Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ranking Georgia Tech 2013 Schedule From The Easiest Game to Toughest

The ACC finally released the 2013 football schedule on Monday afternoon.  Each program is allowed to make schedule requests to the league, but none are guaranteed.  Georgia Tech's schedule requests were:

1. A bye week in September, ideally before Virginia Tech (granted, though not before Va Tech)
2. An away game on Fall Break weekend, Oct 12 (granted)
3. A bye week after playing BYU on the road (not granted)
4. A bye week before Thursday games (got one, not both)

Additionally, Georgia Tech wanted to remove the request to play Clemson on the road again after Dan Radakovich left for the AD job with the Tigers, but that was also denied.

In the end, the Yellow Jackets got 1.5 of 4 requests.

Overall, Georgia Tech's schedule is tough with a few manageable landmines.  Here are the highlights:
* Georgia Tech plays two Thursday night games after not playing one in 2012
* UNC has a bye week prior to GT for the 4th time in 5 seasons
* Virginia Tech comes to Atlanta for one of the Thursday games with both teams playing the week prior
* Only 2 of 8 conference opponents play another ACC team the week prior
* The Yellow Jackets bye weeks come in week 2 (prior to Duke) and week 11 (prior to Clemson)
* October will accumulate lots of SkyMiles for Tech traveling on their three longest road trips all season (Miami, BYU, UVA)

Here is how I rank Georgia Tech's schedule from the easiest game to the toughest.

12. Elon - Aug 31

This should be an easy opener against a squad that went 3-8 playing in the Southern Conference last year.  The most interesting note of this game is Yellow Jacket announcer Wes Durham is an Elon graduate.

11. Alabama A&M - Nov 23

The SWAC program should bring a good crowd to Atlanta as most HBCUs do (GT should schedule an HBCU every year in my opinion).  The Bulldogs were 7-4 last year and 6-3 in conference.  Besides a win, Paul Johnson will be hoping to get out of this game without any injuries as Georgia looms the next week.

10. at Duke - Sep 14

The Blue Devils are the Yellow Jackets third most played opponent all time behind UGA and Auburn.  The September 14 meeting will be the earliest ever as ACC foes.  GT has won 17 of the last 18 against Duke but has had to survive numerous games closer than they should have been in that streak.

9. North Carolina - Sep 21

Does the Tar Heels presence in this list towards the easy end surprise you?  It shouldn't.  Tech has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two and won seven straight in Atlanta.  Be prepared for the onslaught of preseason UNC love, but it won't come to fruition once the games start being played.  Yes, UNC has a bye week prior.  That obviously helped keep Georgia Tech under 70 points last season in Chapel Hill.

8. Syracuse - Oct 19

GT gets the two newbies at home this year. I believe the Orange are a step ahead of the Panthers right now, but a few things give Pitt a better chance of the road win than Syracuse. 

7. Pitt - Nov 2

The reason the Panthers are ahead of Syracuse is largely because they play Navy the week before Tech.  I believe playing a similar opponent is a much bigger benefit than having a bye week.  Pitt will get two weeks practice for Tech's spread option offense with a very, very good scrimmage opponent the week prior. 

6. at BYU - Oct 12

The 4,500 mile trek will be by far GT's longest of the season and even though the Cougars dominated the meeting last season they also lost a lot of talent off that team.

5. at Virginia - Oct 26

Charlottesville has been a house of horrors for the Yellow Jackets winning only once since 1990 despite being favored numerous times, including the last trip in 2011.  The Cavaliers are still in rebuilding mode, but will be talented enough to win.

4. Virginia Tech - Sept 26

These two programs have represented the Coastal Division in every ACC Championship Game though last year was the first time the winner of the annual matchup didn't win the division.  Both teams have just five days of prep though the Hokies play Marshall while GT plays division opponent UNC.  This will be the first time since 2009 the Hokies have not had a bye before playing the Jackets which is also the only year they lost to a Johnson coached squad.

3. at Clemson - Nov 14

Clemson is more talented than the team listed above them in my rankings, but GT has had some decent success against the Tigers going 6-11 in Memorial Stadium.  If you want to win a bar bet try this:  GT has also won 7 of the last 10 in the series.  The November 14 date is the latest the two programs have played each since 1945. 

2. at Miami - Oct 5

The Hurricanes have OWNED Paul Johnson.  I am pretty sure Johnson lives in the Vinings area of Metro Atlanta, but he basically pays taxes in Dade County.  In Tech's 2009 ACC Championship* run their only conference loss was at Miami.  Last season, the Hurricanes scored 22 straight in the second half to win in overtime 42-36.  The loss decimated the Jackets so much they lost by 21 the next week to Middle Tennessee State.  To add insult to injury, Miami like many GT opponents, has a non-conference game the week before against South Florida. 

1. vs Georgia - Nov 30

The gap between the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets has been growing the last two seasons after being very small in Johnson's first three years.  Last year, UGA could have scored 60 if they wanted to.  Tech has not beaten UGA at home since 1999 and has only won one other time in Atlanta since 1985. To boot Mark Richt's program is also the most talented team on Tech's schedule.

Within the ACC, North Carolina appears to have the easiest schedule with bye week's prior to Georgia Tech and Miami and playing East Carolina prior to Virginia Tech.  Start your John Swofford baby blue conspiracy theories now.

Despite the B1G rumors flying, the ACC did not do any favors for Georgia Tech or Virginia in their scheduling.  The face that four of eight opponents play non-conference games the week prior has to be especially disconcerting to the Yellow Jackets. 

