Why stop now? Here’s Tech’s checklist for BCS title game

After tearing down a goal post Saturday night, does Georgia Tech dare to dream? (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

After tearing down the goal posts following their upset of No. 4 Virginia Tech Saturday night, can't the Jackets dare to dream a little? (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

This is where the same team that you wondered about after the opening slumber against Jacksonville State, the  near collapse against Clemson and the full collapse at Miami may start to dream.

Paul Johnson doesn’t want to hear this, or read this. “Let’s beat Virginia next week,” he would tell you, and that’s probably a good place to start since the Jackets haven’t won in Charlottesville since 1990 (0-8 since).

But Tech fans tore down goal posts Saturday night after upsetting Virginia Tech. (See the photo above and the video below.) The win enabled the Yellow Jackets to take a huge leap in the polls Sunday. They also opened at 12th in the first BCS rankings of the season — rarefied air for a program in only its second season under Johnson, who runs that minor-league offense of his. (That was a joke.)

So why not imagine the unimaginable: Tech in the BCS title game.

OK. Hang with me for a minute.

First here are the top 15 teams in the BCS standings, so you have something to look at:

1. Florida (6-0)
2. Alabama (7-0)
3. Texas (6-0)
4. Boise State (6-0)
5. Cincinnati (6-0)
6. Iowa (7-0)
7. USC (5-1)
8. TCU (6-0)
9. LSU (5-1)
10. Miami (5-1)
11. Oregon (5-1)
12. Georgia Tech (6-1)
13. Penn State (6-1)
14. Virginia Tech (5-2)
15. Oklahoma State (5-1)

This is not a prediction. It’s a checklist. But it’s hardly a completely outrageous checklist. These are the 12 things that probably have to happen for the Jackets to land in the BCS championship in Pasadena Jan. 7. So click your heels together three times and here we go . . .

♦1.) Win out. This qualifies as a “duh.” A two-loss team is not making it. So this means Tech, which already has lost to Miami, needs to beat Virginia (which would give it a tiebreaker edge over the Cavaliers in the ACC Coastal Division), then beat Georgia again, then win the conference title game. The rest of the schedule: Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Duke.

♦ 2.) Miami, which holds a ACC Coastal tiebreaker edge over the Jackets, needs to lose once in the conference. The best chance of that happening on the Hurricanes’ remaining schedule is next week against Clemson or in four weeks at North Carolina. Other games: at Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke, South Florida.

♦ 3.) Win the ACC championship over the Atlantic Division team, and that’s a weak lot right now (every school has at least two losses).

♦ 4.) This is just a safe assumption: The winner of SEC title game will be ranked No. 1 by the BCS. The loser will not be No. 2 because voters will not want a repeat game for the BCS title. So this shouldn’t be an issue for Tech.

♦ 5.) Texas needs to lose once. The Longhorns were unimpressive in a 16-13 win over Oklahoma, which was missing quarterback Sam Bradford for most of the game. They still have to play at Oklahoma State, home against Kansas, and, if make it there, the Big 12 title game (probably against Kansas or Nebraska)

♦ 6.) Boise State has to lose. This may be the biggest long shot of all. The Broncos opened the season with a win over their toughest opponent (Oregon). They finish with a dessert tray: Hawaii (2-4), San Jose State (1-5), Louisiana Tech (3-3), Idaho (6-1), Utah State (1-5), Nevada (3-3), New Mexico State (3-4). The toughest foe there obviously is Idaho.

♦ 7.) Cincinnati has to lose. The Bearcats still have two difficult games left on their schedule: West Virginia and the season finale at Pittsburgh.

♦ 8.) Iowa has to lose. But come on — it’s  a Big Ten team!  The Hawkeyes’ most likely faceplant is at Ohio State Nov. 14. (The Buckeyes already have two losses, so its doubtful they would leapfrog Tech.)

♦ 9.) USC  has to lose. Not a problem. The Trojans play at Oregon in two weeks, then at Arizona State, still have a rivalry game against UCLA — which filled the spoiler role well a few years ago, to the benefit of Florida — and then finish against Arizona.

♦ 10.) TCU has to lose. Like Boise State in the WAC, this is another potential BCS buster from the Mountain West Conference. But TCU still has two ranked teams left on its schedule — BYU (next week) and Utah (Nov. 19).

♦11.) LSU may not be an issue. Here’s why: The only way the Tigers stay ahead of Tech is if they win out. That means beating Alabama and getting into SEC title game. But then I refer you to No. 4 on the checklist.

