Increased success down the stretch may have been enough to quell the complaints of disgruntled Tech fans temporarily, but whether or not that patience extends to the Georgia Tech front office will likely determine Brian Gregory's fate as head coach on The Flats. The only thing we know for sure is that it will be hard to fire Gregory if he takes the team to an NCAA Tournament berth or possibly even a deep NIT or ACC Tournament run just because of how ugly that would appear to prospective coaches. The message that such an accomplishment is not good enough at a rebuilding school like Georgia Tech is not one worth sending. That said, Gregory's job security is still very much up in the air. Failure to win tonight against Clemson very well could be the final straw for the fifth-year head coach, although athletic director Mike Bobinski's tendency to examine the full body of work could make that statement invalid.
Speaking of that major ACC Tournament game against Clemson, it will mark the third game this year between the Tigers and Jackets as well as the 130th overall meeting between the two schools. Tech split the series with Clemson during the regular season, so it will be interesting to see who can come out ahead on a neutral court. It will be even more interesting to see which way the crowd goes, as small as it may be. Playing in Washington, D.C. this year doesn't do either team too many favors on that front. The first round of the tournament, from which Tech was exempt for the first time in a long while, concluded yesterday with a blowout win by Florida State over Boston College (which dropped the Eagles to a horrendous 0-19 in the ACC) and a tight win by NC State over Wake Forest. Though the Jackets would be hard pressed to play either of those teams -- it would require two tournament wins by Tech and two more by those two schools -- their presence is still noteworthy.
Calvin Johnson made his retirement official yesterday (beware the autoplay video), clarifying to the Detroit Lions that his ninth season was his final in the NFL just one day before the free agency period officially begins. Barring a comeback by Megatron in the future, the new debate will be whether or not he is worthy of induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. My shamelessly biased opinion says that he absolutely should be inducted, but I do understand the arguments by those who claim that he didn't do quite enough to justify a spot among football's elite. Actually, that was a lie. Calvin Johnson should absolutely be a Hall-of-Famer in 2021 when he becomes eligible. He is far and away the best in the history of Detroit and truly revolutionized the position, changing its trajectory in favor of bigger, faster players.
Not only did Calvin Johnson have a tremendous impact at the NFL level, but at the college level while at Georgia Tech as well. Everything from his thirteen 100-yard receiving games to his nearly 3,000 receiving yards make him nothing short of a legend on The Flats. That, of course, is no surprise to anyone who has been watching for any period of time. Megatron's legacy is right up there with some of the absolute best in Tech history and I doubt that anyone wants to argue that. Hopefully his retirement involves quite a bit of recruiting for his former college.
Goodnight, sweet prince.
What is your favorite Calvin Johnson moment from The Flats or the NFL?