Checking In at September's End

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Coming into the season, Georgia Tech knew that September would set the pace for the rest of their season. Let's just say that things didn't go too well.

Relevant background music for this article:

Green Day-Wake Me Up When September Ends lyrics (via penguinb0y2o9)

Most anyone associated with Georgia Tech football would have told you 6 weeks ago that the key to the season would be the team's 5 September games, 3 against division opponents we lost to last year. Win 4 (or all 5) games and we'd be sitting pretty, possibly in line for an ACC Championship. Perform like we did and we'd be asking a lot of questions and reaching for the nearest pint of Ben & Jerry's right after popping "Brian's Song" into the DVD player. (What, you guys aren't? Isn't that the normal reaction?)

You know what? Here it is. Plain and simple. September SUCKED.

We started on a Monday night in Blacksburg that our team had been waiting months for since the game was announced. We were pumped and had very high hopes. Late in the game, it was closer than most had expected, and finally, our team took a lead with a minute to go. There it was. We were gonna be Virginia Tech. With 40 seconds left, our defense had played way too well up until that point to let this one go.

Then they did, and Georgia Tech fans everywhere felt their hearts being ripped out. But it was OK, because we were able to walk away feeling like our team had outperformed expectations. Hooray for moral victories!

After a walloping of Presbyterian, the Jackets got revenge for last year's loss with a beatdown of Virginia. It felt good, after Virginia had dealt Tech its first loss of last season. The team looked good. We had put up over 50 points twice in a row and the defense was looking relatively impenetrable and greatly improved as a whole.

The warm-fuzzies ended in the first quarter against Miami, when the team looked like it was struggling to do things like "tie its own shoes" and "remember to breathe". Then in the second quarter, warm-fuzzies came back in the form of a nearly barbaric manhandling of Miami for 36 straight points until the middle of the third quarter. The middle of the third quarter was when the warm-fuzzies promptly departed once more, and the team started to look incompetent again.

A huge lead was squandered, and next thing you know, Georgia Tech has lost its second game in which it lead with less than a minute to play. We wondered, "What the hell is it about our team with a lead?" We pointed fingers, called out coaches, wanted them fired, Occupied Bobby Dodd, and did every other irrational form of protest we could in showing how upset we were.

Surely the Middle Tennessee game would be a chance to right the ship once more before playing the second biggest game left on our schedule against Clemson. Here's a game we've won twice in a row, against an inferior opponent, at home. How could we lose?

We lost. Nobody showed up (fans or team), the Jackets appeared to be "running in quicksand" (to quote CPJ's postgame comments), and Middle Tennessee State ran us out of our own building.

Now, September's over. Georgia Tech lost 3 games in the worst ways possible (2 in overtime after last minute leads, 1 by 3 TD's against an inferior team at home). The fans are looking at each other sideways, wondering what happened to all of the hope we had as recently as 11 days ago, in the third quarter against Miami. We have 7 games left, 2 against Clemson and georgia (I won't say we've already lost them, but I think we can agree that winning those would be a miracle at this point). Tech needs 4 wins to be bowl-eligible, and make a "bowl game" in the loosest sense of the word. 4 losses would mean our streak of bowl games would end.

What happens from here? What coaches are kept? Who plays? The future is clouded so thick with uncertainty that I can't even tell you for sure that we'll lose on Saturday (because, honestly, anyone is capable of beating Clemson on any given weekend, and Georgia Tech is capable of beating most anyone on any given weekend). Will the fans show up for the final 3 home games? Is this the year we lose to Duke? Is this the year we beat georgia? The future of this team is looking rather bleak considering September's results, but from what we know about this team, they have a weird, unpredictable control over that future that could end in this group (that sits dead in the water at the moment) reeling off 7 victories and playing on New Year's Eve. (Granted, if you're going to Vegas any time soon, I wouldn't recommend placing a bet on this...let's just say you might bankrupt a casino if you won it.)

All is not lost, Tech fans. Like I said, if there's anything we know about this bunch, it's that they're more than capable of losing a game that they have no business losing, just as they're more than capable of winning a game that they have no business winning. Stick with this team. They're a talented bunch and need our support now more than ever. Let's get this thing back on the rails and finish strong.

7 games left, folks. The results to date have been far from predictable -- you think the future results are more predictable?

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