Chris Graham: It’s official-UVa. football is headed toward another losing season

We knew the opponents, had a rough idea of the order that the games would be played, but now it’s official. UVa. football has its 2014 schedule, and we can now project that the ‘Hoos are headed toward their seventh losing season in the last nine years.

mike-london-ndSeriously, this one is easier than Nixon over McGovern, Reagan over Mondale. It’s about as close to hammer vs. nail as you can get.

Do you see four wins on that schedule? Richmond, for starters. Put that one down. (Actually, you almost have to say maybe there. Richmond will have two better UVa. quarterbacks in Scott Stadium that day than Mike London will.)

One other lock that could fall into the category of maybeKent State. Don’t sleep on the MAC. Remember Ball State, which left Charlottesville with a three-touchdown win in September? The next week, Ball State beat Kent State by a field goal. Yeah.

What about those other 10, though, you say? UCLA, the season opener, won 10 games last year. Louisville, Week 3, after the Richmond game, was 12-1. Those first three, incidentally, are at home. Realize now that it’s entirely possible that Virginia will be 0-3 to start the season with the first three at home.

Then on the road at BYU. The Cougars, like the rest of us, have no idea how they lost the 2013 season opener at Virginia. They will make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Then Kent State at home, then Pitt at home. Pitt, like most everybody else in the ACC, played in a bowl in 2013, and beat UVa. last season. The ‘Hoos have a fighting chance in this one, but Pitt is still likely to be favored going in.

At this point, the record is anywhere from 0-6 (worst-case scenario) to 3-3 (absolute best case, as in winning-the-lottery best case, assuming wins over ur and Kent State, and the maybe at home against Pitt).

The second half of the season begins at Duke. david cutcliffe has turned the corner that is still far, far off in the distance for London. Another L for UVa.

North Carolina at home? This isn’t the 1980s, 1990s or early 2000s. Another L.

At Georgia Tech? With a bye week to prepare, maybe. No bye week here, so another L.

At Florida State? Bahahahaha. I’m sure jimbo fisher has fond memories of that 2011 game that Virginia somehow stole from FSU in Tallahassee. Big, big, big L.

Miami, at home … sorry, but the ‘Canes are just better. Another L.

At Virginia Tech on Black Friday: the Hokies are not that much better, but they may not lose to Virginia ever again. Another L.

Being generous, I can give you a winning-the-lottery best-case scenario of three wins in the final six (maybe UNC, maybe Georgia Tech, maybe Miami?).

So things break absolutely perfectly in 2014, Virginia goes 6-6. Is that enough to prevent London from pulling a piece of paper from his pocket after the Tech game to read a poem about the man in the mirror? Actually, 6-6 might be, considering how irrelevant this program has been for going on a decade now.

Anything less, though, and the 2014 season will be a 12-game wake for a coaching tenure that was a bad idea from the start. As nice a guy as Mike London is, he was just not prepared to take over as head coach of a power conference FCS program, and unfortunately for him and for Wahoo Nation, he hasn’t grown into the job.

Craig Littlepage had the opportunity this past November to breathe some life into the program and the fan base by making what is almost certainly an inevitable change at the end of the 2014 season a year early. Bring Vince Lombardi back from the dead to coach the 2014 Cavs, against that schedule, and Mr. Winning Is The Only Thing goes at best 6-6. But the fan base would come back to games with energy that hasn’t been felt at Scott Stadium in many, many years. (Home games weren’t close to sellout even in 2011 when London’s second team won eight games.)

With London returning, and the fan base assuming that 2014 will be a death march for London and his staff, we can look forward to crowds that could almost fit into JPJ spread out among the 61,500 seats in Scott Stadium. And a lot of losses, and another year wasted trying to find a guy who might have been able to carry Coach Welsh’s jockstrap, assuming he needed one. (Still is a tough old bird, Coach Welsh.)

But, hey, Virginia, we have the jocularity of basketball to keep our attention diverted from this particular debacle. So, look over there …