FOV: At UVA we have made wholesale changes to everything this past offseason: the coaching staff, the offense, the defense, the uniforms, even the color of the equipment shed. What change or changes on your own team are you most looking forward to watching play out on the field this season?
FTRS: Ironically, we’re looking forward to seeing UVA’s former head coach trolling the sidelines at Georgia Tech as Al Groh has installed what I’ve dubbed the Grohfense. Tech fans are eager to see a defense that doesn’t fail in late game situations, produces more turnovers, and applies more pressure to the opposing quarterback. This is probably the biggest singular event for the 2010 season seeing as we return a boatload of starters from 2009.
FOV: Who is the next ACC coach to get fired, and when? And if you think that's your own coach, who would you like to see replace him?
FTRS: If there’s one coach that’s gonna get fired, it’s probably Tom O’Brien. He brought in a top flight QB in Russell Wilson but has failed to produce anything meaningful besides three upsets of Carolina. Most of the State fans I know are relatively impatient (see Herb Sendek) so I think Tom is the next ACC coach to go unless Butch Davis resigns first...Winfield thinks Ralph Friedgen is next seeing as Jim Grobe and the Fridge are the only active ACC coaches in the Top 10 Most Losses in ACC Head Coaching History.
FOV: How excited are you about your team's out-of-conferece lineup this year? How would you grade your program overall when it comes to scheduling OOC games?
FTRS: Tech plays SC State, Kansas, Middle Tennessee State, and Georgia. This is an average out of conference schedule for Georgia Tech. I think GT is fairly fortunate in that most teams want to play in Atlanta so when we ask teams to play us in a 1 for 1 situation, they gladly accept. Dan Radakovich and Paul Johnson have kind of built up a future non-con schedule that features SEC-middlers to reach out our recruiting fingers, which Tech fans thoroughly enjoy. It’s fun to play against fellow Southeastern schools in the non-con because it gives the fans an easy road trip and allows the older fans to reminisce about the Days of Dodd. Hopefully, we can get Notre Dame back on the schedule before 2050.
FOV: What one player on your schedule (not in the ACC overall - your team's schedule only, and it doesn't have to be ACC) are you most worried will cause you pain and grief this year?
FTRS: A.J. Green. Fortunately, he was injured in last year’s UGA game. This season, I doubt we’ll be so lucky. Seeing as the 3-4 diminishes our nickel package to almost non-existent, I worry about A.J. lining up in the slot on Thanksgiving weekend against a mismatched linebacker. I think I’ll worry about any receiver and our secondary until I see the Grohfense prove we can stop any semblance of a passing game.
FOV: Conversely, provide us a little bulletin board material. Which team on your calendar are you absolutely positive that not only will you stomp their guts to China, but you'll gain the warmest, fuzziest feeling of immense satisfaction out of doing it?
FTRS: Last year, I thought we’d destroy Clemson. They turned out to be the most evenly matched squad we played. This season I’m gonna take a different route and say that Miami deserves an epic ass kicking. They embarrassed us last year on short rest and Tech fans generally despise Miami’s cocky attitude (e.g. "We may be in your league but you’re not in ours..."). The Hurricanes, as far as Tech fans are concerned, can go to Hell. Look for a 300 yard effort from Tech in this sordid affair.
FOV: It's been a loony offseason in the conference membership department, but the ACC sat out this round. Do you think the ACC is set at 12 teams for the long term? If not, which team(s) is/are most likely to be added, and which would you like to see?
FTRS: I don’t think the ACC has immediate plans to expand. A conference schedule that exceeds 12 member teams seems bulky and difficult to manage (see the MAC). However, if we were to go down this road, I’d think the next targets would be Syracuse or UConn. Both have fairly reputable academics, great basketball, and goodish football. This would more than appease the North Carolinians and would definitely appease BC and Maryland as it shifts the footprint center of gravity North.
FOV: Standard question for the finish: a) What do you expect out of your team, b) What kind of season would keep you content and happy, c) What kind of season would be a disappointment?
FTRS: I expect Tech to win 8-9 football games and beat Georgia. This would more than appease me especially if Tech stayed on the East Coast for its Bowl Game for a third straight year. A great season would include a 10+ win season, a win over Georgia, and a bowl win. A disappointment would be less than 8 wins, a West Coast bowl, and/or losing to Georgia again.
Thanks to Brendan for the questions. Check out From Old Virginia for this week's roundup on Wednesday!