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

Spike

August 18th, 2010
11:10 am

Tech, I would not be ordering new rings to celebrate your once a decade win over UGA just yet.

5IML

August 18th, 2010
11:11 am

Boring or not, if Richt wins a national championship the media will make him seem interesting. And he and UGA will get the national coverage UGA fans hate Saban and Meyer for receiving. The same would happen for any number of “consistently good but never great” coaches (e.g. Frank Beamer).

Like the kids used to say a few years ago: Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
11:11 am

You’re telling that to a bunch of Falcons fans G8R Grad! Haha.

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
11:13 am

Hahahaha… Ugay is still talking about 2008. How long will he hang onto that squeaked out victory. It’ll be 2019 and he will still be on here saying “yeah, but we beat Georgia in 2008. Y’all take that!”

5IML

August 18th, 2010
11:13 am

G8R,

The firing was a bit much but wearing an opposing teams gear to the press conference was wrong. If a UF beat reporter wore a BAMA or UGA hat to one of Meyer’s press conferences, I have a feeling that reporter would not long be the UF beat reporter. Didn’t Meyer threaten to beat up a media guy last year?

Killa

August 18th, 2010
11:15 am

Georgia fans trolling hard. Already on page 3 and it’s not even 11:30. And why do you get on here and want to talk about Georgia football? If anything, at least talk trash about Georgia Tech. Nowhere in this article did it say anything about the University of Georgia.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
11:17 am

Well the title said, “Can GA Tech win another ACC Title?”

We have to laugh about that one

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:20 am

lewis: kind of like uga fans. “yeah, but we won a national title in 1980…”

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
11:23 am

Here’s the 50% of Saban’s bad seasons where he threw them away, stockpiling for a big season later:

1995 6-5-1
1996 6-6
1997 7-5
1998 6-6
2000 8-4
2002 8-5
2006 6-10
2007 7-6

Saban’s spent 16 years as a coach, 4 were 6 win seasons, 2 were 7 win seasons, 2 were 8 win seasons.

Saban has 6 seasons of 7 wins or less, Richt has 0.

what?

August 18th, 2010
11:26 am

Joe Dirt:

you have got to be the most delusional of delusional Tech Fans. Your excuses for losing to UGA last year are very old!!! Nesbitt did not miss almost a whole half of that game. Did you even watch the game? Your obsession with UGA is very scary….You are rambling off stats from a UGA PRACTICE? Man, without Georgia you wouldn’t be sh!t. BTW, recent history trumps past history meaning ‘09>’08. We are the reining state champs. NOT YOU!! I think our D stopped you pretty good even with Martinez calling the shots. I would be extremely embarrassed if I were a GT fan and lost on my homefield to a defenseless Bulldog team. Thank God (&Greyhound, for all you Nerds) that I am not a fan off the pi$$ colored Nerds!!!

BTW, don’t be jealous of Athens just because you got rejected once by a coed on your only visit there.

cindy hendrix

August 18th, 2010
11:27 am

I just want to say congrulations to Eric Zeier for being inducted into the circle of honor coming up at Butts Mehre the highest honor bestowed on former UGA players I remember watching all the games he played always exciting a smart poised QB that you could not shake up great poise he was my favorite all time QB for the younger people who don’t remember him go to you tube & watch some of his games & read about him & you will see why he put up the records he did great job Eric AIR ZEIER as he was called. AS ALWAYS GO DAWGS SIC EM WOOF WOOF WOOF!! GATA

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:28 am

Q: youre not going to convince anyone that richt is a better coach. saban has won national titles at two different schools. he knows what he’s doing. richt has won zero national titles. saban has three SEC titles to his name to richt’s 2.

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:29 am

what? recent history only trumps past history with tech though, right, as ive been told that florida’s impressive string of victories over the past 2 decades doesnt mean squat since uga won a bunch in the 20s and 30s. just want to make sure i understand how these things work…

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
11:31 am

Guy, I never said anything about UGA’s national title. But since you brought it up.. at least we didn’t have to share it with Colorado!

Lewis Grizzard

August 18th, 2010
11:33 am

Q, guy has nothing to brag about his s#itty school, so now he’s jumped onto the Alabama bandwagon.

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:33 am

and at least we didnt need 5 downs to get our part of it.

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
11:36 am

Guy, you’re not going to convince me that Saban, who has had 2 good seasons, is a better coach than Richt, who’s had 19.

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:37 am

no bama bandwagon here. i have degrees from gt and florida. just pointing out the (should be) obvious that saban is a better coach. richt is a better human being, and i’d probably rather have my kid play for him, but if youre talking about winning championships, saban (and meyer) is the winner hands down.

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
11:37 am

Saban’s tough guy acti works for 2 or 3 seasons, until the players get sick of him and run him off to another school. Saban never stays at 1 school for more than 5 years.

HugoStiglitz

August 18th, 2010
11:38 am

Saban also has 2 MNC, 3 SEC, and 5 division championships. All more then Richt has and with one less year in the SEC. If you want consistent 10 win seasons then Richt is your guy. If you want championships, then Saban is your guy. I know what I would prefer.

