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Mailbag 11/30

How can Georgia Tech build consistent success in an era of college football when it’s so easy for all our best talent to transfer out of the program at the end of every season?

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Submitted via Facebook: I understand that a replacement coach has been hired. Is this right?

Ben: Not yet! At this point, I don’t know that I would expect an announcement until the Conference Championship games are over.

Chris: At one point it looked like yes, but now it’s a no. Everyone HOLD POSITIONS.

Ben (again): Well, it looks like it!

Logan: We are sure he signed a contract this time right? I’m not sure if I can believe we hired a HC just because I see it in the news.

Jake: Did everyone else write these before like 7:00 PM today...or did I really misread some tweets?

Partywaggin: How did we go from zero - Fritz-y so quickly?

chilidogringsFO: In the words of Timon, “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!!!!” obviously re: the media report of Fritz, then the retraction, then the “new interview”. Did the media mess up or did our Athletic Department?

Ben: I put these two questions together to have one section to talk about all the Fritz drama. If I had to guess, and this is purely a guess based on my own speculation, someone internally tipped off Ken about the Fritz deal being done based on whatever motivation they may have. Could it mean that Fritz had a deal but wanted to hold off or backed out? Could it mean that Fritz hadn’t even had an interview? I don’t know. We probably won’t know. Like I said earlier, I don’t expect Georgia Tech to announce a new head coach before the Conference Championship weekend. That could mean Fritz will still get the job, but that isn’t a guarantee. I would also like to point out that Fritz is an excellent candidate. Anyone looking at his record and saying he’s a bad one is completely ignoring the context of his tenure. Tulane has virtually no institutional support, and this is the best stretch of football they’ve had likely ever. Also, let’s not forget that 2021 season where they went 2-10. When you get completely displaced by a hurricane, yeah, things probably aren’t going to be great.

Chris: Agree with Ben, right now the going theory is that someone leaked false info. To what end I’m not sure, but a solid guess is to tank Fritz’s chances at a real deal.

Frodo Swagginz: With Jeff Sims entering the TP, what teams (best guess) do you guys think will give him a look? Where could he do well?

Ben: I would not be surprised to see Sims get a shot at a Power 5 school. It would be a lower level P5 school (something akin to a lateral move). He’s also originally from Florida, so I would keep an eye on those schools. USF and FAU are both fixing to hire new coaches, so that could be an option. James Madison is close by and recently had success with a former Georgia Tech quarterback, so that could be an option. Wherever he goes, personally, I wish him the best, and I would encourage him to go somewhere that has a well-respected quarterbacks coach to help him develop for a shot at the next level.

Chris: Agree with Ben, I think a P5 school will grab him. He’s still got a lot of potential if he’s placed in the right system, so I think any team without a strong starting QB could give him a shot.

Logan: Someone is going to give him a chance. I think most power 5 teams will steer clear unless Sims is willing to play back up. I do think there are teams in the American and Sun-Belt who could make use of his talents immediately.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Is it too early to talk BeesBall? Danny’s been here a looong while; who’s next (dream) Coach up and how attractive is the GT job?

Ben: It was already mentioned in the comments, but yes, Ramsey should get the job whenever Danny decides to call it a career.

Andrew: It’s never too early to talk Beesball. I would love Ramsey to take over when Hall hangs it up. I think the Tech job is one of the better jobs in the country. There is tons of local talent, a history of success, and donors willing to put money into the program to keep up with the joneses.

Jake: I agree regarding Ramsey. With Link Jarrett taking the job in Tallahassee (Ramsey’s alma mater) I would think he’s learning under Hall to be the eventual replacement. With last season ending with trips up to Ohio and seeing the graduation of the last of Hall’s progeny, I honestly assumed it would have come after last season.

Logan: Not as familiar with this situation. Based on the comments above it sounds like Ramsey is the guy. I do worry a bit since it sounds like Ramsey has spent most of his career with Hall, my concern is that Hall has struggled the past few seasons to get us deeper into the playoffs. I hope Ramsey is not a clone of Hall and someone who can bring his own coaching ideas to the table, maybe someone can provide clarity on if that will be the case.

Jellopacket98: Probably too early to really know, but my guess is that Chadwell slid over a yellow sticky note to JBatt with a number that was worse (or better, depending on point of view) than Collins’ contract and JBatt wasn’t willing to give it to him (or wasn’t allowed to).What’s your take on how that interview went down?

Ben: There was likely something Chadwell wanted that Batt did not want to give. What that thing is, we may never know. My guess would be something either pay or staff related.

Chris: I would doubt it’s money-related, what we would reportedly be offering for the HC position is well above Chadwell’s current salary. I’m guessing something staff related (e.g. he wanted to bring along more guys than JBatt would allow).

