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Mailbag 11/11

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We actually talked about sports a lot in this one

Will Patton And Denzel Washington In ‘Remember The Titans’ Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images

Are we allowed to talk politics on here? - Notwima13

Ben: As long as you have a civilized discussion, y’all are free to talk about whatever you want to. But when is the last time people had a civilized discussion about politics on an Internet comments section?

Robert: I don’t know about allowed. My life includes a lot of political conversations, so I enjoy the refreshment of a space where we can enjoy, deliberate, and focus on something that matters a whole lot less but can be a whole lot of fun.

Carter: My politics would probably make a lot of people here mad, so I just yell about them on Twitter instead.

UGA loss = GT win? - Notwima13

Ben: What UGA does has nothing to do with what Tech does unless the two teams are playing. I think it’s a little silly that some Tech fans are so enamored with UGA, specifically the “My two favorite teams are Georgia Tech and whoever’s playing Georgia” crowd. Like, do you really care that much about this team you supposedly hate? Because it very much comes across like you care more about UGA losing than Georgia Tech winning which is problematic in my mind.

Robert: No, but it’s the second best thing that can happen on a Saturday for a GT fan. Doubly so when it is to the Gators. Triply when it means we don’t have to worry about them being in the playoff conversation the rest of the year. My dad taught me to hate UGA as early as I have memories, and I’ve never lost that. He traces it back to when he was a student; UGA injured Eddie Lee Ivery during COFH, and the UGA fans around my dad cheered. He said something shifted in him during that game, he passed it onto me, and it remains.

Nishant: It probably shouldn’t be, but hey, it brought me joy. Maybe Marie Kondo was on to something.

Chris: Agreed that it’s not good to live and die by it, but I did derive some satisfaction from it. I won’t be here screaming at the tv for them to lose, but I like it when they do.

Jeff: I have quite a few friends who are UGA fans and most of my family. There is fun in goading each other and I don't get to do it back quite as much. Though I despise the general fan base of uga as a whole and I do own a shirt that has the "My two favorite teams" slogan on it.

Akshay: Like others have stated, don’t live and die by it — just enjoy the schadenfreude.

Carter: This relationship is U N H E A L T H Y.

How come the SEC is so loved still? - Notwima13

Ben: “It just matters more”

Robert: I wouldn’t say it is loved. But it is respected as the best conference...because it is. Look at the recruiting rankings, the coaches, the quarterbacks, the draft picks, the results...

Chris: Biggest brands with storied histories.

Jeff: They do have a heavy hand in how the national rankings play out. Plus, I've been to several stadiums and those are football cathedrals. While SEC fans can be grating at times you can never doubt they know how to create an opposing environment.

Akshay: The others have mentioned the sporting standpoint, but from a business standpoint, the SEC is probably the only conference that can be expected to provide unfettered large television audiences for every single game a conference member is playing in. You have to account for the fact that every other conference (and to extrapolate further, region of the US) cares more about other sports/things than college football: pro sports entrenched themselves in the other parts of the country during the first half of the 20th century, but they didn’t come to the Southeast until the 1960s, leaving plenty of time for college athletics to become the primary mode of sporting entertainment and become intertwined with regional culture. Obviously, there are caveats to this rule-of-thumb, but it explains why, to this day, college athletics investment, attendance, and revenue has been heavily skewed towards the South.

How many wins do you project for Tech over the last four games? - SullyGT

Ben: I’ll say at least one, but Tech could win as many as three if they improve on the turnovers.

Robert: One.

Chris: Two - Duke and NC State.

Nishant: Heart says the two Chris mentioned. Brain says one at most, and only if Duke keeps being as turnover-happy as they’ve been.

Jeff: Duke "should" be a win and Pitt is beatable if we don't let a bad offense look decent (Syracuse). NC State has had success scoring and we haven't been able to handle offenses well so give me two. D'Eriq King is gonna make Miami rough.

Akshay: I’m with Chris, but there is absolutely some work that needs to be done (especially on the defensive side of the ball) to get those two wins.

Carter: The magic 8-ball says: “Better not tell you now.”

