With the ACC Kickoff on deck for next week, the conference released a list on Monday announcing the players that will be representing each team in Greensboro. Representing Georgia Tech will be a pair of seniors, QB Justin Thomas and DT Patrick Gamble, both of whom have already graduated with their undergraduate degrees and are likely captains on the team this fall. It will be Thomas’s second straight appearance at the ACC Kickoff, after he was joined by D.J. White in Greensboro last season. (Speaking of the upcoming ACC Kickoff and associated interviews, ESPN’s David Hale recently speculated on questions Paul Johnson would be asked, and how he would answer them, with a surprising level of accuracy. I’d recommend taking a look.) Other noteworthy players due to appear in Greensboro are Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, Florida State RB Dalvin Cook, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, and Miami Punter Justin Vogel. (Yes, you read that last part right.)
In baseball, former Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters played in his fourth All-Star Game last night, entering in the 6th inning and representing the Orioles. He struck out in both of his at-bats, but did manage a defensive assist shortly after entering the game, and he managed the final 4 innings of the game for the A.L. pitching staff as they held the N.L. scoreless during that stretch, and only 2 runs all night. Also in baseball news, former Georgia Tech OF Daniel Palka was recently promoted to AAA within the Twins’ farm system, and created immediate impact with his team by hitting a pair of home runs and a double in his first game. Palka is currently rated by MLB.com as the #27 prospect in the Twins’ system, which sounds somewhat low, but it’s also worth noting that the Twins have one of the best farm systems in baseball right now.
Georgia Tech fans often take an extensive amount of ribbing from georgia fans over the school’s ticket deals offered to its fans, with the underlying suggestion being that a truly good fan base shouldn’t need ticket sales and deals to make them fill the stadium. (Because obviously truly good fans aren’t about making economically sensible decisions, and would never have anything else on their weekend agenda during college football season. It makes sense.) Still, as much as Georgia Tech has struggled to consistently fill its stadium in recent years, and as much as this feels a little bit like throwing stones from within our own glass house...this is embarrassing, Miami. Remind me again how fired up your fan base is to have Mark Richt running the show in Coral Gables? About how he’s going to take the Hurricanes’ program back to the promised land, with Brad Kaaya shredding defenses all the while? Remember how good the team is going to be this year? And yet you’re still giving away seats for $10 apiece to see that same team play three formidable division opponents? Just...wow.
Finally, since we’re talking trash about other ACC programs, now is probably as good of a time as ever for a small amount of ACC-related self-promotion. Some of you are aware that I’ve begun an ACC Football podcast for this fall, along with Mike McDaniel of InsidetheACC.com. The first episode of “Basketball Conference” dropped last night, and includes a really nice 69 minutes of intro to the podcast and its hosts, some trips down memory lane in the ACC, and the conference’s top 5 quarterbacks for 2016. Give it a listen, give us a follow on Twitter, and leave any suggestions in the comments below!