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

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dr. Z is Back!

Sorry to everyone for not posting as often as I would like. A lot has gone on in the last several weeks and I am sure I speak for all Jacket fans in congratulating this very special team. That being said, this weekend the focus of the football world is on Columbus, OH and not our huge battle with the Devils of Durham. For commentary on that, here is my friend Dr. Z. Enjoy, yb.

A Reason To NOT Watch Ohio State vs Michigan….Plus 7 More.

I love college football. But on Saturday, I will not be watching the game between Ohio State and Michigan because to me it is unwatchable. I would rather rake leaves. The fact that ESPN is trying to shove the hype down my throat is reason enough, but for me there are many more reasons. Most importantly, I have no one to root for or against. A loss by both teams is impossible, yet all that I could hope for. I can watch any game on TV as long as I can find the slightest reason to root for or against a team. More often than not, I find a reason to root against a particular team. I do not like the Big Ten and I dislike Ohio State and Michigan equally. The "epic" match up for me on Saturday is Army vs Notre Dame. It has everything a fan like me could want: A team I love (Army) and a team I really hate (Notre Dame). As I avoid ABC like the plague, I'll leave you with 6 more reasons not to watch Ohio State vs Michigan.

1. ESPN. For the last 3 weeks ESPN has done nothing but over-hype this "epic" matchup. If I have to watch one more heart wrenching profile of Troy Smith's "smarts", Anthony Gonzales's "oxygen tent" or Lloyd Carr's pep talks I am going to throw up. The only speeches Carr should be giving are to teens at Alcoholics Anonymous who have been convicted of DUIs. (We'll get back to that drunk later though)

2. Rivalries. A rivalry is only important to people who care. Despite ESPN's best efforts, I will never consider OSU-Michigan the biggest rivalry. In my eyes, Auburn-Alabama, Army-Navy, and Texas-Oklahoma are bigger. Growing up in the Southeast, I didn't even know that Ohio State was Michigan's rival until I went to college up North. Why isn't Michigan's biggest rival Michigan State?

3. Brent Musburger. I'm sure this jerk will be announcing the game...a variable that makes it unwatchable in itself. Brent has never masked his bias towards Big Ten football, so the sound of his drooling over the microphone like a puppy welcoming its master home is inevitable. The only thing that could be worse is a pairing with Keith Jackson (we'll get to that).

4. Lloyd Carr. Back to him. I know I am straying away from the game, but this drunk is an example of how winning can get you a pass for anything. The fact that this man could be responsible for the discipline and mentorship of hundreds of impressionable student-athletes and barely get a slap on the wrist for his DUI conviction is a testament to the values of his institution. "Keep winning big guy, or else we'll stop looking the other way."

5. Keith Jackson. I'm sure he'll come out of retirement for this one. The only thing that gets this guy worked up more than a Big Ten match-up is a classic PAC-10 defensive show-down. Big Ten football gets Keith salivating like Mark Foley in an internet chat-room. As far as this old man is concerned, no other conferences exist and all roads lead to a PAC-10 vs Big-10 bowl game. My over-under on how many times he'll find a way to use the phrase "this is the grand daddy of them all" is 42. While we're at it, Keith, you can't call the Rose Bowl the grand daddy of them all until they stop playing in a stadium with a running track circling the field.

6. Lee Corso. This guy should be a poster child for the Republican efforts to prevent an increase in minimum wage. If this nutcase can make a decent salary, anyone can. When he isn't spewing absolute nonsense and putting stuffed animal heads on his noggin, he has been campaigning for his agenda and this match-up from day one. After Michigan beat Ball State on the last play of the game he said they are "a dominant team that must have been looking ahead." The next week when Florida edged a good South Carolina team and Michigan soundly beat an awful Indiana team, Lee pointed to the narrow Florida win as proof to why Ohio State and Michigan are the best teams in the land.

7. The Big Ten (err Eleven). Ohio State and Michigan are both very good. That can not be taken away from them. But, the Big Ten will not earn the respect they might deserve until they start playing a conference championship game. All this talk about a possible rematch in the BCS championship game is nonsense. If you want a rematch to establish conference dominancy, play a conference championship game like everyone else (oops...almost everyone. PAC10…wink, wink). Don't use our National Championship game to hide from other conferences and settle your backyard squabbles.

If that is enough to keep you away, enjoy your Saturday. Maybe you'll watch Arizona vs Oregon and root for Oregon if you like the green and yellow uniforms or Arizona if you don't.
-Dr. Z

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Maryland Uses Bye Week to Improve

This game may be a bigger statement game than the VPI game. Sure it will not be as nationally important, but is our first chance to prove the pollsters right and trip over ourselves. The guys seemed to have turned a corner and seem to be focused, let's just get out there Saturday afternoon and take care of business. -yb

From the Washington Times...

