There is a lot of work to do at Georgia Tech

Nobody asked me this morning but:

1. There is a lot of work to do at Georgia Tech: Coach Paul Johnson said that Monday’s 14-7 loss to Air Force in the Independence Bowl was a “microcosm of the season.” He’s right. A year ago Georgia Tech was talented enough to overcome mistakes. This season they were not. A year ago there was a serious receiving threat with “Bay-Bay” Thomas. This season there was not.  Some thought freshman Stephen Hill was going to be plugged into that spot. He was not ready. Georgia Tech lost a lot when quarterback Joshua Nesbitt broke his arm against Virginia Tech. Tevin Washington has a chance to be a good quarterback but Tech could have used Jaybo Shaw (now at Georgia Southern) down the stretch. The defense played well until the last Air Force drive that ate up the clock. That side of the ball still needs some better athletes. It is going to be an interesting spring on The Flats. Johnson is going to look back at this season and not be happy. He shouldn’t be.

2. Tuberville had “no choice:” Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville finds himself without a defensive coordinator as his Red Raider team prepares to play Northwestern on Saturday in the Ticket City Bowl. I exchanged messages with Tuberville on Monday and he made it clear that he had no choice but to let Willis go. There are reports that Willis is talking to Florida and that Tuberville learned of it through a third party. Those reports have not been confirmed. This is not an unfamiliar situation for Tuberville, who will be hiring his eighth defensive coordinator in 16 years as a head coach. He had five defensive coordinators in his 10 years at Auburn. And yes, Tuberville is a former defensive coordinator.

3. Bill Stewart’s lame duck year begins:  West Virginia takes on N.C. State today in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando and thus begins what will be a strange chapter in Mountaineer football history. Stewart, who took over the program after Rich Rodriguez bolted for Michigan in 2007, will be a lame duck coach in 2011 and will then be replaced by Dana Holgerson, who was installed as offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting by West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck. Luck said he made the move because he didn’t think the Mountaineers could win a national championship on their current path.

If the national championship is the standard that’s going to make it tough for the next few coaches because West Virginia has been playing college football since 1891 and has NEVER won a national championship. The realistic goal at a place like West Virginia is to compete for the Big East championship every year and once in a while things come together and you have a special season, like Rodriguez did in 2007 and Don Nehlen had in 1988.

This is a pet peeve of mine. There just aren’t many places (Texas, Alabama, Ohio State are a few) where competing for a national championship on an annual basis is realistic. Now there are a bunch of places were competing for the conference championship should be a yearly goal. Because there is no playoff, winning a national championship is a function of luck as well as skill.

4. Notre Dame-Miami must stay on this side of the border: The Sun Bowl earned a reputation as one of the fun bowl trips for players because they would get a chance to leave El Paso and go across the Mexican border into Juarez and see a different culture. But now that is not possible because of a drug war that has claimed over 3,000 lives this year alone. So players at Miami and Notre Dame who have passports will have them collected before the trip and will not be allowed to cross the border.

5. Are there really too many bowls? Yeah, 35 is a lot. There are a bunch of them that I don’t see one minute of. But what I’ve learned is that a lot of these bowls aren’t for me or you. They are for the players at schools like FIU, which kicked a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Toledo 34-32 in a bowl in Detroit named after a pizza company. It was the biggest win for a school that has been playing football for only nine years. Then those kids got on a plane and were greeted by family and friends back at the Miami. You can’t put a price tag on memories like that. Nobody is going to remember that FIU finished 7-6  in 2010. They are going to remember that December night and that wonderful flight back to South Florida.

Having said all that, I still want a four-team playoff.

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365 comments Add your comment

Get Real

December 28th, 2010
9:03 am

This season is a microcosm of Georgia Tech football. You should worry more about Georgia. Some of us can still remember when they were relevant.

Bill

December 28th, 2010
9:04 am

First! Go Jackets!

Coach O

December 28th, 2010
9:06 am

Tubby is lucky to even have a job. Two of his OC hires at Auburn are still on their payroll, aren’t they?

BAMA Dude

December 28th, 2010
9:08 am

Tony, I don’t disagree about the bowls for the smaller schools who had very good seasons. I do, however, have a problem with teams like UGA, Tennessee, and GT going to bowls after bad seasons. Bama in 2007 was the same deal.

rough rider

December 28th, 2010
9:09 am

Six straight bowl losses ! Tech should refuse a bowl next year IF they are bowl eligible.

