Virginia Cavaliers – 2012
A Team of the Future
Most college football teams are stuck in range bound recruiting. Whether good, bad or average, unless a program makes big changes, they typically are stuck near their average talent. It is unusual for a team to make huge gains or take big loses in talent. Virginia started a very odd trend of talent decline in 2006 and it ended in 2011 with a top 30 class.
I see them as a team of the future. It may surprise many because their minds have produced a reality that Virginia is bad, and thus has always been bad. This is a type of Gamblers Fallacy pattern where your expectations are based on what recently happened and therefore you expect the trend to continue. But the Cavs used to be range bound in the top 25 for recruiting and where there just 7 years ago (green dot). This tells me they can get back to that level and the trend is already happening.
It is a reality that most fans will only see after it happens and thus the surprise. Now you know better and as long as they retain London and his staff this team will be in the top 25 in 2014. Bookmark it. Favorite it. Whatever. Just remember where you got your red pill.
Let’s knock off the bad news first. 4 back on defense and both starting kickers lost to graduation. That’s a win in 2012, especially in the kicking game. Teams with lesser talent need more whiskers to win.
#2 on the plus side is the recruiting improvement. While fans believe that the most recent year’s recruiting class plays little to no roll in this year’s success, the numbers show otherwise. Talent is talent at any age. Without new talent, depth is lacking and starters and the two deep have no competition. This, in young men that can be inherently lazy without being pushed, is a critical unseen piece of the puzzle. These last two classes have much more talent than the 2009 and 2008 classes. This is a big boost going forward.
The #1 factor is Mike London and Co. In the last 2 years he has landed the to best classes of the last 7 years for Virginia. He has 4 road upset wins and just once, one time, has he lost a game when the CFBMatrix predicted a win in the preseason.
2012 Schedule Breakdown
I want to start with the predicted wins. As noted above, Coach London is 6-1 when predicted to win a game by the CFBMatrix numbers. Richmond, Louisina Tech, Duke, Miami, Wake and now Penn State (with 13 players lost) are all predicted wins. 6-0.
In weeks 3 and 4 they travel to a veteran Georgia Tech team in Bobby Dodd Stadium and to a huge positive game effect coach in at TCU. On a neutral field, I take Virginia. But on the road, it says take the home team. London is tough on the road but not that tough, especially against good coaches. 2 loses drops them to 2-2.
The losing streak quickly ends with 4 straight wins. Look out for Maryland. They will be overlooked all year but they are still talented and Coach Edsell did do some wonderful things at Connecticut. I know results are not transferable, but if they are overlooked with a focus on Wake, they could go down. Heading into the bye week the Cavs are 6-2.
Coming out of the bye, Virginia gets to face 4 straight teams with a talent advantage. However, they will be facing, in order, an average coach, a bad one and a new one. I have them overcoming Miami at home and I expect them to split with NC State and North Carolina. Virginia Tech, at home or on the road, is a loss.
The Cavs go bowling for another year with at least an 7-5 record. I like them, due to London, at 8-4 but my favorite number would be 7.5. Be patient fans as your time of top 25 status is close at hand. #GoHoos.
– Dave Bartoo, The CFBMatrix & your Anti-Homer Follow @cfbmatrix