Thursday, January 26, 2006

4th Best Gameday Experience in ACC

To those of you who haven't seen it, go check out this article on SouthernPigskin concerning the best gameday experiences in the ACC. Out of 12 Georgia Tech is fourth! To be ranked just behind the likes of Clemson, FSU and Virginia Tech is truly an accomplishment to be proud of. Here is the GT portion of the column:

"4. Georgia Tech – Looking for an inimitable and distinct college football setting? Bobby Dodd Stadium at historic Grant Field is dripping with history and tradition. First and foremost, the stadium is the oldest on-campus facility in all of 1-A college football. Grant Field was built in 1913 – and it's been cattycornered amongst Atlanta skyscrapers ever since. Georgia Tech isn't home to the biggest stadium, thought recent expansion has pushed capacity to 55,000, but you can't place a limit on much else. From the right seat in Bobby Dodd, you can see most of Atlanta; from any seat, you can see the city skyline. It's a rare scene, one unlike any other in college football. Georgia Tech fans are knowledgeable and refined. Tailgating is more high-class, though a trip to The Varsity is never beneath them and the whole atmosphere simply has a more polished, professional feel. The pre-game entrance of the Ramblin' Wreck, a restored 1930 Ford Model A, sends the Georgia Tech band into a rendition of perhaps the most famous fight song in college football and sets the stage for the team's run onto the field. With so many great teams and legendary names having played at Grant Field, it's tough not to get caught reminiscing. Better bring your best game, too. The Yellow Jackets once beat an opponent 222-0 at this field."

Congratulations to all you fans who made this great gameday writeup possible. Here's for number three next year. -yb

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

86 - 74: Flashes of Greatness and Flashes of Crazy

Well with no television it is difficult, but I went to my local pub, the Blackhorse and pulled the "lone Tech fan cheering for GT in the midst of a sea of red pulling for Lousiville" act. Here is my preliminary analysis: we are not good at running a half court offense. It seemed to me that we were in slow motion. Our passes were not crisp enough, it seemed that the guy the play was designed for was always double covered before he could do anything with the ball. And what is with these crazy passes? How many times did we throw it away tonight when Maryland went to a full court press? Maybe it just seemed like a lot to me. There were times we looked really good, but what is with these peaks and valleys throughout the game. One field goal in the first 12 minutes of the second half. That is not the way to take down a top 25 team like Maryland, even with their best player gone. It is not like the effort wasn't there, it just seemed like we went as cold as a penguin's bottom. I don't know enough about basketball to explain it, maybe you can.

Now we're only one game above .500, my goal for this season. We've got some winnable games coming up in Virginia Tech, Miami, and FSU before we have NC State again, UNC away, Maryland away, and then Duke and Wake at home before trying to get some road revenge against Clemson. Not too much room for error there. -yb

2006 Football Schedule

Well it is out, the thing we have all been waiting for, our schedule for next season. Just in case you haven't seen it, here it is. Thanks to GoldTimer at Wreck Ramblin for finding it.One of the first thing I notice no Thursday games. Thursday night games were a Georgia Tech tradition since O'Leary and I hope our departure from playing on this day that always gave us good publicity and a nationally televised game is for a good reason, like that our atheletes need the time to study for Friday tests or that all of our Saturday games have already been picked up by ABC and ESPN.

Secondly is our busy September and November. We have four home games and a road test against Virginia Tech to round out a very busy first month. UVA moves over from its traditional spot as a November dweller to now being a warm up for the Hokies. One good thing, getting through the Commonwealth in September means we don't have to worry about the pesky Cavaliers right before the Dawgs. I look for wins over Samford, Troy, and UVA, and for us to go 1-1 against Notre Dame and VT. Notre Dame is the higher ranked team, but Notre Dame is also a home game and our first game of the season, and Coach Gailey seems to be pretty good at getting guys up for the openers. Virginia Tech will be depleted, but still very good, but Lane Stadium is insane and always a tough place to play. That makes for a 4-1 September.

