vocal enough in pining for it.

October 23, 2013

"The Architect"

First and foremost, listen to this week's podcast.

Secondly, read this article:

How Art Briles and his potent offense have taken Baylor from conference doormat to national title contender

I challenge anyone to say that bringing in a coach who will install an Air Raid-style offense couldn't / can't / wouldn't / won't totally transform Virginia Football from the moribund sad sack it currently is into something totally awesome and exciting.

Open up the passing game and build a program around that identity.  That's the path UVA needs to take when it comes to its football program.

We won't get Art Briles, but we could get the NEXT Art Briles and
we could be the NEXT Baylor.

WahoozeCast - October, 22nd

Good morning, Wahooze nation!

We're back this week on the cast to run some coaching candidates names/thoughts, as well as a few basketball-related celebrations. For an RSS feed for our new host, archive.org, it looks like it may be possible to create a feed searching for anything with "Wahooze" in the title. I don't know if this will work, but try: https://archive.org/search.php?query=title%3A%28wahooze%29#raw

We reference a few links that I'll post below the player. Enjoy! Leave Comments!

October 22, 2013

This will make you feel better Hoofans

November 8th. 17 days.

Part II of "The List"

I know I said I'd stop promising posts before they were written, but this one is definitely coming; Part II of The List is on its way.

What I need from you guys is your own picks for coaches that you think could be reasonable and realistic options for the firm UVA will hire to run this search.  Post your ideas in the comments section!

In the meantime, here's a bit more about Tim DeRuyter, head coach at Fresno State, and a guy I'd love to see us take a stab at landing... even if his star is rising maybe a little bit out of our reach.

October 20, 2013


...did we not interview any other candidates before we hired Mike London in 2009?

...did we offer him $2.1 million per season when Richmond was paying him significantly less than half that?  We were bidding against ourselves.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

...did we give him a raise and a contract extension in December 2011?

Why, why, why, why, why?

You would think we'd learned a lesson from the Pete Gillen, Dave Leitao, and Al Groh contracts.  Jesus.

I know it's Jon Oliver's fault, and that head needs to roll along with London's.

Two Websites...

...with which to familiarize yourself:

It's over.

“I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game.”

“If you are prepared, you will be confident, and will do the job.”

“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.”

“Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.”

“The secret to winning is constant, consistent management.”

~Tom Landry

October 19, 2013

Rah-Rah London

To be fair and to not just make Wahooze your "FIRE LONDON" propoganda headquarters, here's a well-written piece from WINA's Jay James.

It'll help you summon patience if you have any left hidden deep down to summon.  For those of us who are completely out of patience, the article will serve as an annoyance --- we need all UVA fans (and big money donors) united in our wish to fire London, fire Oliver, and get started on building Virginia Football toward sustainable success and (*snicker*) uncompromised excellence.  Any more time spent wishing and waiting for Mike London to turn this around is time wasted when we could be scouring the planet for the right coach to lead UVA football.  Like I've said before, my biggest fear is that patience wins out and we end up pissing away the 2014 season by continuing to wish and wait, instead of making a bold move, making a brave change, announcing to the world that it's not okay with us when we lose five out of six against Duke and when we score three points after having three weeks to prepare for a game and when we get boat-raced by three touchdowns on our home field against a team from the MAC.

Everybody knows Mike London is a great dude who is perfect for the University and is bringing great kids to this place and cultivating them into great adults.  Go to class, show class, all that stuff.  But unfortunately, that is not enough.  At some point, there has to be wins on the football field.
I guess what I'm saying is that Jay James' article is a great piece for those of you who can find a moral victory in losing by only one point against Maryland with the Terps starting their backup quarterback.

Meanwhile... here in reality... if we don't beat Duke today, the most likely scenario is that we finish this season at 2-10.  That is not okay.

I don't want to say that this game against Duke is pivotal for Mike London, because in my opinion that pivot already occurred against Ball State.

Anyway, go Hoos, whatever, whatever.  A win is great, that's what we want.  But if a loss helps to expedite a change, is a loss all bad?  It's an existential debate.

PS - Feed the Squirrel.

October 17, 2013

Could this man be our next head coach?

This is Pete Lembo.  Yes, he looks like a putz.  Yes, it's ironic to consider that his Ball State Cardinals coming to Scott Stadium and trouncing our Hoos could have accelerated Mike London's ouster, and then Lembo could slide into the vacancy.

