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Mailbag 10/13

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What are your top three Halloween movies based on music?

Broadway Shows To Open Back Up On September 14 Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Given the results on the field to date, which would be more consistent, current coaching staff or a coin flip deciding each play call? Show your work. - chilidogringsFO

Ben: I think you’re confusing consistency with quality. But yeah, I’ll take the coin toss.

Logan: Jokes on you, I don’t have to show my work if I don’t do any work. Just like the GT coaching staff. Shots fired y’all!

Sammy: How do we know that isn’t their current strategy?

Chris: Heads is “slow developing run play from shotgun” and tails is “endzone fade.”

Jake: Well, we’re 3-3 and alternating wins and losses, that seems pretty coinflip-y to me. Seems like it may just be a wash!

Carter: Consistently bad is still consistent. You aren’t my teacher and I will not be showing any work.

Austin: Logan coming off the top rope!

Now that we are “half way” through, looking at CGC’s performance through the first six weeks of all his seasons against FBS teams (Year 3, if you’re looking for credit in an FCS win then that says a lot) finds Tech 1-4 in 2019 (Beat South Florida), 2-3 in 2020 (eked one out against FSU and soundly beat Louisville), and 2-3 in 2021 (soundly beat UNC and eked one out against Duke). Looking back at this year’s schedule and now knowing more of who/what the opponents are/were (UNC and Clemson not being what is expected of them) and comparing those to the last 2 seasons, has CGC really appreciably improved the team? (This is not speaking to talent but how the team is functioning). - gtbadcarma

Ben: I think there are some areas where the team has absolutely improved. I think the offense as a whole has taken leaps and bounds from where it was in 2019. We have a quarterback who can step up and make some beautiful throws. We have one of the better running backs in the country. There are still some struggles along the offensive line, but I think it’s fair to say that the offensive line was always going to be the toughest part of the transition. In Year 3, though, I don’t think that’s an excuse anymore. What bothers me even more is the regression on defense, especially in the secondary. The secondary is supposed to be one of, if not the best units on the team, and they have consistently struggled more and more in the last couple years. So in short, yes but also no.

Logan: Not really in my opinion. We still lack consistency on offense, and the defensive game plan doesn’t seem to match well with the opponents we face in most games. you can look at the current record and the games against UNC and Clemson and say we improved. To me this looks like the past few years where we have some good games then we have some bad games and we just hope luck gives us a win with some turnovers.

Sammy: There are definitely some things that have improved, particularly from last year to this year, including turnovers and penalties. Undoubtedly, there needs to be improvement and more consistency when it comes to execution, but Tech has a positive turnover margin through six games for the first time in CGC’s tenure, the team is averaging 3 less penalties per game and 24 less penalty yards per game this season (2020 v. 2021), and the team is both scoring more points and allowing the fewest points per game through six games in CGC’s tenure.

Chris: 3-3 is perfectly reasonable for where we’re at right now. I think the problem is that if we played this season over again we could just as easily be 1-5 or 5-1. So: improved the team since 2019? Absolutely. Improved the team since 2019 in a way that any other coach couldn’t do? Likely not.

Jake: I said about what Chris said above on the podcast. I’ll just +1 what he said above. It’s an improvement, but it doesn’t feel all that remarkable to me.

Carter: Improved from year one? Sure. That 2019 team scored 200 points. Total. The entire season. Is it good enough at this point? Eh.

Who else does Georgia Tech Volleyball have to beat to get another go at the NCAA tournament? Also while we’re at it, will the basketball teams make it back to their respective NCAA tournaments? - Anuj Bhyravabhotla

Logan: Wait... are we not in the tournament yet for volleyball? Who decided that? I need to make some angry phone calls, because that’s bull-honkey. I think women’s basketball makes it easily. Men’s basketball got lucky in some games last year and doesn’t have the same leadership we had with Alvarado; the men make it but not in the same flashy way they did last year.

Sammy: I think both basketball teams make the tournament. I wasn’t asked to show my work for this one, so I’m not going to. Volleyball goes on to win every match except the Pitt rematch later this year and makes the tournament, as well.

