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100 Days to Kickoff: Projecting Three Standard Deviations Below the Mean

What’s the worst that could happen?

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Man, we got your hopes up yesterday, didn’t we? Well, we apologize in advance for what you’re about to read.

Ethan Kreager

Geoff Collins and his team walk into Death Valley unprepared and not ready to play, and the result is predictable. Clemson hangs 70 points to open the season on a porous Tech defense, and things don’t get better from there. USF routs Tech at home to sweep the home-and-home series, and after the Jackets eke out an overtime win over The Citadel they fail to win again. The season is low lighted by an embarrassment in Philadelphia at the hands of Collins’ old team, getting run over at home by the Mack Truck himself, and a rout at the hands of uga in front of a Bobby Dodd Stadium crowd largely wearing red and black. Tech goes 1-11 and the optimism that permeated through the fan base during Collins’ first offseason as coach is nonexistent as he prepares for year 2 at the helm.

Jake Grant

Honestly, I can’t think of a more bitter pill of 1) losing to a team running the triple option, and an FCS one, no less, or 2) losing to the team that just gave us their old head coach. One of those things would be bad. Both together? A nightmare. And, you know, if we lose both of those, we’re probably getting steamrolled by Clemson, the school in a town several miles to the east of Atlanta, and probably VPISU. You know, the three games on our schedule our fanbase most regularly gets invested in. So, yeah. Let’s not do that.

Chris Paschal

I dunno, maybe we beat The Citadel because the ghost of CPJ will visit CGC in his dreams the night before the game? Look y’all, transitioning to a new coach and offense is a difficult task, even for a schools that have better head-starts than us. Worst case scenario, we don’t figure it out. The defense isn’t as good as we think it is, and the offensive transition is just too much. It sucks, but maybe we’ll get something wacky like CGC holding a funeral for the “old Tech” at the end of a forgettable 1-11 season.

Benjamin Tankersley

This won’t be nearly as exciting as my predictions yesterday. Today, I’m going to tell a scary story. Anything other than a best-case scenario is obviously going to start and end with losses to Clemson and Georgia, so I won’t even really mention those. The rest of the season will be so much worse. Now, most folks aren’t expecting Tech to be super competitive in a game until after Clemson. Tech’s next three games are all non-conference games, but what if I told you, Tech wasn’t going to win those? That’s right, the horror!

So starting with South Florida, Charlie Strong and Co. make their way up to Atlanta to try and prove last year’s game against Tech wasn’t just a fluke. After a debilitating loss to Clemson, Tech comes out flat and gives up an opening kickoff returned for a touchdown to the Bulls. The game doesn’t get much better from there, as Tech fails to put any pressure on the quarterback. South Florida ends up hanging nearly 40 points and gets away with the victory.

Sitting at 0-2, Tech has a chance to finally pull out a victory against FCS Citadel. Well, things don’t go according to plan. With kickoff at 12:30, it feels like a million degrees out in the sun. As toe meets leather, it starts to rain. It’s hot, muggy and miserable, as the two teams trade scores. With about seven minutes left in the game, Citadel gets an interception while up by a field goal. They proceed to do a full on CPJ-style death march to run the clock down to just three seconds as they score a final touchdown to drop the Yellow Jackets down to 0-3.

Heading to Philly, Geoff Collins is hoping to get the slightest bit of momentum against his former team. At this point, I’m sure you know where this is going. Well, you’d be right. Tech drops a heartbreaker as Tech throws five interceptions against Collins’ old team.

As Tech moves into conference play, it’s one heartbreaker after another. But with each game, it seems Tech gets a little bit closer to winning with victory being snatched away at the very last second.

In the week leading up to Clean, Old Fashioned Hate, various news outlets report that sanctions are being placed against UGA for whatever reasons you want to believe. As a result of the sanctions, every starter and a number of scholarship players are deemed immediately ineligible. There is the slightest bit of hope that Tech can win against the bottom-dwellers of UGA’s depth chart.

