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Mailbag 10/31

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We talk uniforms, ACC rivals, and more!

Georgia Tech v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

I saw the ACC tweeting the other day asking fans who’s the best RB in the ACC right now. They listed four RBs (Travis Etienne (CLEMp), Cam Akers (F$U), AJ Dillon (Bahston College) and Javian Hawkins (Loooolville/Louis-ville). What are your thoughts about that and where Jordan Mason should be within that list?

Ben: I know that PFF shows that Mason has had the best season of any running back so far this season, and rightfully so. He’s done miracle work considering the offensive line he’s working with. Do I think he’s the best running back in the ACC? I’d probably take Etienne for his explosive abilities, but I think Mason is definitely one of the Top 3 backs in the ACC.

Jake: Travis Etienne deserves to be on that list, and AJ Dillon did just become the leading rusher in BC history, after all, but Jordan Mason deserves more recognition than what he’s getting for sure. Top 3, probably, 3rd.

What did Miami do to limit what Pitt did offensively? Is there anything that can be taken away from that game that Collins and Staff can exploit?

Ben: The majority of Pitt’s offense is through the air, and Miami’s defense did a good job of putting pressure on Kenny Pickett and forcing mistakes. Miami’s Gregory Rosseau had three sacks, and Pickett threw two picks. I think if Tech can get pressure on Pickett and force him to make mistakes, this becomes a very winnable game.

Jake: Pitt lives and dies through the air, like Ben said. I had more words, but, really, no sense in repeating him.

My oldest brother is a Pitt alum/fan. What would be the most appropriate thing to say to him before the game?

Ben: You could probably make some joke about turning the ball over five times in five minutes.

Jake: You could kindly suggest he consume, well, something that starts with an s and rhymes with Pitt and is best shouted in the three count empty space in the chorus of “Sweet Caroline.”

Carter: Tell him the only Heinz product worse than their ketchup is their cavernous football stadium. And to stop putting french fries on sandwiches, for gods’ sakes.

What should be the uniform arrangement for the Homecoming game?

Ben: Gold/White/Gold

Jake: Anything other than a white jersey (preferably the model with gold numbers) for the homecoming football game will not do. It is the great union of the most storied of Tech traditions (Mini 500, Freshman Cake Race, Wreck Parade) and the sports (football). It’s up with the white and gold, not up with the gold and gray. Or navy and gold. Anything else, is, in a word, blasphemous.

Carter: I maintain that white/white/gold is the pinnacle of Tech uni combos.

Will there be any returning offensive linemen this week? Do you expect to see any more improvement in the pass blocking?

Ben: Well Cooper and Lee are done for the season. Connor Hansen has been playing a little bit more. In terms of injuries, though, the coaching staff is silent about them, so there’s no telling. I think you’ll continue to see little bits of improvement every week. For instance, Jared Southers finally looked not bad in a game this last week.

Coastal Chaos is too much for the ACC to bear. What is the division realignment going to look like in this hypothetical situation?

Ben: Give me pods!!!

Jake: Let’s go (mostly) North/South:

  • Miami, Florida State, Tech, Clemson
  • North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, Duke
  • Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, West Virginia
  • Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame

Eight conference games, three against the division opponents, three against the three teams that finished equal in their division the previous season, and two against permanent rivals in the two divisions you aren’t facing in a given year.

I thought this out long ago. Notre Dame needs to get in or get out. We’d get the Backyard Brawl every year, keep the Techmo Bowl and Textile Bowl, Virginia Tech can play West Virginia again, annual Catholics vs. Convicts, annual ‘Noles and Tech, and, best of all, North Carolina and Wake Forest don’t have to play each other in a non-conference game.

Carter: Big fan of the proposed setup where each team gets three permanent opponents and the other five conference games rotate. My three would be VT, Clemson, and either Duke or FSU.

England or Rep of South Africa in Ruck up and Smear.

Ben: I, uh...I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Jake: Rugby?

Carter: England, though they remain The Worst.

Should GT post-game and post-practice interview content be on par or exceed other ACC school’s quality of content?

Ben: I’m not sure if you mean quality of content in terms of the production quality or quality like what people say in the interviews. I’m going to assume you mean the quality of what people say in the interviews. Players and coaches know that there are certain things they’re not allowed to talk about (i.e. injuries, game plan, etc.), and outside of that, they can pretty much say whatever they want to. A lot of coaches/players tend to default to “coach speak” to avoid saying something they shouldn’t and also typically keep someone from the SID office nearby to make sure they aren’t saying something as well. So again, I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking, but I hope that helped clear some stuff up.

More likely to stay committed: Jahmyr Gibbs or Miles Brooks?

Ben: Miles Brooks. I think Gibbs will go down to the wire, barring a committable offer from UGA. The biggest thing to watch here is where Zachary Evans ultimately commits.

Actually, how would you rank all ACC teams from biggest to smallest rival of Tech?

Ben: Virginia Tech, Miami, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida State, Pitt, Louisville, Boston College, NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse

Jake: Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Pitt, NC State, Wake Forest, Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse

Carter: Virginia Tech, Clemson, Duke, UNC, FSU, Virginia, Miami, Boston College, NC State, Wake Forest, Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville

We gave Chan 5 years but his best class bloomed in 2009 (7 years later). Should we give CGC seven years to see the fruits of stability and good recruiting? Or do we think CPJ was the spark that put CCG’s kids over the edge against georgie in 2008 and the ACCCG In 2009?

Ben: I think Chan’s issue was an inability to hire a good offensive coordinator and develop the talent that he got. CPJ had some really good talent when he started and did a better job of putting them in a position to succeed. With Collins, I think it’s a different situation entirely. He doesn’t have half the talent CPJ had. I think you’ll be able to really start judging out Collins is doing by 2021.

Jake: I hope we don’t have to be asking this question in three.

Carter: [counts on fingers] We were subjected to seven years of Gailaise, were we not? Anyway, Collins got a seven year contract for a reason.

Will the new NCAA rules only widen the talent gap between Tech and the Dwags, Clemsons, Miami’s and VPI’s of the World?

Jake: If done right, not terribly. Do I trust them to do it right and have proper oversight? Also no.

Carter: Everyone is all, “ahhh, they’re paying the kids now, it’s the end of the world”, when 1) schools are definitely already doing that, and 2) this is about athletes being able to profit from their likeness, which is..... not the schools paying them? I feel something like this could actually help Georgia Tech. Which local car dealership pays more, one in Atlanta or one in Clemson?

Jahmyr Gibbs now has serious interest from the Holy Trinity of the SEC – Alabama, LSU, Georgia – along with Ohio State and Florida. Do you guys think he’ll stick with Tech or move on? We already have Jordan Mason and Jamious Griffin (two great backs) so I don’t think it’ll be a huge loss but, boy, would it hurt to have him choose the school in Athens (his apparent dream school) over us.

Ben: Like I said earlier, I think it depends on what happens with Evans. I don’t believe he’s the top guy at running back for any of those three teams, and I don’t think he’s a good fit for Bama or Georgia, since they tend to go for the larger backs. I’d really like to get him. I think Gibbs would be a great compliment to Jamious Griffin, but given our depth at the position, I won’t be upset if he goes somewhere else.