♦12.) Oregon is only percentage points ahead of the Jackets. But they may need to lose again, depending on how the whole strength-of-schedule thing weighs out. The Ducks still have some difficult games left on the schedule: at Washington, home against USC, at Arizona.

So there it is. What do you think? Is this a completely crazy scenario?

Meanwhile, here’s the YouTube video floating around the internet of the goal posts at Bobby Dodd Stadium being torn down. Students carried the goal posts out of the stadium and toward university president George P. “Bud” Peterson’s house.

488 comments Add your comment

@danweiner

October 18th, 2009
6:38 pm

Sheer and utter lunacy my man. Maybe Tech fans should just worry about beating UVA in Charlottesville for the first time since 1990. The Cavs did beat them in Atlanta last year…

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 18th, 2009
6:39 pm

2nd…that’s me, day late and a dollar short.

mmgtfan

October 18th, 2009
6:39 pm

First again!

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 18th, 2009
6:40 pm

Or, 1st loser.

mmgtfan

October 18th, 2009
6:40 pm

sidslid

October 18th, 2009
6:41 pm

That Boise St/Cincinnati national championship game should draw XFL-type ratings

mmgtfan

October 18th, 2009
6:44 pm

Jeff, who’s blogging at the dome tonight. You or Bradley?

Buzz in New York

October 18th, 2009
6:45 pm

Jeff,

Nice synopsis. Props to Tech for a great win, they are gaining momentum and defense should get back in line when some of the main studs come back from injury.

If Nesbitt stays healthy, winning out is completely doable.

As much as I hate to say it, we need the Bulldogs (and everyone else on the schedule) to win all of their “other” games so they don’t hurt our strength of schedule in the computer rankings….

Go Jackets!

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 18th, 2009
6:46 pm

No. 1 will still be the hardest to accomplish.

MagnaCarterGT

October 18th, 2009
6:47 pm

TECH in the National Championship game? It’s possible, but we have to prioritize. 1) Beat Virginia – we can’t get punked by them like last year; 2) keep winning – the way the Coastal division is, we don’t have much (if any) margin of error; 3) get to the ACC CG and win – the hard part is getting there, the easier part would be to win it.

Frank

October 18th, 2009
6:51 pm

So there it is. What do you think? Is this a completely crazy scenario?

I think the lunatic has escaped the asylum.

Tech Forever

October 18th, 2009
6:51 pm

I would love for Tech to make the BCS Title game, BUT my disdain for the BCS might equal my love for the Jackets. So i vote for the more likely scenario of all BCS teams losing at least one and Boise and TCU finishing undefeated…..then sitting back and watching the whole system crash to Earth.

Had to read it twice

October 18th, 2009
6:52 pm

All that Tech needs to do is to focus on one game at a time which Coach Johnson and the players based on their interviews seem to be doing. One game at a time.

National Championshipf – the defense needs to continue to make strides like the second half against FSU and the 1st hafl against V. Tech.

white water

October 18th, 2009
6:53 pm

Thanks Jeff for the analysis. Makes it clear how improbable the BCS championship game is. I would be elated if Tech got into the BCS — probably against either Cincy or ND in the Orange bowl.

uberVU - social comments

October 18th, 2009
6:54 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by JeffSchultzAJC: So why stop now? Here’s #GeorgiaTech’s checklist to make it to the #BCS title game. http://bit.ly/QC9GB…

Delbert D.

October 18th, 2009
6:57 pm

My head hurts. Miami wins the tiebreaker on head-to-head? Au contrere’ .I think the ACC is similar to the infamous Big-12 tiebreaker. All that adds is the USF factor, or computer rankings or strength of schedule or polls. My head still hurts. I’ll wait and see after the UVA game, of course.

SatchelBuzz

October 18th, 2009
6:59 pm

“Sene Metu”…….and you just know ugag is hating life reading about Tech and BCS possibilities. Great day to to be a ‘Jacket.

THWG!!!

Wow

October 18th, 2009
7:04 pm

Cant wait for gt to play the DAWGS!!!

Techster

October 18th, 2009
7:07 pm

Jeff, I know your heart’s in the right place but not sure of your sanity. How about another analysis — Tech’s chances of getting into a BCS bowl, without playing in the ACC championship game.

Jeff Schultz

October 18th, 2009
7:08 pm

DanWeiner – Thank you. I’m here all week.

Sidslid – No kidding. It would be funny just to see BCS and TV execs jump from the rooftops.

MMGTfan – Bradley. But I just made a chicken potpie at home, after blogging. Are you impressed?