Jake: Ah, a Jake question, excellent. It’s too early to say we are in for sure, just with how much season is left, but Tech is ranked 16 by the coaches and is a top 8 team by RPI. Dare I say it, but we control our own destiny - not necessarily in the ACC, given we have two losses, but certainly with respect to the NCAA tournament. Heck, the team is in the catbird seat to be a regional top seed, considering they even have a pair of marquee wins to show for it, too. What Tech needs to do is take care of business against the rest of the schedule, not have random letdowns, and, if we want a good draw, to beat Louisville or Pitt again the second time around. If we go into tournament time with only 5 or 6 losses, we’ll have set ourselves up pretty well for a run. As for basketball, well, I think the women are poised to be a top ten team in the country if they play their cards right and build on last year’s success. The men are a bit further away, but Mike Devoe and Jordan Usher were talking about wanting another ACC title at media days, and, well, if they do that, then they’re in the tournament with no worrying or questions.

Carter: Let’s not get wayyyyyy ahead of ourselves just yet. Volleyball is 13-3 and their resume is killer — if the season ended today they’d be a top 4 seed for sure — buuuut there’s still plenty of season left; 12 games, to be exact. Rematches against both Pitt and Louisville await (how fortunate we get to play both teams twice this year!) and it’d be nice to win at least one of those. Even if they don’t, if they can take care of the rest of the schedule — which, they very much can and probably should — it’s a Sweet Sixteen team at the very least. Speaking of Sweet Sixteen, WBB returns one from last year with pretty much all of their talent still around. Barring some bizarre Georgia Tech style collapse they should make it again. MBB lost a lot of talent from a team that won the ACC so my expectations there are much simpler: Georgia is terrible this year and we should beat them.

How would you change your season predictions? Will the Duke-UVA game this week tell us anything about us playing UVA the next week after our bye? Or will it be another case of Whose Coastal Pick Is It Anyway? Where predictions are made up and past games don’t matter. - SullyGT

Ben: I think six wins is absolutely the goal, and I think its attainable, but we are going to need see more of the Georgia Tech we saw against UNC. If we play the rest of the schedule like we did against Duke, I think you might get one more win. Realistically, I think there’s a chance Tech can finish with anywhere from three to six wins this season.

Logan: I’m just gonna keep assuming we will lose so that I can be pleasantly surprised if we win.

Sammy: I feel like the Virginia game could turn into a replay of the Pitt game. I think the Jackets finish with 6 wins, but where they come from is still a mystery. Miami looks even more beatable with King out for the rest of the year, ND hasn’t proven they’re that hard to beat, and Virginia Tech is at home, which should help. We shall see.

Chris: 6 wins should be the goal.

Jake: Again, I’m with Chris. Would be a lot more confident in that goal if we were sitting at 4-2, though.

Austin: Per season predictions, 6 wins is very much still in play. As far as the ACC goes this year, it’s anyone’s guess which version of each team will show week to week. Per the Duke-UVA implications, Joey Weaver pointed out on The Basketball Conference Podcast that Tech beat UNC by 23, and then UNC beat beat Duke by 31, so by the transitive property Tech should have been 50+ points better than Duke. Well...

...let’s just say the transitive property doesn’t work with this team.

Carter: I thought the UNC-Duke game would tell us a lot about what to expect for this past Saturday. Clearly, it did not, so do not look to glean any knowledge from this weekend’s Duke-UVA game, and above all, do not have hope.

Let’s say Tech finishes with 3 or 4 wins. It would obviously be a huge disappointment. What recruiting ranking would CGC have to pull this year to convince you we’re still trending in the right direction? - thebugman10

Ben: Until he gets the on-field results to back it up, recruiting rankings won’t change my opinion. Good recruits will not get you very far if you can’t develop them.

Logan: um... I need to do some soul searching. I’m honestly not sure a good recruiting class would make me feel any better about a 4 win season this year given the opportunities we’ve had this season.

Sammy: Yeah the recruiting ranking this year won’t affect my sentiment towards CGC if the team only pulls off one more win. This bye week comes at a really good time, and the team should be able to make some mid-season adjustments.

Chris: Recruiting wouldn’t change my mind - he’s been recruiting well since he got here; it’s talent-development and coaching that’s the problem.

Jake: Again, siding with Chris. Why am I even typing at this point?

Austin: The thing about recruits are, they’re high schoolers. Until I see good high school players consistently being developed into serviceable college athletes by this staff, recruiting rankings won’t sway me.

Carter: There is none, because the result described would mean the recruiting “wins” aren’t translating to wins on the field. Which is more important? Don’t think too hard on this.

Why are the early Collins years so different from the early Paul Johnson years? Is the “transition” still holding us back? Did we have better players in 08 and 09? Why was CPJ so successful early on? - Osmosis_Jones

Ben: I won’t argue that Paul Johnson had a lot more talent to work with in his early years than Geoff Collins did. But I will argue that Johnson’s offense was designed in a way to showcase players in a way that you wouldn’t normally expect and that helped some players stand out that wouldn’t have otherwise. Johnson was also willing to adapt his offense to the players he had, whereas Patenaude has shown little desire to do that from my point of view. It still feels like he is trying to shoehorn players into his offensive system.

