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Mailbag 12/20: A Christmas list of coordinators and schemes

In which we cover everything from trick plays in the Quick Lane Bowl to our preferences for offensive coordination and scheme.

NCAA Football: Southern California Spring Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How different is Coach Geoff Collins approach from Coach Paul Johnson to recruiting players “committed” to other schools? How different is Coach Geoff Collins approach from Coach Paul Johnson to players “committed” to their school (Temple / Tech, respectively) who take official visits to other schools before signing day? -gtalum_inCT

I could be off-base, but I believe that Paul Johnson’s approach was unique in the scope of college football because few if any coaches restrict committed recruits as openly as Johnson did (they certainly do try to restrict them, just not as publicly or loudly). He was just more forward about it. I expect it to be more of a case-by-case call for Collins, as it seems to be for pretty much every coach nationally. Different caliber players have different amounts of wiggle room, and very few programs find it advantageous to adopt a hard-line approach like Paul Johnson. As far as recruiting players already committed elsewhere, Tech certainly will. It’s just part of the game. -Cade

Will Tech be the Coastal’s Clemson equivalent under Coach Collins? Do we have the potential to be a sleeping giant and is CGC the one to awaken it? -GTJC

If “Clemson equivalent” means contending for the Coastal every year, maybe. If it means becoming Clemson, no. I think we have better odds of being a sleeping giant in basketball than football because there’s so much less local competition for that talent down here, but football is a different story. Football being a future factory or perennial powerhouse feels like a stretch to me, but who knows? -Cade

What style of offense would you like to see the team run? What style do you think they’ll actually run? -bo_w

Here’s a handy flowchart for what’s cool:

Are you running an option-based offense from under center? -> High-school, boring, antiquated.

Are you running an option-based offense from the shotgun? -> Innovative! Unique! Cool!

So, yeah. Anything that isn’t pro-style and isn’t under center, I guess. Throw a dart at a map of the Big 12 and give me the offense of the first school you hit that isn’t in either Kansas or Texas and doesn’t start with “Iowa”, leaving us with a nice selection of West Virginia, Oklahoma, or Oklahoma State. -Cade

Do you predict that Tech makes a bowl game next year or do you think there will be a transitional period during which we should expect the team to suck? -bo_w

There is going to be some transition. The OL situation is going to be rough for some time I expect, and it will take some time to install the Collins defense. A bowl is achievable next year, but with 2020’s schedule is something. - Kieffer

There’s enough talent on the roster that reaching a bowl next year isn’t an unreasonable goal. But as Kieffer said, reconfiguring the offensive line will be a major challenge, and finding pass rushers for the 4-3 scheme will not be a trivial task (though that stems more from youth than the scheme change). Competing for a division title probably won’t be realistic until Year 3 at the earliest. Also, speaking of the nightmarish 2020 schedule, I’d love to know 1) who had the bright idea to add Gardner-Webb in football again and 2) whether said person witnessed the atrocity that took place the last time they came to Atlanta. - Nishant

Which are the best OC and DC that we could reasonably expect Collins to go after? -chilidogringsFO

I think his defensive coordinator from Temple, Andrew Thacker, is probably the best bet at DC. He coached at Kennesaw State for a minute and has been very successful during his short run at Temple. The AJC even suggested that he’s already slated to join Collins at Tech, so it may well be a done deal anyway.

I don’t have much of an offensive coordinator wish list, but it’s going to need to be someone with a strong history of developing talent. His Temple offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude would probably get the job done if he’s allowed to run his offense as he did at Coastal Carolina. Just for fun, I’ll throw out 25-year-old Charlie Weis, Jr. from FAU. Buster Faulkner of Arkansas State has found consistent success and is a Georgia native. I doubt we could afford Shane Beamer, who currently makes north of $400,000 as an assistant at Oklahoma, but I’d be on board. Former USC OC Tee Martin would be interesting as well. I don’t expect any of these to be the final option, by the way; I have a feeling we won’t have heard of whoever Collins brings in, unless it’s Patenaude. -Cade

Give me reasons why Jamious Griffin will choose Tech over NC State? Several NC State fans are clamoring that Griffin will make a poor decision if he chooses Tech especially since NC State is “up on the rise” in recent years. -gtalum_inCT

