Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.
Last week, I wrote that the “game against Indiana could end up being the most pivotal game of the year for UVA’s bowl chances. A win against a dynamic, experienced Hoosiers squad will keep the Hoos on the right path. A loss won’t sink their postseason hopes, but it will definitely make it a steeper climb.”
Welcome to the steeper climb.
The season is young, of course. Virginia still has 10 games to play and could definitely still reach the postseason. But by losing 34-17 to Indiana on Saturday, UVA significantly lessened its margin for error.
At the start of the season, I categorized Virginia’s schedule into four buckets:
- Should-wins: Home games against W&M, UConn, and Boston College
- Toss-ups: Home games against Indiana and Duke
- Potential Upsets: Road games against Pitt and UNC, and a home game against Georgia Tech
- Prayers: Road games against Louisville, Miami, and Boise State, and the home finale against Virginia Tech.
I said that Virginia needed to sweep the “should-wins” and the “toss-ups” and pull off one of the “potential upsets” to qualify for a bowl game. The loss to Indiana puts Virginia behind the pace. UVA will now need to pick up an second upset somewhere.
Where might the wins come from? Week 2 provided a little more clarity on future UVA opponents. Duke impressed in a home blowout of Northwestern. Boise State damn near picked up a win on the road against a ranked Washington State. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech kept their seasons rolling along smoothly.
On the flip side, North Carolina dropped its second game. The Heels could be 1-5 by the time Virginia goes to Chapel Hill and could be ripe for the picking. Similarly Pittsburgh picked up its first loss of the season and could start off 1-3. And Boston College got walloped at home by Wake Forest.
Rankings And Results:
Headed into week two, here’s how Virginia stacks up against its schedule in the Sagarin rankings.
- at Louisville (2-0) - 17
- at Miami (1-0) - 20
- Virginia Tech (2-0) - 21
- Georgia Tech (1-1) - 30
- Duke (2-0) - 38
- at Boise State (1-1) - 42
- at Pittsburgh (1-1) - 43
- Indiana (1-1) - 54 - Loss
- at North Carolina (0-2) - 56
- Virginia (1-1) - 81
- Boston College (1-1) - 92
- Connecticut (1-0) - 116
- William and Mary (1-1) - 164 - Win
UVA hosts Connecticut in a must-win game on Saturday. The Hoos are 10-point favorites (according to ESPN) and should be able to avenge last year’s loss in East Hartford. This weekend could be the last time UVA is favored all season. Here’s hoping the Cavaliers get back on track.