Updated Tech bowl scenarios

1. Georgia Tech doesn’t need added incentive for Saturday’s game against Georgia. But if it wants it, here it is. The Yellow Jackets are likely destined for a repeat trip to the Sun Bowl if they fall to Georgia Saturday and then to Florida State in the ACC title game.

Should the Jackets beat Florida State, they’ll head to the Orange Bowl. But if they lose both, they’ll fall to 6-7 and probably be passed up by the two bowls that pick first and second after the BCS bowls in the ACC’s selection order, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Russell Athletic Bowl (formerly the Champs Sports Bowl).

The Sun Bowl, where the Jackets lost to Utah last year, is contractually obligated to select the ACC runner-up if it’s available. Tech players and coaches enjoyed the trip to El Paso, Texas, but likely would prefer a different destination.

At 6-7, the Jackets would first require a bowl-eligibility waiver from the NCAA to be considered as a team with a sub-.500 record, a matter that school, ACC and bowl officials don’t expect to be a problem. Regardless, they have far greater appeal at 7-6 with a win over Georgia than they do at 6-7.

“I do think the Georgia game is big just because of the overall record,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan, who oversees the Russell Athletic Bowl, held in Orlando. “It’s hard to ignore that.”

Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan passed on the opportunity to comment on the candidacy of a 6-7 Tech team.

“I try not to get too far ahead and kind of let them play their season out,” he said.

Clemson will be a factor, as it could be selected as an at-large BCS team. In that case, that would leave the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which chooses first, likely choosing N.C. State if it can win its final game against Boston College to reach 7-5.

2. Stokan’s other choices, officially, are Duke (6-5, playing Miami) and possibly Wake Forest (5-6, playing Vanderbilt) and Virginia Tech (5-6, playing Virginia). If Clemson is not taken by a BCS bowl, it will automatically go to the Chick-fil-A because of its conference record being more than one game better than any other candidate.

Here’s how I see this playing out.

Scenario 1 – Tech wins ACC Championship game and goes to Orange Bowl.

Projected opponent: Rutgers or Louisville. That’d be a ratings block preserver.

Scenario 2 – Tech beats Georgia and loses to Florida State – I’d think Tech goes to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, so long as Clemson goes to a BCS bowl (or, as bowl officials say, “stays up.”) Tech would have a better league record than N.C. State and a win at Georgia would compare favorably with the Wolfpack’s win over Florida State. Plus, Tech would be finishing strongly (last game excepted) while N.C. State would have lost three of its last five and also was just in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

But Tech fans have to pull for Clemson to beat South Carolina, otherwise the Tigers automatically go to the Chick-fil-A.

If Clemson stays up, so long as Tech doesn’t get blown out by the Seminoles, I’d think the Russell Athletic would take the Jackets. If Tech does get drilled, then it may be the Sun Bowl.

Projected opponent: South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A, Louisville or Rutgers in the Russell Athletic.

Scenario 3 – Tech loses to Georgia and loses to Florida State – Looks like the Sun Bowl. I don’t think the Russell Athletic Bowl wants any part of a team with a losing record, even though, obviously, Tech’s extra loss would have come from being in the championship game. I’d think perception is no small matter here.

Projected opponent: USC, Washington or Arizona.

As much as players and coaches enjoyed their stay in El Paso last year, as did I, I don’t know how much enthusiasm there’d be for that. You can only eat so much Mexican food.

3. Question: Would the good folks at Russell Athletic make their feelings known about having a team they outfit in their bowl?

Answer: They might, but it probably wouldn’t mean much.

“We don’t make decisions based on a sponsor’s choice,” said Steve Hogan, Florida Citrus Sports CEO and also a new father. “I don’t mean we don’t care; we do very much. (But) we try always to do the best thing, the right thing, by the players on the field.”

I talked to him for about 10 minutes and he must have mentioned the importance of a winning record four or five times. He wouldn’t directly say that they wouldn’t take Tech at 6-7, but he said just about everything besides that.

4. (Warning – this is about to become 10 times more cryptic than those ACC tiebreaker posts from last week.)

Hopefully you aren’t so versed on NCAA rules that you were aware of this, but in August the NCAA approved a new process for addressing situations in which there aren’t enough bowl eligible teams to fill the 35 bowls. (Link to useful story here) The NCAA created an order by which ineligible teams could be approved, starting with 6-6 teams with a win over an FCS team. Second is 6-6 teams with two FCS wins.