Based on the opponents alone, Georgia Tech is capable of winning 9 games with this schedule, however with the five day prep for Virginia Tech, three long trips in October and opponents playing non-conference games the week prior another loss will slip into the schedule as Johnson finished the season at 8-4 finding itself in another tie atop the Coastal Division.

Georgia Tech 2013 Football Schedule Analysis

By Matt Thompson

Editor's Note: Matt is making his debut on The ACC and SEC Blog with his reactions to Georgia Tech's 2013 football schedule released Monday. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter (@MattThompson87)

Paul Johnson’s Jackets will face another tough slate in 2013, highlighted by two Thursday night games against ACC foes, home dates with league newcomers Pittsburgh and Syracuse and, of course, the season finale with the hated Bulldogs at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

First, let’s dissect Tech’s schedule, then we’ll focus game-by-game and look at some other features of the inaugural 14 team ACC schedule.

Aug. 31 ELON
Sept. 7 Open Date
Sept.14 at Duke
Sept. 26 VIRGINIA TECH (Thurs.)
Oct. 5 at Miami
Oct. 12 at BYU
Oct. 26 at Virginia
Nov. 9 Open Date
Nov. 14 at Clemson (Thurs.)


Schedule News and Notes:

• Georgia Tech requested to the ACC office for its BYE weeks to be a September Saturday and Oct. 19 after a long road trip to high-altitude Provo, Utah. Well, they got 1 out of 2 fulfilled, but the BYE after Elon surely isn’t what GT brass had in mind.
• Tech will be forced to play 8 straight games after that, including a 4-game gauntlet in 21 days against its 3 toughest Coastal Division foes and get “rewarded” with a 1,900 mile trip to BYU to end the stretch. That’s daunting no matter who you are.
• The Jackets will play in the featured ESPN Thursday night primetime game for the 26th and 27th time in 2013. Tech will face Virginia Tech for the 5th time on a Thursday night (all since 2004), including the 4th time at home. The Nov. 14 date with Clemson will be the teams’ 3rd time meeting on Thurs. – the first since 2009 and the first in Death Valley since 1998.
  1. For what it’s worth, GT is 0-4 against the Hokies on Thursday night and 0-5 in non-Saturday games as ACC opponents. The teams last met on Saturday in 2009.
  2. 2. Tech is 2-0 against Clemson on Thursday, both wins coming by 3 points on late field goals.
• Tech will play two games against FCS opponents for the first time since 2008. The Jackets were left in a bit of a lurch when ACC members voted to move to 9 conference games then changed their minds back to 8 when Notre Dame entered the non-conference rotation. By virtue of this, Tech must win 7 games to be bowl eligible.
• GT will play 10 teams who won 6 or more games a year ago, among the toughest schedules in the ACC
 A quick look at each game and what each weeks means



The Phoenix were 3-8 in 2012 and should be relatively accommodating for Tech to break in a new quarterback. In its only game against an FBS opponent last season, Elon was trounced 62-0 in Larry Fedora’s UNC debut in Chapel Hill.

BYE Week #1

Boy does this come at an odd time! Tech would have loved to at least play one more game before an off week at this point, although the only other ACC game on the schedule this week is Wake at BC – neither of whom is on tech’s schedule this year anyway for a potential swap. In fairness to the ACC, with non-conference dates already signed, this may have been unavoidable, though certainly less than ideal.

At Duke

This is first time in recent memory Tech will open its ACC slate in Durham. The Devils haven’t won in the series since 2003, when GT Defensive Coordinator Ted Roof was the Duke head coach. This is the first of 4 straight home games for Duke, and the first of 4 straight Coastal Division opponents for Georgia Tech. This is a game the Jackets must win – albeit should win – given what follows over the next few weeks.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels will be coming off an Bye when these two meet, which seems to happen about 75% of the time the teams play. Still, the Jackets have dominated the series in recent years. UNC hasn’t won in Bobby Dodd Stadium since Mack Brown roamed the sidelines in 1997. The Bye hasn’t translated to much success for the Heels in the series, but you can bet Larry Fedora will be looking to erase the embarrassment of last season’s 68-50 defensive debacle, and without Gio Bernard to carry the load, will turn QB Bryn Renner loose on the Tech secondary. This feels like a toss-up to me.

Virginia Tech

As clutch and fortunate as Tech has been against UNC, you can argue the exact opposite in the series against VT. Georgia Tech hasn’t defeated the Hokies since 2009, although you could easily argue that Jackets could have or even should have won any of the last 3. Take away a Nesbitt injury, a late hit, and a 4th down conversion, and GT could be winners or 4 straight in this series. This is tough enough on full rest after a physical conference game. But on 5 days, this feels like another toss-up. Virginia Tech will play Marshall the week before, so it’ll be interesting to watch how long and intense their starters are forced to go. It’ll be a tall order for either team to pull out a win here and could decide the Coastal for the 9th straight year.

At Miami

The Canes have won 4 in a row in the series and continue to look better under coach Al Golden. On the night of October 5 – after 4 consecutive contest against division foes – Tech should know just where it stands in the Coastal race. Of course, it was around this time last year when Tech fell to 2-4 and was “eliminated” from ACC contention, so never rule out anything in the ACC. Miami, whose prior 3 weeks will be BYE, Savannah State, and South Florida, should be prepared and lying in wait when the Jackets come to town. A slight Miami lean here, maybe 60-40 Canes.


