Rumors began surfacing earlier this week that the ACC may actually be considering making the transition from the current eight-game ACC schedule to a nine-game version, presumably including an extra crossover game. As the outline indicates, this is coincidentally very plausible due to the existing scheduling between ACC teams and their SEC rivals; it would allow for an even rotation. For example, Tech's 2020 slate could contain five ACC home games plus the COFH game at Georgia while the 2021 season would have four ACC home games plus UGA at Bobby Dodd Stadium, providing a nicely even surface with room for two more out-of-conference matchups. I'm personally in favor of moving to a nine-game format. I get that playing FCS schools helps both parties, I'm also a selfish football fan who wants to watch games against quality opposition. Granted, moving to a nine-game schedule may not eliminate FCS opponents entirely, but it would certainly increase the quality of play. Plus it would provide a negotiation-free game versus a P5 opponent for Tech, which has struggled to schedule quality competition due to the nature of the offense.
The Orlando Sentinel released its season preview for Georgia Tech yesterday, ranking the Jackets No. 74 in the nation on their preseason list. It seems like a somewhat safe-ish bet that Tech will finish better than No. 74, but just about anyone would have said that exact same thing prior to last season. The truth is that we have no reason to expect the Jackets to finish any higher than they did last year until there's visual proof to suggest that improvements really have been made. In simpler terms, our Kool-Aid reserves have dried up like Lake Lanier circa 2007. There wasn't a ton of changeover from last year's roster, but there was still enough to make me question what the 2016 team will be able to do. At least we can take solace in the fact that no one is overestimating the team this time around.
Though I did hit on the pair of Jackets selected on the second day of the MLB Draft in yesterday's post, I neglected to mention the three additional players chosen by Major League teams on day three. The trio of Jackets, comprised of Brandon Gold (Rockies), Matthew Gorst (Red Sox), and Arden Pabst (Pirates), were all juniors selected in the 12th round of the draft. Because of their non-senior status, I really hope that each of them will be back for the 2017 baseball season. Pabst, one of the best defensive catchers in the country, has plenty to prove at the plate during his senior season. Gorst has had just a single successful collegiate season and would benefit from showing consistency. Gold, meanwhile, was drafted by the Rockies. If you aren't familiar with Coors Field in Colorado, just know that it's where fly balls go to die. Seriously, Brandon. Run.