Offensive line looks to fix errors

By Patrick Stevens
October 4, 2006

The Maryland offensive line looked across the field in its last game, only to find Florida International in an unusual set. The unit saw the look briefly in practice that week, though not nearly enough to be able to quickly decipher the correct blocking scheme to use.
Seconds later, the Terps returned to the huddle after another unsuccessful play.
Those things happen from time to time. The problem was it was typical of the entire night, a 14-10 victory that was hardly a statement of superiority heading into an eight-game ACC schedule.
The numbers were unwelcome. The Terrapins' offensive line accounted for 22 of the team's 37 mental errors, and Maryland didn't score in the second half. Instead, a night that could have yielded a relatively easy victory wasn't decided until the final play.
Yet a look at the film didn't turn out to be so painful. Sure, there were plenty of mistakes, but nothing so complex it couldn't be worked through during the Terps' week off.
"It made me feel like it's something that can be fixed," center Edwin Williams said. "It's not like we weren't giving effort, it wasn't like we were just packing it in. It was just mental errors and detail things that can be cleaned up quick."
The Terps (3-1) can only hope all those mistakes were corrected during their only bye week of the season as they prepare to visit No. 18 Georgia Tech (4-1, 2-0 ACC) on Saturday.
The most beneficial aspect of the week off might have been an opportunity to heal nagging injuries. Both left guard Donnie Woods (cramps) and left tackle Stephon Heyer (sprained right thumb) briefly left the Florida International game with injuries, and reserve guard Garrick Clig had time to rest a pulled hamstring.
The depth reassures the Terps, but it doesn't assuage the concern over the line's protection of quarterback Sam Hollenbach. The senior absorbed three sacks against Florida International, and he frequently shared the backfield with defenders and was forced to quickly jettison the ball several times.
"Anytime somebody takes a shot at your quarterback, it's a little hit on the offensive line," Woods said. "It's kind of a pride issue for us. Sam got banged around a little bit, and we didn't take that too lightly. I think we have a new focus coming into this week."
The Terps will need it against a tenacious Georgia Tech defense that held Notre Dame to 14 points in its season opener and hassled Virginia Tech on Saturday throughout a 37-27 upset.

Huh? The score was 38-27. I know it is only a point, but get your facts straight.

The bye week afforded Maryland the opportunity to spend more time than usual reviewing film, and it also allowed them to take an extended look at Georgia Tech.

Follow link below to read the entire article.

What is with all the Bulldog Love?

Normally I reserve my critical posts for hypocrisy or problems I see with the game of college football as a whole, avoiding attacking one particular team, except for one time where I let a friend rant about Notre Dame. I do not believe I have ever made a post directly attacking our in-state rival, the University of Georgia. Before the Dawg Patrol comes out en masse against me, let me say this is not a flame, it is really just a question.

What is with the love for the Bulldogs this year?

I thought about this tonight as I watched yet another UGA love-fest on CSS where they interviewed some defensive lineman and did actually a nice bio piece on the kid. Then I thought about the full page spread on Matthew Stafford in the AJC a few weeks back after they put him in the game for the first time after Joe T 3 was injured. Then I watched their game against Ole Miss last weekend (honestly the first time I had watched them play this season), and was perplexed by their #10 national ranking. This team struggled against Colorado, seems to have some quarterbacking and general offensive issues, and has the Volunteers coming to Athens this weekend. It would seem they have some serious problems, but I have only read one columnist who mentions that they might be overranked.

Where does this free pass for UGA come from? Why is no one talking about how they have the potential to be seriously exposed this weekend? Why is everyone talking about Cox, Stafford, and Tereshinski as if they provide options to St. Richt instead of headaches?

Before the legions of mutts overload the server responding with infuriated tidbits or with simply "51 - 7", please hear me out. I may be alone, but I don't sit around all day hoping UGA will lose every game. It simply does not matter that much to me. There are more than enough recruits in this state for their to be two nationally relevant football programs and I think a little parity is healthy for the rivalry. I like that our game means something. I am honestly curious about the state of UGA football.

The Bulldog defense is playing well, but I have been a Tech fan for some time, so I know what it is like to watch a great defensive team with no offense to back it up. Tech didn't get the benefit of the doubt when this was the case for us last year, why is UGA getting it this year? I realize the last few years UGA has been pretty good and maybe they have earned it, but am I totally off base in thinking UGA's national relevance this year might be just a little inflated? -yb

Clemson Stud Receiver Breaks Foot In Practice Yesterday

Chansi Stuckey, Clemson's big-play wide receiver, seems to have broken his foot in Tuesday's practice. He will likely miss the Wake Forest and Georgia Tech games. I feel bad for the kid because these games will likely be some of the most important of the season, with Wake being the lone obstacle to Atlantic Division dominance, and Georgia Tech being Georgia Tech. Really tough break for the Tigers. -yb

From the State - South Carolina

Stuckey breaks foot

The State - South Carolina
October 03, 2006

CLEMSON - No sooner had one key Clemson player returned from a broken foot that another one went down.

