Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall knew coming to Virginia he was going to have a tall order to rebuild the football program. After two straight losing seasons, Mendenhall seems to still think there is a good amount of work to do in putting together a football roster capable of competing in the ACC.
“I believe we have 27 ACC-caliber football players on our roster today,” Mendenhall said in a story published by The Daily Progress. Mendenhall chose to address the current state of the team in such a direct and honest fashion rather than allow the so-called fake news to run wild with its own speculation.
“You don’t have to rely on any other source,” Mendenhall said. “What I’ve learned in the world of college football and through the world of reporting is if all areas of the world and all topics are reported on as they are in sport, I would question the authenticity and sincerity and accuracy.”
Virginia was a young team last season, so maybe the experience of getting on the field will pay off a little more this season. Virginia did increase its win total from two wins in Mendenhall’s first season to six and a bowl trip last fall. Virginia ended the year with a losing record following a loss in the Military Bowl.
According to the Rivals team recruiting rankings, Virginia had the 13th-ranked recruiting class in the Class of 2018 among the 14 ACC programs. The 2017 and 2016 classes ranked 11th in the ACC. Virginia hasn’t finished in the top half of the ACC recruiting rankings since 2013. As a result, Virginia has created an uphill battle to being able to compete for a division title, let alone the ACC championship. At the same time Virginia has fallen behind in recruiting talent, Miami has seemingly bounced back and Virginia Tech remains a viable threat. Florida State and Clemson will always land quality classes as well and programs like Louisville and NC State will pull in some good talent as well.