Thursday, April 26, 2007

Could the Falcons Get Calvin?

From The Scores Report.

Falcons’ owner ‘orders’ GM to trade up for Johnson?
Posted on Thursday 26 April 2007

One of the most talked about pre-draft rumors this offseason has been the possibility of the Atlanta Falcons trading up for Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The rumor got juicer Wednesday as’s Don Banks reported Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank has, “ordered” GM Rich McKay to do whatever it takes to land Johnson in this weekend’s draft. The most likely trade scenario is for the Falcons to package their first, third and pair of second round picks to move up to the No. 2 spot, which is currently occupied by the Detroit Lions. It is well perceived the Lions want to trade down and certainly would take a deal involving Atlanta’s top three picks.
I’ve been adamant for weeks saying this trade won’t happen. Atlanta has too many needs, not enough cap space and would be foolish in my opinion to trade three potential starters for one player. I’ll never argue Johnson isn’t worth it, because he’s a phenomenal athlete. But it’s not like the Falcons are one player away from a postseason berth, in fact, they’re multiple players away and when has Michael Vick – from an accuracy standpoint – proven he even knows what to do with a talent such as Johnson? To think Atlanta would be instantly better because of Johnson would be a gross miscalculation. The offensive line, defensive line and secondary all have to be addressed well before another receiver. This move looks better in “Madden” than it does in reality.
Blank should allow his general manager to build an entire team, not add one shiny piece to an uncompleted puzzle. If McKay makes this trade for Blank, it’s clear the Atlanta Falcons are only interested in one thing: selling tickets.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable Pt. 2

Alright guys, after a great first round we have decided to do it again. Check out the other blogs (the links are to the right) to see their responses to this round of questions. These are my answers. If you have others or have different questions you would like to see asked next time, please post. Enjoy, yb.

1. A group of playoff proponents have a questionable theory on how to break out of the bowl system and get a D-1A playoff: Boycott the Rose Bowl. What's your take on the never-ending playoff vs. bowls debate?

Personally, I think one of the reasons college football is so relevant and is so popular is that the debate is never settled. Even if your team gets crushed 39-0, the only thing you can think about is how you are actually better than them because you beat someone who beat someone who almost beat them. Some people might say that the lack of a true champion takes away credibility from the title "national champion", but I would argue that the emotion that underscores college football is created from this turmoil. I want to see traditional matchups. I do not want to see Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. I want to watch Michigan v. USC in the Rose Bowl. After all of the games are done, let each team go to the voters with its body of work. I do think they should get rid of all the non-traditional bowls and restore all of the original bowl names to those who have opted out in favor of corporate sponsorship against tradition. Is Atlanta better represented by a bowl named after a fruit synonymous with the state or by a fast food chain?

2. What change to our football personnel makes you happier this year: Taylor Bennett at quarterback, or John Bond as offensive coordinator?

Taylor Bennett. The system might have some slight changes, but Coach Gailey brought in someone who likes to run and play ball control offense, the passing is going to be even more critical. That is why I like the height and judgement improvements over the staff changes.

3. Last weekend, Steve Spurrier spoke out against South Carolina's practice of flying the Confederate flag over the state capitol. Should football coaches get political like that, or just stick to coaching?

Whether they like it or not, these coaches are molding their young men. They should stay away from areas where they are not willing to be quoted as an influence. I am sure that several of Coach Spurrier's players agree with his statement. Maybe he was doing it for recruiting and put himself out there as in opposition to the State's policy. My only question is whether he was speaking as a private citizen or as an employee of the state. Might need to clarify before coming out publicly against a policy of your employer.

4. There are always rumors at Georgia Tech of expanding our varsity athletics programs. What programs would you like to see added next? One for men, one for women.

This is easy. Soccer. It is kind of a joke that with the conference we belong to and the area from which we could recruit we do not participate in this sport. But let's balance the budget before we go adding more sports.

5. The matchups were just announced for the 9th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge in basketball, and GT plays at Indiana (the teams' first meeting since 1969). In the history of the challenge, the ACC has won 48 out of 75 games, and has "won" every year. Is this a tradition you care about, or would you rather see something started with another conference, e.g. an ACC/SEC Challenge or ACC/Big East Challenge?

I like this, but I wish it were held more as an event at a rotating site. I actually would like this for football with the SEC every year (not counting UGA/GT, FSU/UF, or Clemson/SC) as part of the regular schedule, but I think for basketball it is better if they play all the games in a weekend and go back and forth between a city in Big Ten and ACC parts of the country. Making it more like a tournament would make it mean more to most people, especially when they are in an unfamiliar matchup that might not draw the crowds.

6. Lightning Round!! Other Conferences Edition!! (Cue "The Matrix" fight music) Name the first thing that comes to mind:

Big East: Half their conference doesn't offer football. Why are they still in the BCS?

SEC: Need to work on the regular season schedules. You can't play LA Tech every year.

Big Ten: More like Big Two. Either play everyone in the conference or split in half and have a championship. Quit screwing up the polls.

Pac-10: Joke except for USC. Respect that they at least play everyone in the conference.