The third group in the list is teams that were 6-7 with a loss in the conference championship, which could conceivably include Tech.

As is often the case with NCAA legislation, there is some confusion over how this actually could apply to Tech. I should point out that the waiver petition that Tech would file next week if it lost to Georgia is a separate matter from the process created in August. UCLA filed a similar waiver last year when it went into the Pac-12 title game at 6-6. Conceivably, Tech could file a waiver if it had gone 0-12 if it wanted to.

However, this new protocol may affect the potential waiver, since there is now a rule that addresses how deserving a 6-7 team is in comparison with other teams that aren’t bowl eligible.

“There’s really no way to predict whether or not that would be viewed differently since we now have this protocol that we didn’t have last year that teams that aren’t eligible,” an NCAA spokesman told me Monday.

That said, as noted above, Tech, ACC and bowl officials were confident that the Jackets could get a waiver if necessary, as they could claim precedent with UCLA. There is the thought that once a team becomes eligible, it can’t become ineligible.

Said Stokan, “I don’t think Tech would have a problem.”

There are, if you’re wondering, 62 teams for the 70 bowl slots. I believe 13 teams could gain eligibility this weekend with a sixth win, and I believe seven are favored to win. Obviously, the number of ineligible teams – North Carolina, Miami, Ohio State and Penn State, for starters – has made this issue relevant.

One thing for sure is that at least one of the ACC’s seven bowls won’t get an ACC team. Only five teams are eligible right now, and at most seven teams will become eligible. At least one and possibly two could go to BCS bowls, which could mean as few as three teams (title-game loser, Duke, N.C. State) would be available for the ACC’s seven bowls. In that case, the other four would be free to choose whomever they wanted.

5. Speaking of which, sort of, Miami coach Al Golden gave Tech some affirmation on the ACC coaches teleconference: “It’s a credit to Coach (Paul) Johnson and his team and the adversity that they overcame and really how they played down the stretch. Obviously, we’re disappointed we don’t have the opportunity, but I think at the same time, Coach Johnson would tell you he’s proud of how the team has pulled together.”

6. So, back to the exciting world of FCS wins. You may remember how Tech had to scramble to rearrange its schedule when the ACC, back when it had 12 teams, and ESPN asked (demanded) that Tech play Virginia Tech in the Labor Day season opener. Tech was handcuffed, because it wanted to preserve its bye week for later in the season, so it was looking for an FCS team it could play on short rest.

However, then-athletic director Dan Radakovich and associate AD Ryan Bamford wanted to find an FCS team that would count as a win toward bowl eligibility, meaning an FCS team that gave out 90 percent of its maximum 63 scholarships over a rolling two-year period. Savannah State was interested in playing Tech, for instance, but it didn’t meet the threshold, so Tech passed.

Said Bamford, “We just didn’t want to take the risk if we didn’t have to.”

That’s partly how Tech ended up with Presbyterian. In the event Tech stays at six wins, it’ll be bowl eligible because of that decision. So if Tech ends up back in El Paso and Bamford gets left behind, you’ll know why.

7. I realize this may be perceived as a rather Debbie Downer post, as it’s mostly examining the possibility of Tech being 6-7. (Cue sad cornet noise) My response would be that a blog post examining the ramifications of Tech winning the ACC title game would be one sentence long.

109 comments Add your comment

00Burdell

November 21st, 2012
3:06 pm

F-f-f-f-first!

5150 UOAD

November 21st, 2012
3:18 pm

All that What COULD happen makes my head hurt. I will just wait until the season is over. I like Nashville and the Music City Bowl. The Military Bowl in D.C. would be a great trip and they gave the best SWAG last year.

Mama Says

November 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

No worries Ken, we need the what ifs and whys in order to fully understand where our team fits in.

Cuttysark

November 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

Is the winner of Rutgers/Louisville going to be in the Orange Bowl against the ACC Champion?

Ken Sugiura

November 21st, 2012
3:28 pm

Cuttysark – it’s not mandatory, but Orange Bowl gets last pick of BCS teams, which includes Big East winner, so probably.
Mama says – thanks.

fuzzybee78

November 21st, 2012
3:30 pm

Ken, we love ya anyway!

