Countdown to No. 1: Can No. 14 Georgia Tech win another ACC title?

We continue our countdown to our preseason Top 25, which will conclude on Friday with No. 1 through No. 5.

Today we have 11-15 and you’ll find three ACC Coastal teams: North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech. Now the round robin with those three and No. 20 Miami is going to be fun. Some smart people are telling me I have Miami rated too low. We’ll see.

Again, let me know what you think. We will have teams 6-10 on Thursday.

 

 

15. Florida State

**–It will be a good season if:  The defense improves just a little bit. Florida State struggled last season and Mark Stoops, brother of Bob, comes in as defensive coordinator. But we wonder if the Seminoles have the horses to be really good. If so, FSU can get to the ACC championship game.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: QB Christian Ponder does not bounce back to his 2009 form. The senior was averaging 321.8 yards of total offense  per game when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the ninth game against Clemson. He completed 68 percent of his passes last season and is playing behind a great offensive line.

14. Georgia Tech

**–It will be a good season if: Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt stays healthy. Nesbitt is the straw who stirs the cocktail that is Paul Johnson’s high-octane offense. Nesbitt has an adequate backup in Tevin Washington but Nesbitt can’t miss long stretches of play.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: The defense does not improve. It should as Al Groh, one of the best defensive minds in the game, takes over. The Yellow Jackets also have to replace four NFL draft choices (two on offense, two on defense) who were difference makers.

13. Virginia Tech

**–It will be a good season if: Bud Foster is able to rebuild his defense. Nobody is worried about the offense as running backs Darren Evans (2008 ACC freshman of the year) and Ryan Williams (2009 ACC freshman of the year) return along with senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

**–It will be disappointing season if: The Hokies fall in the opener against Boise State. Last season Virginia Tech lost its first game to Alabama in Atlanta. That game exposed some weaknesses that teams like Georgia Tech were able to exploit. Beat Boise and Virginia Tech could be in the BCS title discussion in November.

 

12. Wisconsin

**–It will be a good season if: Running back John Clay can pick up where he left off last season. Clay finished the season with six consecutive games over 100 yards and finished as the Big Ten’s leading rusher with 1,517 yards.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: The Badgers lose back to back games with Ohio State (Oct. 16 in Madison) and Iowa (Nov. 23 at Iowa City). Wisconsin will be favored in every other game it plays and a split in those two games probably puts the Badgers in a BCS game.

11. North Carolina

**–It will be a good season if: Senior quarterback T.J. Yates rediscovers his 2007 form when he threw for over 2,600 yards. The defense is so good that if the Tar Heels get consistent play at quarterback, they can win the very tough ACC Coastal.

**–It will be a disappointing season if: Marvin Austin’s contact with agents keeps him out of action for an extended period of time. This North Carolina team is built around a defense that has at least six NFL Draft choices. It can’t afford to lose Austin and it can’t afford for this to be a major distraction.

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599 comments Add your comment

Habersham Dawg

August 18th, 2010
8:41 am

Maybe it’s your spell check

r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s

(grin)

what?

August 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Reality Check,

what is your excuse gonna be when that “midget” lights up your secondary? “A drop pass away from beating Georgia”? Did I miss something? Was Baby in the endzone when he dropped that pass?

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Reality, you do need a reality check. An atrocious call… Like that phantom holding call that you got vs CU, last year???? The comedy continues!!!!

HBTD!!!

Bubba

August 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Dr Laura for president

Real Reality

August 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Don’t know who the national champion will be this year, however I am sure of two things. They will likely come out of the SEC, but will not come out of athens. 30 years of uga frustration showing in these blogs. Must suck to watch all those SEC teams win nc’s and all you have to show for your efforts are consistent wins over Tech.

Chris

August 18th, 2010
8:48 am

UNC #11? They will flop like they do every year.

Dawghater

August 18th, 2010
8:48 am

RX Dawg looks like a proud holder of a Masters Degree from UGA. I guess you got and “A+” in spelling. Woof Woof!