But you should know that this guy has won everywhere he's coached, he has built programs - successful programs - from the ground up, and that he absolutely is going to land a BCS conference head coaching job soon, probably this offseason.

The more I consider realistic and viable coaching candidates, the more I float back to Pete Lembo.  He's below the Texas-USC line, but probably on par with the UVAs and UConns of the world, when it comes to being a potential candidate.

Anyway, you should read THIS INTERVIEW from a week ago.  I dare you to disagree with me that he'd be a great candidate to step into this mess at UVA and start cleaning it up.

Meanwhile, I have been doing a lot of reading up on UConn's coaching search.  Virginia has better facilities, more money behind its program, a [much] better and more stable conference, much better football history and tradition, and a higher ceiling for success, but in a lot of ways we are quite similar to the Huskies at this point in time.  In other words, I think there are a lot of parallels to be drawn from their list of candidates to our list of potential candidates.  So if you're looking to do some freelance reading of your own, a simple Google search of "UConn coaching candidates" yields a treasure trove of information.

And for those of you still hanging on to a shred of hope that Mike London can turn it around here at Virginia... well... God bless your tender little hearts.  The world needs people like you.  Keep up the good work.

WahoozeCast - October, 16th

WahoozeCast is back this week with some ramblings, frustrations, hopes, and dreams following a couple of tough losses for the football team. Where does the blame fall on a disastrous first half of the season? What can be done to fix it? We even disagree on some things...it's riveting stuff, folks.

Leave comments! Discuss! Enjoy!

October 13, 2013

Couldn't have said it better myself.

One of my favorite posters on Wahoos24/7 uncorked the following masterpiece a couple of hours ago. Hoos Inc -- with your "Reaity Check" post, you have stated EVERYTHING that I've been wanting to say, but struggling to find the words...

Yesterday's performance might be enough to encourage some people that our team is improving. Those people would be wrong.

While we may be improving against the metric of our performance vs. Oregon or Pitt, the problem is that other teams are improving over the course of the season, as well. We are not going to play the VPI team that struggled against Marshall. We're going to play the VPI team of November 30.

First of all, let's note the opponent: this is a Maryland team that we laughingly dismissed two years ago as a dumpster fire of a program. Randy Edsall is in his third year, after going a combined 6-18 in his first two seasons. He has had two complete recruiting classes come to College Park, ranked 37th and 41st, respectively.

This, on a team where seemingly half of the scholarship athletes jumped ship and ran two years ago.

This, on a team that was playing a walk-on linebacker at quarterback last year and managed as many wins as we did, and managed to beat us.

By way of recruiting comparison, Mike London - in his fourth year - has had three complete classes, ranked 23rd, 25th, and 29th, respectively, coming into a situation with not nearly as much attrition.

What did we do yesterday? Against THAT Maryland team we: ran for over 200 yards, gave up no sacks, had a +3 turnover differential, went 4-5 on field goals with our punter doing PK duties.......and found a way to lose.

Was this against starter CJ Brown? No...it was against their backup, in the rain. This same backup went for 300 yards. Were most of those YAC? Absolutely. Why are our athletes -guys like Jennings, Smith, and Terrell - not capable of YAC? That's either on their execution or the design of the plays, but there's a problem somewhere. We are LAST in the nation in YPC. LAST. Every single college that fields a team in the United States is better than we are in this category.

Our motto is "Uncompromised Excellence." Why is the football team not held to this standard? Why are moral victories against a Maryland team that has averaged 3 wins over the last two seasons acceptable? What moral victories against such a team are even possible?

Are good things happening in this program? Yes. Would dismissing any of our current coaches set us back another 4 years? Most likely. But I'm tired of excuses. I'm tired of hearing we're young. Johnny Manziel lit up Nick Saban's defense as a 19 year old. About half of our two-deep are upperclassmen with 15+ games under their belt. There is no excuse for sloppy, inconsistent play.

I don't care how good we get, on our roster. I don't care how much talent we acquire. If gameday decision making doesn't improve, we will shit the bed and never achieve our potential. Period.

We are better than this. We've turned into Duke, and that is NOT who we are. Since 1982, that is NOT who we are. But we are on our way to our sixth losing season in eight years. When you fill a decade with mediocrity, you become known as a mediocre team.

