Notes: Tech-USC nearly happened last year

Greetings

A few notes regarding Georgia Tech’s bowl date with Southern California Dec. 31 at the Sun Bowl.

1. It’s the third time that Tech has played in the same bowl in consecutive years. The first two times were the Sugar Bowl to finish the 1952 and 1953 seasons. On the first trip, Tech beat Mississippi 24-7 to complete a 12-0 season and win a share of the national championship. That team, you may remember, was honored earlier this season. The next year, Tech won the Sugar Bowl again, 42-19 over West Virginia.

The other instance was back-to-back trips to the Gator Bowl at the end of the 1998 and 1999 seasons, a 35-28 win over Notre Dame (Tech’s fifth bowl-game win in a row; Joe Hamilton had 356 yards of total offense) and a 28-13 defeat to Miami.

2. The bowl game brings together a matchup that was almost put together for the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan had coach Paul Johnson and then-athletic director Dan Radakovich on board, as well as USC coach Lane Kiffin, but talks dried up when USC AD Mike Garrett was fired and replaced by Pat Haden.

Incidentally, I had a poster of Haden, then a L.A. Rams quarterback, on my wall as a child. I think my parents have thrown it away. No disrespect to Mr. Haden, but I find it a curious choice for a child growing up in suburban Chicago. I also had Earl Campbell, Ken Burroughs and Walter Payton, among others.

Back to Stokan. I talked to him a couple weeks ago, and asked about the possibility of Tech playing in the kickoff game, a popular topic among fans, it seems. He said he’s booked through 2014, but is going to start looking to fill dates in 2015-16-17. He noted that Notre Dame planning to begin its series of five games with ACC teams in 2014, that could create some possibilities with Tech or other teams in the ACC.

Nothing, though, is imminent.

3. This will be USC’s first bowl after its two-year bowl ban. Said Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, “It’s very exciting, especially after two years of sitting at home and not being able to go to a bowl game.”

4. I’m not sure we’ll ever get the full story, but the possibility of Tech dropping past the Sun Bowl never materialized, obviously. Tech officials, as I’ve noted, were open to the idea, both because they figured the Sun Bowl might want a different team and coaches and players might prefer a new destination.

Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas said Sunday night that the bowl decided to honor the contract obligating it to take the ACC runner-up if available. Interestingly, the El Paso Times reported last week that there was also another clause in the contract that allowed the Sun Bowl to avoid picking a team in consecutive years, but Olivas wasn’t sure which rule took precedence.

Water under the bridge.

5. The Sun Bowl had the third pick of Pac-12 teams after the BCS games. Stanford will be in the Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl picked up Oregon. After that, the Alamo Bowl took Oregon State (9-3) and the Holiday Bowl chose UCLA (9-4). The Sun chose between Arizona (7-5) and USC (7-5).

6. Due to the extended season, Tech players won’t have much time to recuperate. A year ago, the team took a week off before beginning practice the day after the announcement Dec. 5. The Jackets won’t practice Monday or Tuesday, but could begin shortly thereafter.

Tech can practice 15 times between now and the bowl game. Starting Wednesday, that’s a 25-day window until the 29th, the last day that the team would practice. Final exams run Dec. 10-14, all of next week. It’s conceivable Tech would not use all 15 practices. USC coach Lane Kiffin said he figured his team would practice 13 to 15 times and start Wednesday.

7. There’s nothing up on the Tech website about bowl tickets yet. I imagine something will be posted soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

123 comments Add your comment

ylojkt

December 3rd, 2012
10:22 am

Biff Pocoroba

December 3rd, 2012
10:39 am

The Sun Bowl probably agreed to take Tech if they could get out of their deal with the ACC after this season. Not many people on the east coast want to travel that far after their team had a mediocre season. Tech will also buy a few hundred tickets to donate to charity so they can get points and be sure to be allowed to purchase tickets next year when PJ brings back the excitement to sold out Bobby Dodd.

www

December 3rd, 2012
10:47 am

today’s moment of zen – an unrelated GIF of calvin johnson making a play

http://deadspin.com/5964979/megatron-makes-it-look-easy-your-sunday-nfl-gif-roundup-updated

juvenal

December 3rd, 2012
11:01 am

will we see tw run more 4th & short or 2 pt coversions?