The game starts and Tech returns the opening kickoff to about midfield. After a couple of plays, Jordan Mason punches the ball into the endzone for a quick 7-0 lead. As the game continues, the lead continues to build as what is essentially UGA’s scout team looks completely lost out on the field. By halftime, Tech leads 35-3. Coming into the second half, Tech comes out confident. Maybe a little too confident.

As UGA gets the opening kickoff, they start from their own 30. Tech’s defense plays a sloppy drive, nearly tripping over themselves while UGA looks motivated and ready to play. In just four plays, UGA finds the endzone. Tech proceeds to fumble the ensuing kickoff, and UGA recovers at the Tech 30. Two plays later, touchdown UGA.

Tech tries again and is able to get a few plays off, but is forced to punt before getting to midfield. UGA gets the ball and maneuvers their way down field almost effortlessly and scores another touchdown. It’s now 35-24, and Tech has the ball back. At this point, Tech is starting to realize they can’t phone the rest of this game in and start to play a little better, working their way down the field. From the UGA 20, Lucas Johnson drops back to pass, trying to find Tyler Davis in the endzone, and after getting hit while throwing, a UGA linebacker is able to get his hands on the ball, bringing down the interception as time runs out in the third quarter.

UGA works their way down the field again, despite Tech providing a little more effort on defense, but it doesn’t do much good as UGA scores again. It’s 35-31.

Now that it’s a game, both teams trade three-and-outs. With just 20 seconds left in the game, UGA lines up to punt from their own 40-yard line. Knowing that this could be the last drive of the game, Tech goes for the block, sending just about everybody after the punter. UGA gets the snap, and 10 Tech defenders go after the punter. As the punter gets the ball, a single player sneaks behind the defense to go out for a pass. The punter throws it over the entire Tech defense. He catches it and starts running towards the endzone. Nobody on the Tech defense (outside of the punt returner) have any idea what’s happening.

The receiver runs, he’s at midfield, Tech’s punt returner is chasing him down. The receiver is at the 40, the punt returner is the only man to beat. As he goes for the tackle, he trips and falls a few yards short of the receiver who blazes past him to the 30, the 20, the 10, and touchdown as time runs out. UGA wins 38-35, and Tech falls to 0-12.

Jake Patterson

Wow. I can’t top that.

The Jackets start the season off with what we’re all expecting to happen against Clemson, a blowout loss 49-7. The USF game doesn’t go any better, with the Jackets giving up three kickoff return touchdowns to the Bulls, losing 42-17. Gardner Webb game 2008 anyone? That’s what happens with The Citadel. However, this time, the Jackets can’t pull it out, losing 13-9. Temple is fired up for Geoff Collins’ return visit, and beat the Jackets 24-10. The rest of ACC play doesn’t go too well either, only scoring a total of 14 points in the next three games against UNC, Duke, and Miami. Pitt comes to town for Homecoming, it’s not good to say the least, with Tech being beaten on a last second 57-yard field goal, upsetting all 25,000 fans that came to the game. Next up, Bryce Perkins breaks the single game NCAA passing record (734 yards), and the Cavs win 63-17. Bud Foster’s last ride in Atlanta goes exceedingly well for the Hokies, as the Jackets get shut out and only gain a total of 98 yards in a 10-0 loss. Tech is too tired on a short week vs. NC State, and the Wolfpack attack the Jackets for 650 total yards and 42 points. All of their touchdowns are from 50 yards and out. I don’t want to even talk about u(sic)ga. 56-2. Yes, the defense somehow gets a safety on the dwags. I don’t know how.

This worst case scenario is truly worst case, I think at least one win is in the cards for the Jackets, but we’ll get to that tomorrow.

Carter Templeton

Oh god. How does it get worse than what the media is already predicting? They’re all saying three wins, four wins.... how does it get worse? Reader, listen to me: you remember how everyone got injured in 2015? As in, literally everyone? Have that happen in a transition year. Do you want to celebrate a game winning field goal against the Citadel? No, absolutely the hell not. If that happens, things won’t end up like the last season Georgia Tech beat an FCS team by a field goal. Why do I have to keep referencing that game? Anyway, yeah, that’s the worst case scenario. 1-11 with a last second win over the Citadel. And the Waffle House in Tech Square burns down.

What is your worst-case scenario this season?