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Mailbag 7/27

How is everyone handling the HEAT?

Temperatures In Death Valley National Park Could Break All Time Record Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

gtbadcarma: I am guardedly optimistic on the season. If key really has gained control I can see 7 wins up to 9; however, error 404 coach blood could still run in his veins getting a 3 or 4 win season. I know a lot of people have been peaking back at the team and wanting to get together and watch “depending”. If things go poorly do you feel that Tech football will enter the dark ages? What would you say to a battered and beaten fan base at that point?

Ben: I would say I’m in a similar situation to you. I think if things bend the right way, this team could be in a bowl game. But if things bend the other way, we’re looking at another 3/4-win season. I don’t think Tech is set to enter the dark ages. Any coach should be given 3 years before any judgment can be made, so if we’re still having these conversations in a couple years, yeah, we’ll be in the dark ages.

To the fan base, I would say that more than ever, this team needs your support. Being able to have any kind of homefield advantage can do wonders for the team.

Logan: Regarding your question about Tech entering the dark ages, my opinion mirrors Ben’s. This is not the year that would be the death knell, maybe in 3 years if Key is back to looking like what CGC did I would admit we are in the dark ages, but this year I just want to see what Key can start building as his own program and what that means for our scheme, players, and attitude as a team. Of course I’ll be looking at the record, but the past 3 years I’ve been watching a defeated team before they even take the field, I want to see some energy and some players bring the excitement I like to see on the sidelines back to the game.

Looking from a perspective outside of just GT as a program; I’ve said this so many times, but ACC football is so chaotic anything can happen. It’s both the strong point and weak point of watching the ACC, any team (other than Clemson over the past decade) can make a run at the championship or fall well below expectations. So why not us? We got plenty of talented recruits and transfers, and we saw what Key did last year with the talent he had. It’s not unreasonable to say we find 6 wins on the schedule and potentially a few more, anything is possible. The important thing is we need those fans out there to support this team and show our team that, despite 3 tough years, we still believe in this team and know that they can make amazing things can happen.

Jeff: I am more on the optimistic side this year. I’ve seen proof that Coach Key got the locker room back fast once he took over. We even had Kirby Smart go on the record and say outside of Ohio State, Georgia Tech played them the most physical of any team on their schedule. That is a positive sign as he now gets to fully put his stamp on the team. The schedule isn’t nearly as bad as it seems either. Sure, you have UGA and Clemson as always, and Ole Miss will be a tough game so long as Lane Kiffin is there. The rest of the schedule is a mix of bad to potentially good teams. I’m sure we will have our own hiccups as well but if you want my opinion, we are coming out of the dark ages.

1990NationalChampions: Are we just going to act like the AJC is not turning its back on the dwags? Writing some very real, gutsy articles. Very surprising, they’re usually ones to defend the almighty bulldwag.

Why not interview someone from the ‘u’GA SB Nation page and see what they have to say to defend Kirby?

Ben: Personally, I think it’s kind of funny that UGA fans think that the AJC is out to get them as if they have not been catering coverage to the two-time defending champs for the last decade. As for the second question, I don’t care about UGA, and I would rather not give them a platform on this website.

Jack: Our FTRS slack has been all over the story. Even with the problems that came up after the article was released on the AJC side, it definitely is good to see that even the almighty bulldwags are not impervious to unbiased investigative journalism.

Logan: I am not an investigative journalist so it is not my place to call out a team when I don’t have the facts (even though I may have an inkling of what is true and a strong opinion on the matter). While I am... lets say fascinated, by what the AJC has been reporting lately I don’t think this site is the place to bring that up. Let the dwags deal with the mess their program has made.

Jeff: You also have to understand that the journalist that wrote that story covers issues in and around the state of Georgia as a whole so he didn’t go in with a sports view. I doubt anyone outside a select few in the Athletic Department has a true understanding of how deep or disturbing it goes. I won’t call out players or coaches until everything is laid bare if it ever is, but it is a black mark on some of their fan base and some of the local media who attacked the journalist for doing his job. There is certainly smoke to what he was covering and the fact people would rather it go away is how Penn St and Baylor got where they ended up with those situations.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: How is everyone handling the HEAT?

I ducked out for Ireland, 50’s at night, 70’s during the day.

Ben: I’m staying in my office during the day, and when I mow on weekends, I’m starting before 8:00 to get it done before it’s too hot.

Jack: Like you, by leaving! Will be at the Newport Folk Fest this weekend where the high is 85.

Logan: I am curious to see how things play out for Damian Lillard. If I was managing the Heat I would put up some additional assets to get Dame and get us a championship.

Jeff: I’m pretty good when it comes to heat. I used to work on the ramp at the airport in Atlanta and let me tell you that is a nasty heat island out there. Though I had a great farmers tan going for me.

Frodo Swagginz: What are some improvements/expectations that y’all would like to see from the staff and team? What are some things you don’t want to change?