Who wins the ACC championship game? - SullyGT

Ben: Clemson with a healthy Trevor Lawrence gets revenge on the Irish.

Robert: The Son of Clem.

Chris: Clemson. Not to say Notre Dame got lucky, but a lot of things fell their way in the last couple minutes of that game. I’ve got to think a fully healthy Clemson can put them away if they want.

Nishant: Florida State. Hey, the question didn’t specify football.

Jeff: Clemson, not just because of Trevor but because they were missing quite a few defenders too.

Akshay: I’m gonna say Notre Dame so that someone doesn’t screenshot this and try to meme us later.

Carter: Clemson, with everyone back and healthy, is going to be much harder for Notre Dame to beat in round 2.

Who does the ACC want to win the ACCCG? That is, what’s better for the league this year and for future years: does a Clemson win put 2 ACC teams in the playoff and/or does a Notre Dame win incentivize them to permanently join (and if they win and walk, is the ACC worse off)? - SullyGT

Ben: The only reason I could see the ACC wanting anyone else winning the championship is if they think that they could use a Notre Dame ACC Championship to talk them into staying in the ACC, especially if Notre Dame goes to the College Football Playoff, which they almost certainly would if they won the ACC. You just have to convince Notre Dame that joining the ACC, and thus playing Clemson every year (probably) will provide an easier path the CFP than being an independent.

Robert: That’s an interesting exercise. I think you can take off the table the idea that ND wants to permanently join. Something seismic in the TV landscape would have to happen for them to consider giving up all of the identity and prestige that they get from being an independent. I would say a close Clemson win that keeps ND in the running for the 4 seed is best case.

Chris: I think it’s pretty reasonable to think that if Clemson wins then both they and ND will make the Playoff. I’m not sure that’s a huge gain for the ACC since everyone knows ND won’t stay, but it’ll definitely be not nothing. On the other hand, a ND win would almost certainly knock Clemson out which would be no bueno for the ACC. I think the worst case scenario is ND winning the ACC and then getting housed in the Playoff. Coming in, wiping the floor with the conference, and then bouncing would be a huge “well this conference must suck” moment.

Akshay: Chris hit the nail on the head for this one. Read his answer again.

Nishant: Meme answer to go with all the serious answers above: the true destiny of ACC football is not actual success, but rather all-pervasive mediocrity, and if it takes Notre Dame winning the conference in their lone year of membership to finally get Clemson to stop playing powerhouse and rejoin everyone else in 4-4 purgatory... so be it.

With no win threshold to be bowl eligible this year, could you envision a scenario where Tech and u(sic)ga get matched up later this season? (Would we want even it?) - Billy Upchurch

Ben: Georgia will be in a much better bowl than Tech will be, assuming Tech is in one at all. Even without a quarterback, I have no interest in watching Georgia Tech lose that game.

Robert: No. No.

Nishant: I personally have no interest in watching Jake Camarda complete a pass for a first down against Tech’s secondary in garbage time, but maybe I’m alone.

Chris: Nah, I can’t imagine anyone setting that matchup even under the weirdest circumstances (read: 2020). It would be insane right? Maybe if Tech were good you could spinzone it as “if we schedule a rivalry then it’ll drum up interest”, but we can’t even sell out our own stadium against uga so the neutral site would definitely be 90% red.

Jeff: Tech would need to win out and Uga implode in the rest of their games. I'd be interested if uga was struggling to stop the run but that hasn't been their issue. Having uga beat us badly with an awful QB situation would not be a good look.

Akshay: Can I imagine one? Sure. Do I want to? No. Would I want it to happen? Meh, not really. Take the mulligan that this year has been.

Carter: I chuckled at the thought of making a bowl and then got sad. Anyway, Georgia’s pretty much at the bottom of the list of teams I’d want Tech to play in a bowl game.

Your Thanksgiving table: What’s on it? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: Enough mac and cheese to kill a man.

Robert: Brined and roasted turkey. Homemade gravy. Sweet potato casserole (the pecan and brown sugar kind). Stuffing. Green beans wrapped in bacon. Cranberry apple crisp. Pumpkin pie. Do it big.