Coach O

December 28th, 2010
9:11 am

Six wins was good enough when the regular season consisted of ten games. With a twelve game schedule, no team with less than seven regular season wins should go bowling. We would get better bowl games with an eight win requirement.

J Clay

December 28th, 2010
9:14 am

Hey Joke by Coke – at least we won in Shreveport! No matter how you spin it – you’re still 2nd class losers in this state. No matter how fall UGA has fallen – they still own you.

Mike

December 28th, 2010
9:16 am

1. GT will always be second fiddle in it’s own state.

2.Tuberville should have gotten the Miami job.

3. Some programs need to remember who they are (PITT, WVU) and be happy with it.

4. Notre Dame beats Miami by at least 10 points in what will be a snowy and cold Sun Bowl Friday.

5. The bowl system is here to stay for the exact reasons you just mentioned…get used it.

dawgfan

December 28th, 2010
9:17 am

J Clay, the only losers are posters like you who think they were on the field with their team. You didn’t accomplish anything as a FAN. It’s the kids on the field that win or lose these games. Stop calling people losers that didn’t lose anything. Otherwise, you’re the loser.

Techster

December 28th, 2010
9:17 am

The problem I have with our season is that the atmosphere at Tickle Piles sucked. No one attended!!!

jumbeauxtiger

December 28th, 2010
9:17 am

Good article Tony and welcome back.

I would like to see the Cotton added as a 5th BCS bowl and then use the Plus One model. It would only result in one extra game for 2 schools.

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:18 am

gotta agree with Coach O on this one. Expanding the season to 12 games should raise the bar for bowl elgibility.

It also makes individual stats like Total Rushing Yards, pretty meaningless.

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:20 am

jumbeauxtiger

agree on the Cotton bowl. Never did unerstand why it wasn’t a BCS bowl to begin with….a lot more history there than the Fiesta

dawgfan

December 28th, 2010
9:22 am

You might know this Tony. What is the record for most consecutive bowl losses and how close is the Joke by Coke to achieving this remarkable feat? SIX bowl losses in a row and counting.

Come on Jackets. Let’s make history!!!

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:25 am

Have been chatting with Michigan State fans the past several days. Unusual bunch. A lot of them are resigned to getting thunped by Bama. I’ve explained that it really depends on which Bama team shows up.

A lot more are very resentful of the SEC. They seem to believe the SEC has advantages that other conferences don’t. Oversigning is a big deal apparently.

stendek

December 28th, 2010
9:25 am

It's over...

December 28th, 2010
9:26 am

Triple option exposed, talent gone, another bowl loss, another loss to UGA…..program in shambles….Johnson doomed.

BAMA Dude

December 28th, 2010
9:26 am

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:20 am
jumbeauxtiger

agree on the Cotton bowl. Never did unerstand why it wasn’t a BCS bowl to begin with….a lot more history there than the Fiesta

I’d guess it was the weather and facilities. The old Cotton Bowl is run down.

JDawg

December 28th, 2010
9:27 am

For my fellow UGA fans still reveling about our narrow win over Tech, sober up and soak in the fact that Air Force beat PJ and Co on a neutral field.

The fact is, we didn’t beat a single good team this season . . .

UGA really got it’s money’s worth with the football coaching staff, huh? Almost a million dollars per win. Enjoy, Richt and Co.

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:28 am

dawgfan

I hate to throw this stat out….but Bama had a run of seven years without a bowl win (one tie, and the rest losses), starting in the late sixties.

Of course we had a shabby coach at the time….some guy named “Bear”

Coach Cool

December 28th, 2010
9:30 am

Cotton Bowl had a crappy stadium. Now they have Jerry World.

I’m thinking the Orange Bowl is a good candidate to get bumped in favor of the Cotton Bowl.

Attendance there is pathetic, unless they’re hosting the Big One.

GT-Armchair QB

December 28th, 2010
9:31 am

AWFUL. ABSOLUTELY AWFUL!

You a DIV-I player on scholarship, and you can’t catch a darn punt? REALLY?

Tech better find another QB. Washington reminds me of Reggie Ball. Except, he’s not even as good as Reggie was.

jumbeauxtiger

December 28th, 2010
9:33 am

3rdN8,

I think the Cotton will be added when the next BCS contract renews. When I was a kid it was one of the top bowls. The new stadium is 2nd to none.

BILLY JACK

December 28th, 2010
9:33 am

TECH WILL ALWAYS BE 2ND CLASS NEXT TO UGA-HOW MANY BOWL GAMES HAS TECH LOST IN A ROW?8 OR 9 PATHETIC-IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE TECH–BURN IT DOWN AND START OVER.

