Each of Georgia Tech's injured starters -- Zach Laskey, Charles Perkins, and Patrick Gamble -- have officially returned to practice following their respective injuries suffered in recent weeks. This is fantastic news for Paul Johnson and company because it likely means that the Jackets will be at full strength as they move into the toughest part of the schedule, a section which encompasses meetings with NCSU, Clemson, uga, possibly Florida State, and a to-be-determined bowl team. I think that the return of defensive lineman Patrick Gamble is especially underrated; the redshirt sophomore had a very strong showing against Virginia and was really helping Tech's struggling defensive front to generate some pressure.
The coming weeks, as I alluded to in the previous paragraph, will be very trying for a young Georgia Tech team. With just one home game remaining on the slate out of four or five possible games, every single player on the roster will have to bring his A-game week in and week out if Tech hopes to maximize the success of the season. We could be looking at a disappointing 7-6 finish just as easily as we could stumble upon 9 to 10 wins, so don't take anything for granted as we hit the home stretch for the season. Man, being this close to the end of 2014 is honestly just depressing. Can we PLEASE extend the college season to, say, 14 games? I'd be totally on board with paying college athletes if it meant that I got to watch more football.*
*tongue in cheek remark, but not really
As you may have heard, former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore was forced into retirement after suffering a serious of knee injuries which kept him off the field for the majority of his post-collegiate career. The news is extremely disheartening for a guy with as much potential as him, but it does bring up the question of whether or not he missed out on prime moneymaking years because of the NCAA. My 100% honest response to that article was a feeling that we are using a terrible string of injuries to a college star for the purpose of arguing in support of athletes getting paid and in an anti-NCAA type of way. I will be the first to tell you that the NCAA messes up pretty much everything, but using this situation as a means to criticize them is a stretch. Some of the comments on the post echo the same sentiment as I'm trying to articulate -- Lattimore attending South Carolina was not a guarantee of an NFL career, but rather an opportunity to get a high quality education which would prepare you for life outside of football. To say that anything the NCAA or South Carolina did is wrong is simply inaccurate. Are there policies which need revision? Sure. Does that mean that we should blame the NCAA for everything that goes wrong? Hardly. Because of his opportunities which were afforded to him by the NCAA and South Carolina, Lattimore is prepared with a a good education to go out and find a job. Hell, he even has $2.825 million stashed away at age 23. The situation, as unfortunate as it is, is no where near as scandalous as it is made out to be in the post.
Jimbo Fisher may just have expressed the greatest truth in recent months: the playoff system shouldn't overlook winning as it considers participants for the new postseason system. Everyone is so wrapped up in all of the statistics and strength of schedule madness that we often forget how important winning games is. Everyone looks for a way to make a loss look better from the SEC and a win look worse from any other conference. If FSU played uga's schedule, I'd say that it's more than fair to assume an unbeaten or one-loss season from the Noles, even in the SEC. Why then do we fault them for winning out in the ACC when two-loss teams make the cut from the SEC?
So much to talk about, so little time. The last two links should provide more than enough food for thought. See you in the comments!
Have a great Thursday!