I’m bored. That means it is high time to pull an ENTIRELY FACETIOUS AND IN NO WAY SERIOUS effort to get as much hardware out of the spring of 2020 as we can. Georgia Tech does not endorse this. Heck, we here at From the Rumble Seat don’t even endorse this. It’s just a fun mental exercise. So are we on the same page? Yes? Cool. Let’s get started.
Hello, denizens of the Georgia Tech internet. We know the drill. There’s no sports, a bunch of seasons were put on hold or cancelled without the faintest idea of who gets to take home a trophy at the end of the year. That said, we here at From the Rumble Seat have developed perfectly flawless plans to ensure that we win everything. I see no way any of this could go wrong.
I think we all know why this is the biggest-brained of all big brain moves. They dropped the postseason ban appeal ten days before the entire season was tossed. Sidenote: I cannot believe that only ten days passed between those two events. What a monumental lifetime worth of developments. Anyways, there’s no official national champion, so the geniuses in the front offices of the Edge Building get to hoist that trophy since, well, instead of missing a tournament next year, and this one being cancelled, we miss the opportunity in a year no one gets to win. Good job guys. The 2021 tournament won’t know what hit them.
This is a high-water year for Tech women’s basketball. Any team that can go into a loud, hostile territory of a top five opponent, one who came into the game with just one loss in said arena all year, and take out a decisive win can play with any team in the country, in any venue in the country. Sure, some of that was luck, but it takes coaching, skill, and execution to put yourself in a place in which you are able to get lucky, so count it as a convincing win. Add a season sweep of ACC runner-up Florida State and said NC State win, representing not one, but Tech’s two best road wins ever, and I think you’ve gotten yourselves a great opportunity. And, to adapt a phrase we like to use in the swimming business, “if you have a lane you have a chance.” Give them a metaphorical lane in the NCAA Tournament? Yeah, there’s no telling how far this team could have gone. Give ‘em the trophy.
Maybe a stretch, but this is the whole point of this column. Preseason rankings don’t mean much, but they at least have some significance, and when no. 1 Washington rolled into town, that was certainly nothing to scoff at. Sure, the Huskies were just new to the season as Tech was for the season opener, but give Tech another hack at the Huskies with their impressive bats in full form and Blake Neleman, who has been mowing down all comers ever since, and I am absolutely certain that that 2-1 margin in the second game would become a Tech victory. This revisionist history, of course, applies to other games as well, so who’s to say they wouldn’t be like winning at like a .750 clip if everything was breaking Tech’s way?
Another truly big-brained move, since they got on the “selling alcohol at stadiums” bandwagon just in the nick of time to try it out at a series before the season was suspended. For reference, that announcement came in between the postseason appeal drop and the season cancellation. Again, what a week. Anyways, Tech baseball was similarly approaching midseason form, and, despite a disappointing early series against u[sic]ga, Tech had just convincingly dispatched noted ranked rival Auburn in a much-needed partial atonement for the horrors of the 2019 postseason, and plus we all know SEC wins #JustMeanMore, and was on its way for a great test in Tallahassee with winnable matchups against the well-regarded Seminoles. They were a team on the rise. Who’s to say they wouldn’t have risen all the way up to Omaha and the College World Series? No one, that’s who.
Easy. No one could beat Kenya Jones, be it in singles, or with her doubles partner Victoria Flores. Tech laid down the hammer against multiple ranked teams, including dispatching no. 13 South Carolina 4-1 in the ITA Opening Weekend to advance to Indoor Nationals, locking up a second win in less than twelve months over no. 12 Ohio State in their weekend in Chicago. The crown jewel of the season, though, came in a thrilling 4-3 win over no. 9 Virginia, and the end of the season saw no. 12 Wake Forest get sunk, too. The beautiful thing about tennis, between excellent in-conference competition and the early season ITA events, is that it gives decent teams many chances at excellent teams, and, when the season was dropped, no. 8 Georgia Tech looked firmly in the camp of the latter. And, as we all know, in the postseason, anything can happen, be it in the individual singles and doubles draws, or the team bracket. So why not claim all three?
