The 12 Biggest Issues for 2005

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I’ll start off by saying that I’m just as disappointed with the outcome of this football season as most people on the message boards have been. At the beginning of the year, I saw many predictions of 8-3 and at first look that’s not a terrible regular season. But for this team, this year, 8-3 just wasn’t enough. This team was capable of so much more and that’s what hurts the most.

Yes, losing Chris Canty was the most critical injury our team could have suffered, outside of Elton Brown. Yes, our schedule was difficult with road games at FSU and Virginia Tech. But this team had the personnel and the leadership to win every game it played. The Cavs just didn’t show up at FSU and just couldn’t avoid mistakes against Miami or find ways to score on the VT defense. Bad luck? Poor preparation? No one knows the real reason for the collapse in big games. The fact is it happened and it’s time to move on, although most of us don’t want to leave the potential of this season behind. But in the end, that’s all it turned out to be – potential. And thankfully for UVa fans, there’s going to be plenty of that around for years. What does the team need to do to capitalize its potential next year? I’ll give you my keys for the spring practices and for next season.

First off, let me congratulate the seniors on terrific careers. Those players who are leaving us after the bowl game dedicated countless hours and effort to building the Virginia football program and will not be forgotten. While I know they will be disappointed with not reaching their goals this year, these seniors have represented the University with great character and dedication. I’m sure I can speak for all Virginia fans in saying how grateful we are for the players’ years in the program. Whether it be the NFL, graduate school or entering the workforce outside of football, we wish the best of luck to the players in the rest of their lives. Thank you all.

Now let’s move forward to the future of Virginia football. I’ve read many opinions and ideas about the 2005 team, so I figured I’d weigh in on what I’ll be looking for come next spring and fall. There are so many, but here are the main issues: