Virginia head coach Mike London hasn't even completed two full seasons in Charlottesville yet. During his first season, he took a previously 3-win team and turned it into a... 4-win team. Not exactly performing miracles, but he's made significant headway into the Commonwealth's recruiting battles and has qualified this 2011 squad for a post-season appearance. Under London's short tenure, Virginia already has control of its ACC Championship Game destiny in its own hands, as shocking as that may sound.
With the Penn State scandal unfolding before us, and Joe Paterno's retirement / forced retirement / firing, theNittany Lions will have to conduct a coaching search for the first time in 45 years. It's still entirely too early to really be considering this, but ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach have jumped the gun, suggesting names such as Urban Meyer, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and Miami newbie Al Golden. Oh, and also one other name that hits close to home: Mike London.
London, 51, is in his second season as Virginia's coach. The Cavaliers are 6-3 this season, including a victory against Golden's Miami squad. While London doesn't have direct ties to Penn State, he has recruited a region -- Virginia/Maryland -- where the Nittany Lions have had success in the past.
London played at Richmond and served as the Spiders' coach in 2008-09. He has served as an assistant at Virginia and Boston College, among other places.
Does this actually make any sense? More after the jump.
I can't help but wonder if maybe ESPN just ran out of names and were a few words short of a full article. I simply can't grasp my mind around it.
London has no ties to Penn State. He's a Virginia man -- originally from Hampton Roads with most of his career spent at either Richmond or UVa. As far as I can tell, this appears to be London's dream job. Or at the very least, I can't see why Penn State would be a more attractive option. Being from the Hampton Roads area gives him a recruiting in, something that may very well be lost if he were at PSU instead -- I'm just not convinced that you'd be able to effectively recruit 757 folks to head to Penn State if Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Virginia are all right there chomping at the bit.
Further, I think that Penn State is a good job not primarily because it's PSU, but because of Joe Paterno. It's a great job for somebody, but I'm not convinced that it'd be an attractive move for London.
Nor do I know why Penn State would be interested in London. He did a great job at Richmond, but will a school follow up JoePa based on a guy's coaching ability at an FCS school? I have a hard time believing that. In his time at Virginia -- less than two years so far -- he's done a decent job, and as a Virginia fan, I'm stoked to have him at the helm, but he's still unproven.
For me, as compared to London, Iowa's Ferentz would be a much more attractive candidate for PSU. He's found success in the Big Ten and in postseason appearances, and can probably recruit pretty well at Penn State, having grown up in Pittsburgh. In any event, my point is not who should be the new Penn State University coach, but rather, that I can't grasp any reason that London would be their guy.