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Post Orange Bowl Mailbag 1/6

We talk about nerdy stuff like the transitive property because we can do that at Georgia Tech!

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

How do you feel that we are a game away from Wake Forest being the transitive CFB national champions?

I really do love the transitive property. You know why? Because no matter who wins the national championship, you can use this property to show that Wake Forest is the rightful national champion. I'll start with the easier one, Ohio State.

Wake Forest beat Virginia Tech earlier this season by a final score of 6-3. At the beginning of the season, Virginia Tech beat Ohio State (more impressively at home) by a final score of 35-21.

You can also do this if Oregon wins.

We start out exactly like we just did with Wake Forest beating VPI and VPI beating Ohio State. From there, Ohio State beat Penn State 31-24. The Nittany Lions beat Boston College 31-30. BC beat USC 37-31. USC beat Arizona 28-26. And finally, Arizona beat Oregon (the first time at least) 31-24.

And in case you were wondering, no I didn't do all this research myself; I used this website (great site btw).

Also, just one other note. Since Georgia Tech beat Virginia Tech, they could be swapped out for Wake Forest in the justification for Tech as transitive national champions.

Our recruiting class ranking seems to be slipping as other classes fill out their classes. Do we have any possible commitments on the horizon that could give our class a boost? Have any kids on the fence commented about the Orange Bowl victory, the success the offense had this season and the obvious talent need on defense? We currently have 22 commitments, with the roster losses last summer, would Tech go for more than 25?

To my knowledge, Tech is still looking to get 2-3 more players for this class. The main reason the recruiting class has been slipping is because even though our recruits might not be the highest rated (a lot are underrated IMO) with the major recruiting services, they could still fit our system better than some people that might be rated higher.

As for people on the fence, the main one that I know of is defensive end Anree Saint-Amour is still deciding between Tech and Stanford. He's a guy that I feel will go Stanford as long as he actually gets in.

I haven't seen a whole lot of comments from people, but I've also been away from my computer the last couple of days volunteering at the Move Conference in Athens, so they very well could have put something up on Twitter that I have missed. You would just need to check.

I don't see Tech oversigning. If you'll remember, that was one of the main reasons Tech left the SEC in the first place, so I don't think they'd resort to it now.

Who ya got? Oregon or OSU?

I actually had Oregon and Ohio State in the championship game beforehand, so I'm proud to gloat to everyone who didn't.

As for this game, I'm going to take Oregon. Right now, I feel like Oregon is the single best team in the country. Cordale Jones is a good QB and Urban Meyer is a great coach, so it'll definitely be a hard-fought game. But I don't see Oregon losing.

With Mason gone, who do you think will step up as captain of the O-line to replicate the sort of offensive production we had this season (assuming JT is named captain again)?

First of all, I think JT will definitely be named a captain again.

As for the O-line, there are a couple guys I could see taking up that leadership role: Brian Chamberlain and Freddie Burden. Both of these guys stepped up in a big way for the O-line this season. Either one could step into that leadership role for us.

Replacing him at right guard is where things get tricky. There's definitely a few options here, but I think three guys will get the look here: Shamire DeVine, Gary Brown and incoming freshman Will Bryan.

DeVine got some good playing time in most of the games this season and seemingly improved in each game. If he doesn't get the RG job, I could see him continue to push Trey Braun at LG.

Brown and Bryan both really intrigue me. Brown won offensive scout team player of the year. The guy is as strong as an ox and reminds me a little of Shaq.

For Bryan, if you just watch his film, you may just fall in love with him. What's even better is that in high school, his team ran a zone-blocking scheme which is completely different from the way we run blocking. He's a guy that really likes to drive his defender downfield (not an easy thing to do when zone blocking). He'll be a good fit.

Right now, I think Gary Brown will win that job. I think DeVine will continue to push Braun (and may surpass him) and that Bryan could push for playing time at RT.

Recently I saw Golden motivating our younger backs and receivers (Leggett, Lynch, Searcy) on Twitter to work hard in the offseason and step up. (a) Is it common for leaders to guide younger players on opposite sides of the ball? (b) If not, could this be setting a new standard for team chemistry? Because I think it is vital that we replace the leadership skills as much as the talent of the departing seniors.

I think this really speaks to team chemistry as a whole. It's great to have players like Golden who can step up as leaders even fore players on the other side of the ball. I think Golden will definitely be a leader again next year and could very well be elected as team captain.

