Posted: 10:15 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Preseason projections for Tech’s first three opponents? Meh 

By Ken Sugiura

Georgia Tech did not fare well in the ACC preseason media poll – the Yellow Jackets were projected to finish fifth in the Coastal Division. (Tech has routinely outperformed its preseason projection.)

For better or worse, they’ve got that in common with the three non-conference opponents against whom they’ll start the season.

Wofford, which plays Tech in the season opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium Aug. 30, was picked to finish fourth in the seven-team Southern Conference coaches poll behind Chattanooga, Samford and Furman. (Not terribly relevant, but diehard Jackets fans will know that Tech was a charter member of the Southern Conference in 1921, back when it was the Georgia School of Technology. More on this later.)

Tulane, Tech’s opponent Sept. 6 in New Orleans, was picked to tie for ninth in the 11-team American Athletic Conference in a media poll.

A photo of Tulane's Yulman Stadium taken Monday, from Tulane's equipment staff Twitter account. Somebody in the athletic department marketing office is on point, selling naming rights to the construction cams.

A photo of Tulane’s Yulman Stadium taken Monday, from Tulane’s equipment staff Twitter account.

Georgia Southern, which will play at Bobby Dodd Sept. 13, was picked eighth in the 11-team Sun Belt in a media poll. (I confess I didn’t realize that Idaho is in the Sun Belt. The phrase “fits like a glove” comes to mind.)

You can read Q&A’s with writers who cover each team here, here and here (in order of play).

Anyway, back to the Southern Conference. Here are the 13 other charter members of the Southern Conference – Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Washington & Lee.

You may have deduced that both the ACC (1952) and SEC (1932) broke off at various points from the Southern. This original 14 is an interesting mix, though. To a large degree, it’s the original ACC without the private schools and the core schools of the SEC, not including Florida and perhaps excluding Mississippi State. And Washington & Lee. (W&L actually won the Southern in football in 1934 and 1950 before later dropping down to what would become Division III.)

Taking Washington and Lee out of the equation, I suppose neither conference commissioner would trade for this configuration at this point, but, from an SEC perspective, it would bring in the better football elements of the ACC (not including Florida State and Miami) and raise the academic profile of the league.

On the ACC side, you bring in some of the biggest fan bases in the country and improve the level of football (though you lose Florida State and Miami, but also Wake Forest). It would be a minus for ACC basketball, though, both because of who enters and who leaves.

From a TV standpoint, I imagine both conferences would be better off as they are. The footprint and television household number that the ACC loves to tout would be considerably smaller, while the fan bases that the SEC brings would be diluted.

Anyway, back to the original point of the blog – Tech’s first three non-conference opponents are not expected to blow the doors off anyone, least of all the Jackets.

73 comments
Ersatz
Ersatz

Tech won't be worth a damn until Small Johnson is fired. Get a real offense.

Steverino
Steverino

Say what you want about Wofford, but as of right now, it's the only game that matters.

Woofer
Woofer

I cannot believe how far the Tech program has sunk.  I'm an avid Dawg, but it is still sad to see.

BigTimeTECHFan
BigTimeTECHFan

All

Pray for Tech commit Jaylend Ratliffe, suffered a fractured skull in an ATV accident Tuesday and was flown by helicopter to Charlotte for further treatment

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

If Tech loses one of the first three games, they should call off the rest of the season.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

This is a first.  A gaSo troll.


Why don't we play the game of common opponents in 2013.


Elon.  gaSo won 38-20, GT won 70-0.  


I'll bet on GT winning big.  Look forward to seeing what you have to say after the game.


Welcome to FBS, too bad we're about to be in Division IV with the rest of the real schools.

BeeProud
BeeProud

Ken, your a good writer and I appreciate you doing Tech... for for the love of Grady.... does the AJC have any more pics of CPJ?  The man does smile... he gets out once in a while... does every pic have to be one where he looks like he just lost his dog?   If it were Richt he would be saving the life of a baby in Angola, building a bridge with his bear hands in Indonesia.... branch once in a while... use your phone... take some more pictures....

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Tulane should be proud of that new stadium.  Looks like everybody will have a good look at the field of play.  Do not over look Ga Southern, they always play hard.  Has a starting time for the Tulane game been announced?

mgt87
mgt87

Three games in and we will know the same thing as now as far as how good the team is.  A first I think.  Am interested to see affect on attendance numbers.

CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith
CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith

Don't you just love articles that are simply questions without answers put in the paper to take up the little room left over by ads?

Ken's a nice guy and all, but jeez, if this isn't the epitome of he non-story mid-week filler demonstrating the nadir of the journalism profession I don't know what other examples you'd need.

And the AJC is just chock full of this kind of idiocy.