Frankly the loser is FSU if they get Rutgers or Louisville. The should get UGA of SC in the Orange Bowl assuming AL beats um. This gets solved I believe in a year or two with the new ACC Orange Bowl deal with SEC/BIG/ND correct?

Ken Sugiura

November 21st, 2012
3:30 pm

more specifically, Big East champion has to be selected for a BCS bowl.

GT Lee

November 21st, 2012
3:35 pm

or we could just beat uga and “not need no stinkin’ waiver”…….

fuzzybee78

November 21st, 2012
3:39 pm

More mental gymnastics for my Jacket brothers —Here is an article on the new Orange bowl format from ND perspective with SEC or Big 10 options starting in 2014.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-15/sports/chi-notre-dame-football-orange-bowl-berths-limited-in-new-deal-20121115_1_orange-bowl-committee-dame-spokesman-john-heisler-acc

GT

November 21st, 2012
3:54 pm

We can beat Georgia.

JoeFan

November 21st, 2012
3:58 pm

Tech should just decline the ACCCG and thus preserve at worse a 6-6 record and a bowl invite with still the opportunity to finish with a winning record and break the bowl losing streak. Would really be a downer to loose the last 3 games of this ugly season.

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I love Jan Kemp

November 21st, 2012
4:27 pm

Ken, all Im hearing is Ga dont have classes this week and is free to practice all they want, is the same true for Tech?

Beat UGA

November 21st, 2012
4:48 pm

Simple as that (to say)

Stinger 1

November 21st, 2012
4:48 pm

Joe Fan may be right. I don`t think GT can beat either UGA or Fla. St. The only advantage for playing and losing in the ACC Championship game is that the team
(assuming it gets a waiver at 6-7) will make some money off the Sun Bowl and get the extra practice time.

david

November 21st, 2012
5:12 pm

ken ga tech will upset georgia and florida state no worries

Just Asking?

November 21st, 2012
5:19 pm

What in this whole season makes anyone think GT can win another game this year? I haven’t seen anything. I mean, I’m Just Asking?

Tech Guy

November 21st, 2012
5:37 pm

If Tech beats UGA and UGA beats Bama, what does that say about the Big-Bad SEC?
The Irish would play the Ducks for the crysatal football.

Jacket Detective

November 21st, 2012
5:45 pm

What in this whole season makes anyone think Baylor (losing record) can upset Kansas State (undefeated)? I mean, I’m just answering with a question.
After FSU had beaten Georgia Tech 12 times in a row, who thought we had a chance to beat them two times in a row?

yellowfever

November 21st, 2012
6:14 pm

Been a Tech fan for 50 something years. Always has been and always will be that defense wins football games. I’m sorry but Tech hasn’t had a really good defense since 1990. Now anyone who thinks Tech can hold the dogs to anything less than 45 points is dreaming. And if you really think Tech can hang more than 45 on jawga then your just plain stupid.

jambee3

November 21st, 2012
6:14 pm

Ken – thanks for the he said she said but I would much prefer an 8-5 Orange Bowl appearance. I’m not a gambling man and if I were I’d be poor. But that would be a helluva turnaround from walking out in a daze after Miami, MTSU, and BYU.

yeller bug

November 21st, 2012
6:20 pm

Wow, Ken writing about all bad scenarios, people wanting to forego the ACC so we keep a 6-6 record (implying the loss to the slobberhounds), people worried about being 6-8….heck let’s just shut down the football program. Granted this season has been major u-u-u-ugly, but here we are with 3 games left and the potential to achieve 3 pre-season goals–beat UGA, win the ACC and win a BCS bowl. Forget about how we got here, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, be thankful that we have this opportunity—a multitude of sins will be forgiven if we win out…..so take it one game at a time, play loose and prove people wrong about this team. To finish 9-5 and in the top 25 would be like hitting a shot into the woods and then into a water hazard and then into a trap, but somehow saving par. This is all upside from here on out!

JeffersonJacket

November 21st, 2012
6:40 pm

Great post by yeller bug! Tech is going to tee it up and give it their best shot. Hell, what have they got to lose. It’s football, who knows what will happen. GO JACKETS! THWG!

