Though the going has gotten tough for Georgia Tech over the past few weeks, firing Paul Johnson is almost certainly not the solution to the football team’s woes. As frustratingly inconsistent as his team has been for the past two seasons, the truth remains that few coaches could — or have, at least in the post-Bobby Dodd era — performed better at Tech than he has.
Since that time the academic situation at Tech has only gotten more difficult and competitive, a change that hardly makes winning football games any easier. In fact, it makes just about everything harder as far as athletics go, a disappointing side-effect of an otherwise phenomenal development for the school and community. The alumni base is smaller and more spread out, and facilities struggle to remain competitive as a result. That doesn’t help Johnson’s case whatsoever, and placing the blame completely on his shoulders would be erroneous.
That said, a three-game losing streak doesn’t change how much easier the rest of the season schedule should be. That starts this weekend against Georgia Southern in a game that Tech should absolutely win given the struggles of the Eagles this season and impending possibility of enduring a four-game losing streak; the 2016 GSU team is simply not the one that gave the 2014 Jackets trouble in Atlanta. Of course, no game against an option team is a given. We’ve seen that theory at work a number of times over the past few seasons in our favor, but Southern is no different. Johnson’s mindset on turnovers in the press conference, feeling that “we’re due” after a slow start, is not exactly inspiring. I’m all for the positivity, but there are steps to be taken that will ensure increased turnovers in the future beyond being “due” or “lucky”.
No day is complete without a happy thought or two regarding the possibility that Tech could actually reach the ACC Championship game this season despite three early-season conference losses. It would take a whole lot for the Jackets to make it to Orlando this winter but last week was at least a bit helpful, with Florida State taking care of Miami. The Pitt loss hurts this dream a lot, and the Jackets would absolutely have to go undefeated in conference play the rest of the way while also being huge Virginia Tech/UNC fans, but only in moderation. It would be a horrendously ugly and difficult balance between cheering for and against Pitt, UNC, Virginia Tech, and Miami — the Coastal’s main challengers — but there’s a chance!
Have a great Wednesday!