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.
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.
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.