James

August 18th, 2010
8:49 am

i like to look back on the college football experts to determine their accuracy.

last year Tony picked teams like Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma to do well and had Alabama #4 and Florida #1. Tony ranked Ga Tech higher than Georgia last year too.

what?

August 18th, 2010
8:49 am

Real (dumb) Reality:

I think a couple SEC titles and several BCS game appearances is something to show for the efforts.

Hurricane

August 18th, 2010
8:49 am

Realtity Check
You and the rest of these Tech nerds are dreaming if you think Tech is going 10-2.You will loose to Miami,Clemson,Virgina Tech and NC.NC whipped yall at North Carllina in 2008 and will beat yall agin.Nesbit will not have as much tallent around him as last year.You have 4 losses in the ACC this year and your 5th loss will be to UGA.And you can BOOK that.

James

August 18th, 2010
8:50 am

oops, here’s Tony’s last year’s predictions if you guys want to look at how they turned out:
http://blogs.ajc.com/barnhart-college-football/2009/05/15/spring-top-25-gators-no-1-tech-13-dawgs-14/

JB

August 18th, 2010
8:50 am

RR, Top ten in wins over the last 10 years. No NC’s but we’ve been close. Those two are bettr than many other programs and include a few W’s other than just over Yech.

Thanks for playing, though.

HBTD!!!

what?

August 18th, 2010
8:51 am

…and Dawghater got a Masters from Tech – “and A+”? If you are going to police, get it right yourself…MORON!!

Eddie

August 18th, 2010
8:52 am

Tony, you picking Ga Tech this year is as bad as your Notre Dame pick last year. Both had me scratching my head going, wow, this guy’s gonna regret that one. Some picks just make no sense at all to me.

Hurricane

August 18th, 2010
8:53 am

Enter your comments here

Orlandodawg

August 18th, 2010
8:53 am

Flawed Poll Tony!…Guess I will never understand these preseason polls…but if one team beats another team, shouldn’t the victor be higher in the poll?…example, the bugs have their best season in a decade, the dawgs have their worst, and still the bugs can’t pull out a victory…so how can they be better?…the champions of loser town are being shown a lot of respect, or maybe it’s just a pity vote…either way Tony, you’re risking getting your Dawgville pass revoked with this one

winterDawg

August 18th, 2010
8:55 am

Every year Virginia Tech is expected to do well and they have earned that respect. I think with Paul Johnson as coach Tech has earned that respect as well. Georgia Tech will beat some people they are not supposed to and probably will not lose to anyone they shouldn’t lost to. Every blessed year is FSU’s year to turn it around. I’ll believe it when they live up to the hype. Same with UNC, who journalist have had a love affair with ever since Butch Davis became coach. I’m surprised the Miami hype isn’t bigger this year but I suspect once they win a couple of games they will be everyones darling to win it all. Fact is, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are the only ACC teams to meet or suprass expectations the last couple of years. Everyone else has dissapointed.

Steve

August 18th, 2010
8:58 am

Season ticket sales for the nerds to date = 24,511 which is DOWN from last year. Ha ha ha. What a pathetic fan base! Looks like another year without any sellouts in that high school stadium. How sad.

Hurricane

August 18th, 2010
8:58 am

Tech will have 5 losses at the end of the year.UGA,Virgina Tech,Clemson,NC and Miami.Book it now.

TonyBFan

August 18th, 2010
9:00 am

The Spur once referred to UNC as the “sleeping giant”. I think you’re on to something, Tony. Yates is key, but he’s on a short leash. Bryn Renner is standing in the wings and splitting snaps with the first team. If he’s half as good as advertised, we’ll see him and the offense will move the ball. They’re not a BCS bowl contender yet, but they’ll play this year.

cuttysark

August 18th, 2010
9:02 am

The Yellow Jackets have tied for first and won the Coastal Division in each of Paul Johnson’s first two seasons. No reason they can’t win it outright for a third time as North Carolina will be without a couple of key players due to the NCAA Investigation. We will find out shortly how well Mr. Hill and Tyler Melton are able to replace Mr. Thomas. Looking forward to the beginning of the season. For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

Tech Wins

August 18th, 2010
9:04 am

Tech’s loaded and should easily win the ACC again. Look for a big win over UGA in Athens, just like 2008. Ga will be lucky to win 9 games.