Logan: I have seen reports indicating other coaches interviewed were worried by the lack of guaranteed money being offered. Not sure if that applies to any specific coach, but given the state of our program I certainly believe it.

Namrebeil: A question that depends on what’s happened by the time you get about to answering: We dead?


Chris: I was gonna post that video as well.

Namrebeil: Different question: At this point, how long do you think Batt lasts/stays around?

Ben: I don’t have any issue with anything J Batt has done. By all appearances, it seems like Batt is trying to run a coaching search to find a head coach with experience with rebuilds. That is evidenced by the rumors of Chadwell and Fritz being some of the frontrunners for the job. Meanwhile, he has boosters, players, and fans, breathing down his neck to hire a guy that does not meet that criteria. That is not to say that Brent Key could not be a good head coach. He very well could be. But this is a very important hire, and simply put, J Batt cannot take a chance on someone who does not have that experience. How about we let him do his job and let’s see how it turns out before we start talking about how long he’ll be around.

Chris: A while. So far I think he’s mostly done what we would expect him to - put together a list of viable candidates and go after them in priority order. Aside from the Fritz situation, things have been pretty secretive which I think is a good sign.

Ben (again): I wrote the first answer prior to the Key reports. With Key being the hire, I’m quite disappointed that a data-driven school like Tech decided to make this hire based on emotional appeal instead of getting it done with a proven program builder.

Logan: Too early to say. Currently he is appealing to the boosters which is good for his job, but we won’t know if it will net wins until next year. Winning programs are what keep ADs around.

Jake: It’s been like six weeks that he’s been on the job. It is way, way too early to be on that level.

Bill Brockman: Does volleyball not have conference tournaments? I see the Jackets are going directly into the NCAA’s.

Jack: Some do, some don’t. The ACC stopped playing their conference tournament after the 2004 season. Only non-P5 conferences even hold them at this point to my knowledge.

Jake: The ACC got rid of theirs after the conference went to 12 teams following the addition of Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech. At the time, ridding the conference tournament achieved two aims - the conference would add 6 games to the regular season, which was more than would ever be played in a tournament, restoring the full double round-robin, and ensuring the conference’s best team, rather than a team that got hot at the end of the year, made the tournament. Until very recently, the ACC was decidedly not a power league in volleyball, with just 2011 Florida State making the NCAA Tournament Final Four before last year, when Pitt and Louisville both made it. Prior to those two joining the conference, things were a lot more hit-or-miss. Generally, power conferences have done similarly to the ACCs since then. Of course, the ACC has also steadily cut back to 18 conference games, which is only 2 more than they were playing before the switch, in addition to being a more competitive conference, so I also wouldn’t dislike it if the conference tournament came back, either.

Lx_Un1c0: I didn’t care that much about Sims transferring, but now the news has hit that McCollum is out, as well. We’ve lost so much freaking talent to the portal since it opened up.

How can Georgia Tech build consistent success in an era of college football when it’s so easy for all our best talent to transfer out of the program at the end of every season?

Ben: Winning is the answer to everything. That means bringing in the right coach, as well. If you continue to build depth, these losses don’t hurt that much. And receiver, especially slot receiver, is one place Tech has already done that. Malik Rutherford has been very impressive in limited time, so I’m not concerned about a drop-off in production there. I think Jamal Haynes could do well there as well.

Andrew: I think at some level we will always be a bit of a feeder program. We don’t have the NIL slush funds like many of the big schools do. I think winning will help a little.

Chris: Win more, simple as that. Players transfer when they think the program can no longer provide them what they want/need from it (visibility, touches, experience, etc). A healthy program that wins games and competes at the conference level provides a lot more to the players than one that doesn’t. Hire the right coaches that can develop players to their full potential and start winning more games.

Logan: winning fixes everything.

Jake: Winning and coaching. NIL doesn’t hurt, either.

YJAlleyCat: I hope this question is moot by the time you answer it, but... Do you think GT will announce the new head coach BEFORE all of our players have entered the transfer portal, or will they Devo around until everyone has bailed and make the new guy’s job that much harder?

Ben: I’m glad this question got asked, because I wanted to Tweet this, and this gives me a better avenue to post this. Anytime there is a coaching change, players are going to leave. Typically that happens after a coach has been hired, and a player realizes that it isn’t a culture fit (see Parker Braun). In my mind, if a player transfers prior to the new coach being announced, it’s for one of two reasons:

  1. That player decided they were going to transfer way before then. I think that is absolutely the case for at least three of the players who have announced (Knight, Kelley, and Sims). All three were passed on the depth chart by younger guys, so it makes sense they want to go somewhere they will have a better opportunity to play. McCollum could also fit into this list. He’s a good receiver on a bad team. I could definitely see him try to transfer up for a legitimate shot at the pros.
  2. That player is not willing to give anyone but one coach a chance, and it has been made clear that coach is not a likely candidate. This is the nicest way I can say this, but if a player is transferring for this reason, good riddance.