The Cougars will return a decent core on a defense that finished 3rd in the nation in scoring defense (14.0 PPG) in 2012. Add to that a sophomore QB returning from injury and a running back who found the endzone 5 times last October in Bobby Dodd Stadium, and this is an uphill climb. Literally. Brigham Young sits over 4,500 feet in elevation. If that wasn’t enough, the placement of this game on the schedule is just a killer. With two grueling home games followed by a trip to Miami, this is the Jackets “reward?” It’s hard to be anything but a solid BYU lean here. I’ll give the Jackets 1 chance in 4 in Provo.


The Orange must replace head coach Doug Marrone and do-everything QB Ryan Nassib in 2013, but we should have an idea of who this Syracuse team is by October 19. Tech players and fans will be happy to be home after a juggernaut month, and the Orange will be coming off tough games with Clemson and at N.C. State. And when a team has to face Paul Johnson’s offense for the first time, despite the obvious chess match, advantage: Paul Johnson offense. Syracuse could be a bit of an enigma heading into the year, but this feels like a Tech W 60%-40%.

At Virginia

Georgia Tech playing in Charlottesville is always surrounded by a bit of pessimism given the Jacket’s recent success there. Only one Tech team ( Johnson’s 2009 ACC Champions) has escaped Scott Stadium with a win since 1990. The Cavs will have last year’s 56-20 thrashing fresh in their minds, but with a ton of staff turnover by Mike London this offseason, it’s anyone’s guess what this team will look like. This is the middle game in a 3 game homestand for UVA, and GT should be the more talented team, BUT it is Tech playing in Charlottesville after all, so how could this be anything other than a 50-50 tossup? For me, that’s exactly what it is.


Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, Pitt plays Navy the week before they travel to Atlanta. Yes, the ACC could’ve scheduled this earlier in the year, but they put it right here, gift-wrapped, back-to-back with a date Pitt had already scheduled. There are two schools of thought here, one saying it helps prepare for the option in game speed, the other saying you get to see how their D will line up on film. Both are true, but getting to see the option 7 days earlier in game speed is invaluable. (Ask Georgia after they struggled to put away Georgia Southern, but manhandled Tech a week later.) Oh yes, back to this game. Navy isn’t near as talented as Navy was 3 or 4 years ago, and GT’s option will be a different animal. GT at home with better players gets about a 65%-35% win chance here from me.

BYE Week #2

Whew. After 8 straight weeks against FBS opponents, this will be a much welcomed week off. Last year’s bye came right in the middle of the season and helped resurrect Tech’s season. This one might just bring a sigh of relief, or if things have gone really well, could help set the table for a solid stretch run against arguably Tech’s two biggest rivals. We should just about know by now whether Tech will play for an ACC Championship, and the next ballgame could sow up a division title for one or both of these teams.

At Clemson

Tech will travel to Clemson for the 2nd year in a row in an effort to balance out its home schedule in odd an even years, an effort interestingly enough spearheaded by new Clemson AD Dan Radakovich. Clemson should be the most talented team in the league as of this writing and certainly has the horses to compete for a conference and possibly national title. Add to that the fact that this will be the Tigers’ first home game in nearly a month and will be ESPN Thursday primetime, and Tech could enter a double-digit underdog. Clemson hasn’t exactly figured out how to stop Paul Johnson’s offense over the years, but in a battle of two potent offenses, the home team gets the edge here. I put this with BYU at about 75%-25% for Clemson.

Alabama A&M

The reason for this game is twofold. First, the Jackets needed a 12th opponent when the ACC decided to abandon the 9 conference game model in favor of staying at 8, and Tech wanted a 7th winnable home game, considering Georgia and BYU were already on the daunting schedule. Plus, the game against these Bulldogs allow Tech to join the “Hey, let’s beat up on somebody the week before we play our rival” group that had previously been perfect by the SEC. GT, Clemson and FSU joined that club this year, and should have better success Thanksgiving weekend going forward if this is a model they continue to use. Alabama A&M did go 7-4 in the SWAC last year, but in their only game against an FBS team, lost 51-7 to Auburn. Tech wins and uses these Bulldogs to prepare for the more important Bulldogs.


The bad guys have won 11 of 12 in the series, and the gap in talent between these two teams seems about as wide as ever. GT’s been close many times recently but have had gotten some bad breaks and inopportune turnovers at the wrong times. Tech can win this game, but it’ll need to be near flawless against one of the nation’s best offenses. Georgia’s young defense has to replace NFL talent at several positions, but by game 12, they should be clicking. Due to depth, Tech would have much more success if this were an early season game year-to-year, and likely would have won many more games in the series, but it’s hard to be an advocate of breaking the Thanksgiving weekend tradition. Because it’s a rivalry and because it’s home, I’ll bum up the odds a bit in this one. Let’s say 65%-35% to the Dogs, who simply should be the more talented team. Mark Richt has never lost in Bobby Dodd Stadium, and unfortunately, it’s hard to see it happening this year.


Given the way I leaned in previewing these games, it would seem to be about an 8-4 campaign on average. Maybe Tech wins at BYU or Miami, maybe the drop a close home contest to UNC or Virginia Tech. But those 4 games all in a row really makes it hard to think Tech can go on a huge run. But if Tech can go 3-1 or 4-0 in that stretch, you could be looking at a special season. 2-2 seems most likely, and the two stiff November tests make this an even bigger year if Tech can sneak into November with just a loss or two. Paul Johnson has navigated tough stretches before. In October 2009, the Jackets went 5-0 in a stretch of games at Mississippi State, at FSU, Virginia Tech, at Virginia and at Vanderbilt. At any rate, this should be fun to watch!

