Okay people. It’s officially that time of year. Drop your record prediction for the Virginia Cavaliers this football season and tell us why you predicted what you predicted. Also, does UVA beat VT? Do the ‘Hoos make a bowl game?
I’d place UVA’s best case scenario at 6-6, and worst case scenario at 2-10. The most likely result I see is directly in between, at 4-8.The Virginia Tech game could become very interesting as it could easily be a barometer of success this season. Nobody is expecting much in the wins column, myself included, but even through the ups and downs of UVA football, the Hoos have defeated the Hokies once in almost two decades. This is well renowned.
Since Virginia Tech is expected to be subpar as well, a Commonwealth Cup is very much on the table. How Tony Elliott approaches the game compared to previous Virginia coaches remains unknown, of course.
This prediction will definitely fall on the optimistic end and borders on pure homerism, but I think Virginia goes 5-7 with an outside shot at 6-6 and bowl eligibility in a feel-good season.
I’m more confident in Tony Muskett than the consensus: I think his style of play will translate well to the UVA offense, and head coach Tony Elliott’s direct involvement in bringing Muskett to Virginia makes me optimistic that the unit will be more cohesive than it was last year. Brennan Armstrong’s fit with Elliott’s offense seemed to inexplicably remain a square-peg, round-hole snafu all season long, and simply putting together a cohesive offensive unit should result in improvement on that end.
I also think Virginia’s conference schedule is incredibly light (though you could argue that any benefits they get from that light schedule are canceled out by two really tough non-con opponents in Tennessee and JMU). I think the ’Hoos beat Georgia Tech, Boston College, and William & Mary, leaving just two needed wins out of the 9 remaining games. One of those — or maybe even both! — can be an upset against your choice of the ACC middle class: Duke, Louisville, Miami.
And out of almost pure homer-ism and also a lack of faith in the VT program, I think the ’Hoos take home the Commonwealth Cup in the season finale. All we know right now about UVA and VT is that neither team will be particularly good. Virginia absolutely has the players to win. The only thing standing in their way is the fact that the ’Hoos have been absolutely snakebitten against Tech in my living memory, but I’m still going to irresponsibly go with my gut and have faith in Virginia to pull it out this time. Don’t pull the football out this time, Lucy.
Paul Guttman (Tiki)
There’s some talent here, especially on defense. The OL is bad, but the skill positions are good, and the offense just needs to reach not-a-disaster status to be a huge improvement over last year. Getting two really tough games early helps. Maryland, even on the road, is a walk in the park compared to Tennessee and JMU. And then, getting Duke, GT, and VT at home likely means at least a win or two.
This is not a good team, and it feels like anything from 1-11 to 5-7 is in play. A bowl game seems far-fetched, but stranger things have happened. I’ll go on record at 4-8, but I’m far more interested to see improvement on the field than in the wins column. I’ve been a UVA fan for almost 30 years and I’ve seen four wins over VT. Seems silly to predict one now.
Long term I’m bullish on Tony Elliot, but I’m treating this as year one for his tenure. Given how Bronco Mendenhall exited, I felt the team looked lost a season ago. Generally when there is a coaching change, the players can feel it coming and make decisions accordingly. I felt last year’s team was still trying to play for Bronco, it seemed like nothing clicked. I think this year presents a new start.
As for record, I have a hard time finding any more than four wins heading into the Commonwealth Cup. 5-7 would be a great year given where this program is, but I’m too conditioned to be disappointed Thanksgiving weekend. I’m going 4-8 with another year of Lucy pulling the football out from under the ‘Hoos.
I keep going back and forth in my expectations for this team. The optimist, the student, the fan part of me hopes and dreams that there’s absolutely world where the ‘Hoos beat the spread against Tennessee, win a close one against JMU in the home opener, and then scratch out enough wins to hit that 6-6 mark in year two for Tony Elliott with a Commonwealth Cup win to put the cherry on top. That’d be a majorly successful season everything considered.
I can’t say I think that will happen. I agree with the consensus here that 4-8 or 5-7 is mostly likely. 3-9 or 2-10 are probably as likely or maybe even more likely than 6-6. But I’ll side with my more optimistic side and predict Virginia finishes 5-7 with a win over VT to round out a fun, competitive, and satisfying second year for Tony Elliott at the helm. Here’s to hoping I’m not proven wrong.