Between Dogs and Jackets, only one is dressed for success

The look on Paul Johnson's face doesn't indicate if Tech was winning or losing at this point against Vanderbilt, but we know how it usually has ended up this season. (AP photo)

The look on Paul Johnson's face doesn't indicate if Tech was winning or losing at this point against Vanderbilt. But we know how things have usually ended up this season.

Georgia Tech showed up to play a football game Saturday night, wearing just its normal white road uniforms and gold helmets. Success, it seems, is dictated less by a program’s costumes than it is the athletes and the direction they’re moving in. Go figure.

We’ve seen for weeks how Tech and Georgia are moving in opposite directions. It hit home more than ever Saturday. The Jackets were not great at Vanderbilt. They actually found themselves trailing in the second half, 31-28, to an inferior team that had been averaging 8.7 points in its six losses. But Tech’s offense couldn’t be stopped. In the end, it pulled away. It’s what good teams do.

Georgia, meanwhile, hung with Florida for nearly a half, then self-destructed. It’s what bad teams do.

The differences between Tech and Georgia don’t stop there.

Mark Richt is losing the local battle to Tech but he lost the SEC battle to Urban Meyer long ago. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Mark Richt is losing the local battle to Georgia Tech but he lost the SEC battle to Florida and Urban Meyer a long time ago. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

One team is 8-1 and may go to a BCS bowl. The other team is 4-4 and needs two wins just to qualify for Shreveport.

The Jackets have the confidence to come back in games, even when they’re not at their best. The Bulldogs lack confidence and resolve. Why? Because they’re soft, either mentally or physically, or possibly both.

The Jackets, to their advantage, are a reflection of their coach. The Bulldogs, to a disadvantage right now, are a reflection of theirs.

When Paul Johnson sees something he doesn’t like in a Georgia Tech game or a practice, he tells you, sometimes in short, stinging verbal jabs. (Saturday: “I’m disappointed in the way we started. We missed some tackles and that just killed us. They hit a ton of big plays.”) We assume Mark Richt sees many things he doesn’t like. But it sure would be nice to hear and see him breathe a little fire once in a while. Peel paint. Make everybody believe you’re as angry as they are.

Johnson has not been to an ACC championship game yet, but nobody doubts him. Richt has won two SEC championships, but doubters are increasing in large numbers.

Johnson has a defensive coordinator (Dave Wommack) that every Georgia Tech fan would like to drop from a roof top. But there’s a belief that the head coach will mandate improvement or make a change, friendship and loyalty notwithstanding. Richt has a defensive coordinator (Willie Martinez) that every Georgia fan would like to drop from a roof top. But there’s a concern that Richt will do nothing because he has done nothing before.

Georgia Tech has a quarterback, Josh Nesbitt, who is beginning to master his team’s option offense and has developed into a nice passing threat (two touchdown passes against Vanderbilt). Logic says he will be even better as a senior. Georgia doesn’t really have a quarterback. Richt’s plan was to use Joe Cox as a bridge to Aaron Murray and/or Zach Mettenberger next season. Cox might’ve been OK if he wasn’t surrounded by chaos. But he’s not going to make a bad team better. And now why should we assume either freshman will be ready next season?

Georgia has a wide receiver, A.J. Green, who has “NFL star” stamped on his forehead. He is 23rd in the nation in receiving yards (732) with 44 catches, six for touchdowns. Georgia Tech has a wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas, who for some reason nobody is talking about. Playing one more game, but in a run-dominated offense, he is ahead of Green and eighth in the nation in receiving yards (823) with 34 catches and five touchdowns.

Johnson calls every play in the Tech offense. The Jackets rank 17th in yardage and 12th in scoring in the nation. Mike Bobo calls most plays for Georgia, with Richt monitoring. The Dogs rank 97th  in yardage and 73rd in scoring.

Tech is redefining the pecking order in the ACC, this year beating Florida State and Virginia Tech, last year beating Florida State and Miami and nearly winning in Blacksburg. Georgia has fallen to a distant fourth (maybe) in the SEC, behind Florida, Alabama and LSU.

In two seasons, Johnson has built a program. He is winning games. In the same two seasons, Richt has manufactured black jerseys, black pants and black helmets, while his program is in decline. He is losing games. Not difficult to tell which school is making the fashion statement.