Other ACC scheduling notes:

• Maryland gets a real break in scheduling this year. They’ll play 4 games, get a BYE, play 4 more games, get a BYE, then play their final 4 games. Interesting that they get their schedule broken up into thirds. Why would the ACC schedule makers do them any favors in their final year in the league when they are forsaking tradition for a heavier wallet?
• Virginia will open the season with BYU and Oregon. They’ve also signed deals recently to play series with UCLA, Stanford and Bosie State. Add Notre Dame to that list one that scheduling agreement begins in 2014 and that is quite a slate for years to come. Credit UVA for stepping up the plate. The only way to be among the best is to play and beat the best, and the Cavaliers will certainly get a chance to do that over the next decade. It’ll be interesting to follow how ticket sales respond to this in Charlottesville.
• Clemson (vs. The Citadel) and Florida State (vs. Idaho) have joined Georgia Tech in playing a lesser out of conference prior to their big games against SEC rivals. It remains to be seen how this will affect those Thanksgiving weekend rivalries, but it should help preparation far more than a tough conference game would.
• Pitt and FSU will play on Labor Day this September, continuing a trend of getting a premier holiday game in primetime for the ACC. In recent years, the game has featured Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, Miami at Maryland and Miami at Florida State. It does create scheduling nightmares, but it’s a necessary evil if the ACC is to gain respect on a national stage.
• Also as part of ESPN’s contract with the ACC, there will now be select primetime games on Friday nights. Wake Forest will play at Boston College on Friday, Sept. 6 and Miami will play at Pitt on Friday, November 29. While this would never work for home games in the southeast due to rich high school football, it’s yet another way to get the ACC alone on TV on a big stage.
• Several ACC teams play huge non-conference games to open the year. UNC is at South Carolina, Virginia Tech gets Alabama at the GA Dome, Clemson hosts UGA, Virginia hosts BYU and Oregon, BC travels to Southern Cal. It’s important that the ACC starts to win some of these close games and at the very least look very competitive. A huge blow was dealt to the conference last November when league powerhouses Clemson and FSU lost to South Carolina and Florida, and Georgia Tech and Wake Forest were both run off the field by Georgia and Vanderbilt, respectively. If the ACC has a bad showing in the opening few weekends, it’ll really knock the interest level down for the rest of the season nationally. In a year in which it welcomes two new teams, Pitt and Syracuse, says goodbye to Maryland, and prepares to welcome Louisville and Notre Dame (on a 5 game non-conference basis) the following year, the ACC needs to have a solid year. And nothing would be better for that than
turning some heads the first few weekends of the season.

Again, make sure to follow Matt on Twitter (@MattThompson87)

Related: Ranking Georgia Tech's Schedule From The Easiest Game to the Toughest

Monday, February 18, 2013

UGA Falls In Overtime To Ole Mis: Are Controversial Calls To Blame?

The Bulldogs were poised to snatch a road win from Bubble Team, but a flagrant foul on Kenny Gaines turned the momentum in favor of the Rebels (see this shot here if you agree with the refs call - who reviewed on the monitors).

Georgia fans have a gripe with the officiating after Ole Miss shot 36 FTs to just 19 for UGA.  The Bulldogs committed 30 fouls to just 18 for the Rebels. 

Beyond that, you have to give Marshall Henderson credit for his time management skills skipping out on the post game presser to hit the Oxford bars.

Men's basketball unable to maintain momentum, falls to Ole Miss in overtime 84-74
Red and Black - ‎9 hours ago‎

The Bulldogs (12-13, 6-6 SEC) fell to Ole Miss in overtime 84-74 Saturday night at Tad Smith Coliseum, and dropped their second straight after winning five games in a row. “That's a tough loss,” head coach Mark Fox told Georgia Sports Communications.

Recap: Ole Miss vs. Georgia
Sacramento Bee - ‎20 hours ago‎

Marshall Henderson recorded a game-high 25 points as the Ole Miss Rebels defeated SEC foe Georgia, 84-74, in overtime at Tad Smith Coliseum. Reginald Buckner recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels (19-6, 8-4, SEC).

Mississippi beats Georgia 84-74 in overtime
Yahoo! Sports (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎

Mississippi's Derrick Millinghaus (3) and Georgia's Kenny Gaines, right, go for the ball during an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, … ... OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Marshall Henderson scored 25 points, Murphy Holloway added 14 and Mississippi rallied for an 84-74 overtime victory over Georgia on Saturday night. Ole Miss (19-6, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) trailed for most of the night, but came back thanks to 10 straight points from Henderson late in the second half. Henderson made all 14 ...

UGA men's basketball suffers overtime loss to Ole Miss
Online Athens - ‎7 hours ago‎

Georgia made 28 of 58 shots from the field (48 percent) and outrebounded Ole Miss 45-30. But it wasn't enough. Georgia had 18 turnovers while Ole Miss had just six, and the Bulldog scored just four points in overtime, making 1 of 6 shots from the field.

SEC Men's Basketball Roundup
al.com - ‎1 hour ago‎

Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson (22) awaits a foul call in the second half of their NCAA college basketball game against Georgia in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. ... Moreover, the victory might've given Ole Miss once ranked as high as No.

Mississippi 84, Georgia 74
CBSSports.com - ‎Feb 16, 2013‎

Ole Miss started the SEC schedule with six straight wins, but had fallen into a funk over the past three weeks, losing four of five. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy changed the starting lineup against Georgia, using Derrick Millinghaus and Nick Williams instead of ...

