Darn right I didn't write anything yesterday about the game. How many different ways can you say, "Yup, we still suck." I guess in German maybe. "Ja, wir sind immer noch schrecklich."
It couldn't be more obvious that London is coaching himself onto thin ice. Nothing has happened this season to suggest he deserves to stay on, and it's probably two people - named Quin Blanding and Andrew Brown - that are keeping him here, plus the money it would take to buy out the contract. I suspect if this recruiting class had nothing but three-star players, the money would come a lot easier.
The only suspense left for this season is whether London indeed stays on til next year. I still think so. I've seen stuff floating around - besides Craig Littlepage's quotes to the papers - that suggest so. I also have this in my email inbox:
"The BOV member told [the emailer's dad] that there was a private meeting with Littlepage and two of our biggest boosters regarding a buyout of London's contract. According to the BOV member, London is gone if we finish 2-10."
That could still mean anything, really; it might simply be the board member putting two and two together in a way that leads him to that conclusion. Or it might be straight from the mouth of Littlepage and then to my inbox, via a few detours on the way. You know how these things go.
At any rate, London only has a few more games left to save his job. The next two don't count. Oh, I suppose if he goes on a three-game winning streak he can ease up the pressure on 2014. Don't worry, he won't. Starting with the last game of this season, London probably has seven games at most to keep his job. It might not be the Virginia way, for whatever dumb reason, to fire someone midseason, but whether or not London is actually fired midseason next year, the decision will be made by then. Maybe sooner if we should lose to Richmond, which is the second game of the year. Virginia hasn't been 0-5 in the ACC since 1981, which means that London has succeeded in putting himself in the company of the immortal Dick Bestwick.
A few notes from press conferences London has held of late:
-- Demetrious Nicholson, out for the season. That's not going to improve the situation.
-- Various players will be looking for medical redshirts. They'll probably get them as the NCAA gives only the most cursory look before rubber-stamping such requests.
-- Not to do with London's press conferences, but it was just awfully nice of both Dabo Swinney and the announcers during the game to make some noise about how Virginia is oh so close and just a little more patience and Virginia will be a real surprise team and all that. I'm sure they meant well. Really. When your opponents are throwing you a pity party, though....you probably suck a hell of a lot.
-- And now the most troubling aspect by far. Jamie Oakes paraphrased a London quote this way:
"When asked about the effort and intensity of the team in yesterday's game, London said that at the beginning of the game it was excellent. Clemson executed their offense and defense like an experienced team should. London said that the team was reeling after Clemson's scoring binge in the second quarter. He said that Clemson played all four quarters like all good teams do."
That's the closest you'll get to a neon marquee with spotlights and a great big flashing sign that says THE TEAM UP AND QUIT. "At the beginning of the game [effort and intensity] was excellent" is another way of saying "at the end of the game it sucked horse balls." And "Clemson played all four quarters" is the same thing as "and we most certainly did not."
London's messages to the media about not dwelling on the losses and staying positive are not making it through to the team. Then again, why should they, when London's pre-game message is "nothing to lose" and his first big decision of the game is to punt on 4th-and-1 from midfield?
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