For shame! Bowl offer can't make up for Tech loss

Did you know UVA’s beat-the-buzzer punt return and lateral pass was named Geico’s 2011 Play of the Year? The Cavs fielded their own punt, blindly lateraled the ball, and then ran 35 yards for a winning touchdown just as the clock expired.

Could anyone ask for a more dramatic victory? It was exactly what Virginia fans were hoping for from UVA, and the team delivered. Back in September. Against Emory and Henry.

Thank goodness for UVA-Wise; if it weren’t for CBS Sports’ November 25 airing of “Geico Presents Best of College Football 2011,” there would have been nothing but bad news about Virginia football this past weekend. How were coaches and columnists able to sugarcoat UVA’s performance and look for the positive? Headlines like the AP’s “Virginia Looks at the Bright Side” and quotes from Coach London like “We’re disappointed” are untenable. This year’s game against Virginia Tech was horrific.

Disappointed? Last Saturday’s loss was the first shutout on Cav turf in 27 years, and this is the eighth year in a row Virginia has lost to Tech. As Roanoke Times reporter Doug Doughty wrote the day after the game, “The Cavaliers should have been embarrassed. They should have been ashamed of their performance. They should have been angry.” It’s about time someone stated the honest truth instead of trying to act as if the loss was just a bump in the road.

If the November 26 game made you angry, if you were too humiliated and embarrassed to leave the house Sunday morning, it’s understandable. If the loss was so painful that you still can’t discuss the game with other Virginia fans, much less anyone else, it’s okay. Coach London, his staff, Chase Minnifield, Michael Rocco, Perry Jones, Kris Burd and the rest of the team all should have done better.

It’s not pleasant to pass judgment on a group of kids and coaches who have worked hard this season and done so much to improve Virginia football. It’s not fun to call out Chase Minnifield after he gave up a year in the NFL to stay at UVA, and it’s distasteful to criticize an often-underappreciated offensive line. But no one seems to want to dig into the loss, least of all Coach London: he’d rather focus on Virginia’s 8-4 record and upcoming bowl game appearance. But the question remains: “What the devil happened?”

In his post-game comments, London was dead wrong when he said, “No one thought we’d be this far or get to this point.” London can’t board the humility train now; he and his team are precisely the reason we expected to get to this point. They are the ones who prompted Frank Beamer to tell ESPN, “Virginia didn’t back into this. This team is for real.” London and his team were the ones who convinced everyone, Virginia and Tech fans alike, that UVA wouldn’t just make a tremendous showing against Tech this year, but that there was a good chance the Cavaliers would win.

London was right when he said, “8-4 is a good season for us.” It’s a good season, and London is a good coach with a good team– far too good to end the regular season with a shutout loss against a bitter rival. Virginia may be going to a bowl game, but even a win there can’t eclipse last Saturday’s shameful performance– and it shouldn’t.

Don’t be disappointed Coach London, be angry. Be embarrassed. Only then will you find the answers that will make another such horrible performance an impossibility.
Juanita lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son, and many dogs.

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For some reason, UVa football players freeze up against Tek. Blame it on the disaster that was the Al Groh era maybe. London has turned the program around. It was in terrible shape thanks to Groh and his arrogance. So lets embrace a good team and a likeable coach. Something we haven't had for quite a while. Maybe London can bring a shrink in or something to "deprogram" his team, and they can beat Tek in their cowpasture next year.

Bad losses happen to good teams. And a good coach knows you don't dwell on the negative. Move on, 8-4 is fantastic and Mike London has made winners out of UVA.

This is college football. These kids played way over their heads against Georgia Tech, Miami and Florida State. A couple of years ago, a lot of these kids, including the QB, were riding a yellow school bus. There's are good reason why Mike London, who stood with his team in good times and the bad times, is a coach. There are good reasons why the person who wrote this article will never be one.

Don't be disappointed, Hawes. Be embarrassed. Only then will you find the answers that make another trainwreck sports column like this one an impossibility.

Wow Juanita, you must have a serious chip on your shoulder. Have you dissappointed that many people with your poor writing that you can't bear to hear the word? If it's not "pleasant" or "fun" to call these people out, then don't. But since you did, let's call out your lame article that most 5th graders could write better. You don't site anything but a few old stats and a post-game comment you probably read somewhere that seems tohave set you off. I bet you didn't even watch the game ... you need to become a fan before you earn the right to talk down to the team in such a manner. For shame? Shame on you!