But it does get lapped up by a certain kind of 'fan'. 

keithcrownover
keithcrownover

BeeProud,  Southern has a new coach and therefore a new offensive system.  But the jackets should handle them easily or at least I hope they do.

BeeProud
BeeProud

To start off, I graduated from Ga Southern.  Was there before Erk arrived.  Here is why I am not worried about losing to Ga Southern:  A)  That week, #1 offense practices against #1 defense.  Not many schools have this luxury.  B)  CP Johnson was the defensive Coordinator for Erk..... he knows how to defend the option.  C) Ga Southern beating Fla was the wake up call, will not be over looked  D)  Last warm up before Va Tech and no suspensions in play for any players  E)  Sewak was also a head coach at Southern and Off Coord  

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

3 games, none of which belong on the schedule.  And if that's not bad enough, 2 of them are wasted home games.  As a Tech supporter, you just cannot shout "Booo" loud enough to those who reward your time and $ with such foolishness.

I don't give a crap what Alabama and Georgia do.  Bama and Georgia don't need more support, attendance and fanfare.  Bama and UGA would sell more tickets to watch their players lift weights, than we do at home games.

I hope Bobinski puts a stop to this.

btgt69
btgt69

Ken if my memory is correct , uga was first school in southern conference thrown out for paying players. Some things don't ever change

Oldschooldog
Oldschooldog

Ken, Reily is the name of Tulane's Student Athletic Center, which is adjacent to Yulman Stadium. Camera appears to be affixed to rooftop. Shows progress on new on campus stadium. Turf being laid today. Tech will be first opponent in new yard. Reily pretty much on site of old Tulane stadium, host of Super Bowls, Sugar Bowls and Dempsey's 63-yarder!

BSNBC
BSNBC

Georgia Southern will be a tough game!

BeeProud
BeeProud

@Woofer Your kidding right?  Or do you live in Denver and smoke dope all day?

UGag out of conference games the last 5 years:   Troy, Charleston Southern, North Texas, App State, Buffalo, Ga Southern, Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, UL - Lafayette, Idaho State.... should we go on?  Sad to see??? ask the 92,000 who paid to see those games in Athens...

GTBob
GTBob

@mgt87 The Wofford game will be fine because its the first game of the season. The Ga Southern game will be fine because of the local interest. I would expect decent attendance at both games.

Richardddd
Richardddd

Outstanding journalism. Typical ZERO enthusiasm. I'll bet you $100 that the next AUC article will be on one of our kickers, or other non important factoids...

Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB
Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB

Cynthia, stop wasting your time reading the AJC and get back to your Cosmopolitan magazine!

KenAJC
KenAJC moderator

@CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith I would agree this isn't exactly breaking news, but i'd like to think it's somewhere above idiocy. to each his own. and, while at the risk of taking you too literally, i'm pretty sure i answered the question i posed in the headline. in fact, i answered it in the headline.

BeeProud
BeeProud

@keithcrownover  from 7 dyas ago:   "Fritz sees some differences in his offense but not as many as some onlookers might expect. Fritz said the Eagles might rely on more passing but will still have the triple option in its offensive arsenal from the spread formation.

“Georgia Southern really had been going toward this type of offense the last few years,” he said. “We’ll run quite a bit of triple option from the pistol formation and from the backfield set as well.”

forexbomb
forexbomb

@Birmingham__Jacket I tend to agree with you... But hey, there is NOTHING we can do about it, other than not buy season tickets..  I have been loyal for almost 35 years, and I'm not going to discontinue supporting the school because the previous AD was clueless...

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket Its not just Bama and UGA. Its nearly every team in college football. What you want is to give up home games and money and put our team at a disadvantage compared to every team around us. For some reason I don't see it happening. 

wrecked
wrecked

@btgt69 Georiga  left the Southern conference to join the  SEC just as  GT did .

Classof98
Classof98

@btgt69 13 out of 14.  You're right, some things never change.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@BSNBC 

I'm glad we're playing Southern; I wouldn't care if we play them every year now that they have moved up to the same division, whatever the hell they call it now.  Am I worried about them?  No, but I DO have a moderate amount of concern, because the Jackets every year seem to lie down and take a team for granted.  That usually doesn't happen until mid-season, but anything could happen.  We had just better be ready emotionally for anything.

GTBob
GTBob

@BSNBC I'm really not seeing it. New coach, new system, loss of key players, and its a team that wasn't all that great last year. I would be surprised if it isn't a blowout.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

@BeeProud So why did you leave off Arizona State, Boise State (in Atlanta), and the fact that road games at Oklahoma State and Colorado play into the OOC scheduling opportunities at home?  UGA also played at Clemson last year with the return home game this year.


In fairness, Tech did travel to Kansas, played Vandy, and has scheduled Ole Miss and another Vandy game in the future.


