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Mailbag 11/25

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Who should play Paul Johnson in a biopic?

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Photo by Georgia Tech/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

If you could write one of the regular/recurring FTRS articles that another writer does, what would it be and why? - sportsfan4life2012

Ben: I’m a really big fan of reading through pretty much anything Jake writes, so either HTS Rearview or any other historical thing.

Chris: I’m gonna steal The Declaration of Independence the MMBP.

Jeff: I'm with Ben, being able to do an entire series that deep into Tech's history is pretty impressive.

Jake P.: I feel the same way as Ben and Jeff.

Jake: Y’all are tooooooooo kind to me. It’s one of the hardest parts of being so busy as a grad student that Rearview has slowed down - each one of those, done well, takes at least half a day or so to write - but I have some work on that which I am very eager to share hopefully over winter break. But it’s either MMBP or Tuesday Muse-day or whatever Chris’ stuff is called these days.

What should we be expecting to see Saturday? - SullyGT

Ben: I’m not expecting much, to be honest. Duke has long been a thorn in Georgia Tech’s side, and even having a month off, Georgia Tech hasn’t been very good this year. I know Duke hasn’t really been any better, but I don’t feel great.

Chris: turnovers. Honestly, not really sure. It feels like forever since we’ve played, and neither team has been particularly successful this season.

Jeff: Even with Tech's struggles this is a really bad Duke team. So I am hoping for a win in this one. Chase Brice has been a turnover machine at the QB position. If our defense looks bad again then there are some serious problems.

Jake P.: I wouldn’t expect to see too much. Duke isn’t great, and I think it’ll be tough for Tech after such a long layoff. Turnovers and penalties will abound.

Jake: It’s gonna be rough. Tech wasn’t super great at putting it all together even before the forced hiatus. Duke isn’t all that pretty. I think it might be a matter of who can keep things moving on the ground and not turn it over.

Do you think the extra time between games hurt or helped our performance? - SullyGT

Ben: While I think having time will be good to help get the rest of the season out of the players’ minds, it also means that they have not played a game in a month, which is a long time to go in between playing games, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see them come out sluggish or rusty.

Chris: I could see it both ways. On the one hand, we’re on a pretty bad 3 game skid and getting a break from that is probably good mentally and hopefully helps us address some of the consistent issues. On the other hand, a month off is a long time and this is a team that needs gameplay experience.

Jeff: The bye week and maybe one extra may have been good but having such a long break as this could hurt. Its been almost a month since they've played so I wonder if getting up to came game speed could take a minute.

Jake P.: A bye week is usually a good thing. Three bye weeks in the middle of the season usually isn’t. I think what the layoff did help with are injuries.

Jake: The rhythm Tech needed to shake before the break was a bad one, so I think this might honestly be as decent as it could be.

Which key players will be back or out from injuries? - SullyGT

Ben: Unless something is announced before the game, we’ll probably find out the same time everyone else will! Coaching staffs are notoriously quiet about injuries, so I wouldn’t expect to hear anything until the day of. What I’m interested to see is if those who have already announced they are entering the transfer portal will be available.

Jeff: There has been little word on any new injuries. Most of the recent injuries I've seen were projected as season long for a few freshmen.

Jake P.: Jordan Mason will be back, Coach Patenaude talked about it in his presser earlier this week.

Did the coaches spend extra time on improving our execution of the plays we had been running, or did we have time to install any new offensive/defensive plays, schemes, or coordinators? - SullyGT

Ben: Considering that Tech hasn’t been doing phenomenal in really any aspect of the game, I certainly hope they’ve been spending this time improving execution of the plays we’ve been running or that are included in the playbook.

Jeff: It would be nice if they focused on executing plays and knowing assignments. The secondary has confused me with how they are actually covering at times so getting that fixed would help.

Jake P.: I know they played kickball!

Jake: You know, in that video of kickball, they put the ball down, but isn’t the whole point to, you know, catch the ball, not just knock it to the ground? I digress...

Dressing vs Stuffing? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: If I’m going to have it, I prefer dressing, but I want it homemade, not the box stuff. That’s how you avoid getting it too mushy.

Chris: Neither, this concept makes no sense to me and I will die on the hill that mushy vegetable bread is not good.

Jeff: I rarely see stuffing and I hate dressing with a passion.

Jake P.: My grandmother’s dressing is my favorite Thanksgiving side, and we don’t stuff it in a turkey, so it has to be called dressing.

Jake: Is neither an option?

With the reheated takes abounding this year on “roast turkey is trash” which of these typical Atlanta-area responses would you give and why? - GTJason

  • Try it smoked (all the TX-to-ATL transplants stand up)
  • Try it fried (you OTP-and-beyonders)
  • You haven’t had MY (or my mama’s, or my grandmama’s) roast turkey
  • Generally agree with the turkey-is-trash take, and I feast upon superior meats at Thanksgiving (tell us about it unless it’s boring)

Ben: If you have a Big Green Egg, I would certainly recommend it. That’s how my uncle has done it the last couple years, and it is simply amazing. If you don’t have that, my preference is for fried with some cajun butter or seasoning. Neither of those options available? Then eat anything else because that turkey almost certainly isn’t worth it.

Chris: I’ll back off from “turkey is trash”, but I’ll stand by the fact that turkey is bottom tier meat. I’ve never been in a position to cook the turkey myself, but I’d definitely opt for trying a smoked one in an ideal world. Maybe one day I’ll convince my family to let me try it (my dad recently found his Big Green Egg and it would be perfect for this).

