Well 2014 was pretty fun, wasn’t it? With Justin Thomas back at quarterback, an experienced offensive line and many starters returning on defense, the Jackets should be primed to go back to another New Years Six Bowl Game, right? Well, maybe not. There are some concerns when you look at Paul Johnson’s track record coming off big seasons. Does anyone else remember the 2010 meltdown? Sure that was a team that was bringing a new starting quarterback, but everyone - especially Tech fans - expected more. So what is the worst case scenario for the Yellow Jackets in 2015? Let’s take a look:
Game 1: Alcorn State
If Tech loses this game then it’s the worst of worst case scenarios. What could be alarming for Tech fans is if the team struggles. They won’t, so let’s move on.
Georgia Tech 56, Alcorn State 13
Game 2: Tulane
Tulane isn’t a bad team. They’re not a good team, but the Jackets will get a stronger opponent in Week 2. The Green Wave is a team that the Jackets should handle. Again, a loss to Tulane and the Jackets are in real, deep trouble. If the Jackets don’t start off 2-0, the Paul Johnson haters will be back and they will be loud.
Georgia Tech 38, Tulane 17
Game 3: Notre Dame
So the Jackets go from Alcorn State, to Tulane, to Notre Dame? Ouch. This game will be a tough one for one big reason: no one really knows what to think of Notre Dame. National writers think the world of them and football fans throughout the nation will always call them, "Overrated." This will be the game that will determine how competitive these programs will be in 2015. Count me in as one of those that think that Notre Dame is overrated and wholeheartedly believes that the Jackets will win. Everett Golson is out at quarterback and it’s too early to know exactly what to expect out of Malik Zaire. But this is a worst case scenario, isn’t it? The Jackets offense stumbles with consistency and the defense breaks more than it bends, as they lose on the road to the Fighting Irish.
Georgia Tech 17, Notre Dame 20
Game 4: Duke
This game will be a letdown for the Jackets after losing to Notre Dame on September 19th. Duke will be without Jamison Crowder, arguably their most explosive player in 2014, in this match-up, but Anthony Boone will still be a problem. The Jackets will have one in the loss column and it will be a big one. The national media will talk about how much this team was supposed to do and how everything is looking bleak. Johnson will try to rally his team and use this as motivation, but Boone will be a problem. The 2014 Yellow Jackets defense struggled to keep mobile quarterbacks in check and the Blue Devils were no different. Couple the loss to Notre Dame and the problems that Boone will create, and the Jackets go down swinging again on the road in consecutive weeks.
Georgia Tech 27, Duke 35
Game 5: North Carolina
After losing two games, the Jackets return to Grant Field only to play a team that put up big numbers against them in 2014. Expect another shootout, but don’t expect a Tech team at its lowest to rebound and stop Marquise Williams, a sleeper for ACC Player of the Year. The Jackets will be searching for a win, but, again, a dual-threat quarterback will burn the defense and the offense will not make enough plays to win this contest.
Georgia Tech 42, North Carolina 51
Game 6: Clemson
KEEP THE DUAL-THREAT QUARTERBACKS COMING, OTHER ACC TEAMS! Yes, another dual-threat quarterback will face off against Georgia Tech when they travel to Clemson on October 10th. Deshaun Watson’s play making ability will take complete advantage of the Yellow Jackets shaky defense play in the previous weeks, and a game that so many had circled as the ACC Game of the Year before the season began will have lost its luster. Clemson is already the big favorite in the ACC and will be just fine, despite losing so much on defense from a year ago. Sure that unit will be inexperienced to start the season, but they’ll have plenty by the time Georgia Tech comes knocking.
Georgia Tech 17, Clemson 38
Game 7: Pittsburgh
This is getting so depressing that I need a drink. After losing four-straight games, the Jackets will rebound against Pittsburgh in Week 7. All the Paul Johnson and Ted Roof haters will be out and no one will really care about how the Yellow Jackets beat Pittsburgh because this team will be 3-4 and many expected playoff consideration before the season began.
Georgia Tech 37, Pittsburgh 24
Game 8: Florida State
Oh, can’t you just hear the naysayers now? Think of all the self-loathing that will be going on by the time Florida State comes rolling into Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 24th. At 3-4 everyone will be expecting the worst and in this worst case scenario that’s exactly what happens. The Jackets again cannot figure out how to defend a dual-threat quarterback in Everett Golson and Dalvin Cook does the same thing he did to the Jackets in the 2014 ACC Championship Game. No offensive line, no problem for the Seminoles, who will have had eight weeks to work out the kinks.
Georgia Tech 23, Florida State 31
Game 9: Virginia
Oh, well at least Virginia, Alcorn State and Tulane are on the schedule. Those are three games that I would be very surprised that the Jackets struggle in, much less lose. It won’t matter in this worst case scenario. Even after beating Mike London’s squad, Jacket fans will claim that his 26-43 record makes him a better coach than CPJ. Ah, life on the Flats. Even in the worst of scenarios, the Jackets roll here.
Georgia Tech 38, Virginia 10
Game 10: Virginia Tech
Oh, great. The Jackets are 4-5 in this mock and they haven’t even played Beamerball yet. Last year’s game was great and ended with a come-from-behind win for the Jackets. They won’t be so lucky in this simulation. The team will be defeated emotionally and Bud Foster will find a way to stump Paul Johnson’s offense for the sixth time in eight tries. Don’t worry Tech fans, because at this point you can look forward to more of Coach Brian Gregory and the Georgia Tech basketball program.
Georgia Tech 17, Virginia Tech 23
Game 11: Miami
Miami has a lot of talent, but this game won’t be about the programs. No, this game will be about which coach gets to keep their job. Miami fans are already clamoring for Al Golden to lose his job and with a 4-6 start, Georgia Tech faithful will turn on the man that just won the 2014 Orange Bowl in decisive manner. Miami falls to Georgia Tech only because this team has all but quit on their head ball coach, but Brad Kaaya makes things interesting. The defense stops their first dual-threat quarterback and the Jackets come within one of bowl eligibility.
Georgia Tech 31, Miami 27
Game 12: georgia
So one win away from bowl eligibility and the Jackets get a home game, the only problem is that it’s against their in-state rival, which is also ranked No.1 in the nation (Hey, it’s a worst case scenario, right?). The Jackets start off strong and why not? They’re playing to knock Georgia off their dumb pedestal and they’re trying to play in the 2015 postseason. The Jackets keep the game close at halftime, but it’s all for naught. The dwags win in crushing fashion and deny Tech a bowl game for the first time since 1996 and finishes 5-7.
Georgia Tech 17, georgia 38
So the Jackets don’t make the playoffs for the first time in two decades AND THAT’S SOMETHING THAT EVEN CHAN GAILEY COULD DO, PAUL JOHNSON! Sorry for yelling. Oh, and georgia wins the National Championship and replaces all the "We Run This State" signs with "We Run This Country" signs, only they spell it wrong.
No one needs to panic. This is the worst case scenario and it doesn’t look very likely to me. I expect the Jackets to be better, of course, but it’s important to understand that there is a tough stretch for this team that begins Week 3 of the college football season. To compare, the Yellow Jackets had to come back against the Georgia Southern Eagles of the Sun Belt Conference in Week 3 last year. Such a hiccup in 2015 could cripple this team. If Tech makes it out by losing just one or none of those games, then let’s start talking ACC Championship. If they lose all four, let’s get ready to defend/fire Paul Johnson.
Will the season play out this way? I don’t think so, but never say never.