The first and last edition in which I encourage following in the footsteps of the SEC...
Beesball has no intentions of being consistent this season, and the latest piece of incriminating evidence is the series loss this weekend to the the the NC State Wolfpack. The Jackets just couldn't get their offense working at any point in the three game set, scoring just three runs in total and allowing nine runs (seven of which came in the finale). Tech has now dropped five of their last seven outings and are staring at a 12-12 ACC record in a division which will end the season with a tight race for the ACC tournament and consequently a possible NCAA berth. Tech has just seven games left on their schedule for this season, including series's versus Virginia Tech and UVA, and one game stand versus North Flordia. The VT and North Florida series's will be played at Russ Chandler Stadium, but the biggest series versus top ranked Virginia will be played in always hostile Charlottesville.
Just in case you forgot that Georgia Tech is a golfing powerhouse, this is your reminder. The Yellow Jacket golf team has just won their seventh ACC title in nine years (!), an honor that I would think makes them a dynasty in the golfing community (if only they could grab seven football titles in nine years). They pulled it off behind a -12 performance from Junior Ollie Schniederjans, brother of pitcher Ben Schniederjans, who is considered to be one of the premier collegiate golfers in the nation (#4 in the country), and the Tech team is ranked #2 in the nation, behind only Alabama and just ahead of #3 UGA. The Jackets also boast two other top-100 players in #21 Seth Reeves and #92 Anders Albertson, both of whom performed very well at the latest tournament.
RamblinWreck.com sat down with Paul Johnson to clear up some of the most pressing issues facing the Georgia Tech program this season. Some of the things he said that I think are key for the team in 2014:
-Points out the the Jackets exceed preseason expectations most seasons (I can only think of one writer who consistently gives Tech too much credit in the preseason and you all made me swear not to mention her.)
-Names Zach Laskey, Quashawn Nealy, and others as key leaders for the Yellow Jacket team. Shaq Mason will have to step up big time to help anchor the OL, which will be without longtime contributors such as Ray Beno, Jay Finch, and Will Jackson.
-Hints that there is some good depth at OL to replace said key contributors who have graduated.
-Touched on the lack of big injuries in the spring, which should benefit depth greatly at the beginning of the season.
Mini-link: This year's graduation class includes seventy-two current and former athletes, including Daniel Miller, TJ Barnes, Kammeon Holsey, and even Josh Nesbitt. This number illustrates a big improvement, especially in the football program since CPJ took the reigns, and no matter how you look at it that is still seventy-two more student athletes than are graduating in Athens at this time of year.
The SEC has taken a step in the right direction as far as strength of schedule goes by requiring each of their member schools to schedule a game with a fellow power conference school (ACC, B1G, Big-12, Pac-12). This should go a long way in eliminating the little fruit-cup games versus FCS or low-tier D-I opponents from weaker conferences and will certainly improve the overall quality of the schedule. I would be a big advocate for the ACC to take this step as well (or expand to a nine game ACC schedule so that we would get to see more Atlantic Divison teams, we don't even see Louisville until after 2020) mainly because it would increase attendance and make things much more interesting. I would pay much more to see Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State than Tech vs. Elon ($3 on StubHub), and I'd imagine that all fans would share that feeling. I also have a bit of an issue with FBS schools paying FCS schools to come and get destroyed 70-0 to open up the season (or paying FCS schools who then destroy the FBS school, poor Florida) and either adding another conference game or requiring another power conference matchup would make this a lot less common. Maybe we would get to see a quality opponent instead of Alabama A&M late in the season; I would rather lose a game to a power conference school than blow out an FCS school any day.
Daily Debate: Would you like to see the ACC stick with its current schedule formatting, add a ninth ACC game, or follow the path the SEC has taken to improve strength of schedule?
Have a great Tuesday!