There are a lot of things working against Mike London as he tries to turn the Virginia Cavaliers into a winning program in the ACC. The Cavs haven’t had a solid starting quarterback since Matt Schaub and lost their two most experienced quarterbacks to transfer this offseason. That doesn’t even take into account the new offensive and defensive coordinators implementing new systems. On the bright side, they get to play two-thirds of their games this season at home in Charlottesville. The bad news, though, is that the schedule is still brutal.
Virginia opens the season by hosting the BYU Cougars who won eight games in 2012 and are always well-prepared for the start of a season under Bronco Mendenhall. They follow that up with a game against the Oregon Ducks who figure to be right in the thick of the BCS National Championship race in 2013. They get a breather in their third game against the VMI Keydets before beginning their ACC slate. On the docket for Virginia at home next season in conference play includes the Clemson Tigers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Virginia Tech Hokies in the Commonwealth Cup at season’s end.
In all, seven of the eight teams coming to Charlottesville in 2013 went to a bowl game in 2012 (and the other plays at the FCS level) and as a group, they went 5-2 in the postseason. That is a tough stretch of games for anyone, and that doesn’t even include the road trips to take on ACC Coastal Division favorites like the North Carolina Tar Heels and Miami Hurricanes at the end of the regular season.
The difficulty level is turned up even more when you factor in the incredible amount of transition that Virginia is going through heading into next season. Mike London is going to be hard-pressed to turn this Cavaliers roster into a winner, especially given the level of competition they will face. Not even the home-cooking of Charlottesville can turn the tide in Virginia’s favor to overcome a truly brutal 2013 schedule.