The New ACC

December 3rd, 2012
11:02 am

Hard to believe USC was preseason #1. This shows how much these “voting guys” really know.

Ben

December 3rd, 2012
11:15 am

Hey, we’re up against one of the worst and most overrated coaches in the history of the game, Tech should have a decent shot in this one!

Jmonty

December 3rd, 2012
11:25 am

I just hope that GT can beat USC. It would be nice to see us actually win a bowl game. I’m not getting my hopes up. Until GT decides to get a coach that knows what defense is, we’ll always suck.

btgt69

December 3rd, 2012
11:28 am

Ken,,great job as usual ,, one on your previous articles was time dated 4;13 AM,, looks like you got some sleep. I will go to El Paso for vacation and the game. Hopefully Orwin will be back at full speed and that the flu bug has died and gone away. BTW, you owe me a beer or a margarita!

JM

December 3rd, 2012
11:32 am

Stoken won’t ask GT because his game is all about bringing away teams into the city for hotel, restaurant and entertainment revenue. The Atlanta sports council cares very little about the sports in Atlanta, which is Ga Tech.

steve furney

December 3rd, 2012
11:36 am

USC will be favored over the Jackets by at least 14 points – with the run and gun offense and to speak of no defense -USC win easily over the Johnson run oriented offense – at least it will be Washington’s last ball game and hopefully Johnson’s too.

Fuzzz...

December 3rd, 2012
11:40 am

The last time GT played USC on Sept. 22, 1973 it was my first GT football game at Grant Field 39 years ago. Wow does time fly. Lynn Swann ran a punt back for a TD but we held Anthony (AD) Davis to 71 yards rushing and Pat Haden was the QB. GT had Randy Rhino, QB Jim Stevens and WR Jimmy Robinson. Also LB Joe Harris who later played with the Rams in the Super Bowl.

SansWorld

December 3rd, 2012
11:45 am

poster’s of Haden, Earl Campbell, Ken Burroughs and Walter Payton

you must be about my age, but you look much younger

realist

December 3rd, 2012
11:51 am

Another blow out loss coming

GT Dude

December 3rd, 2012
11:51 am

Play the way we did in the 2nd half at Charlotte and we will be alright.

SansWorld

December 3rd, 2012
11:52 am

“USC win easily over the Johnson run oriented offense”

USC will be a challenge, but they certainly are suseptiable to the run, they gave up over 1,100 yards rushing in their five losses.

11 of 12

December 3rd, 2012
12:01 pm

I hate Lane Kiffin. Go Jackets.

Kiffin is bad for the sport and a jerk!

fuzzybee78

December 3rd, 2012
12:02 pm

Wish the elder Kiffin were on to other adventures—- remember Iowa’s old DC! ouch! But I dont think they have anybody named Clayborn playing for USC.

SansWorld

December 3rd, 2012
12:03 pm

Curious if the crepe hangers and doomsayers are disappointed when Tech wins or has a decent performance. Do you actually root against the Jackets in these games? If so is it because you want to validate your prediction, or do you just want to hasten the firing of a coach you don’t like?

I live in Arkansas now, whose season has made GT’s look like a model of stability. I swear that most Hog fans really enjoy losing more than winning because it gives them a chance to gripe. There is a psychological element too: let’s face it most Arkansans live a miserable life in one way or another, at least a lose by their team gives them a chance to cast the blame for their misery at the feet of another. Overall, I suppose it makes them feel better.

Ralph Reality

December 3rd, 2012
12:06 pm

This game is almost as inconsequential and yawn-yawn as N. Illinois and Fla. State.