We only have three games in October: Maryland, at Clemson, and Miami. Maryland should be a tough game but a definite win for us. PRESEASON prediction: this might be this year's NC State, a team we should beat 9 times out of 10, but some how we come out flat and they pull off the miracle. Hopefully this will be our Homecoming game and that will pump the guys up enough to avoid the upset. Going to Clemson is always my favorite road trip. Athens is a fun place to play, but the game is always good in Clemson and the fans are a little nicer to the visitors. Just a great ACC matchup where anyone can win any year. I expect for Clemson to be around 5-2 by the time they play us so this has all the markings of a big time national matchup. Georgia Tech should have the better team, but playing in Death Valley evens the odds. This is anyones game. After last year's 10-9 homecoming game, and with Jay Davis returning, I am inclined to give this one to Clemson. I hope I am wrong. Miami is next and they look like they are going to be pretty tough. Last year's miracle will still be fresh in their minds and they should have most of that team back next year. Coming off an emotional game against Clemson, Tech might not have the juice at this point to get it done. They will probably be in the top 10 at this point and this will be a big time game. I look to beat Maryland and split Clemson and Miami for a 2-1 October.

November's theme is simple: beat up on the Tar Heel state and get ready to feast on Dawg meat. After road trips to Raleigh and Chapel Hill, we get to play Duke at home before heading off to Athens. UNC and NC State should be worse than last year, and we are very capable of being 3-0 for the month of November heading into Thanksgiving. The Slobbermouths are due for a good old fashioned beat down, and at home no less. This is going to be a game for the ages. Reggie finally gets the monkey off his back and overturns two straight years of agony. I am going to be bold and predict a 4-0 November for a 10-2 season. It will be difficult, but we are entirely capable of making this happen.

This should be a season for the ages. The ACC Championship Game is within reach. Playing in January is within reach. This is going to be the signature season for an embattled coach and a new Athletic Director. The board is set, the pieces are in motion. Toe meets leather in 219 days... -yb

Correction: I misread the schedule. We are playing a Thursday night game against Virginia on the 21st of September. Sorry for the error. I knew it didn't look right. -yb

The Curry Tree

Thanks to GT Sports Blog for coming up with this idea. I agree that one of the most important things the Athletic Director does is hiring. So who has Curry hired during his stints as head coach from 1980 to 1996? Scott at GT Sports already has a couple of hits with guys like Ianello, one of the best recruiting coordinators in the country who Curry hired while at Alabama. Another one that I found: Romeo Crennel. He was defensive line coach in 1980 under Coach Curry and left for the Giants. He is currently the coach of the Cleveland Browns, but he is most famous for crafting the New England Patriot defense that won three Super Bowls in four years. He was the 2003 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year. So hop online, do some research. Who else of note was Coach Curry responsible for bringing to his staff? -yb

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Georgia Tech Football News in January?

Just when you thought it was over, GT football is back in the news again. I personally put the AD situation in the football arena since basketball is in such capable hands with Coach Hewitt and the frontrunners for Braine's replacement all seem to be football-first kinds of guys. Then there is the resigning of two Tech coaches, most importantly Coach Wilson, special teams coach and recruiting coordinator. That is two GT football related stories in January. We might as well had been in a BCS bowl game.

I will first address the coaching situation. I hate to say it, but good riddance. Special Teams were awful this year. Someone had to go. If it was voluntary, then Mr. Wilson, you have class. If not, then Chan, way to make something, anything happen. I don't understand the deal with the offensive coordinator thing, I wish Chan would take back the two minute offense and let Nix work in where he can, but I will accept this scrap for now. Tight ends coach I could care less about, I hope Chan didn't put any pressure on him to leave thinking it would appease the fan base. There is only one or two things that would get the hive swarming again, a new offensive coordinator or...

A new Athletic Director. The replacements for Braine have all been listed and debated at length, but I would like to formally throw the weight of this publication behind one man, Bill Curry. Coach Curry's achievements are numerous and his qualifications extensive, so I will not list them all here. Let me just say that I believe this guy bleeds white and gold, something I think Braine was lacking. Most people will acknowledge that the one improvement that could have been made to the athletic association very easily but was never implemented for whatever reason was a first class marketing agenda. I believe the reason behind this is because Braine never got tears in his eyes at the last home game of a football season. Braine did not seem to be the kind of guy who would gush about Georgia Tech every chance he got. To me, Curry is a true believer, someone we need at this stage. Our facilities are no longer some of the worst in the country. More national prominence would be nice, but our national awareness is there. People have heard of us. At this stage in the life of our program, we need someone with the national prestige of Mr. Curry's caliber to come in and take us to the next level. We do not need a cheerleader, but would it hurt us so much for recruits and outsiders to see someone like Mr. Curry who loves this institution so much? Mr. Curry would be the most well known athletic director in the country. His departure from ESPN would make national headlines and create national anticipation for the direction of our program. People know Bill Curry. When Bill Curry leaves broadcasting to take over a school like Georgia Tech, people are going to be paying attention, mark my words.

