Remember those picks that plenty of us made prior to this season, outlining the games ahead of Georgia Tech and how we thought they would all turn out? You know, the ones you made, knowing they wouldn't come back to bite you where the sun don't shine?
Well, they've come back to bite you. (Most of you, anyways. Myself included.)
Yes, we've gone back and reviewed all of our preseason predictions (writers and readers alike) found in and around a couple of articles: our "Expected Case Scenario" published August 24, and our Staff Predictions published August 28.
Below, you can see an image that breaks down, game-by-game, the picks that each writer, some readers, and a couple of local media members made. The picks are listed as "W" or "L", and colored to reflect the accuracy of that pick. (In other words, picking Georgia Tech to lose to UNC would result in a green "L".) The ACC Championship Game is included, but only for those who denoted Georgia Tech as ACC Coastal Champions and made a prediction. To the right of that, you'll see the projected record broken out into two columns, colored to reflect accuracy of wins and losses. (Green is spot-on, yellow is within one game, red is two or more games off.) To the right of that, you'll see another two columns, this time showing the individual's accuracy on game-by-game selections, colored on a scale to show who was "most right" and "least right".
You got all that? Yeah, I'm sure you don't. So let's take a look!
So, plenty of analysis to be had here. Let's start by examining the staff...
I thought two of the most interesting track records here were those of Cade and AOT, who went into the Clemson game with a combined one incorrect pick -- Cade's selection of a loss at Tulane. Otherwise, they both selected correctly four games in a row that had success rates of 52.9%, 35.3%, 35.3%, and 35.3%. That's impressive!
Tyler Duke also got 10 correct picks to co-lead the staff, but was the only one of the three that picked the Jackets to go to the ACC Championship Game. After a 4-2 start that saw a flip in the Miami and Duke games, Tyler ripped off 6 of the final 7 games with correct picks. He's as hot as anyone else included with that mark, matched only by...someone we'll get to in a moment. (You know, in case you're looking for some College Pick 'Em advice for the Bowl games...)
I was a very modest 7-5 with my selections, though my projected record of 9-3 wasn't far off! (Really, how did you people pick Duke and UNC losses?)
In all actuality, going 7-5 in picking games tied me for staff LVP in this with Ben Tankersley, Matt Mills, Luke Fort, and MagnaCarterGT. In straight up selections of the final record, though, Matt Mills was staff LVP in picking a 7-5 mark (off by a sum of 6 wins and losses).
As for some of the commentariat, not everyone was perfectly clear about each game, so I did my best to help out. (A lot of people said we'd lose one to UNC or Duke, without committing to who it would be to. In that case, I assigned one "L" to either the Duke or UNC game -- good for a correct pick, while the other was good for an incorrect pick.)
packerman's projected 7-5 final record matched his record on selections, and he missed on 4 of the 5 losses he picked (the "Big 4", if you will). LxUn1c0 also matched his projected record, going 8-4 in predicting Georgia Tech to go 8-4. He nailed the loss to UNC while nailing the win at Virginia Tech, and then missing the usual suspects (for these purposes) -- Miami, Duke, Clemson, and georgia. Use jabbajacket made a very similar mark, but flip the Clemson and Pittsburgh games. User wima13 was the overall LVP among those included here, picking Georgia Tech to go 6-6 -- missing by a sum of 8 wins and losses. He did go 8-4 in selections, though, getting the Duke and UNC losses correct (although I may have aided in selecting those after the fact).
chilidogringsFO, on the other hand, was like some sort of prophet -- the overall MVP of this entire deal. His Kool-Aid-induced August euphoria led him to 11 correct picks, including wins over Virginia Tech, Miami, and georgia, and even an ACC Championship Game loss to Florida State! Oh, and it gets better....but we'll get to that.
For now, I want to look at a couple of comments made about each game -- amusing for various reasons.
