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Mailbag 8/17

House of the Dragon. You in, or is Westeros so 15 minutes ago?

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‘House Of The Dragon’ And ‘The Rings Of Power’ Series Photo Illustrations Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: House of the Dragon.

You in, or is Westeros so 15 minutes ago?

Ben: I’ll probably check it out. I feel better knowing that the showrunners from Game of Thrones aren’t involved.

Logan: I’m willing to check it out. The vibe still gets me, but after the first couple of episodes I’m either gonna be out or hooked. Not much of an in between on this one given everything else going on in the fall sportswise.

Carter: I am one of four people on the planet who did not watch Game of Thrones, and from what I understand I ended up coming out on top when all was said and done. So yeah, there are just a few shows on my watch list above this one.

Frodo Swagginz: I have some bold predictions and I’d like to see how y’all rate them on a scale of 1-10. 1 being not bold and 10 being very, very bold.

1. Jeff Sims takes a quantum leap forward, throws for 3,000 yards with ~67% completion rate, 20 passing TDs, and <5 Ints.

Ben: 10

Carter: 11

Logan: 10

Jake: 9

Robert: 9

2. Dontae Smith has a 1,000 yard rushing season, averages 5.2 YPC, and posts 10 TDS on the ground.

Ben: 8 (only because I don’t see any Tech RBs eclipsing 1,000 yards)

Carter: 6

Logan: 7

Jake: 6

Robert: 4

3. The defense improves to be just below average and allows around 27 PPG, but it’s irrelevant because the offense has found its rhythm and is posting > 35 PPG.

Ben: 7

Carter: 27

Logan: 9

Jake: 8

Robert: 7

4. Charlie Thomas wins ACC DPOY.

Ben: 8

Carter: 16

Logan: 8

Jake: 10

Robert: 106

5. Tech holds their own against Clemson again, despite all odds, and barely misses out on a win (AKA a quality loss).

Ben: 5

Carter: 4

Logan: 6

Jake: 3

Robert: 8

gtbadcarma: Practice/scrimmage on going, I have not found any comfort from what I have seen/heard, I believe the misery of the last 3 years has killed my ability to see the bright side. I need to hear some positivity that is not coming through green-tinted spectacles. What have you seen/heard that has you excited or surprised?

Ben: Personally, I am excited to see what the offense can do. The more I’ve sat on it, the more I like the Chip Long hire, especially since he will also be working with tight ends. Obviously, there is still a lot of question marks, but color me intrigued if nothing else.

Carter: After all this time, you are coming to me to provide you with optimism? [laughs evilly]

Jake: I think that hearing nice thing about the new offense and changes made there is a bright side for me. I wouldn’t say I’m all that surprised — it needed to change — but I am positive about it, at least.

Logan: the offense is revamped and the defense has plenty of talented players to be excited about. Our strategy seems to be more focused on ball control this year, so don’t expect explosive plays but that should mean less turnovers and chaos on offense. The kicking game looks pretty good. There are things to be optimistic about, we’ll just have to see how they translate in a real game.

Robert: I’m excited about Keion White; I’m surprised (though not in a good way) that Leo Blackburn still isn’t practicing. I’m excited that Coaches Popovich and Burton are no longer around.

jabsterjacket: If you could take your flux capacitor-powered DeLorean, George Carlin’s phone booth, Tardis, or WABAC machine and go back to three specific times in the past 50 years to plausibly do something (or prevent something) to change Georgia Tech’s football fortunes for the better, what would you do?

Ben: Oh, this is a fun question. I don’t know that I have three specific times, but the main one I’m thinking of is going back to the Chan Gailey era to make sure he actually hires a real QB coach to develop Reggie Ball. If Tech had a quarterback to pass to Calvin Johnson, things would be a lot different.

Robert: 1) I’d make Vince Dooley the coach at Auburn instead of UGA. 2) I’d go back to the academic advisement office, figure out what particular players needed help with, and prevent Flunkgate from happening in 2002. 3) I’d engineer a massive influx of cash to the GTAA after the 2014 season so that CPJ had whatever resources he needed to keep things going.