Jeff: I do have a big green egg and I smoke ours every year. I brine it overnight and then smoke it on 250 for about 8 hours.

Jake P.: We roast our turkey and it’s never that great. However, it is serviceable enough for me to eat at one or two meals and call it for a year. I’m much more of a ham guy.

Jake: Honestly, I never knew there were so many people with me on the “turkey is subpar” train. I appreciate the company, and stand by it. I’d rather have a ham or something. Wow. I swear I didn’t read Jake’s answer first, I apologize for essentially giving two identical takes from both of us back to back.

I’m casting the screenplay for my BioDoc “GT HoF Coaches”: Tom Hanks as Bobby Dodd, Matthew McConoughey as Pepper Rodgers with a perm, but I’m blocking on CPJ and Heisman, help. - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: I don’t know why, but I would really love to see Nicolas Cage play CPJ. I think Sam Elliott could also do a good job. As for Heisman, I feel like you need someone who can present himself regally but is also able to get in some trouble. Sam Rockwell is the name that is coming to my mind, but that’s probably because I just watched Matchstick Men.

Chris: For CPJ I’d maybe go with...Harrison Ford? Heisman I’m at a loss - Google images is showing me pictures that look like 8 different guys.

Jeff: Heisman is a tough one to guess because we just have stories of his personality. CPJ needs to be Samuel Jackson for all the yelling and cursing.

Jake: For CPJ, I would go with Clint Eastwood. I feel like they have the same gritty, “I’m doing this my way” vibes. For Heisman, I think Robert de Niro because I could see him both soliloquizing in Shakespeare but also telling some guy he would grind your bones to dust and make coffee with them, and these are both important Heisman traits. Oh, and I’ll throw in a free William Alexander as Stanley Tucci, but Tucci would have to lean into the mean football coach vibes a lot harder than he usually comes off as being.

Hello Guys,

Happy Thanksgiving. I know it’s been a tough year but I am thankful for the reporting you guys have provided this year and that things were good enough for Tech to play sports this year. Things can be better but they could always be worse.

I’m sure someone else will ask this, but my question is what are you thankful for this year. Could be sports related, could be personal related, could be whatever. Hope you and your’s have a Happy Thanksgiving!

- Nasa Yuzaki (submitted via email)

Ben: While 2020 has kind of sucked, this last week has been really great. I accepted a job in Savannah that I’ll be starting in January, so I’m very excited for that.

Chris: A secure job that lets me work from home and the health of my loved ones.

Jeff: For my new baby girl born in June and the airline I work for not laying off a quarter of their workforce.

Jake P.: For my family and for my friends. What more could you ask for?

Jake: For opportunity. Still waiting on the post-grad role to fall into place, but I got my first degree, my internship didn’t get cancelled this past summer, and I’m nearly halfway through my second degree.

Ben: I’m a big fan of the pod system, but more than anything, I want to see Georgia Tech play every team in the ACC more often. There’s no reason teams in the same conference should go almost 10 years between games against each other.

Chris: While I definitely like the pod system I think conferences will be sticking with the 2 division system for the foreseeable future until multiple P5s want to move to pods at the same time (no one will go first alone). The ACC is geographically weird though - BC and Miami are literally at two of the country’s corners. East/West would be weird given the whole “Atlantic Coastal” thing, so I’d think you’d have to go North/South if you go purely geographically. The problem there is that everyone but Pitt, Syracuse, and BC are in states considered southern. Still, I’d say a North/South split would have Miami, FSU, GT, Clemson, UNC, Wake, and NC State in the South. My radical idea is a dumb one, but you can’t tell me it would be actively worse than what we have now. It’s simple - the Carolina/Virginia teams are in one division and everyone else is in the other. There is a very convenient seven-team geographic cluster of Clemson, Wake, UNC, Duke, NC State, VT, and UVA so stick them all in one division and then have the “outliers” (Miami, FSU, GT, Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse, BC) in the other.

Jeff: I don’t dislike Chris’s idea of North/South but I would take it a step further and make the divisions based on the old ACC and old Big East. You could throw Miami, Boston College, Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, Virginia Tech, and let’s say Wake Forest into one division. Wake would be an outlier but it still keeps a pretty tight regional area besides Miami. Then everyone in the other division were ACC teams from before the 2000s. I think it would bring back a lot of older grudges that have died away with realignment.

Jake: I spend toooooooo much time thinking about realignment. I’ve gotten most of the way through a similar pods scenario, which, given the size of conferences, seems to be the only schedule format that actually makes sense, but I think in that one it’s four pods.

Snow Belt: Boston College, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh
Tobacco Road: Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest
Virginians and Friends: Louisville, Virginia, VPISU, [oddball, poach WV/CIncy]
Sun Belt: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami

In this scenario, the teams would play each other team in their pod (3), as well as an annual game against one team from each other pod (3), along with the rest of one other pod (3). I strongly believe in the importance of OOC games, so I tried to keep that number at 8, but it needed to be 9 in order for the system to work. Tech would play Clemson, FSU, Miami, VPISU, Duke, and Pitt annually in this scenario, and every team would play every three years, and be guaranteed a home-and-home every 6. The schedule annualizes Florida State-Georgia Tech, NC State-Duke, Wake Forest-UNC, Pitt-[oddball, could be WV], Louisville-[oddball, could be Cincy], Pitt-BC, Miami-ND, VPISU-NC State which I feel like would be a very good matchup, and Duke-Syracuse, which, same. Still working on ironing out how the rotating schedule would work logistically, but, I think it’s a good system.