Georgia Tech's "flagship" radio station in Atlanta, 790 The Zone, had Sports Illustrated columnist Stewart Mandel on Thursday morning to talk about the Jim Tressel/Ohio State situation and UGA's prospects for 2011, and Tech's program.
About midway through interview (audio download) one of the hosts, "Steak" Shapiro, asked Mandel how relevant Georgia Tech football is on the national stage.
The SI columnist danced around the question a little bit stating the weak ACC really hurts a program like Georgia Tech on the national stage.
While he is right on the weakness of the ACC on the big stage, I don't think that is what is holding Georgia Tech back.
This is not the first time Yellow Jackets fans and Mandel have not seen eye to eye. Mandel called former Tech head coach Chan Gailey the worst coach in the country and said he would buy "a round of hot dogs" at the Varsity if the Jackets managed to win their division (which they did that year and Mandel did keep his word)
To give Mandel credit, "Is Georgia Tech irrelevant?" is a question of what you mean by "relevant".
Who is truly relevant on the national stage right now? Auburn, Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas (?)
To expand the argument you could include USC, Wisconsin, TCU, Boise State, Virginia Tech, LSU, Utah, and (whomever you root for).
Mandel probably didn't want to ruffle anymore feathers at Tech so instead of saying "Georgia Tech is irrelevant because they haven't competed for a national title in 20 years" or "Tech is not relevant because they have lost their last six bowl games" he deferred the weakness of the ACC.
The ACC is simply a lame excuse. FSU was plenty relevant when they were dominating the conference in the 90s because of what they did against teams from other leagues. Same with Miami when they played in the Big East.
But back to Georgia Tech, this is not the first time they have been called "irrelevant" by a host on their "flagship" radio station.
You may ask why does Georgia Tech keep 790 The Zone as their "flagship" radio station?
I think Tech's Athletic Director is frustrated with the radio situation but there is not much (feasibly) he can do about it.