We are one terrible decision by a BYU OC/QB from being 0-5 against FBS opponents in this, the fourth season under the current administration. Let that sink in. Marinate in it. I'm not okay with this creeping culture of failure that is infiltrating our football program.

Hoos Inc

It's a sobering post, and it hits the nail on the head.  Keeping London is burying our heads in the sand.

I say that, because I think the "keep London" crowd should really think about our schedule for next season.

Home Games:
Kent State
North Carolina

Away Games:
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech

Anybody look at that schedule and feel confident in an 8+ win breakthrough season?

God this is depressing. Can't everyone see that we just need to go ahead and make a change RIGHT NOW, and stop delaying the inevitable?

I really don't want to have to wait until London is fired at the end of November in 2014 before I can be excited about Virginia Football again. 13.5 months. That's a long damn time.

And a word to the wise: Kent State is about as much of a gimme as Ball State was, and we know how that one turned out.

We'll go 3-9 this year, 3-9 or maybe 4-8 next year (with a shaky half-assed rebuilt o-line and coaches calling plays affected by their scalding hotseat status.)

We - as fans - need to beat the drum.  Harder and harder with every loss.  Fire London and Oliver now, and make 2014 the dawn of a new era... not 2009 Part II.

It's time for a change.  Fire London.  Fire Oliver.

I'll have additions to "The List" coming this week, so stay tuned.

October 12, 2013




... The team played a pretty good game today.  Lots of progress being made, it seems.

Still, a loss.

Still, 2-4 and going nowhere fast.

Still, the need for a change at the top.  My patience has run out.  I'm tired of losing.  I want to see some winning.

Good luck in the BigTen, Maryland.  You fucking assholes.

October 11, 2013

Air Raid!

An oldie but goody, from one of my favorite blogs ever -- Smart Football.

My dream, as stated elsewhere, numerous times, is to see the Air Raid installed successfully at UVA.  Read that [excellent] piece linked above, and understand why.

The Sabre's Basketball Preview

Excellent piece.  Worthy of your click.

October 8, 2013

The List

Even though I'm [tentatively] allowing the season to play out before going back to openly calling for Mike London to be fired, and even though Craig Littlepage has given London the dreaded vote of confidence, I'm going to proceed with compiling a comprehensive master list of potential head coaching candidates for the eventual UVA vacancy.

It's important to note that if/when London gets canned, the UVA job will be seen as radioactive by many coaching candidates.  Can you really win here?  Or are the obstacles too difficult to overcome?  Can you attract a real fanbase?  Or are the fickle-natured Virginia fans just destined to be wishy-washy and overzealous with their expectations for the program?  Can you draw talented players to Charlottesville?  Or are UVA's high academic standards and recent losing culture insurmountable problems when it comes to recruiting?

That said, it's also important to note that Virginia has some cash to throw around, ESPECIALLY when you consider all of the new TV money coming the ACC's direction.  Virginia Football has a ceiling that has already been proven to be pretty high.  We also have good-to-great facilities, and an infrastructure upon which you can build and sustain a winning program.  The proximity to both the Hampton Roads area (aka, the 757) and the Maryland / DC / Northern Virginia (aka, the DMV) area ensures relatively easy pipelines into talent hotbeds.

My biggest fear is that Virginia won't be considered a "destination" position, and instead will be seen as a potential stepping stone to a bigger and better job somewhere else.  Maintaining faith in the concept of our Sleeping Giant has grown trickier with every passing year that distances us from the George Welsh Era.  But for the sake of argument, and beholden to whatever football ego we have left, let's just say we won't attract coaches interested in a mere launching pad to greener pastures.  Let's have confidence that candidates will look at Virginia as the place they go to find their ultimate career success.

Okay, right up front, I have a quick wish-list of five traits I want in any coaching candidate.  None of these are "musts," but they are preferences.  Strong preferences.

1) The candidate should possess a specific D-1A / FBS background.  I don't want NFL guys, and I don't want D-1AA (or lower) guys.  Not that the NFLers and AAers don't have their merits, but Al Groh (NFL background) and Mike London (1AA background) haunt my dreams.  I just want a coach who is familiar with this specific level of football, and is comfortable trying to build a winner from the back end of a BCS conference.

