Can Tech win basketball, football titles in same year?

D'Andre Bell and Georgia Tech may be jumping for joy a lot this season. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

D'Andre Bell and Georgia Tech may be jumping for joy a lot this season. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

I’m heading out to Athens in the morning to chat with Georgia coach Mark Fox,  who might be the most impressive 8-8 coach in the nation right now.  But then I’ve generally been less jaded than most — I know, hard to believe — about the potential of Georgia basketball.

Yes, I believe Fox can turn the Bulldogs into a consistently winning program. Florida and Tennessee obliterate all of the it-can’t-be-done-here arguments in the SEC.

But it you think I’m crazy for even pondering the concept of a successful Georgia basketball program, here’s something even more out there: Georgia Tech has a good chance to win the ACC  championship this year.

OK. Now call me crazy.

Seriously, we’ve all seen the upside and downside of the Jackets this season. Sometimes we’ve seen it during consecutive possessions. But after three conference wins in the last four games over Duke, North Carolina and Clemson, it certainly appears this young team is starting to put things together.

Derrick Favors is getting more comfortable up front. Guard Iman Shumpert is finding a rhythm after missing six games with a knee injury. Gani Lawal – great. Offensively, things can still be erratic. But defensively, the Jackets have been strong and are gaining some mental and physical toughness — the kind of toughness that has been missing the past few years.

But the whole ACC championship thing didn’t hit me until Wednesday night. I was sitting in a sports bar with some friends, watching basketball games and losing spectacularly at trivia. (Greenland is in the kingdom of Denmark, by the way.) North Carolina was getting waxed at home by Wake Forest. Duke was struggling with North Carolina State (and eventually lost).

Easy mid-January analysis: No team in the ACC is great.  But the Jackets, simply because of their talent level and depth, probably have a higher ceiling than anybody.

We’ll  know more after the next two games against Florida State and Wake Forest. But I sense these Jackets are going to be challenging for the conference title in March.

Here’s the up-to-date standings, including rankings at the start of the week.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Team Conf. Overall
Virginia 3-0 12-4
Maryland 2-1 12-5
Duke (7) 3-2 15-3
Clemson (17) 3-2 15-4
Georgia Tech (19) 3-2 14-4
Wake Forest 3-2 13-4
Florida State 2-2 14-4
North Carolina State 2-3 13-6
Boston College 2-3 11-8
Virginia Tech 1-2 14-3
North Carolina (24) 1-3 12-7
Miami (FL) 1-4 15-4

198 comments Add your comment

BuckCommander

January 20th, 2010
11:33 pm

First Again!!!!

BuckCommander

January 20th, 2010
11:36 pm

I need to buy a lottery ticket the way my luck is going lately.

BuckCommander

January 20th, 2010
11:42 pm

Good night Jeff, everyone else has gone to bed so we might as well call it a night also.

TechStunna

January 20th, 2010
11:46 pm

paul hewitt definitely can take us there……

You have to be kidding.

January 20th, 2010
11:50 pm

Supersize that order, mutt

January 20th, 2010
11:53 pm

It could happen, but the down side of it is that we’ll be stuck with Blewit forever :(

Tokyo jacket

January 20th, 2010
11:54 pm

Alright, something for me to read during the middle of the day!

Tokyo jacket

January 20th, 2010
11:57 pm

Jeff, totally the wrong blog for this, but do you think it’s odd that ESPN’s Craig James has challenged the credibility of Mike Leach when he himself was on an SMU team that got the death penalty for paying players – and may or may not have been a part of that?

MagnaCarterGT

January 21st, 2010
12:02 am

Come on, Jeff, you didn’t know that Greenland was part of Denmark?

Not Disappointed

January 21st, 2010
12:46 am

Okay, you have my attention. This would be interesting. They are beginning to look good.

Ramblin Wreck!

macrotech

January 21st, 2010
1:05 am

Crazier things have happened…we’ll need to get more consistent in our play….but, then again, we managed to win the ACC with little defense in football. Anytime we beat Duke and North Carolina in one season, it’s NEVER a bad sign! GO TECH!!!

Heinrich Himmler

January 21st, 2010
1:40 am

its great too be here twoday

[...] Can Tech win basketball, football titles in same year? [...]

thwg

January 21st, 2010
2:12 am

Shultz, you are dead on. I had the EXACT epiphany – not a clearly dominate team in the ACC this year and quite frankly after seeing all the teams play, to me GT is the deepest and most talented team of them all. I don’t think even Hewitt can screw this up:-)

Eat It St. Simons

January 21st, 2010
3:42 am

One title GT won’t win this year is State Champion . . .

