Sunday Morning Quarterback takes a look at Georgia Tech's opportunity in 2008. The article does a good job of facilitating a discussion related to what sort of expectations the Georgia Tech fans (sic) should have for the program.
Much of their optimism seems to built on the idea Johnson has won everywhere he's been. And that Navy had great success in Div I with his triple option. However, SMQ correctly points out that Johnson was completely lacking in success against quality BCS teams.
Number of Midshipmen victories since 2002 over teams that finished with a winning record: five, against Air Force (2003, 2007), New Mexico (2004), East Carolina (2006) and Colorado State (2005), if you’re willing count the 6-6 Rams. In six years under Johnson, the Middies’ best performance was probably against Boston College in the ‘06 Car Care Bowl, which they lost only because a late pitch in the rain squirted free and set up the winning field goal for BC. None of Navy’s actual BCS conference victims came anywhere near a winning record. (emphasis added)Where will Tech finish this year? I think a seven win season would be a tremendous accomplishment given the mass defections, recruiting woes and normal learning curve for a triple option team.
I see two three sure fire wins on the schedule (JSU, GW and Duke). The rest of the games look like toss up or much worse.
Aug. 28 (Thur.)
Sept. 6 at
Sept. 13 at Virginia Tech
Sept. 27 Open
Oct. 4 DUKE (Family Weekend)
Oct. 11 GARDNER-WEBB
Oct. 18 at Clemson
Nov. 8 at
Nov. 15 Open
Nov. 20 (Thur.)
Nov. 29 at
However, the must win games on the schedule that will decide whether or not his team is going bowling are:
- at Boston College - Tech badly needs to win this game. A loss here and 1-2 or 1-3 start becomes very likely. It will be extremely difficult for Tech to go bowling without a win against BC.
- vs. Mississippi State - Jokes about whiting out Croom aside, this is a big one. Win this and they have a chance to be 4-2 or better heading into their road game against Clemson. Sweeping BC and MSU would give the Jackets a tremendous shot at extending their meaningless bowl streak. Although a trip to the Congressional Bowl vs. Navy (where they would ideally lose) could make for great comedy). Lose to both MSU and BC, and the Duke and G-Webb games will be some of the most depressing BCS home games in America.
- at UNC -- A loss could mean that Butch Davis is rebuilding a much more broken down program at a faster clip than Johnson who inherited a relatively stable situation only one year removed from the ACC title game.
- FSU or Miami - Both of these programs are in transition. If Josh Nesbitt (Tech's fumble prone but race car fast QB) has figured out the triple option, either of these games are winnable. Tech currently is riding a shocking three game winning streak against the Canes. A win vs. either team would give Tech fans reason to hope for better things in '09.
So what are your thoughts? What do you expect from the NATS?