2) I want a coach who comes from a successful program and/or from a successful coaching tree.  I want the coach to be very familiar with winning, to know what it takes to win, to know what winning tastes like, and to understand the inner workings of a winning program.

3) He needs to be young.  Not old.  Despite London's failings, I'm okay with getting another guy who can grow along with the program, because that would go on to promote loyalty when the coach ascends to notoriety.  (Think Chris Petersen at Boise State.)  But also - call me an ageist, that's fine - I just like young and energetic guys more than I like old fuddy-duddies.  Personal preference.

Fistpumps.  Fuck yeah.

4) My preference, and this is a strong preference, is that the coach has an extensive background coaching on the offensive side of the ball.  I'm open to current/former offensive coordinators, quarterback coaches, wide receiver coaches, etc.  I just want an offensive-minded head coach, and break away from the Groh and London rut of always putting the defense first and only giving us splattered dogshit to look at on O.

5) Most importantly, I think we need a coach who will install and run a specific offensive system at UVA.  I'm talking a comprehensive system that transcends plays and formations and Xs and Os, and gives us an tangible offensive identity to build up and then build around.  Once you have that, you can recruit specific pieces and parts to fit that system. My personal preference is for high-octane passing offenses, hurry-up spreads and whatnot, and specifically the Air Raid.  (And look, part of the reason I want the Air Raid is because it's a brand of football that would be a blast to watch.  Sometimes the plight of the fan doesn't need to be so complicated.  Bring in a guy who runs a fun system, and the fans will be happy and excited to come and watch it, and the recruits will flock to it.  Air Raid fueled by 757 talent... it could be tremendous.)

I want us to be the next Texas Tech, hiring the next Mike Leach.

Note: Here's the immediate impact of installing the Air Raid...

From 1994-1996 the University of Kentucky went 9-24 while scoring 149, 223, and 138 points. Upon hiring Hal Mumme, they went 18-17 while scoring 348, 431, and 328 points from 1997-1999.

From 1996-1998 the University of Oklahoma scored 255, 232, and 184 points. In 1999 they would score 430 points and finish 13-0 while scoring 481 points in 2000. The 481 points were the most they had scored in a season since 1987 when they were coached by Barry Switzer.

From 1997-1999 Texas Tech University scored 245, 315, and 253 points. From 2000-2002 they would score 330, 402, and 537 points while improving their record to 9-5 by 2002. From 2002-2009 they never won fewer than 8 games under Mike Leach.

From 2000-2002 the University of Houston scored 211, 190, and 320 points. In 2003, under Art Briles, they scored 448 points. That was the most since 1990 when they were coached by John Jenkins. Art would have 2 more seasons in which his teams would score over 440 points in a season. Kevin Sumlin would then take that up a notch with his teams scoring 528, 591, 452, and 660 points from 2008-2011.

From 2009-2011 Texas A&M University scored 427, 382, and 475 points. Kevin Sumlin took over and led the 2012 Aggies to an 11-2 record while scoring 578 points and garnering a Heisman Trophy for QB Johnny Manziel.

Yards, touchdowns, points, high-fives, wins, Sportscenter, fistpumps, records being broken and barenaked titties being flashed, that's all I'm asking for.

Okay, that was a lot of lead-in, so I won't stall with any more foreplay.  With special thanks to coachingsearch.com, here's the reasonable and realistic list.  THE LIST.  It's a work-in-progress, so please post your ideas for candidates in the comments section, and if they're reasonable and realistic, I'll add 'em in.

Clemson OC Chad Morris -- Probably a pipe dream, but he deserves to be at the top of the list.  We have to at least try.  The thing I don't like is that all of his roots are in Texas, not the East Coast.  Also, he kind of seems like a butthole.

California OC Tony Franklin -- The last great Air Raid guru to have not held his own head coaching job.  Best of all, the guy has his own website called "THE SYSTEM."

Georgia OC Mike Bobo -- He's been a good coach for the Bulldogs for a while now, and played a big role in developing Aaron Murray and Matt Stafford.  Sign me up.  We whiffed on landing Mark Richt a decade ago, but now we might have a chance to land Richt's protégé.

Ball State HC Pete Lembo -- I know, I know.  He looks like a putz, but the guy runs an offensive system I like, and he's built winners at every stop.  He'll get a "big" job soon, will it be here?  Wouldn't that be ironic?