Senior receiver Chansi Stuckey, ranked second in the ACC in yards per game, broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during Tuesday's practice and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

The injury - the exact same one that sidelined safety Michael Hamlin for the past three games - occurred when Stuckey said he made a cut during a non-contact, one-on-one drill and put too much weight on his outside foot.

He will undergo surgery today to have a pin inserted in the foot, forcing him to miss Saturday's game at Wake Forest and likely a pivotal showdown against Georgia Tech in two weeks.

'It was something that happened and you've got to deal with,' Stuckey said.

'It was good to see how quickly Michael came back, and hopefully I can do something similar to what he did.'

Stuckey, a 6-foot, 185-pounder from Warner Robins, Ga., said that the best-case scenario is a return for the Oct. 26 game at Virginia Tech, and barring complications he does not foresee missing the Nov. 4 game against Maryland.

His absence could be a major blow to Clemson's passing game.

The reigning first-team all-ACC selection served as the Tigers' primary threat to stretch defenses, and he was clearly senior quarterback Will Proctor's favorite target.

In five games, Stuckey has accumulated 25 catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns. By comparison, his totals are more than double those for Clemson's second-leading receiver in each category.

The temporary void created by his departure is as large as 'the Grand Canyon, as big as you can get,' receivers coach Dabo Swinney said.

Swinney said two players will share Stuckey's role as the A-receiver.

Sophomore Tyler Grisham will be used in two-receiver sets opposite either Aaron Kelly or Rendrick Taylor, while freshman speedster Jacoby Ford will be featured in the slot along with Kelly and Taylor in the Tigers' three-receiver sets.

Grisham ranks fifth on the team with seven catches for 82 yards and a score, while Ford has one catch in limited time at the position.

Stuckey becomes the fourth prominent player in Clemson's starting lineup to suffer a significant injury, joining linebackers Tramaine Billie (broken foot, out indefinitely), Anthony Waters (torn knee ligaments, out for the season) and Hamlin, who is slated to play this weekend.

'I thought we were done with these,' coach Tommy Bowden said.

Stuckey also ranks as one of four players to endure a broken foot this season, a list that includes Billie, reserve lineman Jamarcus Grant and third-string quarterback Tribble Reese, who suffered his Tuesday as well.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Looking Ahead to Blacksburg

Great win Thursday against the Cavs, nice to finally get one back against those guys. They are rebuilding this year and I am sure they will get better, but it seems like things are lining up for this year and we caught an opponent who traditionally gives us fits on a down year. Next week we travel up to Lane Stadium, last year's House of Horrors. I remember being on such a high when we went in there last year and how quickly it came crashing down after we got it handed to us. Hopefully this year we get some payback against those guys and move into the driver's seat for the ACC Championship Game. Don't think we will beat them 51-7, but it promises to be a tough, defensive battle which we will need to play smart, turnover-free football to win. I found this on the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Site, enjoy. -yb

From the Associated Press...

Yellow Jackets get ready for another Tech-Tech showdown

Associated Press

ATLANTA - A year ago, Georgia Tech traveled north with hopes of becoming a force in the Atlantic Coast Conference race.
After a 51-7 blowout by Virginia Tech, it was clear the Yellow Jackets weren't ready to make a serious run at the championship.
Next week, they'll get another chance to see if they're contender or pretender.
"You don't get over it, especially a loss like that," said quarterback Reggie Ball, who wasn't at full strength for last season's game after being hospitalized with meningitis. "We've got to practice that much harder next week because we know what we're facing."
The Yellow Jackets (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) had no trouble in their league opener, coasting past offensively challenged Virginia 24-7 Thursday night.
That left nine days to prepare for a road game against the No. 11 Hokies (3-0, 2-0), who will host non-conference foe Cincinnati on Saturday.
"We're putting points on the board and the defense is doing a real good job of stopping them," said Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech's star receiver. "We're real confident right now."
This is yet another chance for the Yellow Jackets to break out of the seven-win rut they've been stuck in since 2002. The winner of the Tech-Tech matchup becomes the obvious front-runner in the ACC's Coastal Division, which doesn't look very formidable with Miami struggling and the other three schools - Virginia, North Carolina and Duke - already heading toward miserable years.

Follow the link below to read the entire article.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Macon Telegraph Tech Roundup

If you don't regularly check out the Macon Telegraph, you should. Their Tech coverage is usually on par with, and sometimes better than the AJC. Here is what they have to say about the Jackets as they gear up to face Troy. Enjoy, yb.

From the Macon Telegraph...

Troy Spreads Around Offense - Charles Odum, AP

Lewis Adjusts Easily to Position Change - AP

Follow the link below to check out all the M-T content.