Big XII: South is awesome, the North needs to step it up and make this a real conference. What is the deal with Texas A&M? Were they actually ever good? I am starting to think that was an urban legend.

Sun Belt: Take the OVC, MAC, C-USA, and WAC and go to D-IAA where you belong.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable

So we're back... Call me a poor fan but I kind of go into hibernation mode during basketball season. Its nothing against the sport, it is just that football season is a three-month long journey with delicious treats, great games, and good friends. Just can't get hooked on college basketball since I left school. If Tech is on, I will watch the game, but it does not conjure up visions of weekend-long fun the way football season does for me.

So the rest of the GT blog-nation is participating in what we are calling the "Ramblin' Wreck Rountable". Jeff at Ramblin Racket is heading this up and this figures to start becoming a more regular thing, especially now that the AJC is posting a new Tech story once a month again until August. So here it is, my responses to the first inaugural Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable:

1. (Single obligatory basketball question) What do you make of the ACC's postseason in basketball? Was the conference overrated, or did the teams just get unlucky draws in the tourney?
Honestly, I think this year's bunch of ACC teams that made it to the NCAA tournament were all streaky basketball teams who had ups and downs all year. I think a lot of that came from being relatively young (as in the case of GT) or relying too heavily on one aspect of the game (perimeter shooting in the case of UVA). I think the selection committee did not overrate the ACC, I think the quality of basketball was poor all this year - there were only a few marquis regular season games (Duke v. UNC only mattered because Hansbrough was busted in the nose). Was that a sign of conference parity? I do not know. But I do know that I agreed with every selection from the ACC that was picked to go to the dance and it seemed that whenever it was time for an ACC team to go down, either 1) they went on a cold streak in the one aspect of their game that made them special or 2) they ran into a team who was perfectly designed to shut them down or 3) they had a first round game that was a microcosm for their whole turbulent season and caused you to almost wish you were back at work instead of watching them lose to UNLV.

2. On to football! Where will Georgia Tech be ranked in the preseason polls, and where do you think the Jackets should be ranked?
I think the Jackets will come out somewhere in the 35 - 45 range due to a new offensive coordinator, the loss of CJ, and a new starter under center. I think after we lay 42 points on the Irish that we are going to quickly jump up to where we should have been all along, in the 15 - 20 range. I think we are a preseason top 20 team with 9 starters returning on defense and Tashard and an extremely deep O-line coming back to set the Flats ablaze this year.

3. All due credit to Tech's 2006 squad, but we benefited from Miami andother teams' lackluster seasons. Will the big-reputation programs likeFSU and Miami be back in 2007?
I think the Hokies will be back in full and looking for revenge big time in our house. Everything I have read makes them look BCS worthy. The game is so late in the year it should be the ACC Coastal Championship. I think Miami is going to have atheletes, but you cannot have so much off the field drama and hope to reignite a new dynasty overnight. I think Miami will end up #3 in the Coastal. They will pull off a signature win this year, probably on the road against FSU, but it won't be against us in front of an empty Orange Bowl the week before. Every year in the ACC I hear the same thing, "FSU should contend for a National Championship if they get their act together" and "Is this finally Clemson's year?" FSU will be back (somewhat) and will be in the mix for the Atlantic title if Clemson or BC doesn't shatter their fragile psyche too early in the season. Even if they roll through the ACC, the Gators are going to be loaded and should dismantle them (and their egos) before we have to face them in Jacksonville.

4. Our out-of-conference schedule is exciting, with Notre Dame and Georgia bookending the season, and while Army is a cupcake, playing a military academy is kinda cool in my book. Which game are you morestoked about between ND and UGA? Also, what ACC games are you mostexcited about?
I think I am going to have to go with UGA. While ND is going to be awesome, we lost that game last year and it ended up not really mattering for either of us. I think ND v. GT is good TV, but I think GT v. UGA is a great rivalry. They think they own us. Stafford and the Bulldogs are going to be better, but so are we. I think this is the defining moment of Coach Gailey's career. He needs this game to avoid premature banishment to Coach Donnan-land. UGA v. GT is a bigger game no question. It means more to both schools, their fans, the teams, and the coaches than GT v. ND ever will.

When it comes to the ACC regular season, the two games I think mean the most and that I am most looking forward to are VPISU and Clemson. Both are home this year, so that much the better. Hopefully we can get them both at night. Nothing like the way BDS@HGF shines under the lights. On a lesser note, I want to finally win again at Charlottesville.

5. Lighting Round! (Cue "Eye of the Tiger") Name the first thing thatcomes to mind, as fast as you can:

Calvin Johnson: Buccaneer, hopefully not a Brown

Tailgate Food: Grilled pork tenderloin, Sister Shubert rolls, coleslaw, and potato salad

Beesball: ACC Champs, unsure about what happens in Omaha.

Taylor Bennett: Amazing what being 6'3" will let you do with a football

6. How do you deal with the football offseason? Prayer? Hibernation?Blogging?
Last year I got married. This year I am getting out of the Army and moving to Lexington, KY. I try and line up my major life changes in the offseason.

Well there you have it. Please check the sites of the other guys in this roundtable and give us your feedback as to what you think about it or any ideas or topics you might like discussed. -yb