On defense, do we stick to a 4-2-5 or do we go back to the more talented 4-3 we had in 2013, utilizing healthier and more experienced personnel?

I think it'l look a lot like it did towards the end of this last season, where in more run-obvious situations, they'll come out in a 4-3, but utilize a 4-2-5 or pure nickel look in passing situations.

The only difference will be switching out the extra defensive back and the strongside linebacker. In our depth chart this season, it was commonly called the SAM. When we were in the 4-2-5 look, Demond Smith will get the spot with Tyler Marcordes playing in the 4-3 looks.

Do we expect the sort of roster attrition we suffered last offseason due to injuries, lack or projected delay of playing time (especially our young QBs since JT will still be a Jr. as well as our LB corps with only Nealy leaving), system mismatch, academic ineligibility (especially Hunt-Days and Whitehead), etc.? Can we counter this effectively with transfer recruits a la Brian Gregory?

Nobody ever expects the kind of attrition ever. It was a complete anomaly. I don't expect anything close to that. I think we'll probably still see some attrition, but nothing even close to what happened last year.

There are always players unhappy about the amount of playing time they think they should be getting.

I don't see any QBs transferring. The only one who I think would even contemplate it would be Byerly who has already transferred once in his college career, so I don't think he'll go through that again. He's more likely to play a different position that for a different team.

I think Hunt-Days and Whitehead will both be ready to play this season. The only reason Whitehead didn't play this year is because while at GMC, he did not complete the outrageous amount of work he would have needed to earn his degree and thus had to treat his transition to Tech has a true transfer situation instead of acting as a JUCO transfer, forcing him to sit out this year.

Are the Jacket Cagers Jekyll and Hyde, or is this just CBB in the 21st century?  Lose to Dayton, take the #13 team to 2 OT's. How does CBG get more consistent excellence from his team through this long grind?

Really I think this is just CBB in the 21st century. Any given day.

To get more consistent excellence, I think they should look at the football team. I talked earlier about team chemistry. I'm not sure that with all the new players on this team, they've quite made it to that same level yet.

Do I have to learn about basketball to still hang out on FTRS now that football is over?

Nah, you're good. If you have any questions, ask away. There are plenty of people here that know a lot more than me about basketball.

In addition to at least semi-regular football posts, we also have Beeball coming up. We're returning a good young ACC Championship-winning team, so we should have another good year there.

Ken Sugiura mentioned that if Georgia Tech faced 12 third down opportunities on Wednesday night they would need to convert nine of them to set the FBS single season record. We converted 9/13, so did we set it or not?

I don't believe so. I think that the way the math was done, we would have needed to convert 10 of those 13. In other words, if we didn't, we were REALLY close.

Who is the most efficient offense in college football history and why is it the 2014 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets?

This FanPost explains it pretty well. Here's a little snippet:

When it comes to total points scored, or yards per game, Paul Johnson's option offense is unlikely to ever win many beauty contests. While Georgia Tech ranks respectfully in the top 25 in both categories this year, (37 pts/game {17th}, 469 yards/game {21st}) the pace of GT's offense is too slow to ever compete with the Baylors, Oregons and Auburns of the College football world. While Art Bryle's offense runs nearly 90 plays per game, Paul Johnson's averages a pedestrian 70, despite holding on to the ball 4 and half minutes longer than Baylor.

This team has been my favorite one to watch and all the credit can't just go to one player. It belongs to every single one of them.

Justin Thomas has been an absolute God-send at quarterback. His speed and his ability to read the defense and even his luck in some of the chances he has taken have helped us time and time again.

Coming into the year, questions abounded about both the O-line and the A-backs. Nobody was quite sure how they would do. But they both performed admirably and we had players step up their game at both positions.

Ebony and Ivory rocked all year long at B-back. Those two, along with our wide receivers, no one really questioned a whole lot, but they still performed better than expectations. It was fantastic.

All around, great season. It will definitely be interesting to see how we follow up with it next year.

For 2015, we're losing Laskey, Days, Perkins, Bostic, Smelter, and Waller (and Hill and Zenon), who all have been among our most productive players on offense. Who do you think will end up filling their shoes in the A-back, B-back, and WR positions? Do we have any specific recruits that you anticipate will immediately produce on offense?

We certainly are losing a lot on offense, but with the caliber of our coaching staff, I'm not as worried as some people are. A lot of people are probably freaking out about how we're losing some of the most valuable parts of our offense, but I trust in the coaching staff to develop the guys we have coming in.

