Lessons in Perceptions of College Football...

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Members of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets take the field before the game against Bacarri Rambo #18 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

I had a discussion the other day with some CFB fans from other schools, and the topic of recruiting at highly academically ranked schools was debated. In characteristic fashion, the verbal volleys flew about CPJ's ability to recruit, the difficulty that Tech self-imposes with its narrowly-focused curriculum, and the difficulty of recruits getting in and staying in school. Then someone said it..."you guys should be more like (other school)...".

I present to you an exhibit of the recent histories of two major college football teams from BCS conferences. School A, over the past 17 seasons, has an overall record of 131-82 (includes a bowl record of 5-10), a BCS Bowl appearance, and a Heisman finalist. School B, during that same timeframe, has an overall record of 100-99 (includes a bowl record of 2-5), 2 BCS Bowl appearances, and two Heisman finalists.

Not aware of the data, my fellow debaters predictably expressed the sentiment that "School A should be more like School B" in it's recruiting and academic philosophies to be more competitive. Of course, School A is Georgia Tech. But can you guess School B? I reveal after the jump...

Stanford is School B in this comparison. But Tom, I'm sure you'll say...Stanford is good. Over the last 2 seasons they have 23 wins, a PAC 12 title, and the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft in Andrew Luck. Why wouldn't we want to be more like that? Of course I want Georgia Tech to be like that...the problem is is that no one is ever that good for extended periods of several years. Players come and go, Coaches find upward (or downward) mobility, and the competitive environment constantly changes.

What if I painted a different picture of Stanford for you...one that shows bad hires, inferior players, and stretches of sheer uncompetitveness.

Year W L ConfW ConfL Bowl

1995 7 4 5 3 L

1996 7 5 5 3 W

1997 5 6 3 5

1998 3 8 2 6

1999 8 4 7 1 L

2000 5 6 4 4

2001 9 3 6 2 L

2002 2 9 1 7

2003 4 7 2 6

2004 4 7 2 6

2005 5 6 4 4

2006 1 11 1 8

2007 4 8 3 6

2008 5 7 4 5

2009 8 5 6 3 L

2010 12 1 8 1 W

2011 11 2 8 1


Pay close attention to the Buddy Teevens and Walt Harris stretch of 2002-2006 where Stanford only won 16 games in 5 years. Of course, in 2007 they made a fantastic hire in Jim Harbaugh, who brought renewed energy and skill to the program...and eventually recruited Andrew Luck at QB. But of course, he's now up the road with the San Francisco 49ers...and the future of the program is in the hands of his former OC, career college and NFL assistant David Shaw. His 2011 campaign, in Luck's senior season, was outstanding. But can he keep the momentum going?

Georgia Tech's track record since 1995 is another story. In the 17 years encompassing George O'Leary, Chan Gailey, and the current tenure of Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech football has the following record...

Year W L ConfW ConfL Bowl

1995 6 5 5 3

1996 5 6 4 4

1997 7 5 5 3 W

1998 10 2 7 1 W

1999 8 4 5 3 L

2000 9 3 6 2 L

2001 8 5 4 4 W

2002 7 6 4 4 L

2003 7 6 4 4 W

2004 7 5 4 4 W

2005 7 5 5 3 L

2006 9 5 7 1 L

2007 7 6 4 4 L

2008 9 4 5 3 L

2009 11 3 7 1 L

2010 6 7 4 4 L

2011 8 5 5 3


Georgia Tech has participated in 15 straight bowl games, tied for 4th amongst all FBS schools. This includes bettering Michigan, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and many more schools considered among CFB's "elite". Stanford is currently working on a 3 game streak (of course 2 of those being the Orange and Fiesta).

While past results don't usually predict future outcomes, before we re-model our entire student athletics philosophies and academic curriculum...let's wait and see if Stanford is truly doing something superior to us (recruiting, facilities, campus life, academics...everything)...or if their recent success has simply been the result of two strong hires (Tyrone Willingham, Jim Harbaugh) who didn't hesitate to leave for greener pastures.

The record is clear to me...in my opinion we shouldn't try to be like Stanford...Stanford should try to be more like us.

How about you? Are you tired of hearing such comparisons?

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