BigTimeTECHFan

December 3rd, 2012
12:10 pm

Earl Campbell posters are awesome, As are Walter Payton, but Pat Haden, come on, I’m with you how in the world did he get in the mix. Even Rams fans had Vince Faragamo (sp?) posters.

The Necromancer

December 3rd, 2012
12:10 pm

One positive way to look at Tech going to the Sun Bowl rather than the closer Music City Bowl – I would rather see Tech lose to USC than Franklin’s Vanderbilt.

Yes, as a Tech fan my expectations have fallen that far :(

BigTimeTECHFan

December 3rd, 2012
12:12 pm

Pat Haden poster – Ken get a “come on maa’an” for that.

BigTimeTECHFan

December 3rd, 2012
12:14 pm

Sweet I like Techs schedule to end the year:
UGA
FSU
USC

Next year Tech will be awesome, this will be a good tune-up game to get ready.

btgt69

December 3rd, 2012
12:16 pm

@sansworld,, sorry to hear you are in AR,, I escaped back to SC in 2007,,, true happiness is AR and second ex wife in my rear view mirror.

Will Vad...

December 3rd, 2012
12:20 pm

…start at QB? GT Joe wants to know…

1 4 GT

December 3rd, 2012
12:26 pm

I’ve come to the conclusion that GTJoe has huge mancrush on Vad!

fuzzybee78

December 3rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Vad or Tevin?
If we are just trying to win the game and end the bowl losing streak then that maybe leans toward TW as they have issues stopping the run much less the option. They are better defending the pass than the run. But Vad has more practice time to polish that up.

If its more about next year then its clearly Vad. Will CPJ throw them a curve ball and start Vad?

I can guarantee one thing! Publically, Paul aint tellin nobody, as it should be!

Technically Correct

December 3rd, 2012
12:37 pm

So, Tech can practice 15 times to prepare for the Sun Bowl game against USC? Sorry, folks, that’s not going to be nearly enough…

Footballrules

December 3rd, 2012
12:44 pm

Fuzzz….remember that ‘73 game well. Listened to Al and Kim on the radio (Youuuurrrrr listening…….to the WGST…….Georgia Tech…….football……. network). Kids nowdays would find it hard to believe that only one or two games were televised back then. I think E. O. Whealler was Tech’s kicker that year….”There’s the toot of the whistle…..E. O. Whealler slooooooooowly forward…..toe meets leather…..it’s a high kick”!!!!!

Bobby

December 3rd, 2012
12:47 pm

Wow, Lane Kiffin and USC against Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech……a tough choice….is there anyway BOTH teams can lose and both coaches get fired? Now that would be a great outcome….

Jacket Time

December 3rd, 2012
12:48 pm

I think we will have a tougher time than FSU for our bowl. The USC passing attack is a concern but if we play like we did in the 2nd half against FSU (like our lives depended on it), then we got nothing to worry about. Continue the momentum and play hard jackets!!! We have seen your potential and now believe!

realist

December 3rd, 2012
12:53 pm

I think the 2nd half defensive results were as much or more about FSU sleepwalking through the half than anything GT did. Yes, they did seem to play harder, but are no match for a talented team like USC unless they don’t show up.

STRAIGHT JACKET

December 3rd, 2012
1:00 pm

Tech doesn’t deserve no stinking bowl game! Already a losing season, a fan base that has had enough and a coach that is full of himself! Good luck!

Golden Tornado

December 3rd, 2012
1:07 pm

If the Georgia Tech team sticks together, goes out there to El Paso,
dines like Spartans at the training table, keeps focused, they will beat Southern Cal. If they go out there and have a great, delicious time, the score will be Men of Troy 45, Yellow Jackets 21.

danny

December 3rd, 2012
1:10 pm

What secret are we hiding about Orwin Smith? Is he protecting himself for the draft?

ramblingbuzz

December 3rd, 2012
1:10 pm

SO when does CPJ announce Ellis Johnson as our D Coordinator? Soon I hope.

