10 Things I Learned From The 2009 Season

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It turned out to be a long season for UVa fans.

Finally, we are moving forward. Finally, we can start thinking about what can be and what is to be. Finally, there is a positive feeling in the air. Finally, it is all about the future.

So what is my job this week? Writing about the past. Figures.

Still, to think about the future, you have to understand the past. So that is the context in which we will look at everything.

1. Inevitable. Going into the 2009 season, you wanted to think things could work out. You wanted to think that in just one year, the vibe could change. You wanted to think that in just one year, a new staff could come together and work cohesively. You wanted to think that in just one year, a new offense could be implemented and click. You wanted to think that in just one year, the special teams could be overhauled entirely. You wanted to think that in just one year, the trends in recruiting could be changed. You wanted to think that in just one year, the trends in roster management could be reversed. You wanted to think that in just one year, things could be different.

In retrospect, it is pretty obvious that all of that was not going to happen, eh? In retrospect, it was pretty obvious that very little of that was going to happen, eh?

Over the years, there was several times that Groh tried to change things. He revamped the kind of staff he hired after early mistakes. He got a little better about his redshirting decisions (until this year, that is). He changed offenses … again and again and again and again. He got more aggressive with his defense.

But the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. As I think it is clear that the administration now has learned, when you hire the man, you hire the man. Al Groh always was who he was, something with which he is very comfortable but something that had a tendency to make many around him very uncomfortable. And asking him – no, demanding of him – to overhaul everything, fire his son, change

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