After their bold takes yesterday, the FTRS staff had to reign themselves in and bring forth their real predictions. It is allowed and encouraged to revisit these predictions later and make fun of us when our bold predictions were closer to the truth.
Regular Season Record: 9-3
Key Wins: @UNC, Miami, @VT
Key Losses: Clemson, @uga, @Pitt
Bowl Prediction: Jackets beat TCU in the Russell Athletic BowlJackets roll early in the season with multi touchdown wins over BC, Mercer, and Vanderbilt. A loss to Clemson is nothing for Tech to be ashamed of and they bounce back the following week with a win over Miami. An away loss the following week to sneaky James Connor led Pittsburgh hurts the Jackets chances at an ACC championship berth. From there, they get on a roll, winning the next five games including away victories at Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Clean old fashioned hate ends up being a marquee top 25 matchup, but unfortunately the dwags sneak out a close victory. Sitting ranked #18 at the end of the season, Tech is placed in the Russell Athletic Bowl where they beat TCU.
Regular Season Record: 7-5
Key Wins: Duke, Vanderbilt
Key Losses: uga, Miami, VT, Clemson
The offense takes a big step forward, but the new offensive line doesn’t have the experience to lead the offense to the heights it saw in 2014. The inexperienced defense gives up way too many points and negates several very good offensive performances. The defensive line still cannot produce much pass rush and the young secondary doesn’t produce the turnovers that the best recent Tech defenses have. Justin Thomas plays fantastic and is still able to guide the Jackets to a comfortable bowl-eligible season. The Jackets are rewarded with this slightly above-average season with a trip to DC for the Military Bowl against Cincinnati.
Georgia Tech shakes off the stink of 2015 early by jumping out to a 3-0 start to the season. The offense doesn’t quite run on all cylinders, but considering the defenses they face early in Boston College and Vanderbilt that isn’t too surprising.
A young secondary is exposed for the first time against Clemson in Week 4. The Jackets hang tough in the first half, but just don’t have enough to hang with the Tigers, who win comfortably. With 10 days to prepare, Tech narrowly edges out Miami in a game reminiscent of the 2014 matchup. The Jackets stumble on their first true road trip against a very solid Pitt team as the offense really struggles for the first time all season. Tech enters the bye week at 5-2 following a win over Georgia Southern.
The Yellow Jackets gets some revenge against a floundering Duke team, dominating the Blue Devils from the start. Tech then faces back-to-back road games against UNC and Virginia Tech. The Jackets go 1-1 in these games, losing a high scoring affair in Chapel Hill but picking up a tough win in Blacksburg. Returning home for Senior Day, Justin Thomas and company go out with a bang, running all over UVA and picking up one last win on The Flats. The Jackets finish the ACC season with a 5-3 conference record. Good, but not enough to go to Charlotte.
The Jackets head east for Clean, Old Fashioned Hate and find themselves in a tight game but fall just short. At 8-4, Georgia Tech ends up heading to Charlotte after all for a Belk Bowl matchup against Auburn. The Yellow Jackets defeat their old rival in a wild one, finishing the season at 9-4.
Season Pick: Georgia Tech goes 10-2 in the regular season and garners Heisman talk for JT5 in the process. They end up in a NY6 Bowl, but not the Playoffs after a 2 score win over Alabama Lite in Athens. The offense returns to Top 10 form in efficiency, the defense finds a respectable pass rush, and the Jackets blow another SEC team off the field in their bowl game for the second time in 3 years. Meanwhile in Athens, Alabama Lite goes 8-4 with 2 losses to ACC teams in Smart's first year at the helm. Tech, once again, runs the state for the next calendar year.
8-4, beat georgia
Rane’s prediction column is here
TL;DR 10-2 regular season with losses coming against Pitt and UNC. We lose to Clemson in ACC championship and beat Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.
