I realize Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has greater concerns than a set of football rankings in the third week of September. His secondary. His offensive and defensive lines. The jackhammer inside of his head.
But the Jackets may take a significant tumble in the Associated Press poll, based on their dreadful performance at Miami Thursday night and likely results from other games this weekend involving top 25 teams.
Tech entered the week ranked 14th, the highest the school has been in the poll this early in the season since being No. 10 in the third week of September in 2001. (Those Jackets lost their next game to Clemson, 47-44, and wound up sliding to 24th by the end of the season, which turned out to be coach George O’Leary’s last before he went to Notre Dame. Briefly.) Now they have to worry about just staying in the top 20.
Here’s why. Below, I’ve listed the top 25 rankings and each team’s scheduled game. At least 11 of the 13 teams ranked ahead of Tech entering the week are almost certain to win. Only two teams ahead of the Jackets — No. 7 BYU, which hosts Florida State, and No. 13 Virginia Tech, which faces visiting Nebraska — have a chance to lose. But odds are, neither one will.
That leaves the 11 teams behind Tech. No. 20 Miami already has won. No. 21 Houston is off. At least five others are heavy favorites to win. That least four teams: No. 17 Cincinnati, which is a slight favorite at Oregon State; No. 18 Utah, which is a slight underdog but certainly capable of winning at Oregon; No. 19 Nebraska, which is an underdog in Blackburg; and No. 23 Georgia, which is a 1 1/2-point underdog at Arkansas.
One wouldn’t think the Bulldogs could make up the nine spots between themselves and the Jackets in one week. But it’s clear there’s a lot of uncertainty at the bottom of the rankings. Either way, Tech is likely to drop at least four or five spots.
Here’s a look at the AP top 25 entering the week:
1. Florida (2-0) Tennessee 2. Texas (2-0) Texas Tech 3. USC (2-0) at Washington 4. Alabama (2-0) North Texas 5t.Miss. (1-0) SE Louisiana 5t.Penn St. (2-0) Temple 7. BYU (2-0) Florida State 8. Cal (2-0) at Minnesota 9. LSU (2-0) La.-Lafayette 10. Boise St.(2-0) at Fresno State 11. Ohio St. (1-1) Toledo 12. Oklahoma (1-1) Tulsa 13. Va. Tech (1-1) No. 19 Nebraska 14. Ga. Tech (2-1) lost to Miami 33-17 15. TCU (1-0) Texas State 16. Okla. St.(1-1) Rice 17. Cincinn. (2-0) at Oregon State 18. Utah (2-0) at Oregon 19. Nebraska (2-0) at No. 14 Va. Tech 20. Miami (2-0) beat No. 15 Ga. Tech 33-17 21. Houston (2-0) Off 22. Kansas (2-0) Duke 23. Georgia (1-1) at Arkansas 24. N.Carol. (2-0) vs. East Carolina 25. Michigan (2-0) Eastern Michigan
Since so many people have been emailing me or commenting about this video, I figured I would just go ahead and post it so everybody else isn’t left in the dark. It shows Johnson yelling at one of his players, offensive lineman Phil Smith, “Are you that stupid?” after the player was penalized for a false start on a PAT in the fourth quarter.