Rick James

November 21st, 2012
6:42 pm

The simple solution that teams with subpar records stay home.Even if they back into the conference championship game..Tech does not a great record and its fans dont travel.The last thing the Chik-fil-A bowl is a team that wont sale tickets nor fill hotel rooms..I think the honorable thing for Tech to do would be to pass on any post season bowl game unless they beat both Georgia and FSU.

1 4 GT

November 21st, 2012
6:58 pm

I am highly offended that there is another Georgie article/blog on the Tech blog page. The dwags have a page of their own, but the muckity mucks @ the AJC (dwag homer news/sports outlet) have put 2, count ‘em 2, Georgie articles on the Tech page. The dwags have 3 blogs to one and that is OK by me because we have the best reporter. Now the dwags are invading our blog page. WHY?!?!

Moobs Johnson

November 21st, 2012
7:14 pm

Tech looking at a 6-8 record when it’s all over. Sad that it is the number three program in the state, one step behind GA Southern, and a few ahead of GA State.

jacket fan in wisconsin

November 21st, 2012
7:15 pm

Well, I hate to say it, but I don’t see Tech beating either the Dawgs or the Noles. We don’t have enough defense to get their offenses off the field long enough to enable us to score enough to beat either one of them……does that make sense ? They will both beat us at our own game, by controlling the clock, making crucial 3rd downs with short passes and power runs behind dominating offensive lines. I wish it wasn’t so, but our D line is soft……big problem.

FLY SWATTER

November 21st, 2012
7:25 pm

CANT WAIT TO BEAT THEM BUGS!!!!!

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steel eye

November 21st, 2012
8:05 pm

REALITY CHECK!!!!! Tech is not going to beat UGA or Florida State. So they might get an invitation to some “toilet bowl” game. My question is: Why bother?? Let’s say they go to the Sun Bowl again. How many Tech fans would make the trip? Energy level in the stadium would be near zero. Dud game. Just take a pass.

BILLY JACK

November 21st, 2012
8:08 pm

LOOKS LIKE TECHS GOING TO THE SUN BOWL.

GSU1991

November 21st, 2012
8:34 pm

Time to decommission about 20-25 Bowls. Post season participation should require nothing worse than 7-4 record. Not even a “conference champion”.

cpj

November 21st, 2012
9:00 pm

Looks like the Sun Bowl for sure.

Dawg-hatin' Jacket

November 21st, 2012
9:11 pm

@steel eye: why bother? A bunch of extra practice time, that’s why.

I don’t know if we’ll beat either of the next two overrated opponents, but nobody exceot the Baylor players and coaches thought they’d beat Kansas St. What if they just took a pass? You b*tt sniffing mutts wouldn’t be licking your NC chops right now. Let’s tee it up. If we lose, we lose. But it we win, you trolls will disappear like rats off a sinking ship. THWrhUGA.

FireJacket

November 21st, 2012
9:16 pm

What a bunch of pessimists. Let them play the games already. These posts make me sick.

Tech Forever

November 21st, 2012
9:21 pm

Georgia – 45
Tech – 24

93 Dawg

November 21st, 2012
9:30 pm

“ACC Coastal Champion” needs Bowl Eligibility Waiver. Classic!

First of all, who among us ever heard of a “Bowl Eligibility Waiver”? But now that I have heard of it, who more fitting to need it than gt?! I know it’s not their fault. Dog-gone Miami AND UNC are ineligible to represent the division.

The acc should be so proud. gt making the conference so proud

RambleOn84

November 21st, 2012
10:18 pm

Can’t wait til we beat the Puppies this Saturday…

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 21st, 2012
10:34 pm

yeller bug at 6:20 absolutely has the right attitude. I suppose miracles can happen but tell me, is anyone going to be feeling good about our chances Saturday if we fall behind by any more than a TD. It’s almost a must for us to score first. I know there’s 4 quarters but if we can draw first blood, the game just might be tight the rest of the way. Go down more than a score in the first half and it’s looking bleak. I know it happened in 2008 but I don’t think we can count on it happening like that again.

Discount DoubleDawg

November 21st, 2012
10:50 pm

hey guys, I am curious about your thoughts on how to improve the Tech (football) program… what would you do in order to get 2-3 more wins per year? seriously, I know the typical jokes with this question… but what would you really suggest? I think tech could be so much more…jokes aside, why can’t tech expect more than 6-8 wins per year?