Mack

August 18th, 2010
9:07 am

Somebody needs to tell Tony Mark Richt has a better winning % than Paul Johnson, and Richt coaches in the SEC, while Johnson’s coached teams like Navy & Georgia Tech.

guy

August 18th, 2010
9:08 am

bird dog, the only complaining i see on here is from dawg (sic) fans.

14 sounds about right for tech for a preseason pick. tougher schedule this year, but hopefully the D will be improved. i’d sat two regular season losses would be a good season, and hopefully we can get a freaking bowl win this year…

Randall

August 18th, 2010
9:10 am

The 2 best pickers in college football, Athlon & Phil Steele, the most accurate, don’t even have Ga Tech in their top 25. Both have Georgia like #14-#18.

I’m going with Athlon & Steele instead of Tony’s predictions. Much more accurate and unbiased.

Black Coffee & Bourbon

August 18th, 2010
9:13 am

I’m a Nole fan and think that 15 is too high of a preseason ranking. We were 7-6 last year with a defense that could not stop anybody. Somewhere in the 20’s would be more realistic Tony!

PMC

August 18th, 2010
9:13 am

Can UNC hang with LSU without Marvin Austin?

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:13 am

“Turkey Neck and GT have earned the respect”? “Loaded and will easily win the ACC”? Winning the A SHE SHE is like being first in an ugliest girl contest. Ah, the Nerds and their comedic value. Always good for a morning chuckle.

Old Gold Britches

August 18th, 2010
9:13 am

Muttsville will be another year of looking in the rearview mirror of what they think should have been …..again.

Dawghater

August 18th, 2010
9:14 am

Hey “what”, sorry you got kicked out of UGA. I know you never received a “A+” in ANYTHING!

Thumper

August 18th, 2010
9:14 am

Reality Check……you must be a fairly young lad just full of pi$$ and vinegar. That’s good. But have you actually left your computer and spoken to ANY live Uga fan about how “all dawg fans” are “scared” of GT? Are you serious? You’re joking……right? Why don’t you give that a shot and let all of us whimpering dawgs on here know how that works out for ya. On second thought……….don’t do that. You’ll just get yourself embarassed in public for asking something so utterly stupid.

Wes

August 18th, 2010
9:14 am

Georgia will have a lot of doubters and cynics from critics like Tony B this year. These guys are not Richt fans. So consider the source. But the folks that get paid to make predictions, are very high on Richt’s coaching abilities, and on Georgia in 2010. So, Georgia fans, don’t let a ferw cynical reporters with poor track records sway you, Georgia will have an amazing year in 2010. Richt’s the best coach in the country.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
9:15 am

Tech is a bit higher than I think they should be. I would have had them around 18-20.

And Mack, did it occur to you that the reason Paul Johnson’s winning percentage is lower is because he coached at Navy? The fact that he won there suggests he might be a better coach than Richt.

Real Reality

August 18th, 2010
9:16 am

JB, I don’t deny any of what you just said. UGA was a program who should be envied by 95% of the college programs in the country. The problem is that none of those programs have ever won a nc. Better than average just is not good enough in the SEC. Aim higher than beating Tech, your SEC brethren sure do.

Dawghater

August 18th, 2010
9:16 am

Hey “what”, put your Puppy Dawgs on the field with VT and we will see how “she” UGA really is.

PTC DAWG

August 18th, 2010
9:16 am

Honestly, it’s good to see the GT fans excited. But all this about them being the dominant program, and winning 75% vs UGA is just talk….let them talk. they’ll realize it again late this fall. UGA runs this State.