Marshall Henderson's Saturday night plans did not include doing post-game ...
Yahoo! Sports (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎

The polarizing Ole Miss star needed just 10 words to deliver one of the season's most memorable press conferences after the Rebels' overtime victory against visiting Georgia on Saturday night. Said Henderson, "If it's all the same, it's Saturday night. I'm out." Whereas I normally disapprove when star athletes ... Basketball: Mississippi at Florida · Henderson imperfect poster boy for upstart Rebels. AP - Sports. OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- The talkative and brash Marshall Henderson is the face of Mississippi's basketball …

Henderson, Rebels outlast Bulldogs in OT
Jackson Clarion Ledger - ‎Feb 16, 2013‎

Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson (22) scores over Georgia's Charles Mann (4) during an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Oxford, Miss. / Bruce Newman/AP. More. Related Links. Ole Miss - Georgia. Ole Miss avoided a major hit to ...

Fifteen (more or less) Thoughts Because I'm a Little Ticked Off...
Dawg Sports - ‎10 hours ago‎

5. So, Ole Miss is going to build a new basketball arena. Where in the hell is this school getting their money from? Maybe they'll just weld two double-wide's together and raise the roof. Man, I'm grumpy today... 6. Georgia plays better basketball on the road.

"If it's all the same, it's Saturday night. I'm out."-Ole Miss G Marshall Henderson ...
The Huntsville Times - al.com - ‎21 hours ago‎
Print. View/Post Comments. Marshall Henderson 02.16.2013 Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson (22) slaps his chest as his team takes the lead in overtime in their NCAA college basketball game against Georgia in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

Recaps From Georgia Tech's 57-56 Win Over Wake Forest

The Yellow Jackets notched their second road ACC win of the season with a one point win over Wake Forest.  This marks the first time since 2007-2008 season Georgia Tech has won two ACC road games.  Tech faces North Carolina at home Tuesday night 9PM hoping to bolster its NIT hopes with a signature win.

Recaps from the Jackets and Deacons...

Georgia Tech holds off Wake Forest 57-56 - Robert Carter Jr. hit two free throws with 8.7 seconds left to seal the win

Post-Game Quotes - Georgia Tech 57, Wake Forest 56

Workman Win At Wake
There was a fine story in Saturday's paper about the prospect of Marcus Georges-Hunt emerging as Georgia Tech's "go-to" player. There were signs aplenty on Saturday afternoon that the freshman wing can be that.

Recap: Wake Forest vs. Georgia Tech
Robert Carter, Jr. finished with 10 points, including the game-winning pair of free throws with eight seconds remaining, as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets took down the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 57-56, in Atlantic Coast Conference action at Joel ..

Wake Forest still unable to finish, falls to Ga. Tech 57-56
Charlotte Observer - ‎Feb 16, 2013‎
Wake Forest's Travis McKie, left, grabs a rebound against Georgia Tech's Daniel Miller, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Georgia Tech won 57-56.

Another gut-wrenching loss for Deacons
Winston-Salem Journal - ‎Feb 16, 2013‎
Wake Forest, which was coming off a 66-63 setback at Boston College, tumbled to 11-14 and 4-9 in ACC play with its sixth loss in the last seven games. Georgia Tech improved to 14-10 and 4-8 by sweeping the season series with the Deacons. “It hurts losing ...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Where Did The NBA All-Stars Play College Basketball?

I won't be watching one minute of the NBA All-Star Game tonight but I thought it would be interesting to see where the players played in college (if at all) and how the conference breakdown went.

High Schoolers dominate the list with five participants.  The ACC has five participants leading all conferences. 

School # Players
None (High School) 5
Duke                        2
UCLA                      2
Florida                      2
Texas                       2
Wake Forest 2
Syracuse                   1
Kentucky                  1
Marquette                 1
Georgia Tech 1
Fresno State 1
Stanford                   1
Oklahoma                1
Arizona State 1
Foreign 1
Michigan State 1

By Conference:
ACC                       5
Pac 12 4
SEC                        3
Big 12 3
Big East 2
Big Ten 1
WAC                      1

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whatever Happend To Recruit Sent 52 Letters In One Day By Georgia Tech?

A refresher from Yahoo's College Football Blog: Dr. Saturday...
Georgia Tech must know something the rest of the recruiting world doesn't.

Last week, Wesleyan (Norcross, Ga.) safety Charles Mack received 52 letters from the Yellow Jackets — in one day. Included in the barrage were newsletters, typed letters and a handwritten letter from each coach.
Mack's father played for Georgia Tech from 1983-87. 

As the recruiting season went on, Mack received offers from Navy, South Florida, Furman, Buffalo, and Richmond according to Rivals but never from Georgia Tech.

He signed with the Richmond Spiders on National Signing Day

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

UGA Recruiting Under Mark Richt (Stats Galore)

Richt has not had trouble attracted talent to UGA/WSBRadio.com
Mark Richt has been at Georgia from 2001-2013 by the longest current tenure in the SEC.  The Bulldogs have consistently recruited at a high level under Richt as the below stats illustrate.

To illustrate just how long Richt has been in Athens, he is now on his fourth opposing coach in Knoxville.

Those two points are not simply by coincidence.  Tennessee regularly raided Georgia in the 90s and also not coincidentally beat UGA regularly.  When Richt arrived he began to shut the Vols out of the state and their program began to fall while the Bulldogs rose. 

Some of that talent recruited to play in Sanford Stadium has been character reaches for a man deep in his faith.  The 38 arrests are a regular occurrence and in addition to questionable recruiting decisions can also be attributed to lax discipline policy likely learned from his mentor Bobby Bowden.