Paul in RDU

December 28th, 2010
9:33 am

1) GT had the same problems in the game against AF as during the rest of the season – turnovers at bad times, poor special teams, a couple of stupid mistakes – plus one added one – inability to score points. Let’s see what CPJ will do to improve the team in 2011.
2) Isn’t the professional thing to do to approach the school and ask if you can approach an assistant coach? Nice start to Will Muschamp’s HC career at UF.
3) Who would have thought that WVU has crazier expectations than UGA?
4) I understand telling them not to cross into Juarez but collecting passports? Someone doesn’t trust their players.
5) There are way too many bowls.

Coach Cool

December 28th, 2010
9:35 am

dawgfan

Check out Notre Dame as well. They haven’t won a bowl game since 1994 (nine straight.)

However, look for them to knock out The “U” on Friday.

BAMA Dude

December 28th, 2010
9:35 am

jumbeauxtiger

December 28th, 2010
9:33 am
3rdN8,

I think the Cotton will be added when the next BCS contract renews. When I was a kid it was one of the top bowls. The new stadium is 2nd to none.

And, just as importantly, it has a retractable roof. If you’re going to play a huge money January game in Dallas then you need a dome to play it in.

RomeDawg

December 28th, 2010
9:38 am

Are you kidding? A loss to a service academy in a bowl? Low standards are the only thing keeping CPJ his job. Nice bowl record, Man boobs!

Dumbo

December 28th, 2010
9:39 am

3rdN8…..why is Fiesta a BCS bowl and not Cotton Bowl….part of the BCS bowl hype is for the fans, I don’t know about you, but playing out doors in Dallas in January can be a rather tingling experience for the sports fan. Myself, I rather be warm in the sun of AZ.
Talking about killing off some of the bowl games, if Blank gets the State to build the Falcons a new outdoor arena, well, you can kiss the Peach Bowl & SEC Championship goodbye. Went to one of the 1st Peach Bowl games at Grant Field….the wind was howling, it rained, it sleeted, it snowed and was so damned cold we left at halftime. Yes sir, that left a lasting impression on me, haven’t gone to a outdoor game any later than late October since, unless it was in a warm climate.

Paul in RDU

December 28th, 2010
9:40 am

Bowl losses –
From 1967-1974 Alabama under Bear Bryant went 0-7-1 in bowls (had a tie in the Bluebonnet Bowl) – he did pretty well after that.
From 1987-1993 Nebraska under Tom Osborne lost 7 consecutive bowls – he won NCs the next 2 seasons

saban

December 28th, 2010
9:42 am

Oh well once Central Florida, yes Central Florida sticks it to the dawgs things will be better.

Richt can be the hairdresser he always wanted to be, Grantham can sell little choak dolls and all the septic tanks in Athens will overflow with the wit and wisdom on Georgia fans.

Bobby

December 28th, 2010
9:42 am

How ironic is it that Tommy Tuberville is complaining about SOMEONE ELSE shopping around for a job? With the way he has bounced around chasing the dollar throughout his career he should never say anything about someone else who follows his example.

Dawg_Mike

December 28th, 2010
9:44 am

Hey Tony,
How many College coaches will be going pro this year?

The following NFL teams will likely need new blood…

CIN
HOU
CAR
SF
ARI
MIA
MIN
NY GIANTS
DEN
CLE
TENN

KD

December 28th, 2010
9:44 am

CPJ needs to eat his humble pie, take responsibility for his team/players not performing, get a darn special teams coach, and make it clear that all roles (incl. QB) are wide open next year. Either get fired up or get fired, CPJ.

dawgfan

December 28th, 2010
9:45 am

Thanks for the responses. It sure looks like Tech is closing in on something special. A few more years of Johnson at the helm and they could very well get there. His brilliant offense is now averaging 8 ppg in bowl games.

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:45 am

indoor stadiums….don’t like ‘em…..weather is part of the game.

It’s 24 degrees outside my house….and I ain’t sticking my nose out there….but I think all of you “fans” should be crowding thoses bleachers.

Mobile Dawg

December 28th, 2010
9:46 am

The bowls have gone pretty much the way the country has gone. Doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve earned anything, seems everyone is entitled to the fruits, whether they have been earned or not.

I also haven’t commented on the King issue at Georgia. If Richt has to stay for another year, or more, this would seem the perfect opportunity to let players know that it won’t be business as usual at UGA any longer. My belly has been full of the ineptitude going on in Athens for quite a while.

