Bronco Mendenhall held his “State of the Program” address the other day, mostly to avoid any unreliable press. He then openly said about 2/3 of his roster is not good enough to play in the conference, which is a bold strategy if you’re trying to get the locker room on your side. I believe that there’s a couple of possibilities about why Mendenhall made this statement, so let’s dive in.
Scenario #1-Virginia is going to suck this year so he doesn’t want to be the blame
Mendenhall’s first season at Virginia was a rough one, and they only were only able to win 2 games. The Cavaliers were able to bounce back last season, going 6-7 and making an appearance in a bowl game. You would think that year three would continue as an upward trend, but maybe they lost most of their talent last year and have to rely on young talented inexperienced players mixed in with a lot of experienced shitty ones. Sounds like he’s just letting the world know that they’re going to suck this year so he doesn’t have to take too much heat in the media if they’re awful.
Scenario #2-He’s trying to trick the rest of the conference
Nothing better than hustling someone for some money in a game of pool, but imagine trying to pull this off as a college football coach. “Yeah guys we only have like 27 good players, so don’t even worry about playing that hard against us. You can give minimal effort and handle us pretty easily.” Bold move, but I respect it. I could definitely see them sneaking up on a team this year and pulling off an upset.
Scenario #3-Making himself look like a coaching mastermind
Let’s say that Virginia does come out this season and they have a 6-6 record and make another bowl game. You’d have to think that they’d be exceeding expectations since they apparently only have 27 ACC-Caliber players, and it’d make him look like an amazing coach by leading this group of dirtbags to a bowl game.
These are all solid possibilities and reasons behind Mendenhall’s comments. Luckily he took the time out of his presser to brag on his recruiting ability, as he stated that this year’s recruiting class will put Virginia in the mid-40’s of ACC-Calibers, and by the time the Class of 2020 arrives they’ll have a full 85 scholarship roster of ACC-Caliber players.
Next Time on College Football Off-Season: Nick Saban Announces Alabama has “85 NFL-Caliber Players”