Jim Grobe, the former head coach over at Wake Forest (phew, he got out just in time), has named Georgia Tech as his "team to beat" in the race for the ACC Coastal crown and a chance to
get curb-stomped by compete against Florida State in the ACC Championship. All jokes aside, an endorsement from Grobe, who is obviously well-informed in terms of the ACC, should be very exciting for you as a Tech fan. In all honesty, a win versus Miami could would make the Coastal Division Tech's to lose. The winner of the Coastal will likely only have one ACC loss on the season (maybe two), which means that a number of teams could be effectively eliminated from contention as early as this week. Regardless of what goes down, Grobe's perception of Tech as a program hopefully reflects the views of the nation as a whole when it comes to Georgia Tech football. A winning culture needs to be backed by the perception of a winning program by everyone watching.
In terms of punt return specialists, the ACC is the absolute premier conference. Featuring the likes of Jamal Golden, Ryan Switzer, Jamison Crowder, and Kermit Whitfield, our very own underdog conference has the potential to dominate in the return game day after day. The problem, for this season at least, is that none of last season's special teams stars are shining very brightly at all --the ACC is the only power conference without a punt return for a touchdown this season. Jamal Golden in particular, as good as he has been in the past, just hasn't hit the seams like we are accustomed to seeing. While it isn't really fair to judge his punt return performance for the season (he has only two on the season), it is mildly surprising to see that he isn't producing at the level many people expected him to. Whether it's due to his injury from last season or not I'm not sure, but his special teams production from two seasons ago has been sorely missed so far in 2014.
Paul Johnson, when asked yesterday about getting the passing game more involved in the offense at Georgia Tech, responded with yet another phenomenal answer which could have come from no mouth but his own:
"I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about scoring one more point than the other team. If we don’t throw it at all and we win on Saturday, I’ll be happy. If we have to throw it 35 times to win, I’ll be happy. I don’t go out there trying to get somebody…. I’m not worried somebody ‘getting involved;’ I’m trying to win a game. If you’re a good enough player, it’ll come to you. You’ll get yourself involved. If you make plays, you’ll get more action."
His statements, while they are painfully Paul Johnson-y, are very true nonetheless. We hear a lot about getting a certain player or part of a team "more involved" in the game, but rarely do we stop to see if getting that player involved actually helps anyone. Good point, Paul. Good point.
With Georgia Tech being one of two undefeated teams in the ACC, the playoff spotlight has begun to shine on... Atlanta? Yes, Atlanta. As in where the Georgia Institute of Technology is located. It would seem that a 4-0 start to the season gets you a lot more credit than one would think, even when three of your victories come against easy opponents. While Tech is not really in the playoff conversation right now, I really think that the Jackets could be after a 6 or 7-0 start. This is an exciting time to be a Yellow Jacket, everyone. Soak it in before COFH!
What odds to you give Georgia Tech of making the playoffs? What about for winning the ACCC?
Have a great Thursday!