Georgia Tech 38, Wofford 19
Tech goes up 28-0 by the end of the first quarter, and Paul Johnson puts it on cruise control to start the second half. The defense gives up a garbage time field goal to win 59-3.
If you're looking for someone to blame for jinxing that game, here's your culprit. (Along with everyone else -- nobody else picked Georgia Tech to win by less than 31 points.)
Georgia Tech 38, Tulane 20
The Green Wave comes out the gate shooting and jumps to an early 14-0 lead, scoring on both their first drives. However, we quickly discover Justin has ice water running in his veins - his calm demeanor translates well to high pressure game situations and he gets things back under control. Jackets take it 31-20.
Flashback to last season's Virginia Tech game, except Georgia Tech is on the other end of things now. Hyped stadium, crazy atmosphere, deflating loss for most of those in attendance. Georgia Tech wins 45-17, and I'm "wish you were dead" hungover by halftime in the early September New Orleans afternoon heat & humidity.
I can promise you that all of this was true, except for the score prediction.
Georgia Tech 42, Georgia Southern 38
The stadium is chock full, with a surprising amount of Georgia Southern fans and alumni in attendance. They'll leave disappointed but satisfied. Georgia Tech wins 31-13 against a crazy new offense and a defense that's familiar with the Jackets' playbook.
Really a lot more true than I was hoping for.
35-14 GT Another impressive outing on both sides of the ball
Apparently he was more prophetic about certain things than others...
Georgia Tech 27, Virginia Tech 24
Without the help of Logan Thomas' six yard QB sneaks, Virginia Tech fails to get anything going on offense. Zach Laskey carries the team down the field on a late game winning drive and GT sneaks past VT for a 17-14 win.
About as spot-on as any of us were, at least from a "game flow" standpoint.
Georgia Tech 28, Miami 17
Miami has wiped the floor with us in recruiting the last three years, but the results haven't translated to the field. The model says GT wins by 2 at home, but I think Miami plays a little more consistent this year and does a good enough job to win. Miami wins 28-17.
See what happens when you go against the model, Matt? You pick the right score and the wrong teams. YOU WERE SO CLOSE.
Duke Johnson is scarier than the entire Duke team, and he will probably rush like it, putting up 200 yards. This goes high scoring with the Jackets on the bad end 45-35.
Spot on! But, like, double of everything and also with the teams flipped. But still close!
Duke 31, Georgia Tech 25
Duke continues their habit from last year of beating teams they shouldn't. Tech, still smarting and banged up from Miami, goes down early 32-10.
-Atlanta's original team
Spot-on, except for the final score, thanks to garbage time! (Note: Duke entered the 4th quarter with a 24-12 lead, soon extended to 31-12.)
The Dookies are a very good team when they have the ball, but the lost of Kelby Brown left too big a hole in the defense. GT wins by keeping the ball for almost 40 minutes, 45-14.
Oh, what should have been...this was possibly the only game all year where Georgia Tech lost the TOP battle.
North Carolina 48, Georgia Tech 43
Tech heads into Chapel Hill expecting another win in the series but ends up taking the L. This season's UNC team finally lives up to expectations, led by Marquise Williams and Ryan Switzer, on their way to a successful year and victory over the Jackets. UNC takes it 42-35.
I hate how right Cade was about this.
This should be a high-scoring affair. Thankfully, GT did not face Marquise Williams last season (otherwise, I'm not sure we would have won), but with the loss of Eric Ebron, I think the Yellow Jackets will be able to outscore the Tarheels. GT wins 45-42.
...and here's the one who would've been pretty much exactly right, if only there were one defensive stop to be had at the end. sigh
Georgia Tech 56, Pittsburgh 28
The Panthers attempt sabotage when they replace Tech's catered food with Spillymeals. Fortunately, the Jackets' stomachs have been hardened from all the Sodexo food they eat and Pitt's plan is foiled. TECH 24 pitt 10
Two points here: 1) Georgia Tech outscored that projection in the first quarter. 2) The sabotage was seemingly sabotaged! It was not the Yellow Jackets affected by the Spillymeals, but the PANTHERS. They coughed the ball up, presumably at the same time that they were "coughing up" their pregame "meals". BOOM
The ACC darkhorse candidate Panthers end up being a lot less than anticipated, losing to the Jackets in Pittsburgh. Tech's run game goes crazy after the departure of DT Aaron Donald and the Panthers can't catch up, losing to Tech 56-31.