Chris: Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Sweet potato casserole. Garlic-sauteed green beans. Canned cranberry sauce. Rolls. Shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. Pumpkin and apple pies as dessert.

Jeff: Turkey that is smoked in the BGE, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, sweet potato casserole, and at least one of every dessert.

Akshay: Ben’s answer, but don’t forget to bake it real nice to make the crust of caramelized cheese and breadcrumbs on top crispy enough to make a healthy cracking noise when you dig in.

Carter: Turducken. Stuffing. Sweet potato casserole (the marshmallow kind). Spinach Madeleine. Rolls. Pecan pie for dessert.

What will improve the kicking game? - GTnuke12

Ben: I think a lot of it falls on coaching. There are a few other true freshmen kickers that are doing pretty okay right now, so we know that they can. But for the last several years, Tech has not been able to get a good kicker. The only common denominator is coaching.

Robert: Better kickers and better linemen.

Chris: Coaching and linemen.

Jeff: Forcing the kicker to make clutch kicks at the end of practice at the expense of the team. Worked for Butker in 2014.

Akshay: Linemen and a sports psychologist (this seems like a joke, but I’m mostly being serious — working through the yips with a sports psychologist might help immensely).

Carter: Better coaching.

What is on the top of your Christmas list? - GTnuke12

Ben: Honestly, right now, I need some coffee cups and socks. Becoming an adult means realizing that that is the kind of stuff you’re going to get for Christmas. Thriving as an adult means getting excited about getting that stuff for Christmas.

Robert: I keep a list of books I want. It’s currently at 430. So I just give that list to anybody who wants to get me something for Christmas. Pretty cool, right?

Chris: Robert normally I’d say “well what if two people get you the same book”, but there’s not much chance of that huh? I haven’t thought about this much actually (even though my mom keeps asking me). I always love a good quality piece of fall/winter clothing though (jacket, hoodie, etc.).

Jeff: Having a house makes you want anything from Home Depot and a new pressure washer would be nice.

Carter: I’m always bad at this question. Right now it’s probably something on my wedding registry.

Hello Guys,

Hope all is going well for you this week. Last week was crazy what with all the election stuff and the crazy good football games. I really didn’t expect ND to challenge Clempson but that turned out to be the Game of The Century... of the week.

This week I think GT needs a good pump up speech coming off their bye week to get motivated. So my question is what is your favorite sports movie (or show, I’m not picky) pump up speech. It doesn’t necessarily have to get you pumped about winning, just pumped about playing or watching sports. I’m a big fan of the speeches in the Rocky and Creed franchises, but for a darkhorse my favorite of recent is the “6 lousy minutes” speech from Vision Quest:

It’s pretty good, give it a watch. That’s my favorite of late, what’s yours? Have a good rest of your week guys.

Sincerely,

Uluru (you know, that big rock mountain in Australia) - submitted via email

Ben: Nishant has got me down below. You make sure they remember, FOREVER, the night they played the Titans.

Nishant: YOU BLITZ! ALL! NIGHT! Fun fact: I shouted this from the north end zone during the 2014 Tech-Miami game right before a crucial late third down play, and right on cue, P.J. Davis sliced through to sack Brad Kaaya and force a punt. Pretty sure the magic hasn’t worked since, but that one moment was glorious.

Robert: That makes me so happy Nishant. I was watching that game in a random sports bar in Northern Virginia with a bunch of other people who didn’t care about college football, and I was going nuts. I’m glad that a magical sports movie memory played some small role in the defense getting that one key stop.

Chris: For a movie it’s “Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world” (this is such a good movie btw). For a TV show, I have a guilty-pleasure love for Blue Mountain State. I dunno why, but I’ve watched it through like 5 times. I just find it so underrated and silly, it’s awesome.

Akshay: Chris’s selections are on point yet again, but in my usual manner of taking this last question and answering it a bit askew, I offer this more heartwarming (well, more heartwarming than inspirational) scene from Ted Lasso. If you haven’t watched the show yet, I strongly encourage you to scrounge up a couple of doubloons from under the couch and pay for a month of Apple TV+ to binge it — it is simply magnificent television.