With just under a week to the beginning of the season, it’s time to start talking about season predictions! We will talk about the mean tomorrow, but for right now, let’s get away from that and look at some best-case and worst-case scenarios.
Three Standard Deviations Above the Mean
I think the absolute best-case scenario sees Georgia Tech finally getting over the hump this season and figuring out some way to get into a bowl game at six wins. Because this is the best-case scenario, I’ll even say they get the win. While I think this would be the best case, I think it would still be a pretty bumpy road to get to six wins in the regular season and require the Yellow Jackets to get a little lucky in more than one game.
I see the absolute best case scenario being a 7-6 season, with the bowl win coming in the Independence Bowl.
Tech finishes with above average Net EPA/play. As we wrote last week, there’s about an 8% chance of GT having a 6 win quality team based on preseason models. There’s practically 0 chance of anything higher than that. A true 6-6 quality team would be an enormous improvement! The 6 most likely wins as of now would be Western Carolina, Duke, UVA, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, and Miami. That would be a best-case season no doubt.
Even for the worst teams, the right ball bounce can change a season or flip games. This record accounts for that unlikely scenario.
Georgia Tech wins the matchups against teams not ranked in the preaseason polls. Clemson, Ole Miss, and UGA still have too much firepower. I could see Pitt sliding and maybe changing that one out for a loss with VT or UCF. Miami finally has a coach that can work with the talent so I think they are a long shot. The Coastal yet again is a winnable division and Georgia Tech cleaning up mistakes and playing a sound game could see them finish behind Miami.
If Geoff Collins is the secret genius some make him out to be and all the new coaches and transfers make huge, immediate impacts, there are still games on this schedule Georgia Tech simply won’t win. There’s also going to be a significant amount of pure luck to get to eight wins, but if Collins can do it and prove all the haters and losers wrong, the Coastal is there for the taking, and we can all look forward to year five of Money Downs.
I think our best case scenario is probably seven wins. We play seven non-ranked opponents (most of them ACC) and I don’t think it would be completely insane to win all of them.
I think there is a path to bowl eligibility for Tech. The top end of the schedule is tough, but it’s not like the Coastal has any team that is particularly scary this year. With Miami, VPISU, Virginia, and Duke all having first year coaches, North Carolina and Pittsburgh reloading, and Tech’s Atlantic opponent, Florida State, yet to step things up under Mike Norvell, it wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary to pick up some wins there. Is that ceiling much higher than 7 wins? That would probably be a stretch.
Three Standard Deviations Below the Mean
You know what that one game is, and it’s a lot closer than you want it to be. This would see all hell break loose for Tech. The offensive line continues to get worse. The offense is unable to replace Jahmyr Gibbs’ production. The secondary continues to wander aimlessly, failing to communicate with each other. On top of that, Tech misses three-quarters of their field goals and averages 30 yards a punt. It’s bad.
The season ends with Collins getting blanked 63-0 in COFH.
Record: 5-7 or 1-11
Worst-case scenario: a fluky five win season, and all parties involved return for 2023.
Worst-case record: 1-11, with only a Western Carolina win.
There’s a real chance we don’t win 2 conference games. I think we can take care of Western Carolina just fine under the lights, but after the initial gauntlet, it’s gonna take some gusto to get to a winning form.
Record: 2-10 or 1-11
Going winless is pretty hard to do, but with a nasty schedule of top heavy teams 2-10 or 1-11 isn’t inconceivable. We’ve seen Tech lose to an FCS recently. UCF is a good G5 team even if they are experiencing turnover. Even Duke has been a struggle as bad as they have been. If things get away from this team early it may not recover.
In past years this has been the spot for the doomsday scenario, where everything goes wrong and Georgia Tech finishes with a dismal record. This year, it’s different - a record that reflects a team that is better but still bad, finishing with a bowl loss to a middling G5 team the day after Christmas. Geoff Collins survives for another year based off the “progress” and no one is happy other than him and Todd Stansbury.
Western Carolina and Duke feel like sure wins (knock on wood), and we’re good enough to get at least one more. The overall worst case scenario though is probably 4-5 wins and a few close losses that convince us to retain Collins - I think that would be exceptionally bad for recruiting, program morale, and our place in the future of college football. Either win with him or get rid of him; somewhere in the middle does nothing but harm.
I think this is far more possible than most people give it credit for. That should be concerning.