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Yellow Jacket Roundup: Unplanned Break

Well, we were going to have a bunch of WBB to chat about, but that’s a nope.

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This album from the fall Florida State meet is just fantastic. I could use a different great one every week for a year and still not run out.
Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics

Stay tuned for...not much. We still have the Poll of the Week? That’s something, I guess.


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Alright, I figured out what the unplanned COVID breaks feel like. It feels like that weather - which we’ve had a lot of up here the past week - where it’s cold enough to snow, it might as well snow, you know it’ll snow at some point, so why isn’t just happening right now? Because something is up. It’s a little too warm. It’s a little too dry. But either, way, it isn’t going to happen. Because it can’t

I think that makes sense? Maybe? We do love tortured and drawn out metaphors here at From the Rumble Seat. Or maybe that’s just me.

Meanwhile, I don’t have much to wax poetic on here in the verbal cold open this week - the meaning of the holiday season? Fortunate to have sports right now? Stay safe? Nothing really fits right. So, let’s talk about the news we do know, and take an end of the semester roundup of the teams we did see this fall.

And I just fell down a rabbit hole trying to design a new CFP format. A sign of the times, indeed.

Last Week on the Flats

Last Week on the Flats
Data via RamblinWreck.com, compiled by Jake Grant

Women’s Basketball

Georgia Tech’s games against UCF and Miami this week were postponed due to COVID issues. The status of their upcoming games is currently unknown, and the rescheduling of these is also unknown. Tech remains at no. 9 in the RPI ratings, one spot behind the school up the road, but can’t even get an AP Poll vote. Get smart, AP voters! IUPUI got a vote in the Coaches Poll and not Tech. What the heck. Also, if the AP would like to give me a vote, just leave a comment, and we will be in touch. Or a College Football Playoff vote would be nice. But we’ll save that for another column.

So where are they at now that we’ve closed the book on their short fall season with this unplanned break?

Tech sits at 4-1 right now. The Jackets jumped out to an inconsistent start, which is probably what doomed them in this fall’s edition of Clean, Old Fashioned Hate. That game, probably Tech’s stiffest opposition so far on the season, went to overtime, and Tech was a cleaner free throw or made bucket away from winning outright in regulation, which probably should have happened. But, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, well, then we’d all have a Merry Christmas. So we make do with what we have. The other non-conference games were a pair of opposites - one was an absolute blowout of Georgia State, an annual tradition at this point, because they are terrible - and the other was a much-too-close-for-comfort win over a solid Tulane team. Against Boston College, though, in the conference opener, Tech found the balance in the offensive attack that had alluded them to that point. It was good to see it surface in the BC game since Tech’s first road game would be against Notre Dame, and, though they fell mightily from the summit they sat on top of ruling the conference last year, Tech still couldn’t scrounge up their first-ever win against them in 2018-19. Not so this year. Tech’s bombardment from behind the 3 point arc continued, and Tech was able to jump out to leads early in each half. The second one stuck, and Tech was able to capitalize for a statement win over a historic blue blood.

So where are we at? The team - which is incredibly short handed, missing veteran point guard Kierra Fletcher for unknown reasons and stand-out true freshman Anaya Boyd to a knee injury - is finally starting to gel. Unlike the late Josephs teams, which were Francesca Pan and a bunch of grinding in the paint, this Tech team is dangerous from anywhere on the court on their half of the court. Honestly, Sarah Bates and Lotta-Maj Lahtinen are probably dangerous from the far side of the timeline, too. With Nerea Hermosa and Lorela Cubaj coming into their own down low, it is a multidimensional, spaced out offense that works just as hard on defense as any other past Tech team, which definitely were anchored on their lockdown defenses, turning games into low scoring affairs. This is as exciting of a brand of basketball as we’ve seen in this building in years, and that probably extends to both of the building’s tenants.

But they seem to be doing alright the past two weeks, too, but that’s a story for a different column.

No. 17 / NR Swimming and Diving

We finally know what the spring schedule will look like for the Jackets, so let’s break it down.

I decided to whip up a little spreadsheet to compare this year’s schedule to last year’s. A frequent complaint of this column and the other FTRS content in the pasthas been that Tech swimming could schedule more aggressively, but just a quick glance at that graphic has me pretty excited for this spring. I’ll present my numbers, and then explain why.

Tech Swimming Year-over-Year Schedule Comparison

Team (if only one of M/W, specified) Men's Coaches Poll Rank (12/20) Women's Coaches Poll Rank (12/20) Men's CAP Rank (12/20) Women's CAP Rank (12/20) 2019-20 2020-21
Team (if only one of M/W, specified) Men's Coaches Poll Rank (12/20) Women's Coaches Poll Rank (12/20) Men's CAP Rank (12/20) Women's CAP Rank (12/20) 2019-20 2020-21
Florida State 16 22 12 17 1 2
Tennessee (M) 11 5 11 6 1
Auburn 22 19 16 15 1 1
South Carolina RV RV 36 46 1
SCAD (NAIA) N/A N/A 1
Georgia Southern (W) no men's team 45 1
Vanderbilt (W) no men's team 39 1
Alabama 14 11 4 8 1
Gardner Webb 47 79 1
Total Dual/Tri/Quad Matchups: 6 6
Ranked or RV in Coaches Poll (M): 4 4
Ranked or RV in Coaches Poll (W): 3 4
Weighted CAP (M): 25.83333333 15.16666667
Weighted CAP (W): 34.83333333 29.16666667
Georgia Tech Swimming Schedule Comparison Jake Grant

