In this fourth year of the Collins era there is absolutely no margin for error - it’s put up or shut up time. For the past three years we’ve been trapped in this perpetual state of tension between expectations and results. We hear so much about the potential of the program and how oh so close we are, yet what we see on the field is often drastically different. Three years of that has been emotionally exhausting.
Well, in one direction or another 2022 is the year that tension will be relieved. The way I see it, we have basically two possible paths to go down this season and both have the power to grant some catharsis to a fanbase that has desperately been craving it. One of those paths is a bowl game and the other is not. Small trails might split off from each of those but the gist is the same; we’re either going to be successful or we’re not. On it’s own that sounds like a pretty dumb thing to say but I think it becomes more interesting when you consider the ramifications.
If we make a bowl game then Collins gets to stay; I don’t think that’s a controversial statement to make. Six wins would be a massive shift in results for this program and after three years of three wins, a bowl season would be an incredible feeling. Given our insanely painful 2022 schedule I think it’d be very hard to call six wins a fluke. If we do it we’re gonna do it for real with a good team and there’s every reason to believe we really are getting the program back on track. Six wins means there’s life in Collins’ vision and renewed hope for the future.
If we don’t make a bowl game then Collins is gone, plain and simple. A five win season might provoke a conversation depending on the context, but I think the odds still favor a firing. Getting rid of Collins means getting rid of 90% of our identity over the past few years. I don’t think that can be understated - this man has completely monopolized who and what GT Football is. Firing him would lead to a complete identity reset and I think it’s clear there’s a decent-sized appetite for that already. A fourth failed season means Georgia Tech football moves on to its next era.
To put it short, we’re either going to be a good team or we’re going to evolve. Either way there’s going to be tension relief and meaningful change is going to occur. Down one path is the joy of a successful season and a solid promise of the future, down the other is the bittersweet hopefulness of starting over. That’s the lens I’ll be trying to watch this season through; no matter what happens in each individual game, 2022 will lead to our future in a way previous seasons can’t compare to.