Richmond’s football team won at Virginia on Saturday, 37-20. This isn’t great for the Cavaliers or for new head coach Bronco Mendenhall, whose first game at his new school is now a loss to an FCS program from the same state. Not helpful.
The Spiders crawl below the radar, if you will, but the football isn’t bad at all. This is the school’s 133rd year playing the sport, and the recent past has been good. They won a national title in 2008 and have 12 all-time conference titles. They play now in the Colonial Athletic Association, which is a solid league. They've made the national playoffs 10 times and produced 84 All-Americans. The history is no joke.
Let’s run through a few other things about Richmond!
- These folks have a serious rivalry with James Madison, as College GameDay signs from a season ago can prove. The Spiders have real, live haters.
- In 2008 and 2009, Richmond's head coach was Mike London. Virginia ultimately hired him away and put him in charge, but UVA fired London after last year. London is now at Maryland, but Virginia is paying him more than his current employer while the Cavaliers lose to FCS teams.
- I have visited many colleges. Visiting a close friend at Richmond was often my favorite, because Richmond’s dining hall is the best I’ve ever experienced. They serve corn dogs for breakfast. The potato bake is to die for. The soft drinks never stop flowing.
- There is a lake in the middle of the school, but no one swims in it.
- The enrollment is a touch north of 4,000. At any given point on a Friday night, roughly 3,500 of those souls (give or take) can be found at what these folks call "the lodges," which are open rooms where there are few lights and lots of body heat.
- Every year, they have a thing called Pig Roast. They roast pork at it.
- The football team is 1-0.
- Virginia’s football team is 0-1.
My friend just graduated from Richmond, and the following is an exchange we had shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday. Try not to be overcome by this UR football insider's enthusiasm for his team.
FYI, here is that astronaut and former player, Leland Melvin, with those dogs: