November 15, 2012

Choose your fate...

Tonight will go one of three ways.  And each of those three outcomes will go a long way toward deciding how this football season will ultimately be viewed by fans and recruits alike.  It's a "set the trajectory" type of game.

If Virginia Wins...
The miracle turnaround continues, as does the destiny march toward a bowl game.  We'll become media darlings for our gritty reversal of fortune.  A 5th win in a clear rebuilding season is a pretty big deal, regardless of what happens against Virginia Tech on November 24th.  This season can - and will - be seen as another step along the path toward rebuilding this program into something formidable, and the questions surrounding the coaching staff (other than Poindexter heading up special teams) will die down as everyone, even the habitual doubters, will buy back in.  The game against the Hokies on the 24th will be for a bowl berth, and a super-motivated UVA team will roll into Blecchsburg hyped, confident, and on a mission.  Not sure if it'll matter in the end, but I would like our chances in that scenario.

Do you have another magic moment in you, Jake McGee?

If Virginia Loses a Close Game...
Expect to hear an audible WHOOSH leaving the stadium as the fanbase quickly deflates after being pumped up by the wins over NC State and Miami.  It'll be a big opportunity lost, and many will begin to play the "what if" game.  What if we hadn't put 12 on the field against LaTech?  What if our special teams had been merely competent against Maryland?  What if the punt hadn't doinked off of Khalek Shepherd's facemask against Wake?  What if we had done x, y, and z we needed to do to beat UNC?  But in the end, I think most reasonable fans ("reasonable fan" being a clear paradox) will still be able to see the improvement down the stretch, and will accept a 4-8 finish as improvement for the team after its 2-6 start that seemed the be leading directly toward a 2-10 swirl-the-toilet type of disaster.  I think we'll head to Tech feeling like we have a chance to spring the upset, though the Hokies will be heavily favored and will hold a tangible edge in all the intangible categories that help decide the outcomes of football games.  I think a close loss to UNC leads us into a blowout loss against Tech.  A sad end to the season, but 4-8 is still a lot better than 2-10.

Don't wanna see tonight's game end like this.

If Virginia Loses in a Blowout...
Fans leave angry and depressed.  The last two wins are written off as flukes and stripped of any value.  We're dropped back on our humpty dumpty heads, trying to pick up the pieces from a lost season.  Recruiting momentum is halted, intense pressure is put back on the coaching staff, and disbelievers begin to stretch their vocal chords yet again.  We head to Tech to receive our annual beating, and then slink off quietly into the terrifying abyss of the long, dark offseason.  2013 becomes a "show me" season, where another losing record leads London into lame duck status as too many fans and boosters lose faith that can never be regained.

There could be trouble around the corner, Coach.  Big trouble.

So which is it going to be, Virginia Football?  Choose your fate, as tonight is your dance with destiny.


  1. So many empty seats last night. I know I'm to blame for that, but it doesn't look good. Doesn't look good at all.

  2. Doesn't look good, but I don't blame the fans who couldn't make it out on a Thursday night (including 8 of the 11 of our season ticket bloc) -- that can be tough, especially with kids and whatnot. Also, it's kind of hard to justify rearranging your schedule for a 3-6 team and a program that has posted four losing seasons in the last five, and hasn't beaten its biggest rival in a decade. I can forgive the fans for not filling the stadium last night.

    What I cannot forgive is this: The student section, half full. Tell me what they were doing last night. Our students are the worst football fans among any student fanbase I know about. It's a fucking embarrassment. It's high time - and I am deadly serious about this - to reduce the size of the student section, and increase the size of the $100 season ticket section. Also, increase the availability of that pricing. Faculty/staff and now young alumni is great, but I think they should open it up to everyone in the general public. We need to manufacture some fans from the region to replace our shitty student fans.

    Just my $0.02

  3. We weren't always like this, right? I was getting to the stadium two hours early during the Dan Ellis era!

  4. Exactly. But that was also directly following a decade-long string of 7+ win seasons.