Good news: UVA football coach Mike London is, right now, in line to have his best-ranked recruiting class since 2011. Rivals has the 2016 class ranked 26th, ahead of luminaries like Oregon (28th), TCU (33rd), Auburn (40th), in-state rival Virginia Tech (45th).
Can’t fire the guy, right, when he’s recruiting like this?
OK, sure, he’s not winning with his recruits, including the three Top 30 national classes that he’s brought in since taking over in 2010, but still.
At some point the accumulation of talent should translate to wins on the field, and here’s another Top 30 class to add to the talent base.
Of course there’s a catch to the rankings.
Virginia has already secured 25 commitments, which is pretty much it for the Class of 2016. Oregon, two spots down the list, has 13 commitments. TCU has 15, Auburn 11, Virginia Tech 16.
The way Rivals ranks recruiting class is by total points, so UVA, with roughly twice the commitments as its rivals, has a lot of points assigned to its basically full class of players.
What the Class of 2016 has in quantity, it lacks in quality. Zero five-star recruits, zero four-star recruits.
But hey, 17 three-star recruits, tops in FBS, according to the Rivals rankings.
Recruiting is an inexact science, and recruiting success isn’t exactly a harbinger of success on the field, as we all know, because otherwise Miami would be a consistent Top 5 team.
That said, how many times have we heard about how Mike London needs to keep his job because of the success of the recruiting class he has coming in next year?
Go by the average star rating for the class, and the UVA Class of 2016 drops from 26th all the way to 59th, a pretty average class by any standard, and actually the worst class of the London tenure since his first, in 2010, when the Virginia class in the wake of the firing of Al Groh was ranked by Rivals at 67th nationally.
Good news has quickly become bad news.
That lightly-regarded 2010 class came of age as upperclassmen in 2012, 2013 and 2014, years that saw the Cavs go 4-8, 2-10 and 5-7.
Meaning that, yes, Virginia, this subpar Class of 2016 is going to be the gift that keeps on giving for years to come.
– Column by Chris Graham