Chris: I mostly agree with Ben, particularly his first point - it’s highly likely that players in that position have already decided to move on. I don’t necessarily think many players would transfer based on the actual identity of the coach, but I could see the uncertainty of it and a reluctance to go through another coach (offensive players especially - having 3 OCs in 3 years isn’t great for their development) being factors. That’s the camp I think McCollum falls into - he probably wants to play for a stable offense with a consistent QB rather than rebuild a totally new offensive identity (again).

Logan: We have a new coach (I think). You get to tell us if the question is moot now.

chilidogringsFO: There were some references during the whole retraction of the Fritz story about other interviews being conducted on Monday. Any word on the identity of the candidates interviewed?

Ben: I know at least one name was mentioned as having an interview that was not Fritz, Chadwell, or Key, but that was mentioned behind a paywall, so I will not be sharing the name here. If it comes to fruition, though, I would be a happy man.

thebugman10: Reading these comments I have meta-question:

When will people realize the transfer portal is just how CFB works now, and players entering it (especially during a coaching change) does not mean it’s the end of the world?

Ben: People like to doompost when all they have is rumors and speculation. Ultimately, I think Tech will be fine. More players will enter the portal, and Tech will likely get some players from the portal.

Jack: It’s still a fresh change to the system of college football. People will learn as more and more data comes out and live in this evolved ecosystem of the sport. There could be more variance year to year, but it’s not like the talent pool is suddenly draining out. Good players will always be there and need a place to play.

Chris: I think it’s certainly all relative. Some players are always gonna leave; that was true in earlier iterations of the portal and before things like NIL. But when you look at something like last year’s exodus, it’s clear that there’s more going on than just business as usual. A few guys transferring isn’t a big deal, but more than a few starters/stars transferring is.

Logan: I want to believe that the longer you live with something the more normal it becomes. Eventually people will find something else to complain about.

Jake: With COVID eligibility still working out of the system, this plays into it, in addition to the novelty of the transfer portal. I think people need to just get more used to the way the world is now.

DTGT: Who do you go get as an OC now that Key is coach? I hear Weinke was helping to call the plays last few games. Have you heard anything like that?

Ben: I head the same report from 680 that you did, but I haven’t heard anything beyond that. I’ll believe it when I see it though. Thamel is reporting that not being able to guarantee money was a turn-off for several candidates, and Long is guaranteed his salary next year. It’s not impossible, but I’m not optimistic. If they do get a new OC, though, I would love to see an air raid guy come in.

Logan: Given our budgetary situation I would not expect much turnaround at this moment. CGC still finding ways to frustrate GT fans even while he’s not coaching.

BuzzForPresident: Now that we saved money on the FB hire. Can we use that money to get a new men’s basketball coach?

Ben: Two things: First, terms of the contract have not been released, so we don’t know that Tech is actually saving money by hiring Brent Key. It’s assumed, but we do not know for sure. Second, good luck with that.

Jake: Agreed about waiting to see the actual terms. As for the men’s basketball coach, let’s give it a few ACC games before all alarms are sounded.

Logan: do you think money just grows on trees or something?

Submitted via email: What’s up y’all,

I know there’s a lot of hubbub about our new head coach but don’t let that distract you from the fact that CFB rankings are out going into championship week. 2 questions:

  1. are there any teams that you think are being ranked too low in the top 25?
  2. how will you feel if TCU and USC lose and we end up with an all SEC and BIG 10 playoff?


Question man with the questions

Logan: 1) Ohio State seems way to high to me personally. I know Ohio State is good, but their lose to Michigan was not close and they were at home for it; seems weird they stayed so high but clearly other factors than the one loss play into that. Other than that, I think Utah is a bit low for my tastes. Tennessee seems higher than I expected. The ACC teams look about right.

2) if those are the best teams then so be it. I don’t think a TCU with a loss deserves to get in. USC I have mixed feelings on, but if they lose I struggle to see Utah jump Bama and Ohio State. If we end up with u(sic)ga, Michigan, Ohio State, and Bama that sounds like a fun slate of games from where I sit.

Jake: LSU being rated as high as they are is a farce. People need to come to terms with the fact the SEC West is just not very good this year, and that’s okay. Can’t be the best division in college football every year. As for the second question, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen. I think that is a disinteresting outcome for all parties, except for the teams involved.