Boy, you've got a future, and it ain't in this town. It's in a town called "Vegas".
Georgia Tech 35, Virginia 10
Something something....Tech wins....Mike London gets fired.
I really don't know why they keep that man around up there. I mean, I won't complain about it. But the point stands.
Georgia Tech 56, NC State 23
The Wolfpack is fighting for bowl eligibility at this point. Unfortunately, they will have to wait another week as Georgia Tech rolls away with a businesslike victory.
Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 6
We get a night game! Tech fans rejoice. Campus is already buzzed after the Basket Jackets opened up their new season nicely by curb-stomping the dwags the night before in McCamish Pavilion. Clemson doesn't show up to play, and the Tech defense has their best game of the season. Bobby Dodd is a beautiful sight when things are going well, and the students storm the field to celebrate the end of the program's rivalry win drought and the last home game of the season. Tech takes it 34-24.
Some parts yes, some parts no. But still the most accurate prediction.
Tech plays well but Clemson is now playing for a National Championship and pours it on, 41-27.
-Atlanta's original team
Just gonna leave this here:
Georgia Tech 30, uga 24
Two ranked teams converge in Sanford Stadium for the first time in about two weeks. Nobody gives Georgia Tech a chance because, I mean, come on, and also something about . The Jackets threaten late, but lose on something stupid like a blocked extra point being returned for two points, or a tipped pass that was thrown into double coverage but ends up caught for a 73-yard score (lol). Gurley men prevail in another heartbreaker, 35-31. Both teams finish 9-3, and neither represents their division in their conference championship games -- Miami and South Carolina each win tiebreakers to go.
Not spot-on, but not really all that far off either. There was something stupid in the game. (A lot of somethings stupid, really.)
LOLZ gurley is going to break a career rushing record during this game, Model says UGA by 12, I'll go full pessimism here: UGA 41 - GT 14. (7-5, and I think the model over-estimates GT's chances this year. Also a ton of these games are going to be decided by one-possession. I honestly could see anything from 5-7 to 9-3.)
OH THE MODEL AGAIN HUH? THE MODEL? LET ME ASK YOU, HAS THE MODEL MET HARRISON BUTKER AND/OR DJ WHITE? (Actually a possibility -- Butker is an IE major.)
ACC Championship Game: Florida State 37, Georgia Tech 35
A superior FSU team controls us in the trenches for four straight quarters. A late TD and field goal get us within seven, but Winston proves to be too much and beats Tech 38-24 on the way to a second place finish in the Heisman.
Probably the most accurate of the selections for this game. Georgia Tech was a lot more competitive than anyone thought they would have been back in August.
Well, needless to say, it's been a season that many of us were unprepared for. It'll be interesting to see if Paul Johnson and his band of merry men can cap off their season with an 11th win in their Bo---
WOAH. HOLD ON NOW. I ALMOST FORGOT.
chilidogringsFO, we've established that you were pretty doggone prophetic with your picks. BUT DO YOU PEOPLE EVEN REALIZE JUST HOW PROPHETIC WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE?
Bowl: 38-20 W over a much improved Mississippi State team.
THIS MAN NOT ONLY CALLED HIS SHOT AT SAYING WE'D BE 10-3 BY NOW, INCLUDING AN ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCE AND WIN IN ATHENS, BUT ALSO STRAIGHT-UP NAILED THE BOWL OPPONENT. THAT IS OUT. OF. CONTROL. TEACH US YOUR WAYS, MASTER.
Alright, now we're done. Good season, folks. We'll do it again next year.