Are you troubled by strange buzzwords in the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your football stadium? Have you or your family actually seen a schtick-filled press conference, concern-trolling by rival fans, or actual genuine questions about the state of your program? If the answer is yes, then don’t wait another minute. Just pick up the computer and read this very series.
Invoking Ghostbusters feels right to us: their job is exactly what we want to do with with this series: we want to come down (figuratively) to the shared home of Georgia Tech Athletics in Midtown Atlanta, hoover up all of the spooks and specters surrounding Bobby Dodd Stadium, and really get down to the heart of what ails Georgia Tech athletics. Why? Well, three main reasons:
- Georgia Tech currently has open head football coach and athletic director positions, if you were unaware.
- Throughout the past four seasons, the writers of this humble site have had the same conversation with friends, family, or internet strangers about Georgia Tech football, and usually those conversations involve the following set of questions and statements in some capacity and order:
- “Why aren’t Tech’s athletics like Stanford’s?”
- “Tech’s in Atlanta, isn’t it? Why can’t it compete for Atlanta recruits?”
- “Tech could be really good if it figures things out on offense — they had Calvin Johnson running the triple option out there and that just doesn’t work.”
- “Things would be so different if y’all didn’t run the option for so long”
- “Why can’t Tech make it work? This should be an easy job being in Atlanta, shouldn’t it?”
- “What do you mean Tech is poor? They’re building new buildings every week!”
3. Plenty of outsiders, especially those from outside of the state, lack the sociological context that comes with living in Atlanta or being in touch with the school. They tend to boil Georgia Tech’s difficulties down to “well they’re an engineering school that ran the option and that makes recruiting hard”. That is a vast oversimplification and it’s tough to provide the necessary context in five minutes or less.
We mean no disrespect to our various networks, but this conversation is exhausting to have ad nauseam and tends to lead to doomposting about the future of the Georgia Tech athletics program more often than not. In lieu of continuing that trend and for the sake of our collective health, we’ve gathered ourselves on this topic to really get to the meat and potatoes as to why things are the way they are on the Flats.
Let’s lay out some ground rules first:
- What follows is not an exhaustive list of program factors by any means. If there’s something you think we’ve missed, feel free to add it in the comments below, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org), or let us know on Twitter (@FTRSBlog).
- It’s possible that we’ve gotten some details wrong! If you find something factually incorrect, please let us know.
- We’re going to focus on the football program for the most part. Most of the rest of the athletics department is doing well (if not incredible — see: women’s volleyball, basketball, and softball).
- We’ve put together this series using publicly available data, published history books, and some informed conjecture. We don’t intend for anything written to come off as overtly caustic: we want to establish sociological, historic, cultural, and financial context to Georgia Tech’s athletics situation for outsiders and really dig deep into all of the factors that shape the program.
- WARNING: this may trend into political territory in the traditional sense, as we will discuss sociological and demographic changes that shaped Atlanta and the Institute over time.
Got it? Ready to go?
We’ll be posting this as a series of articles this week, hopefully one per day. They’ll be released on their own but we’ll update this stream with the links so they’re all in one handy place as well.