Baylor OC Philip Montgomery -- This young gun has learned the Air Raid from Art Briles and played a key role in developing RG3.  He'll be ready for his own gig soon.  He's kind of an under-the-radar name right now, but won't be for long.

Fresno State HC Tim DeRuyter -- He's a defensive-minded guy from the West Coast, but he's a star on the rise.  UVA could do much worse.  DeRuyter has coached under the likes of Kevin Sumlin, Jim Grobe, and Troy Calhoun.  Speaking of...

Air Force HC Troy Calhoun -- He was a UVA candidate in 2009, no reason he shouldn't be a UVA candidate now... other than the AFA is not playing very good football these last three years.

Oregon OC Scott Frost -- He's likely too young and green, but I love the pedigree.  And if we can plant a Duck seed and grow an Oregon tree with Nebraska Cornhusker branches... then... hallelujah and amen.

Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi -- Here's a dude who has built some verrrrrrrry solid defenses.  He's young (47), and even though he doesn't meet all five of my wish-list preferences, I get the feeling he'll be a successful head coach somewhere, sometime soon.

Florida OC Brent Pease -- He's bounced around, but has some of that Boise magic in him.

Florida DC D.J. Durkin -- Here's what coachingsearch.com has to say: Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin has coached under Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, and Will Muschamp. He has experienced terrific success as a special teams coordinator, which is the only position for a coach to speak to the entire team other than as the head coach. In the off-season, Muschamp promoted Durkin to defensive coordinator. If the Gators’ defensive success continues throughout the year, Durkin may have enough momentum to attract an athletic director with an opening. It would be worth it considering Durkin’s success on the field, as a recruiter, and the program blueprints he’s acquired.

ODU HC Bobby Wilder -- I know I said "no D-1AA guys," but Wilder might merit an exception.  He built the ODU program from scratch, an experience which could help him put UVA football back on the rails.  He also believes in throwing the football all over the field, so there's that.

Alabama OC Doug Nussmeier -- He is currently learning the Nick Saban system for success, up close and personal.  I don't love the Bama style of smashmouth football, and I don't think it translates to a place like UVA where we won't be landing all of the 5-star offensive line talent in the world, but... it's the Nick Saban coaching tree!  Gotta pick the low-hanging fruit!

LSU Associate HC Frank Wilson -- He's a superstar recruiter in the SEC, but nobody knows if he has the Xs and Os to be a good head coach.  He'll get a shot, somewhere, soon.  He reminds me of an SEC version of Mike London, so I'm hesitant to really push this name hard.

Notre Dame OC Chuck Martin -- Martin kicked ass as the head coach at Grand Valley State in D-2, and now he's showing pretty well as Notre Dame's offensive coordinator.

Cincinnati OC Eddie Gran -- Good recruiter, experience in the ACC at Florida State, and generally well-respected in the coaching community.  A "meh" sort of option, but there are some things to like about him.

Again, this list is a work-in-progress, so PLEASE post your ideas for candidates in the comments section, and if they're reasonable and realistic, I'll add 'em in.

October 7, 2013

Tantrum Over

Ahhhh, who am I kidding?  I'll be at the games.  Heck, I'll be watching religiously on TV this Saturday as our Hoos take on the hated Terps.

Maybe in my head I know London's not the guy to take Virginia Football where we want it to go.  But in my heart, there's still hope.

UVA will never fire a coach midseason, so at the very least there is seven games to be played this season.  That's ample opportunity for London to win me back over from the dark side.

This doesn't mean I'm not going to post my list of potential coaching candidates.  That's still coming, and soon.  But for now, I'm just going to put the Pittsburgh and Ball State debacles in the past, just like I'm hoping the team is doing in practice this week.

As for Maryland... Man, we really need to send them off to the BigTen with a loss to us in the last game we ever play against them.  I wish I had a bit more hope and confidence that we'll be ready to give them that fight.  But that's Virginia Football -- it'll break your heart, but it'll also come from out of nowhere to win games that maybe on paper it shouldn't.

Page turned.

Let's go Hoos.

To Attend or Not Attend, that is the Question

I'm wrestling with a big decision here: Whether or not to attend another home game this season.

