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Mailbag 5/25

Death Grudge Cage Chain Match, Saban v Jimbo, who ‘ya got?

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Which GT head coach not named Geoff Collins do you think has the hottest seat? - Pkaltman1

Ben: I think Josh Pastner is the easiest answer here. This last year was rough, so Pastner and MBB will need to rebound (pun fully intended) this year.

Logan: The intramural coach for my Fraternity’s flag football team. They are terrible. I think Pastner has the most visibility so he probably has the hottest seat. I do wonder about some of the non-big 3 programs. I don’t keep up with all those programs but I feel like men’s tennis has been stagnant for a while... but like I said I’m not well versed on that so I may be wrong.

Chris: Agree with Ben, Pastner.

Carter: Well, if the recent news is to be believed, it certainly isn’t Danny Hall or anyone on his staff.

Jake: I don’t think Josh Pastner necessarily deserves the hottest seat, but I think it would probably be him. My instant thought would otherwise have been, barring the recent extension, the baseball staff, particularly anyone involved with the pitching staff.

Nishant: It kinda has to be Pastner by process of elimination. Nell Fortner is doing a great job, Danny Hall is inevitable, and most if not all of the non-rev sports are in a pretty good place.

Jack: What Nishant and everyone else said. Pastner if you HAD to pick one. Pastner never sits during games much though so he may literally have the coldest seat of the coaches who can sit during games.

Death Grudge Cage Chain Match, Saban v Jimbo, who ‘ya got? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: I’ll take Steve Spurrier with the surprise upset:

“Did Saban say something that wasn’t true?”

“I don’t think Saban told any lies in there, so I don’t know what he was mad about. Since (Fisher) beat him last year, I guess he can talk now. He hasn’t beat much of anybody, but he beat Saban last year. But they haven’t won the division or anything since he’s been there.”

Logan: Les Miles comes in with the steel chair and knocks Saban to the ground! Coach O rips his shirt off and is using it to hog tie Jimbo! I haven’t seen a spectacle like this since 1998 when Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell in a Cell, and he fell 16 ft through the announcers table!

Chris: Saban in a landslide. Jimbo is way too fancy now to fight; he’d just want to stand in the ring and yell about how much money he has.

Jake: I want to agree with Chris, but it’s hard to pick against a tried and true man named John James Fisher Jr. that elects to go by Jimbo in a professional setting.

Carter: Ex-Florida (State) man vs. Alabama god? C’mon, man.

Should recruiting services now rank “Net Present Value of NIL” for each SEC school? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: That’s a can of worms.

Logan: What, like telling people what the budget teams in the SEC have to spend on players? I dunno, do other sports leagues do that?

Chris: I wouldn’t hate a “Has NIL deal in place?” checkbox for each player, or a “Number of NIL deals in place” for each school.

Jake: Seems impossible to FOIA any way into getting accurate numbers for that.

Carter: No, but someone somewhere is definitely working on an NIL database as we speak.

Should we just drop Signing Day in favor of the ESPhrickN Freshman Draft? - DressHerInWhiteAndGold

Ben: Somehow, UGA and Bama would still end up with the top players.

Logan: Someone recently pointed out how ridiculous it was for sports fans to watch high schoolers decide what college they go to by putting on a hat... maybe we should just stop making a thing of signing day in general. I like to know who we get, I just find the spectacle of it all to be heavy handed.

Chris: Agree with Logan. The less spectacle the better.

Carter: I don’t know that I’ve ever liked signing day. Too many people caring way too much about the decisions of people who are literally children or barely adults.

Jake: I really don’t like the obsession with football recruiting, or recruiting in general, and that is why I rarely follow it on Twitter. I think many sports have been completely out of wack long before NIL (see: softball verbal commitments in the eighth grade or baseball becoming a showcase and travel exposure-driven money sink) and I think we would be better off making, well, less of a deal out of it.

What do you see as the main effect on current GT athletes and potential recruits when they see somebody like Mark Teixeira go through significant effort (41 credit hours) to finish his BS after 20 years? The AD has talked it up a lot, and I can only see major positives. It really got to me when he said he’d always felt weird calling himself a Tech alumnus. - Bill Brockman

Ben: I get that it really benefits the former athletes, but I also could see a former student who had to leave school for some reason be upset that when they tried to go back after 10 years, none of their credit was retained.

