Almost eight months ago, I wrote a piece about how Georgia Tech could go about righting the ship while navigating the waters of in-state college athletics. With a university(sic) like georgia dominating everything from shelf space at Walmart to sheer volume of fans, Tech was and still is at a major disadvantage when it comes to ticket sales and recruiting. Against a heavily-biased media and a poor track record in head-to-head matchups as of late, regaining control of the rivalry was a tall order for the Jackets.
In 2014, they took a step in the right direction.
With the exception of one baseball game, which took place in Athens at the beginning of the season and ended controversially on a blown runner interference call in the bottom of the ninth, the Jackets won every matchup in "the big three" sports - football, basketball, and baseball - against the dwags.
Further, the Jackets were ultimately the better football team this year. They finished at 11-3, won the Orange Bowl over an SEC West team (yes, the SEC West, the greatest division in college football history to ever go 2-5 in the bowls), and took an elite Florida State squad to the wire in the ACC Championship game. They'll finish in the Top 10, send a few players to the NFL, and return one of the nation's top quarterbacks in Justin Thomas, who put on a show on national TV on New Year's Eve.
The Jackets are gaining publicity and national recognition. They've taken the right first step, which is to start winning big games on big stages. Their continued success on the field will be key in truly turning the tides, though. Consecutive ten- or eleven-win seasons probably won't convert a huge number of sidewalk fans to the white and gold, but it will help revive a fan base of dormant Jackets fans who have fallen out of love with seven-win seasons and losing to georgia.
For now, the Jackets have done more than most of us reasonably expected.