I've been going to UVA football games since 1987.  Never missed a game as a student, 1995-1999.  Missed maybe six or seven total home games from 2000-2013.  I'm an extremely loyal person, an even more loyal fan, and UVA football is part of my hard-wiring.  It has twisted itself into the double helix of my DNA.  When we win, nobody is happier.  When we lose, nobody is more depressed.  And when we play like assclowns high on pink snoballs and crystal meth, nobody is angrier, more embarrassed, or more incensed.

But right now - with season tickets already purchased - I'm trying to decide whether or not to make it out to these last four games this season.  I'm not a big money donor or anything, so the only voice I really have is this blog, my posts on the message boards, and whether or not my ass is in my seat on gameday.

I want to help send the message, via an empty stadium, that the current course needs to be corrected, immediately.  But I'm not a fairweather fan.  So I'm conflicted.  How to support the team while at the same time sending the message that I think major changes need to be made, immediately?  Go to the games with nasty "FIRE LONDON, DUMP OLIVER" signs?  Go to the games and boo Jon Oliver and all the bad coaching decisions and all the idiotic, stupid, boneheaded mistakes?  Just stay home and follow the Colin Cowherd premise of refusing to support a crap product?  I really don't know what to do.

Maybe go the paper bag route?

The part of me that enjoys having fun and hates having hobbies cause unhappiness just wants to go out and tailgate... and tailgate... and tailgate... and miss the game. But then I'd have to drive home drunk, so that's also a problem.

Any ideas?


This is Jon Oliver, the Executive Associate Athletics Director at the University of Virginia. 2013 marks his 13th season at UVA, and his job description states that he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Athletics Department. Oliver oversees various Athletics Department branches, including Academics, Equipment, Game Ops, Sports Medicine, Facilities Construction, and many more. But he is best known for his role as Administrative Liaison for the Football and Men's Basketball teams.

Oliver has done some very good things while he has been here, the greatest of which seems to be hiring Tony Bennett to head up the basketball program. Oliver also oversaw the building of the new indoor practice facility, and other athletics construction projects. Oliver's time here is not without merit, but it certainly is not without fault either.

As legend has it... At the end of the 2009 campaign, UVA had had enough of the Al Groh era and elected to move on, and Jon Oliver was at the helm of the coaching search. Rumors were flying about who would be brought in to take the reigns of what had quickly turned into a dumpster fire of a program. Names bounced around like Charlie Strong - the then defensive coordinator at Florida, Al Golden - the then head coach at Temple and former UVA defensive coordinator. But one name quickly rose to the top, and that was Mike London. A young, dynamic head coach that had just lead Richmond to the 1-AA championship in 2008. He was the perfect man to help rebuild the image of UVA football. And after the administration interviewed multiple candidates and thoroughly vetted Coach London, he was hired. Let me state now that I thought, and still think, that that was the right move at the time.

But that was not what actually happened. It later came out that Coach London was in fact the only man that Jon Oliver had interviewed for the job, essentially staking his career to the ultimate success or failure that Coach London has at this school. A wildly reckless risk to take with his career, and one I think he needs to pay for.

Think about it. If your stock broker tells you to buy a stock that he says is going to work out great, and it should become the basis of your portfolio that he doesn't need to look at any others because this one is going to be perfect, and then it tanks and you lose a big chunk of your money, you get rid of your stock broker. That's where we are right now. We are staring into the abyss of another 2008 and 2009 moving forward with a coach that appears to be taking this program nowhere fast. And we're being led by a man that was so confident that this would work that he felt that we didn't need to look at anyone else. By a man that has so staked his career at this school to one coach that if he doesn't succeed, it could cost him his job. How can we trust that man to make a decision that is best for the program? My simple answer is, we can't.

He looks like an AAD right?

Jon Oliver has to go. I'm tired of seeing football decisions made by a man who doesn't know what he's doing. Oliver has done some good things here, but let's face it, in college athletics departments, football is king. Oliver's ridiculous mismanagement of the development of the program and his constant presence on the sideline and perceived meddling in coaching staff decisions needs to be done away with. This football program needs, and we as fans should demand, that a person who knows how to build a successful college football program be brought in to right this ship, because if we don't, we'll be watching Oliver rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while the UVA football ship sinks.

October 6, 2013

London Needs to Go

In case you missed it in the comments section of the previous post (with a few edits and additions)...

