Sunday, September 03, 2006

Welcome Back

It's a new year and that means the sporadic but triumphant return of Random Rants.

Charlottesville, we have a problem.

The Sabre message boards say it, the newspapers dance around it and everyone knows it. Virginia football this year is going to be a dirty phrase. The Cavaliers came in with modest expectations and last night's debacle only helped lower the bar. Now one game does not a whole season make, but several of the questions coming into this year may have been answered....and not the way we wanted them to be.

Christian Olsen is not a total bust. I know many of you just dropped your jaws, I'll give you time to pick them back up. Okay, so he succumb to the pressure of a hostile environment in his first ever start. Tell me how many Virginia quarterbacks haven't.

Go ahead, I'll let you think about that one.

Done? Good, because you couldn't think of one. Schaub was a huge work in progress, and Hagans (despite his amazing feet) was never consistent enough to get us to that famed "next level". However, I must concede way too many times Olsen chose the wrong man in to the wrong coverage. I mean did Tom Santi bribe him or what, he got the ball more times than T.O. or Keyshawn could want. When he did try and go deep it was usually pretty far off the mark. Still I wouldn't be that depressed, if he weren't a senior...he can't be a work in progress because this is his one shot.

I feel bad for Olsen. He left Notre Dame when Willingham was coach with hopes of starting. Instead he sits behind Hagans and watches the Fighting Irish reach national glory once again without him. Now, even though I think he is a solid player, it might be time to sit him down. Not because he doesn't deserve the spot but because if Virginia continues to play at this level then it's time to throw in the towel and sharpen the teeth of Jameel Sewell. Sewell is the future, and has the arm to be a true ACC talent. Olsen, while full of potential, no longer has the eligibility to be the man of the future.

Of course, it is just one game. News Flash but over 50 teams lost yesterday, misery loves company after all. Wyoming should still be a win for us, (if not then we really need to talk) and I know the defense will like to actually show up and prove they can hit a moving target. However, if Virginia simply does not have the talent to make a positive showing then give the fans what they need, progression from the youth. That way, Virginia can be back in the upper tier of the ACC like 2004.

In the end it all goes back to Al Groh. Oh Coach Groh, now you understand the fickleness of college football. He coached at Wake Forest in the early 80s and complied a 26-40 record. That's far worse than the 37-27 he currently holds at Virginia but then, we are better than the Demon Deacons. Groh won't be fired, not this year. The complaints however are becoming more and more familiar, like an Evanesence single.

He's too conservative.

He recruits and then can't make use of the talent.

Underachiever this, underachiever that.

Sweatshirts are not cute.

Now some of this is true, some of its a bit far-fetched. The thing is winning silences critics coach, so before you start saying "we are what we are", keep in mind fans are fans. They never have a long-term memory.

You can't hang on to the glory days with Bill Parcells either.


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