On Michael Strauss

Jay Jenkins has this very interesting profile of Michael Strauss in the Daily Progress:

It is all about jockeying for a spot on a depth chart as a Cavalier now for the 6-foot-3 quarterback.

And based on his decision to ask and be allowed to enroll early at Virginia — typically a taboo thing for Virginia football players — Strauss is ahead of the game....

Strauss knows that he has to shine in practice to move up the pecking order, but is willing to bide his time and did not take it as a knock when he was the third signal caller to take a snap in the spring game.

“I try to do the best that I can when I get in there,” he said. “I just try to take it one play at a time and whoever plays is the guy that plays.

“That’s the coach’s decision.”

I love the fact that Mike London is able to get some guys into school early -- greyshirting, it's called -- to let them get a head start. It certainly has to help Strauss. There has never been a better time to be an incoming quarterback at UVa, because there is a great opportunity to win a spot.

Good luck, Derek Dooley

Down here in southwest Virginia, I'm forced to listen to blather from both Virginia Tech fans and University of Tennessee fans. Therefore, I'm looking forward to making sure all the Vol fans know that their new coach, Derek Dooley, is a Wahoo. I wish Dooley the best of luck; he's stepping into a big job, and I just hope he's ready for it. I admit that I didn't consider him one of the top candidates for our job when it was open (I've been a Mike London fan since day one). Seemed like he needed a little more experience before taking a high-major job.

Tennessee didn't agree, and I hope they're right. Then, when they're winning big, I can look at all the UT bandwagon homers around here and remind them that they had to look to UVa to bail their football program out. That'll be sweet. :)

More good news for the football program

Perhaps I'm just desperate for good news in the wake of two disastrous seasons, but I'm choosing to be an optimist. Sue me. Anyway, the outstanding hire of Mike London as head football coach appears to have resulted in the return of a couple of individuals who could have an impact on the UVa program. First, running back Keith Payne will be returning, rather than transferring to Liberty for his final season of eligibility. (Well, actually he will just be staying at UVa; he never actually left, but had planned to.) No, Payne isn't superman, as suggested (with tongue firmly in cheek) on various message boards, but he can help this team with depth in the backfield.

More interesting is the return of UVa legend Shawn Moore, who will be coaching either the QBs or WRs (pending further hires). As an alum who remembers those glory days (even though I was still in high school at the time), I think bringing Moore back into the fold is a great thing. I'm hopeful that Moore can be an asset in recruiting the DC area.

All Mike London, All The Time

The Virginia men's basketball team returns to the court tonight against Auburn, in what will be a very tough test on the road. Basketball is my favorite UVa sport, and we'll be getting back to discussion of hoops soon. Until then, however, we're in the tank for Mike London here.

I couldn't be more excited about the hiring of London to head the football program. This guy is a winner, and he's a recruiter, and I really don't think UVa was in a position to get anyone better to be the head coach.

If you are underwhelmed by the hire, go read this article by Jeff White. The quotes from Chris Long are very encouraging.

I'm very hopeful that London will help get Virginia into some recruits' homes in the 757, out there in Tidewater/Hampton Roads. For too long, UVa has lagged behind in that area, and if you want to recruit well in the Commonwealth, that's where it starts. Period.

Welcome back, Mike London

Welcome back to the University of Virginia, Mike London. I couldn't be happier that London is returning as the head coach of the football team at UVa. It's an inspired choice, and one that I'm very hopeful will pay dividends quickly. Especially on the recruiting front:

Just as important as London’s ties to Charlottesville are his recruiting connections within the state. He is a graduate of Hampson’s Bethel High, in the talent-rich Tidewater region and went on to play defensive back at Richmond. London served as the Cavaliers’ recruiting coordinator during his first coaching stint at UVa.

I may have to get season tickets again, after a one-year hiatus.

Hire Mike London!

I haven't had much to say about the search for a football coach, and I'm not going to say much more now...except that I think UVa should hire Richmond head coach Mike London as soon as his season is over. That, of course, assumes that London wants to leave his alma mater for the Virginia job, but he's a member of the Virginia family, too. Recruiting-wise, he'd be a slam dunk. Of all the available names, he's the one that makes the most sense for this program, right now. (Of course, Cincinnati's Brian Kelly would be a slam dunk too, but I still feel he'll end up at Notre Dame.)

So, I'm on the record: hire Mike London!

On the next football coach

I guess there's no guarantee that UVa will have a new football coach next season, and I'm not going to get drawn into an argument about whether Al Groh should return in 2010. Groh is an alum and a hard worker, and I kinda like the guy...even if he's sorta run the ship aground over the last nine years. But ... From Old Virginia has been looking at some potential candidates to take over the program. Nothing wrong with being prepared, right?

Right now, FOV is looking at Charlie Strong, Florida's defensive coordinator. It's good stuff, as usual; go check it out.

Anyway, my favorite options for the next coach have always been Cincinnati's Brian Kelly and Richmond's Mike London. I would be thrilled with either coach. After thinking more about Charlie Strong, however, I'm nearly convinced to rate him on the same level as Kelly and Richmond. Any of the three would be very strong choices to lead the UVa football program going forward.