Paul is a Johnson

August 18th, 2010
11:39 am

Shut up about the UGA vs Tech National Championships. UGA hasn’t won one in 30 years and Tech hasn’t won one in 20 years! If you want to measure your program on NC’s alone we have both been irrelavant for a long long time.

G8R GRAD

August 18th, 2010
11:39 am

5IML:

As I recall, the Meyer incident involved the coach trying to protect one of his kids from the onslaught of media coverage after he (the kid) made a stupid mistake.

Not for the journalists headwear!

Fran

August 18th, 2010
11:40 am

I remember when Coach Wooden went 17 seasons without a National Championship. People said the same thing about him. Shows you how uninformed some of these bloggers are about sports.

G8R GRAD

August 18th, 2010
11:41 am

George:

So, I’m in good company?

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
11:41 am

There is a reason that Alabama wins but normally does’nt dismantle a team. I think I know why when Alabama gets a big lead or seems to have an advatage Alabama lets up alittle we’ve seen this before from the Georgia game in 08 to even the NC game when Colt McCoy went out of the game.I think I know why #1 Saban wins with class oh you will be dominated in other ways on the field but why show everybody what you don’t have to show and still get the win?It is a smart strategy IMO. Alabama could keep the pedal down and pad stats like Florida did and Texas and just pile up the points but instead Bama will let off the gas and bring in the back-ups or take a knee like when they beat Florida for the SEC championship last year while in touchdown/field goal range. We know Florida would’ve not let up and just piled up more points and stats but Saban has class and respect for other coaches. Other teams just keep it locked down and show everybody what they do.The coaches at Bama only show what they want you to see. Roll Tide!

John

August 18th, 2010
11:42 am

.769 win % for Richt against a .690 win % for Saban, right, we do know who’s the better coach. Good point.

Q Dog

August 18th, 2010
11:44 am

Richt’s had 15, top 5 finishes in the final polls.

Saban’s had 4.

GTdays

August 18th, 2010
11:44 am

Its about time someone ranked Miami correctly. Too many “experts” are drinking the coolaid of Hurricane teams of the past and ranking them in the top fifteen and even top 10. This is not a top college team – Harris is erratic at best and an interception machine at worst. Shannon has done little to make me think he is anything special as coach.

HugoStiglitz

August 18th, 2010
11:46 am

Fran, there are alot of coaches who went a long time without winning any national championships and didnt turn into John Wooden. One example of success in a completely different sport is not going to convince everybody that Richt is about to turn into a championship machine.

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:47 am

someone already said it john, but if you want consistent 10 win seasons with a few blowout losses thrown in then richt is your guy. if you want to win championships, id go with saban or meyer.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
11:48 am

Good point Guy.

Saban and Meyer get half the talent UGA draws and still wins NC. They would give anything to have the talent signing with UGA.

G8R GRAD

August 18th, 2010
11:51 am

Tide4u2c:

Nonsense.
UF sent Brantley and the alternates into most of the 4th quarters of the last two seasons.
We can’t help it if we continue to score with our B and C squads.
You may also recall, UF had an opprtunity to score yet another TD at the end of the SECCG in 2008 and stepped off the gas.

Steady GT Fan

August 18th, 2010
11:51 am

The key game for Tech is Sept. 25th at UNC. If we can win there and we should given last year’s game, we can win 2 out of the 3 tough games later in the season (VT, Clemson and Miami) once our defense has more time to gel. Who cares about the UGA game? We want to win the ACC again.

guy

August 18th, 2010
11:52 am

im no recruiting expert, nor do i put a lot of stock in those things, but im pretty sure UF has had consistently higher ranked recruiting classes than uga for at least the past 5 years or so.

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2010
11:52 am

FSU- I can see the noles finally having a breakout year. Defense should be improved and Ponder back on fire. I don’t see a championship though. Just a return to 9 wins or more and another step in the right direction.

Tech- Offensively the jackets will be stellar again. Defensively I have no idea but they can’t be any worse on their run defense than they were in the UGA game. I can see another ACC title for Tech and I think this is an appropriate ranking for them.

VT- Overrated this year. Good team this year and a top 20 team but not a top 15 team. Schedule is too tough and too many starters lost on D. And Tyrod Taylor I’m just not impressed with. Never have been. He’s the most overrated qb in college football.

Wisconsin- Its time we give the big 10 a little more love and I think Wisconsin deserves to be ranked here. The upper tier teams in the big 10 are decent football teams and they are physical- Iowa, Wisc, OSU, Penn St- they showed us last year in bowl season how physical they can be. I know I’ll get flamed for this, especially since I am an acknowledged SEC homer, but I really do think the top 4 Big 10 teams mentioned above are good, solid football teams.

UNC- The player/agent scandal here is a lot bigger than Tony is letting on. Its putting a pall over the program. I think UNC wasn’t that good to begin with and with the ensuing NCAA mess I see this team headed for a collapse. Wayyy overrated.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
11:54 am

Interesting that people are talking about their big games being UNC, Miami, Fl State, Clemson, Wake.