Thank goodness for someone actually telling it like is. I realize that UVa is home team, but Tech, JMU and many other teams are home as well. The slanted reporting to UVa sports gets old fast.

Yeah, it was a bad loss. But this team was supposed to finish buck-naked last in its division this year. What the hell good does it do to pile on now when there is still a bowl game to be played?

Juanita Giles is an idiot and a crummy sports columnist. The Hook does itself a disservice with every column of hers that it publishes.

@Greene Bean: The Hook is a CHARLOTTESVILLE weekly. In Charlottesville, UVA is the local team - not JMU or VippieSue. Don't like it? Read the, Roanoke Times.

take a loss like a loss.............more important, what are their GPA's? That is what college is all about- period!

What a terrible article. I shall print it out & wipe with it.

To back her inane assertions, Juanita Giles cites Doug Doughty. Doug Freaking Doughty!... possibly the most despised figure in the Commonwealth's sports journalism community (at least from the UVA perspective). The same Doug Doughty who was roundly (and loudly) booed at the UVA basketball game on Friday night while trying to win a halftime free-throw shooting contest. (By the way, to say he shoots like a 7-year-old girl would be an insult to 7-year-old girls.) And she cites HIS comments to lend her own credibility!!??

Keep digging Juanita. You'll hit rock-bottom soon.

London did great in a lesser league. He is not ready for Div 1. Let's get a coach!

In other news, in 2011 UVa maintained is academic ranking of second out of all the public universities in the United States. Noting that 99.5% of the student body is not affiliated with the football program and the primary goal of a university is education and not semi-pro athletics; I believe UVa has no reason to be angry, embarrassed, or humiliated. As a student, I hold academic rankings over winning a meaningless game that has no effect on my life in any way.

"c'mon guys! it's a rebuilding year!" (repeated annually since the early '90s).

For the record, Mike London just won ACC coach of the year.

Was I extremely disappointed about the loss and embarrassed while in the stands on Saturday? Yes, yes I was. It was a heartbreaking game, especially because I really thought we had a chance, and it was against our bitter rival. We did not show up to play, got dominated, and it definitely hurt as a fan. However, I am extremely proud of our team and Coach Mike London for our successful season. We were expected to have another losing season, and finish towards the bottom of the ACC rankings. Juanita, The Hook should be ashamed of this article, as well as your other atrociously awful blabber you've been spouting off about UVA football this season. Mike London was just named ACC Coach of the year, and is very deserving of that title. This was a young team, and he turned our program around. We took down Miami and FSU at home in the same season, something that no team in the ACC has ever done, our win against FSU was the first time we have ever won in Tallahasse, we beat then ranked #12 GT, we ended our November losing streak, we will be going to a bowl game for the first time in several years, and our future with London is looking as bright as it has in a very long time. That is a football team and a coach to be proud of, not shamed by The Hook for getting stomped on by the #5 team in the country. I am proud of UVA Football this season. For shame on you, Juanita! Everything from the photo caption to your citing Doug Doughty (who I took part in booing at Fridays basketball game) is a slap in the face. The Hook really needs to consider hiring someone who knows what they are talking about.

CORRECTION: First team EVER (not just ACC) to take down Miami and FSU on the road in the same season.

OK, Juanita, you need to get a life and realize that this is college football. These kids played hard and improved this year. Of course it is disappointing to lose to your rival, but to get angry over a game, when there are so many more important things in life is silly. The players are getting a great education and preparing themslves for their futures, regardless of whether it is the NFL or something totally different. They brought us great fun watching them this year, and I feel sorry that you are angry over a game instead of enjoying the success of these young men and this team that is improving each year under an excellent coach who also obviously cares about them as people not only as players.

mike- THANK YOU!!!

It's a sports column in The Hook. Did anyone actually expect real journalism [if there is such a thing]. LOL. Maybe Juanita should just stick to her husband, son and many dogs. Leave the writing for the grown-ups… but then again, it's The Hook, so… yeah, good luck with that.

ron- you're reading it I see..............and it's The Hook!

Juanita: Do you have a press pass? Do you attend the games? Do you watch the games on television?


Please hire a real sportswriter.

Frank Beamer has the chance to win his 4th ACC Championship in 5 years. The one year [2009] in the last 5 he didnt win the ACC, VT finished 10th (the highest ranked ACC team) and beat Tenn. in the Chik-Fil-A bowl. He has won 53 games [w/ 2 more to go] during those 5 years, but hasn't won the Coach of the Year award a single time during the 5 years. This year they gave the award to UVA's Mike London - the guy Beamer just beat 38-0 in Charlottesville - UVa's first home shut out since 1984.

