A lonely ship drifts on a still, smooth sea under gray heavens. It’s been months since they left port and weeks since the wind left them. The heartiest of sailors aboard can feel the crushing weight of endless water and skies as far as the eye can see. Land and life feel a lifetime away; the maddening quiet is only broken by the creaks of the heavy timber beams that separate the men inside from the vast wine-dark sea below. The captain spends his days pacing his cabin, unsure of how to settle his own nerves or the nerves of his restless crew. Some of them spend their time performing every wind superstition they’ve ever seen in their many voyages. The greener ones stay below deck in the dark rather than face the exasperating reality of their infinite prison.
As the ink black clouds roll in, the wind picks up to a steady howl. It beats against the hull and fills the limp sails. The seas swell in a fit of rage, turbulent and wild. The masts heave under the force of the unrelenting and all-encompassing squall; men’s voices are drowned out by its incessant fury. Thunder cracks the heavens from seemingly every direction in a cacophony of noise and power. A bell tolls anxiously to muster the crew to storm positions but already the ship is being tossed around like a child’s toy. Hurriedly the men rush to bring down the canvas, fear raging in their hearts like the seas around them. Gone is any trace of human agency; every step in their new world is dictated by wind and water and the movements of anything not tied down. At the full mercy of the tempest, panic and regret for ever leaving terra firma consume every soul aboard. Bones and minds alike are chilled at the uncertainty of what’s to come.
Suddenly a sound like cannon-fire rings out; splinters shower the deck like the driving rain as the main mast crashes over the rail and slips into the frothing waves. Yells from below go unheard by the men above fruitlessly struggling to batten down what’s left of the tormented and soaking deck. The ship lists heavily to starboard; already the salty wash has claimed the lower holds. Nowhere is safe from the violent water, be it from above or below. Each surge of the angry ocean brings a moment that may be the groaning vessel’s last.
Not like this, the men pray as they cling to any remaining planks of hope. Not like this.
* * *
More than three years.
7-19 conference record.
6-16 home record.
7-23 record against P5 opponents.
1-3 record against G5 opponents.
1 loss to an FCS opponent.
0 wins against FBS teams that finished the year ranked.
0 wins against FBS teams that finished the year with a winning record.
0 times winning two games in a row.
Fewest wins in the ACC since 2019.
Fourth fewest wins of all P5 teams since 2019.
16th fewest wins of all FBS teams since 2019.
Lowest win percentage of any GT head coach with at least one season since 1902.
20 losses by 10 or more points.
17 losses by 14 or more points.
12 losses by 20 or more points.
9 losses by 30 or more points.
First shutout since 1997.
First home shutout since 1957.
14 games scoring fewer than 15 points.
61 quarters where the offense didn’t score (41%).
14 games giving up over 40 points.
A total scoring margin of 772-1259 (20.9 ppg scored, 34.0 ppg given up).
Year-end SP+ ranking finishes of 111th, 75th, and 96th.
Consistent special teams fiascos.
Stubborn and lackluster offense.
Minimal, if any, player development.
Negative turnover margin.
Failed game management.
Losing the best players to the portal.
Sub-par performance in every facet of the game.
A program run into the ground.
* * *
The ship isn’t just sinking, it’s sunk.