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Tracking Virginia's Bowl Chances: Week 1

If Virginia breaks its postseason drought this season, here's how it will happen.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

I don’t know if going to a bowl game in 2015 will save Mike London’s job. I do know, however, that going to a bowl game is a more-than-reasonable goal for any ACC team, especially when there are dozens of bowls in existence. So whenever I look at Virginia’s schedule in the preseason, I ask myself "how’s this team going to get to a bowl game?"

The column isn’t an opinion on whether I think Virginia will make it to a bowl game in 2015 or not. That’s a debate that Virginia fans and our merry band of Streaking The Lawn writers have had all summer long, and likely one we’ll have well into the season. The point here is to outline Virginia’s easiest path to the post-season and to chart the likelihood of seeing the Wahoos in a bowl game as the season unfolds.

In my mind, the easiest way for Virginia to make a bowl game is to win these six games:

  • William and Mary
  • @ Pitt
  • Syracuse
  • @ North Carolina
  • @ Miami
  • Duke

Any losses against those teams, and Virginia will need pull an upset in one of its six other contests:

  • @ UCLA
  • Notre Dame
  • Boise State
  • Georgia Tech
  • @ Louisville
  • Virginia Tech

A lot of press has rightly been given to Virginia’s early-season schedule. And there's little doubt that September will be brutal. If the Wahoos make it out of September 2-2, they’ll be in the catbird seat. But for bowl purposes, the most crucial stretch of the schedule might be in October. Virginia gets a bye week on 10/3, then takes on Pitt, Syracuse, and North Carolina in succession. All of those teams are beatable, and the Hoos might need to sweep all three if they want to make the postseason.

Let the games begin!