((((73-66)))) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Conyers Yellow Jacket

January 21st, 2010
4:09 am

No ACC championship unless they learn to shoot free throws. I hope I am wrong though.
Saw Wake rip NC at Dean Dome last night. Wake looks big and strong.

indianman

January 21st, 2010
4:46 am

they may be first in the acc but the same as football no,2 in the state

Earl E. Bird

January 21st, 2010
6:00 am

They came close in ‘90.

jimmy62

January 21st, 2010
6:14 am

Actually they did it in 1990. They won basketball in March and then won the ACC football title in November of 1990.

This year would be the same school year, different calendar year, all depends on how you look at it. As a kid growing up in 1990, it seemed like the same year to me.

drew

January 21st, 2010
6:22 am

Eat it and indianman…you two are SOOOO clever! You must be professional comedians, eh? Or maybe comedy writers? Because I just can’t get over these hilarious and clever blog comments. You probably have a dedicated team of writers to help you come up with these clever blog posts. I mean, you’re just sooooo clever! Is this the product of a UGA education? If I go to UGA will I become clever like you? I just wish I was as funny and clever as you two guys! You’re just toooo funny!

On a more serious note, if Tech can play defense for 40 minutes, and Lawal stays healthy, this is a very dangerous team…even WITH Paul Hewitt.

falcon71

January 21st, 2010
6:27 am

dont know but doing it in basketball is easier than football because you have multiple chances against your rivals wereas in football one chance and you may skate but 2 losses and you have stepped on your crank

BuzztheKiller

January 21st, 2010
6:59 am

When March comes, and Tech has won a conference championship and is headed for a high seed in the tourney, while UGA is below .500 and watching from home, no one but the few clowns that stalk the Tech blogs will remember a non conference road loss in Jan. It seems Tech drops a head scratcher to a nobody every year, this year it happened to be to the local version of nobody. Reminds me of the last football season…

on a serious not

January 21st, 2010
7:04 am

Drew:
Are you a professional crybaby? Because you sound like a crybaby? Is this a product of gt education? or just your way of looking like a crybaby?

When March comes

January 21st, 2010
7:14 am

You will still have the second best college sports program in the state!

Jacket

January 21st, 2010
7:28 am

Makes UGA program look good

GT

January 21st, 2010
7:30 am

ga tech is a football school (but can play hoops as well)

January 21st, 2010
7:33 am

let’s see how they do against Wake first, if they can beat them, the answer is YES. Duke and UNC are not going to mature and get better but Jackets will by the time March rolls around.

Bobbi Dud

January 21st, 2010
7:54 am

Another championship with another loss to Georgia….just a game not that important!

Reality Check

January 21st, 2010
8:01 am

Yes, Jeff you are dead on GT can win the ACC this year. This is the worst year that I can remember for the conference. North Carolina is awlful and finally losing all of their players to NBA has caught up to them, Duke has not been a real factor for the last several years, and the rest of the conference has not been any good since Maryland won the NC several years ago. With that being said, the ACC champion in BB this year will be much like the football champion. A meaningless championship winner who has no chance in postseason unless it is the NIT. GT lost to UGA Basketball. That is all you have to say.

Dap01

January 21st, 2010
8:03 am

Tech’s basketball team has potential but they even lost to UGA. But seriously, why is the football team even mentioned? Did you see how they were seriously manhandled by UGA and Iowa?

What a timely and relevent article? Really scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

Spencer

January 21st, 2010
8:21 am

Reality Check…

2005 National Champions UNC lost to Santa Clara. I don’t think anyone is going to sweat too much over a loss at UGA. I can’t imagine anyone really even caring. Don’t both these teams just go ahead and chalk up that one as a loss when they play on the road? Only 1 time has GT or UGA beaten the other on the road since they started playing it home/home.

It doesn't matter

January 21st, 2010
8:22 am

Let the puppies celebrate their victory over GT. While we are in the NCAA tourny that win will be the highlight of their season.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

January 21st, 2010
8:22 am

The thing that’s most amazing about this year’s edition of the ACC is that VIRGINIA is the only team remaining that controls its own destiny in the conference … and yet they remain unranked! Since this Jackets team has shown so many different personalities, its far too soon to be thinking about conference titles. Certainly they have the talent, but their erratic play has already caught up with them on 3-4 occasions, including “come from ahead” losses to Dayton, UVA and UGA. I’m hopeful for their chances, but it remains a very cautious optimism.