Frankly, I am AMAZED that there are still people who want London retained. What do you need to see, guys? Three touchdown loss on our home field to Ball State. What's next? Crushed by Maryland? Another 42-17 loss to Duke, but this time at home? Our 10th straight loss to Virginia Tech? Would you still want to give London next year if (when) we end up 2-10 this season? Just to save a few recruits and give the guy a fair chance? It's nuts.

At some point, the head coach has to be culpable for wins and losses. I'm willing to grant a free pass for the first couple of seasons of a new coach's tenure --- he's inheriting the last few crappy recruiting classes of the coach that was fired before him. But I need to see progress. And right now, we're not seeing progress. We're seeing regression.

Year Three: 36-point loss to Georgia Tech, home loss to a WAC team, 25-point loss to Duke, home loss to a bad Maryland team, home loss to a very bad Wake Forest team, crushed by UNC on a Thursday night in front of a half-full stadium, another loss to Virginia Tech, 4-8 record.

Year Four: Wasted the best game ever played by our defense in scoring THREE points against a mediocre Pitt defense after THREE weeks to prepare, three-touchdown loss on our home field against a team from the MAC... with eight games left to play.

When does it end? Does your patience know no bounds? At what point does waiting for success just become burying your head in the sand?

Do we need to suffer another loss like the one Al Groh absorbed against William & Mary in 2009 before you guys wake up?

I don't care about Quin Blanding. I don't care about Andrew Brown. I don't care about ANY recruits, or ANY of the players currently on the team. Worrying about that stuff is just shifting around the deck chairs on the Titanic. It doesn't matter. These guys aren't just going to magically fix what's ailing our very ill program. Furthermore, we need to STOP making football decisions based on recruiting. That way of thinking is part of what is currently killing our football program.

And the notion of not firing London because we can't get anyone better? That's the epitome of loser thinking. UVA has the money, piles of money, to throw at a coach with the right mix of traits. We'll never know who we could attract until we try.

In closing, you are all entitled to your opinions, just as I am entitled to mine. And my opinion is that we've been waiting long enough to see progress, the current product on the field is unacceptable, and ultimately the head coach needs to be held accountable for what is happening on the football field.

I can't control anything other than what goes on this blog, what I post on the message boards, and (with season tickets for 2013 already purchased), my attendance at games.  I'll be using those things to beat the drum as loudly as I can.  Mike London needs to go.  The longer we delay the inevitable, the more damage he can do before he's gone.  (See also: Al Groh and the 2009 season.)

18-24 (.429) at UVA, 8-17 (.320) in the ACC, and going nowhere fast...

With that, I'm done talking about why the guy needs to go.  It should be obvious why he deserves to be fired.  He's failing at his job.

To me, "staying positive" is exploring who our next coach might be.  That's what I'll spend my time on this blog doing, discussing potential candidates, and dreaming of a day when my hope and faith in Virginia Football is reborn.

October 5, 2013

45 Hours Remain...

...before the time limit I gave to the administration expires.  It's time to fire Mike London and name Tom O'Brien the interim head coach.  Allowing a head coach to survive after losing by three touchdowns on our home field to a team from the fucking MAC in Year Four of the regime is making us a laughingstock.

I'm not laughing.  Heads need to roll.

Last Saturday, I reached my breaking point.  Today, broiling in 90-degree temps, watching us launch more diarrhea-shit all over the football field, this die-hard fan died, hard.

No more, Mike London.  No more.  You're a good football coach, you're just not a good head coach.  You're a good dude who tried hard, but watching you drown these four seasons has not been fun.  You're in over your head.  It's plain to see.  And your program is, sadly, DOA.  We're good football fans, and we deserve better.

It's time for UVA to be very un-UVA and make a midseason move.  We have to see what we have in Tom O'Brien, and we have to fire up the coaching search and fundraising effort in earnest.


We here at Wahooze can't control or influence anything.  But what we CAN do is beat the drum, and that's what we're going to do.  We're going to beat it hard, and we're going to beat it loud.  FIRE MIKE LONDON.  That's the drumbeat.  FIRE MIKE LONDON.  FIRE MIKE LONDON.  FIRE MIKE LONDON. FIRE MIKE LONDON.  FIRE MIKE LONDON.  FIRE MIKE LONDON.  FIRE MIKE LONDON.