To Richt's credit he has toughened up his stance dismissing more players as of late and I think that discipline has been displayed on the field with 22 wins over the last two season.  My guess is Richt has already a discussion with signee Davin Bellamy who was photographed on a official visit to Oregon in a room with drug paraphernalia. 

[Full disclosure here: this info is lifted from a UGA message board but it is well thought out and organized - unlike the last message board item I posted]

UGA had 298 recruits sign LOIs since CMR was hired 13 years ago, an average of 22.9 recruits per year; fwiw, the average star rating per recruit = 3.4765 stars (coincidentally, this is virtually the same star rating per signee for the Class of 2013)

5-stars: 14
4-stars: 141
3-stars: 122
2-stars: 18
Unranked: 3

SEC Honors:

- 43 signees ended up earning 1st or 2nd Team All-SEC honors (not counting the Class of 2013, as the players haven't had a chance to win an award yet), that = 16.1% of recruited scholarship players (or about 1 out of every 6 signed)
- Note that CMR inherited 15 scholarship players from Coach Donnan that distinguished themselves by earning All-SEC honors:
-- Boss Bailey (x2), Kevin Breedlove, Reggie Brown, Kentrell Curry, Terrence Edwards, Tony Gilbert, Charles Grant, David Greene (x3), Sean Jones, Randy McMichael, Curt McGill, Musa Smith, Jon Stinchcomb (x2), Johnathan Sullivan, & Tim Wansley
- Note that UGA also has had some walk-ons like Tra Battle, Billy Bennett (x2), Gordon Ely-Kelso, and Brian Mimbs that earned SEC honors


- 44 of CMR's signees were later drafted by NFL teams b/w 2005-2012 (an average of 5.5 players per year), including 5 1st round draft picks (i.e., Thomas Davis, A.J. Green, Knowshon Moreno, David Pollack, & Matt Stafford) and 5 2012 NFL All-Pros (i.e., Geno Atkins, A.J. Green, Justin Houston, Tim Jennings, & Blair Walsh)
-- Note: 24 of Coach Donnan's signees that CMR inherited were drafted by the NFL b/w 2001-2004 (an average of 6 players per year)
-- Note: Starting P Drew Butler (Pittsburgh) & LB Dannell Ellerbe (Baltimore Ravens) are two former CMR signees that were undrafted free agents, but are having successful NFL careers as starters

Attrition (x83 [i.e., 31.2% of signees] or an average of 6.4 signees/players per year):

1 player (i.e., Dexter Moody) was released from his LOI on 17 Mar 09 for academic & behavioral issues while at ECI

23 academic non-qualifiers; 9 of them returned to UGA after prep school/JUCO (waiting on Leonard Floyd [Summer 2013] to make it 10 of 23)

2 players (i.e., Jamar Cheney & Michael Grant) were denied admission

1 player (Antonio Mercier) failed a physical and was never cleared to play

13 players were granted a medical exemption (i.e., Neland Ball, Josh Brock, Trey Chandler, Antavious Coates, Tom Gainous, Marcus Jackson, Darrell Holmes, Jeremy Longo, Olaolu Sanni-Osomo, Jonathan Owens, Preston Pannell, Bryce Ros, & Reggie Weeks)

19 players were dismissed (i.e., Demetre Baker, Donovan Baldwin, Isaiah Crowell, Washaun Ealey, B.J. Fields, Chris Hickman, Walter Hill, Josh Johnson, Michael Lemon, Nick Marshall, Zach Mettenberger, John Miller, Alexander Ogletree, Montez Robinson, Chris Sanders, Sanford Seay, Antonio Sims, Odell Thurman* [returned], & Derrick White)

20 players transferred (i.e., Bama Adams, Blake Barnes, Brent Benedict, Richard Cook, Michael Cooper, Marcus Dowtin, Logan Gray, Dana Graydon, Jakar Hamilton, Cedric Haywood, Dontavious Jackson, Tavares Kearney, James Lee, Derrick Lott, Jordan Love, Ken Malcome, Derek Owens, Makiri Pugh, NaDerris Ward, & Nick Williams)

6 players left school due to academic issues (A.J. Harmon, Quintavious Harrow, Caleb King, John Knox, Dexter Morant, & Paul Oliver)

7 players quit the team (i.e., B.J. Fields, Scott Havercamp, Ian Smith, Aaron Scranton, Randall Swoopes, Carlton Thomas, & Seth Watts)



- 44 players arrested (Justin Anderson, Donavon Baldwin, Demetre Baker, Blake Barnes, Clint Boling, Tripp Chandler, Sanders Commings, Isaiah Crowell, Vance Cuff, Marcus Dowtin, Washaun Ealey, Dannell Ellerbe, Marquis Elmore, B.J. Fields, Darryl Gamble, Mike Gilliam, Kedric Golston, Akeem Hebron, Marcus Howard, Tim Jennings, Caleb King, Tavarres King, Michael Lemon, Jordan Love, Brian McClendon, Zeb McKinsey, Zach Mettenberger, John Miller, Demario Minter, Fred Munzenmaier, Alec Ogletree, Kevin Perez, Mario Raley, Antonio Sims, Branden Smith, Ian Smith, Trinton Sturdivant, Darius Swain, Randall Swoopes, Michael Turner, Chase Vasser, NaDerris Ward, Cornelius Washington, & Brandon Wood)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Georgia Tech Defeats Virginia Tech, Notches First Win Ever In Blacksburg

Some recaps from yesterday's 64-54 win by the Yellow Jackets snapping a 11 road game ACC losing streak.