Speaking of the UGA-Boise State game, how can it take so long for Tech to land in the CFA kickoff game with you guys being based in Atlanta?  Seriously, UGA was able to jump right in on relatively short notice and sacrificed a potential home game in Athens to play a highly ranked Boise.  Meanwhile, Tech is "still in talks".


Don't project your displeasure with Tech's weak product on UGA.


When was the last time Tech's entire regular season schedule better than UGA's?  Perhaps the reason there's so much focus on Tech's OOC opponents is because the conference schedule isn't that exciting.


Look at a team like Ohio State.  Their OOC schedule is generally weak featuring a lot of Ohio area small schools.  They do have the occasional home-and-home like the one against USC a few years ago but generally speaking their fans still pay for season tickets because the Big Ten schedule is satisfying at the end of the day.  Here's the kicker.  OSU has more to do with it than the rest of the Big Ten because OSU dominates the Big Ten.  I think the ACC has better opponents from top to bottom (barely) but the difference is that Tech isn't dominating anyone.  If Tech was winning more the tickets would sell better and fans would stomach the weak OOC games that EVERYONE plays..



twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

@GTBob @mgt87  Not an impressive slate for the fans to start the season but being 3-0 isn't a bad thing at all. To think the dawgs will have played and possibly lost to Clemson and or SC before you guys even are tested isnt fun to think about.


Just being honest and I would have liked to see you guys play in one of the chic fil a opening games this year.

Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB
Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB

But Va Tech plays Ohio St Bob. How does Oklahoma ' s OOC schedule look? I know we're not that caliber but we should be up there with VT at least.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@GTBob @Birmingham__Jacket

I don't understand how scheduling better teams like a home and home vs. a legit team like BYU sacrifices home games and money.  I can promise you, despite what attendance the AD reports, you will be able to hear echoes in BD stadium come 3rd qtr of Wofford, if not sooner.


Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@GTBob @BSNBC
IF Ga Southern could throw the football I think they would stand a decent chance... bc most every team that throws the ball gives us problems.  But Ga. Southern won't.  It will be close unless the Ga. Southern players quit.  Tech by 14-17.

FromATLtoAZ
FromATLtoAZ

@GTBob @BSNBC  A simple retort.  Keep that mindset please GTBob.  Ask Florida what they think of Ga. Southern.  They will tell you all about it.  Many will say Florida was down last year.  It was still freaking Florida!  It is my opinion that Southern was down also. 


This will  be a battle  no doubt.  A blowout?!  Child please.  When was the last time the Jackets have blown anyone out?

BeeProud
BeeProud

@DawgnIT @BeeProud The reason I did not mention those games is b/c you LOST 4 out of 5 of those games..... the one win was by 3.....  Trying not to bring up bad memories.


BTW, forgot to mention that the year you played Buffalo/Ga Southern.... you also had power house Florida Atlantic.


Right, Tech has not participated in the CF- KOC yet in Atlanta.  Not b/c of giving up a home game... just hasn't been the right time.  Looks like 2017 will be the right time... in the new dome.


Most teams that come here for that game is only trying to get exposed to the lucrutive Ga/Fla propsects market.  WE are doing better in that catagory...verbals from 18 commits for 2015 already.  So why give up home game revenue.


No displeasure with "weak Tech product"... just simply responding to "Loofer" , I mean Woofer's post

BeeProud
BeeProud

@THEBuckeyes1 @GTBob @mgt87 the only reason you get some many at The O... what else is there to do in Ohio... go see Browns/Bengals?????  Does Oberlin college still play?

GTBob
GTBob

@THEBuckeyes1 You don't actually have any idea what the attendance numbers for GT football are do you?

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket Its pretty simple. Over two years you can play an FCS team twice at home or play a big time BCS team once at home. Playing two FCS teams is not only much easier to schedule, it makes significantly more money. You want to schedule 5-6 home games a year while everyone else is scheduling 7. Its not going to happen. I am not against scheduling tougher competition, but if everyone else is going to play this game I don't have much interest in being the only team playing a different one. Its a college football problem. Not a GT problem.

GTBob
GTBob

@FromATLtoAZ Whats funny is that people are making fun of how easy the game against Wofford will be and saying we will struggle against Ga Southern. I wonder if those people know that Wofford beat Ga Southern by double digits last year. There is a pretty good chance that Ga Southern will be the easiest game on our schedule. 

Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB
Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB

I stand corrected AJ. I read an article about Stoops being all defensive after Saban said the Tide wasn't up for the consolation game with OU and that's why they lost. I guess stoops point was that they play 9 conference games and that made their schedule tougher. My bad.

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

@AugustaJacket @Birmingham__Jacket @GTBob @BSNBC  :)  Now that's Pee Wee defense! So we are regressing on D too?