  1. Honestly you can just repeat Robert’s #3 here; imagine what Paul Johnson could have done having actually had support from the GTAA and donors
  2. I would tell the defensive staff to [Fleet Foxes]ing focus on stopping Caleb King first and foremost
  3. I would convince Bobby Dodd and the powers that be to remain in the SEC. I realize that’s past the 50 year mark, but I don’t care.

Submitted via email: Hey guys,

Got a few questions this week if you wouldn’t mind answering them.

1) with fantasy football coming up this year seems more open ended than ever with many team changes and unknown coaching factors. With that in mind who would you classify as your top 3 options for a fantasy player this year?

Ben: Get a running back and go from there.

Carter: I have never done any advance planning for my fantasy drafts and I am not about to start.

Jake: As in, who I would take in the first three rounds? Or my top 3 on my big board? In general, I would probably say I’ll be taking a running back in the first round. Since I’m drafting 7th overall, it’s really whoever is next up that will get the call.

Logan: top 3 for me are Jonathan Taylor who’s is a talented player behind a solid o-line. Derrick Henry who has been a beast if he stays healthy. And Cooper Kupp who poured on the stats last year.

2) Week 0 is fast approaching, but it doesn’t seem to have many big matchups this year. Probably the Dublin game against Northwestern and Nebraska (which is one of the strangest matchups to send to Dublin that I can think of), are there any other week 0 matchups you are interested in watching?

Carter: The ones with football being played that I can get on YouTube TV. (But seriously, it’s Vandy-Hawaii. Midnight football forever!)

Jake: Let’s split the difference with week 0.5 — send me straight to the weeknight Backyard Brawl.

Logan: I want to see how UNC looks in their opener with the new QB. Otherwise not much to be excited about during week 0.

3) During the football season many of us “joke” (debatable on how serious we are on a person to person basis) about how we are unavailable on Saturday due to college football. This year is there any week that you can absolutely not miss for any reason... and what emergency would it actually take for you to miss the games that weekend?

Ben: I’ve actually got a pretty busy Fall, so there are several games I will likely miss. I might be the weird one, but I don’t think a football game is a good excuse for missing something, unless you’re playing in the game or bought tickets ahead of whatever other thing is being scheduled.

Carter: No, I’m going full millennial here and secretly praying for an earth-ending cataclysm any given week.

Jake: I think, just for the sake of variety of matchup and general to-do about the Ole Miss program post-Lane Kiffin hire, that weekend is my can’t miss one. Should at the very least make for interesting storylines.

Logan: don’t want to miss homecoming because that should be our one guaranteed win (against Duke).

4) For those unfamiliar with Tech campus, what is the best place (or where are you allowed) to setup for tailgating on the Tech campus? As an add on, what food would you pickup before going to a GT tailgate? Are there different locations for sports other than football?

Jack: Depends on what you want to do and prioritize. If you need grass, the IC lawn is the best (assuming there’s not a ton of construction going on). If you don’t need much space and want to feel campus, getting close to MRDC or Tech Green is good. My last meal will be Taqueria Del Sol so I have to say that knowing it’s gettable from their Westside location. I was never in the frat scene so I couldn’t tell you who the spot is for that beyond generally avoiding KA (that was very sage advice I got as a student).

Carter: The best place is where I tailgate, which is close to Love, and the west campus construction has finally been completed, thankfully. I have not picked up food (as opposed to making it) for one in ages, but everyone likes Sublime Doughnuts.


  • Football - IC Lawn. I hate to bring more crowds to my favorite spot, but it is not too big as to be sprawling, and not terribly far from parking or the stadium, either. That the people that tailgate there every home game are generally there year after year, as you can probably tell from the past two answers, is a nice touch, too. It isn’t a terribly far walk from Thumbs Up to the IC Lawn, particularly if parking in the CRC Deck, if you want to completely crash my usual gameday ritual. However, the live commentary I’ve gotten while writing this aloud is “don’t send them to our spot, send them to the Student Center! Our spot is [Styx]y and full of ants!” Your mileage may vary.
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball - Silver Skillet. Yes, this only applies before 2:00 PM. I suppose I’ve done Rocky Mountain Pizza before night games. So no, there is not a strong GT basketball tailgate culture. If anything, I’m more of a “go to Cypress postgame” guy.
  • Baseball - First Base Bullpen / Third Base Gate. This one requires a bit of coordination with GT Baseball staff, but both spots are easily accessible and allow one to get a bit of a taste of the pregame action on the field, too.
  • Volleyball / Softball - Before they got good™, it was a bit easier to hang out at the O’Keefe Gym or Zelnak Center parking lots. I will report back on this after this season.