Recap: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech
Marcus Georges-Hunt and Kammeon Holsey each collected 13 points and nine rebounds, as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies, 64-54, in Atlantic Coast Conference play at Cassell Coliseum. By Sports Network; The Sports ...

Holsey, Georgia Tech defeat Virginia Tech 64-54
Greenwich Time
Under pressure from Georgia Tech forward Robert Carter (4), Virginia Tech guard Erick Green (11) dishes the ball to teammate Marshall Wood, right foreground, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game

Holsey Lifts Georgia Tech Past Virginia Tech, 64-54 -

Kammeon Holsey scored all 13 points of his points in the first half to lift Georgia Tech to a 64-54 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Post-Game Quotes - Georgia Tech 64, Virginia Tech 54

Hokie Hex No More
Mission No. 1 Saturday in Blacksburg, Va., where Georgia Tech had never won a basketball game, was to hit the glass.

That wasn't all that the Yellow Jackets clubbed on the way to a 64-54 win that was not as close as that score. Georgia Tech clobbered Virginia Tech just about every which way, meeting that main challenge by out-rebounding the Hokies, 46-32.

Brian Gregory Post Game Interview with Wes Durham in a utility closet

More Bad ACC Officiating At End of Duke - Boston College Game?

Watch the end of the highlights from the Blue Devils one point win at Boston College (you can start at 1:55).

The Eagles are trying for a last second shot and after that attempt all hell breaks loose under the basket. Take a close look at Duke's Quinn Cook (#2) as he starts the play near the top of the key.

Cook blatantly pushes a BC player off the court to prevent a possible offensive rebound. Soon after the push, Cook undercuts an Eagle player with the ball in his hands. By the end of the play, three Boston College players end up on the floor as do two Blue Devils and yet no call. Can you honestly tell me that play would have resulted in no foul it had been in the first minute of the game instead of the last? What about if it was simply with 30 seconds left instead of the 3? It has been rough for refs in the ACC who missed a traveling call on Michael Snaer, a subsequent questionable push off also by Snaer, and a 3 second violation in FSU's win on Tuesday.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Georgia Tech National Signing Day ESPN Event Recap

Ted Roof should add boost to Georgia Tech recruiting/AJC.com
A little late getting this up, but better late than never.

Instead of holding a Signing Day event in Atlanta with a review of the signess and Q&A with fans, Georgia Tech broadcast a 1 hour program on ESPN3.com [insert your Paul Johnson didn't want to answer fan questions theories here]. I see the decision to g to a national platform for a NSD event as part of Tech's campaign to recruit more nationally.

Here is a run down of the event. Please excuse my note taking form. If you want to watch the entire hour you can here

Interview with Vad Lee

- talked about his recruiting process, what coaches tell him
- said once he committed to GT every other coach started negatively recruiting against GT; goes back to old saying a committment only means everyone else knows who their competition for a prospect is
- Strength and Coaching is a big change from high school to college; the weight room was not his friend in high school
- Vad will be competing with Justin Thomas for the starting QB job in Spring Practice

Liam Klein - Director of Player Personnel

- started with 1200 names for class of 2013
- check grades, call high school coaches, talk to parents, friends to find the right fit
- academic requirements is the first hurdle for prospective student-athletes

Paul Johnson Interview

- is excited about next year
- 15/16 starters back; will have more seniors than in previous years
- take momentum from last half and build on it is key for the offseason

Signees Profiles

Joe Speed profiled Justin Akins
- Akins film shows him at DT and DE but he is projected at DE in a 4-3 scheme

Lamar Owens profiled Harrison Butker
- most of Butker's film was at Punter but projected at PK
- spent his last season kicking FGs off the ground to get ready for college
- mother got her Master's Degree from GT

Joe Speed profiled Darius Commissiong
- had nearly every major program trying to switch him this week
- was up around 330 but has gotten down to 305; will likely play inside

Buzz Preston introduced Travis Custis
- first remark about Travis Custis: "y'all need to love him"
- possibility he can contribute right away
- Buzz mostly let the highlights role on Custis
- Buzz has a gregarious personality in his interviews

Andy McCollum introduced Paul Davis
- anybody in South Georgia will tell you about this kid
- he loves Georgia Tech and it is always good to have those kids
- one of best players we had in camp this Summer
- might play weakside LB or a Safety or maybe a B-Back

Buzz Preston introduced Shamire Devine
- fell in love with Georgia Tech's academics
- went to Nike event in Oregon and some considered him the best OL at that event
- got hurt towards the end of the season that held him back

Andy McCollum introduced Chris Griffin
- "mean as hell"
- still in the HS wrestling championships at the Heavyweight level
- once his upper body catches up with his lower body he is going to be a player
- some of his tape includes his HS team running flexbone formations

Brian Bohannon introduced Ty Griffin
- 1 year at McEachern, had played at North Cobb previously
- can play multiple positions
- UNC offered him as a Safety
- he will get a shot to play QB, but he can play elsewhere if he fits better

Joe Speed introduced Ricky Jeune
- a lot of his film showed his HS team throwing screens
- fits the GT need of tall, physical WR who can stretch the field

Buzz Preston introduced Antonio Messick
- new HS coach at Fayette Co wants a physical team
- Messick took on some of the best defenders and was the toughest blocker on the team
- came to camp and showed out in blocking, jumping ability
- Preston couldn't believe more schools weren't after him; diamond in the rough
- had played basketball most of his high school career