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:17 am

Dawghater:

I hate to bust your bubble AGAIN: use “an” before a word or letter starting with a vowel such as “A+”.
Quit embarrassing youself any further and refrain from blogging!!

Dawghater

August 18th, 2010
9:19 am

“Real Reality” might want to find some “reality”. I can assure you if a program wants yearly success the program they don’t pattern themselves after is UGA! If you us a “short” list for your to read while your on the “short” bus you can start with Florida and then Alabama!

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:19 am

Dawghater:

If we had VT on our schedule I would see. Until then we will have to continue our dominance of the Nerds aka “A SHE SHE Champs”. 8 out of 9!!!

Dawghater

August 18th, 2010
9:20 am

“What” now take a walk out to the mailbox an see if that unemployment check came again today.

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:21 am

Dawghater:

What did I say about refraining from blogging? Your grammar is a complete embarrassment to all your fellow yellow wigged fans!!

Hot Seat

August 18th, 2010
9:22 am

How much longer are Ga fans going to put up with richt’s mediocrity? he’s not winning any more titles at Ga, since Bama and Florida rule the SEC. The only reason he won the SEC was florida and alabama were down with bad coaches in those years. Richt even lost 2 of 3 to the incompetent ron zook! Richt needs to go back to fsu or miami—he’s run his course at Ga.

Real Reality

August 18th, 2010
9:22 am

What? I’ll type this slow so you can read it easily, yes you guys have an admirable record in the last 10-12 years, just not the type of success that teams who compete for nc’s admire. If you guys are happy with slightly better than average in a conference where the nc is the target, then enjoy. UF, LSU Alabama, USC, Ohio State Texas, what do all of these teams have in common? They have all one nc’s in the last 10 years, and they would not be happy with the records at UGA. Just the reality, deal with it.

Sammy

August 18th, 2010
9:22 am

Even though Richt brough in a Saban quality defensive staff, and has an offense full of 10 stars that’s on everybody’s watch list, and the best special teams unit in the country, and the most consistent winner in football as the head coach, Tony STILL predicts doom and gloom for Georgia.

Saban tried to hire Gratham to run his defense, twice, at both Mich St & Miami, Belin’s LB’s are consistently all-conference, Lakotas’ DB’s are top 10 in nation consistently.

If Richt hired Nick Saban to run his defense, and had the #1 ranked QB running the offense, certain writers would rank Georgia out of the top 10. Some guys just don’t prefer Mark Richt’s teams, for whatever irrational reasons. Boy will they look dumb after the 2010 & 2011 seasons.

what?

August 18th, 2010
9:22 am

Dawghater:

Take a walk out to the bus stop and wait for your “short bus”!

Tony B ROCKS!

August 18th, 2010
9:22 am

Is the State of Georgia Big Enough for Johnson and Richt?

http://thegeorgiasportsreport.blogspot.com/

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
9:26 am

In the ACC I like the Noles hopefully they can turn it around.Go Noles!

hey tech fans

August 18th, 2010
9:26 am

we talked the talk and won the game, 30-24. UGA’S WORST>TECH’S BEST

4th down

August 18th, 2010
9:26 am

Reality Check, if not for one single player – Josh Nesbitt – who was Chan Gailey’s recruit – you nerds might not actually have a single meaningful win in PJ’s stint at Tech thus far. Nesbitt would have been a bust for Gailey but for PJ he has been a blessing of ultimate proportions. PJ hasn’t recruited anyone with JN’s ability to run the t.o. and if this Lee kid doesn’t commit you might not ever get one. PJ should start cutting JN check as soon as this season ends because without him you might already be on another coaching search.

L Dog

August 18th, 2010
9:27 am

Nothing new guys. Critics bashed Richt in 2001 & 2006 and predicted disaster in 2002 & 2007. Richt finished ranked in the top 3 in the final polls in both 2002 & 2007. Richt always follows a bad season with a top 3 season and National Championship run. It’s as sure as the sun rising. But the critics just repeat what other polls say, not using richt’s track record of 2002 & 2007, very similar season to 2010, to guide their thinking.