At A-back, Broderick Snoddy (who should be healthy) and Dennis Andrews will be relied upon heavily. And I'm perfectly OK with this. Snoddy had a great year before getting hurt and Andrews stepped up in his absence, so I'm very comfortable with those two being our two main A-backs next season.

At B-back, this is where things get interesting. We will not be returning a single B-back who had a carry this season (or ever). Likely starting will be redshirt freshman CJ Leggett, who almost had his redshirt burned this season before the breaking out of Synjyn Days. He, along with incoming freshmen Mikell Lands-Davis and Quaide Weimerskirch and possibly Marcus Marshall, should form a formidable attack coming from B-back.

At wide receiver, we actually have a few guys I think will get the majority of the playing time. Micheal Summers, who has already received a good deal of playing time in his career, Antonio Messick and Ricky Jeune all bring in-game experience, though Jeune has never recorded a reception. Among those three (along with everyone else we have), I'm pretty confident JT will find some new targets to throw to.

I think we'll see a few different freshmen play. I've already mentioned the guys at B-back. At A-back, Omahri Jarrett and Taquon Marshall both have a chance to play. At wide recevier, Harland Howell probably has the best chance.

Also, Mason has been fantastic this year, and losing him is gonna hurt. I know that most of the guys on the O-line should be returning, but how much do you think losing Shaq will affect the effectiveness of the O-line next year?

Losing an All-American and a leader is never easy, especially for a position like O-line. I explained a lot of this in an earlier question, but I'll go ahead and rehash that here.

In terms of leaders for the O-line, I think Brian Chamberlain or Freddie Burden will step up. At RG, we'll see one of Shamire DeVine, Gary Brown or Will Bryan.

Will GT ever schedule and play a second quality OOC opponent like they did in the mid-2000s again?

Yeah. We've already got some stuff lined up too in the near future. In addition to playing Notre Dame next year, in 2019, in 2021, and in 2024. 2016 will also be a big year for OOC opponents. Currently we have Vandy and Georgia Southern lined up on the schedule with uga and Mercer. We play Tulane again in 2018 and 2019.  We'll play USF in 2021 and 2022. Perhaps the most exciting future match up we have is a home-and-home series with Ole Miss currently scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

There are still rumors that we could be in one of the 2017 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff games, so that would count too.

I don't think we're going to start seeing Tech play a different team from the SEC every year, but we'll certainly see the Athletic Administration continue to add other various P5 teams as teams' schedules open up and teams can come to an agreement.

Has this season established a new "culture of success" on the Flats? This football team proved that good attitudes, hard work, and unselfish support of fellow teammates produces fantastic results. Tech players are pretty smart guys. Do you think this attitude will rub off on future teams so we can have more great seasons? How about the recruits coming in?

I really hope this season has accomplished that, but there will be no way to know for sure until we see the future product of this team. This team built up a lot of chemistry prior to the season and it very clearly paid its dividends. From everything I've seen, that has only continued. And for that to continue into the future, young players will need to keep stepping up and building bonds with the even younger players on recruits.

Do you think the offense regresses a bit next season with all the losses?

Probably. I don't see us setting the offensive efficiency record again next season. I think the offense will still be very productive and have a chance to be something truly special in 2016 when JT is a senior and our offensive skill positions are a bit more established.

How does the NCAA screw us out of this trophy?

Jabbajacket summed it up pretty well:

The NCAA can kiss my ass.

But really, they'll probably say someone found five bucks lying on the ground somewhere and picked it up and call it "improper benefits."

Could you check out a report I heard that Justin Thomas told a reporter that "the triple option wasn't his thing?" Did anyone think a year ago what a blessing Vad's leaving was?

If that were true, I'd probably do a lot of something that I probably shouldn't do.

The whole Vad Lee situation actually turned out really well for both sides. We discovered Justin Thomas and literally had one of the best offenses ever.

Vad didn't turn out too badly either. He completed 61% of his passes for 3462 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also added another 826 yards on the ground (team-best) and nine touchdowns.

Most importantly, did you know Adam Gotsis was from Australia?

*Checks Bingo card*

Even though they're pointless, where do you think Tech will be ranked going into the 2015-16 season?

I think we'll probably fall a little bit because our recruiting class, while good in the eyes of most fans, is not as good as other top-ranked teams' in they eyes of the people voting.

I anticipate Tech will be ranked about No. 10.