JDawg

December 28th, 2010
9:49 am

What about the Jags, Dawg_Mike? Jack is about 2 games over .500 in 8 seasons.

3rdN8

December 28th, 2010
9:50 am

Really surprised at the Tech team last night. I didn’t see GT play much this season, but have always thought a Paul Johnson team was well coached. That one last night looked anything but…

I guess some years, it just doesn’t work as advertized. I also don’t think his offense will work well against better defensive teams, unless GT can pass when needed.

Also…gotta give it up for Air Force. They only had two players on that squad who had offers from a Div I school. They had about eighty other players with more grit than you ever see in the SEC on Saturdays.

H-Back

December 28th, 2010
9:54 am

Tony:

Welcome back and Happy New Year. Great point about FIU and all the bowls, what a shot in the arm for their conference also (Sun Belt). I think the Iowa/Mizzou game tonight may be a pretty good game and all but 2 or 3 of the post January 1 bowl games are stinkers (Nevada vs. BC on January 9?).

BAMA Dude

December 28th, 2010
9:54 am

3rdN8, I don’t like them either, but you can’t put on the same show outdoors in 20 degrees that you can indoors. As always, it’s about money.

Ted M

December 28th, 2010
9:55 am

Its all CPJ’s fault. His special teams are a flat out embarrassment. Scott Blair is a good placekicker even still it appears as though the Jackets have the worst special teams in college football.

Does he not even have the backup return men practice? I’m staring to wonder if he thinks his “genius” triple option status precludes him from even caring about special teams.

Its all CPJ’s fault.

GTman

December 28th, 2010
9:55 am

As long as you keep playing 2nd and 3rd string players on special teams you are going to get 2nd rate results. Tech is not good enough/deep enough to play anyone but their best players on special teams. Many of these players played both ways in high school. It is not too much to ask to have many of the starters play on special teams. You expect a guy (#80) who never sees the field to go out and make one of the toughest plays in football? Poor Coaching again by CPJ. He is wrong if he thinks the only thing he needs to bother himself with is the next triple option play call. Be a head coach and be accountable for the whole team – looks like the assistant coaches are not capable.

Mike

December 28th, 2010
9:57 am

Coach Cool- ND won their last bowl game 49-21 over Hawaii in 2008. The record is nine, GT is at 6.

Mobile Dawg

December 28th, 2010
9:57 am

I know the retractable roofs are costly but they are the way to go for indoor football. Artificial turf should also be abolished. I don’t like watching a game on turf.

Paul in RDU

December 28th, 2010
9:59 am

3rdN8 – I agree with you about Air Force – showed lots of grit and determination.
Bob Davie did his usual “stellar” job as color commentator. My favorite was when he was talking about the Air Force’s “recruiting advantages” (”hey – you could fly a plane”). I am sure that for pro prospects the possibility of flying a plane trumps the minor disadvantage of having to spend 5 years in the military after graduation.

The Senator

December 28th, 2010
10:01 am

FIRE PAUL JOHNSON!!!!

Seriously, his offensive style is so old school for the level GT plays at that it’s like watching a junior high football team. This option style offense worked back in the day when Texas ran it, but come on guys, it is boring and obviously not going to pull any top qb or wide receiver recruits they will just go elsewhere.

NOVAJacket

December 28th, 2010
10:02 am

Johnson showed a lot of discipline by redshirting players who could have helped this year, especially after injuries occurred. Let’s hope it pays off in the long run…

Top Recruit

December 28th, 2010
10:03 am

Tony, do you care to respond to these items. Watched last quarter of Tech – Air Force game.
Special teams, punt return team. You have to find a player that can judge the flight of the ball and not come under it. See that with young baseball outfielders. Also need a player that does not field a ball high on their pads, bends knees, and body to cushion in the ball on a fair catch. Also, did you see that Tech varied their front line distance on the line of scrimmage. If you drop back to get an edge in return blocking, the Techies need to get their butts back there. I’d say Tech has some serious special team coaching problems more than players. I’ll follow up with some specifics on the AF defense alignment and the Tech QB and play calling on their last drive. Anothher major Tech coaching issue. Thought I’d lay these out there since you AJC people like to critique the hell out of CMR. Dawg alum. What do you think those items might be there Tony?

Nick

December 28th, 2010
10:03 am

The major flaw with the triple option, the #1 reason not a single NFL team runs it? If your 31 QB gets hurt, your season is over.

Paul Johnson is a poor strategist.

His 6-7 record is not his team’s fault, it’s 100% on him.