This year, Beamer became the winningest active coach in football. Beamer also passed Lou Holtz to become 8th on the all time wins list.

Might as well call the award "Coach who exceeded low expectations award."

pathetic- (yes you are) Beamer hires hacks. They may be great hired hacks, but hacks nonetheless.

@pathetic: Boy, somebody's got a chip on his/her shoulder. Coach of the year awards ARE usually given to those who exceed expectations (this shocks you?). Fortunately for Coach Beamer, VPI tends to begin each season with relatively high expectations. I doubt you (or any other hokie fans) would have it the other way around.

Plus, I don't think anybody was intending to snub poor Frank or besmirch his coaching credentials by passing him over for this award.

But since we're on the topic, you should know that VPI's record in Beamer's first six years as head coach was a combined 24-40-2 (5-17 in his first two seasons). Were you so lustily sucking Frank's goiter in those years when he was passed over for post-season accolades?

"But since we're on the topic, you should know that VPI's record in Beamer's first six years as head coach was a combined 24-40-2 (5-17 in his first two seasons). Were you so lustily sucking Frank's goiter in those years when he was passed over for post-season accolades?"

I guess had they been in the ACC he would have won the award those years then

pathetic- (off subject)- that is not a goiter, get the facts.............time for Beamer to move on and see if it is him or the kids.......

Seriously? This person is still writing sports articles? Stay on the farm with your many dogs, Juanita. This article is a disgrace.

Here's the bottom line: #1 UVA is on its way back. It will take time. How quickly you Hokies forget that your football team wasn't worth a lick for about 20 years too. It's all a cycle. #2 It's only football. UVA is the #1 public institution in the country. Tech is what, #67? We go to college to get a quality education, or at least I did. #3 If your still stuck on the sports bit, if VT is so great then why haven't they ever won a single national championship in any sport?

@pathetic: "I guess had they been in the ACC he would have won the award those years then"

Wrong (and laughably so). The fighting Gobblers were an Independent in football in Beamer's first four years at the helm. As such, they played a predictably soft schedule and still only managed a combined 17-26-1 record. Beamer's first two seasons in the notoriously weak (at the time) Big East resulted in a 7-14-1 mark. As you said yourself, coaching accolades are all about beating expectations - not falling miserably below them. Had Beamer been at ANY other D1 school in the country, he would have been fired after that sixth year (2-8-1). The fact that he was not is more attributable to the fact that the athletic department had few better options at the time than any particular foresight on their part.

@Davis: "...if VT is so great then why haven't they ever won a single national championship in any sport?"

That's not entirely true. I think they won a bass fishing (snicker) title some years ago. Seriously. And if cow tipping ever gets sanctioned as a sport, VPI will be the clearcut favorite.

John Casey.....we got beat down the "oh Well!! " what about!!" "well they never" don't cut it when you get knocked off of your own field time and time again. We are talking about football and vt has a boat load ot acc champ titles we have two CO-champ ones. Im happy with the 8 wins but want to know why the team was not even close to ready for that game. Be a man and say "hey we got beat"

@cville: Duh. Of course we got whipped - everybody knows it, and I never contended otherwise. But that's not even what I was responding to in the first place.

My comments were solely in response to a forlorn little hokie who should not be upset that the coach of the team that did exactly what it was supposed to do (win its division) did not get voted coach of the year, and hopefully offered a little perspective on that coach's meager beginnings.

You people really need to get out and worry about something that matters. History shows that UVA has, and will always be, a mediocre team. Some winning years here and there, but in general fans have usually been apathetic for a reason. This loss was horrible, if they at least scored about two touchdowns it would have been sad but acceptable, but they were shut out, on their own dang field. And what, we get out of our possible bowl possibilities the Chick-Fil-A Bowl? Do you know how pathetic that sounds? At least this writer was honest. Who cares if London was voted coach of the year? It clearly didn't mean anything.

Maybe we should be grateful Virginia lost, if they had won this might have happened:

Lady you need to stay on your lil omish farm out in charlotte county, I have no clue where the hell that is, and keep your ignorant comments to yourself. You obviously no nothing about coaching and much less coaching football. Our uva boys just got their ass kicked what is he suppose to say "we sucl." London tried to make his post-game comments positive and not all negative. I watch every single pre-game news conference and post-game conferences and london is nothing but a positive guy. Sorry he doesn't dwell on the negative things like you do with your depressing life in charlotte county. Get out more lady