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Mailbag 8/24

What is the benefit of playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Mayhem at MBS - North Carolina at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Frodo Swagginz: I enjoyed writing those bold predictions last week, but I’m looking to tamper expectations for myself before the start of the season. So, let’s run it back (1 being not bold and 10 being very, very bold).

1. Dontae Smith will be an All-ACC player.

Ben: 6.5

Jake: 4

Logan: 6

Chris: 7

Drew: 8

Robert: 8

Carter: 7

2. Keion White records 10+ sacks this season.

Ben: 10 (The closest any Georgia Tech player has come to that since Jeremiah Attaochu’s 12.5-sack season is Patrick Gamble getting 7.5 in 2016. He’s one of two players since Attaochu to even get five sacks in a season. Antonio Simmons had 5.5 in 2017.)

Jake: 7

Logan: 8

Chris: 8

Drew: 7

Robert: 4

Carter: 12

3. EJ Jenkins finishes with 8 receiving touchdowns with more than half being in red zone situations.

Ben: 10 (As a side note, since 2000, only three Georgia Tech receivers have caught 8 touchdowns in a single season: Demaryius Thomas, Calving Johnson, and Kelly Campbell. I don’t see it happening here.)

Jake: 8

Logan: 8

Chris: 9

Drew: 9

Robert: 10

Carter: 15

4. Charlie Thomas also finishes All-ACC and becomes a 4th round draft pick.

Ben: 3 and 8, respectively.

Jake: 8

Logan: 10

Chris: 6

Robert: 7

Carter: 8

5. Kenyatta Watson records a team high 4 INTs on the year.

Ben: 8 (Georgia Tech—as a team—had three last year, and no single player has had four since 2014.)

Jake: 6

Logan: 4

Chris: 7

Drew: 5

Robert: 6

Carter: 13

Pkaltman1: If you could add or remove 1 rule from your favorite sport, what rule would you choose and why?

Jake: Get the designated hitter out of baseball! It takes something out of the game to have a player that doesn’t field, and the pitcher not hitting. I know a lot of people roll their eyes when the strategy of pitcher hitting is mentioned, too, but it really does take something out of the game to lose that.

Logan: good question… I like to think most rules are in place for a reason. I guess I would allow for more contact in basketball. I was more of a fan of the physicality in the sport and now you can’t touch anyone without getting a foul.

Chris: In college tennis service lets are live balls and I’d like to see that make its way to the pros/juniors.

Drew: In basketball I would remove timeouts (or maybe leave 1). I would also make the third team foul within one minute an intentional foul. This would help alleviate the issues making the end of games drag on which is the biggest issue in college ball. The second biggest issue is when the home team makes a few nice plays in a row and the crowd starts to get into the game, you know there is a timeout coming immediately. It destroys the environment.

Jack: I would add back replays for pass interference in football. Someone is going to get screwed again, preferably the Saints.

Andrew: I wouldn’t remove rules, so much as I would use hockey’s rules for fighting in other sports. You have to play without that player for 5 min. Imagine your left tackle and a defensive end throw hands and now you’re playing 10v10.

gtkaiboi: What is the worse scenario?

Tech scrapes their way to a 6 win season with a couple flukie wins and a bowl loss and Collins proceeds to keep his Job.


Tech goes 1-11 and Collins gets canned somewhere around 1-7.

Ben: I’ll say the latter, only because even with a 6-7 season, that’s still improvement. I don’t like Collins, but if he can win six games this year, then yeah, let him coach in 2023.

Jake: I feel like it has to be the latter. At least in the former, it means we’re seeing some sort of progress from the past and are less of a sheer embarrassment than the past three years.

Logan: Latter. I can’t deal with a 1 win season after 3 three win seasons. I don’t care if Collins is coaching or not next year if we can get a decent showing this year.

Chris: Latter. That would mean we’ve hard-regressed and I think it would also be a huge knock against the entire program right as we really need to get our act together in this world of realignment.

Drew: The latter. If the team improves then I don’t have a problem with Collins staying. I just don’t think that would happen. Another poor season would kill a lot of the remaining fanbase interest and make it harder for the team to improve in the next few critical seasons.

Robert: I will be contrarian and say the former, assuming that the team really played more at a 3 or 4 win level. The reason that would be worse is that it sets GT up for at least two more seasons of the same. The 1 win season, if it leads to a good hire, could actually mean a fun 2024 season. This isn’t fun to think about.

Carter: I’ll also say the former. Rather rip the band aid off now than languish for another two seasons.

BuzzForPresident: Predict this year’s GT teams with their relative performance against the field.

Jake: Across all sports, I’m thinking:

  • Deep NCAA Tournament run: Volleyball, Golf, Women’s Tennis
  • NCAA Tournament (or championship meet) appearance: Softball, Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Men’s Tennis, Men’s Swimming
  • Mid-tier ACC team: Men’s Basketball, Women’s Swimming
  • I haven’t even seen rosters get updated yet: Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field
  • Let’s hope they exceed expectations: Football

Jack: RT everything Jake said with the exception of making a tier just for Women’s Swimming below mid-tier.

gtbadcarma: I understood why the 45k configuration at Mercedes Benz was used with UNC last year but do you feel this was the right choice for the opener against Clemson? Is Tech missing out on making more money for the sake of appearance (don’t want a flood of Clemson fans) or do you think this is truly about making a better atmosphere.

Jake: I think Tech missing an opportunity to make more money, opposing fans or not, misses the point of even having the game at the bigger venue, and the more novel venue for home and away fans. I would also say it’s probably an even worse comment to not even try to sell the whole thing considering we darn well know who will fill the place two days before.

