Al Groh has watched his team drop five home contests this season, the most since 1986 when Virginia finished 3-8.
If you thought it was fun to read my column after our third straight loss, I can only imagine how giddy with anticipation you are this week. Just like a coach has to break down the film after a win or a loss, however, I must write. But unlike a coach, I can take a little license with my column. So we will have a little breakdown, a little looking back, a little looking forward … really, a little bit of everything. Or, at least, 10 Things of a little bit of everything.
1. Seven. Seven losses is no fun. In the NFL, seven losses means mediocrity. In college football, seven losses means a losing season.
But to me, it means more than that. To me – someone who admittedly tends to fixate on player development – seven losses means the loss of a lot of development time. After all, seven losses means no bowl game, and no bowl game means no practices after the last regular season game. In most cases, that means a good month of practices lost. For the young players in particular, that month is gold. For the coaches, that month usually includes at least a week at the beginning in which the coaches can take a fresh look at those same players before the coaches turn to putting in the game plan. With that luxury of time, there have been a boatload of important ideas that have occurred in the past to staff members during a week like that, the kinds of ideas that can lead to position shifts going into the next spring, for example. Those extra practices matter and this year, unfortunately, they have been lost.
Of course, seven losses in 2009 coupled with seven losses in 2008 and seven losses in 2006 means a lot more at a program level. With three losing seasons in the last four, we are talking about the loss of approximately three months of practice in three years. Think about that: three months of practices. Simply put, there is no way that the loss of that much practice time is not going to have an impact at a field level.
2. Fourth Down. At this point, UVa’s end-of-the-game...
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