Logan: There were a multitude of reasons. For serious answers see the responses below. My answer is because players now see Collins as a friend, whereas players then viewed Paul Johnson as a father. You want to hang out with your friend, and crack jokes, and create silly ideas you can enjoy together; but at the end of the day your friend won’t think bad of you if things don’t go your way. Your father though...whether its fear, respect, or some drive of proving yourself to the old man; you want to show that guy you know what you’re doing. So in my mind, players under PJ always felt they had something to prove and were driven early on to show they were gonna take this weird system and make it work. For Collins, players just feel like going out there and having a good time with much less pressure since they have less to prove. That’s my bold, and not necessarily factually supported, take.

Sammy: The offense Tech ran with CPJ was more of a shock to defensive coordinators, especially since there was D1 talent running it. Sure, most of the teams we played had seen option offenses, but they were typically at the FCS level. The talent CPJ had early on was really good. Dwyer, Demaryius, Derrick Morgan, Michael Johnson, Morgan Burnett... there was a lot of NFL talent on those teams.

Chris: The one devil’s advocate I’ll admit is that transitioning to the option is probably much easier than transitioning away. There’s probably also something to be said for the differences in era: back then you didn’t really need the offense to score 30 a game, nowadays it’s a hard requirement.

Jake: CPJ came in with a pretty loaded cupboard and a bit more of a question mark at the top of the ACC. There was no Clemson Death Star — heck, in 2008, every ACC team lost at least 3 games in conference play. That is a bit of a different reality than today, even with Clemson in a seemingly down year.

Name your top 3 Halloween movies based on music. - GTalbatross

Ben: 3) Rocky Horror Picture Show 2) Ghostbusters 1) Nightmare Before Christmas

Logan: 3) Halloween 2) Nightmare Before Christmas 1) Dirty Dancing

Sammy: Is Harry Potter a Halloween movie? They have witches.

Jake: Ghostbusters, end of list.

Austin: 3) Beetlejuice 2) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown 1) Rocky Horror Picture Show

Why do your writers have such bad opinions about food? I am insulted by the food based power rankings this week. - Logan Sandor

Ben: Have we ever not had controversial opinions about food? I mean, go back and find some of the power rankings Kieffer did.

Logan: Dude, I don’t know. I’m still upset about the chicken sandwich article.

Chris: Hey man, I sat this one out.

Jake: Logan, enjoying a nice chat with yourself?

Logan: Yes, as a matter of fact, we are.

Logan: Don’t you back-sass me Logan.

Austin: Healthy debate is the bedrock of a sound society. That and Willy’s cheese dip.

Carter: I have the best opinions about food, as we all know, and that is why I feel no need to power rank any of them. Someone suggested I should do an ATL brewery power ranking and, you know, maybe I should.

Best spot in the ATL to get a string of fake pearls? Kidding; real pearls. - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Logan: I don’t... Is this code for something? Cause I don’t want to be involved in a drug deal. I think D. Geller (and sons) has one of the better selections of pearl necklaces.

Austin: Shane Company, now you have a friend in the diamond pearl business.

Carter: Sorry, sir, this is an Atlanta sports blog.

Hello Guys,

I was too busy hanging out with llamas this weekend to watch the game. That’s probably for the best given that someone who did watch the game said it gave them heart palpitations. All the llamas gave me were mean stares, but I can handle that.

My question this week. If you had to describe being a GT fan as a disease, what would the symptoms be?

Have a nice week,

John Snow (no not that one, the other one) (submitted via email)

Ben:

Logan: Symptoms of GeorgiaTechticocus include but are not limited to: Anxiety, Depression, High Blood Pressure, Alcoholism, decreased on field performance, the condition known as “Hot Dog Fingers”, hatred of bulldog shaped statues, more Alcoholism, Excessive Pain, Eye Twitching, Lethargy, Headaches, Nausea, more Alcoholism, Body Numbness, Shortness of Breath, Weariness... and did I mention the Alcoholism?

Sammy: Too difficult to list all the symptoms as they change week-to-week. The cure is definitely winning.

Chris: apathy.

Jake: Anxiety, mood swings, and hot sweats.

Austin: Full body numbness, followed by a splitting migraine, followed by uncontrollable and completely inappropriate laughter.