I will give this team credit for one thing though … the last few games have demonstrated that they won’t ALWAYS snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

another reason the AJC

January 21st, 2010
8:23 am

why not Jeff..you currently are full time at sesame street and part time at the ajc in the same year….is terrence moore your boss over at sesame street or big bird

UGA = REDNECK

January 21st, 2010
8:23 am

Can UGA be unranked in football and basketball in the same year? You betcha!

those games meant nothing to tech

January 21st, 2010
8:26 am

736624143024………the Acc Basketball championship would be like winning a Boston Marathon..(thats a compliment to Tech)…the ACC football championship is like winning the World’s TAllest Midget Contest..(thats not a compliment)…and hiring Al Groh..was a real find!…yeah right..lmfao…as long as Bill and Mary aren’t on the schedule anytime soon…later on flagboy nation

those games meant nothing to tech

January 21st, 2010
8:28 am

one more thing before i leave…tell ole alligator jowls..you know ..ole ….”what has Georgia done since 1980″ Johnson..tell him hello for us flagboy fans…Athens aint gonna be a real welcome place for him in 2010 around thanksgiving after his multiple disrespectful sore loser comments

UGA = REDNECK

January 21st, 2010
8:33 am

With all those fans and recruiting rankings UGA is still unranked and irrelevent. BTW your new DC would be working for Al Groh in the NFL. HA!

BobinBuford

January 21st, 2010
8:34 am

It’s a pretty sad comment on the state of UGA football and basketball that their signature wins this year in both sports are over GT. Isn’t being called the “best 8-8 team in the country” sort of like being the tallest midget?? I thought only GT considered the UGA games their most important!!

As far as Tech is concerned, both are blips on their schedules. GT football wins the ACC and goes to a BCS bowl, UGA wins the Weedeater Bowl. GT will go on to the NCAA tournament, and UGA will be lucky to make the NIT.

And look at that murderer’s row schedule for UGA football next year!!! Drop LSU for Miss State (a team GT beat twice in the past two years), and have your 3 OOC opponents besides GT be Louisiana Lafayette, Colorado (one of the worst teams in the Big 12) and Idaho State!!!! Even with that UF OOC schedule, the best you can do in a preseason poll is 22??

Mark Fox

January 21st, 2010
8:38 am

8-8?
I guess thats pretty good for midget league.
GT fans are light years ahead of the rednecks when it comes to hoops knowledge. The dawgs just dont have a clue.

dc

January 21st, 2010
8:43 am

I wasn’t even aware Idaho State had a team. Seriously, how can you put a team like that on your schedule?

Optimistic

January 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Tech has yet to play its best game. We are a young team that should get better as the season progresses. We may not win the ACC but we have no excuse besides maybe Hewitt for not being a top 4 seed in one of the brackets come tourny time.

Aero Jacket

January 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Greenland as part of Denmark. Duh. As usual, the question is who starts peaking toward the end of February. Discipline and coaching will probably have Duke and Carolina near the top of the standings; hopefully Tech will be there as well. We have the players, but do we have a coach who can coach them consistently? Beating ranked teams doesn’t do much good if you keep losing to unranked teams that are mediocre or rebuilding.

Baba O'Riley

January 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Let’s hear the hypocrites defend their 2010 football schedule after they ridiculed UF for their’s last year.

dc

January 21st, 2010
8:47 am

Jim Calhoun knows his team is not good this year, so he took a vacation. “His Smugness” doesn’t want all these losses on his coaching record so he’ll let his longtime assistant take the fall.

dc

January 21st, 2010
8:48 am

Shades of Coach K and Pete Gaudet in the mid 90’s

tech fans = flagboys

January 21st, 2010
8:49 am

and Paul’s johnson is is the baton twirler…73-66…30-24..dawgs dominate the flagboy nation…and “if their fans give you a hard time” you just punch a Hawkeye in the mouth…lmfao..ole little johnson is a great leader for you nerds

Jackets Rock

January 21st, 2010
8:50 am

Looking at the ACC standings, it looks like we will end up with multiple 10-6 or 9-7 teams in a log jam. If one team goes 12-4, they will probably win the league. Conference games have been extremely competitive this year, not to mention PHYSICAL……winning the league crown will require staying healthy– our stretch without Shump showed that.

We easily have as much talent as anyone in the league. Go Jackets!

tech fans = flagboys

January 21st, 2010
8:51 am

and AL Grows Nads …well he’ll have to ..in order to beat William and Mary…lmfao

In Pollack we trust

January 21st, 2010
8:51 am

David Pollack just tweted that although UGA has no football scholarship to offer, the school has agreed to extend an academic scholarship to Chumlee from the show “Pawn Stars” that can be seen on the History Channel.