Herp a derp.
Yeah, look, it was a big win over Louisville. It was a big win, and I was excited. I'm still a huge die-hard Hoofan, guys. Ride or die.
My thing is that I want something better than praying for a 6-6 or 7-5 season. I want something better than maybe getting lucky and having the #21-ranked team muff a punt and hand us a win. I want something better than our fans rushing the field when we beat a team the stature of a Louisville.
I know this makes me sound like a massive douche; like just a giant stick in the mud. I promise I'm not! I'm really, truly excited about what I'm seeing on the field right now!
Greyson Lambert seems to be taking control of the QB Carousel.
The defensive front seven is playing lights out.
Our 2014 football team reminds me - very favorably - of the 2007 and 2011 New York Giants --- mediocre teams carried to championships by a dominant pass rush. Now I don't think there's a national championship (or an ACC championship, or a Coastal division championship, or a Commonwealth Cup championship) in the cards for this season, but I do now foresee a winning season and a bowl game. The defense is just too good, and the rest of the ACC too weak, for us to lose 7+ games from here on out.
Yeah, I openly admit that I think we're pretty good this season.
But I'm not taking down the Countdown to the Firing of Mike London, nor am I taking down the "Hire This Man" picture of Pete Lembo (even though Ball State just lost to Indiana State from the FCS). I'm not taking that stuff down, because ultimately, I want something bigger and better than praying for a 6-6 or 7-5 season. You get it.
At what point to I take that stuff down and get back behind Mike London and the current football administration (Jon Oliver)? When their good deeds outweigh their sins, that's when.
The current regime has made too many in-game gaffes (think usage of timeouts), too many errors in roster planning (think failure to recruit the OL), and too many boneheaded decisions (think constant QB carousels, spinning out of control). But in the end, it all distills down to wins and losses, right? Win enough games, and your mistakes are overlooked. Lose too many games, and your small successes are forgotten. It's not a complicated equation. It's really a lot like a hockey plus-minus.
So I'm keeping a scorecard. Once the "good deed wins" (the pluses) outnumber the "sinful losses" (the minuses), I'll be back on board with Mike London and the boys. Good deed wins are upset victories or blowouts over otherwise decent teams (crushing FCS foes doesn't count, nor does barely beating teams a decent P5 program would defeat by 3+ TDs). Sinful losses are embarrassing upsets suffered, or getting annihilated and humiliated by opponents we should really have kept it closer against, or games that we lost due to some crazy coaching mishap, or games in which the team just clearly quit (aka, the glass jaw shattered).
Let's take a look at where the scorecard currently stands, following the "good deed win" over Louisville.
GOOD DEED WINS
- 2010: Virginia 24, Miami 19 -- Mike London's first big win at Virginia.
- 2011: Virginia 24, Georgia Tech 21 -- I shed a few tears when we won this game, over a ranked GT team. Boom. This win helped us turn the corner and put together a very good season.
- 2011: Virginia 28, Miami 21 -- A good, solid win over a quality opponent, definitely cause for celebration.
- 2011: Virginia 14, Florida State 13 -- Insanity. Entrenched LaRoy Reynolds as one of my favorite players of the London Era.
- 2012: Virginia 17, Penn State 16 -- It was ugly, but a big win over a quality opponent (the Nits went 8-4 that season.)
- 2012: Virginia 33, NC State 6 -- We were in a fiery death spiral... and then this huge win on the road. It was sweet nectar.
- 2012: Virginia 41, Miami 40 -- London has a knack for beating Miami.
- 2013: Virginia 19, BYU 16 -- Another ugly OOC win, but a big win over a quality opponent (BYU went 8-4 and played in the Fight Hunger Bowl).
- 2014: Virginia 23, Louisville 21 -- Just enormous, given the state of affairs over the course of the last two seasons.
TOTAL GOOD DEED WINS: 9
- 2011: Southern Miss 30, Virginia 24 -- The reality is that this was a bad moment in an otherwise good season.
- 2011: NC State 28, Virginia 14 -- We really should not have lost this game at home. This loss was offensive.
- 2011: Virginia Tech 38, Virginia 0 -- 2011 was great... until we went belly-up against our biggest rival.
- 2011: Auburn 43, Virginia 24 -- 2011 was great... until we went belly-up against our biggest rival, and then shit the bed in the bowl game.
- 2012: Georgia Tech 56, Virginia 20 -- Our defense - London's calling card - was downright putrid in this game. I dropped more than a few F-bombs.
- 2012: Louisiana Tech 44, Virginia 38 -- Awful. I still have nightmares about those bubble screens we couldn't stop (or contain, or predict).
- 2012: Duke 42, Virginia 17 -- Anytime you lose this bad to Dook, it's an embarrassment. And this was before Dook was even good!
- 2012: Maryland 27, Virginia 20 -- Nope, can't lose to the Terps, ever.
- 2012: Wake Forest 16, Virginia 10 -- Special teams blows it yet again.
- 2012: North Carolina 37, Virginia 13 -- The effort level was nonexistent. What a shame.
- 2013: Pittsburgh 14, Virginia 3 -- The offense was DOA. This is when London lost me.
- 2013: Ball State 48, Virginia 27 -- In my opinion, the worst, most damning loss of the Mike London Era. It was after this second half collapse (when the team just completely laid down and quit) that I decided that I had had enough of Mike London coaching the program I love.
- 2013: Duke 35, Virginia 22 -- Another glass-jaw-shattered loss for London, UVA.
- 2013: North Carolina 45, Virginia 14 -- Another no-effort loss to the Tarholes.
TOTAL SINFUL LOSSES: 14
So by my admittedly subjective count, London's plus-minus is currently a minus-5. That means he needs to find five more good deed wins this season, without suffering any sinful losses, to come out at even-steven and earn another season as UVA's head coach... and earn back my die-hard support.
Remaining Opportunities for Good Deed Wins:
- 9/20, @ BYU
- 10/4, vs. Pitt -- But only if we crush them.
- 10/18, @ Duke
- 10/25, vs. North Carolina
- 11/1, @ Georgia Tech
- 11/8, @ Florida State -- Ha ha ha, yeah right.
- 11/22, vs. Miami
- 11/28, @ Virginia Tech
Remaining Opportunities for Sinful Losses:
- 9/27, vs. Kent State
- 10/4, vs. Pitt
- 10/18, @ Duke -- If they blow us out.
- 11/28, @ Virginia Tech
So the opportunity is there. Will London get it done? CAN London get it done?