Andy McCollum introduced John Marvin
- played S, CB, RB for his high school
- his HS coach was a teammate of McCollum's in college
- rated as the top DB in GT's Summer Camp
- runs 100m, 200m
- high academic kid
- had to turn off phone last night from coaches calling

Joe Speed introduced Kevin Robbins
- from same HS as Commissiong
- Groh made the initial contact
- dad played at Michigan State and in NFL
- went with Georgia Tech due to the educational opportunities and possible early playing time
- recruited as OLB
- Bishop McNamara HS has good academics and players are used to being in the spotlight

David Walkosky introduced Donovan Wilson
- early enrollee
- could be an A-Back or B-Back
- Walkosky has recruited Central Ohio for 20 years

Ted Roof introduced Corey Griffin
- Roof mentioned how great it is to be back at GT and to be back with people who love Georgia Tech
- Sandy Creek and GT have a great relationship, have a great HS program
- Sandy Creek HS Coach called Roof and asked him to take a look at Griffin
- Griffin is a great fit for GT as a student and as a player

Back with Paul Johnson...
- we are still awaiting on a couple of guys so the class may not be completely finished (have to assume he is talking about Corn Elder here)
- classes are balanced now
- starting to see more recruiting outside of Georgia
- GT brand very well respected outside of Georgia
- thinks Devine is one of the top prospects in the state
- Roof will be implementing his system on defense
- Offense will be tweaked to match the talents at QB

Video ended with Johnson watching film of Travis Custis in his office

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Michael Snaer Traveled In His Latest Game Winning Shot For FSU and Jay Bilas Talks Refs

Check out this video posted by @GACSBasketball before the Seminoles sharpshooter hit his third game winning basket in a row this time over Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.

Besides the missed travel call, the refs could have called a push off. But as many college basketball fans know, heck even rec league basketball players know, refs call the game differently in the last minute of the game than the first. The officials also missed a three second violation which enabled Snaer a clear path to the goal as you can see in the video below.

On a related ref note, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas was on Atlanta radio this week talking about how low scoring, "letting them play" style of basketball is hurting the college as much if not more than the early defections to the NBA. Bilas says college coaches are telling their players to clutch and grab the offense because it is not being called.  Combine that with a lack of shooters and you have games consistently in the 60s

790TheZone: Jay Bilas Audio Download

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Georgia Tech Basketball: Yellow Jackets Face Crucial Home Game With Virginia

Georgia Tech faces a "must win" Sunday at home vs Virginia if it wants to keep its NIT hopes alive.  While the Yellow Jackets are rebuilding, the first step towards returning to ACC prominence is taking care of your home court.

So far, Brian Gregory's club has not done a very good job of that this season.  While the loss to Miami was understandable, the OT defeat to Virginia Tech was a step back for this program.  The blowout win over Wake was a nice bounce back and the Jackets can take another step forward with a win over the Cavaliers today. 

8 Thoughts on Georgia Tech - Virginia

1. The Cavs have won five in a row in this series including a 70-38 stomping last year in Atlanta.  Tony Bennett has never lost to Georgia Tech while in Charlottesville.

2. The all important RPI rankings: UVA #95 GT #136.  Other sites have different numbers but every site I checked had the Wahoos rated higher.

3. Offensively, Georgia Tech is averaging two points under their opponents average scoring defense this season.  In ACC, Tech is faring at the exact same level.  Virginia is giving up 51 points per game on the season and 52 points in league play.

4. Defensively, Georgia Tech is holding opponents to eight points below their season average for scoring.  However, in league play the Jackets are holding the opposition to just two points below their season average.  The Cavaliers are scoring 63 points per game on the season as a whole and 59 points per game in ACC games.

5. Virginia's strength of schedule is low at #201 compared to GT at #115.  Bennett's team is just 2-4 on the road the season losing to George Mason (RPI #145 at time playing, Old Dominion #324, Wake Forest #121, and Clemson #137.  They did beat Wisconsin #53 and Virginia Tech #148.  Georgia Tech is 9-2 at home with the best win over Wake Forest #128 and their worst home loss to Virginia Tech #145.

6. Virginia's rosters ranked 3.33 stars out of high school.  Georgia Tech's roster ranked 3.44

7. When you add in experience, Georgia Tech should have more talent on this season.  Tech's top nine players have a 51.3 total rating vs Virginia's top nine at 46.4.  This rating is computed by adding recruiting stars plus the number of years in the program.  The theory is that recruiting rankings alone don't tell you the talent level of a team because a 4th year, 4 star player should be better than a 1st year, 4 star player.  UVA vs GT Player Ratings Detail

8. After all that, Virginia is favored by 2.5 points on Sunday

This game is shaping up to a very good, albeit low scoring game.  While talent and experience favor Georgia Tech, Virginia is playing arguably their best basketball of the season coming off a home win over NC State.  The Cavs confidence is much higher than Tech's who has yet to win a close game this season.

Georgia Tech cannot afford another home loss setting them to -2 in the "games you need to win" column, but Virginia's stifling defense is just too much. 

Prediction: Virginia 56 Georgia Tech 51

UGA, Tennessee, FSU Target Davin Bellamy Having A GREAT Time At Oregon

Top Georgia recruit Devin Bellamy (Rivals 3 star DE) is visiting Oregon this weekend after receiving a late offer from the Ducks. Bellamy was originally committed to FSU, but has backed off that pledge and is now considering UGA and Tennessee along with the Ducks.

Bellamy posted this picture from his visit while hanging out with potential future classmate in Eugene. By the looks of this picture, Oregon may be tough to beat for Bellamy's signature.