On the surface, this is somewhat deceiving. You might say the two even look kind of similar, with a similar number ranked and whatnot. Not so, I say. first of all, the 2019 count includes a Tennessee team that only the men faced, while the women headed to an invitational at Rice, rather than the Vols’ top ten program. Additionally, I counted the Gamecocks in the ranked category, even though both teams are simply vote-getters. Take a gander at the weighted CAP average - that tells the story better. You’ll notice they look similar, too, but the 2020 schedule is still better. However, that was including SCAD as the 50th best team in the country, since they weren’t ranked by the CAP, as a starting point. Making them equal to the worst team Tech will face this year? That’s bumps it to 26 and 41. Bumping SCAD lower - they are certainly nowhere near the best 100 teams in the country, and probably significantly lower than that. Even not including them at all makes it roughly equal, within a rounding error. Of course, it is just one team, but I think it proves the point well. The schedule last year was better than it had been. This one is even better.

I don’t know if this is due to COVID forcing regional scheduling. I’d like to think it’s because the team got wise and challenged itself and this will continue into next year. What I do know is that this team Will be challenged. Heck, they could very well not win a meet - Gardner Webb and Florida State round 2 is a triangle meet - outside of the ladies against Vanderbilt, but that wouldn’t be the worst thing. What matters is seeing good opponents, which Tech will, which means getting in good races. Tech could and should pick up some NCAA conditional and automatic qualifying times in the spring, and certainly will by the time ACCs roll around - and at that point, they’ll need to.

Speaking of the ACCs, here’s the rankings of the rest of the conference in the December update:

ACC Swimming December Update

Coaches Poll (M) (12/20) CAP (M) (12/20) Team Coaches Poll (W) (12/20) CAP (W) (12/20)
Coaches Poll (M) (12/20) CAP (M) (12/20) Team Coaches Poll (W) (12/20) CAP (W) (12/20)
6 7 NC State 4 2
10 3 Virginia 2 1
13 17 Louisville 14 20
15 13 VPISU 15 14
16 12 Florida State 22 17
17 10 Georgia Tech NR 28
20 9 North Carolina-Chapel Hill 18 12
21 25 Notre Dame RV 35
RV 19 Duke 16 18
RV NR Pittsburgh NR NR
NR 40 Boston College NR 56
N/A N/A Miami NR 31
Coaches and CAP Jake Grant and Akshay Easwaran

We’ll only see Florida State, a solid program, barring other schools attending the spring Tech invitational before Tech heads to Greensboro. What we see from the CAP - Collegiate Aquatic Projections, a homebrewed statistic Akshay and I based off of the top 100 swims in every event in college swimming. This gives a nice look at depth, in our opinion a more accurate view of scoring threats at NCAAs, so a better, but not perfect, predictor, and a more inclusive view outside of an arbitrary top-25, especially considering “the eye test” is rather difficult in a sport as dependent on its championships for its truly great performances as swimming is. But we can dive more into CAP later.

All this is to say - much like we’ve discussed - Tech has done a great job, particularly on the men’s side, racking up NCAA cut-worthy times in the fall. It’s exciting to see what they might do in the spring.

In other news, the site alluded to this in the Fall Commencement article, but we had a varsity swimmer reach out to us about a project she has been working on, you know, outside of being a swimmer and engineer. It’s a part-memoir, part-philosophical book that I think seems best described as reflective, and she’s self-publishing it some time this spring. It’s called “And I Wrote This For You and Me,” and you should check it out here. Tamir is good people, and I look forward to getting my copy.

No. 6 Volleyball

Tech sits at no. 6 according to the AVCA November 25th poll, but I definitely saw something that said 7 somewhere today, so my apologies for getting that crossed up on the podcast. Tech made quick work of the fall slate, taking the ACC fall conference title after going 7-1. Tech lost their first game, on the road against Miami, before racing through the next seven, where Miami, Florida State (twice), Clemson (twice), and Wake Forest (twice) never really stood a chance against one of the best teams in the country. It was a shame to miss the biennial home game against the school in Athens - perhaps we will get it in the spring! - and it’ll be nice to see the other powers of the conference in the next phase of the season, namely Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

It’s worth noting that the Big Ten and Pac 12 are not included in the AVCA fall polls (which are only top 15 polls), and those are typically two very strong conferences, so Tech could drop in the spring just from the inclusion of those schools.

Best of the Week

  1. Tuesday Thoughts on the End of Football
  2. The Last Advanced Stats Update of the Year
  3. Recruiting Fallout Post-Signing Day

This Week on the Flats

This week on the Flats
Data via RamblinWreck.com, compiled by Jake Grant

Quick Hitters

There’s one men’s basketball game this week. That’s it. Go watch that. Then watch like Home Alone, or something. Happy holidays and merry Christmas.

Poll of the Week

Poll

You already know:

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Notre Dame
    (1 vote)
  • 44%
    Cincinnati
    (4 votes)
  • 11%
    Texas A&M
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Oklahoma
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Iowa State
    (0 votes)
  • 11%
    Indiana
    (1 vote)
  • 22%
    Coastal Carolina
    (2 votes)
9 votes total Vote Now