What if tech got to play UF, Ala, LSU, UGA, Tenn, Ark, Aub. Now that would be a conference.

yellowjacket1975

August 18th, 2010
11:54 am

And how you trolls forget, YOUR BEST UGA TEAM IN 20 YEARS (PRESEASON RANKED #1) LOST TO A YOUNG INEXPERIENCED TECH TEAM AT HOME IN 2008.

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2010
11:55 am

guy,

I follow recruiting very closely. Florida has had better classes than UGA over the last 5 years and this past year’s class was regarded as maybe being the greatest freshman class ever assembled. They just keep reloading and the class they got coming in is downright scary.

Chad

August 18th, 2010
11:57 am

11 of your #25-#11 are ACC or SEC teams…Come on Barnhardt, you gotta step away from the blatent southern prejudice. You’ve still got ten teams to go, and we all know you’ve got at least 5 more southern teams at the top. You can’t really expect 16+ of the top 25 to come from the two southern conferences.

Paul is a Johnson

August 18th, 2010
11:57 am

yellowjacket1975 – preseason #1 – and proves that we should have no preseason polls. #7 last year at home was during a legitimate poll. I hardly think anyone can be labeled inexperienced in November after having almost all of your games played.

LowCountryDawg07

August 18th, 2010
11:58 am

YOUR BEST UGA TEAM IN 20 YEARS (PRESEASON RANKED #1) LOST TO A YOUNG INEXPERIENCED TECH TEAM AT HOME IN 2008.

Ahh how you forget. Back at you. Your best ACC team lost to the worst ga team.

FOR REAL...

August 18th, 2010
11:58 am

Ive learned so much more about FOOTBALL reading Paul Johnson Interviews and Articles in 2 seasons than i have reading Richts articles in 10 seasons… it s almost night and day… Richt articles consist of ” I really think the black jerseys work and lets go swimming” compared to ” I just fired our defense coordinator after we won a league championship” … CHan Gailey Articles were were blah to!

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
11:59 am

The best football is played south of the Mason-Dixon line, Chad. I think the Big-10 is going to be a very strong conference this year but outside of about 4 teams there and Nebraska, I’m not sure who else should be a top 25 team from up north.

low low

August 18th, 2010
12:00 pm

low country you never play all of those teams at once.. just take a look at your schedule this year… and im pretty sure you get wooped by most of them anyway

George Stein

August 18th, 2010
12:01 pm

YellowJacket1975, we got smacked by UGA last year. We still almost won it, but if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle. Don’t give excuses. Suck it up like a man and demand better from Tech.

Otto

August 18th, 2010
12:02 pm

Saban had some bad NFL seasons, who cares?

He has won regularly in college and I’d take a rare 8 win season to go to the SECCG 50% of the time. I’d take that over 10 wins year in year out.

Tide4u2c

August 18th, 2010
12:02 pm

G8R GRAD,

Are you serious? Are you trying to argue that Florida did’nt keep the gas down and pile up the points? Cause I watched it many times with the game won and Tebow is still in there just piling on more points.We are talking even easy the gimme games too. To sit there and deny it only makes you blind to how your coach operates and he loves to pile up the points and pad stats.That is how he operates and everybody knows it, that is how he rolls like it or not.Mack Brown does it too.Some coaches choose to coach that way and they win others coaches don’t and they win.

Chad

August 18th, 2010
12:08 pm

I agree with you that the south has the best teams. However, I’m willing to bet the house that there won’t be more than 15 combined SEC and ACC teams in the final top 25 polls. Wins and losses against each other just don’t allow for that to happen. So far the list is weighted way too much to the SEC and ACC just for the sake of stirring up interest amongst his readership–Atlanta is the hub of the south and the article appears in the AJC. I think it leaves Tony open for criticism questioning his honesty by leaving out the rest of the country.

xRandy Shannonx

August 18th, 2010
12:09 pm

If you wonder if FSU has the horses to be really good, how can you put them at 15? Oh yeah, because you are an FSU homer. They are a minimum of a 3 loss team. Keep discounting the Canes, you always do.

Dorsey Hill

August 18th, 2010
12:10 pm

I have a real hard time understanding how Tech loses Dwyer, D. Thomas and Morgan and doesn’t miss a beat. Stephen Hill may make some plays, but isn’t going to be as good as Thomas was this season and I don’t think that Tech has anyone as good as Dwyer. As for the D, schemes do not cover up for poor talent. Further, Tech cannot replicate in practice what its D will see on Saturdays which is the real problem, not schemes and coaching. The same offensive advantage Tech has by knowing that its opponents won’t be able to show its D the triple option is the same disadvantage Tech’s D has when it has to prepare for a pro-style offense. Tech finishes out of the Top 25 this year IMHO and will slide into mediocrity as less and less talent become interested in being part of Johnson’s offense. Losing Nick Marshall who could have been a star in Johnson’s system at QB because he’d rather play DB or WR at Georgia is the beginning of the end. When Nesbitt finishes and ends up back in Greene Co. rather than the NFL, you can start nailing the coffin shut.