Chris: I think by trying to avoid a bad look they’ve now created a bad look. It’s going to be a sea of orange either way, might as well take it on the chin and make some money.

Robert: I definitely don’t think it was the right choice. I don’t know the details of the contract arrangement, but if 25,000 seats could have been sold at an average cost of $75 and GT would get half the revenue, that’s basically $1,000,000 that the GTAA isn’t getting in an effort to keep the stadium from looking too orange. We aren’t in a place financially to be making those kinds of choices.

Carter: This is Georgia Tech trying to limit the amount of embarrassment, knowing they’re already going to be embarrassed. It raises the question of why we’re even doing this at all, and if the rest of the games are going to follow they should just cancel the series instead.

Burdell91: What is the benefit to Tech to play under Megatron’s Butthole with the seating limited to smaller than Grant Field? I thought the benefit for the off-campus “home” game was that the larger seating capacity meant larger income.

Ben: Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.

Jake: You know, that’s more or less what I had thought, too. I do suppose that regardless there are more suites, though.

Logan: I like the name you gave Mercedes’ Benz stadium.

Chris: See above, but I don’t think there is any benefit really.

Jack: It’s a recruiting tool. “Come here and you’re guaranteed at least one game in a fancy pants stadium a whole century younger than our home field!”

Carter: I guess it’s recruiting, but if we’re doing this, why keep playing games at Bobby Dodd at all?

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Hooters + GT Line = NIL.

Are we up for this?

Can we get their pics in ANYTHING OTHER than red jerseys? Can they ask the Hooter’s ladies out? Do they qualify for 1/2 price wings and beer? These are the things we need to know.

Ben: I’m happy the players are making money. I’m not a Hooters guy, so ehh.

Jake: Well, I suppose the lads are making some money, so good for them.

Chris: This is the kind of meme NIL content that we need to spend more time on, not the lame stuff about QBs being paid millions to transfer.

Drew: I’m glad they’re making some money and I hope they get 12 price wings, but is there even a Hooters anywhere nearby?

Logan: I have never liked hooters, I have no idea where one is near the campus, this seems kind of dumb to me given those biases.

Carter: I have been to a Hooter’s once, ever. I remember nothing about it. Secure the bag. Don’t eat the wings if they’re green. (For the record, there’s one downtown a block from Peachtree Center, preparing for DragonCon as we speak.)

gtbadcarma: I was waiting for someone to ask this but maybe people are afraid to or maybe a little early. What are the chances that Tech gets shutout for a third game in a row?

Ben: It’s certainly a non-zero chance. Tech’s offense is a gigantic question mark right now, and Clemson is Clemson. Even though they had a down year because of their offense last year, their defense made sure they still won 10 games.

Jake: You know, I hadn’t thought about that, and now I would put myself in the afraid camp. If it does happen, that would put me at me at 14 straight quarters of watching them being shut out live and in person, too. Oh dear.

Chris: uhhhhh medium. We’ll be debuting a brand new offense with a lot of new pieces against the current #1 defense in the country according to SP+. I think we probably get a field goal or something, but I’m honestly not expecting much else.

Logan: I’m with Chris. I think there is a medium chance, but given that this is the first game of the season I think that if Clemson gets too far ahead they will put in the 2nd team and we will at least get some pity scores. I hope it will be closer than that.

Jack: We’ll score. We should’ve against Notre Dame.

Robert: I think 7 points is my expectation right now; I’ll say 25% chance of a shutout, which is extremely high and for me a credit to how good I think this Clemson defense will be.

Carter: Higher than zero than I would like. Georgia Tech didn’t score a touchdown on Clemson last year and I could see it happening again. Fun fact: the aggregate score over the last three years is 139-29 in favor of the Tigers!

Anuj Bhyravabhotla: Are we gonna see more even fronts or odd fronts this year? After the initial success of that odd front against Clemson we saw it a lot the rest of the year to mixed results. Can we expect Thacker and Collins to roll it out again or will we see something different?

Logan: I think odd fronts are a better fit for Tech given our linebacking core. I don’t know much about our coaches preferred style, but I would expect to see more odd fronts.

Robert: I expect to see more even fronts unless the defensive tackle position gets decimated by injury. That was the main driver of the change last year.

Submitted via email: Hi guys,

Driving back from vacation right now. Hope y’all are well. Question this week. If you could plan a CFB road-trip this year, where you drive to multiple stadiums week after week to watch the games, what would be your games to go see on the road trip.

For me one would be ND @ Ohio State for a big game to see, KSU@Cincy doen the road to see cincy in action, then end up back home with Ole Miss @ GT.

What do y’all think would be a good one? Let me know.

Jimmy Johns

Jake: Well, I suppose if one can’t start with Nebraska-Northwestern due to geography, I would start with Pitt/West Virginia on opening weekend. From there, I think it would be cool to caravan to whatever big game College Gameday is at, because I feel like that would both lead me in a fun direction, be a big game, and would be more of the “right” way to experience that than on the plaza outside of the Benz, and I would wrap things up with Penn State/Auburn, because I feel like that is going to be an interesting game even with no rooting interest, and I have always wanted to see a game at Auburn, too.

Chris: I’d drive around the Big 10 for sure.

Drew: I’ll go a little unorthodox. Start at South Dakota State at North Dakota State in mid-October. Head down to Iowa for Oklahoma at Iowa State. Head out west to Stanford at Utah. Then take a turn north to Bozeman, Montana for the Brawl of Wild featuring Montana and Montana State. Then head west for the Apple Cup over Thanksgiving.