So if you're still, somehow, a pro-London person, don't bother visiting this blog for a while.  It won't be for you.  It won't be your cup of tea.

Meanwhile, I have a wish list of coaching candidates.  Look for it to appear in this space soon.  And this week's podcast... oh boy.  You won't want to miss that one.

October 4, 2013


Sorry for the bad paronomasia, but screw it, it's Friday afternoon.

I bought this sucker this week:

Not the best college hoops rag out there, but first on the newstand = the one I buy first.  And lo and behold, Lindy's wants to heap some preseason praise upon our Hoos.  Check it:

-- Joe Harris is rated the #1 shooting guard in the nation for 2013-14.  #1.

-- Akil Mitchell is Lindy's 10th-best power forward.

-- Mike Tobey is the #7 center.

-- UVA has the nation's 4th-best frontcourt (and they didn't even name Anthony Gill as part of the equation in the write-up!)

-- Virginia is ranked #14 to start the season.  "This team is deeper, bigger, and more experienced than any other team Bennett has coached.  Virginia could make a run deep into March."

This, my friends, is what expectations look like.  And now it's up to Bennett and the team to meet (exceed?) those expectations.

Sweet Sixteen or bust.

UVA vs. Ball State: Numbers to Watch

As in, one turnover.  As in, that's all our anemic offense can probably afford to cough up tomorrow.  We all saw what two turnovers got us against Pitt.

As in, I hope Dom Terrell doesn't drop another #2 all over the field in this game.

Turnovers the Orange Crush needs to deliver in order to keep us competitive.  This should be the gold standard for every game this season.  The D generates three takeaways, we should  be able to win the game.

Smoke Mizzell.  If he's back from his sprained ankle, he could provide a jolt to an offense badly in need of one.  Also, punt returns?  I know I'll be scanning the field for that #4 tomorrow.

The minimum number of shots we need to take downfield in the intermediate / deep passing game.  At least three of these need to be to Darius Jennings.  If we don't start chucking it deep, stacked boxes will just kill our running game... and thus, our offensive effort.

You need to catch two of those three shots downfield, dammit.

Eli.  Our best pass rusher is always going to be key against a pass-first offense.

The minimum number of points we need to score in order to have a shot at winning this game.  Ball State has a very good offense, and as awesome as our D might be, we won't hold them completely in check.

We need receivers who can and will catch the freaking ball.  E.J. Scott can - and will - catch the freaking ball.  Time to target him for more playing time.  Feed the squirrel, baby.  Feed the freaking squirrel.

The average number of points Ball State is allowing this season.  That's to juggernauts like Illinois State, Army, North Texas, Eastern Michigan, and Toledo.  It will be embarrassing and probably disastrous if we fail to at least match this mark.

Ball State's scoring average.  Obviously, we cannot allow them to get to this mark tomorrow.

Ball State QB Keith Wenning is pretty damn good.
We need to put him on his ass.

The number of hours it should take to fire Mike London and name Tom O'Brien the interim head coach if we lose this game.

This is true freshman Eric Smith, our new starting right tackle.  Eyeballs on him, Hoofans.  Let's hope he looks the part.

I don't want to call Jay Whitmire a failure at right tackle, because I think he was playing okay.  Not great, not even good, but showing enough flashes to at least hang onto the job.  Instead, he brings his athleticism and movement skills inside to right guard, as we attempt to defibrillate the running game.  I'm actually somewhat excited to see what Whit looks like as a pulling guard.

Time to step up, Jake McGee.

This true freshman wide receiver's redshirt is being burned because he's been so good in practice.  Let's see what you've got, Keeon Johnson.

Max Valles.  I want to see if my new favorite player can build off of the 2.5 sacks he registered against Pitt.

That's our current offensive ranking (out of 123 FBS schools).  And that's with a game against VMI.  Horrendous.  Like, people should be fired horrendous.  This mark must improve.  Drastically.  And quickly.

That's how many yards of offense we managed against Pitt.  We obviously need to do better against the Cardinals.

We need to unleash KP.

How many yards of offense we SHOULD see tomorrow, against this Ball State defense.

The average number of yards per game an offense ranked inside the NCAA's top-100 will register.  I'm not asking for the moon and stars here.  Just get inside the top-100.  Jeez.

Ball State's average passing yards per game.  That's good enough for #3 nationally.  Our D could have its hands full.