Chris: It’s a neat story, but I don’t think it holds any weight in a potential recruit’s head. We’re presumably already selling the value of a degree in our recruiting pitch and I just don’t think that kind of thing is going to sway anyone’s thoughts on it meaningfully.

Carter: You’d like to think so, but honestly, how many Georgia Tech athletes can you name off the top of your head that have done this? Calvin Johnson is the only other one that immediately comes to mind, for me. Most high school recruits (at least in football) think they’re going to go pro in their sport. Most don’t and finish their degree. At 18, they’re generally not thinking about the long term.

Jake: I think Ben and Chris both brought great perspective up there. I think that it can’t hurt to see his great success story, but I don’t know if it would really move the needle for a kid that isn’t in college yet. That said, I definitely think it could help inspire past athletes who might have left early for various reasons stay in touch and involved and perhaps eventually finish their degrees, too.

Nishant: It doesn’t affect recruiting in the slightest. At the very most it’s a random reminder that famous athlete X went to school Y, but beyond that it won’t register with a high school kid. I think it’s cool when something like this happens, but it’s not as if GT is the only school where former players have returned to finish up a degree. It happens at a ton of schools.

Logan: I think the question really comes down to whether you are recruiting players who have an opportunity to become a professional or players who are looking for a good degree. I don’t know that most players who have a chance to be a pro will be swayed much by the story in their teenage years where they might not have the same world perspective. People who want to graduate from a good school for a future outside the sport might get drawn in, but I’m not sure those are the top recruits people usually hunt for. There are exceptions of course, but I don’t think the story changes much for us.

Favorite audio mixing or video editing tools? - Anuj Bhyravabhotla

Ben: I don’t edit video if I can avoid it. As far as audio mixing, I use Hindenburg. It lets me do multi-channel recording from my computer which is pretty nice.

Logan: If you’re on a budget then Audacity is a good audio mixing tool. Audacity is free online, while it doesn’t offer some of the more nuanced audio mixing options it does cover your basic functions and will get the job done if you’re just getting started or doing something for fun. Not sure about video. I haven’t done much video on this site or elsewhere.

Chris: I’m more of a written content guy.

Carter: Same; that stuff’s just not in my wheelhouse.

Jake: The classic GarageBand setup hasn’t failed me yet, and I am pretty sure that is what Akshay uses for the podcast. I generally stick to writing and tweeting for the site, though.

Jack: I used GarageBand for Tech Lively last year and it worked near flawlessly. Even recorded the season’s theme song in GarageBand, and I can’t play any instruments.

ACC Pod/3-5-5 Scheduling Questions:

This might have been asked before but ACC Pod Scheduling. If this happens, who are the three opponents you would like to see Tech play every year?

This might be unpopular but based on history, I would say Clemson, FSU, and VT. - NCYellowJacket

Ben: Who do I want? Or who do I think Tech will play? Because those are probably different answers. I would love to see Tech play Virginia Tech, Duke and Florida State. But Tech will end up with Clemson, Miami, and/or Virginia Tech.

Logan: I want to see us play Clemson for the rivalry, Duke for the location (and because we tend to do well against Duke), and Louisville... no particular reason why for Louisville. Really I should pick VT over Louisville because we have more history with VT, but I wanted to be different from everyone else.

Chris: VT, Duke, and either UNC or FSU. Purely geographically though it would make sense to have us, Miami, FSU, and Clemson.

Carter: I would like to see Georgia Tech get VT, one of FSU/Clemson, and an NC school, with the preferences being NC State, UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest in that order. I think the ACC will give Georgia Tech Clemson, FSU, and Miami, which I would absolutely hate.

Jake: I think Tech will get Clemson and two of Florida State/Duke/Virginia Tech, with Miami as a longer shot. The history buff in me leans towards Duke, but I think the development of the Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech rivalry was one of the few genuinely fun and new things to come from the mid-2000s era of conference realignment and it would be a shame to lose that for the sake of “history” when it seems like the vast majority of Tech fans couldn’t care less about playing Duke. That said, I tried to pencil this out for the entire conference, and, let me tell you, it was exceedingly difficult to make it all work. I will add a shameless plug for site manager emeritus Joey Weaver’s podcast, Basketball Conference, in that Mike started down the road of perhaps locking in fewer than three opponents, which I will note would mean that teams would meet 6 times in 11 years, which is pretty good, and definitely makes for fewer “stretch” pairings, three fixed opponents still means 5 times in 10 years for non-annual opponents. Either way, I see this as a net gain for interest across the board, as it will yield much more familiarity among teams that are non-divisional matchups currently regardless of the result.