563 comments Add your comment

dawggirl

November 1st, 2009
6:08 pm

Not much to say. Jeff tells it like it is. I would hope that Richt can see the writing on the wall, and that he is ready to make these sorely-needed changes in the offseason.

I’m concerned already about next year and the QB situation. Neither Murray or Mettenberger will be ready, and Gray seems like a complete question mark, no better than Cox.

One thing is for sure, this season is done.

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:09 pm

the jackets are a reflection of their weak schedule too, north carolina , virginia, jacksonville state(alabama is where that team is located, not florida) florida state, clemson,virginia tech(24th in country), miami(a loss) 16th in country, then the two weakest sec teams (miss. state and vandy), and georgia has played a rugged sec schedule and two national opponents in oklahoma state and arizona state, tech would be lucky to be 4-4 against georgia’s schedule we know of 3 losses tech would have florida , lsu and tennessee, probably ok. state, arkansas and south carolina

Red and Black

November 1st, 2009
6:10 pm

The talk about uniform colors is irrelevant. Besides, black is one of our colors, if nobody realizes it.

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:11 pm

bring tech over to the sec jeff and we’ll talk , your not even close to speaking of the same caliber of talent and caliber of teams Mr. shultz, go back to Hogan’s Heroes

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:12 pm

if tech were such a powerhouse with one loss the bcs would have them higher than 11th in the country

Rabble Rouser

November 1st, 2009
6:13 pm

Robespierre Jeff and Danton Mark are at it again. Nothing like throwing a little chum in the water to stir up the sharks……oh and BTW, stating the obvious.

Look, I’m a Tech Fan but want to read something more insightful on here than drivel designed to incite the sidewalk alumni of both schools, most of whom have never set foot in a college classroom anywhere.

To think I came to the section to see if the rankings were out and I got this.

Whatever happened to Rice-like journalists such as Albom and others….guess that stuff is dead in the rile-up-the-masses world known as the internet.

I can’t imagine this could be very satisifying professionally. Sort of like an arsonist hanging around to enjoy his work.

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:13 pm

oh and by the way jeff , you look like a typical tech grad with those nerdy glasses, lmao

Tyler

November 1st, 2009
6:14 pm

Jeff, you are an idiot if you think Thomas is better than AJ….You don’t seem to know much about college football, because since GT is such a run-dominated offense, defenses always leave Thomas 1 on 1 in coverage. AJ was double-teamed the entire game vs Florida and sometimes triple-teamed. Also, add in the fact that SEC defenses are so much better than ACC defenses.

Wow, that was the dumbest statement I’ve ever seen here at AJC Jeff. Congrats.

DogFan

November 1st, 2009
6:15 pm

Black is one of our colors so how is that making a fashion statement? Doesn’t Tech do a whiteout multiple times a year? Yes. Wouldn’t that be the exact same thing? I think so.

StingerSplash

November 1st, 2009
6:15 pm

No, Red and Black, the discussion of uniforms is pertinent and relevant. It shows that Johnson doesn’t rely on tricks or attempts to conjure some sort of emotion from his team through a change in wardrobe, while Richt continues to try to draw from that well which was not deep to start with. At some point, he has to rely on something beyond a radical change in helmets and unis to get his team jumpstarted — and coached.

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:17 pm

oh and georgia has fallen behind fla. , alabama and lsu, would tech be ahead of them jeffrey, you are an idiot!!!!!!

hey thanks jeff...

November 1st, 2009
6:17 pm

Hey thanks Jeff – Tech’s undefeated in the mighty SEC.. how y’all doing?

view from snellville

November 1st, 2009
6:18 pm

Thanks Jeff what a tool

Excuses is all that you can hear blowing West from Athens. From what i have seen on TV your beloved Dawgs are just that dogs. At tech we had a similar situation whereby we Had Bill Lweis who set the program back 5 years. MR has won with not hsi own recuirts bur someone elses. as this day and age they are on campus for five years.

THWG

view from snellville

November 1st, 2009
6:18 pm

Sorry Bill Lewis

Red and Black

November 1st, 2009
6:18 pm

Remember when CMR was hailed as a motivational genius 2 years ago ? If that game had turned out differently, he would have been condemned for the same thing he was applauded for. Because the Dawgs lost yesterday, everybody is piling on with the uniform ridicule. Let it go. It has NOTHING to do with the job the coaches and players are doing.

Buford T Justice

November 1st, 2009
6:19 pm

That Florida game is what I call an attention getter.