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 21st, 2012
11:08 pm

DDD – most would probably say an improved defense and kicking game, assuming the current coaching regime of course. Having a good kicker can make an awful big difference, not just in scoring but field position which then goes hand in hand with a defense that might bend but doesn’t break all the time. You are right, 6-8 wins is about all we can expect if we continue to rely on outscoring the opponent. We made some strides in special teams but now need a stud kicker and a better defensive scheme.

Discount DoubleDawg

November 21st, 2012
11:12 pm

Gr8- tech is within a 60 mile radius of the most incredible football talent… many of these kids CAN qualify to be admitted to tech… james franklin gets kids/parents excited about vandy… why can’t cpj do that with tech?

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 21st, 2012
11:15 pm

and when I say kicking game, I am mainly talking a kicker. With our offense, we can live with a marginal punter but a kicker that can reliably kick a 40+ fg might keep this coach from going for it every 4th down. What really makes my blood boil is when he does that on our own end – coaching stupidity at its finest. When your defense is weak and you give the opposition a short field, well most armchair coaches know how that looks.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 21st, 2012
11:20 pm

DDD – yeah, size on defense is usually an issue for us but I’m not totally convinced our talent level is that far down. The 3-4 under Groh was just too much to implement especially with all the hurry-up offenses these days. I think we’ve got enough good kids in the pipeline (could always use more), but we haven’t used them all properly to this point. Gotsis, Cummings, Kallon all bode well for the future. Too bad Tuitt got away.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

November 21st, 2012
11:24 pm

and we’ve got some top OL recruits expected next year. Hopefully this little resurgence has revitalized their commitments. Talent isn’t the whole problem. Coaching decisions are questionable in my mind. We might have another win or two if Vad Lee played more than he has up to now, IMHO.

Discount DoubleDawg

November 21st, 2012
11:25 pm

Tuitt is a beast and should have gone to Tech… my point is this… Tech could be a strong team but they make excuses and don’t push hard enought to be better. just look at james franlin as an example of what I am talking about. UGA could work harder also…

What?

November 22nd, 2012
1:05 am

Why do you think Vandy is worthy to aspire to? They are 7-4, with wins over Presbyterian, A 5-6(2-5) Missouri team that just lost to Syracuse, Umass, and 4 other SEC teams that are a combined 2-26 in SEC play. Vandy is garbage. Half of the SEC is garbage. Bama is a great team. LSU, A&M, Uga and USC are good, and UF has a great defense with zero offense. But the rest is plain trash. Uga beat Vandy by 45 points this season. I’m sure you would love for Tech to aspire to be that, but not me sir. Vandy’s next win over a team with a winning record will be it’s first.

Vandy?

November 22nd, 2012
5:45 am

Vandy and James Franklin would have a losing record if they had Tech’s schedule. Somebody somewhere sometime is going to expose all this automatice greatness because of SEC affiliation. I don’t know how good a coach Franklin is but he is no where near the level of Coach Johnson. You do realize that he has won 2 coach-of-the-year awards? If that don’t excite you, what does?

GT Rich

November 22nd, 2012
7:19 am

Baylor pulled off the improbable upset. GT can too. Ga Southern moved the ball very well in the first half. UGA defenders took bad angles, let themselves get blocked. If not for that chop blocking penalty (which was legit), Southern could’ve scored a touchdown, taken the lead into the half and left no time on the clock. GT has better talent than Southern and will shock everyone except themselves by keeping it close. 35-28 final score — my only hope is that GT is on the good side of those numbers…

Coach Z

November 22nd, 2012
8:03 am

I think Tech has to come out and score on their first possession and if they can hold the Dawgs offense on the following drive that should, or vice versa they can get that crowd to settled down (because the crowd will be a factor in this one.) Second, we’ll have to have some tricky, quick strike scores, like the TO pitch to Days who plants his feet for a pass down field. Another quick score like that, regardless of the Bulldogs play will be helpful in continuing to run the option successfully. Lastly, I think Johnson has another quasi-fake, brewing in that wishbone formation. Like a play-action pass… I really hope TW is on his A-game in his first two possesions, this will be the most crucial time for Tech. Defensively, Tech just needs to guard the pass and prevent quick strikes by UGA. The more time that is consumed on the clock the better for Tech that’s why I hope Tech gets the ball first drives 75 yards in 8 to 10 minutes and scores a TD. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!