NC State went 9-3 against the second-weakest schedule in the ACC, ahead of only Louisville. The Pack played Marshall, James Madison, Georgia State, and ECU out of conference. They avoided a spanking at the hands of West Virginia due to weather. They are on the rise like the Hindenburg was on the rise. Griffin may still go there, but let’s wait for them to beat a single power five team with fewer than five losses before anointing them the future kings of the Atlantic. -Cade

Why did Coach Collins wear a gray zipped up fleece during the recent official visits by recruits? Doesn’t he realize he resembles a lot like Dr. Evil in those pictures? Who is in charge of his wardrobe? -gtalum_inCT

You that you mention it, he really does look like Dr. Evil in those photos. Maybe it’s a sign he’s going to take over the state? Additionally, have you noticed how Collins is in the exact same pose in every picture he takes with recruits with the exact same facial expression? It’s...interesting. - Akshay

It’s his Triple H pose. It’s going to be one of his things, if it wasn’t already at Temple. You may not like it, but accept it. — Carter

I can attest to wearing a particular jacket too much, but Tech’s got some sharp gold adidas pullovers I think they need to send his way because, as we all know (thanks @GT_Jason), we are a gold school. Not gray. Not black. Also, navy is an accent color. — Jake

Early prediction on how many 247 Composite 4-star players CGC will sign in next years class? -Lake Park Jacket

It’s impossible to say for sure so I’ll leave the speculating to others, but I wanted to talk about something else here. The plan for success isn’t to raid the classes of the blue chip programs that recruit the state heavily. That may be the ambition, but it’s far simpler than that. Go take a look at the top 50 prospects in GA the past few years. Notice how many went to places like Arkansas, Duke, South Carolina, NC State, and Minnesota. Tech could greatly improve itself just by keeping guys like this in state. The second part is keeping commits from flipping late to big offers. I don’t expect to see the impact in this class, but fix these 2 major issues, and Tech is a perennial Coastal contender. Improve beyond that, and the sky is the limit. -Kieffer

Bowl questions: Over/under on trick plays? How many passes does Tech throw? Will the combined points scored be more or less than the number of Tech fans in attendance? -SullyGT

I am debating writing an article about what everyone wants to see from CPJ in the bowl. I’ll set the over/under at 0.5 because I think he’s either going to call an incredibly vanilla game or go trick play crazy. Over on the second question. -Cade

What type of pro style offense are we going to run, since there are multiple variations? -22jackets

Hard to say at this point, but I expect it to be a pistol set that should be tailored to the personnel Tech has during the transition. With a bounty of RBs and one current TE, I would expect a lot of 20 personnel (2 RBs 0 TE). The run game should make heavy use of the read-option out of the pistol. I hope to see RPO integrated, but I can’t say for sure if it will. It would be well suited to the OL we currently have since it isn’t traditional pocket protection, and could utilize their ability to get down field after the pass is released. - Kieffer

What is the true story of PJ leaving Tech? -Paul

I haven’t heard anything that contradicts him retiring on his own and have serious doubts about the people implying that he was forced out. It seemed like a surprise to everyone and Todd Stansbury was demonstrably dedicated to getting him the resources he needs, which makes me doubt that it was anyone’s decision but his own (as it should’ve been). -Cade

What is the status on Derrick Moore? -Matthew

He’s not going anywhere and if he does we riot. -Cade

Pretty sure DMo and Collins are best buds and he’s staying. - Akshay

Derrick Moore’s tenure at Georgia Tech far predates Paul Johnson’s and will continue long after we are all in the grave. — Carter

Absolutely no chance he leaves. Cannot state that more firmly. — Jake

Rapid Fire (TM) Sponsored by DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Peanutbutter, Crunchy or Creamy?

Indifferent. Anyone who tells you that one or the other actually enhances their food experience is lying. -Cade

Cade is lying. Creamy peanut butter is the only true type of peanut butter. - Akshay

Akshay and Cade are both lying; crunchy is the correct answer. — Carter

We like to refer to #AkshayEye as “Fake News Akshay” and he strikes again. Sad! Carter knows what’s up. — Jake

Quarters or Semesters?