Buzz – Agree. Nesbitt has been the X factor.

Tech could have strippers as ushers & still not sell out

October 18th, 2009
7:09 pm

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Shultz proves yet again he can’t keep powdered substances out of his nose!!! Who has Tech beaten? Where’s their signature win? Beating an overrated team who’s signature win was beating the team that prison-raped the Gnats? Nice try Jeff. I suspect the Smurf Bowl committee is still holding on to their invite for their favorite participant!!

mmgtfan

October 18th, 2009
7:10 pm

Save me a slice

Gator Fan

October 18th, 2009
7:11 pm

GT would be fun to watch in a bowl game, except probably not against a Alabama, Florida or LSU defense. UGA will not give you guys problems defensively.

I love watching GT on offense, it is great to see them break run after run. I think that if you give a Saban or Meyer a month or so to prepare for it, it won’t work as well against a SEC caliber…not UGA defense.

Delbert D.

October 18th, 2009
7:11 pm

Notre Dame for the Almost-Not Quite Bowl, in Missoula, Montana I wish. But, they are likely to win out and go 10-2. Therefore, they will get a good bowl. Fortunately, the Orange Bowl is on FOX and not NBC – they can’t play that angle, unless FOX makes a trade for the Jay Leno Show.

spike

October 18th, 2009
7:13 pm

I don’t really mean it, but as a diehard UGA fan, a little piece of me almost wants the Dawgs to lose a few more games this season just so the trade school douches can get a feeling for what it’s like to play a lose/lose game at season’s end that will do nothing to help your strength of schedule with the voters.

Jeff Schultz

October 18th, 2009
7:15 pm

Delbert — the simple two-way tiebreaker is head-to-head. The 3-or-more-team tiebreaker is far more involved, and I ain’t going there.

Jeff Schultz

October 18th, 2009
7:16 pm

Techster — I think everybody here will tell you I have no heart.

Delbert D.

October 18th, 2009
7:16 pm

Gator Fan – Yeah, we have some history with that, and it may have been Tech as the problem. Tech needs to schedule a couple of teams in December…

Fake Gator Fan

October 18th, 2009
7:16 pm

The likelihood that “Gator Fan” really isn’t a lonely, girl-less Techie tool is as probable as how Shultzie really didn’t vote for the Fascist, aka Obama.

the real Old Gold

October 18th, 2009
7:16 pm

Anything can happen, but just win out. If we win out, the worst that will probably happen is a BCS at large with one loss in a major conference.

Ben

October 18th, 2009
7:20 pm

Keep telling the Techies that the UGA game is a given. We shouldn’t even show up. It’s already been decided. We should just give up now. I love it.

Guck Feorgia

October 18th, 2009
7:22 pm

Honestly, ACC Championship would be nice, but I wouldn’t mind letting Miami have that so they can get stuck playing Cincy in the Orange. I’d rather go 11-1 and then play a GREAT team like Texas, USC, maybe even the loser of the SEC title game in a bowl game. Let’s say bama beats FL in the SEC title game: Imagine triple option vs. spread option (tech v. FL). Imagine us beating FL when the dawgs can’t…

By the way, we CAN win the ACC Coastal WITHOUT Miami losing a conference game. If Miami loses a non-conference game, they could fall below us and VT in the BCS rankings, and then we’d win the Coastal.

collegeballfan

October 18th, 2009
7:27 pm

Worry about UVA. Then worry about Vandy, etc, etc, etc.

Gator Fan – It is not the offense they run. The Florida offense is very similar. Florida would win because they have better football players. It never makes any difference what offense or defense a team runs; what matters is the execution & the talent of the players.

calvin

October 18th, 2009
7:30 pm

Beat Georgia and win the Orange Bowl. That’s enough
for this season. A national championship can wait.

Gnome

October 18th, 2009
7:30 pm

What’s Tech’s SOS ranking, 115th? Playing in the worst BCS conference in football isn’t going to help their cause.

Tech Grad

October 18th, 2009
7:30 pm

I know how much it hurts the little pups over in the Athens but Tech grads really could care less what you think. It’s funny how irrelevant you and your program are.

AZ Jacket

October 18th, 2009
7:31 pm

@danweiner, and VT beat them last year. So what is your point.

Where have you gone Jim Bob Cooter ?