Paul in NH

December 3rd, 2012
1:20 pm

Lane Kiffin might be an idiot but he knows how to coach O and Monte certainly knows how to coach D. USC is coming off a 2 year bowl ban, has a SR QB who can play and has 2 WRs who will go high in the NFL draft. If GT doesn’t get pressure on Barkley, USC will score 50.

Paul in NH

December 3rd, 2012
1:22 pm

Ken must be a fan of offense. Growing up in the Chicago ‘burbs and no poster of Butkus?

SansWorld

December 3rd, 2012
1:29 pm

I lived in LA when haden played for the Rams. We hated him, we called him “Stubby”

GT Joe

December 3rd, 2012
1:39 pm

Vegas odds are 3-1 that Tevin ends the game with an INT.

GT Joe

December 3rd, 2012
1:42 pm

you can call it a man crush on Vad; i’d call it “wanting to win the damn game”.

GT Joe

December 3rd, 2012
1:43 pm

or “tired of being embarrassed of GT Football”

Sayitaintso

December 3rd, 2012
1:57 pm

Other than the president statement, any more galatically stupid rumors on the B1G?

Supersize that order, mutt

December 3rd, 2012
2:41 pm

@ GT Joe……it may interest you to know that when Vad came off the field after that series in the first half, Johnson got in his face. Apparently, from what I have heard from someone in the know, Vad did not run the plays (or A play) that Johnson told him to run. Now maybe a senior, or even a junior, can get away with that, but not a redshirt freshman, especially when the play he ran didn’t work. Vad had better not be some kind of prima donna, or he will NEVER start.

Captainlecture

December 3rd, 2012
4:02 pm

It was obvious from my row 2 seat that Vad was running his own plays. Vad is still not comfortable running the option just like the two before him at this juncture. It’ll be mid season next year before he really understands how to win and not just stand-out on your own. I think his abilities and challenge have help Tevin immensely. IF\when Vad gets Tevin’s heart, drive, ability to shake adversity, and belief in the system, GT Football will have a great field leader.

GTFan27

December 3rd, 2012
4:10 pm

I was at the ACCCG, and the second half was a different ball game. Tech fans were noticeable louder than the FSU fans, even though we were outnumbered. But, I’m sad to say that regardless of how well we play vs USC, we simply don’t have the horses. Our offense is sputtering against just about any defense, and aside from a few decent plays, we got stopped almost every play on Saturday night. I don’t know how the game appeared to fans at home, but even though the score was 21-15, it was ALL FSU.

Sorry guys, I’m a Tech fan but we have no chance vs USC even if they only had a week to prepare.

I’m looking forward to next year, our receivers are BIG and really looked great on Saturday.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 3rd, 2012
4:11 pm

@ GTFan27…..I’m not completely convinced Tech fans were outnumbered. Obviously hard to tell, but the turnout sure looked great to me.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 3rd, 2012
4:13 pm

@ GTFan27…..we didn’t “have a chance” against FSU either, but look what almost happened. You never know till you hit the field. At least, though, if we do lose to USC, it will be to a quality opponent, and not to the likes of Utah and Air Force.

GTFan27

December 3rd, 2012
4:20 pm

Supersize, you are 110% correct. But, I honestly feel that FSU is a highly overrated team given the opponents they’ve beat this year. I personally felt going in that we would beat FSU simply on the grounds that they would take us lightly and wouldn’t be prepared for the option. What I saw is that they did take us lightly, but their athletes are noticeably better than ours.

I sat on the FSU side and it seriously looked like a sea of red. The GT side was seriously lighting it up though, especially during the Budweiser song through the end of the game. I will say though that the FSU fans were some of the more gracious fans I’ve dealt with. Kudos to them.

10Dawgs

December 3rd, 2012
4:33 pm

OMG! USC is gonna beat Tech like rented mule!