While UF’s coaches are coaching blocking and tackling, UGA coaches are ordering new uniforms.

Richt has been less like Tubby and more like Jirsa.

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:20 pm

of and go ahead and put Murray in, give him 4 games to play and he will be ready, Cox was basically a freshman when the season began and he still isn’t ready, he will graduate thank goodness

FalconUGAFan

November 1st, 2009
6:20 pm

Sorry to say Jeff, but you nailed it. Go DAWGS!

Mike Bobo 17 INT

November 1st, 2009
6:20 pm

thanks jeff

Your SEC argument does not hold water anymore, just ask Alabama when they played Utah last year. Granted, Alabama and Florida area great programs, but that is all the SEC has got, just like every other conference. Only 1 to 2 teams dominate each conference and the SEC is not exception.

Look, quit bragging about the SEC and how tough it is, and learn to win the big games. Focus in teams and not conferences. OSU already put you away and exposed you in the opener, so just can it.

When you look around Stanford Stadium and see empty seats against LSU at home, the AD has to understand there is a problem. UGAY has had problems since 1981 and the program has tanked ever since.

Tell you what, join the ACC, Big 12, Big 10 or even the Pac-10 and you are going to have the same problems you are having now….no coaching.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

November 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

Red and Black

Keep up the great work. We love CMR, along with every opponent. Like Spurrer says…”if everybody loves you, you ain’t winning.”

Oh yes, another Spurrier quote….”it’s not like we beat some powerhouse.”

LOL!!

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

tech beat vandy and mississippi state , you nerdos should be proud1!11

Buzz'n

November 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

I guess when the season is all said and done Tech will have feasted on all three schools on the bottom of the SEC. Thanks Jeff if ugag were to play Clemson, VT or Miami right now, in whatever color scheme their fashion forward coach would put them in, it would be a safe bet that they would be 0-3. See you folks in Atlanta on the 28th.

mindless dribble

November 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

wow you Dog fans still around today, thought you would have all committed suicide by now..but you have GT to live for..just praying or should I say preying for their demise..,any crumb of defeat in any stat to make you want to live for another day… Oh by the way, just a thought, why doesn’t anyone at UGA schedule a game with Clemson? Both middle of the road teams 90 miles apart, if ACC so inferior then play them, who is stopping you? We know why, too scared to play Clemson, let GT play them and then run your mouths saying they are no good anyway…hahahahahahaha

Mike Bobo 17 INT

November 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

Red and Black

By the way, you sum up why this program is the biggest joke in College Football…go find Mr. Barnhart and cry about it for a awhile.

collegeballfan

November 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

Jeff this is too big of an indictment of the Richt regime in Athens. This was a rebuilding year. My August prediction was that UGA would win 8 games based on an average defense. And, to be honest, I also predicted Tech & the Falcons with 8 wins each. Again, based on defense.
Tech may beat the 8 I predicted but only because the offense out scored some opponents. The Tech defense really is bad.

I am a Tech fan from the 1950’s but I can see no way they can beat UGA
at the end of the month.

thanks jeff

November 1st, 2009
6:23 pm

and richt just may be able to beat tech, i think he is 7-1 against bugs

Buford T Justice

November 1st, 2009
6:23 pm

Jeff, agreed with the article but hate to say it but you look a lot like Tony Kornheiser on PTI

Saint Simons

November 1st, 2009
6:24 pm

41 – 17 !!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

mindless dribble

November 1st, 2009
6:24 pm

your two top teams Bama and Fl, both play FIU, Bama also has North Texas and Chattanooga..Fl has Charleston Southern(formerly Baptist College) and Troy. But that is ok? Too funny

bobonerdo

November 1st, 2009
6:25 pm

yeah bobonerdo, LSU aint no good, just 38-3 over the bugs last year but not that good, lmao

Alabama Jack

November 1st, 2009
6:25 pm

dawgs suck and their fans suck worse.

dr. j

November 1st, 2009
6:26 pm

How many top 20 teams has tech played this year?

CMR

November 1st, 2009
6:27 pm

Don’t worry UGA fans! I have the perfect motivational tool for next year’s game in Jacksonville. Blue and Orange unis! The guys wearing those always win!