In 2020, perhaps the best thing the Tech men had going for them, other than the promise of the development of their fantastic youth core, is their great swagger on the court. Is attitude everything? Sure, let’s go with that.
In probably the most legitimate entry in this little series, besides maybe women’s tennis, there was so much going for the golf team this spring. After finally shaking the stigma of losing narrowly in the NCAA Regionals, despite solid conference showings, including a sweep of the last two titles, they returned all their top talent, including Andy Ogletree’s nifty addition to his trophy cabinet, the 2019 US Amateur Championship’s Havemeyer Trophy. They had several great showings - and invitational wins - this season split between the fall and the spring, and truly were the best golf team in the nation when things were breaking their way. After four second place finishes scattered throughout the tenure of Coach Bruce Hepler’s career, it is finally time for the Jackets to have that gold accented trophy on display in the Edge Building.
Track and Field
We got two individuals that very well could compete with the best of ‘em. When Bria Matthews and Nicole Fegans were on, there was no stopping them, not least at competitive ACC Championship meets. So, by extension, gold medal.
Swimming and Diving
Camryn Hidalgo could very well have had a chance to combine for the most individual points on the diving side of the women’s meet, with entries in all three events. Add her, perhaps Tech’s best-ever female diver, to Caio Pumputis, who is absolutely on the Mount Rushmore of the Institute’s greatest swimmers, having a shot to podium in multiple events that he was an All-American in last year - remember, “if you have a lane, you have a chance” is at its most literal here - and that’s a good start to a group of five solid athletes set to compete on short course swimming’s biggest stage.
You didn’t think we would forget the club sports, now, did you? Of course not. In the spirit of Yellow Jacket Roundup, here’s a selection of twelve and why they should also get the titles. In many cases, their claims are significantly more legitimate than the ones above are. Except golf and women’s tennis. Those guys are plenty of legit.
They haven’t been beaten in the championship format since the new governing body debuted after the spring 2017 national meet. They returned all but three of their top swimmers, and added a boatload of reinforcements to a team that was already the best in the country, and added a critical part of the coaching staff of each of the last two USA Swimming junior national championship squads - with two different clubs - to their out-of-the-pool talent. I see no reason why the Georgia Tech Swim Club would have lost on Easter weekend in Greensboro. Put up another banner, this one is a slam dunk.
Tech Men’s Lacrosse is also a pretty open-and-shut case, and even more so after their absolute demolition of no. 1 South Carolina. This team, if you couldn’t tell, isn’t just able to play up to some of the best teams in the nation, but completely destroy them. They were an odds-on favorite to win the conference, let alone the league, and were led by a balanced attack and solid defense. Good job, Georgia Tech. I see no reason for these guys not to have been the best club team on the planet.
Honestly, this team probably could have legitimately been at least the NAIA varsity national champion, since they went 2-0 against such squads, including a 2-0 blanking of Brenau to end their season. On the club level, this author only saw their domination of the squad from the school out East, but that was enough to reinforce it for this author. They can put up a fight against the best of them.
Women’s Basketball and Climbing
They won last year. I have no reason to believe they couldn’t or wouldn’t do it again. Easy money. Book it.
These guys are relentless at recruiting on Skiles Walkway, one of the most thankless things a Georgia Tech student can do. Anyone with the mental wherewithal to get through that kind of ordeal must be a champion of life, or something. Someone call Butch Jones.
Sailing, Equestrian, and Ballroom Dance
I don’t understand their scoring, but every time I get sent their results, I have a reaction of “oooh, that sounds important.” So let’s assume they are, and hand them each a fancy trophy, too.
They have a guy that can throw 172 pitches in a single game. Why does he need that many pitches, you may ask? Well, don’t ask that question. Point is, this man has an arm made out of rubber, and seemingly can’t be stopped. Boom. Winners.
Men’s Water Polo
The best for last: they’re so confident (maybe?) that sometimes, they don’t even show up to the games. Last game of the weekend on a Sunday in a town hours away, like, say Tallahassee, and the opponent isn’t worth failing that Physics II test or pulling an all-nighter to finish the ME 4056 lab presentation? Just come home. What a big baller move.
Thoughts? Did I miss something? Was this a massive waste of time? Let us know in the comments below.