Friday, September 9, 2011

Why ESPN ACC Blogger Keeps Picking Against Georgia Tech

Pride. It is something we all have. Most of us take pride in what we do for a living.

When someone questions our ability to do our "job" correctly we get defensive and lose sight of clear judgment towards that person.

ESPN's ACC Blogger Heather Dinich has picked Middle Tennessee State to beat Georgia Tech this Saturday despite picking the Yellow Jackets as the fifth best team in the ACC in her power rankings earlier this week.

Does this mean that MTSU is better than seven ACC teams?

No. I think Dinich is simply using situational evidence and little bit of a grudge in her selection.

The situational items are easy to understand. Tech is traveling to Murfreesboro for the biggest home game in MTSU history. The Jackets did not handle their first road game against an inferior opponent last season either falling to Kansas. Speaking of the Jayhawks, Tech faces them next week and players may be looking ahead in anticipation of exacting revenge and overlooking a team they beat 42-14 last season.  And despite that 28 point win Georgia Tech did not exactly set the world on fire in 2010. 

All of that is perfectly reasonable assumptions as to why the Jackets may struggle in this one.
I also get the idea of making a bold pick to get headlines. Dinich has the Tech fanbase stirred up with a wild, but not crazy prediction.

If she is right then she gets all the kudos for a bold pick. If she is wrong then she did not lose anything with a fan base that already discredits her work.

But back to the second reason why Dinich picked MTSU to win.

She does not care much for Paul Johnson.

The rift goes back to 2009 when the ESPN Blogger picked against Georgia Tech in consecutive weeks. First was the program changing win over fourth ranked Virginia Tech at home.

The next week, GT played at Virginia where they had not won since 1990. Again Dinich picked against Tech citing the series history.

Johnson says he does not pay attention to the media, but he obviously did that week considering his comment to Dinich after the game.

"Everybody keeps doubting them, and every time they doubt them, they come back and try to answer the call."

Wait, does he really think people are still doubting Georgia Tech?

"Oh, I think so. Right, Heather?" Johnson said with a smile, looking at ESPN.com reporter Heather Dinich, who picked the Yellow Jackets to lose to Virginia Tech and Virginia the past two weeks.

Later that season, the ESPN Blogger picked against Tech again in the ACC Championship Game which the Yellow Jackets won*.

Until Georgia Tech proves 2010 is behind them (and that may take all season) and Johnson and Dinich kiss and make up her opinion of Georgia Tech will not change.

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