Semesters, because I like my education like I like my election cycles: drawn-out and painful. -Cade

Semesters. I like being on campus for the start of football season. - Akshay

In this world there are people who prefer quarters to semesters. They exist, and they are not to be trusted. — Carter

Quarters. Sure it’s tradition, but it’s like how there’s fifteen minutes between classes now and they don’t always blow the whistle at five ‘til the top of the hour. Just ain’t quite right. — Jake

.45ACP or 9×19mm?

I had to Google this. Some Russian guy said .45ACP so I guess I’ll blindly go with that. -Cade

No preference but if I had to pick, I’m with Cade’s blind pick. - Akshay

Only bullet I care about comes with butterfly wings. — Carter

Tea, Sweet or Un?

Sweet is better, unsweet is better for you. I quit sweet tea a couple of years ago because I drank too much. Also, to the confused soul in the comments who said “half-and-half” — no. Half sweet and half unsweet is just sweet. -Cade

Sweet is the right and only answer. - Akshay

Coming to a place where the sweet was already in the tea blew my mind. Unfortunately, it also brings with it cavities. So at what cost? But you know I’ll be back at Chick-fil-a getting a chicken sandwich meal with a sweet tea and two Chick-fil-a sauces anyways. — Jake

Sweet if it’s iced tea on its own. Unsweet if it’s part of an Arnold Palmer, which is the true correct answer here. - Nishant

The only teas I’ve ever liked were bubble teas.... which are sweet, so there you go. — Carter

The V, PC or FO?

Ice in chocolate milk is innovative and frosted orange isn’t that special. PC. -Cade

Hot take: not a fan of the Varsity. Frosted Orange just because it’s the only one of the two I’ve had from there and it’s ok, I guess. - Akshay

The only thing worthwhile from the Varsity is the frosted orange. Give me Portillo’s or give me death. — Jake

I’ve been to the Varsity all of three times in the decade-plus I’ve lived here, so I’m probably not the person to ask. That said, of the two, only the Frosted Orange is available at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I rest my case. — Carter

Buckhead or Atlantic Station?

Buckhead. Atlantic Station is just synthetic Buckhead in a can, rivaled in fakeness only by Avalon. -Cade

Buckhead. Cade is sadly right about Avalon and Atlantic Station. - Akshay

Atlantic Station. It was a nice place to live for the two years I was there, and more importantly, there is absolutely nothing redeeming about Buckhead. - Nishant

Buckhead is meh but it was the inspiration for this song (try to spot Athletic Director Todd Stansbury’s cameo) so maybe not completely irredeemable. — Jake

Buckhead, I guess. East Atlanta Village is far preferable to both. — Carter

Outkast or Luda?

I’ll go with Mozart, whose popularity peaked at around the same time as theirs did. (Outkast) -Cade

Ludacris. Good artist and good guy. What do he, Iman Shumpert, Ray Kroc, Kathy Griffin, Dan Castellaneta, Eric Kumerow, Dani Tyler, and Ernest Hemingway have in common? Strong roots, go Huskies. — Jake

OutKast, for sure. - Akshay

OutKast. Not to shade Luda at all, but come on. — Carter

ATL United or Falcons?

Falcons, sadly. And no, Atlanta United didn’t break the Atlanta curse. Stop it. -Cade

Both? ATLUTD didn’t break the curse (my take: Falcons/Braves started it, so they have to end it), but they are a fun team and I love watching them. My first Atlanta sports love was the Falcons, though. - Akshay

United. I am amassing ATLUTD scarves at an unsustainable rate. I am screaming my face off at every home game. I put down money for a season ticket the second they first came available and I’m not even from Georgia. I hated the name when it was revealed but I’ve come to realize it couldn’t have been more appropriate. Atlanta United united Atlanta. Vamos, vamos ATL! — Carter

Christmas or New Years?

Both. -Cade

Both. - Akshay

New Years. — Carter

Christmas — Jake

Podcast or Favorites Playlist?

Scions of the Southland is the only college football podcast worth listening to...but if I have to go off-site, Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody and the Solid Verbal make up a well-balanced CFB news diet and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is awesome. - Akshay

Favorite playlist is interesting - my Spotify is full of them - a good driving playlist is key. Set the mood. Everyone has different tastes in music, but no matter what feeling you’re looking for, you can’t get there too fast. You should leave the drive feeling positive, or hype, or whatever you’re trying to feel - but allow a little come-down from the emotional peak before the end of the playlist. Not too specific, I know, but I tried. — Jake