There is usually reason to be terrified when Paul Johnson talks about the upcoming season. He does not effuse coachspeak; his tendency to lean toward brutal honesty means he'll simply say so if he thinks something is bad. Like last year, when everyone had sky-high expectations for the team, and Johnson told us all to slow our roll, and we didn't listen, and ohhhhh boy we all know how that turned out. On the other hand, when he says things like the B-backs are "way, way better" than last year and the offensive line looks much better as well, you have to stop and wonder if the ol' coach is getting soft. Then again, imagine *not* being better than last year at those positions. If you've forgotten how bad it was, do not go back and watch for yourself. Spare yourself the pain and simply take our word for it. When a redshirt freshman is starting at B-back you might raise an eyebrow, but keep in mind 1) a fifth year transfer started at that position last year thanks to not one, but two injuries, and that was miserable; and 2) when Paul Johnson says he's really surprised by Dedrick Mills performance in camp, we should probably accept he knows what he's talking about.On the defensive side, we are missing the presence of one large, talented Australian, whose absence we’re already too familiar with. In his place, we’re getting.... well, a lot of question marks. So we’re not really gonna know how good our defensive line is for a bit. The “good” news is the defense doesn’t have to be great. It just has to be fine. Please can you just be fine for once we’re not asking for the moon here
Key games: Boston College, because who doesn't like a trial-by-fire soaked in Jameson? I prefer Tullamore Dew myself, but anything's better than Jack Daniels when it comes to whiskey. Oh, hey, that's happening next year isn’t it?Clemson, where we'll finally find out which is more powerful: Deshaun Watson or Clemson's Atlanta curse. It might depend whether 8-Ball the Tiger sees his shadow and ends up at the Clermont Lounge instead of Bobby Dodd. Virginia, where I'm honestly just interested in seeing if new Cavs coach Bronco Mendenhall and Paul Johnson get into an actual fistfight. Mendenhall's gonna fight someone this season; the only question is who that is. georgia, a pretty important game, unless you're Reggie Ball. How do I feel about this one? Well......
Season prediction: anything more than eight wins would be gravy.
The only prediction I'm willing to make for certain is that this season will be better than last. It's hard not to find four wins among this twelve-game slate, but any more than that is far from a given. I foresee something like an 8-4 regular season, with losses to Clemson, UNC, Virginia Tech (ew), and one more. I think this could be a prime "beat UGA" season given the coaching turnover and overwhelming potential to make some #flaming "Kirby not-Smart" puns, but that will be a tough game as well. Hopefully there's no carryover from playing overseas as there apparently has been for other teams in the past.
After a terrible season last year, Tech rebounds with a pretty decent 8-4 season, losing to Clemson, Virginia Tech, uga, and some team you aren’t expecting because this is Georgia Tech. Tech ties for the Coastal lead with Miami, but has the tiebreaker. The Jackets suffer an ACC championship loss to Clemson, The Jackets beat TCU in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Overall Record: 9-3 (5-3 ACC)
Key Wins: Miami, Georgia, UNC/Virginia Tech
Key Losses: Clemson, Pittsburgh, UNC/Virginia Tech
Analysis: Since Clemson and Pitt are my picks for the ACC Championship Game, I don't see us beating either one of them, though I think they could both be pretty close. The UNC and VT games both seem like toss-ups to me at this point. I think we split those. I'm not quite sold on Mark Richt in Miami. And finally, what the hell, I'm drinking some Kool-Aid, so let's go beat UGA!
Record prediction: 8-4 (5-3)
Key Wins: Miami, georgia
Key Losses: Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, North Carolina
Georgia Tech rebounds in 2016 with an 8-win regular season, including wins over Mark Richt's new and former teams. The schedule is the biggest enemy, with late road trips to improving divisional foes that may have turned out differently if they happened earlier in the year. Georgia Tech finishes 5-3 in conference play, good for third in the Coastal Division, and plays in the Pinstripe Bowl after a couple of days in the Big Apple during Christmas season.
Let’s Hear Your Season Predictions