Logan: I usually go to a fraternity and pretend I was and old member there. That usually works.

5) What GT sport are you more excited for going into fall; football, basketball, or volleyball? I will also accept women’s basketball.

Jack: Volleyball and it isn’t even a question. See: Scions of the Southland E129.

Carter: Oh, buddy, it’s volleyball and it’s not close.

Jake: Jack, always link the article. It’s volleyball. Go buy tickets, this is the year’s sport to pay close attention to.

Logan: just for diversity I will say Women’s basketball because they have done really well the past few years. But yeah, volleyball should be the answer. Tech fans, check out our women’s sports teams; let’s get some more fans in the stands this year for those.

6) Any feelings on other Atlanta sports teams as we go into the fall? How do you feel about all the pro teams this season?

Ben: I don’t follow baseball like I used to, but the Braves seem to be doing pretty good! Let’s see, I don’t know a thing about United, the Hawks or the Dream, and as far as I can tell, Atlanta doesn’t have a pro football team, so I think that’s it!

Jack: United has a shot still at playoffs, but unless something clicks they’ll be one and done again. The Braves I have no worries about making the NLCS again. We can beat anybody anytime, and critically, are not the Mets. The Dream just put up the ROY with Rhyne Howard (shoots threes like it’s nobody’s business) and COY with Tanisha Wright. Not a playoff team but heading the right direction. The Falcons might win 2 games by accident pending the Desmond Ridder experiment. The Hawks I absolutely cannot wait to watch every second of. I don’t think they’re done making moves (something will happen trade deadline) and the Murray trade was a legit move proving they’re all in on this team.

Jake: I am not the right guy to ask this question. Go Cubs.

Logan: Atlanta seems to be a decent place for sports all of a sudden. Other than the Falcons all the other teams should at least have a shot at the playoffs if they aren’t expected to go deep this year.

Carter: I am not actually an Atlanta Sports Guy, so I am not the right person to ask. United will probably miss the playoffs and they should fire Bocanegra and the entire fitness staff.

7) Last question, for college football fans who aren’t as familiar with the sport or who are just getting into the sport do you have any websites, videos, or books you could recommend to learn more about the history.

That was alot this week, figured I’d make up for my lack of questions the past few weeks. Hope y’all have a good week. Later,

The Irradiated Glow

Carter: I’m just going to stare at Jake until he gives his answer.

Jake: Hello it is me, the history guy. Really, the answer to that question depends on your particular interest. I will offer a few suggestions below, as well as the reason I would recommend them to someone starting out. I wish I would have gotten this question two weeks ago when I was at my parents’ house, since I certainly am potentially forgetting one or two that I gave to them, but even just based off of what I have here in my apartment, I am pretty confident that these can get you started off strong.

General College Football:

  • Season of Saturdays, Michael Weinreb — A book that illustrates the history of the sport in 14 significant games. Introduces you to both general themes of the sport, as well as important games in general.
  • The 50 Best College Football Teams of All Time, Bill Connelly — It’s in the title. These teams and their escapades define the history of the sport.
  • What If?, Matt Brown — A look at the great questions of college football, and, yes, there is a chapter about the SEC departures of the mid 1960s.

Specific Histories:

  • Dress Her in White and Gold, Robert Wallace — This isn’t football history, but it is the book that is the best to-date at making Tech history in the period covered, 1888-1963, as accessible as possible.
  • Rising Tide, Randy Roberts and Ed Krzemienski — Bear Bryant and his mid century teams juxtaposed against the changes in the sport, the SEC, and the South and country writ large.
  • The System, Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict— This is all stories of modern football, but it’s a good look at how things at relatively recent times.

I could keep going, but, at the sake of being longwinded, I will leave things there. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.

Logan: I just like watching secret base videos. Those tend to be history of specific events, but their YouTube videos add some comedy for those who find general history reading a bit dry.