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Mailbag 9/28

What aspects from Collins’ tenure should the next coach keep around?

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech Spring Game Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo_Warrior: In the era of NIL, do you think it is ever possible for a smaller budgeted school to be competitive with the larger schools? I feel as if there will be 10 schools each year battling for a “national championship” and everyone else will be also rans. This is only due to having more money than anyone else, this being the only difference. Thoughts?

Ben: Probably not. Even with NIL, other schools still push so much money into their programs that it is laughable how unbalance college football is at the FBS level.


I feel as if there will be 10 schools each year battling for a “national championship” and everyone else will be also rans. This is only due to having more money than anyone else, this being the only difference.

Hasn’t this more or less already been the case for at least the last 20 years (if not the past 70)? It’s not like programs weren’t paying recruits under the table before, and even beyond that, high-level recruiting was already hyper-concentrated to a select few schools.

Chris: I’ll echo what Ben and Akshay have said - this is basically how things have been for the last 10 years anyways. I think there’s plenty of room for small school success on a national stage when it comes to bowl games and making Playoffs but if you limit your definition of success to “winning national championships” then no, it’s 10 schools and that’s about it.

Jake: I would agree that at any one time, there have been 10 schools competing, but I think it is perfectly reasonable to fear that the composition of those 10 schools could calcify, or at least the pool of potential schools that can jump into that ten solidifying in some way. The SEC and Big Ten are going to just have colossal amounts of money, after all.

EducationalEngineer: Are there any aspects of Collin’s tenure (the 404 branding, lifting weights on the field, having terrible special teams play, etc.) that you would like to see retained and/or modified by the next head coach?

Ben: I really like the branding work that Collins has done, and I would like to see the next coach continue to embrace the city of Atlanta and, in general, recruit within the state of Georgia better.

Akshay: The 404 branding was fine, honestly. It just needed someone who could actually execute on it. We can debate the validity and possibility of Tech’s athletic connections to the city, but continuing to make an effort in that direction would be preferred.

Chris: Agree, I’m totally cool to keep the branding (provided we also do a better job of, y’know, actually embracing the city and not just stealing it’s area code).

Jack: The branding I’m totally on board with. It’s much better than saying we’re “Midtown’s Team” or something like that, plus we took the 404 moniker before GSU could.

Jake: Love the branding, and I think the team behind it has been really solid. Loved what the graphics and video teams were putting out for a while there, too. I would modify it by suggesting that there must be some way to make more concrete ties to outreach with the city.\

jabsterjacket: Who would you like to see on the short list for AD?

Ben: I don’t know much about the market at AD, but this was said during the Brent Key introductory press conference, and I like it:

NIL is very much a real part of the college athletics world, so it is vital to hire someone who is knowledgeable about such things.

Chris: Agree with Ben, I was also glad to see such comments in the press conference but I don’t really know names in that world.

Jake: Agree on both of the above. It’s something that gets a lot less play, but I hope whoever it is has a strong sense for finances and for holistic athletic programs.

Frodo Swagginz: Did Georgia Tech actually throw a cup of water on the dumpster fire that’s been raging for the past few years?

Ben: I mean, probably, but there’s a lot going on within the GTAA that is a dumpster fire, and it’s probably so much that it can’t all be dealt with at once.

Akshay: Unclear. It’s more like they have a couple of simultaneous dumpster fires and they’ve safely put out one of them. The financial situation of the athletics department continues to be an imminent concern, and figuring out how to get out from under <whatever the debt figure is today>, as well as generate increasing revenues as super-conferences develop and eat up large shares of the TV/streaming revenue pie, will be part of the agenda for the next athletic director.

Chris: I think we addressed a crucial component yeah. There’s plenty of problems to go around, but ultimately this puts us in a better place moving forward.

Jake: We can certainly hope.

Frodo Swagginz: Naturally, the AD will lead the search for the new head coach, but where does FTRS stand on the likes of ‘Primetime’? I view this as a high risk/high reward hire myself, but he has shown that he understands NIL and his hire alone would put Georgia Tech into the national spotlight. Thoughts, opinions, concerns, shouts of rage, criticisms?

Ben: Put shortly, I think the risk of Deion Sanders is greater than the potential benefits. He has very limited coaching experience, and I find it hard to take his success seriously at Jackson State. He has done nothing but out-talent any team that he faces. I would want to see him at a closer to FBS level before taking a chance on him.

Akshay: I had a whole thing brewing in my head about this, but let me just put it this way: it’s not happening. It would be a bad idea.

Chris: I don’t hate it I guess but he’s not my first choice by any means. If he comes to us and says “I want this job, here’s what I can do with it” then I think we should absolutely listen but I don’t think it’s something we should go after. I see him as similar to Collins from a “he’s just such a good recruiter and brings so much hype and excitement!” perspective and I’m pretty burnt on that archetype. I want to see someone with a strong head coaching track record.

Jack: No.

Jake: I like Chris’ perspective. I haven’t really seen any indication from anyone outside of speculation that he’d actually take the job, and I think I would only want him here if he were to be motivated and excited about Tech in particular.

NCYellowJacket: What is your most desirable trait in our New Head Coach? Do you want Disciplined (to cut down on stupid penalties)? Experienced? Flashy? Innovative? Resourceful?

Ben: Give me someone who is good at deploying scheme and developing players. I don’t think it matters what scheme you run, but you have to hire someone who is good at deploying it. Recruiting is important, but less so in my opinion.

Chris: Experienced. Experienced. Experienced. As I said above, I want someone with a proven track record at the head coach position. Innovative would also be nice if I can add a second one.

Jake: Discipline and scheme, scheme and discipline. I think a Tech coach, based on the limitations, real and imagined, needs to inherently be resourceful, as well. However, I think those traits do somewhat go hand in hand, as well.

Pkaltman1: As a distraction from all the AD/HC talk, while watching the game this weekend I also saw Neyland Stadium in Tennessee, and all the fans had dressed in coordinated colors, making a checkerboard that looked pretty cool. This got me wondering, in an ideal world where you can A) fill Bobby Dodd and B) get fans to coordinate, what, if any, fan pattern or color combo would you want GT to have?

Ben: I don’t think Gold and White checkerboard would work very well, but I think Gold and Blue would go over poorly with the fanbase, so I have no suggestions here.

Chris: A white out is the only thing I have an appetite for. We still refuse to align on a single gold color so any kind of coordination on that front would ultimately fail and look silly. And if they ever did a pattern it would inevitably include navy and that would annoy me.

Jack: While Yellow and Black aren’t our colors, if we did a “Buzz Day” (now would actually be good since he just turned 50), I’m totally in on that. No better way to celebrate our longest tenured student.

Jake: Jack, what about George P. Burdell? Anyhow, I think there are too many golds, and navy is an accent color, so I think anything other than a whiteout would be somewhat hard to get. We also have some weird section sizes, which might make boxes or stripes look funny. If only stadium stands came in hexagon shapes!