Ga Southern lost two key elements as noted---a good QB and their coach.  It seems they will run more of an Auburn style offense vice a GT style---more pistol and probably more throwing than even Auburn does.

I think it would be useful for Tech fans to see this style of offense as I had hoped we would have run it last year with Vad since Vad was not consistently effective in running the TO from under center.  I can't see why we can't run both styles---like a hybrid.  I understand the arguments---the blocking schemes and especially the timing is very different from the pistol vice under center.  If you try to do too much, you dilute your skills and become average at everything vice excellent at anything. I just remember the fear the UNC coach had when we ran the diamond against Duke. Heck had Byerly get good at one and Thomas the other---it makes opponents prepare for 2 types of offenses.  Anyway, this year we will live or die by the TO.  I hope we live!

FromATLtoAZ
FromATLtoAZ

@GTBob @FromATLtoAZ  Oh my God.  You Techsters are absolutely killing me. Please forgive that I did not note the blowout win these Jackets had against a powerhouse Syracuse team.  My apologies as I know that must have had all of you running around The Flats with your hair on fire. 


Such a great win indeed.  It really stacks up against beating an SEC school all day long. 


I do have to give Tech some credit.  You finally - after like 30 years - have decided to play Southern.  Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, FSU, Florida, Miami, etc.  all have played the Eagles.  You guys on the other hand, have played every other team in the SOCON  except Southern. 


Hmmmmmmm - I wonder why  that is?   One can only wonder.  I think it has something to do with Paul Johnson but that is suspicion only. 


Get ready fellas.  Enough talk - let's see it for ourselves on the gridiron.


Any team that can get beat by Middle Tennessee State (a team Southern used to beat the crap out of) in their own back yard is fair game in my book. 


GO EAGLES!

GATA!

ONE MORE TIME!

GTBob
GTBob

@trisha-dawg Don't be shy. Join in the discussion. Tell me where I am wrong.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@FromATLtoAZ @GTBob 

Georgia has only played Southern 3 times----hardly anything to hang your hat on.  And yes, I'm sure Johnson has something to do with us scheduling them......but NOT for us not having scheduled them in the past.

GTBob
GTBob

@FromATLtoAZ Syracuse was a team from a BCS conference who went to and won a bowl game last year. You Ga Southern fans really need to learn your place. You aren't quite at that level yet.

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

@GTBob @FromATLtoAZ  I'm a Georgia Southern fan and grad and we are suppose to win that's what we believe. We are not coming to ATL just for a check.

FromATLtoAZ
FromATLtoAZ

@GTBob @FromATLtoAZ  No one puts Baby in a corner GTBob. 


The only "place" Southern knows is to win championships.  We have six of them and I don't care what level it is.  We're on your level now compadre and we are coming to Bobby Dodd expecting to win. 


Like I said before - get ready for a good game.  BTW - look for a lot of Southern fans at this one.  I'll save a spot for you at the Varsity if you want.


I've got a buddy that is a Tech alum and he is very mindful of these Eagles and this game.  You might want to take a page from his book.  Just a  suggestion.

GTBob
GTBob

@leefrommeeks I respect that. As a GT fan though I am going to expect to win as well.

GTBob
GTBob

@FromATLtoAZ Sorry. I'm still not all that worried. Congrats on the win against Florida, but it doesn't erase the losses to Wofford and Furman or the fact that you lost your QB and your head coach. I hope you guys succeed in the FBS but it isn't going to be quite as easy as you are assuming.

FromATLtoAZ
FromATLtoAZ

@GTBob @FromATLtoAZ  I don't assume anything other than Ga. Southern being able to compete against any team, any time, anywhere.


We come to play.  Ask Alabama about that two years ago.  How is Southern going toe to toe with us?  After all we're Alabama - it's just not possible. 


I simply do not understand the arrogance GTBob.  The overconfidence.  I'm really trying to understand how you can overlook a team like Southern.  Sure, we too can be "down" as well and last year was a perfect example.  Yes we have a new coach, a new QB, a new offense.  That must  mean we're supposed to suck huh?  Last time I checked, you have to actually play the game. 


I think if anything, PJ and the Tech coaches will have more fits trying to scheme against a Southern offense they have never scouted before. 


By your logic, this game is already over on paper.  Keep telling yourself that buddy. 

GTBob
GTBob

@FromATLtoAZ I have already told you my reasoning. You lost to Wofford, Samford, Appalachian St, and Furman last year. You beat Elon by 18. We beat them by 70. On top of that you lost your head coach. A good coach. You also lost your starting QB. Can you give me any objective reason that I should be worried? Because you beat the worst team Florida has ever had? I'm going to need a little more than that.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Not even close to worst team Florida has ever had. Possibly worst offense after all the injuries, but D was stout until late. Florida was 0-10-1 in 1979.