A quick 1-4 start in ACC play has Georgia Tech's NCAA Tournament hopes looking dreary, writes the AJC's Ken Sugiura. Although the slow start doesn't preclude a trip to the big dance entirely, most experts claim that a 19-12 finish to the season -- which would entail winning 8 of the final 13 conference games -- is Tech's best shot. It isn't out of the realm of possibility considering that the majority of the remaining games will be either at home or against manageable opposition, but losses to the ETSUs and VTs of the world are not helping the team's case. A win in the ACC Tournament would qualify the team for immediate eligibility in the tournament, but winning in the regular season is the preferable path to take.
JUCO transfer Desmond Branch, one of four recruits who enrolled early at Tech, could be in line to make an immediate impact for Ted Roof's much-maligned defensive line unit during the 2016 season. Branch, a 6-foot-3 defensive end out of Trinity Junior College, is likely the most talented passrusher in the upcoming class at this point. That thought, however, could be a bit misleading -- Branch is the only true passrusher in the 2016 class for Paul Johnson. Hopefully he will be able to carve out a nice role for himself relatively quickly and not get sucked into nonexistence like fellow JUCO defensive end Kenderius Whitehead did during 2015.
The way-too-early Heisman Trophy odds for the 2016 season were released yesterday, with Clemson's Deshaun Watson leading all contenders at 9/2 odds. When it's all said and done, Tech will have played three of the players on the list during the season -- Watson, Georgia's Nick Chubb, and Miami's Brad Kaaya. The Jackets, as of right now, are a combined 3-2 in games started by that trio. That's a number with absolutely no weight or significance, but finding the positives is something that last season has made me proficient at.
I'll leave you today with the latest installment in the Jim Harbaugh recruiting series, this time coming in the form of the second-year Michigan coach attending a recruit's Religion class. It may be too early to tell, but these tactics sure seem to be working for Harbaugh. Maybe Paul Johnson should get in on the tree-climbing, sleepover-having shenanigans in order to get some extra leverage. Just imagine the five-star guys that will come knocking the second CPJ scurries up the nearest tree.
What are Georgia Tech's odds of finishing 19-12 and making the tournament?