Some would knock his credentials. But I believe that there are some leaders who do not need to necessarily know how to do everything as long as they have the self-awareness to appoint good people around them who can handle those areas in which they might not be as strong. I am sure there are others out there who are just as qualified as Mr. Curry and share equally his love for Georgia Tech. Mr. Stansbury, you seem like a stud. Mr. Curry probably only will be in this job for about 10 years. We would love to have you run our Athletic Department. Please come on board as Bill's aide de camp and prepare to take the job you seem to have been born for. I am all in favor of giving the young guy a shot, but I am even more in favor of giving the guy who has dedicated his whole life to Georgia Tech a chance to live his dream and bring GT back to glory while you learn the ropes in anticipation of your incredible reign to follow. It will take humility, but great things come to those who wait. An athletic department after 7 years of Bill Curry's lovefest will be a much more desirable inheritance than that which you will receive now. Give the old guy his chance, yours is coming.

Sorry I have not updated for a while. I am getting married in April and being out of the country for a while has left a few things on my plate to take care of in anticipation of the upcoming. I will try harder to keep this site updated in the future. Thanks for your loyalty -yb

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Thug Life

So I am in my new apartment and have internet set up, but I haven't gotten my television out of storage, so I am only following sports from my computer and from the two bars we have here in Clarksville. From what I can tell, Virginia Tech is the new Dennis Erickson-era Miami. These guys are thugs and they should be called out for what they are: another football factory with a glaring disconnect between the majority of the athletes and the rest of the student body. Virginia Tech gives a bad name to schools with "Tech" in their title.

I am all about smash-mouth football, but these guys were insane this year. I watched most of Virginia Tech's games this past year and what struck me was how few execution penalties they received but how many "The Replacements" style tomahawk death chop penalties they committed. How many personal fouls did Virginia Tech have this season? A cursory glance at the penalty statistics shows nothing too extraordinary: in 13 games Ron Mexico Tech committed 81 penalties. They were 46th among all D-1A schools in least amount of penalty yards per game with 108.8. None of this is too spectacular, GT did worse. Nothing really stands out until you look at the game by game. The Miami loss seems to me like a turning point. Against Miami, VT had 8 penalties for 56 yards, not too crazy. But compare that with the FSU game, where they committed 17 for 143. That is only about eight and a half yards per penalty but consider this: one 15 yarder and two five yarders average to about the same. That is a personal foul or agressive play penalty (pass interference, etc.) once out of every three penalties! Against Louisville they averaged over 13 yards a penalty (seven for 93 yards).

This, coupled with recent events involving Little Mexico point to a larger issue. Saint Beamer has lost control of his program. The fact that it was the university and not the coach that dismissed Vick should show that. On the bright side, the dismissal does seem to indicate that VPSU is intending to clean up their act. If not, maybe VT should issue body armor to its opponents during pregame warm-ups. -yb

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm Back

First of all, let me say thank you to all of you who did not give up on this site after there was no new material for over a week. I am back here in Tennessee and life is starting to return to normal. I got back on the morning of the 29th, just in time to watch our boys show absolutely no desire to beat a Mountain West team that seemed to have it in spades. Totally inexcusable. Since I have been back I have had the chance to read a bunch of the writeups, so I will not burden you with another rant about failing to play to our potential, but let me just say that we should rename our teams the Georgia Tech Golden Opportunity Wasters.

In other news, I am sure some of you already know, but Georgia's loss to West Virginia kept them tied at 22 total bowl wins with us. I think we are tied for 5th overall. God was not smiling on the Peach State this postseason, but UGA lost their game, so we know he exists.

I will try and get back into the swing of things and put out more stuff soon. Until then -yb