Nishant: Years ago I did the penciling out that Jake talked about and ended up with this. Enjoy. However, I need to drive home the point that these are not pods and it bothers me to see a lot of people calling them that. Pods are what the SEC is probably going to once they have 16 teams.

ACC 3-5-5 Opponents (maybe)

Team Opp 1 Opp 2 Opp 3
Team Opp 1 Opp 2 Opp 3
Boston College SU Miami VT
Clemson GT FSU NCSU
Duke Wake UNC GT
Florida State Miami Clem Wake
Georgia Tech Clem VT Duke
Louisville Pitt UVA SU
Miami FSU BC Pitt
North Carolina NCSU Duke UVA
NC State UNC Wake Clem
Pittsburgh UL SU Miami
Syracuse BC Pitt UL
Virginia VT UL UNC
Virginia Tech UVA GT BC
Wake Forest Duke NCSU FSU

Hello Y’all.

Hope the week is treating you well. I’m doing pretty good, staying busy with things. My question this week is in relation to being a newbie. We always have newbies on campus and at school going into every sports season. Everyone goes through being a freshman or a newbie, whether it’s at school or at a job or some other situation.

My question this week is what is your favorite story from being a new person in some position (be it job, or city, or school, or etc.) and what advice do you have for people going into that situation. Hopefully the advice isn’t to find the biggest toughest guy in there and pick a fight with him. This ain’t prison rules.

Later Y’all,

Principal Lewis (submitted via email)

Ben: When I took the job I have now, it required me to move down to Savannah, so when I came into town to look for places to live, my boss wanted to take me out to lunch. When I came into the office, they had already put my name on the door, even though I didn’t start the job for a couple more weeks. I always thought that was a really nice touch.

Chris: When I first moved to Boston I spent an entire Saturday literally walking around the entirety of the city. YMMV on larger cities, but I found it be a really great way to get me feeling more comfortable with the city and ground me in a sense of reality about it. I up-front saw it all so there were no unknowns. Everything was at least somewhat familiar after that.

Jack: Early on when I got to Tech my freshman year I was visiting a campus ministry with a couple friends, and one of the main student leaders who I could absolutely tell was the cool one approached me and we had a good discussion. In the moment I definitely did not feel in his league, but I absolutely was and just needed that nudge from someone coming up to me to remind myself that a group may not seem to be how it is, and you just gotta dive in That story became very helpful for me as I started interviewing athletes on campus.

Jake: I mean, my first day at the pool the day I the day I turned sixteen, I was so proud to finally be old enough to lifeguard that I was mixing the chlorine into the pool with a big smile on my face just because I was happy to be there and felt like I was doing something that mattered, or that I could be proud of, even though it was literally the thing no one else wanted to do. What Chris mentioned about walking the city when he moved to Boston did also make me think of something I noticed last year when I started biking in Atlanta, which was that I started to learn and see so much more about the city. I’ve been in Atlanta almost six years now, but early in my college career, the only time I was off campus was to leave the city or go to Willy’s. Then, when I got a car the summer before senior year, I was always driving places, which meant major roads or moving relatively quickly through spaces. Biking really has given me a new perspective on the city and getting to feel comfortable navigating confidently (I’ve been trying to make a map of good routes I’ve found but that’s a work in progress), finding lower key food and retail, and noticing the detail in my surroundings. Point is, even though you’ve been around a place a while, it’s never too late to look around with fresh eyes.

Logan: I like just familiarizing myself with the area. walking or driving around and looking a google maps for potential locations I might miss otherwise. If it’s for a school my best advice is to join a club to make friends and participate in something you enjoy. If its for a job my recommendation is just to put extra effort into being nice so people around the office will know who you are and get to like you. Put effort into learning about people and they will respect and like you more. Going somewhere new can be intimidating but its an experience we all deal with.

Carter: I just started a new job, and for me the hardest part of starting a new job is getting over the (incredibly incorrect) feeling that you’re supposed to know everything, and quickly. Even at the senior level, where you have a lot of technical knowledge, you need time to gain domain knowledge. Thankfully I work in a company full of people keenly aware of this, and I no longer have any problem asking questions about things I almost certainly wouldn’t know about yet. Anyway, my advice would be: “Carter is a moron; do not ask Carter for life advice”.