Dawgs73

November 1st, 2009
6:29 pm

Jeff, you are 100% spot on with this blog. It’s amazing what great coaching will do with the talent given. Paul Johnson is abundantly better at all aspects of coaching and will accept nothing but the best. Richt hears his critics talk about penalties and what does moron do he says “I don’t mind the penalties”….HUH??? I am only taking a small bit of evidence, but this speaks volumes to their respective ablities. If UGA had a coach of Johnson’s ilk, we would be talking about possible contention in the SEC and NC. Instead we have black helmets and black pants…anyone spotted Jerry Glanville recently.

Jackets21

November 1st, 2009
6:29 pm

Cry thanks Jeff. Your tears of sorrow sustain me. How the mighty have fallen.

MalibuGT

November 1st, 2009
6:30 pm

thanks Jeff….he is 0-1 against johnson. that’s the point of the article, my slow friend

Tyler

November 1st, 2009
6:31 pm

Those nerdy tech fans have to be yucking it up. They have sucked so much this decade, and are ecstatic about being 8 and ONE lol. Richt averaged 10+ wins every year this decade except this season.

Procrastinator

November 1st, 2009
6:33 pm

Thanks Jeff, I bet you have to write with a crayon because you’re not allowed sharp objects!

gators81

November 1st, 2009
6:33 pm

black helmets…then a team dance/stomp/celebration…again…my gator pals in section 128 were all in agreement…we were almost saddened to see how far georgia has fallen. what is more amazing,…is that it seems to be acceptable , to the powers that be…..most gators would like to see some luster returned to this former rivalry. what is the problem in athens???it has to be more than just the richt regime!

Saint Simons

November 1st, 2009
6:33 pm

45 – 42 !!!!!! hahahhahahahahahahahaha Duke 5-3 Uga 4-4 hahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

mindless dribble

November 1st, 2009
6:34 pm

hey Tyler, it is what it is…UGA gets the top 5 talent every year, God knows we have to hear about it every Feb. and how your on the way to a national title, in fact, we have had to hear it for 29 years now..but CPJ can out coach, out scheme and out fox you people and turn less talented players into superstars. Our redshirt freshman Roddy Jones out rushed your first rounder Moreno and Nebitt out did Stafford, You cannot make it up!

view from snellville

November 1st, 2009
6:34 pm

All we hear from Athens is the inferior teams which Tech plays and the conference is no good. Funny how UGA has not in seven years steped up to play Florida State where its beloved coach was before he came to Georgia. Guess Tenn Tech is more of powerhouse than I thought

Matt

November 1st, 2009
6:36 pm

To all you morons who say GT plays a weak schedule. Our schedule strenght is 12th in the country. So STFU and do some research before you state inaccurate info. And those top sec teams? Fla is 27 Bama 36 and Lsu 39. Nuff said.

Buzz'n

November 1st, 2009
6:36 pm

Those moron dawg fans must be crapping in their overalls, two more rivals to play and it is looking more and more like they will be 0 and 4 against the ones they love to hate.

ARGT

November 1st, 2009
6:36 pm

Thanks Jeff…..sounds like some seriouse jealousy problems. Keep posting. The more you post, the more it shows your jealousy.

cableguy20

November 1st, 2009
6:37 pm

What makes me laugh is Dawg fans refuse to admit that Tech is the cream of the crop here in the state. Records alone prove that point…so does Tech’s win last November. They all chime in about the “weak ACC” and “tough SEC”…there are lots of Top 25 teams playing in weaker conferences than the SEC…does that mean Georgia is better than Boise St….Cinncy…Houston? Right now Tech has more or the same amount of wins then six teams in the SEC, one victory less than UGA, which could change come the 28th.

It’s not who you play..or dern moral victories…it all boils down to scoreboards and records…and right now, Tech is leaving the Dawgs in the dust on both.

Matt

November 1st, 2009
6:38 pm

Man some of you are so ignorant. Tech is the 3rd highest ranked team with 1 loss. Who is ahead of us? Oregon who lost to #5 Boise and Lsu who lost to #1 Fla. Man some of you dawgs are jealous losers.

TechMD

November 1st, 2009
6:38 pm

Heads up everybody. There’s some black helmets going real cheap on EBay!

mindless dribble

November 1st, 2009
6:38 pm

good Tyler thats the spirit, I think you need to support Richt and I am sure Fl fans agree too…oh yeah, I have Clemson’s phone number if you want to set up a game against a nobody ACC team, but you cowards really dont want to do that do you? ahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

snellville jacket

November 1st, 2009
6:39 pm

After this past week auburn may not be a push over. Ky will play UGA tight and hard. Only one they should win in Athens.