UVA’s Decade Long Football Woes

The Virginia football program hasn’t been relevant for the better part of a decade; a sad truth for Wahoo nation. The Cavs have produced a hefty sum of NFL caliber players and Charlottesville is smack dab in the middle of one of the nation’s best high school football states. Yet, Virginia football is 52-70 since 2005.

So, what is the underlying issue here?

Any Virginia fan will tell you first hand that the root of the problem has two bookends:

Quarterback Inconsistency

Remember when Matt Schaub used to light up the ACC back in the early 2000s? Seems like a distant memory. Besides Marques “Biscuit” Hagans, Schaub has been the only relevant quarterback to come through Virginia in over a decade.

Whether it’s been injuries, transfers or just poor in-game management, QB inconsistency has plagued this program. Since 2006, Virginia quarterbacks have only thrown 124 touchdown passes, which ranks 109th in the country.

Virginia hasn’t had a quarterback finish the season with a rating of 130 or more in ten years (min. 100 attempts). To put this number into perspective for a second, Arizona St. and Texas Tech lead the country with 12 during that same time span, while bitter rival Virginia Tech has had 5.

The cherry on top of these quarterback woes is the Cavalier’s TD to INT ratio. In the past decade, only four teams have fared worse than Virginia’s 0.97 TD/INT ratio. Those four teams include: Idaho, North Texas, Army and Connecticut. Yikes.

Difficult OOC Scheduling

The Cavaliers open the 2015 season on a cross-country road trip to UCLA on Sept. 5, followed a week later with a home opener against Notre Dame. Talk about a doozy to start your season off, especially for a mediocre program like Virginia.

Things don’t get any easier s as the team also hosts Boise State on Sept. 25 at Scott Stadium. To top it all off, the Cavaliers have an exhausting four-game conference swing: at UNC, Georgia Tech, at Miami, and at Louisville. This schedule is clearly one of the hardest in the country, but don’t let coach Mike London hear you making any excuses.

“The schedule is the schedule,” London said at ACC Kickoff in Pinehurst. “There’s no Tuckahoe Middle School in there. I can’t do anything about [the schedule].”

Similar sentiments have been passed down to current players on the team. The slotted starter for Virginia, junior quarterback Matt Johns, has taken the challenge to heart.

“We play UCLA, so let’s go play them,” Johns said. “Whatever is in front of you, just go attack it. That’s what can translate into a shocking season.”

Let’s hope for the sake of longtime Virginia fans that a shocking season means consistent quarterback play. We’ll find out soon enough when Virginia opens their season at the historic Rose Bowl.

Coach London

 A lot of people may wonder how Mike London is still employed by the Commonwealth. These critics question his game management in critical stretches of games; as they should. However, no one should ever question Mike London’s integrity.

London and staff have made a concerted effort to build their student-athletes into more than just football players. He’s humanized his team by putting academics and community first and foremost. Virginia’s team GPA and graduation rate have increased drastically since Mike London took over in 2010.

When it’s all said and done, everything comes down to winning football games. That’s the world we live in. Unfortunately for Coach London, he hasn’t exactly accomplished that during his reign in Charlottesville. The demise of Mike London may inevitably be linked to his struggles at quarterback as well as Virginia’s unmanageable non-conference scheduling.