Ben: The biggest improvement I would like to see from last season is more cohesion along the offensive line. Sure, there are a lot of key positions that are being replaced (Keion White, linebackers, etc.), but I’m more comfortable with the depth there, so I’m going to focus on the OL. It’s been bad almost every year since 2014. If Tech is going to win consistently, the OL needs to improve.

Jack: Consistent 100% effort. We all know that wasn’t there for the first part of last season. The mental toughness it seems Key has instilled will impact everything. Our floor and ceiling are still wide ranging at this point having seen zero games so far, but that’s the one thing I can point to I expect our guys to focus on. For things I don’t want to change: opposing wide receivers dropping game winning touchdowns.

Logan: I’m not sure if this is expectation as much as it is hope, but I am hoping that we get to a place where I won’t have a heart attack every time the QB drops back to pass. Part of that is the O-line and part of that is the QB, I’m just hoping we see more consistent passing down the line. I was generally happy with the defense last year, but there were certainly times when broken tackles hurt us so maybe better tackling and penetration. There’s not really anything I want to remain completely the same, our whole team stands to improve in different areas, but that should be true of any team if they want to get better.

Jeff: All that stuff the others said is nice, but I truly want one thing we were promised back in 2019 and have been the worst in the FBS almost every year. SPECIAL TEAMS EMPHASIS!!!

tyler_pifer92: I’m not a huge football guy, so I wanted to ask about basketball.

The roster appears to be set and I’m really happy with how CDS handled the roster reconstruction.

Given that we now have the roster, what is everyone’s way to early prediction for the basketball team?

Logan: My comment above for the ACC in football is the opposite for the ACC in basketball. The ACC is a tough place to play for basketball teams. While I am enjoying what I am seeing from CDS, my expectation would be we are around .500 as I think our team is still building up to being where we want to be.

Asa: I, too, am very happy with the way this roster has filled out this offseason. It’s always really tricky to project team success in the first season of a new coaching regime, but I would say that I am cautiously optimistic. Losing Ja’Von Franklin will undoubtedly hurt. He was the catalyst for most of the team’s success last season and his athleticism, versatility, and energy cannot easily be replaced. On paper, Tyzhaun Claude is a similar player, but his offensive skillset is far more limited than that of Franklin and I would not anticipate him completely filling that void. However, I do think the backcourt depth has improved and there are several young additions that are very intriguing to me. Ebenezer Dowuona is a definite upgrade from Jordan Mekka and about on par with Rodney Howard. Tafara Gapare and Baye Ndongo are both very raw but have shown flashes of the kind of versatility that makes NBA scouts go crazy. Lastly, I think the new addition that I am most intrigued by is Amaree Abram. Last year, this team was completely devoid of perimeter players who could consistently put the ball on the floor and make something happen. Abram is that kind of guy. He could be the key to breaking out of the ACC’s basement, and he’s only a Sophomore. With all of that being said, I still have no clue what to expect for next season, but I am very excited to see how these new additions mesh with a fairly talented returning group.

BuzzForPresident: With the hazing scandal at Northwestern gaining more steam, what might be the fallout be for the ACC Commissioner, Jim Phillips, who was AD at the time these alleged offenses occurred. The ACC needs strong leadership at this time of run-away expansions and NIL, so will he be able to effectively lead?

Ben: I’ve heard nothing to date about Phillips making any kind of comment about it, so truthfully, I have no idea!

Logan: Too early to say. Potentially he will be forced to step down or enter some form of litigation, but until then I don’t think this will impact his ability to lead the ACC in the short term.

Jeff: You’ll hear nothing until he connected to it or cleared of it. I don’t feel Phillips has done a whole lot since his time with the conference either. The league is going to need to be very aggressive in the future and I am not sure he is that guy.

Submitted via email: Hey guys,

Hope you’re doing well this week. Question this week, we’ve been talking a lot about Georgia Tech on this site (no idea why, but Georgia Tech seems to be a focus here). Are there any other teams you are looking forward to following this upcoming football season?

Personally I want to follow Nebraska in hopes they lose (which is harsh, but hey I enjoy being vindictive) and I’m going to follow Oregon State because they looked great last year and ECU. I will be cheering for ECU and Oregon State, not so much for Nebraska. What teams are y’all planning to watch? Later,


Ben: I can understand wanting Nebraska to lose. Since I work at Georgia Southern and will be an alum after the Spring semester, I have started to keep up with them a little bit more. Aside from that, I’ll probably keep an eye out for Tulane and Liberty to see how our other would-be coaching candidates perform.

Logan: I’m curious to see if TCU can follow up on what they did last year, would be interesting if they were able to make life difficult for Texas and Oklahoma in their last year in the BIG 12.

Jeff: I usually keep up with any opponents we play to see how we match up or how they perform after the game against us. I tend to try to find a mid-tier team at random to be my backup team in case of an emergency. This process has led to mixed results.