(Thanks to all the site contributors who gave feedback)
Patience is never in ample supply in the world of College Football. Georgia Tech is no exception, where a 1-2 division record has all but ruled out a trip to the ACC Championship Game...and it's only week 4. The effects of losing 2 games (heartbreakers I might add) with such high-stakes early scheduling are being felt far too early from a fanbase that was eager to build on an 8-5 record from 2011 and take the next step.
Of course, we are not writing off the current season. Even at 2-2, 8 or 9 wins and a decent bowl game are still relative possibilities. But a major goal is pretty much off the board now (ACCCG), and it forces us to think ahead. Well, just what that next step will look like is cloudy at this point. After all, the reasons thrown out by many fans for our early demise are too overwhelming to count (I know you've heard many of these before)...
THE TRIPLE OPTION WON'T WORK
CPJ CAN'T RECRUIT BETTER ATHLETES
CAG ISN'T IMPROVING OUR DEFENSE
CPJ CAN'T MANAGE A LEAD
TEVIN SUCKS PLAY VAD LEE
OUR OFFENSE HURTS OUR DEFENSIVE PREPARATION
WE CAN'T BEAT "ELITE" TEAMS
...and so on and so on. Now, I have no issue whatsoever with the emotional fan reacting passionately to a tough loss. But losing games, like the one this past Saturday, often breathe doubt into the general direction of the program. So the question on my mind is...are we going in a good direction as a football program?
Instead of providing you that opinion, I thought I would open the floor for a good healthy debate. After the jump I will show you a sampling of what some FTRS contributors think...but the point here isn't to knee-jerk and opine about greener grass...it's about taking the long view of what this program is doing or not doing right to play competitive football and maintain the academic integrity of the Institute we all love and respect.
LilBroey700 - "I'd say the issue (about losing to Miami) was more "X's and O's" than "Jimmies and Joes". Look at the second and third quarters -- we were in control, regardless of the talent differential. Then something changed, and those same athletes all of a sudden saw nothing working. I'd have a really hard time justifying how that could be blamed on the athletes themselves as opposed to the scheme. Al Groh seems to have issues creating an effective scheme with the players he's been given. This is most obvious in creating pressure on the QB."
Atlanta's Original Team- "The general direction of the team is positive, if we can keep the disappointment of this loss from contaminating the rest of the season. There are several things that indicate a positive progression from last year. For instance, one can simply look at the score of last year's losses to Virginia Tech and to Miami and compare them to this year. This year's games were not only closer, we could very easily have these games, and, whether one is using the eyeball test or cherry picking particular game statistics, this year's team overall is out performing last year's. The problem remains that we are two or three studs away from having enough talent to finish off close games against tough opponents."
acedarney - "Until we have skill position players that can consistently win one-on-one battles, we won't consistently win close games. You won't always block every defender on every play, so the ball carriers need to make something happen sometimes."
TBuzz - "My criteria for a good program, taking the academic component out of it, is how competitive your team is versus the schedule and against good teams. Not to bash Gailey and Tenuta, but there were times we were out-classed athletically, out-schemed...or both...en route to blowout losses (look at some of the VPI or UGA scores during that tenure). I have written on end about the competitive advantages of having a vastly different offense. But at some point we need to see buy-in from difference-making athletes (on defense as well) for us to reach bigger goals than just 8-9 win seasons. The fact that CPJ is as competitive as he is, when you consider the meteoric rise in graduation rates, speaks volumes about his ability to recruit the right players and coach them up. Vad Lee, Francis Kallon, Justin Thomas, and Shamire Devine (should he sign) will make or break CPJ's legacy."
millsGT49 - "If we can close on the one or two defensive players each cycle that we are always close to grabbing (we really almost had Chickillo, Matt?), our defense goes from good to great."
Please join in the debate. From your vantage point, where could we improve as a program? Are our expectations too high as a fanbase? Academic obstacles? Recruiting issues? Are we on the right track despite our recent losses?