October 18th, 2009
7:33 pm

Heady stuff. But I think that we’ll learn more about the direction of this program over the next month than we have so far. We’ll see how they handle success. Everybody has a cure all when you are 2-4 ,3-3 or something mediocore. (Fire the OC , DC ,HC) . But the real test of a coach at this level is how he handles raised expectations ,and they are sky high right now. (Just ask the folks at Auburn how fast the dream can pop) I believe that Tech has a coach in Paul Johnson that can handle and exceed expectations and keep his team focused and disciplined through the good times and bad. There is no question that Tech is better than every team left on its schedule this year. The test of this teams character is going to be whether they can do the hardest thing in sports – What is expected…

Good Luck Tech !

AZ Jacket

October 18th, 2009
7:36 pm

Tech could have strippers as ushers & still not sell out, so now VT is not a signature win. Last week they were going to stop us cold and score every time they had the ball. You idiots nver cease to amaze me. VT #4 in the nation..all poles…I really am not worried about the BCS MNC. We win out and what happens happens. I just love making all the experts look like chumps each week. Everyone writes this team off before every game but they seem to win each week. Eat your crow a__hole because you would not know a well coached talented team if it crawled up your nose or some other part of your antomy.

doggit

October 18th, 2009
7:37 pm

way to act like ya have been there before tech – x4 pizza had to be good that night

DP

October 18th, 2009
7:37 pm

“needs to beat Virginia (which would give it a tiebreaker edge over the Cavaliers in the ACC Coastal Division)”

That would be the Virginia squad which lost to Bill and Mary and now sits atop the ACC Coastal?

Who's callin who

October 18th, 2009
7:38 pm

Just win out and let the chips fall where they may.

Ben

October 18th, 2009
7:38 pm

Even in a down season, Tech is still probably the 4th team we want to beat the most. You play in a meaningless conference with maybe 2 above average teams. Stop fooling yourselves. You will NEVER be as important as UGA is. You may enjoy the occasional good to even great season but in the grand scheme you will always be 2nd fiddle. Always. For more proof of your inferiority complex, look at all the UGA blogs. Inundated with Techies attempting to talk trash. You are obsessed with us. Me, I’m just bored waiting on the Falcons game to start. Virginia by 10 next weekend.

AZ Jacket

October 18th, 2009
7:40 pm

Ben, your as dumb as the rest of the dawg fans. Tech will not take any team lightly on their schedule, especially the dawgs. After seven weeks it would seem you could figure that out…I know that is wishful thinking on your part but this is a well coached team that keeps their players grounded and ready to play. I look at us being 7 – 1 after next week..then the next week will take care of itself.

cliff

October 18th, 2009
7:40 pm

left last nights game with hundreds of va tech fans with about 1 min to go in the game…it was shocking to see “hokie” fans overturning trash cans and throwing trash near the tech student center….guess it must have been something Tech did?

DP

October 18th, 2009
7:41 pm

That was a great win for Tech last night, but a team that is a week removed from giving up 403 yards of offense and 5 consecutive touchdown drives IN A HALF to a team that is 0-3 in the ACC would be getting a little ahead of itself to be thinking about the BCS title game.

Bradley is asking if Georgia could beat Florida on Saturday, you are talking about Tech in the BCS title game. Did you guys get hold of some really good weed or something?

Volman

October 18th, 2009
7:41 pm

Mr. Schultz..Thanks for this blog. Really good work–and an interesting read. Maybe you aren’t as bad as I thought you were.

It is so evident that things have changed since Coach Paul Johnson has arrived at Georgia Tech. UGA is on the decline, and Tech is on the rise.

Thank you for this coverage…but were you at the game?!? If not, what’s holding you back? The crowd was GREAT last night… The game was fun… Again, come by and tailgate with us. I’ll buy you a beer.

Go Jackets.

Volman

October 18th, 2009
7:44 pm

Ben, it’s funny how you are justifying reading the Tech blog and trying to downplay Tech’s recent success because you’re “bored”. So UGA fans can do it but GaTech fans cannot talk crap back? Enough of the drivel that you put on here. You’re not wanted, and you have no idea what you’re talking about.

I think Johnathan Crompton just scored ANOTHER touchdown. Dolt.

AZ Jacket

October 18th, 2009
7:47 pm

Gnome, look it up a–hole. Tech’s SOS is tied for 29th. Alabama’s is 48. LSU in the low forties. We don’t know what UGA’s SOS because they are not in the top 25. Don’t run your mouth when you are stupid.

MCRP 09

October 18th, 2009
7:48 pm

Gotta love the tired quips of stadium attendance, nerd students and strength of schedule by non-alum Clarke County Community College fans from the store computer at McDonalds during their smoke breaks…

THWG!!!