Countdown to Kickoff: 3 Days....
After placing different values on games the last couple of days, let's take a look at the schedule as a whole and rank where each game falls in difficulty. Starting with the easiest...
#1 Elon Phoenix
They're a bad FCS team that can't stop the run. I might be able to rack up 100 yards on the ground against these guys.
#2 Alabama A&M Bulldogs
They're also an FCS team, although a more competitive one. Capable of biting us if we let them, but we won't.
I'm Not Worried
The Orange don't scare me this year if we're playing them at home, which we are. I'd be more concerned if we were playing them in the Carrier Dome.
Only tougher than Syracuse in that it's on the road, and Duke's an improving squad. This won't be the year for the Blue Devils, but that year isn't too far off.
Just Take Care of Business
They're a pretty talented team, and we have to go to Charlottesville to take them on. I'm not big on curses and magic and the like, but this is one we've learned not to take for granted.
We'll get a boost from the home crowd with this being our Homecoming occasion, which will be helpful against a team that I'm worried about us underestimating (both fans and players).
Our Best "Expected" Wins
Solid club, but we've had their number for years. Hopefully it lasts, but I have a hard time seeing it lasting too much longer without us losing one...
I'm going on the record saying I expect us to win this game. At home on a Thursday night against a team that's been a near-miss the past three years and should struggle some more this year, I can't see Coach Johnson letting the team pass up this opportunity.
I'll Be Impressed
#9 BYU Cougars
Last year BYU made our guys look almost like a high-school team, but I don't think they were just that good. This may be the toughest road game our guys play all year, and that includes each of our next two matchups. However, I'd say this is the most winnable.
#10 Miami Hurricanes
Talented and a stadium where CPJ's teams have yet to look good, even in two of his best years at Tech. Falls on the tail end of three conference games and the weekend prior to BYU. (No rest for the weary until we get back from Provo, it seems.)
#11 Clemson Tigers
I'm putting this game under the "I'll Be Impressed" section because I'll be extremely impressed if we win, but I think we have a better shot than the "Preparing Myself for a Loss" category suggests. Playing on Thursday night in Death Valley will be extremely tough, but late in the season will be better for a weathered team who's seen a couple of tough environments already. This is a winnable game, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
Preparing Myself for a Loss
#12 uga bulldogs
You'd actually be surprised how capable of pessimism I really am. I've gotten to the point where I'll believe it when I see it. uga has a lot of rebuilding to do on defense this year, but by November that should be long out of the question. Hopefully we can keep it respectable at the very least on our home turf.
Where do these games fall in your rankings, Tech fans? How do you "group" them? (Your phrasing for the groups can be entirely different, if you so choose. Which I know you will.)